2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

We made it. Day 30! Now scramble up to the peak with me and jump up and down in celebration. Another PAD challenge completed!

Before the prompt, a couple quick notes:

  • A Quick Note on Being Respectful. Check out this post from last night to understand what I don’t expect on this blog, but also, learn how to efficiently report questionable comments and poems.
  • 2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge Rules! Check out this post for details on how to submit a chapbook for the FREE competition part of this challenge, including how many poems to include, what files types I prefer, etc.


For this month’s final prompt, write an “against all odds” poem. I often feel like we have to fight against the odds, the elements, the technology, etc., to complete these challenges, but there are so many other scenarios that involve someone or something working against all odds to make something happen. Thank you so much, everyone, for helping to make this another great challenge!

Here’s my attempt:


The VP says he’s not the answer;
the coach says he’d fail in a normal
offense; and for his part, he agrees
with them as he wills his team to wins
after all hope would really be lost.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

And check out my other blog: My Name Is Not Bob.


Live the life poetic…

…by reading Writing the LIfe Poetic, by Sage Cohen. This is one of my favorite poetry instruction books, because it tackles a wide range of poetry-related issues–from craft to inspiration and from handling submissions to reaching readers. It’s one of those books I always keep close at hand.

Click here to learn more


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376 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

  1. taylor graham


    Any door’s her starting gate, open
    in a flash, the track’s all hers,
    she gallops past those kids
    on the corner hanging out, a feint
    to the right, nobody stops her;
    she blazes by last night’s graffiti
    on the walls, past a Cinderella
    gown in the show-window –
    what’s to admire, a big white dress
    that binds? Another dodge
    around a bum outside the bait-&-
    booze store – where’s that siren
    coming from? But she’s
    already down the block and gone
    and come again, the finish line,
    back home, she’s Davy Crockett
    at the Alamo, this time she wins.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    a tired dog
    long past his prime
    scarred, stoved up
    mangy and malnourished,
    disillusioned with a world
    that tossed him like a cigarette
    butt out on the streets,
    got scooped up one day
    on a fly-by-night run,
    the odds of adoptability
    not exactly in his favor.

    by the time i arrived at
    the shelter just before closing,
    he would not even look at me
    much less bother to wag a
    friendly tail, preferring
    instead to rest red swollen eyes,
    for what did it matter
    since today was his last,
    or so read the bright yellow tag
    above his kennel.

    there were plenty of pups, sure
    in all my usual covets,
    pedigreed bloodlines to kill for
    but something about this
    heartsick old fool kept me
    coming back, cap in hand
    to his door.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      OMG, I did it! I really really really REALLY did it! Few times there when my faith kind of waivered a bit, but pat pat pat myself on my back. Time for Baskin Robbins, So outta here!

  3. Sibella

    Two things:

    (1) Robert, I asked a question about the challenge over on the Challenge Rules entry; just making sure you saw it.

    (2) This has been, as always, an inspiring exercise. Although I’m not as happy with my overall work as I’ve been with earlier challenges, I’m still really grateful that this place and these people are here. Thank you all.


  4. vsbryant1

    Against All Odds

    Against all odds, still I stand
    I am strong, I am wise, I haven’t been beaten by the land

    Against all odds, still I am great
    I am fire, I am earth, I am never late

    Against all odds, still I move
    I am a lover, I am fight, I am a student and their muse

    Against all odds, still I am power
    I am what I am, a queen, a mother, a dish that never sour

    Against all odds, still I am
    I am those who came before me, those who stand with me, and those who will be here after me

    Against all odds, we are we
    We are women, beauty and complete ecstasy

  5. Hannah


    My heart awoke
    Evoked to poem
    Still retracting
    Muscle memory
    Simplicity speaking
    It into beating
    Into believing
    In passion and beauty.


    I’ve been walking around feeling like I’m in the twilight zone today, not having written a poem. Had to come and write one for old times sake. Smiles to all!

  6. sjmcken

    This is my “maiden” entry here…I have been lurking for a while and decided to take the plunge beyond just reading all your entries. For this prompt, I thought I would try an introductory limerick as a light hearted entry:

    Against All Odds

    Arrayed in neat lines for the scrimmage
    The down team looked sadly quite hostage
    Then they puffed up their bods
    And against all the odds
    Won all by superior blockage!

  7. alana sherman

    To one and all: Wll I didn’t catchup. I have about 13 prmpts that didn’t get poemed but I will try to use december to see where I get. I so enjoy being part of this poetic community (and the wondrous and great poetic unconcsious).
    Everyone’s work is so full of craft, ideas and sincerity always pleasure to read and an inspiration. Even though I did’t finish the challenge and won’t be submitting a chapbook this time. I have a lot of “stuff” to think about and work on.
    Thanks again for kind comments. encouragement and just being out there.

  8. PSC in CT

    Yes! December 1st! We made it. And there were WAY more poems written than I got around to reading — but much of what I did get to read was awesome. Hoping to stay in touch this time around, and work my way through to read & maybe comment more on the PAD poems input over the past month.

    Thanks Robert for a wonderful month! Hope to “see” you all later. 🙂

    Happy chap-booking everyone! :-))

  9. KathyintheWallowas

    mustelid news

    photo-perfect, a pair of
    they-aren’t-here wolverines
    appear, eyes shining in the
    spotlight. and now the game
    department celebrates what
    they pooh-poohed before –
    and the long-time biologist who
    could have said “told you so,”
    just makes two more marks on
    his collection of sightings – that
    makes ninety possible, thirty
    probable, two on digital media.

  10. Nancy Posey

    Honestly, it’s disappointing to wake up without a prompt this morning. I look forward to tweaking my poems of November, and of course, I look forward to next Wednesday. Congratulations to everyone who hung in there all month. To those who also completed Nanowrimo, I have no word! Good for you!

    Now, off to grade research papers…..

    Thanks, Robert, for your efforts.

  11. MiskMask

    And So It Goes

    It’s been a bit of a baboon’s
    bottom type day. As soon as I
    have a sit down the phone
    rings out its silly default tone,
    Kemptown Ladies, a mechanical drone
    of a tone that’s not really a tune at all.
    And I say ‘Hello’ to a computer voice,
    selling me goods I don’t really want.
    A fascinating voice – ageless and without
    clear gender or accent. It offers me a choice
    of numbers one, two or three. I went
    for option two, and won an apple tree.
    As I said it was a baboon’s bottom
    type of day. Once you clamp sights on
    it you just can’t turn away.

  12. iainspapa

    The Game Show Host Problem

    The Game Show Host says, “Let’s see where we are.
    You’ve got the jet ski package and the car,
    The Cancun cruise, the autographed baseball…
    Looks like a lucky day for you so far.”

    The Lovely Lucy, made up like a doll,
    Approaches, and the Host says, “That’s not all!
    The Lovely Lucy has a bonus stored
    Behind this curtain, if you make the call.”

    The Lovely Lucy grasps the braided cord
    And draws the drape aside. What unexplored
    Frontier of TV avarice awaits?
    The curtain, drawn, reveals a wall, three-doored.

    “You’ve had some luck,” the host reiterates.
    “Here’s one last chance for you to best the Fates.
    One door will lead you to Your Private Isle,
    The other two, goats eating paper plates.”

    You survey all three doors, and slyly smile.
    The odds are one in three you’ll own an isle!
    Of course, there’s twice the chance you’ll get your goat,
    But one in three? Beats Vegas by a mile.

    You tell the Host, “Door A.” He clears his throat
    And asks you, “Are you sure?” He smooths his coat
    And cracks a joke about you liking cheese
    More than a home surrounded by a moat.

    But then he says, “Would you indulge me, please?
    You chose Door A. That leaves me these two keys.
    Let’s use one on a door you didn’t pick….”
    Door C reveals a goat with knobby knees.

    (You’re so relieved you think you may be sick.)
    The Game Show Host says, “Would you rather stick
    With your first choice, Door A, or make a switch
    And take what’s back of B?” Is this a trick?

    You had one chance in three to wind up rich,
    And now it’s one in two, right? After all,
    With only two doors left, no matter which
    You choose, it’s even odds. Or, is it? What’s your call?

    If it’s a coin flip now, why change your mind?
    You took Door A to start with. Might as well
    Just trust your gut, because you’re flying blind.
    If you should switch, and lose? That would be Hell.

    “I’m staying with Door A,” you say. Baa’d move:
    You’re twice as likely, now, to get the goat.
    No, really! Run the numbers and they’ll prove
    That you just took your boot off Kismet’s throat.

    Consider: Starting odds were one in three
    That Door A hid the island. Nothing’s changed
    Because you’ve seen the Capricorn in C;
    The odds on A are fixed, not rearranged.

    Why, then, should you have modified your guess?
    Because you’re picking A against the field
    And now the field’s been cut in half, so yes,
    Door B’s odds changed when Door C was revealed.

    Look at it this way: There’s a two-thirds chance
    The island wasn’t where you first surmised.
    The goat behind Door C cannot enhance
    A’s one-third chance, but B’s odds rise. Surprised?

    You started with one A, and two “Not-A”
    (The first “Not-A” was B, the second, C).
    “Not-A’s” odds are two in three, okay?
    Despite the goat, “Not-A’s” still two in three.

    The odds on Door C, though, have dropped to nil
    Since we’ve all seen the goat. So, to recap,
    It’s one-third A, two-thirds “Not-A.” You will,
    By now, have tumbled to the trap:

    The odds on C are zero out of three,
    But “Not-A’s” odds remain two-thirds, ergo
    The whole two-thirds are now installed in B!

    The Lovely Lucy wraps your goat to go.



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