Editors Blog

2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 8

For today’s prompt, write a rejected poem. Despite some acceptances, many of my poems have been rejected for submission over the years–but that’s not quite what I mean by rejected poem. I’m more interested in poems that work the idea of rejection into the poem somehow. This could take the form of a poet lamenting rejection, though also a rejected friend or student or whatever.

Here’s my attempt:


the seasons gather & twist me
& murder me & betray me when
you say, “no. please no,” even as
the sun says, “yes,” & the moon says,
“yes,” & the stars & the snow &
rain & puddles & birds & leaves
falling from trees or falling from me
as you say, “no. not now. never.”


Write a Mystery or Thriller…

…with the assistance of the Writing Mysteries and Thrillers Kit, which includes webinars, books, and more.

Click to continue.


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335 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 8

  1. mschied

    not my type

    you’re funny, but
    we would never suit
    can’t we just be friends

    never calls
    never writes
    never anything

    then you see
    he’s found someone else
    over and over
    one more wound
    in a heart battered and bruised
    so used to rejection
    it’s a wonder it keeps beating
    to the constant mantra of
    “why can’t it be me”

  2. ratgirl


    There are some lines you cross with such casualness,
    They seem forgotten as quickly as a filament burns through itself,
    Dropping the room into darkness.

    Some statements can never be
    Withdrawn once they hit the air, and sometimes we don’t
    Know how deeply we’ve been cut until one day you catch
    Your own reflection, a peripheral glance, and realize
    You’ve been favoring that wounded leg for years.

    I’ve tried to apologize, to catch the sliver
    And slip it out with the distraction and agility
    Of prestidigitation. I’ve tried to convince you
    Of my own clumsiness, how I tripped over a pebble
    And landed in a ravine, but pain takes on as many forms
    As water—vapor, ice, fluid, a glass, a bowl, an ocean,
    Or the indentation of an elephant’s footprint
    Pressed into the mud, a single fighting
    Fish swirling inside, and I’m afraid that I’ve
    Dissolved your trust in a way that won’t evaporate.

    And so tonight, I bob on the edge of sleep
    Thinking of how it all ends like bleeding out
    One hot, heavy drop at a time.

  3. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Cigarettes and the Emperor

    It’s really hard for me to see
    the Emperor being rejected.
    I saw that happen yesterday
    on the outdoor smoking patio
    of the home where he lives.

    Two people were puffing,
    not I, and he asked each for
    a light. The woman said, No.
    Even though I really wish
    he would not smoke, I felt
    the sting I thought he felt,
    was taken briefly aback as
    was he. He hesitated before
    turning to the other person.

    I breathed a sigh of relief
    when that guy acquiesced,
    a sigh requiring that I next
    inhale, an act I regretted
    because of all the smoke.
    What a mother endures
    if her son is the Emperor.

  4. Lynn Burton

    On the Outside Looking In

    I’ve often wondered what I’d
    say if our paths were to cross again,
    if my mouth would even move to
    form words, would it spit venom
    like yours? Would it simply curve
    in a half smile, thankful for your
    rejection that set me free? For it
    showed your true colors.

  5. Mr. Walker

    Rejected Poem

    That’s fine
    Don’t you worry about me

    I’ll just lie here, shall I?

    No, don’t pretend
    that you feel sorry for me
    I don’t want your pity

    Of course it doesn’t feel good

    Well, how about a little help?

    No, I don’t feel content

    Oh… CONtent

    What’s wrong with it?
    Too long – too short?
    Not said the right way?

    What do you mean
    my attitude?

    So, it’s not what I said
    but how I said it?

    Well, I am what I am

    Maybe it’s best I just stay here
    Would that be alright with you?

    How about another one
    to keep me company?

  6. Caren

    Accept. Reject.

    Cell phone buzzes, vibrates, incoming call;
    Screen lights. Accept. Reject. The choice is mine.
    Split second flash of thought weighing whether
    To answer or ignore, to forgive or
    Forget; the name appearing reminds me…
    Of my heart still stinging from betrayal;
    My ears still ringing from words left unsaid;
    My eyes still burning from tears yet falling;
    Accept? Reject? Mind racing, must respond.
    I won’t accept the pain, or the caller.


    Caren E. Salas

  7. cstewart

    Dirge for the Unprotected

    Rejected poems,
    Sent without pity
    To editors of some taste
    And chopped askew
    By minds, unknowing
    The origins of delicacy
    Upon which poets
    Have placed their

  8. Golden Rule

    They rejected me

    I spent adolescent years struggling to fit in
    like I was the last piece to a puzzle that has no end
    searching for acceptance
    but while searching I’m being rejected
    because I chose to act different they rejected me
    they rejected me because when they chose to get high off weed
    I chose the Most High, that’s Elohim
    They rejected me because when they chose to take bottles to the head
    I chose to eat his flesh and drink His blood, to take communion instead
    They rejected me because they chose to be mediocre
    and I chose to aim high like I’m not afraid of heights.
    They rejected me and I didn’t know what to do
    but now I know it is because I traded a lie for the Truth.

  9. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 8

    Write a rejection poem.


    On one side of the porch,
    pink faces uplifted to burning sun.
    On the other, same faces shriveling on the stem.
    Same care, same afternoon heat,
    same water stirred with nutrients,
    same soil mix,
    same pots.
    Super Belles not so super.
    No explanation why,
    nothing clear as to whether
    they rejected where they grew
    or the place rejected them.

  10. Paoos69


    The ritual of creation
    A process of persuasion
    Intermittent, ongoing
    The final amalgamation

    The dreary bait
    A half-written slate
    No beginning, no end
    The sweltering wait

    The ever-passing time
    Forgotten chimes
    Immersed in ritual
    Never a dull rhyme

    The response sudden
    A lightened burden
    However disappointing
    The rejection dungeon

  11. Tanjamaltija

    Apples of My Eye

    Filippa, Gala, Ariane, Falstaff, Gavin – Apples,
    One of which you ought to take each day
    To send the doctor on his way, and fast
    And make sure he keeps on going,
    Because you’re not sick, you’re well
    Apart from hay-fever caused by
    Holstein, Orkney, Dawn, and Empire flowers
    First in the list, A-is-for-Apples
    Give me an Esopus Spitzenberg, any day.
    And maybe a Lord Lambourne and a Rajka as well.
    Lore says eating apples will keep you well,
    Or if you’ll sick, they’ll cure you fast.
    There are hundreds of varieties of Apples,
    Eating raw, pureeing, or stewing, was what I meant by “going”
    By the way… you can bob for apples, at festivals, as well…
    But, for your teeth’s sake, steer clear of toffee Apples
    Because gone the doctor, come the dentist, and fast!

  12. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Idiot! I totally reject
    your theories about our starting
    line-up. The boys did good – sure
    could’ve done better. Could’ve won
    for a start. But I’m philosophical,
    it’s early days and we have a long road
    to travel. Speaking of long roads, I’ve
    done a deal with Jimmy the Greek. I’m
    sending your mother and sister down
    to him in Atlanta for our opening home
    weekend and allowing him to come up
    whenever it suits him, the schmuck!
    At least I’ll get to enjoy a few days
    of peace, quiet and baseball.
    Games on at the sports bar so I’ll meet you
    there. I’ll stand the beer even though
    I think you’re a horse’s ass.

    Yours rebuttingly
    Ringo the Howler

  13. Iain Douglas Kemp


    Nobody came
    to my fourth birthday party
    not a soul
    that was when I first knew
    after that it was always evident
    always with me
    always alone
    the abusers
    and bullies came and went
    so-called friends turned their backs
    or stuck knives in mine
    always on the outside
    never invited in
    laughed at and ridiculed
    self-worth was stolen early
    and never recovered…


    …years of suffering passed
    and one day I changed
    something deep inside
    died and something new was born
    I wasn’t afraid anymore
    and I had friends
    or so it seemed
    and had something
    many things to offers
    gifts of words and music
    a joy in my heart
    and a spring in my step

    put still they put me down
    still they laugh
    behind my back
    or even to my face
    and want me to be
    what I am not
    and no matter how much value
    I place on myself
    I will never get away from the feeling
    that so many people can’t all be wrong
    and it really is me
    that is of no use to society
    that quite simply
    isn’t wanted


  14. Yolee

    April Showers

    My poem got off the bench,
    and pressed her brow against a window.
    Air streamed around her.

    Her vellum corner trembled,
    but she did not steam-dance,
    take off or eagle high.

    Blue ink undresses in the rain.

  15. foodpoet


    Rejection of rejection.
    Every night another note call email asking for more.
    Just go away.
    Every night the same thing, the
    Cat says meow feed me NOW.
    The nightly call, I don’t need anything but…
    I crawl under the covers and hide.
    Only I know creditors will go away but never family.
    Now I pull out of the bed sheets and call you back.

  16. shann

    More options Apr 10, 3:43 am

    The Nature of No

    Understand the true fact of rejection;
    of course, strength is the desired virtue
    though often even the best scenario
    results in little or no effect at all.

    Do you need more information?
    A loved B, B cheats on A, A forgives
    again and again with diminishing returns.
    B doesn’t get it, A doesn’t get it.

    Even you and I get stale after too little
    meaningful conversation, contact.
    Misery can have a cumulative effect,
    indifference becomes status quo.

    Better to bar the door once it’s shut,
    close the blinds, pretend no one’s home.
    Wallow in whatever you must until
    you can remember how to live again.

  17. Marcia Gaye

    April 8, 2012
    A “Rejected” Poem


    “I’m off to California.
    I tried to tell you this day
    was coming.

    I’m off to see the colors
    of fruit and hula palm trees.
    I’m going.

    Alone. To California
    to feel the Santa Anna
    winds blowing

    my hair in California,
    blowing color on my cheeks.
    I’m feeling

    I could be more me, there, with
    ocean mountain desert air
    for breathing.
    Alone. There.”

  18. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Her new camera was loaded and ready,
    Pictures seemed to just leap up,
    Shouting, “Look right here, ok, ready!
    Now get the shot!”
    Vibrating colors, angles, shadows and shade,
    Intrigued her fully!
    As he drove the car,
    By streams,
    Tallest peaks around,
    “Please stop,” she begged, “I have to take the shot!”
    Instead of stopping, she’d hear,
    “You said it too late,
    The traffic is too fast,
    I can’t pull over safely,
    Not a good place to stop.”

    On one distinct occasion,
    She saw the last glint and hint,
    Of the setting sun on the sparkling ice,
    By a slow and chilly stream,
    Meandering its way to the lake!
    “Oh, please pull over I have to take the shot.”
    When he didn’t immediately,
    She vented every ounce of built up frustration,
    She could find that had been barely buried,
    Beneath her calm demeanor.
    By the time he did pull over,
    She stomped away to take the picture,
    Just as the deeply chilly sun set!

    Closing up the camera,
    Ready to burst with irritation,
    She walked back to the car,
    With pounding intention,
    Only to realize to herself,
    “No, no, NO . . .
    No photo is worth this rage!
    He did finally stop and besides,
    The sun will come up tomorrow,

    With luck . . . it will be a most pleasant day!”

  19. Melissa Hager


    After a month or so, Grandpa didn’t know
    He even had a bride; much less that
    She had gone home to be with Jesus.
    She had hid his condition well.
    Shaded him from ridicule and worry.
    No one knew it until he asked where Celia was
    About a week after her death.

    Each day he rests in the
    shadows of odiferous hallways
    Or in the black passages of his mind.
    Oblivious to who we are or who he is,
    His thoughts are devoid of light.
    Shady Rest is perfectly named.

  20. cajun75


    The answer to her dreams
    Good looking, smart
    Funny, trustworthy
    The perfect couple
    She finished his sentences
    He knew her favorite foods
    Tall, dark, handsome
    Slim, blond, beautiful
    She chased him
    Until she caught him
    And then she walked away

  21. Michele Brenton

    The Maze.

    How many times will I get up and try again?
    When does determination transition into stupid?
    I am the rat electric shocks cannot deter.
    Brick walls are drums for the rhythm of my head.
    Repeating, never ending never learning
    when to stop.
    Heartbreak is what I know
    what I call home.
    Bring it on.

  22. deringer1

    will you stop!
    get out of my mind–
    isn’t the pain and frustration enough?

    stupid human heart–
    always desiring what it cannot have,
    a self-imposed suffering.

    Is there an injection that will turn
    my heart to stone?
    an opiate of disregard

    a prison somewhere to lock you
    away from me?

  23. Michelle Hed

    Wet Fish Lips and Death

    He wanted to date.
    I didn’t.
    Our friends wanted us to date.
    I didn’t.
    I tried.
    Wet fish lip kisses,
    possessiveness and pressure.
    One meeting with his mother –
    one word – domineering.
    I was ready to quit trying.

    Forgive me Dad
    but even your death
    didn’t stop the pressure.
    So, I used your death
    and my grief
    as the reason
    not to date anymore.
    It wasn’t true
    but the relief I felt
    when it was over,
    I knew you would’ve approved.

  24. Jannelee


    I sling my purse on the table
    shrug out of my coat
    calling your name
    you come to stand
    silently at my side
    your eyes searching my face
    with a question mark look
    I pour out the sad tale
    of my day sunk in black gloom
    the alarm clock failed
    the old water heater decided to quit
    cold shower, empty shampoo bottle
    frantic search for lost car keys,
    only to find them in my coat pocket
    tripped and broke the heel of my shoe
    on the back step, only to behold
    a flat tire, and then to add to my woe
    a flat spare, trip on the same step
    in my rush back in to call a cab
    search through my jumbled closet
    for another pair of matching shoes
    an hour and twenty minutes late to work,
    coffee spilled on my new suit,
    the boss shreds my report,
    humiliating me in front of everyone
    my secretary smirks
    while I dictate a new report
    I sputter and spew
    while you remain silent
    finally I reach to pat your head
    and you turn and walk away
    your tail defiantly in the air
    you pause at your empty food dish
    turn, sink down on your belly
    placing you head on your paws
    with a final disgruntled whine
    I sink in the nearest chair
    kick off my tight shoes
    remembering why I never wear them
    I rip open the crumpled letter
    I retrieved from the floor
    where I dropped it and stepped on it
    while fumbling for the door keys
    I stare, uncomprehending, I read it twice,
    Thank you for your query, however……..

  25. carolecole66

    No Longer Mother

    So now you’ve pushed me
    from your mind, much like
    you pushed me from your body
    so many decades ago. You don’t
    remember it at all. It’s a great
    murky sea, a dense forest
    in your head. I visit, sit close, hoping
    for one last connection. “Do you
    remember. . .?” I say. “It’s all
    a big mess,” you reply. That would seem
    a spark, a flicker of knowledge, but
    you’ve said that same thing since
    even I remember. From infancy
    and diapers to teenage drug arrests,
    that phrase worked for you, summarized
    your view on life, a life of privilege
    I could add. Now I’ve hobbled in
    on crutches. “I broke my foot,” I tell you.
    “I don’t think so,” you reply. And this time,
    finally, we see eye to eye.

  26. deringer1


    will you stop !
    get out of my mind—
    isn’t the pain and frustration enough?

    stupid human heart—
    always desiring what it cannot have,
    a self-imposed suffering.

    is there an injection that will turn
    my heart to stone?
    an opiate of disregard?
    a prison somewhere to lock you away
    from me?

  27. randalljweiss

    I fell a day behind, so here is Day 8. Hopefully I can get caught up today.

    “Heart 2.0″

    New heart installed May 3, 2008.
    Surgeons cutting, stripping, splicing wires
    until the unit fit. Power supply flipped on.
    Circulation returned, but he felt–No!
    He didn’t feel. Pump churning, pushing, pulsing.
    Nothing feeling. No heart. No

  28. JRSimmang

    It’s universal.
    Sad tidings,
    and another, fancier word for failure.
    The big swallow, forced sputum
    into our gullets
    and cold bullets of sweat.
    We cannot control our fingers, useless fingers,
    our knees wobbly and childish.
    Our breath, baited, waits in hush to hear that
    which we expect. For we
    always know when it is to come.
    There are no surprises.

  29. tunesmiff


    I loved a girl in Colorado
    Who said she didn’t love me.
    I moved out to Oregon,
    Where I live beside the sea.
    I think of her from time to time,
    I wonder if I cross her mind;
    I loved a girl in Colorado
    Who said she didn’t love me.

    There was a girl in Portland,
    Who knew I was the one.
    She said I was her moon and stars,
    Her bright and shing sun.
    I think of her from time to time,
    I wonder if I cross her mind;
    There was a girl in Portland,
    Who knew I was the mind.

    Even if they don’t remember,
    I know I always will;
    No matter how much time may pass,
    I’ll think of them until…

    There’s bound to be that someone,
    We’re both the someone for.
    I could be on the phone with her;
    She could be at my door.
    I dream of her from time to time,
    Do I ever cross her mind?
    There’s bound to be that someone,
    We’re both the someone for.

  30. Sally Jadlow


    She stood alone near the corner
    of the building in the school yard,
    in a tattered, dirty dress.
    Her small frame accented
    by skinny arms and legs.
    She chewed her fingernails
    as she watched
    the other second-grade girls
    laugh and play together,
    as they took turns
    jumping rope on the sidewalk.

  31. Jamal Abboud

    You May Forgive

    You may forgive, but my heart can’t repent,
    A lover’s erratic behavior proves no guilt
    Imagine the cold Earth denies the sun’s gift,
    Or a light vessel enjoys not a calm peaceful sea,
    Or a flower rejects her beloved hectic bee,
    Or a painting abhors apt brimful brush,
    Or beauty embarrasses not by first blush,
    So curse my romance or just forgive,
    With both aspects, how sweet for me to live;
    I differ with the second, spare me the first.
    My heart adores you and unable to forget,
    So detain not a loving heart with innate defect,
    Yet deny love echoes of true fanciful serenade
    Such sentimental echoes that lead a crusade,
    So deny yourself of sincere love fragrance,
    Which shall pervade your faithful patience,
    That shall entertain ecstasy of lay probity,
    Which shall strum the chords of your entity,
    So deny what the morning light shall bring,
    When you shall be bathed in pious spring,
    When you shall joyfully dance on sepal’s ring
    With lithe muses in every colored flower tent,
    Forgiveness, then, will justify my denial to repent.

  32. Anders Bylund

    Don’t Stop to Think
    Take a penny, give a pound
    Hitch your wagon to my horse
    Turn your world upside down
    I’ll ride you to the end, of course
    Stay on the brink
    Don’t stop to think
    I need you bound by habit’s force.

  33. Katrin


    Sometimes, it divides
    like an amoeba
    Doubles, then lets out howls
    in quadruple time

    The principle is innocent,
    the one turned away loses
    to a finer plumage,
    a more sophisticated dance

    A biological prerogative
    nestled snugly in an
    emotional booby-trap

    No more the shun of foreign tissues,
    the roving eye’s casting off,
    the inspector’s discerning elimination

    As Miss Havisham
    in her failed brittle resolution,
    rejects rejection
    with a fierce and fiery intent

  34. maxie2


    I could finally taste
    the most subtle denial
    lingering in your selection
    of what to say, what to share,
    when to mention dejection
    or to show you

    because for years I shouldered
    your carefully chosen words
    like apples falling from

    and though I heard
    I couldn’t understand
    your whispered command
    to retreat from your land,
    off your roots, and stand

    taste the tart, bitter
    fruit you offer
    and see the heart
    you dared not proffer
    as a lantern on my feet
    while I strolled to retrive
    the shattered pieces
    of me.

  35. Arike


    I’m a madman, so regrettable
    Traitor, traitor, traitor, history says

    I expected a king and a conqueror
    David, smiting Romans, I never got

    I could kill you, I decided then
    Grab you, beat you, kill you, they will

    I don’t care, you should have been who
    Strong man, leader, Lion, who I wanted

    I had never meant to go so
    Far beyond the hurt I felt and hate


    It had paved the way for all those
    Fearing, plotting, powerhungry and scared

    Now you’re dead but they don’t weep who
    Called you rabbi, Peter, Mary, the rest

    So delusional, think you God, the
    Son of man and speak in tongues, insane!

    I can’t see what I believed so
    Long I gave up everthing, so useless

    I sow blood in a field bought from
    Money payed for blood, the silverlings

    He lies here, man without peace, whose
    Name is traitor, Judas, traitor now

  36. Karen

    You are my madness and chaos,
    jaded god of infatuation and desire,
    and I your cursed Cassandra,
    doomed by truths that no one believes
    while each fall into their own foretold
    demise, my own not too far away,
    the tragedy of not being your lover.

  37. ina


    You must log in to comment.
    You are posting too quickly.
    You’ve said that before.
    This looks like a duplicate comment.
    Slow down!
    This looks like a duplicate comment.
    The site is taking too long to load.
    Please, try again later.
    Don’t take it too hard.
    You are after all merely a human.

  38. David Yockel Jr.

    The Any-Name-Will-Do Review

    Dear Writer,

    Thank you for submitting your trite, sentimental, and solipsistic poems to Any-Name-Will-Do Review. Unfortunately, due to the criminal lack of funding given to the literary arts and the fact that we look for inspired, well-crafted, and original poetry, we will be unable to publish your work in this issue.

    We wish you continued joy in your writing, because God knows it will never bring you any fame or money.


    The Over-Educated and Under-Paid Editors

  39. donnellyk

    Gourmet Dinners

    Well there’s salmon pink and fishy
    tuna and egg nice and chunky
    Ocean Whitefish fresh and flaky
    a lovely pate moist and meaty
    made of duck, try that sweetie?
    A nice poultry dinner, minced with juice
    super supper, scrumptious saucy
    shrimps in aspic with garden greens
    turkey and wild rice florentine
    Sprinkle tempations treats on it baby?
    savory stew, chicken in creamed gravy.
    I could make a nice lamb chop for two,
    deglaze the pan so’s to make nice sauce for you.
    gone natural, gone organic, specialty shops, in a panic,
    honey, eat! Each fliptop lifted off the can with anticipation this will be the one
    he’ll give me the look,utter disdain, flatten his ears out, hightail it and run
    clearly I didn’t make it like his Mom used to make it but when was that by the way
    should you demand such perfection when you’re a rescued stray? I go back online too see what sounds good to me knowing he will reject every possibility vehemently.
    damn cat.

  40. seingraham

    When to Reject Means More than Saying No

    His name is Romeo and of the last batch
    To arrive with the Cal-Can group
    He has not yet been chosen, has not
    Been placed in a new home

    Well – he’s pretty ugly – they say –
    He’s got snaggle-teeth and bird legs
    Even for a scrawny Chihuahua,
    He’s mucho skinny …
    But does that mean he deserves
    To be thrown out like garbage –

    I scratch his bare tummy,
    Listen to him purr
    Almost like a kitten,
    Watch him drift trustingly
    To sleep in my lap

    Wonder at the resilience of this
    Rescue dog that’s been bounced
    From puppy mill to pillar to post
    From California to Edmonton
    All in an effort to save him from
    Euthanization, the ultimate rejection


  41. Uma


    King David rose to his feet and said: Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ 1 Chronicles 28: 2,3

    Early morning he looked out of the window
    from his palace built of cedar wood,
    the smell of myrrh hung to his robe.
    He left untouched the jar at the table
    filled with pressed grapes from best vineyards,
    purple like the midnight sky. As the light spread

    the lines familiar to his eyes emerged
    through the mist settling over the field.
    Dust from the desert settled on the letters
    when he brought the scroll to Jerusalem,
    he pitched a tent to house the ark –
    the divine presence led him through the wars,

    years of struggle to take the people to the land
    promised by Lord to his ancestors. As he squinted
    at the horizon he heard worms eating under his feet,
    razing the ornate palace to the ground.
    A temple must be the tallest structure in Jerusalem
    but it was not for him to house the Lord.

  42. cam45237

    The Schpiel

    Its only $25.00 a year
    (Note how I said “ only”, this helps minimize the cost, makes it meager)
    And you will save (trumpet the word “save”)
    On everything (trumpet the word “everything”) you buy except
    (note exceptions).
    Plus (here, I hold up a finger to effectively stop the thought process)
    You’ll receive a one-time discount on XYZ!
    Let’s go ahead and get started on the paperwork.
    (This is my newly acquired assumptive sale technique)
    You don’t even have to decide
    I’ll decide for you
    Such service

    Are you sure? (Always ask twice)
    Did I not say it right?
    Were my trumpets not brassy enough?
    Smiling? Check. Showing my teeth? Check.
    I sent you subconscious signals to buy by gently nodding my head up and down as I spoke
    Did I not effectively stop the thought process?
    Did I need an umlaut on my “only”?
    American buyers do respond better to European accents after all

    I lack an accent. Of any kind. My voice is flat, common
    I lack charisma too
    And I could stand to lose a pound
    My hair is graying. Not in refined wings at the temples. More like a skunk stripe down the middle
    I don’t have bouncing breasts or crest-white teeth to distract you from the dollars in your pocket
    I clearly am not smart enough to have a better job
    And you’re not even listening to me
    As you carry on your cell phone conversation
    Avoiding eye contact, looking past my left shoulder,
    Nodding your head in short jerks
    To hurry me along
    Because my words are worthless.

    1. Kaitlyn

      Aww… I can really tell how much thought and significance your character puts into his words. I really loved this poem. My heart simply broke for your character when he was so unsuccessful!!

  43. mikeMaher

    Yikes, I am so far behind! I hope to be all caught up – both reading and writing – by this week. He goes!

    On Those Perhaps Once Rejected

    There is never time for anything anymore.
    Van Gogh Up Close is in Center City
    but here I am looking up trains to Trenton,
    ordering more books to wait in line to be read,
    not texting Sarah even though she loves Van Gogh
    and would mail in one of her own ears as a deposit.
    To all those ex-girlfriends,
    I would mean it now if I said there just isn’t enough time.
    We close at 5 o’clock.
    This is your final warning.
    The further along you get, the more unknown.
    The more unknown, the more you want to know.
    Many fear it
    but who has the time for that?

  44. posmic

    Painted Man

    On the radio
    Indiana, Ohio,
    up hills, down,

    on my computer
    bright screen
    dark bathroom

    my children,
    my husband

    inches away in
    our shared room

    I ignore my bed
    for another
    few minutes,

    to watch you
    here; at 1:34,
    you scream

    your story,
    2:14, you are
    fully painted,

    glass. 2:30,
    she turns,

    rejects you
    again, as I
    turn toward

    her, back to you,
    finally to bed.
    You are

    that I used to
    know, and I

    hope to hear
    your song

  45. hurtin-heart

    What a world we live in today! 
    You’re judged by fist glimpse
    And not what lies deep! 
    If you have tatoo’s and piercing’s visible,
    You’re not qualified for certain jobs today
    Because the customers might not appreciate.
    And oh what a shame…. Long hair on a man.
    All judged by their looks and not whats within.
    You walk in a church, eyes turn to follow you,
    You hear the talk because you’re clothes 
    are ragged and not new.
    A little girl, pregnant at age 12
    You talk about her behind her back
    Not knowing she was raped by her own stepdad.
    A boy you just had put in jail
    Because you see him stealing food from
    a grocery store shelf.
    But you didn’t know he was trying to feed
    His brothers and sisters at home.
    So food that day, they went without none.
    If we’re not whats thought of us to be,
    We tend to get laughed at and scorned
    And rejected from somes society!
    Samantha Tinney

  46. RobHalpin

    A Righteous Fire

    Who are they to reject me
    based upon my looks alone?
    When I’m more than they can see,
    who are they to reject me?
    A righteous fire they will free
    and to all it will be known
    who they are who reject me
    based upon my looks alone.

  47. Sara McNulty

    April 8, 2012 – Day 8
    Write a rejection poem

    The Recipient

    He needed a new heart.
    The one resting, beating
    faintly inside him–wide
    enough to encompass
    empathy, and hold hurts
    of others inside protective
    walls–was insufficient
    for continuance of his own
    precious life. His replacement
    wait was long; his hope stretched
    further. With situation dire,
    a heart was finally found,
    and procedure was performed.
    Three days later, his body
    battled his new heart
    refusing to accept it.
    In the grand scheme of things,
    there was no heart able
    to equal his own.


    Matchmaking Gone Awry

    somewhere between man and beast,
    longed for love, from one

    whose visage equalled
    his own type
    of rareness.
    New companion was brought forth.
    Eyes met, she shrieked, NO!

  48. Walt Wojtanik


    Marred and marked,
    pocked and pointed,
    our flaws present us
    with our character
    and our place. Nowhere
    on earth will your value
    be great if your own mind
    does not see your worth,
    for no man is worth nothing.
    So do not price yourself
    out of the market.
    Do not sell yourself short.

  49. Dan Collins

    Rejection Letter

    Dear Recipient,

    You did everything right; it is my fault
    we can’t get along.
    I don’t know, (choose one: maybe/ I was) using you.

    You know I am philosophically incapable of being faithful.

    If you want to know, I will always cherish
    the brief time we had together.
    Some of my fondest memories
    are of our early days. Before the – [streetcar accident(s), illness(es), or infidelities(s)]

    Coming home with you was one of the best days of my life.

    I cannot deny how you once made me …

    In fact,
    I don’t know what would have become of me
    had you not stepped
    in to (catch me / introduce me to Trotsky)

    when you did.

    You’ve had such an impact. Now,
    I hope you will understand when I say
    that we are not right
    for each other. We tried,

    but we are just too different. I hope you
    are not broken
    by (this news / my affair with your sister)

    I have strong desires that you do not. Also,

    I cannot get comfortable with your habits. The Politics
    were good, but the sex was just like __________ ing. But please
    don’t say you’ll change,

    You are perfect [choose one: Comrade, My Love, Woman], just as you are –
    and I would not ask, nor desire such
    from you. I do hope
    our relationship can remain


    At least for as long as we live
    (optional: together)
    I would like for us not to fight. You know,

    I wish the best for you. I will think
    of you fondly. I sincerely hope you can find it

    in yourself to forgive. But let’s face
    it: we are incompatible. Like oil(paint) on water.

    Please know that should you ever need anything, at least
    for the next hour
    or two, I will be there.

    BTW: You can keep Frump. He was always your dog

    Yours truly,
    (Body Part or Lover, i.e., Heart, Leg, Diego)

  50. De Jackson

    Posting this for the lovely and talented Miss Meena, who is being “rejected” by the site today, for some reason.

    A Rendez Vous
    By: Meena Rose

    I still can’t believe
    He asked me out;
    To The Loft
    Of all places.

    Little black dress,
    Killer heels,
    Tiny clutch,
    Lips Revlon Red.

    A demure smile to
    Cat calls and
    Whistles as I

    I scanned the
    Lobby for his
    Handsome face and
    Enduring smile.

    A frown and a
    Slight shake of
    His head, his
    Approach hesitant.

    My pulse quickened,
    Fire in my cheeks,
    I averted my teary eyes
    As a sob filled my throat.

  51. ellanytdavve

    My Strangeness

    I am an ungrateful wench
    too strange from others
    for accomodation.
    I keen feel it,
    folks not knowin’
    how to do with me;
    don’t like no interference
    with my freedom.
    But I reject,
    soundly reject that
    I’m not civil nor fair.
    Just because I’ll not share
    my precious self
    does na mean
    I won’t serve you
    a cup o tea.

  52. LCaramanna


    At the pawn shop,
    wedding rings
    display diamond sparkle
    on black velvet in the showcase
    without any explanation
    of how a such a bold statement of love
    lost its luster and came to be
    in the showcase of a pawn shop
    with a half-price sale tag,
    used certificate of authenticity,
    and second chance vow of happy ever after.

  53. Jerry Walraven

    “Learning Early”

    brightly colored eggs
    litter the lawn
    one by one
    they are rejected,
    as the memories
    of 5 year-olds
    are better
    than their fathers
    and they know
    this quest
    is for the one
    gold egg
    and the true
    that lies
    not within
    the egg
    the claim
    on the prize.

  54. deedeekm

    I rain
    and you just stand there
    the breaking bones
    are deafening
    and great mountains
    slough off their soil
    like so much dead skin
    I want to curl myself
    around the avalanche
    ride it down to
    the valley of stones
    a passing by
    of wind and fire
    I held my heart
    out on a leaf
    you were

  55. Bruce Niedt

    Just for sharing, here’s an older one that fits Robert’s prompt much better than the one I wrote today:

    Rejection Triolet

    We really liked the poems you sent.
    Alas, they do not meet our needs.
    You MFA was time well spent –
    We really liked the poems. You sent
    us sonnets though – it’s our intent
    to print free verse – unmetered reads
    we really like. The poems you sent:
    alas, they do not meet our needs.

    1. PSC in CT

      Ouch! It’s usually not gone though, Melissa. When you receive the message: “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” try backing up to the previous page and going back to the same place you input your poem or reply. (If it was a reply to someone else, the trick may be remembering which reply you were on. If you were inputting your own poem — that’s easier to fine.) Either way, if you reselect the same comment or reply, you will usually find that it is still there, waiting to be captured. Sometimes I get that message several times — and I’ll back out and reposition my cursor on the same comment and hit enter again. After another attempt (or 2 or 3) — it takes, without my having to re-input it. Hope this works for you next time!

    2. PKP

      AWWWW agree with all who went before
      And some sweet irony here in this rejection
      Of the poem that’s here for the disappear
      I do in my broken sleep reading adore!

  56. Mary Mansfield


    His promises cannot redeem
    The dusky shadows of a dream,
    A mate who finds truth obsolete.
    Her story is not yet complete.

    Overwhelming feelings flood,
    Addiction buried in her blood
    That reawakens when they meet.
    Her story is not yet complete.

    She dies a bit with every kiss,
    Staggering into the abyss
    While destiny makes its retreat.
    Her story is not yet complete.

    Nothing but a wounded sparrow,
    Lies have cut her to the marrow.
    Deserving much more than deceit,
    Her story is not yet complete.

    Singing broken songs of sorrows,
    Focusing on her tomorrows,
    An ending she will not repeat,
    Her story is not yet complete.

  57. DanielAri


    and the night comes before we know it
    that Alice’s daughter makes her corsage,
    more confident in her own skill than in
    the florist’s. The next night, Ty comes
    to the door, receives the corsage and pin
    from Alice and pins her daughter with
    young man’s panache. Rather than beam,
    I go into gruff old man mode, the least
    I can do as stepfather, impressing him
    with my expectations of his safety,
    sobriety and gentility even if he’ll
    roll his eyes once he leaves the house.
    When they come home, Alice and I
    are watching late TV and see that Ty’s
    night has not met his hopes. Petulant,
    cavalier farewell from him, impatient,
    dismissive one from her; and Alice
    shrugs, and I know she’s relieved that
    her daughter will be called the prudish
    set of names rather than the opposite,
    for now, anyway. Ty goes where Toby
    and Kai went, to the waiting place where
    they don’t have the understanding or
    patience to stay put and put the time
    to good use. Bless Alice’s daughter:
    she is not prudish nor cruel, just taking
    her own time, setting the pace she needs,
    and that’s something of a miracle.


  58. lady maggie

    Rejection Accepted
       Their one must keep.   What we three can’t release
       their one must hold.   What we three won’t adjourn
       their one must take.   What we would not unlearn
       they must pay homage to.   Too strict police
       to run their’s street.   Not shamelessly caprice
       enough.   Not thought that much of.   Taciturn
       in tune.   What’s too unwanted.   No concern
       for either our decrease or their’s increase.
       Discarded objects’ shadows do impose,
       don’t they, on territories newly claimed
       so need must be put down.   Rejected.   Those
       get left no chance of honor being named
       except to gauge what comes against what goes
       in terms of who gets credit for whom’s blamed.


  59. Rosangela

    Yeah… I guess everybody has had at least one significant rejection in life! ;-P

    I know

    I know you didn’t mean it
    and you were just following rules.
    I know it hurt you, as much it
    hurt me. We were just two fools.

    First we were fine,
    Oh, those “one moment in time”
    would last forever.
    We belonged to each other.

    Then, you were a kid
    being called by the mother.
    And you run, run away, guilty…

    You did it.
    You broke the spell
    and put us in hell.

    That’s how it was…
    and we were both in loss.
    I showed you a way
    but you said no. You said go!
    You rejected me,
    still wanting me, anyway.

    I know
    it was not you saying no.
    It was your principles, your fears.

    But your rejection didn’t kill me,
    only dried out my tears,
    and your love, so coward
    didn’t make me soured.

    I know you didn’t mean it, though.
    You just couldn’t stop the flow.

    Maybe you still need to grow.

    And I – I’ll love you forever. I know.

  60. Nancy Posey

    Fourth Place

    “You’re all winners,” the chief judge told them all
    before they left the room, relieved that speeches
    were over, but fully aware that the four of them
    vied for three trophies. Early lessons in losing
    may be fine in theory, but when the reality
    of coming in fourth sinks in, he doesn’t think
    he feels like a winner. Rejection rarely masquerades
    as championship. Just ask the other boys leaving
    with trophies and trophies, their parents stopping
    just long enough to make “Good job” sound
    like a consolation prize, a slap in the face.

  61. Bruce Niedt

    I got a late start today. The other prompt from NaPoWriMo was to take a walk outside and write a poem about your observations. Unfortunately, I didn’t read that prompt until after dark, so I wrote about another outside activity I engaged in today. Also, I had trouble reconciling that prompt with Robert’s “rejection” prompt, so my rejection reference is perfunctory at best. Anyway, for what it’s worth:

    Easter Morning

    At first I’d rejected my wife’s idea
    of an Easter egg hunt in our yard for the kids,
    the youngest of whom is sixteen.
    They’ll think it’s childish, I said.
    But she prevailed, so here I am creeping
    around my yard at ten a.m. trying to hide
    three dozen plastic eggs with prizes inside,
    and I discover that the hot pink and orange ones
    are the hardest to camouflage. I carry a notebook
    and mark the location of each egg,
    because at my age it gets harder to remember
    details without a list. It’s not such a bad day
    to be out here, sunny with a cool breeze.
    I plant a blue egg under the boxwood,
    a green one inside the rain gutter spout.
    I come across my neighbors in the side yard
    under my blooming dogwood tree,
    dressed to their Easter nines for a family photo.
    I send my holiday wishes and make a joke about
    my notebook, then continue on my secret mission.
    Later, when our guests have arrived, my wife
    sends them out to the yard – two teenagers
    and four young adults, one in spiked heels –
    to hunt for eggs. They have a ball. She was right
    after all. As they chatter excitedly about their finds
    and the goodies inside them, I look back
    at my dogwood, and notice how much it’s grown.

  62. maggzee

    Accepting Rejection

    I understand
    what I overheard
    So now she wants to be free

    I know I was late
    In the early morn
    But she should hear the truth from me

    She held me up
    Then kept me down
    And my poor heart was sinking

    I did what’s right
    Because she left
    And went to do some drinking

    Sometimes it’s useful
    To get wasted
    I’ve no dignity to preserve

    My adultery
    Was childish
    I got what I deserve

  63. Nancy Posey

    School Picture Day *

    Watching my daughter, so unsure at fifteen,
    sorting through her closet, sliding hangers
    left to right, choosing her red sweater, then
    tossing it aside for a concert tee—her first.
    Too busy, she decides, opting for simplicity,
    a blouse in soft peach , good against her skin,
    she announces to me, doubt in her voice.
    School pictures still hold a gravity to her,
    an indelible mark frozen in time, peering
    from her freshman yearbook page for decades,
    she imagines. Likewise, she works her way
    through earrings, rejecting feathers, ladybugs,
    deciding that her tiny hoops will do. Near tears,
    hair is another matter as she struggles
    to subdue her stubborn wave. A ponytail
    won’t do on picture day—too childish.

    I bite my tongue, reserving my critique,
    aware that in this process, nothing a mother
    says can help, might even make her change
    her mind again, starting again from scratch.
    It dawns on me another girl about her age,
    nearly forty years ago, had other matters
    on her mind: To have a child or not, to keep
    her or to let her go (to let me go) instead
    of picking earrings, choosing blue jeans,
    shoes or sandals. Maybe what I’d felt
    as her rejection might have simply been
    a letting go, a way to offer me a fuller life,
    a life without her, not to free herself
    for a life without me as just another
    fifteen year old girl with nothing more
    on her mind than what to wear to school.

    * Purely fictional, by the way

  64. Connie Peters

    Rejected Cornerstone

    When Jesus was born,
    Herod searched the land
    to prevent Him from being king.

    Christ’s countryman thought
    He was too common
    to be anyone special.

    The religious leaders condemned
    Him for making Himself
    equal with God.

    The people who once
    honored him as king
    yelled, “Crucify Him!”

    Many now reject Him saying
    He’s too narrow in His thinking,
    when He claimed,

    “I’m the way, the truth and the life.
    No one comes to the Father
    except through Me.”

    Even the tomb rejected Him
    since, as the “resurrection and the life,”
    He didn’t have the right qualifications.

  65. Margot Suydam


    Since you left me
    scraping the back
    porch with a shovel
    I still see your hot
    spot photograph
    with orange rings
    well poised high
    over bolder fields
    our above tree
    line balancing act
    framed by a peak
    you promised me
    we could ascend
    as one slim stalk
    but now we shoulder
    time and it burdens

  66. Kaitlyn

    Soul on paper

    So many words
    Curl up inside me like a
    Tense, metal spring.
    They looooooong to
    Each delicate word crafted with love bleeds in the ink of my pen as I
    Release them
    “Read this.”
    Requested hopefully.
    Minutes drag, DRAG on
    My soul on paper,
    In ink,
    Through words,
    Reflected in your eyes.
    What do you think?
    What do you think?
    Answered coldly.
    My dry mouth,
    Cramped fingers,
    Broken heart,
    Wasn’t my soul on paper good enough?

  67. barbara_y


    the carrot with grasping fingers
    the lumpy bed, the too-small dress
    the fish too strange to cook
    the elbow-breaking book
    the gray-green bread
    the doggy kiss
    the fleas at the petting zoo
    the feeling lingers like morning breath
    do they feel rejected, too

  68. Walt Wojtanik


    Fading lights diminish in size and intensity,
    and when you have a propensity to love
    with all your heart and all your soul
    it is the hardest thing you have to watch.

    The dinner and conversation seemed promising,
    but she was hell bent on not relenting,
    Love’s elevator never lets you down easily.
    It’s an express to the basement of emotions.

    Any preconceived notion you had
    About an ever-lasting something or other
    drove off into the night as you fight the
    pain of another volley of “let’s be friends”.

    And so she left you standing, confused
    and feeling used; but knowing that
    in the end you’ll be better off throwing the minnows
    back in deference to the next big catch.

    Her tail lights in the distance
    signaled a left turn out of love.
    That made it easier to walk away
    and live to love another day.

  69. Kendall A. Bell


    You will not find yourself in this
    poem, leaning against a railing by a
    rippling river while the sun drifts
    slowly down. You will not find us
    both staring at the same stars, in
    some cluttered sky, littered with
    cliche and sentiment. You will find
    your advances jettisoned to some
    distant time, where I was weaker.

    Each line, each stanza
    has been dismissed.
    Each emotion I once held,
    rebuffed by my better judgment.
    Each time I felt the pressure to
    display a fabrication to placate the
    black hole in your empty union,
    I discarded the words and lit them aflame.

    This will be the last line I waste.

  70. Benjamin Thomas


    My boy, so stunningly resistant
    This perky child simply refuses to sleep
    My own flesh and blood
    Adorably defiant
    Makes constant nonsensical shrieks
    Powered by youth
    These resilient rabbits
    Bounding, breaking every waking rule
    Have elastic will
    Perfectly capable and well intended to rule
    But every day the same, is well measured
    In the end, every child subdued, simply just lies still

  71. Jane Shlensky

    The Last Word (a shadorma)

    You think that
    your dismissal broke
    my heart, but
    I reject
    your rejection. I dismiss
    myself. Ha! Take that!

  72. Jaywig

    Day 8 – rejection

    A Mother’s Lament

    On the ferry from the island
    where we lived briefly
    she said, “You’re so OLD,Mum!
    I don’t need THREE grandmothers!”
    She was ten.

    On her twelfth birthday
    something unimaginable happened.
    It was 11 September in the States.
    After that, she stopped
    holding my hand.

    But now she’s twenty
    and it’s I who say:
    “You’re too old now.
    I don’t need lodgers!”
    and “I am giving up
    hand-holding. Let go!”

  73. Andrea B

    Sought After

    I cannot resort my chronology
    to include you—I bury

    gin in my petticoat,
    tears in a bedchamber.

    You pilot bombers, search
    for survivors in bunkers.

    I sought out a sandstorm
    to level the mountains of time
    into a wasteland,

    a bladesmith
    to meld our planes.

    I scour the ground for divots,
    hoping to see the flash of your eyes

    to ask if you have been on safari for me,
    even if the answer is no.

  74. drwasy


    Sunday morning before church
    you wrenched the last
    small bits of care
    and flung them,
    to the floor.

    In the tremulous light
    our son stacked one block
    atop the other.
    We watched until
    the tower wobbled
    and you walked out.


    Peace, Linda S-W

  75. Linda Voit


    Sometimes I wonder how broccoli takes it
    standing on its stalks holding all that vitamin C
    and other gifts, knowing it can support her skin
    and muscles and bones like nobody else
    at the cellular level, desperate to make her see
    it can help her see and even strengthen
    the pump that distributes her very
    lifeblood. It is so obvious

    they are meant to be together.
    It presents itself, in tight, green curls, raw
    and ready to dive into ranch dressing head first
    if that’s what it takes. Or it’s steamed and dressed
    in unimaginable emerald, anticipating.
    And just as it approaches, she wrinkles
    her nose, turns her face away on reflex, throws
    her right hand up, palm out, a patrol guard
    strong enough to hold back city traffic, and says
    Get that stuff away from me!

    Linda Voit

  76. Arrvada

    Reject Me

    I didn’t ask for life
    I didn’t negotiate my way onto this plane
    You chose to bring me here
    To carry me
    Birth me
    Raise me
    You made me
    And I became real
    I grew and thought
    Tried to please
    Was this not what you wanted?
    Was I not who you had in mind?
    I became me and you saw
    You looked and saw what I was
    You saw me
    You rejected me
    I am your creation
    The culmination of nature and nurture
    You abandoned your creation
    You reject me and
    You’ve rejected yourself

  77. amelia louise


    Ever so gently
    I swing.
    Breath held,
    eyes riveted,
    prayer hailed.
    Smoothly it sails…
    to the outside
    of the cup.
    Hope of
    green abandoned.

  78. Jane Shlensky

    Cottage Industry (or Recycling Rejection)

    Spring cleaning always revved her up,
    washing away winter and waste,
    putting closets to rights by removing
    bad ideas boxed in darkness
    and re-imagining their futures
    with feathers and ribbons.

    The rejection letters housed
    as a tribute to the ways No can be phrased
    and kept like an exhibit in the museum
    of her blasted hopes suddenly took
    on purpose under her new eyes,
    jetsam to lighten her load back to float.

    One stack, folded, laced, and sewn
    created a sturdy bowl woven
    of critical opinions to hold fruit;
    one batch made a lovely tray
    bird feeder; seedlings planted in
    cones of rejection soon transplanted.

    She did not reread a single one
    humming and folding, painting and
    trimming, her collection of rejection
    recycled and re-purposed, as she redeemed
    herself, origami returning from childhood,
    suddenly thinking, papier mache!

    1. PKP

      “a sturdy bowl woven of critical opinions to hold fruit….seedlings planted in cones of rejection”. Brilliance shines as a blazing light of “rejection recycled “. speaks to its theme and so very much more – a shimmering life lesson of reclamation of self and not simply letting go or “shelving” but transformation… Exquisite ! I could sing BRAVO!

  79. Karen31

    Sorry, No
    (a cultural rejection note)

    Sorry, Jimmy Choo,
    but I reject the shoe
    you built to shape my ass –
    I think it’s pretty crass,
    and really nothing new.

    Sorry, Ashton, my friend,
    your two-and-a-half-men
    is stupid-lazy-and-mean –
    you out-sheened Charlie Sheen.
    I won’t tune in again

    Sorry, Movieland,
    I’m turning down your brand.
    A film that teaches killing and rape
    is a high-tech how-to tape.
    There’s not much to misunderstand.

    The American entertainment scene
    has betrayed the American dream.
    The peace and love connection
    requires wholesale rejection
    of the cultural depravation machine.

  80. Marianv

    Rejection doesn’t mean the end of the world,
    It just seems that way.

    A young college girl, rejected
    From the sorority of her choice
    Another young girl who fell in love
    but the one she loved, loved someone else
    And the artist whose artwork was
    Rejected from the gallery that he thought
    Was the best place for his work
    The poet whose submission of poems to
    A wll-known magazine was returned
    With only the word “Sorry” written
    As an explanation.

    Who, if they have lived for more than
    five years on this planet has not been
    Disappointed by a rejection?
    It is as common as eating and sleeping.
    Mis-understandings, failures to explain,
    Unrealistic hopes, or hopes too high,
    Misjudging another’s actions, simple
    Thoughtlessness – all are thing which
    We learn to overcome and move on,
    Even though we know it can happen again.

  81. Sharon

    The Hunt

    The hunt begins
    I see it in his eyes
    Though he can’t say it
    Not without a lot of trouble.
    Too old. That’s what he’s thinking,
    She’s ancient; all that gray hair and attitude!

    I don’t get it.
    I’m not young, that’s true,
    But I’m smart and quite capable,
    Willing to work, have credentials galore.
    Oh well, this clueless HR guy may not want me,
    But someone will. The hunt continues. I will overcome.

  82. Charles Cote


    Raw river pig, lethal puffer,
    Emperor’s bane in Nikon-koku,
    Jaw-crusher to the mollusks,
    Easter stew in New York City,
    Careful tongues prefer you,
    Taxing to the masters.
    Enough of your poison
    Damns the sashimi.

  83. Sheryl

    We Should Have Been Rejected

    The tax collector was a sinner.
    He beat his breast and would not
    look up. The Pharisee by his side
    thought he needed no mercy.

    Zacchaeus was rich. He had
    cheated people. He loved money,
    not God. Jesus was coming. Zacchaeus
    was curious. Was there hope for him?

    At first both criminals crucified
    by Jesus made fun of Him. For
    some reason one of them changed.
    He asked Jesus to remember him.

    I have not perfectly loved the
    Lord with all of my heart nor
    my neighbor as myself.
    I need the sacrifice of Jesus.

    He lived a perfect life—
    yet most on this earth
    reject Him. The Father turned
    His back on Jesus for our sin.

    Rejection is over. He is risen.
    He is risen indeed!

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  84. zevd2001

    Hello, I come to tell you
    I am going, not because of me
    where you are going. It’s not fair
    to send messages, so sincere
    you want me to understand, to run

    out in the streets. Now that I am free . . .
    ready for something else, you, still,
    it’s clear when we crossed
    that path, yes. It was as if
    at that moment you took
    your first step. Without knowing

    the direction out of the doorway.
    I was there, once,
    returned. Curiosity invited you play . . .
    I could have told you
    before. You would lose, but everything
    is up on its end, upside down. Maybe

    you have found some other, be happy . . .
    take him where you are, spend the time.
    I ought to go, no point
    in overstaying my welcome.

    Zev Davis

  85. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    As the plate was pushed half-way down the table
    and the children held their spoons in mid-air,
    I realized that this meal had become a metaphor
    for our life together.
    Never satisfied, you rejected the food on the plate.
    Never satisfied, you closed the door on conversations
    with your insistence to be right.
    Never satisfied, you pushed me from your life,
    as surely as you pushed the plate away in disgust
    when the desired taste you dreamed of turned out
    to be too flavorful for your palate.

  86. taylor graham


    A small sable whirlwind
    between my hands, she quivers with raw
    energy like weather untaught.
    Her name is Loki, mischief.
    Four months off-the-calendar hurricane-

    is her third home. Rejected
    by the others. Just now
    roughing the cat, ragging the old dog.
    Before that, tornado-
    debris sticks all over the yard.

    We’ll survive this. The muscle-
    quiver loosens. Her muzzle at my ear,
    sighing puppy-breath. Soon
    enough, the breeze up-
    canyon will cease, the old dog
    lower himself to sleep.

  87. competitivewriter

    Last Friday Night

    I gave my gut a shot of whiskey
    and then it asked for more
    so one became two and soon
    two had turned to four
    we were having a good time I thought
    as four flowed into seven
    and after that I lost count
    but went well past eleven
    until the last golden ounce remained
    I swirled it and inspected it
    then threw it down the hatch
    my gut promptly rejected it

  88. Michael Grove

    Each Others Shoes

    Hers were a pair
    of glass slippers.
    His were some
    older work boots.
    He tried to squeeze
    his foot in one of hers
    and shattered everything.
    She took one look at his
    and walked away.

    By Michael Grove

  89. Dare

    We Regret To Inform You

    We regret to inform you
    that you are no longer
    a part of the human species.

    Due to our recent upgrade
    you no longer meet the
    qualifications for this position.

    We suggest you try another species
    or perhaps another planet as they
    may have less stringent requirements.

    Thank you for your participation and
    good luck in finding an appropriate
    position elsewhere.

  90. PKP

    Mama Made Me Do It

    He thought he shouldn’t
    couldn’t wouldn’t
    she was too pretty
    too smart too swingy-hipped
    for bespectacled science
    smitten him
    but Mama said if
    she looked back
    “Go on right up”
    and he did
    as she walked
    right on by

  91. Domino

    Rejected, But in the Best Way Possible, Really

    A child is born, his mother cries
    she swoons, she loves, she often sighs

    Her baby’s sweet and perfect face
    is all she needs to live in grace.

    And as he grows, she sees him learn
    to turn and roll and kick and turn

    And soon he walks, how wonderful,
    she just wants him to be more careful.

    Walking, running, jumping, climbing
    Bicycle riding, muscles priming.

    He doesn’t want a kiss, please, Mom!,
    She’s sad, but takes it with aplomb.

    The more he grows, the less he needs
    And though she’s proud, her heart just bleeds.

    With his mother’s prompt attendance
    He soon gains his independence.

    With bittersweet, loving goodbye
    She learns to let her baby fly.

    With the conviction love allowed,
    His autonomy makes her proud.

      1. Domino

        I’ve had to let go again and again with my three boys. </3 But the purpose of motherhood is that eventual "rejection" of all help. It is sweet to see them fly.

        Thank you, Brian.

    1. PKP

      Exquisite capture of the truest mother-love the smiling release, the breath caught watch as they catch the wind and grab not for our hand Standing on a chair applauding! …. Now back to sleep for me.

  92. Nimue

    Rejected dreams

    There in one corner,
    lie some of my dreams
    termed part crazy or
    by everyone but me.
    I keep them safe,
    and hope some day
    I will make it true,
    just one, any one,
    if not all of these

  93. Andrew Kreider

    Reason No. 42

    After that kind of a weekend,
    broken legs, sore head,
    hair singed from harrowing,

    I would not have had the patience
    to play hide and seek around
    the garden in the early dawn,

    or to walk for miles with two
    dimwits at dusk, just to
    disappear without warning.

    No, I would have woken all
    those fair weather friends who
    left me for dead, shaken them

    till their eyes rolled back and
    asked without a trace of irony:
    So… how do you like me now?

    1. Linda Voit

      This is awesome. I don’t know what I would have done — maybe I would have gone shopping for a sarcastic gift for Peter — a rooster.

  94. claudsy

    Last for the day.

    The Tangled Web

    It began with a tiny thing;
    A lie of that day’s convenience.
    A first strand in the web you wove
    To make yourself important, and
    Disguise truth you could not bare shown.

    More silk strands followed to entrap
    The weaver in tales unforgotten,
    By those brought to emotions ruined.
    Thoughtless weaving. Strands delusions,
    All make to tangle the weaver.

    Go now into your web of lies.
    Seek only new fools to believe.

  95. lionmother

    Sorry, I didn’t have a title for this. Posting again with a title:


    He sat in front of me in chemistry class
    His smooth brown hair all I could see
    as the teacher recited complicated
    sentences I paid little attention to
    as thoughts bubbled rising to the
    surface giving me hope and
    courage to finally, finally
    open my mouth and speak to
    this letter jacketed hunk so
    close to me and yet so far
    away on a plane with the
    popular crowd shining and
    unattainable and yet I
    struggled one day at the
    end of class
    heart pounding in my throat
    anticipation thickening my
    voice as it squeaked out
    the few words I had rehearsed
    in my secret wonderings
    hoping this time, though
    my hair was short and not
    the long shiny waves of the
    popular girls and my fourteen
    year old body not yet formed
    he would say yes and I would
    be on the arm of my crush
    who would clear the aisles
    as we glided past all the
    harmful glances
    So I said the words to his
    open and outstanding face
    watching as he carefully
    answered with his own
    and no one saw the
    invisible knife as it tore
    into me and left me
    shattered in front of the
    table of elements.

    1. lionmother

      Thank you, Pearl, Domino and Jannelee. This prompt was hard, because it dredged up all those long ago feelings:)

      Pearl we seem to be on the same train of thought. Your poem is even sadder, with no reply at all.

  96. claudsy

    First for the day.

    Whisper’s Allure

    Whisper soft came your urgings,
    Touching deep inside with needs unmentioned,
    Taking time to root beneath wall of safety,
    Moving toward ultimate takeover.

    “Can you hold me?” you asked in the dark,
    Whisper soft came your urgings,
    Never breathing a hint of your design,
    Taking my faith in love for granted.

    I fell, quickly to your lumberman’s saw,
    My need to fulfill those of yours, even as your
    Whisper soft came, your urgings
    Driving me further from myself and my haven.

    Soon you left me behind, crumpled and weary,
    Broken on the steps of love’s temple sublime,
    Never to understand why now after
    Whisper soft came your urgings.

  97. lionmother

    He sat in front of me in chemistry class
    His smooth brown hair all I could see
    as the teacher recited complicated
    sentences I paid little attention to
    as thoughts bubbled rising to the
    surface giving me hope and
    courage to finally, finally
    open my mouth and speak to
    this letter jacketed hunk so
    close to me and yet so far
    away on a plane with the
    popular crowd shining and
    unattainable and yet I
    struggled one day at the
    end of class
    heart pounding in my throat
    anticipation thickening my
    voice as it squeaked out
    the few words I had rehearsed
    in my secret wonderings
    hoping this time, though
    my hair was short and not
    the long shiny waves of the
    popular girls and my fourteen
    year old body not yet formed
    he would say yes and I would
    be on the arm of my crush
    who would clear the aisles
    as we glided past all the
    harmful glances
    So I said the words to his
    open and outstanding face
    watching as he carefully
    answered with his own
    and no one saw the
    invisible knife as it tore
    into me and left me
    shattered in front of the
    table of elements.

  98. omavi

    Fighting Closing Doors

    Wanting and all I hear is no
    Needing and all I hear is no
    Running towards and smashing into closed doors
    This is what is necessary
    But rejection lies behind every door
    Life is so no longer like breathing
    Frantic searches in a dark so black
    Even sight sees nothing any more
    Even knowledge is skewed by obstacles galore
    Even perseverance is humbles
    Even silver lined clouds fall to dirty earth
    Even greatness incarnate
    Becomes brilliance snuffed by ignorant ploys
    Just keep on moving and building
    Goals will be reached
    Anything worth having
    Dictates that hard work should be done

  99. gtabasso

    Easter Sunday

    Someone is knocking on the door
    but I will not answer.
    I am not expecting a visitor,
    do not want to meet a stranger
    or find someone I used to love
    on the stoop, waiting, ready
    to ask a question or expect an answer.

    Full of words already said,
    feelings I have put aside,
    I do not want to know you again,
    do not want my heart to crack
    like a dyed egg,
    one that has been cleared of its contents —
    beautiful on the outside,
    empty on the inside
    because of one hard knock,
    one strong puff of breath:

  100. dextrousdigits

    Hated by money changers, temple and government leaders
    He sweat, drops like blood falling to the ground
    Betrayed in a Garden with a Kiss
    Deserted by his father
    Carried a tree to his destiny
    Thorns pierced his brain
    sword his side
    Blood dripped

    Assassinations both past and present
    of the voice and actions that
    dare question, challenge, threaten
    change at great cost history

  101. Walt Wojtanik


    Awkward defined the mindset,
    that awful regret that
    square pegs don’t get around much.
    It was such torture, a lament
    that sent the wallflowers back to seed
    and bleed all over their shoes.
    Gangly and uncoordinated,
    slated for membership in the
    “now that my voice has cracked
    I’ll never work in this town again” club.
    It was a snub you never relinquished.
    But it distinguished you from the
    popular, highly athletic types
    who believed their own hype and
    floundered in their futures.
    But broken hearts are meant to mend
    and in spite the scars and sutures
    you found your voice. You’re not quite right,
    but you’re better off that way.
    The jocks were never all that bright anyway.

  102. HannaAnna

    The Ugly Pug

    They said he wasn’t good enough
    No one wanted the ugly pug
    His teeth were crooked
    One ear sagged
    And those runny eyes
    They all said he wasn’t good enough
    Rejecting the sweet spirited puppy

    But I saw something in him
    His kind heart
    His comforting eyes
    and presense
    and stare
    So I adopted the little thing
    and he quickly became my best friend
    the thing I looked forward to the most at the end of each day

    And it felt like I was saved
    by that lonely little pug
    that completed my own lonely heart

    Both of us lonely rejects
    that somehow complete each other

  103. Lana Walker


    Smaller than the rest
    with marks and blemishes
    that hide its pedigree
    from unskilled eyes

    Passed over
    again and again

    Touched and turned
    then tossed aside

    The apple waits
    for the
    learned admirer

  104. dextrousdigits

    I sixteen
    Blond and statuesque was he
    piercing blue eyes.
    His best friend tall and muscular
    olive skin, soft brown eyes and hair.
    Both soccer players.
    Both eighteen
    met on a trip to the Mediterranean
    friends of my auntie.

    Blonde immediately appeared in my dreams,
    but it was brown eyes who dreamed of me.
    No ones dreams
    became reality.

  105. Miss R.

    An Easter Prayer

    How could I?
    But I did, I have,
    And I probably will again.
    You came in all love,
    Sometimes stern
    But always kind,
    And what did we do?
    Rejected You.
    We pierced You through
    With our foolish choices
    And crowned You
    With the pain
    Of our hidden sins.
    Then You were gone,
    And we didn’t even know
    What we’d lost.
    But then
    You threw off our rejection
    And returned triumphant
    Yet gracious.
    You gave us
    The second chance
    We wouldn’t give You,
    The second chance
    We didn’t deserve.

    Thank You.

  106. Walt Wojtanik


    Many submit; but few are chosen.
    The call goes out to all with the need
    or inclination to succeed. But, many fail
    to reach the pinnacle as we sit in cynical
    judgment of ourselves and the self-proclaimed.
    Chosen, you are named to become
    the shining light to lead and set
    as an example for those who question
    and crumble. At the least suggestion,
    their best efforts fall short. But stand tall!
    All your works are praised and lauded –
    widely applauded as the wisdom by which to live.
    It gives us pause for all to proudly intone,
    The stone that the builder has rejected,
    has become the cornerstone

  107. De Jackson

    The Trick of Losing What You Did Not Have

    It tastes like sulfur
    copper penny blood spilled
    but unspent
    like the ragged hole
    where a tooth used to be,
    like impotent sweat
    streaming down exhausted brow
    mouth filled with salt
    and cotton regret
    at having ever wanted this.

    It rings in the ears
    like wasted years and
    startled, sizzled out
    wishes burned by
    too much sun,
    things wanted pushed
    back into dark closets, hidden
    atriums, dusty corners
    where they cannot
    scream for their own loss.

    It stings like wisdom
    found too late,
    the places in the heart
    that ache
    for more, this whispered
    no that shatters soul
    and scatters all she is
    to the four winds, unwound
    and waiting to be
    whole again.

    1. Brian Slusher

      Yep, it does taste “like sulfur,” feel “like the ragged hole / where a tooth used to be.” Painfully acurate, De. I hope you’re feeling whole this Easter day!

  108. Brian Slusher


    In the April night, voices
    collide and through the screen
    I hear two women scavenging
    the language for the most
    savage words they can spit.

    They’ve parked here at the dark
    end of the street to murder
    their friendship in a public way.
    Their curses overlap in a brutal
    fugue that concludes with the slap
    of a car door, and an engine’s roar.

    In the morning, there is no
    salted earth, no scorch or stain:
    just the bright ignorance
    of the azaleas, and the
    broken echo of weeping
    chasing me through the day.

  109. Beth Rodgers


    Perched on the outskirts
    Eschewing the very fabric of society
    Because he feels like it.

    Surviving each day
    On memories lost
    Acquaintances forgotten
    Interests artfully detained.

    No instinct for happiness looms
    Dejection musters up feelings of inadequacy
    Feeling that the world has lost a good one
    He suffers the agonizing decision
    Of confinement
    For confinement’s sake.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Beth, this so reminds me of some of my former students who suffered from the desire to be rejected. It made/makes me ache for them. This is a nice twist on the prompt.

  110. traci

    Open eyes see clouds
    Thoughts of dreary day enter
    Decisions how to respond
    Decision to see
    Sun deeply hidden in heart
    Bringing closer to surface

  111. Dare

    A Reason Why

    Hope-held breath collapses
    Searching eyes close
    Flashing open again to see
    Fresh-loaded page unchanged
    F5 times Five = Zero

    Internet server refuses blame
    Inbox remains unfilled
    Vex-tinged sorrow grants reprieve
    He’s away for the weekend, right?

  112. Marjory MT


    He came
    out of love.
    He left so much,
    out of love.
    He gave so much,
    out of love.
    He helped, healed,
    out of love.
    He taught, lead,
    out of love.

    He was rejected.
    scorned, died
    It did not stop the love.

    Then came the morning,
    He arose
    out of love.
    He will come again,
    out of love.

  113. Ber

    Double edged sword

    I have done all I can to prove myself to you
    I have given you so many chances
    You don’t have a clue
    I gave you my all
    I received no love in return

    My heart is broken
    My mind destroyed
    Why did you push me to the side?
    Like an old piece of junk

    Why do you have to act in this way?
    You’re acting like a punk
    Leaving me in a state of despair
    A mess but do you care

    I turn to others
    Where are you no where to be seen
    I feel rejected
    I will never be the same

    I plead with you to come back into my life
    But what am I like it’s not like I am your wife
    I suppose this isolation had played with my mind you see
    Why did I let you do this?
    Why did I let you destroy me?

    I feel alone
    But as I answer the phone your voice on the other side
    Is silent now who feel alone
    You want me back
    What am I to do?
    I wish I could be as hard as you

    Feel your rejection
    Feel my pain
    Goodbye my love
    I will never love you like I did again

  114. 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.

  115. cindishipley


    The computer is hot,
    waiting for messages
    from my son.

    Maybe he didn’t like
    what I said last time.
    What did I say?

    Maybe the computer
    isn’t working right.

    Maybe he’s just busy
    with work and stuff.

    Maybe he doesn’t love me,
    maybe he doesn’t care.

    Maybe he is in danger,
    or even hurt.

    Maybe he is dying
    and wants me there,
    but no one can
    contact me.

    He doesn’t even
    know my address.
    They don’t know
    he has a mother waiting.

    Maybe I’m dying
    I can’t tell
    the red cross in time.

    I can’t speak,
    I mean I’m dying
    so how do I contact
    the red cross?

    We have different
    last names.

    We have different addresses.

    Maybe he wants it this way.

  116. Earl Parsons


    There’s one!
    It says “W&W”!
    Reject it!

    There’s another!
    Reject it!

    So many!
    What can we do?!
    Reject them!!
    Reject them all!!
    Get rid of those with

    I just noticed something!!
    If you turn them the other way
    They say, “M&M”!!

    You’re right!!
    Turn them around!!!

  117. JessMcCray

    Do you see me anymore
    or have you abandoned me
    like everyone else before

    There is one difference, you see
    I will not abandon me

    You helped me through
    to see my value
    I can take no more hurt
    Being treated just like dirt

    In the past I would not care
    In your view I would share

    Now I see what I can be
    More than even you do see

    Maybe we will not work out
    I will learn to live without
    You by my side until I die
    At least I can say that I did try

  118. Earl Parsons


    The blood streamed down
    Distorting my view
    Of the few who came
    To watch me die
    Some who believed
    Others who did not
    Some doing their duty
    All in for a surprise

    With one on the left
    Another on the right
    Condemned as was I
    But unlike me guilty
    One going down
    Of his own choice
    The other with me
    For seeing the truth
    Not a moment too soon

    My time had come
    My spirit was weak
    My body was broken
    My blood was shed
    My Father was calling
    My work was done
    My time had come
    I breathed my last

    My eyes reopened
    The stone rolled away
    My mission was over
    I had changed the world

  119. Genevieve Fitzgerald

    I had a love who was lost to the sea
    Found in the pounding surf was he
    Water his element
    Waves for his dreams
    Tsunamis and doldrums more alluring than me

  120. Mystical-Poet

    Withered Hearts

    reassembled dreams
    from gathered dust
    she wears a necklace
    of withered hearts
    her failed collection
    of plighted restarts
    creeping vines of
    jumbled expectations
    crisscrossing splendor
    of the dawn
    sorrowful woes
    still she tills
    a garden of joy
    nurturing love’s
    auspicious recapture
    still clinging
    to the sound
    of one hand
    for she knows
    the sound
    of two

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  121. laurie kolp

    This Poem’s No Dud

    This poem wasn’t hatched from an egg
    like a duckling in 28 days with a pip
    PIP and a peep PEEP, chip CHIPping
    away night and day until voila-
    here it is, a new life begins.
    No, it’s a DUD, or so you say,
    it didn’t make it; but this poem
    is a part of me and I won’t let it
    rot like a forgotten Easter egg
    hidden in the trunk of your car.

  122. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net

    “He was despised and rejected,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Isaiah 53:3


    She sits down in the semi-darkness
    of the sanctuary at twilight—
    surrounded by others, yet alone with her soul.

    One of the church carpenters has made
    a rough cross out of wooden boards—
    too small for a man, too big to be ignored.

    When it comes time, she does not hesitate,
    but scribbles down her sins on white paper
    and goes forward.

    All that anxiety dangles, fragile, between her fingertips.
    All that fear and doubt. All her questions
    about whether God is really good.

    With the others, she takes a hammer
    and a nail and pounds the paper
    into the wood of the Cross.

    Never has she had such a sense
    that it was her sins
    that nailed him there.

    Her eyes are wide open
    with fresh tears
    as new life stirs inside of her.

    When all of the others have gone,
    she goes forward again
    to serve as the one

    who takes all those tiny pieces of white paper
    down from the cross, as if, taken together
    they were his body

    and she hands them to the deacon for burial,
    then bows to the cross,
    venerating it for the first time in seven years.

    Jane Beal

  123. uneven steven

    Sitting at the edge of the world with bootless cries reading Wendell berry

    When I think on life and its vagaries,
    The shell shocking signs of these modern times,
    Our minds a faulty, electric staggering,
    Our bodies mere tributes, nickels and dimes,
    Each impulse of goodness, a wagering
    Action or inaction, a guilt ridden crime,
    Tis’ then unguarded of the world I think,
    And wild impulsive thoughts begin to dare
    Dream of Nature, mother’s essence to drink,
    A soothing desert or woodlands, but I stare
    An astronaut lost and tethered to his pack,
    A visitor perhaps who never looked back.

    Been a long time since I tried something more formal. Yeah, didn’t get a chance to google sonnet rhyme scheme before I got way into it so in order to get my poem in will abandon effort for now.
    I do appreciate the folks who commented on my other poems so far. I am very grateful to read such a wide variety of voices even if I don’t make the effort to say so in the reply section. And thank you Mr. Brewer for your thought provoking suggestions and especially your examples – they show a lot of craftsmanship and daring- I thought the “&” was very effective in todays poem

  124. Imaginalchemy

    For anyone feeling down by the concept of being rejected, this one is for you…

    “The Collector of No”

    Yes! Rejected again!
    This must be, what…the 34th time?
    (No, 35th according to my list)

    Yet another blind eye that missed
    A fragment of genius so sublime
    To come from a revolutionary brain

    Oh, isn’t it wonderful? Another “no”
    To add to my ever-abundant collection
    A bountiful bouquet of “thank you, but no thanks”

    Surely by now I’m so high up in the ranks
    Of constant, unwavering, steadfast rejection
    That there’s only one place else I can go

    They say a hundred times you must be denied
    Before you finally catch the right eye
    So with each “no,” I’m getting closer step by step

    To that day when someone will say, “Yep,
    This is the one! Let’s give ‘em a try!”
    For the million “nos,” one “yes” gives me all the more pride.

  125. Jane Shlensky

    Rejection Songs

    On the flip side
    of Bob Marley’s redemption songs,
    lay rejection songs,
    the poisonous bite of betrayal,
    the self-interest
    of those who fail the cause,
    songs of sorrow,
    loss, never, wait, forever
    not good enough,
    forsaken in the garden, on the street,
    in the temple,
    in the court, on the hill, in the heart,
    the mother of kneeling, of reexamination,
    of humility
    sufficient to give rise to

  126. ely the eel


    There is this book which has been
    following me around for weeks now.
    Actually, not following so much as
    accompanying, fitting nicely in
    my hand, or atop my journal
    in my man purse.
    The book is important.
    That’s why I bought it.
    It is about hope, and also about
    the mind, about laughing at, but
    not making an enemy of
    the latter.
    I say that’s what it is about,
    but I don’t know for sure,
    only what the dust jacket blurb says.
    I can’t seem to get by the introduction,
    not in the den, nor poolside,
    heck, not even at Starbucks.
    My core seems obdurate in
    its resistance to change, or growth.
    I will say that, pages unread,
    that book seems still to be
    having an impact.
    I think about hope all the time.
    A good thing, too, since
    I have friends who will not see year’s end,
    and a 50-year reunion requiring
    a 50-pound weight loss,
    and a home for sale.
    Small things, really,
    except for that part about my friends,
    but in the greater scheme of things,
    I’m a pretty small fish in
    a very big pond, or, at most,
    like one of those salmon,
    returning to their place of creation,
    encountering resistance at every turn.
    I hope this hope thing is
    not overrated. The book is heavy,
    the thoughts too, sometimes.

    1. cindishipley

      I’m right there with you, I’ve experienced exactly the same, which makes it a wonderful poem. The only thing I found though, is that starbucks doesn’t work.

  127. ceeess

    Dinner for One

    The phone sits silent, nothing to say
    she frets and frowns and hesitates
    to place receiver to her ear,
    to listen to its numbered notes.
    Inside her head the message plays,
    the one he left last night.
    But table’s set, the silverware,
    the china and the flowers
    stare back at her in grim regret.
    No dinner tonight, no breakfast,
    no teasing, loving laughter.
    Her date can’t make it after all,
    he’s turned her down. Her affection
    shrivels in his cold rejection.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 8, 2012

  128. Jane Shlensky

    The Yes of No

    It is not so much the word itself
    that limits us, but the face, the eyes,
    the fierce mouth of No, that burn away
    the heart of hope, the will of faith.

    Were we infants anywhere or raised by wolves,
    No instruction would be defended, repeated
    to save us from harm, to teach us the world
    is founded on No, to tether us to humility.

    The No Not Never eyes pierce through darkness
    so like a beacon, but really a search light
    scanning space for us to see ourselves plain
    and empty, lesser than, inappropriate, un-

    acceptable at this time, that same negative
    light sparking an ember of Yes, Believe, Rise Up.

  129. RJ Clarken

    I’m a Kyrielle, Dammit!

    Troubadours would generally
    employ me for their poetry.
    My branding is, by election,
    not about this theme ‘rejection.’

    I’m cute and bubbly. I’m sing-song!
    For me a downer’s simply wrong.
    Kyrielles are, on reflection,
    not about this theme ‘rejection.’

    Exceptions can be made, but they’re
    ‘just done in fun,’ not for despair.
    Free verse can make its direction
    all about this theme ‘rejection.’

    So, I ‘reject’ this topic of
    drear lines on unrequited love,
    failure, loss and disaffection
    and this sad theme of ‘rejection.’


    Wow! For someone who’s trying to stick with a form that typically lends itself to humor and fun, this one was a ‘serious’ toughie! Get it? *Sigh*

    Okay…so then, my muse said, “Oh dear, what a kvetch. RJ, kindly stop your whining. Just write the poem from your poetic form’s POV, because after all, it’s a Kyrielle, dammit! Now write!”

    I did. So there!


    To those who celebrate, Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

  130. PowerUnit

    I worked hard, like a farmer shovelling shit,
    You said, you confirmed my inner satisfaction
    while throwing me under the tractor
    with your encouraging words.
    Maybe next year

    I know effort matters, it counts
    It’s the difference maker
    If you listen to the Don Cherrys of the world
    The talking heads with all the answers
    A dime a dozen they say,
    about players with talent
    A unique gem they say,
    About players like me.
    A little rough maybe, but shapeable
    We can teach them how to play.
    You can’t teach effort, or grit.,
    But you kept all the shiny trinkets
    You threw the rough stones in the dirt.
    You stepped on me, and ground me into the stones.

    They don’t call me tough for nothing
    I survived my fall
    I survived my humiliation
    I survived my trade to the basement dweller,
    The team with no gems, rough or shiny.
    And now my brow shines brilliantly
    With sweat, with lines of purpose
    I’m cutting up those fancy gems,
    lining your fat fingers and your hairless neck,
    dropping them like bad apples off an old tree
    I’m wiping their faces in the mud and grime
    I’m teaching them what dirt feels like
    I’m coming after them
    I’m coming after you!

  131. PSC in CT

    only to play,
    anxious, excited, he
    lined up with the “big boys”
    hoping to hear his name called;
    one by one they cherry-picked, each name
    another dent in his tin can confidence
    until only he remained,
    (faux smile pasted)
    in place

  132. J.lynn Sheridan

    “He had a blond Martin”

    He had a blond Martin with a pick-up,
    I fell in love

    with its mahogany aroma,
    just thinking of it makes me kind of
    warm and mellow all over again.

    He used to chew a Fender guitar pick
    until it snapped.

    He played Stairway to Heaven with a broken
    Gibson bronze high E and it sounded like
    the Gilligan theme song.

    He had a blond Martin with a pick-up.

    He was dynamite and lemon, me guessing
    at him–one day ruckus, the next bitter,

    I fell in love with its mahogany aroma.

    He bathed in musky sweat of blues and rock
    blending hoarse vocals with reverb and bass.

    We amplified a used Guild tight and lady-like making
    me sound like a cross between leather and a gazelle.

    He kept me guessing as to which he thought
    I was.

    I fell in love.

    He didn’t.

  133. Walt Wojtanik


    You smiled and waved,
    but that was all the recognition you gave
    to the boy who crushed on you most of his life.
    Now with a wife and family it still
    haunts me and makes me wonder
    why I wasn’t the guy who thrilled you.
    I did your homework, wrote your papers,
    wrote you music and you’d pick the bad boys.
    The jerks that made you work for their attention.
    Did I mention I had a crush on you?
    I think you knew. Then and now.
    Then you really didn’t care.
    Now we laugh about it and I doubt it
    but I think you regret it somehow.
    We grew up together, and now
    you’re like a long-lost kid sister;
    to be loved and protected.
    I’m no longer rejected,
    and I had a crush on you.

    1. Brian Slusher

      Anyone who says he hasn’t had this experience is either very lucky or a liar. And I think actually we’re lucky for having an unattainable love. Who would trade away that sharp longing for the pale disappointment of most reality? We are crushed like the grapes to make the wine.

  134. Imaginalchemy

    “The Tale of the Dream-Bits Frankenstein at the Bottom of the Well”

    Six feathers
    Two marbles of glass
    Faux Leather
    A porcelain doll body
    Skeleton of bits of brass
    An old iron key for my heart
    With nothing to unlock
    Stitched together by frayed threads, a bit shoddy
    Even when I look in a mirror, I’m shocked
    I still reject my jig-saw puzzle parts

    Too many convoluted hopes and wishes
    Without meaning
    Slapped together, wanting too much
    This is the mess you get when you rush
    When you skimp on the beauty of proper dreaming
    When your “destiny in life” so often switches

    So rather than stayed locked away in shame
    I set out on the sea, on an old mandolin
    Padding with the spoon meant to stir up the sparks
    That my Birth-maker was meant to laddle in
    To my life-brew, giving me purpose and name
    But instead I’m just broken beliefs and parts

    Then one day I sunk, embracing the cool fingers
    Of this endless Magellan-marked sea
    But even the perfect clear waters rejected me
    So it dragged me to the bottom of this well
    Where to this day I patiently linger
    As children toss in coins, making wishes
    Do these children hope I have their hopes to sell?
    Each metal disk is a fragment of what I could be
    How I wish I could tell them, “Hold onto your dream,
    Don’t just toss it down here with the fishes,”
    But I guess dreams aren’t as precious as they seem
    If they can end up at the bottom of wells, like me.

      1. Imaginalchemy

        Thank you J. Lynn, and just because I don’t want all this rejection weighing too heavily on your heart, I’ll write you something to make you feel better :)

  135. Hannah


    Even as their arms stretch to grow,
    they know when to twist, to curl
    to grab and pull themselves forward.
    There’s something for the learning
    for the receiving in the observing
    Morning Glory’s very pattern.
    Patient lengths reaching upward
    understanding when to reject
    the aching urge to curl,
    accepting the ancient answer.
    In persistence, pursuing
    each leg of this tenuous journey,
    joyfully, pushing toward the light.
    Bud pods discard their dewy garments
    not a mere moment too, soon
    tasting the early air on first opening;
    layers peeling, revealing soft sheets,
    unfolding like inside out origami,
    morning in all its glory, out pouring.

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/8/12

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Gosh, there are so many colors and textures in your words…it is like a verbal painting. I like how there is a mutual acceptance and rejection going on in this poem–you cannot gain without letting go of something. Absolutely gorgeous.

    2. Marie Elena

      Hannah, your words grow more amazing daily. This entire piece is astounding. This, in particular:

      “Patient lengths reaching upward
      understanding when to reject
      the aching urge to curl…”

      …so imaginative, breathtaking, meaningful …

  136. Rosemary Nissen-Wade


    It came on me suddenly
    after seven years (only
    it wasn’t an itch).
    One careless thing he said
    about a third party, and I heard
    clearly at last, his utter lack
    of compassion.

    I heard the way
    he always justifies.
    I understood in a flash,
    as if explained in great detail,
    the game he is locked into
    and does not wish to stop.
    All that in an instant.

    On the instant,
    I put down the phone.
    It was unpremeditated but
    if I’d had a deliberate thought
    it might have been, ‘I’m done.’
    I ran out of puff just like that —
    out of anything more to give him.

    No, I don’t think
    I behaved well.
    I’ve tried to explain.
    I‘ve apologised, I’ve reasoned.
    His recriminations go on and on.
    I know it hurt. I didn’t mean or expect
    to end our long, fond friendship. However….

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I like the variations of time here, how the narrator reacts in anger “in a flash” or “on the instant,” but it took years for her to realize the impact of those moments. I’ve often wondered why we are so quick to anger but slow to understanding…This is very nice work.

    2. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

      Revised first verse to (hopefully) avoid confusion as to sequence of events:

      It came on me out of the blue
      after seven years (only
      it wasn’t an itch).
      One careless thing he said
      about a third party, and suddenly
      I heard clearly at last his utter
      lack of compassion.

  137. emmajordan

    The long needle pierces me again and again.
    First my heart, where it stays, stings
    (You are too clumsy to dance) my mother said.
    It begins to stir, reviving pain adding to it
    (Maybe you are going to be pretty. I never thought you would be) my father admitted.
    Now it is being wrenched back and forth, stirring the blood
    widening the hole it first created.
    No! It is breaking my heart.
    I feel the pieces fall away.
    I try to catch them to put them back
    but it is far too late.
    (You pretty? Ha!) a boy told me.
    (You ain’t got no tits!) Yelled from a car full of young men
    in summer where tourists neighbors everyone knows I am not.
    Another long spear was added long ago
    through my eye
    into my brain
    scrambling like eggs
    all thoughts feelings of self.
    (Why did you write that? You need to see a psychiatrist) my father said.
    (You need to go on a diet. Carrot sticks in your lunch box) my mother decided.
    (You are not working up to your potential) everyone said.
    (NO ONE WILL WANT YOU) my thoughts said.
    (UGLY. JUST UGLY) echoed in my mind.
    (WHY? WHY DID HE LEAVE) my heart wept.
    (I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH) yelled my brain.
    Now the needle broke
    leaving my heart irreparable
    The spear took up residence but still protruded
    so at any time they could grab it and twist
    tear disrupt who I was meant to be.
    No wonder he left.
    I’m not good enough.

    1. Michele Brenton

      I’m not sure if enjoy is the right word for how I felt about this poem. It made me want to read it more than once. It made me think and it made me feel I’d met somebody in the poem I knew. I think it speaks to most women and most of us have at one point or another felt some of this if not all of it at our low points.

      I like the way you finished this poem. No happy ending but I am left rooting for the person in this poem – hoping they can square the circle and break out of the endless loop and into a new freedom of thought.

      A great example of raw emotion speaking its truth.

  138. Acheron

    Internal War

    The foreign army invades again and again.
    And again. Repelled and rebuffed.
    Even trickery and beguilement
    Find no home within my stronghold.
    I stand strong, my own army of
    Antibodies unyielding.
    The gifted heart
    Fails. Rejected.

    1. Karen

      Wow, Acheron. This is an incredibly powerful poem. I especially like the line “the gifted heart” because it clarifies the entire poem. Thank you for sharing!

  139. Khara H.

    High school, early afternoon

    Sometimes a no
    is as subtle as a no.

    But sometimes it is more like gazing
    intently into another’s eyes
    and seeing all the potential, all the future
    rising and ebbing and pulsing
    in a heartbeat you see caressing a neck vein,
    a forearm, witnessing days
    unfold and all a life unfurling
    in the arches of his brow

    before stepping
    head first, as heavy as your heart
    is heart-strong, into the face
    of a vending machine and knowing

    the pit of oblivion
    has the same pulse as a no–
    has the same name
    as his soft smile and steady hand
    reaching out,

    asking if you are okay
    without knowing your name.

  140. Bonnee


    Eyes meet but do not see,
    Just feel each other’s empty stare
    As I try to comprehend and you know I disagree
    Your final-sounding decision,
    “What do you mean, no?”

    1. emmajordan

      HI Bonnee,

      Great! I love the last line. We all know that feeling, and the way you used it will make everyone nod and think, “Yep. Understand.”