November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

Good morning, y’all. Saw there was some back and forth yesterday about focusing on a whole chapbook for the month. I understand how looking at a huge project can get very intimidating, which is why I suggest just taking things one poem at a time. My feeling with the PAD Challenge (whether in April or November) is that it should be about inspiration and fun.


Now for the inspiration and fun!

Today’s prompt is to write a praise poem. Celebrate or praise something related to your theme (or if you’re themeless, pick something random to praise). I would love to praise all the PAD Challenge participants, but as you know, my theme is monsters (and I’m pretty sure there are no zombies or warlocks participating this month).

So, here’s my attempt for the day:

“The Sun”

No werewolves without the full moon,
no vampires while you shine,
thank you for shedding light on the darkness
and always returning each morning.


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90 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

  1. Taylor Graham


    Buckeye, willow, four kinds of oak
    lean toward and away from each other in curves
    graceful as dancers rooted
    between soil and stars.

    Where in the city can you see constellations
    circling with the seasons
    over your own roof?
    Where in the city could you dance

    to woodpecker tattoo, or gobble out-loud
    at wild turkeys parading
    your bit of lawn. Where in the city could you
    laugh if they gobble back at you?

  2. Amanda

    Within this grove we made our home this night,
    Eager to engulf our precious kindling,
    Darkness tries hard to prevail.
    The fire crackles menacingly as it’s warmth invades.
    Gradually, slowing the pace of shivers and fearing away the chills.
    Thankful of the protection from frost and gloom,
    We feed the fire it’s fuel.

  3. Shannon R

    Dear Bartender

    Please do not let my lack of dimes
    jangling in your jar come to mean anything
    other than my inability to hang onto
    money. The beer you pour is always
    chilled, the heads are never foamy
    and I return for your smile. But
    poetry writing and gazing at men
    half my age still doesn’t pay.
    Please instead, accept this as my
    poem of praise.

  4. Kathy Kehrli

    VI. Miracle by Proxy

    When the doctors had accomplished
    All that they could do;
    When the next six hours alone would bring
    Our cliffhanger to a close;
    With the odds of resurrection stacked
    Against us 10:1;
    With organs crashing like a train
    Wreck engine to caboose,
    I ripped my tenuous faith and trust
    Out of human hands
    And placed them in the only one who
    Could rectify the mangled mess.
    Prayer chain after prayer chain linked
    In common supplication,
    Across denominations sending up
    Their Jaws of Life pleas.
    When my own voice one too many times
    Traumatized fell mute,
    My proxies sign-language interpreted
    Then spoke back a miracle.

  5. Penny Henderson

    day #6 Praise

    Thank God for surprises–
    the unexpected lurking round each corner:
    uncensored words of children,
    buttercups in sidewalk cracks,
    rain from a blue sky,
    coins found where you forgot them,
    ants on the counter,
    unwound clocks who
    suddenly chime the hour.
    If you’re bored,
    you’re just not paying attention

  6. Tyger


    for once
    grew into a nation
    and pledged
    to birth
    and now worry
    if we have the strength
    to sustain it
    Praise be to us
    who plunged into the light
    although we fear it’s searing heat

  7. PSC in CT

    And finally – PAD Day 6:

    Wonder Full You

    Yesterday, you weren’t
    Yet, today, you (incredibly) are

    Savoring your sweet scent
    Cradling the warm weight of you
    Brushing fingers over delicate wisps of hair
    Feeling fragile pulse of blood beneath skin
    Counting, carefully, tiny fingers and toes
    Delighting in dainty diminutive nose
    Marveling at meticulous of nails and ears
    Beholding perfection in precision of lashes

    I am awed by

  8. Carol


    The Snow Queen
    comes in skeins,
    lands tall-necked in fields,
    feasts, then preens.
    For her, plumage is life.
    Her yellow bill zips flight feathers back together,
    adjusts her down, protects herself in precious oils.

    She’s left the threat of stained ice
    by crossing wild grey seas,
    now she steps, clumsy for a queen, swooshing,
    sweeping into an eyebrow arching flight
    of majesty restored,
    flying onwards and into her moonlit self,
    never staying long enough for footprints to trample over
    her untamed white wildness.

  9. Rodney C. Walmer

    Poetry’s Home

    There are some place’s to read
    others to succeed,
    and some just for speed

    Very few care about the art
    The poem, or any part
    One can usually tell before they start

    There is however, one place
    where the poem is king
    you write at your own pace
    for the man who doesn’t miss a thing

    A place where the best poets reside
    where what’s written comes from the inside
    Not the wallet,
    but, poetry written with pride
    This place is off highway 101
    Just take a short ride
    then make a left at the interstate
    Look for the sign
    it goes by Poetic Asides. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer Praise poem 11/8/08

  10. Terri French

    You help me to realize just how stupid
    and imperfect I can be
    So I try harder

    And you help me to realize how wise
    and powerful I am
    So I don’t need to change

    Because of you I know the world
    is a scary place and I can trust no one
    So I stay in my home sheltered and protected
    from people who would look at me with
    pity and disdain

    And because of you after a hard day at work
    and a boss that never stops yelling
    I can come home to my castle
    and know who the real boss is

    Thank you for allowing me to be your co-dependent

    You’re welcome. I deserve it.

  11. SaraV

    Robert, thank you for giving us the place to put our good thoughts and inspiring us to stretch.

    Praise for my kitchen window

    Thank you for being the best view in the house
    Thank you for giving me the chance to clean
    And enjoy the beasties, the weather, the green
    All the simple things that bring joy to me
    The waddles, the wing beatings, the dash for a drink
    And the wondrous moments of a butterfly dancing among
    The flowers
    The heron that caught a fish too big to swallow
    The wiggle-strike of the egret
    And the occasional fly-by of the osprey and king fisher
    But mostly for the peace I see
    For letting me touch nature each morning
    Whatever else there may be in my day
    A piece of joy waits for me,
    In the kitchen, over the sink

  12. Ronda Eller

    vi. awkward love

    i cling to you
    and melt in you;
    the strong, laughing
    grimacer, embracer
    of my awkward love
    and gratitude—
    my redeemer

    in times of trouble.
    you are not white
    as fable goes, but you do
    draw light from everything
    good, a purifier
    for a less-than-honest

    you draw me home
    to the safe institution
    of body, pin me back
    in my place on the horizon
    when the vast sky looms
    too great

    for small, wandering stars
    like me…

    my angel.

    ~ Ronda Eller 6nov2008

  13. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    Prose in Praise
    of Greatness

    Mike’s hair was fair and
    cut very, very short.
    Samuel noticed after he
    called him a Kike, joking
    at the yarmulke on his head.
    Later, as Mike was wheeled
    into emergency, the blood
    sticking his shirt to his skin,
    he saw Samuel, who helped
    him, and tended to his wound.
    Mike took his hand
    and thanked him.
    Samuel simply smiled.

    “Why does she wear that
    towel on her head?” Shelly
    asked her friends, loud enough
    for Zaina to hear them.
    They giggled as she passed.
    Sally was worried she might
    not stay on the cheerleading
    team, her grades in Math were
    slipping. She signed up
    for help in Math.
    Zaina was waiting patiently
    and helped her through
    her problems.
    Sally took Zaina’s hand,
    looked down,
    and said, “thanks.”
    Zaina simply smiled.

    “Go back to your country!
    Stop taking our jobs!” Miguel
    wondered what Bill meant
    as he went by. He knew it
    was not kind.
    At the lunch cart they all
    stood. Bill sat a little ways
    off, having drunk away the
    last of his lunch money
    the previous night. Miguel
    walked up to him and sat,
    scrounging in his bag.
    Quietly he passed two tortillas,
    chicken and an apple.
    Bill took Miguel’s hand
    and squeezed.
    Miguel simply smiled.

    Samuel, Zaina, Miguel.
    What is your common thread?
    Why do you thrust aside your
    hurt when another needs?
    I thank you for this.
    I praise you for this.
    And I praise the greatness
    that is you.
    And I thank you – for you!

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  14. S Scott Whitaker

    My Grandmother’s Table

    Locked in the long room, the chairs tucked
    under the dingy tablecloth
    that has been around as long as the home’s memory
    which goes back before the war,
    and before those that died
    had any other notion that fried chicken
    and catfish, ice tea, and the love of a woman
    who would tender their appetites.

    Those that are gone and return remark
    how it looks the same, how it has held up over
    the years, how the small can of pellets
    left by a boy in the summer of 1955
    still sits behind the crystal bowl,
    whose dusty face warps the rusty circle
    into a carnival novelty.

    The table has served the sick, the sad,
    the lonely who not what they were,
    the newlyweds, the boy whose mother
    left him for Texas. It’s a bit wobbly,
    but who can blame it, for all the stones
    it’s balanced over the years.

  15. Judy Roney

    In Praise of Loss

    You allow me to treasure
    who and what I have
    where I am in life,what
    I want my family and friends

    I believed that you would
    destroy me, that no one could
    live with the magnitude of loss
    but I learned how strong I am, how
    you are part of life but you can’t
    control me. You and the grief you
    bring only make me stronger.

  16. Karen H. Phillips

    Inspired by the exhibit as a whole,
    but especially: Henri-Joseph Harpignies, French (1819-1916)
    A Meadow in the Bourbonnais, Morning, 1876

    In Praise of Simplicity

    Peasant woman launders clothes in the river,
    boys swing feet dangling from the bank.

    Plain houses,
    stone walls
    stark white factories,
    red round poppies,
    grazing cows,
    wavy trees.

    The sea, the sky, the fields, the towns.

    All simple aspects of life,
    which can be anything but.

    If I could reduce myself, my life
    to the subjects the Impressionists chose,
    would a single thing worry me?

    Nothing to add to the glory of the poppies,
    nothing more to say than the secrets
    little boys whisper on a riverbank,
    nothing better than the clothes
    coming clean in the clear cool water,
    drying on the line,
    my family is provided for and safe and well,
    what more could I want?

  17. Karen H. Phillips

    Heather, I was wrong. Day Six is best so far.

    Iain, I love my cats. Cyrano the black tabby with wild tawny markings (actually looks like K O on one side), who’s too long for laps, was curled in a tight ball on mine as I began writing today. Happy contrast to the death poems!

    Nancy, I liked your praise of thank-you notes. Participated in an online discussion of this very topic with people half my age. Opinions varied widely.

  18. Juanita Snyder

    and here is my praise poem……spidey

    Ode to a Mule
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Never met a mule I didn’t like,
    smart…inquisitive…incredibly resilient…
    not unlike some of my girlfriends in the past.
    A sensitive creature of habit, mules actually
    like conversation and are happy to please,
    but pretty much draw the line at doing anything
    silly that will get her on the 5 o’clock news,
    in a full body cast, or worse, killed.

    Generations of persecution have honed those
    almond-shaped eyes to the point she can no
    longer be fooled or goaded into risk.
    If curious or unsure, her cautious nature will
    simply takeover, analyze & respond appropriately,
    even if it involves going down that tricky path
    of hurting your feelings, testing your faith.
    Make no mistake though, mules are great kickers,
    so if she misses, trust me, she meant to;
    treat her unkindly and she’ll wait years for
    just the right moment to avenge,
    try to coerce or intimidate, and you’ll suddenly
    have smackdown all over your hands!

    Docile yet devilish, delicate yet herculean,
    agile and sure-footed, my girlfriends have put their
    shoulders and backs into the straps and mcclellans
    of this great country — snaking logs, plowing fields
    moving commerce at the speed of well….banana slugs
    but hell, a saddle gall is still a saddle gall all the same!
    With ears the length of football fields, she can
    convey morals and ethics at a moment’s notice,
    but when she half whinnies, half brays
    she speaks in my native tongue and it’s then I know
    deep down, my life been far poorer without.

  19. Heather

    Jane, thank you. Your comments were lovely and much appreciated. My friend, his unbelievably positive attitude towards living and his imminent passing, has been a huge lesson for me. He shines. He’s bigger than life or death.

    Iain, loved the bouncy-pouncy cats

    Happy writing everyone :)

  20. SusanB

    Well I’m getting a late start…company and flu kept me, but I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read so far. Great stuff. Great prompts, Robert. You are a formidable force in your campaign to make poetry a living entity. Thank you so much!


    Pop the cork on that champagne
    Light the candles
    Wave the flag
    Applause Applause Applause!

    Life is not a highway
    It’s a roller-coaster ride
    It twists and turns,
    Rocks and rolls
    Can be an uphill climb

    Hold onto your seats
    Are you strapped in?
    Just when you catch your breath
    A baby is born
    Christmas is here
    Another voice silenced
    We’ve won the war
    Keep your arms and hands in
    Till the car has stopped
    And exit with a smile

  21. kate

    Running out of time, this is all I can manage today.

    With thanks

    ‘ooh twins
    one of each
    you’re so lucky’ but
    it doesn’t always feel that way
    too much like hard work
    but it’s true
    they are

  22. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Praise be to Gaia

    Green billiance
    Exhilirating my spirit
    Refreshing the mind
    Invigorating senses

    Thankyou to her
    For my peace
    Thankyou to Gaia
    For loving me

    Nurturing me
    Grounding my being
    Elating my soul
    Breathing in life

    Thankyou for my life
    My eternal freedom
    And I’m sorry
    So sorry
    For your torturous demise

  23. Euphrates

    It Figures

    I listen to projections of disaster
    Financial chaos on the news
    Wars and rumors of war
    People marching in the streets
    And petitions on the internet

    Through it all I see your face
    Smiling and smug across the dinner table
    As your questions spark debate
    And current events become the final course
    You lean back, running fingers through thinning hair
    And announce as you stretch, smiling at our consternation
    “Well, your generation will have to deal with it all
    because I’ll be dead by then.”

    And while I shake my fist to the heavens
    In supreme annoyance for the fact that you were right,
    I can’t help but bubble up with pride
    That my father never tolerated complacency
    And even if the questions have no answers
    You knew that questions lead to curiosity
    And curiosity leads to experimentation
    And experimentation leads to knowledge and wisdom.
    And you taught us we’d rarely find the answers
    By listening to everybody else.

  24. Kate Berne Miller

    I’m enjoying the inspriation of everyone’s work. Shann, I love the line"metaphor of water" and K Weber, your language and images sing. I love "another coast to float on". Cheryl Chambers, your voice, especially in the second poem, is so strong. Satia, powerful work! Paul, your poem is beautiful. And so are so many more! Thank you all.

    Kate Berne Miller

  25. Kate Berne Miller


    the rains have begun
    spiders move inside the house
    at night their dark round bodies
    creep across the bedroom

    neighbors to the left
    and right feed the deer
    every day they drift past
    small herds lunching on my lawn
    the salad buffet in between

    urban coyotes raid backyards
    loping past swing sets and slides
    as subdivisions race up the mountain

    wearing shorts and a T-shirt
    she was last seen driving north by
    avalanche warning
    chains required
    even the horizon

    in this white land

    Kate Berne Miller

  26. Bruce Niedt


    I’ve seen you in all your incarnations –
    a dreadlocked cat in black-pride tam
    blowing Coltrane on a tenor sax,
    an earnest young man singing
    old union songs while strumming
    a beat-up guitar, an Asian girl
    in Army boots and stringy black hair
    ripping through a Bach violin partita,
    a 70-something blind guy
    with an antique Rickenbacker
    doing B.B. King from a law chair.

    Each time I encounter you
    on the street or the subway concourse,
    I pause a moment, and sometimes,
    not always, I throw some change
    in your open case or cup.

    But know that whether I donate or not,
    I always appreciate you, and your talent
    deserves more than a venue of concrete
    and soot. Your soundtrack lightens
    my load, and I find it easier to climb
    the steps from underground to street,
    or street to office – sometimes
    I even take two at a time.

  27. S.E.Ingraham

    One’s Own Self

    “One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” Nietzsche

    “It is as hard to see one’s self as to look backwards without turning around.” Thoreau

    A black hole opened there – yes, right there – a star imploded
    Taking with it, into that sucking vacuum, the brightest
    of them, the best
    The most insightful, most compassionate – the like of which we’re not apt to see again
    So beyond the pale was he, we should have been paying, more heed
    to his needs, not letting him get to feeling lost
    the way he must have
    For when he found himself in a place of desperation himself,
    and he must have
    Oh – there was little or no question, he had
    to have been desperate,
    There was no-one, no-one – do you hear me – for I still
    find I cannot grasp it
    Even now, I cannot divine that this diviner of secrets,
    this healer of broken sprits
    And mender of messed up minds, while he must have been
    sending out his own
    Sad signals to someone, anyone, everyone even,
    and yet nobody, not one
    single solitary soul read the signs,
    caught on to his intent, his terrible
    Resolve; this incredibly gifted healer who
    could not seem to hear the homily
    “Physician heal thyself,” or know the truth of it or,
    that we who loved him would find it
    All but impossible to live without him –
    why had we not been able to let him know
    How truly wonderful he was – did we ever even try?
    I don’t think so, looking back
    I truly don’t and regret does not begin to describe
    the feeling I have about that
    This man who would check his e-mails every night,
    no matter where he was
    In this whole wide world, and offer advice
    to whomever needed it
    From Tokyo or London or Katmandu –
    and when here, he spent as long as it took during
    Appointments to make sure the patient
    was getting the absolute best care
    Possible, even if it meant giving them
    a double appointment – he didn’t care
    He wrangled mega amounts of samples
    out of drug companies so that he could
    Hand out free drugs to people without
    insurance coverage, for as long as possible

    For my part, he was the only doctor that had ever
    been able to get me level
    And keep me there, and once I was there,
    we found we liked each other’s company
    I believe, upon reflection, he was basically shy
    and found it difficult to talk to most people
    So when he found someone who shared common interests,
    he extended his hand freely
    He’d arrange to give me the last appointment
    before lunch or the end of the day
    And we’d end up visiting long after
    the appointment was done; I had him meet my
    Husband and, I gave all of my family total access
    to this man, and he to them
    A level of trust previously, and since,
    totally unthinkable in the mental health community
    Another first and not likely to be repeated
    – all of my family liked and respected this doctor.

    Some of the other remarkable things about
    this man were the diversity of his interests:
    He was becoming a louthier, a guitar maker,
    fascinated with the woods used, and the process;
    I learned at his memorial during his eulogy,
    he was already an accomplished musician;
    He also collected large denominations of Canadian money,
    a mundane enough sounding hobby,
    However, the way he displayed his collection
    was anything but – the $100 bill was emblazoned
    On a mug, the $50 in a paper-weight, and so on;
    Apparently he also loved fast cars but I didn’t
    Learn that either until after his death
    when the eulogist recounted a story about their time
    In the navy together – which I found shocking somehow
    – we were after all, the same age; in any case
    Apparently he had purchased a snazzy sports car,
    on “a lowly intern’s salary” and then
    Was able to persuade the crew of every vessel
    they were assigned to during their tour, that
    He “had” to have his vehicle wherever
    they were stationed, and it was shipped wherever he went
    I loved that story – it didn’t sound like at him at all,
    the quiet, modest, unprepossessing man I knew
    Or thought I knew; after he died, I wondered if any
    of us really knew him at all; a natural reaction
    I know, but it’s hard not to go back to that time
    and examine the last visit, the last phone call

    Another love we shared in common was our love of reading
    and books, and words, and writing
    Every surface in his office was covered with piles
    of books that he was sorting into his library
    He’d often loan this or that one to me, proving again
    and again that we were more than just
    Doctor and patient. An avowed atheist
    – he’d been thinking about giving the Unitarians, my church
    a try – saying how he’d like to think there was
    ‘something’ else – me, a confirmed agnostic agreeing, saying,
    ‘Wouldn’t we all?’ I wonder, was he reaching out even then?
    I wish I knew, oh how I wish knew.

  28. Steve LaVoie

    Really sorry for missing yesterday. Will I am not quite sure I’m 100% done with this one yet but here goes:

    Free Stuff

    Oh how wonderful it is.
    To tell our leader how inept he really

    Is and watch him grin and bear it.
    To continually hear a loved one say they

    Hate how the government runs itself
    And be assured that you will

    Still see them again tomorrow.
    And being able to just

    Make out the moon
    Poking through the fog.

    And seeing people give to
    Total strangers their time,

    Money, and Love, even if that is
    Considered Evil and attention-hogging.

  29. A.C. Leming

    The dojo

    Four walls don’t encompass it.
    The floor and ceiling don’t hem
    it in. Paint gilds the walls we take
    little notice of while the tatami
    cushions our falls. But without
    our Sensei opening this small
    space in this ancient mountain
    range, I would have strayed from
    the path. I struggle not to waver
    everyday. But I come back class
    after class, trying to find myself
    in the sweat I leave on the mat,
    the bruises I take with me the
    knowledge that seeps into
    my slow brain and the skills my
    stubborn muscles eventually master.

  30. Victoria Hendricks

    In Praise of Open Windows

    Mild November morning – open windows breathe
    with me – allowing breeze to flutter mums in table vase.
    Bending trees sing swaying songs glass would block.
    Scent of turning leaves awakens memories of autumn hikes.
    Neighbors voice brings smile as she passes whistling
    "God bless America". Train whistle evokes taste of
    Grandma Anna’s peach preserves in her house by the track.
    Open windows. Open invitation – never know who will respond.

  31. Shann Palmer


    Rain drapes the city’s silhouette,
    I’m a fish looking up, curious
    what my dinner might be.

    Swimming down the interstate
    in a school of white sedans,
    we dart through the other traffic.

    Big trucks zip by fast, danger
    if you get in their way, sports cars
    slip around like cheating lovers.

    I want to be home, safe
    from the metaphor of water,
    with my own kind, with you

    crawl into someplace dry
    to make a little sunshine.

  32. Kateri Woody

    Joker to Mirror Joker Haiku

    You are so pretty,
    a delicate bloom in spring,
    all red, green, and smile.


    Baby I’m The Bottom

    Beauty is personified
    in the way you move,
    so precise and exact –
    oh it sets my blood afire.
    You are the Dark-White Knight
    to my distressed damsel,
    minus the distress (of course)
    because I am anything but distraught
    when you are near…
    If anything is better than you,
    I’d like to see it,
    because darling, you are the top
    but only if I am the bottom.

  33. jared david

    InGratitude for Fear

    Thank you
    For not letting me explore
    The world on all fours.
    Who knows what I
    Might have put my
    Hands in.
    And for keeping me
    Strapped to the cart seat
    At the grocery store.
    I could have been

    Thank you
    For not letting me get on
    My first bike,
    Or go on that first
    Rollercoaster ride.
    What if I fell?
    And for not playing
    Hide and seek
    Or ever crossing the street.
    I can see that far, and what
    If no one ever found me?

    Thank you
    For keeping me in the
    Shallow end, and away
    From the edge.
    I might not be able to
    Get back again.
    And for not making any
    People only let you down,
    And life is full enough
    Of disappointment
    Without them.

    Thank you
    For making me stay away
    From the field, box, and ring,
    Avoiding any risk of injury.
    And for skipping applications
    To unnecessary
    You cannot face rejection
    If you never try to
    Better yourself.

    Thank you
    For shielding me
    From shattered dreams;
    Eyes closed to a harsh reality.
    And for not allowing
    Me to live my life,
    Otherwise I might miss it
    When I die.

  34. Mary K


    This poem is in praise of nothing
    I have nothing to praise tonight
    one of those bleak times I have
    from time to time. Somewhere
    there is something praiseworthy,
    but it escapes my view today.

  35. satia

    Thank you Jane. I’m approaching my second year with vertigo and although I can now walk normally most of the time, I still have people approach me who think I have MS or am drunk, I can’t drive, and there are other activities that are no longer a part of my life.

    I’ve been reading your poems as well, recognizing the powerlessness that others feel when watching someone they love suffering/struggling.

    Thank you for sharing your experience, both in your poetry and in your compliment.

  36. Paul W.Hankins

    Thanks, Jane…

    I am wrapping up a timeline on a grant proposal this evening. The proposal is called Homing in on Hemingway. My hope is to return to northern Michigan to walk those familiar areas Hemingway walked in an effort to take what I consider to be my first serious attempt at writing…all support is appreciated and your good vibes are appreciated as this proposal goes to the mailbox in the morning. . .

    Thank you for reading "The Doxology."


  37. Jane penland hoover

    Paul – this piece is both raw, touching, and edgy – the pain and space of loss – everywhere – "looking for a handle" my favorite phrase – all strong

  38. Jane penland hoover

    Nancy – the muse of handwritten – this makes me want to write one – for a second anyway – really interesting images – easy to see and enjoy

    Sara – like the structure as well as the poem – I love color and this delivers smiles

  39. Paul W.Hankins

    I am not sure why, but I could not format this piece today. . .then, in the ultimate attempt at free writing, I drafted the original into this comment box. . .a former student sent me a Facebook Message-It and guess what. . .whole piece. . .gone. . .so here is a revision of that original energy. I am still loving all of the other postings in this challenge. It is a lot of fun to see what other poets are doing with the prompts. I am still revisiting a painful November in this string of pieces, but it is a good kind of revisitation.

    Thanks to all that are making this so much fun! Thank you Robert for playing host to this. . .


  40. Paul W.Hankins



    is the part of the service
    I find difficult to reconcile;
    this praise so foreign, out of place
    when it inquires of the paternal:


    who doesn’t show, even in this great time of need,
    a masculine balance missed in the absence of a mother –
    this is what we celebrate today? And I am little replacement
    in my ill-fitting suit. I am only

    Son, and

    in this as a failed practitioner,
    I left my own so many years before,
    and my allegiances are as superficial
    as the fine penmanship in the guest book
    writ by hands that will one day be forgotten
    like so many we have ever thought to be


    an easy air to assume – hands assigned
    to carry the weight of the beloved
    while the rest of us are simply
    looking for a handle, nothing to hold to
    nothing to cling to but a memory –


    dressed in the purple she so loved,
    an outfit afforded by a daughter and a son
    Our praise is foreign and we speak it in tongues
    that float aimlessly like a cloud in blue mouths


  41. Jane penland hoover

    I love what you are doing with this or these pieces – they are intense and precise – delivering the emotion and content!
    especially like a line like "The weight of my need Does not cause them to stumble" – My husband had a stroke at 34 and lost movement and language – today our girls – grown – have 5 little ones – who favor OPa – cause he is quiet and they can "talk".

  42. k weber

    (accidentally posted this in the wrong day’s comments so here it is for today)


    your cough
    on the radio
    reminds me
    that i don’t
    know your hand-
    writing, have
    only seen you
    in second
    or third

    another coast
    to float on: you
    three hours
    behind me
    but both
    of us dreaming
    in sound-

    too many land-
    scapes separate
    us: the desert
    of time, the mountains
    of too many
    minutes apart
    like contractions
    of "cannot"
    and "will not"

  43. Jane penland hoover

    (I’m trying to have a collection that I hope will be called Beyond the Reach of Shadow) here is a new one for today’s challenge


    Across the long expanse of tree sheltered lawn,
    the lake ripples moving toward the shore,
    the shadows make their morning stretch,
    shortening into nothing,
    as the sun climbs and climbs bringing us to noon.

    Across the wide expanse beyond our window
    shadows lengthen eastward all afternoon
    disappearing into the gray cool of dusk
    as the earth moves us toward dinnertime.

    And we tire of watching
    the variety —
    the golden finches, and the red wings flying
    the beavers making one last splash,
    the lone blue squawking into roost
    for these hours when the shadows hide their spread.

    Jane Penland Hoover
    PAD 6
    Writers Digest

  44. Peggy Goetz

    In Praise of Knitting

    Such a transformation
    a ball of twisted sheep hair
    dyed spectrum hues
    two metal sticks
    knit purl row on row
    endless combinations
    two simple loops
    rhythmic almost unheard
    peaceful lulling
    the click of
    one stitch at a time
    ancient art
    sheep’s hair to
    thing of beauty.

    Nov. 5, 2008

  45. satia

    I made a few "false" starts. Not false because I may resurrect these fragments in a later prompt.



    Betrayed by my body
    I am fragiled into leaning upon
    The strength of my children.
    Years into decades of praying
    To see them grown from
    Girl to woman, boys to men.
    The weight of my need
    Does not cause them to stumble
    And all I can say is thank you.



    From bed to bath was all I could manage
    Body suddenly old, yet young in age.

    Touching surfaces for safety took me
    From bedroom to limited liberty.

    Blinded balance, I leant on counters and,
    Reaching out, caught my fall with my hand.

    I stabilize each tentative step, move
    Unnaturally cautious, to disprove

    The limitations to which I awoke
    Consumed by the fear a fall would provoke.

    Shift and sidle, stumble and stall, I learn
    To walk. My balance will never return.


    An Homage to Home

    And when I woke up, from bed to bath was all I could manage.
    Then maneuvering from bedroom to kitchen meant
    Touching my way from surface to surface the way
    A lost blind man would feel his way from space to space.
    Now I can hide myself in normalcy, cloaking slowness
    In natural motion as if I were more gracious,
    Grateful for each discreet move, I slog through the fog in my head
    Instead of being seen, invisible because this is not me,
    No longer at home in a body imbalanced, needing to lean.

  46. patti williams

    Posting another, this one more in line with today’s prompt.

    I thank the storms
    Of life for crashing
    In waves all around
    My often-lost soul.
    I praise the relentless
    Nature of their resolve
    To wear me down
    Until I have nothing
    Left but my strength
    To carry me through
    The darkness.
    I praise their tenacity
    Because without the
    Fear, exhaustion, despair
    The storms bring into my life
    I would not have
    The same voice
    I use to write these words,
    These bits and pieces
    Of my soul
    I call poetry.

  47. Margaret

    With Liberty and Justice for All

    We sat at the table,
    Art Deco, all elegant curves,
    my father and I.
    Black shows through
    the uncurtained windows
    at the end of the long room
    as we sit under the puddle of light
    from the crystal chandelier.

    The kitchen door swings open.
    "Here’s your dinner, Mr. F,"
    she says.

    "Thank you, Mrs. P,"
    you reply, bestowing
    a gift I was years
    in understanding.

  48. RJay Slais


    In the middle of their season,
    filled with her nourishing fruit,
    some half eaten, dissembled,
    a natural disaster is discovered.
    Tender blossoms, hovered over,

    protected each day face up,
    once her precious seeds;
    their buds have eyes that rain
    as cancer has withered her,
    from tree to a bark-less log.

    The plummet of coverings,
    gravity is a greedy force.
    Beneath her tender layers,
    disease has taken like a plague
    until the instant winds,

    woodchopper fierce remove balance,
    pull her down, horizontal earth.
    The birds and the beetles
    gather in a feast chorus
    of chew, peel, and carry music,

    a song of disappearance
    yet that that has been
    left behind, little leaves,
    tiny twigs with her marrow,
    if only in their minds

    can nurture some strength.
    The young will grow up,
    eventually they rise high enough
    to shade the soil from the sun;
    the place her roots still lay.

  49. Cheryl Chambers

    Hm I can’t really edit posts, I guess. My name shouldn’t appear at the end of my poem, but it wouldn’t let me post without adding my name and it just jumped up there. Hm. I have to work (I know, the nerve!) right now, but will be back tonight to read everyone’s.


  50. Cheryl Chambers

    A Moral Man

    That’s what Isabella desires. Neal, not
    to be taken for granted, asserts his wonder
    at this woman, flinging it out like a rug
    out the door to beat the dust off. She wants
    a moral man but he isn’t quite sure what
    good is, though one night is not all bad.
    She swears she’s leaving him with her beaut
    of a name, and now he’ll just be a single digit,
    commonplace without flair, man without woman.
    She will take Victoria, too. His daughter
    will become Vicki to him, he fears. He will sink
    into the depths of the commonplace, and it’s always
    been them holding him up like the concrete pillars
    of the Parthenon, his wisdom and his eccentricity.
    Now he is just plain, just a man with no center.

    The Self

    Whitman wrote what he thought, he wrote all
    about it, brought it into being. Maybe Ginsberg
    threw his arms around it, made it come
    back to the center amidst the grocery store
    vegetables. Maybe Neal can escape dropping
    them on the floor, bruising their delicate rinds
    and skins. He might just mow the lawn too,
    the picture of surburbanite domesticity. But
    he knows this ball will drop like it’s New Year’s
    and the future will come crashing at him. He knows
    to love the tremble of the earth as it collapses
    in on itself or erupts like a heated evacuation.
    He’s starting to think there’s something praise-
    worthy in this, this solitude and he’d solicit
    the opinions of others except he’s enjoying
    this silence, this deafening still, this wonder
    at hearing his own thoughts for once and not
    the cacophany of that crazed chorus of friends
    and family, the cackle of those humanly creatures
    invading his minute and moment with a book
    and himself. One day he will combust, just
    as this earth will do, and he’ll leave one item,
    not take anything, but leave this:
    a simple panegyric
    to the folds of time,
    to Whitman
    to Ginsberg
    to You.

  51. patti williams

    Day #6: Praise related

    This could be a rough one
    With the wind blowing
    The way it is,
    The sky a growing mass
    Of thunderstorms –
    Their eminent power
    Ablaze with cracks of
    Lightening looking for
    The innocent to strike
    Down while traveling
    Along the path they followed.

    With mumbling, sorrowful words
    She prayed to the Universe
    For strength to get through
    The storm equally dangerous
    As the one growing above.
    The storm inside her heart:
    The one torturing her,
    Taking her breath,
    Clouding her eyes with tears of
    Betrayal, deceit, humiliation, regret.

    When the rain began, the drops
    Were huge, a sheet of
    Unwelcomed memories.
    The storm pelted her small frame
    Like stones being thrown
    With such force
    She thought she would
    Crumble in its wake.

    Then after days, hours, or
    Was it only minutes?
    It was hard for her to say,
    But when the storm subsided
    She picked up her broken heart,
    Saw the scars
    Holding each piece together,
    Then held it close to her chest
    Surprised to find it still beating,
    Alive and strong
    Just as it had before
    The darkness had descended
    Upon her, almost blowing her away.

  52. Sara McNulty

    In Praise of Color

    Monocromatic, that’s how life would be
    if I didn’t exist
    We’d all look alike, no individuality
    if I didn’t exist
    Autumn would look no different than summer
    if I didn’t exist
    We would march to the tune of the same old drummer
    if I didn’t exist
    I am lauded for all my depictions of scenery
    because I exist
    for my role in sunsets to mountain greenery
    because I exist
    Works of art dazzle us with splendor
    because I exist
    A kaleidoscope of richness, a master blender
    because I exist

  53. Rachel Green

    Thank Breakfast it’s morning!

    A round of toast and orange juice
    Some cereal to eat
    I love my breakfast every day –
    My favourite one to eat

    No more monsters on the bed
    No skeletons at all
    No ghosts to dace round sleepy heads
    No spiders on the wall

    Instead I play with plastic toys
    That come from wheaty grains
    And turn my face up to the sun
    (except for when it rains).

  54. Nancy

    Ode to Handwritten Thank You Notes

    Praise to your muse of fulfilled good intentions,
    prompting you who mean well to follow through.
    When a phone call or an email would suffice,
    indeed would far surpass the average response,
    she nudged you to find just the right note card,
    the one so lovely you considered keeping it
    for framing, then to take down the pen that
    feels just right in your hand, conjuring those
    words and phrases that flow from your brain
    right out the tips of your fingers, then to drive
    into town for stamps, buying not just the flags
    or the squirrels, but one of the pretty ones,
    Judy Garland in her Meet Me in St. Louis phase
    or World War II reporters. As she peered over
    your shoulder, watching you write your return
    address by hand—so much more intimate
    than the peel-and-stick from the Sierra Club—
    I hope she reassured you that your effort
    was its own reward, then followed you out
    to the mailbox as you slid the missive into
    the box, closed the door, and raised the flag.

    Nancy Posey

  55. Iain D. Kemp

    DOH! I just spent 10 minutes trying to delete a comma that turned out to be a speck on the screen! Anyway, Ringo doesn’t really do praise so this is an antithesis….

    Dear Moosehead,

    How do I despise thee and thy kin?
    Let me count the ways. I am sick of your
    no good sister working in a strip joint,
    earning more than me and not stumping up
    for the rent and heat. I cannot stand your mother
    busting my chops with her non-stop whining and never
    cleaning up around the place (your cousin may be a
    slut but at least she knows one end of a vacuum from the other).
    Did no-one in your worthless family ever learn to cook?
    If it weren’t for TV dinners, pizzas and chilli-dogs I
    could have starved to death by now. And you! You tight wad!
    How come it’s always me that pays for gas and beer
    and chill-dogs? Hell, if it weren’t for your cousin (when did she
    start doing the Rangers anyway? & how do the Nicks feel about that?);
    if it weren’t for her I damn sure be paying for the ice-sides too.
    Goddamn, if this keeps up I may have gone crazy or bankrupt or
    both long before spring training starts. And no I still haven’t forgiven
    you for losing faith last season and switching to the Mets.
    How do I love the Yankees? There is not time enough in the day
    or ink enough in my pen to express my undying love for the
    greatest baseball team in the world….
    You can pick me up at seven and pay for the cab, dammit!

    Yours in praise of inadequacy

    Ringo the Howler

  56. Iain D. Kemp

    Here’s my first…sorry if you get breathless reading it but I’ve already used my comma quota for the week!

    Cats, Poetry & Death #9

    …in praise of cats

    bouncy pouncy jumping
    running sleeping hiding
    biting fighting hunting
    stalking almost talking
    snuggled sweet on bed
    or hearth rug always hungry
    always loving curled up
    cat-napping paw-twitch
    dreaming of bird-knapping
    faithful demanding ever
    watchful lazy arrogant
    never ending bundles
    of joy and mayhem and
    chaos cleaning preening
    washing eating drinking
    creepy slinking muse
    making heart breaking
    black or white or both
    or tabby marmalade and
    stripy ginger Persian gold
    and chocolate Siamese and
    raggedy street cat scruffy
    looking little moggies so
    much more fun than raucous
    doggies mouse bringing
    rat taking wonderful pretty
    beautiful exquisite companions
    that are quite simply precious…

    … Cats


  57. Michelle H.

    From the smallest acorn
    To the tallest Mountain
    I give praise to thee

    From the dreaded insects
    To our furry four-legged friends
    I give praise to thee

    From autumn leaves
    To springs first bud
    I give praise to thee

    From the giant sycamore
    To the smallest weed
    I give praise to thee

    From oceans deep
    To deserts dry
    I give praise to thee

    For all this and so much more
    For all that I can see
    I give praise to thee

    Thank you Laurie K.! I agree with Heather your last line creeped me out too – good job! ;-)

  58. Iris Deurmyer

    Multnomah Falls

    Cascading over Larch Mountain with a surge of power
    Your majestic force chills the rocks six hundred feet below
    Sunlight filters through you like a prism
    Creating rainbows of color to stand against the white spray.
    During the dark hours of pre-dawn
    Your ever present music seems to crescendo
    Into the quiet of the sleeping valley below.
    Once it was so cold you froze into a giant icicle
    Or a stalactite on the side of a mountain
    Reaching toward the cave of earth below.
    What a wonderful time the Creator must have had
    Surely he laughed as he made a path for you to follow
    His fingerprints are everywhere
    Along the winding Columbia River Gorge
    It must have been a favorite playground of his.


    I posted five yesterday as I was sick for the first 3 days of the PAD. My theme is water and Green, keeping this precious commodity for future generations. H2O in all its variances.
    Hope I can write 30 without being repititious. Can we edit them later. I already saw I used below twice. Duh, i composed 5 at one sitting yesterday, I hesitate to look back and see how much editing I need.
    You guys are doing a great job. Kudos!

  59. Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

    Praise all when its due
    But let it not be said of you
    A fools heart you falsely raise
    By applying uneeded praise
    God see everything, God sees all
    A fool and a knave each he will call
    And should you praise to your own end
    God shall declare you a user the end…

  60. Connie


    Romans 1 and Psalm 19
    tells us that creation
    declares God’s glory.
    When an apple tree produces bright red apples,
    it’s in its glory.
    When a giraffe romps across the African plain,
    it’s in its glory.
    When the autumn leaves shine and shimmer
    in oranges, reds, purples, yellows,
    they’re in their glory.
    When snow-capped mountains tower over all,
    they’re in their glory—all creation
    being who they were designed to be to God’s glory.

    When a poet pens a moving poem,
    he’s in his glory.
    When a novelist declares truths in a spell-bounding way,
    she’s in her glory.
    When a doctor heals, a golfer makes a hole-in-one,
    a mechanic brings an engine back to life,
    a singer sings, an actor acts,
    they are in their glory.

    When domino designers and builders
    watch as the first domino topples
    and, like a shadow, spreads across the display
    featuring many colorful designs
    expressing their theme
    in brilliance and perfect timing,
    they are in their glory.

    Let us be like all creation and
    be excellent in what God has designed us to be,
    shining in our glory, and in so dong declare His—
    even if it means producing a few wormy apples along the way.

    Lori great poem. Earl, I like yours too, especially Trickle Down. And thanks for your encouragement yesterday. I’ve enjoyed all the poems today, and welcome to all you new people.

  61. Terri Vega

    Just can’t seem to get those titles down *shrug* Here’s my praise poem:

    Rose petals in the air
    tossed in screaming
    jubilation beckon the ground
    landing to patterns of whimsy

    Scents spring through the air
    as pointed spires of rosemary
    brush like feathers and
    tickle my face

    Kitties roll, they dig,
    knock over containers of cat mints
    as peppermints watch
    safe from the scurry

    Spider, brown and yellow like
    fallen leaves of autumn
    awaits its supper dodging
    back and forth in webs of
    graceful steel

    Life, life sings its living
    song and dances through
    the waiting days of

  62. Rachel

    In a Ragged Manger

    Taste this bread, this bitter loaf,
    cold and hard, unleavened.
    My only food from day to day,
    like manna straight from heaven.

    Touch this cave, my prison walls,
    a cold and dirty darkness,
    with lions preying on my flesh,
    whose teeth have lost their sharpness.

    Hear the cries that mark my breath,
    a constant sobbing stranger,
    like the Babe whose mother placed
    Him in a ragged manger.

    Smell the stench of rotting clothes
    that bind me up for death,
    the graveclothes that my Lord removed
    when Lazarus drew breath.

    See me raise my feeble arms,
    to praise the suffering tide,
    For while I ache, I understand
    just how and why He died.

  63. LKHarris-Kolp

    Kudos to Nancy, Connie, Rachel, Michelle, Patti, Earl, lain, Heather, Lori, Sharon, Robert and Rodney- wonderful themes and poems!
    I think EVERYONE is outdoing themselves…I just can’t name all of you. Keep up the great work. I look forward to this everyday- it’s MUCH better than soap operas.

    Laurie K.

  64. LKHarris-Kolp

    Clapping on Annulment Day

    "You are better off without him,"
    the lawyers in the courtroom said that day.
    "A beautiful, smart young lady like you
    should not be lied to and treated that way."

    "This marriage is now annulled," said the judge.
    "Due to fraud it’s null and void."
    Everyone stood up, yelled and clapped
    as she smiled, blushing; her hopes destroyed.

    "Next time we will do a background check,"
    her parents cautiously said.
    "You must find a man worthy of you
    before the next time you wed."

    Her friends were kind and supportive,
    as comforting as they could be.
    So she went on with her life and tried to forget,
    unaware he was stalking her behind a tree."

    Laurie K.

  65. Earl Parsons

    LL&L Day 6:

    2 Chronicles 7:14

    “If my people”
    That means us
    The blessed in Christ
    Your chosen children

    “who are called by my name”
    And created in Your image
    Linked through the ages
    To the One and Only

    “will humble themselves”
    Burn down our egos
    Bury our selfishness
    Raise You above all

    “and pray”
    With sincerity
    With urgency
    With expectation

    “and seek my face”
    We need the real You
    Not some man-made god
    To lead us further astray

    “and turn from their wicked ways”
    From the ways of the world
    From the ways of the popular
    From the ways of the devil

    “then I will hear from heaven”
    Because You are always listening
    From Your throne on high
    With Jesus at Your right hand

    “and will forgive their sins”
    Forgiveness that we don’t deserve
    But that You will give in love
    For we are Your beloved children

    “and will heal their land.”
    A healing that we desperately need
    A healing that only You can provide
    Dear God, we cry out to You
    “2 Chronicles 7:14”
    Just one of Your many
    Expressions of love for us
    Like writings on the wall

  66. Iain D. Kemp

    Hi Folks, Just a quick note to thank every one who did their best to cheer me up yesterday… I was not in a very good place but feel much better now, so THANKYOU!!!

    Have some errands to run so back with some poetry later



  67. Don Swearingen

    Today is cold, and who knows
    What tomorrow’s sun will bring.
    A balmy day, or a chilly sting
    Against your cheek, a wind that blows
    Between the trees, and around
    Tall buildings and through your coat
    Or on another note,
    The sun could rise, and then surround
    You with a warm cocoon of heat
    And give you feelings of euphoria
    And thoughts of a girl named Gloria
    And how it would be so sweet.
    Oh weather! Hot or cold or sitting on the fence,
    Fills our lives with bittersweet suspense!

  68. lynn rose

    This poem doesn’t have anything to do with my theme. But, I wanted to praise all of the colors we have here in Arkansas. Its the prettiest its been in years. So, here’s my praise!!!
    "Amazement all around"

    I look out my window and see an amazing sight.
    Bursts of colors fill the trees. There virgated
    colors on the leaves. Orange, yellow, green, alburn
    as they take there turn.
    Falling, falling, to the ground there everywhere to
    be found.
    The color is so amazing, virgated orange red, green yellow,
    but brown is peaking as an ugly fellow.
    Winter is upon us, that is a must. But why fuss. We get
    to see this wonder before it comes.
    This incredible amazing painting that covers everywhere.
    It is definitely fair !!!!!

  69. Earl Parsons

    Day 6 Brain time:

    Trickle Down

    Why do you think God did it
    He put you at the top
    Way up where the sun shines
    So you can get lots of vitamin D

    Then He covered you with skull
    And encased you in neuro-plasma
    He insulated you with hair
    More on some than on me

    Then God magically and mysteriously
    Wove you into what you are
    Inexplicably built to control
    More complicated than life itself

    You store all that we see
    You remember all that we do
    You ability to recall is amazing
    You control this miracle of creation

    The rest of the body bows down to you
    You are our command and control center
    We rely on you for direction
    We rely on you for survival

    So, trickle down your commands
    Trickle down our required instructions
    Trickle down your memory log
    Lead us into another great day

  70. Heather

    Lesson #6: Loss

    He’s not well
    The pain in his
    Is getting worse
    He has lost 75 pounds
    And the grass seems to work,
    At least he can eat,
    Once in a while

    I hug him hard
    Even though I know
    The cancer has spread
    To his back,
    His organs,
    And it hurts
    To be touched

    He doesn’t complain
    He holds me tighter
    Than I hold him
    He’s laughing louder and longer
    Than I can stand
    You’d never know
    He’s sick

    His biggest worry
    Is not about him
    It’s about her
    And where she’ll be
    When his number is called
    They’ve been rocky
    And he’s beginning to see
    That she might not be up to
    The task at hand,
    To watch him die
    He’s scared she won’t
    To her promise
    Of forever,
    Thick and thin,
    ‘Til death
    Do they

    He’s going to die
    It’s my loss,
    Her loss,
    Your loss,
    The world’s loss

    To a great Spirit,
    May I be so brave

    Lesson #6: Life Is Short

  71. Lori

    The Teachers Who Actually Teach

    You don’t waste time with stories
    and babified explanations
    because maybe you understand
    that I am paying for these classes and if
    I made it this far I must have some
    form of intelligence

    You are excited about your subject
    even if its microscopic bugs
    or long dead kings
    You make me excited about it too
    I even start writing poems about it

    You question more
    push more
    expect more
    You teach more
    Even when your world is falling apart.