That’s right! I have not forgotten there are still 10 days of highlights left from the April PAD Challenge–well, actually, 9 days after this one. 🙂
For Day 21, I asked poets to write a “snooping” poem where they take some overheard conversation and work into a poem. Here are the highlights.
Listening to Life
As I passed by the
corner booth in the
all-night diner I heard
the girl say “be sure to
be on time” and he said
“I will be but you be sure
to have the bathtub filled
with spaghetti” and for the
first time in my life I realized
that adventures I didn’t understand
were going on all around me.
Alfred J Bruey |ajbrueyAT NOSPAMaol dot com
The Properties of Imaginary Space
Balloons in pink and green
rest still by the fronds of time
the emergent behavior of aliens
is not that of predation
in the constrained dynamics
of the way things are.
But the conversation moves on
and those in its wake
blink and wonder
when the coffee will be drunk
and whether the square root
of negative one is of any consequence
to the niche we fill.
Beth Browne |womenswritesAT NOSPAMinbox dot com
I pick up a bit here
a bit there
(Isn’t that what Tonto said
just about every week
to the Lone Ranger?)
what else did she say?
Poco a poco
Little by little
living in Mexico
has gotten through my
stiff United States
psyche so I can
poco a poco.
it translates in my
but what they mean is:
that’s how it is
Poco a poco
we pack to leave
when we shall return
this not knowing.
Kimberly K |kekinserAT NOSPAMmac dot com
What a Week
Don’t they think we know anything?
These kids say four-twenty like it’s
Some secret code known only to Gen-Y.
The snickers they think go undetected
Why, I haven’t gone to work on four-
Twenty since Columbine; I haven’t flown
Since before nine-eleven,
Since Katie was born.
They may find amusement in that
Holiday that Hallmark forgot,
National Pot Smoking Day,
But those of us who catalog
These things think of
Hitler’s birthday, Waco,
Columbine. Knowing the eerie
Play of anniversaries, we hold
At least one day until Earth Day arrives.
When our world goes green,
We don’t plan to dry it and
Keep it in a Ziploc.
Nancy |nposeyAT NOSPAMembarqmail dot com
The Pope’s in Town
“Where are my papers?”
asked the lady with the wild eyes
who came to court with a sitting stool
to make sure her son, his many voices
making chaos in his head, gets a fair hearing.
But it’s never fair,
not for her golden-hair boy,
held at Rikers for brandishing a knife
at a Starbucks in Midtown;
not for her,
and the class she’ll almost certainly fail
because she can’t keep her notes straight,
or finish the tests,
or keep track of papers.
Nor is it fair, during this glorious
springtime in Manhattan,
(did you hear the Pope was in town?)
the magnolia trees blooming on Fifth Avenue,
the crowds wildly waving flags
for the man in white,
who has a surprising look of delight
on his stern face,
that she must go home without her son.
“Where are my papers?” she asks the lawyer,
who tries to be patient,
knowing she can’t save her son, nor can he.
Overheard Conversation/Mom and My Brother
“Did you try to see him?” I heard her ask,
and I think she was nervous. “Once. He
chased me away with a shotgun. Told me to
get off his property.” I’d heard them talk before
about my brother’s real father, not the name
on the birth certificate, but the husband
of her sister. They were divorced now, and
he lived on a small patch of land in a small
trailer. “Did he know who you were?” I don’t
know if they even remembered I was in the
back seat. “Yeah. I told him. He didn’t care.”
I sat in silence, like I had so many times as
a kid. “Well, you tried.” But here I was, an
adult and still sitting on the outside, “Yeah.
I tried at least. All I can do,” listening in.
Susan M. Bell |maylandwritersAT NOSPAMgmail dot com
Behind the Register
Lines form at all the cashiers.
Naturally my friend and I
Pick the wrong one
We’re next but the young cashier
Is busy flirting with the male cashier
To her right
The merchandise sits on the
Counter like a purchase mistake
That no one wants
“Ooh, I just got a paper cut.
Do you think it’s going to bleed?”
She asks the male,
Batting her eyelashes. Her nails are
Bent over the tops of her fingers
Like my dog’s claws
“Well, they don’t always bleed,”
He says. She lifts the afflicted finger
In the air and
Bravely rings up our purchase
All the while pushing at the
Cut. “Oh I know
It’s going to bleed and I hate
Blood. “If it bleeds,” he says,
“You can leave early.”
She smiles and deftly places the aging
Item in a bag, staples the receipt, and
Hopes for blood.
Sara McNulty |smcnultyAT NOSPAMsi dot rr dot com
“Hon, have a dime?’
She hiked up sagging hose,
pink lines snaking up brown arms,
and as she bent over
her skirt bunched in the back
and her mouth split open
into a snaggled-tooth grin
and a crooked cackle that floated
over the low roar of vendors
hawking, “turkey wings
two bucks each” and “get your
dry roasteds here.” The man,
austere in grey pinstripes,
black wingtips, and a frown,
stepped ‘round her cairns
of blue plastic and brown paper
and rolling malt empties,
shaking his head with a “no money,
sorry”, fingering his back pocket
as he stood in line for a Mary
Mervis roast beef special.
Linda |drwasyAT NOSPAMgmail dot com
Gleeful Guy starts gathering them around.
“Com ‘ere, come ‘ere, come ‘ere…”
“See how comfortable these chairs are
when you *first* sit in them?”
He spins, leans back,
gleaming at the gathering cubical lemmings.
“Are you kidding?”
a nerdy lemming responds
bumping Gleeful Guy aside
to maniacally type away.
“Check out this video of a pole dancing class
that ends in a chick fight!”
“I’ve got one now,”
says the Blonde, sliding between them,
easily taking over. Then she
frowns, stares, sighs.
“Okay; that’s impossible.”
“Did you forget something…again?”
Pole Dancing Guy, dripping with sarcasm.
“She’s just twitterpated,” Gleeful Guy jumps in
thinking he’s chivalrous.
“Poor thing,” Disdainful Dame says
entranced by the whole thing anyway.
“Where is everybody?” the Boss’s voice rings out.
“I got an urgent message.”
Workers scatter like cockroaches,
under sudden, harsh,
while a distant voice says
“What do you mean you’re going on vacation?”
Rox |babayagaAT NOSPAMbaymoon dot com
Did something crawl into you too
On the wind
High above the world
On the ones it passed
On it’s way up.
You see the butterfly
Emerging from it cocoon
And taking flight
And the caterpillar
Crawling into its nest
Of silken fibers
Ready for its transformation
And you see the worm
Chewing its way
Into the heart
Of the peach
Hiding, destroying, corrupting
You are that worm
Or did something
Crawl into you too?
Anahbird |anahbirdAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com
You’re Not My Friend Anymore
The good morning song
is interrupted by fatal words
proclaiming the dissolution
of friendship between
one five year old and another.
In Kindergarten, solidarity
is a tenuous proposition
hinging on simple acts:
the reclaiming of an offered toy
a decline to share fruit roll ups
or the choice to sit next to
Renee Goularte |share2learnAT NOSPAMsbcglobal dot net
Why Can’t I
But, why can’t I stay home with dad
“Because I said No”
I promise not to drive him mad
I don’t want to go
Grandma’s so boring
Besides, when she gets mad
she starts ignoring
Why can’t I stay home with dad
He’s more fun
I promise not to be bad
anyway, I’m not the only one
Dora, Misery and Wojo
get on his nerves
I don’t want to go
If I promise to be good
I’ll bet if you ask him he would
Go ask him, betcha’ he’ll say yes
I won’t just be good, I’ll be the very best . . .
©Rodney C. Walmer 4/22/08
Rodney C. Walmer |wasitchuAT NOSPAMoptonline dot net
“We’ll have some kind of opening something. Something will happen.”
Something doesn’t tell me anything.
Something could be one thing or nothing.
The world is full of somethings.
But please give me something, anything.
Everything is a something.
And something could be anything.
So please give me something that’s not anything.
And I’ll be able to figure out what the heck that something is.
It could be everything.
Something will happen?
I know something will happen!
But that something could be anything.
That something is everything.
If that something is nothing, that’s something.
I need to know if that something will be nothing.
I need to know if that something will be one thing or another thing.
I need to know if that something could be everything.
KP |kerritothepointAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com
He spends his days developing
theories of of geometic topology, his nights
playing video poker and occaisionally
his wife coaxes him to step
out of the darkness to pour wine for guests
he won’t look directly in the eye.
“I’d do that,” he says of walking
the length of the Appalachian trail,
not to prove himself against the distance
or immerse himself in wildness, but
for the routine, to get up each morning
knowing you will walk thirty miles,
the only way is forward.
Devon Brenner |devonAT NOSPAMra dot msstate dot edu
My trip to Phoenix was a disaster
I got this present for you in Sedona
This little bead of a bone cat that sleeps
Trimmed in rough polymer paint
With whiskers of black and cheeks of peach
a little old 96 year old woman makes these.
You can do with it what ever you want
I just used the string to get it to you
My daughter was mean
Said I was repeating myself
Said I couldn’t watch her children
I’m not trustworthy
I finally told her
Barbara Torke |sparkyspiderAT NOSPAMkaycee dot net
we are being
led on a leash
all the way
to the back
of our cracker-
it’s just nuts
we are waiting
for the check
out distress; the economy
broke or broken
free money, dangled
hopes and paper
above the masses
“is it the key
all of mankind?”
we are fish
bound to find
the hook, wormless
of lives and gas
is a series:
and less-than signs
let us wait
patient as dominoes
for the finger
to tip us right
k weber |ilovehateyouAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com
Normally I’m not a nosy person,
but sometimes I can’t help but snoop.
The other day I couldn’t resist,
listening in on your private conversation.
You were telling your friend about,
how you’re cheating behind my back.
I even heard you laughing because,
you believed I would never find out.
You may think that you’re very clever,
but here real soon you will realize,
how a scorned woman gets revenge.
Darla Smith |writer_darlaAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com
“I want a piece of quiet,”
you order, just like you order
a turkey sandwich on rye.
So I’ll try to pull out
the piece of quiet, right next
to the slice of serenity.
But my body resists the lock
of stillness—my toes tap,
my fingers drum, I click my pen
in time with the music
I hear in my head.
When you look up, I freeze,
waiting for another reprimand.
But you smile and wink,
“Oh, I love the sound of you.”
Sara Diane Doyle |saras dot sojournsAT NOSPAMgmail dot com
‘Cause Here’s the Thing
All you have to do is look interested
I’ll babble on about things that might
seem uninteresting to you,
And I’ll be completely oblivious.
‘Cause here’s the thing,
Nobody’s more interesting than me
I’m in to everything you’re not.
I’ll interrupt interesting conversations
you’re having with someone else
‘Cause here’s the thing,
I never learned social grace
I was too wrapped up in myself
to notice there are rules
Social rules that one learns by doing
‘cept I never do it, so don’t blame me
‘Cause here’s the thing,
You’ll only know me for a short while,
And in that time some nugget of wisdom
or truth may sneak out of my mouth
It might take you a while to figure out
‘Cause here’s the thing,
Something I say will stick in your head
And as you roll it around in there, a
light bulb will come on
And you’ll actually learn something from
Justin M. Howe |howefitzAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com