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.


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