2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

I’m officially on vacation for the week, which means this morning, I’ll be hitting the road to pick up my Ohio boys and bring them down to Georgia for the beginning of Thanksgiving Week! Which also means I had to get up early (because it’s close to a 20-hour round trip) and post early. Let’s see who’s up early on Saturday mornings!

For today’s prompt, write a “suspicious minds” poem. When I assembled these prompts more than a month ago, I considered this one of my more unusual (and more creative) prompts. Click here to see Elvis Presley perform this song. Anyway, I’m thinking there are a few ways to go with this prompt. One, write a poem in which the narrator is either suspicious of someone or is the actual one under suspicion. Two, write a poem that plays with repetition–as this song does. Three, write a poem that is a performance poem spectacular (as this song is here). Of course, you can always bend and blend the prompt as you see fit.

Here’s my attempt (a bit rushed since I have to hit the road):

“Worry, worry”

Worry about the planes that don’t crash
to the earth. Worry about the waves
that don’t destroy your family. Worry
she might leave you (or he might cheat
his way past). Worry that someone will
die. Worry what you will miss. Worry
over what didn’t get done. Worry what
will never be done. Worry, worry…
and watch everything do what it will.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

And check out my blog: My Name Is Not Bob


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236 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

  1. barton smock


    at the end of light, more light.
    it is why I have been walking.
    since you’ve known me
    I have walked.

    I am leery
    of your sadness- you’ve mock deer
    on your lawn.

    you bird watch.

    you rake a single leaf, give up.

    sadness is your gut is
    tamped properly. when I recall

    on highway of abandoned upkeep

    pipe tobacco
    and knowhow

    my hands
    make visor.

    a car slowly passes
    other cars. I call this car
    my death, and then revise.

  2. Sibella

    “Pam knows how good she is.”

    In yesterday’s masterclass, a world-famous poet, with
    extraordinary hair, said this about me: “Pam knows
    how good she is.” After the initial happy bloom,
    here’s where I went.

    1. Pam knows how good she is. Pam uses the right ruler.
    Pam’s scales are meticulously calibrated.

    2. Pam knows how good she is. Wait, let me rephrase,
    since I’ve left you with an ambiguous pronoun:
    Pam knows how good Elizabeth Bishop is.

    3. Pam knows how good she is, and mirabile dictu,
    the formerly shy nonentity never ceases to tell us.

    4. Pam knows how good she is. Being a believer
    in a direct relationship between God and God’s children,
    Pam knows and confesses her sins.

    5. Pam knows “How Good She Is,” the b-side of
    Cat Stevens’ single “Oh Very Young” and a lost
    response song to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”

    6. Pam knows how good she is. This good. (Here
    the renowned bard holds up two fingers,
    a chapbook’s width apart.)

    7. Pan knows how good she is. All hail the goat god!

    8. Pam knows how Gucci is. (NB: highly unlikely.)

    9. Pam’s nose–oh, never mind.

    10. I guess I’d better figure out how good I am
    or stop caring.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    The Game of Clue
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    ‘Twas during a rousing game of Clue
    when I noticed the sideways glance
    from my best friend Sally to her best friend’s hub
    and I happened to have caught it as per chance.

    Was I tired, am I mistaken?
    Or she just looking for a fight?
    Is it my imagination
    or when did wrong become alright?

    Guess I didn’t get the memo
    there’d been trouble in the air.
    We’d all been friends for just forever
    that I hadn’t ’til now need care.

    Now this night’s full of innuendos
    that’d make even Miss Scarlet blush.
    Footsies underneath the table
    makes the game a little rushed.

    Was I tired, am I mistaken?
    Or she just looking for a fight?
    Is it my imagination
    or when did wrong become alright?

    When did I become Judge and Jury?
    When this friendship you’d soon as toss.
    There are moral obligations here,
    there are lines you just don’t cross

    Now ‘ol Scarlet & Professor Plum
    have both gone missing, perhaps eloped?
    But my bet‘s on the secret passage
    and Colonel Mustard with a lot of rope!

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. DanielAri

    “Big send off”

    Scatter my ashes
    from the pier,
    but save a smidgen
    for a year,
    then sprinkle me
    into your beer
    and drink me down,
    and lose a tear,
    and have a laugh,
    my dearest dear.

  5. taylor graham


    The hostler… told the blacksmith’s thought to the Puritan minister
    of the village, and he to the magistrate… and the king just escaped
    by the skin of his teeth.
    Elihu Burritt, A Walk from London to Lands End (1865)

    Suppose a horse is brought one night for shoeing
    to Charmouth, one street village where echoes
    tell of Royalists and Roundheads hot at-war;

    1651, Cromwell against King Charles. Who
    holds allegiance on this southern fringe of Britain,
    just across the Channel from France?

    It’s coal-dark at the blacksmith forge. This horse
    has thrown a shoe from long, hard riding.
    The horseshoes are of northern English make.

    A blacksmith lets his mind and fancy work
    while he fits the shoe and sets the nails. This
    horse has run a race of life and death to the sea –

    to the coast that faces France. Who but the King
    himself, Charles II in flight? In civil war, who
    trusts whom? Horse for a king leaving

    his kingdom behind…. A blacksmith forms
    his iron on the anvil, lets it cool a bit before he
    nails it to the hoof. He trusts his hammer

    and his wit; lets suspicion take its shape
    before he speaks his mind.

  6. Michelle Hed


    Couldn’t quite put my finger on it
    but something was different
    about her –

    She was the same
    but there was a lingering sense
    of…something –

    I’ve know her for so many years
    I knew something had changed
    but for once I was clueless –

    She wasn’t talking
    she said everything was fine
    I was imagining things –

    I quit pestering her
    but I never stopped
    observing her –

    Finally, a few months
    after I first noticed the change
    she confessed –

    She had cancer.

    She apologized but said
    she had just needed time
    to adjust, learn, gain some perspective –

    No apology necessary, I said
    and we talked through the night
    of the past and the future.

  7. mikeMaher

    The Best Attempt at Consciousness

    You will in my stead have to read this out loud
    because I no longer possess the stamina
    to keep up the pace without taking unintended breaths
    which distort meaning and trip everyone
    and this is more bonfire and less Marathon-to-Athens,
    we have no time for breath.
    Show me your invisibles
    and I will tell you about the moment
    I became a ceramic blue jay,
    all expression and no practicality
    but that’s OK.
    I have been the best and worst man at a wedding.
    There are those who miss me
    and others who wish to never see my beak again,
    but that’s OK too, right? Yupper.
    It was shortly after Frank told me I looked yellow and skinny
    that stuff started going wrong
    but that was almost a year ago
    and a year is a long time, especially for a flightless bird.
    I always correct people
    when they talk about the time they were electrocuted
    because the -cuted part means you die
    and surely they were only shocked to the ground,
    the current stopping first at the elbow and then grabbing and screaming
    I love you and you must love me and never leave this moment,
    the best solution still a two-by-four
    as hard as you can to the back,
    and not once dead
    or were they?

  8. Judy Roney

    Suspcious Mind

    I don’t like this cloud that rolls in and covers everything each time I think of you.
    You act concerned, but I recognize the moments of forgetfulness and disorganization,
    the times you lose your place and tap your finger on your desk. You need a haircut.
    Are you taking care of yourself? How can you do this job, probe here, pull there, check
    this, singe that. I don’t know what you think or whether you are good, do I go on faith?
    How many have you saved? How many were killed by your practiced hands?
    I have to put the upmost trust in you; I put my most precious possession in your hands.
    Should I really entrust his life to you, Doctor? What are my choices?

  9. zevd2001


    Who was that who said hello. You ask yoursef
    as you step out the door on to the street. Shaking your head,
    tired from yesterday, your best friend,
    was supposed to come by, but
    was called away, he said, He might not show up . . .

    No matter, it happens sometimes.
    A week later,. that bandage over the eye,
    a knowing smile, obviously a skiing accident. Sometimes
    it’s better not to ask. To take your coffee at the bistro,
    or at your desk, that is the question. Whether you sit alone,
    or allow someone else to sit

    beside you. How can you be silent when the birds fly free,
    Look at that, I say to someone, It’s beautiful, isn’t it. It’s very colorful,
    they demur. You look up again, at the colors . . .
    what flag, what nation. People don’t usually say anything about
    the color of a bird, or its migration patterns. Did they etch
    my image in their memory bank, did I, his. I take

    my morning coffee at the bistro. I hear laughing in the corner,
    a joke, you can get in trouble for telling
    things out of school. Once I said that the price of bread rose.
    The teacher told me that could not be. I said it was on account

    of the yeast That was a joke. The next day
    the teacher gave me a failing grade on my mathematics test.
    It was a hundred percent correct. The next time I think
    of a joke I will let it go . . . The other day I returned

    from school a man fell down beside me.
    I saw a bullet hole in his back. I said to myself
    this did not happen, it was a joke. I wanted to say
    what I saw, but I let it go. It’s like the old folks say

    It could happen to you, what you see, what you hear,
    you step on dog shit, and depends if
    the animal belongs to someone who
    can take you away in the night, or
    an ordinary law abiding citizen whether
    you let it go. Either way it’s unpleasant, so

    you spend the day with watchful eyes,
    your ears collect things you ought to know,
    you teach your mouth to say what you are told,
    and, pray when you walk out of the door
    you will come back home,
    the way you left it.

    Zev Davis

  10. Bruce Niedt

    Late to the party again! Haven’t read everyone’s entries, but I’d be surprised if no one yet has tied this timely topic to the prompt:

    Falling from Grace in Happy Valley

    They built a statue for you
    even though you’re still alive –
    what better definition of “living legend”
    do you need? But fame and reputation
    are soap-bubble-fragile, and yours burst
    overnight, when someone under you,
    a man who seemed above reproach,
    was accused of molesting young boys.
    It was like someone pulled the pilings
    out from under your house. Today,
    you are out of the job you held
    for so many years, that brought so much
    prestige, money and championships
    to your school. Today, your legacy
    hangs by a thread. Did you do enough
    to stop that wolf in your fold?
    It was doubt that brought you down,
    suspicion that tarnished your statue.
    Maybe as the facts unravel
    you will be redeemed, but till then
    you are on the sidelines, and you
    are not the one calling the plays.

  11. Buddah Moskowitz

    The God that Made the Platypus

    I’m not sure
    what I have to offer you
    but it must be something
    for you to
    say love me.

    I will not believe you
    until I convince myself
    of my lovability,

    for surely,
    I cannot be worthy
    of love
    just because I exist.

    So I trust that
    the God that made
    the platypus,
    flatulent giggling,
    and other

    loves me too
    because in my own
    strange, confused way
    I think
    I must amuse Him.

  12. iainspapa


    It’s bedtime (so they tell me),
    So we brush-floss-read-tuck-kiss.
    But I’m the only one in bed!
    There’s something wrong with
    What I’m seeing here, so I slip
    Out into the hall
    And listen…that’s the T.V.! Hey!
    They’re not in bed at
    Bedtime, like they said I had to be!
    I’ll bet they’re partying in there.
    A party without
    Iain! Trains and circuses
    And Puppy Polo, too!
    I know that’s what they’re doing.
    I should– Iain? Is that
    Someone who’s supposed to be in bed?
    Uh-oh, I’m caught!
    The hall door opens. I blurt out,
    “My leg hurts!” (Though it’s
    Really fine.) They say, Let’s see.
    Mom kisses it all better
    And tucks me back in bed. Night-night!
    She leaves, but I won’t
    Fall for that! I follow her
    Back out into the hall
    And listen at the door again.
    They think because I’m
    Little they can celebrate
    While Iain’s stuck in bed?
    They’re prob’ly eating cake
    And wearing chickens on their–
    Iain? Is that you again?
    “My arm hurts!” (Mix it up
    So they don’t get suspicious.)
    Papa comes and lifts me
    In his arms and carries me
    Back to my room again
    And asks me, How’s your arm?
    “Okay.” That’s good. He tucks me
    Snugly under covers and says,
    See you in the morning.
    He leaves…I use my ninja moves
    And quickly, without
    Any sound at all, I’m at the door.
    Is that an engine?
    No fair! They’ve got a train in there!
    While I get purged, they’re
    Having all the fun and they won’t
    Even let me see!
    I’m– Uh-oh. Silence! What’s the deal?
    Then Papa calls to
    My chagrin, If Iain’s standing
    There behind the door,
    I won’t be happy if he says
    The things he said
    The last two times. I know he’s not in pain.
    The doorknob turns. The door swings wide.
    What now? I wrack my
    Mind to find a good excuse,
    A tale they’ll both believe…
    “My bed is gone!”
    It’s gone? “Uh-huh.”
    How could your bed just
    Wander off? You’re sure it’s gone?
    I nod. Well, let’s go look…
    Hey, there it is! It’s back! Good news.
    What say we read a
    Story and I’ll stay a bit
    In case it tries to creep
    Away again? Okay? “Okay.”
    He reads ’til I’m


  13. Marian O'Brien Paul

    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

    past the cold window pane
    a view through tangled branches
    shorn of leaves by winter winds:

    the stoplight on the hill ten blocks distant –
    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

    in a chair pulled close to the icy glass
    sits a woman wrapped in her robe
    her sleepless eyes watching, watching:

    the stoplight on the hill ten blocks distant –
    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

    bundled in his crib, her slumbering baby
    too young to understand, she thinks,
    but years later she’ll know he felt her distress:

    the stoplight on the hill ten blocks distant –
    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

    black against the ruddy light,
    a car pauses and she holds her breath
    hoping it will turn, hoping that it holds her husband:

    the stoplight on the hill ten blocks distant –
    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

    shimmering, the color shifts
    the car is moving only forward into shadow
    the woman leaning back, exhales, continues watching:

    the stoplight on the hill ten blocks distant –
    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

    in the dark room the clock keeps ticking
    as her thoughts turn to how his eye wanders;
    and she wonders when he’ll stop coming home forever:

    the stoplight on the hill ten blocks distant –
    emerald sheen, amber glow, carmine smolder …

  14. Jane Shlensky

    Forgive another double post here. I’ll be back home tomorrow and posting in less annoying patterns…perhaps.


    Is it curiosity
    or suspicion
    that leads you to sniff me
    when I enter the door, big
    animal inhalations, followed
    by the cleansing snort?
    You say you can smell
    the street on me, the school,
    the car, lunch or dinner,
    joy, wine, winter or song,
    the olfactory mystery

    The cats sometimes
    sniff-test me to determine
    where I’ve been and
    if I’ve betrayed them
    with some Maine coon lush,
    some Siamese minx, or
    some tabby hussy jonesing
    for a belly rub and cuddle,
    their suspicion
    and feline intrigue
    hair-raising in its intensity
    But you
    give me pause
    with your sniff-guessing
    where I’ve been and what
    I’ve been about in your absence,
    as if you cannot smell
    the fidelity on me,
    the exasperation,
    the patience.

    (for Amy)

    She’s drawn to conferences
    for the books, she says
    with a winky sort of smile,
    moved by the intellectual
    and collegial stimulation,
    the meeting of like minds,
    suggesting things our overworked
    imaginations cannot clearly discern:
    lounge liaisons?
    cocktail conversations?
    Or key exchanges
    of information
    and the long and short lines
    inching toward those too
    cute sexy novelists, affixing
    signatures and subtle
    messages in their books,
    as she feeds them flirtatious
    admiration that their wives never will,
    sensing how those women
    will never understand
    their verbal prowess
    the way she will, our suspicions
    of her behavior much more
    detailed and invigorating
    than hers of her writing heroes.
    Tomorrow, she goes home
    to husband and kids, hundreds
    of pages of essays to mark,
    and memories of a few days away,

  15. SaraV

    Pinched Again

    “. . .Caught in a trap, I can’t walk out. . .”

    If only these eyes could
    Really see,
    I would have noticed
    That my last bite
    Came at a price
    And now I’ll be
    The “Special” tonight

  16. Nancy Posey


    Such odd flirtations, nothing physical,
    purelly cerebral, between like minds,
    academics brusing up against each other
    at the bookseller tables in the exhibit hall.,
    dropping names–Faulkner, Welty–
    stealing glances at names tages:
    Alabama? I thought I detected an accent.
    Boone? You must teach at app.
    You teach comp? Brit lit? Me too.
    But just as conversation warms,
    just when the chance to meet for drinks,
    for light hors d’oeurves seems imminent,
    to swap cards or at least emails,
    someone says, “Free books on the 700 aisle,”
    and they’re off like a shot.

  17. Genevieve Fitzgerald

    A little late – yesterday’s poem…..and even later – the one from the day before

    Day 18 – too late
    Words can’t be unsaid
    Like I hate or I love you
    They hold too much weight

    Day 17 – revealing something
    There are days
    I see as islands
    An aviary jungle
    A sparkling beach
    Floating in turquoise seas
    Unique and beautiful

    Still, my wish is to
    Dive underneath,
    Find each memory connects
    Like nubs on a spine
    Like the mountains of Nessie

    Revealing assurance
    That isolated moments
    Are parts of a chain
    The archipelago of us

  18. JanetRuth

    Suspicious of the New Young Female Vet Tech

    Is it just me
    Or did all the farm-hands decide to
    Take their coffee-break at 4:00 instead
    of 3:00 today?

    Is it just me
    Or do her sweet, plump
    Young woman lips
    Have a little practiced
    oh-so-cute pout?

    Is it just me
    Or does the late-afternoon sun
    Enhance the ‘accidentally-on –purpose’
    Almost cleavage

    Is it just me
    Or did she really have to walk
    All the way across the farm-yard to
    Talk to my husband?

    Is it just me
    Or does he look extra good today
    With his hair curling at the collar,
    Two days growth of beard
    And the top three buttons on his cotton shirt undone

    Is it just me
    Or did he just drop his wrench
    And put on his
    ‘I’m trying to be young and sexy’ voice?

    Is it just me
    Or does she sway perfectly when she walks
    In her tight-fitting jeans…
    And by the way
    Do you have a license
    To ‘swang’ that ‘thang’?

  19. Sally Jadlow

    Cat Burgler’s Song


    The schmucks had no clue
    I’d been in their house.

    In and out in a flash
    with a bump key, mid-day.

    Went to the master bedroom
    opened each dresser drawer.

    Found the male underwear,
    looked under the briefs.

    Snatched the green,
    shut the drawer—out the door.

    The schmucks had no clue
    until they searched for a fresh supply.

  20. seingraham

    The Confessional

    All over the Christian world
    Penitents sit on narrow benches
    In booths tinier than
    Old-style telephone boxes
    Separated from Holy Fathers
    By curtains or opaque screens
    Confessing their sins:
    “Bless me Father, for I have sinned”

    I don’t know about other priests
    But I find I am not by nature
    A suspicious person; perhaps
    It has to do with my relative
    Inexperience — I am new to my calling—
    But I hope not; I pray I will always
    Believe what I hear my confessors’
    Telling me so that I may give them
    Absolution with a clear conscience

    My agnostic friends make fun of this
    Ritual – sinning during the week
    Getting absolved on Sunday
    Go do it all over again next week.
    When we have this discussion
    I’m sure I detect a wistfulness
    In their voices and I confess
    I suspect they’re a tad envious.

  21. Domino

    Got a late start, busy all day – then a catnap grabbed me and clubbed me into submission. Better now, but this is not the poem I thought I’d be writing.

    Suspicious Minds

    Our two cats Suzie and Emmett
    (both rescued animals) live an

    idyllic life. They are fed twice
    daily, they have endless room to

    play, catnip (on occasion), toys
    and sunny windowsills galore

    on which they lay and snore in cat-
    tish lazy bliss. But things have changed.

    Recently we’ve been nurturing
    kittens whose feral mother dropped

    them off in our back yard like an
    ill-timed, thoughtless Christmas present

    They’re getting bigger by the day
    and, in fact, are becoming more

    friendly too. And poor Emmett and
    poor Suzie somehow seem to think

    that soon, soon these usurpers will
    take their places in our hearts. Who

    knows what scenarios their sus-
    picious kitty minds engender?

    Diana Terrill Clark

  22. Dan Collins

    Mewling Complaint

    She says she’ll just go out for drinks
    and be back soon to make my meal.
    She never tells me what she thinks
    and doesn’t care how bad I feel.

    She’ll be back (she says) to make a meal.
    But it’s so dark, she should be home.
    She doesn’t care how bad I feel
    or how much longer I’ll be alone.

    It’s really dark, she should be home
    She won’t phone me if she’s late.
    How much longer will I be alone?
    Perhaps she’s gone out on a date

    She won’t phone me if she’s late.
    She doesn’t think of me at all
    I know she’s gone out on a date!
    I bet he’s handsome, very tall.

    She doesn’t care for me at all
    She’ll let me starve that’s what I think.
    I bet he has dogs, and is very tall.
    There’s not much water left to drink.

  23. Michael Grove

    First Response

    My first response is trust for everyone.
    It’s possible I’ve lost more than I’ve won.
    I’d like to think it’s not about the money.
    A lot of folks think this outlook is funny.

    Catch them in a lie my trust is done.
    My first response is trust for everyone.
    I believe people will act and speak what’s true,
    until I’m given several reasons not to.

    By Michael Grove

  24. Funkomatic

    Peanut Butter Is More Effective

    Though the smell,
    So sweet lingers
    Just out into the light,
    Right outside the door
    Those little nervous noses
    Aren’t fooled so easy.
    Suspicious minds keep
    Mice from under
    The fatal spring.

    -Cory Funk

  25. Gregory

    So…..um…..this poem is…um…..common, It sad


    I thought you…
    Never mind..
    Didn’t you say…
    Ok, I trust you
    I thought the meeting ended at…
    Yeah, your right
    I’m sorry
    They had a fragrance sampling at the job?
    That’s nice. A little feminine but….
    Where’s the money we put in the…
    You know what, its ok…
    You locked your text messages…
    Are you hiding…..
    You know what, I am accusing you, but….
    You’re right, you’re right
    You look extra nice today
    Are you…

  26. cstewart


    My mother said: “You can’t go to the fair because there are undesirable people there”.
    Little did she know just how many undesirable people a precocious, small, curly-white haired, pretty, little girl could encounter before the age of seven. Or, perhaps she did.

    I have never been suspicious,
    Because I have always been cautious:

    But I call it intelligence.
    And I avoid situations in which
    Intelligence doesn’t seem to count.
    I avoid a lot of frustration that way.

    No one sees me as suspicious.
    I am seen as nice, obscure, intelligent,
    In an over there – what is she writing
    About – kind of way,
    I am both.

    ¬Poetic Aside on Suspicion:

    As a poetic aside – in general;
    Regarding citizens of America:
    Many now see suspicion as being wholly justified,
    And something we need to keep perpetually
    In our repertoire of democratic defenses.
    (Just to keep one step ahead of the politicians obliterating
    The foundations of the social contract).

    Not just suspicion but outright rage seems justified –
    From ignoring the last thirty years of corporations, politicians,
    Siphoning off percentages of every previously hard-earned,
    Ethical choice and benefit that was mistakenly,
    Then – that’s right America –
    Taken for granted – (working too hard, if you are busy you won’t notice).

    So see, you can’t do that.
    Caution is a constant searchlight, like the eyes of Ralph Nader,
    Roving over the ocean of corruption, greed and bad habits of human beings.
    So stalwart is the word; don’t turn off the searchlight,
    -And remember the lighthouse.

  27. Walt Wojtanik


    The noise in the alleyway echoes,
    voices in hushed tones resonate
    under the cover of darkness.
    Flickering street lights illuminate
    a strobe effect that gives a surreal
    feel to the evening. A crash, a scream,
    a scene played out in the shadows.
    Peering eyes witness;through the slats
    sins become what passions divulge!
    In the night secrets tell no lies.

  28. Sara McNulty

    Suspicions Bred Truth (a sijo)

    Discharged from Air Force, a destructible presence, his lies
    amassed as stacked stones, locked in a trunk, left unguarded on purpose.
    Opened, suspicions confirmed love notes from girls–not his wife.

  29. posmic

    Idle Hands

    Because I love you too much, baby
    because you would never suspect
    what I did, but I did it. I did.
    When you were gone one day
    and I had time on my hands,
    nothing to fill them; you know
    what they say about idle hands,
    and so the devil built his workshop
    in our living room that day. I love you
    too much, baby; that’s why you can
    never suspect, that’s why I can never
    tell you it’s true what they say in town,
    the whispers about how I never was
    any good, or my mother, or her mother,
    all of us rotten, all of us leaving a trail
    of broken animals, dead children, jealous
    lovers sneaking out the back door, blood
    on their hands, blood and lipstick. Come
    home, baby; I love you too much to let
    you go. I suspect you feel the same.
    Come fill my hands again, We’ll make
    everything all right again, baby; easy—
    the house is so much quieter now.

  30. Mom6

    Your Suspicious Mind

    You guard what isn’t yours
    You evaluate others
    You are the standard of measure

    Your suspicious mind has a hold on you

    You are a self appointed judge
    The keeper of what is dear to you,
    But not to anyone else

    Your suspicious mind has a hold on you

    You’ve woven a web that’s thin and frail
    You won’t listen to reason, can’t hear the truth
    I’m telling you…

    Your suspicious mind has a hold on you

  31. PSC in CT

    Rumor Mill

    Best (for many years) of friends
    both (blissfully) wed (to someone else)
    each (May-December) marriage
    set (rumors) rampant, (tongues) to wagging,
    (lips) flapping, scuttlebutt (fluttering)
    meeting (together) only (alone) for lunch

  32. Walt Wojtanik


    What are you up to?
    Where have you been?
    Why do you carry the burden
    of past folly? Be jolly.
    You are suspicious of
    motive and intent when
    all that is meant is
    you are held in esteem.
    Wake up to your dream,
    it is offered in love.
    No more sideways
    glances. Abandon
    self-doubt and come out.
    There’s nothing to fear.

  33. J.lynn Sheridan

    “My suspicious mind”

    I got married one day like most—
    graced in lace.

    The pastor said kiss your bride—
    we embraced,

    I read the Wife Tutorial—
    It was factual and pictorial.

    You read the Plumber’s manual—
    sort of casual, then in haste.

    you grumbled ‘bout our pipes
    being an absolute disgrace,

    you feared it most unusual
    they must now be replaced.

    I then began to notice
    you’d developed quite a thirst

    for ringing Plumber’s Hotlines
    when it seemed your pipes would burst.

    you said it was conjectural
    you said it was benign—

    I said it was consensual
    and I have a bleeping mind

    to plunge your leaking valve
    up your unrefined behind.

    Daddy said you were unusual
    and you must now be replaced,

    for an upgraded model—
    one designed to remain chaste.

  34. Michael Grove

    There is a Path

    There is a path.
    There has always been the way.
    He has long known of the means
    to the end. He has a gift to share.

    There is a vision of greatness.
    He has deep faith in himself and
    in his abilities. He knows the way.
    His only wish is to share the gift.
    His greatest desire is to give.

    There was no one who would
    accept his gift or believe in him.
    It cut him deeply and he fell asleep.
    As he slept for years the thorns
    grew up around him and trapped
    him as he tried to reawaken.

    He would muster all his inner
    strength to move and hack away
    at the thorns. They would cut his
    hands and feet until he bled
    on the now dimly lit path.

    He could still see the light. He
    would continue to follow the light.
    He has always known the way.
    There is a path.

    By Michael Grove

  35. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Once upon a time,
    A curious cloud came floating by!
    Subtly hovering nothing sublime,
    Temporarily crowding the sky!

    People below ran for cover,
    They scurried, ducking under doors,
    Cloud became quite unusually clever,
    Being suspected of bad things, he abhors!

    After dark, he asked the full moon so rounded,
    “Can you loan me some of your shining?”
    By sunrise, their suspicions were ill founded,

    As pennies from heaven poured down,
    It was clear he was the cloud . . .

    With a silver lining!

    (Ok . . . I suspect this is the last one . . . because if what I suspect is true . . . I still have way to much to do!) Bye – – must fly – – goodbye . . . Much Love to all! 🙂

  36. pomodoro

    we be poets: a villanelle

    we write prose without refrain
    throw syllables out the door
    rhythm and rhyme we disdain

    ain’t no jazz on our plane
    we break rules by the score
    we write prose without refrain

    with spunk and bite – never tame
    we ain’t no marianne moore
    rhythm and rhyme we disdain

    anapest & anaphora & quatrain
    we got nothin’ against metaphor
    we write prose without refrain

    troublesome poets we remain
    raven lunatics evermore
    rhythm and rhyme we disdain

    our own quirks we sustain
    it’s inside the box we abhor
    we write prose without refrain
    rhythm and rhyme we disdain

  37. Janet Rice Carnahan


    I suspect you know why I am writing,
    I doubt this comes as any surprise.
    You know we have been fighting,
    I see it in your eyes.

    You suspect me of too much control,
    And not caring about your heart,
    Let me say this is not my goal,
    Love has from the start!

    I just see things from a different view,
    I don’t mean any harm,
    I know you have a perspective too!
    We don’t have to be up in arms!

    I’d rather we curl up now,
    Drop our hard head to head stance,
    We hurt each other’s feelings somehow,
    Let’s cancel this suspicious moment and dance!

    What do you say, we let it all go?
    Offer this negative thinking a true releasing shrug?
    Open to our love again, let it grow,
    I suspect it is time to embrace . . .

    A yummy endearing hug!

    (And I suspect there is possible one more to come . . .)

      1. Janet Rice Carnahan

        Thank you for your comment, pomodoro . . . yes, I see what you mean! That kind of love should always continue and the poem just might too! I suspect it just won’t be tonight! Thanks! 🙂

  38. Janet Rice Carnahan


    To suspect,
    I suspect is fear.
    Can we expect?
    This to clear!
    Is it possible to remove?
    Any and all doubt!
    Would it behoove,
    Us to go without!
    Is it just a reflection?
    Of a blocked mind!
    Unwilling to explore speculation,
    Not a curious kind!
    Someone tells us,
    House is haunted with a ghost,
    Do we become suspicious?
    Of the spookiness or the person the most!
    If we are told not to trust,
    A person who is not the same,
    Is that belief a must?
    So we don’t care to know their name!
    (Is avoiding them now our aim?)
    Instead can we open to faith and love?
    Knowing we are protected,
    It’s what we’re ultimately made of!
    Much more loving than being suspected!
    Unless we are under a direct threat,
    Consequently the fear is real,
    Positive thinking renews a closed mind set,
    And an open heart we can feel,

    And really . . . isn’t that better yet!

    (And do you suspect this will be my only take on this prompt . . .
    I suspect not!)


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