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.