• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

  • Poetic Asides

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

Categories: November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Poetry Prompts.

Good morning! I’m hitting the road this morning, so the prompt is super early.


For today’s prompt, I want you to write a warning poem. Offer some kind of caution or warning related to your theme. Like, maybe, watch out for bad traffic. (Did I mention my trip starts off with driving through Atlanta? O, geez!)


Here is my attempt for the day:


“Monster Alert System”


Warning! There is a giant gorilla
beating its chest and terrorizing
the southside of Manhattan.


Please use extreme caution when
in the vicinity of this giant beast.


Do not stand in its path or try
to distract its attention. It is
believed the monster will just
seek out the blond who traveled
over with the beast, and that
once she is found, the gorilla
will head for a skyscraper, where
we will have people in airplanes
shoot him down. In the process,
the blond will fall for her captor.


 

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.

70 Responses to November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

  1. Lynne says:

    Destiny Disturbed

    Danger danger the lily trumpets
    alarm for those in harm’s way
    the dandelion, the ladybug, the
    honeybee. Too late, the deed is
    done. I wonder if citizens of
    the world will hear and heed
    the distress signal in time.

  2. Kathy Kehrli says:

    XIV. You Make the Call

    Afterward, I questioned the decision.
    “If I ever have a heart attack,
    Just let me sit there and die.
    There’s no way I’m relinquishing
    Control to medical science.”

    “Dial 911.”
    It was his choice, not mine,
    And that’s when I became
    Him, not me.

    Be careful who you call for.
    Once EMS picks up,
    There’s no taking back the touch tones.
    They emerge the guardians
    Of your mortal destiny.

  3. Iris Deurmyer says:

    Scientists estimate that even a genius
    Uses only one tenth of one percent
    Of his potential brain ability.
    They also speculate that we are 95 percent blind to
    Color scheme patterns of nature
    And 98 percent deaf to sound patterns found there.
    Perhaps that’s why we treat the 70 percent of the earth surface
    Covered by its 5 oceans with such disregard as to purity.
    Since the oceans supply 97 percent of our water supply,
    We need to nurture and protect them,
    Quit using them as garbage dumps and renewable playgrounds

  4. kate says:

    Warning

    Cool
    on his
    new rip stick
    he tries to jump
    off the steps, ‘take care’
    I say, ‘I don’t want a
    trip to hospital,’
    meanwhile, little
    brother falls
    a bone
    snaps.

  5. lynn rose says:

    Warning

    I let people’s moods affect mine.
    Good or Bad
    They way they treat me, can make me sad, mad, or smile
    from ear to ear.
    What does it matter, what people think or say or do.
    Don’t let moods of some affect you day to day.
    I do. I wish I didn’t, I would be a lot happier.

  6. Monica Martin says:

    "Don’t talk to that couple:
    They voted Republican.
    Watch out for them:
    They support gay marriage.
    The owner of that shop
    Is a disgraced veteran.
    You know what? It’s
    best just to stay
    on the other side
    of town."

  7. k weber says:

    up

    the whirring
    of red
    and blue: lights,
    the flag and that
    bruise
    of storm
    clouds clustering
    above
    your head

    get your chin
    off the concrete;
    when you drag
    your weight
    of worry, the scuff
    is like the stubble
    you can’t seem
    to grow

  8. Terri Vega says:

    Day 14:

    Digitalis sly as the foxglove
    of its common name

    Modern medicine’s marvel
    It keeps the heart beating
    Giving life to those whose
    hearts have failed

    Touch it in the garden
    with unprotected hands
    and as the hot day persists and
    you wipe the sweat from your lip
    the fox
    stops your heart

  9. Tyger says:

    Juanita, your poems are beautiful and speak to my heart!
    Tyger

  10. Jane penland hoover says:

    Shadows rest so easy in the heated afternoon
    linger long in the shelter of what’s over and beyond
    cool freshness falling into to lush of lawn

    Eyes habitually seek releif
    from the harshness of the sun
    and if you rest too long

    in the pleasant block of glare
    you may never share again
    the bright lit energy of the day

  11. Juanita Snyder says:

    (on a roll this evening – here’s my 2nd attempt as I’m yet undecided which one I like better. -spidey)

    Lilith
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I live next door to a modern day Lilith,
    first wife of Adam (before the rib of Eve).
    Some say the Mother of Feminism was
    birthed alongside Adam from dust, but her
    refusal to wear his collar as less than his equal,
    led to her embittered fall from grace.

    She is a redhead beauty of volcanic spirit
    who kidnaps children then devours innocent
    flesh, trapping souls between feedings.
    Cunning and defiant, a Succubus
    skilled at stealing a man’s seed
    for her own private soldiering.

    She-Devil and huntress of men, Lilith
    draws & seduces both King and pauper
    circling the drain with cold calculation.
    Temptress of the Vampire arts,
    unafraid to pay the price of such learning
    with her own sacrificial spawn.

    Friend to Revenge, Lover of many -
    the Queen of Spades in a deck of cards,
    beware this Goddess of Storm & Chaos
    who walks without fear or avatar,
    across discord posing as glass splinters,
    the taste of blood sharp upon her lips.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder (aka Spidey)

  12. Juanita Snyder says:

    (always the last to come to the table, but at least I’m here! –spidey)

    ugly child
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    beautiful girl
    in your pink cashmere sweater
    and brown suede boots,
    eyes so busy mesmerizing others
    that you miss the paper shackles
    slipping quietly
    around your ankles
    as I write this…
    those pouty chocolate-scented lips
    dipping words & libidos
    like cheddar in fondue
    at some greasy all night
    testosterone buffet,
    hoping it’ll somehow mask
    the ugliness of
    pushers & pimps
    roaming the back streets
    of your wounded heart,
    shoving and hustling
    yet another Seattle night
    for the lost child
    within.

  13. Vanessa O'Dwyer says:

    Heed

    Can you heed that
    What you sow
    You soon shall reap?
    And what goes around
    Surely comes back?
    Or the law
    Of interaction –
    Where every action
    Has within it
    It’s equal and
    Opposite reaction?
    For these things
    Will come to pass
    Whether you believe
    In them or no.
    How do you suppose
    You should proceed
    When interacting
    With your fellow man
    If this is so?

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  14. Van says:

    PSC, thanks. The final lines of my poem were ironic. I don’t really believe smart people shouldn’t have children, but that people who think they are smart enough to know what they’re in for should think twice. Being chicken is an excellent reason for not having children. However I have never for a second regretted having mine. I am grateful for the adventure, and I am grateful to them.

  15. PSC in CT says:

    Had time to read again to day, and just wanted to comment on some of my favorites (so far):

    Bruce – very cute! (I’ve experienced those symptoms!)

    Karen P – also very cute! (I can see the artist dashing for cover.)

    Peggy G – how very true! (Change required — and I’m ready!)

    Van – very interesting. (I have no children, but I don’t think it was from smart — more from chicken! ;-) )

    Heather – nice job! (We should all know women like her!)

    Judy R- so true. Even when the friends stay & the best of intentions are evident, you are still "on your own" when it comes to dealing with grief and the healing process.

    Kate – I’ve had those! (Even input a poem on the topic — over on the Writers Digest Poetry forum just recently.)

    Shann – very perceptive.

    Paul – so very sad.

    Thanks to you all for keeping this challenge interesting & exciting!

  16. Tyger says:

    The Future Is Young

    Don’t go to sleep now
    and think all the work is done
    with one inkspot on a ballot
    Do you think Barack is on vacation?
    Now you and I shall show him
    what we’re made of
    Can we keep the spirit alive?
    Can we give him the congress he needs?
    Support him in all the ugly actions
    he will have to take
    to unravel us from
    Bush disaster?
    Don’t go to sleep now
    The future is still young.

  17. Taylor Graham says:

    Thanks Bruce. I love your poem as much as I detest those drug ads on TV. You really touch a nerve. And I’m so glad to have found this group. I look forward to every day’s new prompt like my first cup of coffee in the morning.

  18. Ronda Eller says:

    Thank you for the compliment Meesh, I think it is one of my better ones in this daily challenge. :-) Everyone has been doing some great writing and I am enjoying my read through them all!

    Ronda

  19. PSC in CT says:

    Don’t Wait!

    Life is short and time does fly.
    You’ve heard those words before.
    And yet, it’s human nature to believe
    There’s always more.
    More life, more time, more talent,
    More goals we can pursue.
    We never really think about
    When payments will come due.

    If there are dreams you need to chase –
    Begin!
    If you have battles to be fought, then
    Win!

    All our days are numbered
    And for some,
    The number’s smaller than you think.
    Don’t blink!

    If there are songs you need to sing,
    Or words you need to say –
    Today!

    Don’t wait until the perfect time.
    To lose your chance would be a crime.
    Before you even know it –
    It’s too late.
    So, don’t – no matter what! –
    Procrastinate.

    Everything in life comes with an expiration date,
    And you are no exception.
    Don’t wait!

  20. Mary K says:

    Warning

    If you do not take the time to do
    what you want today there may be
    no opportunity tomorrow. If you live
    in the past, you won’t appreciate
    the present or you will not see
    the opportunities before your eyes.
    If you live in the future, you will be
    old before you know it and you
    will have accomplished nothing.
    If you lack time consider your
    priorities and readjust them. Know
    that you cannot escape the ravages
    of time, so be sure that you use time
    in a way that is valuable to you so when
    you reach old age you can look back
    with pleasure and satisfaction and know
    your life was well lived. Time the most
    valuable gift you can give yourself
    or someone else. Time is limited.
    There is no fountain of youth. You
    will not escape death. Meanwhile
    heed these words and live.

  21. Jolanta Laurinaitis says:

    Gaia’s Warning

    She trembles
    And opens apart
    Swallowing her children
    Her tears dry up
    And nurture no more
    Her skin crumbles
    And gives no more food

    She produces no more.

    She swirls her water
    And turns the tide
    On her killers
    Drops shards of ice
    And rips roofs off houses
    And burns what they have left.

    Why haven’t they stopped?
    Heed Gaia’s warning.

  22. Victoria Hendricks says:

    Don’t

    Don’t slam the door.
    Don’t let it hang ajar.
    Come in. Stay out.
    Keep me out. Let me in.
    Trick is how. Trick is when.
    Keep him out. Let her in.
    Stay in. Keep out.
    Don’t leave the door ajar.
    Don’t slam the door.

  23. SusanB says:

    Well I’m catching up here…three days late. Sorry about that, but I marvel that I can catch up from Paris

    DAY 12 BUT FOR One Missing Thing

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. –
    Children’s nursery rhyme
    Poor Richard’s Almanac

    ONE MISSING THING
    1.
    But for a coil wire removed
    (by the repo man)
    A connector for the battery
    The debtor drove away in
    the (bank’s) Cadillac
    2.
    But for a cotter-pin
    A small U-shaped device
    Stuck into an axle
    The baby carriage toppled over
    Now three-wheeled
    3.
    But for closer examination
    Of heat-resistant tiles
    Adhered securely to skin
    The rocket in space blew up
    And came down
    4.
    But for one small sheep
    A metaphor for soul
    Completing the Master’s flock
    The ninety-nine were lost
    And incomplete
    5.
    But for a pen
    A writing implement
    In hand, instead of sword
    The treaty came to naught
    And war ensued

    DAY 13 Numbers poem

    WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD NUMBER?

    My number phobia
    often extended
    To being unable to
    get up in the morning,
    because the face of the clock
    gave me a dirty look
    with all its numbers.
    I railed against time
    Which everyone knows is a stupid exercise

    I thought fractions were about the most
    confusing notion I’d ever crossed
    But
    Negative numbers provided me with
    endless frustration
    We actually keep track of
    numbers that are not there? Whoa!

    And even now I can’t possibly be
    Six from sixty
    That’s too scary
    I might still have time to
    Grow up
    But I probably won’t

    DAY 14 Warning Poem

    WATCH OUT!

    To prevent bad luck –

    Don’t put shoes on the table
    Or
    Open umbrellas in the house
    Make sure to throw the salt over your shoulder
    If you spill it
    And don’t mess with Mr. In-Between

    A house that doesn’t go to church
    Never has any luck
    and
    Bury St. Joseph in the garden if you want
    To sell the house

    Lie the baby
    On its stomach
    On its back
    On its side
    Don’t let it sleep with you
    Don’t let it sleep alone
    Let it get used to crying

    Look both ways when you cross the street
    Mind the gap
    Pull to open
    Push to open
    Slide to open
    Tear here
    Good till use-by date on lid
    Do not eat
    Do not use near water
    Danger Third rail
    Keep away from children
    KEEP OUT!

  24. Meesh says:

    wow, ronda eller, i loved your poem. you captured an experience i did not think capture-able (except in a talking heads song).

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you Connie!!

    Good work everyone.

    Laurie K.

  26. Paul W.Hankins says:

    The Message

    They come
    with a warning:
    the common
    and uncommon side effects,
    listed on a folded pamphlet,
    tucked inside a pharmacy sack.

    They come
    with a warning:
    printed in small, small letters
    on color coded stickers
    placed haphazardly upon
    the golden bottles.

    But it came
    without a warning:
    the message
    we found, three days later,
    was not in the bottle
    washed upon the shore,
    for the bottle stood neatly, a whitecap
    sentry on the bedside table,
    it labels worn upon its front
    like citations.

    The message instead,
    folded neatly,
    in between the seats
    of her car she would never drive again,
    one of the warnings
    she did heed
    in the end.

    We read her words –
    all of her sadness –
    bottled up,
    and poured out,
    the side effects –
    common
    and not so common –
    of undiagnosed grief.

  27. Meesh says:

    The Misanthrope’s Invisible* Rotating Wardrobe of Warning Signs

    parental advisory: adult language

    do not mix with alcohol

    volatile when discussing politics

    wake at your own risk

    unlikely to overlook grammar errors

    demands strict adherence to towel-folding protocol

    does not want to talk about it

    not in a particularly good mood

    forcibly socializing

    overcaffeinated

    schadenfreude addict

    PMS

    paper cut

    under influence of protest songs

    * to the naked eye

  28. Shann Palmer says:

    Change

    Shopping without money
    she feigns interest in the shoes
    the same way she used to smile
    when he walked into the room.

    The very air was different then,
    slightly off, the way some people
    scramble eggs, make their beds.

    To pretend takes a toll, leaves her
    aching alone in her car, fearful
    some disease thrives in despair,
    fills the hole his absence left.

    Her purchases a small reward
    for sorrow, an overdraft fee
    she applies over and over again.

  29. Kate Berne Miller says:

    Red Alert
    Warning, flashing lights on the runway, panic attack coming in for a landing.
    You wake at 3 am-already on guard, pulse pounding, throat tight, breath short,
    eyes straining in the dark. Is it genetics, bad blood, one faulty ancestor?
    It’s a bad combination all around, take a good dose of writer’s
    imagination, add a few drops of catastrophic
    thinker, add water and stir (use extreme
    caution- it’s volatile) and voila! You
    ARE the early alert system!

    Kate Berne Miller

  30. Judy Roney says:

    Warning:

    Not everyone will stick with you when times are tough
    Not everyone will be willing to weather the storm with you.
    Nobody wants to deal with your loss or sadness for long.
    Just when the shock wears off and you can really feel the pain
    don’t be surprised if there is no one there. Your friends are
    surrounding themselves with positive people, people who will
    lift them up, if they are smart and take care of themselves.

    No, this is all on you. You have to pick yourself up and find
    your own way through the abyss. The most likely help will
    simply be time, being open to the help available, and your
    willingness to keep going. Graces are there to get us through
    but we have to do the work to find them.

    Loss and grief are ultimately private journeys
    even if everyone around you is on that same journey
    their road will never be the same, grief is never the same.
    Ultimately you are on your own to stumble as you will
    enter a new plateau or find a new mantra that gets you through.
    This is just a warning. You are on your own.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Get the

  31. Connie says:

    Bruce, Iain, Patti Williams, Lori, Laurie K, Nancy Posey–my favorite poems today. All of them were enjoyable.

  32. SaraV says:

    Don’t fence me in

    It’s dawn
    Little droplets
    Coat the lawn
    Stepping
    Over that little fence
    With a big bowl of food
    In your arms
    You may end up
    In harm’s
    Way

  33. Steve LaVoie says:

    Not much to say about this one, so I’ll get out of the way and let it speak for itself.

    Do not eat the moldy bread

    I really advise against this,
    It will make you sick,
    It won’t even taste good.

    You are going to do it anyway,
    Aren’t you? Of course you are.

    There is not a slice of ham
    In the world that could make
    This look appetizing.
    No cheese will make
    This sit in your stomach for long.

    I know you don’t read poetry
    For culinary advice,
    But I am telling you,
    Do not eat the moldy bread.

    But if you absolutely have to,
    Realize I will not call an ambulance
    For you, I won’t even get frantic,
    Won’t freak out, or worry if you
    Are going to die.

    So be prepared to dial 911 yourself,
    And then have your life flash before your
    Very eyes, and hey, maybe that will
    Make you realize what little life you
    Have actually had.

  34. Heather says:

    Lesson #14: Warning

    The husbands don’t want
    Their wives to spend too much
    Time at her place

    She’s dangerous,
    Free thinking,
    Honest,
    Real

    She encourages
    Their women to be
    Themselves
    Without critique
    Or negativity
    She allows them the freedom
    To feel

    They will warn you
    That she’s a bad influence
    She leads their women
    To drink,
    Speak,
    Become completely out
    Of their control

    She’s facilitating
    The very things they are
    Trying to avoid;
    Growth,
    Understanding,
    Compassion

    She’s been under the bus,
    At the stake,
    Stoned by the best
    God fearing
    Men you could imagine

    She’s a threat
    Consider yourself
    Warned

    Lesson #14: People Fear What They Don’t Understand

  35. Sara McNulty says:

    Proceed With Caution

    Beware of yellow in
    all its guises, from
    flashing signals to
    dull surprises. If crime
    scene tape surrounds your
    house, blocking entrance to
    even your spouse, beware!
    And never turn down a
    dare or your so-called friends
    will call you yellow, like
    the cowardly lion who
    proved himself a courageous
    fellow. Beware of becoming
    too mellow yellow or the
    next thing you know, you’ll
    be stepping on the dreaded
    yellow snow.

  36. S Scott Whitaker says:

    Hurry Now, Don’t Be Late

    The gale reared back in her tight red lips
    And she slapped him so hard
    the small kitchen window waffled in the sill.
    The hazards that followed the slap:
    the overturned kitchen table, the broken chair,
    the jagged holes in the drywall,
    all their friends say they saw it coming.
    “Oh yeah, they were just simmering,
    Like a summer thunderstorm.”
    Sometimes ozone burned about their words,
    Hovering over burnt eggs, the greasy skillet,
    how they didn’t see it coming no one knows.

    “I always got the feeling they knew change
    Was coming and they couldn’t deal,”
    Said one friend, to the cop who looked past her
    Into the sun splashed dining room. He nodded,
    Said nothing, but in the retelling of the story
    Became a nodding accomplice, because of course
    He sees this all time, and recognizes the signs.

  37. Caution

    Neal left home with his heart filled
    with caution like a whale swimming
    with dolphins following alongside a boat.
    He took the precautionary arrangements
    of grocery lists and plastic bags,
    of one mug and a flask hopeful and heavy.
    He would call Henry. Until he arrived Neal
    will silence cicadas with weighted thoughts
    of well being and dementia. He turned off
    lamps. He turned them on. He looked out
    a window, first to see others, then for others
    to see him. He half-believed he would see her
    under the streetlamp, in the snow, baby
    in the stroller like a bad movie. He lived
    the good life. There wasn’t a fight; he is
    a sneak. He tiptoed out at lunch with a tuna
    sandwich and sundry accouterments. Let her
    write a note. Let her right Dear Neal.
    He wasn’t wrong, though, and that is where
    she will be mistaken. He is one, solo, sitting
    and still. He may just remember his poses
    the following morning before coffee.
    When the board’s been wiped clean there’s no
    time to regret the cost of living, only count
    the virtues of sacrifice. He began
    to build a wooden sanctuary. He began to
    read cuneiform in the oak. Perhaps this would pass
    on to his daughter, her heavy body growing
    in a time and place he cannot visit. He warns
    himself against sentimentality. He convinces
    himself of his happiness with whiskey.

  38. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    Don’t go Via Shore Parkway

    He sits there just under the bridge
    drinking cold coffee
    playing with a loose cartridge
    Waiting with apathy

    Trying to live up to a nickname
    Officer Ketchem’
    to him, bad drivers are to blame
    it’s his job to trap em’

    He just sits and waits
    if you pass his spot
    he never hesitates
    warm and fuzzy he’s not
    He checks your plates
    didn’t break any law
    not to worry, he’ll pick it
    then write your ticket

    So, don’t go via Shore Parkway
    Officer Ketchem’ is there today
    That is of course
    unless, you’d like a ticket
    before your on your way…

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/14/08 Warning Poem, Shore Parkway is a real parkway, just off the
    Coney Island exit sits a blue and white with an officer who will stop anyone for no reason at all,
    and ticket them. This poem is about him.

  39. Rachel says:

    Depression without Christ
    will turn to sin,
    the wounded seeking ways
    apart from God
    to fill the overwhelming
    hole:

    Shopping
    Drinking
    Dating
    Marriage
    Drugs
    Writing

    The Lord seeks to be
    first in your heart.
    While some of these
    in themselves
    are good,
    (for who can give up the pen?)
    they will turn to idols
    of destruction
    that lull you into thinking
    all is well
    when really
    all will be hell
    forever.

    And Christians beware,
    for you are not exempt
    from the temptation
    to construct a wooden doll
    upon your mantlepiece.
    Remember,
    depression is an
    opportunity
    to hide in God
    and experience
    His miraculous provision
    for those who seek Him.

  40. Van says:

    "Beginners’ manual"

    If you can endure confusion,
    anxiety, quarrels, darkest grief,
    the necessity to justify
    every cherished belief
    and then rethink it,

    in the end humiliation
    when your profound inadequacies
    become exposed

    learning your partner also is a loser
    without forsaking your trust

    then have children.

    You might make a reasonable parent.

    If you’re really
    awfully smart,
    get sterilized now.

  41. Peggy Goetz says:

    I wrote three poems for this prompt and this is the one I like the best so far. My theme is change.

    Warning: Change Required

    I stand on the walkway
    by the bluff-top park
    rolling toward the
    laughing tongues
    of blue Pacific and
    dental white foam.
    I love this place, to sit
    and listen to gulls,
    the children, a happy
    dog with its ball. I am
    struck by a sign near
    one of the meters,
    Change Required,
    and think how true.

    Nov. 14, 2008

  42. Kateri Woody says:

    Personal Ad, or Personal Warning.

    This clown is not funny,
    at least not to those
    who aren’t into: sadomasochism,
    torture, gun-play, long walks
    down short piers, AIDS,
    cats that land on their faces
    and not their feet, toast that
    falls jam side up but winds up
    sticking to your feet, nails
    on a chalkboard, LOLCATS (but
    not LOLDOGS), flesh suits,
    Bats, Batman, Robins, Peek-
    tut-tutting til the earl hours,
    rubber chickens, acidic solutions,
    among others. No DSWM, please,
    you’re just simply too hard
    to cut into, too callused
    and bitter to the taste.

  43. RJay Slais says:

    Lines On The Finger Tip

    A smart bomb in his pocket
    camera lens in the dark
    the sky was white or blue
    or something or nothing.

    A time to fly or not
    like a tiny bird in the night
    when the sky is black or blue
    without warning, it will rain.

    Kids with polyps on beds
    the ones with lesions on the floor
    parents at home not sleeping
    all the blankets have been burned.

    Tonight, there is nothing but air
    steel arms flex in the runoff
    outstretched hands cupped in silence
    until a knife from the sky, then thunder.

  44. Nancy, love your fairy tale allusions. And Patti, I didn’t imitate you. Had already picked my painting theme before I read your poem!

    Gustave Corbet, French (1819-77)
    The Wave, 1869

    Warned in Vain

    The angry dark gray-green water
    curls into one powerful wave
    that crashes on one side
    and threatens to swallow
    the milder line of white surf
    beneath.
    Low clouds warn of a storm,
    though they billow below
    a mildly clouded
    aqua sky.
    Corbet must have painted quickly
    and scuttled for cover
    when the storm broke.
    If he’d had the Weather Channel,
    like the other artists,
    he wouldn’t have paid attention
    to a warning.
    Painters may be as foolhardy
    as tornado-chasers.

  45. A.C. Leming says:

    No Warning

    No warning sounds
    when dust rattles against

    plasma shields.
    Eons ago, waves swept

    men overboard, lost at sea.
    We lose comrades when

    compartments decompress
    or drugs fail to wake us

    from deep sleep as we traverse
    lonely space. We can’t return.

    Relativity has lost us families,
    friends, the world we knew.

    We can only hurtle onward,
    to that distant planet,

    propelled by mankind’s
    quest to conquer the stars.

  46. Rachel Green says:

    Public Service Announcement

    Vampires and werewolves too
    will cease to be if aim is true
    Zombies, according to the lore
    will lose their heads and be no more
    Even ghosts are not immune
    to grounding by the coldest iron
    Giant spiders, mummies, bats
    need somewhere to wear their hats
    Every monster will be dead
    if separated from their head.
    So heed my fears or go bananas
    Beware of girls with sharp katanas

  47. Bruce Niedt says:

    Welcome, Taylor Graham! I recognized your name from the small-journal circuit – good poem, as usual!

  48. Billy Angel says:

    Cheese Grater

    There was no warning,
    just a slap across the face,
    but I learned to feel it
    comin’ the way I knew
    a wiseacre was starin’

    at me in a public place,
    thinkin’ hateful about me.
    I just went on cuz I knew
    two wrongs didn’t make
    no right, so that’s what

    I did, hands clenched
    in my pockets, mama
    in my mind holdin’ my
    tears back like bullets
    or knives gonna riddle

    my body with holes. Across
    a cheese grater, knuckles
    bloodied, I drug all that
    hurt, shreddin’ it til nothin’
    was left but a small pulp.

  49. Nancy Posey says:

    Cautionary Tale

    Mama never said goodbye; she said
    “Be good.” I never left home without
    those words tucked safely out of mind;
    “Remember who you are—and whose
    you are,” my dad would call, making me
    laugh, thinking my chances slim for
    amnesia or senility at sixteen. But then
    one day, I did forget. I wasn’t good.
    Like Red Riding Hood, I slipped and told
    the big bad wolf exactly where I headed;
    Forgetting my curfew, I dropped my
    slipper running from the prince’s ball.
    I climbed right in the window of the bears,
    eating their breakfast, smoothing my gold
    locks with their tortoise shell combs,
    smashing their furniture, crashing in
    the bunk beds where they found me,
    unguarded, unsure of who I was, where I
    belonged. Then I woke up, looked around,
    and followed their advice: I remembered
    whose I was and headed home, which
    I could do: Mama never said goodbye.

    Nancy Posey

  50. Hiding

    They warned her to watch her back
    for he could be lurking there.
    You never know what someone could do
    so she knew she had to beware.

    She got her own place in a spot secure,
    number unlisted and P.O. Box;
    went on with her life as best as she could,
    forever watching and checking her locks.

    Then one night after dinner with friends,
    she spotted him walking there;
    alone in the dark, his every move
    reminded her of recent despair.

    Panic erupted as she began to shake,
    not knowing what she should do;
    for all the lies and deception had shown her
    this man was never true.

    No protection or love from her father
    could prepare her for what took place;
    because now grown-up and all alone,
    her only defense was her keys and a can of Mace.

    Laurie K.

  51. Taylor Graham says:

    WARNINGS

    Termites under the deck – watch for soft
    spots where you walk. All those tiny
    live-oak leaves lodge in crevices, collect
    rain – dry rot. What else? Beyond the lawn
    in those rock-piles the realtor thought so
    picturesque, rattlesnakes. Forewarned.

    Now, midway through a month, long past
    midpoint of the year, you walk out into
    low-slant sunlight turning every oak tree,
    every frosted grass leaf golden against
    the amber of hopseed and firethorn. Was
    life ever a sure bet? Could it be lovelier?

  52. Ronda Eller says:

    xiv. disembodiment

    what haunts you
    is that visage lacking form
    in the mirror— yours—
    while your body lays
    abed beside you;

    a vacant vehicle
    daft as cold steel;
    its blunt incognizance
    not even useful
    as a protective blade.

    it doesn’t know
    that you have become
    homeless, a map-less
    wanderer pasted in a
    collage of unfamiliar
    horizons.

    What terrifies you
    is the malefic clustering
    of dark, faceless creatures
    that mill and murmur
    by the mortised door
    nudging toward you
    en masse, urging
    each other’s advance

    as, confused, you freeze
    against the notion
    of your own disembodiment
    and reel to get back…
    you have to get back…

    back away
    back away
    back…

    Ronda Eller 2008

  53. Don Swearingen says:

    On the way to the town to the North
    To get blood drawn for a silly liver
    Test, tired of going back and forth
    And no heater in the truck, I shiver
    From the cold and sunless day
    Though I see the edge of the overcast
    East of me. I feel the sway
    Of the truck in the wind, a blast
    Hitting me as I come from behind
    A hill to the West. Snow begins to fly
    Past me, not enough to blind,
    But enough to see. It’s a wry
    Thing to drive through wind and snow
    The way we used to. Long ago.

  54. Lori says:

    Warning

    The national average wait in
    an Emergency room is 8 hours
    We will not see you on a first come
    First serve basis
    If you wait a long time
    It probably means you are low priority
    And can probably wait to
    See your doctor in the morning
    Oh and that would be a lot less expensive.
    But since we aren’t allowed to tell you that
    You will continue to come to the ER
    And never get a family doctor
    And our taxes will continue to go up.

  55. Margaret says:

    This one, too, is unrelated to my theme …or what now may be my former theme. And, um, yes, I was a big Joan Baez fan …

    An Outdoor Concert

    I heard some Strauss in New Orleans
    beneath a blazing sun.
    I got so hot my makeup ran
    before the concert was done.

    I walked out of the concert
    and went to find some shade,
    but all around was hot cement.
    I felt my energy fade.

    I walked along the sidewalk
    up to a nice cafe.
    I went inside and sat on down,
    and then I felt okay.

    I drank a glass of water.
    I drank a large iced tea.
    I ate an apple strudel,
    as I was also hungry.

    The moral of the story,
    don’t sit beneath the sun
    for hours without at least a hat
    or you’ll see your makeup run.

  56. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Its still early (your time!) & I’m already really enjoying the posts… Bruce, made me laugh – nice one! Michelle _ Made me think of next Monday when I will be skiing for the first time this season. Patti – great twist oon your storm theme.

    Iain

  57. AnnNoE says:

    No stronger reminder than of our mortality. I received two notifications on infant girls today – one died, one was born.

    Life
    ends, and
    life goes on.
    We are born to
    die.

  58. patti williams says:

    The sky was clearly dark
    And in the distance there was thunder.
    She read the writing on the wall
    But still thought things would be fine.
    The newspaper told her for months and months,
    And the Doom and Gloomers screamed
    From the broadcasts on Sunday morning TV shows:
    “The housing BUBBLE will break! It is just
    A matter of time before it all crashes!”
    As she listened to the neigh sayers
    She was complacent, calm, and unafraid.

    But then the numbers fell
    Sharply and briskly.
    The phone became a silent
    Unneeded piece of technology,
    Sitting dusty on her unused desk.
    Groceries became an investment.
    Headlines screamed:
    “Never Been This Bad Since 1945!”
    She had been warned the Recession was coming
    But just like the others, she had not
    Taken cover and was left unprotected
    When the storm blew in.

    After the numbers had finished falling,
    The money lost, the future different,
    The only thing she could do
    Was to rebuild, rethink, get back up again.
    She vowed to keep a closer eye on the weather
    The next time the paper warned her
    The sky was about to fall.
    She would heed the warning of the sirens and
    Hide with the other seasoned survivors.

  59. Jane penland hoover says:

    Extended Pause

    We never sat on the Pacific’s noisy shore
    but stood close once in the night
    after walking from the rental car

    no lights, the clouds
    filling in above
    layered blackness on the move

    we looking west with eyes
    that can’t round
    the curve, turn back

    rumbling wash rushing at our feet
    and later
    bits of grainy treasure
    trapped between our toes

    the memory of fingertips
    his voice saying
    listen to the silence
    between
    the waves

    sensations crystallized
    beyond the reach of time
    the coming crash

  60. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Weird and wonderful stuff, Satia.

    Dear Moosehead,

    Beware! Beware the wrath of Ringo!
    For I am howlin’ mad. I have had it with all
    this BS! Crazy, lazy women making my life
    a misery, watch out! I am ready for revenge,
    I shall rain down upon their heads a terrible
    era of male supremacy. Out of town cousins
    be warned! There will be no more whistling
    Dixie in this household, idle no-good Greek
    half-wit! Tourists be warned: I don’t care what
    the dispatcher told you, MY route from JFK
    into the city NEVER involves taking my Cab
    within sight of Shea Stadium (may it burns in
    hell’s fires). And as for you! You could for once
    get off your ass and pick me up for a change, also
    when I say seven, I mean seven, not a quarter after.
    Buy a watch why don’tya???

    Yours in violent ascendancy

    Ringo the Howler

  61. satia says:

    Iain, I had to comment today because we both allude to the wild child. Isn’t it funny how creativity synchronizes? I know I’m not the first to notice these things and there are books and articles, etc. But to see it so clearly evident in these daily poems is exciting.

  62. Iain D. Kemp says:

    I don’t know what’s going on with me I hardly ever rhyme but since I strated this theme I can’t stop!!

    Cats, Poetry & Death #17

    Warning! Cats Crossing!

    Beware of Cats that go bump
    In the night
    They fall off the bed
    And give you a fright

    Beware of Pussies that
    Creep and prowl
    Lest you step on their paws
    And make them howl

    Beware of Moggies that
    Hunt and stalk
    They need to be sly
    When they do the cat walk

    Beware of Black Cats
    Crossing your path
    They may bring bad luck
    You might drown in the bath!

    Beware of small Kittens
    All bouncy and wild
    They cause more havoc
    Than a wayward child

    Beware the Cat-Poet
    And his cunning verse
    He’ll write nonsense rhyme
    And nothing is worse

    Beware the Grim Reaper
    As he comes with his scythe
    You’ll wish you were a Cat
    Replete with nine lives

    Iain

  63. satia says:

    Warning Label

    Her mother, laughing nervously observing her daughter, always said she should come with a warning label, the wild child who fell and rose bleeding but laughing at her own folly. Sick in bed, imagination soared to new heights as the mattress moved with the winds of her breathing and equilibrium days followed her into her maturity. Never one to have too much to drink, she still bumped her way through days where perception didn’t align itself with the more substantial surface of hard edges and narrow doorframes until one day she tried to walk from point A to point B, hit a wall and slid to the floor. Her reckless body now a cage, the child raged inside wanting to dance her way out of nerves that no longer snapped.

  64. Connie says:

    Domino Toppling Can Be Addictive

    Sure, you start with one box but
    you quickly become good at toppling
    in a straight line and you want to try
    your hand at curves and spirals. Soon
    you’re up to one box a day and you
    no longer have room on your dining-
    room table and look at all of the colors
    they come in. You have to get a box of
    each of the twenty-four. So you sell your
    dining room table, you need the money,
    and besides the hardwood floor is perfect.
    But isn’t it fun to see them topple across
    the kitchen linoleum. Then you learn that
    those little devils can climb steps so there
    they go down to the basement. Now you’ve
    discovered the thrill of breaking your own
    records. Somewhere at 25,000 you clean out
    your basement, the first time in forever, and
    your friends think you’re mad until they see
    the colors, the gizmos, the turns and the climbs,
    and then they are there every Friday night with
    pop and chips in hands waiting for the first
    stone to tip. If you find yourself addicted to
    domino toppling, too bad, there is no cure.

  65. Earl Parsons says:

    Here’s Day 14 for LL&L:

    Ignored Warnings

    Wars and rumors of wars
    Bad called good
    Good called bad
    My Son’s name reviled
    Israel the target of hate
    Worldwide rejection
    Of Christianity
    And acceptance of
    Man made religions
    My children persecuted
    Enslaved
    Muzzled
    Killed
    Throughout the world
    And
    Even in America

    Yet
    You ignore
    The warnings

    Will you miss the rapture
    When it happens
    Will you recognize
    The anti-Christ
    When he arrives
    Will you miss the boat
    And spend eternity
    In Hell

    Heed the warnings
    The end is near
    Come to Me

  66. Michelle H. says:

    “Blizzard”
    The warnings are out
    There is no doubt
    There will be a Blizzard here
    That has been made quite clear

    Accumulating snow at least three feet
    But first it will start out as sleet
    So watch out for those frozen streets
    As the sleet changes its beat

    The real story will be the wind
    That will blow that snow so that you will find
    That suddenly you are out of your mind
    Because you are quite simply totally blind

    So our advice to you
    Is to stick to home like glue
    Hunker down and enjoy the show
    Sip hot chocolate and watch the snow

  67. Earl Parsons says:

    Sorry, all, that was my Day 14 for SS:

  68. Earl Parsons says:

    Just a note: Please stop by my blog, walkntalknChristian.blogspot.com, read my newest post, and make a comment. It’s titled "In Grandpa’s Day".

    And that’s my shameless plug. Now for Day 14 for LL&L:

    I Need You

    I’m sure you’ve seen
    These big, burly men
    And women
    Flying down the road
    On their hogs
    Leather gleaming
    Beards flapping
    Goggles in place
    With rags on their skulls
    Defying the odds

    They don’t love me
    They don’t care
    If they meet the pavement
    With their noggins
    I’m toast

    And I’m sure you’ve heard of
    Those that fill their nose
    Or veins
    Or stomachs
    With drugs
    That change reality
    And warp their senses
    Well
    What do you think those drugs
    Do to me

    Then comes the boxers
    And extreme fighters
    That constantly rattle my cage
    Just ask Mohammad Ali
    What that can do to me

    The bottom line is this
    I need you
    To protect me
    From harm

    Please

  69. Bruce Niedt says:

    Wow, you’re an early bird today, Robert! Good luck with that commute – I hate city driving!
    Here’s my poem for the day – first time I’m the first to post one, I think:

    Warning:

    This song is not for everyone.

    It contains an addictive melody,
    a catchy refrain, and strong rhythm.

    Please be careful when handling this song
    as it contains sharp hooks.

    Do not listen to the bridge with the Memphis horn section
    if you want to avoid smiling.

    Use of this song can result in the playing of air guitar,
    and in extreme cases, picking up a real guitar.

    Prolonged listening to the lyrics
    may result in singing along.

    This song may cause a brightening of mood.
    Do not listen to this song
    if you wish to remain depressed.

    Use of this song can cause uncontrollable toe tapping,
    surface drumming, or unbridled boogeying.
    Do not drive or operate heavy machinery
    while listening to this song.

    If you experience any of these symptoms
    please continue use immediately.

  70. satia says:

    Oh Robert! I live just inside the perimeter of Atlanta and I don’t envy anyone who has to drive through, near, or in our traffic. Good luck on your trip.

Leave a Reply