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November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

I’ve heard the pleas from the Poetic Asides commonwealth asking that I post the November PAD prompts earlier in the day. I’ve been on Main Street and seen Joe Poet and Jane Poet working to put food on the table and still write a poem-a-day. I’ve visited schools, hospitals, and random fast-food restaurants and hear the same stories of “earlier prompts” in every large city and small town. From the corporate CEO to the amateur hockey mom, all poets seem to want the prompts earlier in the day.


And I agree, which is why I will make an attempt to post earlier in the day for the rest of the month. The beginning of this month was a little rough because of a database project related to WritersMarket.com, but that’s no excuse for getting the prompts out later in the day. So be prepared for earlier prompts. Be very prepared.


I am Robert Lee Brewer, and I endorse this message.


*****


Whew! I am sooooooo glad the political ads will come to a halt today. At least for a little while anyway (since the political season is now almost a year-round phenomenon). As many of you know (even if you’re living outside the U.S.), today is election day in the United States of America. Hooray for voting and having a voice! (Even if I do usually back the losing candidate.)


For today’s prompt, I want you to write a “soap box” poem on your theme. If your theme is food, have an asparagus campaign for less discrimination against veggies. If your subject is parenting, maybe make a case for having one hour or less of TV each night in favor of playing board games or doing a family activity. Regardless of your theme, today is the day you can pull out that soap box, dust it off, stand on it, and take a stance on an issue (or several issues–heck, this could turn into someone’s theme).


Here’s my attempt for the day:


“Monster Rights”


-speech delivered by The Mummy


You all know me; I’ve been around for centuries
just hanging out in my tomb. Some people come and
wake me up, and then they get mad at me when I’m
a little grumpy. I mean, have you ever been
woken after a very long sleep? You’re grumpy,
simple as that. Just ask my friend Godzilla, who
has had more than his fair share of interruptions
to long sleeps. And that’s exactly what I’m trying
to get at. We are not the problem; people are.


Dracula, you need blood to stay alive, correct?
But when, my friend, have people stopped to consider
your needs as a living, breathing, undead creature?
Never! They just try killing you like a common
mosquito, walking around with their wooden stakes,
mirrors, crosses, holy water, and attitudes.


Frankenstein’s Monster, did you ask to be created?
And who, may I ask, created you? A man! Only
to be hunted and chased around the countryside
by men, even though you, too, were once one of them.


From werewolves to witches, I’ve seen the appalling way
mankind has treated those of us who just happen
to be a little, um, different. Some of us,
like the vampires, have special needs, sure; and a few
of us, like the homicidal killers (a la
Freddy K. and the Phantom of the Opera),
indulge, perhaps, a little too much in our arts,
but I say, the time for monster oppression has
passed. The time for monster equality is now!


 

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70 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

  1. Lynne

    Treatise from a Tree

    first I declare that i the tree
    represent many as i have been on
    this earth long enough to ingest
    much wisdom along with water
    nutrients and sunshine

    that said, who do you think you are
    you who inhabit this planet
    you think you hold the deed and
    have the right to do as you are
    wont to do but i tell you and please
    listen carefully you have no ownership
    rights you are here only at the behest
    of the forever of this planet

    as a tenant you have privileges
    which you seem to understand
    because you take every indulgence
    allowed by your unwritten lease
    what you remarkably lack is the
    wisdom to realize that you have
    grave responsibilities along with
    your rights and whether or not
    you grasp this it is a deal breaker
    your lease will become null and void

    you are close to the end of the
    days of grace you have been given
    although if it were up to me your
    contract would have expired long
    ago but i am not the big boss
    i cannot enforce but must guide
    you towards change lest all be lost

    in your vernacular shape up or ship out

  2. Kathy Kehrli

    IV. Let’s Just See About That

    What’s that?
    “You’re here to comfort and support him.”
    Well, thank you very much
    For illuminating that fact.
    Excuse me?
    “You’re not her to analyze or treat him.”
    Not according to this pamphlet
    Where the hospital redacts,
    “A patient and/or their FAMILY
    Has the right … to make decisions
    Involving his or her health care.
    All patients have the right to full
    Info in layman’s terms
    Of diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.”
    There!
    Don’t make me pull out my Rights & Responsibilities
    Wherein you’ll find it noted
    Quite clearly to the contrary.
    Don’t you dare!

  3. Shannon Rayne

    Up Front!

    Drummers, Djs, Beat Boxers unite!
    Second class citizens, we pound, spin and beat box
    in the shadow of the rappers
    twice the work without the glory of the spotlight
    to highlight the sweat on our brow.
    We produce the back beats with our vocal chords
    and fingers from the back row
    while the front row musicians
    bask in our glory up front.

    Tonight, lets unite! We’ll charge the stage.
    Tonight we will spin records
    slap drum skins and beat box with our throats
    up front!

  4. Amanda

    In my heart
    At the stake
    I am burning
    Free your mind
    Search your soul
    Look at me
    And see
    I am not this she-devil
    That I am portrayed to be

    I live my life
    As I see fit
    At times, I’m scared
    But who isn’t?
    I will not be afraid
    To stand up
    To defend
    What I feel is right
    Even if the cost is my life

  5. Taylor Graham

    A GROUND-POUNDER VENTS

    “Who in his right mind would go four-wheeling
    at the edge of Desolation before the first big storm?
    And not tell anybody where he was going?
    Provisions? not much more than a six-pack
    and a bag of chips. Survival gear? not hardly.
    What are we here for, anyway – to rescue idiots?

    “How about those rafters on the river at spring spate?
    Or the guy in sandals who climbed the summit
    for ‘a vision’ and couldn’t find his way back
    in the dark? Shoot, it was full moon that night.
    I could go on and on. Some of these folks just aren’t
    worth finding. Yeah, don’t remind me –

    “that little kid lost in a rainstorm, found
    just in time. Kind of mission that makes you feel worthwhile – getting paged at midnight, driving
    till dawn, then slipping on canyon rocks,
    following his trail. Have to admit, that
    was a good one. But I wasn’t on that search.”

  6. she

    Good Luck by she 11.12.08

    AmericaWasTerrorizedAndCriticized/AndClearedThe
    CitizensWhoLeaptOutWindowsWithoutFear/With
    KnowledgeThatAmericaWouldDefendTheirStolenYears/And
    ProtectItsChildrenOnAmerica’sOwnGroundZero

    Yet

    FightingOurNeighborsHasBecomeCommonPlace/And
    DefendingOurCountryHasDividedOur[human]Race/And
    ProtectingOurBordersHasSlappedInOurFaces/By
    AllowingIllegalAliensToInvadeOurGrowinglyUnconstitutionalSpace

    So to

    ThePeopleWhoWantedAQuickFixForOurCountry/To
    RegainTheSafetyThatDefinedUsAsFree/You
    ElectedTheActorWhoNowLooksAfraid/And
    IgnoredMilitaryExperienceOverBlackskinAnd"Change"

    [author’s note: this is in response to all the people I’ve heard talking about choosing Obama simply because he is African American and America needs to stop being racist. I am NOT racist, because I DID NOT vote for Obama. I simply thought someone with actual experience (especially in the military — where Obama has NONE) was a better choice for our country. I’m not against people who voted for Obama because they believed in his ideas.]

  7. Tyger Valverde

    Oh Glory Day

    Brothers of all hues and shades
    forgive your anger
    Sisters of all creeds and nations
    forget your angst
    for just one glory day
    remember what we fought for
    Let this day burn into your memories
    For together we stood
    and lifted hope and grace to the sky
    Now the hard work begins
    and we must do it hand in hand

  8. Monica Martin

    Our moving in is for us,
    not any of you. There’s
    no promise to marry.
    You knew this would
    happen someday – I am
    twenty-five after all.
    I know not how your
    relationship with him
    will change, at all.
    It’s not my problem.
    We are happy with
    these developments-
    let us be.

  9. PSC in CT

    OK, still catching up (slowly!) Here’s my PAD – DAY 4.

    Forgive and Forget

    Why do you embrace anger (that toddler of terrible tantrums)?
    For what purpose do you pamper pain (that peevish whining child)?
    For what reason do you nourish hurts so ancient and carelessly made?

    Words, wielded as weapons, can cut to the bone and
    Wounds, untreated, fester and putrefy – becoming fetid

    Harboring hurt hinders healing and
    Acidic anger ultimately devours its own vessel

    Old wounds pull and ache
    With the churning tide
    The shifts in weather
    The changing seasons

    Forgiveness is ointment, balm, salve, honey
    Forget is soothing, healing, comfort

    Grudges are weighty and
    Hearts become heavy
    From bearing their burdens too long

    When snow sits silent on the mountain
    And the river freezes still and hard
    Forget inhabits the mind
    And remember is only a place in the heart

    When fire burns low in your grate
    And only cinders remain –
    Which warm will you know?
    Embers of forgiveness or
    Ashes of remorse and regret?

  10. Carol

    SOAP BOX

    Why don’t they just
    follow the rhythm of light
    rise later, rest sooner,
    conserve (their) energy,
    instead of fuelling artificial light
    that burns our wings,
    heats the air,
    makes the icecaps’ candle-drip,
    accelerating the shortening of their wicks,
    as they burn,
    burn,
    burn….

  11. Ronda Eller

    iv. unplotted destiny

    how can you
    not love
    ethereal vision?

    fascinating creatures wait
    to visit and chatter,
    lift you
    out of yourself.

    come

    and join
    the boundless arena!

    let your feathers feel
    freedom’s aerial kiss,
    unshackle your boney being
    and explore
    beyond

    that horizontal pulsing;
    lend impulse to universal,
    unplotted destiny.
    sleep my child,

    sleep!

    ~ Ronda Eller 4nov2008

  12. SaraV

    Terri-yes, that’s too much.

    Honk if you love Geese

    Okay, so maybe just maybe
    We honk a little loudly
    and maybe just maybe
    We honk loudly, early
    But like a little baby’s cry
    We have a limited vocab, so why
    You insist on saying it’s a racket
    Can you sit on an egg and crack it?
    Honking is what we do best
    Heck, it’s all that we do,
    Besides paddle in ponds
    Twinkly and blue
    And flap our magnificent wings about
    So if you are walking by, or out
    Try to see that honking is not so bad
    We honk if we’re happy, hungry, sad
    We honk hello, and please don’t go
    We’re really a loveable duo
    So please accept us as we are–
    But don’t compare us to a car

  13. Terri French

    (I hope people realize my poems regarding victim/abuser are tongue in cheek. I am trying to get inside in brains of both parties and this is just what is coming out!

    Victims Rights!?
    I am tired of your sniveling and grandstanding–
    Whine, Whine, Whine. . .
    “He broke my arm. He blackened my eye.”
    How ’bout “She pushed my damn button.
    She tap-danced one too many times on
    my last friggin’ nerve.”
    The weaker sex my ass.
    Y’all are in cahoots–
    out to destroy God’s first creation.
    Without Adam’s rib there would have
    never been any women.
    You owe us everything,
    but all we ask for is a little peace and quiet–
    a hot meal. . .
    some lovin’ in between the sheets. . .
    Is that too much to ask?

  14. Karen H. Phillips

    Edward Henry Potthast, American (1857-1927)
    Rocks and Sea, c. 1923

    You Call Yourself a Critic?

    Lady, what is the meaning of this scribble in your notebook?

    Ugh–the colors disgust me.
    Mustardy yellows and greens,
    the rocks appear covered with
    dirty snow.
    The sea is a beautiful mix of
    blues, lavenders, and pinks.
    The paint seems too thick and
    heavy-handed.

    What do you know of me?
    Of art?
    Perhaps I felt heavy that day.
    Maybe my dog died.
    Or my wife.
    Or I was perhaps in a foul mood,
    it being time to pay the rent,
    and paintings don’t bring a
    monthly salary.

    How many paintings have you made?
    Tried to capture the sea and sky and emotion?
    How many masterpieces have you studied
    or attempted to capture on your own canvas?
    Maybe you don’t know what you’re
    talking about.
    If you do, if I failed to connect,
    maybe I’ll be forgotten after all.

  15. PSC in CT

    Uh oh! In my rush to play catch up, I am still struggling with this one, so . . . I will come back here (soon, I hope!) with my Soap Box poem. But for now, it’s on to day 5!

  16. Kate Berne Miller

    Cyborg Lives

    Though I’m
    all for the natural:
    the animal warmth
    of bodies, sinew and bone
    and skin on skin, I don’t object
    to an artificial enhancement now
    and then, at least the titanium in my hips
    doesn’t ache like the slow burn in my ankles,
    knees, shoulders that blossoms in the season of cold
    rains and morning mists. My mother’s a veritable junkyard
    of metal scraps, the right hip replaced five years ago, two
    stents hover close to her heart, now she’s sporting a pin
    in her left elbow. I remember the woman on jury duty,
    declaring each day as she set off the metal detector,
    “two hips and a knee.” What I wonder in the
    depths of the night, when dust to dust
    seems near, is will we still be
    recyclable?

    Kate Berne Miller

  17. lynn rose

    Feelings
    Feelings of loniless pass through my heart.
    I am always the last when I should of be first.
    To me that is the worst.
    You never see the whole thing, just you, being.
    I want more, you want less. I am not sure what is the best.
    Feelings of loniless flood my heart.Should I let you go,
    and have a new start.

  18. Euphrates

    This fits better here:

    Stare
    11/06/08

    “Mommy, why are those two ladies holding hands?”
    Oh, THIS should be fun.
    What are you gonna say, Mommy?
    That we’re freaks of nature?
    An abomination in God’s sight, sinning out in the open, right in front of (gasp!) little children?
    Or that we’re deceived and out to destroy your petty family’s values?
    Or maybe we’re part of the “Homosexual Agenda” to bring down the nuclear family and “One Nation under God” while we’re at it?
    (Like either of those need any help on that score from US)
    How about this, Mommy?
    How about maybe we LOVE each other?
    Maybe God saw that I needed another miracle in my life, and gave me that miracle in her?
    How about, we understand and complete each other? In ways our – yes our – boyfriend can’t.
    Because as wonderful and loving and sexy and gentle and sexy and talented (and did I mention sexy?) as he is, he doesn’t have to bleed to be moody.
    And he doesn’t have his moods dismissed because he’s bleeding.
    And he’ll never know the bloating and the hemorrhoids and the nausea and the alien kicking you in the cervix to get back at you for having sex…
    And he’ll never know the pain of subsequently losing that child nurtured by your body,
    However much he tries to understand.
    But we do. We both do.
    And bless his heart, this is a grocery store!
    And he’s a boy!
    Trust me, Mommy, you’d rather be fielding this one than “Why is that man holding both those ladies hands?”
    Because I love them both, and I’m not afraid to show it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.
    How about this one, Mommy?
    How about the fact that she can do things with ten fingers and a tongue that can make my head explode?
    Yeah, they’re gonna need an exorcist to get rid of all the ectoplasmic brain-spackle when WE move out.
    And how are you going to explain that we’ve found something so wonderful, so amazing, so special together that this “We”, this threesome, is greater than the sum of its parts? Can we say trinity anyone?
    And maybe, just maybe, I love her, and want to hold her hand to show her how MUCH I love her, and I didn’t even notice you noticing?
    So what are you gonna say, Mommy?
    And as I lock gazes, she averts her eyes,
    Tugging on her child’s hand, pulling her towards the parking lot…
    “It’s not polite to stare, honey.”

  19. Don Swearingen

    "Expect a cool and blustery day today,"
    The weatherman has told me,
    "You can’t go out in this to play"
    Because you’ll freeze you see.
    I rail against the weather in my need
    To be doing things outside,
    Like raking all the leaves that seem to breed
    Like a rabbit with more than one bride.
    But the weatherman, bless his heart
    Tells me to stay inside and keep warm
    And not drive around the old golfing cart,
    Don’t go out there and look for harm
    To happen here or there, or anywhere
    And not get eaten by a bear.

    Okay, it’s bad, I know.

  20. Juanita Snyder

    spotted owl soapbox
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    oh shy little raptor of the pacific northwest,
    you’ve brought a nation to it’s knees with
    your left-wing right-to-exist ideas
    at the heart of the matter.
    ethics and morality aside,
    the mere mention of your name has incited rallies,
    lawsuits, and internal governmental civil war roulette,
    moreover, caused people to tie themselves to trees.
    communities wave yellow ribbons as symbols of their pain
    birth conga-lines of semi-trucks to the state capitol in protest,
    write poetry, sing songs, and burn effigies in your honor,
    while around the rest of the country
    extremism on both sides continue to play out —
    debates pitting brother against brother,
    industry against environmental,
    common man against gov’t officials.
    can reforestation truly replace
    diverse multi-layered canopy systems
    which have taken a millennia to evolve?
    should we trade you in for paper plates & doghouses?

    fast forward,
    the owl got protection,
    200 year old growth locked in,
    clear-cutting abandoned,
    logging curtailed, but
    still your numbers continue to decline.
    (yeah, how IS that workin’ for ya?)
    30 years is a long time to hold a grudge, my friend.
    now that old-growth protection is passe,
    they swear the real threat is parasite invaders,
    not to mention that new barrio gang
    from the east side, the barred owl.
    should we rid one endangered species to protect another?
    is the new mantra.

    spotted owl euphony,
    long considered a gauge of ecosystem health
    line your new nests with salmon, snowy plover,
    and the greenhouse effect.

    afterall, green has become the new black.

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