November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

Three weeks! I can’t believe how fast this month is moving. Wow!

Today, I want you to write a confessional poem. And then, get to enjoying your weekend.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“Kong in the Congo”

And that’s why I never climb trees anymore.

I mean, after you fake your death once, you realize
you may not get too many more chances to stay
anonymous. But I gotta tell you, that fall from
the Empire State Building was murder–and a few
of those pilots grazed me on purpose, I’m sure of it.

Yeah, I didn’t get the girl in the end, but women
will only kill you if you keep ‘em around too long,
and that’s the honest to goodness truth. Besides,
she was always screaming and crying and being
a bad sport. She never actually cared ’til I was “dead.”

And believe me, Kong will dead; I really will.

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79 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

  1. Terri Vega

    Day 21 – confessional poem

    Perhaps I have acted badly
    it wasn’t really my desire
    it’s my nature; I cannot
    help who I was born to be

    An assassin, an accomplice to
    a dead man’s sentence, the means of
    an end to those who have given
    up their lives willingly

    Some have taken in my poison
    unwittingly, so for you I lend
    this advice regarding my nature
    of destruction. I will kill you
    if you are not careful.

    My roots have been mistaken
    for parsnips, my leaves and flowers
    for wild carrots, even my seeds can
    deceive the brightest who would seek
    the flavor of anise.

    I would think that the scent
    of mice would be enough to
    fend off most, yet my port wine
    spots and streaks go unheeded.

    I have killed your children who
    have made whistles from my stems.
    I have killed your animals who
    have feasted on my foliage.
    Keep your fields clear of me or
    you may join Socrates in the final

  2. Kathy Kehrli

    XXI. A Simple Question; A Profound Change

    I never intended to cause a stir—
    But then again, I never do.
    I did it for my own peace of mind.
    I needed clarification
    Before placing your mortality
    Into strangers’ hands.
    It was just a simple question,
    Born of a blunt comment
    I was later told should never
    Have been uttered to me.
    “When exactly does treatment become ‘life-sustaining’?”
    Flitting in and out of conscious awareness,
    You couldn’t have known it,
    But I changed hospital policy that day.
    Spurred by unseverable ties,
    One person still
    Can alter the world.

  3. Juanita Snyder

    did I tell my mother
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    did I remember to tell my mother
    how much I really loved her?
    did I reiterate enough to be convincing
    before her dead cousin came fetching?

    were my mother’s last thoughts
    of her daughters’ welfares?
    could she get past the years
    of habitual fretting over
    choices my sister and I fought
    hard for the right to make,
    despite her lack of faith?

    or did my mother simply
    roll up her negativity like
    a take along travel bag,
    shaking her head and rolling
    those same dark eyes my sister shares
    in the wee hours just before her death?

    did I leave her with enough words
    to lend comfort in those final hours?
    did she get that the rest was just
    stupid bullshit to ignore or forgive?
    did she understand why there was
    a time when I couldn’t wait to
    get away from her fast enough?
    was she tired of the mind games
    and control issues that kept
    getting in the way too?
    was she aware how thankful
    I was to have returned and
    taken another shot with her?

    did I remember to tell my mother
    how much I really did love her?
    was I convincing enough?
    or was it all just a little too late?

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. Jane penland hoover

    Room at Dawn

    I awake as light spills in,
    hear water splash against the sink
    and imagine your attention
    to your face, lathering, shaving
    last night’s darkened growth.

    I curl around my pillows,
    draw yours closer, listen as
    wing-tips brush soft
    against the plush of carpet.

    “Morning sleepy head,” you say
    and lean to kiss my lips.
    I rush a smile
    into your wide embrace
    press my palm into your tie,
    yellow silk,
    smooth as your cheek.

    Ready for your morning meeting,
    Yet no movement toward the door…

    And later
    when you’re late
    and gone, I think
    that if I have a million days
    and ten million nights
    I will feel forever
    that lush yellow.

  5. Monica Martin

    I’m scared of us living together
    because I’m afraid it will be
    the end of us. I’m afraid we’ll
    fight because each will have
    something to prove, or we’ll be
    too stressed out or something. But
    I’d rather live with you than
    without you.

  6. Iris Deurmyer

    I pretended not to know you
    that I could not recall your name
    In reality I never forgot you
    My heart still bears your mark

    I said I never loved you
    Because you hurt me so
    In essence I never stopped
    I just did’nt want you to know

    You still haunt my dreams at times
    Your face I see in a crownd
    I cry whenever I hear "our" song
    But I pretend your memory is gone

  7. Carol

    CONFESSIONAL – yes this really did happen.

    … and it’s just in that moment
    when all there is, is
    ground, distance, wind,
    that they come rushing down the track,
    pouring in from the field on my right,
    flying past, over and beyond me,
    and I’m roller-coasting with them
    though my feet stay on the ground,
    I feel the excited connections,
    know their undulating beat,
    am gathered with their motion,
    until the last bird has passed.

  8. Tyger

    I Confess

    I did not think there was enough
    to make it happen
    Not enough black folks who
    would get out and vote
    Not enough whites without prejudice
    Not enough good ideas
    on your platform
    not enough resilience
    in your political makeup
    Not enough snap in your speeches
    to best the republicans
    not enough fiercness in your face
    to scare the Russians
    Not enough know-how in your background
    to string-pluck Congress
    Not enough guts in your belly
    to build a great government
    So in the primaries,
    I voted for Hillary
    But through the months I watched you
    your integrity and grit impressed me
    Your careful, thoughtful words
    hummed a different, deeper note
    and on that Tuesday in November
    I voted with a full heart
    Not just for the Democrat
    but also for the man.

  9. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    My Secret

    Sometimes at night
    I don’t light the candles
    And I turn on the lights
    So then the movie isn’t
    So scary

    Judge me from above

    Sometimes I sneak paper
    Into the garbage
    And don’t recycle the cans
    Then I use plastic bags
    To line the bins

    Humming wings in disapproval

    Sometimes I walk past
    The rubbish on the ground
    And say I’ll pick it
    Up on the way back
    But later it’s gone

    Adderbolt hovers sadly

    Sometimes I have long
    Showers and stand there
    Just letting the water
    Run over me for no cleaning
    Reasons, just to relax

    She cries tears for my selfishness

    And sometimes, just sometimes
    I just forget that there is a problem
    And that nothing is wrong
    And I don’t need to save, recycle,
    Reuse, reduce
    And care.

  10. Rodney C. Walmer

    Sins of the Past

    We are all haunted by that which we did
    though we never told anyone
    in the deepest recess, our guilt is hid
    wanting to have it undone
    we know we can’t take it back
    it’s there,
    every so often it lays in wait, to attack

    For some it’s the skeleton in the closet
    after the first, each becomes easier
    that is for some
    for others, it’s that first one they deposit
    never to be withdrawn.

    In our guilt, it affects who we become
    the true us that’s reborn
    that is depending on what we’ve done
    along with how hard our badge of guilt is worn

    The good news
    most of what we’ve done is not so bad
    it’s the new path we choose
    every day, that defines who we are
    there’s always a chance to make the better choice
    that is if we are willing to go that far
    listen to the supportive voice

    Oh, we might go and confess
    then do no less
    then again
    we might take pen
    make a list of ways to make amends
    turn our life around
    be wary of the message our change sends
    the goal is not to astound
    just for some form of salvation for our sins to be found. . .

    © Rodney C. Walmer 11/22/08 confessional poem.

  11. Penny Henderson

    day #21 confession

    I was a semi finalist
    for the National Merit Scholarship!
    I have lots of stuff in my brain.
    I know the value of pi,
    (tho’ I don’t recall what to do with it).
    I know species and phyllums
    of plants and animals.
    I’m good at finding out
    those things I don’t know.

    Is God smiling?
    Do we remind him
    of kids playing school?

    I don’t get why pride
    is such an easy sin.
    My smarts all amount
    to dandelion fluff
    in the presence of
    his divine intellect.
    Blow me away, Lord.

  12. linda

    Shannon, great poem.

    Judy, another well-written piece.

    Alessa, good stuff!

    Could comment on lots of good stuff here, but there isn’t enough time or space.

    Damn, Patti—you took my starting line. (I am not the woman you think I am). Guess I’ll just drown myself in red wine now. (Still love you…no time to write until Monday anyway. This darn biotechnological project plan i am translating into english is almost done–40 pages of blah. Then I can get back to the fun writing.) Oh, and your poem was good, Patti.


  13. k weber

    do not disturb

    you climb
    inside my head
    and suck
    the marrow
    out of every
    choice i make

    your love-hate
    ways are brazen,
    your tricks

    not everything
    your attention
    or your self-

    when you mother
    me or try
    to be
    my sister, you
    have another

    get your god-
    damned mess
    cleaned up
    before you
    show up
    or on
    your broom
    trying to take
    care of mine

  14. Margaret Fieland

    Down and Out Blues

    Whip your jimmy from your pocket,
    climb on in and start the car.
    Somewhere on the road to nowhere,
    stop and go into the bar.

    Drink some liquor, look around you,
    something here just isn’t right.
    That old guy is staring at you,
    guess he wants to start a fight.

    Down your drink, then wander over
    with another in your fist,
    Throw the shot right at his eyeballs.
    Your hand’s shaking. Bro, you missed.

    While you’re swaying here and yonder
    comes a fist right at your chin.
    Take a while to recover.
    Cops have come. They take you in.

    Soon you’re right back in the slammer
    ’cause they found you stole the heap.
    Grand theft auto, what a bummer.
    Goose is cooked. Man, you’re a BLEEP.

  15. PSC in CT

    Oh my gosh — again SO MANY good ones! Can’t hit them all, but let me try for some:

    First and foremost — Rachel: Glad to hear your son is home from the hospital and hope that life is returning to normal.

    Iain – Liked your cat comments today.
    Bruce – Love your confession! Keep "playing" your music.
    Taylor – Your doubts were well done. Liked the ending.
    Connie – Cute! (Love how you wove everyone’s theme in!)

    Karen – I like the hope & faith that comes thru, in spite of the fears. Q: Was the MLK "twist" deliberate? (I have a dream vs I didn’t dream)

    Patti – Well done! (I don’t think any of us are who "they" think!) and "I don’t Love You" = sad, but well done.

    Shannon – nice confession — very nice! ;-)
    Paul – some beautiful thoughts and phrases here.
    Nancy P – Nice job! I can see that conference scene.

    Judy R – another perceptive, poignant piece. You capture your thoughts & feelings so beautifully. I am still so sorry for your loss, but you have such potential for helping others with your gift and understanding.

    Shann P – Perceptive, well done!
    Vanessa – Nice.
    Peggy – Excellent! I like it!
    Victoria – Nice job.

    Kate – Don’t get out of bed next November! ;-)

  16. PSC in CT

    I Confess

    I Confess

    I claimed the
    Last cup of coffee
    From the pot

    Scraped the
    Last spoon of jam
    From the jar

    Helped myself to the
    Last heel of bread
    For my toast

    And in the last
    Calm, peaceful
    Minutes of the morning
    I savored breakfast
    (All the more)
    For being
    So dear

  17. linda

    haven’t had time to read more than the first few poems posted but let me say….

    connie, another great one. who knew one could write so much with dominoes as the theme. did you know that here in Germany at Christmas time there is a popular treat called domino. i find them a bit too sweet but my mother-in-law loves those chose petit vours (not sure if thTat is written properly.) anyway, thought you might like to research it for a poem.

    Bruce, now you’ve done it!! every time i read one of your poems, i will see you playing air guitar.


  18. kate

    Off my theme, nevermind.

    Veggie Patch

    Of course I set out with good intentions
    the seeds I planted
    sprouted and straggled
    teetering on too long legs
    pushing up at the plastic,
    without the cover they slumped and shrivelled
    a quick snack to grasshoppers
    swamped in the next shower,
    not one survived.

  19. Kateri Woody

    Random Joker Cinquain

    My name
    evokes nothing
    just a hollow bitter
    sound in the back of your choked throat –

    I never went to church,
    not even for my wife’s funeral
    because I had her cremated
    and no one has a mass for an ugly urn;
    but I’m sitting perched on a pew,
    eyes turned toward the cross
    hanging forebodingly ahead –
    a sign of what’s to come,
    surely, and I can’t seem to wait
    for my crown of thorns, my spear
    to the side. I must confess
    that I never saw myself as the antichrist
    as I spread fear and chaos
    across the City, no. I just
    see myself as the second coming
    of Jesu Crist himself. A teacher,
    a lion, a maker of men. Damned
    to die nailed to something.

  20. Kate Berne Miller

    I confess
    I think I’m haunted
    by the ghost of injuries
    past. Here it is November
    and I’m on crutches

    Last November
    it was an exuberant golden
    retriever running backwards across
    the dog park lawn, my knee
    bent oddly

    The dog at least
    licked my face, its owner
    hauled me up and hurried off
    to his car. I confess I never knew
    dogs could be

    I confess that
    the previous November
    I had been thinking unkind thoughts
    about the ghost in my friend’s house
    as I went downstairs for water, missing
    that last step, flattening my arch, opening
    my palm on a nail in the

    It was Thanksgiving
    night, the emergency room deserted,
    the staff kept making jokes about turkeys and knives
    even after I told them we were vegetarian,
    had just eaten mushroom soup, risotto,
    and a nice

    It’s November
    and I’m on crutches again,
    my left foot swollen like mystery meat
    and not a dog or a ghost in sight.
    Whatever it is you want
    me to say I

  21. Victoria Hendricks

    Mary K, yours really struck me today – I don’t count on tomorrow either.

    Broken Boundary Confession

    I have slammed doors,
    let drawers hang ajar,
    barged in without knocking,
    passed by, blind eyed,
    failed to knock at all.
    I have shut myself out,
    you in, myself in, you out,
    spiiled your secret drawers
    I have even broken down doors.

  22. Iain D. Kemp

    A.C – I apologise for my friends abruptness. Just to get things clear,,, ain’t nuffin’ like lovin’ the Yankees like lovin’ ‘em in Winter.

    Yours in da Bronx


  23. Mary K


    I confess I no longer contemplate future.
    My only future is tomorrow and what will I buy
    at the grocery store and the day after tomorrow,
    what movie will I see with frends? I no longer
    think about what I will be doing in five or
    ten years. I no longer have a long term plan.
    I live in the moment now. Who knows if
    in five or ten years I will be alive at all?

  24. S Scott Whitaker


    But they sometimes behave so strangely:
    Upper truck ramp and the little girl left there
    Is lucky for the rumble down lorries leave her alone
    Her black hair licking over her lips
    As her mother pauses to light a cigarette

    Low and lean are the shrubs under skim lights
    Weak as powdered milk.
    The little girl is left alone
    And looks at the posters laquered to the poles.

    The sky is open page, the thin clouds erased
    The lights about the city leaden.

    It was my thirteenth birthday when she left for good
    And I took all her pictures off my mirror
    And burned them, I was so mad. Then I went out
    To scour cigarettes from the bums who owed me
    A favor. I wanted to blow my throat out
    With menthols and that sour gin she kept
    Behind the syrup.
    She didn’t call for a week
    And by then I’d already sold everything
    At a yard sale and moved in with Tammy,
    Her queer friend; I needed a place to crash.
    I played it up when she finally did call
    As if to insinuate we were lovers.
    She responded with a snort, “Whatever
    Kicks down your ears.”
    I was furious for days.
    My grades went through the floor, and nobody
    Noticed. Desire’s empty gut is wide enough
    To swallow any sound. Why would anyone care?

    The last thing I remember of her was her last friend.
    How he was nice to me, and always offered
    Me a piece of whatever he was eating, or drinking,
    Coffee, sandwich, beer, cigarette, and the final time
    Fractured nut meal and shell in the palm of his hand,
    “You want some?” in his finest Texas drawl,
    Her cigarette smoke a tailspin screw behind his head,
    Her disappointed mouth pointed at me like a gun.

  25. Peggy Goetz

    Fun to read what is coming from this month of prompts. You seem to have upped the bar on prompts with this theme thing, Robert. Many have really been a challenge.


    Where should I start
    there are so many things
    to sweep clear, bring
    out to air, let fly
    in the world, to free
    my muck-mired soul
    to soar among
    the butt naked
    who hide nothing
    and seem like fools.
    No, I’ll keep my
    shirt on, thank you,
    and my pants. I’d
    be lying if I said
    you were all
    beautiful naked.

  26. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    I Confess

    I have to confess, I am not perfect
    I bear my own misdeeds
    I have to confess, I’ve done some wrong
    Knowing just where this leads

    But who would hold a man down hard
    For admitting where he’s been
    The things he’s done and feels ashamed
    Of times committing sin

    But some would hold him to the past
    And not let him move forward
    Despite the lesson borne on him
    For being so untoward.

    So I stand here and speak of rights
    Deserved of man and woman
    And let’s not take them from us all
    Because of times when we’ve been human.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  27. Shann Palmer


    At fifty-eight, she devours obituaries,
    studying the lists of dearly departed,

    hugs her teeth with her tongue for each one
    dead-before-sixty from accidents, cancer.

    More often no cause given, implying
    a simple choice to leave behind empty air,
    lured by some out of body enticement.

    Everywhere she looks she finds advice
    that recommends life-lengthening spells-
    some she considers, others she attempts.

    Still, late at night she stirs awake afraid,
    wanting to walk away from gradual decline,

    this grind of days, the imperative clock,
    each tick a measure of her aging heart.

  28. Iain D. Kemp

    I’m not sure I should post these 2 comments together but as I’m here… Judy you break my heart every day not just with pain but with beauty of expression. And…. Cheryl… I have consulted with Ringo, that wanna-be Mets fan Moosehead and even Greek Jimmy… the verdict is in.. we loves Neal!

    Nuff said.


  29. Judy Roney


    I never dreamed this could happen to me.
    Confession: I thought I was special.
    It didn’t present itself that way at the time
    that’s how I see it now.

    I never dreamed that my family, the one
    I devoted my life to would come apart
    at the seams. That my son, our son,
    everyone’s son would die some day
    by his own hand.

    I never dreamed that life could deal us such
    a blow. I thought that if I was a good parent
    if I gave my children all the opportunities I
    did not have, if I just did the right things, I’d
    come out of it with just the right result.

    We were the parents people came to with
    their child-rearing problems. Iknow they
    laugh about this now as we have. How
    could I have been so far off.

    All the kids in the nieghborhood ended up
    at our house. We had a pool and lots of
    activities to keep them busy during
    summer breaks and holiday. We had
    parties for every occasion and celebrations
    for every achievement in the neighborhood.

    I thought my daughter and son were so
    close to me and my husband that they
    always came to us when they had a problem.
    I didn’t think there was any problem we couldn’t
    solve together and I told them so, often.
    We were always open and listened and taught
    and were there for them. Raising them was
    my life and I gave 110% and then I gave some

    I thought if you were a good parent, if you
    loved your children and showed them , taught
    them right from wrong, took them to church,
    let them try sports and scouts and all the things
    they wanted to do that would enrich them
    that they would, in turn, turn out to be a
    certain way, well-adjusted and ready for this
    world. I thought I did all those “right” things.

    I never dreamed that you could do all the right
    things and still life could play a dirty trick on
    you and leave you hoping that your grief would
    one day (if you were good) just turn into a deep
    sadness instead of the overwhelming cave of pain
    that your body has become.

    I never dreamed anything but that God granted
    me graces and love and a life full of the things
    you could have here on this earth. I thought
    I was blessed with wonderful loving husband and
    wonderfully blessed and life loving children.
    I thought I had the answers. I thought
    I was special. Silly me.

  30. Cheryl Chambers

    All of my poems seem to lean toward confessional poems, in terms of their content and how I’ve recognized confessional poems to be. So I took this prompt to a more literal level.


    Neal, not a Catholic, kneels before God
    every blue moon, with every new leaf turning
    over at the wind’s touch. He decides
    one day his crimes can be laid
    at the hand of Him, and proceeds into the nearest
    House. He hesitates as Christ glares down
    at him, so tiny beside the wooden doors.
    He is laying his fate in crucified hands. He is ready
    for stigmata. He walks to the front and sees
    a doll in an ornate dress, wondering if God has little girls
    to play with too. Did God ever spend time with Christ,
    just playing football? These thoughts are Neal’s curse
    and a sacrilege. He is ready for stigmata
    or Zeus. Quiet prayers line the pews and he is out
    of place. He will never know this, and knows
    he doesn’t want it, and turns to see a priest
    who asks if he’s ready to confess. Neal has never
    been so frightened before and wonders if this is God
    if he’s seen the light. Neal is ready for stigmata.

  31. Nancy Posey

    Confessional Poem

    I’ll admit it: While others sign in
    at the conference, then go shopping
    or golfing or never leave the hotel bar,
    I sign in, take the schedule of sessions,
    and carefully plot which one to hit,
    with highlighters and sticky tabs.

    I choose my seats carefully, somewhere
    in the middle so I’m sure to get all
    the handouts, whether they start from
    the front or the back. I meet the authors,
    pose for pictures, stand in line for
    autographs and scavenge for free books.

    Maybe I would feel different if I taught
    math or science. After all, how many ways
    can ten numbers be arranged? But I love
    words and books; I overdose on poetry,
    on Shakespeare. I tell myself I won’t go
    home with more books this time; my
    shelves at home, my shelves at school
    are double stacked and overflowing.

    Then I find my free tote bags full again:
    I need the new Billy Collins, I can’t pass
    up the life of Flannery, and teachers guides
    for books I just might teach some day.
    As I trudge back to the hotel, the one we
    chose to save ten bucks a night, I realize
    each dollar I save is a block I walk in the
    chilly night air, feeling safe until I pass
    the package store, then the human piles
    of blankets on the steps of St. Mary’s.

    Back in the room, I pile my stash, then
    mark my program book for tomorrow.
    I don’t want to miss a thing. Meanwhile,
    attendees at the coroner’s convention,
    meeting one floor below, sit in the bar
    sharing the jokes only they can tell.

    Nancy Posey

  32. SusanB


    I thought I might
    Start this confession poem
    With the way I was taught in school
    Bless me Father
    For I have sinned
    But it really felt uncool

    After all, just because they got me
    When I was only seven
    The magic age when once they got you
    They got you till you go to heaven (or the other place)

    Problem is, that the last time that I
    Said those words sincerely
    Was around about 1971
    I said them loud and clearly

    But now I’m hard put to say the words
    That explain away my error
    It’s not that I’m perfect, or even proud
    Or in need of maybe a Savior
    It’s just that all the sins I’ve done
    Can’t just be outed here
    They’re between me and the One and Only’s
    Tender forgiving ear

    I’m definitely a sinner, but
    To open the flood gates
    And tell on myself in Poetic Asides
    Would just be such a waste

    I’d need a book that’s certain
    500 pages or more
    to tell the whole doggone story
    and even up the score

    and lest you think I’m evil or
    sneaky and deceptive
    If you ask me, then I’ll tell you all
    But you have to be receptive!

  33. Paul W.Hankins

    “A confession is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I am thankful for confession.” Ghandi

    “30 Days Has November: A Confession”

    I speak to you Novemberly—
    a myriad of maladies
    and medical misdirects,
    a comedy
    of errors.

    And my November,
    my mental mistress,
    is like a broom
    after a blustery day;
    the wind
    which sweeps away
    from the grass that threatens
    browning, but holds its green
    long into December, reminds me,
    fresh from my fall
    and my failings,
    of what remains in the corners.

    There are reminders
    and remainders found:
    the dirt and leaves
    that collect on the hillside site
    are my kin—
    even if that sounds too Whitmanesque
    for comfortable discourse—
    the neighboring trees promise
    a steady line of company
    through spring .

    The sun is selfish
    and gives a shorter day
    but Mother earth responds
    in white and silver shining;
    the surface brighter
    and so long as my head is
    turned toward sky
    my thoughts are upon December
    and clearer.

    I feel stronger
    when I think the word
    that becomes a line
    and I know that the leaves,
    that swirl in arches
    and collect among wrought iron planters
    are kin insomuch of the fact
    that I have been left,
    and many times I too
    have felt like leaving.

    And I am thankful
    for the muse
    the word
    the line
    the piece of me
    upon the page
    before the all of me
    is set to stone

    When I am selfish,
    I do not talk about our loss;
    during these times, I am
    for confession.

  34. A.C. Leming


    I enter this hallowed space, adrift.
    Ready to make my confession, that
    I am responsible for the engine’s sudden
    halt, this aimless drift between stars.

    I enter this hallowed chamber, adrift.
    To tell the Captain that for one moment’s
    inattention, we all risk dying with home
    behind us and adventure before us.

    I enter these hallowed halls, adrift.
    To attmept to correct my error, as
    we breathe the last of the oxygen before
    carbon dioxide smothers our lungs.

    I wander this hallowed graveyard, adrift.
    The dead don’t forgive me despite my
    confession, my frenzied work to repair
    my one mistake, the one that killed us all.

  35. Iain D. Kemp

    Sorry, I have to come back to it… Rachel G. I jus imagine a chapbook titled " I beat Daddy over the head…he wouldn’t eat the mushrooms" !!!! I love it, wish me or one of my alter-egos had writ it… Ringo is sad second rate stand up compared to this genius… a kiss…MWAH!


  36. Earl Parsons

    SS for Day 21:

    Cranial Confessions

    If I did my job to the fullest
    You’d never have to say you’re sorry
    Or make a mistake on your homework
    Or turn down the wrong street
    Or forget to take your medicine
    Or neglect the God that created me

    But if I did my job to the fullest
    You’d be thought of as a freak

    So, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing
    If you don’t mind

  37. Earl Parsons

    LL&L for Day 21:

    Gratefully Undeserving

    Thank You, Lord
    For giving me
    Grace so free
    Just for repenting

    Thank You, Lord
    For wiping away
    My sins each day
    Just for the asking

    Thank You, Lord
    For loving me so
    A love that I know
    I do not deserve

    Thank You, Lord
    For taking my hand
    And helping me stand
    And letting me serve

    I’m so grateful
    And undeserving
    Of your love

    But I’m thankful
    For everlasting
    Grace from above

  38. SaraV

    Underwater Confessions

    It was me
    Just schooling along
    When I saw
    The flash
    Of white
    and had to
    Go for it
    It was no
    But really
    Who could resist
    The tales I could
    Tell my finny friends
    How I
    Goosed a goose?

  39. Sara McNulty

    Choosing Life Over Death

    If you choose death
    over life, there will
    be no more choices

    As a three-time loser
    I know the pain, the
    climb involved to live

    Does it feel easier
    to give up and plunge
    into a black nothingness?

    If you choose death
    and unlike me, you
    succeed, you have

    won nothing. If you
    choose to stay and
    fight the demons,

    strength of character,
    knowledge, and self-awareness
    will join hands with you.

  40. S.E.Ingraham

    Bless Me Father

    Bless me father,
    it has been
    – like forever
    Since my
    last confession
    and I have sinned
    Oh have I
    sinned and,
    I intend to just
    Keep on sinning
    as long as I
    possibly can
    But I wanted
    to tell
    someone and hey
    You can’t tell
    Anyone, right?
    that is true, right?
    Whew – good
    – not being
    A bonafide RC
    or anything
    I just wanted to
    make sure
    before I started
    boring the pants
    off you
    Oh sorry Padre
    I get a bit
    carried away
    What? No – no
    I’m fine –
    you don’t
    have to
    Worry –
    well, maybe a bit
    manic, yeah,
    just a bit
    You got me
    but that’s why
    I’m here
    with you,
    talking, see
    Cause if I
    go to
    that other
    Talk factory
    With those
    Other talk pros
    They’ll bring
    Me down
    down, down
    Know what I mean?
    And I am
    having far
    too much fun
    To go there
    I just need a
    bit of a break
    And to tell
    Can you see
    these boots?
    If I hold
    my foot
    up to
    the screen?
    No? Never mind
    – trust me
    They’re hot!
    Jimmy Chou’s
    If you please
    I just tried
    them on
    And next thing
    I was strutting
    Up Yonge St
    Wearing my
    Own Chou Shoes
    Hee hee hee
    Chou shoes…
    Get it?
    Yeah – you do
    Are you
    still there?
    Good, good –
    I wouldn’t
    want you
    To sneak
    out on me
    That wouldn’t
    be very
    Priestly now,
    would it
    Know what else?
    Uhmm –
    I forget
    Well – that’s all
    I guess
    Oh yeah, except
    I need to
    borrow some
    cash, okay
    – so I’’m
    just going
    to take
    A few bucks
    out of that
    Little box
    by the Mary Statue
    near the door
    I’m telling you
    About it,
    so it’s not
    Stealing, right?
    And I’ll pay
    you back
    I swear
    – thanks Father
    – bless me
    some more

  41. Lori


    Too many hearts stopping
    to let them break mine.
    Too many breaths at risk
    to take time to catch mine.

    Too few responsible parents
    Too many uncooperative patients
    Too little really effective drugs
    For me to show you
    how much I really do care.

    Maybe when people stop getting hurt
    then I’ll have time to cry
    about all the pain I’ve seen.
    But today I can’t take that risk.

  42. patti williams

    Posting a bit of fiction … a bit not …

    Okay, you got me.
    I don’t love you.
    And to those close to my heart,
    They’re rolling their eyes around
    While I introduce the elephant
    Sitting in the room.
    How could I swoon
    When the rage for years
    Has brought the dark clouds
    Too close for comfort?
    Too much rain has fallen
    In our world.
    I love the kids,
    I love our home
    But you, no, you are correct.
    I must confess
    The love ran out the door
    With my heart right along with it
    Years ago.
    Now the survivor has
    Stepped in, hollowed eyed
    With walls built up solid,
    To endure life
    As time marches on.
    I’ll give it to you,
    You’re a smart one,
    Called a spade a spade,
    Woke up to the
    Reality I wade through
    Each day
    So I have to confess
    I don’t love you and
    Probably never will

  43. satia

    Don, Ha! It was fun to write this and I don’t know that I have ever used my vertigo as an excuse but I won’t say that there aren’t times I am closing my book in the morning and thinking, "Hmmm . . . too bad I’m not too sick to just stay in bed today."

    The temptation is always there. I really can’t wait to come back to this one, play with the rhyme and rhythm of it because I think it could work into something really cute.

    And if I don’t stop hanging out here I’ll never work on my nano word count.

  44. satia

    This is definitely one of those days (as was yesterday and many of the others, frankly) where I wish I had time to play with the poem before I post it but there simply isn’t enough time at the moment so I have to let go of my need to control yet again.

    Excuse Me

    So sorry, I can’t come out to play
    Not today although the weather’s fine
    But I’m not feeling very well and
    I think I’ll stay in bed instead.

    Kiss kiss goodbye have fun while I
    Curl myself around a pillow and when
    The door closes behind you I’ll find
    The book I haven’t finished reading yet

    You know the one I can’t read while walking
    Or during our incessant talking and I’m not above
    Taking advantage of “oh my the spinning in my head”
    Forcing me to stay in bed instead sending you off

    It’s nice to have an excuse, especially one that trips so nicely to reason,
    Who would question me when they see how hard it can be for me?
    Throwing kisses away, excuse me for taking advantage of disadvantage
    And just one more page or chapter won’t matter just this once.

  45. Rachel Green

    Woodland Feast

    When Mommy ate the mushrooms
    she didn’t know I’d picked them
    and cooked then up with onions
    and garlic in best butter.

    She only knew they tasted
    of Camembert and Stilton –
    her memory was wasted
    of knowledge it was built on.

    Hurray for fly agaric
    and Death-cap’s graveyard pallor –
    she slipped into a coma
    and never did recover.

  46. Shannon Rayne

    Dear DJ:

    While others celebrated your talents

    fast hands spinning

    contemporary creative beats

    with smiles and sweaty brows

    on the dance floor –

    I was distracted


    your fingers

    stroke records

    your hips


    to syncopated patterns of the music you played

    my thoughts entirely


    imagining the song you would play

    if you used my skin

    to spin the next track on.

    PS. My theme is ‘dance’.

  47. Rachel

    I want to change my poem a bit. Here’s the new version:

    Wretched Sheep

    I’m a wretch
    riddled with sin
    spilling over from within

    and I am hollow
    emptied of me
    devoid of hope, unable to breathe

    I’m a liar
    desperate for love
    though I’m showered from above

    and I’m a sheep
    in love with a Shepherd
    while dancing with a leopard

    and I feel death
    envelope me
    when I forget that I am free

  48. LKHarris-Kolp


    Can she ever find true love?
    Or is she doomed to a life alone?
    Nobody to share all hopes and dreams,
    Forever an old spinster unknown?
    Everyone else has someone to love,
    She thought all alone in her bed.
    Surely she, too, can find a man true,
    Instead of this dream in her head.
    Oh, no it’s getting late
    Now she must throw up what she ate.

    Laurie K.

  49. Rachel

    Wretched Sheep

    I’m depressed
    under oppression
    my own stupid depression

    I’ve been a wretch
    riddled with sin
    spilling over from within

    and I’ve been hollow
    emptied of me
    devoid of hope, unable to breathe

    I’m a liar
    desperate for love
    though I’m showered from above

    and I’m a sheep
    in love with a Shepherd
    while dancing with a leopard

    and I feel death
    envelop me
    when I forget that I can see

    I can see
    the wretched me
    that He has washed so I am free

  50. patti williams

    I’m not who you think
    I am.
    I’m not the
    Strong independent
    Woman I write so
    Much about.
    I have not sailed
    Through life
    With wisdom, pride,
    It’s been quite the opposite
    In fact.
    I laugh, smile,
    Wait until dark to
    It hasn’t been
    Not one damn day,
    But these storms
    That plague me,
    The ones I’ve survived,
    Will one day grow
    Me into
    That strong independent
    Woman I write about.
    She’s just waiting for the
    Right time to make her big
    I think she’s still waiting for
    The big rainbow to appear
    Then she’ll dance around
    In a flowing white dress,
    Face tan in the sun,
    And enjoy the fresh air,
    The change in the weather
    Will do her good for sure.

  51. Karen H. Phillips

    Is it just me, or is Friday or the confessional topic inspiring amazing poetry here?

    Robert Spencer, American (1879-1931)
    The White Tenement, 1913

    I didn’t dream–
    when I gazed at all the
    hanging clothes on taut line,
    wood composing the tenement–
    that I would worry
    in circles
    a few months afterward
    about the recession
    or a possible

    I confess
    the "R" word
    so often used of late
    has made me wonder
    whether the "D" word
    will manifest.

    Sure, I don’t live
    like the people who
    must inhabit
    such a place.
    I’m not close to
    being homeless
    or destitute.
    But money–or the
    lack of it–
    does settle, like a
    bird of prey on a clothesline,
    in my mind
    more these days.

    The picture in my mind
    of the faded white dwelling
    somehow comforts me.
    They survived,
    they had a place to live,
    they had clothing.

    I confess,
    if I believe
    what I say I believe,
    then I’ll take to heart
    what I heard on the radio–
    heartening stories about
    the Great Depression.
    One after the other,
    those who lived it
    told how a parent held
    the family together
    or how a child begged
    the parent to bring
    a stranger home because
    she had no bed.

    The tenement testifies
    to the strength
    a person finds within.
    The sturdiness, though
    aged and shabby,
    like the survivors of
    like the artist who
    painted it
    long before he witnessed
    the Great Crash,
    reminds me,
    as the radio program’s
    speaker summed up,
    they all took care of
    one another.

    I confess,
    in light of these thoughts,
    my fears seem foolish.
    God has taken care of me
    so far,
    as He did the tenement dwellers.
    Why would He stop now?
    And I can pass that care on
    to those who need it
    even more than I.

  52. Connie

    I was going to save this confession till the 30th but since it fits the prompt…

    A Writer’s Confession

    There are so many adages
    In this profession that I chose
    There is one I try to abide—
    A writer writes the stuff she knows

    So over twenty-five long years
    I’ve written of what my life shows
    The ups and downs from then to now
    Skinned, bloody knees to painful toes

    I’ve written of the simple things
    Trees, glitter, rocks, smile and the nose
    A rainy day, a sunny sky
    The fragrant beauty of a rose

    And many sacred deeper things
    Like God, prayer, marriage—joys and woes
    Of raising kids, of aging folks
    Cats, poetry, death, life and prose

    But there’s one thing I must confess
    It’s good for souls, the saying goes
    Is that in all my fifty years
    I’ve never toppled dominoes

  53. Michelle H.

    The World’s A Mess

    Global warming
    Some say yes
    Some say no
    Causing draughts
    And Hurricanes
    Ice to melt
    And freezing rain

    Rain forest lost
    Trees cut down
    We need the land
    You people out
    Creatures gone
    Is our plan

    The World’s a mess
    And I must confess
    We humans are to blame
    What to do?
    And have we no shame?

    Recycle this
    Recycle that
    Cut emissions
    Join the pact
    Help our world
    Clean up it’s act
    Let’ go green

    Plant a tree
    Plant a grass
    Give back the land
    Breathe the air
    Keep it clean
    Is the key

    The World’s a mess
    But I must confess
    I do my small share
    I do recycle and compost
    All so I can breathe fresh air.

  54. Michelle H.

    just for fun…

    Yeah, Friday is here?
    Four pre-teens sleeping over;
    I know I’ll need a beer.

    What can I say? It’s been a busy week…
    Real one coming soon.

  55. Taylor Graham


    Maybe you don’t belong here.
    Mortgage payments eat up half your pay.
    Can you afford the gas to drive
    to town for groceries? the luxury of fish
    twice a week? dogfood –
    not to mention vet bills? Can you
    afford the freedom of another book?
    You live here almost a prisoner
    to thrift, and worry. And then
    you walk out the door
    under oaks spending all their leaves
    on gold that doesn’t last,
    about to fall and rejoin earth.
    And yet for now, the sun
    sparks every one so brilliant
    amber-glowing, you have to tell
    yourself, This is life.

  56. Don Swearingen

    Down the sky Venus slides, setting early now.
    The blackness above me is silent and each star,
    Upon which lovers so fervently vow
    Seem as cold and as distant as they are.
    I stand in the cold and watch my breath
    Puff and disappear in the dark
    And think on the sudden death
    Of warm air, when the arc
    Of a meteor brightens the night
    For a few seconds, and when
    It is gone, I still see its flight
    In the back of my eye, an omen
    Of our lives in this world,
    A flash, just a flash so quickly hurled.

  57. Bruce Niedt

    I must be psychic, Robert, because I wrote this confessional poem yesterday.


    My music career is as impressive
    as the dented baritone horn I carried
    for four years in the high school band,
    tramping up and down the field
    honking out Sousa marches –
    I was never really good at it.

    As for singing, that was aborted
    in seventh grade at the church
    Christmas pageant, when I sang
    a solo verse of “We Three Kings”
    and forgot the words.

    Since then I’ve lived vicariously
    through music, once doing a stint
    on the college radio station.
    Today I can call myself “aficionado” –
    I can impress you with a wall of CD’s
    or records, maybe a music review.

    But when no one else is looking
    I become the wailing lead singer,
    virtuoso guitarist, estimable drummer,
    or the venerable conductor waving
    his arms to someone else’s song.

  58. Heather

    Lesson# 21: Forbidden Love

    He has forbidden her
    To see her love
    No more laughing,
    Afternoon frolicking,
    Five o’clock cocktails,
    The threat is too high,
    He’s losing her
    To me

    She’s distraught,
    They’ve had another fight
    He demands she discontinue
    Our friendship,
    It will cease to be,

    Not willing to concede,
    She sneaks away
    For a lunch,
    A chat,
    A cocktail,
    With me

    He has forbidden her
    To see her love,
    So we text,
    Meet when she’s free,
    Have afternoon cocktails
    And cheer to him for making
    The other woMAN

    Lesson #21: Forbidden Love Is the Best Love

  59. Iain D. Kemp

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! That idiot MOosehead got to post first & now me!!
    Yet again this theme has caught me rhyming but its just a bit of fun…

    Cats, Poetry & Death #24

    Is there no end…

    Cats, Poetry & Death
    Are using up my every breath
    Whether long or short
    This trio are my every thought

    I long for simpler days
    To express myself in other ways
    I need variation
    Or I will find stagnation

    To write of dogs in prose
    Would help me I suppose
    To compose a lively verse
    And rid me of this curse

    I thought it an escape
    But I am victim of my jape
    I cannot carry on
    I need a different song

    Will I never scribe
    About a long lost tribe?
    Or scribble on a napkin
    Something about Rasputin?

    When will I find a muse?
    A proper one, I can use
    To tell all my tales
    Of fish and giant whales

    But cursed I am it seems
    To relive in my dreams
    The only muse that’s left
    Bloody Cats, Poetry & Death


  60. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Ringo,

    Buddy mine I must come clean
    I could’ve told you last night but you
    were so strung out and tensed up by the
    whole deal I just didn’t have the courage.
    This way at least you get to blow off some
    steam before I have to face your wrath.
    Geez! I hope you’re in a forgiving mood.
    It was me! I am the idiot who suggested
    that my sister take Mom to Vegas for a few
    days. Yep! It’s all my fault. But how the heck
    was I to know that the lame-brain broad would
    ramp up your credit card to pay for the trip?
    It’s like you said, she has her own money and
    I hear that whole pole-dancing thing pays pretty
    good, plus all the tips. She had no right to stick
    it to you that way. If I’m honest my idea was just
    to get them outta town for a few days and give us
    both some peace and quiet… Shudda kept my mouth
    shut. If you can bear the sight of me then I will
    pickya up at seven.

    Yours on his knees and begging for mercy