November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

Okay, after today’s poem, there are only four days left for the November challenge. We’re sooooo close. And, yes, for those of us living in the States, there’s that little turkey-themed holiday tomorrow and the biggest shopping-sale day of the year follows directly on its heels. I guess that’s why this is called a challenge, huh? My recommendation for tomorrow: Write the poem first, then dig into the turkey (and take that Thanksgiving Day nap).

For today’s poem, I want you to write a call-to-action piece that is related to your theme. Your call-to-action can be stated directly in the poem, or a more powerful way to attack this poem is to do it indirectly. Think of how The Jungle led to the establishment of the FDA and Bambi led to an interest in animal rights.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“Mommy, Daddy”

I heard a shuffling sound in the closet
things getting knocked around
and I can’t get to sleep
unless you check it out
or let me sleep with you
and don’t you tell me that it has to do
with all them monster movies
you let me watch
because them monster movies are not
about things hiding in an 8-year-old’s closet
are they?


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74 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

  1. Juanita Snyder

    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    When he made bail,
    she hid the cutlery before
    his ass even hit the front stoop.
    When he tore the house apart
    looking for his secret stash,
    she quietly pushed children
    out the back, then pretended
    to fold laundry inspite of
    the surrounding chaos.
    When he broke her nose
    and knocked loose a tooth,
    she welcomed the golden
    opportunity like a Fairy
    Godmother, taking great
    pleasure staging blood
    smears and droplets
    inconspicuously about the
    house, just enough to invite
    suspicion and trouble.
    At 2 a.m. she slipped
    the Dodge key off the chain
    and into the darkness
    between floor boards that was
    her rickety front porch,
    along with a loose tooth
    and her wedding ring
    for Forensics to find,
    buried treasure.
    Facing the open well, she
    reached deep into her coat pockets
    and tossed in two pairs of her
    children’s panties, before
    grabbing their small hands
    and disappearing into the
    night like ghosts
    without pilot lights,
    never to be heard from

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Terri Vega

    I used to bath on the dunes by
    the beach my upright stems and
    long yellow florets soaking
    up the sun

    Now hotels and hot dog stands
    lay claim to the bleached white
    sands I used to call my own –
    Sincerely –
    Florida Golden Aster

    I’ve only ever lived in
    Santa Cruz and San Miguel
    I know no other home.
    My red and silver body has
    seen better days

    Pigs and sheep have driven
    me to the brink and other plants,
    plants that never before called
    Santa Cruz and San Miguel their
    home have run me out with no where
    to grow –
    Sincerely –
    Island Bedstraw

    I grow as tall as some men
    with beautiful red petals that curve
    backwards. The swamps and bogs
    are my home but there is trouble

    As the wetlands are taken away
    I go with them. So many so many
    others endangered
    hundreds of species
    are dying –
    Sincerely –
    Western Lily

  3. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Riot of the Leaves

    The leaf falls
    And rather than
    Landing softly
    On the dewy grass
    It sticks fast
    To the sludge
    Coating the earths
    Once luscious

  4. Kate Berne Miller

    How the World Echoes Itself

    On the sidewalk the dried trail
    of a slug glistening in the sun,
    winding across the pavement like
    a map of the Skagit river, sluicing
    down through the North Cascades
    to spread its many fingers into
    Padilla Bay.

    Kate Berne Miller

  5. k weber

    let’s go back
    to the telephone
    or the time
    you were coaxed,
    sick, to spend a day
    at the community
    pool or how we’d
    listen to your father’s
    wisdom over summer

    friends are hard
    to hold on to
    when the line
    on the map’s too
    long and your
    new climate
    is much more
    slippery and cool

    the cord
    only stretches
    so far but, my dear,
    do you remember
    when we put ginger
    in scrambled
    eggs? how i clamored
    for a twin? how you
    harbored a seasick
    heart for the same boy
    even after years, when
    we begin to forget
    what a face looked

    the oregon
    trail, our ups
    and downs–
    what seemed like
    little dramas
    back then are
    the incapacitating
    migraines of now

    we ache, but we
    go on; have loved
    and lost
    but you are still
    two solid
    decades of someone
    i am very
    glad to know

  6. Rodney C. Walmer

    The unknown Soldier to Be

    There is the child who’s never seen
    now one knows his name
    he sits in the third row, third seat, in room 303
    He likes things this way just the same
    but, no child should go through life in anonymity

    Why don’t we know
    why doesn’t someone care
    he makes average grades
    where there’s trouble he’ll never show
    when you take attendance he’s always there
    and he never puts on one of those disruptive tirades

    So, who’s names do we remember
    the worst, the most disruptive
    we know them by name the first day of September
    when it comes to negative attention, their always first

    What about the little child who is unknown
    when he’s so good, he’s good alone
    when he smiles
    no one notices’
    because their too busy trying to stop
    the bad ones from running up and down the aisles

    What does he tell mom and dad
    when he walks in the door
    certainly that he was not bad
    while the others were not very good anymore

    It seems
    at least to me
    that we need to focus on the invisible child
    what are his dreams
    what are his hopes, what does he learn, what does he see
    who does he want to be
    would it hurt to mention how glad we are that he smiled

    Some day he may save this country
    he does not want our sympathy
    just to be recognized through his anonymity
    after all, he may someday become the next
    unknown soldier to be. . .

    Rodney C. Walmer November 29, 2008, call to action poem.

  7. Margaret Fieland

    No Room in the Parking Lot

    The American economy,
    until recently
    the most robust in the world,
    was fueled by
    marathon shopping sprees
    where we bought
    flat screen TVs,
    IPOD Nanos,
    For this privilege
    were were entitled
    to drive to the nearest
    giant mall,
    walk a mile
    from our car
    to the stores,
    and trample
    the Walmart security guard
    in our eagerness
    to spend money
    we didn’t have.

  8. PSC in CT

    Many Hands

    Welcome! Welcome!
    Family near and far
    Parents and siblings
    Distant cousins once removed
    Friends and those with no family
    That we absorb into ours

    Chairs brought out of hiding
    Tables expand and overflow
    Seasoned by laughter, smiles, tears
    Happiness multiplied, sorrow divided

    And so much work!
    Cooking, baking, organizing, arranging
    So much to clean and scrub, so

    Welcome! Welcome!
    Clear the table, wash the dishes, grab a towel
    Many hands make light work

  9. Tyger

    Forward with Fanfare

    Yes, I know
    Only one President at a time
    And your hands are still tied
    Until January
    But go forward with courage now
    Shine into our living rooms with fire
    Don’t mind the reluctant toes
    That get in your way to try and trip you
    Step on up and over them
    Sweep away those who are fearful and hesitant
    Turn us upside down and inside out
    Root out all that is little in us
    So we may birth greatness
    Each in our own bold way
    So we may all urge forward
    With fanfare into a new world
    And shine

  10. Shann Palmer


    Always nickeled and dimed,
    she’s weary of clipping
    coupons, mailing rebates.

    She thought ‘standalone’ was
    meant for sequels, handhelds,
    not the foreseeable future

    doing everything without
    him, or with a stunt husband
    so not to be known as a single

    she’d walk away in a breath if
    if there was someplace she could

    stay, it’s easier to fuss than leave
    not so much to make change,
    even with a fist full of shiny coins.

  11. Kateri Woody

    Batman’s stoic form blends
    into the sky line – bleak
    and broken apart from the
    inside out. Joker sees this.
    Takes it all in through
    shining, oddly sympathetic eyes
    and knows he has a purpose –
    a purpose to propose a perpetual
    game of cat and mouse
    if only to see a scowl on that face.

  12. Paul W.Hankins

    No real form that I know of. . .

    I teach 11th grade English and one my students’ favorite young adult autors is Ellen Hopkins who writes her books in a poem driven prose style. . .She will typically pull a sentence out of a piece and then weave it into a larger poem. I tried to do that here. . .I think she weaves better than I do. . .at the end, I like to look back through with the question: is each stanza still clear while maintaining the flow of the whole piece. I have done this a couple of times this month and this approach to poetry has drawn a positive response from others. I don’t think I will do it all the time, but the form gives me some flexibility, especially with some of Robert’s prompts. . .the call to action just seemed to work for this piece.

    Thanks everybody. . .


  13. linda

    I written a few but haven’t had time to post….so many good poems posted, I always find myself reading instead.

    Connie, another great one. You’ll have a great chapbook. Do you have a title yet?

    Patti, you will also have enough for a new chapbook. Yoohoo! Go for it!

    Sara, wow! You’ve said so much in only 49 words.

    Paul, the format is very clever. Is this an actual poetic form or did you create it yourself?

    Karen Phillips and Earl, very nice.

    Sharon, gosh. I never thought about all that.

    Gotta’ copy my lesson and go to class. I’ll check in again this weekend.


  14. Mary K

    No Excuses

    No excuses accepted
    you must take responsibility
    for your life’s decisions and
    actions which brought you to today.
    You are no exception
    and you cannot go back.

  15. LKHarris-Kolp

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone- I, too, find it hard to comment because everyone is doing such a great job and I don’t want to leave anyone out. But I read each and every post everyday and have really enjoyed this- you are all great!

    Laurie K.

  16. SusanB

    Thought I posted this already and yet…it has disappeared into the ethers…who did I think I was. giving instructions on how not to lose a post. DUH UH!!! Lotta great stuff today…had a little cry and a good laugh. Happy Thanksgiving Day if you are still reading day 26.

    You need to come here
    You need to come here and see this
    You need to see what this kid has done now

    You need to be there
    You need to be there for me
    You need to be present to ALL in awareness

    You need to stop
    You need to stop hurting me
    You need to stop yourself before you tell another lie

    You need to quit drinking
    You need to quit the drugs
    You need to quit thinking your best years are done

    You need to start living
    You need to start sharing your gifts
    You need to start making every day count

  17. SaraV

    Pirate Flags

    The tug of leather
    I pull back
    No, my pet
    That may seem like a good sniff
    But a little white flag
    With skull and crossbones flops
    In the breeze
    Another neighbor
    Living for the superficial
    Beauty and forgetting what
    Happens when that spray seeps
    Into our ground-water
    No little toes barefoot
    On that lawn
    No insects humming
    Or munching
    A cycle of life cut
    Short by the short-sighted
    Like pirates stealing
    Our future
    Evidence of the arrogance
    Of those who
    Believe the end justifies the means
    But their actions ultimately mean the end

  18. Steve LaVoie

    Thanks Rachel. Yeah I figured I would try to write a semi-humorus one again. It is a sad reality for some that they think medication will cure everything and they just quit trying. But that’s why I wrote it. And everyone’s stuff is coming along nicely, even if everyone else here is approaching this differently than I am.

  19. AC Leming

    embrace the moon

    right or left side
    embrace the moon

    twist the torso
    embrace the moon

    right hand above left
    embrace the moon

    feel lau-gong heat
    embrace the moon

    life energy crests
    embrace the moon

    catch tai chi

  20. Cheryl Chambers

    As For You

    This is a direct address, no return
    to sender, no forwarding location.
    Leave eyes to see only what you will
    but be aware of the trimmed tree,
    the sock left on the floor, the unclaimed
    toy missing one button above the mouth.
    Collect the mishaps, the paper with a child
    like scrawl, the phone number with no name
    on a post it note, the compass left beside
    your computer screen. Uncover the mystery
    in a single roadside shoe, an unattended
    bus stop, a road sign sideswiped so as to be
    crooked. Find the unfound at least once.

  21. Nancy Posey

    You and I are definitely on the same wavelength. Do you know Todd Snider’s song about his album collection? Check it out.
    (My first album was Hard Day’s Night. I was eight, and it was the only gift I asked for.

  22. Karen H. Phillips

    S. Scott–I think we were headed the same place with our thoughts!

    Judy–You said eloquently how I feel about reading everyone’s poetry here. Knowing one another’s thoughts creates a special camaraderie. And ditto your applause of Robert’s dedication.

  23. Karen H. Phillips

    Frederick Childe Hassam, American (1859-1935)
    Poppies on the Isle of Shoals, 1890

    The Wonder of Wonders

    Teardrop leaves separate
    the variegation of poppy colors–
    scarlet, salmon, snow–
    so only the observer
    fixated on the magic
    of life
    will also see the flowers’ backdrop,
    rocks outcropped and rugged,
    next to shimmering blue waters,
    reflecting a pale blue sky
    embellished by a single
    white cloud.

    My throat tightens at the scene.
    Can anyone pass such beauty
    and not see with the heart?

    Who strides or jogs through Central Park
    without a glance at a falling leaf
    which catches the sun
    at the right moment
    and flashes like a spark?

    Who opens the door to check the
    pre-work weather and gasps
    at the first snowfall,
    because he might be late?

    Who walks through the Magic Kingdom gates
    the first time
    without the wonder of a child?

    Who picks a daisy from a field,
    because she thinks it’s pretty,
    yet she does not question
    how such a masterpiece
    came to be?

    Who looks at a child,
    and sees only dirty diapers,
    hears only whines,
    counts only the financial
    and emotional cost?

    The only way to live
    is to embrace all it offers
    inhale its fragrance and meaning
    and be grateful
    for the painting
    the leaf
    the snow
    the daisy
    the magical place
    the elfin face.

  24. Judy Roney

    OMG I am so embarrassed. I did not intend to send all my writings on the subject of the Stigma. My poem should end at "we can do something". Geez, I should not try to bake, cook, write poetry AND send it in to Robert’s blog all at the same time. I don’t even want to think about what I might do tomorrow when I’ll have the house full on top of cooking etc.
    I want you all to know that I appreciate your writing so much, you are all artists and Im learning your voice. I feel like I know you already. I am so impressed with everyone and when I start to write a comment I just get befuddled trying to fit everyone in that touched me that day in some way. Please know that your poetry is making a mark in my life and in those that it comes into contact with.
    Peggy, Your blog is great. Your poetry is amazing as we witness here but your photography is incredible. You are a true artist. I am the envious type so I want to send my blog around too. I have two ,my poetry you all are reading (in this draft state that I send) but the other is an every day one.
    Patti – I tried to get on Facebook or the one that you sent that your book is on and I never could figure out how to get on. I’m a techno want-a-be and I fall way short of the mark. I will try to find your book on Amazon now. (head hanging in failure)
    Robert, thank you, thank you, thank you for this forum and your hard work. I appreciate it SO much!

  25. S Scott Whitaker


    And buy a stranger a bag of dog food
    Eat less and bake more for the food shelter.
    When the kids make you want to reach for a rope
    Give them chocolate and hope for a burnout.

    Kiss more. Touch more. There’s plenty of touching
    To be had without a hint of sex. Your skin
    Is there for a reason, let the winter be the season
    You spend more time next to a loved one’s skin.

    Love more, which means sucking it up and taking it.
    Tolerate, and shake hands, and show respect
    Even when your co-worker makes you want to reach for a drink.
    Sing some Lennon-McCartney and kick heels.

    And become accustomed to generating joy
    As if it were something to be spun
    And harvested and used and spun out again.
    Spend less, hug, give to the people mucking about you

    Unplug, turn off the TV, hold your child’s hand, kiss
    Leave wires behind, allow electricity
    To pass through only fleshy channels.
    Turn yourself into yourself and kick back darkness.

  26. S Scott Whitaker


    And buy a stranger a bag of dog food
    Eat less and bake more for the food shelter.
    When the kids make you want to reach for a rope
    Give them chocolate and hope for a burnout.

    Kiss more. Touch more. There’s plenty of touching
    To be had without a hint of sex. Your skin
    Is there for a reason, let the winter be the season
    You spend more time next to a loved one’s skin.

    Love more, which means sucking it up and taking it.
    Tolerate, and shake hands, and show respect
    Even when your co-worker makes you want to reach for a drink.
    Sing some Lennon-McCartney and kick heels.

    And become accustomed to generating joy
    As if it were something to be spun
    And harvested and used and spun out again.
    Spend less, hug, give to the people mucking about you

    Unplug, turn off the TV, hold your child’s hand, kiss
    Leave wires behind, allow electricity
    To pass through only fleshy channels.
    Turn into yourself into yourself and kick back darkness.

  27. Judy Roney

    Take the Stigma Away

    Everyone says be quiet
    don’t mention suicide
    it will encourage others
    we’ll have an epidemic
    on our hands.

    Being quiet, shushing voices
    is a disservice to people who suffer
    the message is that depression is
    weakness, it should be hidden
    people believe it, both those
    who suffer and those who care
    people suffer at least, die at worst.

    Not treating depression is like
    denying diabetic insulin.
    Clinical depression untreated
    is deadly in some cases, in my son’s case.

    I want another chance, but I won’t get it.
    I want to shout to the universe
    this is important, this is vital.

    College students need to know,
    Our high school students need a class.
    The elderly need resources available.
    We could make sure this disease isn’t
    swept under a rug, discounted or dismissed.

    We could be more understanding and helpful.
    It is possible that we could save a life.
    We aren’t God but we can help. I wish
    I could speak to every teenager and say
    this is important, it’s not shameful, it’s a
    disease and it is an epidemic. If we loose
    30,000 people a year to suicide, that is an
    epidemic. If three times that many
    die from suicide but it’s covered up
    or unsubstantiated, that is an epidemic.
    I want to tell the world to take it seriously.
    We can only do so much but if we have the
    facts, we can do something.

    Talking about the epidemic
    of suicide especially in young
    boys age 17 to 24 is important
    Getting the word out that the
    self motivated, hard charging
    man is more susceptible than
    the street person or drug addict

    that the adjustment from college
    to the work place is a vital time
    for people to be in touch with
    their loved ones and know what
    is going on.

    Depression is an insidious disease
    underestimated and seeking help
    especially for men, is stigmatized
    Not receiving help is deadly

    Suicidal people often keep depression
    from their loved ones. I would hope
    you could pick up on signals that we
    didn’t. Everything can be explained
    everything can be justified but
    I wish I had another chance.
    I wouldn’t worry about embarrassing
    or feel out of line, or wrong
    I’d step in and take over if I thought
    they weren’t capable.
    I’d call the police, neighbors, friends
    I’d camp out on his back porch
    I’d save my son If I’d had a clue

    Most suicides don’t leave notes
    most parents and loved ones are in the dark
    most will ask why the rest of their lives

  28. Bruce Niedt

    For the Record

    Unwieldy by today’s standards,
    I still have served my purpose.
    I remember the day I came out,
    my owner raced to the 5&10
    with his allowance money,
    then carried me home on his bike.
    As the needle bobbled in my groove,
    and the opening strains of Sgt. Pepper’s
    unfolded for his ears, he marveled
    at my puzzle of a cover.
    You can’t find good art like that
    any more on a CD or download.

    But now I’m relegated to a milk crate
    in his basement, victim of progress.
    He needs to remember that
    I’ve been around for decades,
    since his parents or grandparents
    used a thicker, faster-turning version.
    I was even important to rap—
    there would’ve been no scratching
    without me. Speaking of scratches,
    I don’t consider them “damage”
    or “defect” – only “character”—
    those pops and clicks make me unique.

    And while I gather mildew with
    hundreds of my colleagues,
    I hear they’re making more of us again –
    new vinyl records for collectors
    and audiophiles who like our “warmer” sound.
    So look out you, the owner upstairs,
    and listen up, all my brothers and sisters
    forgotten in boxes at yard sales,
    thrift shops and storage sheds –
    we’re making a comeback!

  29. Michelle H.

    Our Founding Fathers

    Our Founding Fathers
    took six long years
    to decide on the Bald Eagle
    as our national emblem

    According to a private letter
    from Ben Franklin to his daughter,
    he thought hte Turkey
    would have made a better emblem

    "The Turkey is a respectable bird,
    A true original native", but
    can you imagine Thanksgiving,
    without the Turkey dinner?

    Thank goodness our Founding Fathers too action
    or our Thanksgiving might not be quite to satisfaction;
    A Turkey as our country bird?
    I agree, that would be absurd!

    And what would we have eaten for Thanksgiving?
    A chicken, partridge, pheasant or grouse?
    A grouse is not much bigger than a mouse!

    The Bald Eagle is so majestic
    real and bold
    really quite a sight to behold

    So Thank You Founding Fathers!
    Thank you yet again!
    For giving us a bird
    that is much preferred!

    (Okay, very rough, but I’m away for Thanksgiving and being bugged to come watch a movie by my family! Until tomorrow…)

  30. Jane penland hoover

    S.E.Ingraham – fabulous piece – I remember having a sense of possibilities I hadn’t seen earlier after reading his story – but I did not have the articulation you have given this tonight.

  31. satia

    One More Stand

    It is time to take a stance, even if you can’t stand,
    To demand answers to questions when medical tests
    Turn up negative. Nothing ventured is nothing gained
    With no answers to explain why you can’t stop swaying
    On your own two feet so now now now is the time
    To raise a hand and interrupt the monotone drone
    Of doctor’s diagnosis. Don’t accept the vague reasons
    Meant to assuage your anguish. Instead, stand and
    Demand an answer as to why why why you can’t
    Stand against the lying tide of signals in your head,
    And make the doctor dread the next appointment,
    Force him to find some reason to give you a raison d’être,
    So you can proudly say “This is the cause, yes this”
    Even when you doubt the advice of your hubris,
    For who are you to demand anything from a learned man?
    Instead you sway yourself in doubt, jealously guarding
    That part of you that would weep, bemoan your fate.
    The more you cry “why?” the less you know, holding
    Yourself up to an unbearable standard even your
    Your all knowing physician can’t attain as he explains
    Once again, “The tests are negative. We do not know.”

  32. Steve LaVoie

    Morning, Doctor

    Morning, Doctor.
    First I’ll take my motivation shot,
    Then I think I’ll take my breakfast pill,
    All the nutrients I ever need,
    All in one tasteless, tiny pill!
    Can you believe people used to eat
    Big pancakes and waffles and bowls of
    Cereal for nutrients? Yeah, I know, scary!

    Oh, I almost forgot doc,
    I need more of those happiness patches,
    And we almost forgot, I need some of
    That "love for wife" skin creme.
    Thanks doc.

  33. Paul W.Hankins

    “Local Call”

    If it hadn’t been so urgent,
    the need to press one
    wouldn’t have been overlooked;


    don’t think about these kind of things
    in the dark when you are holding
    in trembling hands, another cold hand
    and a colder receiver—


    any of us really know what to do
    when the shades are drawn?
    no sound from a television or a radio?
    when a November moon is insufficient?
    when the lights go out


    they did that evening?
    This is the call that she made,
    to her own home
    some fifteen miles away
    and it was made


    him, soapy arms full of toddler,
    and he fumbled with the receiver
    just the same as she, trying to,


    sense of what she was saying
    over a line she had to press one to dial,
    a second attempt from a stranger’s phone,
    an ambulance enroute,


    guardian on the way
    led by flashing lights of red and blue
    that would light the house, the hall,
    the room from where she made it

    anybody who can help,
    or just listen: this is what she found,
    and this is what she thought in the dark:


    don’t let this be what I think—
    it is. . .it cannot be this way—
    not tonight—
    so very hard to hang on. . .


    on ,please, Dear God, please
    won’t someone hurry




    to revive her. . .I have tried everything:
    I press. . .and I breathe. . .
    upon her chest and upon the keypad
    into her lungs and into the receiver—
    I dial the numbers


  34. Earl Parsons

    LL&L for Day 26:

    Rise Up

    My children
    So scattered
    So splintered
    So confused
    Why do you hide
    Why do you cower
    Why do you not stand
    As you once stood
    Where is the fight
    That once consumed you

    My children
    No longer united
    In thought
    In deed
    Not even in belief
    Do you not see
    The danger before you
    Do you not hear
    The satanic ranting
    Are you not aware
    Of the persecution
    Of My children
    My church
    My Son
    And Me

    Some of you care
    Some of you stand
    Some of you shout out
    The redemptive message of
    The Truth
    The Way
    And the Life

    Only some of you
    Dare to rise up
    And that saddens Me

    Many sit idly by
    While other hide
    Ashamed of Me
    A shame that will one day
    Come back to haunt you
    Maybe for eternity

    My children
    It’s time to unite
    The end is much closer
    Than you might think
    And many rewards await
    Those who dare rise up
    In My name

    My children
    Rise up

  35. Earl Parsons

    SS for Day 26:

    Use Me

    Six percent
    Eight at the most
    That’s how much of me
    You bother to access
    What a waste

    Just think
    What if you
    Doubled your access
    The possibilities
    Are endless

    Or at least
    An improvement
    Over the status quo
    That exists

    How about
    Twenty percent
    Is that asking too much
    Maybe it is
    For you

    But I guess
    I should be grateful
    That you use as much
    As you manage to

    I forget that you
    Are just a human being
    I should expect
    Too much

    But still
    You should know
    There’s so much more of me
    That you could access
    So use me

  36. patti williams

    The survivor knows
    In the middle of the storm
    To get strong
    Stand taller
    Face the weather with conviction.
    Put the oars back in the water,
    The parka on, get back in the fight
    Until daybreak comes
    And the place can dry out,
    Leaving life whole again.

    Those that can’t wait
    Before morning’s light
    Fade away,
    Drown in indecision.

    But the survivor doesn’t stop
    Trying, fighting, watching
    The ever-changing horizon,
    Hoping for better times,
    Better days, nicer weather
    Which must be up ahead

    Everyone knows a rainbow
    Creeps up after the storm,
    But only the last one standing
    Gets to enjoy it.


    Well, there was only
    One option
    And that was to fight.

    Nothing was as it should be,
    The money gone,
    Their love lost,
    Her conviction tired.

    But that’s when the
    Only option was to
    Fight again.

    Otherwise the whole
    Holy mess
    Was for nothing and
    She couldn’t have that
    Hanging over her head.

    It was time to
    Get to where she needed
    To be, face the demons
    Lurking behind her back
    And live the life
    She was always meant to enjoy.

    Her only option was to fight
    For her future
    Because she had come to know
    Being strong was the only way a
    Dreams would ever come true.

  37. S.E.Ingraham

    Dear Ms Ingraham
    "..I’m so glad that my experience – especially the part regarding the hospital – could have been valuable to you…"
    William Styron

    (A portion of a note received from the Pulitzer Prize winning author in reply to a brief thank-you sent by SEI, regarding Styron’s candid memoir,“Darkness Visible”. Styron details his own battle with depression and suicidal ideation, as well as describing the lives of many other writers and artists coping with the same dark disorder, in this slight volume.)

    To Once Again Behold the Stars

    Were I able to rally the troops
    I’d gather about me those
    In the know, the ones who lived
    Through it but didn’t come out
    Unscathed; their numbers are
    Astounding and of such
    Celebratory status, most today
    I fear, would think I exaggerated
    If not outright lied
    As I filled my auditorium
    With the likes of Byron, Greene
    Camus, Plath and Hemingway
    Woolf, Lowell and Sexton too
    And on and on, too many to list
    And that’s the truth of it
    If you need further proof
    Just visit Wikipedia’s,
    Writers and Suicide Section
    You will find 200 names listed –
    But that’s just the start!
    At the bottom of the page
    There is an arrow pointing
    to the next 200…
    Think of the troops
    I could rally if I included
    all of these within my army

    An army to get the word out
    For I believe, in my heart of hearts
    Most, if not all, would want those left
    Behind – those bewildered, battling day by day
    And night after endless night, to stay alive
    I believe, were that illustrious number assembled
    We would hear them say, at long last,
    Don’t despair, don’t follow us –
    There is no need – trust us when we say
    Life is worth doing whatever it takes
    To right your world, put yourself back on track
    Keep on keeping on, my army would tell you
    They would tell you, I’m sure, the struggle is worthwhile
    And while jokes abound about those dreaded edifices
    Those Loony Bins, the Ha Ha Hiltons, Cuckoo Nests
    And so on – do not make the mistake, as many do
    Of writing them out of your program
    As Styron allowed in his book,
    He should have been inside
    Long before he was, and staying out,
    Almost cost him his life
    I believe that he saved mine by tacitly
    Giving me permission
    To go to one myself, when I read
    "Darkness Visible" and learned
    Of the possibilities,
    Learned that I might not have to die, to live.

  38. Peggy Goetz

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, Jane.
    So, here are my attempts for today.

    The land has echoed
    with calls for change
    these campaign months
    even the opposition called
    for change. Perhaps it
    is the gift of letting things
    get very bad, this willingness
    this urgency for change.
    Already there is a new
    feeling vibrating, but the
    true test is yet to come.
    Can we embrace the risk
    that is real change. Perhaps
    if things feel bad enough.

    Stop, she cried
    I can’t go this way
    I don’t know this path
    Let me turn around
    But even going back
    the view was new
    seen from a different
    angle, and she sank
    to her knees sobbing
    and even there through
    tears the world looked
    different. So, to hell
    with it she said, onward.

  39. PSC in CT

    No time to read earlier days, but this one’s still short, so a few quick comments I can handle:

    Ronda E – A beautiful poem! So very well crafted: "chose instead to sleep on loving you" — what an excellent way to say this!

    Nancy P – Loved Digital Divide! So very true. Well done!

    Taylor G – Nice job tying your theme to today’s assignment.

    Jane – Love this one! You captured the fears, uncertainties and frustrations very poetically.

  40. Rachel Green

    Fate Attraction

    Fourteen nights without sleep –
    her eyes are dark and heavy.
    An essay that has made her weep
    extracted fearsome levy
    Too many night-time creatures haunt
    this mansion in the wood
    for as she rubs at tear-red eyes
    she fears nothing good
    will happen in this cursed ward
    ‘til Fate takes her in hand
    and lets her loose with bloody sword
    on legions of the damned.

  41. Peggy Goetz

    Wow Jane…that is really a testament. And I forgot to say earlier, Michelle, I loved your rebel appliances. And Sara, yes, someone knew. Lots of other comments too but can’t seem to coordinate them here very well.

    I finally decided to take a chance here and share my poetry blog, which really got going with April’s challenge. I try to post a poem a day as well as a photo. I have many photos I have taken over the years that I really like so this seemed a fun thing. They are not necessarily related to the poem of that day but sometimes they are. LOL

    So here is the url:

    I can’t quite figure how to drag a link over so try this and please leave a comment! I see my blog as a kind of living book of poetry. I am sure it gets as much reading as any book of poetry I might publish and best of all, it’s free. I find I really enjoy doing it.


  42. Jane penland hoover


    I stayed
    never thought to leave
    in the early years
    after illness changed
    who drove, who rode.

    I stayed
    couldn’t guess his meanings,
    he couldn’t tell me more
    and neither of us dared
    to let the terror show.

    I stayed
    decided not to leave
    so many years lived between
    intensity and emptiness,
    load-bearing disparities.

    I stayed
    acclimated to
    fragile fulcrum sway,
    inquiries unanswered, suspended
    spacious silent shift.

    To own my life,
    I stayed.

  43. Nancy Posey

    Call to Action

    Despite comparative might, too few
    choose the pen over the sword, but
    we, we happy few, we band of poets
    charge straight ahead into the breach,
    poised at keyboards or hefting our
    felt-tipped fine points and yellow legal pads,
    we have something to do, something
    to say. We can, we will change the
    world. After all, the Word was here
    in the beginning. No one can take
    our words away. As long as people
    read and write—not can, but do—
    the power, the might lies in our hands.

    Nancy Posey

  44. Lori

    Personal Army

    We are your spies
    Hearing, seeing, sensing
    Warning you of danger
    Directing your decisions

    We are your supply chain
    Packaging, sending, receiving
    Providing you with all you need
    Taking away what you don’t.

    We are your defense
    Protectors, soldiers, guards
    Waiting to fight your enemies,
    To reject the imposters.

    We show you life
    Maintain your life
    Defend your life
    But we don’t give you life.
    Remember Who does.
    And remember us.

  45. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    A Call

    I do not weep from hopelessness
    I am not crying from grief
    I sit before you here right now
    Because I have a beef

    I’m upset due to ignorance
    I’m puzzled by their hate
    I cannot shake my feeling now
    This feeling does not abate

    So in order to express myself
    And to really show them
    I chose to sit down on my butt
    And write down this here poem.

    Wake up all you foolish ones
    Let’s make life so much better
    Let’s do it through all thought channels
    And action and through letter

    Who can say what will pass
    Who determines what’s in store?
    All I can say to you right now
    Is that we can do much more.

    So get up now and do your duty
    Toward life’s great satisfaction
    And make this world a better place
    This is your call to action!!!

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  46. Nancy Posey

    Digital Divide

    The trouble with using pop culture
    to teach the classics is that pop
    culture won’t hold still. In my day,
    the coolest professors compared
    Beatrice and Benedick to Sam and Diane,
    but if I mentioned that, my own students
    would ask, “Who?” Instead
    of connecting the classics and M*A*S*H*,
    I must realize that M*A*S*H* is the classic
    now. And even now, as professors
    try to look hip, teaching with
    rapper Immortal Technique, students
    are texting each other: “imortl
    tknqs over. Prof nos him” How can I
    hope to keep up? This week is he
    Puff Daddy or P. Diddy? No wonder
    The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
    (TAFKAP to a few thousand of his
    closest friends) keeps renaming himself.
    Now I hear that “email is for old people”
    and every seventh grader’s phone
    has a better camera that my Nikon,
    I know that I may never be a digital native,
    but if I’m going to be a digital immigrant,
    I’d better start paddling faster. I’m not
    hearing banjos. I’m hearing hip hop.

    Nancy Posey

  47. Sara McNulty

    Evil ruled Germany
    but no one knew

    Master race creation
    but no one knew

    Barbed wire strung
    but no one knew

    Bodies burned
    but no one knew

    Six million slaughtered
    but no one knew

    Somewhere amidst the
    same red blood,
    blackened flesh
    screams of tortured
    human beings,

    someone knew.

  48. Connie

    Wish List

    Your making your list checking it twice
    Whether your kids are naughty or nice
    With the budget tight you don’t want to go wrong
    But their wish lists are expensive, confusing and long

    iPODs, computers, gadgets and gizmos,
    Hannah Montana, and all kinds of heroes,
    Blue Ray, Game Systems, DDR matt,
    Cell phones with text so they can chat

    Envision family time one Christmas night
    Polished floor glowing in warm fire light
    Dad sets up dominoes from end to end
    Knocks them down and does it again

    Soon Brother joins in with the fun
    Learning to make two chains from the one
    And how to turn them from here to there
    And even to go up and down the stairs

    Sister has an idea with handles and levers
    They have to agree that this is most clever
    And then to the delight of them all
    Mom comes in for the tip and to watch them all fall

    Friends come over who begin to guess
    Which will fall over and which will miss
    They create memories, bonding takes place
    With laughter and giggles, and smiles on each face

    When the stones tip over
    The shouting and clapping
    The whistles the stomping
    And general back-slapping!

    The kids learn creativity and cooperation,
    Focus, patience, and concentration
    They gain confidence and how to show it
    All this and more and they don’t even know it

    So when it’s time when the gift paper rips
    May they open stones, not just black with white pips
    But in twenty-four colors, to build rows upon rows
    A Christmas of cheer and bright dominoes

  49. Monica Martin

    We are running out of money.
    We must take on the dreaded
    task of working two jobs.
    It will be tough – we will
    be tired, stressed, and we
    will suffer. If we want
    this bad enough, we can
    make it work. We have
    to push through the pain
    and exhaustion and fear
    of losing each other. We
    must be strong, work
    hard, and persevere.

  50. LKHarris-Kolp

    Protecting Herself

    A distance apart
    is how she stayed
    away from people she knew.

    By doing that
    she protected herself
    from hurt or feeling blue.

    Her mother and father
    had always fought
    leaving her feeling confused.

    So she stuffed all love
    she felt with food
    which comforted the abuse.

    The men in her life
    she kept at bay
    with excuses to push them away.

    Then she cried at night
    for wanting more-
    a game she continued to play.

    Sadly enough she
    was never aware
    of this pattern that she had.

    Always the victim
    she was perceived to be
    her life forever bad.

    Then one autumn day
    when she’d had enough
    a counselor she did see.

    A chance to find help
    and learn who she really was
    so love she could find finally.

    Laurie K.

  51. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,

    Stir yourself, Mon Brave!
    For the holidays are here and we
    have much to be thankful for. I
    have unceremoniously tossed that
    sorry-assed Greek SOB into the street,
    Braves jacket and all! Those unruly
    women-folk of yours have done the
    decent thing and consented to provide
    us with a feast fit for kings. Even your
    cousin is gonna help out. We will eat
    turkey ‘til we burst and then eat some
    more. Best of all (I knew I had cable
    for a reason!) there is a three hour Yankees
    Special on the box later. We can gloat in
    former glories ‘til we are too drunk to cheer.
    Oh! And no! I do not feel bad about sending
    Jimmy the Greek back to his worthless Mama’s
    for Thanksgiving. I’m just thankful that he has
    gone. Tonight we start as we mean to go on, so
    prepare yourself. Pickya up at seven.

    Yours grateful for small mercies

    Ringo the Howler

  52. Don Swearingen

    I enter the hospital from the cold early light
    That shows the Eastern sky increasingly blue.
    The test is to see whether my lungs might
    Work the way that they’re supposed to.
    The corridors are lit way too brightly,
    And the floor is polished way too shiny,
    Likely made that way with machines that nightly
    Prowl the hall for every tiny
    Speck of contamination. That’s dirt.
    The young lady who sees me tells me to breathe
    This way and that, too busy to flirt,
    Wanting me to bequeath
    The air in my chest to her machines
    So they can find out what it all (yippee) means!

  53. Taylor Graham

    72 HOURS LOST,

    it’s raining again, wet-chill, wind-chill.
    Hypothermia weather.
    Someplace on this topo map is a kid
    in summer clothes, no wilderness survival skills.
    Where would he go? We’ve got no clues,
    no more to go on
    than Day 1 of this search.
    Back to where we started. Point-Last-Seen –
    the pond. Go there yourself.
    Stand on the spot. Look around. Now
    imagine you’re a five-year-old.
    Start walking.

  54. Ronda Eller

    Hi Rachel, thanks… sometimes writing from the heart’s core is difficult and needs to be written and then revisited once the brewing is done. ;-)

    I like the way the visual for "dragging" in your poem… slows the reader down just enough to feel its essence without disrupting the flow. :-) Well done.


  55. Ronda Eller

    kk, before I get too far behind Robert’s daily prompts, here is my blues poem (actually written in 2005, dug out of the archives and reworked now that the grieving is over). Ronda


    In youth we laughed,
    drank morning’s birth from night
    inebriated by the spirit
    that brought us together,
    then drove us apart.

    I matured beyond party days,
    was sorry you didn’t join me
    my husband, lover, friend
    that others called ‘Coolhand’.

    Now, thirteen years
    since we went separate ways
    I find I’m standing on the mark
    and there …

    your widow cries

    over dreams that didn’t materialize
    tho we retained friendship
    and embossed it with
    agonizing reminders
    of a solemn vow made.

    Releasing them
    is so much to bear
    for this heart that,
    for so long,
    held hope

    in the flickering light
    that might bring change again;
    might someday return us
    to youthful pleasures.

    Now snuffed—
    your departure
    into nether realms
    leaves my world a little darker
    because I never really awoke
    but chose instead

    to sleep
    on loving you.

    Ronda Eller
    19 Aug 2005

  56. Rachel

    Get Behind Me

    This is war!
    plain and simple
    and my opponent thinks he has me defeated
    because I am dragging through the mud
    bones broken and badly bleeding
    slipping, falling into mines
    that batter
    bruise and
    beat me
    until seemingly…
    I can’t go on.
    Yet he gapes in furious wonder
    at every arduous step
    one foot
    in front of
    the another
    PUSHING on
    -through- the mud
    -against- the assailant’s arrows
    -beyond- the impossible terrain
    DRIVEN from within
    by the Unstoppable Force
    the Spirit of the Great Conqueror
    to certain victory
    so get behind me satan.

  57. Iain D. Kemp

    Hmmmm… I wrote this while waiting for the prompt in the hope it would fit one of the final days…. It maybe doesn’t quite go with todays,Its more about inaction than action but as its done… well might as well share it…

    Cats, Poetry & Death #29

    Afternoon Observations

    The skies are grey-blue
    with white flashes where the
    sun’s late lazy rays break the clouds.
    The sea a dark foreboding grey
    rolls gently under the light breeze

    The Cats, (Charlie and Pickle)
    are in the watching place.
    They sit silently on the dresser
    and eye the Red Kites
    wheeling and swooping
    across the skies,
    teasingly out of reach.

    A strange feline enters
    their domain. A neighbour Cat,
    audacious enough to stroll
    with an arrogant nonchalance
    across their garden.
    Both duck down and take up
    a spying-hunting pose
    meowing gruffly ‘til the stranger
    goes on his way

    Late afternoon, the fire needs lighting;
    errands still to be run.
    There is a strange peace
    over the town.
    The golf course empty and cold looking;
    that strange neutral green
    that comes only when the sun is hiding.

    It’s snowing on the hills
    and my blood runs hot at the prospect
    of the freshly covered pistes.
    But for now I am content to do
    as the Cats do
    and watch the Kites.
    Hunting, playing in the air
    and for certain bringing a chilling end
    to any small furry creature fool enough
    to enter their sights.

    Drinking coffee, watching the Cats
    watching the hawks.
    Thinking of writing
    and later writing of thinking…
    Afternoons are always so much
    more peaceful than mornings
    with their hectic starts and agendas
    to be filled.
    So we sit, still watching…