November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

Okay, this prompt may be a little out there, but it’s inspired by a few albums I’ve listened to (and loved) over the years. They’ll have kind of a foreshadowing or refrain piece that shares a snippet of a song to come later on the album. And I want you to write a foreshadowing piece for a poem that you will fully compose later this month (Day 20, to be precise).

This piece should be short, sweet, and hint at some bigger picture that ties into your theme and the poem that you’ll be writing on Day 20. You should think of it almost as a puzzle piece that doesn’t become 100% clear until the accompanying poem is read later on in the collection.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“I am the man”

Leave the door unlocked,
curtains open, and power on.

Only have a landline;
investigate that noise.

When you scream out…

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87 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

  1. Lynne

    It’s getting closer
    I feel it breathing on my neck
    dank putrid stink fills my
    nostrils and I hold my breath
    lest it go any further and
    permeate my very core

    must keep it out before……

  2. S Scott Whitaker

    11/5/08 CNN Projects Obama for President- 11:00 PM

    Because Obama has won today
    one must force change

    which translates into:

    cut out junk food, car pool, save, avoid the drive through, invest wisely, volunteer, turn off the TV, read more poetry, read more books. Tell jokes.
    If your hair is white
    dye it blue. If it is blue dye
    it pink. If you drink
    too much, learn to like yoga, or poetry,
    or painting, or buying art to caress all your days.

    If you hate your body image, change it
    and wear the gowns and disguises you admire,
    they are no more different than boiled bones,
    arrowheads, gold chains, black Wall Street suits.

    Because Obama won today
    chew patience, for long years
    of slow work are paved only one city block at a time.
    How long did it take to build the Parthenon?

    Because Obama won today
    keep it real. Because
    Obama won
    allow yourself
    to open up
    like the country once was.
    Not the geography,
    but the spirit.

    Because Obama won today eat color,
    lean your life, give your heart away.

    Change your life.

    Note to reader:
    I’m pretty sure this is the day I missed early on, and I think I posted this on day four or five because I didn’t see my post–i’ve had trouble a few times with posting, probably my clumsy fingers. Anyway this is the poem to build around for day 20, which is why I’m posting it now.

  3. Kathy Kehrli

    III. Cardiac Telepathy

    Perhaps hindsight is psychic
    But something just seemed a little off—
    The way he interrupted me
    In the middle of my workday
    Then left my office door ajar;
    The way he vexatiously heaved
    In between touchtone numerical beats;
    The way he left a message:
    “I need to talk to you; call me back.”
    So by the time he called out my name,
    Most of me already knew.

  4. Taylor Graham


    In the garage, every kind of pesticide.
    Fly-papers, roach traps.
    A faded clipping warns
    of rattlesnakes. Inside a cabinet,
    what to do
    in case of heart attack.
    The gatepost placard: Protected
    By Positive Alarm.
    Who used to live here
    lived in fear.

  5. Miguel de Matos

    Hey, I also need to catch up! Here is a small poem. I couldn’t think of a catch phrase and as you said, Robert, what matters is having 30 poems by the end of the month. Here we go again:
    "Warm reflections"

    I spent the morning tonight at sea,
    Out on the fisherman’s bay.
    It’s a dangerous bay, they say,
    But I will not be led astray
    By their comment.
    Nay, not this joyful morning.
    The sun shines merrily
    Painting of a white yellow
    The grey sea. The brown rocks
    Are sprayed with the incessant
    Breaking of waves.

  6. Billy Angel

    Any Lane

    Some say you can’t
    go home without

    forgiveness and right
    directions. I turn up

    any lane where red
    hollyhocks grow

    beside a shed,
    a dog wags its tail.

  7. Karen H. Phillips

    For what I have in mind, the foreshadowing poem may not work for me. Hey, at least I’m catching up!

    The Port, Trouville, 1886
    Eugene Boudin, French, 1824-98

    Harbor as Home

    Soft angularity of sailboats in the harbor,
    beneath a mottled pink, lavender, mauve, and blue
    cloud-dotted sky.
    Is a storm coming,
    or are the clouds merely passing through?
    Provincial buildings, looking like chateaus,
    impose on the small gentle-walled harbor.
    Their gray roofs and creamy yellow walls
    appear as aged stucco.
    Shallow water laps in,
    while deeper water fades into a pale aquamarine.
    In the distance a steeple peeps out of trees.
    The secret longing of man and woman—
    to dwell in the peace
    of this scene.

  8. PSC in CT

    Hmmm . . . I thought I’d already posted this one, but can’t find it here. (Maybe I put it in another day’s comments, and will find it later??) Anyway, like Satia, I struggled with foreshadowing something I haven’t written yet, and also decided to produce 2 possible directions. So, here (again?) are my PAD – Day 3 entries: “Foreshadowing Refrain”

    ENTRY #1:


    Silent, still, somnolent
    Beneath soil and warming sun
    Waking, germinating,
    breaking free –
    Like chick from eggshell,
    Butterfly from cocoon –
    To Become . . .

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    OR MAYBE a different approach is required here? (Although, I’m not sure I’ll be able to write poem #20, if I go this route, so I reserve the right to drop back and punt!)

    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    ENTRY #2:

    Course Title: Philosophy of Economics 101

    Model: Supply and Demand

    Commodity: Time

    Goal: Equilibrium

    Assignment: Read chapter 20

    Any questions?

  9. Euphrates

    Coyote Crossings

    I know you, Ol’ Coyote
    You threw the stone that caught my ear
    And sent me down the path I chose,
    Apart from the flock, out of the fields,
    Looking for answers and chasing rainbows.
    You were there providing respite
    Through one cataclysm after another
    Arms to hold me through one ending,
    And the beginning of another,
    And finally standing over my broken form
    To shelter and protect, and against all odds,
    You chose to stay.
    And though yet wild, and free to choose
    (for who would want to tame you?)
    You bring me Home, my miracle,
    The answer in the adventure.

    Yet last night, out of the darkness
    In four-footed form you appeared
    And bolted right across my path
    Disappearing into the wood beyond.

    What are you up to, Ol’ Coyote?
    Is this a new trick up your sleeve?
    Or just confirmation I’m where I’m supposed to be?

  10. Van

    Hi Robert, I can’t remember whether I’ve commented on your blog before. I’ve been an occasional reader, but the prospect of a daily prompt this month has been bringing me back. This is an exciting challenge.

    One thing I learned from doing NaNoWriMo a couple of times was to be flexible. I set myself daily writing goals, but if I couldn’t make them for one reason or another, there was always enough opportunity to catch up. Well, my schedule has been a been disrupted the past week, and I have only managed to work on poetry twice, so my goal is to write two poems a day until I catch up. Maybe this is cheating, maybe not. I guess the real goal is to write about 30 poems by the end of the month.

    I’m not posting them here because for now I feel a need to keep the writing private, but I want to express appreciation for your work.

  11. Iris Deurmyer


    You escaped and I know not how
    It seems you disappeared while I was looking
    I was staring intently at you
    Then I realized you were no longer visible
    Surely you are still present
    I feel a strangeness in my bones
    My skin quivers at your nearness
    Etheral and temporal entertwine
    You have me mesmerized and waiting

  12. Miguel de Matos

    For Miguel de Matos’ chapbook ‘Morning pleasures’ (<- Working title), Poem 3 and once more, apologies for the late poem:
    ‘The Start’

    Today’s the start,
    of a brand new day.
    Morning rays shine,
    reflect and refract
    past the flashing
    wall of the window glass.

  13. Kateri Woody

    A twitching lip hides
    behind caked on makeup,
    a gleeful grin imposed
    over true emotion.

    Emptiness isn’t abated
    just built over
    in the heart of hearts
    which is blackest.

  14. Terri Vega

    K…here’s mine. I’m calling it

    The Garden

    Outlines of formal paths
    classic medicine

    Zen peaceful retreat
    breath and passage

    Aromatherapy soothing sanctuary
    dried petals flowering

    Sacred places
    inside the house

  15. patti williams

    Robert – I agree with Peggy, Earl and Iain … the mid afternoon prompt is hard to work with unless I just always consider myself a day behind. when it hits as the school bus pulls up, that makes it hard to think … because then it’s homework, sports carpool, and dinner and all that.

  16. A.M. Sebo

    Just a few questions. Do we have to post our poems here if we want to enter the possible chapbook contest? And is it OK to post your poems here if you don’t enter or win the chapbook contest and you want to submit the poems elsewhere? I am asking because I know some pubs do not want previously published work and I am curious to know whether posting to the forum means your work is previously published. I would enjoy to share my poems, I just am being careful first before I commit. This seems like a fun community to join.

  17. Dave Gorgone

    I am working on a group of poems that intersect work, free time, unemployment and faith. They are pseudo-ghazals in that the stanzas are autonumous who make parts of the whole. I am working on two more for the next few days and will post again soon.

    "A Brief History Of Labor"
    In a day there was the earth,
    the work of hands.

    The brigh vision, seeing land
    and sea separate,

    all creatures in them,
    the first bleating psalm.

    In a day, the second labor,
    the pains and cries, the work of hands

    building a tabernacle to live
    and be in the presence.

    Or a place to remember
    the work of hands and rest for a day.

    "2 AM"
    – For Ken & Chris

    Again we offered our time
    for better things, a sacrifice
    of words’ good music.

    The late evening chill
    we huddle close to the prayers
    burning in the wood stove.

    The hickory insense crackles,
    mutters our hopes
    and shouts our faith.

    If we were to stop speaking
    we know someone will continue for us
    as the fragrance floats to heaven.

    I am grateful for our worship
    in the holy church of your backyard.
    The lamps strung in the tree are my witness.

  18. Shann Palmer


    The Ayala Sisters
    twirl by their ponytails
    in the center ring,
    pain for smiles, they say

    some sign of care is needed
    to live, even baby monkeys
    fail to thrive in solitude.

    Hair grows or vanishes in spite
    of intentions, conditioners,
    comb-overs, a desperate act,
    all hope suspended.

    Waiting for you
    to fall, I will cut my hair,
    hang no more.

  19. satia

    You can try putting in ellipses and predicating your post with a comment like "Because html is not allowed, the ellipses are ‘space holders’," I’ve seen poets who have done this and readers understand that the ellipses are to be presumed invisible under the circumstances.

    I may be the lone voice in the wilderness but I appreciate how much you are doing already. If you post late in the day and I am ready for bed before a poem emerges, I have no problem posting a response the next day. I assume I have 24 hrs from when you post the prompt. If I’m mistaken in that assumption I guess I am cheating a bit. Either way, thank you for organizing all of this. I am truly enjoying this second PAD challenge. Possibly even more than I enjoyed the other.

  20. Iain D. Kemp

    Michelle – thanks so much. I’m enjoying myself and enjoying everyone elses poems too, too many goodies to list…

    Jolanta – I’ve tried posting in a shape a hu ndred times and it just don’t work. I type the Mooseheads all indented like a letter and the come out straight… reckon there’s nuffin’ we can do.

    Robert _ I too would appreciate the prompt being posted a bit earlier as its late afternoon (in Spain) at best when I see it and the last couple of days I been really pushed for time at night.


  21. LKHarris-Kolp

    Great poems everyone- I’m enjoying reading them.
    I feel like a child every morning peeking time and time again to see if Santa Claus came, then quietly walking back to my room, disappointment on my face.

    Laurie K.

  22. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Darn it the last two lines of back and home should be like steps down, not one under each other! I put the spaces in using spacebar… is there another way that works so I can get the structure of the poem I want? Help please!
    BTW somme excellent poetry!!! I think we’ve out done ourselves this time!

  23. kate

    I’m not quite sure how this is going to work but here goes.


    A tiny clockwork toy
    wound down for good.

    Sometime earlier it had been
    creeping in the bushes

    a drunken flight
    ended in the pool

    a shiny aqua treasure
    he put on the step and prodded.

  24. Don Swearingen

    The eastern sky is salmon pink but the clouds above me
    Are dirty smudges, smearing the brightening sky.
    I start with exercise and a shower, then coffee
    Perked while I fired up the skillet made to fry
    Some sausage and an eggs my daily dose
    Of cholesterol and fat and carb-filled
    Toast sweetened with high sucrose
    Jam, and I’ve got the laundry yet to fold
    And mop the floor before it comes alive
    To rise up and take me in a hold
    Of death. After which I dive
    Into something else to do
    Before I might remember you.

  25. debra joseph

    I wrote that piece
    he stole
    and sang it at his show

    what do I do now
    for I can think no more

    the show is due I 20 days
    and am left with 19 days only
    to write again for the show.

  26. Amanda

    I remember the days gone past
    When she was all I saw
    In my dreams
    In my reality

    Though she is dead and gone
    In the ground
    I can’t seem to find her now

    I read her poems over and over
    To find a semblance of sanity
    To feel her one more time

  27. S.E.Ingraham

    She couldn’t quite follow the theme of that
    For one whole dark night, she stood at the window
    Staring into the cheerless black, wondering where she’d left it

  28. S.E.Ingraham

    Patti Williams – thank you so much for the encouragement – the night went very well; there is nothing like a room full or poets hanging off your every word to make you feel validated and like getting back at it! Even so, the ego is so fragile, your pat on my head was soooo needed, so bless you. Sharon I.

  29. Kate Berne Miller

    I Say No

    The phone rings
    it is you…asking again
    I remember the last time
    how it felt-what I knew
    afterwards…about the skip
    and stutter of an old LP
    the echos of the old song
    repeating. I say No
    the word a hard rock
    coughed out reluctantly,
    salted with tears, guilt,
    and a touch
    of pride. I

  30. Sheryl Kay Oder

    The Dance

    The dance of the moments is not always in rhythm.
    Step, one, two, five, oops.

    Listening to the Lord’s song while others noises
    screech in my ear makes me dizzy at times.

    There are so many steps to learn and so
    many songs to sing–

    more likely many songs I need to ignore,
    not following their erratic tune at all.

  31. Victoria Hendricks

    Before Opening

    I sit in the car with all doors shut,
    hold myself together, coat collar up,
    I chant, circle words like wagons,
    fence myself in, breath by breath.
    Knock on window shakes conscious
    mind awake. What opening awaits?

  32. Michelle H.

    Wow! What wonderful posting over the last three days! I’ve enjoyed all your poems! I do have to mention that Iain, I am loving your Cats, Poetry and Death poems!! Heather, your lesson poems are a really neat format – I am enjoying them as well, but ouch, I feel for you. There truly are too many great poems to be able to mention you all here, but I am sooo looking forward to seeing where this month takes us!! Thanks everyone, it is such an honor to be in such good company again! Michelle

  33. Jane penland hoover

    Quiet Rite

    When I am alone and the outer world gone quiet

    words whisper in my head, words formed
    somewhere in my chest along the path of

    breath drawing in and pushing out.
    Write, write,
    there is something you must say.

    Here there is no stopping to discuss or fight or take
    direction from some worried voice warning me away.

    In this space beyond the reach of shadow, I am the writer.

  34. Callan


    Just as I
    can’t build all my lines
    with perfect
    ten-syllable spines,
    I can’t decide
    how far from here
    I would like
    to be in a year.

    No longer as free
    to leave behind
    what I know
    and have in mind,
    I find I’m rooted here in ways
    I’ll explain in seventeen days…

  35. Paul W.Hankins


    Of course it would be pine,
    they have always been made
    in just this way:
    timber felled for just this purpose,
    to be hewn – carved and varnished
    and lined with silken pleats.

    Before the felling,
    every tree has a dream
    of sinking its roots
    deeper into the soil,
    to be carried to a place
    where the planting is revered
    to hear the revered hush of men
    before the dirt settles
    and the hole is filled.

    Somewhere in Pikeville,
    a tree stands on a hillside,
    forecasting the call
    that is yet to come;
    another chance to be
    born again – replanted.

  36. Spidey

    dunno where this is headed either but ok, am game….spidey

    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    we came upon a tree fort hidden deep in the forest,
    a sanctuary just out of reach from the sun
    rickety ladder, ashen with bits of lichen the color of bone
    all spiraling overtop an otherwise quiet bend in the river.

  37. jared david

    robert- i love the prompt. i have some near and dear albums that do the same, although i doubt many of them overlap


    Close your eyes,
    Look ahead, into the future,
    Now tell me,
    What do you feel?

    as many poems as i’ve left unfinished, doing it intentionally gave me some trouble

  38. k weber

    Press Continue

    on our friendship, years
    of wind and piano

    The alley, unbroken
    but always a Polaroid

    The city: a smell
    trapped in our clothes

    When you are old
    you’ll need suspenders

    When you are you
    it makes me laugh
    in a language I don’t know

    And I don’t understand
    how we keep coming back
    to the beginning

    I want to relive
    all the good parts

    Choose our own adventure,
    this time much better

    You are the happiest
    robot, the grumpiest

    You’d probably build
    me a time machine

    You’d probably reboot
    my circuits; then smother
    me in hugs

    I want to squeeze
    your bitter beard face

    and choke all that glitter
    out of you

  39. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    What They Say

    They say he’s not an equal,
    Is not free and cannot think
    They say she cannot play with them
    And that she is a freak
    You need to know you are to die
    Because you are so different
    I own you now so do my tasks
    Or feel my harsh judgment.
    Who can say that this is so?
    Who is this unjust person?
    And what can I do personally
    Before conditions worsen?

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  40. jared david

    mary k- do you befriend a lot of people on doomed buses and subway cars, and then get off one station before the wreck? just the image in my mind. might be way off, but i like it (you’re poem).

  41. Earl Parsons

    I’m with Peggy. Earlier in the day would work well with me because I think better in the morning, and if I’m busy, I’ll have the day to process what I want to write.

    Or, Robert, you could do like I do when I’m sending out daily devotions; you can send the next day’s out the night before. Again, just as in Peggy’s note, just a suggestion.

  42. Peggy Goetz

    The Silver Comb

    I comb the moments
    silver, antique
    the weeks, the years
    to find the beginning
    the first missed stitch
    first stumble when I might
    have picked it all up
    and turned another
    way instead.

    Nov. 3, 2008

    I know this is your thing Robert and I am enjoying the challenge of it all, but it would be nice if you posted your new prompts earlier in the day. Just a suggestion.

  43. Bruce Niedt


    The theme may sneak up on you –
    a growling complaint among the basses,
    insinuations by the first clarinet,
    a muffled background call of French horns.

    But there’s every guarantee you’ll hear it
    by the last movement, a slow crescendo
    up that melodic hill, and at the very crest
    a triumphant cymbal crash.

  44. Sara McNulty

    Hmmm. With the theme of my chapbook being the many uses for a word represented by a color, I am at a loss to produce a foreshadowing (which could of course, be black.) Here are 2 entries:


    Red candles lit and glowing
    present a backdrop for my
    lacy lingerie, ruby and flowing,
    my legs smooth and bare.

    While awaiting you I gaze
    at a book of poetry, well read
    though I blush as I read a phrase
    seemingly written for we two.

    Due at the hour of sweeping sunset
    your eyes will illuminate lust,
    shooting sparks, your needs unmet
    until you lie with me on red satin sheets.

    Peek at the Day of Twenty

    Sailors scramble on deck
    to investigate the rumor
    of warm welcome women
    eager to celebrate their
    departure from ship and
    the freedom of Fleet Week.

  45. Judy Roney


    I left a message on my husband’s
    cell. Our daughter is engaged
    and happy, our son has graduated
    college and landed the job he
    hoped for. Our job is done. Life
    doesn’t get any better than this I
    sing into my cell phone to let him
    know I look forward to this new
    chapter of our lives. I wish I could
    take it back, the total abandon, the pure
    bliss, the moment when all is perfect.

  46. satia

    Rod, I’ve never tried to write a chapbook in this manner so it is all curious to me as well. However, I’m also trying to focus more on the process than the end results. Should I have a chapbook when all is said and done, that would be wonderful. If I do not, I’ll still have at least one poem worthy of revision.

  47. Rodney C. Walmer

    I hope I am on the right track here, and not just spinning my wheels in the wrong direction. You all have such wonderful poems that all seem to link together so well, while I feel like I am going the wrong way.


  48. Mary K


    I sort through my mind for ghosts of my past
    people almost forgotten, but not quite,
    those I knew weeks or perhaps months
    who might have been important to me if only
    their stories had not ended abruptly, never
    to be updated. I wonder where they are now.,
    the multitude of faceless ghosts of my past.

  49. Rodney C. Walmer

    A Day in the Life

    She often comes home late
    Tired and angry about her day
    then she wants to debate
    something from a long time away

    It seems she has so much to say
    while I just sit and listen
    I hand her a bouquet
    A tear forms
    her eyes glisten
    anger transforms. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/03/08 Preview poem

  50. Steve LaVoie

    Wow a really inventive prompt we have here. It will be fun to think of how to work "the mystery" out.


    Where is the letter?
    Where is the postcard
    With the amusing picture of
    Cats with sunglasses shaking maracas?
    Isn’t there supposed to be a notice
    Saying they are going to take all the clocks
    In my room if I don’t send them back
    Their pens and pencils?
    Why, why, why, did they send
    An empty envelope?

  51. satia

    To be honest, I am not sure how to foreshadow a piece I haven’t written. So I made four attempts and am posting all four because I don’t know which will actually be used for day 20.

    white tiger caged, lies
    panting, unable to run
    snowflakes forgotten

    Yesterday I accepted
    Today I do not
    I have nothing left to bargain
    But I won’t believe my questions
    Will never be answered.

    Why ask “Why?”
    The answer is: Why not?
    More questions from questions
    make me dizzy with unanswers.
    The answers?
    The cure?
    “We don’t know.”
    I do.
    But I keep asking
    for more than
    “Why not?”

    My Feat

    Today I celebrated
    the anniversary of my
    incurable condition.
    Two years and counting
    and I am learning to listen
    to my two feet.

  52. patti williams

    Day 3: Foreshadowing

    The call came in the late morning
    The ring as common as any other
    But the voice on the other end was
    Vague, serious, and official.
    There was an emergency
    And he had to come quickly.
    In the small room he sat in the chair
    Hearing words he had never dreamed
    Would be meant for him about her.
    The Chaplin sat beside him, his friend
    Leaned up against the wall.
    The man sat frozen,
    Shaking hands
    Covered his wet face.
    Far away
    He could hear the doctor saying
    Phrases like:
    “Instant, no suffering, investigation,
    Arrangements, identification.”

    Words bounced around the man
    In the small room
    As her death
    Patiently waited for him
    Just outside the door,
    Their children
    Still happy and innocent
    Playing at home
    But for the first time ever
    Playing without a Mommy.

    How could he ever tell them?
    The man rose on weak legs
    Opened the door to a different life
    Unlike any he had ever imagined.
    How could they survive when she had not?

  53. S.E.Ingraham

    Since I’ve Changed the working title of my chapbook but slightly, I’m noting same here, "A Tear at the Edge of the Universe"…

    Also – this is very last minute but I’m posting it anyway – I’m one of the featured readers at a Poetry Reading here tonight and am still debating about what to read (we get ten minutes each) – I want to present only Chapbook material and have posted some of my possibilties for critiquing over on the WD poetry critique place, so if anyone has the inclination, time or whatever, I would be eternally grateful for any kind of feedback. I think I have something like 3 1/2 hours ’til showtime – like I said, very last minute. Wish I’d thought of it sooner…

    Will do my prompt contribution when I get back from the reading tonight. Am enjoying this very much Robert even tho’the pace, combined with NaNoWriMo and my kid getting married, plus this thing tonight – is killing me…

    Kidding – sorta.


  54. Rachel

    Hmmm,… do i need a title for this one? A title for the snippet? Or the whole poem? Or not at all? Here’s my pieve for today (does it need to say more?):

    It fell apart…

    That stunted club raised high above her head,
    poised and full of dread,
    Rage and pain rushing down and coming to BLOW
    upon the air…

    with crushing force

    and all she heard was the shatter
    of the matter

    in pieces at her feet.

    And she feel apart.

  55. Heather

    Lesson #3: Love

    She asked her love
    To stay
    Just a little longer
    Wanted to know when
    He’d be back
    And he said he didn’t know,
    Wasn’t sure
    If he’d be back
    At all

    She asked her love
    Why he couldn’t stay
    What was wrong?
    Didn’t she matter?
    Didn’t he love her?
    He said,

    She asked her love
    How it could be
    That they were
    So close
    And now
    She finds herself
    He didn’t respond
    Because his heart
    Was long gone,
    Had found

    Lesson #3: Love Hurts

  56. Cheryl Chambers

    Neal Sinks His Teeth In

    He started living on a Tuesday, just full of it
    the grace which comes from certain days
    emerging in the week. He couldn’t wait
    for each passing week unfolding into months
    stringing together as years. He rushed forward
    like a train coming undone at the hinges
    like the fever and fury of fast paced traveling
    could keep him alive and at his best well being.
    Grammar school begot mediocrity, with a slight
    mention of excellence; middle school lent itself
    to a cheating extravaganza where his false front
    hid every thing he did not know. Everyone thought
    him brilliant. Only he knew. High school reclaimed
    a devil and turned him into Milton’s Satan: someone
    sometimes soft and tender; completely huggable.
    College never occurred expect through the eyes
    and glances of acquaintances’ glasses. What is it
    he can do. He doesn’t know and still searches
    as if for a holy grail, as if he could truly be like Jesus.
    What would He do?

  57. Connie

    When the Domino Tips

    When setting up a huge domino display,
    each little unit doesn’t look like much—
    just brightly colored pieces of polystyrene
    standing together like soldiers in a line.
    But even when they are all arranged, they
    may just look like a pattern of colors. But
    when the builder tips the first domino…

  58. Iain D. Kemp

    …and here’s the second…

    Dear Moosehead,

    Brother, you ain’t gonna believe what
    that dumb bitch sister of yours has done now.
    Your cousin says I should kick her out
    (and your Mama too!). But we both know that’s
    just cos she knows I’d pay her to clean up the place.
    Anyway I’m way too freaked to get into this BS
    so we can talk later…
    Pickya up at seven. We can go bowling & eat Dogs.

    Yours shocked to the core

    Ringo the Howler


  59. Lori


    never mind, I’ll do it myself
    but when you wake up to darths
    and epileptic trees remember
    you chose us even
    when the driver said another
    was closer.
    Oh and I have malpractice insurance.

  60. Iain D. Kemp

    Here’s my first…

    Farewell Dear Friend

    Man and companion stand together.
    Together, alone at the small grave.
    There are no prayers; there will be only a plant to mark the spot.
    ‘Tis farewell to one known only by his misheard name.
    The companion sits is silence, remembering it seems.
    The man reads a short verse, remembering like a dream….
    As it starts to rain the man moves inside, the companion follows
    But only after marking the grave
    In his own unique way…

    Farewell for now Dear Friend! Goodbye Cooking Fat!


  61. Earl Parsons

    And for the SS chap:


    Be patient
    My friend
    Let me do the thinking
    If you just can’t stand it
    Jump on into your mind
    If you dare
    Beware the cobwebs

  62. Earl Parsons

    For the LL&L chap, day 3:

    What Lies Ahead

    Look closely at where you came from
    Look closely at where you are
    Look closely at how you got
    From there to here
    If you look closely enough
    You might see
    What lies ahead

  63. Nancy

    Reading between the Lines

    Whether Shakespeare’s translation
    of the forty-third Psalm, the
    and the
    strategically placed,
    or the
    on Abbey Road,
    you keep looking so hard for what’s
    not there, you miss what’s
    in front

    Nancy Posey