2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

Before you jump into today’s prompt, please check out this WD Poetic Form Challenge: Tanka post. Every month or so, I offer a poetic form challenge that usually has a quick turnaround time, but the winning poem and poet is featured in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. And it’s completely free to participate! Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, write an unlucky poem. Today is Friday the 13th, and I think it’s the perfect opportunity to wax poetic about anything and everything unlucky.

Here’s my attempt:

“Lovesick B.”

My baby said yes
when I was saying no;
she said speed up
when I was going slow;
my girl wanted space
when I finally had room;
she swept me away
and handed me the broom.


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325 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

  1. Yolee

    Mami’s second cousin, Aurora, cautioned that rotting wood and stones (in lieu of stairs) to her house were slick.
    Petrichor hiked up my nose as my sister, parents and I lumbered amid the Caribbean rain, fatter than the pulp we got back in Chicago. There was no place to sit inside
    and have a polite visit, where Mami and her 70 something cousin could catch up.

    I was shocked to see shoes, ceramic fowls, paveras, and broken appliance stacked on a tv circa 1970, obese bags, paper piles, disembodied toys.
    No floral couch, no side table or antique lamp set on a doily, instead metal chairs were placed at the door’s archway.

    In the front room, where perhaps living was once done, several clotheslines, heavied with men’s pants paced the air like they had thoughts of their own.

    There was a daughter, perhaps in her 40s; cheekbones beautifully positioned on a face that hid stories of perhaps abandonment of a life concrete and evident.
    The few words she spoke were well educated.

    Out of the blue, Aurora mentioned her son hanged himself in a bedroom she pointed to behind the rusted washer.
    Her husband also died in an unspecified room in the house.

    Aurora’s voice towed shame and melancholy.
    I wondered if the hording was a way to trap misfortune, bury it under waste and novellas filled with absent-hearted ghosts.

  2. ely the eel

    I Can Hear Clearly Now

    Fresh from a fitting
    of expensive ear plugs,
    a trainee of twenty
    put a pause to my huh?’s,
    My wonderful wife
    beamed broadly to see
    the microphoned mini’s
    of total technology.
    The nice news is every
    wise word I now hear,
    the lousy luck is it includes
    trite talk, oh dear.

  3. Rosangela

    If you are unlucky

    It’s all in your head
    if you believe it,
    you can get mad
    if you accept it,
    you attract facts
    that you may regret.
    Watch your acts
    and your thoughts
    bad luck doesn’t grow in pots!
    You are the result of your mind
    not of what you find:
    a black cat, a ladder, a shoe horse
    13 is only a number – not anything worse.
    Friday? We celebrate with pizza at night!
    Wanna a bite?

  4. Andrea B


    by a pearl necklace
    laid place a stopgap
    to the strain of my voice
    lest it dampen
    your harbored interpretation
    of my promiscuous wit.
    with a red-handed catcher smitten
    by his own adult reasons,
    his grub wormhole full
    with a gravely germinal avalanche
    before a worn neck-lace.
    with jeweler’s pliers, bent-nosed
    and olfactory-less workers stringing
    the line, an efficient cold metal spine
    strumming gemmed tones as you
    thread me through

  5. Marie Elena

    An Unlucky Poem
    (with apologies from your creator)

    You could have been an Ari,
    A Moskowitz, or Lee,
    An Ina, Claudsy, Kemp, or Hed,
    JLynn, or PSC,
    Uneven Steven, JanetRuth,
    A Shlensky, Kreider, Graham, Grove,
    A Clarken or a De,
    You could have been a Kolp, a Misk,
    A Neas or Marjory,
    A Domino, a Davidson,
    A Parsons, Omavi,
    An Ingraham or a Carnahan,
    A Khara House, a Passionate,
    Or Pearly PKP.
    You could have been a Maxie2,
    A Jordan, or Yolee,
    A Powerunit, Jaywig,
    Lionmother, Rosemary,
    Just a Lynn, a Walraven,
    A Rob or Stewart, C.,
    A Yockel, Shann, a TezfromOz,
    A Marcia or Rob(by) 
    A Margot, Christod, Caramanna,
    Mansfield, or Sally,
    A Carolyn, a Bayles, a Paoos,
    Fitzgerald, or Posey.
    You could have been a hurtin-heart,
    Rosangela, Bonee,
    One Deringer, JRSimmang,
    A Windham, or Food-ee,
    A Sharon, Hannah, Lana, Voit,
    Sarite, or Jannalee,
    What’eretheyaint, or castejon,
    Miss R, Nimue, Deedee,
    Competitive, McNulty, Earl,
    A Kendall, or maggzee.
    You could have been a Posmic,
    Mystic, Dare, Andrea B,
    A Domino, a Benjamin,
    A Peters, or drwasy,
    A dandelionwine, an Eel,
    A Hager, an Angie,
    An Anders Byland, Ber, or Lockard,
    (pick up 7), Niedt, Arike,
    Beth Rodgers, Traci-y.
    You could have been a Marian,
    Patricia, LoriP,
    A Joseph, Willy, abasso,
    Amelia or Cindi,
    A Brewer, Casey, Kelly, Young
    Or born Wojtanikly,
    But darn the luck, my little poem,
    That you were penned by me!

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Excellent, Marie! Great minds think alike (well, your great mind and my…never mind), but you actually did your homework and got everybody in there. And I didn’t die in this one! Hooray! (thanks for including me 🙂 )

  6. Joseph Harker

    Ended up with two. Neither one of them is particularly unlucky, I guess? Maybe if you look really hard. 😛


    A plaintive boy in a white T-shirt shows off his arms as he
    the wrench and uncaps the squat beast–

    which extends a sea-colored giraffe tongue
    into Sixteenth Street:

    tasting the unsuspecting debris,
    carrying crushed plastic bottles and cigarette packs,
    maneuvering around the tires of chariot traffic
    and the sensibility of the drivers,
    gazing up at the shifting trees tangled with grey
    bags tattered in their branches from the winter,
    scooping up the protesting petals they’ve scattered,
    intoxicating itself with puddles of dog piss,
    chewing up the newsprint, erasing our brief histories,
    frothing at the mouths of storm drains in soft white

    surely there must have been some motivation,
    pressure regulation
    or the phantom threat of a flood–
    but Sixteenth Street has become a Venetian promenade,
    sharp-edged by the black lines of asphalt
    licked clean,
    reborn with reservoir water–

    and though the bystanders may hate wet shoes, they– now,
    even that plaintive boy–
    are slowly unknotting their smiles.

    Notes for Young Writers

    She sits cross-legged on the sidewalk, with a sign
    announcing homeless writer: every little bit helps!,
    and I am on my way from one place to another, but
    wanting nothing more than to stop for a while,

    interrupt her while she fills a small notebook
    with line after meticulous line and say, I could be you:
    we aren’t so different in age, after all, we are here
    dreaming our way into existence, being in this city

    where dreams flow easy from the tip of a ballpoint pen–
    but then, remembering my wallet’s in the office,
    I keep going; and her face presses into the afternoon
    until it can no longer be ignored; so I think of what to say,

    maybe a note expressing my wish that I could help
    with more than two measly dollars, maybe saying,
    we’ve all done things we’re not proud of for our Art
    though in the end, I just settle for printing “Fern Hill”,

    folding it in sixths around all the green I’m carrying:
    I watch the clock until I can flee from this luxury,
    hoping that some of my fortune will hide in these
    sharp creases and pass along– but already, so soon,

    she’s gone, in search of some sunnier street; now
    one poem weighs heavy in my pocket and this one
    broods in my head, tied up with sideswiped chances,
    unsure which of us missed out on this one the most.

  7. eljulia

    i’ve been doing these alone at home, calling it “PAD Therapy,” since my sister died unexpectedly last month. So here i go, daring to be vulnerable….

    WE TWO.
    You were gone sooner than I meant for you to be
    before I was done needing you
    before I got to laugh with you chat with you
    about your day my day
    about nothing really–

    you were gone sooner than I thought you’d be
    still young (ish) I’m still young (ish)
    both still learning to kill the dragons of our youth
    guess I’ll keep trying
    trying to find peace–
    peace was too hard to find in our childhood
    but we both kept looking
    escaping/struggling each in our own way
    as we both came back
    into our sister-bond

    where you loved me harder than those others
    who were meant to love
    whose job was to protect us and keep us safe
    no safety in that house
    not even in your room–

    our bodies carried memories of the secrets
    in that place called “home”
    more of a battlefield/warzone really
    you straight to the fray,
    me hiding in the closet—

    grown-ups, we tried to help each other learn
    to repair the deep holes
    left behind from the bombing in childhood
    you, to let your guard down
    me, to put mine up—

    and I think we’d made some movement forward
    but you’re at peace now
    the peace surpassing my understanding
    and I’m the unlucky one
    left without you.

  8. Miss R.

    A True Story

    “Write an unlucky poem,”
    The man said. I tried, but
    It was a painful process,
    Because at that moment
    My computer froze up
    And had a good laugh
    At my expense.

  9. drwasy

    On the street
    before me a man
    dragged his right leg
    behind, a blue plastic
    bag banged against
    his thigh, the bottle
    of malt sloshed
    against his jaw
    slack as the waist
    of his jeans
    sunk lower
    and lower
    with each lurch
    more chalk-dusted
    buttock revealed
    I did not want to look
    but could not help
    myself or him,
    or the shame of it all

    Peace, LindaS-W

  10. omavi

    “… Living Under A Falling Sun”

    Found the gold
    Nurtured it and it grew
    So big and so bold
    So strong did this little glimmer
    Of hope and perseverance grow
    So far the fall
    Goosebumps rise as ground grows cold
    Struggling and fighting and winning
    Thinking once again that
    This light is finally mine
    Watching it shine and reaching up
    Only to find the ceiling lowered
    Brittle ladder rungs shatter
    Stalled again is the climb
    Lost in the paradox
    Perpetually sinking or maybe the horizon
    Just continues to rise and rise
    Every one step forwards leads to three behind
    Only tears are the comfort
    Only taste on the tongue
    Is the bitter realization that platinum stars
    Are filled with a salty brine

  11. Kendall A. Bell

    Unfortunate DNA

    It is what keeps me saturated in
    SPF 45 sunblock on warm days spent
    walking the bustling, shore boardwalk,
    the sun’s power heating my pale, pale skin.

    It is responsible for the moles that
    dot the landscape of my face, that
    could connect, like destinations on a
    map, if you were to draw a line from
    the left, to the middle, to the right.

    It is what makes me prone to mild eczema
    on my legs, covers my shoulders,
    arms and back with freckles.

    It is what could make me susceptible to
    prostate cancer, like my father had to
    endure in his sixties.

    It is the reason why I can never find a
    single pair of shoes at DSW, on the main
    floor or the clearance section, that will
    house these oddball, mammoth feet.

  12. alotus_poetry

    Year of the Ox

    I really should say that my luck
    ran out the door, but that would mean
    that you wouldn’t believe me, dismissing it
    like any other cliche. But today, the rain
    puddles just didn’t flow right. They didn’t
    wrap along the street curbs but found sidewalk
    and road cracks to be more comfortable.
    They went over my calves, muddying
    my newly polished shoes, and I was late
    for an important meeting with the directors,
    who looked all the same: bald, bored
    and much too bold in personality while I tried
    not to hurl in front of the mic talking about
    technological strategies of some hypothetical future.
    Dinner with the girlfriend meant breaking up
    over a fortune cookie when she repeated what I said,
    “You could do better” when she asked if
    I love her. I meant to say that
    I didn’t hear her question at first,
    but was busy eating the last cookie crumbs
    while reading out loud what the fortune had said.
    Instead, she whacked me with her Louis Vuitton bag,
    spilled her glass of martini on my lap, stuck
    chopsticks straight up in my bowl,
    and stalked out the door, leaving me
    with some guy’s phone number whom I thought
    was her business consultant who turned out
    to be a sleazy guy she’s been seeing
    on the side. I’m happy I didn’t
    propose to her tonight as I’m sitting
    here with a 1.5 carat princess-cut diamond ring
    upset that I’m not getting laid tonight.
    Oh well, here’s to you, kid.


  13. JRSimmang

    Luck for the Luckless

    It was that kind of day again.
    The bed, usually soft and warm,
    shook me out on the wrong side.
    I stumbled, shook, struggled to find the alarm clock.
    Usually, my right foot touches the berber first.
    Today, my left led a lighted charge to my phone,
    9 minutes before the alarm was supposed to go off.
    I have nothing to show but a broken night stand.
    My shower, raining ice, and coffee cold.

    Traffic, need I say more.
    I three leaf clover stuck to my shoe,
    glued with the hours old excrement of
    that stupid shi tzu.

    My boss told me to pack my desk
    (it fit in a box)
    and my tires- flat.
    Things were surely to look up.

    The mechanics were late,
    short and ineloquent,
    my fender bent.

    My dinner was wrong,
    that’s what I get for pulling through,
    and when all was finally at the end,
    the sunset.

  14. Arrvada


    I broke a mirror
    Spilled the salt
    Knocked on wood and prayed
    Swerved to avoid the cat
    Hit a ladder and got a flat
    Stood in the rain and cried
    When I saw my spare was spent
    Cursed the fates, cursed my luck
    Heard the sound of a pickup truck
    Turned around not sure what to expect
    Fell in love because of a cat

  15. J.lynn Sheridan

    My absolutely positively new favorite word.


    My toes are too crampy to hold
    a pencil today, my eyes can’t smile
    a beat, the sun is going up at dusk—

    It’s a widdershins kind of day-

    My big old head is screwed on back-
    wards, I only see the hind end of me,
    my head is too wobbly with cold fever
    to drink one single shot of simile.

    It’s a widdershins kind of day-
    the thirteenth time this year.
    I would get up and give a cheer
    but my lips can’t hear a thing.

    What a lucky gal I am today on
    this thirteenth day of luck.

    No rhymes, no beat, no fluff, no form,
    just a widdershins, widdernshins
    upon my chinnerchins
    (cuz one widdeshins isn’t enough)
    on this widdershins . . .

    . . . oh, this shinwidders
    . . . this ddinshidders,

    on this widdershinners kind of day.

  16. Bruce Niedt

    I just realized I turned around Robert’s prompt – my poem is more about being lucky. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a ghazal. So here is a short ghazal about luck.


    Why should the date and day of the week dictate
    whether or not our day will be full of poor luck?

    So many talismans – the broken mirror, the ladder,
    the crossing black cat, the rabbit’s foot we rub for luck.

    Being in the right place at the right time – or
    the wrong place at the wrong time –makes your luck.

    Not getting on the Titanic or Buddy Holly’s plane;
    Being the one millionth customer – that is sure luck.

    Meeting you the way I did – in the dorm lounge
    that September day – I couldn’t have asked for more luck.

  17. maggzee

    Unlucky Choices

    I fell hard that day at the big rodeo
    That stubble, steely eyes and big jaw
    But your wicked black hat set my heart aglow
    I’m a sucker for a handsome outlaw

    We were drinking and dancing full throttle
    Swinging parties in every new town
    Drank the booze, ate the worm, threw the bottle
    Now some little girl wants to settle you down

    You broke my heart but the joke is on you
    I gave you more than it’s your right to take
    Your dog will be gone and your red pickup too
    I’m leaving with a biker named Snake

    Hard living, hard loving, that’s my life
    But call me if you ever leave your wife

  18. Sara McNulty

    Love yours, Robert. Here’s mine:

    April 13, 2012 – Day 13
    Write an unlucky poem

    Oh What A World (parallelogram De Crystalline)

    I’ve got her
    and her dog, locked up tight,
    no escape, slayers of my sister.

    Poppy fields failed
    to fell her; that Glynda,
    Miss sugar-voiced Good Witch, waved her wand.

    Now sand grains
    spill, measure moments left.
    After death, those ruby slippers are mine.

    What’s this then?
    Greedy girl wields bucket,
    blasts me with water. Help! I’m melting.

  19. carolynmallory

    Lucky I was home

    Sitting at the window
    watching the outside
    world, when a thud
    surprises me. A small
    bird tumbles to
    the ground.

    I rush to have
    a look, and the wee
    fellow is face down,
    wings spread
    in the snow.

    Gently, I carry
    him into the house
    to rest. He is stunned
    but breathing.

    I hold him close to
    my heart and wish
    him back to health.

    In short order, he
    is ready to fly.

  20. cstewart


    Is a clumsy word.
    It portends disaster,
    And trips on its syllables,
    Leading you to change,
    Over and over to use it.
    I guess it was an unlucky
    Choice of words.

  21. Imaginalchemy

    I’m mostly only continuing this because I said I would…this is tied to three previous poems I posted the last three days (I recap the basic storyline in this poem so no one needs to go back and look at the others) as a semi-challenge to myself to write five poems in a continuous storyline. And once again, Thank you to everyone for all your comments about the “Battle of the WD Poets” poem earlier today 🙂

    CHAPTER FOUR—The Price of Misfortune

    “DO NOT GO FURTHER!” cried the bird
    As it circled high above, being a hassle
    While down below a girl with plum-blossom hair
    And a fiery-eyed sprite walked up to the castle.
    “I know you two: Plum, the girl born a tree
    Who uprooted herself in the deep wood.
    And the fire-eater, the sprite who craves flame
    And is usually up to no good.
    You have come all this way to see Her Majesty
    About the forest’s burning, but I warn you, turn back!
    You will find no mercy or compassion here,
    You will only end up as Her Majesty’s snack!”

    “Who are you, little bird?” asked Plum,
    “How do you know us? Why are you here?
    How do you know Her Majesty’s cruelty?
    Why do you instill us with such fear?”

    “I’m the Karmaburra, a keeper of universal balance.
    I once belonged to Her Majesty, happily serving
    When she was once known as the Fortune Queen
    And granted good and bad luck to those deserving.
    But then she grew selfish, hoarding all good fortune
    For herself, and only giving her subjects bad.
    She became rich and powerful, the people poor and weak
    I tell you, I was tired of us being had!
    So I decided to steal away her luck powers
    But such magic is tied to a person’s soul,
    So while she slept, I plucked out her soul-seed
    And I escaped before she knew what I stole.
    I dropped the seed in the deep ancient wood,
    Hoping it might be lost from her forever.
    But one day I flew over the spot, and saw
    A plum tree was growing, and it was quite clever,
    For it learned to grow feet and walked away,
    And now it is standing here before me today.”

    “So Her Majesty is burning down the forest,
    Looking for her soul in the soil, which is me?”
    Plum was quite frightened, but stood straight and tall,
    And said, “Let me in to see Her Majesty.”

    “So you ARE quite dumb,” said the fire-eater.
    “Did you hear the bird? About the snack?
    She wants her soul-seed, which is within you,
    She’ll devour you if you don’t turn back.”

    “Perhaps it is destined, or just my ill luck,
    But I can’t let the old trees suffer and die in flame.
    Maybe there is something I can do to make things right,
    I’m not afraid of Her Majesty, if we are one in the same.”

    So Plum thanked the Karmaburra for his warning,
    Thanked the fire-eater for guiding her there,
    And then entered the place of Her Majesty,
    To face whatever fate awaited her in this lair.

  22. Domino

    Unlucky Me

    Born Friday the thirteenth
    Just what could be worse?
    Dad was a mortician,
    rode home in a hearse.

    Mom was a worrier
    She watched over me
    with bell book and candle,
    esprit, and weak tea.

    My childhood? A strange one.
    I thought I was cursed.
    But it wasn’t that long
    ere my doubts had reversed.

    See, what always happened
    would look just like trouble
    But when the dust settled
    I’d still stand (in the rubble).

    And those all around me
    thought I was the greatest.
    and all hung around me,
    newest to latest.

    So I learned to worry
    about all my friends.
    Because they seemed destined
    to meet untimely ends.

    And so I spend my life
    watching o’er theirs
    (They think I’m just kindly
    and someone who cares.)

    But I’ll always worry
    that someday I’ll be
    unable to stop something,
    that I’ll be absentee.

    So I keep on working
    and trying my best
    just saving my friends
    from bad luck’s bequest.

    Diana Terrill Clark

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Huh, so it can be unlucky to be lucky (kind of like winning the lottery…not good when all your relatives and friends come knocking on your door looking for a share). A lovely poem from a compassionate heart.

  23. Sharon

    No Such Thing

    The luck of the draw
    Sticks in my craw.

    Luck’s not bad
    Or good to be had,
    A mere quirk of fate
    Now that I’d hate!

    Unlucky for me
    May be lucky for thee.

    Don’t tell me of loss
    Life gave you a toss,
    Get on your feet
    And be upbeat!

  24. posmic


    My father wanted to name me Daphne.
    My mother laughed at him, said, “No way.”

    I was given, instead, an unlucky name, one
    that was years too old for me and as made-up

    as that bleached-blonde starlet who died
    naked in her bed. Somehow, too, it was the

    name of everyone’s favorite aunt or grandma
    or school librarian, and so it is equal parts

    fishnet stocking and rolled-down knee-high,
    a bad fit for me, either way. I inhabit my name

    but do not love it. How unlucky, too, that I
    have no nickname, though some friends tried

    to invent one for me, and I tried to rename
    myself in college, something shorter, but it

    just wouldn’t stick. My name clings to me
    like an unctuous perfume, like a whiff of

    sex among forgotten stacks, in a dark and
    quiet corner in the library of my mind.

      1. posmic

        Thanks, Mosk! I don’t hate it, exactly — it’s just not quite right. I like it better in print than out loud. Hmm, maybe that’s why I seek lots of publishing credits. 🙂

  25. Mystical-Poet


    prancing across roof
    air powered equalizer
    unlucky squirrel

    peanut buttered nut
    can not resist temptation
    rat trap successful

    a lifetime slighted
    when dreams go down faster than
    a crooked boxer

  26. Beth Rodgers

    It happens
    That time stands still
    When bad news looms.

    Yet when you wish
    For a moment longer
    A brief chance to gather your thoughts
    Cherish the love and magic of good times
    Gain a semblance of continuity
    The world seems to pass by.

    A flurry of words
    And condescension that you could
    Have possibly had the time to cherish
    The way life is right then and there
    Is lost
    Only to be found when you wait on life
    To bring you more goodness
    Which will follow the same cycle
    Never allowing a sense of complete
    And utter

  27. ceeess

    13 is Not My Unlucky Number

    You say Friday the 13th and spooky
    in the same sentence. You say unlucky.
    I say Friday the 13th and birthday.
    Being born on the 13th day has its own burdens.

    To see ill luck upon my special day
    would be an unlucky omen, oxymoron.
    Bad luck cancelling good? Imagine
    what kind of birthday wishes I might
    choose, blowing out candles in an ill wind.

    I always counter the bad luck quotes.
    My lucky number is often 13.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 13, 2012

  28. Buddah Moskowitz

    Just In Case

    I avoid walking
    under ladders
    and will skid
    out of the path
    of a black cat.

    I knock on wood
    and scratch
    the interior ceiling
    of any car I’m in
    when going through a
    yellow light.

    If the car radio
    is playing “Respect”
    by Aretha Franklin
    I shut it off
    because it was playing
    when I was in
    that car crash
    back in 1985.

    I don’t have
    lucky lotto numbers,
    but I do have
    a lucky number –
    anything that isn’t

    If I spill the salt
    I sweep it up and
    throw it
    over my shoulder

    and I always pick
    my wife’s handbag
    up off the floor,
    so she’ll never be poor.

    I always take tests
    with freshly sharpened pencils
    so I am using pencil points
    that never made
    an error.

    And whenever
    I have to do a
    Power Point presentation
    for the
    Board of Trustees,

    I attach and it send
    to 3 different
    email accounts

    always with the memo line
    JIC (Just In Case),

    and bring the presentation
    on two separate
    flash drives.

    And every Friday
    I wish my wife
    “Happy Anniversary”
    mostly out of love
    and a little bit
    out of fear
    of what’ll happen if
    I forget,

    you can’t be
    too careful.

  29. claudsy

    Unlucky in Love: Poor Male

    There she is, so coy
    Delicate in black negligée,
    Waiting for my attentions.
    Whisper soft, I approach

    Her boudoir, quick stepping
    To show off my prowess.
    We meet, ah, sweet surrender.
    Wait! Not yet! Too late.

    Her juices leave me dying.
    For her love, her magnificence,
    I give myself to her, twitching,
    A sacrifice to her hourglass self.

    © Claudette J. Young 2012

  30. dandelionwine

    Friday the 13th Eve
    (for Chief Michael Maloney)

    The shot turns live
    from the newsdesk
    to that dark NH street,
    the one whose name
    they keep repeating
    with the crooked sign
    strobing blue. The
    reporter isn’t ready–
    how could he be?
    The man that went
    down with the four
    others isn’t there.
    The reporter stands
    alone, clutches
    his microphone
    as one sure thing
    in the night, averting
    eyes from the camera,
    but we hear it in his
    voice. He knew the
    guy. Police chief,
    twelve years with the
    town, go-to man for
    local breaking stories,
    just eight days from
    retirement. On the spot,
    the reporter pieces
    the facts together as
    best he can, because
    the chief’s no longer
    taking interviews.

  31. claudsy

    My first for the day. Robert, you did it again.

    On This Day

    Watch where you step,
    Your mother’s involved.
    Beware the ladder’s tunnel,
    The feline noir’s crossing.
    Never mention the Scottish play
    Or purse your lips on stage.
    Who’d’ve thought soap
    And tub would do me in?

    © Claudette J. Young

  32. DanielAri


    and just last night, Alice and I were walking home from
    Fat Apple’s, talking about buying Hacienda Palomino,
    Michael Jackson’s estate in Las Vegas, rather affordable
    at four mil, living there during the sweet spring and fall
    times and the rest of the year, leaving it in the care of all
    our artist friends, giving ten or a dozen of them the space
    to create work and live, an artist colony, a School, right
    there beside the casinos, but always looking northward
    toward Red Rock, so much more majestic. “You could
    sell some of your paintings to raise the millions,” I said,
    “and I could sell some hot poems.” This made us laugh.
    We’re done with all that trickery and nightmare knotting.
    We keep making our work for love and nothing, living
    among neighbors and waking ourselves up from programs
    about what’s good luck and what’s bad. We chose what
    we chose and, remaining in love, we walk home full-
    bellied, hand-in-hand—and look—laughing all the way.


  33. Ber

    Luck or is it

    We are the lucky nation
    Or so it is said
    We hold the pots of gold
    And the lucky clover beds

    The leprechauns, the stories
    The blarney stone it cures
    All of those unsightly sores
    Hundreds come to kiss it or rub it with their skin
    Others come to drink the Guinness, the whiskey and the gin

    We hold stories of ghosts and fantasy
    Of headless horsemen and banshee
    Of dead working men there be
    The fields they spell out wonders
    And tales of times gone by

    Afraid to wonder down them
    The truth of who haunts them and why?
    The rivers that run through them and portals of time gone by
    Don’t read the cards of life
    For who knows what you get
    Don’t let the ace of spades come up
    It is your biggest threat

    How lucky you are
    It all depends on you
    Spend time worrying about it
    Can be easy to do
    This day do the lotto
    To see what will be

    And if you’re lucky enough
    The leprechauns luck may pass
    It’s shining hand over you
    But is it luck you need
    Or is walking under the ladder
    A true tale indeed
    So as the day passes wonder and watch out
    For the black cat that passes
    Don’t forget to wish him luck

  34. Catherine Lee

    Okay people, get out your crackers because I’m about to serve up some cheese. 🙂

    St. Patrick’s Day (A most unfortunate Tanka)

    I can’t get lucky
    A ginger with a green beer
    The night should be mine
    But the ladies don’t care that
    I’m magically delicious

  35. Michael Grove

    One in a Thousand

    He went to the left
    while the ball bounced right.
    The black cat crossed his path
    on a dark and lonely night.

    He held the winning hand
    until the river card was turned.
    He trusted everyone
    and repeatedly got burned.

    He didn’t look both ways
    before he crossed the street.
    He never knew of the poison,
    he was about to eat.

    Maybe one in a thousand
    the undertaker said.
    Nine hundred ninety-nine
    don’t end up dead.

    By Michael Grove

  36. RJ Clarken

    Is There Anymore?

    I thought I saw a shooting star:
    it was a baseball; trashed my car.
    “Why me?” I cried – and then I swore.
    I wondered: is there anymore?

    I plucked a penny off the street.
    I thought, ‘Good luck will follow. Sweet!’
    It was on tails: bad luck in store.
    I wondered: is there anymore?

    A flock of birds flew overhead.
    That’s good luck, right? Uh uh. Instead
    those birds rained droppings by the score.
    I wondered: is there anymore?

    But then, I told myself, “Just quit!
    You’re asking ‘tempting’ questions. It
    cannot end well. You can be sure,
    that if you ask, there will be more.”


  37. Marianv

    A Fisherman’s Paradise (Delayed)

    A shift in the wind
    West to north-west
    blue waters tipped with white caps
    A choppy bay
    And rougher lake.

    Listen to the fishermen
    grumbling over their breakfast coffee.
    Their promised week-end of fishing
    already one day lost.

  38. Catherine Lee

    Unlucky Day

    We never talk about it, that day of shatterings
    In the hospital when grandma’s long goodbye
    Lifted in a momentary frenzy of truth,
    As if the bellows of her soul could not sustain
    The heaviness of silent years, the friction of life
    Meeting death inside her mind forcing breathe
    To form into words never spoken.

    Her fractious lucidity broke through
    The soil of her mind to splinter family trees.
    She spoke of a secret day when he came
    Across the Pacific in his wrinkled uniform
    To be all that he could be, but you said no
    In a language he didn’t hear, screamed it
    For your husband and your sons.

    Our homogeneous blood diluted in a day,
    Answering the question-mark hook
    That always snagged the back of my mind,
    Explaining the lingering pain of two generations,
    The lightness of my hair that should have been black
    As the coal tears smudged beneath your eyes,
    Black as the heart of a man I hate, but yearn to know.
    I’ll never know.

  39. De Jackson

    Luck Beggar

    My four-leaf clover’s broken.
    My dandelion’s blown.
    My horseshoe got turned upsidedown
    and now the luck is gone.
    My rabbit’s foot is still attached.
    My bracelet’s lost its charms.
    My candles have all burned out
    and my stars are spilled too far.
    My Magic 8 Ball simply said,
    “Ask me again tomorrow.”
    Does anybody out there have
    some luck that I could borrow?

  40. taylor graham


    If you end up with the very last pup
    of the litter, are you unlucky?

    The one who couldn’t find a home,
    they called her defective – is she unlucky?

    If you think you see something special
    in her, are you deluded, or unlucky?

    It’s No! Leave the cat alone! Don’t chew
    on that! Is she untrained or unlucky?

    And will she finally settle down
    to be a good dog? Are you wise, or lucky?

  41. barbara_y

    it was a month of thirteen fridays
    and every one of them fell on thirteen
    there were red imps out on the street
    with poison pitchforks, and the heat broke
    weather records like cheap mirrors. more
    people were out of work than had a job to go to,
    and the lucky, lucky, lucky
    had three part-time positions doing the work of two.
    the moon was always black
    and tribulation rained on the world
    brown recluse spiders, bedbugs, ticks,
    antibiotic resistant staph infections
    war and famine and contaminated water
    too many cars and the end in sight for oil and gas.

    it was a month of thirteen fridays
    and every one of them fell on thirteen
    everywhere you looked was meanness
    kicking stabbing murder rape scamming people
    of their last salvaged dollars, killing children
    so they won’t one day grow up
    and look a cross-eyed look.
    and the earth was shaking cracks across its back
    realizing it would someday die.

    and the legislators decided
    to do away with all this
    bad luck.
    what will we do? they asked each other.
    what will we do? what will we do?

    they put their feet on the table
    and thought about it that way
    then they put their feet down.

    they turned their chairs around
    and straddled the backs
    and thought about it that way
    then they turned them back.

    ate a sandwich took a nap took
    something for that headache, and agreed
    to redefining bad as good and making it a crime
    to question their decision or suggest
    what came to pass was anything
    but how things ought to be.
    so be it said upon this day
    from now on out all luck is good luck
    all fridays are the thirteenth
    and every friday
    is Hunky-Dory Day.

  42. Margot Suydam

    Unlucky Traveling Ghazal

    An abandoned pond off the highway
    breeds unlucky
    As morning sun gleams on scum and naked stalk
    For the unlucky

    Below driest air, engines stalled on tracks
    run unlucky
    As long winged hawks circle and prey on sacred alms
    For the unlucky

    Bumper to bumper in traffic, I wrap
    myself unlucky
    As FM radio wails me weary in top 40 ballad pop
    For the unlucky


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