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November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

Categories: November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Poetry Prompts.

Okay, we’ve made it through the first day. We’ve got our first poems and our themes established. Now, let’s get to the second prompt, which is to write a declaration poem: that is, a poem that makes a statement about your theme. A good way to attack this poem may be to write it in the voice of an imagined person or a real person who is not yourself.


For instance, if your theme is food poems, you could write a poem in the voice of Rachel Ray, who makes a declaration about the importance of food. Or if your theme is dysfunctional families, write a poem in the voice of Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil. Or, well, you get the idea.


(And remember, if you’re not feeling a particular prompt, don’t be afraid to steer yourself in a different direction. After all, our main goal is to have 30 poems at the end of the month.)


Here’s my attempt for the day:


“Abraham Van Helsing”


Let me tell you of monsters:
Monsters is monsters, and they
will always be monsters. And
people is people, and they
can be monsters, sometimes as
terrifying as vampyres,
but people have a conscience.
People, when they are monsters,
can feel regret. Not so with
Dracula, not with a cold-
blooded vampyre. He will suck
his victim’s blood, and even
turn his victim into a
soulless bloodsucker like him-
self. Monsters is monsters, and
they will always be. People
can be monsters, but they are
always people; they always
have room to learn from mistakes.


 

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

86 Responses to November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

  1. Jane penland hoover says:

    Hushed

    no siren wailed
    from the ambulance carrying us –
    me, up front with the driver
    him, paralyzed on the stretcher
    in the rear

    traveling familiar roads
    passing red-lit intersections
    flying
    I prayed to breathe
    constricted limbs to halt the trembling
    strangled screams
    imagined sunrise coming
    fixed my face
    to impart assurances
    I no longer owned

    the driver spoke:
    no use upsetting him
    not much traffic
    after midnight

    the only words uttered
    as we rode on
    silent
    into years of night

    no siren sounding warning

  2. Lynne says:

    a dandelion’s demise
    can be beautiful natural
    peaceful as its white fluff
    wafts away to propagate
    new crowns of sunbeam
    yellow that will stand
    proud against green backdrop

    yet all too often it meets
    a slow suffering finale
    as it tries to survive
    the spray of lethal mists

    too many times this perky
    bit of sunshine is suddenly
    ripped apart into shreds
    if you pay close attention
    you might hear its silent scream
    above the roar of a lawn mower

    a natural peaceful passing
    should be accorded every
    living thing yet we continue
    to slaughter things of wonder
    and beauty – plants cattle
    our young we send to war

    no more, no more, i implore

  3. Kathy Kehrli says:

    II. In the Cath Lab

    This one’s a goner—
    Heart stopped, lungs failing,
    Main artery 100% blocked.
    If I pull this one off—
    Aorta unplugged, blood flowing—
    Even I’ll be complete and utterly shocked.

  4. Lecture #32

    Dance is a communication
    tool. A historical artifact.
    A process in which individuals
    come together for an exchange
    of social norms. The means
    in which a society expresses
    the dominant culture through
    a common physical language.

  5. Taylor Graham says:

    FIRST LIGHT

    “Now listen up. This kid’s been lost
    since supper yesterday. Brother saw him
    down by the pond with his dog. It was drizzling,
    turned to sleet last night. Boy’s name is Joshua,
    answers to Josh. Wearing a T-shirt and Levi’s.
    You know what cotton’s like when it gets wet,
    wicks the warmth right out of you.
    Don’t have to tell you, search is an emergency.
    Hasty team’s still out. Joe and Manny,
    you’re Team 2. Check your radios –
    spare batteries for your flashlights.
    Here’s a map, we’re here, end of the road.
    This dot’s the house, here’s the pond.
    You’re searching down the draw
    till you hit the South Fork. It’s running
    high. Safety check every hour. Now,
    Team 3, Albert and Ned….”

  6. Resurrection

    Hush! Can you hear it?
    Whispers in the back room
    Hope, once dead
    stirs in youthful hearts
    American dignity blushes
    like a shy young girl
    over the wan misery
    of worldwide contempt
    Look, can you see it?
    Smiles in the corner
    of a black man’s eyes
    We will be heard
    The meek, the poor,
    the angry downtrodden
    together we weep with joy
    And the sun once again rises

  7. Monica Martin says:

    "From the Voice of Dr. Phil"

    When two loving people
    move in together, it’s
    important to remember
    several key factors:
    communication, team
    work, and love. With
    these at the forefront,
    any couple can happily
    share a home.

    I could have written more, but having Dr. Phil’s voice in my head was starting to freak me out a little.

  8. Carol says:

    DECLARATION

    Frost snaps, Come here! Come here!
    Sun unfurls to tug the door,
    And a hoarse whisper pulls at the glass:
    Come quick before each stylized blade
    Drips back into the oneness
    from hoof and under-mud

  9. Billy Angel says:

    I Don’t Know Whether To Scrub Or Surrender

    She said never let soap touch your face,
    meanwhile she scrubbed until the metal
    was dull. Chairs, lamps, couches stood
    at attention. Everything had its place
    and, by God, it never moved on her watch.

    He was AWOL. He was always planning
    the next destination before we’d left
    the last. He had a lucky streak
    once, didn’t know what to do, stood
    in the rain with an unopened umbrella.

    I seek love/hate relationships, desire
    to get dirty, but won’t stay if you haven’t
    cleaned the house. I can’t believe in God
    unless He’s as dumbfounded as me.
    At least I’m faithful, even when I’ wrong.

  10. Ronda Eller says:

    ii. ebon sky

    i cannot say where I was last night,
    where my own wings flew devoid of light

    beneath the moonless, ebon sky
    unfolding fast and restless I

    took to it in slept faith turned blind
    threw off the earth, put on the wind

    and met with dragons breathing fire
    battling, wrestling with desire

    to harbinge young inside their lairs,
    I knew of nothing else but fear,

    yet I snuffed them in their early years
    but yet I cannot tell you where.

    ~ Ronda Eller 2nov2008

  11. Pamela, you’re GOOD under pressure. I’m impressed.

    Monsieur Monet

    I obsess the light.
    Morning I paint, noon, twilight, night.
    When the disease blurs my vision,
    the blots, dots, and blobs of
    oils or watercolors
    increase my delight,
    for when I leave my world of
    sea cliffs
    water lilies
    and the house at Givergny
    I will leave it as a legacy
    for the woman who walks the gallery
    and dives into paintings
    like Alice through the glass.

  12. PSC in CT says:

    And here’s my PAD – DAY 2 entry: “Poem In Another’s Voice”

    Seasons – Pseudo-Plagiarized
    (in the WORDS of E. E. CUMMINGS)

    Spring is like a perhaps childhood
    (which blooms mud-luscious
    and puddle wonderful)

    Summer sings in her whiskey voice
    of sloppy thighs and edible skies

    Autumn, queerly twilight, leaves loneliness,
    breathes a fatal stillness

    Winter is wither
    cold lips and cold hair
    gratitude, plenitude, dying, despair

  13. Euphrates says:

    Short and sweet…this fits better here.

    Beyond
    11/06/08

    Heart to heart to heart
    Love the river can’t contain
    Levies overflow

  14. Euphrates says:

    Ugh…I want to delete that – it fits better on day 4. I’ll work on another one for here.
    *headdesk*

  15. Euphrates says:

    Stare
    11/6/08

    “Mommy, why are those two ladies holding hands?”
    Oh, THIS should be fun.
    What are you gonna say, Mommy?
    That we’re freaks of nature?
    An abomination in God’s sight, sinning out in the open, right in front of (gasp!) little children?
    Or that we’re deceived and out to destroy your petty family’s values?
    Or maybe we’re part of the “Homosexual Agenda” to bring down the nuclear family and “One Nation under God” while we’re at it?
    (Like either of those need any help on that score from US)
    How about this, Mommy?
    How about maybe we LOVE each other?
    Maybe God saw that I needed another miracle in my life, and gave me that miracle in her?
    How about, we understand and complete each other? In ways our – yes our – boyfriend can’t.
    Because as wonderful and loving and sexy and gentle and sexy and talented (and did I mention sexy?) as he is, he doesn’t have to bleed to be moody.
    And he doesn’t have his moods dismissed because he’s bleeding.
    And he’ll never know the bloating and the hemorrhoids and the nausea and the alien kicking you in the cervix to get back at you for having sex…
    And he’ll never know the pain of subsequently losing that child nurtured by your body,
    However much he tries to understand.
    But we do. We both do.
    And bless his heart, this is a grocery store!
    And he’s a boy!
    Trust me, Mommy, you’d rather be fielding this one than “Why is that man holding both those ladies hands?”
    Because I love them both, and I’m not afraid to show it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.
    How about this one, Mommy?
    How about the fact that she can do things with ten fingers and a tongue that can make my head explode?
    Yeah, they’re gonna need an exorcist to get rid of all the ectoplasmic brain-spackle when WE move out.
    And how are you going to explain that we’ve found something so wonderful, so amazing, so special together that this “We”, this threesome, is greater than the sum of its parts? Can we say trinity anyone?
    And maybe, just maybe, I love her, and want to hold her hand to show her how MUCH I love her, and I didn’t even notice you noticing?
    So what are you gonna say, Mommy?
    And as I lock gazes, she averts her eyes,
    Tugging on her child’s hand, pulling her towards the parking lot…
    “It’s not polite to stare, honey.”

  16. Iris Deurmyer says:

    Iceman

    I am here to tell you
    I am the most important form of water
    If global warming continues at such an alarming rate
    We will no longer have polar bears or penquins or me
    And equatorial heat will keep men from venturing near
    How will man survive the weather changes
    You need me more than you need baths.
    Without me your planet will burn
    Your prediction is a million years
    I say start celebrating me today
    You won’t miss the ice until it is gone.

  17. A.C. Leming says:

    The Captain

    You’ve heard the captain declaim,
    deride, destroy all rational discourse,
    lower the level of our exploration to
    a quest for weightless, acrobatic sex.

    That’s not how it should have been.
    That’s not how it can still unfold,
    if the captain’s role model remains
    pushed to the rear of the capsule.

    If only he had never invaded my
    space. If only we’d left any one
    of the times he’d ignored the
    Prime Directive. If only I’d had

    the red shirt courage to pull us all
    out of his space odessey fantasy.

    If only…

  18. Miguel de Matos says:

    I know I am doing this late yet I was unable to do this yesterday. I have however thought about the poem I was going to do and here it is!:
    "Poetry Travels"

    Morning in Vienna,
    Sacher törte by the Christmas tree,
    "Not till later" bellows old Grandma,
    Rocking away, her hair becoming unseamed.
    Outside, it’s cold and the heart of the city starts thumping.
    The museums open and the musicians start
    Practising their concertos for later in the night.
    Tourists buzz around the city, on big tour buses; and
    Go to art galleries, filling it with their discussions
    About whether or not…

    Morning in Paris,
    Baguette for you and for me,
    Croissant for the Madame,
    and a Latte please.
    And thank you, no cheese.
    Down the metro, we go;
    To Orsay, monsieur.
    "Ah oui, c’est preux!"
    Say ‘preux’, say ‘preux?
    I pray you, "Say what, French bro?"

    Morning in London,
    Eggs, bacon and sausages stuffed in,
    down and under. The lady at that shop
    Near Madame Thussaud’s speaks Cockney.
    "Half-inching this? Can you
    Adam and Eve it?" All Cockney,
    Chutney. Brittania this.
    Britannia that. And then all
    They do is have a brawl at the pub
    About tea in the morning, or a pint of lager at sea.

    Morning at home,
    Wife brings me coffee and the kids
    Bring me the ‘paper, lots of news,
    Not much glee. Pipe in mouth,
    Tobacco smoking, Idling some more,
    Because I don’t feel like working.

  19. VS Bryant says:

    Edgar Allen Poe

    To my love, to my Lenora
    To my heart, which has her to endure
    To the dark and dreadful road of love, of lust, of desire, simply to adore.
    To the pain of a heart that is torn
    To a soul feeling the greatest gift of all
    To my love, to my Lenora
    To my heart, which has her to endure…

  20. Terri French says:

    You let yourself become the victim
    It was your choice
    You chose your own poison
    somehow you mistook that skull and crossbones
    for the red rose of love
    but even roses have thorns
    and you stuck your finger out willingly
    I think bleeding made you feel alive
    You are the sympathizer to your own plight
    You threw in that towel
    You gave up the fight
    and now you’re down for ten
    once again

  21. Victoria Hendricks says:

    Open Your Eyes

    Turn off your head phones. Open your eyes.
    Shut your book. Turn off the TV, Close your mouth.
    Look around. Make eye contact. Smile. Listen.
    Join, connect, hope, but first, open your eyes.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Pl

  22. Sheryl Kay Oder says:

    I was not home to see the prompt yesterday, but I think this poem fits a bit.

    Misaligned Focus

    My new glasses are deceptive.
    With both lenses
    the cooperating eyes
    see the world almost clearly.

    My right eye is not fooled
    when I close the left.
    In order to read
    I need to lower my head.

    I have no desire to see
    The world cockeyed—
    tilting my head to read
    books or to view the computer.
    .
    Who knows what other
    misaligned focus would
    follow my eyes:
    That lens needs to be fixed.

  23. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    Written Word

    Why is poetry writing so prevalent
    all throughout mankind’s history
    through prose and rhyme
    someone has spoken their intent
    some collections cloaked in mystery
    while others lost in the sublime

    Perhaps the escape
    offered by the short story
    the illusion in which we reshape
    the world in all of our written glory

    What of he who reads each line
    if he only knew
    that what we do,
    what takes place within our mind
    is not for you
    but the escape to places
    away from a reality so confined
    that the only way to that open space
    to us is through each and every line

    So, do we care
    if someone reads
    the words we put there
    hey, we plant the seeds
    and then we share
    It’s up to you
    both in choice
    and in voice
    to do,
    what you chose to do. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/03/08 Theme poem hope this works, not one of my best, but certainly
    one of my weirdest.

  24. Lee says:

    Well, just for the contradiction between theme and voice, I chose the voice of Dr. Seuss for this one:

    Trust

    I cannot believe
    one word that you say
    said the old yellow head
    to the head that was gray.

    You say that you’re faithful;
    you say that you’re true
    but the box on the desk
    tells the truth about you.

    They don’t sit on our couch;
    they don’t walk on our floor;
    they don’t enter and leave
    by the back or front door

    But they’re here all the same.
    They have real names and faces
    And voices that share with you
    their private places

    And for those few minutes
    you’re theirs without question
    for another enjoyable
    toyable session.

    So Whosit and Whats-her-name
    wait in the box
    for the next time, the sex time
    you take out your rocks

    to play with the women
    who wait just for you;
    for the things that you say
    and the things that you do.

    You say that you love me;
    It’s me you adore,
    but I’m mine alone, fine alone.
    and I’ll never be yours.

    ‘Cause I cannot believe
    one word that you say
    said the old yellow head
    to the head that was gray.

    - – - – - – - – - –

  25. lynn rose says:

    "Voices"

    This thing I did, that you cannot see,
    for its inside of me.
    I yell and scream and want to be.
    But no. No, it can not come out to be.
    It has to stay inside of me. I have been
    so clever and so keen, to make it believe,
    that its where it’s suppose to be. I
    have tucked it deep, deep inside. Will
    it ever see the light and breathe once again.

  26. SaraV says:

    So many wonderful poems–Yvonne I love the senses of yours, I tasted the salt, felt the waves, lovely! And Sara, the blues–very clever

    Crikey!
    There’s an iguana mates,
    you know they’re vegetarian right?
    Isn’t he lovely? in all his orange splendor
    Got to watch those claws and tail it’ll sting ya!
    And there’s an ibis! Crikey ain’t she a beauty!
    White with glorious orange beak
    Curved just like an auger
    Eatin’ underground is what she likes
    But here she’s eating chopstick-style
    To get those goose-food granuales
    Quiet mates, there’s about twenty, no! thirty
    Mottled ducks, ain’t they amazing?
    All shades of brown, they are
    and that gorgeous patch of green on they wings
    Amazing, truly amazing
    But the best is yet to come
    Look, look, ain’t they lovely?
    A perfect pair of African Brown Geese
    Check out that stripe of deep brown
    all the way down the back of their necks
    Set against that creamy latte color
    Ah, they’re magnificent!
    But cover your ears, I can’t believe
    All the racket they’re making!
    I Love coming to this little
    Peaceful pond every day
    Maybe tommorrow we’ll see the great blue
    Heron that is, and while we’re at it
    Check out the Green
    Heron, he’s hanging out in
    that tree branch above the pond
    Flashing that emerald green topknot of his
    Amazing, really, truly amazing

  27. jared david says:

    kate bm- i haven’t been home in a while, and your description brings back wonderful memories of the season

  28. corinne says:

    The Voice of God

    And when you are curled up in the fetal position
    Gathered around yourself in sorrow, believing
    The pain will be bottomless,
    Reach past and beyond to me.

    Understand that even loss of others was created for a purpose,
    Beloved child:
    To break your heart open in all the places it binds you,
    To cherish every being, every moment,
    To live the bittersweet ecstasy of loving deeper still,
    Dancing together in time and space in physical form,
    And to remind you of home sweet home,
    Where no loss will occur, and no ache exists.

    Today, (Monday), from Sunday’s prompt, I really resonated with Bruce, Peggy and Yvonne. And Kateri, I was thinking you were totally with the program last PAD Challenge – it will be fun to see what you come up to this time ’round!

  29. Rachel says:

    I’m in awe of the talent here. I’ve always loved writing poetry.. now I know I also love reading it. wow.

  30. Kate Berne Miller says:

    Postcard from the Northwest

    “When I was younger,” she said, “Autumn
    was my favorite season. The air scented
    with cinnamon and the crisp apple snap of the
    coming cold, trees a chaos of color, fallen leaves
    littering the sidewalks with maroon and gold.
    Melancholy rains and tumultuous winds
    perfect for the high drama of youth, gusting
    from euphoria to heartache and back again.”

    “Now my heart drops with the leaves, I mourn
    the diminishment of the sun, bringing with it
    shrinking days and dropping temperatures. How
    long before we can crawl from the cocoon
    of our beds without shivering, cross the kitchen
    floor without slippers, put away our hats and
    gloves and scarves, shed our raincoats like old
    skins and bask in the summer warmth again?”

    Kate Berne Miller

  31. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Terri in MHO I’d end at devi’s forgot and keep the last stanza as a poem on its own. Just a thought.

    Iain

  32. Terri Vega says:

    Alright, I’m going a head and posting this one, but it’s definitly going to need a rewrite. I’m just not happy with the last stanza at all – Suggestions?

    Theme – Herbs – Declaration Poem

    Culpepper’s Declaration

    “The shrub is so well known by every boy and girl
    that has but attained
    the age of seven years, that it needs no description.”

    How is it now, how could I see
    that so few elder
    and scarcely a child know – not even by name
    or less by sight – Barberry

    “The face being washed with the distilled water
    of them – cureth the reddest face
    that is.”

    Cucumbers now
    the women slice and like pennies
    on the eyes they lie to the
    swollen bags dismay.

    “The juice of the leaves is a remedy
    against the bites of serpents,
    and for those that have taken
    Aconite.”

    Baked in pies to fill the stomach
    Mulberry treats now warm
    the heart. Feed the body
    and the devil’s forgot.

    Endless flows of time
    resonate adversarial motion toward
    arts of old once held dear
    now enter this day all things are new
    but plants still live and grow
    as I find peace beneath them.

  33. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Sorry these are a bit late. I didn’t see the prompt til late last night (my time )and was too tired to write. Anyway, here we are…

    Cats, Poetry & Death #5

    Sometimes staring at the lonely sea
    Or stars will draw the muse from me
    A medieval lilt played upon a lyre
    Has oft been known to light my fire

    The beauty that is spring might be the stuff
    Maybe a summer song of laughter is enough
    But there are times I can find little or no muse
    And I know the waiting game is one I shall lose

    So it is that I will turn and turn again as ever
    To one of three themes that desert me never
    As all poets must do when gasping for their breath
    I’ll sit and write a verse or two on Cats, Poetry or Death

    Three simple themes never far from hand
    Replace the poems that I had planned
    Sometimes I’ll use just one, oft times a duo
    But now and again I’m drawn to forge a trio

    Now my joke returns to taunt me
    And my triple-muse is here to haunt me
    Could I end up of muse bereft?
    With nothing to say on Cats, Poetry & Death

    ************************************************

    Dear Moosehead,

    So what’s it all about you ask?
    Typical of you, half-wit! I’ll tell what its
    all about, Godammit! It’s about me having a
    numbskull from Queens as a so-called best buddy.
    It’s about said so-called buddy’s female relations
    ruining my life, taking over damn near everything I do
    and leaving me spinning everyway to Jersey without a
    clue as to what’s going on. That’s what it’s all about.
    (I confess your cousin is the least evil of the three and
    YES! I did actually marry your sister but I was drunk
    which was your damn fault!) So that’s what it’s all about.
    It’s about baseball and hotdogs and me being bitter and
    twisted but most of all it’s about friendship. Let’s face it
    Moussie, old pal, if it weren’t for you I’d’ve gone plain loco
    a long time back. Although come to think of it, if it weren’t
    for you I wouldn’t be in this mess, you bastard!
    Pick me up at seven will ya, I’m sick of driving.

    Yours unreasonably explaining,

    Ringo the Howler

    I will now read everyone elses work

    Iain

  34. Don Swearingen says:

    Today, in my town, the low was below
    Freezing. But the high was high, and really nice.
    Not like years past when the high was low,
    And the low was like really ice.
    When Hallowe’en meant a snow storm,
    And the next weeks were a toss of the dice,
    But today, is not true to form, it’s sunny and warm,
    So today, I’ll enjoy the added spice
    Of a nice day, because I’ve just heard
    The weatherman on my TV, say twice
    It’s gonna be cold, you nerd.
    And your breath will be cold enough to slice!
    From cold as death to hot as hell,
    November is a real interesting weather spell.

  35. Heather says:

    Connie, thank you. I’m really excited to continue . . . my theme seems to be working for me :)
    Cheers everyone!

    Iain, Where are you? Missed your posts.

  36. Lori says:

    Larina- excellent poem. being the ‘solitary savior of quality-of-life’ is a much harder job than anyone realizes.
    Earl- ‘speaking my mind’ is a great strart for a chapbook- that could almost be your hook poem.

  37. kate says:

    Childcare nurse

    Don’t worry
    you won’t break him.

    It wasn’t so much what she said
    as the brisk way she whisked off
    his blanket, tugged off jacket
    and tiny singlet, until
    exposed
    plunged him wailing
    into luke warm water.

  38. Rachel says:

    thank you Connie! i needed that encouragement. :-)

  39. Katherine M. says:

    I’m on track with my one-a-day, although three days behind on prompts due to irregular internet availability (I’m way ahead of you in time zones, so this is Day 3 for me).

    It’s great to read what everyone’s doing, and I hope I’ll see you all with chapbooks in hand come December!

  40. Amanda says:

    What could be done
    In an impossible situation
    Stop blaming yourself
    It wasn’t your fault
    You don’t honor her memory
    When you live this way
    Drinking and smoking
    Fighting and cussing
    Would she have wanted this for you?
    Absolutely not

  41. Connie says:

    Really great poems today.
    Heather, I agree with Patti, your lessons are an excellent theme.
    Rachel "God of Pain" is my favorite today.
    Nancy, I’m a fan of yours. And in Nano I’m Connieiam I haven’t been spending much time on the site either, maybe as it progresses.

  42. Jolanta Laurinaitis says:

    The Mythologist on Adderbolt and the Death of Gaia.

    Their jewel colouring
    Developing and reflecting
    An iridescent green and blue
    Magic and mysticism

    Gaia’s magic fading under
    The shadowed wings.

    Japan’s national emblem
    A dragonfly messenger to
    And from another world
    The Dragonfly of the Dead,
    Brings the spirits of their ancestors
    Back to their family

    Bringing Gaia’s Spirit
    Back to her maker.

    Symbol of strength among
    Japanese warriors
    For Navajo, Adderbolt
    Symbolized pure water.

    Gaia’s strength is disappearing.

    Known as Sprites
    Devil’s Darning Needles

    Adderbolt.

    Symbols of
    being carefree
    Supernatural powers
    Shamanistic ways
    Dreams

    Change.
    And swiftness.

    Just like the death
    Of Gaia.

  43. David King says:

    Excellent post. Very usueful. Excellent blog. I shall come again – need to spend more time on it to do it justice.

  44. Spidey says:

    crazy eights
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    it’s times like today that crush the most,
    running along the fence line like that,
    a deep throaty menace to your bark
    despite my pleas to stop.
    no wonder foot traffic always stays to the
    opposite side of our street.
    you weren’t always like this, I promise
    both strangers & friends.
    in his younger days before the cancer
    and white muzzle hairs,
    he was friendly and silly
    and full of pranks,
    eating holes in walls
    and fringe off area rugs,
    waiting for the right moment to
    to bowl me over in the yard,
    arms busy with groceries.
    again with the ignorance.
    i know you know
    “No means NO
    in english or spanish”
    but you roll those rotty eyes and smirk,
    paw prints across my face.
    there was a time when i was in a hurry
    for you to grow up.
    now, i wish you were
    still just a pup.

  45. Shann Palmer says:

    no editing function/whoops- fixing the above

    Change

    like new love, is recalled as better
    than it was, a crush of hope
    in the fading memory of lobster,
    packed in dry ice from Massachusetts
    shipped to Arizona with good intent.

    Amazed the creatures still had life,
    we laughed at our good fortune
    clarifying butter if not the future,
    discussing roe and Peking duck,
    not whether we wanted children

    Important meals, light discourse,
    the future caught us down the road
    ala carte, when taste diverged,
    hunger unabated, with separate forks.

  46. Shann Palmer says:

    day 2

    Change

    like new love, is recalled as better
    than it was, a crush of hope
    in the fading memory of lobster,
    packed in dry ice from Massachusetts
    shipped to Arizona with good intent.

    Amazed the creatures still had life,
    we laughed at our good fortune
    clarifying butter if not intent,
    discussing roe and Peking duck,
    not whether we wanted children

    Important meals, light discourse,
    the future caught us down the road
    ala carte, when taste diverged,
    hunger unabated, with separate forks.

  47. Steve LaVoie says:

    I was not able to come up with how someone would declare having a lot of different things to teach/talk about without it sounding cliche so I had to break from the prompt.

    Old man Wellerman

    You have to hate him
    When he opens his mouth.
    Like the time we were walking
    Along and he says that religion
    Has left America.
    I turn to him and say that
    Everyone can’t afford salvation like he can.

    Then later on he rambles about
    How people don’t respect their elders.
    So how many times have you called someone
    A "little punk" or "no-good bum" today?
    He shuts up for five minutes.

    He then declares that me and my peers
    Have it too easy with all our technology
    And we would never
    Survived what he puts up with everyday.
    I tell him to go home to his loving wife
    And nice comfortable recliner.

  48. AnnNoE says:

    And the lanternes continue:

    Strange
    stories
    come to mind.
    Muse is telling
    tales.

  49. Rachel says:

    God of Pain

    You Christins break the rules,
    I see you sinning all the time!
    Just look. This one is smoking,
    and those priests. Ugh. What a crime.

    Don’t you know you should be perfect?
    Look at you, you are depressed!
    I thought Christians were all happy.
    You think you’re better than the rest.

    You say, Scott, we are forgiven.
    We’re forgiven. Don’t you see?
    But all I see is disappointment,
    what I call hypocrisy.

    Your depression, it takes over, ’till
    you can’t get out of bed.
    Can’t your Jesus come and fix you?
    Can’t He lift your weary head?

    Yeah, My Pa, he was a "Christian",
    and he had no time for me.
    The taste of truth is much too bitter.
    He was God to me you see.

    My ma… I prayed to Jesus,
    please, to heal her of her fever.
    Yet she left and I lost hope.
    How could He be the Great Reliever?

    Besides, your Master, He was broken.
    He was nailed to brutal wood.
    Just to love me? As my dad should?
    I’d believe it if I could.

    I’d believe it if I wanted
    but I see you long to die.
    I see you suffer through depression,
    yet you’re here, and I ask why?

    You’re in anguish nearly always
    Yet your faith has worn your knees.
    God of pain, He leaves you living.
    God of rain, your pain is eased.

    You say to be a true disciple,
    you must suffer like your King,
    to be made into His image.
    I don’t like that sort of thing.

    I suppose if you believe it,
    that a soul could learn from crying…
    that a perfect God would love you,
    and a loving God went dying…

    I suppose if I could have,
    just a little of your stuff…
    How I see you truly dying
    yet you think that God’s enough…

    Perhaps I could rethink my thoughts
    and take His gift to me,
    But my knees are stiff from pride.
    I’d have to break to bend the knee.

  50. The Physician Speaks of a Cure

    If you listen, you can hear the sound of death
    gurgling liquid like a woman with blood
    on her lips and tongue. I hate that so many
    have died so young, so I prescribe
    pills and panaceas, become proactive
    prohibitor, solitary savior of quality-of-life.

    Part of me believes that we rent these forms
    that carry us back and forth between homes and hells,
    but I cannot doubt the power of antiseptic hands,
    antibiotic commands and anti-inflammatory
    expansions of mobility. It never has occurred to me
    that anti-anything is tenuous and subjective.
    I seek only to murder the murderer,
    to bury death and sickness
    under flesh cleared of debris.

  51. satia says:

    I’m doing nano as well. Same name: satia. But I am not spending time on the forums or participating in any write ins. I used to do so but when I became too sick to participate my absence didn’t seem to be missed and I realized I’m more productive if I just stay home and write.

  52. Earl Parsons says:

    Here’s my other day 2 chap.

    Speaking My Mind

    What’s next, you say?
    What’s next, you ask?
    Why should I tell you?
    I thought you liked surprises
    I like messing with you
    After all, I’m your mind
    Don’t you know?

  53. jared david says:

    NaNoWriMo…yeah. i have no idea why. but i look forward to both challenges.

  54. Nancy Posey says:

    It’s fun to see everyone back–and welcome new folks too. Bruce and Yvonne, I liked your poems today a lot.
    Who all is doing NaNoWriMo too? We need some kind of buddy list on the site–if someone can figure out how.

  55. RJay Slais says:

    Undercurrent

    The cold wind’s murmurous needles
    say change is surely sharp,

    poking deep into my skin,
    early yellow springtime gone.

    A tree, much younger then I
    stripped bare, the leaves taken,

    yesterday’s raindrops, a pool of tears
    captured inside their curled edges

    dead on the forest floor.
    Gloom elm branch shadows

    cast off by the sun, the elder ember,
    like dark fingers of hate

    crisscross over the ground
    as if to impede my way.

    Storm clouds pimperly advance,
    a fist from the north and west

    as I spin, wind in my face
    to reach the opposite horizon

    an ever constant struggle
    slowed by the constricted veins.

  56. Nancy Posey says:

    Magical Years

    Always one step away from the action,
    I remember myself and my peers
    dancing to “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,”
    as we turned thirteen in those magical years.

    Woodstock played out at a distance,
    like the war on the six o’clock news.
    We read , like all teens, from Young Miss magazine
    about Kent State and Twiggy and shoes.

    Together we watched the men walk on the moon
    on our fourteen-inch black-and-white set.
    We lost Bobby and Martin and Jimi and Janis,
    and we weren’t even seventeen yet.

    We were guilty of magical thinking,
    playing backwards “The walrus is Paul.”
    We had laughed when they said that McCartney was dead.
    We refused to believe death at all.

    We were finally getting our license
    and driving our second-hand cars,
    parked out back with our crew at the old Chat n Chew
    watching R-rated movies out under the stars.

    Too young yet for college and draft boards,
    we tuned in to Yoko and John;
    We heard Edwin Starr when he sang about war,
    and we thought that we knew where the flowers had gone.

    We had posters of Elvis and Sweet Baby James.
    On our turntables, old forty-fives
    kept spinning around playing magical sounds
    Before disco and “Stayin’ Alive.”

    The turntable hasn’t been turned on in years,
    and our Kodak mementos turned orange with age;
    The mirrors tell lies when we look in our eyes
    and we wonder when Dylan is taking the stage.

    Always one step away from the action,
    I remember myself and my peers
    dancing to “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,”
    as we turned thirteen in those magical years.

    Nancy Posey

  57. Earl Parsons says:

    Here’s day 2 of the LL&L chap.

    I’m Waiting

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I like not what I hear
    For I no longer hear your children
    Use My name but in vain
    They fear Me not
    They love Me not
    They know Me not
    My children are falling away

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I like not what I see
    For I no longer see My people
    Living according to My Word
    You fear Me not
    You love Me not
    You know Me not
    My people are falling away

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I like not what you do
    That which is bad, you call good
    That which is good, you call bad
    I am not your Lord
    I am not your King
    I am not your Savior
    You are pushing Me away

    America, I’m waiting
    But as I wait, I can’t believe My eyes
    Satan is taking you, one by one
    Pulling you down into the pits of hell
    Satan’s now your lord
    You worship him as king
    Because you know Me not
    I’m still here, just open your hearts

    America, I’m waiting
    For you to come back to Me

  58. Mary K says:

    A Lesson

    Remember, you who care about the past,
    take more heed of your present and future.
    Life is today and tomorrow, not in ghosts
    of yesterday. Embrace your present as you
    look ahead. The past is fixed, unchangeable
    a book that has gone to press, no revisions
    possible.. Do not be trapped within its pages.
    Look forward, not backward. Lessons learned
    or teachings ignored may influence how you live
    your life today, but are not today. Live now to
    the fullest and your mind will stay forever young.

  59. Vanessa O'Dwyer says:

    HUMAN RIGHTS

    Why should it have to be
    Human rights need be declared?

    Is there something awful lurking
    Or someone who’s just scared?

    Are they scared that if you knew
    You might just turn upon them?

    And treat them back as indecently
    As they’ve treated other humans?

    Why should it be a person know
    That he has these Human Rights?

    To keep him out of bounds for sure
    Of irrational gun sights.

    But what are they, these so-called rights
    And how can I know of them,

    To safeguard myself and those I love
    From those who would condemn them?

    Human is the form you have
    Not that which can be ridden.

    A right is your entitlement
    Not something you are given.

    So know well your human rights
    And don’t get into long drawn fights

    For those who fight you know too well
    That straying from them compose hell.

    ~ Vanessa O’Dwyer

  60. Kateri Woody says:

    I feel the need to return to Joker poems. Hah. GO figure, changing my theme already. But alas, this is going to be epic. Round two of Joker poems starts now!

    The darkness is uninspiring,
    a lack of luster and color -
    the distinct absence of light
    suppresses my soul just a bit because
    it takes a long while for
    my stalwart friend – not death this time -
    the neon lights of the city
    to flicker suddenly to life
    with a single hot, surging breath
    taken in and released in a sharp gust
    against my face pressed so tightly
    against the protective glass,
    the lights behind it burns so bright
    that they singe my fleshy face
    so quickly that I can’t do anything
    but revel in the pain of happiness
    and contentment which then breeds
    excitement deep within
    my breast that my soul breaks
    free of the bonds that the heavy
    blanket of … absolute nothingness imposes
    once the sunlight fades away to night
    and the Batman finally comes out to play.
    To play with me and my toys and I know that
    my sought after inspiration is found
    within the halogen scars
    glittering across the city which are
    mirrored gauchely on my face which is the only reason
    why I thrive in this bleakness,
    this shadow that encompasses all.

  61. S.E.Ingraham says:

    Anything to Declare… November 2.2008

    Crossing the border can be
    Nerve-racking at times
    Especially if you are barely
    Holding it together and
    Feel as if all the particles
    That make up your psyche
    Are set to implode and expose
    Each and every scorched
    Neuron you have been
    Harbouring within your
    Skull for what feels like eons
    But has only been a few
    Days or weeks at most.
    Time has become one long
    Tunnel with no light at
    The end or anywhere at
    All and as you near the customs
    Officer, your mouth grows
    Dry; before he even asks,
    You find yourself shouting
    In a voice unreal, and shaking,
    Unable to contain the fury
    Bottled and stoppered
    For who knows how long -
    Certainly not you – no -
    It just spills out, over
    Your lips and through your
    Teeth, it hangs in the air,
    “I declare! I declare!”
    And then, the silence
    Grows profound and all
    You can hear is the blood
    In your ears as it pounds
    Through your head
    And you think you see
    Policeman running now
    But you don’t care because
    You’ve made yourself
    Heard and you know what
    You have to do as you
    Curl yourself into a ball
    On the floor, close
    Your eyes, close your mouth
    Hold your breath as long
    As you can, hold it
    Until you can’t feel
    Anything, hear anything
    Until all the bits of you
    Finally do fly apart
    And declarations
    Are no longer needed
    You are gone from here
    Gone wherever it is you
    Go when you wait too
    Long to do what you
    Need to do and when
    You can’t recall what that
    Is and you don’t much
    Care as long as every
    Thing just stops
    Okay?
    Right.
    I declare.

  62. S Scott Whitaker says:

    Stepping Out of the Box

    Whether carapace or quills
    growth must occur.

    To look in the mirror and be separated
    from the body that stares back
    begins to erode all defenses.

    The bottling up of the voice that slips between the spirits
    is as old as story itself,
    like Aesop’s hare who dared the sun
    that he could hold his voice longer than the sun could shine,
    and in doing so nearly lost his ability to trick his enemies.
    He was given a pretty tail instead of his shout
    to warn his mates
    of a foul field.

    Now he relies on speed, luck,
    the ability to become as still as sun in midday,
    the flash of white
    that had once only belonged to the females
    of their breed when excited.

    Adaptation is underrated, I’m thinking, and outside
    the bathroom mirror, the rabbits eat, freeze, eat, and dart.

    Like the rabbit I too eat, freeze, eat, and dart.

    The edges of that box are visible,
    and what lies beyond
    is too good to pass up.

  63. Michelle H. says:

    Okay, I didn’t state it yesterday but I picked "Nature" as my theme. So today I decided to try my hand at a ‘Rondeau’. I think I got it.

    “Henry David Thoreau”

    Come with me, to the pond
    Soon you will form a bond;
    They sparkle like jewels,
    Leave behind all your rules;
    Nature, of you I’m fond.

    Journal every small bond,
    Write words and then beyond;
    Society for fools,
    Come with me…

    No one, please do respond
    Solitude wave your wand;
    My companion, no fools
    Only my writing tools;
    Ah nature, I’m so fond.
    Come with me…

    Oh, I just realized ‘Rondeau’ ryhmes with ‘Thoreau’ {giggle} not intentional. [smile]

  64. Hi, All-

    I’ve enjoyed reading these poems so much, and know that many of you know one another. Perhaps that makes me the odd man out? :) Anyway, to give you an idea if you read these, my chapbook centers on Neal, this character. I have the ending, and some of the arc, worked out in my head. The last poem I have written already, though over the course of this month I might find it will change.

    Thanks for letting me play.

    The Neal You Seek

    He may not be the Neal you find, huddled under cover
    of a harvest moon. He may be unbelievable in fact
    leaving you with wonder at the why and how of love.
    Neal’s paunch pushed forward leading skin and bones
    above and underneath strikes you as unattractive
    so undeniably human repulsion and attraction
    can’t help but walk in step. He won’t look you
    in the eye. He won’t want to touch your hand.
    He’ll be just as repelled as you are until the stars
    align, criss cross in a pattern never before noticed
    by lovers. He’s so undeniably real your heart will
    stop. It will be sudden. His movements, his moments
    shock you back to life. You want his story.
    There’s something there, some pulse of life
    attracting you magnetically and suddenly he’s yours,
    he’s your North Pole. Don’t forget your compass
    when he comes to you he will force the hands.
    He’s a magnetosphere, his heart a cardinal point.
    The Neal you seek may not be the one you find,
    but the Neal you find may lead you to the truest
    point, the truest north you’ll ever know.

  65. Callan says:

    Fourteen Lines from His Mind

    I see her, printing envelopes,
    preparing herself for the escape
    that awaits the both of us.
    She’s sure to go off in her direction,
    and I will go off in mine,
    and if they’re one and the same,
    then so much the better. I find

    we’re no longer planning to elope,
    and future plans have lost their shape,
    but the bond that’s keeping us
    in each other’s lives, that protection -
    like nerves are to the spine,
    it’s essential. But we’re crossing the frame,
    out of ourselves: what we’re leaving behind.

  66. Surrender

    Don’t bother to tread
    water, my friend. No
    one is coming to save you.
    Ride the waves onto
    the distant shore or sink
    slowly into a new consciousness.
    Taste the salt on chapped lips,
    the stinging of sun on your
    textured skin. Begin there,
    where the grit hurts
    and all is lost. Only then
    will you float.

  67. Bruce Niedt says:

    A Posthumous Open Letter from John

    Let me remind you people,
    it’s only music, and I weren’t no bloody saint.
    Just because that crazy git gunned me down,
    doesn’t mean you need to worship me.
    Yeah, it was a bummer, but life goes on,
    doesn’t it? If I was still around, would I still
    be with Yoko? Who knows? Would I be proud
    of me sons? What do you think?
    Would the Beatles’ve gotten back together?
    Not bloody likely. ‘Course, we lost George too –
    poor old George, and now we got “Sir Paul” –
    that’s a laff. But why worry about all that –
    why not make your own bloody music?
    That’s right, pick up a guitar, pull up to a piano.
    Learn a few tunes – “Imagine”, maybe –
    God, I was proud of that one.
    Stop yer bleedin’ whining and play,
    then make yer peace – I know I made mine.
    Leave the world happier than you found it.
    I hope I did that too.

  68. I’m planning to write a series of poems about American history —

    Sailor’s Diary

    The year, of 1492,
    the sixth September was the day
    when we set sail upon the sea,
    sailed west on what we hoped would be
    a sea route to the Indies.

    The first few days we were becalmed
    but then the breeze began to blow
    and soon we lost all sight of land
    of wives, of children, all we know
    searching for the Indies.

    We hoped for spices, jewels and gold
    but all we found was dark skinned men.
    We’ll search when we come back again
    and hope to find the promised gold,
    the riches of the Indies.

  69. Judy Roney says:

    “Iris Bolton”

    I don’t know why
    I’ll never know why
    I don’t have to know why
    I don’t like it
    I don’t have to like it
    What I do have to do is

    make a choice about
    living. Why? Why not.
    Weary, I travel through
    each day and pray
    I won’t be destroyed
    won’t destroy others by
    my grief. A choice to

    live is the choice I
    make each day and as time
    goes on I advance to choices
    that make my life more than
    existence. Forgetting myself

    at times I even reach for
    joy before life dawns on me
    again. In infintesimal increments
    I move through another passage
    I’m Indiana Jones effeminate

    dodging spears and casualties
    as I make my way to a new dawn
    striped of any resemblance of the
    woman I was, transformed into an
    enigma even to myself.

  70. Connie says:

    “The Domino Wizard”

    Robert Speca is my name
    Domino Toppling is my game
    I was on The Tonight Show with Johny Carson
    It was he who called it “Art in motion”

    My math teacher said an innocent remark
    Not knowing that it would ignite a spark
    He taught about math induction that year
    And turned me into a domino pioneer

    Some rank my sport with flag poll sitting
    But an art and science is more fitting
    I learned to build on many levels
    And called dominoes “those little devils”

    I began building on our den floor and table
    Then to the basement when no longer able
    I learned they could split off or go up hill
    Toppling dominoes became the neighborhood thrill

    I set the Guinness world record again and again
    And with my skill I’ve met some famous men
    I’ve been on TV shows all over the land
    And even met Kansas the rock and roll band

    I’ve learned patience and discipline in my days
    And helped launch the current domino craze
    But with domino toppling what I’d like to give
    Is a more harmonious place for all to live

    Taken from Robert Speca’s book Championship Domino Toppling 2004

  71. jared david says:

    sara, you created beautiful images for me today…thanks

    fear itself speaks

    I am hiding in your closet
    and beneath your bed.
    The dark city streets
    are my wonderland.
    I am waiting
    in the hospital halls
    and behind every
    call to arms.
    I keep your ambitions
    at bay, and you,
    knowing who
    is to blame,
    give up and go home;
    you should thank me,
    I just saved you
    the trouble of living.
    And in exchange,
    I want your dreams,
    may they haunt you,
    and your screams,
    I want to feel your
    heart beat,
    give me more,
    come find me, but
    who do you seek out?
    Not religion, religion is
    weak, I am the pacifier
    of the masses, the meek
    who will inherit the earth,
    but still have to deal
    with me, unless courage
    and faith, my enemies,
    do not fail you, but,
    where are they?
    Not in today’s society.
    And still you hope,
    you’re pathetic,
    you gave up ignorance
    for this, and blame me?
    This is no trick,
    you asked for power;
    live with it.

  72. Advice on Finding Love (final version)

    Oprah, Drs. Phil and Ruth,
    and others just the same
    give advice on love and how to find
    men in this never-ending game.

    Many frogs must be kissed in love
    before you find your prince,
    and you learn from each and every one
    how to see it all make sense.

    "Lessons in life," her mother says,
    as she helps her daughter recover
    from each relationship gone bad
    in hopes there’s not another.

    Dad clears his throat and gives a hug,
    then runs and makes a drink,
    hoping to kill this nasty slug,
    so sick he cannot even think.

    "Love will come when you least expect it,"
    is the best advice she got.
    If only she had the faith, the patience,
    she might not have suffered a lot.

    Laurie K.

    *Sorry for the mistakes in the first one- kids running around had me a little distracted.

  73. Rachel Green says:

    Moving Day

    What’s lurking in the basement?
    What’s creeping down the stair?
    What’s tapping on the casement?
    What’s pulling at my hair?

    This house is creepy, daddy (can I have a doll?)
    This house is haunted, daddy (can we have a cat?)
    This house is scary, daddy (may I have a ball?)
    This house is breathing daddy (I can see a bat!)

    Who’s calling for her mummy?
    Who’s knocking at the door?
    What’s pressing on my tummy?
    Why’s blood upon the floor?

    This house is sighing, daddy (can I have a bear?)
    This house is bleeding, daddy (can we have a dog?)
    This house is crying, daddy (do you even care?)
    This house is feeding daddy (filling up with fog)

    Who’s screaming in the attic?
    Who’s sobbing in the hall?
    Who’s making all that racket?
    I don’t like it here at all!

    Daddy?

  74. satia says:

    Written from my fiance’s perspective.

    Helplessness

    This is the woman who never asks for help
    leaning on me to walk to the examination room
    my arm holding her up is stronger than I
    feel when she hears the doctor explain,
    one more time, that the test showed nothing.
    With no answer, her eyes fill with tears,
    wanting to know why and I hate her doctors
    for their inability to do what I cannot do for her.

    (And here’s another because I wrote one then the other but am too tired to choose one over the other.)

    Untitled Sonnet

    She whimpers in her sleep and I
    reach out to soothe her unstill sleep
    knowing that her brain feels the lie
    of the bed falling. When I keep
    my arm across her, the weight holds
    the world still for her. She says when
    I kiss her that the vertigo
    triggers and she falls again.

    I can hold her—to do more is too much
    I’m afraid I’ll hurt her with my rough touch.

  75. Advice on Finding Love

    Oprah, Dr. Phil, and others
    just the same,
    give advice on love and how to find it
    in this never-ending game.

    Many frogs must be kissed in love
    before you find your prince,
    and you learn from each and everyone
    how to see it all make sense.

    "Lessons in love," her mother says,
    as she helps her daughter recover
    from each relationship gone bad
    in hopes there’s not another.

    Dad clears his throat and gives a hug,
    then runs and makes a drink
    hoping to kill this nasty slug,
    so sick he can’t even think.

    "Love will come when you least expect it,"
    is the best advice she got.
    If only she had the faith, the patience,
    she might not have suffered so much.

    Laurie K.

  76. Judy Roney says:

    Peggy, love your poem. I got it!

  77. Allan Revich says:

    Road to the Whitehouse

    winners and losers
    we’re not waiting for the ballots
    sometimes a cigar is more than a cigar

  78. Peggy Goetz says:

    This theme business has me in a muddle but I am pushing on anyway. I am hoping a theme will emerge! Here is today’s effort–the one I liked best of the several I tried.

    Til You Got It

    You got to grab it when
    it flies by, wild horse, speeding
    train, by the horns, by shirttails
    and just hang the hell on
    til you feel the rhythm
    in your bones, just
    let the whole world sing
    an’ Baby you got it.

  79. Sara McNulty says:

    Blues I’ve Known

    Please sign on the dotted
    line in blue ink, official
    color, background drop
    of stars on our flag; the shade
    of my eyes–envied by little
    sister; the jeans I no longer
    wear skin tight, like a teen
    might, while watching with joy,
    the total of those blue states
    swell. I’m buoyed. Makes me
    want to dance in a pair of
    blue suede shoes as I listen to
    the root of all music–the blues.

  80. Heather says:

    Thank you, Patti. I enjoyed yours as well. I look forward to all of your storms :)

  81. patti williams says:

    Heather – you’re lessons each day are going to make for quite the book. Excellent!

  82. patti williams says:

    Day#2: Declaration statement regarding theme

    Life can be hard
    With the black clouds looming
    Overhead, the winds
    Blowing so strong
    They howl and growl
    Muffling out the goodness within.
    Sometimes I’m not sure if my roots
    Can hold on to the earth
    They’re embedded in
    But my plan is to
    Dig in deeper,
    Grow them stronger,
    Let the rain drench,
    Flood
    My core,
    My being,
    My soul.
    And when the storm has
    Washed all the bad away
    I will feel so much better,
    My load much lighter,
    My resolve ambitious,
    My spirit
    Dancing around in the sunlight
    Carefree
    Because I will have survived
    Everything the storm
    Gave to me and then I will
    Appreciate the sunny days
    So much more than I
    Ever would have before
    The darkness
    Came over me.

  83. Heather says:

    Lesson #2: Respect

    I fell in love with him
    The first time he opened his mouth
    Words in a South-African accent
    Caught my heart and wrapped tightly around
    My being

    He mastered ten languages
    He said he learned them,
    Not to speak,
    But to listen,
    “If you’re speaking, you’re not listening”

    His parents were missionaries
    And that’s how he came to learn
    About poverty,
    Racism,
    Religion,
    The impacts of belief
    And reality

    I fell in love with him
    Near the end of his life
    Cancer had a fair
    Grip on him
    And he was fading fast

    In his weakened stage,
    His arms opened wide
    Drawing me into him,
    Into his heart
    With a hug
    I will never forget,
    A life hug,
    A hug of one’s beginning and one’s end
    A soul-to-soul
    Recognition

    I spent as much time as I could with him
    But the summer went by way too fast
    I was humbled by his presence,
    His knowledge,
    His humility,
    I didn’t feel worthy
    Of his time,
    Attention,
    His words
    I told him that I wanted to be “good” like him,
    I felt so small,
    Inadequate
    In comparison

    Before his death,
    He said to me, “There is such a thing as being too humble.”
    “In order for others to respect you,
    Your work,
    Your passion,
    You as a being,
    You have to respect yourself.
    The rest will follow.”

    He was right
    I’ve humbly learned lesson #2: Respect Yourself

  84. k weber says:

    Fondness

    I saw you
    dance in the yard
    when your tits
    turned seventy

    And you fell
    down, drunk
    without your novelty
    inflatable walker

    When I was five
    you came in late
    while I slept
    on the couch

    You squatted, pissed
    on the carpet
    in front of a TV’s
    static, glowing

    The year I thought
    I was dying, I woke
    up on Christmas
    and you were dressed

    Like Santa, you said
    I didn’t love you
    because I never
    picked up the phone

    That goes both ways:
    these modern inventions
    spanning time
    and so much distance

  85. Lori says:

    Step right up ladies and gentlemen
    take advantage while you can
    this offer good today only
    don’t miss the opportunity.
    To be all that you
    can be.
    Ever wanted to help?
    To be the hero?
    To save lives.
    Come one , come all to nursing school.
    It will only cost you a little time,
    a lot of heartache,
    and very little money
    in comparison.

  86. Paul W.Hankins says:

    I broke the rules already…on day two, no less. But my piece came before the prompt. Perhaps tomorrow I will make a declaration if I have not today:

    Invocation

    Their voices in the gathering area
    are hushed to a six-inch volume
    that screams in my psyche
    that they are, in fact, talking about me
    and the appropriateness of my offering;
    I stand in the distance,
    with a black portfolio,
    and look at my shoes
    that are not shined; yet,
    they are more than appropriate
    for looking down upon
    in order to lose my own reflection
    that keeps echoing from the floral-papered walls.

    Lost in the moment,
    a woman places her hand
    upon my shoulder,
    I clutch the portfolio tighter,
    bracing myself against
    the oppression of a comforting gesture;
    it feels like the weight of the world
    just became a little heavier
    and a sigh is little relief
    from the carrying.

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