2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8

It’s time for our second Tuesday of the month, which happens to be Election Day here in the States. Hope everyone has fun casting ballots today.

Here are the options for today’s “Two for Tuesday” prompt:

  1. Write a paranormal poem. In case you’re unsure, click here for a thorough definition of the term “paranormal.”
  2. Write a normal poem. I’m not sure what a normal poem is, but if you do (and you want to write one), go for it!

Here’s my attempt:

“C’est impossible!”

In Ohio, it’s typical to see
Bigfoot every couple years,
and everyone who watches TV
knows that ghost shows exist
that at least muddy the waters,
but the existence of extraterrestrial
life is just plumb crazy!


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

While on Twitter, be sure to tweet poetic with the #novpad hashtag.


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374 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8

  1. NomiWrites

    Illusions of Myself

    She is always there
    Wherever I go
    She was there first
    We share the same tastes, interests

    I almost met her once
    Running down the road after myself
    I called out
    She couldn’t

    I did not dream her into being
    We were born at the same moment
    Me and She
    Object and Subject
    Flesh and thought

    Without her I would be alone in this world
    With her I have always myself

  2. Mike


    out of cars,
    and off
    back porches,
    drinking bleach,
    plunging through
    plate glass.
    I kept my
    guardian angel
    busy the
    first five years
    of my life.
    Whether he
    took one or not,
    he earned
    a vacation.

  3. RJ Clarken

    Handkerchief Ghost

    “There is a ghost that eats handkerchiefs; it keeps you company on all your travels.” ~Christian Morgenstern

    It’s more than just odd suspicion.
    It’s more than just premonition.
    Near me, there’s an apparition
    on a mission; on a mission.

    Out of the blue, it apparates,
    then eats whatever it locates,
    then vanishes…evaporates…
    like altered states; like altered states.

    No one buys my explanation
    of this ghost’s strange affectation
    which causes me much frustration.
    A fixation? A fixation?

    O Hungry Ghost who takes my stuff:
    my hankies, ribbons, powder puff,
    I’m telling you straight off the cuff:
    I’ve had enough. You’ve had enough!

    Please find some other goods to eat
    that aren’t mine. They’re not your treat.
    Don’t haunt me, and if we should meet,
    I’ll just repeat: please…just retreat.


  4. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    There was a time
    I’d never settle for “normal,”
    out of the house before
    the age of 16, with sights set
    upon the arroyos of beyond
    the wet asphalts of metropolis
    I’d gladly traded.
    The bridges I’d burned
    earlier weren’t without
    good reason, and besides
    the West seemed a good place
    for little spanish mustangs
    to run, unencumbered.
    No ropes, no fences
    just wide open vistas
    of orange and purple,
    and a freedom so
    euphoric and addictive
    it rivaled any drug.
    Or so I thought,
    before this child
    burning feverishly in my arms
    came along, stirring up
    old feelings long buried
    of white picket fences,
    a spouse you can count on,
    a square meal every night
    instead of rations.
    What I’d give now
    for a chance
    at “normalcy”

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  5. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Calling Up the Supernatural

    Many years ago, an old woman
    I knew asked if I would take her
    to a charismatic healing service
    since she no longer drove a car.
    Curiosity as much as wanting
    to help her out made me agree
    so I took part in this experience:

    The air filled with whispers
    indistinguishable from breath,
    sounds one might have heard
    if present two millennia ago
    among the frightened apostles
    huddling behind locked doors
    with all the windows shuttered.

    Those ancient whispers were
    preceded by a wind violent
    enough to smash the shutters
    before splintering into fiery
    tongues that separated, bent
    on finding an apostolic head
    to settle above and enlighten.

    But upon the night I speak of,
    no fierce wind-gush occurred,
    and wicks tethered any flames
    to beeswax candles ensconced
    upon the altar in candlesticks;
    nevertheless, the presence I
    felt was wholly supernatural.

    As those apostles had done
    un-burnt by their encounter
    with fire, these charismatics
    started speaking in tongues
    blessing the air with sounds
    like the murmur of flames –
    announcing the Holy Spirit.

  6. Jay Sizemore

    Waking up a husband

    The mornings are indifferent to change,
    light swallowing the darkness with its yawn,
    breaking the tangibility of dreams.

    The cats paw at the bedroom door,
    alarm clocks skitter across the end table
    to avoid being snoozed, while a machine

    in the kitchen gargles steam and fills
    the air with the black scent of columbian beans.
    There’s the comfort of legs entangled,

    sharing their warmth, drowsy faces pressed
    into pillows and the backs of necks, mussed up
    hair tickling the nose or the corner of the mouth,

    arms overlapped, fingers intertwined, cherishing
    these small moments together when the brain
    still clings to its rest, half-reality, half-fantasy,

    until that first trip to the bathroom breaks the spell.
    There’s no noticeable change, just a weight on one hand,
    going to sleep a lover, and waking up a husband.

  7. Sue Atkins

    Needed: Cryptozoologists

    The interested with money to burn
    Become fanatics and try to discern
    The existence of an alien race
    In some universe twirling in space.

    Back here on earth cryptozoologists
    Pray for proof or a credible witness.
    Search crop circles, the sky, and the oceans,
    Loch Ness, the Jersey swamp, haunted mansions

    And for what? Not much money, short-lived fame
    Better to use a microscope to stake their claim.
    Always made out to be charlatans and frauds
    Surely they’d be happier on different squads–

    For loathesome imperteptible cryptids have found a place to hide.
    In our blood these werewolves get a free ride.
    Universal house hunters with a prioritized list
    They live in damaged, polluted cells where they’re easily missed

    When they get hungry, they just flip a switch
    Then after cells run amok they move in with no glitch
    And the housewarming party is friendly and festive.
    Their drinks smack of sugar, their appetite’s massive.

    Scientists can predict the place and time with accuracy,
    They have identified the cell’s deficiency.
    Though still unseen, they’re sure they are there,
    But the cryptids are long gone, they find them nowhere.

    So gather your cryptozoology equipment and join the fight
    Take your video cameras and a good strong light
    Wear your hazmat suit and hijack the magic school bus
    Camouflage it with smoke and tar and dents and pus

    Should you see a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater
    Be sure to get a clear picture of this cancer answer.
    Document the cryptid’s haunts and habits
    Bring ‘em back alive and they’ll call you all pundits.

  8. pblacksaw

    The Ride

    waking bruised and weary
    a nightmare on my mind
    I had peddled all night long
    as Grandma perched behind
    up and down the hills we flew
    to places far and near
    I’d just set down to ponder all
    when the Telephone bell I hear
    My Grandma had favor
    and asks me please please please
    to check my new banana seat
    for what had had skinned her knees..

  9. Anita Murphy

    Forest Fairies

    Wee fairy houses
    deep in the ferns
    with tiny gold roof tops
    that sparkle and turn

    There on my belly
    I peeked underneath
    where three little fairies
    played on a leaf

    While holding my breath
    I thought I would faint
    A tiny gold frog
    was guarding the gate

    One eye pointing east
    And one pointing west
    A striped red waist coat
    He wore with a vest

    Out of a window
    A wee fairy flew
    Her hair was all fuzzy
    And a deep shade of blue

    She smiled at me and
    gave me a wink
    then perched on a flower
    a bright shade of pink

    I kept starring and starring
    And what do you think?
    Mr. Frog waved his wand
    And they were gone in a blink

    Bright spots of gold dust
    was all that remained
    On a little green frog
    there in the rain.

  10. PSC in CT

    ALMOST caught up after Storm Alfred… I’m getting there! 🙂

    “Routinely Paradoxical”

    Aspirin is an alchemical mystery
    (with an incredibly long history).
    Discovered (indeterminate) centuries B.C.
    a bit of the bark of a willow tree?
    (Don’t you wonder, just a bit,
    what tempted the first one to attempt it?)

    Safe, effective, doctor recommended.
    For headaches and hangovers – a remedy most splendid!
    Reduces the chance your heart wall’s infected.
    First thing they give you when stroke is suspected.
    Minimal side effects, (for the most part),
    taken for fever, arthritis, your heart.

    Acetylsalicylic acid…
    it’s a mouthful (and that’s no lie!)
    But it works! And yet,
    not a doctor (nor scientist,
    nor pharmacist) alive
    can tell you why.

  11. annell

    Pad Challenge Day 8. Prompt “Blank or Blank”

    The Blank Page

    What is this

    What is that

    All is empty

    The page is blank

    Waiting as the clock ticks

    Waiting for your scratches

    The mark that proves

    You were here

    If only for a little while

  12. Lovely Annie

    *very rough first draft*

    “Everyday Normal Girl”

    After the work is done

    and the day begins to slow,

    one simple moment

    A blue ink pen,

    held between fingers

    tipped with dirt encrusted

    shades of chipped polish

    reflecting the heavy load

    of a normal routine.

    cracks concrete reality

    revealing the numinous.

  13. CarolC

    Impulse Call

    It almost never failed.
    On random days, at random times,
    I called my mom, and always found
    She had just gotten off the phone
    With my sister.
    It was like we both had embedded receivers
    Tuned to some maternal telepathy,
    Maybe all mothers emerge from their labors
    Knowing how to cast a benevolent spell
    giving their children the irresistible need
    To phone home.

  14. Celestialdrmr

    2 A.M Visitor

    Black mass appeared
    in the corner, lurking,
    it’s 2 a.m don’t you have
    anything better to do?
    I lay on my bed, chill
    crept through entire body
    frozen, pressure on my chest
    could not explain
    could not move
    man, all I wanted was
    some sleep,
    not to be woken up
    frozen in time, where my brain
    was not allowed to slumber,
    a week you visited me,
    a nightly icebox as your pleasure
    enough of this crap
    I wanted sleep,
    “In the name of Jesus Christ, leave
    this house!”
    black shadow of 2 a.m no longer visits,
    his welcome had worn out.

  15. Raina Masters

    Love and marriage

    I have yet to find an explanation
    for the kitchen garbage pail
    tipping over on a quiet evening,
    its lid rolling softly over the
    dining room rug and landing upright,
    or the night I heard the front door
    slam and then the clunking of footsteps
    trailing through the living room,
    moving closer and closer to my bedroom.
    I don’t need a couple of plumbers
    from Rhode Island to tell me that
    something is amiss in the soil beneath
    my middle 1900’s home, where a wife
    murdered her husband and might still
    be trapped and trying to send me
    some sort of message about how
    love and marriage don’t mix.

  16. barton smock


    a real heart looks like a broken hand.
    a broken hand like the head of a spoon.
    a spoon is just a fork
    that has been forgiven.

    a face reflected in a lake is reflected
    in a bowl of soup. mother combs my hair
    in a napkin. covers the eye
    that didn’t sell.

  17. SaraV

    Walt, felt like I was channeling a little of your humor in the “norm-al” poem.

    Couldn’t Resist

    There lived a pair of normal
    Never going astray
    Then one night when
    The moon was full
    An alien took them

    Bar None

    Norm and Al
    Were buddies
    Fished every Friday
    And though they’d
    Practiced their best lines
    They never got a bite

  18. KathyintheWallowas

    family travels

    little sister and I ride through the Bighorn Mountains and
    out of the snow clouds and zero visibility comes that
    redtail hawk who shouldn’t be here. we wind down the
    mountain toward safety and normality. at every corner
    he turns and returns again. I look to her; she looks to me
    “is that?” “uh-huh.” and in heightened silence we all
    glide on down to the edge where the snow zone starts.
    on the phone, my true love who loves my little sister is
    waiting to ask her “so … did you and she have fun,
    chewing me over?” a red feather drops and is covered
    by the new season’s snow, and hearts break again and again.

  19. Judy Roney

    Same Old, Same Old

    It takes something abnormal to make normal so appealing.
    We see the joy of a hot summer day when the snow piles up,
    Go along complaining about mundane until all hell breaks loose.
    I want a normal day and whatever it brings, no bombshells
    Same old, same old day after day is what I long for this morning.

  20. MichelleMcEwen

    Ghost Spotting (by Michelle McEwen)

    Alabama has way too many ghosts—
    on railroad tracks, on porch steps,
    hanging/swinging from trees.

    I saw one once in my Grandma
    Lubertha’s house— a woman ghost.
    A white woman, I know,

    ‘cause she ain’t have no hips.

    She had an ax, though, and it was
    sharp. Sheer as she was, she was
    real— with a hardness to her face

    that comes from loving one man
    too hard— sucks the beauty right out of you
    lovin’ that hard an aunt told me once.

    And this white woman ghost—
    her beauty must have been sucked
    right out by a mean son of a something

    because she came at me, ax in the air,
    as if she memorized me, as if I was the little
    round-hipped colored girl her husband had taken

    a liking to.

  21. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Business as per…

    It takes a few minutes
    not too long
    to mull the prompt
    to find a theme
    to pick and title
    and then it’s there
    the fingers start to move
    and move
    and move
    faster and faster
    until it’s done
    errors abound
    the typing skills lacking
    but a quick click
    and spell check puts it right
    (American spelling ignored)
    and all that remains is to
    once again in time honoured fashion
    for good or for bad
    for what it’s worth
    the poem is delivered
    with ease


  22. Iain Douglas Kemp


    A chill runs up my spine
    the tips of my fingers go numb
    and turn blue
    the are frozen as if in ice
    the mind is fogged
    the synapses frozen too
    and the words cease…

    … out of the corner of my eye
    I catch a glimpse of something
    something strange and other-worldly
    it slips silently out of the door
    and disappears with…
    ..was that a snigger?
    the chill remains
    the act of violation is complete
    and once more a barely seen sprite
    has stolen my muse


  23. onemanbandwidth

    After the accident

    This ignorant autumn wind

    Has exhumed the moon again

    But keeps shoveling clouds

    In the way of the stars

    I need an audience, witnesses

    It’s time we had a serious talk

    I’ve brought the spirit some spirits

    (And yes I’ve had a little myself)

    I’ll sing to you if you

    Promise to stay out of my dreams

    Quit wasting your time with me

    I can’t tell you how to fix what was wrong

    And I am ashamed to look the way I do anymore

    My sleepless face like yellowed ivory

    One last time

    I’ll light this fire

    One last time

    I will burn money,

    The car you wanted,

    A mansion made of paper

    And a little tea to sober up

    Now go

    I’ll be fine

    I’ll just clean up here

    You take my intentions and go

    Don’t wait for me anymore

    I’ll head home soon

    Clean your sutures

    Pay what I can of the hospital bills

    Send your son off to school

    And I’ll quit looking into his puzzled eyes

    as I bathe his naked body

    And try to stop imagining

    I can ever calm his frightened heart in this life

  24. Mariya Koleva


    The chill outside
    oozes imperceptibly
    through window glass,
    transcends my view;
    I hear it in the cellar
    where it whispers
    sotto voce;
    I sense it in my
    get numb with hunger
    and with frost
    beyond myself.

    © 2011 Mariya Koleva

  25. Janet Rice Carnahan

    UFO – paranormal

    At Lake Tahoe,
    Over twenty years ago,
    Late one evening,
    I had the experience!
    I realized how few people,
    Could even hear my story,
    Let alone be open to the idea.
    It had actually happened.
    My kids always want me to tell their friends,
    For the “oh” and “ah” factor of a good tale!
    To this day, I know it shifted a core belief of mine,
    Something profound and something basic,
    Had changed the way I used to see the world.
    Months later I learned,
    It had been officially recorded by an older woman,
    Directly across the other side of the lake,
    Who was up late that night having a cup of tea!
    While I was quietly nursing my baby!
    She had also witnessed the huge light in the sky,
    That also caught my attention,
    Seemingly it took me high beyond the clouds,
    Introducing me to a different intelligence,
    And bringing me quickly to a new understanding,
    About the world!
    Later that night when I realized,
    I was still holding my deeply resting baby,
    I knew I would never be the same.
    Since then, my perspective on life,
    Has grown well beyond . . .

    What I had ever known before!

    UFO TWO – Normal

    Dogs racing beneath her feet,
    Phone ringing louder than usual,
    Chord wrapping itself around,
    Tall objects on the counter,
    Knocking them loudly to the floor,
    With a sound echoing through the house!
    Hungry baby restless and crying,
    Greenish food now on Mom’s shiny professional new blouse,
    Unhappy baby sitter arriving earlier than expected,
    Obviously needing a listening ear!
    Her overworked husband calls to say he is running,
    Hopelessly late at work,
    Two determined cats on the counter,
    Pulling utensils with them as they are hurriedly pushed off,
    Quick glance at her watch
    She knows her meeting is about to start!
    So panicked, everything scatters at once,
    With a tremendous commotion,
    And now wildly distracted,
    She turns too fast,
    Hitting the frying pan on the stove,
    The thrown together dinner,
    Suddenly hits mid-air,
    Food flies high everywhere in record speed,
    The “unidentified frying” object is air born,
    With no chance of a quality landing . . .

    Anywhere in sight!

  26. sjadlow@aol.com

    The Woman in the Window


    As the old farm home burned,
    the family watched the flames
    lick and devour their dwelling
    as they stood in the cemetery
    across the road.

    A passer-by stopped;
    took a quick picture.

    Later, when he printed the photo,
    he noticed the image of a woman
    in apparent distress
    in an upstairs window
    in1800’s dress.

  27. Gregory


    At midnight
    This poem must be penned
    IT happens
    Before my thoughts run dry
    I must strive to finish

    I can feel the abduction
    Taken place
    Faint tingles begin to
    Engulf the instep
    Of my foot
    My soul jitters as I
    Fervently write

    Please just give me more time
    I not ready
    An eerie wind
    Chills through my veins
    I am left without poised
    watching every second counts down to the end

    Stagnant words
    Exit through my finger tip
    The poem is almost complete

    Fear runs down my chest
    As the walls are flooded with
    Deform shadows
    In attendance for the rites of passage

    One more stanza
    As the widow tree on my back porch
    Warns me of the impending danger
    Whispering somber songs in the wind

    IT is rushing
    Vigorously taking over
    Barely in control
    I hold this pen for dear life

    Volatile motions
    The metamorphosis is under way
    Just one more line

    Arms swelling
    Teeth transforming
    My internals become as shattered glass on a highway
    Unbearable torture resides inside of me
    Must complete this poem
    I am almost……..

  28. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 8 11-8-2011

    Write a normal poem.

    “Normal is a myth.”

    So the print proclaimed,
    with a central penguin–
    flanked by two who stood stiffly upright–
    while the middle guy
    stood on his head.

    I bought it for our son as a gift,
    because he’s the original
    free spirit.
    Come to think of it,
    I was always an untapped
    free spirit,
    trapped in a compliant child’s body.

    We compare behavior with behavior
    and deduce that one is deviant and one
    normal, but I suppose we have the need.
    All of us fear being too different,
    but what if Moses or Mozart or Einstein had worried
    about being normal?

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      Nope, you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s just a webpage snag that happens occasionally. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Whenever it does happens, Robert takes care of it. No worries. Go back to poeming.

  29. mikeMaher

    Who Knows What

    It’s hard to discount even what you can’t see
    when the inventor climbs a hill in his final dream
    and hails its wow-ness
    or when the Atheist uses his last words
    to describe flames.
    I have not seen the cryptid
    but that does not mean I love her less!
    You may take what I know of the unknown,
    its hangover cures
    and alligator ringtones,
    but not the bronze Shakespeare,
    nothing of the things I’ve buried.

  30. Michael Grove

    Status Quo

    Same ‘ole, same ‘ole every day.
    Go to work and earn your pay.
    Tomorrows simply come and go
    as you maintain the status quo.

    Step outside the box and dream.
    Climb up on a bright sunbeam.
    Status quo may be ok.
    Seek new challenges day by day.

    With great vision you will see.
    Step by step you’ll make it be.
    New horizons start to glow
    as you let loose of status quo.

    By Michael Grove

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      Hello, Michael . . . great to see you here again! I enjoyed your poem very much! With your “great vision”, I could “climb up on a bright sunbeam.” I totally agree with “seeking new challenges day by day” where “new horizons start to glow.” The status quo might be necessary but dreaming outside the box . . . is heaven! Thanks for that wonderful reminder! <3

      1. Michael Grove

        Thanks Janet Rice! So far I have been able to post 1 or 2 poems a day for this November PAD Challenge. Nothing like my April madness. Time seems to come at a premium right now.

  31. Funkomatic

    I had a rough go of this one and I’m not overly happy with it, but I got something on the page. I leaned on a random passage from “Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend” to get me off the ground.

    Beware the Crazy Cat Lady


    Never kick a cat or its rheumatism for you
    Nine lives the feline might have but
    Drown one and the Devil comes for his due.
    If not a mouser, the cat was born in May…
    Not to mention they can see Ghosts.
    Such strange stories from their hosts
    Descendants of Bast still with string they play.
    I’ve not the slightest if any of this is true
    Though in my house resides a feline mutt
    As warm as sunshine with a gentle mew.

    -Cory Funk

  32. Mark Windham

    I did not hear

    but all three dogs
    lifted their

    heads from slumber
    growling low,

    staring at nothing
    that I could see,

    as the room got
    slightly colder

    and the hair stood
    upon my neck

  33. Bruce Niedt

    Election Day 2011

    Up to now, it’s been smoke and mirrors,
    patent medicine and fish stories –
    we’ve been bombarded for weeks
    with negative ads, depicting so-and-so’s
    opponent in the most despicable light,
    complete with the most unflattering photos
    they could find: cross-eyed, sneering,
    picking their noses, and plastered next to
    these ugly visages, allegations that stop
    just short of “eats live babies”.
    So by today it’s been drummed into our heads
    who we should vote against. If I believed
    everything both sides have thrown at me,
    I would have voted for none of them.
    But I still exercise my civic duty, making the most
    informed choice I can, based on something more
    than mudslinging and sound bites, and I know
    that by tomorrow, things will return to normal,
    at least till next year.

  34. Cara Holman

    Falling Leaves (a monotetra)

    another leaf has come to rest
    and though I try to do my best
    I fear I’m failing in my quest
    I do not jest, I do not jest!

    the leaves fall faster than my rake
    while my muscles begin to ache
    a rest is what I’d like to take
    I need a break, I need a break!

    — Cara Holman

  35. a.paige

    Paranormal activities—Aren’t they strange?

    When your mind feels full one day,
    oozing nonstop artistic savvy
    and the you next day you suffer
    unrelenting brain fart—isn’t it strange?

    When last week you just sorted two hampers-full
    of stinking, recurrent laundry
    and today you face the same
    relentless containers—isn’t it strange?

    When last year you swore to go on a diet,
    desiring your dainty weight at twenty
    and these days you carry twenty
    and five extra pounds—isn’t it strange?

    When last month you promised to walk, or run,
    or jog for at least thirty minutes each day,
    wishing to maintain a sound heart
    and now you merely sing the same song—isn’t it strange?

    When only yesterday you said you’d cut down on coffee
    wanting to regain a bit of discipline
    and today you down ten cups too much
    of the arguably contemptible thing—isn’t it strange?

    When you’ve been swamped with endless unfinished projects
    year after year after year
    and day after day you see
    the same unfinished projects—it’s procrastination, no doubt about it.

  36. Bruce Niedt

    The Cryptozoologist

    It’s a thankless job, really,
    trying to track down creatures
    that I know in my heart must exist.

    The scientist in me wants evidence,
    but there’s no spoor, no skeletons, only
    the anecdotes of witnesses. It could be just
    the imagination embellishing a kernel
    of the real, like the medieval explorers
    trying to describe an elephant or giraffe.
    But how can we know for sure?

    When Dr. Stanley trekked through Africa,
    he described an animal like a short-necked giraffe
    with zebra stripes. They thought him mad from the heat
    till they discovered the okapi years later.

    And consider the coelacanth, a fish
    we thought died out a hundred million years ago,
    till a fisherman caught one in 1938.
    There’s more to nature than we could ever dream up.

    That’s what keeps me going – that and the thrill
    of the hunt, pursuit of the unknown:
    legends like Nessie, Yeti, Bigfoot, unicorns,
    the Jersey Devil, Mothman, werewolves,
    and that new kid on the block,
    the Chupacabra, a dog or large rodent
    that likes to suck the blood of sheep.

    If only I could find a few of these,
    what a menagerie they would be,
    a parade of myths made flesh.


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