2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

For today’s prompt, write an animal poem. The poem can be about an animal, just reference an animal, or well, however you’d like to handle writing an animal poem.

Here’s my attempt:


What they called me in track,
I suppose, because of my speed
but also my long hair and steady
approach. Many people commented
how I never seemed to even try
as if I were born to run after
the smoke of a gun–and maybe
they were right–but you don’t get
to make anything look that easy
until you’ve killed yourself with practice.



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352 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. Yolee


    Soon, glass wings will emerge. You
    will skip and tune new heights, possibly
    over my ceramic tile roof or the avocado
    tree nesting nascent fruit, as if you never
    had legs conditioned to crawl in low places.

    Did you ever look up, eyes veiled
    in dust, accidently creep into a space
    next to the pushed up chest of a shadow?
    Who you’ve been isn’t who you’ll be.

    I will watch for you. The old
    Skylark couple might be around
    to sing something fitting.

  2. po


    Turtles, before long
    each poet writes a
    turtle poem. Animal,
    reptile, human maze,
    even insect love.

    Our pond harbored a
    snapping turtle. I was
    afraid because Granny
    said once bitten, he
    would not let go until
    it thundered.

    Yesterday my son bought
    a brass turtle ashtray for
    his girlfriend. It was not
    clean and sometimes
    that happens when you
    buy something at the
    secondhand store.

    I start the turtle morning
    never knowing what
    I want. Once a friend
    stopped his car in the
    middle of the road to
    rescue a turtle. When
    asked why he said there
    were so few left.

    Love–doomed to
    a slow tempo, low-
    key or sprinter, you
    never know.

  3. Marian O'Brien Paul

    A Puppy for the Emperor-to-Be

    Years before Jeff would proclaim himself
    Emperor of the World, he was a small boy
    who wanted very much to have a little dog.

    On Christmas day the wish was granted him:
    lanky, black-haired, a part-collie pup that
    Jeff called “George” and lavished love upon.

    While first grade lessons dragged on and on,
    George was waiting at home, ready to leap
    in his master’s arms as he came in the door.

    In the backyard one afternoon, I overheard
    the Emperor-to-Be telling his dog, “To grow
    into a German Shepherd, eat all your food.”

    By more than genetics, this was not to be:
    on a soft spring afternoon Jeff threw a ball.
    Chasing it, George was run over by a car.

    A friend whose pug had just had pups tried
    to soothe the pain, letting Jeff choose one,
    but “Linda” could never replace his George.

  4. AC Leming

    Animal Farm

    There are no wild animals
    on this spinning farm —
    all conifers, ferns and empty space.
    If you’re quiet, Hal, you can hear
    the trees grow.

  5. Tanjamaltija


    Slim and slinky
    Sleek, sassy and cute
    Silently sighing,
    Sleepily, slowly…
    Sagacious, serene
    And sure-footed.
    Dark and dinky
    Cunning, astute
    Tortoiseshell or ginger
    Or a Persian humdinger
    Meowing and scratching
    Attractive and fetching

  6. Jaywig

    Day 26 – an animal

    The animal in me snarls and stalks
    intruder cats when the birds yell
    for help. Some cats are stupid.
    The white one looks at me, at
    the stones I fling to frighten, like
    a child who ponders adult antics.
    The grey one knows when the game
    is up, and crashes through broken
    palings, not bothering to scale
    the fence. I am considering
    deterrence in the form of
    barbed wire, if there is no
    restrictive covenant. It’s not that
    I hate cats, I just don’t want them
    here. At friends’ homes, I take
    photos revealing personality;
    they occupy home territories
    like queens and princes.
    I stroke their delicious fur
    and the animal in me purrs too.

  7. Margot Suydam

    Elegy to a Calf

    Where have you gone?
    The quiet moon eyes

    that will never shine
    on passerbys who touch

    our paddock fence with hope
    that it is not electric wire

    although a shock is always
    what the wanderers least

    expect when the sun glazes
    across green listless fields

    Pilgrims who pass here want
    to feel the heat of your nuzzle

    stroke your hair still natted
    from the night you arrived

    they admire how you stand
    on those long spindly legs.

  8. hurtin-heart

    Clawing, scratching, fighting for your attention, but you seem blind to my intentions. Younger ones approach,and there you go. Excitement fills you, as they circle around you, it thrills you, as they flirt and work their magic,using every trick they got,till u hunger for more.I realize,I’m no match  in this war.
    Samantha Tinney 

  9. Caren


    If I were an octopus under the sea,
    I’d wrap myself ’round you with my eight long arms.
    I’d ink up the water to protect you from harm,
    And invite you to live in a garden with me.
    I’d flash you bright colors, impress you with smarts;
    Together we’d go out for lobster and more!
    We’d go to my favorite spots on the sea floor,
    And I’d love you, my dear, with all three of my hearts!

    Caren E. Salas

    (An octave for an octopus)

  10. Michelle Hed

    Dancing Bears (A Sonnet)

    Maybe the house was quiet, but not you,
    I would gather your small form in my arms,
    rub my bleary eyes and slowly woo you
    back to slumber with my slow dancing charms.
    Maybe the day was sunny, you and I
    laughing as I took your hands, your feet on
    mine, and we waltzed with bears, just me and my
    giggling daughter, memories waltz on.

    The raggedy bears and shaggy bears dance
    waltzing, waltzing right next to me and you.
    Now here I sit alone, thinking by chance
    of our last dance, how time flew and you grew.
    A smile plays around my lips as I
    dance with memories, happy tear slips, sigh.

  11. gtabasso

    Momma Cat

    Fascinated by the yarn knot on the bookmark
    and sweat on the side of a cold glass,
    tiny thing rumbling with a broken tail,
    cleaning me and her pet mice like kittens,
    black spot on pink nose and mismatched
    black paw pads, she climbs on me to sleep
    on stomach, chest, hip or back,
    warm body wakes to run from window
    to window, watchdog over the roost,
    eat and throw up, bring soft toy balls to the bed.
    I never see it. Never hear her.
    She is the silent one, less verbal,
    more tactile, never one to yell or complain.
    She came to me when I needed a mother.

  12. Brian Slusher


    PLATE 1
    Southbound, I-85
    a single hawk’s wing
    flapping with each
    passing slipstream,
    waving like a
    feathered hand

    PLATE 2
    A white cage
    with the gold
    corpse of a canary
    posed on the picture
    of a deposed

    PLATE 3
    Near the lavender
    a scarlet patch
    of cardinal,
    his eminence
    prey to your
    prowling cat

    PLATE 4
    3000 blackbirds
    fall on Beebe,
    Arkansas, their
    bodies glossy as
    dark bottles
    with no message
    corked inside

    PLATE 5
    A sparrow,
    eye pierced by
    a BB, lays still
    in the grass,
    plain as a parable
    you tell
    only yourself

  13. TShoe


    The common earwig frightens me,
    Upon her way proceeding;
    She climbs up couches easily
    And scares me when I’m reading.
    But most of all I hate her name,
    A horrible reminder
    Of one place, if she ever came,
    I would not want to find her.

  14. dextrousdigits

    This is my last try. I’ve posted this all over different time zones and
    my time zone is closing down as soon as I get out of work clothes
    and have a bowl of hot soup.

    dextrousdigits says:
    April 27, 2012 at 12:14 am
    dextrousdigits says:
    April 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

    This comment ended up on another poem,

  15. David Yockel Jr.

    Saddle Rocket

    I wish I was a Kodiak bear at home
    in the great Alaskan expanse,
    idling along the seventy-mile

    stretch of the Sadlerochit River,
    adroitly snapping salmon
    as they struggle upstream.

    White sunlight cuts the landscape
    as clean as a Samurai sword while I bathe
    in its sharp and brilliant silence.

    I cozy up to the coming winter,
    where my dreams will be big
    and uninterrupted.

    For Sam.

  16. cstewart

    Shasta Moonbeam Queen

    That is what we called her,
    White with rusty spots.
    An English setter, so smart and beautiful,
    From a litter of eleven.
    All at once I encountered them –
    While picking out a puppy.

    The owner had emphysema;
    And said I can let them out – but I can’t pick them up.
    (For obvious reasons)
    They ran everywhere, noses to the ground.

    I chased one into the barn and picked her up.
    She was shy and warm, she was the one.
    She hid under the seat of the van
    All the way home.

    When I got to the house, I took her out and
    Put her right to the side of the studio door for her
    To walk in and surprise you, but she was too shocked
    So I gave her a tiny push, and she appeared to you –
    Like a little, white spotted cloud.
    Love at first sight.

  17. Sally Jadlow

    The Zoo

    With four kids
    we’ve had a menagerie
    meander through our house.

    Baby ducks, guinea pigs,
    and parakeets
    visited within these walls.

    The most memorable,
    the pollywogs
    who turned into tiny frogs
    discovered by my bear feet
    in pre-dawn darkness
    on the kitchen floor.

    Soon gone.

  18. Jolanta.Stephens

    The Owl and The Pussycat Grow Up

    Said the owl to the pussycat
    “I no longer want to be
    Sitting in this boat
    Rollicking at sea.
    There must be something more
    To my existence than this
    Now my darling pussycat
    Don’t look so hissed.
    It’s time to vacate
    To leave this vessel
    To grow up, get a job
    Before I lose my fettle.
    No more playing around
    And singing and glee
    Grab your coat
    It’s time to flee!”
    The pussycat eyed him
    With sad remorse
    And said with a sigh
    “I agree, of course.
    Nursery rhymes
    Have come to an end
    And so is this fictitious
    Relationship, my friend”
    The pussycat’s eyes
    reflected the owl’s fright
    As suddenly she pounced
    And set the world right.

  19. cam45237

    Thanks to the Rabbits

    Thanks to the rabbits
    For their pale, ductless eyes.
    Thanks to them.

    I can smooth cool gel on fragile skin
    Stroke gleam and shimmer below the refined arch of brow
    Brush turquoise in bright sweeps
    Paint lashes midnight black, velvet thick,
    Long as a lingering gaze

    That fatal flaw of rabbits,
    Their fortunate incapacity
    To fashion tears
    Saves me
    From stinging lotions,
    Poison potions,
    Crude concoctions and rich tinctures that might
    Dim my sparkle

    Thanks to the rabbits
    Thanks to them

    1. KristiOhio

      Surprising. I was not expecting you to thank the rabbits for safety and irritant testing. I bet it was fun writing the descriptions of the eye make-up. On the other hand, signature Cam using alliteration and multiple synonyms. You do really explore. Your descriptions are always so rich.

  20. tunesmiff

    I. Kautata:
    Elegantly poised,
    Lightly balanced to run, he
    Knows how danger hides in peace.

    II. Dodoitsu:
    Brutish as a truck, his voice
    Echoes from the far hillside.
    Agile, he turns quickly and
    Runs faster than you.

    III. Tanka:
    Brown as terrycloth,
    Intent on going his own
    Shaggy way, winter’s
    Old coat drapes his shoulders; he’s
    Native America’s king.

  21. Janet Rice Carnahan


    She took her family to the Phoenix zoo,
    On Spring Break,
    To teach them about the variety,
    Of animals on the planet,
    To peak their interest,
    Stimulate their thinking,
    Have a little fun,
    Before heading back to winter!
    Seeing the tall giraffes,
    Was a big request of the kids!
    She steered them towards,
    The giraffe display,
    Hoping they could play,
    Or, at least, see them in the yard,
    To their deep disappointment,
    None were to be seen,
    This was not good enough!
    Since she had learned a new technique,
    In her metaphysics class,
    About conscious communication,
    With animals,
    She half jokingly told the kids,
    “Come on let’s go talk to the giraffes,
    We’ll get them to come out!”
    She found a path back to their structure,
    And silently called them to come out!
    After two minutes,
    A baby giraffe poked its head out,
    Turned and looked right at them.
    Kids squealed with delight!
    Mom gestured for the giraffe to follow them out,
    To where the food was,
    All three walked with the giraffe,
    Followed by the giraffe’s much larger mother,
    All the way to where people could feed them!
    The two giraffes wouldn’t eat until Mom asked them to,
    Finally opening their mouths so wide,
    Licking the food out of the children’s hands,
    With their giant snake like dark green tongues!
    Both kids jumped back,
    Screaming so loud that the giraffes moved backwards,
    Turned and slowly left.
    The call of the wild,
    Had been heard . . .

    On all three accounts!

  22. LCaramanna

    Sporting Dog

    Loveable, Loyal
    Labrador Retriever
    Full of affection
    Tale wagging, eyes bright
    Seemingly smiling
    Chauffeured around town
    In a pick-up truck
    Backseat sovereign
    Windows wide
    Begging a sweet drive-thru treat
    Content to companion
    Wherever the road leads

    Loveable, Loyal
    Labrador Retriever
    Full of vigor
    Romping through woodland trails
    Nose to the ground
    In search of sensuous smells
    Intent on following instincts
    Experience the thrill of the hunt
    Treeing squirrels
    Splashing up ducks in the pond
    Pondering the wonder of flight
    Satisfied to run with the wind

    Loveable, Loyal
    Labrador Retriever
    Full of mischief
    Full of cookies copped from the kitchen counter
    Sleeping comfy cozy behind the master’s chair
    Sporting a full belly
    Feeling fortunate
    Feeling favored
    Feeling loved

  23. Michael Grove

    When Pigs Fly

    There will come a day
    when I’m more than just a number.
    There will be a night
    filled with restful, peaceful slumber.

    Bring on the future.
    Top it off with earthly peace.
    End all aggression
    since we do know this must cease.

    Put a stop to violence
    so the innocent don’t die.
    Please be sure to show me when pigs fly.

    By Michael Grove

  24. Cameron Steele

    Ferrets hate to run
    they slink
    or crawl or skit around
    dark hallways like
    sharp-eyed ghosts then

    My mother said
    is some animal
    in some other hallway.
    She claimed the Owl,
    heiress of dark
    beaking her roundish
    shape through small spaces.
    But her path was wide.
    “Who Cooks for You?”
    after all.

    I learned to sleep
    Mother hooting and clawing
    and missing some man.
    Mice and rabbits and
    were no proper suitors.

    Before I found my animal
    I spent hours
    hidden and dreaming
    scrabbling away
    from her. Sometimes

    She meant the insult —
    Stop ferreting around.
    I seized it —
    identity however burrowed
    has sharp eyes for itself.

  25. deedeekm


    The lions are loose
    In the streets tonight
    Devouring moonlight as it spills
    And flows down lane and alley
    Chewing up the light
    Leaving dark, leaving nothing
    But empty shadows
    And the sound of 
    Of growling and gnashing
    Of teeth

  26. seingraham

    Living With a Wolf

    When breathing became
    impossible and I gathered
    heartbeats like pearls
    harboured secretly
    You loped with me deep
    into the woods our strides
    matching those of
    ancient ancestors
    Long in the light you resisted
    the urge to howl urging
    me on with subtler
    Prodding gently your lupine
    nose wet against my
    palm snuffling
    when I was
    Stop your eyes unfathomable
    but filled with knowledge
    beyond knowing
    kept me
    Until we came to the water
    not a river nor
    a lake as
    expected at least
    By me but a box of lakes
    where you drank
    your fill before
    in a hair
    Your tail flashing silver
    between birch and larch
    before I
    folded myself
    the waves

    used for The Mag 114 also with pic to go with
    at this blog site http://nsaynne.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/living-with-a-wolf/

  27. pmwanken

    (a shadorma)

    swimming bear
    barely noticing
    cold water
    on bare skin
    she is unbearably cute
    as she’s swimming bare

    P. Wanken

    Here’s a link to the poem as posted on my blog, which has a picture to go with it:

  28. Michael Grove

    Mans Best Friend

    There’s a reason why they say he’s mans best friend.
    So loyal he will be there ’till the end.
    Loving, tried and true.
    Count on him to uplift you.
    If you’ve a dog then you must comprehend.

    By Michael Grove

  29. omavi

    Ultimate Predator

    Stalking in the dark she
    Lurks beyond the frond of a palm
    Silently taking in air through flare
    Nostrils tasting the smell of prey
    As it infiltrates the night air
    Whiskers sensing every nuance
    Eyes shaded green penetrates
    The darkness of this hunting ground
    Muscles bristling beneath fur
    A silent killer takes account as
    She moves into a position ready to strike
    Time must slow in her eyes
    As prey stands still moments stilled
    She pounces
    One more stuffed rat
    Finally says good night

  30. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Cat Love

    Sometimes, absent-mindedly,
    he would call this black boy cat
    by his eldest son’s name, then
    shake his head and correct himself.

    I think that was even before
    his mind began slipping —
    though who knows when
    such gradual slides begin?

    And the animal would snuggle up,
    or lie at his feet for hours
    when he worked at his office desk —
    ‘Just us blokes together.’

    I am giving him extra cuddles now,
    the cat. I wonder how long before
    he realises that this absence
    will not come to an end?

    He and his sister have learned:
    beloved humans go away and come back
    after days or weeks or even months.
    Some reappear after years.

    I wonder how long it will take
    this time, to understand? Meanwhile,
    unless I mention them first,
    the man never speaks of the cats.

  31. honoluakane

    there is talk about the end
    strange phenomena
    dolphins washing ashore
    flocks of birds falling like hail
    vanishing bees and bats
    all unexplained
    like an illusionist’s trick
    perhaps mother nature’s
    grand sleight
    of hand.

    the humans
    marvel filling stadiums
    each night
    standing room only
    with thunderous applause
    and hope when mother needs a
    new volunteer from the audience

  32. Earl Parsons

    Cat Man Do

    He pushed his paw on my forehead
    Waking me from a dead sleep
    He stares at me with pitiful eyes
    And meows with a pathetic whine
    I look at the clock
    It’s only 6am
    He knows it not time for me to get up
    Seems he just doesn’t care
    I push him off the bed

    Five minutes later
    His buddy jumps up on the bed
    He doesn’t meow
    Or pop me in the forehead
    No, he’s more subtle
    He puts his cold wet nose
    On mine
    The same cold wet nose
    That just wandered around his posterior
    As he cleaned himself
    I push him off the bed
    On top of the first cat

    They decide it’s time to play
    So they chase each other
    Up and down the hallway
    In and out of the bedroom
    Up and over the bed
    And back out into the hallway
    Where they decide it’s time to
    Sharpen their claws on the carpet

    The wife throws a pillow
    And they disappear
    For five more minutes

    The alarm clock buzzes
    And I look to the foot of the bed
    One lurking in anticipation
    One on the floor
    And a third in the bedroom doorway
    You’d think they were lining up
    For their last meal
    They way they act in the mornings
    The thought of that one last meal
    Certainly does cross my mind
    Just kidding

    So, now I’m up
    Pajamas on and moving
    They all line up and head out
    Toward the kitchen
    I stop to take my meds
    And brush my teeth
    Two cats reappear
    One at my feet
    One peering half visible
    Around the corner of the hall
    The third, I’m sure
    Resting patiently on the
    Living room area rug
    After all, he’s sixteen
    And has earned the right

    To the kitchen I go
    Two cats winding in and out
    Around my feet
    Meowing as they go

    Four plates on the counter
    Open a new can of tuna
    Add meds for the old guy
    And juice for the rest

    Three plates on the floor
    Out the door with number four
    Did I forget to mention
    The straggler that lives on our porch

    I am the cat man
    Meow meow me-meow


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