• 101
    Best Websites
    for Writers

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the 101 Best Websites for Writers download.

  • Poetic Asides

2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2012, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog.

For today’s prompt, write a shady poem. I’ll leave the interpretation of this prompt up to you. It could be a poem that includes shadows and/or shading. It could be about a shady part of town or a shady person. Or well, something else.

Here’s my attempt:

“Shady spot”

Beneath every tree
is a shadow ready
to keep a reader and
book safe from the bright sun
on a lazy summer
day when the whole world
just wants a gentle breeze
to chase the heat away.

******

Write Your Query Letter & Novel Proposal

…with the assistance of this independent study program, which covers how the publishing process works, what literary agents do, how to format manuscripts for submission, how to find the right markets for your work, and so much more.

Click to continue.

 

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts
  • Print Circulation Form

    Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

424 Responses to 2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

  1. donnellyk says:

    IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN

    In that grey area within that grey matter,
    where shadows loom large cast off
    the frenzied and frolicking, raucous right,
    butting against the sharp and final
    rigid boundaries of the mighty left,
    cold and logical with wet brick walls
    encased answers reside, dripping with reason, slick.
    Powerful but not profound, no tripping the light fantastic there
    no flying dreams and cheribum, no wonder the grey between,
    a vast chasm rarely crossed for though enticing and mysterious,
    damp fear presses as the left demands preciseness, stern,
    the right allows possibilities, forgiveness, welcomes questions
    In my mind’s eye, I see myself haltingly
    traveling the grey area, the shadow off the right
    trenchcoat, my collar up, tapping the walls of the left
    when I haven’t time to tarry, selling a bit of my soul
    for some logic for a left person’s demanding
    delivered, I shed the overcoat and eyes tight shut
    cross the divide back swiftly and through the vine covered gates
    I twirl in my many layered skirts to the hammock
    between the poet trees, where I will rock with sun rays
    and blue jays, and answers not quite so simple, unafraid.

  2. mschied says:

    Doubt

    It shadows everything

    from the casual smile
    to the friendly accolade

    it insinuates itself
    into every event

    a serpent constricting
    the hope and joy
    and wringing it dry
    a damp dishcloth
    dripping despair

    it borders the promotion
    encircles the celebration
    hangs like a dark halo
    on the precipice
    waiting for the scale to tip
    and the cards to tumble

    in the end,
    it is the only constant
    of your existence

  3. Black and blue shading
    Colours my spirit

  4. Shady Lane Connections

    “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane”:
    a popular song when I was a teen,
    sung by singers like The Ames Brothers,
    The McGuire Sisters, Dean Martin,
    and Dorothy Collins; a song I hummed,
    tapped my toes to, spun the record
    on my turntable, spun my feet on the floor.

    Fast forward thirty years from then,
    stop in Adana, Turkey. That’s me you see
    teaching English to Turkish students;
    freezing after 2:00 pm when the radiators
    were turned off. Across the campus
    offering accounting classes, is an American
    colleague whose wife came with him.

    Our kids becoming friends, our two families
    shared culture shock, exotic explorations
    like Nemrut Dag one chill dawn, a mountain
    tucked between the Tigris and Euphrates.
    Later, back in the USA, we went to visit them,
    a pleasant home hidden under tall trees
    halfway down a street called “Shady Lane.”

  5. PEACEFUL AND PRIVATE,

    country home on 5 acres, gentle land
    with talons lifting
    from the big blue oak behind the house.
    Carpeted and tiled and, high

    in the oak, a rough stick nest.
    Master bedroom leads to patio, where
    a broad-winged shadow
    passes. Towhees disappear into rock-

    rose. Living room with vaulted ceiling
    and a view of hawk’s red eye.
    Feathered fighter-aircraft
    launches from the oak-top: she tacks,

    glides south on-hunt. One nesting
    hawk will cost 3000
    songbirds. A beaked silhouette
    stretches infant raptor wings. Shadow

    of our new neighbor.

  6. Mike Bayles says:

    Awning

    light softened
    shadows
    provide relief
    cool contrasts
    midst of summer
    bearing heat
    spread open and ready
    the red awning is
    ready and open spread
    summer of midst
    contrasts cool
    relief provides
    shadows
    softened light

  7. Lynn Burton says:

    Shadows Hay(na)ku

    Beauty
    is often
    hidden in shadows

  8. po says:

    Summer Shade

    Gather together picture books,
    something to eat and drink,
    and a worn E-T sheet. Follow
    the narrow road till it forks into
    two directions. Have a book
    picnic under the shade of a
    two-hundred-year oak with
    your two toddlers, age three
    and four. Wonder of words
    outdoors—ask not if they will
    remember but how could
    they forget?

  9. cajun75 says:

    A Shady Place to Rest

    Hot summer sun
    Reflecting off the
    Cool clear water
    Of the old fishing hole

    Hand-cut cane pole
    Bobber holding my line
    Up off the bottom
    Can of worms at my side

    Feet dangling in the water
    And low-flying birds
    Try to snag a snack
    Of the jumping fish

    I snuggle back against
    The old moss laden tree
    Its outstretched branches
    Offer a respite from the summer sun

  10. cstewart says:

    Something Shady

    The oak tree with its branches held out like feathers,
    The man in the library looking over his paper,
    The cardboard box left under the park bench,
    And
    The feeling of being in your protected area.

  11. Marcia Gaye says:

    A Shady Excuse

    I say this every year
    For every April Challenge,
    “This may not be my best work
    But it’s all that I can manage.

    “No time for proper revision.
    I have responsibilities.
    Realize I’m better than this
    Cut me some slack, I beg you, please.”

    And so I huff and puff
    And wear ashes for thirty days,
    But still I check in often enough
    To see if my sloppy stuff
    Has garnered any praise.

  12. Day 9
    4-9-2012

    Write a shady poem.

    “…someplace cool and green and shady…”
    John Denver

    Shelter of Shade

    Still the most soothing travel view–
    gliding between trees, leaves broad and green,
    light dappling the road ahead
    and playing into the Camry.
    That cool and green and shady place,
    a-picnic-in-the-Smokies-by-a-mountain-steam,
    where true love buds
    and familial love blossoms.

  13. Tanjamaltija says:

    Shady Lady

    Curtains drawn shut

    Becoming mere drapes
    Hiding the stage where I play out
    My Life in Secret after Curtain Up.

    Ought I to rearticulate that
    As “my secret life”?

    Cloak and dagger stuff.
    Assignations… or trysts…
    Blinds pulled down over the
    Blind side of my life.

    Missions worthy of a film-plot…
    Shades for a shady lady.

    Life is a stage, or so they say.
    Rephrasing…
    My life, on stage…
    My life, in stages
    Screens screening the hidden side of my life.

    And behind the thick damask curtain,
    Pretending that
    On the set of my personal theatre is a home
    With shutters shutting out intruders.

    And

    A kitchen window with cheery,
    Frilly gingham curtains.

    Lace curtains through which the
    Sun stencils patterns on the floor.

    I am an actress.

    Off-stage, too.

  14. Paoos69 says:

    A Shady Poem

    A dungeon of a street
    Lurking shadows
    Cryptic, deep
    Lonesome figures stroll
    Aimless, listless

    Open drains stench
    Naked children lynch
    Splintered power poles
    Line the streets
    In endless perspective

    A dismal picture
    Outwardly,
    Holds an inward magic
    Assuredly
    All that glitters is not gold

    A small little hut
    Among countless others
    Smiling faces
    A spotless interior
    A dozen people in a roomlet

    One window, one door
    Filtered light through printed curtains
    Living, working, sleeping, waking
    Striving, failing, winning, losing
    Life’s agenda ascertain

  15. Prompt: shade (PA)
    Dear Moosehead,
    Notwithstanding my missive
    of yesterday I would give a month’s
    pay to go sit in the shade of a great oak tree
    sip on a cold one and forget
    that we just went 0 for 3 down in Tampa.
    As ever I am confident that we will
    put those scrawny little birds firmly in their
    place when we hit bird town today.
    Fried Oriole, like mama used to make –
    my mama, not yours, you know neither
    neither your mother nor your sister can cook
    worth a damn. Once more unto the breech,
    dear boy! We shall overcome! And, yes, I’ll
    mix as many damned metaphors as I please
    as well as making up adjectives to sign off with.
    Pick ya up on the way to the bar – maybe your cousin
    can stand the beer today?

    Yours reclining in the shade of defeat, waiting to bask in glory

    Ringo the Howler

  16. Shades of Grey

    nothing is ever what it seems
    it’s never that easy
    no black
    no white
    (don’t be deceived by monochrome offers)
    there is always something in between
    always shades of grey
    to blur the edges
    to obscure the truth
    to hide
    what should be presented
    at least
    in black and white
    and best of all
    in full glorious colour

    Iain

  17. carolecole66 says:

    Summer

    No a-c at my grandparents’ farm,
    not the house, not the barn, not
    the chicken coop. The “fruit room,”
    heavy bricked and concrete floor,
    was cool enough to keep eggs
    fresh. But that was it. August
    afternoons when heat drove us
    from the house into the yard
    the still air surrounded us.
    Giant oaks and sugar maples
    shaded us. We sat and breathed
    cut grass and chickens,
    the apple tree and sweat
    the perfume blend of childhood,
    the scent of nothing much to do.

  18. 99% CHANCE OF GLOOM

    It’s not hard to find a shady spot
    in the center of downtown.
    The world is dark with the gloom
    of commerce and concrete,
    buildings full of people who think
    they hold up the sky.

  19. shann says:

    Silhouettes on the Shade

    fills the room over and over,
    45 rpm stuck in replay set,
    mom and dad argue about
    cigarettes (nobody bought any)
    dig through the kitchen trash
    for butts long enough for a puff.

    They don’t notice the music
    or me, under the piano reading
    a science fiction paperback
    to the steady pace of shouting,
    fear of being noticed, or worse,
    of becoming the next target.

    Stay in the shadows, little girl,
    time will pass and so will they.
    Blame may follow all your life,
    but try to stay a step ahead,
    and it’ll fade way before you,
    like a song from an old movie.

  20. ceeess says:

    Arizona Shadows on an Eastern Canada Wall

    Three Kokopellis dance above my desk
    one faces east and two southwest
    each casts not one shadow but three
    a trick of light and shade upon the wall
    and none really dancing at all

    their hair slicked back in cock-rooster combs
    bodies perforated with swirls and suns
    and snaking squiggles, flutes raised
    as if to play in tune, notes not heard
    and yet they blow and blow

    what tune would they play,
    how many flutes in time,
    would there be three,
    or maybe there’d be nine?

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 9, 2012

  21. mlcastejon says:

    Seasons

    I blamed you
    to stripped
    all the beauty
    from me,
    the spring,
    the summer,
    off from me
    leaving me
    in a disturbing
    fall feeling.

    All the leaves left
    my calendar empty
    to the bone.

  22. lionmother says:

    I’m very late posting this, but it was one of those days yesterday!

    Sol y Sombre ( Sun and Shade)

    We bought tickets for the
    middle of the arena where
    the hot sun burned when we first arrived
    but they assured us the shade would soon
    be there and the bullfight would be mostly
    in the shade for the rest of the afternoon

    We took our seats on the hard stone
    and purchased a thin cushion to
    soften the hours we would sit
    unsure of what we would see
    awaiting the parade of the
    matadors, resplendent in their
    gold trimmed, embroidered
    jackets

    Then the bull advanced
    we were still in the hot sun
    when the picadors shoved
    their sharp picks into the
    flesh of the innocent bull
    as he attempted to run
    from the horsemen
    flailing his horns around

    The matador strode in
    with his scarlet lined cloak
    and faced the bull with
    hidden sword
    The crowd shouted “Ole”
    as he skirted past the
    deadly horns and reduced
    the bull to a confused mess

    And then, when the shade
    had descended over us
    the moment of truth
    came and we watched
    the matador
    sword now extended
    slice into the
    magnificent head of the
    outstanding bull and
    my eyes filled with tears
    as the now shrunken
    carcass of the bull was
    escorted out of the arena
    to the cheers of the crowd
    while the matador presented
    the ear to the lucky onlooker
    who had captured his heart.

  23. Yolee says:

    When the Moon Slips Behind the Haunches of a Celestial Body

    Shadows drink the light of marriage.
    Spirits nearly vanish in each other
    between the seasons of fall

    and halleluiah, leaving some
    beds that love built unoccupied.
    Though the walk is off-balance,

    If you cross the penumbra,
    the sound of single-minded footsteps
    will rise in the East
    and support new psalms.

  24. Katrin says:

    The poem’s shadow
    began as a line
    a simple delineation
    of ordinary/extraordinary
    in the everyday morning

    And as the day grew older,
    after its dancing lessons,
    and afternoon nap,
    the poem became
    Lear’s shadow, the Fool–
    Clever, biting, loving
    to an old monarch

    And, after dinner,
    the shadow began its laboring,
    stretching the poem
    like taffy from one
    side of the prairie to
    the other, without losing a single word,
    expanding its imagery
    into lengthy diatribes
    against verse verbosity
    then, as its shady power swelled,
    returned to the point, the poem’s subject,
    the darkness in light
    the light in darkness
    and all the in-betweens,
    woven tightly into a shimmering braid,
    snipped off and slipped
    into an envelope filled
    with pressed violets and
    their slumbering dark
    verse

  25. Uma says:

    Sacrifice

    Skin of her baby was smooth, she rubbed almond oil
    felt warmth on her fingers. She took her breast
    that swelled with milk to his lips, pressed them open gently.

    The child got heavier each day, never opened eyes;
    the milk overflowed and stained her robe. She held
    the child close and rocked in grief, ball of pain in her chest

    from the nine months that she bore in her womb watching
    the life that was filling in, limbs emerging only to be laid to rest
    in an unnamed grave. Forgotten, claiming no lineage and family.

    (I interpret ‘shade/shady’ as ‘out of light’, ‘in darkness’. The poem is on the love child of David and Bathsheba, who was cursed to die the seventh day of his birth, for the sins of adultery of his parents. David’s journey of atonement and healing is narrated in the text, the grief of the mother is left for us to imagine and create.)

  26. De Jackson says:

    Argh. Found a typo in my poem. Here it is, corrected:

    Gradations

    She tries to stay within
    the well-lit precincts of herself
    but sometimes curiosity (poor
    kitty) beckons, or the tides
    tug at her heart just right, or
    she’s had too much coffee or she’s
    just plain had enough
    and every once in awhile
    (okay, a little more often than
    that)
    she accidently
    (on purpose)
    stretches over the line
    ( j u s t a l i t t l e f a r t h e r n o w )
    and
    dips her toe
    in her own shadow.

  27. TO ESCHER

    Infinity. Impossibility. Reflection.
    The regular divisions of a plane:

    all the etchings and sketchings of your brain, Escher,
    the fish and the birds that go on forever,

    the geckos, the angels and devils, the Chinaman
    who cartwheels out of a checkerboard pattern,

    the books that become buildings,
    the table that becomes a street,

    the waterfall that flows upward,
    the labyrinth of stairs that never ends,

    your wife’s face made of orange ribbon,
    your own face made of ribbon,

    then entwined with the ribbon of a face
    that was yours in youth,

    your body in a glass ball
    held by your own hand—

    two hands, each drawing
    the other.

    Jane Beal

  28. suzibee says:

    SHADY

    Nothing looms bigger in the mind
    than at 3AM when all is dark
    all is quiet
    all in shadow
    Comes the dawn
    the light shines
    the mind quiets
    and everything looks smaller
    (or at least manageable)

  29. RobHalpin says:

    Shades of Life

    Life’s vibrant colors,
    but the shades
    complete the picture

  30. RJ Clarken says:

    Silhouettes

    “…wondered why I’m not the guy/whose silhouette’s on the shade…” ~Frank C. Slay Jr. and Bob Crewe, Silhouettes

    Say what you will. Perhaps I’m dull;
    a bit naïve or gullible.
    I trusted you and that was wrong.
    My story’s why I write this song.

    You cheated, ‘though you said you cared.
    With someone else, your love you shared.
    This farce, I don’t wish to prolong.
    My story’s why I write this song.

    One night I chanced to come by late.
    Was it misfortune? Karma? Fate?
    Emotions filled me, oh so strong.
    My story’s why I write this song.

    The jail cell’s where my song must end
    for crimes committed. Can’t pretend
    the shadows knew it all along.
    My story’s done; now so’s this song.

    ###

  31. Charles Cote says:

    MUSE

    I am you and not you,
    casted, subservient
    negation of you. I am
    grey standing you,
    blocking the light,
    nothing and you,
    hyperbolic and wane,
    discreet, receding,
    brash toward oblivion,
    enigmatic and clear,
    the you I am, not you.

  32. foodpoet says:

    After rain
    When the cloud shadows drift
    Rainbows form
    Spilling light into the now still lake

  33. EJ says:

    Filtering sunlight
    Twisting old oak trees obscure
    Lingering shadows

    http://shes-taking-notes.blogspot.com

  34. Jaywig says:

    No time to read everypone else’s today and missing the lovely swell of poetic voice through my day.

    Never mind, here’s my “shady” contribution

    Day 9 – shady

    It was all gravel and pockmarked
    flower beds when we arrived.
    For years my mother hated
    the orange invasion by marigolds.

    The irises, unfortunately, were strangled
    by couch grass, and the young man
    swearing he loved gardening
    did not come back to relocate them.

    But I have watched the shade-makers
    claim victory in this back yard
    claim it, wave its tattered flag messages
    to the sky scudding with questions.

    They greet me, wave excited arms when
    rosellas alight, chatter, and honeyeaters
    feast. And teach me no plant is
    an island, they grow together.

  35. stylib38 says:

    Ah this is my very first posting except for a bravo or two

    in the Shade of a true friend
    I go to find a place of rest
    Free from the wilting heat of pretense
    the blinding glare of criticism
    the burning rays of expectations
    and find there the cool breeze of acceptance

  36. Khara H. says:

    Shady roots

    Today my shade is the burnt leather
    face of an old boot.

    I have known soft wet clay
    and dewy dirt–and the wet of palm
    pressing soft into earth flesh, reaching for the pit of me
    buried deep–and ancient as cypress roots.

    Today I am shadow and creeping fog
    growing in light.

    Find me in peeling, searing skin–rich as gold,
    red as sin, blue as ancient robes
    hemmed from sky corners.

    Today I am generations,
    germinated in a seed of night.

  37. Marjory MT says:

    HURRY, HURRY…

    Hurry,hurry, have a date.
    What to ware, can’t be late.

    Reject the pink, reject the blue,
    reject the green, what can I do?

    Reject the jeans, also the T,
    reject what all is just not me.

    The velvet sheath, the blouse with lace,
    Neither one will make first base.

    Oh, No, he’s here, I see him stand,
    I’ll have to go just as I am.

    But see his smile that says a lot,
    ‘Just as I am”, he’ll reject not.

    • Marjory MT says:

      HOOPS,
      that was yesterday’s(Sunday’s) prompt..
      Must reflect SHADES of my memory,

      Hummm, what rhymns with memory?

      Maybe …Celery.

      Better stop – it’s late.
      In fact while we in the West are still in today,
      while You in the East are in my Tomorrow.
      I will come back when today’s tomorrow becomes today.

  38. MeenaRose says:

    Checking Out
    By: Meena Rose

    World of Light
    You have burned me.

    Land of the Living
    You have betrayed me.

    Turning my back
    To it all.

    Embracing shadows till
    The Light goes out.

  39. Egnar T. Seinnhoj says:

    Last Call with a Showgirl Concubine [Sonnet]

    In shapeless lands of dance and pearly skin
    A waiter pours a voluntary drink
    A ginger whiskey glass of ice and gin
    And soon my lover pauses not to think
    She grips and stains the rim; a lovely kiss
    and gently slides her wedding band away
    She smiles from the corner of her lips
    With beauty more than I could ever say
    Our eyes collide a final time before
    She claws me with her lightly tinted voice
    “How would you like to walk me to my floor?”
    I swooned her “Love, there is no better choice.”
    She bit her lip, I wished to bite it to
    A concubine, a wife; my number two.

  40. Rosangela says:

    Gray Mind

    I feel swamped
    by this shady prompt.
    Without a shadow of a doubt,
    this is beyond
    my creative route.
    My words bond
    with blue and bright
    and this shadow thing
    has no light.
    Gray, blind,
    shadows into my mind.

  41. Sheryl says:

    This is a partially found poem I wrote when groping for an idea.

    The Shady Poet

    This shady poet took credit
    for lines he only found. John Shade
    was not his name.

    After all, truth is blue, but what shade?
    Who knows who said that?
    He did of course.

    A shade upon the mind there passes
    when he took Emily Dickinson’s
    thoughts to be his own.

    When spring comes back with
    rustling shade his poetry would
    be famous. Alan Seeger? Who is he?

    Memory is difficult for him now,
    Oh shade of Anna Akhimatova:
    the shade of a poem.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  42. JanetRuth says:

    Shadow-art~

    Tonight
    your shadow
    lies twixt
    quill
    and parchment
    where thought
    cannot transfer
    from ink
    to
    poetry
    so tonight
    I will settle
    for you and me…
    …un-penned
    unspoken
    unshared
    simply shadow art
    upon my heart~

  43. tunesmiff says:

    GOT IT MADE

    Ain’t no way I’ll ever make a living,
    If I’m lucky I just may make a life.
    I guess I’ll have to go and keep my day job,
    If I’m gonna keep my wife.

    I drive a rusty, beat up Chevy S-10,
    I think the wheels are almost square.
    It ain’t fancy transportation,
    But it always gets me there.

    This may not be my season in the sun;
    But at least I’m having a little bit of fun…
    Got it made…
    In the shade…

    I wet a line from time to time,
    And I wet my whistle, too.
    There’s not a lot of things I want,
    Or folks to tell me what to do.

    And this may not be my season in the sun,
    But at least I’m having a little bit of fun…
    Got it made…
    In the shade.

    Some nights I go out back with my old guitar,
    And sit beneath the stars and bend a string…
    And some nights I come down to this bar,
    And sit up here a little while and sing…

    And this may not be my moment in the sun;
    In fact the odds I’ll make it big are slim to none,
    But I got it made…
    In the shade…

    Got it made…
    In the shade.

  44. StephanieRosieG says:

    only in Phoenix
    will drivers circle the lot
    for a twig of shade

  45. JanetRuth says:

    By the way…Thank-you Robert. I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is fire up the computer to see what’s new ….here! You are truly amazing…in spite of what Buddah Mosk. may think…wink. I left my thoughts on his blog :):) Also enjoying learning on your MNINB Blog. Thank-you again and I apologize for not saying anything sooner!

  46. JanetRuth says:

    I am content
    In the shadow of your love
    For your thought in mine
    Fits like a glove

    ***

    A shadow may lead
    Or follow behind
    But it never strays from
    The discourse of the mind

    ***

    A shadow sprawled towards the west
    Means dawn is crawling from its nest
    A shadow lengthened to the east
    Means soon another day has ceased

    ***

    A shadow is merely an echo
    Of hard matter existence
    When your shadow touches mine
    I offer no resistance

    ***

    Today the north wind
    Jeers and laughs
    Tussling tree-shadows
    On the grass

    ***

    You and I
    Make beautiful shadows
    Together

  47. seingraham says:

    Casting Shadows

    Yesterday’s a racehorse, retired now
    A thoroughbred with fine lines
    And good breeding still, but out to stud
    No longer running for the roses
    A chiaroscuro of Arabians everywhere
    Whispering fortunes forever
    Framing the future in shades of from before …
    Birthing history in the foals of tomorrow

    S.E.Ingraham©

  48. Blair

    You send your signal through the
    dining room lights, a flicker
    then the dim bulbs suddenly
    blare, suspicious shadows cast
    around corners, hide bookcases and
    the various toys and bones left by
    the dog on the floor. You wait for
    me to turn off the television, then
    move the drapes, send a flash from
    porch lights across the street,
    send a whistle through the vents,
    try to seduce me into following you
    to the basement to shroud me in a
    dark cover, to keep me in your
    otherworldly embrace.

  49. Linda Voit says:

    The man has potential

    if, when you’re walking west and he’s walking
    east on a sunny afternoon, he stops
    to talk with you, and when you squint,
    he pauses mid-sentence, studies your eyes
    as he tilts his head until he sees his own shade
    relax your face, and then, carries on
    as if he had never paused.

    Linda Voit

  50. Janet Rice Carnahan says:

    ANOTHER ROUTE

    In a spontaneous moment,
    In their otherwise, routine day,
    A sudden change brought them,
    To a new route down to the beach!
    She had noticed an older couple before,
    Carefully putting on their hiking boots,
    Disappearing down a trail,
    They seemed to know.
    Deciding not to stop,
    On that particular day,
    Making a mental note to explore it,
    Hoping for time for it someday!
    In a flash, when the day opened up,
    It was the moment to find something new!
    Locating the parking spot,
    Where she had observed the older couple,
    They parked and headed to the sign,
    Stating to, “Stay on the trail”.
    Walking happily down a steeper path,
    Huge tall vine like plants circled overhead,
    Creating a heavy leafy dense over hang!
    Shadows were everywhere,
    Her mind began to get nervous,
    She worried that people could hide in here,
    They could have ill intent,
    Or shady plans,
    If they jumped out,
    They would be scared crazy,
    What would they do?
    There is no obvious escape.
    When she really sensed the terrain,
    She relaxed more,
    Realizing the fear was responding,
    Like a mirrored dance off the shadows.
    Trusting they were fine,
    A long dangling final vine opened up,
    To a spectacular beach path,
    Like virgin sand,
    Untouched by any human hands!
    Glancing back at the shady dark route,
    They had taken,
    She laughed at the fear of the unknown,
    And how if she had given in,
    They would never had dared,
    To take this fabulous other route,
    Revealing a sandy kind of heaven . . .

    By a welcoming deep blue sea!

  51. maxie2 says:

    MARKET STROLL

    An unbroken dawn shields
    her as she labors to market
    with a bucket balanced
    on her head—a bizarre
    balance as her hips sway
    to the rhythm of her sandals
    against the gnarled road.

    Watched by a hooded figure
    in underground style armor
    with his flighty glances
    and nervous movements,
    she hikes up the waist
    of her skirt exposing the lace
    hem of her slip, unaware
    of the stare she now begs.

    From birth she has been unfettered
    by the looks she gathers,
    but she hurries toward the square
    with only one fear—that her stall
    may be taken. Cigarette ashes
    hit the mud as the figure
    eeks past, at last in step
    with her journey.

    He stops short before
    his approach grew louder
    than her humming, realizing
    that he is more afraid of her thoughts
    than she is even aware of him.

  52. cam45237 says:

    Lost on a Walk at Twilight

    Shades and shadows ghost across the meadows
    Grass and green leaves fade toward veiled grey

    Winds and whispers shiver through the tree limbs
    Wings of nightbirds, voices of the Fae

    Curl closer when you find you are the most
    Disturbed by dawning moon and fading day

    In that moment when the two are even
    Mist and mystery come out to play.

    Hold my hand and follow in my footsteps
    Together you and I will find the way.

    To home and hearth and bed and under covers
    Where we’ll be safe, protected, unafraid

  53. deedeekm says:

    The Red Pot

    Rain and sun
    The perfect mix
    To create a poem
    That will not lay down on paper
    But springs up
    Shyly unfolding tiny green
    Then bolder to the warmth
    Hands in dirt 
    Are more than verbs
    They are Proper Nouns
    That name the something
    I feel as I place
    Roots in the red pot
    I place it
    Where stronger plants
    Will shelter from
    Heat of noon
    And wait 
     

  54. “Shaded”

    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.

  55. Jannelee says:

    WE SAT IN THE SHADE

    We sat in the shade that day
    you and I, heat rose from the sidewalk
    and I gave you the last of my water
    you panted, I stroked your matted fur
    you licked the sweet candy smears
    from my dirty, sticky fingers
    I tucked my knobby knees under my dress
    and you laid your head in my lap
    We sat in the shade you and I
    a cool breeze lifted a wisp of my hair
    I brushed it back and wiped a tear
    from my grimy cheek
    You looked at me with soulful eyes
    that begged me to take you home
    And I knew I would,
    because you must have lost someone
    just like me
    and I knew that daddy
    wouldn’t say no that day
    that day that had started like any other
    with daddy and momma hardly speaking
    he called me from the house
    and we sat in the shade in the front yard
    while momma packed a suitcase
    climbed into the waiting car
    and drove away with one last glance
    at daddy and I sitting in the shade

  56. David Yockel Jr. says:

    The Midnight Road

    As I walked the Midnight Road,
    I was comforted by a society
    of my shadows. This scattered, angular
    self, born of street lamps,
    porch lights and flashing high beams,
    opens up an inky world
    where I can walk home to a warm
    glass of milk and a dusty bed-side
    table, sleep outside on a pile
    of freshly raked leaves, and gather
    kindling for a lonely fire,
    all without breaking stride.

  57. Arrvada says:

    Shadow Self
    By
    Arrvada

    One side faces the sun
    Embraces the light
    Shows the world all it is
    But where the light hits
    Shadows form
    Creep out, reach out
    Tinging the light with dark
    Slithering in to corrupt the perfect gold
    He shows the world the light
    Ignores the darkness there
    That walks just one step behind
    Waiting to embrace him
    Pull him back inside
    Pull him down and show the world
    He is as dark and wretched as we

  58. Reno says:

    Where the Woods End

    When the thick ferns, nettle patches,
    shaded umbrella of tall trees,
    are finally behind –
    The carpet of emulsifying pine needles,
    no longer beneath the feet,
    cold air in shadows, gone,
    The forest standing like giants
    with backs turned,
    The strange influence
    of exotic mushrooms, giant spiders,
    all washed away by a vast rush
    of uninterrupted sun rays –
    Sprawling meadow
    made alive beneath torn clouds
    and a bright burst.
    Like everything behind me,
    with you in the fore.

  59. draw the shade
    to keep our passions hidden
    no eyes see

  60. Golden Rule says:

    The shaded tree

    My mind is stayed on Christ
    The rock in which my foundation is built
    No longer a slave to my thoughts
    Because my mind has been rebuilt.
    I have broken the chains of selfishness
    Out of the pit from which I stood
    I’m no longer blind
    So this day forward I’m gone live with the end in mind.
    Now I can see
    The fullness of your glory
    And the way you make my life complete.
    Cloudy skies
    A rose planted underneath the shaded tree
    But now the Son is out
    And on that tree is where His blood was shed for me

    • stylib38 says:

      Golden Rule, I like “my mind has been rebuilt”. It doesn’t just happen , it’s a process. work. deliberate
      And “out of the pit from which I stood”

  61. Michael Grove says:

    Dog, Bird, Goose

    Ok, Ok, It was me. It was always me.
    But, you already knew that. I was
    the one who did it. There was never
    a movie projector that I didn’t get
    in front of. At school, or home
    or grandmas house, I was in the
    light casting shadows on white screens.

    With left palm open and thumb pointing
    up, right hand laid over the top of left
    with right thumb up too. The dog barks as
    as the hinge between middle and ring
    fingers opens and closes repeatedly.

    Thumbs interlocked and four tight
    fingers on each hand waiving the
    bird flies gently across the screen.

    Left hand upright and flattened with
    wrist completely bent over, the thumb
    is in position to do all the squawking.

    By Michael Grove

  62. gtabasso says:

    For a Bagpiper

    I met you years ago
    when a ring on my finger
    blotted out the sun
    and ringed me pale.
    I danced at my table,
    a Middle Eastern movement
    to a Celtic fiddle
    and won a CD that left
    with the drunk who moved
    on St. Patrick’s Day,
    of all days.

    And, on this St. Patty’s,
    five years later, a friend
    had your song on her Facebook.
    So, I sought for you, dreamed
    of you, listened to your music
    when I woke, as I drove.
    I found we share
    a weeping willow –
    that shade tree that sheds,
    loves water, hates wind,
    sways to the haunting pipes,
    the grief in our voices
    then dances for joy in the sun.

  63. Lana Walker says:

    One of those songs
    from over The Pond
    in nineteen sixty seven

    A curious verse
    not at all adverse
    shot it under eleven

    Strange rock band
    named not after sand
    but after a Burmese cat

    A court case ensued
    by you know who
    led to a nasty spat

    All hail
    A Whiter Shade of Pale

  64. hurtin-heart says:

             You don’t know him
     He is not what he seems
    He is a master at the games he plays, he always wins.
    He hides in the shadows
    Lurking about.
    You don’t see him but he’s there.
    I must be careful what i say and do.
    For he’s watching my every move.
    I try to escape but there’s no way out.
    I’m his prisoner there’s no doubt!
    Chains have bound me ,                  to someone
    I thought i knew…how did i not see the truth.
    As the years have passed, nothing’s changed
    Except the knowledge from his mind games.
    He can be your best friend or your worst enemy
    That all depends on you!
    But in his mind things are misunderstood. Will he ever again be the person i once knew.
    I think not…. The person i see now is the person he always was.
    Only now he can’t hide the truth.
    So good-bye to the person i once thought i knew! Hello to the one i’m bound to.
    Shackled and chained in the shadows of a mad man!

  65. Andrea B says:

    Corner-dodger

    She became his corner-dodger
    an antsy summer shadowboxer

    He never seemed to mind
    her passings by or friendly smiles,

    but her drifts swung uneasy
    as her waves swelled in frequency.

    She feared her agony for him was audible,
    her corner bagel-run scheme barefaced

    Now she tips toe to toe, good chinned,
    a corner-dodger, summer shadowboxer

  66. Michael Grove says:

    In the Shadow of the Cross

    He had heard the message
    a year earlier and made
    a firm commitment. He
    told himself, “I will listen

    now.” He stood in the shadow
    of the cross and looked
    through it at the rising Sun.
    He was determined do His

    will. He would show the
    world the power of love
    in all its’ glory. In his thirst
    he drank the vinegar

    and tasted the poison. Now
    He walks very slowly in the
    shadows and carries his own
    cross as he seeks the Sunlight.

    By Michael Grove

  67. ellanytdavve says:

    A Themed Variation

    The branches and leaves
    are spindly shadows
    as the evening sun
    cast them in a dancing show
    on the wall.
    The breezy day comes inside,
    swaying and swirling
    in filigree relief.

    I stare blankly,
    reminded of
    my daily darkness,
    the turns I cannot reverse,
    the roads I cannot retrace,
    knowing someday I’ll see
    the insurmountable.
    Today I’m beset by
    small dramas,
    My fences larger by years.
    As if looking from great distance
    on to each choice and passage,
    the key details filtered,
    zoomed out of first seat
    in my orchestra.
    String section,
    string theory,
    string art
    imitating life
    those shadows.

    The leaves are shimmery
    on the setting-sun wall.
    Breathing is all
    that’s required.
    Nothing is insurmountable.

  68. omavi says:

    Sheltering From the Light

    Hidden
    Frightened
    Light concealed
    Brightness rejected
    Joy not wanted
    Not even smiles allowed
    Things done in the dark
    Best left simmering
    Slithering underneath mossy rocks
    Soul quaking
    Fearing the revel
    Afraid of the coming sunshine
    Truth becomes the pariah
    That dark hearts
    Try to stay hidden
    Never wanting
    To be bared opened
    And totally exposed

  69. LCaramanna says:

    brighter in the shade

    elegant Victorian homes
    standing serenely beneath ancient oaks
    presiding over manicured lawns
    safeguarded by leafy hedges
    a silver Mercedes in the garage
    not a soul in sight
    on the green side of town
    a pastel rainbow over
    the bridge from the seedy side of town
    where eclectic characters sprawl
    scheming
    on crumbling front stoops
    in muscle shirts of primary colors
    inviting the ladies in red sashaying down the sidewalk
    to live brighter in the shade

  70. Shadow Selves

    She is Ms Nasty,
    I am Ms Nice.
    I am all virtue,
    she is all vice.

    She’s in black leather,
    I’m frills and lace,
    yet some people tell us
    we ought to embrace.

    Do opposites attract?
    No, not in this case.
    And yet it’s so strange —
    we wear the same face.

    Although we feel
    so separate,
    we’re told it’s best
    to integrate.

    Will I allow
    myself to swear?
    Can she discard
    that surly air?

    We’ll have to do it
    bit by bit.
    In tentative swaps,
    we find the clothes fit!

  71. Outside the lines.

    In colouring books,
    when you bothered to
    make your marks
    your crayonings always escaped,
    bursting through barriers,
    squiggling wherever they chose to go.

    Frowning teachers never tamed those
    bright scrawlings, nor
    contained, constrained what you were meant to be
    a true wild creature, untramelled and free.

  72. http://alotus-poetry.livejournal.com/134851.html

    This one is a bit different, yet a bit more challenging for me. Enjoy! :)

  73. HannaAnna says:

    Shades of a Child

    Angry red cheeks
    Sad blue eyes
    Rainbow of happiness
    White sheet of fear
    Pink I love you

    I love every face he makes
    because he is my child
    But the most beautiful shade of emotion his face will ever wear
    is the peaceful, emptiness of any shade at all, as he sleeps

  74. HannaAnna says:

    The Savior

    He painted the emerald isles green
    and the azure sky blue
    He put every vibrant color of the rainbow into the first delicate flowers
    and still paints these breathtaking rainbows in the sky whenever the earth is washed clean by rain
    He created the dark and clear waters
    and your own beating heart
    He loved and died for you
    Remember the shades of all he has done

  75. Bruce Niedt says:

    I have to say I didn’t write it with that Mayhem character in mind, but I thought of the same thing after the fact. After all, “havoc” is a synonym for “mayhem”.

  76. traci says:

    SHADY
    Sun fit for picnic
    Beautiful day, but, no leaves
    Looking for shady

  77. NEW PUPPY

    I drove her home in the late
    afternoon shadow of grassy hills,
    shadow of wind-birds on the ridges.
    We were lost without a map.

    At last we came out on the other
    side. Home. Now she shadows
    me from door to chair, from kitchen
    to gate to window. Lost

    without the place she came from.
    Tied to me by waking, sleep,
    and dinner-bowl, by voice and hand.
    Attached to me, my shadow.

  78. Ode to the 5 o’clock Shadow

    Like grass drenched in miracle grow
    Like a warm and wet moldy potato
    Here’s to the fuzz on my face
    To you – The 5′oclock shadow

    The grit’s 100 grain or so
    Bold as a black cup of joe
    A tribute to testosterone
    Magnificent 5 o’clock shadow

    Like cro-magnon man ages ago
    I can stand in the wind in 30 below
    Thanks to the dense facial forest
    The hearty and hardy 5′o clock shadow

    Your time is short, I’ll shave tomorrow
    I’ll become smooth and my skin will glow
    Until you return you soldiers of stubble
    Hoorah for the 5′oclock shadow!

  79. Michelle Hed says:

    Afternoon Bliss

    Underneath the Willow branches
    there is a cool spot
    to ease your mind

    one memory at a time
    while your body becomes boneless
    and the white noise of summer

    becomes a rhythmic lullaby
    nestling into your soul
    as you reach the blissful state

    between consciousnesses
    where you hover
    during the lazy haze of a summer afternoon.

  80. deringer1 says:

    The Shade

    the curtain trembled, parted,
    and you glided in.
    they say I didn’t see you
    but I did.

    no one else would bother
    coming back to me
    only I can resurrect you
    from years of neglect

    you smile wearily
    and offer me a parisol
    of memories.

  81. “Yoga Class”

    Monday evening at the Y, I roll
    out a mat, attend to breath.
    Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.
    Surya Namaskara begins
    up down back down forward.
    Up. Rising toward the sun.
    Shadow follows each Asana.
    Breath.
    Switch legs. Repeat.
    Attend to breath.
    Shadow follows each Asana.
    Attend to breath.
    Attend to breath.
    Shadow follows each Asana.
    Shadow. Breath.
    Flowing shadow breath.

    http://www.randallweiss.wordpress.com

  82. Earl Parsons says:

    It’s Our Fault

    Those we elected
    Rule us from behind closed doors
    Deceit is their game
    Power and greed their intent
    Yet, we sit and do nothing

  83. lady maggie says:

       
    Love’s Occultation
       
       In terms of whose gets credit for whom’s blamed
       our bed lies in the eye of the eclipse,
       with moonlight at her darkest in your hips
       and me left blinded by the circles flamed.
       
       For whom’s intents whose purpose dies defamed,
       our dance composes swirls on glides in flips
       through open space.   Raw unveiled passion slips
       along deep crevices on satin framed.
       
       Oh wait.   No, my mistake.   That’s just a cloud
       and one I should’ve known’s not come as mine,
       yet looking up to you’s as disallowed
       as much as if our orbits stood in line,
       so I’ll fall to the shadows of the crowd
       without the silhouette of your design.
       
       
       

  84. Sara McNulty says:

    April 9, 2012 – Day 9
    Write a shady poem

    Shady in Shadows

    So nondescript
    a demeanor,
    so beigely dressed
    in khakis,
    young man strolls–
    a ghost–
    blending into crowds

    watching soccer practice
    from a fence.
    Little girls, innocent,
    kicking legs
    high in the air
    while he
    in dark shadows waits.

  85. Mystical-Poet says:

    Virtuosi of Shade

    beneath the boundary of the world
    lurking beyond the stygian darkness
    of their murky secluded sanctum
    lies a psychedelic octopi garden
    vitreous humor within large lidded eyes
    nuances of tutti-frutti tangerine crackle
    a dab of butterscotch confetti tango
    reminiscent of polychromatic vitreosity
    camouflage’s royalty, flip-flopping hues at will
    disappearing amidst their kingdom
    of shaded coral altars and waving sea fans
    deliberate spider-like stealth
    creeping among sea grass forests
    ambushing prey with resolute exquisiteness
    inborn capacity to regenerate lost limbs
    like mythological dragons retraced
    discarded remnants of
    armored crustacean victims
    lie outside their lair

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  86. Dare says:

    Breath

    Moist green absorbs me
    Shadows tickle perception
    Earth claims me as One

  87. Miss R. says:

    Escape

    It’s comfortable here in the shade
    Where the shadows grow
    Longer, deeper, darker
    And I begin to slip away
    From myself into their grasp,
    Swaying in time with
    Their smooth, hypnotic dance,
    Oblivious to the teeth that line
    Their jagged, reaching edges.
    Perhaps the time has come
    For me to push past these
    Shadowy jaws and squint up
    At the blazing sun,
    Its rays imparting
    Painful redemption.

  88. claudsy says:

    Last one for the day.

    Getting Home

    Shy, elusive, scuttling from leaf to leaf,
    She listens, wary, knowing missteps cost
    More than her own life, her children’s.
    Twig snap!

    Freeze; eyeballs only, scan for foes.
    Birdsong allows for exhale amid
    Thundering heartbeats; too long,
    Gone too long, but close, very close.

    Another length of ground gained,
    Fast beneath the canopy, taking
    Advantage of each dark haven
    That hides the path home.

    One tree between her and sanctuary,
    She gathers strength and speeds toward
    Those she nurtures within the hollow
    Of her heart and beneath the pawpaw.

    Safe, all safe!

    Little ones gather round, nudging, seeking.
    Onto the floor she spits out seeds, gathered
    with care for this second feeding of the day.
    She’ll endure fear and fatigue to mother them all.

  89. claudsy says:

    The last stanza didn’t copy over. This is the whole poem.

    Expectations

    She came in from the green field,
    Ready but not willing to yield
    To his warmed hands that awaited,
    Nor would she stand, breath abated.

    Instead, she called a long wavering note,
    Seeming to cast her sole possible vote,
    Concerning continual molesters of his ilk,
    Saying “No!” to his stripping of her milk.

    No anger answered her call, only sweet talk
    To reassue her of his rightness, “No need to balk.”
    She listened to his whispers, guided to her stall.
    Once there she relaxed, finally willing to give all.

  90. claudsy says:

    Expectations

    She came in from the green field,
    Ready but not willing to yield
    To his warmed hands that awaited,
    Nor would she stand, breath abated.

    Instead, she called a long wavering note,
    Seeming to cast her sole possible vote,
    Concerning continual molesters of his ilk,
    Saying “No!” to his stripping of her milk.

  91. Bruce Niedt says:

    Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a persona poem (one of my favorite kinds). So here is my persona poem about a shady character:

    Identity Thief

    I slip from shadow to shadow,
    just beyond the corner of your eye
    and when the moment presents,
    I slip into your virtual pocket
    and pick it of numbers,
    the digits that make you you –
    social security, credit card, phone.

    I am havoc, I am paranoia,
    I am the beast of deceit ,
    and you are my prey.
    You’ll sink in credit quicksand
    while I use your persona
    for a taste of the high life.

    Sooner or later, you’ll sort it out,
    perhaps with some damage done,
    but by the time you catch up,
    I will have moved on, a trail of receipts,
    overdrafts, and past due bills in my wake,
    as I slither into the shadows
    of anonymity, and begin again.

  92. laurie kolp says:

    WHAT YOU LEFT

    I found your old journal hanging
    in the branches of our shady oak
    where you once took refuge

    with worn pages scribbled upon
    words undecipherable
    their meanings misunderstood

    like you.

  93. maggzee says:

    Shadows play
    Too often lose
    Darkness looms

  94. DARK AND DARKER STILL

    Shade only gets so dark,
    and after that, it is stark blackness.
    The void of space without stars
    becomes a vacuum of light;
    nothing bright comes of it.
    And who gives a wit anyway?
    Dark is the absence of light,
    and without light, dark’s shade
    is all-encompassing.
    Blindly going where no man
    has seen before. Sucked
    into the endless night.

  95. “The silent law”

    He was a tad uncomfortable at the St. Louis wedding.

    Well, who wasn’t? You and me sitting there, me picking
    at the food while you had a little champagne and I had
    an Amaretto on the rocks and cake when the band played
    the Stones and those two sultry bridesmaids hobbled in
    on crutches.

    There should have been a mandatory silence but the tan
    Texan from Chicago who flew them all there stirred the
    crowd’s jubilee muzzling the outsiders’ whispers.

    All they want to do is eat, drink, and talk clan.
    It’s the same at every family event.

    A silent law.

    You know. I know it. He knows it.

    Mr. Uncomfortable might barely know some of his cousins
    but you can’t cut out the family, or worse, invite some and
    not others.

    It’s clan suicide.

    He cowered alone at a round table in the corner spinning
    a gold band around his finger watching the girls through
    the mosaic mirrors on the walls through his bloated
    Rocky Balboa eyes.

    (inspired by Nutmeg)

  96. ina says:

    This is a first draft and it’s a tough subject to write about to boot, so I apologize for any incoherencies (is that even a word?) – ina

    After The Burn Unit

    The monster lives,
    blood red mass of scales
    gorging whenever it can escape
    the shadowed corners of your life,
    feeding on too bright light: a
    sneer a week of sustenance,
    a stare and quick glance
    away let it drop to your back,
    tick-like, probiscus in your
    spine, as you relive the stare over
    month after month.
    Once salt showers on the wound
    that had been your body
    and the endless feeling of fire
    were the worst you could imagine.
    But now, a patchwork of skin, pins
    in bones, a glass eye,
    you hobble through the world,
    one monster leering from the eyes
    of strangers, the other
    in your mirror.

  97. Jane Shlensky says:

    Character Study

    “A shady character won’t meet your eyes,”
    my father tells us all. “He’ll look around
    for things to steal, while his mouth weaves
    a tale to keep you occupied. He’ll be
    so charming, making mental lists of all
    he plans to take next time he comes,
    when you won’t be at home, of course.
    And you won’t think him ill, imagining him
    your friend. Don’t be confused; stay alert
    for you can feel his shifting eyes slide across
    your skin, his very nature overcast in shade
    with everyone he meets. Steer clear. Steer clear.”

  98. moonset horizon
    vanishes as mourning comes
    night’s death brings on day

  99. MDoctor says:

    “Kingdom”

    Under the shade
    of the great oak tree,
    sat a young boy,
    as pleased as could be.
    A natural roof hung
    above his head,
    a earthly floor
    acted as his bed.
    He was the king of
    the great oak tree,
    the birds were his servants
    in his great royalty.

  100. Domino says:

    Shade

    Summer afternoon
    I’m up in a tree
    I am pretending
    there’s no one but me.

    No nosy sisters,
    nor brothers so mean.
    Just me and my book
    and the light tempered green

    The sun shifting softly
    through wind-waving leaves.
    Just me and Ali Baba
    and his forty thieves.

  101. posmic says:

    Shadyside

    In a quiet bend
    along Wegee Creek

    (a funny name,
    a good place
    to dip your toes,
    maybe watch
    some water striders
    for a while)

    there is a monument
    to 26 people who died.

    Wegee, Pipe, Cumberland
    rising to meet the Ohio,
    taking houses, refrigerators,
    bodies caught in the wall
    of water and mud.

    A baby in a bathtub,
    like Moses in his basket,
    plucked out like him,
    made whole.

    Homes and lives
    torn in half. How do you
    rebuild what you
    barely even had?

    This is the Ohio of
    men in undershirts
    and pickup trucks;
    women holding
    everything together,
    shirttail relatives,
    all things shared,
    relationships, homes,
    families in arrangements
    other than what’s on paper.

    Shadyside
    small and pleasant
    sun and shadow
    blink and you’ll miss it
    again.

  102. Sharon says:

    Shades of Gray

    Twice told
    A story old
    Yet new
    With each retelling.
    Shades of red
    In your head
    Whatever is he selling?
    You smile
    And think a while
    And tears start to welling.
    You recall
    You knew it all
    Color shades to gray and bells start to knelling.

  103. DanielAri says:

    TEQUILA SEXO MARIJUANA

    and in the year of our lord, seventy something, San Diego
    stood proud as The Jolly Green Giant, casting its shadow
    across the land, and where it fell was Tijuana. A cadre
    of us crossed to meet with the daemon sprouts trans-
    planted there, not only the gambling, salacious offers
    and contraband, but also how everything cost what you
    would pay: economies arm-wrestle and the winning one
    demands that the other say “tio,” but I digress. I looked
    as poor as I was, but Darren was a collegiate rooster—
    and ferried our friend Mary Jane around town and into
    the red door where dice, liquor and women swallowed
    us like a hot bath. When the whistle blew and, on cue,
    the police sauntered in, we were their rubber duckies.
    One officer faced Darren and I. The look he gave to me
    suggested there was always room on the force for one
    more. With two of our gang in the pokey and four of us
    regrouped in the town square under the sore dawn,
    we pooled our money. I volunteered to take in the bail,
    figuring I had already built some rapport, and I could
    honestly tell them we really could pay nothing more.

    FangO

  104. cindishipley says:

    My friend Mara says she lives in
    the beauty of her sister’s shadow.
    I say age averages things out.
    A door once opened now slams shut.
    I try to take off the years like

    clothing, I look in the mirror
    and am glad I don’t do it too
    often. It is better I think,
    to try to forget what you are
    and remember who you once were.

    Why does age wear better on men?
    I think of peacocks and then the
    color deepens as it gets old,
    but with what a profound
    stupidity they flutter their

    feathers. Now men on the street look
    through me and I feel invisible.
    But age does not take away the
    desire– only habit does.
    Why don’t they see me as I was?

    I used to hate lewd looks men gave
    but now I’d pay for the pleasure.
    Where are all the male prostitutes?
    You’d think that would be big business.
    Aging is a scary thing, not

    because you become closer to
    death, but because no one sees you
    except as the butt of a joke.

  105. Jane Shlensky says:

    A little blank verse for a Monday.

    In Dogwood Shade

    In dogwood shade, I loved to watch the farm—
    across a glade, a pond, into the yard
    where I could see my mother search for me,

    and scan acres around for evidence
    that I was there, going from questioning
    to outright worry, panic setting in.

    Had drowning been my fate? Or was I lost
    in deep forest, alone with childish fears,
    or had I been abducted, God forbid?

    Once worst imaginings arrived, I could
    not go straight home or answer when she called,
    for angry punishments came from such fears.

    And so I waited, guilty, just behind
    a fan of dogwood falling, curtaining
    me from her view and saw that she loved me

    and longed for my return, searching the yard
    and pond, and casting looks toward the woods
    where, wayward child, I stood in dogwood shade

    letting the sunlight sprinkle through the leaves
    pretending to be anything I chose—
    but not a mother with a child like me.

  106. Acheron says:

    Retreat

    The sun appeared
    Drenching my pale skin
    In long, hot kisses
    That woke memories
    Of passionate spring.
    Until I, reddened with
    A pleasantly scorched
    Body blush, removed
    Myself to the arms of
    A shaded tree, watching
    That heat of that caress
    Move, now stroking
    Others in my garden.

  107. Beth Rodgers says:

    As a little girl
    I wished I could fly.
    To have been Peter Pan’s shadow
    Would have been close enough
    As I would have moved
    Effortlessly through the air
    Mimicking his every motion
    Summoning my courage to battle
    My fear of heights
    And wish upon a star
    For my dream to come true.

  108. JRSimmang says:

    His thoughts are usually in charcoal black
    and eggshell white,
    a single line dividing this from that.
    One tall vine,
    snaking its way from bottom to top,
    ignoring the laws of nature,
    seeking to deny the sun,
    sits blithely on the blank sheet,
    shattered and unreal.
    He wonders why.
    Why can the world be so bright,
    yet the lasting impression on his page
    weaves in and out of perpetual darkness? He sits and stares,
    hands in hands,
    wringing, waiting, knotting together.
    The light strikes him.
    His pencil, quick to rectify,
    drags out and out,
    spilling bright,
    splashing light’s antonym,
    wrenching life from death.
    And he sighs, his questions finally answered.
    He stands, dusts off his hands,
    and closes his window.

  109. LCaramanna says:

    window shades

    melancholy mood hangs heavy
    mischievous marauders
    plunder blue sky pleasure
    hold hostage sunshine splendor
    storm clouds shroud my springtime world
    in shades of gray
    raindrops douse desire to frolic in the garden
    confine inside
    pull the window shades
    put some music on
    fireplace flames dance to an upbeat song
    cookies in the oven
    cocoa in my cup
    shelter from the storm
    behind my window shades

  110. PSC in CT says:

    Fish out of Water

    picture this fledgling
    perched, prepared for flight,
    puzzled by the shade roosting
    on her shoulder; in over her head and
    can’t fathom why she’s weighted down,
    coming apart, falling out when she should be
    linked in; all atwitter over expectations; seeing
    clearly aloft, wide open sky – inviting, enticing,
    befuddled still, by fear of flying

  111. Hannah says:

    ~STORM WARNING~

    I watch as my pulse beats,
    steadily in my wrist,
    I imagine the racing river
    blood as it pools
    and surges steadily.
    My breath is a shadow,
    on this heightening day,
    each push and pull
    tainted by my expectancy.
    Plans loom long, vacantly
    in an unreachable space.
    Thwarted, replaced too readily
    with the dazing hue
    of someone else’s day;
    leaking into mine,
    seeping through the cracks,
    gray matter infused
    with a design not meant for me.
    Relinquishing creativity
    for the realm thrust upon me;
    I retreat into this one moment.
    Watching my pulse meditatively
    as it rushes, hushing my thoughts;
    relaying, displaying real meaning
    hidden source piercing the negativity.
    Reminding me why, again,
    that I shouldn’t attach too deeply
    blood-binding to pre-laid plans.

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/9/12

  112. The Joy of Painting

    He paints my shade,
    A figure disembodied
    From my unfinished face.

    A heavy hand slaps
    Raw umber and ochre
    Onto white canvas cheeks.

    Damn the happy colors
    Pooling beneath
    My happy tree lashes.

    There are no mistakes,
    Only accidents.

  113. DEMENTED

    Dahmer intrigued him,
    the intricacies of a twisted mind
    found a dwelling inside the living hell
    of his head. Dread and darkness

    were the graffiti of his brain gone bad.
    His parents were sad when his incarceration
    began without the threat of capital puinishment.
    They were sadder still when he chose to kill

    the neighbor’s dog (along with the neighbors
    for good measure) taking a sick perverted pleasure
    in their demise. Reviled and despised,
    a rotten stain on an otherwise decent name.

    His father took the blame for straying
    from the righteous path, stalking the valley of death,
    or at least giving it its label. A pathology
    that offered neither regret or remorse

    just a course to damnation, a trip-tik
    on the highway to hell. He’d have done well
    to expel those thoughts and embrace
    the love as offered, but his coffers were bankrupt,

    a corrupted waste of humanity tettering
    on the brink of an irreversible insanity.

  114. The Conspiracy Theorist Speaks
    (with apologies to Robert Lee Brewer)

    How does he do it?
    What is the mystery,
    that missing piece of logic,
    that would provide
    the answer?

    I check in
    everyday in April
    to see what
    I’m writing about,
    and somedays
    I look at the prompt,
    and think
    “This can’t be
    a planned-
    ahead-of-time
    prompt.

    Looks like
    he just made it
    up on the spot.”

    He says
    he plans all the prompts
    for the month
    in advance,
    yet everyday
    he magically
    comes up with a
    perfect poem
    to match
    the prompt.

    I’ll bet he gathers
    his unpublished poetry,
    gets 30 of them
    together,
    writes prompts based
    on those existing poems
    and then presents
    prompt and poem
    together,
    voila!

    Yes,
    I bet
    there’s something
    shady going on
    here,

    I bet.

  115. dextrousdigits says:

    The world has beat him up
    a lad seeking mom’s suckling,
    he heads for the shady part of town
    with wounds to lick
    annd prowess to exhibit

  116. Marie Elena says:

    ABODE

    Keep your marble mansion
    On s u n s a t u r a t e d a c r e s.
    I prefer my smiling hut
    Snuggled in postagestampyard
    In cool of one welcoming maple.

  117. Sally Jadlow says:

    The Man Around the Corner

    Lived alone.
    Seldom spoke.
    Shifty eyes.
    Silent manner.
    Suddenly gone
    when the Gestapo came.

  118. DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (A Found Poem)

    I’ve been mad for fucking years;
    been over the edge working me buns off…
    I know, I’ve been mad like most of us
    (even if you’re not mad…)

    All you touch and all you see,
    a race toward an early grave
    is all your life will ever be.
    Waiting for someone

    or something to show you the way.
    You are young; life is long.
    There is time to kill today,
    plans that either come to naught,

    or are half a page of scribbled lines.
    Hanging on in quiet desperation,
    it came as a heavy blow,
    yelling and screaming and telling him

    “Grab that cash with both hands”.
    It is the root of all evil,
    but we sorted the matter out.
    I was really drunk at the time!

    “Listen son, don’t give me that do goody good
    bullshit”, said the man with the gun,
    God only knows it’s not what we choose,
    but which is which and who is who?

    There’s room for you inside;
    only a difference of opinion.
    Good manners don’t cost nothin, eh?
    Got to keep the loonies on the path

    And if with dark forebodings
    your head explodes, raise the blade.
    Make the change. Lock the door and
    throw away the key. The old man died.

    All you hate,
    all you distrust,
    all that you deal
    beg, borrow or steal…

    There is no dark side of the moon!
    It’s really a matter of fact it’s all dark.

  119. drwasy says:

    UNDER THE TREE AT LEXINGTON MARKET

    Every day your Mama flirts with Constantine
    in this goddamn market, maybe he be your daddy.

    You lick your ice cream, little pink tongue
    like a cat’s, flick, flick. Lick fast, girl, the heat

    gonna melt it, like summer melts me.
    I ‘member when I ate ice cream with my mama

    ‘member how the cold cream freeze my brain.
    What? You holding that cone out for me?

    Now you drop the damn thing. Don’t laugh at me
    scooping the mess off the sidewalk, all greedy.

    ***

    Peace, LindaS-W

  120. Jamal Abboud says:

    Hot Days
    I become a tree at noon, a great tree,
    On hot days;
    My sweat drips resin with myrrh scent,
    As all trees in love, with grades,
    Whenever she stands north to me,
    Seeking carelessly for shades.

  121. De Jackson says:

    Gradations

    She tries to say within
    the well-lit precincts of herself
    but sometimes curiosity (poor
    kitty) beckons, or the tides
    tug at her heart just right, or
    she’s had too much coffee or she’s
    just plain had enough
    and every once in awhile
    (okay, a little more often than
    that)
    she accidently
    (on purpose)
    stretches over the line
    ( j u s t a l i t t l e f a r t h e r n o w )
    and
    dips her toe
    in her own shadow.

  122. Marjory MT says:

    The power of your light
    brings shadows of delight.

  123. Ber says:

    A soldiers Armour

    As I enter the room
    I see the crowd in front of me
    To many for the eye to see
    So I go to the dance with my friends

    As I move my self around the floor
    I move in way like never before
    My hair is hanging down to my side
    When all of a sudden I feel a hand glide

    It moves up along me so suddenly
    Catches me off guard
    Surprises me
    What do I do?
    Will I turn around to see?

    Or will I just enjoy this moment of pleasure
    Maybe I will enjoy this experience
    As I turn around to see who is there
    The hands move away they disappear

    I look all around to is there someone looking at me
    I cant figure this moment out
    I cant see anyone staring back at me
    As I compose myself and pull myself together
    All alone at the bar a figure comes up behind me
    A shady character breathes on me

    I catch a glimpse of this person in the mirror before me
    As I turn to see just who it is
    A familiar voice talks to me
    A wonderful smile this person has

    Have I seen you here before?
    No he responds I just seen you walk in the door
    I have been captured my your beauty
    Your smile has caught hold of my heart
    I have to get to know you
    Not watch you from the dark

    Then your shadow it stands over me
    Like arms of a soldiers armour
    You’re my shady knight
    That caught me this night
    I am glad you did so rapidly
    My shadow of the night

  124. Indrajit

    Our names are no good for famous lovers:
    we know this. We can see them freshly scrawled
    still wet on the alley wall, and even four feet high,
    hot pink shadowed with black and blue,
    they don’t have the mysterious star-crossed charm
    of lovers. We are just each other’s pastime:
    huddled by the Dumpster under one coat,
    picking flecks of paint from idle fingers.

    You tell me, you can’t come over tonight,
    in a wreath of herbed smoke that hides your face.
    My girlfriend is staying with me. And I know
    she keeps the sword between you,
    that you sleep facing different walls. That’s how
    we ended up here in the first place:
    those names are starting to leave thin trails
    trickling down to the concrete.

    I’m used to this: I say, another time then. Though,
    you suggest maybe here and now, by undoing
    the top button of your jeans, smiling with
    half your mouth. Consolation prize for the boy
    on the side. Heavy orange lamplight fills your
    too-wide pupils. All our ties are sullen with hesitation,
    but every time I don’t answer– you convince me
    with an endless scorched-cactus kiss.

  125. MiskMask says:

    Shadow Chasing

    A shadow, a cloud,
    a flood of grey,
    Trickling,
    dribbling,
    cool shade over you.
    A cloak, a cape,
    Swaddling cool
    Paddling pools
    in deep hues of shade.
    We chase our shadows
    into the shade.

  126. Margot Suydam says:

    Writing from North Africa

    We will never find the bluest
    of shade we lost in stepping

    into a desert world where all
    it seems crumples into sand

    storm and crispest whispers
    I tried to spare you, trim back

    my sentences to fit the mantle
    back home in that slippery city

    where florescent lights breed
    in more heat and wide bristles

    that still scratch my writing
    elbow under an unsheltering sky.

  127. Love Under the Trees
    ================
    Hello? Hello! It’s me, your outlaw
    Please take my love, be my joy
    Hello? Hello! It’s me, Picasso.
    I gave you a call and waited patiently
    but you won’t give me anything.

    I call to tell you how I feel –
    My love. My happiness.
    Hello? Hello! Me again, Picasso!
    I gave you a call and waited patiently
    but you won’t give me anything.

    Want to leave but
    You won’t
    You won’t
    Won’t choose me.
    Your face in my heart
    Love the under the lime trees
    I remember your eyes.

    (Translated from song lyrics in Romanian — thanks, Google Translate — then adjusted to make sense. Bonus points if you know the original song :)

  128. Billie says:

    *rough Draft.

    Willow Tree

    Surely if Jane can love Mr.Rochester
    if Juliet can die by her hand
    If rose can jump ship for jack
    Than I can close my eyes
    And give up the growing love I have for you
    And die by the shade
    Of your willow tree

    Like the lady of Shallot
    one last ride
    down towards you
    and your willow tree.

  129. Jackie Casey says:

    “Rembrandt”

    Rembrandt
    student of light
    and shadows in our space
    reminds us how poets love a
    dark place.

  130. Marie Elena says:

    I liked the use of shadow in some of your poems out here, so I wrote one of my own. :D

    Shadow (a dodoitsu)

    Sometimes you go before me,
    At times, following behind.
    Or we (too infrequently)
    Dance with abandon.

  131. Nimue says:

    And as we turn away,
    our shadows lean forward,
    playfully touching heads
    and kissing the smiles.
    We giggle at our thoughts
    as shadows continue
    the dance of love.

  132. Marie Elena says:

    Having trouble commenting (posting too quickly …grrrr!), so I’ll keep this to one post:

    Walt: As always, prolific quality work. Wow.
    RJ: Love it.
    MarianV: Absolutely beautiful.
    Nancy: “Shadows” brought real tears. I cannot stand the thought of little ones in fear. I hope this comes from your imagination, but, sadly, I think it is based on real life.
    Brian: Brilliant.

    Hoping to be awake long enough to take in ALL your work tonight!

  133. Dan Collins says:

    A little Nap

    Doze,
    under
    Elba’s oak
    trees, a maze grows
    tall. Napolean dreams, the buzzing bees.

  134. emmajordan says:

    Day 9

    He is not what he seems.
    Friendly,
    sparkling blue eyes
    that seems to smile and radiate
    “It’s great to see you.”
    No, that is not who he is.
    Not at all.
    Not even for a moment.

    Honeymoon first morning
    “You don’t need your friends and family any more.
    You have me now.”

    Six month anniversary
    he awoke from a dream of
    his first wife being unfaithful.
    He punished me for it.

    We walked in for our newborn son’s
    3 day check-up
    A nurse’s aide looked at my belly
    rather than the newborn in my arms and asked
    “When are you due?
    He was angry
    furious
    with me for not being 107 pounds again
    by the third day after delivering our son.

    He came to me one night
    looking puzzled
    and said
    “Your daughter is attracted to me.”
    I misunderstood.
    She was 3 years old.
    I explained a daughter craving
    her father’s love,
    needing to know her value in his eyes.
    That was not what he was saying.
    Not really.
    Had he been able to tell the truth
    had he known what truth really was
    he would not have dared to say
    “I am sexually attracted to your baby girl.”

    Over the years he became more himself,
    unable to hide from the family he held captive.
    He watched us, criticized us, accused us
    Yet in the evening
    before bed
    we all gathered in the living room
    for Bible reading.
    Here he continued to try to keep the mask up
    saying to us in his commentaries
    he was the godly one,
    we needed his help and guidance
    to keep us from hell.

    In the car one day,
    just the two of us on the way to the mall
    he rained down curses on me,
    curses he claimed came from God.
    I was too afraid to cry.

    His mind held two ways of living.
    The lover of God
    head of the family
    friend to co-workers and church goers,
    the dependable one
    who could be trusted
    called upon in times of trouble
    Intelligent compassionate
    Yet this was an act.

    We knew the man who hated
    mistrusted
    twisted everyone’s actions and words
    to show they were really the evil ones
    hated people of color or culture that varied from
    what he knew was RIGHT.

    We became afraid of his anger
    his braiding our words together
    to get his own interpretation
    because he could see things we could not
    of course.

    We too then became livers of two lives
    in an attempt to spare us punishment for wrongs he imagined.
    Mommy and happy children
    while he was away at work
    fooling others
    until 4:00 came and our panic set in.
    He would be home soon.
    Clean up the toys and games
    wash the dishes and sweep the floor
    to hide any love and happiness.
    Fear begat anxiety
    but the tension he came home to comforted him.
    We had the correct amount of respect for him
    in his way of thinking.

    The words of the therapist echoed in my head
    and confirmed the hopelessness of our situation.
    How to be rid of him?
    There were only two ways.
    He could find another woman with children
    or he could die.

    This was life with a sociopath.

    • PKP says:

      Breath taking yet grounded authentic each word ringing with yesterday’s fear and today’s empowerment…real or created … indelible portrait of a woman and children held hostage by love .. the words crisp marching across the page to logical conclusion spell.. F R E E D O M … I wish no one knew what you were poeming … far too many know all too well. Exquisitely wrought and penned BRAVO! ( you forced me from my self vow to only read and hold my comments until later) wonderful read of a heinous time….

    • PKP says:

      No blog/site? Open one today…go to simple Blogger or anyplace …. Just throw one up ( you can pretty it up later… I still haven’t after about 5 years!) you write so well need a home where we can visit…!

    • Marie Elena says:

      This made me gasp. I wonder how many of us know this man.

      I do.

    • Marjory MT says:

      I wanted to stop reading, but could not
      and my heart and soul hurt so deeply for the women living
      this kind of lie – stuck in a forbidden land
      without an exit key

    • just Lynne says:

      Wow. Frightening, authentic, well-written. I can see it all clearly. I’ve recently befriended someone who is recovering from being like this “sociopath” and I wonder what his version would be like.

      • Marjory MT says:

        *****I CAN NOT HELP BUT FEEL THAT THERE IS A WOMAN FOLLOWING THIS CHALLENGE WHO IS HERSELF (or KNOWS SOMEONE) STUCK IN THAT FORBIDDEN LAND FEELING AS IF THERE IS NO KEY*****

        ***************** PLEASE. PLEASE PLEASE KNOW THAT THERE IS A KEY FOR YOU ***** YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STAY******YOUR CHILDREN DO NOT HAVE TO STAY ******THEY ARE LEARNING FROM YOU AND HIM WHAT THEY ARE TO BE WHEN THEY LEAVE HOME******

        >>>>>>>YOU ARE NOT ALONE <<<<<<<<<<<

        ******** YES, IT WILL BE HARD BUT SHARE**** TALK WITH YOU DOCTOR****SCHOOL COUNSELOR (PRODTECT YOU KIDS)*****
        *******A WOMEN'S LEADER OR FRIEND IN CHURCH OR OTHER ORGANIZATION*****CLERGY (IF YOUR OWN CAN'T BELIEVE YOU, GO TO ANOTHER).******FAMILY MEMBER

        THERE IS A KEY FOR YOU.

        YOU ARE WORTHY TO USE IT .
        YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE IT.
        THE 'MESS' IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

        GOD DOES LOVE YOU – BUT YOU HAVE TO STEP OUT.

        I AM HOLDING YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN UP IN PRAYER.

        GO FOR THE KEY.

  135. Marie Elena says:

    A quick offering, followed by a few minutes to read …

    How Different Would Life Have Been?
    (a true-story acrostic)

    My Dad received
    A late-night call
    From a nameless man, offering “easy
    Income to pay for Jimmy Boy’s college.”
    An offer he refused.

  136. General Lee

    Deep beneath the trees,
    resting on the rich pine straw
    I see a window
    and I know deep down: If I’ve
    got a swing, I’ve got a shot.

  137. Shade

    Growing up in Pennsylvania
    shade trees were a big part of my life.
    We hid in, climbed up, cooled off
    under oaks, maples and weeping willows.
    As teens we washed cars, had picnics and smooched
    under generous leafy trees.
    Out west I notice
    play grounds in the sun,
    houses with little greenery,
    gatherings held in open clearings,
    where I’ll take my chair over near a big cottonwood
    and usually meet someone from east of the Mississippi.

  138. PKP says:

    Family Matters

    They sit on folding chairs
    A few on the couch
    Some even on the floor
    Most still at the long
    Post dinner table
    “did you hear?”
    “can you believe?”
    “oh I want to tell you”
    sunblasted each and
    every in the screaming Now
    as she sits silent straight
    under the thick bending
    limbs of the memory tree
    watching them go
    shimmered in Yesterday

  139. The Visitor

    The shadows of eternity
    Have fallen on this house once more.
    Death lingers in the quiet corners,
    Keeping a patient vigil
    Until his moment of exit arrives,
    Leaving grief as a reminder
    That his departures are only temporary.

  140. PKP says:

    stretching budded bow
    toward filigreed sunlight dim
    flowers cannot bloom

  141. PKP says:

    In sunlight they sleep

    She shifts in loose limbed flung slumber
    Moves a velvet paw over her kitten’s
    Sun unaccustomed newborn eye

    • emmajordan says:

      As a “cat mommy” I can see this–actually see this. Right now, one of the cats is lying next to me on the floor, stretched out to her full length, eyes closed, soaking up the heat of the sun. Your words are beautiful.

  142. PKP says:

    After they’ve left

    Beneath the sweet stretched smiles
    The bright double cheeked air “adieus”
    The echoes of the bright day just finally
    past chills shaded unspoken gloom
    spine tracking the now emptied room

  143. Brian Slusher says:

    SHADOW PRAISE

    Good companion, you don’t
    complain. Though shackled
    to my ankles, you keep pace
    and wait without a sigh while
    I pause to rest. As I grumble
    my discontents, you abstain
    commentary, refrain
    to highlight my denials,
    evasions. Best of all you
    walk before me mornings
    a smooth herald of my un-
    blemished self, and evenings
    pace behind, in your black robe
    whispering evensong, so I
    may enjoy the sunset without
    seeing how you form
    not even one step back
    the outline of a grave.

  144. JanetRuth says:

    Of Green-leaf Joy

    The still of noon will soon be brushed
    With melody of sighs
    Though now the park is haunted, hushed
    Beneath the warming skies
    It won’t be very long until
    The oriole, lark and whippoorwill
    Their crystal choruses will spill
    From green-leaf paradise

    …and then the stark and stringent air
    And all the quiet cold
    Will melt as limbs, budded and bare
    Their petal-notes unfold
    With rustling joy their hymns caress
    The moan of wooded emptiness
    In lacy, green-leaf happiness
    And whispers fresh and bold

    …then they will spread their shadow, glad
    Upon the grassy slope
    The naked skeleton re-clad
    With songs of emerald hope
    Beneath their flaunt of lacy limb
    And earths refurbished diadem
    We revel in the glorious hymn
    Of green-leaf calliope

  145. emmajordan says:

    I marvel at the color here.
    Greens from pale to strong and dark
    make this place peaceful for me.
    Staghorn ferns with sturdy dark leaves
    hang in baskets.
    Pathos with creamy light green
    almost white
    swimming in a lake of cool greens.
    A carpet of English ivy with its
    dark green leaves
    still has variations when you look closely
    newborn leaves with a yellow-green tinge
    youngsters now shiny green
    oldsters who dress in the darkest green-black robes.
    I see what others don’t.
    This green place is a symphony of color and bearer of peace.

  146. Genevieve Fitzgerald says:

    You pick places with shadows
    Dim-lit bars
    Evening woods
    Driving at night
    A corner restaurant table
    where we cannot sit facing each other
    Under the trellis
    where the grid work and grape leaves cast patterns shading your face
    Places where I cannot look too closely
    While you cast light on your opening soul

  147. just Lynne says:

    The Haven of Broken Glass and Shadows

    down the street,
    my friend flips her face back to mine
    pries the old door back
    i hold the rusted doorknob
    my palm against the peeling paint
    we exchange glances
    then stumble over the stairs in the entryway
    another door opened
    and we pause
    the large room yawning
    a carpet of broken glass
    blue sky gleaming through shattered windows
    pillars stand like soldiers throughout the room
    florescent lights dangling from electric ropes
    long burned out
    large cans clustered on the floor
    with no names
    an empty elevator shaft

    our cameras are as hungry as our eyes
    so we walk across the broken glass
    with cameras shielding our faces
    murmuring about the wealth of photos we will have
    yet i keep hesitating
    the rooms are too large
    too many open spaces
    and shadows
    i keep looking in corners nervously
    waiting for specters to emerge

    i ask my friend
    she says i shouldn’t be afraid
    even the homeless who might live here
    wouldn’t hurt me
    i’m not convinced

    in the second room
    a cluster of cans of white paint
    too late to shine the place now
    bottles to prevent mildew
    too late
    i crouch on my knees to photograph
    savoring the irony with a half-smile

    through the courtyard
    passing the door lying prostate on the weeds
    laughing at beer cans placed on weeds like flowers
    then walls of graffiti
    bright colored letters of a language i don’t speak
    through another door and up the stairs
    a filthy bathroom whose ceiling is vomiting
    green foam
    a mountain of books
    all well-watered
    textbooks, 1970s National Geographics
    a book ripples its pages on the window sill

    after our flurry of picture-taking
    it’s up to the roof
    the carcass of a chair
    the Detroit skyline
    we feel like we are
    on top of the world
    now my friend is finally afraid
    of falling off the edge
    i try not to smile
    i was afraid of violent specters
    and broken glass
    i still know how to step
    without falling

  148. Imaginalchemy says:

    “Why Peter Pan’s Shadow Ran Away”

    Even I get tired of the darkness.
    All the thievery
    All the bloodshed
    All the innocence distorted and spoiled
    He acts like it is all fun and games
    Feeding pirates to ravenous crocodiles
    Feeding flesh to his dagger
    Sacrificing orphans to swordplay and war

    This is where children never grow up?
    Because they never get the chance to
    Never Neverland
    Never never live
    Never never dream
    Always always feral
    Always always darkness in their hearts
    And I am tired of the darkness.

    Somewhere beyond the second star
    Somewhere there is a brighter light
    Shadows cannot exist without light
    So I tear my toes off where they touch his
    And seek out that tiny, quivering glow
    Through a window
    In a bedroom
    Where there is warmth and love and sleeping children
    Who have never known bloodshed
    Never never hated
    Never never slaughtered
    Always always dream with the light on
    A little candlelight for a little bit of shadow
    That can never never go back to the darkness.

  149. Nancy Posey says:

    Shadows

    At two, she’s literally afraid of her own shadow,
    crying at bedtime when the sliver of light
    from the closet door, left barely cracked
    casts her own image eight feet high on the wall.
    Afraid of the dark, she fears even more
    what the light does, distorting her familiar world.
    Her future self, projected across the room,
    foreshadows days to come with no one singing
    good night prayers, tucking her safely in,
    placing a kiss in the palm of each hand,
    wrapping her tiny fists snug around them.

  150. Wendy Stevens says:

    Late Night Reading

    The night music fraught with danger.
    The book,the words,the images portrayed.
    Fog and twisted roads stretch
    out ahead in patchy splotches.

    Sneaky and stealth,
    the protagonist flows through
    the darkness,leaving no mark on
    the surrounding anteroom.

    The nearby town lies quiet and sleeping.
    Ever watchful,he eyes the timepiece
    strapped to his wrist. Never on time. Why
    aren’t criminals ever on time?

    He appears out
    of nowhere-the antagonist-detaching from the fog.
    Looking around,he walks over to the protagonist;
    shhhhh-keep silent the foot falls across damp pavement.

    Turning the page, following
    the blueprint of the crime. Meeting, dealing,
    slipping it into the trench pocket. Exchanging one
    promise for another,they deal in illegal acts.

    Time ticks on-past 3am into the deep dark
    secret passageways. Tick-tock, is it my time,
    or the storyline?
    Combined into one, eyelids start to close.

    Putting down the book,I reach over
    to turn off the light. Dreaming of faceless
    nameless an/protagonists. They crawl through
    the cover,and lay dormant in my memory-waiting for the first dawning of day.

  151. Nancy Posey says:

    Shady

    A charter member in Dads Against Daughters Dating
    he saw through them all, ready with nicknames,
    pins pricking her dreams. No one, after all,
    would ever be good enough for his little girl.
    The sophomore linebacker he called Tiny;
    the Chess Club vice-president, the Brain.
    He teased her date to the Future Farmers of America
    formal ball, addressing him as Mr. Foxworthy,
    but when she went to prom with the president
    of the senior class, her father asked her, the boy
    listening, if the Prez thought he was doing her a favor.

    Knowing the ribbing they’d get for earrings,
    pants too low, hair too long, a hint of ethnicity,
    she started meeting her dates at friends’ homes
    or at coffee shops blocks away from the living room
    where her father practiced sarcasm he called wit.
    No wonder he never had a chance to meet the boy
    he might have called Shady, the one with something
    just the least bit askew—too glib, too easy with charm,
    sticking close when others engaged her in small talk,
    always one possessive hand on her arm. No wonder
    afterwards he couldn’t give an accurate description.

  152. Marianv says:

    Moon Shadows on Snow

    Moon shadows on snow are a shade of blue
    Darker than the snow, but not as dark as the night.
    They are long and thin. The moon does not have
    The energy of the sun. The shadows it casts
    Are weak and feeble. But they still move
    When a slight breeze beckons.

    When we look to the sky in summer, we see
    A tangle of green leaves. Now, the leaves –
    Are gone, but the shadows of the bare
    Branches lie in tangles on top of the snow.

    We hear the howl of a wolf and the birds fall
    Silent. We turn and begin to walk back
    Home. The snow crunches beneath our
    Feet. All the insects that sing or make
    Noise in the summer meadows are sleeping.
    We can walk on top of them, and they
    will never know it

    Our long, thin shadows lead the way
    And we follow them home..

    • Marie Elena says:

      Having trouble commenting (posting too quickly …grrrr!), so I’ll keep this to one post:

      Walt: As always, prolific quality work. Wow.
      RJ: Love it.
      MarianV: Absolutely beautiful.
      Nancy: “Shadows” brought real tears. I cannot stand the thought of little ones in fear. I hope this comes from your imagination, but, sadly, I think it is based on real life.
      Brian: Brilliant.

      Hoping to be awake long enough to take in ALL your work tonight!

  153. PKP says:

    Yes, agree with Marie….Robert always do read yours … and as usual today’s full of your special wonder…. I am now re-invested in my former commitment to write first read later….my muse is snoozing – she’s not much for reading …back when she wakes…

  154. PKP says:

    This is a no joke poem! Nothing shady here… You do your handle proud! POWERUNIT indeed! There will be much Googling! WOW….

  155. Marie Elena says:

    Quickly catching the prompt. Another super busy day today, but will return with a poem and PRAYING I get reading time!

    Robert, I always read yours when I pick up the prompt. Today’s offering put a smile on my face. Lovely homespun image and feel. :D

  156. Slivered Shades

    Quickened silhouettes
    Spin in concert
    In slivered shades of reality
    Mirroring self
    While in the ray
    If those blessed streams of light
    Dismiss their presence
    The silhouettes mist
    And our dark shadow
    Becomes reality

  157. “Biology, meet Life”

    I was never supposed to meet him.
    Certainly never know
    who he was.
    But sometimes shady deals
    are bartered in places
    other than back alleys.
    He sat at the kitchen counter,
    cradling a cup of coffee
    in a white cup, marked, “SKI,”
    a play on his last name
    more than a testatement
    to a love of winter sports.
    Being 8,
    the cleverest think I could
    think to say was, “Hi,”
    Which he returned
    and
    after a few awkward moments
    I smiled
    and returned to my life.
    No better.
    No worse.
    Just me.

  158. PowerUnit says:

    The dark corner with the dark seats,
    the Bilbo Baggins benches,
    attract the hanging clothes,
    the shrouded soul.

    The shiny drinks avoid the corners
    where the rejected mingle,
    where the hiding hide,
    never touching, never meeting
    eye to eye.
    These tables are reserved for the Bocks and the straight-ups,
    and plates of fare with no name.
    A Rueben identifies transgression.
    Settle not into the darkness
    for it can’t sustain.

    Hope abandons temporarily the fringe,
    the light always pecking at the window.
    Beware the light,
    the feathered cap thrown
    from the dance floor.
    The unwelcomed invasion
    deafens your darkness,
    beckons you home
    to the safe side of life.

    • PKP says:

      This is a no joke poem! Nothing shady here… You do your handle proud! POWERUNIT indeed! There will be much Googling! WOW….

      • PowerUnit says:

        Thank you, I think. The B reference was a whim, but it should refer to Frodo hiding from detection in LOTR, not Bilbo. Neither really belongs tonally, though. I’d consider a modern vampire reference, but I refuse to include vampiric or zombie references in anything ;)

  159. shadows

    So much is written in the shadows
    In the hollow cheeks of a hungry child
    In the haggard lines around a worried mother’s eyes
    In crinkly laugh lines, of an old man’s tissue of skin
    In the furrowed brow of a contemplative student
    The brush of lashes on a blushing lover
    In a newborn’s dimpled chin
    So much is written in the shadows

  160. RJ Clarken says:

    Contrast Sketch

    “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” ~Carl Sandburg

    A voice, with Conté crayon, draws
    the light and shadow, all because
    imagination wants to fetch
    a life in words: a contrast sketch.

    An echo is a study of
    the shades and tints of hate and love:
    a danse macabre, a blooming vetch,
    a life in words: a contrast sketch.

    In bright sunlight, a shadow grows
    but not in silence: Poems. Prose.
    It’s ballet…jazz…it’s movement…stretch…
    a life in words: a contrast sketch.

    The shady sides of streets are just
    one place to hide the pixie dust
    which, when it’s found, can score and etch
    a life in words: a contrast sketch.

    ###

  161. zevd2001 says:

    FROM THE SUN

    The weather man told me outside
    it will be hot tomorrow. The sun will beat
    down upon us. Incessantly, oppressively, calling all cooling systems
    on full alert. Inside, perhaps,

    but I am an outdoor person.
    Where do I go.
    When everything out of doors shimmers

    the Natives take their clothes off, run barefoot
    off to the local watering hole, and dive
    into a limpid pool. In civilization, I get thee
    to a locker room, strip down to my skivees,
    jump into a chlorinated pool when the opportunity knocks.
    But I am an outdoor person

    a light cotton short sleeved shirt, yes,
    bermudas down to the knee cap, a pair of sandals . . .
    a wide brimmed hat, of course. Then
    I seek out a tree lined promenade, a lemonade,
    a hot dog stand, a secluded spot

    off where the trees congregate,
    an overhead light through the branches,
    a fly by for the birds . . . just me and the animals.

    Zev Davis

  162. Kaitlyn says:

    Holding Hands

    Two long shadows stretch
    They hold hands in the sunset
    Can we hold hands, too?

  163. Shady Lady

    She looks from side to side,
    covert, undercover agent for her siblings -
    dashing across the room,
    around the couch, over the arm
    of the big, stuffed chair,
    she attacks!
    Kisses rain down on my sleeping face,
    then, as fast as a wink
    to her fellow conspirators,
    she’s off on her next adventure.

  164. I remember
    her first picture,
    we called her jellybean,
    just a glimmer of light
    in shadow
    on a computer screen,
    and now,
    all day
    she sits
    in the dark,
    our jellybean, a
    Really
    Adept
    Diagnostician-
    Identifier
    Of
    Lingering
    Often
    Growing
    Insinuating
    Shadows,
    The rest is her story

  165. UNDER THE POET TREE (with gratitude to S.E. INGRAHAM)

    Morning brings the start of thoughts
    mundane and sublime, and
    the bottom line shows where
    our heartfelt words lie.
    Here, poets wait for the
    gate to open and allow them
    to find a place to rest their muse
    and use every device in their power
    to shower the world with words.
    Here mountains attain purple majesty,
    the wind has little cat feet.
    Chicago broadens it shoulders
    and the sidewalk never really ends.
    We extend and enhance giving
    our phrasing the chance to dance
    unbridled and with aplomb.
    The sun is the salubrious light
    through which your mind’s eye sees the
    brilliance of our worded wonder.
    It is under the POET TREE that our
    shadows fall to the delight of all.

  166. WILL THE REAL SLIM SHADY PLEASE STAND UP?

    Stay within yourself.
    Aspirations and dreams,
    are not schemes we wish
    to perpetrate. It is great
    to want to expand your footprint,
    but it isn’t meant to change your
    demeanor or scope. You hope
    people keep you in high regard,
    but it is hard to maintain
    when you shift your focus
    and see your self in a different light.
    It is not right for you to hide
    in the shadows of doubt.
    Step out into the light of day
    and shine bright. Let the world
    see what you believe in yourself.
    Will the real you shine through?

  167. TINT AND HUE

    Not everything is black and white;
    the world blooms in the vibrancy
    that is born from the spectrum
    of light. Different values register
    and brings life to a rather drab
    canvas. Man is not confined
    inside his own mind when explosions
    of tint and hue come through.
    Reds are crimson, scarlet and candy apple;
    blues are indigo, ultramarine and sky.
    Pleasing to the eye, it defines what we see
    as poetry paints to our ears. Here
    in the light the shading remains bright.

  168. You are 10, I am 45

    and oh, the solemnities I wish to bestow
    upon you -
    heaping, drowning you
    with what my father might have called
    chestnuts,
    tomes you should read,
    rebukes, remonstrations,
    all the weight of my discontent
    on your fragile bird frame -
    but I resist the vase,
    the glass frame enclosing
    and linger in the wild swaying
    of your wonder,
    smile sunflower
    bright
    and is there something
    in you knowing
    this dark silhouette always
    over your shoulder,
    this somber south of a compass
    always behind you
    singing
    keep your face to the sunshine
    singing and singing
    and you will not see the shadows
    singing and singing
    into life
    a little girl
    dancing, twirling
    under the tweezers of a pointing
    finger and thumb
    frilly flower skirt
    so much in motion
    as to seem
    perfectly
    still

Leave a Reply