2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

Before today’s prompt, I just wanted to say thank you to Poetic Asides regular Cara Holman for featuring me on her Poet Showcase series. It’s really an honor, and I always feel so lucky to be associated with so many talented poets. Click here to read the post.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The Trouble Is (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of the poem, and then, write the poem. Example titles may include: “The Trouble Is You,” “The Trouble Is Figuring Out How to End This Poem,” or “The Trouble Is What I’m Always Finding.”

Here’s my attempt:

“The Trouble Is Fire”

It strikes and burns
that gets in its
way before it
finally stops
leaving nothing
but ash and some
burnt memories.


Learn when and how to self-publish…

…with this OnDemand webinar led by Meredith Barnes. It covers everything from how and when to do it to where and why to do it. Also, Barnes shares what to expect from your efforts.

Click to continue.


You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

317 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

  1. Yolee

    The Trouble with Love

    is it can get trapped in the brushfire of the mind
    and never reach the cascades of the heart; fattens
    the spirit even as the soul is exercised; sometimes it cranks
    up like party music and you awaken, startled, starving;
    invites you to go outside, walk in the rain, then you bump
    into him but your hair is a hot mess; it sticks to your
    stomach like egg yolk on a fork; wheels your name
    day and night even though the old voices that came
    along for the ride no longer have a good sound.

  2. po

    The Trouble Is Words

    See, it’s already
    started in the title.
    The verb bites and
    wants word but
    words takes the reader
    to microsoft and then
    in the future
    someone separates
    micro and soft
    and either can’t
    decipher the archaic
    reference or thinks,
    “How Quaint.”

    Then add a barrel
    of monkeys running
    off the page and Word
    giggles “trite” or “over-
    used” but still jumps
    around the page like
    a barrel of “bytes”
    or “binary allies?”
    I resort to the rad
    trouble: words.

  3. Marian O'Brien Paul

    The Trouble Is the Emperor’s Strange Logic

    After twenty-five years teaching students how to reason
    so they could use their brains to think straight and head
    off arguments anyone might raise about their logic and
    thereby write a decent argumentative paper I could read,
    you’d think that I could help my son discern his breaks
    in reasoning, but I cannot. Worse, I can at times trace
    the crooked trail his thinking took and I will empathize
    with his conclusion, throwing my hands in the air and
    telling him, “Well, Jeff, I have to say that makes sense.”

    Often, facilities where he’s lived had a system of points
    a resident must earn in order to pass from lower levels
    to more privileged ones and thereby gain such rights as
    going outside alone or off the grounds without an escort.
    But Jeff (he was not Emperor of the World as yet) had
    problems earning points for doing things like brushing
    teeth and hair or keeping his room neat or getting lined
    up when it was time to take medications. While visiting
    once, I suggested he just get up join the queue. “Mom,”
    he said, “I would have to stand there in line when I can
    just as easily wait until there are only one or two people
    left. Meanwhile, I am able to rest in a comfortable chair.”

    As to his more exotic concepts, like the way he thinks
    people die and rise again as they want, simply asking
    God if they may, a song we sang this Sunday at church
    made me pause to reconsider, giving as it did a source
    for his thinking process as skewed as it might appear:
    “ We come to share our story. We come to break the
    bread. We come to share our rising from the dead.”
    The church my son grew up in includes the doctrine
    of the resurrection of the dead when the world ends.
    With his current status as the Emperor of the World,
    Jeff finds it reasonable that God who outranks us all
    might well extend that privilege earlier if petitioned.

    There are other instances like when he objects to meds
    because he says the pharmaceutical companies simply
    keep producing variations on medications accompanied
    by lines and lines of side-effects simply to make money,
    and having listened to the monotone voice in TV ads
    speaking fast as an auctioneer and spewing ugly words
    like nausea, diarrhea, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations
    … the latter two the very problems the drug is claimed
    to cure, I can only say the Emperor’s logic is not wrong.

  4. claudsy

    The Trouble is Time Bending

    Arbitrary limits,
    On something non-existent,
    Takes no talent, no finess.
    Limiting nothing takes
    More than care,
    Requiring belief
    That increments from
    One mind equal
    Production possibilities.
    How can seconds become
    Minutes or hours, when
    Only days/nights exist in time?
    Does breathing count
    As a measuring stick, or pulse,
    When clocks don’t function?

    © Claudette J. Young 2012

  5. maxie2


    Dreams are the units of measurement
    spanning to futures unattained.
    Inches of hope tend to grow
    as I regain my footing,
    and shrink as I remain the same.
    The trouble with dreams is
    they don’t care what is real.
    They’re my unchained
    forums of wannabe ideals
    absent from limitations
    my generation inherited.
    You point your accusations
    at my stride, as if my flaws
    aren’t already exhibited.
    I’ll keep inviting your riots
    against my progress,
    for soon your righteous pride
    will lead you to a sinful fall.
    The trouble is I can’t stop dreaming
    and I don’t mind being in trouble at all.

  6. Khara H.

    The trouble is breath

    On the last night,
    tucked deep
    into the hollows
    of bush and tree,

    we sank
    our shadows
    into night
    and pleated breath

    between our knees.
    Out there,
    treasure was a stale rusk,
    a water gourd,

    a cheek-full of sesame
    a freedom
    song of violining

    cricket wings.
    Out there,
    hope was a river.
    Out there,

    fear was a baby
    from his momma’s breast

    a moment
    too soon.

  7. PKP

    The Trouble With The Ending Of Another April Challenge

    I wrote this poem last year at the end of the April Challenge. It had been a time of extremely intense connections as a poetic community. This year there are many new voices and “The Street” has been bustling sometimes with so many poems that it has been difficult to comment. There has also been a new platform, which I for one, consider as the kindest statement I can make – a “mixed blessing.” Nevertheless, I thought that I would share the poem from last year as a reminder to all of the sense of collective community that so connected us one to the other and to include those who are now new voices to understand how wonderful this community can be… Thank you Robert for another wonderful April… and thank you to all .. the talent has exploded here and I am thrilled to stand in the center watching the sparks shoot like comets across the night sky. We are not at the end – but we are close – Goodnight to all 🙂

    After Leaving Here – I Will be There – April 2011

    I wrote the other night to all that I could possibly include
    knowing somehow that this year this ending April would be a difficult interlude
    Wrapped in the moon-silvered and glimmering
    The sense of collective community a chorus of one voice
    Fragmented and in the street still simmering
    Whispered on the air, drifting in the soft night breeze
    The comfort of the muses rising from each to other singing
    Sweet, painful, searing lyrics to each other seizing every soul
    Until the street was emptied and all that remained
    Were these wispy whispered fragments, shimmering with soft light
    As each lingering poet walked ostensibly alone in the darkened lonely night
    As the pavement glistened, sole foot-falls rising from the ground
    To meet with the others for leaving this place although one bound
    Never is actualized, never does occur – once Muses meet and coalesce
    Forever vanished, extinguished that existential torment on the street that is a living tapestry

    Good night to all …in the knowledge that creativity is a brilliant speck of an incomprehensible vast collective universal oneness…

  8. Arrvada

    The Trouble is me
    I’ve hurt
    I’m hurt
    You ask what you’ve done
    How can I explain the fault
    Wasn’t all you?
    How can I tell you
    The trouble is me
    I’ve changed
    I’ve grown
    I now see all of you.
    You are just the same
    The same you’ve always been
    You haven’t changed
    You haven’t done anything
    It’s all me
    I now see all of you
    The trouble is me
    Cause I can’t accept you

  9. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Can you sing?
    Are you here?
    Yes, belong!
    Stay awake?
    All night long!

    Will you cook?
    Fish with a hook!
    Sit, don’t look!
    In seat!

    Will you write?
    No scope!
    I might!
    Can’t cope!
    Can I have some light?

    Are you thirsty now?
    You look tired somehow,
    Take a bow!

    I am trying to help you!
    Reaching out, you’re new!
    Do you have any idea what to do!

    Ok . . . then I’ll sit!
    Good, listen to me!
    Every bit!
    You’ll glisten and see!
    Still only a minute!
    Yes, just be!

    No more thought,
    Just feel,
    Stop, you’re caught,
    Be real!
    Do as you’re taught,
    Good deal!

    Open your heart,
    Let go to love,
    In the start,
    What you’re made of,
    Like quality art,
    Formed up above!

    From head to heart hear!
    Let go of your fear!
    No more chatter in your ear,
    No more trouble . . .

    You’ve got it!

  10. Miss R.

    The Trouble Is That Trouble Is

    I hear your anger swelling up
    In flinty voices, and I cringe
    As they grate against my skin,
    No matter how hard I have
    Tried to thicken it. The trouble is
    That trouble is, and drowning
    In the thick despair of it,
    You grabbed hold of a
    Splintering board called bitterness,
    Hoping it would keep you afloat
    Until something better came along,
    But the toxic shards entered
    Your panting bloodstream,
    And now I’m afraid you couldn’t
    Let go if you wanted to, which you don’t.
    I hope you will someday. The trouble is
    That trouble is, and we don’t really know
    What to do with it, but next time
    You’re drowning, grab onto me.
    I’ll do my best to keep us afloat
    With a smile and a prayer.

  11. cstewart


    The trouble is I can’t breathe
    The breathe is somewhere
    But not in me.
    It hovers outside my body
    Teasing, taunting
    Saying it will come in but
    Does not.
    Oxygen is what I need
    But my bronchial tubes
    Just do not like dust and pollen
    Trees and grasses,
    Pets and anything particulate.
    They wince, shiver at every breath
    Too many chemicals in the air,
    Too much of everything
    But pure, sweet air.

  12. cam45237

    The trouble with trouble?
    It boils from bubbles
    in witches’ cauldrons brewed.

    The trouble with trouble?
    it rises from rubble,
    its construct large and crude.

    The trouble with trouble?
    It diverted the Hubble.
    The universe couldnt be viewed.

    The trouble with trouble?
    It doubles! It doubles!
    And doubly worsens my mood.

  13. LCaramanna

    Idealistic Fantasy

    The trouble is I desire fortune and fame.
    The prize eludes, just beyond my fingers.
    Oh, why not satisfied with affairs mundane?
    The trouble is I desire fortune and fame.
    What idealistic fantasy of success is to blame?
    This ache for celebrity in my head lingers.
    The trouble is I desire fortune and fame.
    The prize eludes, just beyond my fingers.

  14. Tanjamaltija

    The Trouble is Not Blue

    A thousand pieces, most of them blue.
    Sky and sea meeting at the horizon,
    With lupines, borage and bindweed
    In the foreground meadow.
    A blend of hues; a mix of tones;
    A merging of nuances.
    Commitment and persistence
    And I’m almost done, but not quite.
    The last bit is missing…
    The face of the woman in the billowing blue dress
    At the corner of the frame.
    The 999 pieces of the story are incomplete.

  15. Lynn Burton

    The Trouble is I Procrastinate Too Much

    Like right now when I close my eyes
    and will the words to come,
    but instead I’m more interested in the noises
    within the quiet walls and the world outside –
    the fizzing Dr Pepper can on my desk,
    the wind as it howls, breathes heavily
    down my neck to get my work done,
    the cat curled up in the corner snoring,
    how much better I’d feel myself if I slept,
    the laundry that didn’t get done, the book I want to read,
    the e-mail I just had to open because the
    knowledge that I have mail stares at me
    like a flashing neon sign, a beacon in the night,
    it’s all an unavoidable pull.


    A constant battle,
    a fight I often don’t win.

  16. mich

    The Trouble with Caring
    I feel everything
    and try to share your pain
    often forgetting
    suffering is tempered by joy
    The trouble with caring
    Is not that I’m here for you
    The trouble with caring
    is not giving you support
    The trouble with caring
    is attempting to obliterate
    your moments of misery
    and ultimately dulling your joys
    – Lyn Michaud

  17. lionmother

    The Trouble Is…

    The trouble is there
    is so much to do
    and the time goes
    by like water over
    Niagara Falls and
    the clock keeps
    ticking though I
    haven’t even seen
    today’s poem or
    finished my email
    or edited that
    manuscript or
    woken in time
    for breakfast
    or smiled at the
    day even once
    and soon the
    night comes
    slipping over all
    and the day folds
    into an accordion
    as I try to catch
    up sneaking words
    onto the screen in
    the early hours and
    forcing my head down
    onto the pillow before
    the day opens her
    curtain and my mad
    dash begins again.

  18. seingraham

    The Trouble with Poetry

    She’s impossible
    A harsher mistress
    You can’t imagine
    Demanding to a fault
    She will make you
    Give up friends
    And family and live
    In poverty and isolation
    Without a thought
    For your well-being

    And you may chase
    Her from your
    Life believing you
    Are better off without
    Her but eventually
    A time will come:
    Your dog will die
    Your wife will leave
    Or it could be you just
    Can’t sleep
    She will call to you

    Sexy, sultry as any siren
    You will not be able
    To deny the itching
    In your palms
    Until you sit down
    With a pen
    Or a laptop
    And answer her
    At last
    But by then
    She will be out
    For blood.


  19. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net


    The trouble is the riddle, strange as it can be—
    luminescent, as it were, with tender mystery:

    the young sweetheart who sends her love the cherry
    without any stone, then the pretty dove, without any bone—

    finally the briar, without any branch, and the plea to love her
    without any longing, despite all mischance!

    How can it be? How can it be?
    A cherry without stone, a dove without bone—

    a briar without branch, a love without mischance? Ah!
    When the cherry was in flower, why, then it had no stone!

    And when the dove was an egg, then it had no bone.
    And when the briar was seed, then it had no branch

    and when the maiden has the one she loves,
    then there’s no more longing for she’s fulfilled in the dance.

    Jane Beal
    (adaptation of a 15th c. love lyric)

  20. Marjory MT


    Trouble is
    I must cook

    all expects
    it of me.

    See what
    I can find.

    round from
    last night’s meal,

    cold potatoes
    I can uses.

    sliced onion,
    and minced garlic.

    frozen peas,
    cut up mushrooms,

    a gravy
    dark and thick,

    serve with
    glass of wine.

    all sedated
    now I quite.

  21. deedeekm

    the trouble with writing prompts
    is that they can inspire
    lead you down foreign roads
    of brain grooves unmapped
    navigating rapids and canyon
    surfing verbage as you hold your arms
    straight out for balance
    …and fall anyway
    because the heart does not
    understand gravity
    and sometimes the poem
    skips a few steps
    and skids onto the paper
    shocked to find
    itself breathing

  22. Linda Voit

    The trouble is we just rented a movie

    and I have to write this poem
    for poem-a-day or I will fail
    on day 27 of 30 and that is not
    going to happen. So here
    you go and off I go
    to see Hugo.

    Linda Voit

  23. tunesmiff

    (Song Lyrics)
    The trouble is I don’t know what we’re doing;
    The trouble is I don’t know what to say;
    The trouble is I know there’s trouble brewing,
    Do you want me to stay or go away?

    The trouble is I don’t know what I’ve done wrong;
    The trouble is I haven’t got a clue;
    The trouble is I can’t fix things with this dumb song;
    Please tell me what it is I need to do.

    The trouble is I don’t know what I don’t know;
    The trouble is I don’t know what I should;
    The trouble is I know where this may all go;
    And you can’t say good-bye holds any good.

    The trouble is I don’t know how to end things;
    The trouble is I don’t want things to end;
    The trouble is I fear what tomorrow brings;
    And I want you as a lover and a friend.

    Yes, I need you as a lover and a friend…

  24. PSC in CT

    The Trouble is …This Poem

    It isn’t going to write itself —
    and apparently neither am I
    (I left it alone, by itself, all day
    and it didn’t even try! )

    I told it April’s hanging on
    another day or three.
    (l t doesn’t seem to care a bit,
    as you can plainly see)

    It has no true ambition –
    and its rhyme is rather poor.
    It doesn’t really seem to care
    just what’s a meta- for.

    Poetic license has expired —
    (it never paid its dues)
    It’s obvious to me
    it’s been abandoned by the muse!

    The problem is: it wants my help
    but my mind’s in disarray
    (It’s probably that glass — or two —
    of lovely Cabernet)

    The trouble is… this poem
    needs a total redesign
    but, frankly, I don’t give a damn
    and therefore, I decline

    Now, you can call me Scarlet
    (yes, O’Hara) – that’s ok
    ‘cause after all, tomorrow
    (really!) is another day

  25. Brian Slusher


    like “plate” to mean
    “a color illustration”
    and know soon
    no one will know of
    huge books, elephant-folios
    with brilliant pictures.
    These impending people
    will only think of
    dishes, or by then
    perhaps even platters
    will evaporate. So the
    trouble is when I write
    “plate,” I see food
    hovering midair in a world
    for which I have no words.

  26. Michael Grove

    The Trouble is Irrelevant

    The trouble is irrelevant.
    It’s all about solutions
    to problems that we face,
    and finding resolutions.

    It’s not about the trials,
    or even tribulations.
    Molehills and mountains
    are simply aberrations.

    The trouble is irrelevant.
    It’s about attitude.
    Staying positive,
    and showing gratitude.

    By Michael Grove

  27. Bruce Niedt

    Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem in the style of a nursery rhyme or “clapping rhyme”. I decided to do a jump-rope type of rhyme (or my impression of one, anyway – I was never got the hang of jumping rope). And since today is my ____ birthday, I of course focused on getting older.

    The Trouble Is Aging

    The trouble is, aging’s not great for the old,
    the “golden years” aren’t always, if truth be told.
    But if you feel younger, then maybe there’s hope,
    if you say this rhyme with us while you skip rope:

    A is for AARP – yes, I’ve got my card,
    B is for Bingo, a game that’s not hard.
    C is for Cholesterol, mine’s way too high,
    D is for Depends. we wear to stay dry.
    E is for Ensure, to help with nutrition,
    F is for False teeth, an unwelcome addition.
    G is for Grandkids, who make it worthwhile,
    H is for High Blood Pressure – too high by a mile.
    I is for IHOP discount, for breakfast some day,
    J is for Joints – stiffness won’t go away.
    K is for “Kids move in”, sign of lean times,
    L is for Laxatives – constipation’s a crime!
    M is for Medicare, to pay doctor bills,
    N is for Nursing homes, when you’re old as the hills.
    O is for Orthotic shoes, they fit to a T,
    P is for Prescriptions, too many for me.
    Q is for Quilting bees – do old ladies do that?
    R is for Retirement – hang up your work hat.
    S is for Social Security – that once-a-month check,
    T is for tired, all the time – what the heck!
    U is Urinary – up all night to pee,
    V is for Viagra, if you still make whoopee.
    W is for Wrinkles – give you character? A crock!
    X is for X-rays, good or bad news from doc.
    Y is for Young at heart, which helps you live longer,
    Z is for Zesty – skipping rope makes you stronger!

    1. Marjory MT

      Trouble is – yopu’re just not there
      at that thing called old.
      But read what you wrote and know that
      that is what you can ‘enjoy ‘ in another
      say five, ten or fifteen years.

      Happy B’day and you begin the backward count.
      Each year you are younger!

  28. Kendall A. Bell

    The trouble is that these girls

    I work with are having babies.
    Girls that are barely out of their
    teen years. Girls who, before their
    bellies began to bloat, walked around
    with exposed midriffs and too much
    eye makeup. Girls who came to work
    hung over. Girls who had glazed eyes
    and brazenly told me that if I ever
    needed pot to let them know. Girls who
    were pulled over, arrested and ended
    up in the news blotter of the Burlington
    County Times. Girls who are going to be
    someone’s mom now. That’s what scares
    me the most.

  29. Jaywig

    Day 27 – the trouble is …

    The trouble is the quantity,
    After years of writing on the spot
    (that was six thousand, more
    or less), and four years of
    poem-a-day months, and all
    the thoughts in between, I’m
    swamped. Turn them into
    wallpaper? I’ve tried framing,
    hand-made books, magazines,
    anthologies – success but
    all in vain: they keep coming –
    wordfloods! ponts of view!
    complaints (especially about
    the quantity). And I plan to
    live to a hundred and two!

  30. De Jackson

    The Trouble is the Bad Guys Don’t Wear Black

    They don’t have ridiculous handlebar must
    -aches, either. Or snide little sidekicks, al

    -though, one guy I dated did. Sometimes
    they’re the ones wearing white, and some

    -times they get to ride off into the sunset, just
    before beating the crap out of some innocent

    girl. There isn’t always an early warning
    system for abuse. Or infidelity. Or overall

    asshole-ism. Trouble (truth) is, even if
    you get up close, you can’t really smell

    the singed words on their tongues or
    the sin on their skin until it’s too late.

  31. Rosangela

    The Trouble is in My Mind

    P- So, I decided to eliminate it!
    M- Really? What? Your mind?
    P- No! Trouble!
    M- Are you losing your mind?
    P -Of course not! But I could if….
    M- How? Eliminating me?
    P- No, you mindless! Trouble!
    M- Are you calling me a trouble again?
    P- Not you! “The trouble”! I can eliminate it!
    M- Where is it?
    P- I told you in the title!
    M- What is the trouble doing in the title?
    P- Nooo! Not “in” the title. In my mind!
    M- I see… but the trouble IS in the title!
    P- Yeah… ok, but I was saying it’s in my mind!
    M- It shouldn’t be in your mind if it’s the title!
    P- But listen…the title just says what is in my mind! Got it?
    M- Ahn… is just that?
    P- Yeeees!!!
    M- So, that’s simple! You could have…
    P- Wait… let’s stop this troublesome dialog!
    M-…just deleted the title, and you’d have no trouble in your mind!

    Poet deleted the title, thus eliminating the trouble.
    Mind was saved, free of trouble.
    Poet found out that the trouble was not in his mind,
    but in the title. Well… that was Mind’s find!

    That’s the kind
    of mind-numbing
    talk that can attack
    a poet’s mind!
    You can feel it coming
    there’s no way back!
    It can be in your mind,
    or in the title…
    The Trouble is vital!

  32. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    The trouble (with poetry) is…

    The trouble (with poetry) is…
    We are not on speaking terms.
    I haven’t written one decent piece.
    The trouble (with poetry) is…
    She shut me out, call it caprice;
    I must have gotten a poetic germ.
    The trouble (with poetry) is…
    We are not on speaking terms.

  33. Sharon

    The Trouble is Behind the Door

    Life is good, smiles all round
    and then I hear a funny sound.
    A bump, a thump! Something fell!
    What it was I could not tell.

    I wait and fret, what could it be,
    this fearful thing coming after me?
    The door eased open and my heart grew light,
    It was the cat and dog in a playful fight.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.