Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 132

I hope you’ve been able to try out The Bop challenge. If not, click here to check it out.


For this week’s prompt, write a telling it like it is poem. Many poems play with metaphor and simile, but sometimes poets are better suited just stating the reality and stepping back. Actually, that’s sort of a principle behind haiku. But you can use more than 17 syllables–if needed.

Here’s my attempt:

“Covering the globe”

My fingers touch Georgia and Ohio,
but there’s no space between. In fact, I can’t
see Kentucky or Tennessee at all.
If I stretch, my pointer can reach Paris
while my thumb stays grounded in Atlanta–
the other three digits dangle in space.


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198 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 132

  1. Taylor Graham


    You’re the first place after the last
    red stop light. Strung out for a mile or more
    along a winding county road –
    is your downtown really a local joke?
    A few houses visible, in various
    tones of tree and earth, half lost in leaves.
    They don’t look each other in the window
    like tract houses on tiny lots;
    it’s as if they weren’t put there
    together but came about by thoughts
    of their own.

    I’ve always wanted to live in Rescue
    to save me from the interchangeable
    off-ramps and city blocks I drove,
    the stop-lights I sat through
    to get here.

  2. Dennis Wright

    One Hand Leads Another
    (Or Leo’s Bop)

    I agree with Tolstoy:
    There would be no need
    for hired governors,
    or erected state capitals,
    if we ever act moral
    toward the other being.

    One hand leads another.

    But to be perfect,
    we would need to be,
    closer to each other
    than we know how. It
    would be like living
    in a hall of mirrors,
    reflecting our hollow face,
    and worrying about the sun.

    One hand leads another.

    Home is where we are settled,
    our skin hanging from the bone,
    our clothing stretched over a chair.
    Mirrors matter not:we rejoice in the sun.

    One hand leads another.

  3. Dennis Wright

    This I Know

    It must be you
    who walked in my door.
    Only you, just you,
    I ask for no more.

    And the sun shines
    in Virginia bright.
    There’s rain in Indiana
    as I wait for you tonight.

    This I know, yes I know.
    There is but one
    where ever I go.
    This I know, where I go.

  4. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Soulless Brother
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Dear Soulless Brother,

    While many will busy themselves
    handing out condolences like business cards
    to family and friends this weekend,
    I will be reveling in the thought that you
    finally got exactly what you deserved,
    an eternal vacation in Hades notwithstanding.

    You learned early on, that talent and perseverance
    will only get you so far in this life,
    but that greed and selfishness in small bursts
    can accelerate desired results much faster.
    "Why settle for canned tuna," you once said
    "when one can have caviar right now?"

    For years, I saw you for who you really were,
    despite the loyal posse that surrounded,
    defended, even crossed the line for you–
    a soulless, manipulative, rat bastard who would
    part out a dying relative like a Ferengi
    if it meant netting a few bars of latinum.

    You thought the worse of me for years,
    fabricating, even jockeying for position
    within the family tree, in spite of weak boughs,
    so why should I suddenly start caring now?
    Prayers are best left to those that mean it.

    No, you probably don’t want me writing your eulogy,
    not if you don’t want me telling it like it is.
    I’m not a naive freckle-faced kid any more,
    I’m done covering for you.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  5. Mariel


    I walk in and it’s late
    the heat smells of incense and dusk
    Bed unmade; dirty plates in the sink
    bones ache from my run
    Fingers forces themselves around a blue mug I forgot to clean
    Tea steeps; your hair lingers on my fingertips
    like water passing through frozen grapes

  6. Elizabeth Johnson

    Getting down to the wire… today’s poem expressed itself as a bop, so here it is:


    They waltz along familiar keys with
    graceful collision and passionate whispers
    gently caressing those eighty-eight notes,
    dancing out words from twenty-six letters,
    choosing the colors to abstract their world,
    watercolor phrases, free verse melodies:

    I am my hands.

    Captivating sunlight, composing a home,
    crafting a well-worn house into coziness,
    carving smiles with curtains and canvas;
    stirring love into homemade suppertimes,
    laughter into cake batter and cookie dough,
    life into canned soups and boxed macaroni;
    arranging, composing, harmonizing each room
    a lyrical refuge from discord, a haven:

    I am my hands.

    Fingertips, knuckles, thumbs and palms,
    each their own royalty, each individual
    part of the whole the voice of my soul;

    I am my hands.

  7. Janice Windle

    My poem is posted twice because I was trying to give it a title ("In the Garden") but couldn’t work out how to make a break between the title and th e body of the poem so I tried again. Is it possible to delete failed attempts to post accurately? – Janice

  8. Janice Windle

    saw shrieks unseen
    hammer tapping roof
    thrush and blackbird confirm
    crow sways on high nest
    repeats hoarse warning
    somewhere a train
    overhead a plane
    white feathers drift in a blue bowl
    no sign of the ash yet

  9. Janice Windle

    In the Garden
    saw shrieks unseen
    hammer tapping roof
    thrush and blackbird confirm
    crow sways on high nest
    repeats hoarse warning
    somewhere a train
    overhead a plane
    white feathers drift in a blue bowl
    no sign of the ash yet

  10. Taylor Graham


    A day of sorting and packing.
    Resignation, she says.
    Time is elastic and brittle,
    things you let loose of, every
    thing belonging to your
    past. She says
    the hour is nothing
    but a keepsake, that broken
    clock in the attic.
    Listen, her daughter says.

  11. Michael Grove

    If Then

    If I had a nickel
    for every tear I’ve shed,
    Then I would be a rich man
    with a price tag on my head.

    If I could see the future
    I would buy a crystal ball,
    Then polish it so clearly,
    to gaze in and see all.

    If they said, “I don’t get it.”,
    instead of, “How delightful.”,
    Then the viral trail of oral praise
    might at times not be so frightful.

    If someone would cut out your tongue
    and amputate your hands,
    Then you would have to find a way
    to communicate demands.

    If I had six quarts
    of bluish blood instead of red,
    Then I wouldn’t be a soldier
    with a bandage on my head.

  12. LBC

    Cloud Cover

    Buffalo’s Erie clouds
    covered my anxiety,
    kept the sun from warming the shivers down my spine.
    Words at the building’s top invisible, cloud covered,
    I pretended not to enter a hospital,
    forced one foot in front of the other through the door,
    feigned a smile for the man who welcomed me inside.
    Waited to see the doctor,
    imagined floating away with the clouds
    east toward the sun, as
    footsteps down the hall came closer,
    stepped into the examine room
    where the doctor told it like it was,
    and the good news rocketed me high above
    those Erie clouds
    where my tears of joy cried a rainbow,
    my smile genuine.

  13. Julieann S Powell


    White capped waves
    Crash into the squeaky, white
    Sugar sand sending
    Spume and spray against
    Sun-browned legs attached
    To feet being sucked
    Into the sand by the
    Waves ebb and flow

  14. Joseph Beckman

    Thank you Pearl-kind words and Marie -tenderness born of anger at life’s injustice. No more harsh a reality than terminal illness……… except when you read something like Joseph Harker!!!!!…….funny and good Joseph. It’s funny Joseph how surrender ultimately can make anything enjoyable and you do so well with your words.. I just haven’t figured out how to switch our last names after the comments have been written….keep it up dude. I will have to figure it out eventually!!

  15. Sam Nielson

    Amy, PKP,
    Thanks for the mentions of my poem. I find this type of metaphor/simile-less work more difficult. I was always told that anytime you use a "to be" verb, you lose out. I am just coming around to the idea that one or two are not so bad, as long as I don’t displace a good action verb. I have found though, that trying to rewrite a line without the ‘to be’ verb, improves things considerably, but also shifts the tack of the poem elsewhere than originally intended. A little frustrating sometimes.

    Cameron Steele,
    You are welcome. I tell it like I see it. Just like eyes, a name has it!

    Mine is a bit common. (But was announced in the Bible, old family story how it got applied to me.) I’m told there is a Sam in every movie. But I figure most of the time it is there and used for the dog! So Sam rocks, or barks, whines, or ???

    Thanks again to all. This poetry street is a shoreline between oceans for me. I think a lot about it as I run about working. It is one thing I do because I want to, and it is for me to think and feel. Other non-controllable demands of me come and go, but I control this one.

  16. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Oh Joseph… Truly a majestic offering capturing a time that is at once incomprehensible and brutally real. Your innocent image of the boyhood string with s cup on each end fills me with an aching for what was, for what is, and fir what is to come. A brilliant piece on so very many levels…. Thank you and, if this as it seems is inspired by your own pain…know that there are many extension cups tied to your string listening and breathing only positive thoughts for you.

  17. Joseph Beckman

    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 132

    For this week’s prompt, write a telling it like it is poem.

    As it is.
    You talk so freely of your death to come.
    Calm, measured tones. You have terror filled dreams.
    Your affect is a lie. I catch your wandering eye,
    Deep it penetrates the scenes before you, wondering
    What movies you will miss when the theatre closes.
    What use your “heaven”, your “savior”, your monologue
    Of truths. Your truths, our truths become fodder for
    The Truth as Thelma and Louise feel the breeze
    On their face. Your courage, is it strong or wrong
    As it betrays you like a paper shield, a mirage.
    So real is your breath, your warmth, mother to
    Many, who will miss you and miss you already.
    Take this string with a cup on both ends, and
    Call me this Thomas as you walk through the
    Gates we all must traverse. Tell me you’re safe.
    Tell me you’re fine.
    © May 19, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  18. Joseph Beckman

    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 132

    For this week’s prompt, write a telling it like it is poem.

    As it is.
    You talk so freely of your death to come.
    Calm, measured tones. You have terror filled dreams.
    Your affect is a lie. I catch your wandering eye,
    Deep it penetrates the scenes before you, wondering
    What movies you will miss when the theatre closes.
    What use your “heaven”, your “savior”, your monologue
    Of truths. Your truths, our truths become fodder for
    The Truth as Thelma and Louise feel the breeze
    On their face. Your courage, is it strong or wrong
    As it betrays you like a paper shield, a mirage.
    So real is your breath, your warmth, mother to
    Many, who will miss you and miss you already.
    Take this string with a cup on both ends, and
    Call me this Thomas as you walk through the
    Gates we all must traverse. Tell me you’re safe.
    Tell me you’re fine.
    © May 19, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  19. Taylor Graham


    High overhead against blue sky
    a hawk is trailing two long streamers
    in its talons. No. It’s one
    long thin banner held in flight
    as the bird flaps hard for lift.
    Glimpsed through windshield glass,
    asphalt glare in my eyes, I guess.
    The raptor grips the center
    tight, while the ends – head and tail –
    dangle, move with the loft
    of air and wings. Snake. What was
    snake before this ascension.

  20. Iain D. Kemp

    When all is said and done

    everyone has their say
    everyone plays a part
    everyone takes a turn
    in the spotlight
    at the writing table
    it’s all for one and
    one for all
    musical direction
    the common ground
    consensus of opinion
    the binding post
    but when it’s all said and done
    it’s my band


  21. Joann Brosnan


    I sold that house six years ago
    along with the graves of my dogs
    and the people I sold it to
    lost it
    when the bank foreclosed

    When new people bought it for half-price
    bringing builders and bulldozers
    I drove for three and a half hours
    to stare
    at the ghosts of my life

  22. Colette D

    ~ Like It’s Not (or Snot) ~

    tabula rasa
    floodplain for unconscious rain
    muddy unclean slate 

    * * *
    it’s not rain
    it’s snot
    weather you like it
    or do not

    * * *
    Dad told us, "It’s not rain. It’s snot."
    when I was seven
    I believed him
    and was scared of the rain

    * * *

  23. Hannah Gosselin

    Thank you to De J., Dominoe, Marie and Pearl!

    Thanks for the kind words about my careless mishap, made me feel better about it. :)

    Happy weekend poet pals,

  24. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Hi all…Just in case anyone is not aware there is a small group of PA Friends on a FB group by same name…very relaxed ….. started by Shannon a few weeks back….De, Marie, Mike Maher, Daniel, Michele ( Banana) just to name a few. Come on over as said very laid back …..PA Friends… As I have written elsewhere may ball find some rapture not the rapture today. Enjoy your day <3

  25. Melissa Hager

    Man! Buddah is fast! I was in a rethinking, re-recording mode this morning, but too late. Mine withstanding, it was awesome to hear everyone’s voices and great works. What a fantastic idea, Buddah!

    Now, Nancy Posey, who I am blessed to be able to hear in real life, please read "Journals." Thinking of your delicious sardonic wit, it would be chilling…and might save a granny!

  26. Katie Dixon

    "Difficult Joy"

    Sometimes we love the difficult.
    To be in like requires smiles, but
    it is not always so with love.
    Joy seeps out, or maybe in,
    in sweat and sometimes blood,
    In frustration ground out through
    the biting the inside of our lip
    and deep breaths behind closed eyes.
    Reaching out we grasp tight the wrist
    of difficult joy, finding that it seizes
    our own wrists just as fiercely.

  27. Daniel Ari

    Yes, Pearl! Great idea – I’ll do what I can to put up a reading, too – perhaps of Roethke (especially for de Jackson) .
    And thanks for the encouragement Andrew, Amy, Marie, Joseph, M.A. and Jacqueline.

    One more to the topic in the bop form

    "Dwelling in distractions"

    Here’s the agreement: your interest in rocks
    makes you a geologist who can help us (all)
    pull money out of the stones, sort those to keep,
    those to drill, those to cement for foundations.
    The progressing world will use you and feed you
    and your family on your interest in rocks.

    We need to change fundamentally.

    For me, it’s words, these liquid crystals
    that catch the light of generations, but
    the days I typed crazed letters all morning
    then sat in cafes to scrawl poems longhand,
    I have sold eight hours at a time to mine
    synonyms for purchase, spend, join, have,
    get, now, new, save, you, must, need, own—
    and my daily bread arrives like nepenthe.

    We need to change fundamentally.

    This mythology of do what you love and
    money will follow has stopped the discussion
    about whether money must be loved at all.
    You can wake up some late nights and think,
    damn it, I love rocks. Why am I not sleeping
    camped on the mountainside right now?

    We need to change fundamentally.


  28. Joy Cagil


    “Worse than a tornado,” said Joshua Landon
    standing in knee-deep muck, “but this is home.”
    His six hundred acres overflowing like a brook,
    only the crop heads above water.
    “The bears took to the hills, and no snakes nowhere,
    but I just can’t leave. Can’t because this is home.
    Deluge took Matthew, the neighbor out yonder,
    but I am still here on account of this brick house,
    you see, it’ll dry up, and chickens are
    in the hayloft. The porch I’ll replace, because this is home.”
    Far out on the road two men paddled in a boat
    not to get swept away. They waved at us.

  29. MiskMask

    Eeow Ick

    Liver makes me sick
    whether raw and wobbling on a plate
    or pronged and leathered on a fork.


    Lumpy oatmeal makes me gag
    whether hot and milky in a bowl
    or muesli-ed up so dry it flies.


    Cod row makes me shiver
    whether folded into eggs like tiny gems
    or served up in volumes in silver spoons.


    Everything else
    whether it be animal, vegetable
    or mineral goes down truly quite a treat.

  30. Jane Shlensky

    Thanks so much for the mention of my pieces posted here: Hannah, Andrew K, Amy Liberatore, Pearl, Domino, Cameron, Joseph H. and Catherine Lee. I promise I’ll get back to read and comment before next week. It’s been a crazy week and my computer must be experiencing puberty lately (sometimes it works fine and other times it stares at me sullenly, passive aggressively). I’m sorting it out. Thanks for your help, Marie Elena and Walt. Thanks again, friends.

  31. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Awwww Thanks De and Jacqueline…. I didn t see Amy ‘s will keep checking fir yours Jacqueline….THINK THIS JS A GREAT IDEA…. LOVE READING FROM HOME!


    ( let’s take this conversation to PA friends or private messaging )

  32. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Pearl, De, you both did well.
    I listened to some of Amy’s poems, and Buddah’s too, on the site.
    Awesome to hear you guys. :)
    I’m waiting to hear me.
    Whatever it sounds like, I’m doing another one tomorrow…
    If at first you don’t succeed… LOL

  33. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Autumn….i have had a site up for a few years and only yesterday figured out how to put a picture up….
    If you type in I found this to be completely idiot proof…will take you a few minutes to have a site up and running…. Takes you through step by step….Very easy!

  34. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    YAY JACQUELINE!! Watching for it…I recorded one too.. THOUGHT THIS WAS A TERRIFIC IDEA FROM INCEPTION!! Looking forward to hearing you!


  35. de jackson

    LOL, Autumn. Must say in many ways I am jealous…you had me at the word "cabin." And I’m a terminal technophobe. The only reason I am clicky is because my hot hubbie somehow got both sides of the brain when gray matter was handed out. I myself, have NO left brain whatsoever, and no tech skills. I still can’t figure out how to change the type or spacing on my own blog. ha. ; )
    In the meantime, I shall just continue to enjoy reading you here, and imagining you writing beside that cast iron stove.

  36. Autumn N. Hall

    de-I would have to have my own blog or a web page to "get clicky" (is that the ’11 version of "get jiggy"?). I have as yet not stepped fully into the technological age. We have 4 cords of wood stacked out front with which we heat our cabin via cast iron stove, if that snaps you a picture of my personal tech-y-ness. I’ll have to get my too-savvy teenagers to help me build a page!

  37. Autumn N. Hall

    Taylor Graham-See foxes=must write poems! I have several, but this one actually fits the prompt better than the one I wrote and posted earlier. True story-saw it with my own eyes!

    Out of the Blue

    On a grey day, white mists
    crowd the box canyon,
    where red fox dug her dark den
    up the crumbling fulvous bluff.

    A straight-edge of yellow sun
    by chance, slants where onyx eyes
    spy under silver trunks
    winking wanton hints of green.

    Great grey heron reflects
    in the olivine pond
    where Mr. White Collar angles 
    for spangled rainbow trout.

    Lifting lavender fragrance
    from lilacs, red fox streaks
    under indigo shadows
    to steal the purple stringer.

    Rainbow trout flips flashing tail,
    freckling silver droplets
    across fox’s den-destined
    fuzzy russet muzzle.

    Outfoxed, Mr. White Collar,
    seeing red, cussing a blue streak,
    snaps his black graphite rod 
    clean in two.

  38. Autumn N. Hall

    de jackson-"If you build it, they will come." Just field-of-dream us all into your poets reunion, wherever it may be! Meanwhile, we’ll all endeavor to "be here now" with you on Poetic Asides!

  39. Autumn N. Hall

    Catherine Lee-if you figure out how to make it go away, please let me know! Thanks for the mention!

    Thanks to Connie, too!

    Taylor Graham-no such thing as "only art." Loved Eye of the Fox, especially as I am currently watching a mama fox raise her six new kits in their den down the road. ""The gallery doesn’t become suddenly chilly. Its lights cast no moving shadows" both beautifully FELT lines that come alive as you paint with words.

    Mike Bayles-I grew up in Davenport and attended West High School. It was surreal to come across this blast-from-the-past which reminded me both of what the Quad Cities used to be and what it has developed (literally) into. Interesting that what makes me feel disoriented yields to you a sense of solitude and gratitude. Sometimes, perspective is everything. Thanks for lending me yours.

  40. de jackson

    Jac, I LOVED that movie! Nothing makes me happier than a fabulous poetic movie script.

    I vote Vegas! Vegas is fun! And beautiful, 9 months of the year (I don’t recommend June, July or August). Or…wait…I vote LAKE TAHOE! A big ol’ rental house on the beach.

  41. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Daniel, break a leg! :)
    Miskmask, I too love your dentist’s name. C=
    Thank you, Marie. =0)
    Thanks, De! <0:
    Muchas gracias, Connie! :D

    To all those bring-me-downers, here’s my telling it like it is poem about Judgment Day:

    The world CANNOT end!!! (triolet)

    The world CANNOT end
    ’cause I haven’t made it yet
    Don’t ask me to repent
    The world CANNOT end
    So many poems left unpenned
    If it did, I’d be very upset
    The world CANNOT end
    ’cause I haven’t made it yet

    (c) jh 5/19/11

  42. Stacy L. Kersten

    Here is my poem, since the topic was fresh on my mind, it was about gossiping tongues (lol).


    They don’t have lies, really,
    the people who belong to those lips,
    uncontrollable jump-traps of waste,
    flapping, centering the world in a black grid
    of white lies, eliminating piece of mind.
    They talk nonstop of people, the lies
    of the one’s who live across the fence,
    world’s apart in excess and misery,
    eyes blind to what is real and untrue.
    Don’t look into their eyes
    if your paths cross on a similiar sidewalk,
    look away from the gaping ‘o’
    of their bored and blasphemy,
    don’t be painted into a corner
    created of their poisonous bite
    where the brushstroke of their tongue
    offers no kind words, not true mercy.

  43. Autumn N. Hall

    Just in case any of you are Denver-area poets, I will be joining the other Pilgrimage contributors for a reading at West Side Books this Sunday and would love to meet my fellow poets! Even if you are not from the area, check out this spirited journal edited by award-winning Latino poet, Maria Melendez. Thanks!

    Poetry & Motion!

    Join Pilgrimage magazine to celebrate the release of our latest issue with a reading by Denver-area contributors and an interactive Tai Chi demonstration by Jacqui Shumway.
    Explore how the movement arts and literary arts can be related—no experience necessary with either!

    Sunday, May 22nd | 7pm | Free
    West Side Books
    3434 W. 3nd Ave Denver, CO 80211 (303) 480-0220

    Pilgrimage is an independent literary journal emphasizing story, spirit, witness and place. Published three times a year in Pueblo, we feature personal essays, art, and poetry from writers in and beyond the greater Southwest.

  44. Brenda Olmsted

    always more

    Thirty-three years and counting
    to the day. That’s when life began
    with you and still it is new
    each day another adventure
    brushing teeth, making beds, cooking,
    cleaning and always the dishes and laundry,
    but that’s where life begins,
    in the mundane monotony of everyday living.
    Thank God there is always more,
    always you.

  45. Connie L. Peters

    Great writing, everyone. My favorites this week: Mike Maher (It’s Like This), Beth Rogers (The Act of Caring), Autumn Hall (Reason for Pause), Cameron Steele (I Don’t Dance), Lori Thatcher (Like It Is), Elizabeth Johnson (Unadorned), Walt Wojtanik (Silence is Golden), M.A. Dobson (Bird Watching), Vivienne Blake (Honesty), Domino (People I’ll Never Stop Loving and Do I?), Taylor Graham (Condor), Jacqueline Hallenbeck (Expecting), Amy BL (Rank), Pam Redmer (Lowering Atlantis), Nancy Posey (Journals), PKP (Betrayal), MiskMask (Dentist), Salvatore B. (We All Must Learn), S.E. Ingraham (Holy Truths)

    Thanks for the mentions Elizabeth, Pearl, and Cameron.

  46. de jackson

    Domino…I’m a mama, and you ‘get’ me. And you GOT me.
    Hannah…Always, always smiling. Love that about you. Fun piece.
    Jacqueline Hallenbeck…Expecting, heart wrenchingly beautiful. Wish I could hear you read next weekend! Knock ‘em dead. I am LOVING your book!
    Daniel Ari…I’m currently addicted to Roethke, and soooo wish I could be their for your reading. Love your work.
    Pam Redmer…Leaving Atlantis is wonderful. I enjoyed the journey.
    Andrew Kreider…Not Again. Wow.

    Elizabeth Johnson, Hannah, Andrew, PKP, Domino, MiskMaks, Marie Elena, Cameron Steele (had thought the same, of your name), Joseph Harker, M.A. Dobson and Catherine Lee (yes, have seen it, big smile.) :)

  47. Taylor Graham


    These are only brush-strokes,
    that make me think
    “ears” (wide, prick) and “nose”
    (pointed). “Fox.”
    “Eyes” (especially eyes –
    in colors brushed just so
    to make me think
    “watching.” Why do I
    say to myself
    “inside and out,” “inner and
    outer”? These are only
    brush-stroke colors imitating
    form on flat canvas.
    This is fakery. The gallery
    doesn’t become
    suddenly chilly. Its lights
    cast no moving
    shadows. No fox
    will follow me home, slip
    inside my walls.
    I will not lose myself
    in fox-eye.
    I tell myself “this is only

  48. Dheepikaa

    What will come out of this

    What will come out of this
    for me he is five years too young
    for you he is five years too old
    it was reason enough to kiss
    across borders on flights
    at far distance in buses
    what will come out of this
    you and I have wished for long
    such things were never told
    I will not in the slightest miss
    him if it’s worth the fight
    I have one minus, rest pluses
    what will come out of this
    for me she is five years too old
    for you she is five years too young
    it is reason enough to miss
    her naked hugs and olden blight
    hush, no one discusses
    what will come out of this
    you and I have wished for long
    such things never unfold
    I will not in the slightest kiss
    her if it isn’t worth the wait
    I have one plus, rest minuses
    what will come out of this
    you end and I will begin
    I begin and you will end
    you have one plus, rest minuses
    I have one minus, rest pluses
    what will come out of this
    minus plus kiss miss.

  49. Anders Bylund

    Melissa, Domino, and Catherine — yeah I know that fourth stanza is … hard to stomach but I think it’s vital to the poem’s impact. Also, it’s very much a "like it is" thing that played out on my right tricep. Thanks for noticing :)

  50. Mike Bayles

    Driving Across Bettendorf

    East 53rd Avenue takes me
    to the east end of Bettendorf
    to fields and new subdivisions,
    far away from the place
    where I used to live
    amidst the threats
    of gangs and violence
    on the west end of Davenport.
    As I drive I find a sense of solitude
    and gratitude
    found at some other place.

  51. MiskMask

    M.A. – NO!! Dr. Hurt? I’d be tempted to find another dentist. :D
    Marie Elena – I think Dr. Hurt has Dr. Moler beat. LOL!

    And de, that should be head over heels (not head over hells). I’ll go away now….

  52. M.A. Dobson

    Misk, my parents’ dentist’s name is Dr. Hurt!

    Enjoyed reading these, especially Nancy P’s Journals, Daniel Ari’s calendar, Taylor Graham’s Condor (still have your Bop in my head), Joe’s The Boss (love that last stanza), De’s Just the Facts, Walt’s Silence Is Golden (had to read to the husband; so funny).

    Pearl, thank you, I think it’s more like words have their way with me. Loved all yours, always do, especially "The Way It Is" (so true) and the paisley/palsied play of Quilt.

    Thanks as well to Autumn, Hannah, & Melissa.

    Anyone up for the Rapture? ;-)

  53. Catherine Lee

    Catching my eye…
    Robert – there’s so much there, but I’m trying to leave your words as they are. :)
    Pearl – especially the simple beauty of "Morning" and "Adorable"
    Beth – funny that we took different approaches. I said caring took effort – you are the better person!
    Cameron Steele – I am becoming a big fan of your work
    Elizabeth Johnson – "Unadorned"
    Anders – deep meaning there, but trying not to look too hard.
    Walt – "inflate your ass"
    de – have you seen the movie "How to Train Your Dragon?" Well, I just gestured to all of you, and it’s wonderful.
    Joseph – didn’t think anyone could make morning breath sexy, but you made it hot! More cheek busses for you. Mwah! Mwah!
    Jane – "Respect for size"
    Autumn – If I ignore that phase of life, it just go away, right? ;)
    Karen L – sounds heavenly to me
    Andrew – "Not Again" whoah. Love/hate the reality of the situation.

  54. Joseph Harker

    Favorite thus far: Cameron ("Tell it like it is"), Catherine, de (especially that first one), Jane, Andrew Kreider, Amy, Pam, Nancy, Sara (excellent triolet!), Rachel… and thanx in turn to Marie Elena, Melissa, Daniel, Amy, Pearl, and Domino.

    Sorry for the delayed read-through, no more Internet in my apartment… will be all moved in again next week!

  55. Andrew Kreider

    Not again

    The car is fully loaded for the trip
    Three children toileted and strapped in tight
    Behind a week’s supply of food and clothes.
    Just lock the door, and they can get away.

    But standing in the doorway, she’s dismayed
    To hear a telephone begin to ring.
    Conditioned to respond, she says hello
    And hears the last voice she would want to hear.

    Aren’t you ever in the office? Listen,
    I don’t think you know my Uncle Pete,
    But he just died and we think you should do
    The funeral. I told my mom you would.

    The funeral directors have a slot
    In half an hour and I said you’d be there.
    Considering how often you have failed
    My mother, I just hope you won’t be late.

    In frosty silence, all the kids return
    To eat their picnic in the living room.
    She ducks his gaze as he pulls out a knife
    And carves another notch into the wall.

    Five minutes with the family reveals
    She’s only there for them to vent their bile
    United on a common enemy.
    And finally the pressure’s all too much:

    “Excuse me,” she announces, “I would like
    To spend some time with the deceased. Alone.”
    She waits until the warring parties leave
    Then tells the body what she thinks of him.

  56. S.E.Ingraham

    holy truths

    today begins beneath a clichéd holy truth
    the possibility of a perfect world
    free of fear, a new world, murmurs to me
    too much is the same; the truth shifts
    in a million directions sideways

    thoughts stagger beneath unclear definitions
    in a straight line without limitations
    I close my eyes and hear dreams howling in colour
    the last word is but a whisper seeping echoes

  57. Karen L

    This is a vacation haiku – joyous or tragic? It all depends…

    We sailed down sunny
    Florida coastlines, carefree
    cell phone left behind

  58. Salvatore Buttaci


    Butting my head against the wall
    won’t change the inevitable
    those hard lessons in life
    we all must learn if we hope
    to insure wiser days tomorrow

    Insisting I can skirt dilemmas
    cautiously walk around
    perilous perimeters and not
    fall prey to paying my dues
    is downright stupid

    Resigning myself is best after all
    looking in the face of the unknown
    prepared to fight battles or
    take the slings and arrows
    of temporary misfortunes


  59. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

    I have decided to try to keep up with the Wednesday challenges simply to create poems, which I love!

    So, poetic friends, here is my take for this week:


    You are slow!
    Your face is dirty!
    Your hair is a mess!
    You are never going to amount
    to anything!

    Wow, you are fast!
    What beautiful skin you have!
    Your hair always shines!
    You can do anything that your
    heart desires!

    Telling it like it is
    challenges us to see
    the obvious lying behind
    our bias.

  60. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas

    I have decided to try to keep up with the Wednesday challenges simply to create poems, which I love!

    So, poetic friends, here is my take for this week:


    You are slow!
    Your face is dirty!
    Your hair is a mess!
    You are never going to amount
    to anything!

    Wow, you are fast!
    What beautiful skin you have!
    Your hair always shines!
    You can do anything that your
    heart desires!

    Telling it like it is
    challenges us to see
    the obvious lying behind
    our bias.

  61. Marie Elena

    Nancy: “Journals” is lump-in-the-throat reality for some. Well penned.
    Pam: “Lowering Atlantis” begins with a catching title, and does not disappoint.
    Laurie: Loaded piece. Wow.
    Walt, Walt, Walt. ;)
    De: Amazed by you.
    Niebla: “I talked to you tonight, and we did not connect, and it wasn’t because of the bad connection.” Great poem … especially great line.
    Pearl: Adorable is adorable! Your untitled “two thirty,” so sad, and your The Non-Euphemistic Truth is too often too true. “The way it is” gets a hardy “amen!” from me. You’re on a roll with this prompt, lady!
    Amy and Joseph: You do “eeeewwwww” quite well! *shudder* LOL!
    Misk: So funny! My parent’s dentist is “Dr. Moler.”

    Heiberg: That’s it exactly! Or should I say, “Amen!” ;)

    Sweet Hannah: Thank you for the sweet comment! Sorry you lost money. Your heart shines through it in your writing … always thinking of others, and shining the best of light on a glum situation. =)

    Thank you, Elizabeth. =)

    Jacqueline and Daniel: Knock their socks off! And Jacqueline, “Expecting” touched me.

  62. Rachel Green

    In Enlightened Days

    A dozen A to Zs in the back of the car,
    several of them with well-thumbed pages
    from one night stands and three night love stories
    where the ending was always film noir
    and a long walk into sodium vapour rain.

    No more A to Zs with sat-nav but then
    I’m in a committed relationship now –
    I can’t afford to run a car anyway
    and the chat rooms have long gone
    where I met people under a gibbous moon.

  63. Mr. Walker

    Public School Teachers

    We brandish respect
    and knowledge
    for we are mighty inside.

    We forbid no one.
    All are welcome
    to enter and learn.

    We manage this daily
    with little compensation
    and little complaint.

    I challenge you to do the same.


    Thanks to Paula, who suggested I post this poem here.

  64. Cameron Steele

    Thanks for the mentions to Pearl, de, Elizabeth Johnson, Sam Nielson (and an extra thank you to the sweet comment about my name), Andrew Kreider and Amy Barlow Liberatore.

    Truly loved Jane’s "bar"
    Pearl’s "the adorables"
    Connie’s "when form’s the thing"
    de’s "fib"
    Heiberg’s "casting pearls"

    Thanks again and wonderful poeming.

  65. Domino

    mike Maher – “It’s Like This” – funny that you were STILL able to cloak your poem in mysterious fog. ^_^
    Walt – “Growth as a Poet” – My favorite line of all those great lines, was the last.
    Cameron Steele – “Wednesday Morning,” Lovely. “Tell it Like it is” loved “under the table knees bouncing”. Great poem!
    Beth Rodgers “The Act of Caring” –We were totally thinking along the same wave length today.
    Autumn N. Hall – “Peri-Meno, Reason for Pause” was delightful, even just because the sharing really makes others in your predicament not feel so alone.
    Elizabeth Johnson “Unadorned” I love the thought in that. So true!
    Anders Bylund – “Healing” Must say GROSS! But also, kind of fascinating, the way one can’t help but poke at a scab.
    de Jackson – “The Way it is” I like how this prompt is bringing out valuable truths in our poetry. Nicely done! :) Oh! Also, “Dear David” though I would change the name to John.
    And of course, “Just the Facts” Last two lines are the best, to me anyway.
    Joseph Harker, yes, “Breakfast in Bed” was quite repulsive, but also, I couldn’t stop reading.
    Jane Shlensky’s “Just so You Know” is my philosophy exactly. :)
    Joe “The Boss” – I’ve totally had bosses like that. I’m glad I don’t anymore.
    Hannah Gosselin “Careless” Nice thought, that someone else needy benefitted. It’s a kind thought and one I’ve treasured myself when I’ve been less than careful.
    PKP – “She Reads East Orange” and Pearl, you are amazing. ^_^ OOOh and “The Non-Euphemistic Truth” is so very good.
    Daneil Ari – Loved it! I wanted to read and re-read to not miss one of those fascinating ‘days’.
    Nancy Posey – “Journals” was so good, very moving and so very true. Kudos!

    That was fun! Good poeming all! :)

  66. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Still working on a way of commenting that makes sense to me-
    Haven’t come up with one yet… So here are just some that in my jumping around struck me…

    Kris – “not a good start to the morning” heart pounding!
    Willy – love the allergy description – terrific economy of words
    Paula ..again so much said with so few powerful images!
    Connie – that “firm will” enjoyed the couplets so sweet and powerful
    Hannah – as said earlier Relational is delightful

    Skipping around a bit

    WOW De… Dear David… telling like it is … “still taste the tears” beautiful
    Heiberg … adorable …the rap like edginess singing “like from Heaven on YouTube”
    MA – I am sure you know but it bears repeating ..m’aam you have a gift with words
    Joseph …if that’s not telling it like it is… mhmmm what is?
    Domino … great sentiment wonderfully expressed …you and Margaret Mead would agree
    Jane … you are on a roll with this prompt enjoyed them all especially Big Questions
    Joe…great lines “people like her should have their own nation; one built for civil war not a tourist destination”!
    Taylor BRAVO on the CONDOR… seven lines and an indelible image – BRAVO
    Sam .. “inky fingerprints scattered ..About as evidence of my being” great line
    Daniel…whew… now that was different! …. In a good way☺
    Laurie… Intriguing sickness of fruit salad… don’t know if I can eat again without wondering?
    Nancy… last to be read tonight and truly telling it like it is … the “painful truth” a difficult complex human subject drawn so keenly and beautifully clear BRAVO

    Goodnight all… Did a little skipping around and sure I missed some terrific ones!
    Trying to get a little discipline going here and get to bed at a reasonable hour…

    Happy poeming and sweet dreams to all!

  67. Sara McNulty

    Telling it like it is

    Torn ( a Triolet)

    I miss my dear friends in New York,
    but love feeling free in this town.
    I had to taste the wine uncorked.
    I miss my dear friends in New York,
    yet felt spurred on toward the West fork.
    At times I fear I will break down.
    I miss my dear friends in New York,
    but love feeling free in this town.

  68. Domino

    Oops. I had another poem today, and it seemed to fit even though it’s written for my friend Elaine.

    Do I?

    Do I really want to know
    how the women in your life
    come and go and come and go?

    When you asked me just today
    for help in choosing the next
    woman in a long array

    of women, none of them me,
    though you promise it’s really
    true, and it is me you see,

    what can I do but throw up
    my hands and just walk away
    and think about and size up

    the way our stupid friendship
    or maybe relationship
    has gone. I’ll just get a grip;

    I’ll give you good advice and
    though the pain is sharp and hard
    I’ll somehow, someway withstand


  69. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Way It Is

    Not everyone gets a home run
    that is why when you do
    it is such terrific fun

    Not everyone earns the same award
    that is why when you get one
    it is worth the work hard

    It is hard to sit on a bench and not play
    but harder to realize that you were patronized
    and shrunken by the "everyone’s a winner" smiley-say

  70. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Non-Euphemistic Truth

    You are not envied because you are a great beauty
    Your presence is suffered cooly as an obligatory duty
    You are not intense and high strung
    You are self-involved and should have long been taken down a rung
    The world does not no matter what you may desire
    Revolve around you as the centering wire
    You are not sensitive and hurt so easily you cry
    You are markedly incapable of empathy and do not wish to try
    Frankly it is time so very long past due
    That someone stepped up and told all of this to you

  71. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Two thirty in the afternoon
    everyone together on the entranced
    landing waiting for the
    limousine to arrive, him translucent, covered in light blanketed chair, carried
    into the building
    nodding at nothing, all as one smiling mouth
    gathering him at their center
    in from the sizzling summer heat
    they swarmed
    linking arms
    in that sparkling glassed building that
    kinded hope from fabricated frigid air
    everyone sat in the waiting room, chatting
    it up until
    they were called – all of them
    inside, which if not joined in the what-could-not-be they would have
    seen for the dark sign of what-was-to-come/ as the soft eyed doctor spoke

  72. Autumn N. Hall

    Sam Nielson-regarding that simile/metaphor thing, thanks for pointing out that I still need work reading the prompt, the whole prompt, and nothing but the prompt! Woops! Apologies for all the metaphors and similes in my Pause!

    M.A. Dobson-having wiled away many an hour perched before our bird feeders, I found your poem immanently relatable! Beautiful ending, too. I’m currently awaiting our newly-returned hummingbirds’ discovery of the nectar feeder…

    And many thanks to Andrew Kreider, Amy Barlow Liberatore, Hannah Gosselin, Melissa Hager, and Pearl aka PKP for forgiving my poetic "oversite" and commenting on my piece today!

  73. Nancy Posey


    You couldn’t wait to move me here, paring
    down my earthly goods to just this bed,
    one chair, a chest. For my own good, you said,
    no fear of falling at home alone, unwatched.

    Three square meals, friends my own age, bingo—
    more like a life sentence than a life.
    I lie awake at night imagining your glee,
    going through my house, the boxes in my attic,

    dividing between you all the best pieces,
    carting off my clothes to Goodwill, keepsakes
    to the trash. I smile to think of your faces
    when you find all those gifts you gave me:

    nightgowns, bed jackets, meant for a place
    like this one, never worn, never even taken
    from the boxes, cards still tucked inside .
    And I think what you’ll find here, not hidden

    but placed in the top drawer, awaiting you,
    your curiosity, pages and pages of my thoughts,
    not quaint stories and remembrances, fodder
    for fireside stories, but the painful truth.

  74. Pam Redmer

    Lowering Atlantis

    I have to admit
    it’s not been all good.

    They’re lowering Atlantis he says,
    passing by the kitchen door
    cellphone in his hand.

    Lowering Atlantis … I roll
    the words around my brian
    sweet aftertaste of
    marinated artichokes
    juicy on my tongue.

    I have to admit
    It hasn’t been all bad

    I leave the empty plate
    on the kitchen table
    pick up my fresh cut
    ginger fresh squeezed lemon
    cup of tea

    Move to the computer
    contact Poetic Asides
    looking for a Wednesday prompt.

    Atlantis is the last ever
    space shuttle to lift off,
    orbit earth, maneuver and dock
    with the International Space Station.

    I have to admit
    It’s pretty spectacular.

    The magic’s in the mathematics
    executed by many hands
    doing many precise
    perhaps small things.

    A memory of a past
    when men first left the
    gravity of earth
    to spin closer to the stars
    without the interference of atmosphere.

    No matter, no heat, no air,
    no weather, no life,
    no food or water.

    So they built an enormous flying ship
    to carry construction elements
    and everything else
    raised by rockets
    and piloted home
    gliding safely to earth

    I have to admit
    It is truly stunning

    And now it is on its last
    leg. All done, all gone. The end.

    I have to admit
    I wrote at the table
    put away my plate
    found the prompt
    went back for the notebook
    Now it’s later. I’m done.

    The lowering is done
    to fit the shuttle
    piggy back
    to the rockets and fuel tank
    in the VAB
    Vehicle Assembly Buulding
    whose stars of the stars
    and stripes painted
    on its outside are
    each the size of a VW bug.

    I have to admit
    to being mind boggled,
    suitably impressed,
    immeasurably sad

  75. Laurie Kolp

    Sick of Fruit Salad

    For years she watched him,
    strong muscled and fit;
    lifting table chairs a piece of pie
    a circus acrobat on the trampoline
    arm wrestling as if with dolls

    sly smiles can’t deny
    the bile suspicions
    budding resemblance;
    until at last she knew the truth

    with that familiar backwards glance
    and “I’ll be back,”
    in that obvious Austrian accent–
    an apple is an apple,
    not an orange.
    Fruit salad an appetite can’t sate;
    would she be back?

  76. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Pearl Girl, whatever IT is, telling it three times is not a sin!
    Sam, loved your inky black fingers. Paging CSI…
    Daniel Ari, I laughed as I read yours out loud, crazycoolfun.
    Joe, you caught the metaphorical suggestion of the prompt and nailed it to the boss’s desk!
    Autumn, your paean (dirge?) to menopause is felt by many of us. You stated it beautifully and with the right soupcon of bitterness.
    Jane, "Respect for Size," brava! (Could have been downright down and dirty with that title. I grew up among giants in my family…)
    Oh, Joseph! From the "dragon breath blues" to the combined "who cares?" of early morning lovemaking… so true.
    Cameron S, "I Don’t Dance," delightful. Reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara in mourning at the ball!
    Great stuff, folks. Do visit my blog if you want an extra haiku today as well. Peace, Amy

  77. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Back in the day…

    Taught to sneer, roll eyes, sigh and chortle
    At rhyming which ostensibly sealed all intellectual portal
    Of course this was long before all the fun
    In that serious furrowed brow phase before permitted fun had begun
    When ambiguity, and intense difficulty was that only acceptable life portal
    Long before accepting some fun in the tickling times as a telling it like it is mortal

  78. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    For all who live in cultures where daily bathing is considered not only a waste of water, but strictly an American aberration, I humbly apologize, but I just had to get this one out there!! Amy


    The new apartment was spotless:
    Creamy carpets calming, yet daring any mud
    to tread or trespass.

    Spacious closets; bathroom, a religious experience.
    We moved in, delighted to have found
    a small space offering big comfort.

    Then I stepped into the hallway
    shared by a dozen apartment front doors.
    Smacked in the schnozz by a complicated, rank odor.

    Some good: Spices, worthy chefs working ethnic magic.
    Much more body odor… culturally acceptable
    where the bodies originated, harking back to my East Side days.

    Worst – cigarette smoke sneaking out to play hookie,
    curling, wending its way from under some front doors.
    Lingering like a London pea-souper, toxic fog.

    © 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

  79. Daniel Ari

    *** BAY AREA EVENT ***

    "I knew a woman lovely in her bones."

    One of the best poems I know is “I Knew a Woman” by Theodore Roethke. It’s the kind of poem that can change your mind about love, death and poetry; and it’s the spark and fuel behind my new performance, which debuts Tuesday, May 31, at The Marsh Theater in Berkeley (2120 Allston Way off Shattuck, downtown).

    I hope you can make it. Tickets are $10-18 sliding scale at the door only. Music begins at 7, show at 7:30. I’m on the bill with solo performances by Mark Kernward, Violet Juno and Marijo. These stories contain adult material and are not recommended for children.

    Please feel free to invite friends or forward to people who would enjoy. And apologies if you get this more than once. It just means I love you.


  80. Michael Grove

    Poetic Justice

    When those who seek aggressively
    to bring harm to another,
    and those who live to lie and cheat or steal,
    are bounded by eternal fear
    and trapped in flames of terror,
    the peaceful souls above will start to heal.

    Wherein this myth of peace on earth
    lie hopes and dreams of justice.
    When we finally get it right and start to see,
    The transformation of this sphere
    is unified for greatness,
    and the falsely persecuted are set free.

    by Michael Grove

  81. Andrew Kreider

    Thanks for some wonderful offerings today.
    Ones that especially caught my eye: mike m. – It’s like this; Cameron – tell it like it is; Autumn – reason for pause; Catherine – nothing to read; Elizabeth – unadorned; Shannon – boys are boys; de – the way it is; Domino – people I’ll never stop loving; Jane – big questions; Joe – the boss; Daniel – calendar; Pearl – IT, each time! :)
    And Jacqueline – best wishes for Saturday, wish I could be there!

  82. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Telling IT Like IT Is ….. (a silly pre-dinner interlude)

    Go tell IT on the mountain
    over the hills and up on there
    tell IT to the wild blown flowers
    and down onto the front porch chair
    Tell IT in a tall feathered cap
    and later on your fancy panted lap
    as you sit and read that crumpled from the trunk torn map
    Tell IT as you find your way
    and lose it again the very next day
    Tell IT up shouting from a tree
    and lying on the ground green grassy
    Tell IT rolling down a clovered hill
    or underweared at the sink swallowing a pill
    Tell IT to the cat that stares with wide eyes of emerald green
    and to the panting pudgy puppy born with a cognitive deficit of mean
    Tell IT as you march to the gazebo behind a twirling baton up in the airer
    Tell IT in any way to anyone or anything to each and all who would dare ya
    And when you are all done
    Telling IT just like it is – just like that – genuine and true
    When you have finished telling IT just like that through and through
    Stand on a chair or tippy toes and pull that pitcher down hidden for no more
    Throw off your clothes, lift up your face and soak yourself in metaphoric pour

  83. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Telling IT Like IT Is ….. (a silly pre-dinner interlude)

    Go tell IT on the mountain
    over the hills and up on there
    tell IT to the wild blown flowers
    and down onto the front porch chair
    Tell IT in a tall feathered cap
    and later on your fancy panted lap
    as you sit and read that crumpled from the trunk torn map
    Tell IT as you find your way
    and lose it again the very next day
    Tell IT up shouting from a tree
    and lying on the ground green grassy
    Tell IT rolling down a clovered hill
    or underweared at the sink swallowing a pill
    Tell IT to the cat that stares with wide eyes of emerald green
    and to the panting pudgy puppy born with a cognitive deficit of mean
    Tell IT as you march to the gazebo behind a twirling baton up in the airer
    Tell IT in any way to anyone or anything to each and all who would dare ya
    And when you are all done
    Telling IT just like it is – just like that – genuine and true
    When you have finished telling IT just like that through and through
    Stand on a chair or tippy toes and pull that pitcher down hidden for no more
    Throw off your clothes, lift up your face and soak yourself in metaphoric pour

  84. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Telling IT Like IT Is ….. (a silly pre-dinner interlude)

    Go tell IT on the mountain
    over the hills and up on there
    tell IT to the wild blown flowers
    and down onto the front porch chair
    Tell IT in a tall feathered cap
    and later on your fancy panted lap
    as you sit and read that crumpled from the trunk torn map
    Tell IT as you find your way
    and lose it again the very next day
    Tell IT up shouting from a tree
    and lying on the ground green grassy
    Tell IT rolling down a clovered hill
    or underweared at the sink swallowing a pill
    Tell IT to the cat that stares with wide eyes of emerald green
    and to the panting pudgy puppy born with a cognitive deficit of mean
    Tell IT as you march to the gazebo behind a twirling baton up in the airer
    Tell IT in any way to anyone or anything to each and all who would dare ya
    And when you are all done
    Telling IT just like it is – just like that – genuine and true
    When you have finished telling IT just like that through and through
    Stand on a chair or tippy toes and pull that pitcher down hidden for no more
    Throw off your clothes, lift up your face and soak yourself in metaphoric pour

  85. Jacqueline Hallenbeck


    She is expecting another child.
    A second one, I’m told.
    How lucky she is!
    Where are these children coming from?
    Are they coming in a charted bus or a train from some unknown location?
    Is there a line where I can stand and wait for one as well?
    I hate lines, but for a kid, I’ll stand all day and night if I have to.

  86. Andrew Kreider

    Thank you for calling

    What pain I endure every time that I say,
    “We apologize unreservedly:
    Thank you so much for calling; have a nice day.”

    Your son cut his hand when he started to play
    With the chainsaw you bought? Well, duh! You see
    What pain I endure every time that I say

    We’re sorry to losers like you, sharks who prey
    On flesh like lawyers? When I gush brightly,
    “Thank you so much for calling; have a nice day,”

    What I mean is, “Get lost, you leech-head, and stay
    Out of my way or I’ll show you clearly
    What pain I endure!” Every time that I say

    How I feel to my boss, he turns me away
    With, “The customer’s right, just make them happy.
    Thank you so much for calling; have a nice day!”

    Well, he’s wrong – there’s no way we should have to pay
    For your stupidity. It’s killing me
    What pain I endure every time that I say,
    “Thank you so much for calling; have a nice day.”

  87. Daniel Ari

    This prompt. Hmm. Seems to me that every time I write a poem I’m always trying to tell it like it is. But there are so many ways to do that. So this thing that came out today is out of the box, and not at all out of the box (to use a metaphor).

    Joseph, I enjoyed finding "apneal angel" and your poem :)



    Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
    Milkday Mushday Runaday Slamday Thirstyday Sunday Sleepday
    Shitsday Shatsday Hunkerday Bunday Spillday Fallenday
    Lipsday Fightsday Penday Loneliday Sunday Boogieday Richday
    Poorday Newsday Tableday—and we turn the calendar page
    to Sproutember the Firth—Planday Coffeeday Queerday Macday
    Stoneday Welladay Rainday Teeveeday Sadday Doodahday Wriggleday


  88. Sam Nielson

    Very sneaky prompt this time. Tell it like it is, avoiding simile and metaphor. Sheer detail, and their juxtaposition, with no apparent metaphor/simile shows a poetic principle, in my opinion. No metaphor or simile is nigh impossible. I can avoid overt ones, yes, but there will always be hints or pointers. If I say, "There grew three trees. . . " even if there really were three trees, we in our brains, attempt to connect why three, why only three, why more than one? And our metaphor/simile radar starts beeping like crazy. Three means many things, even if there were really, really three.

    No matter how simple the language, description or text, we will always look for deeper stuff. Hazard of being human.

  89. Sam Nielson

    Cameron Steele,

    I loved your "Tell It Like It Is"

    The telling is "I don’t dance." Which frames a duality or many things from I don’t to I can’t, to I’m afraid to-covered by the I don’t. (The "I don’t" tries to say I choose not to, implying I can, but don’t.)

    The bouncing knees tell all. All is wanting for him is more push, and a whole lot of encouragement. Unless the implication that he can, and chooses not to, really is true. I would’ve loved to dance, but way too shy to admit it. Therefore, not practiced, no skill, no rhythm etc.

    Keep at it.

    By the way, your name fits both images of you writing poems and as a journalist. Love that duality as well.

    Sam Nielson

  90. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik


    The adorables
    lying there under
    soft blankets
    chubby soft-cheeked
    cooing darlings
    thinking who knows
    hearts as they
    sweetly inveigle
    into the places
    we will leave
    or not

    if future fortunate
    drooling sweet smiles
    up from soft blankets
    into their grown faces
    as they wonder at
    the non-sequitour
    as mistily
    we recall in fluttering focus
    the soft sweetness of
    chubby cheeks
    and stare in loose
    limbed petal
    skinned awe
    at the exchange

  91. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Reading from my book "Poem-atic" this Saturday, May 28 from 12:00-4:00pm at the East Orange Public Library, 21 So. Arlington off of Freeway Drive, East Orange, NJ. Stop by if you can. Would love to meet as many of you if you are in the area. C=

  92. Sam Nielson

    Black Fingers

    After distributing recently
    Used type back into the case,
    My fingers look quite black.

    I look at them and wonder
    Where that ink could have
    Gone had I been more efficient

    In the printing, in the writing.
    Those efficient printed sheets
    Might be found in important places.

    As it is, I could touch many things
    Leaving inky fingerprints scattered
    About as evidence of my being.

  93. Hannah Gosselin

    Most poignant haiku and thank you, Marie!! :)

    Absolutely Pearl and thanks!

    Nice Robert! Or you made a trip to the Bermuda Triangle and ended up as Jack Black did in Gullivers Travels! ;)

    Enjoyed the reading, these especially captured me Autumn, Elizabeth, M.A. Dobson, De J., Vivienne and Jane.

    Maybe another…

    Loosing my marbles..
    Misplaced money…
    Looked every where
    the desk, drawer chair.
    Who knows if I brought it
    with me or if it slipped between
    the grates of the cart
    onto the floor of a big "box store?"
    Possibly an old couple scraping to get by found it
    a young pair who nary have two quarters to rub together.
    Hopefully the money will do someone good.
    In the mean time I’m racking my brain
    with a cart full of stuff
    a baby in a carrier and a toddler
    and no debit card handy either.
    Loosing my marbles…
    On the phone to have my hubby come rescue me…
    yup indeed.
    Lucky that wasn’t our last seventy dollars.
    I feel like a heel though.

    ~Embarassed, (still smiling)

  94. Taylor Graham


    sitting on a power-pole
    warming its wings outstretched
    ten feet wide. Storm clouds
    could not be so dark,
    silver lining the underside.
    Then it flapped once.
    Out of sight on a single glide.

  95. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Telling "it" Like it Is

    There is always an it
    running rivulets in tear
    torn cheeks
    There is an always an it
    in thick rage spit on the other’s cheek
    There is an always an it
    rising in the unexpected
    mist at a sudden sound, song, smell
    There is always an it
    as the catalyst, conveyor, cause, conclusion
    There is always an it
    Until it goes

  96. Joe

    The Boss

    My boss is a gravel road
    filled with potholes, winding
    in an unknown direction; something

    you dread approaching, like
    old age, or perhaps anything
    labeled new age for that matter,

    but know you have no other choice
    until God sends you the signal
    to turn in a completely new direction.

    People like her should have their
    own nation; one built for civil war,
    not a tourist destination.

  97. Jane Shlensky

    Big Questions at the Local Bar

    You wonder loudly in your beer
    What women want from men,
    Why they nag and fuss
    about trifles when they could
    be having fun or resting in front
    of a ball game with their pants
    undone. Some men laugh and others
    look at me and become shy.
    Whywhywhy, you rage, slurring,
    can’t they be happy with us as we are.
    I am a woman who can tell you why.

  98. Domino

    People I’ll Never Stop Loving

    They probably know who they are
    But how can I give someone
    a piece of myself
    for years at a time
    and then
    never think about them again?

    Never worry that they’re
    eating their vegetables
    or driving safely
    or practicing
    safe sex?

    Never worry that they’re
    paying their bills on time
    or wearing a coat
    or sunscreen?

    Never worry that they’re
    getting regular checkups
    or taking their vitamins
    or having that crazy
    mole checked?

    I can’t do that.
    I can’t just stop caring
    though I may not
    stay in touch,
    I always wonder
    and pray
    that they are all

  99. Heiberg


    To the left
    and to the right
    and en

    That’s when you need to
    the sun
    rise and say
    thank you.

  100. Melissa Hager

    Ewww! This reality stuff can be gross! Dear me, Joseph and Anders, but hilarious.

    Thanks, Pearl. Your lovely tribute to your grandmother’s quilt reminds me of the "gently frayed" one I just lovingly placed back in the closet for summer.

    Autumn and Walt, your poems feel like chapters of my life! Peri-menopause and my attempt to grow as a poet- plus the silent treatment to my husband upon mentioning my burgeoning behind.

    And MA, "Avian Rapture" – ha! ha! ha! Maybe it was the kitty that someone wrote about that was so funny – was it during PAD?

  101. Jane Shlensky

    Respect for Size

    I feel so small when you’re around
    You are so tall I have not found your eyes
    Since you last sat and I last stood
    At the same time I realize
    That stars I wish upon
    But cannot reach (because of height)
    Rest on your crown when you arise at night
    And birds that little people rarely see
    Perch on your hat and shoulders—you’re their tree
    I look up to you as you speak down to me
    But sound waves do not fall upon my tiny ears
    Some distance underneath your right arm pit
    But I don’t care a whit
    That I can’t read you lips and meet your eyes
    Right then
    It’s fun to focus on your under-chin
    And think of giant bull frogs
    Puffing up their great white throats
    And croaking loud to sound themselves
    To fish and polliwogs
    Peeping from beneath their lily floats
    Out of respect for size.

  102. Elizabeth Johnson

    Robert- your poem reminded me of spinning the globe when I was a kid… wherever your finger stopped it was where you’d live someday. Such fun!
    Connie- such true words. Sometimes all that’s needed to make a poem truly shine is a different form.
    Cameron- enjoyed your shadorma
    Marie- such a bitter truth, but so poetically expressed.
    De- enjoyed your fib about fibbing!

  103. de jackson

    LOVE Cameron Steele’s ‘Wednesday morning at 10:35," especially:
    "and fight
    to keep rhymes
    out of articles about doing time."

    Shannon Lockard, I have a boy. And boy, oh, boy, TRUE DAT, my friend. ; )

  104. vivienne blake

    Telling it like it is.

    Honesty is not always the best
    Imagine the hurt
    if I told you that dress
    made your bum look enormous
    and/or asked
    why on earth
    do you dye your hair?
    Grey is so much classier.
    My idea is that kindness comes first
    and, come to think of it, last.

  105. Joseph Harker


    I don’t like kissing in the morning:
    it reminds me of eating paste in kindergarten,
    without the gleeful thrill of disobedience.
    Chapped lips and chapped tongues are
    an uncooked delicacy. And you were snoring
    last night, my apneal angel:
    so forgive the canyons and uplifts round my eyes,
    the bitter crack in my voice. Mornings like this
    shorten my temper and shrink from touch.
    The smell, too: I wonder if
    my sheets have been replaced by our skins
    shed in our nighttime thrashing, pungent with
    our oils. What you must think of me,
    when you shimmy up against the pillows
    still blind with dreams, pull me in close, expecting
    a meeting of mouths only to have me twist.
    It’s not you, it’s just the sensation of
    licking some damp dead animal caught in your jaws.
    Though, once you get used to it, it’s not so bad,
    and you always know how to make me relent:
    sleepless peace comes at last
    on the tip of your breath, salty and fibrous and
    utterly repulsive until we’ve gotten so into it
    that I can’t tell where my cottony filth ends
    and yours begins. We are
    a whole reclining field of the stuff.

  106. M.A. Dobson

    Sometimes it’s quiet for long stretches and
    I pause to surmise that a hawk or a cat
    has scared them away or maybe the thistle
    seed we bought is not up to par or maybe
    the fields are simply more bountiful
    this time of year and they’ve abandoned
    the feeders in the yard or maybe
    the Avian Rapture is at hand . . .
    and then I wonder where the day has gone
    with me lost in another world again
    and just as I succeed in getting back
    to work, focused on the task at hand,
    I see a flash of indigo or hear
    the Carolina wren

  107. de jackson

    Just the Facts

    Falling is fun. Landing hurts. Hearts heal.
    A bubble will burst if you touch it. The moon won’t.

    You only get what you planted. Every time.
    Doesn’t matter how long you cross your fingers
    and hope it will magically turn into something else.
    It is what it is.

    Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks.

    Do you know these things?

    I have inscribed them on my heart,
    long healed but ever searching.

    Are you listening?

    If a tree falls in the forest, it makes a mess
    whether anybody hears it or not.

    Time turns. Fire burns.
    And the earth gets wet when it rains.

  108. de jackson

    Dear David,

    Let the record show:
    You did this.

    Took a wondering heart
    in your willful hands
    and twisted it
    into a bloodied
    And after all these
    tumbled words
    and 21 years,
    I can still taste my tears.

  109. Heiberg

    Marie Elena: I asked our local pastor in our public church what "amen" means – and he said: "So be it." This is a direct translation and hopefully it translates right. I hope that this makes sense for you and now I’ve learnt to understand why the Americans say "amen" in a way I’m not used to.

  110. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Cameron …great on those knees
    Walt…adorable silence is golden
    Rob .. Whoa that IS telling it like jt is
    Melissa …aww captured so sweetly
    Autumn…from title to last "toss" wonderful tribute to the big "E"
    Catherine… On first reading thought last line read "crackle for cackle". still so authentic
    Hannah…I always fall for the connections….lovely

    That’s it for now….
    Thanks to Hannah

  111. Autumn N. Hall

    Walt-three days indeed; you better hope she doesn’t roll a stone in front of the dog house you’ll be sleeping in tonight!

    Catherine Lee- "lipstick stains…match crackle for crackle," great, thought provoking image! I especially like the way it also brings to mind the word "cackle" and thereby relates to the too-loud laugh above.

    Mike Maher-I really liked your choice of subject and the way you drew us into the fog.

    Robert-thanks for your "worldly" offering today, and for "putting a finger" on the answer to Tracy’s Poetic Form Challenge inquiry; I’d been wondering whether I’d somehow missed the results myself.

  112. Anders Bylund

    I took a shot in late March —
    Just another pinch among thousands.

    It bled at first, like they always do,
    But the pain didn’t last long.

    One week later, it had turned into
    A black-and-blue bruise.

    Week by week, it festered;
    Bleeding again, dead meat and pus.

    Middle of May, and the last scab
    Fell off to reveal pink and white anew.

    The pain went away but
    The scar never will.

  113. Marie Elena

    Love it, Elizabeth. I can relate. It makes me think of a poem I wrote for the 2010 challenge.


    Look at me.
    What do you see?
    Genuine smile?
    Tender eyes?
    Watch me.
    What do I do?
    Lend a hand?
    Feed the poor?
    Look closer.
    What do you see?
    Lack of faith?
    Perhaps my sin
    Is not glaring.
    But it is sin
    And my sin
    Killed my Christ.

  114. Elizabeth Johnson


    Paint and perfume
    may pretty me up,
    ruffles and rubies
    could dress me up
    like a prima donna,
    couture and coiffure
    might give me glamour-

    but no amount of
    fashion or fabric, no
    prominence or pedigree
    can temper my character,
    veil my true nature,
    change who I am
    on the inside.

  115. Marie Elena

    On my lunch break at work, and HAD to stop in to grab the prompt and read. My haiku popped out immediately, so I went with it.

    SUCH TALENT OUT HERE, FOLKS!! I especially like the pieces from Robert, Melissa, Kris, Walt, and Sweet Hannah. Hoping to get more reading time this evening.

  116. Catherine Lee

    Nothing to Read Between the Lines

    I’d rather play normal
    Than admit my preference
    For distraction over
    Productivity, efficiency,
    And other trumped up words
    That taste sour on my tongue.

    It takes so much effort to care,
    So I laugh louder than necessary
    And drink too much coffee,
    Wondering why the lipstick stains,
    Garish against the white rim,
    Match crackle for crackle.

  117. Lori Thatcher

    Like it Is

    Just simple words, your poetry
    is short on metaphor
    the chafing forms you try to fit
    are like a lock-ed door

    and though the search to find the key
    remains a puzzling feat
    the rhyme and meter leave you sore
    the verse barely complete

    So fail you might throughout the day
    for perfect word or theme
    you push the button anyway
    for fame’s a just pipe dream

  118. Autumn N. Hall

    Peri-Meno, Reason for Pause

    Oh, cursed estrogen
    you’ve held me in your tides
    these thirty years
    a-wash in abiding
    irritability and tears
    dazzled in the auras
    of unilateral migraines
    my body an encampment
    of bloat and muscle pain
    strung-out like a puppet
    on your surging highs and lows
    and just when I’ve adapted
    to the violence of your throes
    you are leaving me,
    albeit not without
    these souvenirs of
    all our years together:
    insomnia, a moonlit vigil
    bathed in pools
    of my own sweat
    an uncool tendency
    to randomly forget despite
    electric shocks sporadically
    prickling my brain
    I remain at the mercy
    now of absence
    losing nails and hair
    figure, go figure,
    becoming pear
    not unlike bear wearing
    winter body fat
    and if all that
    weren’t enough,
    the stuff of nightmares
    during day held captive
    in panic’s sway, cross
    under the cross
    of your inevitable

  119. Beth Rodgers


    It’s simple, really
    To care
    But to not care
    Takes time, effort

    You have to set it all aside
    Revel in disobedience to what your mind
    Wants you to think about
    And deal with.

    Retroactively you may regret caring so much
    Wish you hadn’t cared at all
    And even though not caring takes so much
    Out of you
    Sometimes the simplistic nature of caring
    Even a little
    Can mean a whole lot more in the long run.

  120. Cameron Steele

    Wednesday morning at 10:35


    here I am at my desk,
    gazing south
    (there are the doors where you might appear)
    the burnt roof of my mouth.
    (do you love me? you do not, I fear)
    The spring morning
    is still forming
    (and like your eyes, so clear)
    quiet of a sort:
    twelve crime reports
    (will you wait for me here?)
    crowd the space
    next to the keyboard.

    My dear,

    I am wondering:
    when will you stroll in
    Lift your chin
    in hello
    turn my knees to jello?
    Til then, I will write
    listen to GreenSky BlueGrass
    and fight
    to keep rhymes
    out of articles about doing time.

    (How long before you’re near?)

    I’ll tell you like it is, baby:
    You’ve got me wrapped up in maybes.

  121. Robert Lee Brewer

    Hannah, I have a globe sitting right next to me, so you’re right–that’s where the poem started. (And I also drank some potion that quadrupled my size.) ;)

    Thanks, Pearl.

    Tracy, I’m still working on that one. I’ve learned that judging forms takes a lot longer than judging poems. I’m shooting for finishing before June is over–the sooner the better.

  122. Hannah Gosselin

    "paislied tumble!" Love that description, Pearl.

    Walt with: "He was the captain of his words set adrift." :)

    Nice start today everyone!

    Robert, picturing you as a giant or studying a globe/map. :)

    Good day for now,

  123. Hannah


    Web of lightness
    drips defying gravity.
    Holding together
    what is fragile,
    weaving loosely
    mystery of truth.
    Nearly invisible,
    this net ties us together.
    Close to unfathomable
    we are all connected.

    ©2011 Hannah Gosselin

    Smiles and happy Wednesday,

  124. Connie L. Peters

    Not sure if this fits the prompt, but oh well if it doesn’t. :)

    When the Form’s the Thing

    Sometimes the form’s the thing.
    Take the word, “bill.”

    So you take a deep breath
    and with a chill,

    you journal your journey,
    sweet or sour dill,

    with neither loud fanfare
    or fuss or frill.

    You may feel like a bug
    that hit the grill.

    You contemplate and write.
    It’s all uphill.

    Tempted to hit delete,
    in for the kill.

    You’d like a better form,
    poetry mill.

    You scrounge for ideas,
    but nothing, nil.

    It might be a good time
    to take a pill.

    Perhaps you should go back,
    and use a quill.

    You’re just about to scream
    piercing and shrill.

    And then the brilliancy
    begins to spill.

    You keep going strong and
    keep going still.

    You finally finish.
    It’s such a thrill!

    You can write a form poem,
    with a firm will.

  125. Paula Wanken

    a careless driver,
    a damp highway, and a skid ~
    mourners are incensed

    P. Wanken

    written for the Three Word Wednesday prompt: damp, incensed, skid
    as well as for the "tell it like it is" prompt, here at Poetic Asides

  126. Walt Wojtanik


    He played with words.
    All his life was verbal,
    like an herbal supplement
    to his vocabulary.
    There was nary a day that
    he did not play. As a kid,
    he hid his secrets; poems
    from the heart did not start early.
    His Balloon, flew to the moon in June…
    the tune he sang was juvenile.
    Oh, his folks would smile at his
    worded wile, but he felt limited.
    He found that his words
    held great power, and he would shower
    those around him with every whimsical
    worded wonder that cast the spell
    they all fell under. And still,
    his blunder was hiding his muse
    under the bushel basket of self-doubt.
    He’d let his poems come out long enough
    to lock them away, holding sway over his words.
    But as he advanced in style and form,
    he warmed up to the idea that people
    would want to read every worded morsel
    he could feed them, nourishing…
    while flourishing as a poet. Wouldn’t you
    know it that the more they would clamour
    for one more stammer through rhymed reading,
    the more they demanded. It remanded him
    to write all he could, and should he falter,
    he would not fall far. His star was rising
    and it wasn’t surprising that he could
    reach higher still. His biggest thrill
    was seeing the incoming tide raising
    every ship that ventured into shared waters.
    Each friend, scholar, kin, and poet
    whose ship had the ability to sail,
    would eventually prevail. And when sunset
    called to silhouette his frigate,
    everyone found cause to celebrate.
    He was the captain of his words set adrift.
    If they found the strength to uplift
    even one doubtful soul, it became the goal
    for which he strived. Growth came quietly.
    And somewhere above, his parents still smile
    with love.

  127. Kris K

    Telling It Like It Is

    In the last hours of slumber,
    I drove, backwards,
    round and round, my
    legs frozen to the clutch and gas
    my head draped over the headrest
    my mouth mumbling, incomprehensible
    words, help me
    companions knew nothing
    my heart pounded
    I woke,
    not a good start to the morning

  128. mike Maher.

    This was a difficult prompt for me. I like to hide behind metaphors and abstractness. It was difficult to tell it like it is! Here is my attempt:

    It’s Like This

    The fog is so think you can’t see the outfielders.
    After every ping of the bat they look at each other
    before putting their gloves up and their heads down.
    It’s only batting practice
    but third base is a wasteland of quicksand
    and home plate is under so much water
    that you can see the strikes by the splashes
    the softballs make when they land.
    It has been raining for days
    but they are determined to play.

  129. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Wonderful kick off Robert
    Melissa quite enjoyed the simple powerful images ….

    Not quite sure I’m getting this prompt but will give it a go…..



    grandmother’s quilt
    paislied tumble
    rose, green, white, red
    edges ever so slightly fraying
    comfort still perfect
    in each delicate drawn leaf
    peeking in the palsied tumble
    pulled about a stretching shoulder