November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 16

Every once in a while, I like to offer these title prompts where you fill in the blanks on a title. For instance, I want you to write a poem today with a title that is: “If It (blank), It (blank)”

So an example title might be: “If It (Hangs From the Ceiling), It (Smells Like Flowers)”

And to give you some flexibility, I’ll even let you replace the “It” words with a specific noun. So, to take my earlier example, the title could be: “If a Basket Hangs From the Ceiling, It Smells Like Flowers”

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“If the door goes unlocked, it could easily open”

she forgets to lock the front door
but doesn’t stress the details

not like anyone is waiting outside
wanting to get in


she forgets to lock the back door
the bathroom door
closes her eyes when she rinses her hair
so that she doesn’t know
when someone is there


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60 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 16

  1. Lynne

    No Do-Overs

    If it’s done, it follows that
    it can be undone. Not so in
    most vital happenings. Once we
    deplete the natural resources
    on our small planet, once we
    render a species extinct,
    that is it, it is done, final, nadir.

  2. Kathy Kehrli

    XVII. If It Needs Revealing, It Will Be Forthcoming

    Living will in hand I asked
    My father’s pastor friend
    What the Bible has to say
    About measures that extend
    A life beyond which a body
    Can on its own survive.
    Scripturally speaking is it sound
    To keep someone such alive?
    A part of me stopped and wavered;
    The other knew it not mine
    The right to defy a final wish,
    To interfere with the divine
    Stratagem God had preordained,
    And still I couldn’t let go.
    Until such time I saw further decline
    Those requests they needn’t yet know.

  3. Penny Henderson

    day #16 If it’s shakey, it will fall

    The rock on a ledge
    will spur avalanche
    tipping over the edge.

    The bone shaking fever
    will fall like cold rain
    when it finally leaves her.

    Schemes built on lies
    collapse when truth
    spreads wing and flies

  4. Iris Deurmyer

    If it tastes pure it must be

    My neigbor drinks water from the tap
    Says it tastes fine to him
    When we go camping in the woods
    He drinks from where he takes a swim
    I will let him peer through my microscope
    One slide with just a drop of water
    It may cause him to drink only coffee
    Or milk or soda or gin

  5. S.E.Ingraham

    If it’s Mid-November, It must be over

    Two weddings within two weeks
    Turned out to be too much
    For one of the fathers present
    Serious as a heart-attack took on real meaning
    As the father of one of the brides
    And, as it happens, one of the grooms
    Collapsed, soon after all the festivities
    Ended,had to be rushed to the nearest
    “Tourist” hospital where-upon he was found
    To have suffered a heart attack but,
    Then began to cough up copious amounts
    Of blood! Leading to further tests which
    Resulted in an ambulance transfer to a
    Real hospital in a big city and the discovery
    Of several bleeding ulcers in addition
    To the original heart problem

    So – what began as a wonderful holiday
    Culminating in a beautiful wedding
    For one couple, one set of parents, and friends
    Ended quite differently for the second couple et al
    Who, while managing to pull off the lovely wedding part
    Did not get to enjoy the ensuing wonderful holiday
    They were tacking on the other side of their nuptials
    As they are spending that time at a hospital with the father
    And making other arrangements, trying to get back home
    Hoping and praying that everything is going to be alright

    This type of surreal action has resulted in a disruption
    Of major proportions for the subject/poet who is supposed
    To maintain a schedule and routine that is barely disrupted
    Ever – and as self-absorbed as this must seem, said subject
    Is somewhat terrified as she feels depression licking around
    The edges of her consciousness when sleep threatens
    To overwhelm her days and tears rise unbidden in her eyes
    She knows all too well, how stealthy the disorders can be
    How tricky their manoeuvres, and how easily they can settle in
    Before she realizes their intentions – just because it’s been
    The longest while since they’ve put in an appearance
    Does not mean they are gone for good – she must remember this
    She must not forget for a second that they lie
    in wait like hyenas
    Like voracious underfed hyenas, they are lurking, she knows
    She must never forget, it’s not self-absorption, she knows,
    It’s self-preservation and theirs, her loved ones
    depend on hers
    This she knows and must, at all cost, remember,
    she knows, she knows.

  6. Karen H. Phillips

    Creepy, Robert! Great, next time I’m home alone that poem will be stuck in my head.

    Claude Monet, French (1840-1926)
    The Islets at Port Villez, 1897

    If Eyesight Dims, Is It a Handicap?

    If vision blurs over time,
    how does the artist know
    what he sees and thus
    what he paints?

    Are the pastel colors and
    blurry lines purposed
    toward diagonal,
    even circular motion
    by brushstrokes fine?

    Does he mean to dance the
    trees and rushes
    across the canvas,
    whirl the mauve,

    Does he intend to
    inject the scene
    with vitality,
    even as he creates
    a sense of peace
    and joy?

  7. Monica Martin

    "If it’s decorated, it feels like home."

    A few frames on the wall,
    a vase of lilies on the table.
    The pantry is full of food,
    the cabinets hold dishes.
    The beds are made,
    the towels are folded.
    Your house is now a home.

  8. SaraV


    If it has fins, It swims
    If it has a beak, it squawks
    If it is green, it grows
    If it has wings, it flies
    If it has a tail, it lashes it
    If it has legs, it runs
    If it is very still, it catches fish
    If it has flowers, it has butterflies
    If it rains, it doesn’t care
    If I I have a bad day,
    It disappears when I watch "Its" at play

  9. Vanessa O'Dwyer


    If it was known they had rights,
    It would mean my demise.
    To keep me out of their sights
    I need to bear a disguise
    I’ll hide my weasel thoughts
    From the light of the day
    And turn their future oughts
    Into despair and decay
    For I am the hater
    But as that you’ll know me not.
    I keep the wars a going
    Defy me; I’ll see you shot
    No one should know
    The power they wield
    Nor should they know
    How it acts as a shield
    Against scoundrels as I
    Rights they should have?
    I would rather they die!
    So holding this in as much as I might
    I quietly hold back my despise
    For if it was known that they had rights,
    It would surely mean my demise.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  10. k weber


    i remember you
    from the mail:
    me songs
    from long

    we live
    in the same
    town, never
    seem to cross
    carts in super-
    markets or small
    talk our way
    post office

    i know you
    by envelopes
    and address
    and you
    go to the open
    mics i went
    to, only a few
    years too

  11. Margaret

    If it’s Tuesday, it must be America

    You’re sick and you’re dizzy,
    never thought you’d make it out.
    Haul your ass down the gangplank,
    listen to the captain shout.

    Gather with the others,
    huddle, shiver, in the rain,
    while you mourn for the family
    you will never see again.

    You’re the only one who made it,
    never thought that you’d arrive.
    Shake your head and try to clear it,
    know you’re lucky you’re alive.

  12. PSC in CT

    This one was HARD! I knew where I wanted it to go, but it kept coming together like song lyrics. I’m still not sure I’m happy with it, but have to get going on day 17, so here it is. (Though I just may continue to try to fix it on the side!) ;-)

    If it’s Glowing in the Window, it’s Forgiveness

    If it’s glowing in the window,
    It’s forgiveness
    If it’s burning in the hearth it means that
    Love may still abide
    If it’s glowing in the window
    It’s forgiveness . . .
    Come inside

    If you’ve traveled many miles,
    Spent some seasons
    If you’ve left behind regrets, remorse and
    Shed some bitter tears
    Does that mean your love’s forgot?
    Maybe so, maybe not
    Perhaps it’s time to stand
    And face your fears

    While it’s true words can be cutting
    And at times those cuts are deep
    Surviving still, are promises
    We’d always meant
    To keep

    So, look for the fire when you return
    And pay close attention to the burn

    If it’s flaming in the back yard
    Might be best to stay away
    And salvage what you can
    Another day

    But, if it’s burning in the hearth
    It means that love may still abide
    And if it’s glowing in the window
    All’s forgiven –
    Come inside

  13. A.C. Leming

    Traveling this weekend, got in late, wrote it but didn’t post it.

    If it’s a pen, it writes

    I leave molecules
    trapped on the surface
    of my notebook. A
    cartographer, I record
    a living trail of thought
    others can follow
    through the rough
    contours and inner
    workings of my mind.

  14. Juanita Snyder

    If it’s got horns, then it’s gotta be rode!
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Some say bull riding started back in the 1800’s by a buncha cowboys
    looking to settle a dispute over who was the toughest vaquero.
    Personally I think it was invented by a bunch of bored cowpokes and
    a few cases of beer, and one day one of ‘em said, “Hey guys, watch this!”
    I mean, why else would a 150 lb. man wanna climb atop a 2000 lb. bull?!

    Bull riding requires a good dose of physical strength, courage, mental
    fortitude, and of course, a little “DUDE! Are ya nuts?!” thrown in.
    A risky endeavor there’s a reason it’s called “the most dangerous eight
    seconds in sports.” Torn ligaments, dislocated shoulders, brown Stetsons
    or football helmets, Christian or Atheist, REAL bulls don’t discriminate!

    Americans have a longstanding tradition of straddling anything with horns:
    harleys, reindeers, jackalopes, why not brahmas?! Wrap a braided rope
    around a bull’s midsection, then around your hand, clamp your legs and
    then simply nod to Satan grinning at the gate that you’re bottle-rocket- ready!
    And oh, hope you’re wearing your lucky chaps tonight!

    There are 2 truths every bullrider knows right up front from birth on:
    1) there’s really no trick or secret to riding the beast, and 2) that it’s
    actually harder to get safely off the monster than it is to stay onboard.
    On average, only 1 in 10 make it to the end of an eight second ride –
    all that spinning, twisting, bucking, swerving, & cussing ‘round the arena.

    In gymnastics, it’s all about the dismount. In bullriding, best case scenario:
    somersault with 2 1/2 twists landing safely in a pike position, unless you
    become entangled in the bull rope at which point, lashed to the side of a
    ton of angry steak lands you face down; a snot-dripping, camera-posing,
    rock-star bull straddled overtop you like a proud hen sitting on an egg…

    but hey, that’s bull riding!

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  15. Tyger

    If I Remember Anything

    If I remember anything
    it will be the crowds
    How they pressed close
    hearts on their sleeves
    faces wrought with
    raw emotion
    Take a care, I thought,
    that you don’t start
    Messiah rumors
    or you’ll creep out
    the evangelicals

  16. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    If we never existed, she would still have hope.

    If we never existed
    They could sparkle in the sunlight

    If we never existed
    Might adderbolt be free again?

    If we never existed
    The purity would glisten

    If we never existed
    Would she believe again?

    If we never existed
    She would have hope

    If we never existed
    Would Gaia have been a better place?

  17. Shann Palmer


    The two of us sang funerals
    sending spirits out on wings,
    lifting hearts with open-chords
    as if at least one of us believed.

    I said I did to please you
    and in the midst of music
    there were convincing notes.

    If this is my confession,
    then you must write an elegy
    to realign the bones of doubt
    where my longing body rests.

    Let winds blow the grass above me
    and the blades sing our names
    until we are remembered no more.

  18. Connie

    If the First Stone Tips the Rest Will Follow

    Each individual domino
    Doesn’t move much
    Just falls over
    Then the next
    And the next
    But watching it
    It looks like something alive
    Like a mouse or some kind of critter
    Running across the room
    Up and down
    Around and around
    Climbing stairs
    Knocking things over
    Turning on lights
    Ringing bells
    Rolling balls
    Playing drums
    Flipping switches
    Going through water
    Setting off catapults
    Exploding volcanoes
    A creature possessed
    Till the last stone falls
    Then there’s no live thing
    Just fallen dominoes

  19. Kate Berne Miller

    If the Train is On Time I Must be Dreaming.

    If your lover left you,
    if she left you for that damn Coyote,
    if she left you on the coast and took your truck,
    if she left you on the hottest day of last summer,
    if she left your luggage locked in the Greyhound station,
    if she left you drinking before noon at the Driftwood Tavern,
    when the Coast Starlight arrives on time, she’ll come back to you again.

    Kate Berne Miller

  20. Earl Parsons

    SS for Day 16:

    If You Use Me

    I’m not just wrapped up in skull
    With more neurons that you could count
    In a lifetime
    For your amusement
    Or for you to ignore

    I’m here for you to store intelligence
    And more

    You can store
    And you can retrieve
    If you so choose

    You see
    If you use me
    For that which God designed me
    We’ll all live a better life

  21. Earl Parsons

    Day 16 for LL&L:

    If you listen, you’ll hear

    If you expect Me
    To walk up to you
    On a crowded street
    Or the privacy of your home
    And tell you
    Face to face
    That I exist
    Don’t hold your breath

    And if you expect Me
    To send you an email
    Or a certified letter
    Or a text message
    To convince you
    That I exist
    Don’t hold your breath

    I don’t make house calls
    I don’t send emails
    I don’t text
    And I don’t stand in line
    At the post office
    Just to certify correspondence
    That might try to
    Impress on your gray matter
    That I exist
    So, don’t hold your breath

    But if you listen
    Very closely
    To your heart
    Then you just might
    Hear Me speak
    On that
    You can hold your breath

  22. Nancy Posey


    What a powerful word—if—making its way
    into poetry and song: If a picture paints
    a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you,
    sang David Gates. Tongue planted firmly in
    cheek, the Bellamy Brothers asked, If I said you
    had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

    Long ago, those carpe diem poets, Marvell
    and Herrick, set up their seduction with an If, then,
    but, so: If we had all the time in the world, then
    sure, baby, we’d wait, but time’s a wasting, so
    let’s get it on! Maybe it wasn’t quite like that.
    I may be thinking of Billy Joel or Marvin Gaye,
    but that was the drift. I suppose those coy virgins
    fell for those lines then as they do now. After all,
    that beautiful body, those thousand words are
    wasted in the grave, where all those dead poets lie.

    Nancy Posey

  23. Judy Roney

    If I Were Young Again

    If I were thirty again
    I wouldn’t mess with a year
    of angst over turning thirty
    I would rejoice that I wasn’t
    fourty yet and live thirty like
    the celebration it is.

    If I were fourty again
    I’d go celebrate with flowers
    maybe a thousand yellow and pink
    buds to show how lucky I am to be
    not yet fifty.
    If I were fifty again
    I wouldn’t run off to Memphis to spend
    the day at Graceland alone to relive the
    50’s and 60’s . I’d be so happy to be fifty,
    not yet sixty, that I’d spend the day living
    large in the 90’s.

    If I were sixty again
    I would feel fortunate to be sixty
    I’d plan the day surrounded with
    family and friends who would know how
    young I feel to be sixty instead of seventy.

    I feel so lucky to be sixty-one today. I’ve
    only six more months to enjoy it so I want
    to embrace these months for the joy they are
    and delight that I am not yet sixty-two.

  24. Sara McNulty

    Words of Encouragement From Mom

    If I got an A, why not
    an A+, she’d say? If I wore
    a dress of soft black
    leather, wouldn’t a brighter
    color flatter you much
    better? If I brushed
    my eyelids in a shade
    of turquoise, back in
    the days of teen
    rebellion, she’d suggest
    a shade of muted
    taupe to make me
    look less the hellion. When I
    became a full-fledged
    Hippie, tie-dyed shirts,
    strands of beads, and a
    rainbow band across my
    head, she asked why
    I no longer used
    make-up. Did I not
    notice my skin
    looking dull and dead?

  25. Jane penland hoover

    If shadow is to be eliminated, it is necessary to live without sight’s light.

    Here, even in the dark
    the moon’s small shimmer
    still enough
    for me to cast my weight
    of dew damp thought
    spreading thick the
    weary grayness
    dimming my own path
    even as I walk on
    another step – circling
    from every side
    until I close my eyes
    refuse to see
    not your face
    and not the day
    there were two shadows walking.
    lower .

  26. Bruce Niedt

    If He Walks Like a Duck, He Must Be Chuck Berry

    Black-and-white TV image, mid- to late-50’s –
    the guy in the conk and pencil mustache hops
    across the stage on one leg, the other stretched
    ahead of him. His guitar neck is pointed
    like an automatic weapon, as he strums
    a new combination of country and blues.
    Then he crosses the stage again, half-squatting,
    half walking, bobbing his head like a bird.
    The crowd goes wild for “Johnny B. Goode”.

    Fast forward fifty years – hair is thinner,
    covered with a nautical cap, fingers work
    a little slower, a little out of tune,
    but at eighty-two, he still can do that hop
    across the stage, guitar neck leading the way.
    The crowd goes wild for “Johnny B. Goode”.
    Go, Chuck, go!

  27. Lori

    If they’re yelling at you they are breathing

    How is it that people can
    say that they can’t breath?
    And even when we are doing all we can to
    relieve them in this admittedly frightful
    situation insist with a voice backed by
    obvious windpower that they need
    a tranquilizer to help them breath
    forgetting perhaps it euphoric
    affects, never realizing that the ones who
    really need it to breath usually can’t
    get out the words.

  28. Rachel

    Here is my re-write for the day 13 number poem, titled One God:

    For all time,
    there is

    One God, who saved
    Two of every kind of creature.
    Three persons of the Trinity, who created
    Four headwaters.
    Five loaves that feed five thousand, in His hands.
    Six days given to work, and the
    Seventh day given to rest, in

    One God
    who loves

    One sinner
    Two persons in a marriage
    Three roommates in a campus bar
    Four children at the park
    Five sailors on a barge
    Six players in a poker game, and,
    Seven times seven times will He forgive all,

    for all time

    because of the
    One sacrifice

    of His
    One Son,

    One God,

    and my
    One hope

    for all time.

  29. Cheryl Chambers

    If there’s a crack in the ceiling, rain will assault

    It starts slow, a gentle dip, a meandering trickle
    first at the front of the garage then toward
    the back. The roof acknowledges its faults
    and completes its disintegration with each
    passing minute. Hours go by and Neal hears
    the drip drop drip drop drip drop drip drop
    until the regularity of sound becomes a metronome
    to his slowly dissolving life. He knows the roof
    must be fixed but it is one more thing put
    to the side. He is ready to explode
    and when he does the water will begin
    its assault on the cement floor, drowning
    Neal in failed attempts at patching life up.

  30. Rachel

    If it’s DARK, It’s almost DAWN

    When black, smothering darkness settles,
    devoid of dingy shafts of hope –
    a gloomy, grimy, indistinctness,
    inky, rayless, slippery slope –

    watch your step this nebulous hour,
    bleak and lurid, dense and glum,
    lightless, hopeless, black oppression –
    Hold on, dear one. The hour has come.

    Enter dawn with glittering glory,
    brilliant, shining, radiant Son
    ablaze, alight, aglow with freedom…
    the beaming, dazzling day’s begun.

    It will not end, the golden brilliance
    Bright and dazzling, gleaming space,
    Lustrous, shimmering, vivid Sonlight
    infusing PEACE, resplendant grace…

    So hold one, dear one, hold on.

  31. Taylor Graham


    Struggling into uniform in the half-dark, loading gear
    and dog, then driving through the night past lonely

    porch-lights of those lucky folks who turned out
    their bedroom lamps and went to sleep till morning.

    Before first light, the helipad; chopper flight
    under storm-clouds, over a world of black mountains.

    Set down in a clearing in the dark. Briefing by Sheriff’s
    headlights: little boy lost since yesterday.

    And here we are. My dog ranges out of sight in the brush,
    searching for a human scent. I check my map again,

    my compass. Check the ground for footprints,
    any sign of passage. Clues; anything out of place.

    We’ve got four more hours of daylight. A boy
    already twenty-seven hours lost.

  32. S Scott Whitaker

    If it stings, it’s probably good for you

    -Corporal Harry Kellam to Post Reporter, 45th Anniversary D-Day

    If it stings, it’s probably good for you
    Was all he said before he kicked us out of the plane.
    And brother, we fell, for a long time.
    When that chute opened it stung,
    Yanked me back to Virginia, for sure.
    And when we landed in France
    Your knees and joints felt like a hornet
    Had gotten into you, just for a second,
    Shock you see and we moved on in the dark.
    There wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle,
    Germans, mortars, landmines, tanks, bring ‘em on.
    Or so we thought. After a day we realized
    We should have stayed home, worked the same jobs
    As our fathers, or tended love,
    The only thing good in this old world anyhow.

  33. Ronda Eller

    if it fades too fast, it may be lost

    the bed sheets were braided
    and rumpled to boot,
    i couldn’t tell if i
    should rise— if i could.

    the sunlight seemed twisted
    & twitchy to me,
    i wondered if it was
    still trying to sleep…

    but morning was tickling
    at my feathered head
    all groggy and fogged up
    with dreams that i’d had.

    the dog pranced by bedside,
    the cat stretched and yawned…
    when i suddenly noticed
    my visions near gone

    so i ran to a notepad
    to jot some things down,
    any bit that had stuck there
    behind my furled brow.

    i scribbled and scrawled
    every scattery flap
    and when I was done,
    i was ready to nap!

    ~ Ronda Eller

    Five minutes after the end of the dream, half the content is forgotten.
    After ten minutes, 90% is lost.

  34. Peggy Goetz

    Just off the top of my head here as I get ready to go out of town for a couple of days with less reliable Internet connections.

    If there is no change, there is no life

    It’s how they tested for life
    you know, on Mars, added
    water to soil and looked for
    changes. No change, so no life.
    Or so they said.

    Nov. 16

  35. patti williams

    While surviving life
    I have found that
    If it rains, it almost always pours.
    The job is gone,
    The savings spent,
    The results the doctor reports
    A simple bike ride
    Can sometimes lead to death,
    A walk in the park
    Along an unfortunate trail
    Can lead the traveler into
    Total violation.
    Living with deranged family members
    Can permanently scar for life even after
    The monster cowardly exits existence.

    The storms our lives
    Grow from,
    Are what make us

    When it rains,
    And it always does after a wave of drought,
    It usually pours.
    The survivors drink it up,
    Take it on
    With conviction
    While the weak fall away,
    Their run now over.

    It’s those that get their
    Coats, boots, gear on
    Prepared to face the next
    Storm head on,
    Not afraid of the next round,
    Who grow stronger, wiser,
    Who Survive life
    And find the warmth of the sun
    Than anything else in this world.

  36. satia

    If Galileo’s Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right

    The earth was once the still point in the universe
    Until the pattern of the stars proved contrary to beliefs
    But Galileo was not brave enough to fight for truth
    In the face of excommunication.

    And yet it moves, this earth on which you stand
    So confident in your perception that nothing
    Is moving beneath the still point of your feet
    While I laugh at your misperception.

    Yet in a world where everything is constantly
    Changing, shifting, and spiraling it’s hard to find
    The still small voice of comfort that will speak
    A revelation of my salvation.

  37. Nancy

    If money can’t buy happiness,
    could it make a small down payment?
    It hasn’t escaped me that
    lottery winners and rock stars
    have failed to leave footprints on
    the Happiness Walk of Fame.

    If happiness is a warm puppy,
    why are the pounds still full?
    No wonder we just shivered
    alone on the last few three-
    dog nights.

    And if two’s a company, then
    we’re in business. Does that mean
    expansion will produce at least
    a small crowd?

    If one is the loneliest number,
    then we should amass not wealth
    but friends, company, crowds,
    so that as we move down our
    Yellow Brick Road, we end up,
    if not happy, then at least not alone.

    Nancy Posey

  38. Michelle H.

    “If your mind is blank (like mine is), It means you need a dandelion break”

    If you sit down at your spot
    To compose your latest plot
    And you find to your great dismay
    That you mind has gone away
    I could suggest you sit right down and pray
    But perhaps all you need today
    is a “dandelion break”?

    Now since it is November
    And the dandelions have gone to slumber
    We need to find another way
    To make that brain return today
    Since the chill in the air might not be to your taste
    Perhaps a cozy chair by a warm fireplace
    Is the break for you?

    Whatever works for you is the key
    To get that brain working with glee
    I myself often walk away and do a mundane task
    And let my conscious brain be bored until it asks
    And then with glee I sit back down
    And type what has come to town
    Thankful that my “dandelion break” has ended.

  39. Don Swearingen

    From cold to hot, I hear the weather broadcast,
    "It’s going to be seventy-ish," I hear.
    Yesterday it was a miserable contrast,
    Forties, with skies so drear
    They drooped. But didn’t weep,
    For which we in this dry
    Place would have given a heap
    Of dances to whichever god could pry
    Weeping from them. So we
    Schmooze outside the church today,
    The sunlight warming me
    And others come to pray.
    The ritual of worship however changed is age-old,
    And comforting, though at the end, I remember you. And feel cold.

  40. Paul W.Hankins

    Please excuse my irregular verb usage in that last posting. . .Breaths is supposed to be breath and the verb would be is. . .I caught this after the posting. . .

    This English teacher is embarrassed for himself and as punishment, I am going to diagram my posting for the day.

    Best to all, I am really enjoying all of the postings this month.


  41. Paul W.Hankins

    "If it Breathes, Then its Final Breath is Always an Exhalation"


    she sat longer,
    in the bedside chair,
    she might have fallen asleep –


    had been three days
    since she found her in the dark,
    and she counts them – in and out—
    ever y time she


    sure that the air moving
    in her lungs is quality respiration,
    sufficient to feed the damaged part
    of the brain:


    she looks up to the monitor
    and notes the absence of activity,
    the thick lines in the scan
    the invasion of the lobes


    center difficult to determine,
    the balance is lost
    and cannot be taken back
    the effects are


    this is the last watch,
    sitting erect in the chair,
    hand in hand,
    her heart in her head
    had it really been so hard
    to be happy?


    in and out
    in this deep, deep slumber
    sound like a snore
    this is not peaceful, this


    an insult to the caregiver
    to have to stay awake
    in the nightmare, vicarious,
    while the patients eyes
    barely register movement
    behind closed eyelids,


    looking straight ahead
    to some evading answer
    that could not be found here


    attempt for clarity
    beyond the scope
    of her limited vision,
    suicide for the soothsayer,
    we wait for the last breath
    sure that it will be


  42. Rodney C. Walmer

    I am not sure you want this one for this prompt, but it fit into a sore point in any educators life.

    If it works, it’ don’t need fixin’

    One hundred years ago
    education worked fine
    what did we know
    back then we were
    ahead of our time

    Children learned
    through rote memorization
    degrees were earned
    then on to some fraternal organization

    Most found they could earn a living
    working with their best success
    even had some left over for giving
    of all countries, we were better then the rest

    But, then came the politician
    gonna fix this broken system
    He was gonna make those changes
    like some new fangled magician

    He started with the standardized scores
    Not all learn the same
    can’t have children sitting bored
    we have to learn to play their game

    Then they judged the schools
    what are we doing producing fools
    they graduate, but can’t read or write
    Instead of staying home and studying
    they are out getting high, on a Saturday night

    Soon, the teachers were to blame
    even though, we learned to play their game
    after all, the kids can’t succeed
    it’s the teachers who can’t teach
    a new evaluation is what they need
    and, on and on, the politician would preach

    Funny, how everyone got those table down
    that is before education became a part of politics
    Funny, how they all learned that class was no where
    to fool around
    that is before someone broke
    the one thing that never needed to be fixed. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/16/08 Fill in poem.

  43. 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

  44. Rachel Green

    If it Hollers, It Gets Chopped Into Small Pieces Anyway

    A tricky task, you would agree
    to fight the things that you can’t see
    but someone has to free the house
    from giant spiders and a mouse;
    from shadows that insist on groaning
    clanking chains and always moaning;
    from the werewolf in the cellar
    (though mostly he’s a friendly fella)
    from the slimy little horrors
    so we can enjoy tomorrow’s.

  45. Kateri Woody

    If It’s Raining, It’s Pouring Blood

    A splatter sideways across the cement
    mimicks the movement of his knife –
    down, twist, flick, pull out and
    even more blood rains to the ground.
    A Jackson Pollock emulation of smears
    and purposeful hunks of liver and
    pancreas, indicators of a new color paint
    and suddenly everything makes more sense
    to the Harlequin man. The paint can’s
    body slumps to the side and suddenly
    the canvas is flooded – it’s ruined
    and he can’t help but to think
    that it’s a pity that he’ll have
    to start again.

  46. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,

    If it’s Friday then it must be game day.
    Your cousin came through a treat once more
    and we have three ice-sides for the Rangers
    tonight. I say three for whilst it goes against my
    better judgement, I cannot in all conscience leave
    Greek Jimmy at home at the mercy of those
    Amazons! And given that this is not the sport to
    which any of us dedicate our lives and love, he
    has agreed to root for the home side as a matter of
    good manners (something those Southern folks
    supposed to have lots of). He even said he’ll pick
    up the tab for beers and chilli-dogs so maybe he
    ain’t so bad after all…
    Anyway that’s the news as it happens, gotta run
    as I need to fleece your sister for some cash.
    Pick ya up seven, wrap up warm!

    Yours in sporting bonhomie

    Ringo the Howler

  47. LKHarris-Kolp

    If She Could Be a Fly On The Wall, She Would See The Truth

    The fact that he left her
    a message on an answering machine,
    "Hey, guess what? My wife and I
    decided to try to work it out
    after all instead of getting the divorce,"
    was not enough to throw her life
    into a whirlwind; a rug being pulled
    out from underneath her. The shock,
    the hurt, the lonliness, the guilt
    enamored her very soul. But to
    see the sweet couple, pretending
    to be happy, move in across the street
    in the same apartment complex
    was more than she could handle.
    So she peeked out the window
    watching as they moved
    furniture and boxes;
    a stiff drink of Vodka
    in one hand
    and a cigarette
    in the other,
    wishing she could
    be a fly on the wall
    of their home, sweet, home.

    Laurie K.

  48. Iain D. Kemp

    Not sure how much I like this but anyway, here ’tis…

    Cats, Poetry & Death #19

    If it moves it must be food or a toy…

    Newspapers, books, pens and paper,
    Laptop keyboards, typing fingers
    Chocolate bar wrappers and logs for the fire
    Are all fair game to Owners of this house

    They fight and bite and jump and run
    Bouncing of the walls seeking their prey.
    A toy to play with or something to hunt
    And no work gets done when the Car Riot starts

    Watching at windows, hiding from Kites
    And other smaller birds that might spot
    Their game. They stalk and prowl and creep
    In silence. ‘Til the hunt is over and its sleep time again

    Slinking through long grass and sliding past bushes
    They are ever watchful and never distracted
    Except by the fire-side, curled up toasty
    Dreaming of hunting and being naughty

    Efforts to write best left ‘til they’re sleeping
    As cat paws on keyboards make for poor reading
    They always assume that the game is afoot
    Having little regard for their poor Servants needs

    Crafty and clever they demand feeding
    Serve us now, slave or you’ll feel our claws!
    And tidy the litter and then sit down still
    So that we might come and sit upon you

    Don’t ever leave us or at least hurry back
    We depend upon Servants like you for our fun
    Except when its time for the Cat War to start
    And we’ll bite & claw each other just for a laugh

    You cannot ignore us though we’ll ignore you
    For we may be selfish and keep to ourselves
    But you will still love us and take us for muse
    When writing our story and conjuring verse


  49. Terri Vega

    I guess I was feeling funny today –

    “If it (is planted), It (will grow)”

    I planted a seed under the ground
    I covered it with love
    I watered it and gave it food
    And watched it from above

    I waited long and never strayed
    I beckoned it to grow
    As days and months came and went
    My tears began to flow

    I soon began to realize
    That my seedling needed more
    It would never see the light of day
    Why did I plant it in the floor?

  50. Heather

    Lesson #16: If You Think It’s Enough, It Isn’t

    I used to think
    That if you’re thin enough,
    Actively participating
    In their interests,
    Keeping a good home,
    Managing the kids,
    Working a full-time job,
    And supporting them through
    Their lows,
    They’d be faithful

    I was wrong

    Lesson #16: Enough Is Never Enough