2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

All right! From just scanning, it appears the first day went very well. But now things get tricky, because it is the second day. (Cue: Evil Laugh)

For today’s prompt, use an epigraph to kickstart your poem. That is, use a quotation. You can use a favorite of your own, or if you’re having trouble thinking of one, I’ve provided a few below. To format an epigraph poem, a poet places the quotation between the title and the body of the poem, while also giving credit to the source of the quotation.

Example quotations:

“Our homes are on our backs and don’t forget it,” -Molly Peacock

“Always forgive your enemies–nothing annoys them so much.” -Oscar Wilde

“Every noble work is at first impossible.” -Thomas Carlyle

“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.” -Jim Carrey

“A friend doesn’t go on a diet because you are fat.” -Erma Bombeck

Here’s my attempt:

“Here I Come”

    “This time, you can trust me.”
                   -Lucy Van Pelt (via Charles M. Schultz)

Signed document or not,
you know my foot cannot
resist a challenge, not
that I expect this knot
inside me to unknot
itself. Your trust is not
what I crave. Like dry snot
on my sleeve, I do not
want this thing I cannot
kick, so ready or not…


Connect with me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

And report your progress and share funny quotes using the #novpad hashtag.


Get poetic every day!

With the book, Writing the Life Poetic, by Sage Cohen, you will find ways to incorporate more poetry into your life on a daily basis. It’s filled with prompts, revision techniques, poetic forms, and more.

Click to continue.


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401 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

  1. sidewalkdiva

    Look Away from the Light

    “We are always getting ready to live but never living.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Why wait even one more minute?” — Julie Greene

    Dips flutters and twists
    Attention! Don’t look at her!
    Practice distraction

    I’ll wait til she’s gone
    Then i’ll find ‘right here, right now’
    Irony twisting

  2. JoBella

    No Denying

    “You are born into your family and your family is born into you. No returns, no exchanges” – Hannah from The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg

    You can’t deny the physical
    Dad’s nose, my big head
    the freckles, large feet, that look

    You can’t deny your childhood
    the good, the bad, the ugly
    The love that covered it all

    You can’t deny the present
    We are always here
    Praying and waiting

  3. Debra Elliott

    Playing Catchup with my postings.

    My Mind Has a Mind of Its Own

    “Don’t believe everything you think.” Maxine

    My thoughts are jumbled
    in a vat of confusion

    I think therefore, I am…

    My thoughts are misquoted
    in a world of delusion

    I think therefore, I am…

    My thoughts are imaginary
    in a world of illusion

    I think therefore, I am…

    A writer.

  4. PSC in CT

    All That Matters

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
    – Albert Einstein

    I count the stars in the early evening
    (as they appear, one at a time, in the night sky)
    or early in the morning, (as they surrender
    one by one to the rising sun),
    never attempting to tabulate the billions –
    galaxies and nebula beyond my reckoning

    I tally my years by the highs
    and the lows: smiles, laughter and tears –
    (everyone knows there’s no keeping score
    of the millions – or more – of minutes between)

    I number you among my boons;
    of all of my blessings — you matter most

  5. JujYFru1T

    Quiet Mouth, Loud Mind

    “My mind to me a kingdom is,
    Such present joys therein I find,
    That it excels all other bliss.”
    —Sir Edward Dyer

    You couldn’t be more wrong
    Though I’ll admit myself makes good company
    I’m just stuck with an excess
    of imagination
    When did introvert become a dirty word?
    I wear my badge with pride
    but go ahead
    Take it away
    Make me half of what I am
    and see if you like me better

  6. tlums112


    “Just keep swimming”
    ~Dori, Finding Nemo

    Six thirty in the morning
    Another day at school
    Rushing to prepare for the day
    Advanced Placement…

    First bell starts
    Students open books
    Scratching furiously on their pads

    Bang, shuffle, shuffle
    Class is over
    We scuffle through the halls
    Drowning in the sea of immaturity

    Game tied, crowds scream
    My unsuccessful dive pains
    Leaving bruised hip and twisted ankle

    Two a.m.
    I’m finally home
    Bags drop at the door, waiting to begin again
    Must we persevere?

    Why do we keep on swimming?

  7. Jay Sizemore


    “Behind every beautiful thing, there’s been some kind of pain.”
    from “Not Dark Yet,” by Bob Dylan

    Before there was love, there was guilt,
    there was alcoholism littered about
    an empty house in the form of beer cans
    left like breadcrumbs to find his way
    back to the futon. There was the frustration
    only known by those who speak
    the magic words stolen from sunset clouds,
    having their chests cleaved open
    with the unrequited silence.
    There was the betrayal of a bottle of wine
    smothered into the kisses of broken fists,
    pounding against something immovable,
    a freight train stopped by a butterfly.
    Before there was love, there was anger,
    there was rage, there was desperation,
    a man clinging to the anchor
    dropped from the Titanic, waiting
    for either his breath to run out
    or the sea to turn to vapor
    if she would reveal the star inside her.
    The next thing he knew,
    it was raining, and he was weightless,
    putting a ring on her finger.

  8. Iain Douglas Kemp


    “May you live all the days of your life” Jonathan Swift

    Living life one day at a time is not enough
    never give in to being neither a realist nor a fatalist
    make your plans big
    make your dreams bigger
    live like you want a million tomorrows
    strive to do everything you want to do
    live to love yourself and your life
    deny the moment and enjoy each second
    while you spread your mind, heart and soul’s wings
    far into the future


  9. Linda Neas


    “I wish they would only take me as I am.” Van Gogh

    The photo sits,
    testament to something.

    Her smile belies the pain –
    The eyes show it, though.

    Behind the deep green hue –

    A sadness, a call to be seen
    How could it be missed?

  10. hohlwein2


    My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane. ― Tom Waits

    My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket
    like lips need other lips like
    the creek needs its burbling and how that sound has nothing
    and everything to do with the moon and the cold, first cold

    My reality needs imagination
    like a pan needs hunger
    a lookout, heartache
    a table, the soft rain of convesation
    a wall, its own impermanence
    demolition or slow folding, impending

    My reality needs imagination
    like a body needs a context to float in
    – sweet, clear –
    suspended between what worlds
    in whatever time is

    My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane
    like the ranting desperate needs the morning songbird
    and the sound of cars going by
    and how that sound has nothing to do with liquored insight (connections and symbols too big yet wound too tight – constricting as the thought of a black hole, hungering) but exists because under it is a road that joins
    another, always.
    There are stop signs and that is good.

    The sun shines on these roads, not as a simile, but as a golden ribbon
    of how we get from here to there.

    There is a here.
    And a there.
    My imagination needs that.

    Without it it is a blotch and a smear
    a frantic or quiet shimmering that needs
    the crystal corner of a cup to land on and shine out
    in a diamond shaped thrill of light so I can say,

    “I see,” and know that I mean much more
    by that

    than that.

  11. Slusher Brian


    “We couldn’t find an area in Chicago where there weren’t coyotes. They’ve learned to exploit all parts of their landscape.”—Ohio State University study, 2006.

    Forty feet ahead, four low shadows slip
    across the street in spaced intervals, proving
    the mown lawns and the flickering screens
    are permanent as jet contrails to these
    quiet wild ones, who know the holes in
    the fences, the thickets sprung among the
    foreclosures and abandoned homes of the
    warehoused elderly, who feed on the
    excess piled at the curbs and endure without
    monuments, mate without vows, sing
    without words. I aim my $40 flashlight
    into their wake but manage to catch
    only pure darkness peering back, and I’m
    too late to be sure or to follow.

  12. Kim King

    “Help me. Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Princess Leia in Star Wars

    The time change didn’t help the depression that crushed
    her skull. It became light at 6:15 AM, but darkness choked
    her on the commute home at 5:15 PM. The headlights
    blinded when she was most tired, the accounts from the day
    still reeling in her head. When she left in the morning
    the deer had not even stirred to cross her path. Such a pity
    she spent decades crossing a sea of dawns that never woke
    her before arriving at work. If only he had stayed to fuel her lust
    with hard beacons of light. That would warm her, plus gloves.

  13. mondaymornings

    Plagues and Platitudes…
    by JPS

    “Money Isn’t Everything” -Unknown

    We are always told, so young and bold
    What we can imagine we can be
    And are given a million platitudes
    Like “the best things are for free”

    But I must confess, I do contest
    This so cruel a lie
    Please ask Sophal of Siem Reap
    How it feels to slowly die.

    He believes in love, and what’s up above
    All the things money cannot buy
    He has a steady faith of where
    We will end up when we die

    The bottom line, not yet defined
    Is his fiscal situation
    Truth is, money is always the catch
    In our living limitation

    A bowl of rice, and never twice
    Is all his “daily bread”
    If only a child’s dreams and ambitions
    Could keep more than our souls so fed

    But we give instead of “green” and bread
    A “wealth” of lengthy words
    In our take-for-granted fashion
    “Oh, money’s for the birds…”

    We most insist on saying this:
    “Everything I have I’ve earned,
    I’m sorry for their troubles,
    Its just lessons hard but learned”

    The ignorance from your high horse comes
    As little consolation
    To a small, but world worn child
    In need of such salvation

    How can you decline to lend that dime
    To one in need of so much more
    I hope your naïve, pompous words and notions
    Will feed you when YOU’RE poor

  14. Pags

    “We do not remember days, we remember moments.
    The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.”
    Cesare Pavese The Burning Brand 1952

    fifty eight years back
    there was

    a particular flower
    of a particular blue
    pinned to a particular jacket
    on a particular day

    joys all forgotten
    and yet

    when his forgotten she
    calls with delphiniums and lupins
    on this particular day
    he sees echoes of blueness

    he welcomes her gladly
    and laughs

    (Paganini Jones)


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