November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

Did you sleep well last night? That’s too bad, because I want you to write a nightmare poem today. You could write an actual nightmare, or present a nightmare scenario related to your theme.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“The closet”

He wakes up screaming, “Mommy, mommy!
They’re coming for me again. The aliens
were scratching at my closet door. I could
hear them. I could hear them scratching.”

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76 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

  1. Lynne

    Well, darn it, this is the dream-like poem that should have been in Day 9, and the poem in Day 9 "Night Terrors" really belongs here in the nightmare prompt.

    When Dandelions Dream

    Clouds whisper
    across a lemon sky,
    twelve dandelions dream
    a takeover of green.

    Wet-dog rain
    sprinkles them into a
    wakeful baker’s dozen.
    Now thirteen in number,
    they sniggle with glee.

    Emerald grassland
    pays no notice
    to the yellow fuzzy
    threat to its smug domain
    of green turning citrus
    like the once azure sky.

  2. Kathy Kehrli

    XVI. Beyond Sympathy

    “I can’t believe you have to go through all of this
    On top of everything else you’ve endured.”
    Sympathetically, as only a best friend can,
    She conjured up words for the nightmarish
    Situation for which none existed.
    That everything else to which she’d alluded?
    The recipe called for:
    One grandmother,
    Two aunts,
    A beloved canine
    And one good friend
    Stripped of life, one by one,
    Over the span of a single year,
    But not before I’d watched each’s soul
    Slip like satin camisole straps
    Over earth’s shoulder.
    Reduced to acceptance,
    “It’s just the kind of thing
    I wake up every morning expecting
    To happen.”

  3. Penny Henderson

    day #15 nightmare

    What if children could fly
    up to the age of four?
    What if I neglected to feed
    the neighbor’s waiting dog?
    What if, in the act of walking,
    my legs fell off?
    What if the world turned to water
    and I forgot how to swim?
    What if every vile thought of mine
    was a continual feed movie
    playing on my back?
    Worst possible nightmare thought–
    What if I unlearned how to read?

  4. Monica Martin

    This isn’t the home that I bought.
    This isn’t the house that I found
    online, that I walked through and
    called my dream home. This house
    is too small. and is falling apart.
    There are no trees, no garage, and
    half of the front porch is missing.
    What happened to my home?

  5. Karen H. Phillips

    Meesh, loved your vivid sensory details in the elevator!

    Alfred Sisley, French (1839-99)
    Flood at Moret, 1879

    After the Storm

    High waters,
    but no sad or angry sky,
    only blue liquid,
    reflecting the pure flood of
    cloud-flecked blue,
    backdrop to the bare birch trees,
    slender and white-barked,
    four sentinels.
    Then the central focus emerges:
    a cluster of red-roofed houses,
    almost overtaken by the water.

    Peaceful and serene to the onlooker.
    A nightmare to the homeowner,
    who wonders whether the waters will
    recede or rise,
    or whether they have already overtaken
    a prized possession or the wood floors
    so painstakingly laid.

    The beauty of the day only
    delivers a cruel slap,
    waking reality,
    to the sufferers
    after the storm.

  6. lynn rose

    My nightmare
    I wanted to be the one you talked too when things went wrong.
    I wanted to be the one who helped you mow your lawn.
    I wanted to go with you to see new sights and climbed new
    To be there when your daughter played ball, I wanted to be there for it all.
    But you just wanted sex and now you have moved on to the next.

  7. lynn rose

    My nightmare
    I wanted to be the one you talked too when things went wrong.
    I wanted to be the one who helped you mow your lawn.
    I wanted to go with you to see new sights and climbed new
    To be there when your daughter played ball, I wanted to be there for it all.
    But you just wanted sex and now you have moved on to the next.

  8. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    The Nightmare

    I was walking alone before my
    Three people held me down in
    They had their eyes on me for the
    Sex Trade
    And soon I was sold into
    I watched the dark girl treated with
    We were forced to watch her
    I was baffled by the
    Refusing I endured their
    and as I faced certain
    I decided that I should wake up.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  9. Jane penland hoover

    dragging the darkness
    attached beneath
    to the under soles
    of her feet

    shadows refuse
    dismissal, even
    now in this dream
    frozen scream

    she wants them gone
    this gray hanging one
    in any bit of light
    fattened, cornered

    by the haunt of shadow
    until she begins
    with her giant eraser
    to rubs away what’s bright

  10. Kate Berne Miller

    Aftermath of a Fight

    After every major fight we have,
    I have nightmares all night long.

    He is stalking a little girl, she runs,
    she hides she slips over the edge
    of the roof, hanging by her fingertips,
    he walks to the edge, steps hard on her
    small fingers, she drops to the ground,
    runs for her life, not quite fast enough
    he leaves tracks filled with blood.

    I wake, jaw clenched, heart racing, you
    snore peacefully by my side, I am safe.
    What am I so afraid of, loss, change,
    abandonment, my own anger, the fear
    of having said something irrevocable,
    who really is the monster here, you or I?

    Kate Berne Miller

  11. Don Swearingen

    The wind is blowing. It scours
    The land, and cleans the air
    Of what pollution the quiet hours
    Of last night gathered. From its lair
    In the mountains, it roars
    Down onto our plains
    A constant. Doors
    Cannot stop it nor windowpanes
    From sifting dust inside
    To grit our food, to turn gray
    All surfaces. It seems nothing can hide
    From another windy day.
    Outside our leaning walk
    Betrays our way; where lives the keening hawk.

  12. Rodney C. Walmer

    Thank you PSC, your husband sounds like a real credit to the profession. I am sorry to hear that you left, but, happy that you have found success in your field.


  13. PSC in CT


    Hue and cry at 2 a.m.
    Shrieks, sobs and sniffles
    Product of monsters,
    Aliens, goblins and ghosts

    Cradling and cajoling, I
    Thank my lucky stars
    Consoled by the thought that
    For now, at least –
    Evil beasts may still be banished by
    Cuddles and kisses

    Not time yet to concede
    Nor need to acknowledge
    The Real Nightmares
    Not so easily defeated –
    Abuse, Addiction, Alzheimer’s
    Cancer, Crime, Hunger, Hatred,
    Prejudice, Pedophilia,
    Warfare –
    Villains so savage and destructive
    I long for my own mother’s embrace

  14. PSC in CT

    Rod — to answer your questions:

    I taught 4th and 5th grades, but left for a more lucrative career working with computers. My husband (who’s planning to retire in June) has taught high school math for almost 37 years. It is a very difficult and exhausting job — often frustrating and thankless, but also very satisfying and fulfilling. (Sounds a lot like parenthood, huh?)

    Middle school can be a touch age, with kids stuck in the middle — not yet grown up, but no longer little either. You have my very best wishes!


  15. Terri Vega

    Day 15:

    Leaves blow in the dark October
    wind. Seedheads sprinkling their
    hardened kernels
    onto my face.

    I try to rise from the tangled
    earth that grasps my legs
    with its vines of wrath. Falling
    back into the ground.

    Crying for aid in the twilight hours
    no one hears but skeleton
    stalks of herbs gone by
    uprooted by panicked hands trying to
    grip something unshakable.

    Swallowed into the worms and
    bugs, crawling across my face
    my arms, my neck. Deeper under the earth
    until I wake in bed and
    brush the sweat from my dream.

  16. Juanita Snyder

    Nightmare 1999
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    When day 3 came and went still without word,
    she knew the inevitable day had finally come…
    the Cathy Lynn and her crew had been lost at sea.
    The sheer thought of it gave her instant ulcers
    and a dread she couldn’t shake all afternoon.
    As she stared overtop the kitchen sink window
    willing with all her might for his red 4×4 to
    suddenly come inching up the driveway, ZZ Top
    rattling the custom moon roof and side mirrors,
    the sudden reflection in the corner glass of her
    cream wedding-dress, the curve of the wire
    hanger pushed in the crevice between the wall
    and the top of the door trim, began to sink in.
    She was about to find out what widowhood would
    have felt like, had he not missed their wedding.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  17. Rodney C. Walmer

    Thankyou PSC, I have had the naked dream as well, where I somehow went to work forgetting to get dressed. So many nightmares associated with this profession. What grade did you teach? What grade does your husband teach? I teach 7th for the last 18 years.


  18. Mary K

    Robert, I will ‘second’ Peggy’s question above….

    You’ve done two poetry months with poetry prompts.
    As she asked….how about 2009, a YEAR of poetry prompts?

  19. PSC in CT

    Wow! Some very real and frightening nightmares here. Those that really struck me so far:

    Nancy P – nice job! The worst of reality & current events playing in an endless loop.

    Peggy – well done! Another view of reality as nightmare.

    Sara M – frightening!

    Lori – I’ve had the same dream. Not a patient — usually a pet or an infant — but just as disturbing.

    Rodney – very good, and true. Having taught for a short time many years ago, a similar dream will still visit me once in a while. (My husband — also a teacher — dreams of teaching naked, or sometimes in his underwear!)

    Victoria – very graphic and realistic. So very sorry.

    Linda – re your numbers poem: Interesting concept. I like it! I think you are referring to the square root of negative 1.

    Thanks everyone, for another good read! I’ll be back to post soon. (Still hoping for some helpful feedback on my poem from the Writers’ Digest Poetry forum — before I commit to entering it here! 😉 )

  20. Linda

    Oops! DIVIDED should begin

    Last night I dreamt of a long, wooden crate
    with a red heart painted on top and locked inside it
    was me, with both feet, hands, and head protruding
    as an evil magician sawed through the middle.

    Please disregard any other typing errors!!!!



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