November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

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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86 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

  1. Jane penland hoover


    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
    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
    into years of night

    no siren sounding warning

  2. Lynne

    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. Shannon Rayne

    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.

  4. Taylor Graham


    “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….”

  5. Tyger Valverde


    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

  6. Monica Martin

    "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.

  7. Carol


    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

  8. Billy Angel

    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.

  9. Ronda Eller

    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

  10. Karen H. Phillips

    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.

  11. PSC in CT

    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

  12. Euphrates


    “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.”

  13. Iris Deurmyer


    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.

  14. A.C. Leming

    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…

  15. Miguel de Matos

    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.

  16. VS Bryant

    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…

  17. Terri French

    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

  18. Victoria Hendricks

    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.


  19. Sheryl Kay Oder

    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.

  20. Rodney C. Walmer

    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.

  21. Lee

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


    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.

    – – – – – – – – – –

  22. lynn rose


    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.

  23. SaraV

    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

    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

  24. corinne

    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!

  25. Kate Berne Miller

    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

  26. Terri Vega

    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

    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.

  27. Iain D. Kemp

    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


  28. Don Swearingen

    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.

  29. Heather

    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.

  30. Lori

    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.


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