Editors Blog

2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

We got off to a fast start yesterday, which is great! Now, let’s jump into Day 2. (Also, if you left any comments that needed moderated yesterday, they should now be approved.)

For today’s prompt, write a visitor poem. The poem can be from the point of view of a visitor–or the people receiving the visitor. The visitor could be expected or unexpected. The visitor could be welcome or unwelcome. The visitor doesn’t even have to be human.

Here’s my attempt:

“Vile Villains of Villainy”

I balanced on the balcony
barely able to breathe for fear
of the freakish ghosts and goblins
gathering as a symphony
of ghastly and ghoulish groaning
gained momentum in the foyer–
the freaky, frightening foyer–
from whence I heard cackles and cat
calls clambering up stairways with
hideous hoots and howls of, “trick
or treat, smell my feet, give me–give
me, give me–something good to eat.”


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597 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

  1. creilley

    A guest does no laundry here,
    cleans no spilled milk.
    Free from domestic responsibilities,
    there is nothing to be done
    save drink our wine, eat our food
    and give us the joy of your smile.

    When you are welcomed
    you can do no wrong,
    owe apologies to none,
    are forgiven our collective past.

    Yet when the time comes for you to leave,
    when you step off my porch into the world
    you are relied upon, obligated even,
    to leave behind a small scrap of joy,
    a warmth of recall,
    a pleasant memory
    of your having been with us.

  2. Benjamin Thomas

    Ella Muse

    She comes
    to visit
    in red
    but the

  3. Marian O'Brien Paul

    The Emperor’s Easter Visit

    An Easter basket substitute found
    at the corner pharmacy: paper sacks
    printed with eggs and bunny rabbits
    in pastel pinks and blues and greens.
    Stuffed with slippery cellophane grass,
    the perfect nest for garish jelly beans,
    eggs with tinted shells, sugary Peeps,
    and chocolates.

    I filled four of these:
    one for each of three grandsons and
    one for their uncle, my eldest child,
    my only son who needs such things,
    surprising as it seems. You’d think
    the Emperor of the World would be
    too occupied with crucial deeds like
    waging peace.

    Not so. He had time
    to spend the day with me, drinking
    diet Sprite, magically transformed
    into champagne to wash down all
    the sweets, half a chicken I baked
    with Greek potatoes, onions, corn,
    followed by Brown Cow ice cream
    swirled in fudge.

    Appetite sated, he
    plopped down on the floor to set up
    ranks of plastic toy soldiers collected
    over forty years or more along with
    miniature aircraft, tanks and artillery.
    When his campaigns were completed,
    he retired to the futon, to sleep away
    the Easter night.

    At dawn, sunshine
    poking through the slats of the blind
    hit his groggy eyes. His inner piping
    being bloated from overindulgence
    during Eastertide, before he left me,
    the Emperor’s toilette required that
    I ring the maintenance man and ask
    him to bring a plunger.

  4. HannaAnna

    Visiting Grandmommy and Papa

    I’ve been looking forward to visiting them all week– all month
    the homemade pie that only Grandmommy can make the way she does
    the dusty, old picture albums and timeless tales of the past
    the summer days spent fishing in the muddy pond

    They are the haven in a way too busy world
    the passage back in time
    to a better time

  5. MsGenuineLady

    Breathless, heart-racing, steady pacing,
    Debating if I should open the door and allow you to walk into my life once more
    My life that you walked out of many years before, and now you stand on the other side of the my door
    Calling my name, igniting this pain I buried in the past, with the last time I saw you
    Now you’re showing up unexpected, saying you regretted leaving me, you need me in your life,
    But when I needed you, you walked away, that wasn’t right, and I still love you I do,
    So here I am inside confused
    Breathless, heart-racing, steady pacing,
    Debating if I should open the door and allow you to walk into my life once more

  6. cstewart

    Wayward Visitor

    In the pathway of her dream, she met some future dodger,
    Who did not know himself and wept for his impending demise,
    Which was perpetrated by him with a lean toward greed and lust,
    And in the shadows lay integrity, clarity, and truth.
    Long lost on him and his trip down the road of life.

  7. David Yockel Jr.

    Necessary Angels

    Wallace Stevens visits me
    in my dreams. We discuss reality,
    the imagination and rising
    insurance premiums.

    He blathers on about Freud,
    Sunday mornings and the night
    he went a few rounds
    with Hemingway in Key West.

    We sit on front porches most
    winter mornings smoking big
    cigars and watch blackbirds
    peck out the eyes of a snowman

    bearing an uncanny resemblance
    to Democritus. He tells me stories
    of haunted houses, the mind
    of the virile young poet

    and angels in white night-gowns carrying
    flowers wrapped up in the morning paper.

  8. Paoos69

    The Visitor in a Womb

    The front door stood locked
    Bathing in the morning sun
    Its glass shimmering
    The light glimmering

    Every day it looked the same brown
    Neither smile nor frown
    It was opened and shut seldom
    As is common amalgam

    The afternoon wind swirled outside
    Swaying the shrubs, trees alike
    I peeped through the glass
    Half-expectantly, but the brick cochere was empty

    Yet I opened the door
    I knew someone was there
    Sure enough on the outside
    On the brown bottom frame

    A green cocoon swayed
    Holding on tight by a thin thread
    Glued to the door with a black dot
    The green lined with a golden ring

    I stared in awe, in wondrous delight
    Yet another Nature’s caricature
    A fresh, young green womb
    Holding within, Life

    Now I open the door everyday
    To check on my guest
    Green with envy as he is
    I ponder on its entity

  9. tunesmiff


    A stormy night; all lines are down,
    You can hear the train, on the tressle in town.
    No lights, no phone; no radio,
    Just that lone… some whistle blowin’…

    Headlights from an unseen car,
    Paint across my vacant yard,
    Gravel crunches in the drive,
    My pounding heart says I’m alive.

    A man in black stands at my door,
    I know I’ve seen his face before.
    A lightning flash across the skies,
    Reveals the hurt there in his eyes,

    He doesn’t smile, he won’t come in;
    I want to ask him where he’s been.
    Before I say a single word,
    He starts to speak as if he’d heard…

    (And he says…)
    The road,
    That brought me here,
    Is long,
    And wet with tears.
    And love,
    Is a burning thing,
    It leads,
    A heart to sing.
    Hot as fire or cold as ice;
    Or sacrifice…

    The wind picks up, thunder rolls,
    I feel I’ve looked into his soul.
    I ask if I can sing his song,
    When I look up, I find he’s gone.

    His words an echo in my head,
    I try to write the words he said.
    The man in black has left me here,
    As the storm clouds start to clear.

    The road,
    That brought me here,
    Is long,
    And wet with tears.
    And love,
    Is a burning thing,
    It leads,
    A heart to sing.
    Hot as as fire or cold as ice…
    Or sacrifice…

    The man in black stands at my door…
    I know I’ve seen his face before…

  10. JRSimmang

    Of course.
    Thank you.
    Please pass the salt.
    The night slowly slipping to dawn.
    A smile, nervous smile. Corners of my mouth
    salivating, slavering with the ring of a bell.
    Sardonic lace.
    A moment. Connection.
    Daylight brings a loneliness.
    Time and money.

  11. eyeisawrightr

    Hit like a freak wave crashing on delicate sand

    Scattering tiny plastic buckets
    Destroying castles
    Interrupting pleasant reverie
    Sweeping away bliss

    Water and wave retreat

  12. emmajordan

    Don’t come back!
    I’ve had enough of your abuse
    deviant ways
    controlling so tight.

    Don’t come back!
    I want you banished from my
    unnerving intrusions.

    Don’t come back!
    You’ve altered who I am
    doubting my worth.

    Don’t come back!
    I saw you dead
    vacant eyes.

    Don’t come back!
    Stay dead away
    eaten by flames.

    Don’t come back.
    Leave me alone in
    to heal.

  13. Miss R.

    A Brief Visit From a Butterfly

    The glass is spotted
    With winter’s cares
    As I look out
    Into the glare
    And gloomy sit,
    But then I spy
    A flit of color.
    Up wells a sigh.
    Delicate wings
    Vibrate against the blue
    Of a brand new sky
    And I shiver, too.
    My visitor’s fragility
    Cannot but bode ill,
    But he quivers and leaves
    My warm windowsill.

  14. po

    Going Home

    I had to go.
    As the youngest
    daughter and mother
    of the only grand-
    children. It was my
    duty. I would count
    the days off upon
    arrival. Time was
    slower than old catsup.
    Only one wish–that
    I could go back now.

  15. cajun75

    Have You Seen My Motorcycle

    Upon opening the front door to soft knocking
    A voice emanating from beneath a wild mane
    Of dyed blond hair asks,
    “Have you seen my motorcycle?”

    The aging soul standing there in total
    Sixties garb of white leather Go-Go boots,
    Jacket, and biker’s hat smiles and asks again,
    “Have you seen my motorcycle?”

    “No ma’am,” I say, trying to shut the door
    And blot out the scene before me
    “Go ask your Mom,” she says
    “Has she seen my motorcycle?”

  16. Katrin

    When I found you,
    you were a simple piece
    of genetics I wanted to kill
    but couldn’t, on theoretical grounds,
    as you buzzed against the car window,
    your sting’s potential dripping along
    with your disappointment bouncing

    You were drawn to the sweetness of
    spilled juice, your only intention, the
    pursuit of sustenance
    The baby in the backseat was of
    no interest to you and
    your natural defenses

    I opened the windows,
    as any proper hostess
    would do,
    and waited to accept
    your parting thanks

  17. Jannelee

    I am bent with age, just like the old tree on the hill
    my hands are gnarled and spotted
    like the curled bark and tangled roots
    I have less hair and fewer teeth
    and the old tree’s branches are bare bones
    her sap has thickened and stilled
    my blood is heavy and moves slowly
    through my clotted veins
    my bones creak as I slowly lower myself
    to sit beneath her empty canopy
    Her branches rub and sigh in the soft wind
    gently whispering to me, our time is almost up
    after all, we are only visitors
    who have outstayed our welcome
    Janice Kuykendall
    April 2, 2012

  18. ratgirl


    Crocodiles are floating murkily
    on the TV screen, while some jackass
    picks up their infants, making them cry
    their flicked rubber band sorrows.

    Miniature predators are a bullies’ favorite
    prey, after all. Barely longer than his hand,
    these hatchling dinosaurs have eons
    on his species, yet high on the conceited hubris
    homo sapien breathes like aerosol cocaine,he traps
    them between land and shore, amphibious
    confusion and tiny clucks object as he drags
    them to surface before letting them sink again.

    He shouts at the local men he’s hired. Calling
    their wariness ignorance, he mocks and dares
    them to come closer. One of them
    saw the bones of his pre-pubescent son
    pulled from the belly of a lion.
    He winces at the weakening cries of the young.

  19. Nikki Markle

    “Patient as the Post”

    You get your mail here, but you’re usually just visiting.
    I figure you have faded jeans and over-bleached socks
    Spread over hundreds of miles by now.

    Envelopes pile up in neat rectangular rows,
    Waiting patiently, more patiently than me really,
    For you to stop being wherever you are and be here again.

  20. gtabasso

    Godfather Death

    If only I could turn my house
    so the fron door faces south,
    the windows are inside out
    and no bells ring.

    There was a day
    I waited for you to come home.
    Now, I beg you to stay where you are.
    You were my lover, my friend,
    the one who robbed me blind.

    In the end, I am a walking box
    who lives in the past,
    loves someone dead and gone,
    arms not long enough to reach across
    lines, pull you back

    from the DUI that sealed the deal,
    caused me to draw down shades,
    put in storm windows, throw
    security bolts. Changing locks
    is easy, living without you is not.

  21. Caren


    A stranger’s eyes, dark, staring
    At mine from across the room
    Curious, asking questions
    Without words, without even
    Blinking, I glare in defiance
    Until the eyes turn away.

    Caren E. Salas

  22. Arike


    Through the window two brown eyes
    I do not growl, but I can
    I haven’t decided you’re a friend
    Ring the doorbell, I dare you to try
    I’ll bark until my master comes
    He’ll send you away when he is done
    I get to guard his house at night

  23. Tanjamaltija

    You came, you saw, you meant to conquer
    But that was Yesterday.
    Today I am expecting other guests;
    More important ones
    Than you could ever be.
    People who have cherished me and nurtured me
    And comforted me when I thought
    I was not loved
    I was not worth loving
    As you so often pointed out.
    But that was yesterday.
    Today, I am me.

  24. jeremy_kidd

    You’ve seen him following you
    He’s trailed you your whole life
    Silently studying
    Sometimes he’s close to you
    He is ready to take you
    Your recklessness leads you to him
    Time and again
    But the time isn’t right
    He knows when it will be
    He knows how
    But you’ll never know
    Until it happens
    And there is nothing you can do
    Death has taken you

  25. pearl


    gone is the winter sister
    with disgruntled scowl,
    foul-smelling mouth,
    draped in angel white wings,
    Lazarus’ shroud.

    we welcome gladly

    bright eyes shining, sweet breath,
    dance on a blanket of green,
    sapphire diadem,
    daffodil yellow gown.

    stay far beyond morning,
    we’ll sleep windows wide open,
    limbs intertwined.

  26. Yolee

    ….So your flight comes in at 4:30?

    Well my head tells me she’s not done stringing
    clouds with hands that for a to-the-point minute
    were smaller than mine. I thought she came
    into my world when in truth it was her first
    wail that towed a universe with God’s seasons
    to my sandy footprint. With every day, her
    world expanded. And I had to let out
    my heart’s waistline.

    Of course you can stay in her room.

  27. KarenWalcott

    “Early in the morning and late at night
    two dead boys got up to fight.”
    The children who are too young to
    know better chant at two boy zombies
    who appear at the Northwest fence
    The children pick up pebbles and pelt
    some make it through the holes in the
    chain link and bounce off rancid rotting
    flesh and bared teeth
    the parents, wisely or otherwise, allow
    the children this game
    The Ramseys say it will make the chlidren
    better, bolder, braver
    fighters.The Scotts soon pull their kids away
    They don’t want to foster the belief that
    Zombies are as harmless as animals in a zoo.
    Zoo animals don’t come visit you.
    The Ramsey children continue chanting, “Early
    in the morning and late at night, two dead boys
    got up to fight.

  28. Werewolf of Oz

    The fabulous five outback travellers
    were sitting on the grass dividers
    after eating their fill of bubble and squeak,
    when a passer-by did unto them speak.

    ‘I can tell you all you need to know
    if you’ll just open your door
    I promise not to induce a snore
    my presentation is not a bore
    it’s guaranteed to make you say cor!
    and my jokes will raise many a haw-haw guffaw
    it has not once started a war
    or been considered against the law
    all the donkeys have exclaimed e-oh
    and most dogs have clapped at least one paw
    the coldest ice maidens it did thaw
    and even beavers stopped their gnaw
    once I told it on the sea-shore
    and the waves kept coming back for more
    so what do you think my travelling four
    are you ready for my rock n’ roar?’

    The passer-by looked at us
    after ending the recital syllabus.

    I said I thought he was mistaken,
    because there was no door,
    and we were five,
    not four.

    The passer-by looked all shocked and awe,
    before declaring me a talking door.

    ‘No,’ said I,
    ‘I’ve just eaten too much
    bubble and squeak brunch,
    and my body is now oblong.
    So you are wrong; therefore, so long.’

  29. carolecole66

    The Visitors

    They come in the middle of the night
    with the courage of the dark.
    The red-headed harridan whispers
    Face half averted her dark
    brother sneers
    who could love you?
    At 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. with only the street light
    outside my window to dim the shadows,
    I believe, almost
    welcome them.
    The third sidles next to me like an old man
    without shoes, his hat in front
    like a supplicant: no fear
    he says. No fear. We will always be here
    for you.

  30. taylor graham


    Such a clustering of spirits
    when I light one candle
    in a room with facing mirrors.
    Features flicker
    in and out of focus, conjoin
    and separate. I can’t tell which
    are family – so like my own
    face, but faded from an album –
    or strangers of the greater
    family humankind. My own
    face years from now, marked
    with the burden of history
    but a singular story
    behind the eyes. Light
    seeks the center of the room
    then shatters on shadow.
    I close my eyes to see
    who it is stepping through
    mercury like a door. A hooded
    messenger with a book
    in hand. So many names
    written inside.
    A candle, even multiplied
    in reflection, can’t cast
    enough light to read,
    not if I’d written it myself.
    If I flip the switch, the figure
    would incandesce.
    I cup my hand to the flame,
    blow gently into dark.
    Perhaps the visitor will come
    again in dream.

  31. Lady W

    The Smiling Moon

    I see you in that sky
    Sparkling alone yet sullen
    For the stars took some glitter
    All you had was a void
    In the pains people shared
    And inflicted cracks I see
    You romance some in these nights
    Some talk to you in minds
    I see you across the terrace
    Playing games of hiding
    Sometimes behind dew leaves
    Or the branch that is long dead
    And I thank you everyday
    For bringing across hope
    Where darkness is our companion
    For you are the symbol of light
    A moon who smiles when we sleep.

  32. deedeekm

    I was the visitor :)

    We Rested

    we held ourselves easy
    like turtles on a log
    waiting for the sun
    to warm outer shells
    hoping for the warmth
    to spread to bones

    we held ourselves freely
    as deer dive into dawn
    wet with dew
    lit by awakening sun
    when the light
    races ahead of the warmth

    we held ourselves stilled
    frozen like startled rabbits
    blending into the grass
    listening for the smallest breath
    caught between
    hiding or running

    we held ourselves quieted
    as the silken pond waited
    as the trees cradled the nests
    as the grass hid the beetle
    as the clouds blanketed the sky
    as the whole world sighed

    and rested from the work of living

  33. cindishipley


    Inside your ruby sanctum,
    where you never are,
    there are circles of Saturdays.
    The Nile river runs a straight course
    through, and still your dark mind
    stops you from celebrating
    the millionth miracle that
    unfolds before you.

    The greyness of your veil
    is paled by the white legs of
    tawny, long-necked horses
    that reach freely forward.
    The wave of their manes
    is the sense that you thought
    you were promised, but never realised.

    Push, because the gate is not locked.

    Open your heart and let it
    bleed freely all over everything.

    In a rush of lightning
    stand in the wet wet
    fully clothed or naked.

    Walk to the eye,
    of the hurricane
    the tornado
    or any eye that helps you
    see clearly.

    Narrow your field of
    need and expand your
    horizon of want.

    Meet your desires by a
    shriek down to the
    marrow of your bones.

  34. uneven steven

    You were always

    black and white:
    wet nose nudging the present
    joy you knew was in my hand
    even when I didn’t,
    the long leash
    of us
    with the irresistible
    of a dark underbrush –
    the only breaking,
    the one time
    I called
    and you didn’t look back,
    collie grin fading
    to its own distant field
    leaving us
    memories of you
    still nipping
    our heels,
    the longing of uncertain
    stragglers –
    I know it’s hard, girl
    but stay,
    we’ll catch up soon.

  35. lionmother

    Uninvited Guests

    After adding the juice of plump, rosy San Marzano tomatoes
    to the simmering brown mixture filled with cuts of onion and
    sweet garlic bits – me in those gray loose pants I wear for the
    joy of being at home, stirring tomato sauce, tasting watching the
    plops of red blossom around the pan on the snow white stove top
    Sauce to the point of perfection, tasted and seasoned and ready
    The glass bowl set near to catch the delicate spaghetti coated
    with the luscious sauce waiting like a performer to begin the
    show, we heard a knock, knock on the door. My daughter,
    bowl in hand tentatively opened the locks and peeked outside
    just a crack to see our uninvited visitors. He with the ready
    smile and open face asked the question while his companion
    popped up smiling too. My can opener, they needed my manual
    can opener and I passed it to them a bond between two new

  36. shann


    I’d ask you in but the place is a mess,
    really needs to be painted, vacuumed,
    the giant bolt of fabric for new curtains
    lolls in the corner of the hallway,
    uncut, a good intention mismanaged.

    Say the expected lie “It doesn’t matter”.
    We both understand you’ll tell someone
    the scene: unfolded laundry on the chair,
    the scattered Sunday paper, used dishes-
    details you will align as if they were ducks.

    Reconciled to this dynamical system,
    it is a balagan with nuvobohemian flair,
    exchanging traditional for quirky kitsch:
    the two-foot decorated Christmas tree is iconic.
    still up in April, unlit in deference to Easter,

    Company never sticks, or is it the spectre
    shuffling backwards toward the kitchen
    who keeps the conversation indifferent?
    Our grandmothers would be horrified,
    kneeling women who scrubbed sidewalks.

    I won’t bend my knees, not even to pray.
    There are photos of when I was single:
    candles in the bathroom, arrangements,
    leaning out for love, they will lean that way
    forever, you should have seen me then

  37. Jaywig

    Day 2 – a visitor poem

    I always know when she’s arrived
    unannounced, slinky in her white fur
    stepping like a model, conscious
    of being beautiful, owed something.

    It’s the racket others make
    that gives her away. No open-mouthed
    admiration for her, no flash
    photography, no way!

    All she gets for her catwalk display
    is a yard full of birds, like parents
    anywhere, uttering urgent cries,
    warnings, insults, expletives …

    I throw gravel, hiss and slam doors.
    She bolts, offended, through a gap
    in the back fence. Possibly stalks
    home. The birds begin a sweet twittering.

  38. ina

    Sorry, this is super-rough and the ending is messy; I promised myself I’d sleep instead of editing :)


    They have left small white cocoons
    woven into that linen skirt you used
    to love. A life sometimes disgorges
    all its passengers at one stop, leaving
    only blank spaces to mark their passing,
    outlined in candy wrappers and torn halves
    of old transfers. The next group blurs
    the outlines but the weight
    doesn’t feel quite the same –
    or maybe it’s just a different hill, a
    more inclined road, changes woven
    into a meaning that can only be seen
    from a place far in the sky.
    We leave pieces of ourselves every
    where we go. Did you know that
    house dust is ninety percent human
    skin? Which must be why the house
    still smells of you, even after your
    absence is no longer marked by
    empty spaces and the people
    have changed again and again.

  39. Amy Pimentel

    Uncle Arrives

    with mismatched luggage
    heavy with scraping brass
    hooks and sharp corners

    He blows up a California King
    air mattress, moves furniture
    and lays out his surf boards
    unable to get comfortable,
    I chew pills ignoring the label’s
    instructions and chase them
    with wine. Uncle requires
    thick pillows every visit

    I mark the calendar
    with arrivals and departures
    to predict the next time
    But he pounds on the door
    with knives ten days late
    or 12 days early. His own terms

    The good news he brings
    often overlooked by headaches
    He leaves after a few days
    laughing, dressed in drag
    confused for aunt, but only
    a man can cause this much pain

  40. Khara H.


    There is a cabin in the woods. Enter it well.
    There is a curtain—see it fell. Fell away
    from the wall. There is wolfskin on the floor.
    The better to wipe your feet upon.
    And a painting of grandma—and a cloak.

    There is a knife upon the floor. Mark it well.
    And, see, a bloodstain on its shell. Step away
    from the wall. See the woman on the floor.
    The best to rest your eyes upon.
    See her tremble to the bone in her cloak.

    See the teeth upon her broach—breasts that swell
    with pride as tears well in her eye. How he died
    she will not tell.
    The better to toss at night upon.
    Leave you trembling alone—now walk her home.

  41. Lynn Burton


    Your visits are on my list of favorite things —
    right up there with having a root canal.
    We’ll have a fight in my head
    before you even arrive.
    I’m wound so tight,
    the dread is coiled in the pit of my stomach,
    ready to bounce off of anything you say or do.
    Trying to play nice just makes me angrier.
    You won’t change and neither will I.
    Do us both a favor, won’t you, and just
    stay home?

    1. ina

      Wow. This is such an amazing accurate portrait of my relationship with one of my family members. You could have been peeking in the windows – this is so “on” with what that type of relationship is like.

  42. donnellyk


    Still and slumped in the brocade chair they placed her in this morning
    palsied bony fingers tapping and picking at the edges of the tablecloth
    and who put her in this outfit anyway, she never liked it
    they will be here any minute, she is sure of it, and she would like a dab of lipstick
    voices swirl around her and she strains to pick out the familiar
    there is one she likes who brings her the tapioca and vanilla wafers
    she hopes she will run a razor over her chin before they get here
    surely any minute now, her daughters, or was it her parents
    head dipping slowly she slides in and out of swirling dreams, of parlors and family,
    admonishing the children, petting the dog, visiting friends and laughing over good food
    looking up at the sky with the sun on her face, where are my sunglasses
    she is being shaken, hears someone calling her, is that her name she hears
    should she look up, she might miss them. She hopes they have the tickets, her things are packed,
    what a nice time they’ll have
    Oh it was such a pleasant afternoon
    visiting hours are over

  43. Sharon

    Engage in the Festival

    The spirit of hospitality
    is lost in our busy world.
    We construct boxes
    with the four walls of
    and ambition.
    We seal ourselves in
    at the end of the day
    with a lid of weariness.

    Kick off the lid!
    Get out of the box!
    Enjoy family.
    Get reacquainted with friends.
    Engage in the festival of life.
    Don’t be shy.
    Knock on my door.
    Pay me a visit
    What is the thing
    I most need today?
    Your time.

  44. vincegotera

    The Visitor

    Feathered hair silver as Kenny Rogers’, wings
    swept back over ears that peeked out a moment
    . . . wait, were they really pointed? Eyes hard
    as pebbles, shiny blue marbles flanking a nose
    like the honed edge of a cavalry saber. Knife
    slash of a mouth, lips slim as limestone strata
    straight across the face of an Indiana cliff.
    Chin sloping inward to the blunt point of a Flash
    Gordon rocketship. This grim visitor at my door
    like a pale Ming the Merciless sans facial hair,
    in a savagely tailored steel-gray suit. Shiny
    cowboy boots, each sleek as a navy destroyer.
    “I hear you’ve been looking for me, friend.”
    A voice like antarctic wind, silent echoes
    of wolf howls on the flaky edge of hearing.
    “I’m Jack. Jack Frost. Been expecting me?”
    Handshake firm and sharp, bones like crystal
    spines of an ocean fish bucking the current.
    “I hear you’ve got yourself some complaints.”
    Stroking pointy chin with skinny, skeletal
    fingers, taut skin translucent as old vellum.
    A mirthless smirk lifting the ends of the lips
    slightly baring fang tips glistening with spit.
    I feel as if I’m in an elevator in free fall, cold
    waves of adrenaline washing over my body.
    “Nah, April Fools! I’m just kidding ya, buddy.
    My name’s Jackie — Jacqueline. Not Frost.”
    A woman! A woman? Why didn’t I see it before?
    Her lips break out into a genuine smile, the sun
    slipping out from behind a darkling storm cloud.
    “Yeah, I’m bringing ya a poem. You know? A poem?”
    She turned on her heel, winked over her shoulder,
    then took off briskly down the bright-lit street,
    bright silver sparkles drifting in her sprightly wake.

    — Vince Gotera

    I’d love to tinker with this some more but it’s just about midnight where I am.


  45. just Lynne

    April 3, 2012.

    I open the door as usual
    hesitantly pushing back the roughened wood
    at the grating hinge
    I speak your name softly
    with a polished question mark

    you yell roughly,
    “He’s not here”
    not looking back

    I almost smile
    I set down my book
    determined to be as gentle
    as you are rough
    my voice lowers and softens more

    “I know you.
    “you are here
    “it’s me.”

    you turn, shake your head
    look back at the television set

    I set down my pen
    still calm
    but it’s business now
    and I’m not waltzing with you anymore

  46. Marjory Thompson


    Day dreaming while
    lazing in the sun,
    the click of a screen door
    whispers to me across the yard.

    A thoughtful pause
    before soundlessly he
    comes down the steps to
    cross the sun-drenched lawn.

    Laying motionless,
    eyes soft closes,
    I sense the moment
    he reaches my side.

    A tiny note of symphony
    escapes as he softly touches
    the snow-white cast
    on my injured arm.

    Circling the lounge,
    he pauses again then
    carefully joins me
    and curls at my side.

    Reaching out,
    I caress his head and
    feel his purr beat time
    with his switching tail.

  47. cam45237

    Black cat at my window after midnight
    What’s the wise move here?
    He must have been attracted to the lights, the noise of the television,
    The glow of a home
    A thump, a ripping sound.
    He’s clinging to the window screens, moon-glazed eyes, twitching tail, electrocuted fur
    I open the door to darkness
    It drifts in with the cat
    I feed him milk
    And canned tuna.
    Sometimes that’s all it takes –
    Milk, canned tuna
    To dissipate the dark.

  48. kingac

    Hipster Walls

    Impatiently rocking,
    swaying rhythmically –
    head bent angularly low;
    you hold your tension
    in your neck.

    Friendly Fires’ “Blue Cassette”
    escaping the confines
    of headphones not quite secure.
    You don’t realize I’m even there.

    A myopic landscape
    generated by our distance.
    The creative and creator
    never quite connecting –
    a year long writer’s block cracked.

    -John Pupo

  49. MeenaRose

    My poem is posted here

    Waiting to Understand
    By: Meena Rose

    I sit there waiting,
    Damn my neurotic
    Tendency to
    Arrive early.

    Is what the
    Lobby clock
    Tells me.

    Is what my
    Cell phone
    Tells me.

    Is what my
    Appointment card
    Tells me.

    I close my
    Eyes and sit
    It out, my feet
    Tapping recklessly.

    I wrinkle my
    Nose at the
    Familiar detestable

    I shrink in my
    Chair hoping
    You would
    Pass me by.

    I shiver as
    Your touch
    Grazes my

    I whimper as
    That touch
    Turns into a
    Tender caress.

    I cry as you
    Slap my
    Unsuspecting face

    Demon, be gone!
    Why do you
    Haunt me

    Is your memory
    So weak,
    You seek
    An encore?

    Is it my Karma
    Instead, to forever
    Relive this Moment
    When innocence was lost?

    “Meena Rose, please come in.”
    I open my eyes with relief,
    Perhaps now I
    Will finally understand.

  50. jcnierad

    Doors closed to friends and neighbors and stalkers
    are open to ghosts.
    Dead-bolted and drawn in apartments.
    Gated and grated in estates.
    They’ll come if they like – Inside.
    They’ll stop over for breakfast
    Steal a muffin when they’re fresh
    and when they’re fresh out just juice.
    They’ll occupy a husband’s desk chair
    when he’s away on business
    and when he’s home on his computer.

    Documented in film and romance, a ghost will be
    where he likes and get nearly everything he wants.
    Karen’s ghost likes her dreams and wants her dead.
    He won’t kill her, but the fear may file down her lifeline.
    Closing eyes and dreams at their regularly scheduled times.
    It’s sleep, she needs to sleep!
    She’s doing it for the kids – can’t he see that?

    Kids never fear ghosts as much as they should.
    Too much fantasy and adrenaline lining their lungs.
    An old woman knows better – no romancing
    the return of the dead.
    Years of flight or fight depleted her adrenal response
    And now she’s a waiting game.

  51. Natalija


    I did not expect
    to hear from you today
    I did not wish to listen
    to what you had to say

    For a moment so brief
    you knocked at my door
    pushed so hard
    I ended up on the floor

    Unexpected as your visit
    had been this noon
    I was not ready
    to leave so soon

    The car in my rear mirror
    coming ever so nearer
    the one before me
    its motion slowing

    To my left
    another approaches
    in an instant
    death encroaches

    With all my might
    I turn aside
    though you had hoped
    that I had died

    I managed to shut
    the door in your face
    claim my own life
    put you in your place

    I wish not to see you
    especially today
    with my three kids
    I would rather play

    I yearn to cook dinner
    and clean dirty dishes
    a new morning to see
    as one of my first wishes.

    ***Inspired by a near collision today on the freeway driving home.

  52. Nimue

    Hello visitors,
    this you know is my dream;
    a place I hope you know the limits
    and the rules; yet unknown to me.
    you show me places and events
    that happened not,or maybe could have
    some I wish never come true
    others I feel I knew before you.
    My mind’s state reflected often
    my dreams I feel are powerful potion
    made of your power of love
    fighting my desperation for some.

  53. Rosangela

    A long, long stay

    {Knock, knock, knock}
    Yes? …. You again??
    Not ‘again’! But ‘still’. I never left, remember?
    Hmm… No! And… when did you come, then?
    I didn’t come, either.
    How come?
    I don’t come or go. I just am.
    You ‘are’? What are you?
    Not ‘what’! But ‘who’. I am you, remember?
    Hmm… No! And when did you become me, then?
    I’ve always been you.
    Hmm…. ‘always’ is a long time, don’t you think?
    Yes, and that’s how long I’ve been you!
    I’d know better if that was true! But I don’t know you!
    You do!
    Know you!
    So, you know me, too!
    If I knew you I wouldn’t be asking who you are.
    Of course you would, because you don’t believe in what you know.
    And how do you know what I believe or not?
    Because I am you!
    Oh, really? If you are me, why then did you knock?
    Because I am visiting right now.
    Visiting? You said you didn’t come or go, so how are you ‘visiting’?
    That’s right. I said I just am.
    You cannot visit someone if you are already there!
    Sure I can! I am visiting right now.
    Ok…. Thanks for the visit, then! Could you go now?
    I’m afraid not. I never go, remember?
    Yeah, yeah… or come.
    That’s right. We are one and together at the same space, visiting one another at the same time. Got it?

    {Knock, Knock, Knock}
    Oh, my! I drifted away… someone’s at the door. Yes? … YOU again????
    No, not ‘again’!!!

  54. Marcia Gaye

    A “Visitor” Poem

    Visitor As Victim

    You say you live upstairs,
    as if I should accept
    the way you sashay in
    Aand cock your creepy head.
    “May I borrow sugar?”
    And “May I borrow bread?”
    Before I’d share with you
    I’d rather see you dead.

    Visitor as victim,
    your six legs all askew,
    I’d rather see you dead,
    I said, than share with you.

    -Marcia Gaye

  55. Akua


    When they come, if they come
    Will you be ready?
    You will burn Russian amber incense
    change your schedule to be dry and fragrant

    Will they gasp at your brokenness
    avoid looking when they look
    at the strange new self, foreshortened,
    the apparatus of your motion

    Your long arms pistoning from bedroom to kitchen
    your soft hands hard from their doubled monkey duty,
    miscalculations of doorway’s width or doorjamb’s location,
    vagaries of other minor geographies feet no longer traverse

    Before they arrive, the table will be ready with muffins,
    fresh baked banana bread or pancakes from scratch
    avocado hummus and sesame’d crackers
    Tandoori nan or pita cut small,

    vegetable pot stickers, four fruit salad, sparkling apple cider,
    freshly ground coffee, organic chocolate
    all homage to your abject gratitude
    for their long journey to your nowhere

    1. ina

      Lovely – there’s so many perfect, subtle phrases here: “vagaries of other minor geographies feet no longer traverse” “their long journey to your nowhere” – just beautiful.

  56. Karen H. Phillips

    Connie Peters: loved your angels-as-visitors poem!

    Day 2

    Write a visitor poem.

    Visitors, Yet Home: Rendezvousing in the Smokies

    I know these mountains,
    having come from childhood to admire
    their bumpy backs, now spring green,
    but other visits, scattered with snow,
    dappled with summer sun and shade,
    or scarlet with autumn’s fire.

    I know this family,
    married to this man thirty-plus years,
    mothering this son a few less,
    surrogate extra mother to the woman
    we came to meet here, with her own mother,
    her four lively young, and her husband.

    Though we call it a visit,
    I am no stranger to this land,
    no one closer to this family.

  57. StephanieRosieG


    11 women sit in folding chairs, visitors forming a tightly packed oval.
    I can’t help but scan the room, eyes trained on ring fingers of the left hand.
    I slide my naked hand underneath my thigh, hiding my singular deviation.
    Its absence is my scarlet letter, and I am my own judge, jury, executioner.

  58. erinne

    claiming to be
    from somewhere
    and going
    but here …
    arriving anywhere
    and wanting to
    go somewhere
    else …
    always competing
    with the rest
    no time to rest
    or even be best
    with a mind
    that’s always
    too far ahead

  59. bclay

    Rob’s alliteration inspired some imitation lol, lots of fun

    The Estranged

    he could hardly speak the synchronized
    canticles in coordination with congregation;
    his off-timing and modulation disharmonized-
    projected past absences and failed attendances,

    and they could hardly offer their formal forgivenesses,
    objecting to his presence presenting further resentments;
    their gazes turning – corneas burning idealogic aggressiveness,
    no prodigal reunion in sanctuary inception for a vote negative heretic.

  60. Linda Voit

    Aunt Flo visits with her big red purse

    Maybe it’s because you first meet her
    when everything in your life is awkward,
    the same year you drop all your books
    down the stairs between social studies
    and math and forget how to string a sentence
    at the exact moment you’re standing in front
    of #17 from the basketball team.
    Or maybe it’s because she’s quirky
    and doesn’t call ahead, comes packed
    with pimples and cramps, and laughs
    at your previous plans. Or it could be
    your relief that she is there again,
    that you can count on her. Something,
    something makes you talk about her
    in a code you know your girlfriends know
    and you’re sure the boys can’t crack.

    Linda Voit

    1. De Jackson

      Oh, Linda. I love this. My best friend and I still make cracks about Auntie Flo, how rude (and sometimes unpredictable or early) she is, how cranky she makes us, how much she loves chocolate. ;)
      Brilliantly written, with humor.

  61. Bruce Niedt

    In keeping with my dual-prompt strategy, this is combined with the prompt from NaPoWriMo 2012: Find the #1 song from the week you were born and write a poem inspired by it. My song is “How High the Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford (and if you Google it you’ll know how old I am!)

    How High the Moon

    “Somewhere there’s music,
    How faint the tune…”
    Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis,
    as performed by Les Paul and Mary Ford

    After I left you,
    no one followed me home
    but the moon, which now beams
    full through my dark window
    like a mocking visitor.

    I want to play you
    a song I wrote, and bounce it off
    the surface of that haughty satellite,
    reflecting waves to where you are.
    It might ease the sting.

    Thinking it’s worth a try,
    I pull my Les Paul Gibson from its case,
    plug in, pick and strum,
    aiming toward the moon,
    asking it to carry the tune.

  62. thebearpaw

    Universal Appearance

    I arrived with excitement
    with the golden key
    unlocked and opened
    that golden door
    where all the dreams
    and fantasies
    and pasts
    and futures dwell.
    the universe glared
    white with the bright moon
    overwhelming with its vastness
    And all I could do was
    stare at the page.

  63. Walt Wojtanik


                                  the Final
                              Frontier. There
                           is   something  out
                       there,     and it’s     come
                    to observe us, rattle our cages,
                  really un-nerve  us. From faraway
    planets they have traveled far, from the surface of Mars
    and the furthest of stars. To learn our customs and study
                  our ways. They’ll even make cont-
                     act one of these days. I just
                        hope that I’m not tapped
                           as a greeter. How do
                            you translate “Take
                                 me to your

  64. omavi

    “She Came With the Sun”

    Secluded I keep myself
    On the precipice between time
    Quiet and finding that calming state
    Thinking but not really thinking
    Any or everything
    Then a glimmer or maybe a whisper
    Came drifting to the mind
    The eyes shifted through spectrums
    Such was the beauty that was found
    The eyes perked even happy
    And soul infuses body with such joy
    What a wonderful addition
    To what was already peace defined
    I reached out my hands
    As I extended my mind
    Searching for the meaning
    Or just waiting for the sublime
    As sun conquers dark horizon
    And finally eyes are opened wide
    The fluttering of wings
    And her beautiful bird song
    Announced the sun rise

  65. ltville

    Lost Years

    He watched her through the window
    She turned and caught him standing there
    Her smile invited him to come in
    But the sign warned, “Trespassers beware”
    He hesitated for a moment
    She opened the door and made the decision for him
    It was awkward being face to face
    He held out his hand
    She pushed it to the side and hugged him
    His eyes closed and he tried not to cry

    His father had taken him ten years before
    But she knew one day he’d come knocking at her door
    She had stayed in that house just for him
    And as she held him in her arms
    She knew he was home again.

  66. maggzee


    One’m two’m
    Come in
    Have a drink
    It’s no bother

    First meeting
    Awkward greeting
    His folks
    My baby
    He looks just like his father

    Settle in
    She drinks gin
    Wedding dates
    Seating plans
    It all gives me pause

    His folks
    My baby
    They will
    Be her
    New in-laws

  67. hurtin-heart

    She tries to find beauty,
    through eyes so dark.
    The night is her friend,
    she gazes at the stars.
    Beautiful sparkles that once
    shone in her eyes.
    She wonders if she will ever again
    find happiness in the light.
    Time has taken away so much from her
    But it couldn’t take away the heart in her.
    Yet night is when the heart feels the most.
    The thoughts,the pain,the burdens,
    the shame and the lonliness
    Only she will ever know.
    When she loves,she loves deep
    But when she hurts,she hurts deeper.
    Yet she continues to search the night for answers.
    Will her heart ever find,what it searches after?

  68. MichelleLynnGuerra

    Visitor in My Head

    I try to tune it out of my head.

    If I can’t turn it off I might as well be dead.

    It comes in the middle of the night.

    Playing with my emotions starting a cat-fight.

    I wish I could just make it go away.

    I know that even when it lets me sleep it will be back the next day.

    I know what I must do.

    I have always knew.

    I have to just let the idea go.

    So something new has time to grow.

    Visitor in my head you are not welcome.

    I am strong today and ready to walk away from.


  69. Anders Bylund

    Future Perfect
    By next Tuesday, I will have invented a time machine
    And then it’ll take thirty years before I use it
    like a nerve-bound teenager looking for a date
    I shall have wasted a lifetime of opportunity
    And now I’m back to tell myself
    All the things I will have missed
    All the doors that will never have opened
    If I will have left the controls
    Untouched, for the first time, again.

  70. Mr. Walker


    Why would any visit us?

    I don’t think they’ll come
    to enslave us
    or steal our resources
    or colonize our planet

    Those are all metaphors
    for our own fears and failings

    I do think they’ll come
    as explorers
    with open minds
    and open hearts
    willing to share with us
    ready to learn from us

    But then again
    maybe those are all metaphors
    for our own hopes

  71. Arrvada

    Seeing the Sights

    The brochures are piled up,
    So high the tower begins to sway
    So much to choose from
    So much to see
    How can I decide?
    My visit here may be limited
    My schedule not as open as I please
    This trip is work related
    But some of the time will just be for me
    Should I go to Rome?
    See the acropolis?
    The pyramids at Giza?
    Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon
    Niagara Falls or Belize?
    Will I have time to visit more?
    Between Crop circles and probing
    Surely I can see at least three.

  72. unscriptedlife

    Sorry We Live Here

    You said you’d call, yet here you are
    standing at my door.
    I don’t mind you here, but I guess I need
    to make it clear once more.

    When you come there’s work to do
    long before you’re here.
    I need warning. I need time
    before your car comes near.

    My house, you see, is not like yours
    all sparkly and clean.
    Preparations are made when I hear you’re coming,
    I’m not trying to be mean.

    It’s because this house is occupied,
    a family lives here.
    There’s chaos and mess each way you look,
    it’s your judgement that I fear.

    But since you’re here, there no more need
    to try to even explain.
    Just step over that pile and grab a mop,
    you’ll never forget to call again.

      1. Natalija

        I can really relate to this. Before I had children I thought I would never be “that” type of person – the one with a messy house. Then, at some point, reality sets in and our priorities shift. What we once thought, becomes unattainable.

        1. unscriptedlife

          Natalija, me too!! Then one day, I realized that I don’t want my son to always remember me because I was cleaning. I want to have good moments… moments that sometimes mean leaving the dishes until later. Lol.

      2. unscriptedlife

        Thank you so much! I wrote this one after bedtime, so I can thank Dr. Seuss for the inspiration.. lol.

        Everyone here is so encouraging! I am so glad Nikki shared this with me. I have real hope this is going to get me out of my rut.

  73. sarite

    I know this flies in the face of every romantic, but it was our experience…

    When In Paris-flee

    From stinky cheese
    To ham infatuation
    Adoration of cigarettes
    At every outdoor cafe
    It was clear
    We didn’t belong here
    Yet, into the country
    We flew
    And there, there
    Champagne, smiles
    Cobblestones, and pastures
    We found home

  74. Jane Shlensky

    When Visiting Hours Are Over

    Your cross-country runner
    is here again, following you
    home from your run to hang
    out and chill with the coach
    and his wife.

    He is hungry, having skipped
    breakfast and now angling
    for lunch and dinner,
    watching TV as I try
    to vacuum.

    It’s Saturday! Lighten up!
    he says as I sharpen the knives
    and scissors, sparks flying.
    He’s just a kid, you say.
    But you are not, I enunciate.

    He eats and snacks and naps
    on the couch, as you mow
    the lawn, and I garden and cook.
    After dinner, he ambles doorward, O
    hope, picking up the remote.

    Give him time, you say. Night falls, our
    silence suggesting a departure, elsewhere
    glowing like a lantern in my darkness,
    but he sits, a bored and boring
    young man, saying nothing.

    I advise you to help him leave,
    but you rise, say good night,
    and go to bed, leaving me there
    to say, That’s it, go home, and he
    saying OK and not moving.

    Poe thought a raven’s repetition soul-
    sucking, but perhaps he wondered too:
    How long does a visitor have to stay
    before he becomes a resident?
    Someone had to leave, so I did.

  75. Walt Wojtanik


    My mother was quite diplomatic
    the day that I posed this dilemma.
    “Ma, I spotted her when I came out of school
    and when she wagged her tail; I was smitten.
    She flashed big brown puppy dog eyes; by the bug was bitten.
    Her soft brown hair? I could stroke it for days”.
    But when I offered the query, Mom thought I was crazy.
    She looked at me wisely, said “Son, she’s a winner!
    But Jen’s mom just called to send Jen home for dinner”.

  76. Jane Shlensky

    Why has everything become bold? I don’t feel bold, but a little shy in TNR ;)


    That little girl keeps watch
    on me from her yard,
    or walking past my house
    on her way to nowhere.

    She wants to eavesdrop
    as I talk to you, asking
    for advice, commenting
    on how life’s working out,

    on aches and pains and
    trivial woes. She leans in
    and squints as I show you
    green dots of seedlings,

    and we argue about what
    it will be when it grows
    and proves itself, its foliage
    unfurling into identity.

    I stand drinking sun-warmed
    water, reporting the heat to you.
    You need no water now,
    but she won’t understand that.

    She’s on a mission of proof
    as well, hiding and seeking
    evidence that I am quite insane,
    at the very least, strange,

    talking and laughing aloud
    and alone, pointing out birds
    and collecting spring flowers
    to turn the outside in.

    Perhaps, she remembers loving
    imaginary friends, who clung
    to her like shadows’ second
    skin, and that confuses her.

    She fakes dog-walking and
    postman-waiting, sane excuses
    to wait outside, hover, and listen.
    I always smile and wave.

    She needn’t think one loss—
    or one old gardener—so scary.
    She may be old enough
    to fathom carrying spirits,

    wise enough to grasp
    that great loves take on
    many forms, each one
    as real as rain or morning glories,

    claiming us as they always did,
    climbing with kindly clinging tendrils
    to our lives to open to us anew
    each shining morning, a visitation.

  77. Michael Grove


    Please come out and wear your brightest colors.
    Leave the black behind if you would.
    Celebrate the life not the passing.
    This energy was for the greater good.

    If everyone could be just like a rainbow,
    and share fond memories of the gold,
    seeking comfort in the peace that is here now,
    find enjoyment in the stories that are told.

    Wear bright colors on this day of celebration.
    A soul of love is for eternity.
    If you cry, shed tears of joy, not of sadness.
    Flesh and blood are for the living. Let it be.

    By Michael Grove

  78. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Visitors Who Took Over

    Some house-guests (like these)
    are hard to get rid of.
    They move in, just for a few days
    which become a couple of weeks,
    and next thing you know….

    He was handsome
    and seemed such a charmer:
    always so friendly
    and so obliging.
    She —

    truth to tell, she was always
    more of a problem. So ill
    soon after she first arrived
    with that dreadful tick bite.
    Well, we’d hardly turn her away.

    And she grew on us.
    Tough little soul, but
    affectionate in her way
    underneath the loudly-voiced
    opinions and shameless greed.

    Yes, we got stuck with them.
    In the end, we didn’t
    have the heart. They were
    destitute; where could they go?
    They’ll be company, we told each other.

    We’ve seen the worst of them
    by now — like the raucous fights.
    Domestic violence in which
    she gives as good as she gets.
    Though it’s always him that attacks.

    Then it all calms down
    and they’re all over each other again.
    They keep us entertained
    with their antics, I will say that.
    And they in turn tolerate us.

    We’re getting on a bit now
    and they try to boss us around.
    But we couldn’t do without them, after
    twelve years, can you believe?
    When they came, they were just kittens.

  79. Walt Wojtanik


    Mae West was more than a life vest,
    but by way of her buxom chest she could arrest
    men’s wiles along with her wicked smile and suggestive plea,
    “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”

  80. Walt Wojtanik


    Sound asleep and I still heard you creep.
    Standing in the dark face-to-face with
    nary a space between our noses.
    I sensed your presence and I tensed
    under the quilted cover as you hovered
    and invaded my dreams. It seemed
    you had done that every night for a week.
    You used to sneak out of bed with tales
    of banshee type wails from your closet.
    But I would awake with a start and my heart
    would race when I viewed your face
    a mere inch away. A drink and a tuck
    and I snuck back to my slumber
    and sawed lumber until I heard you creep.

  81. Sara McNulty

    Note: Does anyone else have to log in each time? I am registered for quite a while now.
    April 2, 2012 – Write a Visitor poem

    The Uninvited

    Creeping into the background
    of a medical MRI, a vile
    villain of lumpy masses
    has taken up residence
    in a normal, naive body,
    unaware of the insidious
    speed of the vicious. Mocking
    life, octopus arms and legs
    extend, bloating stomach,
    pressing against heart
    and lungs, sentencing
    the body to death
    without parole.

  82. Maria Phoenix

    Everyone sobbed feeling robbed of a therapist
    They whispered fragile comforts into their Kleenex
    Her demise was a surprise, even to herself when she missed the last flight of stairs
    My turn to look into her gold gilded coffin
    Glimpsing my father disheveled in grief
    My trepidation increased
    But I could not expect what would happen next
    I peered in
    And couldn’t help but grin and stifle gushing laughter
    Let me explain
    Her dress was plain and gauzy, her face was delicately painted in pastels an image of grace engaged in powdery sleep
    But I knew if she saw herself she would shriek
    You see, she was a woman of glitz, gaudy grab, and gold
    Calling her Abuela made her feel old
    She was a counselor who gambled, drank heavily, and made you laugh easily
    I heard her scold me beyond this realm, “Darling, why would you let them do this to me? I would never leave the house like this! Where are my pearls? My emerald rings? Pastels are colors for babies!”
    My muffled giggles sounded like gasps of grief and I appeared appropriately responding to the open casket experience
    I kissed her frigid forehead and responded, “I am sorry. I had no idea.”
    I walked back to my seat and recalled the last thing she told me, “As a Puerto Rican you must never marry a Dominican or I will never forgive you!”
    This only made me laugh harder too.

  83. PSC in CT

    Your Place or Mine?

    I drop by daily (physically or
    metaphysically) soaking in spiritual
    (or maybe emotional) presence (here & now),
    this place and you (toad, turtle, lady slipper,
    chipmunk, cardinal, cattails, buttonbush,
    butterfly, fox, fawn, firefly, dragonfly,
    fringed polygala,…) who live your entire life
    (short though that may be — compared
    to only my time so far) in this locale;
    still, when we chance to meet, I reflect upon
    who is visiting whom(?) until I settle on this
    (erstwhile conclusion): we are (all of us)
    merely guests in this place
    for a tiny slice of time

  84. Melissa Hager

    The Visitor

    White pants?
    Best not.
    The visitor might come.

    Known as Aunt Mary,
    Sister Bled,
    my good friend,
    Or Riding Red.

    A visitor that shows up at the worst times
    -Or not at all-
    Which can be much worse.

    There are times you pray the visitor doesn’t come.
    Then her arrival

    O happy day when the visitor comes no more.
    Surgery can close that door and fasten it shut.
    Or hot sweats and wicked moods may
    scare her off for good.

    O, cursed Eve,
    What a foul guest you have wrought!

  85. Nancy J

    My Place

    I call it mine, this dot of land.
    My yard, My garden, My home.
    I prune and trim and rearrange
    trying to make it speak my name.
    But, the land is older than the house in
    its midst, older than its nameless hedge,
    older than the grass dotted with violets,
    and the blue spruce filled with birds.
    Still we keep at it, others before me and
    more when I’m gone, all striving for some sense
    of permanence. We may build and we may
    plant, but the truth remains, we are never
    more than visitors here.

  86. seingraham


    Think of me as your astrological twin
    When the rain pounds to come in
    Or thunder cries down the sky
    It will be me whispering to you
    There is nothing to fear, go out
    Shed your clothes, dance between
    The lightning bolts and rest beneath
    The weeping willow down near the fence
    Where the horses wait for you to ride
    Bareback across the black sands
    As the storming skies give up the night
    To a moon meant for riding with the wind

    I will be as welcome as any other lunatic
    You love and you know there are many
    So regarding me as blood will help you
    To think of me with kindness perhaps
    And in a less destructive manner than
    That with which you are accustomed …

    As fond as you are of detailing your pain
    Limning it large upon your person
    Writ calligraphic and bloody for all to see
    I come to help you find other ways to deal
    As risky, it may be true, but not as lethal
    Hear me call to you from the silence
    Of mute swans and dead babies
    I know you will be listening for me
    Answer with your whole being
    Should I deign to visit you again

    You know your world is predicated
    On the premise that I must, I will
    Ergo – so must you, you will
    Or tragic circumstances the like of which
    I know you can imagine will rain
    Down upon — not you —that would be
    Too easy, too kind— no, on those you love
    I know you well enough to realize
    You are not so far gone to find
    This an acceptable outcome
    Are you? Well, are you?


  87. mlcastejon

    Before heading off to bed, my poem.

    “another guest like me”

    I didn’t know
    there was a down
    even deeper
    where to fall.
    I didn’t know
    I could find a place
    there to room
    all my memories.

    Behind a door, wearing silent shoes
    You came along, not only to stay
    but to open all the windows.

  88. Kendall A. Bell


    It swims around in the acid of my gut,
    punching holes and biting the lining.
    It leaves me buckled and nauseated.

    It travels the length of my shoulders,
    sending its ache up my semi-arthritic neck
    and leaves me dizzy when I wake.

    It sends me into an afternoon fever,
    my hands dry and chilled, my face warm
    and flush with sickness.

    It laughs while I wait out its blood games,
    its dyskrasia firing into my brain,
    blasting scenarios that all end badly,
    contemplating an end I had not imagined.

  89. barbara_y

    You’ll just have to imagine your own formating for this

    19 Roswell 47 dot hello
    (“near hugh”)

    set his GPS,
    Galactic Sal, for home
    and headed to the galley for
    what we interpret as
    a snickerdoodle/cheeto/chocolate milk.
    That last exam had wiped his mind,
    and he felt indulgence calling like a bird.
    and he felt indulgence calling like a song.
    and he felt indulgence calling like a cookie in the night
    and he slept for a long time.
    Mexico shook him awake
    awakened him harshly
    crashed into him
    and (again) he slept.
    and (again) he slept for a long time
    and was (again) harshly awakened
    The waterboard he rather enjoyed
    and the music was just like home
    but one of the drugs gave him gas
    and he swelled up
    and he swelled up more
    and he swelled up like a balloon.
    When he farted
    the blast shook the bunker
    When he farted
    the force shot Hugh through the wall
    and well along the way to San Antonio
    When he farted
    Hugh was relieved and released, but
    the Air Force assumed the worst.
    They were under attack:
    Poison gas.
    And the base went on lockdown
    with Hugh
    headed east
    the first memeber
    of the weather balloon underground.

  90. AC Leming


    Five weeks living in a hotel room,
    training six days a week. The only
    upside is a bit of harmless flirtation
    I’ve started with a local chic. And I
    miss my wife. And I miss sex. And I
    don’t want to cheat again but I think
    I’m headed that way no matter what
    I tell myself. No matter how I lie.

  91. Ann M

    Wading in the Mangrove Swamp

    My bare feet sink into mud
    and I imagine snakes, worms,
    and pestilence swirling
    in the cold black water.
    I imagine becoming lost
    in a place where I don’t belong,
    where no one even knows I am.
    Then in the tangled branches
    above the giant termites’ nest
    the white egrets rustle
    and one lifts up.
    The bird flies by me
    so close, I breathe its breath,
    before it alights to the open beach,
    where the tide is coming in,
    where I will soon follow.

  92. SylviaE

    The New Wife

    Ah, so you’re on your way from Russia
    It’s not your fault
    But who would’ve thought we’d be waiting for a foreign wife for my ex
    Expected to entertain her, even
    Welcome her with wide open arms
    if you can believe it

    I don’t mean to be mean but we (my kids and me) don’t want you here
    Can’t get geared up to accept your arrival
    Can’t quite include you yet
    We wish you’d stay home

    but no one asked us what we wish for
    and that’s really the worst of it, isn’t it?

    What do you think?

  93. claudsy

    Final one for today. I have so many yet to read.

    Uninvited Guest

    I’ve not seen you
    Since I was young,
    Tender, vulnerable,
    Unaware of the world’s hazards.

    You insinuated
    Your selfish desires
    Under nubile skin, without
    Regard for consequences.

    Now you return.
    I cannot bear to touch you,
    Or to have you touch me.
    The look of you frightens me.

    Have you no one else to victimize?
    A wail of need rises in my throat,
    To escape as a siren does. “Tick! Tick!
    “Get it off. Get it off!”

  94. Sheryl

    Whoops. Creating a short poem as part of a to-do list means being too careless. Line number four of my poem should be FaceBook-to-FaceBook. I forgot the dashes.

  95. ellanytdavve

    Invited Guests

    I arrived at the restaurant,
    alone and without a plan
    for food, fun, festivity.
    My Sole guest, Rockefeller,
    oysters that is,
    served up to savor my appetite
    for rich company
    and fishy friends.
    Delightful guests until
    conversation turned to

  96. Mary Mansfield

    A Woman Apart

    I’m merely a visitor
    In an unfamiliar landscape,
    Wandering through the world
    I was meant to inhabit,
    But not knowing if I’m just
    A half-step removed in time
    Or if the ground beneath my feet
    Shifted while I paid no attention.

  97. randalljweiss

    Today’s prompt reminded me of a road trip I took last summer. Here’s what I came up with.

    “Adobe Café”

    We hit Taos in early afternoon, desperate
    for coffee and wifi. The winding highway
    leads directly into the central business district,
    lined with adobe structures that I feel
    are built for us, not the locals. We choose
    a café abutting two gift shops that sell
    turquoise trinkets and “Native American” art
    and map our route to Santa Fe, along
    the high road. Only the barista is
    unadorned with a camera. We load film, leaving
    behind three empty mugs and a little cash.


  98. Aylat

    When It Counts

    Bathtime chaos
    Muddy floor
    Stomach growling
    Knock at door

    Helpless neighbour
    Unwell child
    I hesitate
    Greeting mild

    Pasted smile
    Protesting heart
    She’s unaware
    I act a part

    Offer food
    Provide a drink
    Wise advice
    I hope she thinks

    Sits on sofa
    Calmer seems
    My heart expands
    But kids still scream

    Bedtime ends
    The quiet comes
    My soul has stretched
    Matured and won.

  99. Aylat

    Second Separation

    They built the house together
    setting up rooms full of beds
    for their blended family to visit
    finally choosing their dream sofa
    for their guests to sit on.

    Now he’s moved to the upstairs spare room
    and they live side by side
    cook consecutively in the kitchen
    politely pass in the hall
    visitors in their sold home.

  100. posmic

    Every Night, We Watch the Skies

    The visitors ate all our Jell-o.
    The visitors used all our spoons.
    They ignored our shoes-off rule,
    smudged our antimacassars,
    lit cigars and used our ashtrays,
    which are really just for show.

    The visitors broke everything.
    The visitors said they’d send
    a check. Every night, we
    watch the skies. But
    I don’t think the visitors
    are ever coming back.

    The visitors have no checkbooks.
    The visitors have no banks.

    We patch our broken things;
    we say, That’s the cost
    of having company sometimes.
    It was worth it, we think.
    Some things just are.

  101. Mark Windham

    Visiting Grandfather

    No one liked to go,
    but everyone wanted to,
    it was not right to leave
    him there alone.
    They would all huddle
    around him in the
    common room,
    telling him how good
    he looked, asking how
    he felt.
    He smiled a lot and
    cut up with the kids,
    never calling anyone
    by name.
    Before long he would
    doze off as everyone
    went back to talking
    among and about
    the nurse would wheel
    him to his room as they
    headed for the parking lot.
    Grandmother stayed stoic,
    said he seemed happy to
    mumbled agreements
    all around. They would
    all be back after Church
    next Sunday, no one
    liked to go, but it was
    not right to leave him
    there alone.

  102. LCaramanna

    Visiting Sunday Afternoon

    Sub sandwiches
    Tossed salad, too
    Bunny-shaped cookies
    Baked especially for you
    Time slipping away in
    A card game of laughter
    Gathering around the table
    Imagine if … we could live happily ever after
    Each Sunday afternoon sharing
    Precious moments of pure pleasure
    The sparkle in your eyes
    Igniting memories to treasure.

    When you come again to visit
    The sandwiches won’t have tomato,
    No green lettuce, nor black olives,
    And I’ll even hold the mayo.
    If you’ll come again to visit
    My heart will surely sing
    For there is no love to match
    The love grandchildren bring.

  103. Janet Rice Carnahan


    A random draw of rooms,
    Gave her the very best choice,
    At the end of the hall,
    Large circular space,
    With a view of Paris,
    Splendid with the lights,
    And marvelous sights,
    Antique furniture,
    Spectacular spot to write,
    To think and to be alone!

    She simply could not have chosen,
    Any better!
    No roommate either,
    The other 20 students,
    Were jealous, envious,
    Couldn’t quite believe that she,
    Was randomly chosen for such a pick!

    Surprised herself,
    She settled in,
    Began arranging all her things,
    While walking back and forth,
    By the windows,
    Absorbing the look and feel,
    Of the city below!

    Then the feeling came!
    Subtle, at first, then stronger,
    Until it was unmistakable!
    It was a feeling of dread,
    Of concern,
    Bordering on fear!
    Finally she knew,
    Get out of the room.
    Don’t stay in here,
    This isn’t for you.
    She glanced at the view again,
    The unique couches and paintings,
    Still, the feeling came.

    Taking action,
    She walked back into the hall,
    Getting the attention of the organizer,
    “I need a different room,
    It doesn’t feel right in there.
    Is there someone who would like this room instead?
    I’ll trade with someone.”

    Several girls came out to say they would take it,
    In a heartbeat!
    One girl grabbed it,
    The two traded rooms and roommates.
    The new room was stuck in the middle of the hallway,
    With a girl who had not really been to her liking,
    Yet, in the room, she felt safer already.
    The feeling left.
    She slept peacefully.

    In the morning,
    As the head count completed,
    The girl who ended up with the room,
    Was nowhere to be seen!
    When they knocked on her door,
    She was in there,
    Sitting up still,
    In fright,
    Not moving.

    In the evening,
    A tall dark man,
    Whose face she couldn’t see,
    Had walked in unannounced!
    The unwanted visitor,
    Sat on her bed for a long time,
    Until she was immobile,
    Then he robbed her,
    Of everything,
    Scaring her for the rest of the night!

    As they led her away for counseling,
    Sudden awareness came,
    Anytime there is such a feeling,
    Despite how beautiful everything else seems,
    It is best to trust that maybe,
    There is much more to the story,
    Then we can actually see . . .

    With our own eyes!

  104. Monik

    2 little visitors passing in the hall
    Wanting me to pet them, wanting me to roar
    As if I was a part of their charm
    So much cuteness, ring the alarm

  105. Nickie

    I’m not lonely at all
    I have plenty of guests.
    They come by like clockwork
    To visit my nest.

    Leonard’s a gas
    And Sheldon’s a bang.
    And though I’ve not met their mother,
    I hang out with Ted’s gang.
    (though Barney often runs off to smoke with Kumar)

    Dexter’s dark shadow
    may stop by for a bit.
    While Chuck and Blair
    bring the gossip and dish.
    (don’t know why Kristen Bell never shows her face)

    Though they say he’s a mad man,
    I have drinks with Don Draper.
    Or I’ll join Walter White
    On a chemistry caper.
    (nothing bad – we just cook together)

    When there’s a mystery to solve,
    I summon Patrick Jane.
    And I call on Dr. House
    when I’m sick or in pain
    (Meredith and McDreamy are much too mcdrama)

    I like Alicia and Kalinda
    Cause they’re legally bright.
    Even Damon and Stefan
    I invite in for a bite.
    (they’re too polite to enter unasked)

    Phil Dunphy’s like family.
    Snooki’s just wild.
    Santana and Rachel
    sing with glee, dance with style.
    (just wish they would leave their slushies behind)

    I have pals at the office
    like Dwight and Jim.
    Sometimes Liz Lemon
    comes rocking in.
    (she’s a dead ringer for that Sarah Palin)

    And soon there will be
    new friends to get to know
    because I’ve just subscribed
    to HBO.

  106. Marianv

    The Boulevard of Broken Years

    Rocks were scattered over the road
    that led to our visit of an ancient
    site –the once grand emporium.
    Memories reverberated from the
    dust and heat of the journey. We
    came upon the rusted remains of
    the hidden courtyard where large
    Pepper trees still shaded the place
    Where monks in saffron robes
    fed rice for the fierce crows that
    Circled the buildings at sunset.
    A few trees had reached dizzying
    heights and a Paradise vine sent out
    small green tendrils that almost hid
    the old bark. We couldn’t help but
    flinch when some of the crows flew
    too close – we had nothing to feed
    them. Were they still awaiting the
    Monks return? Dark clouds overt
    the mountains threatened squalls.
    None of the remaining buildings
    had roofs, so we hurried onward
    to the village where we could
    shelter until tomorrow.

  107. CMcGowan

    The sign says “no”

    In a round about way.

    It says, “We found Jesus!”

    “We love our vacuum…”

    “We gave at the office and

    my kid is selling the same crap as yours.”

    Go Away!

    But, they don’t. Go. Away.

    They ring the dreaded bell

    hoping today they’ll sway

    my opinion of what they have to sell

    hoping to propel me from my plate

    of dinner with wine and steak.

    Don’t they know Tennessee is

    a right to shoot state?

  108. PassionateQuill

    Open Invitation

    Its arms outstretched the young tree beckoned,
    to the wayward bird, to the lonely bee.
    I’ve shelter here, a home for you,
    and soon nectar, fruit, and seeds.

    Come and live within my branches,
    fill my trunk, as I grow new leaves.
    For autumn left me naked,
    and winter brought a bitter freeze.

    I cry with each spring shower,
    for an end to this barren strife.
    Please come within these arms of mine,
    and bring your warmth and life.

  109. ina

    a quickie – i’ll try to write something real later today (child’s birthday – he’s out of the strained peas phase – hooray!)


    My dear, welcome to Planet Mom.
    No, we didn’t set off a big bomb.
    As we ate our strained peas
    We teased our Pekinese.
    Now we’re covered with less than aplomb.

  110. De Jackson

    Celestial Caller

    This piece of sky is mine
    all indigo haze
    and cotton candy fluff
    and silver lining
    and jet stream hope.

    This sliver of sun can’t shine
    unless I polish it daily
    stoke its flames
    warm my hands
    in its grateful glow.

    This morsel of moon is fine
    for one shadowed flashlit soul
    but her lips
    eclipsed by two would
    leave her half, not whole.

    This piece of sky is mine.
    You should try that one
    over there,
    see it, between cyan and cobalt,
    that robin’s egg square?

    This piece of sky is mine
    but maybe it could be ours;
    to be fair, I might share
            …you bring the stars.

  111. Tracy Davidson


    We bought a house
    with a cat-flap
    though we didn’t
    have a cat.

    Our first night
    a fluffy ginger tom
    paid us
    an unexpected visit.

    And never left.

    Three years on
    he still owns us.

  112. Golden Rule

    Unexpected but right on time

    “God if you exist, reveal yourself to me so that I know that you are real?”
    I would often pray this prayer
    but the more I pray
    it seems that I am speaking to air.
    When I speak a loud silence is all I hear.
    One day God did appear unexpectantly.
    I was driving down the street and a car came traveling the wrong direction
    heading directly towards me.
    Just before the moment of impact God appeared to me unexpectanctly.
    And, Behold there was a flash of light that blinded me
    like Paul on that Damascus Road.
    There I was in the presence of Golry
    being saved from what would have been a horror story
    because I have yet to accept Him.
    Now I know the Truth and His grace I accept it
    when for a while he sent the invitation but I chose to reject it.
    i have been adopted, which means I’m accepted
    by Him who is able to keep us safe from all harm
    Although, He came unexpected I embraced him with open arms.

  113. MiskMask

    Dream Traveller

    She comes when your eyes
    draw closed with the curtains each night,
    just as your day escapes
    behind deep shades of sleep.
    She sets your dreams alight
    with oddities and cruelties,
    spine-tingling fear
    or hilarity that wakes you
    with a smile, and all the while
    in the back of your mind you can’t
    recall what she said. Was it
    a whisper, a grin, a kiss,
    or a caress, now gone
    when you opened your eyes.
    She’ll be back; you can ask her again.
    She’s the visitor who travels your dreams.

  114. claudsy

    So many to read and so little time. Have to wait until later for comments. Here’s my little attempt for now.

    Simply Natural

    Nature surges behind
    Walls assigned to ads,
    A silent lure to the viewer,
    Without words, without money,
    Always available to see,
    To experience, to awaken
    Dulled senses to the world.

  115. Walt Wojtanik

    X <—————- YOU ARE HERE

    One of the Lost Planet Airmen
    kicking Commander Cody in the ass
    and blasting off to far off lands.
    It demands a clear mind and
    the will to explore, and what's more
    a keen sense of direction.
    Charts and maps are meant for saps
    (and husband with no need to know
    where they go!) One thing bears to remain
    in your mind's eye, for no matter how hard
    you try, you can't get there from here.
    Never lost, just soaking up local color.
    A nice place to live
    (but I wouldn't want to visit there!)

  116. Joseph Harker

    I don’t know if I’m the only one seeing the last ten posts in bold or not… oh well. I won’t try to mess with the HTML for this, just imagine that each non-capitalized line is indented by a couple spaces.


    Drinking alone, at the other end of the bar.
    Knotting a flower garland out of smoke-ringed glances
    and sailing them along.
    Speaking broken English, searching for a place to land.
    Picking up his backpack and following
    into the warm Philadelphian night, spread out
    delicately over the city, a bathwater kind of night.
    Telling the story of his life, like a Shaharazad with
    two-days beard and weathered skin.
    Washing his sculptural hands.
    Undressing with the reverence of a psalm,
    making art out of draped flannel and denim seams.
    Doubling the butterfly with his knees, shifting in
    many directions at once.
    Lighting a cigarette, flicking ash onto a chest
    wet with sweat, stinking of roses gone to compost.
    Losing himself in the streetlamp’s glow by the window.
    Missing the petaled white heat of Buenos Aires.
    Putting everything back into place
    and walking down to the street, leaving a name,
    a kiss, and an epilogue in his wake.
    Diminishing in the middle distance, ripe with quiet dark;

  117. Chris

    The visitor may come in today
    Tomorrow or the next day
    She arrives with plenty of warnings
    But she always manages
    To surprise my husband
    He welcomes her arrival
    But dislikes her announcements
    And pronouncements
    She is loud and emotional
    Contentious and unpredictable
    Yet she is predictable
    Because she comes in
    Every month
    On the same day of the week
    She is like clockwork
    And is dominated by the Moon
    The great Mover of cycles
    The Manifestation
    Of the Feminine self
    She arrives

  118. Mystical-Poet

    Visitor to a street with no sign

    here comes magic
    riding meter
    nothing’s sweeter
    take a rest
    time to make

    iamb paradox

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  119. Domino

    I guess I just have doggerel today. Here is another!

    Surprised to See Me?

    Come in, come in,
    please be at ease,
    please let me get you
    wine and cheese.

    I know, I know,
    my home’s a mess
    but I don’t care,
    don’t like to stress.

    I know that you
    came to see us,
    not our unsightly

    Don’t waste a thought
    just be at ease.
    Don’t look around,
    here, have more cheese.

    Diana Terrill Clark

      1. Domino

        The cats took care of the mice. (Though disposal was truly icky.) And as for visitors, everyone is welcome, they just have to take their chances with the state of the house. ^_^

  120. Domino


    I know you’re there.
    The cats are aware,
    they’ve found your lair,
    they watch and glare.

    It may not be fair,
    don’t mean to scare,
    but you haven’t a prayer,

    Diana Terrill Clark

  121. Jane Shlensky


    She keeps muffins on hand
    and coffee brewed,
    sweet tea and lemonade
    chilled to quench a thirst.

    Each morning she dusts
    tables, quickly mops
    the floors and spreads
    her magazines invitingly

    just as she did for all
    those years in her office.
    But now she is retired
    and lonely, unsure of

    how each day will flow,
    how she will know who
    she is in this new emptiness.
    She rises early, showers,

    and fixes her face and hair—
    a force of habit, for she has
    not reached the sweat pant
    phase of her retirement.

    Her mirrored smiles practice
    back to her as she rehearses
    reception faces—anticipation,
    surprise, eagerness, welcome,

    while feeling anxiety, her new
    self all about discovering delight,
    learning to use life well, for
    she is retired at last, available,
    awash in time
    and waiting
    for visitors.

  122. viv

    Unwanted Guest

    He arrives uninvited,
    stays for far too long,
    threatens every respite
    with the worst of wrong,
    torments then withdraws,
    tantalises with false hope,
    returns re-inforced,
    ever-present in the shadows
    just waiting to enforce dominion.
    Blatant power triumphs
    and only then departs,
    leaving reluctant hosts bereft.

  123. JanetRuth

    Revisiting the Past

    He loved pansies
    So she plants them
    Over his heart
    Every spring
    No one sees her
    Kneeling there
    Life’s brief dance
    With him

    Grief never tires
    Yet, it is not
    Love’s revenge
    But its bittersweet harvest
    Pansies flourish
    ‘neath the tears
    Of heaven
    And one lone

  124. DanielAri

    by FangO

    and Alice’s daughter’s outspoken radical lesbian friend
    storms in ranting about her incontestable right to govern
    her own reproductive system even if she chooses never
    to reproduce. This warrior painted in jagged swatches
    is the same slightly bedraggled little girl who would come
    on Wednesdays to play while her mama worked the long
    shift. On a line back through her political punctuations
    and anti-patriarchal proclamations (amen to them) is the
    girl on Alice’s doorstep verging on tears while her mother
    drove away calling back “I’ll pick you up at five.” She flat
    refused to come inside, shook “no” with her whole body,
    while tears and snot pooled and trailed her plump face;
    and over my breakfast I babysat through the window,
    just watching so she wouldn’t run off or get snatched.
    I’m told she would heel-toe inside after I’d gone to work.
    That happened more than once. Now I can sense in her,
    whatever else is going on in her teenage life—and there’s
    a lot—that she’s got some trust for The Fang who never
    pressed her or tried to child-psychology her, but kept
    a weather-eye out while she weathered her own storms
    outside on Alice’s doorstep, most Wednesday mornings.

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh, Daniel … This touches deep inside and breaks my heart for this “slightly bedraggled little girl who would come on Wednesdays to play while her mama worked the long shift. ” And the gentleman with a big heart who “babysat through the window” is obviously all the man his words speak today.

      1. Marie Elena

        … and “She flat refused to come inside, shook “no” with her whole body,
        while tears and snot pooled and trailed her plump face…” I’m finding I can’t speak this out loud without my throat closing from emotion.

        Yes, you’ve touched me deeply with this piece.

  125. Shannon Lockard


    Woof! Woof!
    the dogs announce
    a visitor
    pulling into the drive
    if only there was a place
    for all these dirty dishes to hide…


    Puberty crept up, an
    unwelcome visitor
    banishing my friendly girl
    eradicating sensible
    Teen angst just a few
    years away
    perched on sharpened talons
    underneath sweet smiles
    begging to be unleashed.
    Every now and then
    returning to that little girl
    twinkling in her eyes.
    Years of joy and turmoil
    playing with her emotions
    until she
    breaks down and cries
    exhausted from
    trying to understand why
    youth tries to hide.

    1. lady maggie

      I liked reading these back to back, or side by side as it were. With wanting to hide the dirty dishes, then youth trying to hide. Whether or not a mirror was intended, the visitor in one seems to revisit in the other. Thanks.

  126. zevd2001

    Dusting the Venetian Blinds, outside
    a quiet morning . . . Come mid afternoon
    the windows will be closed, sound proofing my ears
    from the din of the roadway. A cup of coffee

    a good idea. Someone at the door,
    “What brings you here,” I say. From far away
    where we were once. Long walks in the forest,
    that picnic when all the gang gathered. Suddenly

    as if out of nowhere, a guitar. She sang,
    we sang. Eventually
    the counselor got up to tell us that the bus
    was waiting for us. We laughed, “Would you like something
    to drink, a biscuit perhaps. I baked some today. Coffee
    or tea, I have that Chamomile you sent me,
    would you like that,” We sit across from each other . . .

    she has regards from my mother. She’s doing well
    where she resides, alongside my father. It’s pleasant
    there. The grandchildren come by, still as young
    as they were before the accident. They’re all healed,
    she says. “You must tell me
    how your husband is doing, such a dear man.”

    She sees him in her dreams, she says some day
    he’ll get over it. He’ll find someone else,
    someone who will make him happy. “I was with
    him on the way home, to look over
    the papers. They’re all in order.” She says

    he was such a dear, and such a stickler for details,
    didn’t miss anything. “It must be tiring, traveling
    all that far just to visit me.” She says it was a pleasure,

    excuses herself. She has to get back to her parents. Leaving
    she gives regards to everyone in the neighborhood. “It was so nice
    to see you once again.” . . .
    Her tea cold, the biscuit untouched, I recall that
    she was at my birthday party a month ago. Last week
    they took her to the hospital. They said

    it was something terminal. She never told us anything
    about it. I smiled,
    “There are times when you are blessed
    and you never realize it.”

    Zev Davis

  127. competitivewriter

    Night-time Visitors

    I don’t know when you came here
    But you left evidence of your stay
    The glass of milk is empty
    And no cookies are on the tray

    I don’t know when you came here
    But I see what you have done
    Under my pillow’s a silver dollar
    And the tooth I lost is gone

    I don’t know when you came here
    But I’m picking up the clues
    Scattered throughout my house
    Eggs of sunrise colored hues

  128. Michele Brenton

    The visitor.

    I was sitting cross legged in my armchair, marking.
    I nodded as my lodger introduced us
    but didn’t say anything;
    I was on a roll – ploughing through Maths homeworks
    at a fair old pace with the finishing line in clear sight.

    If anyone had asked me when he’d gone what the visitor looked like
    I wouldn’t have been able to tell them much:
    beardy, leather jacket, brown hair,
    that would have been about it. He wasn’t there to meet me
    he was my lodger’s visitor – not my business at all.

    He sat quietly on the couch waiting for my lodger
    so they could go out somewhere.
    I continued marking, as comfortable in his presence
    as I am twenty two years later.

  129. Buddah Moskowitz

    Two Visits

    Sometimes the visitor
    is welcome.

    When my beloved
    little 96 year-old
    grandmother from Mexico
    was lying in the hospital bed
    for a month,
    dying from mostly old age,
    each day took a little bit more
    of my father’s heart,
    as he made
    the 80 mile round trip
    until she finally
    stopped fighting
    and let the visitor in
    that Saturday morning.

    By that time,
    the visitor was welcome.

    Two days later
    after Pop mowed the lawn,
    complained of a sore shoulder
    (which my mother rubbed
    with Icy Hot),
    and ate a microwave
    corn dog,

    he laid on the floor,
    and as he watched
    the 4 o’clock news,
    the visitor quietly came again
    and took him too.

    Two visits
    in sixty hours.

    This time the visitor
    wasn’t welcome.

  130. Bryan

    A fairer sight in the dead of night to crush the hearts of men.
    Close your eyes and hold your breath to live that lie again.
    There is no shame, this isn’t a game, so how do you expect to win?
    All the cards on the table and hearts on sleeves forever.
    Jaws locked hard with sable parts that sway and leave us never.
    True love can’t fail, your heart exhales, these ties will not sever.

  131. Angel Villagomez


    Immaculate streets become battlefields
    as patriots fight–stand their ground against
    black-clad invaders armed with sweet arsenal
    and white earbuds. The chaos ensues–shortcuts
    across trimmed lawns, jaywalking silent streets,
    humming to music downloaded for free.
    No bleach can wash away the stains they leave
    on virgin property fairly bequeathed
    by the old natives. Canaanites cannot
    reclaim what God has gave. To coexist
    is cowardice. One must either flee night
    approaching like mice in race with black cats
    or fight to live in property free
    of devaluing blemishes. The jackals
    can go with Christ in peace back to the slums
    or they can stay in coffins underneath.

  132. JanetRuth

    Invisible Visitor

    No sound of footsteps on the floor
    No tender arm around me
    No slightest creaking of a door
    How is it that you found me?

    My eyes are open wide as day
    I know I am not dreaming
    I cannot turn my face away
    The silent air is teaming…….

    …..with images and memories
    and whispers soft and flowing
    How is it that you come to me
    Within the twilight’s glowing?

    And how, with door and shutter drawn
    With locks all firmly bolted
    How is it that I look upon
    you now with longing jolted?

    Too long, too long I’ve missed you so
    I draw your arms around me
    Tell me dear, I need to know
    How is it that you found me?

  133. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Just Out of Reach

    I am part of the family
    loved and treasured,
    so I’m told.

    Yet the good silverware
    and delicate china plates
    taunt me through the glass
    waiting until a guest arrives
    to dance upon the table.

    I must not unwrap
    the tiny rose soaps
    displayed in a silver bowl
    their calming fragrance
    enticing me.

    I long to be the visitor
    who has permission
    to touch the towels
    embroidered with birds
    folded and stacked
    just so.

    But I am only family
    and the everyday
    must be good enough
    for me.

  134. J.lynn Sheridan

    “The Visitor”

    He feeds his Pug marshmallows
    like he still feeds himself Marlborough
    butts and stares at the splintered face
    under the fogged glass. Anyone can see

    the scowl, it’s a long ache, the kind that
    worries family in that he’s so thin, she comes
    to freshen his soft prism of memory
    with sunshine and ointment, kisses

    the familiar photo, patting his back, counting
    the aging ribs, the hollow spaces in his
    gums, she hikes up his socks and trousers,
    clips his whiskers, and reminds him she’ll

    be back tomorrow for another visit.

  135. dextrousdigits

    At 15,
    brownish stains appeared on my underpants.
    I was ashamed
    thinking it was kind of bowel leakage.
    I tiptoed out of the house,
    put the soiled garment in the garbage can.

    It happened two more times that day.
    “what is wrong with me, am I going to die?”

    That night my mother
    brought the underpants in my room.
    She said, “Did you throw these away?”
    With a flood of water from my eyes,
    “I don’t know what is wrong with me will I die?”

    “It’s the time of month you bleed,
    it means you are becoming a woman
    your period is a visitor that reminds you
    inside of you is the potential to create life
    to nurture it and grow life until it becomes a baby”

    I too have stained sheets of paper
    ashamed, embarrassed tossed them into the garbage.
    But stains remain the visitor.

  136. De Jackson


    Where are you from?

            How to answer this,
    since she is born one place, living another
    (with two handfuls in between)
    versus soul longing for a shore
            she is not from, but
    Between here and there
    beyond her frail flesh, bone
    behind this desert backdrop
    within this earth-toned zone
    without sea, she can only be lead
    by fingers scanning Braille sand grains
    for answers,
    underneath it all, still mostly feeling
    like a visitor
    in her own skin.

    1. Brian Slusher

      I like the line “fingers scanning Braille sand grains.” I think many of us feel like “a visitor / in her own skin”–especially poets. Thanks for sharing your work!

  137. black_mamba

    What is this life i’m picturing

    What is this life i’m living

    Seems like everyday i’m getting into this

    They are feeding into this black stereotype

    Like we, walk around wearing baggy clothes

    Throwing up gang signs

    Sporting our afros or cornrows

    You think we survive by our technines

    Hide behind our small minds

    Raise crack babies

    You people voted for george bush and you think we crazy?

    What has he done for us lately

    Besides tell lies

    And shake hands with public enemy number one

    He has our troops fighting a war that doesn’t exist

    Winning a war that can’t be won

  138. Dan Collins

    Willy finally listens

    It must be the cat that keeps dragging it in
    – what I buried with a fork is now exhumed sin.
    I’m afraid to admit: I know this nibbled ear,
    and the reason Cousin Willy didn’t visit last year.

    1. Dan Collins


      It must be the cat that keeps dragging it in
      – what I buried with a fork is now exhumed sin.
      I’m afraid to admit: I know this nibbled ear,
      and the reason Cousin Willy won’t visit next year

  139. Veritas831

    Off the Hook
    by: Michaela Vanden Bosch

    “Hurry and clean up”
    This phrase is endlessly repeating
    I’m working my hardest
    To go as slow as I can
    Without letting her know

    “Vacuum up all that cat hair”
    I hate to vacuum
    Especially when it is all
    Because my younger sister
    Let the outdoor cats come in

    “I hear their car pulling up”
    Throwing all the last minute
    Items into a closet
    Filling up baskets
    Hiding them away

    “Hello. How are you.
    It’s so good to see you again.”
    “Your house, it’s so clean
    Mine is such a mess
    Your kids must be angelic.”

    We’re smiling and nodding
    Hidden smiles and smirks
    Mother reproaching
    Us with just a look
    “You’re not off the hook”

  140. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    The Curse

    Grandma talked about The Curse
    but I never saw it… period.
    I even looked inside my purse.
    Grandma talked about The Curse
    an evil spell on the universe,
    aimed at girls, she said, quite serious.
    Grandma talked about The Curse
    but I never saw it… period.

    1. PKP

      I thought of this….had a friend… no not “that” “friend” who so named this …. but OH MY Jacqueline…I am smiling from ear to ear… Terrific job! KUDOS to you on behalf of all the “uncursed” !!! :)

  141. Beth Rodgers

    It seems a riddle
    To question the motivation
    Of an unwelcome guest.

    Does the person perceive themselves as powerful enough
    Important enough
    Engaging enough
    To intrude on the lives
    Of those who are already
    With the lives they lead
    The days they have spent
    Without the input of this passing person.

    It is a struggle
    To maintain a sense of decorum
    When one would rather be shrewd about
    Disengaging from the person
    Who seems to be the catalyst for
    Unwelcome tension
    Unwanted devastation
    To a life that had already
    To maintain order.

  142. PKP

    VISIT? – OR?

    I can come for a visit
    Someone here will fold
    the walker into the car
    you send for me
    I will be presentable
    they have someone who
    styles hair here now
    not like last time
    perhaps at ninety three
    hair should not fall free
    on shoulders as you said
    I can come for a visit
    and sit in that chair
    you have for me by
    the window – I won’t
    comment on the crinkle
    of the plastic I feel under
    the pretty paisley throw
    I can come for a visit
    and see your new Prada
    admire its sheen
    and smile when you and yours
    laugh those laughs they
    must have given out when
    you came into your own
    I can come for a visit
    I can come
    and cut carrots
    for the holiday dinner
    even from a chair
    my fingers tremble
    but my heart is strong
    I can come for a visit
    Or I can return to my home
    by the lake with the sagging
    porch that you say is being fixed
    while I visit in that place perfumed with
    faint urine for another year
    I can visit
    I can return to the home that is no more
    Stand on the shore of the lake that shines
    With a reflection of all that was before and
    Just after you
    I can
    Or ….
    I can stay
    With you – it shouldn’t be for too long
    I have some stories left unspoken
    Yet, my voice too sudden-soft to speak
    I write instead …
    “Dear Child, – Thank you, for the kind invitation
    to visit but I must..

      1. Marcia Gaye

        Please write another one where she does visit and the kids love her and they have a marvelous time while she tells her stories and they look at photos. Then she can pass peacefully fullfilled and they will have someone to mourn.

  143. laurie kolp

    Don’t Come Looking for Respect

    Rhetorical is the question, may you
    Enter, why of course. Not. You’re
    Standing at the front door like a
    Pompous ass- has it been that long?
    Even the neighbor’s dogs remember how
    Callous you are. What? No respect?
    Truth is, you’ll never earn it from me.

  144. kenia_cris

    Here’s my attempt:

    First thing every morning

    The thought of you
    that visits me before
    the birds,

    I cross the house
    with my eyes closed
    hoping it endures.

    Hoping to find
    the concrete you
    hiding somewhere

    I haven’t searched before.
    The concrete you somewhere
    outside me.

    1. Linda Voit

      This was very powerful for me. I’ve experienced this and forgotten until your poem reminded me of that deliberate act of keeping my eyes closed upon waking, hoping against all reason. Lovely!

  145. Sally Jadlow

    The Visitor

    I shift on my bed of pain.
    I hear the click-clack
    of her heels in the hall.
    My heart sinks
    as I whisper,
    “She’s here again.”

    I feign sleep.
    Disregarding my slumber
    she begins her dump
    of cheery clichés,
    constant chatter,
    and tooth-grinding twitter.

    Will she never stop?
    I moan.

    She responds,
    “Oh my poor dear,
    I must be on my way.”

    I breathe deeply
    as the click-clack
    heads toward the elevator.

  146. ceeess

    Hmmm. I seem to write about this guy an awful lot…

    Night Visits

    He comes on velvet-padded feet,
    an unseen shadow disturbing dreams.
    Whiskers on my nose announce arrival
    or cold wet nose-touch to unsuspecting lips.

    Some nights it is my back he favours,
    a paw poking into the small indents,
    he scrapes away at sheets and duvet,
    looking for a way in to warmth.

    Nothing deters this small friend.
    Heseeks sanctuary from his own
    dark dream of prisoner
    within this house.

    What he wishes for is freedom, air
    and a single fresh-caught mouse.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 2, 2012

  147. Nancy Posey


    After counting weeks (six) then days
    (forty-two, then twenty, then seven. . .)
    I go back home, feeling like a visitor
    not even a guest, maybe an interloper
    in the lives that went on without me.

    Turning into the neighborhood,
    onto our street, into our drive,
    riding in the passenger seat, I watch
    for old familiar sights as if returning
    from war. Battle weary, maybe I am.

    They hang back as I use my key,
    feeling freedom, to let myself back in,
    and my hands reach, like the hands
    of the blind, to touch the walls, tables,
    finding comfort in familiar objects.

    Perhaps in a few days I’ll be home,
    no longer an awkward guest
    in my own house, not fearing
    the dogs’ suspicious sniffing, snubbing
    me for my long absence. For now,
    I’ll check to see that nothing’s changed,
    no one’s moved my clothes
    to another closet, no stranger
    has stolen my life, pushing me aside.

  148. DandPInc

    The joys of being an aunt
    and not a par-ant
    are many and clear.

    Aunts love when you visit,
    the house filled with activity
    and a cacophony of sounds

    And aunts love when you leave
    As the city returns
    to its natural “silence.”

  149. De Jackson


    sip perfect lattes in their favorite café
    spend a small fortune on used books
    listen to the breeze, the wistful waves
    get to know the flora, the fauna
                     each other
    etch footprints on the sand, hold hands
    wander the cobbled streets in wonder
    discover a murmuring fountain at center
    throw two coins into its mirrored surface

                                         wish to stay.

  150. Margot Suydam

    I visit

    a recorder
    wood in
    and out
    and romp
    like pie
    criss cross
    and now
    I wonder

  151. Dare


    Unwilling hands grasp dew-damp fronds
    Bent knees challenge hunched back for relief
    White shirt unwillingly sacrificed,
    a canvas for green fingerpaint
    Weary sighs ask, “How long will you stay?”

    1. Dare


      Unwilling hands grasp dew-damp fronds
      Bent knees challenge hunched back for relief
      White shirt, unintended canvas for green fingerpaint
      Weary sighs ask, “How long will you stay?”

      1. Imaginalchemy

        Very nice, Dare. It made me smile. Reminds me of similar child-sitting experiences I’ve had. (lesson learned…no more white shirts when kids come over :) )

  152. Imaginalchemy

    “Just Passing Through”

    What a lovely front door you have!
    Hello, I was just passin’ through.
    I know you’re busy, I won’t keep you long,
    At most, just an hour or two.
    Thought we could catch up, I brought some cake.
    Maybe you could set a pot of coffee to brew.
    I’m sure you have stories (your life’s so exciting!)
    We have so much catching up to do.
    No, no, don’t worry, no need to clean up,
    I don’t mind a dust bunny or two.
    As a matter of fact, I could help you around here,
    I’ll shine your floors until they look brand new.
    Oh, and I noticed your garden’s looking untended.
    I love planting flowers, I’ll do it with you.
    Do you have a list of things you need fixed around here?
    I could stay longer, maybe a day or two.
    Oh, I heard there’s a festival in town this week!
    The weather should be lovely, the sky a clear blue.
    We could see a new attraction every day,
    Let’s make the most of a week or two.
    Really, I don’t mind. I don’t need much.
    I can sleep on your couch, even the floor will do.
    I brought a change of clothes and my toothbrush,
    And I can cook dinner every night for you!
    Now, don’t look so startled. I’m really quite good.
    I make one delicious Hungarian stew.
    You look so skinny, you clearly don’t eat well.
    I can have you looking healthy in a month or two.
    Why are you guiding me towards the door?
    I can get my bags from the car later, I have very few.
    Just have some of my cake, you’ll change your mind.
    You’ll love having me around for a year or two.
    You’re such a lovely person, your heart is so true.
    I won’t be a bother, I’ll be quiet and clean.
    Just please! Let me stay with you!

    Drat. Oh well, let’s see who’s next on my list…

  153. RJ Clarken

    Opportunity Knocks

    “Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.” ~Cinderella, Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim and James Levine

    Yes…it’s a very old dictum,
    if you don’t want to play victim
    to time and circumstance: advance.
    Luck visits briefly: take a chance.

    Coulda/woulda/shoulda are words
    to disregard, in whole or thirds.
    When prospects hint, don’t look askance.
    Luck visits briefly: take a chance.

    What’s the worst that can happen? What?
    You’re no worse off for trying, but
    you might lose out with tarriance.
    Luck visits briefly: take a chance.

    If this sounds like show tune lyrics,
    full of hope and atmospherics,
    please note: it’s not just song and dance.
    Luck visits briefly: take a chance.


  154. rachelhyde

    Open Invitation

    Hemlocks—sweeping in sun
    or fringed in beaded chains
    of rain, season in
    and season out—

    fill this window glass
    with graceful sway,
    and forever lend their limbs
    to birds bright and birds dull,

    but the birds I long
    most to light on branches watched
    in wind or weather still,
    are birds that never come at all.

    1. Brian Slusher

      Vivid opening stanza and a good poem about unfulfilled longing–how we can never be satisifed. It reminds of a Japanese poem: Even when / I’m in Kyoto / I still yearn for Kyoto. Thanks for sharing your work.

  155. Brian Slusher


    The girls from next door
    washed ashore in my backyard
    now gather dandelions and clover
    to cook in a cracked flowerpot.

    They build a shelter from the pile
    of bricks left from a failed project,
    carefully stack uneven walls with
    tree-branch beams and moss ceiling.

    On their island, two marooned girls
    watch for ships on the fence-horizon,
    as cloud shadows sail the grass
    and time (almost) forgets to pass.

  156. mschied

    White death

    Tentative heads poke furtively
    out of their dormancy
    basking, not blinded,
    by the gentle glow
    which envelops them
    like a child being wrapped
    in a freshly-dried towel.

    Slithering tendrils unfurl and
    interwine, forming a webbed
    carpet of glistening life
    as they greedily search for
    the last drops of moisture.

    A shift, a sudden breeze
    from the wrong direction
    becomes the harbinger
    of their premature doom.

    As the deathly white bullets
    rain down from the darkening sky
    innocent faces upturned in an
    involuntary cry for reprieve
    the earth watches her children die
    gently nestled in frozen blankets
    of time.

  157. Nickie

    The Uninvited

    When she first arrived
    I was a polite host.
    I did not rail and scream
    and send her away.

    I can manage a few hours of this
    I thought.
    She is but a small and insignificant part of my day
    I thought.

    Little did I know she would return
    again and again and again.
    An unwelcome guest
    Creeping back to disrupt my life.

    The more I tried to disengage her
    the harder she fought to stay.
    She seemed to feel it was simply her right
    to take up permanent residence.

    I began to panic.
    I sought out help.
    I read all about her.
    I talked to everyone.

    Weren’t there laws against this?

    Why are you here?
    I asked.
    When will you leave?
    I asked.

    I think she merely laughed at me.

    I called in the troops.
    She smirked at the doctors.
    She ignored the therapists.
    She didn’t even care for the drugs.

    My efforts to expel her
    were met with scorn.
    She grew stronger
    as I grew weaker.

    I kept trying to send her away
    but she thinks she belongs here now.
    And frankly I can no longer remember
    a time that she didn’t.

    1. Brian Slusher

      I’m intrigued by the “guest”–who is she? Is she just an hallucination, or some aspect of the speaker’s personallity that overwhelms her?

      1. Nickie

        Brian – thank you for being intrigued. I have been afflicted for about 4 years now by some mysterious medical condition that causes at times terrifying disabling pain. I purposefully tried to leave it a bit vague (but perhaps its a little too subtle?) so the reader could project their own condition/illness/disease onto this uninvited guest.

        1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

          I thought it must be depression, as I have various friends who suffer from that. But yes, you have written it so that it could be any recurring condition, and it is better that way. As you say, readers can supply their own.

          I am sorry you have these visits, and it may not be much comfort that you have made an excellent poem — but you have.

          1. Nickie

            Oh Rosemary – thank you so much – very appreciate your words. It was a little bit cathartic to write this.

  158. Nancy Posey

    Guest Room

    Taking up temporary residence in the guest room
    you have the monogrammed towels,
    wedding gifts thirty years old, barely used,
    fresh soap and toiletries plundered
    from hotel room stays stashed under the vanity.

    The two of you arrive to clean sheets,
    pillows plumped, water pitcher and glasses
    on the night stand, alongside paperbacks
    and recent issues of Southern Living.

    After eighteen years of ordering you
    to clean up your room, hand up your clothes,
    rinse the sink, wipe out the tub, now
    I ask if you slept well, needed anything
    I might have forgotten to provide.

    So glad to have you home, your father
    and I retire behind closed doors,
    repressing embarrassed smiles, trying
    not to picture our daughter, married now,
    no longer alone inside the room.

    1. Marie Elena

      I LOVE this, Nancy! I FEEL this with you. Oh, how time marches on, dragging our emotions and life-looks along with it. One of my favorites for the day.

      P.S. You’ll want to correct to “hang” up your clothes before submitting. ;)

  159. Walt Wojtanik


    From the moment your feet touched down
    you were seen as “different”, slightly askew.
    And you saw yourself in the self-same way.
    You thought you had a lot to say, but
    you weren’t sure your day had come.
    An alien, visitor from another planet
    in your mind, hoping to find that the fragments
    of thought you would leave behind would
    baffle and mystify, satisfy and perplex.
    Out of reflex you stretched what little muse
    you’ve used until now into the body of work
    that had labeled you a romantic, a jerk,
    a clown and a pauper, the label of
    poet and laureate, a great start to an
    ignominious career. Here in this PADded room,
    full of whimsical gizmos, and howlers and moose,
    eels and bright smiles. Pearls of wisdom,
    and poetic partners across the lake and
    around the world. Liberators and protectors,
    inspectors; prospectors in the parlance of
    rhyme and meter. Briarcats and men without hats,
    mythological masters blasting myth, bigotry
    and all skull-duggery meant to hurt not heal.
    A real steal in this world of worded wonder,
    plundering, sometimes blundering.
    Reaching deep into the Heart of Texas,
    from sea to shining sea; shore to shore and
    all parts unknown where poetry is grown and honed.
    Joining in the fray to grasp hands and spirits.
    As I hear it a great place to party.
    Travellers all in search for acceptance
    and a chance to say their piece in poetspeak.
    Greetings Earthlings, we come in peace!

  160. whatevertheyaint

    Venitian blinds are open. Skies are gray.
    Inside, my old bones tell me,”Gonna rain today.”
    Seems I used to welcome the sound,
    Invite the drummer’s feet onto my
    Tin roof.
    Oh, the beat of April’s showers
    Reckon I better rub down the knee.

  161. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Not unhappy. Not unhappy at all.
    with the score line that is. Always good
    to do well as the Visitors. Wish your Harpies
    were only visitors – how about they come visit
    you for a while, my rash is getting worse?
    The BIG visit will be on the 13th when those good
    for nothing Mets come to the new Cathedral to get their
    visiting caps handed to them and their asses well
    and truly kicked back to Queens or wherever the heck
    they hang out these days. Time was the city rivals
    upped sticks to the west coast. Why oh why can’t they
    do the same? Anyway, game at the bar again,
    I’ll get the beer, your cousin can stand us the wings
    as she seems to be back in favour with the Knicks again.

    Home Sweet Homingly Yours
    Ringo the Howler

  162. Catherine Lee

    Visiting Hour

    Why should their smiles reach their eyes
    In this ruined hour crammed with ten dollar
    Teddy bears and bright blooms fading
    By the minute because you lack the courage
    To cut the vital stems at a diagonal?

    Best not to look too closely behind closed
    Doors in case you see the nurse wipe spittle
    And other nameless fluids while you stare
    Down at perfect half-moon nails
    And brown tessellations on the rug.

    He says, “Thank you for coming,”
    With a fish voice that flaps in open air.
    You nod as your eyes track everywhere,
    Anywhere but at the man who thanks you
    With a smile that never reaches his eyes.

  163. susan budig

    Walking in Wonderland

    I am only a visitor here on planet Earth
    I know this because some days
    When I’m walking along the sea
    Toes gripping into the sandy soil

    A wave of water rushes beneath
    My feet, so that I step onto Nothingness
    A momentary pillow of air
    It’s like stepping on a cloud

    And in that moment, I feel at home.

  164. Jerry Walraven

    “The Expected Visit”

    Spring arrived this morning,
    never mind the date.
    Crisp air under gray clouds
    just enough
    to let sunlight play
    its dancing games.
    Shadows grow
    off budding trees
    patchwork patterns play
    on puddles
    where floating
    petals spin
    then stop,
    their tips pointing
    like stops on a compass.
    Not North
    but April.

    — Chev Shire

  165. Walt Wojtanik


    You’ve come to stand on the threshold
    and wait for the door to open to you;
    to the opportunity in the land of such things.
    Leaving behind the only home you’ve known
    with a sacthel of treasures and a heart
    full of dreams and wide-eyed aspirations
    in abundance. A head rich with memories
    to plant as new seeds in this distant soil;
    to toil and nurture in the bloom of freedom.
    From Igolomia, Poland you came
    to claim a “new” name and your piece
    of American Pie with pride in your step
    and an unknown future to explore.
    In your chosen place, at the threshold
    bathed in Lady Liberty’s bright beacon.
    A visitor for that moment, to wear the mantle
    of citizen for your lifetime. A new home.

      1. Walt Wojtanik

        Thanks Janet. Mired in my Genealogical meanderings, this is my Grandfather’s story as I know it. Headstrong and his powerful broken English laced Polish accent, he made his new home every bit his own. A favorite topic of mine.

  166. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Unwanted Guest

    He came last year
    and out-stayed his welcome
    seven weeks it was
    thought he’d never leave
    certainly never expected to see him back
    but there he was again this year
    sneaking in during the night
    and refusing stubbornly to leave
    a month passed
    still no sign of departure
    then as week six began
    he suddenly disappeared
    as quietly as he had arrived
    slipping away in the night
    truly hope that was his last visit
    watch out for him
    he is sly and cunning
    and goes by the name of


  167. JoBella

    To Belong

    I don’t want to be a visitor
    I want to belong
    I want to know where the sugar is without asking
    And yell at the dog when she’s bad
    To clean the bathroom when I feel like it
    And doze off on the couch
    Put my feet on the coffee table
    Take the last slice of turkey for my sandwich
    To have a key

  168. JanetRuth


    Sometimes I wonder who you are
    You seem different
    Not at all like you used to be
    Are you me?
    Or just someone I used to know?

    I’d ask you in for a visit
    To get to know you better
    Coffee, is it?
    Or have you switched to tea?
    You never can tell, these days

    Sometimes I wonder who you are
    And I want to know you better
    But you keep inching toward the door
    And all I can do is watch you go
    …or do you even exist anymore?

    Have you left for good, dear girl?
    Being a woman is fine
    But I must confess, I miss you
    Dear, carefree, laughing
    Yester-girl of mine

  169. Michelle Hed


    Did you hear the pin drop?
    Did you feel the air sucked out of your lungs?
    Did you hear the whispers turn into roars
    as he walked across the room
    and swept you into his arms?

    Fifteen month deployment
    has come to an end,
    a few days early
    to the approval of the entire
    high school assembly…

    firing romantic wings
    in every girls breast
    and admiring smirks
    from high school jocks
    and enthusiastic clapping from staff…

    but you are wrapped in a bubble
    of joy and relief
    where no sound can enter
    and it’s just you two
    in a room full of hundreds.

  170. Charles Cote


    I am a piercing at midnight with no sleep,
    unsettled as a swamp, nerves slipping
    like deer hooves on ice. I am a polar bear
    bloodied for sex in a tundra heat, a turbine’s
    wishful thinking, half-vertical and humming,
    God knows what to your questions.

    I am a freedom in the air seldom noticed,
    a bud cracked open, lilies in the vase
    all nod and non sequitur, invention
    and drama, a stern-voiced opinion
    serving coffee and Coca Cola, God’s
    spotlight in the eyes of the disbelieving.

    I am an answer in the back of a chapter,
    tarnish on a penny, a dog half-blind,
    crescent moon waxing or waning,
    God’s zephyr, invisible, a sense
    with no scenery, an envious heart
    grown thicker, a taste out of season.

    I am lights to the exit, a capsule
    awaiting God’s hesitation, a slave
    to the name I’ve been given, a coast
    or a wall –– Do you dare stand beside me?
    –– a clamor inside, descending and still
    condescending to an upright position.

    I am a cliché sung by a rooster, a mirror
    all blur, full of meaning, inky and blotto,
    the felt of God shedding a stetson,
    a feather with eyes in the forest,
    quick off the branch and quiet,
    a portal to the next destination.

  171. lady maggie

    Just Visiting

          As if one word made sense.   Beyond this screen
          perhaps.   Across that threshold yes.   As though
          one promise could have been accepted.   Oh
          inside those walls for sure.   No guards between
          the two of us of course there then.   Routine
          as a good morning kiss as if you know
          I pose no threat.   As though I choose to go
          or stay with no missteps to intervene.
          Like this were home.   Like you knew I’d been meant
          to be a part.   No stranger.   Family.
          Except I’m not.   You’ll not know where I went
          tomorrow morning.   I won’t ever see
          you waking.   This will mark the best extent
          my time with you might offer guarantee.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I felt a little heartbreak reading this one…
      I like the form of this poem. Seems to imply broken/jagged pieces of thought, as a distraught person’s mind would be

  172. ShreyIyengar

    A miracle that might not be.

    There is an inexplicable sweet agony,
    the uncertainty of dreams that may manifest;
    of the unrelenting trickery of time,
    and the impotency of bureaucracy.
    Of a miracle that might not be,
    of caramel brown hands holding yellowish white,
    of eager ears ingesting sounds familiar, yet foreign,
    the tantalizing prospect of rising with the sun.
    Bursting red strolley, favorable exchange rate,
    international debit card, indigenous keepsake,
    fat pussy cats, fishless meals, an almost family,
    point and shoot, practiced phrases, all in the head.
    Months give way to weeks, to days of pregnant moments,
    mind that apparates away from the mundane, to rise,
    along with that rising sun, a thousand times over,
    rehearsing a miracle, that might not be.

    The poem captures my inner turmoil at the moment, of a miracle that might not be.

  173. Mystical-Poet

    L A

    dumpling shaped tourists with Brylcreamed humor 
    crowd tie-dyed sign twirlers on the curbside
    bottom-feeders gulping insatiable rumor
    finding their way home on the morning tide

    blinding burst pulses of paparazzi
    panicked pair fleeing the Cameo Bar
    blown up press photo’s of kamikaze
    so near but yet so far

    she’s perched upon the balcony
    palm trees and afternoon sun
    an easy smile with a beach profile
    proof that dreams they can be won

    Long Island ice teas blur an L A sunset
    gel cream scheme stir a ponzi dream
    It’s a sure thing, the best one yet
    get on board there’s still room on the team

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  174. Connie Peters

    You Never Know
    (Hebrews 13:2)

    Be kind to strangers,
    the Bible says,
    because you never know
    the person who you snub,
    frown at, hurry them along
    may, when the door’s closed,
    turn invisible, sprout wings
    and ascend to heaven.

  175. PKP


    In the floating of the unseen sinewed string – Wind-Whisper  on point of gentle fingertip leans to pet the shimmering shape hovering beneath the shine of sunrise – and there at the joined juncture of a frantic fervent wish-pack, the smell of frangipani lights the air, filling the would-be-child with the taste of possibility as she falls, fully formed, to paw through the soft air, tumbling celestial-joy-tickled-trick, onto the verdant green of her first born day. 

    (inspired by Brenda Warren’s “Wordle” words submitted this week by Richard Walker)

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I want to use “celestial-joy-tickled-trick” in a story now…
      This reminds me of my favorite poem, “the Jabberwocky”…it’s so whimsical in its tapestry of words. And it’s fun to read out loud. Bravo!

      1. PKP

        Oooh so delighted I stopped in … Thank you one and all …Imaginalchemy …delighted you enjoyed the jabberwockying words – Ber…so very much appreciated and Rosemary … thank you all!

        1. lionmother

          Pearl, as usual your words have transported me to your imaginary world. Love all you have posted and it would only be redundant to recount my favorite lines.:) Okay, reread Wind-Whisper and loved “frantic, fervent wish-pack”; “the smell of frangipani lights the air”; “the taste of possibility”. Beautiful and loved the last words too!! As you are, I am thrilled to be back writing poetry again for PAD Challenge.

  176. PKP


    fluff of coal at portal
    of the door
    tinkling mewl
    impossible to ignore
    “please-madam-might I come in?”
    and so, and so, it did begin
    dried and held and fluffed
    and fed, as Dickensian visitor begun
    small regal son by now instead –

      1. KJourneay

        Heh.. I see I have already stolen your words from your comment you left for me. We are all word bestowers and word thieves. What a strange universe poets inhabit.

  177. KJourneay

    The Visitor

    A chair,
    his cup brimming with wine,
    the empty place setting;
    another year with an empty front stoop.

    If Elijah comes
    it will not be with a polite tap
    on the door. I pray his arrival
    blows the hinges off.

    1. dandelionwine

      Brilliantly shadowed, depletingly full. I appreciate how the lines become shorter and shorter, embodying steady decline and loss in the poem.

      1. PassionateQuill

        Open Invitation

        Its arms outstretched the young tree beckoned,
        to the wayward bird, to the lonely bee.
        I’ve shelter here, a home for you,
        and soon nectar, fruit, and seeds.

        Come and live within my branches,
        fill my trunk, as I grow new leaves.
        For autumn left me naked,
        and winter brought a bitter freeze.

        I cry with each spring shower,
        for fresh and verdant life.
        Please come within these arms of mine,
        and bring your warmth and life.

    2. Maria Phoenix

      I love the minimalism of this poem.
      Even the sape is brilliant. I love the way this narrator tries to coax a memory from a chair, the poem seems to do that too. It certainly coaxed a smile out of me!

  178. PowerUnit

    Hello sis
    How’s it goin’?
    Bobby okay? The kids?
    I don’t mean to bother, but
    I need a bed.
    A couple days,
    I’ll be gone, again,
    like the wind.
    I have some business
    to take care of,
    at the bank, investments.
    No, I don’t need money,
    not anymore.
    I do need your ID,
    I can’t leave it to
    the Feds.
    They haven’t earned it,
    no, they’ve stolen it
    from my future life
    that will never be,
    with their red tape
    and sticky feet.
    No, I won’t be coming back
    for Christmas.

  179. Hannah


    Every second, a fast
    slipping path to past.
    Every minute, a mere
    monumental marking.
    Each hour an opportunity,
    every day’s a digit in the
    way of providence’s design.
    Year after long trickling year
    leading me by trusting hand
    to a land of sunshine and honey,
    a permanent visit to everlasting eternity.
    Estimated time of arrival? Could be anytime.
    So disregarding man-made slipping seconds,
    monumental minutes, opportunistic hours,
    Long/short trickling years, I’ll appear as the
    main character in my story and act as if
    I’ve already arrived at my due destination,
    (with a smile/nod toward the towering clouds).

    ©H.G. @ P.A. 4/2/12

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh, Hannah … another amazing WOWing piece from your heart/hand/spirit.

      Every line speaks to me, but this? This blows me away: “…and act as if I’ve already arrived at my due destination, (with a smile/nod toward the towering clouds)”

    2. Hannah

      I’m so pleased with your responses. It really makes my day to see and feel the difference my words might make, or a dent at least in the surface of the pond. I’m heard and I’m grateful, ShariO, PKP (Pearl), JanetRuth, Mariya, errine and drwasy!! So very kind of you all! :)’s

    3. Nimue

      So disregarding man-made slipping seconds,
      monumental minutes, opportunistic hours,
      Long/short trickling years, I’ll appear as the
      main character in my story and act as if
      I’ve already arrived at my due destination,

      totally loved these lines ! wonderful poem …

      1. Marie Elena

        Monik and Walt: I believe these things, but I don’t know exactly WHAT I believe. A visitation of some sort, but why and how? Not sure, and not sure it is necessary to know.

        Nice dodoitsu, Watl!

  180. maxie2


    You wait for her slack-jawed stares
    but instead her eyes are alight
    with the artificial glow that ensnares
    her to electronic delights.

    You make fresh chopped salad
    and clipped conversation
    as she absorbs a power ballad
    through one ear’s preoccupation.

    You work through awkward pauses
    and the probable causes for her disdain
    as she glances at a landscape
    too beautiful to explain.

    You recline at the shoreside,
    beside her world that seems to demand
    more awe than the ocean’s tide,
    feeling snubbed by the device in her hands.

    You realize that you,
    the unwelcome guest,
    can’t make the journey
    or survive the quest

    to bridge the seas
    of a wireless generation
    or ride the breeze
    of a touchscreen vacation.

      1. PassionateQuill

        So very real, and so very needed to be realized.
        Yet intriguingly enough, the power ballad in the ear came from poetic inspiration, and that touchscreen, could be an avenue to the next poetic post!

  181. Ber

    Little Voice

    Passing along by the church yard
    Wondering what lurks behind the stones in front of me
    I run as fast as I can
    So no ghostly figures see me

    The stories that are told of this weird place
    This is a place no steps take foot
    I wish I had the nerve to walk in
    Not run by or stay put

    I don’t like been scared
    I would prefer to be brave
    So as I ran passed I heard someone call me
    Oh holy god I thought to myself

    This is not going to be my lucky day
    Will I run or
    Will I see?
    Who is calling?
    After me

    The stories of this place forgotten
    Would make the hairs stand
    On the back of your neck
    Something rotten

    Who’s there I got the courage to say
    It’s me the voice proclaimed my way
    Show yourself to me this once
    This was my only taught my response

    Are you sure
    You really want to see me
    Come out I said
    Sure what harm could you be?

    Okay said the voice
    I hope you understand
    It was me all along
    When you were lonely that held your hand

    Then out of no where a figure it appeared
    To my surprise I wasn’t fazed
    To my surprise I wasn’t scared
    Hello I said how do you do

    I am glad you didn’t try
    To run away and hide
    So you’re the one I always feel around me at night
    When I am trying to sleep
    With my eyes shut tight
    I am that person that thing you feel there
    I honestly didn’t think you would
    Know I was there

    You’re different than I imagined
    You remind me of someone
    Please don’t tell anyone you seen me
    Or they will take away where I belong

    I won’t breathe a word
    This will be our little secret
    I dare not to share it
    I dare not to breathe it

    I am glad we have met at this time
    You gave me strength when I needed it most
    To climb the mountains I had to climb
    You came to me just in the nick of time

    1. Imaginalchemy

      This reminds me of those more “innocent” ghost stories I loved to read when I was young(er)…a good balance between fear and wonderment. Nicely done!

      1. Ber

        Thanks everyone for your lovely comments means so much to me. I truly appreciate you all taking the time to do so. This poem to me is about a child who has been driven by their obstacles in life to push them back and over come them through this image they see before them. The child is given inner strength and hope from facing their fears.

  182. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    I catch your shadow at the corner
    of my vision
    Turning, expecting your smile
    to fill the room with light
    I am disappointed.

    Why do you hide from me?
    Why can’t we commune –
    you on your plane of existence,
    me on mine?

    I am disappointed
    not to see completely your light.
    The thought of you makes me smile
    the heart sees without vision
    lingering with your memory, I sit in the corner

  183. Jerry Walraven

    “The day the visitor didn’t come”

    Street corner sunsets
    echo street corner sunrises.
    The blur of motion
    of the day which was
    put aside for this moment
    of understanding.
    Sometimes a day
    doesn’t start like you planned
    but disappointment
    opens doors too.

  184. SharieO

    Request Permission to Marry Your Daughter

    Please excuse our staring,
    but you’re asking an awful lot.
    So, you want one of our prized possessions,
    do you?

    You must understand thoroughly
    what it is you’re asking.
    This is more difficult than we anticipated,
    not that we didn’t know it was coming one day.

    She’s one in a million; no, one in a billion.
    She’s exquisite, both inside and out.
    We should know; we’ve watched her grow
    Into this young woman of beauty and grace.

    When we see how she gazes at you when you speak,
    How she beams and glows and floats, we know.
    We know you’re the right one for her, for us.
    We know because we’ve taught her well.

    1. azheaden

      Into the Night

      Away. Away.
      Into the night.
      Be gone. Be gone.
      Your stay brings fright.
      Close my eyes.
      Tighter. Tighter.
      Turn my head.
      Farther. Farther.
      Hold my breath.
      Quiet. Quiet.
      Focus my thoughts.
      Easy. Easy.
      Clench my hands.
      Greasy. Greasy.
      Still my limbs.
      Balance. Balance.
      Ready. Ready.
      Challenge. Challenge.