November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

Today starts our final week of this challenge. So, appropriately, I want you to write a hopeless or blues poem. We’re almost there, which is reason to celebrate, as well as reason to get the blues.


Here’s my attempt for the day:


Tokyo insurance blues”


Got a brand new home

stepped on by Godzilla
only to find that my home
insurance policy only covers
damage caused by Mothra

and Gigan. Also, my new car
was crushed by Godzilla’s tail,

which is covered, but only

on Thursdays, and it goes

without saying, that the damage

was done on a Wednesday

when I was working from

home. Of course, the office

building wasn’t touched,

so much for telecommuting.

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81 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

  1. Terri Vega

    The Flowers’s Blues

    Woman you know the
    Delphinium but the Cornflower
    is callin’ your name
    Sea Holly it don’t care
    if your life is goin’ nowhere

    Bring home those Iris and
    Forget-me-not I love you like
    Veronica and Vanda she just
    flaunts her pretty petals
    but it don’t mean nothin’

    ‘cause standin’ in the
    Lavender the Canterbury Bells
    play a solo in my heart
    till you come home.

  2. AC Leming

    I felt the need to redeem myself…here it is again.

    Space walk

    A moment’s inattention
    and there goes her career.
    No more space walks.
    No more space.
    No more.

    Her grab and inch short, caught on tape.
    The most expensive space debris
    drifts ahead of the
    space station.

    with binoculars from terra firma,
    where she will witness all
    her fellow astronauts
    ply their trade
    from now on.

  3. Kate Berne Miller

    Nursing Home Blues

    Is it the right thing to do
    we argue over conference calls
    what to do, what to do with our mother
    she’s fallen again stubborn Helen won’t use
    her walker won’t stay put can’t stand up when
    they find her on the floor she says she’s just resting
    or perhaps looking for a stray sock some days she’s sharp
    remembering the past enjoying the present accepting the future
    other days she’s lost doesn’t know where she is thinks everyone
    plots against her just wants to go home it was hard enough to get her
    into this place where she’s safe and warm and fed food that’s not rotting
    in the refrigerator, away at last from the son who abused and stole from her
    now they say she’s too much work she needs private nursing at costs far above
    her meager means it’s a blessing Dad went quickly we each want so badly
    to do the right thing she can’t tell us anymore what it is she wants and we
    don’t like the sound of Nursing home but she needs too much help for
    any of us to take her in ourselves so we struggle daily with our guilt
    and our doubt and our love for her for none of us knows how to
    mother our own mother.

  4. k weber

    Yer Blues

    "I ain’t never loved but three men in my life:
    My father, my brother, the man that wrecked my life."
    — "Down-Hearted Blues" by Bessie Smith

    Bloated heart, the little
    dipper overhead

    Eye dreams and fluttered

    There’s a pity
    in your gut

    You’re wearing
    thin again

    Breathing men
    and eating dumb love

    Waiting hand over foot
    in your throat

    The big return
    doesn’t come

    Stop wanting
    and, for once, need

    Knead like a kitten
    on a sweatered bosom

    Grab the ghost
    with all paws

    Land on shaky feet; thank
    your equilibrium

    A friend again, your
    mind off nonsense

    Don’t waste your time
    in the trash

    Remember to write
    this all down

  5. S.E.Ingraham

    Laurie K – I was just browsing back here, reading poems I’d missed the first or second go ’round when I saw the posting about your dog. I’m so sorry; it’s awful to lose a pet at any time, but one you’ve had for 13 years, that’s particularly hard. Wishing you peace and less sorrowful times. Sharon I.

  6. Tyger Schonholzer

    I Might Sing the Blues

    I might sing the blues
    if I were from the Other Side
    and held my fist tightly
    around a status quo
    If I had five houses
    and sixteen cars
    and foreign oil dripped
    thick from my greedy fingers
    I might sing the blues
    if I were vested in this wretched war
    if not my life were at stake there
    but my livelihood
    With my hands I would strum
    rhythms in a minor key
    while my smoky voice
    rang out plaintively
    over so many whiskey glasses
    But because
    I wait for a brighter future
    for my country to stand tall
    among the nations
    Because hope swells sweet in my throat
    and catches my breath with a tight hold
    I stand silent under the stars tonight
    only in my heart a song of gratitude

  7. Juanita Snyder

    (ah, "Blues" are my forte….–spidey)

    gray matter
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    she moved from room to room, but no one noticied.
    a quiet, gentle ripple lost in a harbor busy with white noise;
    an unflavored gelatin nestled against the sarcastic indifference of chocolate;
    a path of white rocks always shrouded from the moon by a polluted fog
    she could never compete with.

    picked over, skipped over, do over, what difference did it make?

    in a matter of moments ~ it would be over.

    she would be gone,

    38 yrs suddenly relegated to a few simple teaspoons of gray matter
    splattered against a white stucco wall,
    latex hands all around her, probing.

    in a few hours, even that glory would be taken away from her as well.
    negated by a simple yellow sponge … and a bucket of water …
    a few swipes, a few missing atoms, and by morning,
    no one would even remember who she was.

    who’da thought life could be so cruel.

  8. Shann Palmer


    My words are awkward children
    haywire in a downtown music store,
    laying on the stomp box like a rock
    band heaven headed, song crazy.
    No discipline, it’s only a paper tune.

    They wail their colors, fantastic
    riffs galore and glamorous, blue
    bent under the weight of hard times,
    the kind in pictures in Life magazine,
    but they don’t know anything at all.

    Over in the corner a black-haired girl
    plays grey skies and once upon a time.

    People walking by stop, craving comfort:
    kisses in the backseat and Tangee lipstick.

  9. Shann Palmer


    My words are awkward children
    haywire in a downtown music store,
    laying on the stomp box like a rock
    band heaven headed, song crazy.
    No discipline, it’s only a paper tune.

    They wail their colors, fantastic
    riffs galore and glamourous, blue
    bent under the weight of hard times,
    the kind in pictures in Life magazine,
    but they don’t know anything ay all.

    Over in the corner a black-haired girl
    plays grey skies and once upon a time.

    People walking by stop, craving comfort:
    kisses in the backseat and Tangee lipstick.

  10. PSC in CT

    No time to read and comment — it’s WAY past my bedtime. Still nothing good to offer on this one, but don’t want to fall any further behind, so am entering this:

    Today I’ve got the blues
    Abandoned by the muse
    Though, honestly, I feel I ought to say
    These blues feel less like blue
    And more like gray. :-(

  11. Mary K

    The Blues

    Some days feel hopeless
    I don’t know how i will survive
    one thing goes wrong after another
    I wonder how I can go on.

    There have been special challenges
    God has put me through and
    so far I think I am doing all right,
    I am not one to complain.

    I generally keep a postive outlook
    keep negativity at bay, I just keep
    plugging along, one day at a tune,
    though sometimes inside I cry.

  12. Rodney C. Walmer

    Thank you Laurie, and Michelle. I am sorry to hear about your loss Laurie. I know how hard it can be to lose a pet. I had to put down my cat back in May, I believe it was, I am still not over the loss. Every so often, I still just break down in tears when I think about her, and then can’t stop crying. I know real men don’t cry, but I do.


  13. Lori

    My Internet was giving me trouble yesterday but I did write this before midnight.

    when they call a code
    over the intercom
    from another floor
    our charge nurse goes while
    us regular nurses stay
    to hold down the fort
    they usually come back before
    anything happens too difficult for
    us to handle
    But this time she’s been gone 30 minutes
    the natives are getting restless
    because we know there’s only
    two reasons for a code to last that long.
    One, the patient was coming and going
    Two, it was a kid.
    She’s back now and
    her posture tells us that we need to
    hold down the fort for
    a few more minutes.

  14. linda

    Many of us just know each other from the April challenge. Through our posts and joking around responses, we’ve gotten to know much about each other. Patti and I are members of the same online writing group (one I formed after the April PAD since I am isolated here and needed the advice and encouragement of other writers). Some others, I believe, are also members of other writer’s groups in on the challenge. But for whatever reason people are here, we are like one big family once the challenge ends. So, let me say, welcome to the family!!


  15. Judy Roney


    I’ll never know why
    I know that now
    why my son chose to take his own life.

    I watch my husband in grief
    My daughter despair
    I stand and I look and I cry.

    Each day I still hope
    for relief from this pain
    that penetrates down to my core.

    Each morning I awake
    from a nightmare night
    and then he’s dead all over again.

    Each hour brings the knife
    cutting my heart out
    one tiny sliver at a time.

    I’ll bow my head now
    in submission and grief
    I’m too tired to fight anymore.

    You see I’m not human
    just a cavern of pain
    a tortured soul with no where to go.

  16. Nancy Posey

    Two Days Before Thanksgiving Homesick Blues

    I woke up this morning, rolled around in my bed,
    Yeah, I woke up this morning, rolled around in my bed.
    That train outside my window
    Sounds like it’s running right through my head.

    I squint at the clock, and it ain’t time for no alarm,
    No, I’m looking at the clock, and it ain’t time for my alarm,
    But I lost all my dream threads
    And I’m feeling too damned warm.

    Three o’clock in the morning ain’t the time to try to think.
    No, this time o’ morning sure ain’t the time to think,
    But as I sit in this hotel room,
    I feel my spirits start to sink.

    Gotta make some close connections to get myself back home
    Yeah, some mighty close connections just to get myself back home,
    As I’m running through the airport,
    I’ll be running from alone

    Right now all that I can think of is how to get back home to you.
    Just a few more hours, and I’ll be headed home to you.
    Once I get there, gonna stay there.
    Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do.

    Nancy Posey

  17. Jolanta Laurinaitis


    Blue is the colour
    We enjoy daily
    And we trust our tranquility to

    A blue sky
    A blue ocean
    A duck egg blue
    A blue bird
    A blue bell

    Blue the legendery Joni Mitchell Ablum

    A midnight blue

    A blue jay
    A blue berry
    A blue whale

    A blue thundery sunset

    A sapphire
    Or some Aragonite, azurite or pectolite

    A blue moonshadow across your face
    The iridescent blue flash in Adderbolts wings

    But without the red
    Of love, energy, and strength
    The orange
    Of enthusiasm, determination, and encouragement
    The Yellow
    That generates the muscles to move
    The white of goodness
    And the Black of power
    And the Purple
    Of wisdom and magic

    Our green nature will never be safe
    And will never be able to heal
    We destroy our own rainbows…

    Now I’ve got reason
    To sing the blues.

  18. Peggy Goetz

    Well you asked for hopeless, so I tried to write the most hopeless scene I could! I hope no one is having a day like this poem!

    A World Less Hope

    No change possible,
    they said, all hope gone.
    It’s like my breath is sucked
    out now and I can’t quite get
    it back, each intake a labor.
    The world matt gray, heavy
    thick damp chill, no escape,
    drizzle that won’t stop for days
    and days and days, muddy shoes
    piled stiff by the door, iron cold
    grate, no wagging tail, no purr,
    silent phone. I’ve outlived
    everything I ever loved, everyone
    I knew. Trees are dying, plants
    pummeled flat. Soon that lump
    of moldy cheese will be my last
    bite. I wonder if the sun still shines
    somewhere, if the night’s still
    filled with stars. Rain beats harder
    and I know I’ll never know.
    No change is possible,
    all hope is gone.

  19. Peggy Goetz

    Question: Some of you seem to know each other. Have you just been posting with Robert for a long time or do you know each other from somewhere else? Is there a discussion forum in addition to this somewhere connected to this blog? Just wondering.

    You can e-mail me about this:


  20. patti williams

    Got one more …

    “I’m gonna love my baby
    When the lights come on, Hey!”

    Robert Ealey

    The blues, the darker side of music,
    Say the truth of what’s happening.
    The blues speak of
    Love and comfort, the
    Dark clouds a reflection of the

    The blues are a part of life,
    A part of wholeness.

    The blues are the good and the bad,
    The rawness.

    The blues are a part of history,
    The future.

    The blues echo our lives
    For evermore.
    Always, always, singing
    In the background
    Whether we want to listen
    To the song the band sings or not.

    They’re still there,
    Dancing, spinning, sliding on the stage
    Making life better for those brave enough
    To step out onto the dance-floor
    And try to find the rhythm of the song
    The band is singing,
    Just for the two for them.
    The one the angels requested
    They dance to
    Well into the night.

  21. Sara McNulty

    Robert, I haven’t read anyone’s except yours for now, and I’m loving it.

    I’m so blue
    down looks like up
    I’m ignorin’ my pup
    I can’t seem to write
    I ain’t got the sight
    I’m in my pajamas
    decorated with llamas
    I fear leavin’ the house
    though encouraged by spouse
    I’m lackin’ the steam
    to iron a dream
    I’m so blue
    I have no point of view.

  22. Paul W.Hankins

    I am late tonight. . .the boy had drum lessons and we ate out as family after. I don’t know if I followed the rules today, but I do have blue in my piece.



    So white:
    a flake that falls
    too early in the yard
    and settles in with the leaves
    in the front yard
    and all of its grand architecture
    bends and breaks into the grass
    and genuflects to the earth.

    So white:
    another flake that falls
    too early in the eleventh month
    onto the wet black pavement,
    and it becomes part of the sheen,
    the glossy deception of tar and stone,
    and now it is part
    of the hard surfaces that make a path.

    So white:
    they all fall down
    from a November sky
    and I feel as though it is almost over—
    thirty are survivable—we have done this
    six times, one after the other, we turn the page
    from the divergent colors of the leaves we miss
    to a Currier and Ives way of looking at the world:

    snow falling from a winter sky,
    and when they fall into my hand
    to be collected, I can see:

    they are so white they’re blue.

  23. LKHarris-Kolp

    Thanks Rachel and Earl!

    Rodney- I’m sad to say that my beloved yellow lab who was thirteen-years-old died today (sniff, sniff). She was a GREAT companion and gave unconditional love- just like your poem said. It really hit home with me today. Good writing!

    Laurie K.

  24. S Scott Whitaker


    The day he was shot he fell out of bed
    Awakened from a nightmare about a tooth
    Coming loose in his mouth. First it was just one
    Hanging on by a nervy string
    Then his whole mouth loosened at once,
    As if someone pulled a cord,
    And teeth collapsed
    And he dropped to the floor.

    If that wasn’t bad enough he blew a tire
    On his way to work.

    The eighty-five dollars he paid to have it towed
    Was nothing next to the $8000 dollar budget slashing
    He’d received from management at work.
    An email. No courage for a memo,
    Which is at least requires a signature.

    At least his girlfriend didn’t break up with him.
    Because he was shot outside her apartment
    In a drive-by spinout.
    Looking out, and seeing him, she turned into a nurse
    At his side, her blouse spattered with blood
    So that from far away they looked like roses.

    She would later leave him, though,
    Partially because he was shot, partially
    Because he was an ass about some things
    And harped on her for living in a crappy neighborhood.

    Of course he was right to say so,
    Especially with a wound the size of a fist in his shoulder
    And rocket pain so intense he wished his teeth
    Would fall out so he choke and pass out,
    Maybe end it all on a peaceful note.

  25. Steve LaVoie

    Killer Chameleon

    So, I guess you are right
    We wouldn’t like each other.
    After all, your only a chameleon,
    Changing to fit in like a puzzle piece,
    While I stick out like a two-headed
    Zombie in a field of daises.

    What can I say?
    Who in their right mind
    Would want to meet new people
    When you can make them feel
    Like an abandoned hangnail?

    It must be so much fun.
    Just grabbing a hammer
    And pounding people down
    Like railroad spikes.

    Oh yes, I did hear
    That blood is the new craze
    In hand lotions.

  26. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    Handling Hopeless

    When you know your human rights
    Life should not be hopeless
    For you can stand up tall.
    It may be tough.
    You will be fought.
    But standing for them
    You’ll help us all

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  27. Rodney C. Walmer

    Thank you lain, I really enjoyed "The Cats and Death #27"
    Many many other great poems her today.

    Robert, sorry I used your name again, it just fit the poem.


  28. Iain D. Kemp

    Mik _ I will be honest, I live by the sea & have the lovely snowy hills just 2 hrs away… its heaven (for me)!

    Cheryl – I often say that I is ‘umble but everyone knows I am an arrogant bastard. NOW I is ‘umble… if I may be permitted to buy a chapbook when this is over then I want yours!!!!!

    I dream of writing like you…



  29. Rodney C. Walmer

    Going to See Becky Today

    He awoke with a smile upon his face
    nothing could ruin this beautiful day
    the way he felt, nothing could replace
    after all, he was going to see Becky today

    He ate breakfast, bacon and eggs
    gave a little to the dog
    as she always begs
    went out to feed the hogs
    when he found, the horse had fallen
    and broken both her legs
    But, it was ok,
    because he was going to see Becky today

    Still he felt bad
    raised that horse from a colt
    he started to cry, he felt so sad
    seeing her there, gave him a jolt

    Then he got to the barn
    the tractor was missing a tire
    He thought no harm
    Mr. Robert Brewer had one for hire
    maybe he would go out to the Brewer farm
    just maybe he would buy her

    Besides it was a wonderful day
    nothing anyone could say
    would change his feeling this way
    after all, he was going to see Becky today

    That’s when he heard the phone ringing
    he ran back to the house
    his neighbor was singing
    man what a louse

    He answered only to find
    it was his dear Becky
    she was crying
    She could not make their date on time
    but, she could see him late
    if he did not mind

    He felt a tear well up
    But, when he looked at the situation close-up
    it was ok
    he was still going to see Becky today

    He headed back out to hogs
    he found many chickens were dead
    that pack of wild dogs
    he started to panic
    his fear became widespread
    throughout he became manic
    wishing he were dead
    but, it was ok,
    he had a date, to see Becky later today

    He just sat there,
    looking at where the chickens had been
    another might not care
    but, another was not him

    What else can happen
    he thought to himself
    he grabbed his shotgun
    he could not leave this to anyone else
    he knew they were on the run
    he was the best
    it seemed that God had given him a test

    Hey it was ok,
    he was going to See Becky later today

    with grim determination
    he went looking for the dogs
    he had to stop them
    the dead dying accumulation
    had lead to his newfound cause

    while running, he tripped over a log
    broke his left leg
    fell face first into the bog
    But, it was ok,
    he was going to see his Becky later today

    Using the gun as a crutch
    he forgot to unload
    his leg hurt so much
    he never heard the cartridge explode
    Blowing out half his side
    blood and guts lay everywhere
    he would have died
    if not for that one little fear
    that he would miss his date
    after all, he still had time
    it was not too late

    As he lie there in the dark
    he thought of Becky
    how he’d scratched their initials in the bark
    he could no longer move
    nor feel his lower half
    but, determination would prove
    his love for Becky
    would work in his behalf

    It was along midnight
    that he was found
    Take it easy, you’ll be alright
    came through that loud blaring sound

    His surgery lasted through the night
    and half the next morning
    but, he knew he had to fight
    even through that intense pain forming

    The very next day
    Becky came to the hospital
    She said, she had to get away
    breaking up with him
    he tried to stop her
    but he didn’t know where to begin
    Sadness overwhelmed him
    so much so, that he finally gave in
    after all it was no longer ok,
    he no longer had a date with Becky any day. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer, November 24, 2008, Blues Poem.

  30. Michelle H.

    Patti – Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading your book!

    Iain – Thank you! You made my day! I envy you the ability to ski – we all cross-country ski but of course you need snow. It’s late November in Minnesota and we don’t have any snow stickin to the ground yet!! The sea and the mountains, must a beautiful spot you live in! – Michelle

  31. Cheryl Chambers

    The Miracle of Leaves, Snowfall

    This is the crux of it. Neal believed
    in the miracle of leaves, not the devastation
    of bare trees and winter times. Water walking
    when the rain turns to ice never crossed
    his process when he made decisions. The series
    of roads and paths filled his head like neurons
    and grey matter. Machetes in short supply
    diminished his ability at trimming vegetation,
    at swathing away at the details of pricetags
    always ending in ninety-nine cents. His burden
    to bear is a heavy load, a stolen heavy daughter
    ideal. Once with his head downcast he watched
    snow fall on frozen green ground. Never did
    it occur to him to look up, stick out his tongue.

  32. Rodney C. Walmer

    Sometimes we all get the Blues

    Sometimes we all get the blues
    be it from bad or good news
    you Might just wake up sad
    not that you have to face anything bad

    Others, it’s just the type of day you’ve had
    maybe, you were way too glad
    feeling a bit guilty, you get the blues
    that hopeless feeling,
    is not something one would choose
    it leaves you reeling
    wondering if no matter what,
    you have nothing left to lose

    Some fancy doctors’ call it depression
    then charge you $75 for a 45 minute session
    when your friends will tell you for free
    nothing is as bad as it seems to be

    Then the doctor will give you a prescription
    not that it will do anything to help
    though it might give you a suicidal predilection
    help is something you have to find within yourself

    The solution is not in the medicine cabinet
    at least, none that anyone has really found yet
    What was it Mick said about that little yellow pill
    looks like some mothers are taking it still

    What’s not in the Medicine cabinet
    you might find in a pet
    who’s love is unconditional
    while his presence is certainly nutritional
    at least for the soul

    While a pet won’t make you whole
    he might ease those blues to a level you can control
    Sometimes we all get the blues
    how we choose to handle them
    is what determines whether we win or lose. . .
    ©Rodney C. Walmer November 24, 2008, a poem about the blues

    Not sure if this qualifies, but I tried. Actually IMHO one of my better poems, but just may not be what this prompt was looking for.

  33. Iain D. Kemp

    Michelle _ I have been thinking about your poem all evening… The sky was grey and the sea fierce and scary. Winds gale force… thank God for the fireplace… Going skiing Friday if the wind drops but often we get this big blow for 2 or 3 days. Anyway, execellent piece!


  34. Iain D. Kemp

    Lots & Lots of good poetry & da Blues today… and now! Ya see whats happened? How bad is Ringo gonna be tomorrow? OMG!

    Well, at least its not my fault!!!!!


  35. satia

    And another because I’m listening to Mudbone and why not?

    Vertigo Blues

    When life becomes a blue chord
    Repeated refrain rolling around with a
    Bass line keeping the relentless beat
    Then my voice smokes over with choked tears.
    I’m left no choice but to dance my day away
    But the gravitas of gravity reminds me not to fly
    Falling into unnatural rhythms of missteps
    Hitching and jiving to these funky messages
    That rock ‘n roll my world beneath dancing feet
    All I want is a riff that will
    Return me to where I can stand.

  36. patti williams

    Iain – I loved the CPD post – greatness – it felt like a song – and your chapbook KUDOS – Well, I’m blushing! Thank you so much!!! (and to anyone who has missed out, I’m selling them for $10 plus shipping, if you live in the U.S. it’s about $1.50 shipping … outside the US, will get back with you! I’m really proud of it and would love to share … makes a nice gift for yourself or someone you love! All G rated.) And plus, Iain likes it so it’s got to be good!!!

    Michelle – I hope your book arrives soon!

    I’ve got people coming over – will read the other posts when they leave – loving the day!!! So much better than some of my others …

    Will edit, come back and read, deal with the people come over and then make dinner … all in a poet’s life … but wouldn’t have it any other way!

  37. Iain D. Kemp

    I promised myself one poem per theme per day but as I intoduced another character, well this just slipped out…

    Dear Ringo,

    I will not compliment you
    by saying that the sick little notes
    you write are poetry, far from it…
    But how about this to wake up your
    arrogant ass… I write a couple of lines
    and then I write a couple more. It
    doesn’t make much sense, but that’s
    what they pay me for. Three more lines
    that seem to add so little then I leave
    a blank (two spaces) and ooze a little
    spittle. I add two more lines, finally
    mention my theme. The title is still
    obscure but now you know just what
    I mean. I’m a published poet, I can
    write what I like and you don’t have
    to like it, just suck it up cos I got another
    check just yesterday. Bite me, I’m almost
    famous. I’d ask y’all to pick me up but I
    already know how sick you are of my
    sorry ass…

    Yours in complete contempt

    Jimmy the Greek

  38. satia

    Blue Changes

    Sometimes blue is cold and aches into the bones
    Won’t leave me alone as I try to breathe through
    Just one more day. Sometimes blue feels grey
    Like rain, wet clouds hiding whatever light might
    Try to break through. Sometimes blue is heavy
    Weighted down from the inside and other days
    So light it makes holding on hard as I drift along.
    Blue is drowning in feeling, failing and falling,
    Is where even words become overwrought with
    Weariness and ink blurs through dry eyed tears.

  39. Margaret

    This could use a couple more stanzas — but I still need to do yesterday’s poem, so this is it for the moment:

    State of the Union Blues

    See, everybody knows that this great country’s in a mess.
    When we’ll get off the road to hell is anybody’s guess.
    We see we don’t know what to do except to sing the blues.
    We’re praying things get better and that we have payed our dues.

    The banks are dropping just like flies whose day of life is done.
    Our houses are worth less than when we bought them. That’s no fun.
    All we can do is sing the blues and hope we’ve hit the wall,
    because if we’re not headed up we won’t be here at all.

  40. Bruce Niedt

    The Blues

    Outside, neon reflects
    on the rain-washed streets
    like melted rainbows. Inside,
    despite a smoke-free environment,
    a haze hangs under the spotlights,
    as a sixty-something black man perches
    on a stool with a steel-stringed guitar
    and sings Delta blues. You can almost feel
    the heavy air of a hot Alabama day,
    almost hear the locusts chirr.
    There is a paradox occurring here,
    or maybe a quiet kind of catharsis.
    Because when the bluesman sings
    ain’t got a dime, or feel so sad and lonely,
    or woman why you treat me so mean,
    we all listen intently,
    and we nod, and we smile.

  41. Shannon R

    this is super rough, I hope to come back to it in later weeks.


    there is no music
    moving these bones
    no dance floor
    supporting my weight
    no DJ spinning vinyl.
    Tonight, we watch silence make sound
    while we grow listless waiting
    for music to return us back
    to our wakeful selves.

  42. patti williams

    I usually do not post COMPLETELY raw and unedited but due to the time restraints of today – this is my only option. Late tonight I will revise – just wanted to throw what I had out there for now.

    Robert Ealey was a Texas Bluesman. We used to dance our sadness away while he sang his songs but then through time I also became friends with him … he sang at my 30th! I couldn’t have been more shocked or honored. We (kids included) attended his funeral with the pride of knowing his Blue Bird self was just fine … singing somewhere in heaven, probably making the angels feel good with his Mojo.

    Mr. Robert "Blue Bird" Ealey was a legend … and if anything can save a person from the storms life throws at them, it’s this man’s music.

    google Robert Ealey and enjoy …

    “Yeah, we’re having a party
    and I’m going to get drunk tonight.”

    Robert Ealey, Fort Worth, Texas

    He was from the old school,
    From the blues side of living.
    Each night he sat on his bar stool
    Wearing his suit, his yellowed eyes
    Dripping all over with the Mojo.
    He played his “hand harmonica”
    Watching the people with the broken
    Hearts drink some beer, smile and
    Dance like they didn’t have a care.
    The dark clouds they carried with them
    Inside the Blue Bird Club were suddenly
    Long gone, at least until his set was over.
    He grew up singing gospel then the
    Blues swooped in and saved his soul.
    Lightnin’ Hopkins, T Bone Walker,
    Barefoot Miller became inspiring friends.
    But he never forgot why he sat on the
    Stage singing while the broken hearts
    Danced, reaching out for something
    Better, to each other, spinning, feeling
    The beat, the music, the
    Buzz of the Blues.
    There wasn’t anything else in life like it,
    Seeing people happy, with hope, love
    Shining in their eyes again.
    He would have sang to them forever
    If only he could have stayed.
    Healed the hurt with words, passion,
    Healed all the world over with the
    The Blues he gave them.

  43. Monica Martin

    First, the dishwasher needs
    to be replaced. Not to be
    outdone, the dryer collapses
    soon after. Then goes the
    furnace, the doorbell, even
    the toaster. Heaven forbid
    I have a rebel appliance
    that works.

  44. S.E.Ingraham

    ‘Tis the Season

    The colours depart first
    Just drain away,
    Leaving a technicolour
    World to gradually
    Turn to one devoid
    Of anything but muted tones

    She shrugs off this sign
    Until she notices her grey-faced
    Children, her lover, herself
    In the mirror
    In fact, it is the crone
    in the mirror
    Who is most telling
    Her eyes are glassy marbles
    Dead things, staring
    Her mouth looks sere,
    The lines around it,
    etched deeper
    Than ever she recalls

    It strikes her
    That she and the crone
    Are once again
    Partners in despair
    Unwitting conspirators
    But conspiring all the same:
    To go to ground
    Pull the tattered, worn cloak round
    Enfeebled shoulders
    The hood,up to hide the weary head
    And help silence the voice,
    The voice pretending all is well

    The crone helps her refuse
    to partake in a life that offers
    So little in the way
    Of – of what?
    She is stymied
    Wonders bewilderedly what life
    Has offered thus far
    To keep her here
    Remembers sadly she has
    Promised to,
    “Love them more than death”
    These loved ones
    That keep her tethered to the earth
    The ones who comment,
    Every bloody time, and far too late
    – not that earlier would make
    the slightest bit of difference, she admits –
    “You’re not going down?”
    As if she could choose not to go
    As easily as choosing
    Not to go shopping
    Or on vacation, or get on an escalator

    When all the while
    The dragons have been
    Marshalling themselves, pawing
    The ground outside the gates
    of her sanity
    Waiting for the smallest way in;
    She wonders in vain
    What it was this time
    What small breach did they seize
    Upon with which to break themselves in
    Christmas? Was it that most treacherous of all
    Seasons – it often undoes her
    but she has been so vigilant,
    Careful not to care too much…
    Or, maybe it was those deaths
    Last month – she’d tried so hard
    Not to get upset, to put them
    out of her mind
    After all, they were not her concern
    but still children dying always hits her hard
    She tried really really hard not to let it get to her

    But dragons are sneaky, watchful
    Beasts and they sense
    Her vulnerabilities, she knows
    Ready to pounce at the slightest
    Provocation – the way they have
    So often, in times past
    Even with the arsenal she has
    At her disposal; and it grows greater
    Every year, if only incrementally
    But so, it seems do her dragons
    Grow, that is, and not so slowly
    Nor incrementally, and certainly
    Not at all predictably, so she often
    Finds she suffers from a loss of hope
    Although it is another front,
    On which she knows she has to fight
    Relentlessly and when she can, albeit wearily
    She does; when she can, she does, when she can…

  45. Earl Parsons

    Connie – I learned to play dominos from my one-room school teacher in 1961. We would play after all four grades had their lessons done and I had my assignment for the day done. I’ve always love the game, but have a hard time finding anyone around here to play me. Even with multiple sets of dominos, from double six to double eighteen, the only real enjoyment I get out of them is when the grandson comes over and we set’em’up and knock’em’down. Today you said just that, and that makes me smile. Your whole series has been great. I can’t wait for your finale.

  46. Jane penland hoover

    Stranded On The Road

    On and on in all directions
    palmetto, sand, and slash pines stretch,
    stiff grained and upright, as shadows
    fall, reach back the way we’ve come.

    Earlier my ocean fervor
    imagined us refreshed, a drive of
    seaside sights, awash with breezes,
    our family fun in salty air.

    Still weak from surgery and stroke
    he smiles and gestures, yes and no.
    His broken language drags, murmurs
    to my suggestions like this ride.
    Wrapped in grandma’s fragile arms
    our baby, six months old, sleeps on,
    while her five-year old big sister,
    face pressed to pane, pleads, Mom take me.

    Edgy, one thumb extended, I
    stand the length of desolation
    begging to be taken, when
    a camper driver brakes his speed.

    I force my anxiety to run
    from our stalled car, the four of them,
    their eyes searching, wanting
    me to come back real quick.

    The camper couple cleared a bench,
    drove east for miles and miles, while
    I measured minutes, some desires
    to flee responsibility, my world
    there, waiting for a wrecker.

    Today, I remember them,
    that mechanic, crawling,
    patience, and the damaged parts,
    those rescuers leaving me
    alone to navigate the rest.

  47. Karen H. Phillips

    The-End-of-the-Exhibit Blues

    The names begin to blur in my head
    like the colors before my eyes.
    Without my notes, I wouldn’t remember
    who was American, who was French,
    where the poppies grew,
    what river rippled through the green.

    I sigh
    because I have to rush,
    because I don’t have all day
    to drink in the
    salmon pinks
    aqua blues
    minty greens,
    to write down every

    I will have to be content
    to write a poem
    about how I ache
    because I long
    to walk the gallery again,
    to sip the coolness
    these paintings and these artists
    on a July day.

    I will do it in November,
    pen a poem with a sigh–
    and with thankfulness,
    that I had the eyes and heart
    and opportunity
    to see
    beauty, art, and history,
    courtesy of Impressionists.

  48. Rachel Green

    Laverstonian Spiritual Blues

    There’s a little girl crying,
    sitting on the stair
    she’s lost her loving mother
    and Daddy doesn’t care.
    She thinks her heart is breaking
    ‘cause the agony is hard to bear.

    There’s a little girl crying,
    standing in the hall
    she needs someone to help her
    but don’t know who to call.
    She’s got herself a bible
    but it’s no help at all.

    There’s a little girl crying,
    she needs her bed and board
    fed up with ghosts and monsters
    making up a hoard
    She’s going to get some vengeance
    starting with a sword.

  49. Connie

    The Domino Blues

    We’re domino builders
    We came here by train
    We break the world record
    Again and again
    We’ll work for eight weeks
    Despite the back pain
    We’ve got the domino blues

    We’re skilled and we’re focused
    With thousands of stones
    We build and they fall down
    We’re cursing these bones
    We’re not nearly finished
    But we want to go home
    We’ve got the domino blues

    The time’s finally come
    And we’ve placed them all
    When we succeed
    We’ll all have a ball
    But when they’re supposed to
    They don’t even fall
    We’ve got the domino blues

  50. Rachel

    Unfortunately, I was inspired… and had to write another poem.

    Engine of Torment

    It hits me and wrecks me
    again and again.
    Each time I move forward
    I’m smacked by the train.

    The engine of torment
    its deadly impression
    crushing my spirit
    relentless depression.

    The sorrow and anguish
    cut deep through my core,
    a grief like bereavement
    I cannot take more.

    I cry out please Father
    "Have mercy on me!"
    He replies once again
    "My grace covers thee."

  51. lin da

    Bruce and Susan–you’ve got me singing!

    Iain, liked your Death of the Muse poem. Cool that you got Patti’s chapbook. Maybe I can put it on my Christmas list :-)
    I’ve read lots of her work (not just poetry) and she is very talented. Patti, you rock, girl!

    It’s night time here already (we’re 6 hours ahead of you) and even though Iain seems to manage with the time difference (Iain, you big show-off, making me look bad again!!) I think I will need to post tomorrow.


  52. Earl Parsons

    Day 24 for LL&L:


    I’ve tried so many times
    To do things on my own
    And failed
    And failed again
    And yet again

    I’ve hit brick walls
    In my selfish attempts
    To succeed
    Only to fail
    Again and again

    Dear Lord, You let me fail
    You watched me fall face first
    Into the muck
    Under my feet
    And I asked why

    Why did You let me down
    Why did You let me fall
    Flat on my face
    Time after time
    While You stood by

    And then I realized
    My failure was on me
    I left You out
    I let You down

    Dear Lord, You are my strength
    In You I cannot fail
    That is my prayer
    In everything
    From here on out

    Without You, Lord
    I’m hopeless

  53. Earl Parsons

    How blue can gray matter be? Here’s Day 24 for SS:

    Useless Gray Matter

    I know I’ve tooted my horn a lot lately
    I know I’ve put myself on a pedestal
    Claiming to be the best thing
    Since sliced bread
    Claiming to have complete and total
    Control over your every thought
    Or action
    But I have to confess
    That I must give credit
    Where credit is due
    You see
    I am but a blob of useless gray matter
    Without the One that created me
    To be your controller
    To be master over your body
    To rule you from my pedestal
    To be the best thing since sliced bread
    To dictate your every though
    Or action

    So let me back off of my arrogance
    Even though it is deserved
    Somewhat selfishly
    Of course
    And thank
    The One and Only
    God of the Universe
    For allowing me to be
    The most important part
    Of your miraculous body

    Thank You, Lord
    It’s a distinct honor
    To be part of Your plans
    For this mortal You’ve given me

    And now, Lord
    With Your permission
    May I get back on my pedestal
    And do my thing

    I mean
    May I get back to the job of
    Carrying out Your instructions


  54. Taylor Graham


    I thought a heard a cry –
    thought it was a child.
    Crawled through manzanita,
    tore my shirt and lost my map.

    Came out on the other side,
    listened for a cry.
    Wondered could it be the creek
    downhill out of sight.

    Climbed down rocks
    and got walled out,
    clambered up another way.
    Listened for a cry.

    Could it be the wind
    or could it be the river?
    Listened but I couldn’t hear
    except my heart’s own pounding.

  55. Penny Henderson

    day 24 singing the blues.

    Thanks Susan–the new one has knocked "I’ve been everywhere,man" right outof my head.

    driving through the day

    Down the dark tunnel of the day
    I spy no beckoning light
    where my sputtering car
    will roll sweetly into sun.
    The headlights are my only help
    to navigate the near-black.
    Twenty feet at a time,
    foot steady on the pedal,
    I trust the Builder.
    What drives in will surely drive out.

  56. SusanB

    Must say I don’t know where this one came from…but I know I have been influenced by all the irreverence, morbidity, and delicious dark side of these pages. The beginning is a paraphrase of a very old song sung by Guy Mitchell in the 50s, called "Ya Got me Singin’ the Blues" which was a very cool song – well at least back then, maybe.

    Well, I never felt more like singing the blues
    But I never thought
    That I’d ever lose
    Poem a Day-yay
    Ya got me singing the blues….

    The Blues of Life

    Baby Blues –
    Well mah diaper’s all wet
    And my gums they do hurt
    I got drooly-goo going down the fronta mah shirt
    I got the bay-bee, bay-bee, bay-hay-hay bee blues

    Blues for the Kid –
    No one ever listens to me
    When I talk
    I’m gonna grow up and be a famous basketball jock
    I got the grammar school kiddee-widdee blues

    Blues for the Young Adult –
    Just fresh outta college
    Summa cum laude
    But I gotta tell ya friend, the job front looks awfully cloudy
    I got the college graduate young adult blues

    Blues for the Middle Ager –
    Well I thought I could do it
    Live life to the full
    But I think I grabbed the horns instead of the bull
    I got the baby-boomer middle-aged blues

    Blues for the Senior –
    Well I think I broke my hip
    Putting dishes away
    My kids think I’m outdated; don’t know how to play
    I got the retired out-to-pasture old blues

    Blues for the Dead –
    Well I kicked the ol’ bucket
    And I ain’t here no more
    Dying’s just another giant step through a door
    I got the pushin’-up daisies- other-worldly-graveyard blues

  57. Michelle H.


    I feel so down and damn depressed
    I hardly can get up let alone get dressed

    Nature seems to feel the way I do
    It’s been gray skies, for six damn days too

    The world has lost its way
    It is colored in only shades of gray

    I’m tired of the cold and dirt
    It could at least snow and put on a clean shirt

    I feel so low and oh so blue
    Damn, I just got water in my shoe

    I should go shopping for Christmas nears
    But I think I would rather drown my sorrows in beer

    So much to do and so little time
    The economy sucks and I barely have a dime

    So cheers to you, lets raise our beer glasses
    To this damn November gray, let’s hope it soon passes!

  58. Don Swearingen

    An hour yet before the Eastern sky
    Begins to fill itself with light.
    An hour yet before the darkness starts to die,
    Before the sun begins its daily warming flight.
    An hour yet until the cold retreats
    To shadows under things, and inside caves,
    And Northern slopes where the hoar-frost eats
    At everything, and even summer never saves
    The rocks from spalling, breaking down
    To slopes of gravel and later even sand.
    An hour yet for the stars to crown
    The sky, and hour yet as God has planned.
    An hour yet for the sun to come, but oh the years
    Your love has warmed my heart and dried my tears.

  59. Rachel

    hear My song

    broken daughter
    child so blue
    please remember
    that I hold you

    the things of old
    are yours to take
    prophetic words
    yours for My sake

    please remember
    that I healed
    all for you
    it’s been revealed

    walked on waves
    knelt on stone
    I did those things
    for you alone

    your heart in Mine
    so please hold on
    while you cry
    please hear My song

    my notes of love
    from times of old
    My life and death
    for you retold

  60. Iain D. Kemp

    Apropo of nothing at all the Spanish Donkey Post pulled off a miracle and delivered a copy of Patti Williams’ Chapbook to my door.

    Well Done Patti – I loved it. Heartly recommend it to all!


  61. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,

    Oh! Brother! Please help me
    for I am sad and blue. Those women
    folk drive me crazy. What am I to do?
    Then there’s Jimmy the Greek, still up
    here from Atlanta. Sure it won’t be long
    now but I need him outta here. I’m done
    with Hockey already, I just can’t take no
    more and bowling is bust (did you see my
    average score). No baseball ‘til spring,
    How will I survive? The re-runs on ESPN
    are just a waste of breath. Only thing I got
    going is my good ol’ yellow cab but the heaters
    on the fritz and I’m freezing my fares to death.
    At least the holiday rush is coming and I
    should make some dough. Pick me up at
    seven, will ya? I’m feelin’ oh-so low!

    Yours wid da blues

    Ringo the Howler

  62. Iain D. Kemp

    Cats, Poetry & Death #27

    Death of the Muse ~ a Blues

    There’s a man all dressed in black
    He’s peeking over my shoulder
    I’m way to scared to look back
    Its time that I was bolder

    He’s got a long nasty Scythe
    And he’s sharpening it for me

    The Cats are in the cradle
    But the Muse won’t come to me
    I tried a hey-diddle-diddle-daddle
    But the verse was far too free

    He’s got a long nasty Scythe
    And he’s sharpening it for me.

    I’m lacking inspiration
    And I’m running out of breath
    Just oozing perspiration
    Running away from Death

    He’s got a long nasty Scythe
    And he’s sharpening it for me

    I tried free writing prose
    See if that would hit the spot
    But Muse is dead, Lord knows
    And the Spectre’s breath is getting hot

    He’s got a long nasty Scythe
    And he’s sharpening it for me

    I’ll try just one more time
    I gotta make to the end
    But I lacking for a rhyme
    Seems like I have hit a trend

    He’s got a long nasty Scythe
    And he’s sharpening it for me

    Can’t write about Cats no more
    Cause Death has killed the Muse
    And my fingers’ bleeding sore
    With Cats and Death Poetry Blues


  63. LKHarris-Kolp

    a hopeless situation

    if not for her roommate’s
    and parent’s confrontation
    she might not have seeked help
    for her hopeless situation

    there were no more excuses
    or endless justifications
    to help exonerate
    her self-mutilation

    she had to admit an eating disorder
    took all her concentration
    and no amount of affection from
    a man could quell this frustration

    is what
    she needed
    to ensure
    her salvation
    so she

    Laurie K.

  64. Bruce Niedt

    This is "just for fun" because I wrote it a while ago, but it fits the theme perfectly, and sort of fits my chapbook theme. I’ll post a new one later.

    Poe Boy Blues
    by Bruce W Niedt

    Well, I woke up this mornin’,
    there was a raven in my bed.
    I woke up this mornin’,
    there was a raven in my bed.
    If I didn’t know better,
    I’d swear that I was dead.

    When I went downstairs,
    I heard a thumpin’ under the floor.
    Yeah, when I went downstairs,
    I swear I heard thumpin’ in the floor.
    It sounded like a beatin’ heart,
    so I ran right out the door.

    I’m pinin’ for my Annie,
    I’m pinin’ for Annabelle Lee,
    Yeah, I’m pinin’ for little Annie,
    and pinin’ for sweet Annabelle Lee.
    I’m a morbid Victorian lover,
    wallowin’ in my misery.

    Well, I got them Poe Boy Blues,
    my face’s a perpetual frown,
    Yes, I got the Poe Boy Blues,
    my face’s a perpetual frown.
    I ain’t felt so sad and lonely
    since that Usher house fell down.

    If the booze and drugs don’t get me,
    It’ll be a broken heart for sure.
    Yeah, if them booze and drugs don’t get me,
    That ol’ broken heart will for sure.
    I’m a Poe boy, baby,
    and I’ll be happy Nevermore.