Editors Blog

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

We’re almost there. Time to crack our knuckles, roll up our sleeves, loosen our ties and get to work. What am I talking about? Today (at least in the U.S.) is Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to watch parades, graze the veggie trays, loosen our belts, and fall asleep–after writing your poem for today, of course. Oh yeah, it’s on.


For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem that could be the climax of your collection. This is the take-no-prisoners poem you’ve been working toward all month. You get to decide how you’re going to approach this poem, but keep it focused on your theme–and make it climactic.


Imagine that if people read the poem you’re about to write that their faces would melt off from the brilliance of it–and that they’ll all get together (at least the ones who are still alive) and sing praises to your poetic brilliance. No pressure.


Here’s my attempt for the day:


“Witching Hour”


She hears him breathing,
but she can’t see anything–
just darkness. Her skin shivers
beneath the autumn breeze,
no moon. She hears him
breathing and moving around
as if he knows where he’s headed,
and maybe he does she thinks.


She grips the knife in her hand
tighter, thinks about how she
will do it, how she will stab him,
which direction she’ll run to get
away. She hears him breahing
and moving closer; she feels
as if she reached out that
she could touch or cut him.


She hears him breathing before
she hears him leaving.


 

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56 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

  1. Juanita Snyder

    Thanksgiving 2008
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Though I was glad to have been invited to
    spend the Holidays with my sister’s new family,
    there was still a deep sadness within at watching
    new relations eat off dishes that my deceased Mama
    once fussed over and lovingly washed by hand,
    lest the golden ring on the outer edge get scarred
    or worse yet, heaven forbid, carelessly chipped!
    When they passed around the large white
    Gravy boat, I nearly burst into tears,
    recalling the time when some old friends
    of my parents whom they hadn’t seen in
    years had paid a surprise visit one cold
    wintery Christmas and nearly emptied the
    entire contents of one said gravy boat onto
    their third helping of Turkey and stuffing.
    Dad later returned the favor by attempting
    to pull their white compact car across our
    rising creekwaters with his Allis Chalmers
    farm tractor, sinking both mid-way, it’s
    exhaust pipe sticking proudly out of the
    water like the periscope on a submarine.
    If it weren’t for the heavy logging chain
    anchoring the subcompact to the tractor,
    it would have surely turned on it’s side
    like an empty gravy boat and simply
    drifted away on the rude, quickening
    currents.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Peggy Goetz

    OK Robert this one really threw me. I do see how others handled the idea of a climax poem but I just did not feel my topic (change) was building to anything. Now I see that was something I should have perhaps been thinking about all along–building to something. Oh well. Working with a theme has really been good for me–though I probably do not show it in the work itself I have learned a lot from it.

    So here is my poem for the day. I hope my family will not be offended though I think most will understand what I am getting at.

    Some Things Never Really Change

    My family’s weirdness
    is weirder than yours,
    or perhaps it’s your family’s
    odd is odder than mine,
    but everyone’s a little
    bit odder than me,
    in fact I think I’m
    the only normal
    person I ever met, but
    the responsibility is
    enough to make me
    the oddest yet.

  3. Monica Martin

    Today is the day
    we finally move in.
    We’ve saved up our money
    and signed dotted lines.
    We’ve picked out our colors
    and bought the furniture.
    It’s time for the first day
    of the rest of out lives.

  4. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    HELP

    What is help but the lifeblood we share?
    Selfless and wanton for times when we care.
    When do we give this gift of ourselves?
    Can we give any time, or does it sit on the shelves
    Waiting so patient for that magic moment
    Stirring and yearning itself into foment.
    But when is it needed?
    And when have you heeded
    The angst in their heart
    That rips you apart?
    Will you help when they fight?
    Or will you stay out of sight?
    Will you help when their knife
    Is held to strike out your life?
    For that’s when they most need you,
    And need you so dear,
    They hurt and they suffer
    And wish you’d just hear
    That this is a cry – for help I am sure
    Listen with your heart for it comes pure.
    The torment they feel which you help unlock
    By being there willing to just sit there and talk
    And getting to know them and hearing them out
    Soon they discover there’s no reason to shout.
    They see you more clearly and quiver and sway,
    With newfound life force that brightens their day.
    Who are you, you stranger?
    You life rearranger
    Who walks in my life
    Then off with my strife!
    Where did it go, and why do I feel
    Overwhelmingly happy like my heart did just heal?
    How do I repay you? What is there to do?
    Just go help a stranger, it’s the least you can do.

    ~ Vanessa O’Dwyer, 2008

  5. k weber

    strange

    the guitar
    jangles
    while a bird
    mocks
    the cage
    and all of this
    nonsense
    of the senses
    you narrate
    tone-deaf
    and large-
    hearted

    laughter
    spasms the bar
    or the bus
    or your run
    and break
    your hilarious
    ankle
    and it’s all
    there, well-
    documented
    in photographs

    who’s the muse
    this month
    or the festival
    drunks
    that leave
    you writing
    down mixed
    up phrases

    your hair
    smiles
    and the sugar
    in your blood
    goes
    the distance
    to leave
    the masses
    roaring
    and rolling
    relentless

  6. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    "No!" she pleads
    Her eyes wide
    With terror
    As the shining metal
    Mirrors in her tears

    Her murderer
    Smiles cruelly
    And whistles
    Dementedly

    The axe swings
    And she screams
    As her limb falls
    To the ground

    Dragging her corpse
    To be dissected
    Brutally
    Hacked to pieces

    Then it storms
    The sky blackens
    And then it swarms
    The apocolypse is nigh

    It breathes righteousness
    The attacker quivers
    As the devils line
    Their needles to darn
    His soul to the earth

    Screaming forward
    The attacker falls
    To his knees
    Holes seep his blood
    And regenerates
    The body of Gaia
    He raped and pillaged

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