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


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