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. mschied

    A wish for Lady Luck

    Dearest Lady

    I offer the following as proof of my devotion:

    One perfectly pressed specimen of
    seamair bhuí,
    the four-leaved variety

    Not one, but two
    scratched off cash-words cards
    (so you can practice spelling at the same time)

    And just for a stylish pizazz of luck
    vintage 1960s rabbit’s foot, faux
    bright magenta hue

    Since it is clear I am a humble

    and devoted


    shower your golden shimmer
    of fortune upon my head
    and these raffle tickets

    for I desperately need an IPAD

    P.S. Let’s not have repeat of last time
    where a close relative (not to be named)
    purchases an embarrassingly
    small amount of chances
    and ended up
    walking away
    with the whole

    I know fortune is fickle,
    but that’s pushing it a bit,
    don’t you think?

  2. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Unlucky Day

    Today the Emperor of the World
    announced that his grandparents,
    both sets, were back from the dead
    (Remember, he reminded me, God
    can do anything.) and residing again
    in their previous homes. I wondered
    what the man thought who purchased
    my childhood home when the ghosts
    (oh, I forgot, the resurrected bodies)
    of my mom and dad appeared and
    evicted him.
    Did my mother-in-law
    suddenly materialize, canning tongs
    in hand, apron neatly tied, and nudge
    aside the woman who was cooking
    on her old stove? My father-in-law,
    fiddle in hand, shoving open the door
    to the milking barn, would confiscate
    the stool, unseating the current sitter.

    How unlucky for all of them to have
    their sequential existences co-mingled.

  3. Pat Carroll Marcantel


    Remember Al Capp?

    Lil’ Abner & company?

    Remember Joe Btfspik, the

    little character who had nothing but

    bad luck his whole cartoon life? Oh, it was

    sad. Some days I felt like Joe. Some weeks too.

    But then I stumbled across someone’s brilliant thought:

    “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” and I believed.

  4. Caren

    A Gift

    I tripped on a black cat and started to fall
    Knocked over a mirror that hung in the hall
    It broke into pieces as it fell off the wall
    This is no good at all! This is no good at all!

    Stepped under a ladder and on every crack
    Opened an umbrella, now I’m under attack
    Since I lost my rabbit’s foot, my life’s out of whack
    How do I get back? How do I get back?

    I broke a champagne glass while making a toast
    I hit “delete all” while typing this post
    If having bad luck was a gift I could boast
    Yes, I have the most. Yes, I have the most.

    Caren E. Salas

  5. Tanjamaltija

    Bad Luck or Bad Decision?

    Worms of worry
    Drain my brain
    Cyclops mirror steals my sleep

    Stifling synapses
    Throttling thoughts
    And smiting ideas

    Whirligigs though my mind
    Shattered dreams and injured pride
    I was taken for a ride… they lied.

    Helpless sadness
    Hapless madness
    Overwhelming tide; hurt pride.

    Black tomorrows
    Untold sorrows.

    Feeling weird
    No one cheered; they all jeered
    And sneered.

    Unfulfilled pledge…
    What “cutting edge”?

    Replayed scenes
    Crumbling castles in the air

    Why did I not leave well, alone?

    Sad emotions
    Darkest notions
    Creating doubt and fear…

    I hate my green Mohican.

  6. Paoos69


    A cat crossed my path this morning

    Will bad luck come my way?

    I staggered on nonetheless

    Hoping nothing will happen today

    Two days later I broke a glass bowl

    Will bad luck my way?

    Was the instant thought

    But the day went fine, no disarray

    Few days later I tripped on my own toe

    Will bad luck come my way?

    A voice rang in my head

    But the day turned out almost perfect

    What is bad luck then?

    Just a mind-set? just superstition?

    Life is but a random set of events

    All about good luck, and bad luck

    But more importantly, love, and communication

  7. foodpoet


    Unlucky or not, 13 just a
    Number another day to get through
    Superstitions fears unfounded
    Can rule a life, walk this way NOW.

    Black cats, ladders, tunnels all found
    Unlucky or not, 13 just a
    Reminder of what is lost your
    special day lost in memory rubble

    Rabbits foot, penny on the street
    Can only cause accidents, leave alone
    Unlucky or not 13 just a
    Number even when found in threes

    I walk in ranges of number lost and found
    Avoid cracks and broken mirrors
    Still break a wishbone but for now
    Lucky 13 is just a reminder of you.

  8. Lynn Burton


    a funny
    thing, and you could be
    lucky if you aren’t unlucky.

    The black cat
    ran in front of my
    path, turned and
    hissed as if
    it was my fault I was there
    and maybe it was.

  9. Khara H.

    The Inheritance

    It has always been our lot in life
    to bear the weight of our children
    and our men.
    To rake fingers through scalp dry as winter
    and unhem the storm,
    soothe it out with a tin of grease,
    the same patience that has these sugars,
    these honeys, these tots, popping
    out our loins like dry beans out the fire only to watch
    and again
    them go down in flames.
    We know the steadfast pinch—
    being cut done between the bones,
    ironed out into smooth brown skins stretched too thin
    over too many other people’s sins.
    We know how to cup our split ends
    like honey in our hands and savor the ruins
    of what the world deemed
    too much good for one soul to keep—
    learned to smooth it out,
    thick white sour cream spectacle over
    red blood
    and redder bones
    and watch our babies swallow it up and swell
    into manhood when other men will pluck them like chickens,
    hang them like wind chimes off dark boughs,
    trees behind hills beyond
    where loving eyes can find them, find them—
    bring them home,
    bury them,
    wet them into fertile ground and watch them
    rise like roots,
    strike at the threatening skies
    with bright black oil slick wings.

  10. mich

    A jumping toad tempts
    Sally to attempt a catch
    in the shallow pond
    cattails jiggle. Trip and fall
    down she goes white jeans and all
    Triumphant toad hops away
    — Lyn Michaud

  11. tunesmiff


    Girl, I don’t know what to say,
    I thought about it all dang day,
    Where did we go wrong?
    We’ve been together so long.

    I saw you on the town last night,
    Underneath those neon lights;
    With him arm in arm;
    He’d turned on his charm…

    You both looked like you had hit the jackpot…
    Like you’d both won the lottery…
    Lucky him…
    Lucky you…
    Unlucky me…

    I’d’ve never made the bet,
    That you and are are over yet,
    How could I not see?
    You’ve moved on from me.

    What matters is your smiling face,
    I wish I was still in his place;
    I’d pay any cost;
    But it looks like I’ve lost…

    You both look like you’ve just hit the jackpot;
    Like you’ve won the lottery…
    Lucky him…
    Lucky you…
    Unlucky me…

    Lucky him…
    Lucky you…
    Unlucky me.

  12. hurtin-heart

    Today was your lucky day
    Wrong time,wrong place.
    But the time will come
    when you will pay
    for what you have done.
    They will be no one
    there to stop me,
    my revenge will taste so sweet.
    When i give to you what you gave.
    I am watching you,the day will come.
    You shouldn’t have done what you done.
    I know i am wrong in how i feel.
    Justice is not for me to give.
    But it’s an eye for an eye
    and tooth for a tooth now.
    Your luck has finally run out.
    How unlucky for you!
    Samantha Tinney

  13. zevd2001

    Out on the racks, hot and steaming,
    more in the oven ready to go. Out in the market
    people waiting, their sustenance, so close
    to the source . . . not enough, not enough
    the twelve that everybody gets
    for their penny farthing. The heat seethes

    from inside. The eyes drool at the cracks
    between the doors imagining
    the dough rising. Filling the space,
    its scents maddening, the crust cracking
    expanding, as the air pockets grow . . .

    here the taste of more grows, drunk nostrils
    and bloated bellies, more, more. Were twelve
    enough to fill our appetites we’d be home
    already. No, the men who knead the flour and water
    know the knocks

    at their doors, one more,
    one more than twelve, rolls down upon the counter, yes
    out of the smoldering embers, our bellies
    demanding thirteen, no less, and no more.

    Zev Davis

  14. shann


    She was the kind of Texas woman
    who didn’t have two cents to rub,
    but if she could manage to find
    a handful of shiny nickels, she’d win
    enough at a slot machine in Vegas
    to buy groceries for her family for a week.

    I was walking with her when she conjured
    a twenty from under a fist-sized rock
    on Rincon Road in nineteen sixty-nine,
    I rode shotgun when we had to pray
    our way home on a shallow sniff of gas
    in the worst rainstorm that summer.

    She could puff a breath on her fingers,
    then take out ten pins- ball scooting
    down the alley like it was hypnotized,
    ready to slam itself against the back wall,
    she’d take sucker bets without a miss
    for hours, even trick shots with a blindfold.

    She lost only two things: me, to a yankee,
    and her life in single hand. She tried hard
    to let ride for another round of hold ’em
    but cancer is the house that always wins.
    When her will was read, luck wasn’t in it,
    she must’ve used it all up in the end.

  15. randalljweiss

    I’m running late but trying to catch up.

    “Tough Luck”


    Asked to clear his desk by 5:00.
    Lied to his wife. Told her
    Everything will be okay.
    Packed a copier paper box
    with family pictures and that
    worthless 15 Years Service plaque.
    Typed a Fuck You email
    to the CEO. Deleted it unsent.


  16. Anders Bylund

    Better Lucky Than Prepared
    Fall on one knee
    Take her hand
    Time to make her
    Just how close I
    Need her by
    When she runs, I’ll
    Wonder why
    Luck favors the proactive
    Not good enough to be attractive!

  17. Jannelee

    I mean no disrespect to one of my favorite poets, Edgar Allen Poe. I just thought it might be fun to lighten up this prompt and pay homage to the master of macabre. It is a poor attempt at best, but I had fun with it.


    Once upon a night most weary,I contemplated,
    tired and bleary
    over many a thumbed and dog eared volume of
    forbidden lore
    While I dozed, nearly slumping,
    suddenly there came a thumping
    as of someone loudly knocking,
    knocking on my bedroom door
    It’s only father, I grumbled, here to implore
    It’ll be that and probably more

    Yes, I remember it was a sad,
    cold November
    And I knew in my very marrow,
    what I had put off until tomorrow
    the lessons I had failed to follow
    would now bring me great sorrow
    For, sadly I was about to walk
    the straight and narrow
    I had no options to explore
    It’ll be that and probably more

    But each angry curse,
    brought on hysterical mirth
    as silly images of his mad
    and blustering visage
    Rattled and danced across
    my brain most addled
    So now to broker my wild
    and maniacal laughter
    I did something I will regret ever after
    I looked my father in the eye and ask him why

    He sputtered at my absurd gumption
    to utter such a presumption
    I really had him railing
    about my latest, dismal failing
    If had I only studied harder,
    I might be a just little smarter
    and with a a parting bash
    he yelled, get rid of the trash
    before we come to an impasse
    and nobody likes a wise ass
    I’m that and probably more

  18. PSC in CT

    Unlucky Sign

    He woke up this morning determined,
    decided; resolved nothing should —
    nothing would — change his mind
    this time

    Too many gray days, so much
    water under the bridge
    no way to go back, no reason to
    go on

    But, pausing on the brink, thinks
    some small sign, a patch of blue
    perhaps, might change his mind

  19. Katrin

    The river to Luck
    is winding,

    No guarantees, Un-Lucky,
    because, really,
    it’s Luck, after all,
    and who has ever
    invested Faith in Luck
    and consistently
    kept afloat?

    The boat leaks,
    the eddying dominates,
    and need I mention
    the Waterfall?

    Read the safety manuals,
    be one with the bright orange
    lifejacket puffing up
    your paddling, watch out for
    submerged rock,
    And expect


  20. DarmaZ

    Yoda Speaks My Truth

    Half full, the cup is
    Worse could string of troubles be
    Unlucky, I’m not
    Good thing the bright side I like
    It seems my gloom works not…yes.

  21. Jamal Abboud

    It Was Late December

    It was late December
    Which was unlike last winter
    The sun shone brightly on the bay
    And the rocks reflected a light grey
    And the salty cold water
    Undulated beneath a gilded sheet of ray
    Yet still it was a chilly clear Sunday
    So my child, me and his mother
    Indoors, a warm languor induced us to stay
    Even I promised him to go fishing pleasure
    To build his dreamy castle together

    Gloomily came Monday
    Accompanied by his loving mother
    Through angry furious weather
    Our little angel would not bother
    Of heavy burden on his shoulder
    His books, his future and a bottle of water
    Just gazed with eyes of bleak glimmer
    A gaze at me that of blame, of soft mutter
    Then to the bay we gazed together
    What had been perfectly near
    A day before was then further.

  22. lionmother

    The Unlucky Ones ( Thoughts on Tsunami 2011)

    They were unlucky
    to have been born
    in a place where the
    wind held court over all
    where the ocean
    reclaimed land long
    domesticated and
    refined until buds
    grew and houses
    stood painted and
    How unlucky to
    have been born
    in a place where
    water slid over all
    blanketing cars
    covering pavement
    forcing some to
    seek shelter in
    crowds with
    bodies lying
    side by side on
    thin cots listening
    to the snores and
    cries of just met
    How unlucky to
    be in a place
    where no one
    would ever be
    able to reclaim
    their homes and
    radiation overruled

  23. Marcia Gaye

    What Are the Odds?

    Unlucky in Love.
    Always been me.
    How I’ve tried to break that spell.
    It started even before I was born.
    Daddy didn’t want me.
    But at sixteen Michael did
    So we got married.
    The curse reared up before too long.
    Michael was all wrong for me.
    I don’t believe in curses.
    I do believe in me.
    Undaunted I carried on.

    There was/were the boy/s in college
    All after only one thing.
    Each and every time I thought
    the thing was me.

    Deadbeats plague me
    But Mama didn’t raise me
    To be no fool.
    Just unlucky in Love.

    A few more disasters before The One.
    The One thought worthy of a ring on the finger.
    Can’t say I wasn’t warned.
    I believed in change.
    I believed in me. My ability
    To discern, use what I’d learned.
    It wasn’t meant to be.
    Cursed luck. The
    ink is almost dry on the
    disillusion/dissolution papers.
    A few months and I’ll be free.

    And You, My True Love, you
    will be waiting.
    Red flags white flags.
    You’re waiting for me.

  24. David Yockel Jr.

    Just a Little Bit Off

    My luck is a tide that never comes in,
    a perfect lunar eclipse,
    nine fingers
    eight toes and a rotary phone.

    Long walks on a rocky beach,
    a pair of front row seats
    to an underfunded opera,

    Cheap whiskey, the Church
    of England and a wrinkled
    Armani tuxedo.

  25. Christod

    Her, Unlucky

    She asked me to look at her luck
    As if it was something solid I could
    knock on wood until it cracked free
    Of form and revealed the stuff
    that dreams are made of on:

    A pillow of bones and a quilt made
    Of bad plans.

  26. Linda Voit

    Reflection on “Unlucky”

    I’m not sure I believe in the word unlucky.
    If I use it to describe the loss of my parents
    or, say, cancer, it is inadequate and ridiculous.
    If I use it to describe the time
    I lost some business I had planned on
    or the fact that I drove a hour
    out of my way last night or that I dropped
    a favorite glass, it is an excuse
    for my own or other’s contributions, or worse,
    it denies the energy of the universe working magic
    I can not even conceive. I don’t use the word
    unless I must for a poetry prompt.

    Linda Voit

  27. seingraham

    Misfortunate by Birth

    She knew what people said
    About her, the phrases
    Used – she was referred to
    as “accident prone”,”hapless”,
    “unlucky”,”cursed”, “luckless”
    And so on …
    And there was ample reason

    After all, if she tried a sport,
    She broke bones – hers
    If she invested money – she
    lost hers and more …
    Should she go to the track
    with friends and bet on a race,
    Not only did her horse lose –
    it usually came last, or actually
    fell down dead …
    “cursed” didn’t halfway cover
    what she was.

    She was inexplicably cheerful
    Given her lot in life
    But when she was left alone
    At the altar for the third time
    Jilted – walked out on again …
    Something snapped; she decided
    Enough was too much
    She wanted to be gone
    From this unfortunate life

    What was the point, she wondered
    What was the use, she pondered
    Why keep beating her head
    Against a wall that just left
    Her bloodied and bowed
    When really all she wanted
    Was out – out of it all

    She knew it was going to take
    Some meticulous planning
    If she was going to pull
    Off a successful suicide
    Especially hers … she knew very
    Well the chances of her screwing
    Up her own death were excellent

    She wasn’t sure she could stand that
    But thought wryly, what difference
    Would it make – it’s not like
    She’d go out and kill herself
    If her suicide attempt went sideways
    Was it? Even she could see the humour
    In a rather humourless situation

    Still, she had to acknowledge,
    What did she have to lose?
    Nada, nil, zilch – nothing
    At the most, there would be
    Just one more failure added to the list
    Of unfortunate things about her
    That people could talk about …

    Maybe she could set some kind of record
    Maybe she would get into that book


  28. Sheryl

    Unlucky Days

    Unlucky days are
    Not about luck.
    Life can be sporadic,
    Chaos at times—
    Kicking too much
    Yucky stuff our way.

    Deal with it
    Yell, if needed.
    So it is.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  29. Mary Mansfield


    The wheel of fortune spins,
    Throwing omens of ill will onto my path,
    Attempting to instill fear into my life.
    I laugh at the owl outside
    My window in the dawn’s light,
    As I snuggle close to my black cats.
    Wrapped in the fragments of broken mirrors,
    I step on sidewalk cracks with no qualms,
    Tempting fate underneath ladders,
    Dancing through rooms,
    Open umbrella in hand.

    I’ve no need for lucky charms,
    Horseshoes or four leaf clovers,
    Rabbit’s feet or found pennies.
    The omens mean so little,
    For once upon a time
    A spider wove my initials into her web,
    Bestowing good luck upon me
    For the rest of my days.

  30. LCaramanna

    Exactly Last

    At 13 minutes to post
    on Friday the 13th
    I bet $13 to win
    on #13
    in the 13th race –
    (a gray horse
    named…… LuckyLady)
    at 13 to 1 odds.

    As luck would have it,
    left the gate
    trailed the field
    around the racetrack,
    crossed the finish line
    13 lengths behind…….
    the 1 (Havenofear) and 3 (Friday Filly).

    Thirteen lucky ticket holders
    collected $1300
    on that 1-3 exacta
    on Friday the 13th
    while I tossed my unlucky ticket
    in the trash…
    exactly last.

  31. Sally Jadlow

    We called him Lucky

    But he was far from it.
    First he was run over
    by the tractor.
    Then the rooster
    used him for pecking practice.
    The tomcat hissed at him
    every time Lucky walked near.

    In spite of this,
    he lived to a ripe old age
    of fifteen,
    until a tornado took
    that unlucky pup
    on one Friday the thirteenth.

  32. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Friday 13

    I woke up
    with a raging head cold.

    Both cats
    vomited their breakfast.

    had terrible leg pains.

    I hauled him off to the doctor.
    By then, I was so dosed up
    I managed not to sneeze
    all over the waiting-room.

    We both forgot to report
    the shoulder pain he’s also had
    for days, unresponsive
    to anything we’ve tried so far.

    But anyway, the doc prescribed
    new medication, as a trial,
    for the agonised nerves in his legs:
    a quarter the usual dose
    (i.e. half a tablet) to start,
    at night. Come back in a week
    and we’ll see if we up it.

    At bedtime I opened the box.
    Uh-oh, capsules. Instruction
    on box: take half; on
    manufacturer’s leaflet: do not
    cut open the capsule
    and use just the contents. So —
    no medication for him this night.

    We watched TV, a show I like.
    He pronounced it corny.

    I had a poem to write,
    working in my head; stayed up
    to get it written. He
    interrupted, repeatedly, to insist
    I ought to be in bed. I at length
    erupted. (I wonder,
    can the neighbours
    hear me screech?)

    We didn’t get much sleep.

    I‘d like to be able to blame
    Friday 13.

  33. De Jackson


    they tell her how


             she is
    that he didn’t cut her
    that he didn’t kill her
    that they caught him
    that he’ll never be able to do it again
               doesn’t feel lucky
                    at all.

  34. deedeekm

    I am not going to jump into
    The crazy pool
    With a little luck
    I will just wade in
    The shallows
    Getting toes wet
    But holding my nose just in case
    Because luck is a bitch
    That goes her own way
    With no thought for life preservers
    I wade with an umbrella
    The sun is shining
    But just beyond that hill
    There is a helluva storm
    Waiting to flood
    My plane and I know
    The truth
    You have to swim
    Through the muck
    To see a rainbow


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