2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

It’s time for another challenge! Arrrreeeee yyyyyoooouuuu reeeeeaaaddddyyyyyy to pooooooeeeeemmmm?

I know I am! And today just happens to be a Tuesday, which means two prompts! For those new to the PAD challenge, you can pick one of the two prompts or do both–if that’s how you roll. Also, you can share your poem(s) for today’s prompts in the comments attached to this specific post below. Click here for the complete guidelines. Don’t stress out; I’m pretty laid back about this whole poeming experience.

So here are today’s prompts:

  • Write a procrastination poem, or as I like to call it a “I’ll get to it tomorrow” poem. Or…
  • Write a proactive poem, or the old “I’ll get to it today” poem.

Grab some coffee and eat some leftover trick or treat candy. Then, get poeming!

Here’s my attempt:

“The morning after”

Wrappers strewn around the apartment
and pumpkins filled with fading glow sticks,
I should get out of bed and welcome
November, however… However,
I have so much sleep to catch up on,
and the poems hidden in my dreams
say, “It’ll wait; it’ll wait; it will…”


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

And tweet your progress there using the #novpad hashtag!

Also, I’m growing a moustache for prostate cancer research this month (the event is called Movember). Click here to learn more.


Find a home for your poems!

Use the 2012 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. Hundreds of publication opportunities and great articles on everything from submitting to reading poetry!

Click here for more details.


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418 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

  1. sidewalkdiva

    Finally made it?

    For twenty-five days I have promised myself I would begin, and then
    read wikipedia instead.
    My counters are polished, no dust bunnies survived.
    The laundry folded and put-away,
    I’ve read the reader’s digest my mother left,
    the one with no content that interested me,
    from cover to cover.
    i’m exhausted from turning my back on a task that will take no real time when it comes down to it.
    I’ve almost run out of excuses.

    But I’m afraid I’ll fail.
    So I clean another dish.
    and wipe another counter, and call it a night.

  2. rachelhyde

    Did I miss this day? I must have written on something other than the prompt. I set up a blog ans was adding my Poem-A-Day drafts there and found none that fit this prompt, so I wrote one. It appears below.

    The How-To Future
    by Rachel Hyde

    It sits at the far back
    of my mind, to seep
    like a drip of forgetting
    and must down the trail
    of spine and manifest.
    I want it; shut eyes to see it,
    complete it, in spite of myself.
    Thank God, shadow says,
    thank God, tomorrow will be truer.
    This day clouds with tasks
    clamorous, the wheels that cry,
    the needs that press
    nepenthe upon the driven,
    the burning, now flickering, breast.
    The shadow loves me, licks ear
    and sighs rationality.
    I tick, tick, winding down
    as the now shades to then,
    and why swallows when.

  3. JujYFru1T


    is the first day
    of the rest of my writing life
    Another stone
    Another bridge
    and now on to a mountain
    Time to follow the words
    tripping from my brain into my fingers
    Never climbed this chain before
    I’ve spent my days in the lowlands
    But the word-peaks call to me
    They’re luring me away from my word-seas
    for a month
    (maybe more?)

  4. Jay Sizemore

    The Night Before

    He didn’t write out his vows
    until the night before the wedding,
    knowing that she had written hers
    weeks earlier. He chose to let
    his thoughts marinate,
    to feel with his senses
    the way a blind man might
    see sounds in his mind,
    as the idea that started
    as a single sentence
    grew legs and spun itself
    into a cocoon, a microscopic
    granule of truth that needed
    to take on layers of promise
    to be whole, to become
    that genuine pearl
    in the oyster of his language,
    to emerge as that rare butterfly
    only seen through the eyes of children.

    Was it patience, or a fear
    that to see his words on paper
    might somehow dilute their significance?
    Each breath held a pregnant pause,
    a heartbeat caught in the throat of desire,
    as his fingers let the paragraphs
    pour through them onto the page,
    an act that seemed effortless
    as a rose unfolding in light,
    yet demanded to be beautiful,
    as only the truth can be.

  5. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Time to spare
    Getting up early
    full of life and vigour
    energy abounds
    the list is scanned
    already priortised
    before the second coffee is consumed
    two tasks are efficiently crossed off
    and so the morning progresses
    the list grows shorter and shorter
    will-power and self-motivation rule the day
    till at last the list is screwed up
    and thrown away
    and now the mind is still
    now the body relaxes…
    …it’s still early – whatever shall I do now?


  6. Iain Douglas Kemp

    At last!!! I have started!

    Tomorrow never comes
    Each day starts and ends the same
    with plans a-plenty
    and best intentions
    a list made out
    of things to do

    Each morning the lethargy creeps in
    and pointless tasks
    take precedence
    over priorities
    and time wastes away

    Each evening ends the same way
    the list is added too
    and vows are taken
    oaths are sworn
    it’ll all be done…



  7. Linda Neas


    The keys have called
    Had full intentions of looking
    Even went as far as
    opening up a new tab
    but here it is
    five days late
    with poems waiting
    to be written

    I Will

    I will write more
    I will write more today
    I will write more today soon
    I will write more soon
    I will write soon
    I will write
    I will

  8. hohlwein2


    I won’t mortify my flesh
    Won’t take a brick to my head
    Won’t look in the mirror disappointed to not see there
    someone, anyone else.

    The numbers are auspicious, auspicious enough
    Already I see books back in their shelves
    and tasks sorted like seeds by size and their likelihood
    of growing.
    Quercus lobata, smooth in my hand.
    And perfectly ready.

    What greater mystery than potential
    And – given the right conditions –
    the likelihood for the roots to search and tap
    the seed to tree
    the artist to see

    The doves outside I see
    are out of seeds
    The little seed house above them empty
    bobbing in the first November wind

    I will fill it
    And provide
    And spill seeds generously
    For them and see the seeds fall
    like golden tears
    of a maiden
    in a tale
    that turns now – today –
    today now,
    – as I will it –
    towards light
    and her unexpected sweet luck.

  9. PSC in CT

    OK. Trying once more. I input this a day or two ago, but it doesn’t seem to have “stuck”. Joining the party a bit late — and running behind — due to Storm Alfred. Still housing storm refugees at present, but hoping to eventually catch up on writing… and maybe some reading & commenting too! Eventually. :-] Until then, here’s my offering… for Day 1:

    “Never put off ‘til tomorrow…”

    That ambitious admonition
    (juxtaposing her brief, uncelebrated life)
    clinches his philosophy.

    Her oft repeated creed,
    (evaluated, translated, transposed),
    he transforms into:

    postponing joy
    is ever a risky endeavor
    (Wholly Inadvisable).

  10. Kim King

    Procrastination poem

    As much as I love poetry,
    work and life interfere.
    I must decline to write or
    write and decline to work.

    Proactive poem

    I’ve decided that there is little
    In this world more valuable
    than art or the appreciation
    of art. Therefore, jobs without
    esthetic value are worthless.
    One must eat via practical
    employment but live through art.

  11. JujYFru1T

    Hey, I’m sorry to barge in here but I have a question and I’m not on Twitter, so I couldn’t think where else to post.
    Can you join in on this if you missed the start and catch up on the prompts? Or have I missed the boat, as it were?

  12. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    great american poem
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    today is the day
    i begin the great american poem
    front and center
    pen to tablet, then
    mouse click to God’s ear.

    today is the day
    i take the word
    by the processor,
    align them like legos
    noun to verb, stanza to stanza.

    today is the day
    i kick fear to the curb
    lick envelopes shut
    search for stamps
    fire off those submissions

    today is the day
    the hordes begin amassing
    in front of Borders
    to wipe the shelves clean
    of all my chapbook prodigies.

    oooo….is that a danish?

    tomorrow is the day
    i begin the great american poem

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  13. foodpoet


    Perhaps today I will get my life back on track
    Reach deep to write poetry
    On topics on dreams and self but even now when writing by
    Computer and not at leisure by pen and ink
    Recall and lost memories rise venom strong.
    Again the flow is disrupted by call after call
    Sinking me deeper into another round of put off me
    To take up tasks of tending lost memories.
    I look at the clock for the wind down to work return,
    Nothing remains of time for me and verse.
    Another day another lunch time so
    Today is the day
    I will write
    Or maybe
    Not as nothing stirs in my mind by writers block er procrastination


  14. tlums112

    Procrastination Abomination

    i would have written this sooner
    everyone knows how time flies
    i procrastinated…
    the Procrastination Abomination has struck
    i fuel his power
    telling myself i work better under pressure
    i know this is just another excuse.

    i ever get my act together
    proactivate my life?
    will it consume me,
    i, powerless
    dr. jekyl to a Mr. Hyde?

  15. AgentK

    Hoarded Treasures

    To my mother, they represent the past:
    Shampoo and medicine long out of date
    Toothpaste so old it has separated
    (I didn’t even know that could happen!)
    Furniture, linens, decades of jumbled newspaper clippings

    To my mother, they represent the past:
    Every article of clothing helps her remember
    The event she wore it to, “when I was thin” she says
    (She is so thin now, but always thinks herself fat.)
    An archaeology of 70s, 80s, and 90s fashion

    To my mother, they represent the past:
    Cardboard boxes that encase my academic career
    Piles of old schoolwork and composition notebooks
    A book of my poems, from Mrs. O’Rourke’s 7th grade English class
    (I wish I could find her on Facebook!)
    IQ scores and papers that launched my father’s old tales

    To my mother, they represent the past
    And so, she can never divest herself of them
    Only bequeath them to my father, my brothers, and me
    Some will be easy, some hard: Trash? Organize? Store? Donate?
    (Who would want any of this?)
    We sit at my mother’s kitchen table, procrastinating on the inevitable

  16. pblacksaw

    Waiting on the Perfect Day

    I am waiting on the perfect day
    to clean the house and give away
    all the things that crowd our space
    things we’ve moved from place to place

    little shoes and coats and hats
    my children’s toys and balls and bats
    and books and books and books galore
    on shelves and dressers.. on the floor

    I look at them and know full well
    that in them only memories dwell
    they gather dust.. they are in the way
    I’ll do it tomorrow if it comes my way


    I know this was posted late.. I hope it is OK.. have a great poetry day!

  17. posmic

    I tried to post this yesterday, but it didn’t seem to work, so here goes …


    They say time waits for no man;
    I’m no man, but it doesn’t wait for me.
    I have a certain measure of days,
    an unknown quantity, and too many
    small things to repair, too many
    stones in my shoes. I can’t run after
    rosebuds, gather them while I may;
    my rosebud bucket has a hole in it
    and besides, is too full of unpaid bills.
    What we really need to save are breaths,
    each one expiring as soon as it’s born;
    we’re a little more dead each time
    we exhale. The trick is to forget this,
    get out of bed anyway; if you want to
    pick some rosebuds, I won’t tell you
    they’re dropping behind you as you go.

  18. Janet Carnahan

    ON Time

    Oh, am I late?
    Is it time?
    I waited all day,
    To poem and rhyme!

    I couldn’t put it off,
    Not one more minute!
    It is November,
    Time to begin it!

    It has to be done!
    Done right now!
    I must hurry, it’s fun!
    I must moooove . . .
    Holy cow!

    Running to catch up! This has been the November challenge so far . . . just to find my way back to the site!

    And happy to be back . . . hello all . . . onward and Up Word . . . it has been quite a fall! 🙂

  19. SaraV

    Latent Defects

    Weeks and months fly together
    Nothing I do makes it
    And you may think
    That I procrastinate
    In fact the problem is
    I haven’t caught up
    With the right date


    The date is all penciled in
    Ready for the challenge
    To begin
    The google’s in sync
    With my HTC
    Just forgot to charge
    The battery

  20. Anita Murphy

    A friend doesn’t go on a diet because your fat. Erma Bombeck
    May I suggest
    togetherness, bonding over greens, tofu
    and bottled water.
    A holiday in Europe, a night in Paris,
    sleek black dress and slim Jim.
    The wedding gown, white shoes and
    fat feet
    Ah graceful long fingers, a home
    for the diamond ring
    Let’s muse
    Cuba, the beach, the honeymoon,
    bikinis, and men, tanned men.
    Hmm did I mention health, yes health
    feel good , green tea and broccoli.

  21. Anita Murphy

    When will it get done?
    I’ll start tomorrow.” I say
    So when tomorrow comes
    I just wait another day

    It saddens me to see
    It growing in great heaps
    Tomorrow I will be
    All set to start the feat

    Tomorrow is now here
    And I must start my lowly job
    But first I’ll have a beer
    With dear old Uncle Bob

    Moaning I say, “Oh God.”
    “I just got to get this done.”
    But dear old Uncle Bob
    He’s died and waked at one

    So there isn’t any reason
    To start a job in June
    After all it’s fly season
    I’ll do it next full moon.

  22. pomodoro

    “Why Wait?”>

    This is just to say
    I have taken the last piece of pie
    that was left in the tin
    and which you’d probably expected
    to see this evening after dinner.
    Forgive me
    It was so tempting
    And, yes, as irresistible as you.

    ( with thanks to William Carlos Williams)

  23. pomodoro

    Why Wait?

    This is just to say
    I have taken the last piece of pie
    that was left in the tin
    and which you’d probably expected
    to see this evening after dinner.
    Forgive me
    It was so tempting
    And, yes, as irresistible as you.

    ( with thanks to William Carlos Williams)

  24. JoBella

    Postponed Push

    In between procrastination
    And proactivation
    I put off pleasures
    As I putter
    Frantically fretting
    The list goes on
    Neverending burdens
    Frittering my hours
    As a dedicated dawdler
    My commission, my mission
    A quest for time
    From later to leisure
    One day I say
    When I’m finished
    When it’s done

  25. jane hoover

    procrastination rules

    tomorrow and tomorrow
    stretches always
    out ahead of any moment
    requesting my attention


    secret-fill of closets closed
    cedar chests too full too open


    pantry’s muddle-mix
    tomatoes closing in on grits


    box-stacked writing works
    sitting silently, unmoved for years


    tomorrow and tomorrow
    atretches always
    out ahead of any moment
    pleading for attention

    jane penland Hoover

  26. zwrite1

    Yesterday I thought I had an inkling
    of something I could rhyme,
    but it left me in a twinkling
    so I had to take more time.

    Then today I almost had it –
    Something clever and profound,
    but it scattered bit by bit
    and now it can’t be found.

    Tomorrow is another day
    to chase the elusive muse.
    I’ll search again for something to say
    but for now it’s just no use.

  27. stu pidasso

    by stu pidasso

    [I thought it a nice twist to actually put this off until today….considering the topic]

    I, humbly, offer my submission
    for yesterday’s task.
    I’ll not fib, cavil, lie
    or else try to mask
    the fact that I got to
    writing it just this morn
    for yesterday’s “to do” list
    had my feelings torn
    twixt calling my kids
    and dining with mother,
    going to rugby and sharing
    a beer with my brother;
    or indulging myself with
    some reading and writing
    and ESPN (for hockey fighting).
    But family comes first
    of my things “to do”
    and my personal desires
    weigh in at number two.
    So, although I put off
    until today, poem number one
    I managed to get plenty done
    under the light of the sun.

  28. Glory

    So much to do, so little time to spare,
    maybe tomorrow, or, if I dare,
    let it all hang loose, relax, enjoy
    the day, do nothing that needs doing,
    just let go, lighten up, cast aside
    all guilt, plans are made for breaking
    so I’ll start again – maybe . . . tomorrow.

  29. Earl Parsons

    On My Mind

    I’ve got so much on my mind
    So much I cannot think straight
    Like finding work or taking time
    To get to things that just can’t wait
    Things that have waited so long already
    Things that are starting to eat away at me

    My brain is so full of tasks
    Things left for the last minute
    A last minute that has not arrived
    It’s time I must get to it
    The list is long and growing daily
    The list is starting to eat away at me

    I will prioritize the list
    Most important right up top
    Then I’ll do them one by one
    ‘Till it’s gone I will not stop
    Priority list, easy as one, two, three
    So why is it eating away at me

    I’ve got so much on my mind
    So much I cannot think straight
    I think I’m gonna’ take a nap, then
    I’ll get to the things that can’t wait

  30. Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea

    Waving goodbye to my sanity

    I can almost see her staring into space,
    looking blankly at something out a window
    or sitting in front of a television
    that is turned off and covered with dust.
    That bitch muse is ignoring me and sending spam email
    to me to sift through, sending subliminal
    messages to Bianca to call me about how
    she needs my help, which is only an
    excuse to weasel herself back into my life.
    She is drinking all of the coffee in my mug
    and putting out my cigarettes. I think she
    hid the pack now and wants me to go crazy while
    I search the entire apartment for them. Maybe
    she wants me to quit, but it could just be another
    excuse to walk away from the screen and its blinking
    cursor that laughs at me and tells me to stop
    putting off the inevitable poem about death or
    smoking or Bianca or the next person who leaves me
    thinking that I should actually start trusting people.
    Most likely, I’m just a masochist.

  31. Michelle Hed


    I made a mistake. I kept putting off my appointments, year after year. I always felt those appointments were a violation, so uncomfortable. Sure, I’ve learned from my mistake but the lesson I’ve learned will make no difference for me. All I’m left with is guilt and remorse. This could have been prevented. I could have lived longer if I had gone in sooner. Maybe others will learn from my mistake…but not today. Today, I need to curl up in a ball and have a good cry. Tomorrow…perhaps tomorrow I can look cancer in the face…but not today.

  32. ceeess

    Procrastination Ponderments

    Do you ever wonder…

    where we’d be if angels
    rush in before the fools

    if the early birds sleep in,
    missing thankful worms

    and the penny-wise forget
    to save their coins for rainy days?

    if the drowning man hesitates
    to choose the longest straw

    or your chicken census fails
    when you wait till they hatch

    if you fall into the river at
    bridges you haven’t come to yet

    if gardeners don’t plant till May
    will April showers waste their drops?

    if you put off eating, drinking and
    being merry, will you die day
    after next instead of tomorrow?

    but if everything comes to him
    who waits, and bad news comes
    slow to those who procrastinate
    which arrives first on your doorstep?

    How many days would it take
    to earn another dollar, and
    what exactly do you lose
    if haste makes waste?

    Carol A. Stephen
    November 2, 2011

  33. Dyson McIllwain


    It was bound to happen.
    Jetting globally for work and pleasure
    has crept into my internal clock.
    Days pass as fast as the IDL is crossed.
    I seem to be losing my bearings
    and misplaced parts of weeks.
    I know it sounds wimpy,
    but I’d gladly pay you Tueday
    if I knew which day that is!

  34. MiskMask

    The Lunchtime News: Trick or Treat

    His lawyer inhales,
    counts to ten and then
    ten again as they wait.
    A starchy man who wears
    his red tie all askew,
    he holds Mr. Assange’s
    defense and a dusty
    white wig in the palm
    of his liver-spotted hand.
    He’s glad today’s not
    Halloween. Headlines
    reading Trick or Treat
    aren’t apt to be seen.

  35. Zebbalina

    Opening my eyes each morning
    Surfacing to air
    Checking everything still in place

    Sun outside window, yes
    Dogs lying on floor, expectant
    Man somewhere
    Razor buzzing

    The list drawn up
    Mind’s eye flickers
    Up and down, yes
    that and that, and that
    all to do
    still there

    PS One for Misk…
    When I am dead and gone
    You will go and open the envelope
    That says it’s all up to you now

    We’ve written them that way
    So you decide not us

    No trying to influence the living
    Just giving

    Is that procrastination or proaction?
    Increasingly uncertain
    Words glisten and slither
    like gummy acetobacter

    (have changed my username to reflect my gender, it’s me Zeb!)

  36. Uma

    Death Visits This Time

    The point of birth happens at the precise moment
    a dew falls from the leaf. Flower is the window
    to the heavens,

    but the filaments are curled limp
    displaying no eagerness to rise on wings of light.

    She steps out of the night robe scented with sleep,
    her mind is miles ahead, desire of the body
    singes the path that she knows

    as end of life:
    moving is better than staying.

  37. kberne


    Winter will come but I want it to
    wait. Let the brilliant autumn trees
    procrastinate, stay clothed in color
    just a bit longer. Crimson Vine Maples
    sashaying with the coming storms,
    poplars dressed in yellow gowns
    glow like lit tapers among the green.
    Each day there are less leaves on the
    trees, more in piles on the ground,
    melancholy settles in, still sudden
    gusts of wind spin fallen leaves sky-
    ward, color keeps lifting my heart.

  38. iainspapa

    Jump off that slab
    You call a bed:
    It’s time to grab
    That horny head!
    No dally-dillers!
    Sit right down
    And watch the miller’s
    Wheel go ’round.
    Mighty boulders
    Carved to disks
    Will grind down shoulders
    Placed at risk
    By putting them
    Against the wheel.
    The prospect’s grim:
    Think how you’d feel
    If you got hurt
    And couldn’t write
    Or change your shirt
    Or sleep at night
    ‘Cause you succumbed
    To Siren’s call.
    You’d be benumbed
    For good and all.
    A broken wing
    Won’t let you work
    On anything;
    You’d better shirk
    The task at hand
    In favor of
    The things you’ve planned–
    The things you love.
    Tomorrow’s list.
    Now, close your eyes.
    (You won’t be missed.)

  39. Angel

    The Morning the Essay’s Due

    I planned to start the essay at six,
    but I overslept. I pace my desk,
    scavenging for a hook to snag
    those dormant thoughts I lost
    last week when I planned to start
    before I caught plans for Halloween
    before I went out with friends to eat
    before I bought a new video game
    before I was too tired to think
    before I needed to catch up on sleep.

    Now I sit at my computer
    with two hours left, dry heaving
    words half-baked, thoughts not digested.
    Outlines and research abandoned
    as I improvise with little time
    to revise but the most noticeable omissions.
    The same tricks don’t work in college:
    puffy adjectives under her scrutiny
    stretchy quotes show my strain of thought
    passively plump will stand out as a hump
    rambling will get me nowhere
    nothing will work except well-thought out words.

    Three thousand words later, I excrete an essay
    one that makes it just above the flames
    a word over the requisite, only the citations I needed.
    Though I’ll gladly a suffer a C
    or even tolerate a well-deserved D
    I can no longer compete with the valedictorian
    who boasts a 4.0. I’m only half the man.
    Despite my gymnastics, despite perfect form
    despite answering every question she asks first
    The essay reminds me that I’ll never learn.


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