Editors Blog

2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 7

Wow! Somehow, we’re already a week into this year’s challenge. That seems impossible, but we’re there.

For today’s prompt, write a poem describing a scene in which two or more people interact without speaking. Such moments happen every day. Some are happy; some are sad; and some are angry.

Here’s my attempt:

“Where It Counts”

As the editor makes more copies
without counting them, the office
manager huffs into the supply room
and yanks open a cabinet before
slamming it back closed. Then, she sighs
as if the world has mounted her back
and pushed all the air from her lungs,
but the editor rolls his eyes and keeps
running out copies. He knows only
too well that paper does grow on trees.


Write an amazing story!

Many stories live and die by one simple storytelling element: Structure (or lack of it). Power Structure – Boxed Edition is the ultimate story structure software available to screenwriters, novelists, and other storytellers.

Click to continue.


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393 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 7

  1. dextrousdigits

    Finally catching up on missed days.
    It’s just about finishing the race,
    even if its hours late.

    You look at me
    I look at you
    instant electricity

  2. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Sunday Mass at St. Joan of Arc

    I point to the holy water font
    (in case my kids forget)
    dip my fingers and sign the cross
    on my own forehead
    step back and watch, making sure
    each one does the same.
    Then leading them down the aisle
    I choose a likely pew
    genuflect and step to the side
    so I can direct who
    goes in first, second, then I
    then the other two.
    I know who’s likely to pinch
    or poke whom
    and just how long each can resist
    these temptations.
    I “keep my eye peeled” (as my mom
    did) so at the first hint
    of trouble I catch the culprit’s eye
    and administer
    the Mother Look, raising eyebrows
    high and eyelids,
    enlarging the dark pupils of my eyes
    to impale the guilty one.
    The nearly imperceptible shake
    of my head
    completes the effect and silently
    says “Stop right now
    if you want to live!” They always do.

  3. Kimiko Martinez


    There are nights
    when he cuddles in
    to feel her
    body close,
    a warm apology for
    all he has failed to
    do today.

    There are times
    when she accepts the
    naked truth
    that he is
    trying his hardest to be
    the man he really
    wants to be.

    On those nights
    she pulls his hand close
    to her chest,
    kisses his
    fingers and slips an icy
    toe toward his toasty
    feet and laughs.

  4. Mr. Walker

    Kitchen Bath

    My left hand is getting a little tired,
    so I shift it a bit, moving along your back,
    careful not to let it slip in the sudsy water.

    My right hand is holding your belly,
    making sure you don’t slip,
    and one of your hands is on mine.

    You don’t cry anymore. Now it’s fun.
    I love your constant smile,
    even when you suprise yourself

    with a splash, getting soap in your eyes.
    I calmly wipe it away, quickly and gently,
    smiling myself the whole time – and humming.

  5. po

    enough comfort

    she stitches
    the years in a quilt
    as he dozes
    by the fire
    his slippers and pipe
    forgotten in their
    silent days

    scraps of words
    all but forgotten
    weave into a
    comfortable silence
    and somehow they
    know it’s enough

  6. Akua


    After cranking open the door
    he sees the woman he’s watched before
    her perfume enters before her
    He holds himself in stillness
    he doesn’t want to show
    his pleasure, his deep inhalation
    in summer heat sautés her lotion and soap
    pulls the petals of her layers apart
    serving savory imaginings
    He measures her mood by her step on the stairs
    Does she spring up or is it deliberate,
    grabbing the rail to hoist an unseen heaviness?
    She greets him with an eager smile
    fumbles with her purse awhile
    just short of too long, so that his scent
    may rise from the well and the wheel
    a new cologne, an aftershave with sex appeal
    She looks again into his eyes
    drops the coin into the slot
    moves past the entry to grab a spot.

  7. Tanjamaltija

    Law and Order,
    An Acrostic

    Leverage factors, Lapsed Gifts…. Law’s an Ass,
    Attendant Circumstance, A Vinculo Matrimonii
    Waiver the Writ of Execution

    A Mensa Et Thoro, A fortiori
    Naked Nullity
    Directed Verdict, Decrees and Damages…

    Objections to Obsolescence
    Range of Value – Reciprocity
    Defendants and Depositions…
    Extenuating Circumstances…
    Revocation of Reward!

  8. Shreedhar

    That Kitchen Cupboard

    A black and white image,
    three quaint shelves,
    stacked bottles, plastic and glass.
    Masalas, condiments, and chewing gum.
    Jars labelled cloves, pepper and cinnamon.
    Two turned heads, eyes staring, hearts pondering,
    supermarket visits, hand in hand,
    a house lived in, by man, and man;
    arguments over a favorite brand,
    noodles and flour, bought for two.
    one hand and spoon, yet fed mouths, two.
    A single bed, that still fits two.

    Three quaint kitchen shelves, in black and white;
    The promise of an irreverent romance,
    but, with who?
    If only I knew.

  9. Natalija


    without prompting or guidance
    without further insistence
    he fills the briki with water
    takes the plates to the garden

    she turns on the stove
    adds sugar to the water
    grabs bread, butter, and jam
    which he takes from her hands

    the children are gathered
    around the outside table
    and watch squirrels and birds
    on top of the birdhouse gable

    the water now boils
    the briki’s removed
    coffee’s stirred in
    he hands her the cups

    the five gather now
    faces light up
    smiles all around…
    the alarm now sounds.

  10. foodpoet

    Without Within

    Without memories you cannot speak
    Without your clear edged mind I cannot hear
    I can only hold you and hold on
    To fragile broken fragments

    Without your clear edged mind I cannot hear
    I hold your hand and feel your strong pulse
    Over fragile broken fragments
    We sit together each separate

    I hold your hand and feel your strong pulse
    Skin soft and mind drifting
    We sit together each separate
    Each forgetting

    Skin soft and mind drifting
    I can only hold you and hold on
    Each forgetting
    Without memories you cannot speak

  11. David Yockel Jr.

    How come I can’t get the spaces I want to show up in the post…, i.e. the word “love” in the second stanza of this poem should be indented all the way past the word “made” on the previous line? Also, the entire third stanza should be indented 10 -15 spaces… It’s not the end of the world, but the way the poem looks on the “page” is half the point, don’t you think…?

  12. David Yockel Jr.

    Ain’t Love a Grand Canyon

    I will never forget your sleeping face
    or the way you used to hold me

    at arm’s length while we made

    or the night
    we slept with a canyon

    between us. I reached my hand over
    a mile to touch your thigh. You never

    felt it, but that was me

    saying goodbye.

  13. Marcia Gaye

    (I’m a couple days late but catching up.)

    “i” Limerick

    You never look into my eyes,
    Too busy typing on your “i – …”s
    I text you a note,
    You read what I wrote.
    Your icons react in surprise.

  14. tunesmiff


    Changing lanes
    I cut her
    off as I
    slowed to pay
    the toll at
    the plaza.

    She blew her
    horn, flashed her
    lights, and said
    (I’m sure), a
    few choice words.
    I just waved.

    At the booth
    I handed
    a dollar
    to the guy
    who started
    to hand back

    fifty cents,
    two quarters.
    Stopping him,
    I said, “Wait,
    “she’s on me,”
    and pointed

    Back at the
    car behind.
    He smiled and
    waved me through.
    After a
    few minutes

    the driver
    I’d cut off
    passed me, horn
    blowing and
    this time she
    was waving.

  15. JRSimmang

    Along the line
    they crouched,
    a voiceless challenge
    bespeaking an ancient rite,
    passing through them,
    crossing their lips,
    rippling over their muscles.
    They are not enemies,
    yet for this time, they will not say
    they are friends.
    For this time
    there is but one goal for each, different than each other,
    standing as the one obstacle
    to themselves.
    There is a snap,
    simple, understood,
    and muscle upon muscle,
    wit against wit,
    speed against speed.
    They do not heed each other.
    They do not see each other.
    They do not fear each other.
    They feel the distance between them as they
    careen to the crash.
    And it’s done.
    Now, they are friends.
    Bloodlust quenched, the taste a-bay.
    Tomorrow, it repeats.

  16. Jamal Abboud

    When I met You
    When I met you in space of my gust
    Words abandoned me thus
    I lived in mute vast world
    A calm ocean charged with passion
    Love rivered beneath my silence-in motion
    But your gestures denied my fuss
    For words, for frame of education
    Your expressions foretold the null of my existence;
    I searched for the truth of my presence,
    Beside your scent that of spontaneous prevailed
    As roses that bloom in insistence
    And never before failed,
    Over my silly attitude, over my cowardice buds
    Your support , I admit, in return was dutifully just
    But a blush always kept me beyond my crust
    Fair enough to mutate to walls or dust.

  17. maxie2


    The music stood in between us
    (a cloud too thick to pass through)
    and in lieu of conversation, we just
    swayed in its banter and cantered
    around a puddle of dischord,
    choosing each other’s arms
    on which to write a symphony
    of new memories rather than
    entertain the wary demons
    beating their way of disarray.

    My ear was pressed to your chest
    until your chin rose from my hair
    and there, in the key of
    forgiveness, our duet began anew;

    your eyes held a melody
    for which my tears
    were the only harmony.

  18. Anders Bylund

    Two headlights rip the night apart
    Southbound, empty highway
    Greeted by another pair, blinking twice
    Then passing on, unthanked and unknown
    Another traveler makes it on time,
    The universe shudders in appreciation of
    Entropy decreased.

  19. donnellyk

    Just a Moment

    In the Home
    housing old souls
    where old souls go unwilling
    and young souls with minds broken
    wringing hands and furtive glances anxious
    from the flock stopped dead in her tracks stiff
    she locks eyes with me and I am paralyzed momentarily
    her hair still coppery shimmery scrubbed skin
    parchment papery yet girlish eyes watery
    bright blue looking for just a little more
    time on second thought hoping
    the last sands are slipping
    through the hourglass.

  20. ellanytdavve

    Long Lived

    Trembling, she moved into
    the circle of his arms
    A long shuddering breathe,
    weak kneed
    He pressed her to his chest
    lifting, embracing, touching her
    by the kindness of his love
    and buried his face
    in her auburn hair.

  21. carolecole66

    Fading Light

    Outside in the yard, an owl calls—
    a great horned, I think, though
    the dogs’ barks obscure it.
    It’s rare enough for me to stop,
    put down my book. My wife and I
    stand at the sliding doors, shoulder
    to shoulder. This is a moment
    of peace among so many
    that I savor. She and I, standing
    side by side, witness to the miracle
    of fast approaching night.

  22. cajun75

    Mardi Gras

    People jostling, juggling, pushing to the front
    Arms outstretched, gesturing wilding, not to the sky
    But to the riders on the floats
    Passing by

    Pointing to themselves, begging krewe members
    Riding on the passing floats
    No sounds these people make
    Through stricken throats

  23. Rosemary Nissen-Wade


    Noises off.
    Has he fallen?
    Dropped something vital?
    She runs to the bedroom.
    It seems he has just been
    turning noisily.

    He scowls
    brandishing his hot water bottle.
    She takes it
    from his outstretched hand
    and exits stage left,
    heading for the kitchen.

    Returning it refilled
    she shoves it at him abruptly.
    He hunkers down in the bed
    and closes his eyes.
    She sighs, and rolls hers.

  24. Charles Cote


    He shoves his bowl of seaweed
    to the table’s center, pushes back
    his chair to leave, her frown a question
    no one answers, her sigh a signal
    for the waitress to bring a pot of tea.

  25. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    The Look
    Like ducklings in a row,
    the sit, hands folded in prayer
    Until the youngest begins the dance
    of all four year old, bored by the mundane.
    From the corner of her eagle eyes
    the mother perceives the wiggle
    A snap of the head, a look
    all action stops!

  26. gtabasso

    Side by side we bathed this horse,
    tenderly keeping soap from his eye,
    rinsing a year’s worth of dirt
    back to the ground from which it came,
    where he rolled and galloped,
    where we watched as the sun set.

    As coyotes came to the fields,
    we picnicked in the grass
    with horses grazing around us,
    never said a word.
    Why was that silence so full,
    and this one so empty?

  27. Joseph Harker

    Ghazal of the Painted Body

    We enter chambers lit only by violet bars
    and luminescent plastic shaped as flaring stars.

    Mannequin bodies circle, glow in the prudish dark:
    wrists and fingers striped with green, their shoulders bearing stars.

    The illustrators call their trade as we strip off shirts,
    turn skin to canvas, mix neon paints, preparing stars.

    For we (I think) will become spangled lovers tonight,
    our nightly grind galactic, the joy of pairing stars.

    A sawtoothed slash of orange runs my chest; and yours is
    stained with amulets; and black the rest, save glaring stars.

    Our sweat smudges constellations as we sway our skies:
    drops of water gone blue– gold– pink– drown despairing stars.

    This is contentment: till a new hemisphere rises
    and presents her own designs to you, comparing stars.

    Where has my love gone? Some treacherous horizon has
    stolen him away, as punishment for wearing stars.

    I can see them kiss, the green paint smearing naked chins
    and hands running disaster down the uncaring stars.

    This will dim to empty night: the chemical glow will
    fade to nothing. So much for novelty, sharing stars.

    And Joseph will wash off his coat of darkling colors,
    sleep bare and faded underneath still and staring stars.

  28. Genevieve Fitzgerald

    You wash and
    I dry
    And the room is so heavy,
    Holding the heat,
    Like a cast iron skillet,
    Of words from last night
    And the night before that.
    Backs to each other,
    You put the dishes
    On the shelf I can’t reach
    And I brush the crumbs
    From the table…
    Miss my palm;
    They land on my foot;
    The dog,
    Ever watchful,
    Makes show of requesting,
    Then laps them right up
    And you snicker;
    It tickles,
    I giggle,
    The silence is broken;
    Nothing is better
    Except the air
    In the room.

  29. zevd2001


    The loud speaker calls them

    to fasten their seatbelts. She nods

    at the man in the seat in the middle,

    wearing a trim, fitted blue suit, with blouse

    with a floral design, she steps over

    to the window seat, blushes . . .

    She unbuckles, glances

    at the gentleman. Her mother taught her

    to be polite to strangers, to smile,

    to be careful, lest you utter something

    that might be misunderstood ,

    untoward. She puts her bag on her lap,

    pulled out a book, opens it . . .

    the gentleman turns his head at

    the book. She raises the cover. Thumbs up,

    a woman with good taste. He gets up

    to the rack above him, takes a volume

    to pass the time, raises it up. She laughs.

    Like her father, he likes humorous verse . . .

    and continues to read as

    the tray comes by, the gentleman passes the coffee

    turns to her, two fingers up, she shakes her head,

    passes the cup to her, takes his orange juice,

    makes notes on the pages

    with a pencil She notices the subtle noise

    of the carbon on the paper, catches a word,

    thinks of something better. It wouldn’t do

    to speak up. Who knows, he might be offended.

    A lady might lose her chance

    at the right man, if, he thinks

    she has opinions. Surprise, surprise

    a disc player and a disc. He hands it to her . . .

    Jazz, the Bird. Never heard of it, but

    why not, so it’s not Bach or Mozart. Her eyes say

    thank you, I’ll try it. He hums to himself,

    she rolls her head. Nice, especially the violins,

    someday she, too

    would like to spend an April in Paris. Then

    must the stewards come by with the meals. Unraveling

    the cords of the disc player, she, he puts his book back

    in his bag. They eat. He gives her his dessert,

    she passes him the salt and pepper, and

    grins, pulls out two small bottles of wine,

    contraband, two small plastic cups,

    one for him, one for her. She giggles,

    her first drink, but this, too, is

    her first flight. Cheers, miles above anywhere

    she has ever been. He shows her the flight map,

    points to the places where he has traveled. Pauses,

    hands his volume of poems to her.

    She takes her bag again, a novel

    by her favorite author. Even steven

    deep into the words they peruse

    over the distances. Over the mountains,

    they reach the cities

    of the plain. The loud speaker

    announces they have arrived

    at their destination. She holds the poems, he

    gives her the book that she gave him, to read . . .

    she demures, holding the book close

    to her breast. He presents her another

    copy, signs it, with his address,

    telephone number, and

    writes, “Let’s get together sometime,”. Hesitating,

    she looks at the time, what else can she do,

    tearing a piece of paper

    from a magazine, she places her address

    and telephone number, too,

    “We should talk,” she kisses him on the cheek.

    Zev Davis

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  30. lady maggie

       Us three:  yet there beneath a rising moon
                  inside another’s shadow made to fit
                  through hungry thighs, through open heaven split,
                  yet have we not the voice of ancient tune
                  within us?
                              Their own one:   What you impugn
                  creates your only truth.   What you permit
                  destroys your freedom.   What you’ve made of it
                  will lose by midnight all you’d gained past noon.
       We never heard a word of it.   They hadn’t let
       their silent moments break into our peace
       so they we three quite easily forget
       as we them can ignore.   So does love cease
       in voided lives born empty, breathless, yet
       their one must keep what we three can’t release.

  31. Janet Rice Carnahan


    In just a whisper of wind,
    A flash of a tired smile,
    Unspoken yet there . . .
    With a full heart to you all,
    Have a most beautiful Sunday,
    Full of warm blessings and new fresh beginnings . . .

    Of joy!

  32. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Sitting in a small quaint restaurant,
    About to order savory Italian food,
    She could just sense without looking,
    He was nearby.
    She glanced about quickly,
    As not to distract her male companion,
    Giving attention away,
    She was silently searching for someone else,
    Hoping to find most interesting,
    Attractive even and who would make her wonder,
    What else life might have to offer.
    Two mahogany tables away,
    Sitting up high,
    He was there,
    It took him a moment,
    To see her,
    He looked down almost shyly,
    As if to be nonchalant,
    Before putting his full gaze upon her,
    Perhaps because she was staring at him!
    A slow smile crossed his face.
    He blushed,
    She did too.
    Smiles held for longer,
    Then awhile!
    She let the full contentment,
    Drift all through her,
    Eagerly glancing back again,
    Distracted, he was now busy and about to leave,
    She hoped almost desperately,
    For one more moment of his delight in her,
    With the others surrounding him,
    He couldn’t look in her direction,
    As she watched him pass by her table,
    Heading for the door,
    In the arms of another,
    She picked up her cell phone,
    To send a quick text to her daughter,
    Far away in Colorado!

    “Just saw a red haired baby boy,
    I think it is a sign that perhaps,
    A baby for you is not so far off.
    There is after all red hair in the family!”

    “Ok, Mom . . .
    Sure, I’ll let you know!”
    Tickled she put away the phone,
    Now anticipating the delicious favorite Greek Pasta . . .
    Her smile reassuring her husband,
    She was now present with him,
    Fully connected, well satisfied and still glowing,
    With all the wonder of life!
    Joining hands across the table . . .

    No more needed to be said.

      1. Janet Rice Carnahan

        Thank you, Rosemary! So happy to hear I am not alone with flirting with babies in public! It is such a moment of magic to me, especially when they delight right back! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  33. Sheryl

    Over and Out

    Two boys laugh and
    squirm in the church pew
    during choir rehearsal.

    Mother’s finger wags
    in their direction. Message
    given and received.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  34. hurtin-heart

    loving you
    The skies are grey,are hearts are blue.
    Still this day is special for me and you.
    And eventhough there’s no words said,
    just the love we feel within
    As we’re laughing,my heart is crying for you.
    But i intend on loving you,
    till the sun falls from the sky.
    Eventhough we won’t be together
    Your memories will be forever in my mind.
    I can hear the roar of a jet plane,
    as i listen to the wind whispering around me.
    We both turn to smile at each other,
    Feeling the pain in our hearts getting stronger.
    As our time together is almost over.
    Our hearts are breaking as we watch the sun go down
    There’s pain and sorrow all around.
    We know we can’t say good-bye for fear
    it will make us cry.
    So we sit here in silence as the day is coming to an end.
    As we leave,words unspoken,as friends….
    Samantha Tinney

  35. shann

    no love lost

    nor found in the fields of war,
    these are the body baggers,
    the silent ones who gather
    broken soldiers when smoke clears.

    oldest children do the job best,
    they carry weight from birth,
    guilt a familiar companion,
    all their prayers tired out.

    hey don’t talk while they work.
    try to forget when they’re done,
    a good day is when the wind blows,
    the sky overcast, clouds busy.

    A bad day is when a new worker
    can’t hold in the horror, gagging,
    invoking a deity with every breath,
    there are no gods here, no gods.

    They work side by side till done,
    lost in whatever thoughts they bring.
    At night they toss in ugly dreams
    clutching old letters tight in their fists

    1. Marcia Gaye

      This poem made me thank my older sister for carrying the weight for me and our siblings. Thx for making me consider what ‘eldests’ must go through.

  36. randalljweiss

    “Political Discourse”

    Friday. 5pm. Stuck
    in traffic. Impatient.
    My mind turns
    toward reading
    bumper stickers.
    Incumbent President,
    a Socialist. Opponent,
    a Fascist. Jesus,
    slinging guns or
    feeding hungry.
    If these pithy quotes
    represent discourse,
    maybe each should stay
    in his own car.

  37. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Stuck in the middle is no fun

    I see them fight for my affections,
    but there is no need, for I have enough.
    Walk down their street with trepidation.
    I see them fight for my affections.
    No words exchanged, no conversation
    between the two people I dearly love.
    I see them fight for my affections,
    but there is no need, for I have enough.

  38. Catherine Lee

    The Library

    He wandered down the aisle somewhere between
    Roman Architecture and Ancient Chinese Myths.
    His vegan burlap Toms squeaked impatiently
    On every other black linoleum square.

    She came in for a landing somewhere between
    Card, Orson Scott and Martin, George R. R.
    Her bare feet beat in silent syncopation
    With the sandals swinging in her hand.

    He sat on the floor with his back
    Leaning against the metal shelf
    And pondered the political legacy
    Of the Anti-Federalist movement.

    She stretched out on her stomach
    Resting her head in her hands
    And daydreamed about dragons
    Sleeping on mountains of gold.

    He looked up as his eyes
    Followed the curious sound
    Of twinkling chimes to the copper
    Beads woven in her hair.

    She answered his gaze
    With a grin almost as wide
    As the span of angel wings
    Tattooed across her back.

    He felt the corner of his mouth
    Begin to rise as he lingered
    On the way her crooked tooth
    Gave her smile a wilder beauty.

    She liked the way the color
    Sprouted from beneath his collar
    And climbed up his neck
    Straight to the tips of his ears.

    He raised his hand to wave
    Even as he lowered his eyes
    To the book in his lap.

    Her own hand stayed up
    Even as her smile faltered
    A moment longer.

  39. competitivewriter

    i’m taking the dog route too.

    Sitting silently
    Among the rushes
    In the darkness
    As the blackbirds wake the sun
    We’ve been here many times
    Yet I”m aware of your excitement and
    You’re aware of mine as we wait for what’s to come

    Sitting silently
    So the the wing beats
    Sound like thunder and
    Catch us by surprise, but in sync we sink
    A little lower becoming one
    With the cat tails and swamp grass

    Sitting silently
    as they circle
    I call with desperate please
    They look in our direction
    You push against my leg and
    I know you are ready when the time comes

    Sitting silently
    Barely breathing
    They make the final pass
    They tuck their wings and I
    Start to shoot and you’re crashing through the reeds
    You have the first as the second hits
    The the third falls a ways off so you look
    To me with expectation
    We established your trust in my hands
    Thousands of times in the baseball field
    After the games had ended
    I’ll point you to a place where you instincts
    Take over and then it’s only a matter of time before
    You return triumphant and I scratch your head
    And you wag your tail and we both grin
    With satisfaction as we return to
    Sitting silently

  40. pmwanken


    I walk down the aisle;
    our eyes meet…
    smiling, I nod toward
    the empty space next to him;
    recognition registers
    on his face;
    silently he greets me
    with movement so gallant,
    as I take my place
    next to him…
    the window seat on flight 2065
    to Iowa

    P. Wanken

  41. cam45237

    Sulfur, quick and acrid invades the nasal passage
    As the red tip scars its strip of flint, sparks, ignites, diminishes, sparks again, explodes.

    The matchbook’s almost empty, tip-charred strips of cardboard scattered,
    A chrysanthemum of bursting flame settled to a single glow
    That trembles. Shallow breath
    Struggles for the one deep exhalation
    That marks decision, resolution, conviction, culmination,
    He is lit!

    The boy’s clothes, thin cotton catch
    The sleeves and shoulders of his shirt are wings of fire
    The blaze assaults his legs
    The drumbeat of his heels hit fast and hard on the ground dirt road.

    His mouth is open
    His arms are open
    His eyes are open, anguished

    On the sidewalk, men and women turn
    Then turn away
    Walk on
    Or lift their cameras.

  42. Golden Rule

    Here is my attempt:

    My Heart sings a love song

    I pulled open the door
    And to my surprise
    There she stood beautiful long hair and full lips
    An Angel in disguise
    No words was mouthed
    Because we spoke with our eyes
    I embraced her with a hug
    And my heart sings her a love song
    With every moment it beats like a drum
    Each beat plays a tune
    Neo-soul, R-n-B, and at times it sing the blues
    My heart sings and great joy it brings
    Like the sunshine at noon.
    We sit in silence
    No need for words
    A gentle touch is more than enough
    To speak what her body has never heard.

  43. Kendall A. Bell

    Dear life

    Her sullen brown eyes stared at the
    cold concrete, slivers of crystal
    glistened in the chilly April morning,
    reflected her sorrow into the sky.
    It was the last thing her mother touched,
    the last thing she placed around her
    neck. The fragile fibers, too frayed to
    hold its weight. As her eyes watered,
    his large, warm hand stroked away the
    wet from her cheek. He spoke no words,
    only knelt to be beside her small frame.
    The last connection to her mother,
    returned to the earth. She hugged his
    waist hard, buried her face into his
    chest, held on for dear life to her
    last life line.

  44. Jerry Walraven



    facing the street,
    looking out the window
    at this rain dampened world.

    but my field of focus
    and I’m watching
    a play
    which flits
    in and out of vision
    as it’s reflected
    on the glass.

    there’s this
    old man
    with a cane
    which I decide
    he doesn’t need.
    but he carries it
    for those times
    his wife
    needs to lean on him.

    she fits her hand
    in his
    like she’s done
    thousands of times.
    and I invent
    a time
    when it almost fell apart.
    a time when
    their fingers didn’t touch
    a time when . . .

    He glances up then
    and his reflected eyes
    meet mine
    so I turn away
    and wonder
    who gave me
    the right
    to live
    their lives
    when they
    still live

  45. Reno

    The One

    I rarely ever picked roses,
    brave a thorn
    to show my love,
    but there was one
    I remember picking
    on a cold February day,
    in the front planter,
    at The Hawks Prairie Inn;

    I always looked
    upon her confidently,
    at a distance that was safe.
    The uncomfortable close spaces
    between us, remained hollow
    only filled with imagination.

    She was talking with friends
    in the big field at lunch.
    They looked toward me
    sporadically, in moments passing.
    She and them giggled together,
    she started approaching me
    confident, with an irresistible smile.
    I, remained poised, yet nervous…
    She started flirting
    with light conversations
    gradually turning seductive.
    Honey flowed from her gloss lips;
    Her: “can you quote a poem you wrote,
    I hear you paint,
    what do you like painting”
    Me: “I mostly paint animals”
    Her: “Have you ever painted people”
    Me: “uh, umm, well”
    Her: “Nudes (coy, velvet tone)
    could I pose for you,
    what mediums do you use,
    do you finger paint…”

    Evergreen trees towering
    all around as we stood
    talking vague earshots
    from other students.
    I was shaking inside,
    my face bursting a warm red.
    She was insanely beautiful,
    practicing dreamy stares,
    while tying invisible
    strings to everything inside me

    I was 18, still a virgin
    Boyish innocence was bleeding
    through my dark adolescence
    Like a charred rose bud
    With bright scarlet pedals
    Just beneath the pitch
    of the burnt ones….

  46. hurtin-heart

    Who does it bother?
    Why do they care?
    When two people together
    Have their love to share.
    The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s
    Two families apart.
    Only coming together
    when love got a start.
    The same long ago
    When two lover’s met
    They all tried to seperate
    Romeo and Juliet.
    So why all the fuss?
    Is love so blind!
    If it was them then in love
    They sure wouldn’t mind.
    So who should it bother?
    Why pretend to care!
    Let those who find love
    Be happy at last………….
    Samantha Tinney

  47. seingraham


    He gets frustrated they told me
    And he won’t learn to sign
    They talked like he wasn’t
    In the room but I watched
    His eyes watching me and knew
    Quickly, brain-damaged or not
    He was very much there

    An adult with the mind of a teen
    And the capabilities of a child
    He had to be watched like a hawk
    Or he did things – hmm …
    Like what, I wondered

    After being permitted to back
    Into a pool when he was four
    And lay there submerged, dead
    Really – for no-one knows how long
    What things could he possibly do now
    Certainly nothing to top that …

    We decided to do a trial run
    A week or two; see if I could manage
    him, if he would behave for me.
    Never before had I realized
    How expressive a face could be
    And gesturing hands, the attitude
    Of a body or head … of course
    sometimes I missed the cues
    But not often …

    My favourite? For some reason
    He had an irrational hate on
    For McDonald’s, would get apoplectic
    If I tried to go there; I was hooked
    On their chocolate fudge sundaes

    One day I figured he could
    Man up and told him sternly
    He would just have to be strong
    I was getting my sundae –

    His coffee bean eyes twinkling
    He reached down to the floor
    Of my messy van, came up
    With a white grocery store bag
    Stuck on his head, covering his face
    chortling away; I might be going
    to the McDonald’s drive-thru
    But no-one was going to be able
    To say he was there …


  48. RobHalpin

    Working toward a Goal

    a moment of eye contact, understanding,
    the winger darts across the line,
    the striker feeds the ball into the seam,
    the winger collects it, holds it,
    sends it back, another hole in the defense,
    the striker takes the ball on a dead run,
    deftly passes the last defender, feints wide,
    puts the ball across the face of the goal,
    the trailing winger one-touches the shot
    over the goal…

  49. Melissa Hager

    Angel Vs. Imp

    The tow headed little boy,
    bouncing in the shopping cart,
    takes a plastic snake and
    wiggles it at his grandmother.
    She gratifies with a shiver and a scowl.
    Crinkly eyes full of mirth next fall on me.
    Giggles ensue as he puts the snake’s head into his mouth.
    I tremble at the mere thought of that thing
    between his teeth, even if it isn’t real.
    A most mischievous grin illuminates
    his face with my reaction –
    A grin suitable for an angel that,
    most certainly, belongs to an imp.
    Grandma best check under her pillow tonight.

  50. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net

    “a bird may love a fish—
    but where will they live?”
    Tevia, “Fiddler on the Roof”


    A sparrow looks into the water with one eye—
    the other watches her back.

    Her name is not Narcissa. No. She sees
    her reflection but looks through it

    to the beautiful goldfish flashing
    beneath the cool, dark water of the pond.

    His round eyes are amazed by her wings
    fluttering above him, free in air he can never breathe—

    glinting in the light of the sun setting behind mountains
    neither one of them can climb.

    She sings and sings to him,
    but he does not hear.

    She sees herself reflected in his eyes!
    She hops and then flies a little—insistent, hopeful.

    He leaps for a moment
    above the water, brilliant and shining

    then falls back down below.
    They never touch.

    Jane Beal

  51. Mary Mansfield

    Strangers in the Night

    The air in our room is toxic,
    Anger lingering
    In a venomous cloud
    No apology can clear,
    Leaving us almost strangers,
    Love teetering on the brink.

    I queue up that song,
    Our song,
    A musical reminder
    Of what sparked
    The magnetic attraction
    That always leads me to your arms,
    And in a heartbeat the air clears
    And we’re swaying gently
    Around our bedroom.

    Frank always sang it better than we could ever say…

  52. deedeekm

    you walk across a room
    and I read entire
    conversations in
    your footsteps

    sitting in a restaurant
    a nearby loud
    says less than
    your face

    sad movie scene
    you grab my hand
    in the dark
    and I know you
    are smiling at me

  53. Arrvada


    The sink is almost full
    Of sudsy water and dirty dishes
    Her movements are sharp
    The water splashes out
    Bubbles skitter over the counter
    She ignores them
    Ignores him.
    He watches her
    But she doesn’t see
    He keeps hidden behind his coffee
    The sounds of water, the clatter of dish
    She ignores him and it builds
    Like a brutal hard fist
    The words left unspoken
    Scream loud and clear
    He won’t say
    She won’t say
    So they scream and scream

  54. traci

    Washing the dishes
    Walking past, hand to shoulder
    Just a second of his touch
    Feel his presence near
    Arm from behind to embrace
    Just a few seconds, and on

  55. PSC in CT

    The Last Straw

    he’s had it up to here with her
    moody, silent treatment, selfish ways;
    damn sick of her solo dinners,
    doing her own laundry – omitting his.
    Used to be, she’d meet him at the door,
    all warm smiles and willing; now it seemed,
    he let himself in nightly to a dark house,
    silent sofa bearing spare blanket, his pillow,
    their bedroom door locked. this night
    would be different. tonight he’d tell her
    it had to stop. time for things to go
    back to the way they were. he rams his
    key in the lock, hard twist of wrist, tight
    jerk fails to budge mechanism; she’s changed
    the locks and it’s the last straw. he pummels,
    fists flailing, boots drubbing the door, stopping
    only when the sash above bangs open, he
    watches stunned, as his belongings hurtle down
    landing in a lump on the lawn

  56. Mystical-Poet

    Hard Hearted Soup

    another cycle
    a single sentence
    shouted between us
    I’ll be back soon,yelled
    lawn mowed, taxes done
    later when our eyes wrestled
    instead of each other we embraced
    stubbornness’s delusional throne
    each wanting to say I’m sorry
    but the special of the day
    was hard-hearted soup
    and forgiveness was
    not on the menu
    still strangers
    in the night

  57. Walt Wojtanik


    Latent is her beauty, an air of sophistication,
    laced with a generous gentility.
    From the shadows I watch.
    She, unaware of my hunger.
    The waft of evening moonlight brings her offering,
    I feel compelled. Stepping lightly in rapid descent.
    The heat of my breath reaches her ear
    as the sound of her name, Emmaline, fills her.
    She leans back, trusting that my hands would save her.
    Her head sways drawing her dark tresses to fall,
    exposing her alabaster neck.
    Lips, dipping for ravenous a taste of her flesh,
    teeth bared and nestling on her nape.
    There is no escape. Her collapse into waiting arms;
    arrested by bohemian charms.
    He stakes claim to her very soul.
    knowing her heart and mind will soon follow.

  58. Margot Suydam

    The Blue

    A baby swims the sky:
    a pudgy arm stretched

    forward, pushes through
    the aquamarine wash

    Another breath-strokes
    to catch up, but never will

    Both are gone, softened
    into undecipherable forms

    A gigantic eagle wingspans
    the beach — clouds that float

    like an army, breath rising
    in grand formation. A spectacle

    suspended while summer kites
    fly into evening unguarded

    Rainbow tails slice stripes
    in the still blue swept air

    Neighbors gaze and gawk
    we continue our silent walk

  59. Kitten Thief

    Fifteen Minutes

    The eighth hour has passed and now only a quarter ticks away.
    An old man sips his tea, blind to what awaits him on this day.
    For too long my brother and I have waited for nature’s end.
    His spoils will be ours and from his hands we would happily rend.
    No love or trust ever poured from this man’s black and vicious heart.
    What comes is just, and two brothers will live on never to part.
    And still my joy seems measured when thinking of all we will own.
    My mind is a whirling cloud and now I feel somewhat alone.
    Yet perhaps he ponders what I ponder as the clock strikes nine.
    I sit here wondering what will be ours, and what will be mine.

  60. Rosangela

    Unspoken Love

    They know so well about their differences,
    but they are friends, and they love to interact.
    They play rough, sometimes,
    but all in name of fun.
    Caring and acceptance
    are in their eyes, in their posture
    and in the way the lie down and rest
    feeling secure, after another game around
    the house.

    O’ Pit-bull and kitty Siamese don’t need words
    to be friends, they understand each other with their souls.

  61. Dan Collins

    Bodhi, B&W

    a good way to achieve
    perfect humility
    is to enter a dark

    room with two hundred
    black-and-white TVs
    to greet you

    with perfectly
    eyebrows rising

    in waves of Perry
    Mason, rolling
    across a wall

    “Oh?” they inquire,
    as all defense curls up
    under the endless question.

  62. Marie Elena

    Okay, I’m cheating. Robert said two or more “people.” But black labs are people too, aren’t they? ;)
    Busy, busy, busy. Hopefully back to read later …

    Speaking Each Other’s Language (a dodoitsu)

    If Joy (our Lab), went “too far,”
    We’d shoot her “the look.” Never
    Lost on us was the message
    Of the sigh she’d heave.

  63. Walt Wojtanik


    Reminders of an evening long ago
    the sound of crashing waves
    as the only thing we see.
    Gulls blindly call, falling
    with the rapid movement
    of Mother Nature’s sultry
    breath. On this spot,
    in this place, the sands stir
    beneath my feet a tremor
    reminiscent of the passion shared.
    Both new and scared and
    exhilarated by the moment.
    The lake breeze wafts through me
    and your embrace returns,
    excitedly it burns back into
    my heart and soul. All control lost
    in the crash of waves, the sound
    of our love making long ago.
    Now, in the whisper of wind
    you come to kiss my cheek
    and leave a fleeting flutter
    of your tenderness. I miss your love
    In the lake breeze.

  64. Brian Slusher


    She at her crossword
    He at his paper
    This is harmony
    Sunday’s staple

    A lemony warmth
    Ideal morning light
    Washing through the blinds
    Gilding the quiet

    As dust motes circle
    like sparks of pure pearl
    This is the silence
    Of the newborn world

    Before words and hurt
    Pre-war and poison
    Before the apple
    Of discord blossoms

    Together in peace
    With just the rustle
    Of rattled pages
    Like distant thunder

  65. Michelle Hed

    Internet Pen Pals

    I do not know the sound of her voice
    but she is not voiceless –

    I may have never met him face to face
    but he is not faceless –

    With the quiet clicking of our fingers
    dancing across the keyboard
    we talk,
    we laugh,
    we share –
    and maybe someday we will meet
    face to face.

  66. omavi

    “… As Dreams are Shattered”

    She looks at him in a well pressed suit
    Just sitting over there
    She remembers him and she wants to smile
    But smiles don’t come easy in this time
    He is looking at her wondering
    What’s on her mind
    She lowers her head hands moving hair out of eyes
    He takes that as a sign
    She is just wondering why
    She doesn’t understand all of this
    He understands too clearly why this should be
    Every time eyes lock
    So many stories are told
    Fun times unrolled and in the beginning
    This was not the story expected to unfold
    She stares and waits to behold something
    Just something left to hold
    He lowers his head
    And a daughter knows
    Daddy no longer loving mommy
    Means daddy will be daddy no more

    1. Brian Slusher

      “And a daughter knows / Daddy no longer loving mommy / Means daddy will be daddy no more”–strong final lines and all too recognizable to many kids (and adults). Why the quotations marks for the title–is it from some other work?

  67. Buddah Moskowitz

    This Bed

    In the end of all such days
    they find themselves
    back together in this bed,
    exhaling in unison
    as they lie down
    on their backs.

    In retrospect,
    the events of the day
    seems less insurmountable,
    and they close their eyes
    delivering these problems
    into the arms of
    unseen angels in the

    They clasp hands,
    close their eyes
    and implicitly trust
    that the other
    will be there
    upon rising.

  68. amelia louise

    Silently she
    slid her hand
    into his,
    folding her
    fingers gently
    over his.
    Glancing sideways
    she sees
    a slight
    curl of his lip
    in acknowledgement.
    A tear escapes
    her eye.
    Knowing this
    could be
    their last

  69. taylor graham


    They gather in the parking lot for the hike.
    Two gray-headed men with binoculars,
    an older woman in shorts and sensible boots.
    Young family with three small children.
    It’s April, trails blossoming among trees.

    One little girl can’t take her eyes
    off our car with hatchback open – old dog
    Boogie almost asleep inside
    and, squirming to be free, new puppy
    Loki. We’re packing up to leave

    when the girl breaks loose, runs wide-
    eyed reaching for soft sable fur and puppy-
    wags. Her mother without a word
    hauls her back to the group. Girl and puppy
    never break the bond of child-eyes.

  70. J.lynn Sheridan

    “An early luncheon on the veranda”

    She wore one of those bonnets
    with the netting over her eyes

    and a daffodil yellow silk tied at her
    neck to keep her sunspots covered.

    Missy Maycie kept her cotton-
    gloved pinky in the air as they

    sipped sweet iced apple juice tea
    from doll sized teacups enjoying

    an English high tea at ten-thirty
    in the morning. Grandpapa opened

    the screen and served a plate of
    silly greens leaving a little something

    extra behind.

    Missy Maycie’s cottoned pinkies drooped.
    Great Granny tucked her nose under

    her silk, her brimming eyes smiling at
    Missy Maycie’s crinkled up nose and
    sweet t’hee t’hee hee snicker.

  71. Nickie

    He was alone
    and she was alone,
    at a midsummer party
    each on their own.

    He had a drink
    and she had a drink
    not glancing at each other,
    faces blushing pink.

    He wanted to dance
    and she wanted to dance
    but neither of them
    took even one chance.

    He enjoyed long hikes
    and she enjoyed long hikes
    but not once did they
    ask each other’s likes.

    He went home late
    and she went home late
    without making any plans
    for a call or a date.

    He went to sleep alone
    and she went to sleep alone
    in a bed, in a bedroom
    each on their own.

  72. Walt Wojtanik


    We sit near one another,
    my wife and I, waiting for word,
    or a sign of something positive.
    John, her father, found lethargic,
    incoherent, unresponsive.
    His vacant stare burnt into
    memory and any bit of hope
    we have fades in the passing
    hours. Her hand slides, blindly
    seeking my touch, my warmth,
    my comfort, Security in purely
    tactile terms. Fingers intertwine,
    my other hand covers and pats
    softly reassuring that no matter what
    I remain supportive to bolster her.
    I squeeze, she returns the pulse.
    She knows I’m there. I know she
    appreciates and accepts my presence.
    No words can convey what loving hands
    express. We’re still waiting for word.

    Home briefly. This afternoon holds little promise for John, but we wait in vigil.
    Holidays and hospitals seem to be my bane.

      1. Walt Wojtanik

        He is resting, getting fluids and battling a VRE. CCU for the night; observation and sedation. Paranoia setting in an “sundowners” controlling his emotion. Tonight we rest and pray. We’ll see what tomorrow holds.

  73. PassionateQuill

    slow roasting ham, carefully braised
    potatoes washed, salad made
    a fridge packed with a day’s bounty
    not a better cook in the county
    soon the table with be spread
    they’ll take their places, grace said
    how much she loves, they understand
    not by her words, but by her hands

  74. Michael Grove

    Love At First Sight
    (A Fibonacci)

    glanced at
    each other
    from across the room,
    It was truly love at first sight.
    No words were spoken, and no promises were broken.

    By Michael Grove

  75. maggzee


    Thousands of sorrowful miles
    Crushed, rushed
    Heavy bag just out of reach
    A woman helped me struggle it
    Gently down and smiled
    The customs man
    Lightly brushed my hand, and nodded
    You thrust your red hat high above the crowd
    And I was home

  76. Imaginalchemy

    “The Silent Thoughts of Vlad the Impaler and Countess Elizabeth Bathory, if they Spotted Each other Across a Room: A Poem for Two Voices”

    I glance
    I glide

    As her crimson dress pools
    On the floor
    I can tell that he would
    Desire to see more

    I feel an odd stirring
    A passion, a hunger to master
    I know it is flirting with disaster
    But I feel my senses delightfully twirling

    Her vision could make a man reject
    The seductive call of war
    I know he wants so much more
    That just my radiant beauty, I suspect

    My sword-steel resolve crumbles away
    My heart feels like it is impaled

    His mystery ensnares me, my wits have failed
    I’m glad I took my special bath today

    I cannot explain it

    I know it will lead to no good

    But it is a fire

    This drawing heat

    That I feel

    In my


    1. Imaginalchemy

      Shoot, the format did not copy, and I can’t edit my original post! ARGH! Fine, let’s try it this way then…

      He glances

      She glides

      As her crimson dress pools
      On the floor

      I can tell that he would
      Desire to see more

      I feel an odd stirring
      A passion, a hunger to master

      I know it is flirting with disaster
      But I feel my senses delightfully twirling

      Her vision could make a man reject
      The seductive call of war

      I know he wants so much more
      That just my radiant beauty, I suspect

      My sword-steel resolve crumbles away
      My heart feels like it is impaled

      His mystery ensnares me, my wits have failed
      I’m glad I took my special bath today

      I cannot explain it

      I know it will lead to no good

      But it is a fire

      This drawing heat

      That I feel

      In my


  77. Andrea B

    Across the Hall

    From exam room #2
    I see you pace the scuffed
    tiles worn by the floor
    of exam room #4.

    The cool jelly on
    my belly chills me
    as I hear your
    nervous chatter.

    Doors close; I forget
    about you and meet
    my baby #3.

    In love, I leave,
    sidestep the doctor
    who keeps you closed off.

    As the hallway ends,
    the tension-hinged door
    pushes me into the lobby,
    closes on, “Get her

    Exiting only, I lose you
    to exam room #4.

    1. Domino

      Sara, I think we all do as much as we can. ^_^ All my moments here seem to be stolen!! I do love coming and just reading and commenting when I can, but it never seems to be as much as I want.

  78. Sara McNulty

    April 7, 2012 – Day 7
    Describe a scene in which two or more people interact without speaking


    Shadow woman, immobile
    on a hospital bed
    seems to be staring
    at the cracked ceiling
    with her cloudy blue eyes,
    as the weary night nurse
    working a double shift
    enters, her white rubber
    soles squeaking on sticky floor.

    Nurse fluffs pillows, lifts
    the skeletal arm of the shadow
    woman to ascertain blood
    pressure. Their eyes meet.
    They smile at each other,
    both knowing the pointlessness
    of this routine.

    Taking the brittle boned,
    liver spotted hand of old age,
    the nurse clasps it inside
    her own roughening palms.
    Human connection for two
    different women, each knowing
    the outcome of the other.

  79. Andrew Kreider


    He never asked their permission to go.
    Bounced, in an eyelash, without so much as

    a by-your-leave, from hero to villain.
    Now he’s back, and they are licking their lips.

    From the moment he steps onto the pitch
    come the boos – and the hands like javelins –

    broken only by laughter when he falls.
    He soldiers on, pretending he can’t hear,

    but the slump of his shoulders tells the truth:
    Sometimes you’re better off not going home.

  80. Nancy Posey


    Incapable of words,
    she must rely on looks,
    on touch and gesture
    for even her most simple needs,
    every itch that needs scratching,
    just a sip of water
    when her lips are parched.

    Her arms sometimes wave wildly,
    reaching for the hands
    she needs to stroke her hair,
    to rub her back.

    Without a spoken word,
    she can still express her strong desires,
    bestow her special kind of love
    to those who come near unafraid,
    no awkward holding back,
    who read her hands, cool and moist,
    fingers that sign: More music, more music!

  81. Arike


    Two layers of epidermis engage, press, send
    Pressure receptors deeper in the skin firing
    The brain cries out that substance has been met
    Crossing signals; the mouth releases only breath

    A high whine when fingertips meet – what?
    Slick slide of still-bleeding wound?
    The prickle of an uneven clot?
    A bobble of uneven skin, raw flesh?
    Space where body was supposed to be?

    Unknown if he could see through the hole
    Did he really put his hand in that side?

    Eyewitnesses are dead
    Replicating events difficult

    We probably know the type of nail ca. 30 AD
    The standard issue spear for a Roman soldier
    What death, resurrection would do – physically
    Thomas knows

  82. claudsy

    I’ll have to read and comment later, as I have company coming over soon. But here’s my offering for the day and this lovely prompt.

    Lawn Duty

    He reached for her hand,
    Small enough solace
    To bolster flagging courage.
    She squeezed his fingers
    And tugged gently.

    He followed her lead
    As they moved past the stone,
    Head down, he could not watch
    His past dwindle from view.
    She knew, knew the time he’d

    Spent caring for his children,
    Their sweet faces lit from within,
    Eager to please and play all day.
    Now, only photos remained,
    Memory prompts of days gone by.

    She pulled him close, arm in arm,
    Humming an old hymn from church.
    He sighed, knowing sleep elude him.
    He’d have no one to keep him company,
    No one to nuzzle with, tell secrets to.

    Others could never replace Pippa and Pepper.
    Others would never bring such delight
    Or mischief to a day’s somber turning.
    Only these two small bundles of fur
    Had ever gained the whole of his heart.

    Mom knew how it was, she felt for him,
    And she would never speak of his sobs;
    Fears in the night that two friends had soothed.
    He listened to her humming, his chest loosened.
    He didn’t want to go home but knew he must.

  83. Domino


    The small group of regulars,
    here on the bus, don’t really
    know each other all that well,
    but they’re familiar in a
    way drivers don’t understand.

    Danny, who can’t drive his Porche
    for at least fifteen more months
    because of a DUI.

    Trish and her daughters who all
    work as maids at the same ho-
    tel and chatter like little
    wrens for the entire ride.

    Gabe, who has epiliepsy,
    quietly reads his paper
    every morning while he
    sips coffee from his thermos.

    Marissa and Emily,
    ride to high school, and take the
    bus to avoid teasing kids
    now they’re an official couple.

    It is an ordinary day
    with a mellow feel, and a
    quiet camaraderie.

    And then the angry man with
    a swagger in a red base-
    ball jersey gets on the bus.

    The passengers give a col-
    lective sigh because they know
    just how it will go from here.

    He will stalk the aisle, berat-
    ing, trying to get someone
    to engage: then he’ll attack.
    They all exchange a glance, the
    regulars, and silently
    say with a look: be on guard.

    But this time, Gabe, quiet Gabe
    puts down his paper and stands
    in the aisle, blocking the way.

    Not one of the other ri-
    ders had realized just how
    big Gabe was, how intimi-
    dating he was while standing.

    The stranger stops, confused, un-
    unsure of what to do now.

    And as Gabe fixes his gaze
    on the stranger’s eyes, begins
    walking up the aisle, the now
    cowed stranger backpedals, he
    backtracks all the way to the
    front and sits silently there

    And Gabe walks back to his seat
    picks up his paper and takes
    another sip of coffee.

    The other passengers ex-
    change another look, this one
    of appreciation and
    maybe just a little glee.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  84. LCaramanna

    Lunch Date

    The paper on his desk was blank –
    not one homework question answered,
    his forearm casually shielded incriminating evidence
    from the teacher’s discerning eyes.
    Discovering his delinquency,
    a furrowed brow
    erased her smile.
    He held her gaze –
    no explanation escaped his lips.
    She pondered his expression,
    a quizzical tilt to her head,
    suppressed her need to ask why,
    placed the yellow sticky note on his desk.
    ‘Lunch Detention Today’ – the pre-written message.
    A simultaneous sigh escaped both teacher and student –
    hers in frustrated exasperation;
    his in sheer delight of obtained desire.
    As the teacher’s back retreated to the front of the room
    the pretty girl two rows over,
    whose telltale yellow sticky note
    garnered in math class,
    stuck unseen to the inside cover of her notebook,
    heard the message in his eyes flash
    loud and clear:
    Lunch Date!

  85. Benjamin Thomas


    She was elderly, greyed with wisdom
    Silvered with life experiences
    He, on the other hand, was a young lad,
    A timid little sapling moist with morning’s fresh dew
    His leaflets unfurled, His buds blossoming anew
    These two met in a home for seniors who immediately
    Struck an affinity for one another’s company
    She was aphasic, robbed of the spoken word
    From a previous stroke that left
    It’s impression upon her speech
    Which was largely garbled and unintelligible at best
    But they always were on the same page and never missed a beat
    He understood her furrowed brow, her lively gesture, her brilliant index
    Most importantly, he understood her heart
    So they lived, they loved, they laughed
    And boy, did they laugh
    The boy had many friends and acquaintances there in that home
    But She was always His favorite read
    They had a grand old time whenever they were together
    Day by day, page by page they had many chapters
    And together they wrote a bestseller

  86. posmic

    Easter Egg Drop

    without words
    your blades

    thwack thwack thwack

    slice the air, tell me
    you’re ready to drop
    plastic eggs on a
    sunny field where
    my daughter holds
    a red bag. One

    among hundreds.
    Red bags, red balloons,
    red flags waving to celebrate
    the egg hunt for ages
    5 to 8. I celebrate
    5 to 8, too.

    I squeeze her shoulder,
    let her go. Nothing too bad
    will happen. Helicopter, you
    watch over my child, all
    the others; plastic eggs
    rain down. Later,

    your blades will tell me,
    up and away, smaller and
    smaller, that the egg drop
    is over. She didn’t win
    the iPod, the bike, nor
    even any candy.

    It turns out that dropping
    hinged eggs from a helicopter
    onto hard ground is not
    such a good idea.

    And yet, helicopter,
    what a thrill to see you
    circle low, to hear

    the message of your blades
    through the crowds, the clouds
    pushing against bright blue air.

  87. Michael Grove

    In The Silence
    (A 7/5 Trochee)

    In the silence of the night
    Jupiter and Mars,
    bring to us a glowing light,
    softening our scars.

    Stronger hearts were broken by,
    daggers in your glance.
    No truer words unspoken
    from this happenstance.

    By Michael Grove

  88. Yolee

    Whose Faith is it Anyway?

    My feet move to the rapid beat of Mary Mary’s “Shackles”
    as I tap my computer’s keyboard. My teenage son walks
    by my bedroom. His milk-chocolate glance brushes the muse
    that had been adjusting to the grainy light in my eyes: the muse
    I finally found, the way I come across a sock in the corner
    of a fitted sheet slept on at least for one week. He walks
    to my garbage pail and dumps the contents into a white trash
    bag to check off the weekend duty. My brain immediately soaks
    the choppy chats we’ve had on God’s existence: The God mama
    gave me. My boy is a satellite dish in need of a wave to realize
    purpose. Thoughts jump on my heart like it’s a trampoline.
    He loves me but he’s detaching from my faith and, spirituality
    cannot be surmised like mathematics on the chalkboard
    we’re in. I smile, get up from my chair, and trace the side
    of his cheek down to his peach-fuzz chin: fortifying familiar
    practice. What has been nearly erased in pursuit of answers
    that will accommodate a new paradigm lingers like a ghost.
    The answer isn’t completely wiped out.

  89. Michael Grove

    That Look

    I’ve seen that look in your eye before.
    You don’t need to say a word.
    It is your way to settle the score.
    I’ve seen that look in your eye before.
    I’ve worn a pathway to the door.
    Nothing said and nothing heard.
    I’ve seen that look in your eye before.
    You don’t need to say a word.

    By Michael Grove

  90. De Jackson

    Last Words

    You lift your left hand
    the one that traced hope onto my cheek
    the one that laced my fingers into songs
    the one that held my heart
    sort of flutter it in the air
         and a wave of
            I’ll miss you
            I’m sorry
            I wish
            I want
    washes over me.
                         An anthology of us, it is enough.

    I lift my right
           and bid it flow
                     just so
              somehow sign all my soul must spill
                 but it cramps, and falls
                             and too much remains
                                                       unsaid, unwritten.

  91. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Cats, Poetry & Death #43
    Aftermath of Muselessness

    Pickle pricks up his ears
    Smudge sits bolt upright
    they stare at the door
    they glance at each other
    and then at the door again
    in silence
    the stares grow more intense
    as does the suspense
    a scrape at the lock
    a rattle of metal on stone
    another scrape
    a clunk
    the felines of the house prepare themselves
    for battle
    the door opens
    and the poet falls through it
    and to the floor

    …stone dead
    the cats step over the body
    and out into the cool night air
    in silence


  92. Michael Grove

    Two like Four

    The two of them like four
    sat in the dark closet and stared
    at the back of each others heads
    while watching themselves turn

    into the skeletons they were
    hiding from. He like Van Gogh
    had a missing ear and his own
    pistol pointed to his chest

    could only cry and pray as he
    cowered in the corner far away
    from the door. She more Keller
    like and much stronger than he

    sat upright with head held high
    and twisted her glass eyes away
    from him toward the frozen rope
    which hung from the cloths rod.

    Perched on the shelf above
    their heads was a vulture and
    a dove, an eagle and an owl,
    a cardinal and a blue jay.

    The writing was clear and bold
    on the back wall of the closet.
    Neither had read the sign
    as they sat in their silence.

    By Michael Grove

  93. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Strange night last night. Really didn’t see
    us losing that one. Speechless! We were
    both silent and stunned, damn! the whole bar
    silent and stunned. Everybody drinking,
    picking on wings and ribs. Your cousin whispering
    her orders to the cook…strangest damned thing ever!
    got home drunk – the harpies aren’t talking to me either,
    not sure if that’s good or bad. Round two today,
    let’s hope we got something to shout about, pick ya
    up at 6. Bring money for beer.

    Yours in contemplative silence
    Ringo the Howler

  94. lionmother

    Coming Home

    I see her face as she walks through the door
    and smile knowing the way the night will be
    she will hold it all in her until the air
    begins to escape and form into tears
    while her day explodes around her
    as she lets out the tensions
    to us listening yet not able to
    direct events to soothe her
    stressful mind and ease the
    unmanageable pain she continues
    to collect as she moves
    through the monotony of her
    work life unable to change
    and forced to be burdened
    by the harmful barbs of others

    She answers my smile with
    her own, tight, lips pressed
    eyes dull, controlled and
    then suddenly the face
    changes and becomes
    once more the sweet little
    girl she strives so carefully
    to hide and I fold her in
    my arms to stay the flood
    of tears.

  95. Marjory MT


    The light
    in your eyes
    says it all.

    A soft touch
    on my shoulder,
    says it all.

    A cup of fresh brew
    waiting as I awake,
    says it all.

    A single bloom
    for no reason except it,
    says it all.

    Tickets to a show
    You’d rather not see,
    says it all.

    A quiet evening,
    sitting peacefully,
    just you and me,
    says it all.

  96. Marjory MT

    IN or OUT

    You come into the room,
    Your body attitude,
    Your gait, your face.
    say it all
    “Come, it is a good day,”
    “Stay out of my space.”

  97. Marjory MT

    The Boy……..Waiting

    Dad would soon be home
    and at the window,
    the boy watched – waiting.

    Dad was busy exercising
    and web-surfing,
    the boy stood – waiting.

    He was busy with business
    on the phone, with eating,
    the boy sat –waiting.

    Busy reading,
    watching the news,
    the boy lay – waiting.

    the boy grew – waiting.

    The man –
    stopped waiting.

  98. eyeisawrightr

    The Letter

    He opens the front door
    foot snagging on the threshold
    stumbling into the room

    He’s clutching a letter
    from somewhere
    with news that
    changes everything

    She looks up from
    her desk piled up
    with bills
    raising eyebrows
    smiling slightly

    He smiles back
    waving the letter
    taking a deep breath

    She jumps up
    chair scratching
    the wood floor
    takes his hands
    into hers

    They dance

  99. ely the eel


    The man isn’t old by some measures,
    quite ancient by others.
    Mostly, it depends upon where he is,
    who’s nearby.
    Sometimes, it’s the weather, the rain,
    His 68-year old body made 86,
    war-torn nerve endings enflamed
    by moist air.
    Today it was the boy, Elijah,
    grandson of a neighbor,
    looking out her window.

    The boy is young by some measures.
    wiser and older by others.
    Mostly it depends upon the day,
    how he slept,
    if grandma’s nearby,
    if he got role in that new commercial,
    if the pool is empty of adults.
    Sometimes it’s his need for speed,
    his 10-year old mind wishing for 18,
    so he can drive something more than a dream.

    They are long-distance buds,
    the man and the boy,
    the type of friends who most often
    communicate by written word,
    e-mails the penpalship of the day
    Together, they are writing an epic poem,
    starring, of course, Elijah,
    his family and friends in supporting roles.
    They seldom speak in person,
    the man writing a page of Seussian rhyme,
    the boy reading the electronic copy,
    never editing, directing the next page.
    Today is one of the rare days,
    the boy visiting for Easter,
    the man reading poolside.
    There are other vacation kids around, so
    the pool will soon be loaded, joy filled.
    It is tempting to call on grandma,
    “accidentally” bump into Elijah,
    (though he’s taken to calling himself Eli lately)
    but that might interrupt the flow,
    the rhythm of what they have.
    The boy will be a tween soon,
    likely bored with their neverending story.
    It’s the way of such things.
    Best to leave it alone,
    take the pleasure of it as it is,
    not think of the measure of what might be.

    Tucking his page marker in,
    the man and his book head home.
    His wife will ask if he saw Elijah,
    and he’ll say yes.
    She knows him too well to ask what’s new.
    She’ll simply leave him to his contentment.
    Later, if he wants to, they’ll talk.

      1. ely the eel

        “comfort, hope and the inevitability of change” is exactly it, so i now know that you are not just a fabulous writer, you are also a great reader…then there’s the day when Eli told the poet that he’d been spelling his name wrong for a couple of years…

  100. misskatieesluu


    Energy flows through the stadium
    the wind blows with the smell of playoffs.
    People all around are shouting and yearning
    yearning for the sweet smell of victory.
    The umpire yells, “play ball!”
    the crowd agrees as strike one is called.
    Settling into the uncomfortable seats and fall haze,
    all the outside problems melt into nothing.
    With 40,000 people all around you,
    it’s hard not to wonder what brought them here.
    But they’re here
    and you have something in common with them all.
    And when the final score rings out a victory,
    you are all joyful, if only for a moment.

  101. Kelly Eastlund


    In the photo he’s sitting next to me
    at the dining room table
    blue shirt, sleeves rolled up, smiling
    down at the cake in front of us
    chocolate with sprinkles
    and 16 candles I am blowing out.
    I don’t remember what I wished.

    Today I will bake a cake for you
    and put a single candle on it
    pretending there are 78.
    I’ll sit at the dining room table,
    blow it out for you
    and wish you were here
    sitting next to me

    (For my dad.)

  102. Mike Bayles

    Silent Stories of my Life

    Without a word
    she worked every muscle
    as in silence
    they told the stories of my life.
    A tight calf spoke
    of a mile run too far
    in the journey of life,
    while a tight neck
    spoke of tensions of the week
    and the injuries I bore.
    As she worked
    the soles of my feet
    she worked pressure points
    connected to every nerve,
    and with every touch
    she grew to know me better
    as she learned to read between the lines
    of the stories my body told
    while for the moment
    all I could do was breathe.

  103. Joseph Harker

    Seraphim Girls

    Two of them are on the light rail headed north:
    one with dreadlocks and a silver nose ring,
    wearing hunter green and black,
    the other pink-and-purple-haired, thick glasses,
    carrying a backpack covered in patches
    and rainbow-striped pins.

    Their hands move in and out of shapes
    which call for description. A conversation of
    unknown shadow puppets:
    butterfly, comet, spiderweb, opening rose.
    Rings of air and cupped palms, entire arms
    crooked into geometry.
    And their faces change just as easily,
    melting from surprise to humor to mischief,
    the whole body a liquid live with electricity,
    constantly changing its easy shape.

    An angel is a being who carries truths
    more delicate than dust suspended in light,
    which we shatter
    with our ungainly touch and braying voices.

    Two of them make eye contact
    as they get up to leave the train: not merely
    turning another language around their knuckles
    easily as cat’s cradle,
    but rather another way of growing the world,
    taking it in and giving it a description
    without the manacles of consonant and vowel.
    More like a river of air, like they’ve found
    a little bit of that fallen grace.

      1. Marjory MT

        A deaf man I know once told me that he felt sorry for the hearing people who had such a ‘limited vocabulary’.
        In sign language every tiny hand or body movement or expression can tell so much more. It is oh so beautiful to see.
        I became very aware of how I ‘spoke’ in all ways when I met him.

    1. De Jackson

      Joseph, this is simply the most gorgeous description I have ever read, of what is by far my favorite language. My friend Lisa (who is not hearing impaired) does worship with sign, and it embodies your line:

      “giving it a description
      without the manacles of consonant and vowel.”

      Just beautiful. Thank you.

  104. Katrin

    These are incredible, today, poets!
    This is one of the saddest I’ve observed in several different orchestras:

    It’s, more often than not,
    a silence, heavy and barbed
    between the principal flute and
    principal oboe
    An iron curtain, years in the making,
    based on a fester of interpretive parameters,
    sailing through a symphony of
    Brahms in the same luxurious yacht
    A marriage of sound, years of breathing
    together, of matching, fusing,
    supporting each other’s leaps
    like seasoned ballet partners
    And the chill between them so disquieting,
    so poignant, their absolute dissonance so crystallized,
    especially when the
    duets are in a major
    key, and their privilege, after a life
    of clipped wings in the practice room,
    is to soar above a
    sea of stringed turbulence

  105. PKP

    words don’t cut it …

    They spoke
    in staccato shower
    of bits and bytes,
    profession, politics,
    world affairs, food,
    random words falling
    sharp clean hail
    as his foot slid soft socked
    shoeless silent
    beneath the table between her
    parted thighs

  106. De Jackson


    They sit under the canopy
    of the Willow until a
    hazy sun melts
    into the horizon.
    She traces hieroglyphs along
    his arm, he ciphers
    his breathing.
    No words pass,
    but he is lip reading
    and believing
    her eyelash Morse code.

  107. Miss R.


    I’m sitting behind her in church
    And she, perched always on one lap
    Or another, looks at me with
    Big blue eyes over her mother’s
    Shoulder. I smile, because who could
    Not with such a perfect little
    Face staring rapt at them? I know
    Perhaps I would be better off
    Not distracted from the sermon,
    But this great small beauty is a
    Present from God this day as well.

  108. MiskMask


    He was a raisin of a man,
    round, plump, and wrinkled by the sun.
    Working nearby, his wife of twenty
    gruelling years. She knew she was
    no prize herself but mindless tasks
    gave way to rhetorical thoughts,
    “What the hell,” she’d ask herself.
    On her wedding night, she’d bedded
    a tall, tidy, handsome man with a rich
    golden tan. When she woke up and came
    to her senses, all she could think was,
    “My god he’s ugly,” though she’d
    never spoke such a thing. The spell
    had broke but her raisin was better
    than being alone when you follow
    the crops on the migrant trail.
    She choked back tears, and continued
    picking sunny yellow lemons
    in the relentless Spanish heat.

  109. StephanieRosieG

    ‘boundaries of bliss’

    he was not my usual yoga instructor, but i’m a fan
    of the hands-on approach, joyfully accepting
    refinements from tadasana to savasana

    while in downward-facing dog, the one where we
    look like little mountains, bottoms pointed in the air,
    i heard his feet softly padding toward my mat

    and then, his body, pressed against mine
    and i am not even sure what went where, because
    my eyes were zoomed intently on my belly button

    except that it felt less “om” and more “omg”
    as hands worked legs in this strange dog tangle–
    conscious of breath–desire observed and released

  110. Jane Shlensky

    Little Punishments

    Yesterday he had a lot to say,
    his anger leveled at her,
    for being there. That wrong
    had smoldered in her overnight,
    and turned to cold silence.
    Her manner stiffened,
    and the same deeds he had come
    to expect of her continued,
    wordlessly, briskly, a cold
    front frosting the glass
    of her regard. She had, literally,
    nothing to say that silence
    would not relay.

    All supper long, he was polite,
    subdued, hungry for company.
    Dishes passed to him with no
    eye contact, and he could hear
    himself swallow, louder than
    he might have thought.
    She poured his coffee and
    her own, put a teaspoon
    of sugar into her cup and stirred,
    leaving the spoon absorbing heat.

    He took her hand and held it
    limp within his own.
    She lifted the spoon from her coffee,
    tapped it twice above the cup,
    and laid it on his hand, the slow
    burn registered on his face.
    He laughed and shook his head,
    she raised one eyebrow, and
    it was over.

  111. Connie Peters

    Morning Motel Dance

    In the breakfast nook,
    row of waffles, muffins,
    hard boiled eggs, yogurt,
    juices, coffees, teas on
    one side, big pole
    in the middle,
    six sets of table crowded
    against the other wall.
    Several Hispanic kids
    wearing baseball jerseys
    and speaking Spanish,
    old man with white whiskers,
    a middle age couple,
    a tall bespectacled kid and his father.

    I give a little bow to the dad
    as he goes ahead of me
    in the juice line,
    waltz around the
    baseball players
    to get my tea,
    shuffle around the pole
    back to my table,
    over to the bagels
    with the old man,
    while side stepping
    the blond
    to nab some yogurt
    as she searches
    for an employee
    to fill the waffle mix.
    Back at my table
    I munch while
    the dance continues
    around me.

  112. Bruce Niedt

    Today;s other prompt from NaPoWriMo: Write a poem in which everything is the same color.

    Red Smile

    He is riding the Red Line to work,
    despite the morning urge to call in sick –
    not under the weather, just tired
    of the day-to-day grind, and not that far
    from retirement. He lowers his newspaper
    and finds a striking young Latin woman
    opposite him. Her dress is as red as her lipstick,
    her hair is a dark waterfall. Their eyes connect
    and she flashes a warm smile. He smiles back.
    He can feel his face flush red. He knows she’s
    not flirting, because he’s not much to look at.
    It was just a “good morning” smile,
    a “have a nice day” smile that seems to come
    naturally to her. Maybe she uses it all day
    at her job as a receptionist or concierge,
    or even a model. Their eyes don’t meet again;
    she gets off two stops later, and he gets off
    the stop after that. When he hits the street,
    everything red speaks to him: sporty cars
    whizzing through intersections, neon signs
    on storefronts, some umbrellas that glide
    through this drizzly morning. He carries
    that red smile with him throughout the day,
    and once in a while at his dreary desk,
    he smiles back.

  113. DanielAri


    and on our plates, blooms of deep green kale beside
    domes of earthy brown rice topped with pistachios
    chopped into powder comprise the tender furniture
    for the vulnerable recline of intimately pink salmon,
    frothed with streaks of its oil. White wine speckles
    its glasses with perspiration. I know well the Sunset
    Magazine this all sprang from—it’s beside the toilet.
    Alice smiles at me and I smile back. The sun goes
    down unhurriedly as we feed ourselves, smile, chew,
    feed each other, sip wine, radiate slow nourishment
    in waves and particles throughout the house, out
    into the world, the physics of love. Miles Davis.
    Candles. Almond oil. We’ll draw the curtain here.


  114. Billie


    The pain in her eye is intense
    She withers in pain.
    Throws herself on the bed
    curls into fetal postion
    He sits back
    She did it again
    She got jalapeño in her eyes.

  115. RJ Clarken


    I sit and read a much-worn tome…
    that’s when it suddenly hits home.
    I know where I was meant to be:
    ‘midst silent crowds; the library.

    So many words are spoken but
    that’s only when books are not shut.
    And then I’ll hear the symphony,
    ‘midst silent crowds, the library.

    Each person reads a narrative.
    Ideas dance, declarative.
    The hushed room’s filled with bel esprit
    ‘midst silent crowds; the library.

    Unspoken conversations stream
    while literate companions dream.
    We’re all the same, a synchrony
    ‘midst silent crowds; the library.


  116. Marianv


    If I can feel all eternity tremble
    in these stumbling, uneven beats
    of my heart.
    And know above me on the monitor
    The green lines are running out of
    Bounds as if
    They were cut loose for a holiday.

    Meanwhile the body stutters
    The blood angered at such
    A breach of ethics.
    The muscles tense and recoil in horror
    What? What? What?

    From somewhere a voice-
    “Just a little shot for the pain.
    You won’t feel a thing .”

  117. Billie


    he turns the car down the highway
    sees the tears
    She tries to hide.
    Knows the only thing to do
    Is touch her hand
    Rub it
    She knows sorry.
    she reaches behind his neck.
    and caresses the back of his head.
    he knows forgiveness.

  118. Jane Shlensky


    She turns the kitchen lights on
    and opens the blinds
    to morning sunlight.
    He follows behind her,
    closing the blinds,
    extinguishing lights.

    She makes a tight bed,
    sheets smoothed, while
    he tosses the spread upward,
    nests of wrinkles underneath.
    They trade sides and undo
    the other’s work.

    He mows the lawn willy-nilly,
    figure eights and tufts sprouting
    while she cranks up the riding mower
    and smoothes away his handiwork.
    Repeat weekly.

    He eats with his hands, slurping
    his drinks in joyful abandon, and
    leaves his dishes in the sink.
    She uses utensils, napkins, glasses,
    and wipes crumbs she can spot
    across a room. Dishes go straight
    to dishwasher or hand-washing.

    They drive one another crazy,
    but now they pick their battles,
    their minds busy with words,
    but none escapes their lips.
    They are happily married.

  119. Dare


    Blushes and giggles
    What joy!
    September 23, more or less…
    They are having a boy!

    He squeezes my hand.
    Unshed tears fill an empty womb.
    Hugs and handshakes.

    We leave in silence.

  120. Earl Parsons

    No Words

    I feel the warmth of her hand
    As she squeezes my cold flesh
    I cannot return her touch
    Despite my desire

    A tear runs down her cheek
    As she lovingly gazes upon me
    How I wish I could return her stare

    She leans down to kiss my lips
    Her warm breath stirs my soul
    As her tears warm my brow
    For an instant
    Then the cold returns

    No words does she speak
    Still my soul screams out
    Words she can only hear
    Through her soul’s ears

    I will miss her touch
    I will miss her kiss
    I will miss her love
    I will miss her
    Until I see her again
    At the Gate

  121. PKP

    Unsafely pinned

    She, a fresh-faced girl-woman lied him on the bed
    Flannel soft beneath his fontanneled still oval head
    And pushed the pin hard into the diaper bunched and thick
    Pushed the pin into him with a determined, intentioned sharp, hard stick
    She did, this fresh faced girl-woman he hardly knew
    He felt his face freeze, shift in shades of deepened blue
    As eyes met – his wide in yet unhowled pain
    Hers – in realized caused and shocking synchronistic pain
    In that space of held breath time forever torn
    A mother, his mother, finally born

  122. PKP

    No more feather pillows

    She took the pillows from the playpen
    Noticing her six month old
    Already pulling himself to standing
    Release and fall back in smiling
    Safe abandon
    She took the pillows from the playpen
    Removing this well intentioned
    False introduction to sitting in this new world
    In a day or two when he could pull up and down
    She collapsed it up and put it away
    Never much liked babies in crates
    This baby obviously ready
    For grander adventures
    She shouldn’t have been surprised
    When he hours later stood smiling
    Holding the edge of the coffee table
    lifted tiny hands, released and flung
    Smiling back
    Against the tile floor

    1. JanetRuth

      :) I miss those glorious moments…yes, the little tumbles too…little babies, little tumbles,most consoable with hugs and kisses- big ‘babies’ big tumbles…consoles perhaps with hugs and kisses-but often with dollars and cents!!!

  123. Jannelee

    You turn your head
    I can see by the thin slash or your mouth
    and the tiny furrow between your brows
    that you are angry
    you try to hide it from me
    with a thin smile that doesn’t reach your eyes
    my mouth opens, but
    I am arrested by a slight shake of your head
    my hands drop to my sides
    a soft sigh, my shoulders deflate
    you carefully lay your book on the table
    a gesture of tight control
    and I know you are fighting hard
    to keep your anger from exploding
    I slip into the chair across from you
    and spread my hands flat on the table
    staring at them instead
    I can feel your eyes boring into me
    daring me to make excuses
    but of course I have none

  124. Sharon

    Dirty Socks

    They call it a stiff upper lip
    This moment of fury
    Contained behind a smile
    While I fume and fuss all the while.

    He sits at the table
    Coffee cup to his lips
    Thinking all is well
    When it truth I’m mad as hell!

    Is it too much
    To ask, I think,
    To expect such a fox
    To put away yesterday’s socks?

    He lifts his eyes
    And the twinkle is there
    A love still aglow
    Hits me in the heart and I know

    Dirty socks on the floor
    Is a minor infraction
    In days filled with caring
    And a life full of laughter and sharing.

  125. mschied

    Fields gently sprayed with spring’s verdant renewal
    whip by in the girl’s peripheral sight
    while her eye’s remain afixed
    to the unwavering sign in front of her
    “Our most precious cargo is 63 feet ahead”

    On her right, the older woman’s gaze
    never wavers from the 2×3 inch screen
    in her hand
    occasional taps and clicks interrupted
    by a mechanical “Droid” alert punctuate
    the stiffling air-conditioned interior

    Conversation was exhausted long ago
    and the driver knows better than to give
    her companion any excuse for passenger critiques

    Only 2 hours and 45 minutes to go

  126. PKP

    Left foot forward

    They’ve rehearsed it
    In living room
    A hundred times
    She with a lace
    Tablecloth on
    Her head
    Walking solemnly
    As a preschooler could
    “Don’t laugh Daddy”
    She’d instruct – walking
    With chubby barefoot toes
    On the carpet toward
    This day clearly seen
    This day
    Well rehearsed
    But for the woman
    Who swirls in diaphanous
    Dreamt reality and
    Reaches for his arm
    As music swells
    In his threatened ballooning
    heart blinking away the
    vision of small bare feet
    Blinking back unspilled
    Tears, nodding
    In solemn specious strength
    As they walk
    Actually walk
    This walk
    Together down
    The always waiting aisle

    1. SharieO

      This is making me cry right now! We have two beautiful, beautiful daughters who were married nine months apart 4/09 and 1/10. I cried, they cried, everybody cried…Butterfly Kisses (the song) was
      FORBIDDEN! I cried every time I heard that song way back when they were only little girlies.

      “Don’t laugh, Daddy” AH! It just kills me! In a good/bad way!
      Beautiful tribute!

      I have the perfect picture for this if there were a way to post it…

  127. Sally Jadlow

    Unspoken Communication

    The wife clutches her husband’s bicep.
    Awakens him from deep sleep.
    Drowsy, he forces himself awake
    and wonders at his wife’s urgency.

    Then he hears the scratching
    in the attic.
    The squirrels are back.

    1. Sheryl

      This is so funny, especially because it seems to be going in one direction of urgency and then goes in another one. With us it was a raccoon poking a whole in the living room ceiling.

  128. Hannah

    First, I apologize, for my offering today has turned into something of a mini-novel! Great poem this AM, Robert. Smiles to everyone today!


    It really could’ve been any ordinary
    sun-filled, fun-spilling late afternoon
    at the local playground in our town.
    We may have chosen to drive
    rather than five-er ride scooter
    and baby bounce in the backpack.
    It just as easily may’ve happened
    to be an uneventful trip, regular slips
    on slides and swinging extra high,
    brave souls trying fire-men poles and
    newish babies bearing, wiggly-bridges.
    The added element of glass-filled woods
    from neighborhood kids-being-kids,
    sets of steep ledge bordering the play place,
    could just as easily not exist, but they do.
    Five year-old boys could not enjoy
    the challenge of grappling “mountain,” walls,
    but this one does and he did it quite well, too.
    But he knew his mama didn’t approve
    of his where abouts and the “look,”
    brought him swiftly, running, tripping,
    headlong falling into unforgiving rock.
    My innards could’ve easily just flopped
    right onto the ground at the sound,
    my baby’s head meeting hard gray matter.
    The resounding smack could’ve not imprinted
    indelibly in my brain, but it certainly has.
    My feet possibly never touched down
    in covering the space to get to him,
    (Still too long), my thoughts wouldn’t stop,
    telling me repetitively what I already knew,
    it was going to be bad; his sudden jolt,
    pause of silence before the outburst.
    Blood filled-in strands of bright-blonde hair,
    pooling and spilling as I gathered him up,
    searching my mind for the next steps.
    In moments I could’ve easily lost track of
    baby number two, sitting-eating woodchips.
    My best friend, whose daughter happened
    to be happily playing near-by, could easily
    not be living a hop-skip-jump from there.
    Anyone easily may’ve not noticed anything
    as a woman ran wildly with flagging,
    faded, dampened dish-cloth in hand,
    with her neighbor who just happened to be an RN
    both appearing next to me, breathing smoothly;
    taking it all in and with looks of confidence,
    melting the panic-stricken, fear inflicted feeling.
    Swept up in the wave of compassion,
    we could’ve not been gathered up so quickly,
    sitting in a van, covering distance to the ER;
    glue for wound and glove balloons
    to divert his aching attention away .
    I could’ve also never acknowledged
    the rising-welling, the surprise
    in the willingness of people who helped.
    All of this was surely, purely an eye-opener,
    a penetrating, unnerving reminder,
    just how precious our very lives are.
    This scar will be more than a pink dent
    in the head of a sweet, smiling, beacon of a boy.

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/7/12

      1. JanetRuth

        This reminds me how beautiful the mundane days are:) So many God-incidences in this story! I’m glad it turned out okay! I felt the blood draining from you at the ‘sound’ when he hit his head….have had similar moments. Thank-you for sharing.

  129. ceeess

    Woman at Work

    She’s at the sink again,
    shifting from one foot to the other
    washing dishes, watching as
    the pile shrinks small and smaller.

    He brushes past her arm, his hairs
    bristling against her fine down, electricity
    zaps between them, his dirty plates
    and cup going into her sink.
    Audible air puffs from her lips.
    Sideways frown. And he oblivious.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 7, 2012

      1. ceeess

        Thanks, Jaywig and Hannah. Tried to reply individually but it kept pulling up my poem in the response, dunno why.

        I had fun writing this one, and I did hope it would strike a chord!


  130. PKP


    Beneath him
    She lies
    Hair in glorious
    As she smiles
    Wide into his
    Waiting eyes
    A laugh of joyous wonder
    Waiting on the curve
    Of her lips
    To spill onto his

  131. Walt Wojtanik


    Mom sits watching her son
    playing by himself and within himself
    frustrations shared, wanting to know
    what he feels; what he is thinking.
    His silence is her heartache,
    she breaks a little every day
    hoping for the words he would say.
    He looks fine at a glance but
    chances are no one would know
    what fails to show. His head
    bobs and wanders; eyes darting,
    finally focusing on the source of
    his care and love. Briefly, a smile
    transmits across the room
    closing the distance between them,
    the distance of his stare.
    Her boy, her autistic young man
    sharing love in a random smile.
    Autism speaks in heart-to-heart terms.

  132. PKP

    Last Call

    They’ve been waiting
    A summer afternoon
    Turning to evening
    Not soon enough
    Yet unexpected
    When he lifts his
    Head from crisp linen
    Reaches for her eyes
    With his reflecting forty
    Years of it all, of it all ..
    Each singular stored second
    Sparkling in sunshafted sun
    As they dance
    Last dance
    Last dance
    Spinning together
    At last call

  133. PKP

    After The Waiting Room

    She enters
    A young woman
    Purposively dressed
    for competence and poise
    Obvious in the sheen of
    Good shoes, a fresh manicure
    Shining swinging hair
    She sits in the chair – papers
    Uncreased and completed
    Begins to speak rehearsed words
    Of pain no longer bearable and
    Instead falls into the crumble tumble
    Of one perfectly presented feature
    Into other as a tsunami of tears
    Tears precarious dignity easily
    As a hand crafted bamboo chair
    washed away in the flooded
    Glare of afternoon sun on
    White office walls

  134. PKP

    In the ice blasted room
    Tropical heat surges
    Sweat in streams
    Until with the power
    Of crescendoed life itself
    You burst glistening
    And latch wetly onto
    My still heaving breast
    Watching me with a new
    Eye as though you’ve always been
    Although just this moment arrived

      1. Jackie Casey

        Thank you.
        Meryl Streep said it was very strange. She was on lunch break in full makeup. No one recognized her. Said it was a strange feeling to ‘act’ the old lady in the real world, out on the street where people quickly avoided her with their eyes!

  135. cindishipley

    You hadn’t answered his calls and he hadn’t heard anything from you online. So he had a long and complicated dream about you last night. Four of you killed a guy, you were the actual killer, but he hit him too. You two started to run, staying only a couple of days at each place, (which he naturally liked.) Your van belonged to your sister, and you had not left much for clues, but you saw in the paper that the murder happened in Liverpool, so you thought it could be possible that they would be looking for the two of you. I had not seen you in a while, and you were so beautiful and thin. At one point you had a bouffant hair-do and you explained you had become a hairdresser. You had all these pretty lacey clothes, and at the first place you went you got a job easily at a bar, bartending or waitressing maybe, and he couldn’t get hired, because he was too old. He found some money but it was Mexican pesos and he realized that this would attract attention to you, so he thought he was broke until he did his laundry and then he found a rolled up bunch of US dollars and euros. He told you it was time to move again after you had your job just three days, which you didn’t want to do because you liked it there, but you knew he was making sense so you agreed. The next place you went, (you went to three places before the dream ended), had grocery stores with barely anything in them, like in Cuba. You were happy to move the next time, and he commented to you as you drove that you could see the United States in detail this way. The next place had bountiful grocery stores, and beautiful, like in Switzerland. You got into a long line, with a case of beer and some other bottles. He smelt crème de menthe, (which he has usually hated), and set about trying to find out where the bottle was. No luck, so he was going to buy a jug of wine, but couldn’t find any. He gave up and started searching for you in the line. For some reason he got down on his hands and legs to do so. After searching for a long time I he realized he had lost you and that maybe you had left without him.

  136. Marjory MT

    Someday as I walk to the bay,
    I don’t know when ‘twil be,
    I hope as I traverse the way,
    that you will walk with me.
    But, if by chance, I’ve gone ahead
    and left before you’ve come,
    please walk on down alone instead,
    and we’ll walk the bay as one.
    For ripples still reach endlessly
    no matter the day or year.
    They bring and send thoughts to the sea
    that say we’re always near.

      1. JanetRuth

        Thank-you guys…SharieO…it might have something to do with my slightly introverted nature, and the fact that sometimes my silence speaks more loudly than my voice which seems to blend into the noise on some days:)

  137. JanetRuth

    Without a Word…

    I have felt in ocean stirred
    in the absence of mere word
    and I have melted in the wile
    of your suggestive, faint half-smile


    When Mother starts to look at you
    You feel a presence in your pew
    As suddenly you catch my stare
    And quickly bow your head in prayer


    He sets his mug down
    And looks up
    The waiter pours
    Another cup


    From across the room
    Our eyes meet
    And only heaven
    Can compete
    With the blissful
    Thought we share
    As love and longing
    Keen the air


    His smirk
    Sparked her ire
    And she saw red
    He’s got
    The couch now
    And she’s got the bed

  138. RJ Clarken

    Ships that Pass in the Night

    He looks across the crowded room
    and wonders, Should I not presume?
    but then he thinks, Well, why not try?
    What is the worst? She’ll pass me by?

    She sets her glass upon a shelf.
    I’m here all by my lonesome self,
    she sighs, But maybe…hmmm…that guy…
    What is the worst? He’ll pass me by?

    He makes a start across the floor.
    Don’t be a fool. It’s not a chore.
    It’s time to put aside ‘the shy.’
    What is the worst? She’ll pass me by?

    As he gets close, she pulls a phone
    out of her purse. I should have known.
    She texts a message in reply,
    then leaves. They pass each other by.


  139. Beth Rodgers

    They stand in the same bathroom
    Two sinks on the counter
    A mirror lining the wall.

    Both stare at their reflections
    As if studying their own symmetry
    Imploring themselves to remember.

    They recognize that the past is gone
    The present is not to be wasted
    And the future is unsure.

    Yet when their eyes meet
    It solidifies their pact
    To continue to be resilient
    To fight for the future
    They vowed to live together
    All those years ago.

    For richer
    For poorer
    In sickness
    And in health.

  140. laurie kolp

    Permanent Tears

    I’m sitting against the wall
    half-way listening
    to someone drone on and on
    like Charlie Brown’s teacher

    and it’s colder than Antarctica
    in this hellish room
    so much it seems
    my brain is frozen.
    I cover my ears with my hair
    scan the room so my eyes won’t stick
    like moist lips to ice cubes

    and in the corner sits a teen
    so miserable and lost
    it’s written all over
    his dazed-out face
    two teardrops
    inked beneath his left eye
    his sadness, disillusionment permanent
    lost in a world where he knows not his place
    his eyes meet mine

    and I offer him a warm smile of hope. I hope.

  141. Jaywig

    Day 7 – 2 people interacting without speaking

    He stands, hands in shorts pockets
    breathing deeply. He raises his eyes
    scans the sky, pokes his finger
    into soil, studies the dry crumbs.

    She steps down off the patio, pulls
    at a dandelion. The stem breaks off,
    roots stay, ready to sprout again.
    She sighs, deeply. He smiles at her.

    Plucks a wand of oregano, inhales,
    holds it out. She waves the wand,
    crushes some leaves, closes her eyes
    as she breathes in, then sets them free.

    Turning as one, they enter the house:
    mother and Sunday visitor, her son.

  142. SharieO

    One more hurdle scaled triumphantly
    We are a team
    My gaze asked if we’ll always win together
    Your hand answered strongly
    And my love beamed

    **How I feel so often as my husband and I have traversed almost 27 years of life’s sometimes bumpy, always worth it road together, with our four other companions in tow. Feeling very grateful despite the scrapes and bruises.**

    1. ely the eel

      as a fellow traveler on that road, looking down at a recent bruise, i would say that both the poem and the explanation are equally beautiful and so accurately descriptive…brava, indeed

  143. just Lynne

    I’m a hospice nurse’s aide and sometimes I write poems inspired by my patients. there is a little dialogue but mostly we’re not answering each other. i wrote it last night, needing to write about yesterday morning.

    “They didn’t want her anymore”

    they didn’t want her anymore
    wanted her set aside
    so she wouldn’t be in their way
    sitting by the television
    doing crosswords
    a quilt across her lap

    so they said, it’s a resort
    your favorite daughter
    chose it

    they didn’t leave you
    enough clothes
    or that favorite quilt
    but maybe it doesn’t matter
    since now you’ve left

    no longer the feisty,
    stubborn matriarch,
    you float about the room,
    you smile when you read your name
    on the door
    on your blue blanket

    on your sock
    read the name out loud in wonderment
    “That’s me”

    I help you into your chair
    your eyes rest with satisfaction
    on the photo of your mother,
    “My mother,”
    you say breathlessly
    “And there, my sister”

    I hand you the book of crosswords
    you frown, ask
    “I should do this?”
    “Where should I start?”
    I find a half-finished crossword
    and point to the next blank
    you put the wooden pencil to paper
    filling out word after word

    you smile and turn to me
    “‘Noggin.’ 6 letters.”
    I frown
    “I don’t know,” I answer
    you smile a bit again
    “It’s noodle”
    then back to your book

    it’s time for me to go
    so I hand you my form to sign
    you look up at me, startled
    ask me how to write your name

    as you finally write your name
    with precise penmanship
    I grieve that when they checked you in
    you checked out
    only the crosswords make sense
    to you now

      1. just Lynne

        yes, I’m in acceptance that they are in the end stage of life, things are running their course, my job is to love on them and keep them comfortable and make sure that they’re taken care of. it’s hard when i see families mistreating them, abuse, anger, grief

  144. PowerUnit

    “Perimeter Land”

    I went left.
    went right.

    a terrible

    I picked some peppers,
    and yams.

    You picked a roast,
    some steak,
    and a ham.

    I scoured the nuts,
    and almonds.

    You found some eggs –
    free range,
    and some bacon.

    I captured some herbs,
    a real monster.

    You caught some fish,
    some crab,
    and a lobster.

    We met in the dairy,
    all sweaty,
    and prime.

    A hike to the cash,
    for checkout
    a line.

    We battled our way
    through cookies
    and bread

    Bags of flour,
    Oh dread!

    We arrived together.
    We passed
    through the gate.

    They took all our money.
    We looked
    at home plate.

    I filled the fridge
    and roasted
    the swine.

    You chopped the veggies
    and poured us
    some wine.

    We toasted our
    while holding a hand.

    A jungle safari
    perimeter land.

  145. Ber

    Conversation understanding

    Sun sets it’s beams between the tree
    Rays of light hit the ground
    so softly
    Leaves hang below the branches down low
    Scorched grass meadow no rain no snow

    Stillness fills ones busy mind
    with the calm of a quit forest
    humbling all that enter
    As silence falls upon the quiet
    let there be nothing but nature itself

    Serenity is of our making nature is always calm pure and complete.
    One must want to see the beauty.
    The fist good is the toughest to find.
    Let the ocean wash me clean of myself
    and bring me to a truth that is greater than we.

    As my branches clutch the stems of the breathless land
    fill me full of sun light to survive distruction of mans hand
    My light reaches to hit the heart of the yearning forest trees
    Let natural life create itself below my sun beams

    Walk in peace and peace will walk with you.
    Abandon your self to something greater than our own
    perception of a prioritization system
    that is not applicable to the forest or the sky or the ocean.
    Nature will prioritize our minds.
    Only humans can make things that are not so.

    Let nature and nurture combine into you
    let socialization help us too
    As our fathers and mothers of the past have learned
    Let the land teach us everything
    Its beauty astounding

    Feed the good but dont be afraid to destroy the bad.
    The skill is in knowing what is good and what is bad.
    Harmony with nature demonstrates what is good.
    There can be no doubt.

    Be your own explorer , inventor an progressor
    Do not fall to the weak who are bad
    Rise above the hatred and hold your head high
    We all owe it to ourselves to florish like nature itself

    The tiger the bear the crocodile the elephant
    the rattler hunt in the absence of malace.
    There power is limited by their need to survive.
    They only exhibit pure power.
    When the falter the die with dignity.
    To wiled the sword of power in the human world
    takes much maturity and clarity of purpose.
    I am no longer afraid.

    we all have our own personal fight
    and when we loose our strenght within ourselves
    this gives our hearts and minds no purpose
    so as we are of animal instinct we will stand on our own
    willingness to fight until
    we falter on our last breath one last sigh

  146. uneven steven

    and you had
    just finished
    the franc discussion
    about to begin
    but halted
    by your silent stare, furrowed
    brow, huge pouty lips
    and those ears –
    your ears, bright, bright red –
    the charcoal sketch unveiled
    and you suddenly
    that you had
    a caricature.

  147. drwasy


    when the specialist arrived in his shiny white jacket the room stilled, a sterile still life colder
    than the air used to keep the bleating machinery needed to push red cells through my arteries,
    to gush antibiotics into my veins like city hydrants when summer swelters hot from the pavement,
    to keep tiny engines from shorts that would gum wires and tubes and send electric shocks down
    lifelines to the system–my system–and when he shook his head, his mouth a hyphen, the air
    grew colder yet and my heart heaved into a pulsing mass of valves and vessels, one last gasp
    before it puttered into a puddle of tissue necrotic and grey, of hope gone south with the geese

    Peace, LindaS-W

  148. Khara H.

    Hands run smooth over glass

    She takes him down from the paisley
    patterned wall to lean him in her arms.
    Air crisp and ghostly, spirited with life,
    creaking floorboards and memories
    sauntering room to room like they own the place—
    which, she supposes, they do now.
    In her hands, he is soft and smooth,
    just as in childhood, when she would draw
    fingertips across his freshly shaven cheek.
    And then, he bathrobed and she pajamaed,
    stepping out into the crushed blue
    hue of dawn rising, genesis in circles
    traced across the carpeted floor.

    And then, the baseline scent of leather,
    of rich oils and musk, ambergris and civet
    and birch wood, bring her back to turning,
    turning, gently with him
    crushed like velvet in her arms.

  149. Walt Wojtanik


    A father’s job gets tougher everyday.
    That’s not to say Mom doesn’t sweat it,
    But sometimes she just doesn’t get it.
    The call was brief, and he was on his way.

    The guy at the desk was rather aloof
    as the father stood silently waiting.
    He was sadly anticipating;
    all he required was some proof

    of what the officer declared.
    His son, not yet of legal age,
    stepped onto center stage;
    when he came into view he knew he was scared.

    Their eyes met and their pain
    was sharply biting and all,
    the writing was on the wall,
    but message wouldn’t mesh in his br4ain.

    The dad was disappointed,
    his son deemed well trusted
    had been unceremoniously busted
    for driving with his head disjointed.

    Signatures and bail,
    remanded to custody;
    a son once trustworthy
    was rescued from jail.

    Their eyes now avoiding the other,
    and during the silent ride,
    Dad was sure what he felt inside,
    but not sure what to say to his mother.

  150. emmajordan

    They had been talking about it
    for weeks.
    Now they were together,
    he, on stage, practicing for the performance,
    she, in the front row.
    Without looking away from the piano he began to play
    his latest piece written for her.
    This was a gift,
    the first time in 40 years
    he’d been able to play what he’d written for her
    in a place she could listen.
    No recording.
    This was really his music, his head, heart, fingers playing for her.
    She was listening, watching him.
    He glanced over
    and she smiled Thank you.
    This was the way it had always been meant to be.