November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 12

For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem that focuses on or discusses a tiny detail. It could be a tiny detail that is often overlooked, and you’d like to call attention to it. The detail could be one that if overlooked can cause good or bad things to happen.

Here’s my attempt for the day:


Not all werewolves wear shirts,
and those that do don’t always rip them,
though sometimes they do.

And the same goes for their pants,
with some wearing ‘em and others not.

Of course, it’s a minor detail, but that’s why
I always kind of preferred the Wolf Man,
because he had a nice buttoned-up shirt
tucked into his pants. A gentle, though feral,
man who had a penchant for strangulation.

As the full moon peaks from behind dark clouds,
the gentleman grows hair, claws and sharp teeth–
his clenched fists open and search for a victim.


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71 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 12

  1. Lynne

    Dandelion Trivia

    To coax guffaws and giggles out
    of 8-year old boys and girls
    tell them the French name for dandelion
    is pis-en-lit, wet-the-bed in English.

    When the laughter dies down,
    explain that herbalists use this
    plant as a diuretic. Young children
    in France are cautioned not to eat
    dandelion salads with their evening meal

  2. Kathy Kehrli

    XII. Shuffling a Groove in the Floor

    As he hovered between life and death,
    His heart, lungs and kidneys
    Functioning thanks only to
    Machines and pharmaceuticals,
    My own organs kicked into overdrive.
    As if mine compensating for his,
    They pounded to anxiety’s beat
    And an irresistible urge
    Drew my feet to the ICU dance floor.
    As I walked that cursed hallway—
    Down which they’d wheeled my lifeless dad—
    Back and forth, up and bottomward,
    I burned the linoleum pattern on my brain.
    Mauve and turquoise tiles
    Catty-cornering dingy cream,
    I’d come to abhor a color
    Combination I’d once yenned.
    “You’re still pacing,” he observed.
    “I’ve been pacing for three days.”
    This underfooting and my soles
    Are now best friends.

  3. Penny Henderson

    I’m getting a grip–skipping the reading–will return later for a proper perusal

    day # 12 often overlooked detail

    Red wine, fish and whole grain
    have no chance against
    a random gene
    your Grandpa dumped in the pool.

  4. Taylor Graham


    We walk on other people’s all the time,
    not imagining those folks might need them,
    after they’ve passed on. As useless
    as their shadows, you might say.

    But look at those folks in orange shirts,
    down on hands and knees, staring
    at the dirt in a vacant lot. And look across
    the fence at a homeowner who’s just called

    the police to investigate this suspicious
    behavior. The patrol car pulls up, one
    of the orange-shirts tries to explain:
    a search-and-rescue exercise, mantracking,

    following a set of scuffs in sand. Just a tiny
    clue, that might lead step-by-step
    one day to a missing hunter – a man
    who needs his footprint like a shadow.

  5. Terri Vega

    Day 12:

    Prolific mints
    sprawl out of bounds; over the rock
    border of the garden wall

    Creeping into the lawn
    growing their way
    across the backyard
    out of control

    Roots uncontained travel
    on forever. Pots of mints
    for all the needs
    offer freely their
    bounty within the compass.

  6. Tyger

    Like King Arthur

    Like King Arthur
    who gathered
    knights from all
    the great kingdoms,
    because they believed
    he could unite the land
    and bring together
    in peace
    Obama gathers knights
    and knightesses
    from all the great

  7. Juanita Snyder

    I’ve found my calling…er topic…somebody stop me! (attempt #3) –spideyLOL

    poetry is
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    poetry is slipping off your socks
    just to take a chance and see
    how the floor feels
    against you,
    in spite the risk of

  8. Juanita Snyder

    well, well….seems like I’m on a roll! –spidey

    the memory of dust
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    the funny thing about
    dust is
    no matter how many times
    you chase it from around corners,
    push it off shelves and desktops,
    or wipe it off the face of the earth,
    it has the memory of a galapagos sea tortise
    and continues to remember
    all its former residences,
    before the can of Pledge and Endust,
    feathers and dust cloths,
    mops and vacuums,
    filters and static cling,
    before dander and climate,
    the EPA and even
    the Big Bang himself
    can dare take
    full credit.

  9. Juanita Snyder

    fair showgirls
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    lovely dappled faces
    pressed together in
    gossip and concentration,
    staving off nerves
    between bites of
    carnie food
    and other no-no’s.
    bottles of nail polish &
    show sheen line shelves
    just before show time.
    long colorful ribbons
    chase pesky flies,
    becoming entangled
    about hair & shoulders,
    bouncing amid giggles
    and side glances at
    the stud just across the aisle,
    hoping to be the one
    that finally gets noticed,
    (or at least the blue ribbon)
    this time,
    my northwest equine beauty.

  10. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Killing in the Name of Hollywood

    Camera’s flashing
    Hollywood smiles glistening
    T-shirt slogans bilboarding
    Across silicone breasts
    Of love for earth and
    Saving her life
    5% of film profits
    Going to re-plant
    Native bushland
    With new genetically modified
    Silicone plants that
    Never die and need no care

    Adderbolt leans down and whispers
    In Gaia’s ear

    "I think
    They forgot
    The tiny detail
    About the lights, camera and action
    Causing your death."

    Gaia nods wearily.

  11. Vanessa O'Dwyer


    Man – Woman
    Girl – Boy
    Married, Single,
    Widowed, Gay

    Dressed – Naked
    Black – White
    Is it wrong?
    Who can say?

    Deitistic – Atheistic
    Headscarf – Flowing hair
    If the Devil’s in the details
    Why are they lurking there?

    To fuss about the minor points
    To nitpick and to yelp
    Never dawning upon them
    To get off their ass and help.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  12. Rodney C. Walmer

    The Line

    He stored the jar on a shelf
    oh, so many years ago
    year after year
    gathering dust it sat there
    though he’d forgot himself

    Then one day
    there was but a minor quake
    many would say
    it was naught but a quiver
    to call it a quake was a mistake

    During the shake
    the jar developed a sliver
    though some might call it a crack
    it mattered not
    for it’s contents it began to deliver

    At first there was just an ooze
    odorless, it foamed at the edge
    he ignored it,
    thinking he had nothing to loose

    The liquid fell to the can on the floor
    burned right through
    though he never knew
    from the other side of the door

    Forgetting the acid,
    ignoring the crack
    the little he did
    time he could never have back
    all led to flames and the fire

    He suffered serious burns that night
    he rebuilt, something you have to admire
    that he learned from his insight
    that was something not even he could desire.. .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/14/08 Single detail poem.

  13. Karen H. Phillips

    Gustave Corbet, French (1819-77)
    The Silent River, 1868

    A Small Thing

    No focus.
    The scene divides in half,
    a rocky bluff one side of the river,
    a tall graceful tree on the other,
    the tree shaped like a sheaf
    of cotton candy.
    Perhaps there’s no focus,
    but what the observer observes
    is the bluff,
    overtaken with greenery
    on its top, tip, and sides,
    the trees and undergrowth mingle
    until someone can’t distinguish
    one from the other.
    Overtaken, with what appears
    all the same green.
    Yet up close, myriad greens
    make up the tangle.
    A small thing,
    but nonetheless important
    in some way,
    or the artist wouldn’t have
    captured it
    forever on canvas.

  14. Mary K

    In One Second

    In one second life can forever change;
    someone becomes pregnant, falls
    downstairs, opens the door to the
    intruder, hears it’s cancer, it’s over,
    it’s too late, sees a look she was not
    meant to see, speaks words without
    thought, cannot pull them back, pulls
    the trigger, encounters black ice, skids
    can’t stop. All it takes is one second
    for life to twist down an unforeseen path
    and directions to the former path are lost.

  15. kate

    The website wouldn’t let me on last night for some reason, so here’s my poem a little late.

    A six year old wielding his power

    You wouldn’t think
    there’d be much to choose
    between one teaspoon
    and another,
    but if I give him
    the one with embossed petals
    or elegant curlicues
    on the handle
    he’ll make a fuss,
    he wants the plain one
    although it won’t change the taste
    of his yoghurt.

  16. PSC in CT

    Smiles Went Missing

    Such a sweet, bright child
    Full of color and light
    An artist from the start
    Preschool portraits
    Meticulously depicting
    Eyes with irises, pupils and lashes
    Bewhiskered pets,
    Fish with fins and gills,
    All loved ones –
    Ubiquitous smiles

    Outgrowing crayons
    You turned to tempera,
    Acrylics, watercolors and oils –
    Still stippling in
    Color and light –
    Splashing smiles

    I wander your room
    A visitor at the museum
    Seeking enlightenment
    Scrutinizing each canvas
    Struggling to discern
    Exactly when
    Smiles went

  17. Don Swearingen

    All day the sun and clouds have fought
    To dominate the sky
    The sun marched, a juggernaut
    Sweeping clouds aside to dry
    The grass and trees
    Drenched by a cloud careering
    By, rumbling as it flees
    To the East, leering
    Back with lurid flashes.
    But the sun shoulders itself ahead
    Shrugging off the thunderous crashes
    Promising to return from its Western bed.
    And as the night folds itself around me again
    I think of you. And ask the stars yet again. When?

  18. Nancy

    In Five Minutes

    One alone at the
    lunch table
    trying to look
    busy behind a book

    Two pass by, balancing
    lunch trays, their
    daily dose of chicken
    fingers and Coke.

    Three empty chairs
    sit as
    silent accusations:
    Who’d want to sit
    by you?

    Four strangers crane
    their necks, looking
    for an open spot and ask
    “Are these seats taken?

    Five words—stuck in
    her throat—finally
    escape: Feel free to
    join me.

    For the first time
    this school year,
    she won’t eat

    A second later
    she realizes, they’re
    eyeing her chair

    With third lunch
    packed to capacity,
    no one simply sits
    and reads.
    Do they?

    Back and forth she
    scans the room for one more
    chair, a peace offering,
    buying time
    in company.

    A fifth wheel, she
    finally blushes, marks
    her page, and rising,
    heads to the hallway
    to wait for the bell.

    Nancy Posey

  19. lynn rose

    You can not see me
    I am something that people take for granted most days of there lives.It is a feeling you have for a child, friend,husband or wife. You can not see me, but I am there. I can be sitting with the remote in an easy chair. I’m in a smile and a laugh, I may even be in a cup of coffee. I can make you scream and cry your head off when I have done you wrong, or I am lost. For love comes in many different forms, love of someone is the most precious of all. But when lost, you pay the cost. I am overlooked by many and just assumed by some. Make sure you share me with someone.

    I know this was suppose to be about a tiny detail that might be overlooked. I think this is something that is tiny in many lives for they just assume it will always be there.

  20. Shann Palmer


    Walking along Silverbell in Tucson,
    I found a twenty-dollar bill laying
    in the gravel off to the side of the road.

    It might have been a ten, or even a five
    but it was definitely Silverbell and
    I was headed to the store to get a coke.

    I think it was a coke, but maybe it was
    the time I went for fatback for my mother
    so we could season the hard white beans

    we got along with potted meat, cheese,
    corn meal and really good peanut butter
    when my dad was unemployed in 1967

    during the strike, when I walked to the store
    with nothing and ended up getting something.

  21. Kate Berne Miller

    Everyone’s work is stunning. I don’t feel quite up to snuff tonight but here goes anyway.

    The distance between us, the sum of its parts
    measured by miles or molecules or time zones
    or years, you are lucid enough tonight though
    you admit to some degree of confusion about
    exactly where you are, you’ve been moved so
    often in the last two months. When my brother
    called last night you were hysterical, they’re plotting
    in the halls you said, I hear moaning and crying all
    around me, I know what they’re doing in those other
    rooms, they haven’t hurt me yet but I know they will,
    I need to pack, will you come get me? Yet tonight
    you are calm and rational, you recall it all, the fall,
    the surgery, the wheelchair, metal pins in your elbow.
    My sister is there now reading you a story about a cat
    abandoned in the returns slot of a library; she holds
    the cell phone up to your ear as you describe the view
    outside your window: a crimson maple aflame in the
    yellow cone of the streetlamp. You enjoyed the flowers
    I sent; they were all shades of blue and purple, a bouquet
    of wildflowers. Tonight you still sound like my mother
    and tonight I still feel like your child. "Goodnight,” I say,
    “I’m sending you a hug through the wires,” I hear your
    whispered answer “I feel it in every fiber of my being.”

    Kate Berne Miller

  22. Shann Palmer


    Walking along Silverbell in Tucson,
    I found a twenty-dollar bill laying
    in the gravel off to the side of the road.

    It might have been a ten, or even a five
    but it was definitely Silverbell and
    I was headed to the store to get a coke.

    I think it was a coke, but maybe it was
    the time I went for fatback for my mother
    so we could season the hard white beans

    we got along with potted meat, cheese,
    corn meal and really good peanut butter
    when my dad was on unemployed in 1967

    during the strike, when I walked to the store
    for nothing and ended up getting something.

  23. Kateri Woody

    His plans are dastardly,
    sometimes stupid and campy-kitsch,
    but there’s always a point,
    a lesson to be learned –
    a moral to the unhappy ending
    that happens thrice over.

    With each life he takes,
    he imparts a little value
    on each survivor, the untouched
    citizens gaining an appreciation
    of his organized chaos;
    the way in which he chooses
    his victims at random
    allows all those left alone
    to appreciate the life
    they’re allowed to live without
    interference of happy-gases,
    stupid gags, or crudely
    concocted death traps.

    He’s helping others to see
    what they might have missed before,
    that just because their friends
    may die, they should be happy
    that it was not them.

  24. Michelle H.

    I must say I agree with Patti tonight, there are just too many great poems today to comment! I enjoyed them all!! I love seeing what everyone is doing with their themes too – it’s great!

  25. satia

    I really struggled with this because there are so many details with vertigo, the things people take for granted that are now risky for me, that I didn’t know where to go. I finally focused on the ubiquitous label one finds on nearly every bottle of medicine, whether OTC or prescription.

    May Cause Dizziness

    If I move too quickly,
    Toss my hair out of my face
    Shake my head “no” with vigor
    Or look both ways before I cross
    It triggers the spinning in my head.

    The traffic helicopter flying low
    Overhead, the rhythm of the trance
    That dances from my son’s bedroom,
    And the unexpected ring of my phone
    Or knock on the door will cause
    The ground to shift and slip away.

    Crane shots in movies, zooming
    Aerial visions of director’s zeal
    A bird’s eye view of a village
    And walking down the dimly lit
    Stairs of a theater after the closing credits
    Keep me nauseous and at home.

    The weather changes—with rain
    Comes a heaviness in my head
    That makes reading a chore
    And wind can make a simple walk
    A tightrope balancing act where I
    Stretch out my arms to keep erect.

    The list seems endless and I refuse
    To not test the limits of myself.
    Practically every prescription says
    May cause dizziness
    Which, for me, is redundant
    I keep hoping I’ll find a pill
    That makes everyone else dizzy
    And returns some balance into my life.

  26. Michelle H.

    And here is my big offering…I decided to try a Sestina again (for practice before Robert requests we do one). :-)

    “Water Drop”

    It has a tempo
    This little droplet of water
    It falls gently down to earth
    Giving life to all living creatures
    And nourishing the weak
    Fulfilling a promise of things to come

    You must come
    And dance to this tempo
    Do not be weak
    For I can give you a drink of water
    And we can watch the earth’s creatures
    Roam this planet earth

    On this green and blue earth
    People from all around come
    To see all of God’s creatures
    Groove to their’ own beat
    Drinking from the lake, the nourishing water
    So they are never weak

    My plant looks weak
    I refresh its earth
    And give it a drink of water
    And you can watch in come
    Back into rhythm
    Rejoining all gods creations

    The stomping feet of small creatures
    Defeat any thoughts of being weak
    And I am driven to march to the tempo
    Of this beating earth
    So come
    And bless this water

    Rising up out of the water
    Are all manner of creatures
    Dolphins and whales are coming
    My knees grow weak
    My heart trembles with the earth
    A strange and exhilarating tempo

    Droplets of water, give life to the weak
    Creatures that roam our planet earth,
    Coming to our souls in its own unique tempo.

  27. patti williams

    Not satisfied, so the only thing to do is write another …

    The Tornado ripped through the
    Land then passed as quickly as it came.
    The people came back to search
    Through the rubble
    For the leftovers of their lives.
    Small things mattered
    Now that the big things
    Were gone, blown away all the way
    To OZ and back.
    A teacup from her grandmother,
    The framed photo of their son in Iraq.
    She found her husband’s guitar in a tree
    Unscathed but cried hard when she
    Came across her jewelry box,
    Still closed, nestled in a lone bush
    Next door. The contents still as
    Organized as she remembered
    The night before when she placed
    Their rings into the same red
    Velvety spots she always kept
    Them in at night when she
    Dreamed he was still beside her.
    She was sure he must have had something
    To do with
    The miracle of
    Saving the little things that
    Mattered so much now that
    The big things were all gone,
    Blown away by the storms that
    Plagued the living.

  28. Cheryl Chambers

    Neal Buys a Cat

    It’s a tabby for all he knows, striped
    and centered on all fours, calm
    fastidious in its cleaning. Neal has not
    yet determined its sex figuring it would ruin
    the mystery of it all, the equation
    to the feminine. He’s calling her Sphynx
    and negating the need to peek between
    her thighs. She sits and perches
    watchful and waiting for his next move.
    He feels an affinity, a feeling as if the women
    he’s loved in his life, all three, are bound
    up in that red ball of yarn spinning its way
    across the floor. Sphynx watches, ready
    to pounce as if she knows what it’ll do
    but the minute there’s a pause she turns
    and stares at Neal, expectant and waiting.

  29. patti williams

    Too many kudos to list today – just now posting my own feeble attempt – I have been busy with work thank goodness! Really though, good writing. I think this blog is oozing with talent …

  30. Judy Roney


    Just before I fall asleep
    I feel my gut contract
    one little shot of pain
    my payment for a night’s sleep.

    Early on I thought it felt
    like having contractions.
    Loosing a child even when
    he is twenty-three
    is a miscarriage to my body.

  31. k weber

    found love poem

    my first
    love fell
    in love

    this time
    it stuck

    like a post
    it to a foot-
    note glued
    to a love

    like a baby
    to the womb
    of a fair-haired

    like words
    to meaning

    like runners
    keeping close
    to the wind

    like numbers
    their order
    and chaos

    you will
    always love
    that girl

  32. patti williams

    When she was weak
    He brushed her hair
    When she ached
    He rubbed her back
    When she couldn’t stand
    He let her lean into him.
    All through her battle
    He gave her tiny bits of
    She needed in her fight to

  33. Jane penland hoover

    Dark Shadow

    Today is cool and gray
    Much like that July day
    Back then in that other time
    Before there had been a crime

    My leaving without a word
    Your watching that yellow bird,
    Eating at the feeder, unaware
    Of my wandering flare.

  34. SaraV

    Everyone wrote such lovely poems! I’m impressed. Unfortunately, I’m also tired, so here’s my less than luminous contribution.

    The Art of Goose Capture

    Orange, bony
    Leathery, large
    Look quite sturdy
    But when you think
    About it
    Those feet only support
    Organs and a few hundred feathers
    Turns out those legs
    Are easily broken
    So,if you don’t want
    A gimpy goose
    Got to grab its neck



    A magic little molecule
    Holding hands with all the others
    In the process of photosynthesis
    So when you take a tiny dropper
    Of a concentrated chemical
    That cuts carotene production
    Lush green leaves turn white
    Then brown and noxious
    All because a little molecule
    Was left out of the process

  35. Margaret Fieland

    Hobo’s Lament

    Walk into the station,
    try to find the train.
    Don’t care where I’m going,
    need to stop the pain.

    Wander to the platform,
    train comes rolling in,
    headed for St. Louis.
    Take a swig of gin,

    climb into the boxcar,
    find I’m lying down.
    Head keeps right on spinning.
    Still I want to drown

    all my lies in liquor.
    Just want to forget.
    Lost my wife and children,
    found myself in debt.

    Don’t know why I’m crying.
    Nothing I can do.
    Wish my life was over,
    wish it wasn’t true.

    Train has started moving,
    clatters down the track.
    Push the car door open.
    Curtain. Fade to black.

    Went into the station,
    waited for the train.
    Knew where I was going,
    had to stop the pain.

  36. Bruce Niedt

    I don’t know if this is a "tiny detail" or not, but it’s where I went with the prompt:

    Count Your Hallelujahs

    I’m no chorister, but I have some advice
    for you student and amateur choirs
    about to tackle the Messiah this season:

    Count your Hallelujahs.
    It’s easy to get swept up in the ecstasy
    of the most jubilant choral piece ever written.

    But as you roll through “King of Kings,
    and Lord of Lords”, remember that it’s
    four “hallelujahs” before that pause.

    I’ve seen too many red-faced tenors or altos
    who just blurted out half a fifth “hallelujah”
    after everyone else came to full stop.

    Spare yourself the agony: four hallelujahs,
    pause, then the final one. Let that last
    exaltation burst forth and ring the rafters!

    Then I’ll come watch your choir this Christmas,
    and I’ll marvel at how well you can,
    even for a second or two, contain your joy.

  37. Peggy Goetz

    Prompt: Write about a small detail

    Just Not a Choice

    It was a small thing
    that detail, the fear that
    nagged her always
    in her heart. It lived there
    never large or raging
    holding cobweb threads
    the soft sounds of moths
    hitting dark windows but
    living just the same. Mostly
    it didn’t matter, walked
    her children a block closer
    to the school, kept all
    the doors locked, threw
    out food left more than
    a day, a good mother.
    Until her brother came
    with the Jewish child
    said please hide him
    the Nazis took his parents
    we’re hiding his sister.
    She said, no, it wasn’t
    a choice she could make.

    Nov. 12, 2008

  38. Sara McNulty

    Fabulous everyone. I am finding this quite challenging. Just a few . . .
    Iain – Armistice Day, Bruce – Savage Breast, Victoria – It Matter, and Billy Angel –
    When Parents Argue and Halloween. Congrats to all of you.

  39. Sara McNulty

    Probing Purple

    A scientist states that
    the earliest life on our
    earth was of a purple
    hue – before chlorophyll.
    Ancient microbes used
    a molecule, name of retinal,
    to harness rays of sun, casting
    organisms in violet. Eons
    before Elizabeth Taylor’s
    eyes, purple prose, or the
    strange creature known
    as the Purple People eater.

    If you want balance,
    you must align the
    Crown chakra, center
    of the body, source
    of connection for
    harnessing universal
    energy, enabling your
    imagination, removing
    all obstacles in your
    path, freeing you to
    be an entity unto
    yourself, expanding
    your mind, allowing
    fantasy . . .hmm
    sounds suspiciously
    like a certain forbidden
    drug–L for lavender,
    S for scented, and
    D for deodorant.

    Mount your horses
    you riders of the
    purple sage.

  40. Robin


    There are litte yellow suns in a sea of green
    There’s only one thing this could mean
    Spring has come calling once again
    With her warm sun and growing rain.

    Some call them weeds, I call them treasures
    They’re one of nature’s beautiful pleasures
    A free gift to us after all the snow
    Some are in a hurry to see them go.

    They bring out the mowers and chop them down
    But they make me smile instead of frown
    They’re bright little reminders that all is new
    When the cold winter winds are through.

    So go ahead if you must
    Grind them into the dust
    But I will enjoy them while I can
    Painted by Mother Nature’s own hand.

  41. Paul W.Hankins


    Black is not black;
    it cannot match itself
    in shade or shadow
    in the absence of light:

    The tip of a borrowed tie
    against a reversible belt
    is revealed as imposter
    with every deep breath
    and shift in my seat
    my formality
    is found to be fraud. . .

    not black.

    And every pallbearer
    is betrayed by their own sense
    of black –
    like they have known
    the black she saw,
    fumbling through the dark
    her own hands hidden
    manifest only by the wall
    she tried to read like drywall Braille –
    instead every shade
    at the end of each arm
    is some degree
    of ashes to ashes –
    the remains after smoldering. . .

    not black.

    My black wingtip
    strikes the wet pavement,
    and my sole
    denies itself against
    what I find
    to be cobbles of charcoal. . .

    not black.

    Can we find our way out of grief
    when all says, “Shade, shade, shade. . .”
    is death holding an umbrella of ebony. . .

    not black?

  42. Nancy


    My ears still perk up like Pavlov’s
    dog at that first chord, remembering
    when I turned eight and thought
    they’d bought me the soundtrack from
    Oklahoma, claiming the Beatles
    were all sold out.

    I wept, burying my face in Mama’s
    skirt while Daddy assured me I’d
    like it if I’d listen. Placing the vinyl
    disk on the turntable, he swung
    the tone arm into place, producing
    scratchy static, then that chord,
    that unmistakable first chord
    of “Hard Day’s Night.”

    Nancy Posey

  43. Victoria Hendricks

    Thanks again Robert – Writing to prompts on a theme is much more inspiring than I expected. I’m loving today’s poems. The lesson is as usual chilling, Heather – and Billy Angel, I’ve read yours after halloween six times already – chilling and strong. "Valentine’s Day in Jail" stands out too, especially the last terrible line.

    Here’s mine.

    How Matters

    It matters how I open the door.
    Fling it open, wild, wide, fast,
    send papers flying, trip over feet,
    break cup, let lurking flies in.
    Open hesitantly, just a crack,
    let hand on knob shake, steps falter,
    leave my present outside, un given.
    Enter mindfully, firm hand on knob.
    Push gently, bring what was out, in.
    Bring my present. Become present.
    It matters how I open the door.

    It matters how I shut the door.
    Slam and shake shells on shelf,
    slosh tea in fragile cup,
    shiver even baby unborn.
    Close incompletely, too quick
    forget to listen for the click,
    Leave crack in safe shell.
    Close mindfully, firm hand on knob,
    pull gently, separate in from out,
    enfold room in welcome peace.
    It matters how I shut the door.

  44. RJay Slais

    One One Might Miss

    The rolling river of mist slows,
    settles in to disguise the berry tree,
    its naked twigs like the faint lines
    fading on the pages of last season’s diary.

    Forty-nine sparrows, fruit in the branches,
    all talk at once, then they are silent.
    Like flittering leaves, they all look at once,
    first left, then right, left,
    some fly down, pick up mud,
    some, a short stack of straw.

    They fly down, then up, down,
    one goes away, straw stack like a rudder
    turns him, an expert in correction,
    he avoids every branch.
    Another stirs a small puddle of mud,
    straw in her beak as if mixing a bird soup.

    After the mist rise, disappearance,
    all around that tree now empty
    but for one flattened bird that remains
    near the trunk, half hidden by dirt,
    a few damp leaves; its exit from sight
    slowed by the bitter change of seasons.

  45. Ronda Eller

    oratory dreamer

    people speak.
    dreams speak.
    people speak
    in dreams.

    can define a person,
    can wake a person
    to real, profound

    and motivate both
    the orating dreamer
    and any witness.
    its revelation

    beyond control
    when irrefutable truths
    become unmasked.

    ~ Ronda Eller 2008

  46. Lori

    Communication Credit

    Before-class conversation
    as the students take their seats
    comparison of schedules
    and questions about
    the subject at hand
    swapping of emails
    The teacher enters
    unaware of all the communication
    already taken place.

  47. Iris Deurmyer

    Tears in a Bottle
    One tiny drop
    Just one small drip
    Two molecules of hydrogen
    One molecule of oxygen

    Now put them together
    In one tiny drop
    And they can make a tear
    That falls in sorrow

    According to the Torah
    God stores our tears
    In a bottle for us
    Drop by tiny drop.

  48. Rachel

    Hi guys… here is my poem for the day. What do you think? Is the ending ok or too abrupt? What picture does it paint? Thanks…

    The Northeaster

    The glorious ship from Egypt
    the Alexandrian,
    loaded with grain and hundreds of sailors,
    was my caravan of trade and commerce
    headed to Italy, to make lots of money.
    Along the way we met
    Julius the centurian,
    carting some prisoners
    over to stand trial before Caesar,
    so I took them aboard.
    Why not?
    Among them was Paul,
    who could have been set free, I was told,
    if he hadn’t prematurely made his appeal.
    What a fool.

    It was getting late in the season,
    but I knew my ship – she was hardy.
    The Romans they used to say,
    "To sail after mid September is doubtful,
    and after mid-November –
    but what did they know?
    We had a bit of rough going, sure,
    but I found what I was looking for,
    the gentle southwind…
    …and we set sail along the coast,
    (against Paul’s warnings
    and religious ramblings)
    seeking the harbour that would protect my
    beautiful Alexandrian
    until March, the end of winter.
    Julius was on board.

    But that precious southwind was
    an adulterous liar,
    enticing me soothingly
    while she slept with the Northeaster,
    the Northeaster
    whose rage fell upon us as a jealous husband
    whose territory had been violated.
    We had no business in those waters,
    for he came sweeping down from the island of Crete,
    a typhoon with hurricane force,
    and we lost all hope of standing our ground
    being driven along
    in terror.
    We sailed with all our might
    tossing the cargo overboard,
    dragging the sea anchor beneath the ship’s tackle
    which I flung over the side with my own hands,
    my precious mainsail becoming
    another hopeful brake for my Alexandrian.
    The sun and the stars hid for many days
    until we gave up all hope of being saved.
    In desperation
    we had passed ropes under the ship
    to hold her together,
    not knowing that
    the smallest detail
    would keep her afloat:
    that we had Paul,
    and Paul had God.

    Fourteen days and nights
    we did not eat,
    but lived on adreniline and suspense
    praying for daylight.
    Who was I praying to?
    Finally we sensed we were nearing land,
    and the soundings confirmed it.
    Some sailors tried to escape on the lifeboat
    we had nearly lost to the storm,
    but Paul,
    who claimed to have angels speaking to him,
    warned Julius,
    "unless they stay, you die."
    Julius was on board,
    and the soldiers cut the ropes.
    And then Paul did the craziest thing…
    he opened the remaining grain,
    the lifeblood of the Alexandrian,
    and drained her to the ravenous men,
    urging them to eat,
    while giving thanks to God.
    And my Alexandrian died,
    dashed to pieces by the pounding surf
    on a sandbar when daylight came.
    But every disoriented sailor
    because we had Paul,
    and Paul had God.

  49. Billy Angel

    The Day After Halloween

    I find the sleek, half-a-heart
    corpse of a robin on the porch,
    beak lying in a pool of black

    blood. I leave it, go to work.
    In the road a jack-o-lantern
    sacrificed by trick-or-treaters,

    the smile, cut to last, shriveled
    into a yellow frown. I park my
    car, a crow sneers, flies away.

  50. LKHarris-Kolp

    Valentine’s Day in Jail

    The smell of chocolate chip cookies
    filled the air that Valentine’s Day.
    Their first as huband and wife,
    she planned to celebrate a special way.

    The sound of the phone ringing
    broke her train of thought suddenly.
    A policeman’s voice at the other end
    broke the news- she must come quickly.

    The people waiting with the newlywed
    told her stories of why they came.
    In jail people were from all walks of life,
    but she didn’t even know their name.

    She waited and waited, and then posted bail,
    an experience humbling to herself.
    Not knowing whether she should be happy or mad,
    she put her emotions on a back shelf.

    So when her groom finally got out of jail that night,
    the good wife simply said, "That’s all-right."

    Laurie K.

  51. Earl Parsons

    Day 12 for LL&L:


    Some think I stand in the shadows
    Some think I’ve walked away
    Some think I’m not the only God
    Some think I don’t even exist
    Some think I really don’t love you
    Some think I have too many rules
    Some think I’m cruel to unbelievers
    Some think I’m unfair to My own

    So many are so wrong about Me

  52. Earl Parsons

    Day 12 for SS:

    I Miss Nothing

    Dot your ‘i’s
    Cross your ‘t’s
    Put down the seat
    Finish your spinach
    Set your alarm
    Be there 5 minutes early
    Don’t forget to pick up dinner
    Where are your keys?
    What’s that guy’s name?
    Why are you in this room?
    Is today trash day?
    Why are you so human?

    If you relied on me
    You wouldn’t feel so stupid
    Because I miss nothing

  53. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,

    Ringo asked me to drop you a note.
    So I am. Now I just got into town and I’m
    not sure I’m totally diggin’ this antagonist
    thing you guys got going on. Your sister
    seems quite a nice girl to me and as for your
    Mother, well she’s sweet. Could it be that
    my cousin, your great friend, is just a miserable
    asshole who is never ever satisfied with his
    life and enjoys taking it out on his nearest
    and dearest? Oh! And as for baseball, sure I’m
    Braves all the way but after all it’s only a game!
    Still, like I said I just got here. What do I know?

    Yours probably missing the point

    Jimmy the Greek

    p.s. I nearly forgot… Ringo says pickya up at seven.

  54. Iain D. Kemp

    Connie – Excellent! Reminds me of Dudley Moore who once said that you can be anything you want but don’t be a carpet, being a carpet gets you nowhere (except upstairs at the Ritz for free) except walked all over. Nice one!


  55. Connie


    No one pays much attention to floors
    We just walk all over them
    Wood, cement, linoleum, tile
    Carpet in an array of depth, color, and material
    Old, new, expensive, cheap, dirty, clean
    Given a cursory glance
    Just as long as they keep us from falling into the basement

    No one pays much attention to floors
    Unless you are a domino builder.
    Surface is essential.
    The cracks, the slant, the texture can make or break a set up.
    Formica, cement, basketball courts are perfect.
    Definitely not carpet

    Floors to domino builders are much like a canvas to a painter.
    Even the color of the floor makes a difference in the design.
    Some builders paint the floors to produce a different effect.

    No one pays much attention to floors
    Except domino builders.

  56. Iain D. Kemp

    Cats, Poetry & Death #15

    …my point exactly!

    Whenever the Muse refuses to comply
    with desires to write in prose or verse
    or rhyme, all poets will at some stage
    resort, to inspiration of a sort known
    to quickly cure this malady and though
    a sort of parody, they look upon familiar
    themes to find inspiration and it seems
    that throughout the ages in different
    tongues the Poet has become quite used
    to following three simple muses. They
    are found in works by all the greats though
    some used one more than another states.
    Without fail each will return to this sainted
    trilogy of themes, replacing love and thoughts
    of dreams. When nought else serves to stir
    the pen, we write and write again and again
    in free verse, rhyme and prose, to that which
    the reader knows is always sure to affect the
    heart (at least a little, for its part). We’ll scribble
    hasty lines with rapid breath, or calmly thought
    out stanzas of Cats, Poetry and Death.


  57. Iain D. Kemp

    Hi, just a note to say that I finally posted for yesterday (migraine wouldn’t let me before). Also read all the poems and thought they were wonderful. Judy- I as a parent I can’t imagine your pain & It made me cry, it was beautifully written as well as so sad.

    Back later I with some poems…


  58. Heather

    Lesson # 12: Beauty

    She says she hates her body from the
    Forehead down
    She’d like
    An eye lift,
    A nose job,
    One of her ear lobes is ripped,
    She has “no upper lip”
    “Nice double chin!”
    She’d like to get that fixed
    She had a doctor look at her profile
    He says they need to break her lower jaw
    Her breasts are “too small,”
    She’s not leaving the house
    Without her
    Falsies in
    She REALLY wants a “boob” job,
    And if she ever gets the money,
    They are number one on her list
    Her thighs have hit
    The high-water mark as far as she’s concerned
    She says she has “saddlebags,”
    “Can’t you see them?”
    I say, “NO!!
    “They look fine to me”
    But, she’s wrapping them,
    With ace bandages,
    “It takes an inch off,”
    She swears to God
    The minute she can afford liposuction,
    She’s getting it done

    She’s so beautiful,
    She really is
    The prettiest she’s ever been
    I wish she could just
    Be happy
    With what she’s been given
    That’s not up to me

    Lesson #12: Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder