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    Withdrawn once they hit the air, and sometimes we don’t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.


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