Editors Blog

2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

For today’s prompt, write a judging poem. This is a poem that could be judging others, or it is a poem being judged. I realize there is the opportunity for feelings to get hurt with this poem–so please be mindful of language, subject matter, and personal attacks. (If any lines are crossed, please send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com, but I’m hoping everyone can be respectful and still handle this prompt creatively.)

Here’s my attempt:

“what say you”

yes or no,
maybe maybe so
a circle
and a kiss
dreaming you will select this
anything but no.


Publish Your Poetry…

…with the Publish Your Poetry bundle that is discounted at less than $30!

Click to learn more.


You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

318 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

  1. Jolanta.Stephens

    It’s an everyday
    As I step
    Into the spotlight
    To be scrutinised
    And judged
    Not about my skills
    Not about my vernacular
    Not about my relationships
    With each student
    But about my jewelled nose
    My inked body
    As if removing them
    Will remarkably turn
    Me into a better

  2. foodpoet

    In the time of judging
    Shell call to the night
    Music plays in
    The shadow of time and stone
    Under the circle calendar
    In the curve of the moon
    Music plays
    All rotates
    And returns to the beginning
    In the time of judging


  3. AC Leming


    blocks his view of me.
    He judges me not.
    But boyo, you sure do.

    Yeah, I laid myself down
    on that adulterous bed
    we made up together.

    I enjoyed your body
    as much as you did mine.

    So stop avoiding me
    like I have a disease
    you might catch
    just by acknowledging me.

    I smile like you don’t hurt
    to look at. Nod at your blank face.
    Curse my phone when my texts
    disappear into the ether,
    unanswered, unread.

    But we both jumped in together,
    so what gives you the right
    to give me your strong
    and silent treatment.

  4. jendorf13

    A Stranger
    He steps into the unfamiliar
    Eyes focus then avert
    Some focus persists
    Becomes strong
    Discomfort may reveal
    Prejudice, fear, distrust
    A smile brings
    An adjustment to the lens

    By Joanne Endorf
    (I originally liked this one for under the microscope)

  5. seingraham

    Judge not Lest ye be Judged*

    What of our nature compels us
    The desire to be the arbitrators
    Of all things
    Sit on high, insist on adjudication

    Perhaps not as harsh
    As King Solomon with his wise
    Wiles and sharp sword
    When his insight and assessment
    Or maybe just a lucky guess
    Knew any real mother
    would sacrifice a living baby
    rather than see
    her child cleaved
    in two

    Even so, given the opportunity
    more, not less, of us
    accept jury duty
    or so the stats attest
    Eager to sit in judgment
    of our peers
    Except in the case of death
    that is, when a person
    is on trial for murder
    There are fewer
    that wish to sit
    on those panels

    Mind you, this peculiarity
    is specific to the western
    hemisphere alone
    In fact, the North American
    continent in particular
    Given the same opportunity
    or one similar
    In most other parts of the world
    Individuals are all too happy
    To be the arbiters of death
    And not just through
    Trial and jury processes
    Often, as executioners

    It is, apparently, a cultural thing.

    *Matthew 7:1

  6. LCaramanna

    Spelling Bee Judge

    Shoulders square, serious air,
    spelling bee judge sits erect at the table,
    a certain aloofness establishes
    no personal connection with contestants.
    Eyes appraise spellers,
    glance away from the nervous twitchers
    to linger on confident contenders with courage
    to eye contact
    the spelling bee judge,
    fingers poised to ring the bell
    without hesitation,
    eliminate the contestant
    if the word is spelled wrong.

  7. po

    Judging Poems

    Writing poems
    one after another
    I am playing catch-up
    after a week of the flu
    but I keep skipping
    the judging poem
    probably because
    of my papers who
    bled to death in
    Freshman Composition,
    all because of run-on
    sentences connected
    mostly by dashes
    and commas–my
    teacher kept screaming
    “You have to know
    the rules before you
    break them”–
    bless her, but as
    you can see I’m
    a poor judge.

  8. Yolee

    Apples to Apples

    With 7 year old cleverness
    she chews over the red
    delicious and sour green
    cards, wraps up the verdict
    with a mallet made of glitter,
    lets a giggle escape between
    big and little teeth.

  9. Caren

    You don’t have to say a word;
    I can see it on your face.
    I can hear it in your voice.
    Even your body language
    Relays your condescension.
    I’ve two words for you: Bite me.

    Caren E. Salas

  10. Arrvada


    Don’t judge me
    Don’t you dare
    You’ve no right
    You’ve not walked in my shoes
    Thought my thoughts
    Cried my tears
    Felt my pain or endured my tears
    You can’t see inside me
    You can’t see how light
    How dark I am inside
    You only see what I’ve shown you
    So don’t judge me until you’ve been
    On the road on which I stand
    Don’t judge me and
    I won’t judge you

  11. Joseph Harker

    Sigh. I need to keep checking to see if these things post properly, because this apparently never made it up. >_<


    Your loaded gun pressed to my cheek:
    its weight, its feel, its skinned mystique.
    I’ve learned too much: now, terrified,
    how to escape, but keep my pride?
    What sheepish sentence will I speak?

    Please don’t interpret as critique
    this apprehension: I am weak
    with worries and what-ifs, beside
    your loaded gun.

    That shaft and muzzle’s what I seek,
    but see: the quiet infections leak
    and burn my chin. You could provide
    my ending with one shot: and I’d
    prefer you don’t. I’ve had my peek:
    unload your gun.

  12. hurtin-heart

    Death is drawin’ nearer,
    each day I feel it’s sting,
    bitter and cold I am becoming,
    hatred is consuming me.
    Though once strong,
    I have now become weak
    Wounds still open
    that were cut too deep.
    Life if like a maze sometimes,
    with no way out you can find.
    Too many secrets down deep I hide.
    Yet you look at me and judge at first glimpse.
    Never taking the time to really get to know me.
    So you can judge me unfairly,
    that is your choice.
    But until you’ve walked in my shoes,
    then I, you will truly never know.
    Samantha Tinney

  13. Miss R.

    Listen to Yourself

    “Don’t judge!” they squeal
    At me self-righteously,
    Horrified by my haughtiness.
    “And what,” I ask them quietly,
    “Are you doing at this moment?”

  14. Mike Bayles

    If They Can Dance to It

    If they can dance to it,
    it might be a “10,”
    this song in the spotlight
    rated by teenagers
    on American Bandstand.
    Dick Clark
    asks them to judge it
    and casts its fate
    and the fate of an unknown group
    into their hands.
    He asks them
    how it reverberates
    in their heats,
    the melody,
    the rhythm.
    It might be
    The Rain, The Park and Other Things
    by The Cowsills
    in the summer of 1967,
    but no,
    that song is already
    destined to become a hit.
    This song is spun and played
    for its two minutes of fame,
    while teenagers, dressed in their Sunday best
    and coupled at arm’s length,
    dance on the screen.
    Dressed in T-shirt and jeans,
    I remember it
    as some kind of love song
    or surf song or dance song,
    rated a “6.5.”

  15. Mike Bayles

    If They Can Dance to It

    If they can dance to it,
    it might be a “10,”
    this song in the spotlight
    rated by teenagers
    on American Bandstand.
    Dick Clark
    asks them to judge it
    and casts its fate
    and the fate of an unknown group
    into their hands.
    He asks them
    how it reverberates
    in their heats,
    the melody,
    the rhythm.
    It might be
    The Rain, The Park and Other Things
    by The Cowsills
    in the summer of 1967,
    but no,
    that song is already
    destined to become a hit.
    This song is spun and played
    for its two minutes of fame,
    while teenagers, dress in their Sunday best
    and coupled at arm’s length,
    dance on the screen.
    Dressed in T-shirt and jeans,
    I remember it
    as some kind of love song
    or surf song or dance song
    rated a “6.5.”

  16. Michelle Hed

    Don’t Judge Me

    by the clothes I wear
    or how I do my hair.
    Don’t judge me
    by my ear rings
    or my material things.
    Don’t judge me
    by the way I talk
    or the way I walk,
    by the way I think
    or the way I (don’t) drink.
    You know what?
    Get to know me
    just don’t judge me.

  17. HannaAnna

    I’m nervous when I have to go near anyone.
    Are They Judging?

    I’m nervous when I pick up the phone to make a call.
    Are they all staring?
    Am I dressed okay?
    Is my hair a mess?
    Will I say something wrong?
    Do they all just hate me?
    And I often wonder, if anyone else feels the way I do.

  18. tunesmiff

    JOHN 8

    They dropped their stones and
    Walked away, feeling ashamed
    That each of them had been proved
    A sinner, too; and
    Jesus went to comfort the
    Woman: “Go, and sin no more.”

  19. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Elderly Drivers

    One and then another
    white-haired drivers dawdle
    slowly down the empty street
    I wait to drive across.

    Inside my head, I think,
    ‘Put yourselves out to pasture!
    Go and get off the roads!’

    I’m glad I’m not like that.
    My white coiffure conceals
    a sharp and youthful brain.

    And when I pause to assess
    a traffic situation,
    this is heightened consciousness!
    (Why is that fool honking?)

  20. Arike

    On the Spot

    Silent in a classroom grading
    Wasn’t such a happy day
    From the mouth of an innocent child
    Same word as the high school blight
    Snap back something vicious now
    Tears falling the director didn’t like
    We do not bully children here
    But she didn’t expect to face her fears
    Today, perhaps tomorrow too
    The teacher

  21. lionmother

    Escaping Your Judgement

    Your eyes hold me in
    a vise glance
    You don’t like my
    baggy jeans or the
    way I laugh too loud
    or the joy I seem to
    find within the mess of
    our lives
    When I walk through
    the door I don’t see
    those eyes peering
    down on me as if
    I were being sentenced
    I feel the rush of freedom
    as I pass beyond your
    scrutiny and walk into
    the world an anonymous
    blob, free and unencumbered
    by the weight of your vision.

  22. eljulia

    PAD THERAPY day 23


    I judge myself for living on
    when you so recently have gone
    I judge myself for taking breath
    when yours is silenced now in death
    I judge myself for staying home
    for not just picking up the phone
    that Friday when I never knew
    I’d not again be seeing you
    I judge myself for having health
    for being strong, for illness’ stealth
    taking you and not myself
    I judge myself I judge myself
    I judge the way I’ll never hear
    your laughter smiling in my ear
    I judge the way you’ll never know
    you were my lighthouse
    guiding me

  23. Khara H.

    On becoming a lady

    Her face is a line of seriousness when she tells me
    well I know what she wants of me is careful.

    Long has she passed on what the greats and the grands
    have known: that your sugar is sweet right up ’til
    you give it up for free
    , that a kiss can be clover and mint
    leaves tucked into a porcelain cup and steeped in heat

    and water and honey–or a spoiled apple plucked
    too soon from the boughs and turned to rot, plum and peeled
    green, in a sea of dirt at your feet. And well I know–

    the heat of her hand clutching, soothing,
    sweating over mine tells me more than enough.

  24. Lynn Burton


    Coffee grounds sit on the counter all day
    forty-eight crayon drawings on the wall
    dirt stained carpet won’t be going away
    we’ll play in the sand, our chores will be stalled
    critical eye scans to judge the decay.

  25. cstewart

    Judging 1

    Just make a decision.
    Choose what you want,
    What do you want?
    Then walk that direction –
    With confidence.

    Judging 2

    Pick it up and lay it down.
    Get with the program.
    And don’t hurt anything,
    Yes, I mean you.

    Judging 3

    Ring Ring
    Oh, it is you.
    What do you want.
    I’m not interested.

    Judging 4

    Sometimes judging takes previous decisions,
    And that is how you come to what might be called –
    A judgment.
    So you have to be a thinker and a person
    Of perception,
    You have to know yourself.

  26. Buddah Moskowitz


    Long story short:
    it didn’t go down.

    No, it was all set to happen,
    we were all there,
    we had our stones ready to go.

    We had this whore
    dead to rights.

    We had her surrounded,
    and there she was,
    whimpering like the
    adulterous bitch
    that she was,

    and then I see Jesus
    in the crowd
    and I figure
    I’m gonna outfox this bum
    once and for all,
    and say

    “Hey, Jesus,
    we caught this woman
    in the act with some guy
    who wasn’t her husband,
    so we’re going to stone her
    like the Mosaic law says,
    or do you have a problem with that?”

    So, what does Jesus do?
    He crouches down
    scratches something
    in the dirt,
    wipes it away
    and says

    “Let he who is
    without sin
    cast the first stone.”

    So, what could I do?

    Since I was the one
    she was doing it with,
    I had to put my stone down
    and walk away.

  27. JanetRuth

    20/20 Vision

    You can tell me quite easily

    What I should or should not have done

    As you extol life’s clarity

    With broad visage of the sun

    I know you mean it kindly

    As a true and caring friend

    But you have the great luxury

    Of starting at the end

    We never begin with the intent

    Of making a mistake

    Or prefer the road to tragedy

    In choices that we make

    It’s easy now to be so wise

    And lend flawless advice

    If I saw then what you see now

    It sure would have been nice

  28. JanetRuth

    Unless you’ve lain with me in the trenches
    and tasted the same gritty dirt
    And unless you have climbed the same fences
    and endured the same bitter hurt
    If you have not suffered my sorrow
    or borne my invisible crosses
    or carried my fear of tomorrow
    or wept for the self-same losses
    and if you have never slipped into my being
    or the flesh that covers my bones
    nor worn the shoes I am wearing
    to walk the miles I have known
    or given and taken in like-measure
    the fairness and unfairness of life
    or partaken of my pain and pleasure
    or my allotment of strife
    Unless you’ve traced all of my footsteps
    The beauty and the misery
    to understand why I am who I am
    Don’t judge me


  29. Beth Rodgers

    I miss you terribly
    As I stand here
    Weeping at a grave
    Of a grandmother I never met.

    I wish and hope you know how much
    You mean to me
    How much I love you
    And think about you
    Wondering what life would be like
    If things were different
    And you were here.

    I wrote a letter to share with you
    My thoughts
    My emotions about having lost you
    Having never known the love
    I know you would have given me.

    I don’t care what others think
    Or how strange it must seem to talk to someone
    I never knew
    But I miss you terribly
    And I hope you miss me too.

  30. DanielAri


    and God bless Alice, her gung ho announcment over dinner
    to her overworked partner and petulant daughter that she’s
    booked a campsite out in the forest for Saturday night. She
    ends up doing 99% of the packing, due to family dynamics,
    and when we get on our route Saturday morning, she needs
    acknowledgement, which I overreach to give her, and Lily,
    tight as she is these days, musters. At the campground, RVs
    surround us. When we come back from our hike, generator
    drone drowns out nature sounds until after the stars appear;
    and then there are the campers who have set up a projector
    and laptop for a screening on their silver van of some sci-fi
    blockbuster out under the pines. The speaker volume brings
    the rangers and leads that group to treat all camp neighbors
    like we’re out to shut down their fun. Meanwhile, we forgot
    soap, forks, and in Lily’s words, “anything to do.” But not
    tampons—those she remembered, and she feels wrung out;
    but she’s not used to sleeping in a tent, and won’t stay in it
    by herself, which robs Alice and I of our couple-time beside
    the firelight, so we all hit the bed rolls bickering, annoyed
    all around and a little amped on s’mores. I wish I could say
    to Alice, “This is so fun! I love this!” The ground is cold,
    the pads are stiff, and in the morning, we are grumpy. We
    go into town for breakfast and drink three cups of healing
    coffee, then make it to the shore where the good day peeks
    through the clouds for a while as we picnic and sunburn so
    sweetly. But the wind is in our faces all the way back to our
    car, and then it’s a two-hour drive home where we unload,
    unpack, shower, apply aloe vera, and tomorrow we go back
    to work and school, and so when Alice says, “All told, that
    was a nice weekend,” I agree, “That was so fun! I loved it!”
    But I could also have chosen to say, “We could have stayed
    right here together, sent Lily out with one of her friends one
    afternoon, had our time together and kept our skin healthier
    without one drop of gas. Something to consider next time.”


  31. cam45237


    I put up with you
    And your glass encased narcissism,
    Your petty grasps for power,
    For too long
    Today I will find a large rock
    And I will shatter you
    And your ego will spill like milk.

  32. Benjamin Thomas

    Unreliable Minds

    The mind works by knowledge
    When knowledge is lacking
    It operates under free assumption
    That holds no truth
    But rather fallacious fabrications
    That lead to irrational conceptions
    Issuing in unreliable misjudgment

  33. Rosangela

    Imperfect Tanka

    No need for being perfect.
    What is perfection?
    It’s just a form of judgment!
    There is no perfect judgment
    and no judge of perfection.

  34. deedeekm

    How long have the stars
    looked down on me sleeping
    surrounded by cold darkness
    colors shifting as they record
    my petty dreams and fears
    an indictment for crimes
    I didn’t know I was committing

    How long will the moon
    smile complacent
    knowing that I will be long gone
    and the slow circuit will continue
    as though I never was
    Making me miss
    what has not happened yet

    How long have the clouds
    floated comfortably across
    the heavens above aching my head
    filling and emptying
    their never ending cycle
    giving no care to where they are needed
    or where they are feared

    am I judged and somehow found
    wanting, insufficient by a dead sky
    that cares not what I wonder
    or that my eyes fill at the beauty
    that makes my skin too small
    to hold prayers of thanks
    prayers of yearning
    until the words spill out
    and I am judged again

  35. mschied

    Errors in judgment

    Judge not lest ye be judged
    is easier said than done
    when hindsight’s twenty-twenty
    how do you stop before you’ve begun?

    All of us are asked to judge
    to weigh the pros and cons
    of life, of meaning, of history repeating
    as the moments roll on

    but what is most important
    to learn from others mistakes
    of to consider instead
    the ones we are about to make?

    It’s easy to sit on lofty perch
    and arbitrate from on high
    but ‘ware the finger points
    cause you to fall instead of fly

    Sad it is such self-reflections
    come a mite too late
    the time has passed, the choice is made
    and there’s no turning back from fate

  36. uneven steven

    The man in the arena

    Blow your horn
    if not you
    than who?
    Be the judge,
    or how can good
    Tis the man in the ring
    both fists forward
    into the furious
    judging and being judged,
    loving and being loved,
    a just god
    left to do
    the curious abstainer
    and always,

  37. mschied

    Judge not lest ye be judged
    is easier said than done
    when hindsight’s twenty-twenty
    how do you stop before you’ve begun?

    All of us are asked to judge
    to weigh the pros and cons
    of life, of meaning, of history repeating
    as the moments roll on

    but what is most important
    to learn from others mistakes
    of to consider instead
    the ones we are about to make?

    It’s easy to sit on lofty perch
    and arbitrate from on high
    but ‘ware the finger points
    cause you to fall instead of fly

    Sad it is such self-reflections
    come a mite too late
    the time has passed, the choice is made
    and there’s no turning back from fate

  38. Jerry Walraven

    “Judge Me”

    only for effect,
    trying to push myself
    further away
    from being anybody’s son,
    anybody’s brother.
    Wanting someone
    to acknowledge me
    for even
    this false me
    I had created.
    I was wrong
    and this
    can come back
    and include

    in me.


  39. gtabasso

    I combined yesterday and today because putting someone under the microscope seems to be about judging him or her.

    I have judged love over and over again,
    watched him strut in, crawl out,
    found him lacking — me, the tree
    from which fruit falls, bruised and wormy.
    Now, my body is falling apart
    and there’s a space where my darling was.
    I no longer laugh or tell jokes
    because I am close to the ghosts
    with empty hands and broken hearts.
    To know them, one must burn incense
    then let dreams be the world,
    one that lasts an instant, is small enough
    to dance on the head of a pin
    yet long enough to keep me safe
    until morning when sun and birdsong
    was the memories of them away.

  40. Walt Wojtanik


    Fingers point every which way but right
    where they belong. It was wrong to label
    in spite of the fable that she broke up the band.
    She had a hand in historic fact; no Dragon Lady
    and don’t blame her for destroying the act.
    Avant garde, and her art was her life,
    but hell to pay when John made her his wife.
    It was a sign of the times, all you need is love
    but oh no, not if your name was Yoko.

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      I didn’t agreed with people blaming Yoko either but I love her name . . . just the same! With or without her fame! Good one, Walt! But then, you are just that way! :)

  41. Sara McNulty

    April 22,2012 – Day 22
    Write a judging poem

    This Little Piggy

    When judging pigs in a state fair
    It was noticed, one wasn’t there
    A blue ribbon prize
    He could have realized
    But refused to be served up as fare.

  42. Marie Elena

    So much, so worthy … my own personal favorites follow.

    Loved learning about you, emmajordon.
    Alchemy: your lesson should be published in a children’s book or mag.
    Billie: You and I has a great cadence and rhyme, besides the great classic subject matter. NICE.
    Pearl: Pageant Baby struck at my heart and senses. I despise it, just as you obviously do.
    J.Lynn: Your Inner Judge spoke exactly what I am feeling this month. And I’m running out of time.  Thought highly of all your poems, but especially appreciated the “I didn’t expect” piece. Wow.
    Jane Beal: You simply amaze me.
    Brian Slusher: I agree with Linda. Your fable is one of my favorites of the month. WELL DONE!
    Nancy Posey: Always one of my favorite poets. You did not disappoint today.
    De Jackson: You KNOW I never pass an opportunity to get me some DElicious reading. Love it all, but Trial and Error is brilliant.
    RJ: Another one who never, ever disappoints.
    Earl Parsons: The Harshest: AMEN and so very well written.
    Walt: As always, the QUALITY of your poetry as well as the diversity and quanity BLOWS ME AWAY.
    Connie Peters: Amen and well said!
    Taylor: Puppy Horde is adorable.
    Mike Grove: I see why Judge no More is one of your favorites. Mine too.
    Tracy Davidson: Judge Brewer ROCKS! LOL!
    Janet RC: Always enjoy your upbeat, fun-to-read pieces!
    Linda: Walk a Mile made me tear up. SO well done – so much said, all that needs to be, really.
    Jane: Always, always, always smart, creative, make-me-think poems. Well done today, as usual.
    Dare: Am I Good Enough says it all, so endearingly. Wow.
    Wolfbolz: “like Judas silver…” Wow.
    Posmic: Judger: Brilliant. You: a joy!
    Margot: Extremely well written, and the last stanza strikes the heart.
    Banana: Equals: YES.
    Ely: If I could give you more than a Bloom, I’d do so in a heartbeat.

  43. currencem

    You wait

    you wait on me
    at a burrito place,
    beans covering
    your gloved hands.
    is it the litany
    of questions
    you have to ask
    or is it my Chanel suit,
    the healing of my bruises
    that blocks your memory
    of me? as i watch you
    assemble my meal
    with the dexterity
    of a Vegas dealer,
    I realize luck
    be a lady

  44. Marian O'Brien Paul

    A Judgment

    I’d been scribbling my poems
    since second grade to prove I
    could do it, so in high school I
    submitted a poem to a teacher
    who didn’t believe I wrote it.

    Another teacher came to aid
    me, recognizing my writing,
    and she stood up to the one
    who had decreed I could not
    possibly be the poem’s author.

    Thus vindicated, I continued
    my writing and some readers
    have judged it to be a good
    thing that I am still writing.

  45. Walt Wojtanik


    Your pedigree, it pleases me,
    your grace has a way to attract,
    and surely as far as the eye can see
    your grooming is great, that’s a fact.

    Your hair is bright and shiny,
    your wide eyes are quite alert,
    the bounce in your stride shows off your pride
    and in your own way, you’re a flirt.

    So judging from here across the bar,
    a few more of these, you’ll look fine.
    I just can’t be sure you are best of show
    perhaps I just need some more wine!

  46. Kendall A. Bell

    Not exactly sure how it went from one point to the other, but there is much to be left to the imagination, I suppose. So, here’s my take on the prompt, as I didn’t want to go entirely cookie cutter on this one.

    Just desserts

    She walks slowly towards the table,
    arms behind her back, a slight sway
    in her step as she approaches. Her
    hair twisted up, held with a clip,
    make up perfect. She will notice the
    crumbs on my shoulders, the floured
    streak across my shirt. She stops.
    Her hands now on her hips, she stares
    through me, piercing me with her bullet
    eyes. Her finger extends, takes a swipe
    and very deliberately licks her finger,
    she moans lightly, nods. She stabs her
    fork into the sweet structure and slowly,
    lustfully moves it into her mouth. Her
    eyes briefly close, her mouth turns up.
    “He will do,” she says, extends her hand,
    escorts me out, leaves the plate behind.

  47. RASlater


    I called you expecting understanding
    A sympathetic ear to help me plan
    And for a moment I was delighted
    Knowing of your past troubles with the matter
    For that moment I felt encouraged
    I didn’t feel alone anymore
    But then you turned the tables on me
    With your negativity
    And it all came back to me
    The overwhelming sensation
    Of carrying the burden on my own
    Knowing that if I fail
    You will be quick to condemn
    Though you did not help
    But I guess my shoulders will be wide enough
    To handle even that
    It appears I have no choice
    But to keep on trucking
    Even if I am alone

  48. ely the eel


    In the weave of eternity,
    with the work before us,
    short-term judgements don’t
    seem to matter much,
    not the praise, nor the blame,
    not the credits, nor the sins,
    self-imposed or outer-given.
    Most of my awards have long been tossed,
    every plaque, every trophy,
    all the ribbons, certificates and letters.
    In the end, just stuff, and
    the stories and smiling lies about them are better.
    But then, there’s that plastic Club Med medal
    with the red, white and blue lanyard
    that was given for finding buried wine bottles
    off the sandy shore of Martinique –
    that one lives on.
    And the disability rating letter,
    the V.A.’s judgement call – that one
    will stay awhile, at least for my forever.
    Recently, I got a Beautiful Bloom,
    truly treasured,
    kept in cyberspace.
    Then there are the Purple Hearts,
    once headed for a protest toss
    over the White House fence, but no.
    Those are about things and people,
    some still kicking, others, well,
    others valued fondly in my heart.

  49. JRSimmang


    I have seen it with my own eyes,
    the callous catcalls from cars and streets.
    It does not make it easier to live without judgement.
    Were we always this way?
    Did we always see a person for the first time and
    build a life for them, fill them with unholy contemplations?
    There is one thing you must know:
    it goes both ways.

  50. Sally Jadlow

    Judging Poem

    Put words on blank page.
    Rearrange, scratch out, replace.
    Polish till it shines.
    Send it off to contest with high hopes.

    Results received.
    I didn’t win.
    Then remember,
    this is one judge’s opinion.

    Take a deep breath
    and try again.

    1. Michele Brenton

      I had a few goes at competitions. I don’t have the constitution for them. If I place I simply assume they can’t have had many entries – if I get nowhere it plunges me into a cycle of self-doubt and depression.

      I admire people who can keep going and entering – that is a win all by itself.

  51. Michele Brenton

    Judged as Equals.

    Everybody has a reason:
    For their sadness,
    For their hardness,
    For the things they may believe in.

    Everybody has temptation
    to feel superior,
    Feel much kinder,
    than a heel they feel is no relation.

    Everybody plays the game.
    Some make the rules,
    Some break the rules.
    Some are wise,
    Some are fools.

    Everybody is the same.

  52. ceeess

    This prompt fit right in with something I was thinking about earlier today after a conversation… and for some reason today seems to be a rhyming day…well a rhyming weekend perhaps. Anyway, my last rhyme here is a near or slant rhyme I think but so be it.. (and it even sounds on its own like a Hallmark-ish kind of rhyme scheme…sorry for that!)

    Judging Poetry

    It’s hard sometimes to read the poems
    beginning poets write, the ordinary language
    and the phrasing not quite right.

    A cliché here, another there, a sentiment
    or two, perhaps a little Hallmark is
    looking back at you?

    But then you think about the poems
    you wrote not long ago
    how bad they were, the rhythm off
    the meter just so-so.

    Does it make you humble?
    Do you remember when?
    Or do you find
    the judge in you is measuring again
    and finding others wanting,
    you count again to ten.

    I hope you can remember
    the silly stuff you wrote,
    and that you find it in your heart
    to help a fledgling poet.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 22, 2012

  53. dandelionwine

    Beautiful! (And I’ll rejoice with you when you make it through the pile…) Your final stanza is my dream school as well, and most fortunately, my reality. I teach Montessori, and as I teacher my role is more of a guide than a course-setter. The children are fully in touch with their own progress and journey. I love your image of reading the students as they judge themselves. Thank you for sharing!

  54. Michele Brenton

    Miss Judgement.

    I always wanted to be a judge
    looking down my nose
    knowing nobody could budge
    until the time I chose
    to call for a break
    or an adjournment
    and I’d listen to witnesses,
    accused and informants.

    And when I felt like
    I’d gently murmur
    “Who are these ‘Beatles’
    to which you refer?”
    And sit as they tried
    to be clear and explain
    while I fought the urge to
    laugh like a drain.

    And they’d have to respect me
    or act like they did
    And that’s what I thought
    long ago as a kid.

  55. omavi


    Don’t talk just listen
    This is not made to scar or hurt its not
    An attempt to breaks hearts or
    Dig too deeply until it pain flows
    Just a recognition that all things not meant to be
    You being in love is never
    A place that you need to be
    Selfishly harvesting hearts like a coroner
    With blade so sharp and shaky hands
    Just collecting never appreciating
    Killing game not for nourishment
    Only for the sport
    Proposing affection just to feed ego’s need
    Never truly feeling passion
    Just the sated feeling that this thing
    You can do over and over again
    Platitudes and gratitude spilling so easily
    From a poisoned tongue
    Just another notch in a gilded chess game
    Even when you came it was just
    Something to do to excel at this sham
    Not capable of human interaction
    Just a manipulator
    Marionette strings in hand
    A pariah bring disdain and angst
    A cockroach just feeding and feeding
    Devastating souls and stringing emotions along
    Love is a thing that you can never feel
    Because to feel love
    You would have to be able to feel

  56. Jane Shlensky

    Grading Papers

    There’s eighty of them, six to ten pages,
    submitted today, that I’ve vowed to return
    in one week’s time, so as not to have
    the next sets piled atop these, like new
    snow falling on the old until I’m buried.

    By afternoon, I have received a page
    of emails asking about paper grades,
    as if I’m some industrial machine,
    scanning, marking, and pumping out
    judgments, three in a minute.

    Sometimes I fantasize about such a machine
    purring along, correcting myriad grammar errors,
    unclear references, the occasional case
    of plagiarism, rendering its mechanical
    decisions about sentence sense.

    Would students decry the cold precision
    of my heartless dream machine?
    I gather snacks and pens and start,
    offering suggestions, applauding what
    is well-said, clear, and interesting,

    searching and sometimes finding
    some kindness I can say about
    a turn of phrase or moment of truth
    caught on paper. After four hours,
    I have eight completed; my eyes ache.

    At night, I dream of gradeless schools
    where students learn, rejoicing in the life
    of the mind, judging themselves, asking me
    to mentor them, to read them and help
    make their work powerful, each one a wonder.

    1. dandelionwine

      Oops… I tried to reply to yours but it ended up down the page somewhere. Here’s my second try:

      Beautiful! (And I’ll rejoice with you when you make it through the pile…) Your final stanza is my dream school as well, and most fortunately, my reality. I teach Montessori, and as I teacher my role is more of a guide than a course-setter. The children are fully in touch with their own progress and journey. I love your image of reading the students as they judge themselves. Thank you for sharing!

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Thanks, dandelionwine. I know about Montessori, but you don’t find that much in high schools and colleges. I love teaching. It’s the papers….

  57. ina

    Dear Mike

    Dear Mike, I’ll bet
    that if I met you, I’d like
    you, because you smile and
    wear bald so well.
    But the number of dates that
    went bad because
    the Beavis and Butthead
    laugh appeared over
    the entre’ and second
    glass of wine – well,
    I can’t forgive you.
    My husband, however,
    sends his thanks.
    Sincerely, Ina

  58. zevd2001

    Watch me manipulate this pile of words
    as if it were Scrabble, filling the spaces, following them
    around the board, catching the meanings
    wherever it looks good. Some expressions shine

    like jewels under glass, but here . . . they are all
    mine, or that’s what they tell me. Trouble is what’s
    lying there is really dry ice. The experts say
    you have wear thick gloves to pick them up. Then

    once you set everything up.
    It’s misshapen. You look at your hands, no,
    gloves, shudder

    What did I do here. What did I say. It’s hot
    and cold and it disappears
    before my eyes. Is this a real moment
    or an apparition I invented to feel good. Beclouded

    in a perplex, I clear my mind
    rearranging what I don’t understand,
    let it fall in place, take each ideogram
    pronounce it like an infant
    learning to speak, slowly

    record my impressions,
    and pray my words stand
    all by themselves, alone.

    Zev Davis

  59. Margot Suydam

    My judging poem is a translation from French of
    Le vase brisé by Sully Prudhomme

    Damaged Vessel

    Where the vervain succumbed,
    the vase was cracked, a simple flick
    of the wrist, a fan grazing lightly,
    a flaw revealed without a clatter.

    But, everyday, the slightest blemish
    corrodes the crystal, treads invisible
    yet ever certain in its destined path
    around the vessel in slow journey,

    leaking fresh water a drop at a time,
    draining the flowers of their nectar.
    Of this, no one has any doubt.
    Hands off! The damage is done.

    And frequently those we love brush
    against our hearts, a bruising tender
    that splits and splays. Without notice,
    what’s magical or medicine is spent.

    To the world, we look unscathed
    yet the ache swells, weeps gently.
    The fault is fine yet profound.
    The damage is done. Hands off!

  60. Michael Grove

    HAIKU (2) on Judgment

    Though blind men can’t see
    they may still believe they know
    that deaf men can’t hear


    Know not and assume
    you make an ass out of you
    and also of me

    By Michael Grove

  61. posmic

    The Judger

    I judge those I love. I guess that means
    I love everyone; I’m a little bit like Jesus
    that way. But I’m not infallible like him,
    am not inclined toward sacrifice; you

    won’t find me up on a cross any time soon,
    and I’d rather not touch a leper or any other
    type of ugly person whose ugliness might be
    catching. I have certain things to protect:

    my own interests. My feelings. My health.
    I can’t just give those things away, you know,
    or a dollar to the homeless, or a quarter to
    UNICEF, or my name on any of your petitions.

    Don’t petition me for help. I love you, but
    I judge you; it’s just a reflex. If you think
    of it like that, you can love me anyway,
    and I certainly hope that you do.

      1. posmic

        Thanks! And oh, good … it’s a persona poem, and those are always risky. :) I put on maybe — maybe — my most judgey self, and then let it say some really outrageous things that I don’t actually mean.

  62. Bruce Niedt


    I chased the frightened deer into my net,
    while Echo longed for me from in the glade.
    When she professed her love I laughed, “Forget
    this foolish crush – your girlish looks will fade
    while mine will burn bright as Apollo’s wheel!”
    I broke her heart, she wasted to a shade;
    her voice is all that’s left, a plaintive peal.
    When Nemesis caught wind of this, she made
    me find my own reflection in a pool.
    I thought, “My, what perfection!” and I fell
    in love with this young man – oh, what a fool –
    and frozen there, I’d waste away as well.
    Cruel judgment? Well, perhaps, but here’s the thing:
    my name is yellow flowers every spring.

  63. Marianv

    A simple ceremony
    (over in an instant)

    All the bad things that could possibly happen
    You imagined ten times over
    The shopping trips, the trying on of clothes
    Explaining why you didn’t want the
    Traditional white dress and veil
    You were starting your own traditions.

    The judge walked into the room
    And everyone stood. You two
    Joined hands in front of him
    He spoke a few words
    You each said “I do”
    He slipped a ring on your finger
    In that instant you were joined
    Both of you hoping “forever”

  64. wolfbolz

    The Judge

    How often are your judgments pure,
    where truth is known
    and sleep assured?
    How often are your judgments true,
    where facts are given,
    told to you?
    How often are they just a guess,
    if judge you must
    before you judge the rest?

    How often are your judgments wrong,
    reflections of
    the liar’s song?
    How often are they harsh or cruel,
    where hatred is
    the judgments fuel?
    Or wrong by choice,
    the greatest sin,
    when blame is yours,
    but you judge him?
    Where avarice plays its shameful role
    like Judas silver
    or traitor’s gold.

    You sit in somber judgment there,
    with our lives you play
    and tell yourself that justice served
    is neither blind nor true,
    that all that saves us from the wild
    and violent world is,

  65. Michael Grove


    Please, judge me no more.
    Do not even the score.
    You don’t have to go.
    I have tried to show
    you respect.

    The sunbeam would pass
    thru magnifying glass
    while I pondered and gazed
    The fine focus blazed
    no defect.

    The sky would turn blue
    thinking of you
    and I living
    in peace and giving
    without neglect.

    The burdens all lifted
    while Grace had been gifted
    from there up above
    we promised to love
    and protect.

    I watched the wind blow
    and I saw it all go
    the way I had dreamed
    of the picture it seemed
    so perfect.

    By Michael Grove

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      WOW, Michael, such a lovely flow to this! Love, “the burdens all lifted while Grace had been gifted” and “the way I had dreamed of the picture it seemed” . . . beautiful job!

  66. Dare

    Am I Good Enough?

    Hope teeters, cliff-edge
    Small hands tremble
    Offering my heart
    Disguised as fresh-baked muffins

    Bouncing off rocks
    I fall into the abyss
    You never heard
    “Please love me”

        1. Janet Rice Carnahan

          I love this, especially “Disguised as fresh-baked muffins” to describe something oh, so real! Yes, tough lesson to learn, muffins and all!

  67. Jane Shlensky


    Come on, she’s old and stupid; let it go.

    She’s not stupid, for she’s shrewd and crafty mean.

    OK, she’s old and lonely—surely you can forgive.

    She won’t apologize for harm she’s done and knows.

    But if you let this fester, it will only do more harm.

    But I’m right and never did her harm, only good.
    She must apologize and stop her malicious mouth.

    But she won’t, she’s got her pride, you know that.

    Then let her eat her pride for dinner;
    let her chew her pride until she chokes.

    Really? Weren’t you friends?

    Until she broke my heart with her lies.

    So you don’t love her now?

    …I guess I do love her, for the betrayal still hurts.

    Then tell her that, put it to rest.

    Why me? Why aren’t you telling her
    to learn to apologize?

    Because she’s old and stupid.

    She’s not stupid—she’s shrewd
    and old and lonely.

  68. PowerUnit

    You are posting, they
    Say too quickly
    Comments, they
    Say are sickly

    Your words are empty, they
    Don’t agree
    With the ideas, they
    Convey to me

    Patronizing, they
    Put me down
    Agonizing, they
    Make me frown

  69. Marie Elena


    Lord, search my heart and show me
    what wicked ways I’ve hidden
    from myself.
    Lay them bare, open
    before my sight.
    Give me a loathing of my own sin,
    to make me appreciate more
    Your own merciful decision
    to look at me
    and pronounce me clean.

  70. cstewart

    Write a judging poem


    About something that’s wrong or right
    Something that looks like day but is night
    Something that looks black but is white.

    In the vague incendiaries’ of gray,
    Is where we find out meanings.

  71. Catherine Lee

    Born This Way

    Your compass mouth
    Spins needle words
    Toward my stationary self
    I am target North

    You assume the orientation
    Of my eyes and every other part
    Are written on the surface
    Of my map body

    You only see tectonics
    Shifting at the mercy
    (or is it power?)
    Of the basal part of me

    It is the heat
    Beneath the skin
    But you know nothing
    Of the inside

  72. Bruce Niedt

    Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Write a poem about a plant.

    Open Letter from a Dandelion

    Why do you judge me so harshly,
    you gardeners and weekend lawn warriors
    who attack me with sharp-edged tools
    and toxic chemicals? When did I acquire
    the stigma of “weed”? All I want to do
    is brighten your yard, a burst of sunshine
    in a sea of boring, uniform green. I bring joy
    to your children when I go to seed – they make
    a wish and blow on my fuzzy head, scattering
    my seeds to the wind, to perpetuate the species.
    Some of you even like my saw-toothed leaves
    in your salads. So what is my crime?
    Who are you to pass this sentence?
    Just know that even as you root me out,
    my children already grow somewhere else.

    1. ina

      I love this. I love dandelions too – I love watching kids make their chins “butter” with the pollen and I love dandelion chips. This is a WONDERFUL tribute – thank you for raising all these wonderful memories.

  73. Jane Shlensky

    The Politics of Passive Problem Solving

    Judging by the looks of things,
    some mistakes have been made
    by someone here, though not by me,
    some bad words have been said
    about someone by someone else
    who shall remain nameless.

    While we sort all the egos
    into baskets by their size,
    while we nurse our hurt feelings–
    the anger, tears, and cries
    for vengeance—speedy payback,
    for cutting bastards loose,
    while our language founders
    on the rocks of word abuse,

    maybe we could take a breath,
    escape our worst instincts,
    try hard to find respect for
    something each one of us thinks;
    maybe it’s not too late yet
    to try to understand
    that rightness is a spoon of soil,
    but wrongness, a vast land.

    1. Domino

      This is potent, Jane. I find it usually best to let a tormentor simmer in their poison, and to simply walk away, bruised, but karma intact. I live by the threefold law – what one does comes back to one threefold – both good and bad. Your gentle suggestion echoes that.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Thanks, Diana. I like the way you think, lady. I mostly want to believe that what negatives go around, only come around for others, rather than for me ;) That falls into my “pretty to think so” ideas of retribution, divine or otherwise.

  74. Michael Grove

    Personal Preference

    There are always teachers pets
    and those who still get shunned.
    The judge leaves some excited
    and many others stunned.

    It’s a matter of opinion,
    neither dead wrong nor correct.
    Some may chalk it up to jealousy
    or lack of self respect.

    With much empirical data
    the best will somehow loose,
    when it is personal preference
    that judges use to choose.

    By Michael Grove

    1. Hannah

      Oh, Pamela, you got that feeling just right! I’ve so felt those days before and judged them the same way but that hits like a brick in the gut so I try to tell myself I’m recharging on days like that. Smiles to you!

  75. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Walk a Mile
    Your aside comments,
    spoken just silent enough to hear,
    tear at the bit of heart left intact.
    As she bleeds, unseen
    you walk with head held high
    pomp and piety straightening
    your serpents spine.
    The venom you spit
    is an impotent bile.
    You’d never last a day
    in her shoes.

  76. Domino


    “Oh yeah,” I thought
    as I sat amidst the ladies
    at my sister-in-law’s baby shower.

    “This is what this is like.”
    Nice ladies, all as thin as a stick
    and smiling so kindly
    and I pull my shirt down
    a bit
    to camouflage that
    extra bit of tummy
    that never quite goes away.

    And then the chatter begins:
    One is talking about her new clothes,
    so elegant,
    bought as a bribe by her husband
    so she would accompany him
    to a marathon
    across the country.

    And how lovely the weather was
    in Boston
    and how he made such a

    She’s not boasting, not much,
    but she is subtly
    those ladies who don’t
    have the wherewithal
    to fly cross country
    for a new outfit.

    And then the topic changes
    to college and
    higher education
    and how one lady spent
    a semester at
    they were so glad to have her
    and though it is boasting
    a little
    it’s all so virtuous
    because it’s all about
    e d u c a t i o n
    and how important that is.

    And so I quietly get up
    and go sit by the
    tattooed lady
    in the corner.

    Yes, I am judging,
    in my own way.
    But I find the conversation
    much more to my liking.

    Diana Terrill Clark

    1. Jane Shlensky

      I think I attended that shower! Your poem so well expresses both the subtle (and not so subtle) boasts, but also how effectively they shut down more delightful conversations. I want to hear a story from the tattoed lady! Great one, Diana.

        1. Janet Rice Carnahan

          Even if the tattooed lady said nothing out loud, her art is expression itself. What she might verbally express in the poem paints such open possibilities! Great job, Diana! I totally agree with Jane and Linda!

  77. Walt Wojtanik


    I see you have big screen TV’s,
    one in every room, Not a pot
    to piss in; it’s your financial doom.
    New cars in the driveway,
    expansions under way
    how can you afford all this?
    But, it’s not for me to say…
    your wife has had “enhancement”,
    the guys say you have too.
    where do you get your cash flow,
    to do the things you do?
    Your wall are clearly see-through,
    there in your handsome home,
    but they’ll protect from my objection,
    you’ll see me throwing stones!

  78. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Try, try and try,
    Cry, cry and cry,
    Sigh, sigh and sigh,
    Once more,
    Buy, buy and buy,
    Any store!
    Or . . .

    Stop the judgment,
    Of yourself,
    Put all past attempts,
    Up on the shelf,

    Stand back from all who want to judge,
    Negativity never wants to budge!

    Release from that old train of thought,
    Or act as if you’re guilty of being caught!

    Look in the mirror and recognize,
    All the beauty and light in your eyes!

    See yourself everyday as your greatest fan,
    In truth,
    You’re always doing the best . . .

    You can!!

      1. Janet Rice Carnahan

        Thank you, Sweet Diana! I appreciate your comments very much! I think judgment is so quickly mirrored that if we can stop our own judgment in, we would also stop it going out! Thanks again! :)

  79. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Judge and jury,
    What’s your hurry?
    Already a conviction?
    About my addiction!
    Yes, without chocolate . . .

    I worry!

    Jury and judge,
    Why won’t you budge!
    We agreed to meet,
    If I wouldn’t eat,
    Ok, guilty . . .

    Here’s my fudge!

    To the judge and this fine court,
    You’ll find I’m really not the sort,
    To not be true,
    Or disrespectful of you,
    I’ll do my time . . .

    At a spa resort! :)

  80. Tracy Davidson

    Judge Brewer

    I pleaded guilty
    to the charge
    of trying
    to impersonate (badly)
    a proper poet.

    The old judge
    cruelly sentenced me
    to a month
    of writing
    a poem every damn day…
    sadistic bugger!

    1. Tracy Davidson

      Thanks guys. Of course I now realise I must apologise to Robert for daring to call him ‘old’. But ‘dashingly young and handsome’ wouldn’t have fitted the form!!

  81. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Judge and Jury

    You sit aloof
    high on your pedestal
    your ivory tower
    of righteousness
    giving out rainbows
    of disdain
    from so far aloft
    you cannot but look down
    on others
    and yet your lonely palace
    lacks one simple adornment
    in no vast ghostly white apartment
    will there be found a mirror
    lest you glimpse yourself
    and in seeing
    and in judging
    find yourself


        1. Janet Rice Carnahan

          Wouldn’t it be an interesting world if every time we judged someone, a mirror dropped down so we could look at our self? How better to grow and in an ideal sense, I wonder how fast judgment would end? Great job, Iain.

  82. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Ooohweeeee baby! Rarely have I seen
    a game that exciting! From being made to
    look second rate to ripping their heart
    out and stomping on it at home plate!
    Unreal! I ‘m gonna be living on that one
    for some time to come. May even keep me
    cheerful when your mother and sister get
    back tomorrow. Judgement day I call it –
    bound to be a hell storm to deal with.
    Today we rejoice and look forward to a 3 for 3.
    Pick ya up in the lobby at 7 – bring money
    for the usual.

    Dancingly yours in the outfield,
    Ringo the Howler

  83. Michael Grove

    I wrote this one last July but it remains one of my personal favorites.

    Judge No More

    When we can look at one another,
    taking direction from above
    and leave it all to fate
    finding unconditional love
    thus accepting all as one
    and ending every war
    while living with compassion
    then we will judge no more.

    By Michael Grove

  84. Linda Voit

    Judging Piano-Hinge Beer

    Its beer born of a brew pot that fits on our stove in Iowa, surrounded
    by my husband and his friends bantering and laughing and eating
    homemade chili or pheasant or jambalaya one of them made
    without a recipe, some kind of chips, raw veggies from the co-op.
    It’s a brand named after my husband’s former work with hinges
    and our neighbor’s work as a piano tuner. The beer softly gurgles
    from the corner of the family room, fermenting in the carboy.

    Each batch is recorded with details and comments and each
    Is communally named – Bitter Red Head, Amber Waves of Grain,
    Fallen Branches (after an actual incident), Macalester Scottish Ale,
    in honor of our daughter’s college, Hop to the Border,
    Spit in Your Eye Rye, Edless Horseman, for the time Ed
    wasn’t available to help, Hit the Trail Pale Ale, Your bock, Our bock, Mai Bock
    and the last one before the whole operation is boxed for our impending move,
    Fade to Black.

    Friends and family take a sip and judge each beer a huge success,
    tell him he should open a brewery. Some dance and none can wipe
    the grin from their face when they get one, its homemade label
    taped on. They return each bottle to encourage his habit.
    But people who care might be too gentle as judges, so a sample goes
    to a professional brewer who suggests he could win his category
    in a homebrew contest. He enters the Iowa State Fair where the judging
    is expert, harsh and specific, and he wins a Bronze!

    Funny, I’m usually the one who tells people about that ribbon. He’s more likely
    to tell you which friend likes which beer. I think that’s why it tastes so good.

    Linda Voit

  85. Michael Grove

    Judgment and Forgiveness

    The deepest roots are growing
    here as with the great bamboo.
    Forgiveness both the root and the
    culm. She waited in the lobby of
    the grand ballroom for her date.
    Love for all and in all, the goal.

    In masquerades judgment as if that
    were the theme of the party. Fuel to
    a fire which longs to be extinguished
    with a single splash of water. The
    other burn. He walks up to her and
    offers his arm and the back of
    his hand as she turns the other cheek.

    Recited seven times seven times seven
    fold, in not just anyone’s prayer.
    Forgive and forget. Judge not lest you
    be judged. Abundant bread. So much
    to digest. Pleasant to the taste buds, yet
    bitter at first. It is thereby put to the
    test and is in and of itself, the test.

    By Michael Grove

  86. Paoos69

    Am I the Judge?

    Why is the mind ever so suspicious
    Of peoples’ motives and demeanor?
    Does face value have any value?
    Or everything is nothing but a hidden agenda
    A forlorn, ever-twisting saga?

    Are those days gone when
    People were pure, honest, worthy?
    Why is there a lack these days
    Of lustless listless love?
    Of white being white and
    Black being black?

    My grandmother always told me
    To be good, no matter what
    But it is getting harder
    With perilous people around
    And trust running astray
    Each one bound by selfishness
    Each one their ego’s prey

    But, of course, who am I to judge
    A mere being bestowed with life
    Coveted by my own thoughts
    Believing and doing goodness
    Which could be perceived otherwise
    Yet again a judgement on someone’s part
    Yet another mere being
    Corrupt, consumed, caught in distort

  87. Walt Wojtanik


    I see you have big screen TV’s,
    one in every room, Not a pot
    to piss in; it’s your financial doom.
    New cars in the driveway,
    expansions under way
    how can you afford all this?
    But, it’s not for me to say…
    your wife has had “enhancement”,
    the guys say you have too.
    where do you get your cash flow,
    to do the things you do?
    Your wall are clearly see-through,
    there in your handsome home,
    but they’ll protect from my objection,
    you’ll see me throwing stones!
    You walk around your domicile
    naked as the breeze, and
    all your neighbors do is smile
    they wonder how you squeeze
    into those clothes that are too small
    you think you’re a real looker

  88. Michael Grove

    My Back Yard

    It’s not so easy to relate.
    To knock upon a heavy gate.
    To open it with purpose and with pride.
    You think you know what’s waiting there.
    Tread onward cautiously with care
    then stir emotion on the other side.

    So many times you’ve gone around.
    A small hole in the fence is found.
    Get down on your knees and crawl right thru.
    I’ll hold you in my open arms
    and dazzle you with all my charms.
    My back yard is a mystery to you.

    A quick trip to the store and bought
    another round of food for thought.
    You weren’t gone long so happy you are back.
    Now stay here with your new found glory.
    Write a chapter of the story.
    Toss it over there on the stack.

    By Michael Grove

  89. taylor graham


    What’s she doing now,
    sneaking behind the drapes?
    Just one puppy,
    into everything she shouldn’t.
    Now she’s skulking
    around the computers,
    the pile of important papers
    on the floor. The box
    of cables, mouses, misc hardware
    we don’t use but it might
    come in handy
    someday. And now she
    leaps off the bed.
    Bad dog!
    Rummaging old poem-drafts
    in the recycle bin.
    What’s this? Her raw-
    hide bone tucked between
    our pillows. Tough
    core of the old bone we thought
    consumed – laid neatly
    atop the stack of outdated
    floppy disks.
    Worthless treasures.
    And on that pile of important
    papers, the rawhide wrap
    of a former bone.
    Bad dog? A hoarder, just like
    we are. Except
    she knows exactly
    where she left each one.

  90. Walt Wojtanik


    First stones cast won’t last the season,
    any reason to self-determine
    who is blessed and who is vermin
    is left to more capable hands.
    It stands to confirm the Golden Rule,
    and what you’ll tolerate is not the
    same as the finger you point,
    a disjointed double-standard.
    No one has the right to judge;
    leave the first stone alone
    until you clean up your own house.
    Judge not! Be not judged

  91. RASlater

    Drunk People Suck

    Drunk people suck
    They are too loud
    Much too clumsy
    They spill their drinks
    All over the table or floor
    They flit around and flirt
    Until they can’t even walk
    And have to crawl instead
    They think of no one else but themselves
    And expect their DD’s to take watch out for them
    To clean up their messes
    And pick them up time and time again
    While they are having fun
    The rest are stuck babysitting
    Drinking water and soda
    While the steak cooks
    Maybe next time the tables will be turned
    They’ll be the responsible ones
    While we drink till we’re silly
    But somehow I doubt it
    For some people never change
    So I’ll swallow my jealousy
    And take a bottle for later
    When I’m safe in my home
    The dog has been walked
    And my charge put to bed
    It won’t be as much fun
    But sometimes you take what you can get ;)

  92. Walt Wojtanik


    Court’s in session!
    and “Here comes the Judge”
    was an expression that
    gave the warning.
    Court’s in session,
    here comes the judge.
    Laugh-in’s strange tribunal
    a communal comedy
    with Dan and Dick,
    Flicker Farkle and Sammy.
    One of extreme class and
    one glass eye brought the
    magistrate to life.
    Court’s in session,
    here comes the judge.
    So don’t speed off
    in your orange GTO.
    or you’ll have to go
    in your Judge before
    the judge. Court’s in session!
    Here Comes the Judge!

  93. Connie Peters


    You can spend a whole life learning to appreciate
    the positives and overlook the negatives
    of self and others. Like, a train chugging
    down the wrong track, critical evaluation
    of a person’s motives and value builds
    up speed and is hard to stop. A commitment
    to love, in spite of it all, un-derails.

  94. Walt Wojtanik


    The verdict came down,
    war crimes against humanity;
    the insanity that ran rampant
    placed the world in turmoil
    and allow it to boil over
    whenever the heat was
    turned up higher. No rush
    to judgement, No rush
    to justice. Just us in the world
    brothers and sisters or
    other mothers and cultures
    escaping the vultures of power
    wings spread above a broken cross.
    And embossed on the hearts
    and forearms of the survivors
    were reminders of such travesty.
    The verdict in Nuremberg;
    a small recompense for
    such maniacal nonsense.

  95. Earl Parsons

    The Harshest

    The steely-eyed stare
    Looking deep within
    To the root of my soul
    The bottom of my very being
    Seeking the most hidden truth
    Turning the pages of written past
    Long since securely locked away
    Yet not completely forgotten

    He searches my soul
    Digging up my filthy rags
    Dredging all that I have been
    Parading them one by one
    Past my wide open mind’s eye

    He shames me with myself
    He allows me no chance for denial
    All that he parades is truth
    The reprehensible truth of a prior life
    Or at least a prior portion of my life
    For which I am sorely sorry
    So much I have repented for
    In the past
    But feel the need
    To repent once more

    He continues his incessant stare
    I am red with shame
    So diminished is my being
    So demoralized by the truth
    Of what my past reveals

    I am broken
    Completely ruined
    As he reaches the bottom
    Of my soul
    The dirty, filthy bottom
    No deeper can he probe

    That stare
    Changed in a moment
    No longer digging
    No longer dredging
    No longer parading
    No longer judging

    Those eyes
    Now inviting
    Now forgiving
    Now loving

    The harshest is over
    The dirt
    But a fleeting thought
    The deepest sins of my past
    Obliterated by his love
    The repentance from my heart

    Still locked eye-to-eye
    He smiles
    And without speaking a word
    He vanishes into the mirror
    And I am born

  96. MiskMask

    Judge Me To The Bone

    I am not my distant
    I am not my before
    or last,
    nor miscreant judged by edges singed
    and honed,
    flying in and out of flames and frying
    I’ve tattooed your lessons
    upon cold comfort, iced tongues
    they burnt
    words and letters on scrabbled tiles,
    a game
    to hurt. You judge me to the bone.

  97. RASlater

    Throwing Stones

    I lay here in a heap
    Huddling on the ground
    My clothes barely covering me
    They dragged me here that quickly
    Standing there wrapped in their Law
    That has no mercy for one such as me
    Stones they hold in each hand
    Waiting the word to throw
    Why have they turned on me now?
    They who were all too eager
    To pay me for my services before
    Where is the pharisee I was with
    When through the door they did burst
    But on the fringe
    Stones in his hands as well
    They are all silent as they speak to Another
    Asking what He thought should be done with me
    I looked out through hanging strands of hair
    And see a Man stooped down
    As though drawing in the sand
    For one split second His eyes meet mine
    And I am lost in that gaze
    There is no judging or hatred
    Nor contempt for my kind
    Only the purest love I’ve ever seen
    Kindness and gentleness and hope
    He rises and speaks to those who would test
    And challenges them
    Only one who has never sinned
    May cast a stone at me
    Knowing them I cringe
    Waiting for the first blow
    But it does not come
    I hear soft thuds on the ground
    And open my eyes to see
    Judgement turned within
    And the subject found wanting
    One by one, then in groups
    They all walk away
    Except those behind this Man
    I rise to my feet in the emptiness
    And then He speaks to me
    “Where are you accusers? Is there any left to condemn you?”
    For a moment I cannot speak
    Such respect I’ve never heard
    Words spoken to me as though I were an equal
    I manage to answer that there was no one left
    He nods His head and told me He wouldn’t either
    Go, He said, and sin no more
    Numbly I nod, knowing that my customers will be back
    Wondering how I could sin no more
    With pharisees such as these
    Thinking He asks too much
    I being to walk away
    Knowing I need more clothes
    When I hear Him say to those following Him
    “I am the light of the world…”
    And then I know what I can do
    I can follow Him too
    There are women in this group
    Who come to no harm
    And are not abused
    Respected they are, and taken care of
    My walk breaks into a run
    There are thing to be done
    And then I’ll be back
    Knowing that if He didn’t judge me
    Then neither would the rest
    Indeed, while I was gathering my clothes
    There is a quiet knock on my broken door
    I turn to see a group of them
    Woman well dressed and smiling
    These few didn’t look down there noses
    And I knew I was free

  98. claudsy


    Aren’t we all?
    Don’t we cringe
    When faced with stares
    That bring blushes
    To cheeks, downcast eyes?

    Who can say with truth
    They never did wrong?
    Who can stand upright
    Without guilt lying within?
    Who can judge any but self?

    © Claudette J. Young

  99. Ber

    Who are you to Judge

    As if life was hard enough
    And school was worse you see
    Attending a school where I didn’t belong
    A different religion you see

    In a community of this kind
    Can play havoc with your mind
    Only young as I was
    It was all because

    I wasn’t from the kind of these peoples past you see
    All eyes staring stuck on my religion at me
    I am a person see who I am
    Not judge me or treat me different
    We all believe in the same god

    Was taunted and shamed of what I was
    Was kicked and spat on
    Told I was a freak
    But I know I am the same as you
    But I am not weak

    I do not need to hurt someone
    To make me feel so strong
    I live the very same life as you
    But I do not hurt or do wrong

    I scream out as they are hurting me in this way
    Leave me alone what have I done
    To deserve this kind of play
    They will see me who I really am
    When we grow up and things have changed
    I do not hold any grudge to you
    Even tough you all made me feel caged

    Children can be hurtful
    They don’t always know what they say
    But when it comes to hurting someone physically
    That has to stop right away
    I met you and you said sorry
    That was nice to hear
    But when you meet people from different places
    Let them talk let them hear
    We are all the same no matter what
    We all breathe the same air
    We are all in this earth together
    Live and let live I declare

    1. Hannah

      This is such a painful thing to have had to endure, Ber, my heart clenches as a fist to hear of the cruel ways that children can hurt. You’ve really captured the feeling and injustice of this very well.

      I like this a lot:

      “We are all the same no matter what
      We all breathe the same air”

      So true!

  100. RJ Clarken

    Viva La Difference

    “I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?” ~Douglas Adams

    I love irises. You? The rose.
    You’re into races; I like shows.
    You’re a Mac and I’m a PC…
    ‘cause we just see things differently.

    I adore Victorian style
    but you find modern more worthwhile.
    And you drink coffee. I sip tea…
    ‘cause we just see things differently.

    I ‘heart’ the cozy mystery.
    You’d rather read some history.
    And I write rhyme; your verse is free…
    ‘cause we just see things differently.

    About our world views, we don’t judge.
    (It wouldn’t matter; each won’t budge.)
    We’re who we are: you’re you/I’m me…
    ‘cause we just see things differently.


  101. cindishipley

    Judged by everybody (sestina)
    The thought as white as snow,
    was painful to her eye.
    The cold that struck her mind
    was only a loud whisper.
    But it made her body whirl
    and all of her skull splinter.

    Inside her brain the splinter
    made tissue turn to snow
    and all the world to whirl
    against the inside of her eye.
    Too many thoughts they whisper
    to drive her from her mind.

    The disease of coldness in the mind
    and the direction of the icy splinter.
    The freeze in time of that whisper
    sat still like a flake of landed snow.
    Yet through her staring eye
    the thoughts still seemed to whirl.

    The swirl of anguish and the whirl
    bled scarlet in her mind,
    yet she could not see with her eye
    how cunningly had the splinter
    turned her heart to snow
    and madness become more than a whisper.

    The voices that slowly whisper
    a strangeness, in a whirl
    the bitterness of the snow,
    the beleaguered mind,
    the accuracy of the splinter
    as it pierces through the eye.

    So now, softly, looks the eye
    around those that cruelly whisper
    it is their thoughts she would splinter
    it is their turn to whirl
    and lose a perfect mind
    to dust and then to snow.

    The eye of thought will whirl
    the whisper is in the mind
    the sharp splinter turned to melting snow.

  102. RJ Clarken


    “Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye.” ~William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost

    The kid that you called fat or gay?
    Those slurs and epithets you say?
    If you’re the one whose words deride
    you are the reason why they’ve cried.

    A bully is a bully and
    the thing is, it gets out of hand
    when no one steps up. Cast aside,
    it is the reason others hide.

    And if you think this does no harm
    it’s time to rethink, since alarm-
    ing are the stats for this worldwide.
    Are you the reason? It’s implied.

    It’s time to cease and to desist.
    Regarding ‘urge to judge’: resist.
    As for opinions, step outside
    and be the reason for some pride.


  103. De Jackson

    Of Trial and Error

    The evidence gathering
    is easy. He’s crafty, but
    careless. Toward the
    end she’s quite certain
    he just doesn’t care
    anymore. She has no
    peers and his are also
    accomplices, so the trial
    is a little lonely, but
    straightforward enough.
    Trouble is, in the end
    she’s not sure who got
    sentenced: him, or her?

  104. De Jackson

    Vows and Verdicts

    Do you
           (take this woman)
    solemnly swear
           (to be)
    to tell
           (your lawfully wedded wife?)
    the truth, the whole truth
    and nothing but the truth,
    so help you God?

    you said.

    You didn’t.


  105. Nancy Posey


    Atticus had it right about walking
    in that other fellow’s shoes 
    since we most dislike in others
    what we fear in ourselves.

    If we talked less, listened more,
    rationed judgment, lavished understanding,
    worried less about winning
    and focused more on peace,

    we might live in a world 
    where even the mockingbirds
    could sing their own songs
    without fear of slingshots.

  106. Brian Slusher


    On the New York state eighth-grade
    reading exam, you come to a tale
    about a talking pineapple challenging
    a hare to a race. The proctor calls
    five minutes. You read how the animals
    spectating anticipate the fruit will win
    because it must have guile: why else
    would a legless thing propose such
    competition? Four minutes. The beasts
    bet on the pineapple and lose, then
    eat the loser. Two minutes remain.
    The question rises, a chunk of ice
    floating in a cold ocean: which animal
    was wisest? The moose? The owl?
    Perhaps the crow? 30 seconds to go
    and there is the hare, racing across
    the bubbled landscape, its loping leaps
    athletic, explosive. That hare is going
    places, deftly dodging the student desks
    and pencils down.

      1. Brian Slusher

        Thanks for your favor, kind lady. I’m sure you read about this in the news, the “pineapple” question? It certainly made me laugh ruefully.

        1. LCaramanna

          Great take on the pineapple fiasco, Brian. I have been under such pressure to raise test scores – and we end up with a pineapple with no sleeves – in the Daily News and on Facebook. I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  107. Sharon

    rejections pain

    you dirty skunk
    you wretched drunk
    into you my life was sunk.

    look at you mean and cruel
    jumping into the shallow pool
    i can’t believe i’m such a fool!

    i thought a poem i could write
    and really tried with all my might
    but it’s given me such a fright.

    someone else will look and sigh,
    can anyone tell me why
    she even made the try?

    drunk on trying to be smart
    for this challenge I did my part
    and worked at it with all my heart.

    now the judge will take a look
    does he get my clever hook?
    i’m not a poet, i’m a crook.

    stealing thoughts from some other brain
    while another yeas or nays my refrain
    winching, shuddering with mental pain.

  108. PSC in CT

    Folks are off to a good start with this one! Always ill advised to start reading before writing, but… when the list is short and manageable, it’s hard to resist, so… back later — I hope, with something worthwhile. :-|

  109. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net


    I went to Waterstone
    where I listened to a man preach
    about the message
    of the Old Testament prophets:
    hope, justice, judgment.

    I went outside and saw a raven
    the size of a hawk
    sitting on top of a lamppost
    cawing down blackly
    at the cars driving away.

    “But which of them has stood
    in the council of the LORD
    to see or hear his word?
    Who has listened
    and heard his word?”

    Jane Beal
    from JAZZ BIRDING (2012)

  110. Katrin

    All Rise

    And follow me
    out of these
    somber chambers
    where judgment has
    crushed and released
    and justice wobbles daily
    on its pedestal

    Shall we go out into
    a sweeter judgment?
    A dog show
    where kindness is rated on
    a scale of dog years
    An orchid show where
    bloom grades a bee’s technique
    And a diving competition
    where the surface has
    the final say?
    Let’s fashion paper
    airplanes out of
    adjudicators’ marks and see
    how far
    they carry weight
    in a world of
    lawless breeze

  111. just Lynne

    I didn’t examine what being white and American meant
    until I went to China

    I didn’t expect the men in bars to think I was easy
    like the actresses in movies
    someone easily seduced, almost a prostitute

    I didn’t expect the young people to flock to me
    eager to practice their English
    talk about Britney Spears and Michael Jackson
    how being American automatically made me cool

    I didn’t expect the older generations
    to view me as part of the country that erased their culture and traditions
    saturating it with obscene music and movies
    I was to blame for the new generation of teenagers
    who didn’t know what it meant to be Chinese

    to them, I wasn’t just an American,
    I was a dangerous fragment of an oppressive country
    so they were fully justified in spitting at me
    or calling me lao wai under their breath
    as I stepped onto the bus to go downtown
    they thought I was a dumb American who didn’t know
    but I knew that lao wai was the n word for white people
    and I could hear it on their breath, see it in their suspicious brows

    I didn’t expect a child to see my pale skin
    and run away screaming, convinced I was a ghost

    I didn’t know how I could be seen as a commodity
    something to be acquired, useful
    so the man in the sharp business suit
    left boxes of moon cakes by my dorm room door
    asked my professor permission to court me
    he knew nothing about me but my pale skin and blonde hair
    but marrying a white American woman could open up doors
    for jobs and promotions

    I didn’t know what it would feel like
    to be so singular
    my blonde hair a single star on a cloudy night
    and being singular made me noticed
    even my French, Italian, and Dutch friends
    were of Chinese descent
    I couldn’t fool anyone
    and without clear allies men could find me easy prey
    grasping my wrists and forcing shots down my mouth
    my only method of salvation was their drunkenness
    so they were clumsy enough I could wrest myself away

    my classmates went to the bars where all the white people go,
    took taxis, and never traveled alone
    while I hopped buses
    and waltzed in parks
    with surprised old men
    I jumped on a train
    not knowing my destination
    and kissed a black American who
    everyone thought was Chinese
    my classmates knew China’s smooth surface
    while I received spit, adulation, and moon cakes
    mockery, and the murmured word “lao wai”
    which is still difficult for me to speak

      1. just Lynne

        thank you. it was hard to experience those episodes or racism but I appreciate that I did, it helps me understand minorities here who are judged constantly. I wrote this poem for a poetry slam competition (though I was in last place).

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Just Lynne, this brought back many China memories for me from teaching there two years before and after the student movement. Homogeneous populations don’t leave many places to hide for those who look so different, for better or worse. Big nose and foreign devil that I was, I still made so many treasured friends. Thanks for reminding me.

  112. just Lynne

    “The Failure of Field Guides”

    by Lynne Albert

    This field guide
    defines these species
    but does not reveal their truth.
    Their beauty is not contained by field marks
    but dwells within the timbre of their song,
    the sheen of their feathers,
    the velvet silk of their fur,
    and their golden eyes aflame in the darkness.

    On page 208 I found my face
    but somehow it looks wrong;
    the features are correct
    but the spirit is gone.
    Did the camera steal my soul
    or did your overmedication swallow it?

    Could we rectify this in a new edition
    or do we need to burn the book?

    I’m off to gather kindling.

    1. PSC in CT

      I like this one, just Lynne! So true, re: the field guide — helping us in identification, but so incomplete & superficial in actuality, never really touching on their essence. And, the same is so true of people’s perceptions of us, and photographs, and… “I’m off to gather kindling” too! Thanks for sharing this! :-)

      1. just Lynne

        thanks! the “field guide” is in reference to the DSM-IV, the book that classifies mental illness and explains the mental illnesses I supposedly have, putting me in these strict classifications that lose the essence of who I am. I liked paralleling it to a field guide for animals etc. I hate labels. Like you said, the “guide” is “incomplete and superficial in actuality, not touching on one’s essence.” Thank you.

  113. just Lynne

    Ok, so I’ve written Lots of poems about judgment that I’m begging to share, i want to share a few before I actually do this prompt. Tt’s just a common theme of my poetry, being upset about people judging me. I hope you appreciate these. The first two are two poems that are very close to my heart that I’ve often shared. -Lynne


    by Lynne Albert

    I fit every label
    but none.
    I wish they would realize
    I lie between
    the lines of the DSM-IV.

    Would you walk over me
    with sharp stilettoed words
    or measure my pulse,
    fingers at my wrist?

    Would you be my savior?
    Then choose your method:
    purify me with water
    or antiseptic.
    You may
    plaster nametag labels on my chest
    or call me “Lynne.”

    But I must warn you:
    the stickers fall off
    but this paper proclaims
    I own this name.

  114. Imaginalchemy

    How dare you judge me!
    What makes you think you know better
    That my abilities, my talents
    Must be evaluated on your personal scale
    In order to have any weight or significance?

    How can you measure how hard I work?
    What all-knowing powers have you been blessed with
    To be given the right to label me worthy or not?
    How can it be that your subjugating subjectivity
    Is the ultimate word, the final decision, the only opinion?

    The truth, my fickle friend,
    The truth that you face with such hot hostility…


    And no, I don’t care that you’re allergic to peanuts.

  115. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Inner judge”

    day upon day
    (I’m stacking them up)
    waiting for a decent something

    * * *
    so many lousy poems
    . . . written

    by me
    that stick
    to me

    . . . like grease

    * * *
    I’m stacking them up
    (waiting day upon day)
    for a decent something.

    1. PKP

      Hi… Haha and thanks all… Away from the computer all day… Delightful to come back and read … My eyes are closing so no comments and I expect most asleep or into tomorrow by now… I will say in terms of writing quickly … that I always remember my first PAD and RLB’s instructions (or perhaps I imagined them)… to write and not worry about editing.. that there would be plenty of time for editing later. I think that that encouragement was enough to open the gates and they’ve stood ajar (for better or worse) freeing me up ever since.

      Goodnight or good morning all and thanks to those who took the time (and in so many cases with our Automatic Autocratic “You’re Posting Too Fast” Editor” patience to post ..) So greatly appreciated :)

  116. PKP

    Beach Walk

    To the sea
    turquoise lapping
    small black suit
    she walks
    flat stomach
    under high breasts
    young spilling
    calves tight
    she enters slowly
    crystal water
    as hair billows
    she sighs
    he watches
    from behind
    a bush

  117. PKP

    Dog Show

    There a straight line
    on the back
    head held high
    but not too
    feet planted
    firmly but not
    walking with
    on the
    end of
    a lead

  118. PKP

    There comes a time

    a time to raise voices
    against that which cannot
    hold and which shall gain
    purchase behind the silence
    of would be non-judgers

    there are those times
    when great pain slices
    through – when predilections
    to preference cannot
    public policy decide

    there comes a time
    to judge
    not to impose
    in black swirling
    robed impunity –
    but with the gentle
    suredess of
    butterfly wings
    that kindness
    can not be compromised

    there comes a time
    to fly together in
    gentle swarms of
    rainbow colored
    collective consciousness

  119. Billie


    Am I to believe that I’m so Insignificant
    That you pass me bye?
    They may be watching you
    Judging every move you make
    But I see the way you look at me.

    And I long to dream of you again.
    To walk bye and see your eyes
    for my legs to go weak
    I want that rush, that crush.

    But prying eyes believe lies
    If they want to criticize
    Let them be
    It could just be you and I.

    Even through I have sacrificed
    And even lied
    These feelings.

    I’m reeling that I am to believe that I’m so insignificant
    That the idea of you and I
    Is to be ostracized.

    I see the way you look at me.

  120. RobHalpin


    “Oh my God. I’m back. I’m home. All the time, it was… We finally really did it. You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!” – George Taylor, Planet of the Apes

    Shaking his head in
    watching the chaos

  121. Marie Elena

    An old one for now … back later with a new.


    Look at me.
    What do you see?
    Genuine smile?
    Tender eyes?
    Watch me.
    What do I do?
    Lend a hand?
    Feed the poor?
    Look closer.
    What do you see?
    Lack of faith?
    Perhaps my sin
    Is not glaring.
    But it is sin
    And my sin
    Killed my Christ.

    1. Ber

      It is so true all commercial now all tough i have to say my children are good and understand do not eat meat at all on ash wednesday or good friday they like traditions and what they stand for

  122. Jamal Abboud

    Fickle Fidelity

    Fickle bodies to love fidelity meanings are few,
    So let’s part, you and me, before we argue,
    While the angry summer day still has sight;
    Before the spellbinding shawl of twilight
    Deceives eyes with green mantle shapes.
    Let’s us go now before dark steals our shades,
    To clothe them to bushes in euphoric dance,
    So fears manipulate feelings of double chance;
    Though both of them are in trance of innocence,
    Yet fragile feelings have a weak defense.
    See, fantasy speaks shallow with farcical glare,
    While love fathoms beneath a calm stare,
    So verve hearts are deluded by ill scheme,
    That ruthlessly fakes snares to overwhelm
    The paired inept perplexed couples in love,
    With distracting concepts of secrets above
    Their ability to discern and knowledge tact,
    That we take peaceful plants for severe plight,
    So let’s part, sweetheart, till we are not huffy
    Till we understand love and have more liberty.

  123. Imaginalchemy

    “A Lesson in Criticism”

    Nelson Nitpickit was the town’s all-around critic
    His word was respected and revered by all,
    Whether it was a new restaurant’s menu,
    Or a gallery’s Art Show venue,
    His opinion foretold one’s rise or downfall.

    At county fairs, he judged every contest,
    The best jams, the best chilis, the best pies.
    The entrants would sweat as the waited,
    Until, with a snooty huff, he stated,
    “If this contest were about blandness, you’d all get a prize.”

    No, he was never quite happy or impressed.
    Not a thing was good enough to his liking.
    He was a lingual lord of lambasting
    A smug spit-firing snot of spirit-blasting
    His words had the effect of lightning striking.

    Then one day, at a local talent show,
    He heard a young girl warbling a song.
    He guffawed at her act most loudly,
    But the girl stood there, quite proudly,
    And said, “You think you can judge me? You’re wrong!

    “I don’t care if I’m not the best singer.
    I enjoy what I do, I love to sing!
    So what if it’s not perfect? Who is?
    I’ll keep on singing, even if not in show biz.
    At least I’m happy, and don’t hate everything!”

    And Nelson Nitpickit, for once, was struck dumb.
    He had never been judged by anyone else.
    And as he stood up and left, slowly trudging
    He realized that the only one he should be judging
    Was the only person who deserved it: himself.

    1. Hannah

      “He was a lingual lord of lambasting
      A smug spit-firing snot of spirit-blasting
      His words had the effect of lightning striking.”

      This part was wicked fun to read…such fun words play together. I love the name you came up with, “Nelson Nitpickit was the town’s all-around critic,” so clever!!

      What an all-around great write!! Such an important message portrayed so creatively, good job, Imaginalchemy!

  124. drwasy


    Every Monday
    you brought your Sunday
    finest to the bus stop:
    harsh words, hard fists
    inflicted on the infidel
    who kept Jesus
    in her hope chest—
    along with a copy
    of Anne Frank
    and a sugar-
    sweet stopper
    from a Drambuie bottle—
    and who prayed
    at night between
    bed sheets to
    whoever listened.
    A good Christian boy,
    you went to church,
    then spent your Mama’s
    tithing coins on gum
    and candy, spent
    your envy on those
    not forced to make
    the Sunday commute
    to a cross-covered
    space, spent your
    fear on those
    who believed
    in a different fashion.

    Peace, LindaS-W

  125. Hannah


    While one’s heart is
    hard-shelled against
    the world,
    holding oneself
    sacredly different,
    there’s this secret…
    we’re elaborately made,
    minds and bodies
    our intricacies
    and awe-striking wonder;
    we’re all
    so very much
    the same.
    And the wholeness
    one seeks
    would be even more
    be made mature
    and transcend
    in this knowledge.

    © H.G. @P.A. 4/22/12

      1. Hannah

        Oh, you just stated exactly what I wanted you to feel!!! You make my heart so happy! Thank you, Imaginalchemy! In answer to your question: I don’t think I have..I just keep my mind open and what pops in I think is far beyond my actual thinking. If that makes sense. :)

      1. Hannah

        I’m so very humbled, Marie. That I should be so lucky to have you (and everyone), to be here with, writing and sharing together, it just fills my heart to full!! Thank you, always, for your sweet encouragement, it means SO much. Hearts!

    1. Ber

      I love how you pushed yourself in this one especially the wholeness one seeks would be even more complete wonderful feels like i was on a swing and pushed into your inspiring words of thoughts

  126. Mystical-Poet

    Why’d You Go

    thinking ’bout good times in the past
    can’t recall why they didn’t last
    ride the wind if you know how
    don’t try to hard, it’s coming anyhow
    looking out over my old sink
    remembering how she looked in pink
    all the false words she never said
    now all I’ve got is an empty bed
    I miss your voice, the touch of your hand
    the way you made me understand
    now nights so long, the moon so low
    just had to say, I loved you so
    standing here bleeding for all to see
    please don’t judge me too harshly
    when it hurts so bad what you got left
    my friend just died and I’m bereft

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  127. Marjory MT

    You did not take it as your own,
    Your’re not selling it.
    He is a minor, so you could not post his name.
    The teachers who cannot
    “use to demostrate….with discretion…
    classroom stuff,”
    I would judge to be in an unfair spot.

  128. uneven steven

    Let’s just say
    I have this run jump kick fall down
    pop up and do it again boy
    in my class
    whose mom is an entomologist at university
    and who regularly posts links
    such as “nature will eat you”
    and her boy wrote a 5,7,5 insect poem that won the 13 and under division
    I hear some crickets
    They soon will be lizard food
    I am sure of that
    pretty cool for a 7 year old who sees our grins
    with a confusion
    as we read not only his poem
    but the judges comments:
    This short poem describes a scene – states a
    fact, really – with unfiltered honesty and precision, almost in
    defiance of the allegory typically demanded by adult literature. Its
    legitimacy, both of the protagonist’s thought process and of the
    crickets’ fate, was refreshing. Though the setting is ambiguous – did
    he buy crickets at the pet store to feed to his brother’s lizard? Is
    he listening to crickets in his yard and projecting on their fate? –
    we are comforted by his assurance that, indeed, these crickets will be
    silenced soon … The poet wades through multiple literary themes, in
    just three short lines: omniscient narrator, tragedy of life and
    death, the fate of the weak in the face of a predator. Despite the
    maturity of his words, though, we were reminded of our childhoods,
    when the world is filled, at once, with surety and imagination.
    We congratulate the poet on penning this extraordinary piece and thank
    him for sharing –
    and let’s just say by chance he chooses
    to become a poet someday
    we can only hope that his profound befuddlement continues
    with our own when we have poetry judges tell us what a precocious 7 year old means,
    might have meant, wanted to say
    but could only imply
    in a lonely 17 syllables

    in my judgement felt it appropriate to repost this – this was my third let’s poem which I posted late at night- the haiku and judges criticism are real – don’t think I could make that up. (website info available….) do you judge it ok to repost this and /or to also fully quote others poems and/or statements in a “poem” without proper citations? – guess I’ll withhold judgement for now….

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I don’t see why you shouldn’t repost this…it works with the theme, and I hadn’t read it before and I’m very glad I did now. I was wondering if this was a true life story…it’s amazing how a young child can give such weight and poetic beauty to something as deceptively simple as crickets. I’m glad you received such encouragement at that age, and I hope you continue to receive it.

    2. emmajordan

      Fantastic! There is so much I enjoy in this. “run jump kick fall down
      pop up and do it again boy”–now I know him!

      “the judges comments:
      This short poem describes a scene – states a
      fact, really – with unfiltered honesty and precision, almost in
      defiance of the allegory typically demanded by adult literature. Its
      legitimacy, both of the protagonist’s thought process and of the…” wow, people really DO that to kids! Just LISTEN, please?

      The entire thing, formerly posted or new, is excellent, and I dare not do anything but read, and not put my interpretation on it, making it something it is not.

  129. Marjory MT

    If I stop at
    some special quiet spot along the way
    and care too much –
    do not judge me
    as I chose to linger.

    I can not see what lies ahead
    I clung to what I know.
    not so afraid of the unknown ahead –
    as I am afraid to let lose the known.

  130. Marjory MT


    The even’ tide of ebbing flames
    reflects the past that could not be.
    Embers slowly blending, from brightest glow
    to soft misty memories of days gone by.
    Choices made, not forgotten.
    judgements made, the flame is gone.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Definitely not inferior, either poem. I used to think Hamlet was a putz too (but, really, all the characters in that play kind of were)
      And since you ask us to be judges of your poem (I think you judge yourself too harshly). I say, Wonderful!

  131. Marjory MT

    I wanted to believe.
    I tried so very hard.
    But, then I’d watch and see,
    and believing came so hard.

    I tried to rationalize
    and listen to my heart.
    But, saw so ever much go by
    ‘ere no matter what I thought.

    You may not realize
    what actions one will note.
    It’s the little things we see go by
    that hurt the heart the most.

  132. Jaywig

    Day 22 – a judging poem

    The Child –
    Why do they tell me
    what to do
    ALL the time? They’re mean.

    The Teenager –
    What’s with this
    “You can’t do that!”

    The Adult –
    I had no idea!
    Could somebody
    PLEASE tell me
    what to do?

  133. emmajordan

    Don’t judge me by age or appearance
    you would be wrong.
    I choose not to cover the grays with chemicals
    that do who knows what to my body now
    or later on.
    My clothing is not what I would buy for myself
    because they are hand-me-downs,
    gifts from friends because I don’t have the money
    to feed my expensive tastes.

    What you cannot see is a heart of compassion
    true friendship
    someone willing to help.
    A love of music and dance,
    fascinated with psychology and sciences,
    the one in the family who will climb ladders
    to paint or repair,
    remove troubled limbs from trees,
    gardens in a walled bed I built myself.
    Silly gramma, you are funny!
    the kids laughed as I taught them dances,
    or drew funny faces (each one different)
    on their school work,
    when they finished a page.
    You can’t know I enjoy cutting the grass,
    walking for miles,
    often go out just to take pictures of
    what I see as beautiful
    or amazing,
    or that I want to do rick climbing again
    the real kind
    on real rocks and cliffs.
    You don’t know I hate baking cookies
    but love to create gourmet soups,
    make my own fat-free refried beans
    and can or freeze extra food from my garden.
    You wouldn’t know I’ve been to Curacao
    or sat in the green room with musicians
    hanging out, waiting to go on stage;
    or that I want to hike the Appalachian Trail,
    visit Israel, Tuscany, and Barcelona
    but not with a tour,
    and I love Disney Cruises.

    Judging me by age or appearance
    and you miss who I am.
    I am not a gray hair or
    a t shirt that’s too large.
    Get to know me and you will
    very probably like me.
    Most people do.

    1. Marjory MT

      “Do not judge me by my age and appearence”
      how true,

      I think that
      inner person called ‘you’
      would be delightful to
      meet and get to know.

  134. MiskMask

    This is an opposite poem, re-written from the original by Sarah Teasdale. Sub: Judging another person’s kiss and romatic interest.


    I hoped that he’d never love me,
    And he’s never kissed my mouth,
    But I’m not a stricken bird,
    Unable to reach the south.

    I know not if he loves me,
    Tonight my heart is glad;
    His kiss was oh so wonderful,
    Beyond all the dreams I had.

    ~ Original poem written by Sarah Teasdale