April PAD Challenge: Day 22

For today’s prompt, I want you to write a work-related poem. Work doesn’t have to be the main feature of the poem, but I want you to “work” it in somehow. And remember: There are different types of work. Of course, there are the activities that gain you fortune and fame (or not), but then, there’s also housework, exercise, volunteering, etc. I’m sure you’ll “work” it out.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“Dream job”

In the dream, he can’t open his eyes
or his e-mail messages. The dream
dictionary he bought at the thrift
store has no answers; but, in his dream,
he also almost won a prize, which
suggests he’ll almost be successful
in his current endeavors. Maybe
more important: Why was he shopping
at a thrift store anyway? He could
blame the economy or the price
of healthcare, but he really enjoys
hunting for discarded treasures–he’d
still haunt these stores even if he won
the lottery. In fact, he would still
work the same job that gives him nightmares,
because these things are the things he loves.

 

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878 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 22

  1. Tara Hooper

    Work to Work

    I’ve got to work to find work
    What a coincidence this is
    Having to work a 9 to 5 to secure a job
    Who would have ever thought

    Beginning each day at sunrise
    Getting up early shouldn’t be a surprise
    Gotta keep it moving so as not to become stagnant
    Who would have ever thought

    Receiving rejections day after day
    Goodness gracious how much can one person take
    You’d think maybe just one yes out of so many no’s
    Who would have ever thought

    I’ll continue on with my quest
    To secure employment at best
    Lest I give into mediocrity
    Who would have every thought

    There are many in the same boat as me
    Pounding the pavement
    Sending out hundreds of resumes using virtual reality
    Who would have ever thought

    The country’s in an economic depression
    Some call it a recession
    I say to them all, Hell stop guessing
    Who would have ever thought

    If we take the side of optimism
    We can look at this as a blessing
    To bring all the misappropriations and gluttonous bastards to light
    Who would have ever thought

    So dare I complain and be ashamed
    For lack of a job and financial wherewithal
    There’s a greater power than me
    Who would have ever thought

    This power keeps and protects me
    Gives me strength to continue on with my plight
    To continue to work to get work
    Who would have ever thought

  2. JL Smither

    During the Work Week

    On Mondays, I’d rather be a barista,
    someplace where the coffee is always hot;
    a mechanic who makes broken things work
    again; a dog walker, paid to stroll through town
    with our best friends; a farmer, squinting
    into the sun to judge the corn crop.
    I’m not these things.
    On Mondays, I’m a telecommuter
    who sits alone with a computer
    and cell phone in a white painted room,
    practicing the correct facial expressions
    in the mirror, tied umbilically to the desk.

  3. Dione

    Tortured by no sleep, but with
    body still hard, mind still clear, spirit still listening,
    he will not be broken.
    Light from the table lamp spills
    across his bony, powerful hand and the sweet
    amber whiskey in its thick crystal glass casts a warm glow on
    sheets of clean, linen paper.
    Warm cigar smoke stains the air with an intoxicating perfume,
    and music spirals quietly from the radio as ribbons of gold twirl in a dancer’s hands.
    And as the pale blue sky
    slowly wraps the stars under a cool blanket he
    fills his lings with the last of the night and
    throws the windows open,
    letting sweet birdsong carry him through another day.

  4. yolanda davis-overstreet

    Day 22

    Work
    Work – morning
    Work – noon
    Work – night
    Thoughts on work
    …had
    …doing
    …to come
    really working to work this whole part of life out.
    I think its working.

  5. Kimiko Martinez

    FALLEN

    While whirlwinds while and storms stir
    she floats above the chaos
    preoccupied, she was sure
    she had left her keys there

    Like a lost soul she’ll wander
    through the whorld
    not quite certain what her
    future holds, until he

    pulls her down, ankle first, after
    keys are forgotten
    and fills her future with laughter

  6. Maureen Hurley

    TO MY POETRY STUDENTS

    First, do not be offended
    if I cannot remember your names.
    My children are as many and varied
    as the voices of the wind.

    Do not assume that because I do not call you
    by name, that I do not know you.
    For I remember all the poems you write
    and the faces of my many children
    shining with the first faltering words of hope.

    Do not rage against the wind or a lack of memory
    as if the sun had risen prematurely at daybreak
    painted with rosy longing only to find
    the clouds had forgotten how to properly mourn
    for the tragedies of the world or the vagaries of the heart.

    For once I was alone with the voices of the wind,
    my own song turning into shattered light
    hanging at the end of its chord in a final cresendo,
    a bit like Munch’s silent scream, echoing off the page,
    a nocturne of loneliness, or an etude waiting for rebirth.

    Sleep gives back lost memory in minute increments
    of time swaddled in the supplication of blue solace
    unburdened by prayer or the length of a road
    set adrift in the traceless grasses’ slow current.

    To love words requires only the longevity of a mind
    that is part redwood, part bristlecone pine
    and a threshold for a mouth, part estuary,
    and part river to address the islands of the world.

    Remember to write of what is visible
    in the slender phrases and names of oak
    and moss, reed and bracken fern,
    owl and clover. Lupine and moon.

    Treat your poem like a long lost relative.
    Someday when you can forgive its waywardness,
    and its divine, if promiscuous tendencies,
    it will become a lantern on a dark, restless night.

  7. K.E. Ogden

    K.E. Ogden
    April 22, 2009
    Prompt: Work Related Poem

    WHY THEY STOP COMING
    –for M.Loth

    Heidi cried in class. She tried to hide it,
    but I noticed black eyeliner
    evaporate with each tear; other students
    discussed the nuances of declarative
    sentences. In my office, the Spring
    Break story: her best friend and classmate,
    thrown from a horse– skull fracture
    and coma. Last semester Dinique stopped coming

    after her husband beat her; too embarrassed
    to show the bruises, she said. Two weeks
    past, Xuci left a note taped to my door–"back to
    china! I studying hard!" And also,
    Grandparents get pneumonia; Mothers get breast
    cancer; Fathers flip pickup trucks
    on interstates. I wait each morning at my door,
    keep it open as long as possible. And sometimes,
    just as I’m pulling it closed, someone comes
    running down the hall with a hand raised: "wait!
    I got stuck in traffic! Don’t mark me absent."

  8. Sandy Green

    THE IRON

    Of course it had to be
    the iron when she left
    for good,
    it couldn’t have been the
    hair dryer or the spading fork,
    or even the fancy Springerle rolling pin,
    the one that was her mother’s—
    but taking the iron screamed of permanence,
    steaming and hissing, “I’m never coming back,
    I’ve smoothed the wrinkles
    of your doubts
    and made my own creases
    here and there,
    just where I want them
    and they look beautiful.”

  9. Kelly Ellis

    High School Teacher: Unspoken Manifesto

    We live in 1984
    and 2 +2 don’t =4.

    Day by day history’s invented
    Hour by hour, reality’s slanted.

    Gotta watch out for the thought police.
    Gotta pretend that this isn’t diseased.

    Language is gone cause we’re dumbing it down.
    Just play along and they’ll keep you around.

    Just generate those pieces of paper
    to justify your life and labor.

    Forget about truth; just keep pretending
    You just might get your happy ending.

    Forget about knowledge, beauty and truth.
    inflated words “empower today’s youth.”

    Play nice, keep clean, never be late
    or say what happens in room 238

    If you can keep the emptiness pure
    you might just keep your sinecure.

    Remember: It’s 1984
    and 2+2 don’t =4.

  10. LindaTK

    Day 22:
    On Working (Free Verse)

    My identity was chiseled
    during thirty-nine years
    in the classroom.
    Teacher and learner
    I retired,
    leaving it all behind.
    Ready to reinvent myself
    Writer of fiction, non-fiction
    and poetry
    Instead,
    I seem to be
    Evaporating.

  11. Cassandra O'Shea

    Work

    Contemplate work when in a drink
    your face washed by carbonation
    your feelings freed by alcohol.
    Why do you grind your day down
    with such a sterile square?
    Why do you wear the skin of the herd
    when you have the mind of a hunter?
    Eat each memo, burn all the status
    reports, set a virus loose in inboxes,
    fill the watercooler with vodka.
    But the next day, you return, a bloated ghost
    ready to obey the corporate letter,
    the missions of money and profit.

  12. Kripa Nidhi

    How we work
    ———–

    Every weekday morning we set off
    at a frantic pace. The streets of cities
    around the world are filled with men
    and women chewing gum, their chin up,
    their eyes looking straight ahead, their ears
    plugged to ipods, sprinting to rush into
    the metros that can’t hold any more of them,
    their feet constantly moving standing still
    only when they’re being moved by
    the metro, the bus, the escalator.
    In the evening they return – their shoulders
    drooping, their hopeful make-up washed away
    clothes disheveled and eyes dreaming of sleep
    They have worked so hard to nail one more
    coffin in the heart of this earth they love
    so much and are in a hurry to bury.
    -Kripa Nidhi

  13. Lissa

    Beater Bike Commute

    Overbearing busses
    and skimmers
    challenge my lane.
    Kitty litter
    and leaf-blower windstorms
    are my nemeses.
    And once I got cut off by an SUV
    that turned right from the far lane
    against oncoming traffic
    in front of a dump truck.
    She had a Share the Road bumper sticker.

    But they all dim
    when I throw in a good trackstand
    or beat the light.

    I hoot when I throw in a good trackstand,
    or zip through a yellow.

  14. Kellie M Shanley

    Work

    Is a necessity
    we love to hate,
    hate to love
    and cannot live with out

    Work
    When not over done
    keeps us healthy
    the mind agile,
    the body willing.

    Work
    Makes our troubles less
    keeps us young at heart
    and satisfied with who we are

    Work
    Gives us money to spend
    Something to barter with
    Or at least a since of accomplishment

    Work
    is what you make it.
    it can be a chore,
    or fact of life well done.

    Kellie M Shanley © 2009

  15. angela readman

    The Husband Inspector

    Women call me when they’re on the fence,
    I can fix the splintered timber, ease the wobble,
    plane the surface flat for smooth flying
    into the arms of love.

    Just one word and I can grant the certificate,
    assess the likelihood of marital bliss,
    calculate the risks of a man, perform the test
    to find if he’s roadworthy or only will hit the road.

    I do it carefully, inspect every angle,
    each concealed compartment of their
    baggage to determine the sturdiness of the vehicle
    a woman requires to deliver her to happiness.

    Some don’t make it from the test ground, engines
    epoxied, only hope keeping them together.
    Parts missing under the hood, smiles cracked,
    trunks full of exes making the journey unlikely,
    bumpy and slow.

    I hate to tell them there’s too many miles on their clocks,
    too many states, tampered metres. Big end’s gone
    beyond repair even the best blowjob can’t fix.
    The repair isn’t my job. I know a write off when I see one,

    my sixth sense. Some of my clients don’t have a first.
    Business is slow. Mot many call me, don’t want to tie up
    their phones, don’t want to know, only to tie the knot
    albeit with broken string. They’ll spend years,

    trying to fix a man who wasn’t worth fixing.
    I could tell them, if they’d ask, the missing parts
    no longer made for him, could point her in the direction of a trade in,
    a new model that runs more efficiently.

    They don’t ask,most just keep truckin’ along that highway,
    feeling each pothole. The exhaust taped together,

    as ‘love’ blows smoke behind them and
    they keep driving towards the horizon
    on half a tank of gas.

  16. angela readman

    Mmm, dream job didn’t grab me instantly (I don’t dream of working :)So I had to think about it and came up with a fictional job that doesn’t exist, but might be useful anyway 🙂

    The Husband Inspector

    Women call me when they’re on the fence,
    I can fix the splintered timber, ease the wobble,
    plane the surface flat for smooth flying
    into the arms of love.

    Just one word and I can grant the certificate,
    assess the likelihood of marital bliss,
    calculate the risks of a man, perform the test
    to find if he’s roadworthy or only will hit the road.

    I do it carefully, inspect every angle,
    each concealed compartment of their
    baggage to determine the sturdiness of the vehicle
    a woman requires to deliver her to happiness.

    Some don’t make it from the test ground, engines
    epoxied, only hope keeping them together.
    Parts missing under the hood, smiles cracked,
    trunks full of exes making the journey unlikely,
    bumpy and slow.

    I hate to tell them there’s too many miles on their clocks,
    too many states, tampered metres. Big end’s gone
    beyond repair even the best blowjob can’t fix.
    The repair isn’t my job. I know a write off when I see one,

    my sixth sense. Some of my clients don’t have a first.
    Business is slow. Mot many call me, don’t want to tie up
    their phones, don’t want to know, only want to tie the knot albeit with broken string. They’ll spend years,

    trying to fix a man who wasn’t worth fixing.
    I could tell them, if they’d ask, the missing parts
    she’ll never find for him, could point her in the direction of a trade in, a new model that runs more efficiently.

    They don’t ask, just keep truckin’ along that highway, feeling each pothole. The exhaust taped together,
    as ‘love’ blows smoke behind them and they keep driving towards the horizon on half a tank of gas.

  17. angela readman

    Mmm, dream job didn’t grab me instantly (I don’t dream of working :)So I had to think about it and came up with a fictional job that doesn’t exist, but might be useful anyway 🙂

    The Husband Inspector

    Women call me when they’re on the fence,
    I can fix the splintered timber, ease the wobble,
    plane the surface flat for smooth flying
    into the arms of love.

    Just one word and I can grant the certificate,
    assess the likelihood of marital bliss,
    calculate the risks of a man, perform the test
    to find if he’s roadworthy or only will hit the road.

    I do it carefully, inspect every angle,
    each concealed compartment of their
    baggage to determine the sturdiness of the vehicle
    a woman requires to deliver her to happiness.

    Some don’t make it from the test ground, engines
    epoxied, only hope keeping them together.
    Parts missing under the hood, smiles cracked,
    trunks full of exes making the journey unlikely,
    bumpy and slow.

    I hate to tell them there’s too many miles on their clocks,
    too many states, tampered metres. Big end’s gone
    beyond repair even the best blowjob can’t fix.
    The repair isn’t my job. I know a write off when I see one,

    my sixth sense. Some of my clients don’t have a first.
    Business is slow. Mot many call me, don’t want to tie up
    their phones, don’t want to know, only want to tie the knot albeit with broken string. They’ll spend years,

    trying to fix a man who wasn’t worth fixing.
    I could tell them, if they’d ask, the missing parts
    she’ll never find for him, could point her in the direction of a trade in, a new model that runs more efficiently.

    They don’t ask, just keep truckin’ along that highway, feeling each pothole. The exhaust taped together,
    as ‘love’ blows smoke behind them and they keep driving towards the horizon on half a tank of gas.

  18. Merddyn Aladar

    "What if today IS my last day?"

    If today is my last day
    Then why should I work?
    If I have a job, just skip it
    No punishment later, I’ll be dead.
    And If I don’t have a job
    Why try to get one?
    It’ll take up all my time
    And I’ll have no fun.

    So, let’s do something we enjoy!
    Live life to the fullest, do all we can!
    Don’t worry if you’ll regret it,
    You won’t live to have the chance!
    Rape, murder, theft, all the sins!
    No punishment to be had.
    Let’s go out, do whatever we want,
    And don’t worry, we won’t be caught!

    But wait, what went wrong?
    Tomorrow’s my last day all along?!
    Oh what a horrible thing I did
    Skipping work, harming all else.
    Why couldn’t I had died yesterday?
    Oh, how I regret what I had done.
    I wish I had worked all day long.
    So I’d never have done all that wrong.

  19. Lynne

    Work

    I propose creation of a new word to replace Work
    which seems to imply drudgery, toil, something
    unpleasant, something to be avoided. It is not
    usually any of these things. Let’s rename it Play,
    or Fool Around, or Fun, even Utopia, which it is
    if you’re fortunate in your choice of vocation.

    Lynne Nelsen

  20. Amy Gunn

    “The Battle of ZCMI”

    Clothing fixtures and display tables
    Are turned in complete disarray
    Into barricades of varying shapes
    As we prepare ourselves for the fight.
    The doors are barred shut, and
    Today our customers are staying far away
    From America’s first department store.
    The sound of gunfire echoes
    From one of the floors above,
    And the level of tension is rising.
    I look across the aisle and see
    A coworker signaling; it’s time.
    As we fire our first volley,
    I wake up, sweating, my heart pounding fast.
    I remember that I haven’t worked
    At ZCMI for years, and
    There never really was a battle.
    Not unless you count the minor skirmishes
    Between foolish old ladies who wanted
    To get the last of whatever we had on sale. I never could figure out what was so great
    About saving ten cents on a big-ticket item.

  21. T.B. Bryceson

    Over Twenty One

    “Why you take my money?!”
    The small Asian woman asks.
    “Why you put it on that spot?”
    I think, just to myself

    I’d pay you, if I could
    I’d pay you to stop,
    I’d pay you to leave,
    I’d pay you to walk away

    To stop torturing me,
    To stop forcing me
    To take your money,
    To stop crying on my table

    I’d pay you dearly,
    But you won’t go
    Even when I do pay you,
    You won’t walk away

    I have paused,
    I have questioned you,
    I have stalled to let you think,
    I have winced when you insist

    One more hand,
    One more deck,
    One more hour,
    One more hundred,

    One more,
    One less,
    Two less,
    And then one down.

    One down,
    Then two, three, four
    There goes the house,
    The spouse, the car

    “Why you take my money?!”
    Why, oh, why do you force me?

    Copyright 2009 by T.B. Bryceson

  22. Ivy Merwine

    The clock says its time to get started.
    My brain, however, is still asleep.
    I shake my head to try to wake it up.
    I feel dizzy.
    I stare at my screen till the dizziness passes.
    I can’t think of anything to write.
    I search the internet looking at the news headlines.
    Its all the same today, nothing stands out.
    No inspiration is forthcoming.
    My brain is still in a daze.
    I chug hot black coffee hoping it will wake up my tired mind.
    I spend my day in a slump writing ten pages of crap and moving 8 of them to the trash can.
    I take a closer look and then scrap another page.
    I hope tomorrow will be better.
    At least I will have one page to start with.
    Its better than nothing.

  23. Cathy Sapunor

    Putting A Journalism Degree to Good Use

    The lady with the camera–that’s me.
    Employees often say they wish they had
    my job: design, writing, picture-taking.
    The honest part of me would like to reply
    yes! you would adore doing what I do!
    But usually I just say
    oh no, you don’t–you wouldn’t like to
    have to pretend to know everyone’s names
    all the time, and be happy and interested
    in everything. All the time. And your pictures
    have to make everyone look their best.
    And of course, I’m often the first to
    get axed when a company falls on bad fiscal times.
    It’s happened to me twice. Or so I tell them, a
    brave smile frozen on my face.

    I enjoy getting paid for having a good eye and
    a smart mouth.

    Cathy Sapunor

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