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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598 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.’

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.


  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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’!!!

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.


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