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2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Here we are. Another November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. Wake up your friends, bring your fellow poets. Let’s poem the heck out of this month!

This time around, I’m going to try using prompts supplied by participants. (If you’re interested in providing a prompt, there’s still room. E-mail me at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: November Prompt.) For instance, today’s prompt comes from Mariya Koleva (click her name to learn more about her).

Mariya’s Prompt: Write a matches poem. The matches could be sticks that make fire. Or it could be matches from a game. Or the verb of “to match.” Or as in the phrase “He’s not a good match for you.” Or whatever other match you can make.

Here’s Robert’s attempt at a matches poem:

“In Heaven”

Have you thought about the last time
your hand met mine? How you repeat
each blast of heat? You are my dream
angel. I scheme and angle for
one minute more in the night time.
Internal rhyme schemes hold nothing
on your loving ways. Please, baby,
stay and maybe we’ll always be.


Now get poeming! And remember to learn more about Mariya Koleva.


Learn more about me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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299 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

  1. ivywriter

    I am so behind with this chapbook challenge, but I want to try to catch up because I need to write some new poetry, so here goes and see all of my poetry at http://marchthirtyone.wordpress.com

    title: prom date

    When I went to prom

    we wore matching outfits

    purple and gold lace

    my first bustier

    you wore a matching cumberbund

    and bowtie

    too bad

    our futures didn’t go together

    no high school sweetheart for me

    c) Kellea Tibbs and march thirty one, 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original march thirty one material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    collecting matchbooks
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    he collects matchbooks ~
    a way of soothing the sulfide beast within,
    keeping in check the tinderbox monster
    from otherwise igniting an impressive array
    of military, bank, restaurant, night club,
    and tourist attraction incendiary art
    he’s accumulated the world over, twice.

    a magpie with a lust for potassium chlorate
    as well as neatness and order, he arm wrestles
    daily the arsonistic accountant likewise within,
    pouring over binders and shoeboxes
    just to finger the plastic sleeves
    protecting his personal picassos
    from demon saboteurs.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Andrea Z

    “Sensing You”

    Upon walking into your house
    I want to see you
    waiting to envelop me
    in a crushing hug;
    I want to see you
    curled up in the corner
    of the endlessly soft burgundy couch
    watching a cheesy horror film;
    I want to hear your giggles
    as you sneak Christmaas presents
    into the back bedroom for wrapping
    I’ll even take the smell
    of lingering cigarette smoke
    in your sun room, your sanctuary;
    I’ll have to settle for feeling your spirit
    as I try to live without you.

    for Melody, my step mother

  4. Mike Bayles

    River and Shore

    River and shore travel
    toward the gulf,
    and they make the perfect pair
    like sun and sky
    making the day
    and air and wind,
    nature’s song.
    For there can be
    no river without shore
    no shore without river,
    and each defines the other
    as I watch on a summer day.

  5. chrsye


    Sitting on the pavement my feet itch,
    my socks are dirty and mismatched,
    I feel like it’s been a long time since
    I have belonged anywhere, a long time
    Since my feet have been bare

    My boots stay on, tied on tight,
    I don’t regret being who I am
    Yet I can’t figure out this world that
    Just keeps on keeping on and hates a
    being that doesn’t match up with its

  6. sonja j


    The bitter night house, hands
    stiff with radiant cold and bones.
    Birchbark, white pine twigs, dry
    split ash. Just one strike, one fast
    pop, sinuses quick with sulfur vapour,
    breathing in the salt marsh on fire,
    praying for the catch of tinder, kindling,
    pray in winter that the whole box,
    the whole yellow forest could light up.

  7. cstewart

    Somekinda Match

    I can only say what I am not,
    I can only say what I am.

    The wind presses through the slats in the wall,
    The water passes below near the deep well,
    The searing light shoots in when I open the door,
    The sound of the timbers crack, move in time,
    To the implication of gravity against anything.

  8. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    The star with the star,
    the rose with the rose—
    the snifter with that
    decanter, full of an
    amber liquid—used
    to be clear, but it’s
    tainted with your
    very presence, which
    I hate with all my
    heart. The circle with
    the circle—unbroken,
    mocking—why am I
    always the excluded one,
    the outcast? The diamond
    with the ring setting
    —princess-cut, half a
    carat, just a glittery
    rock I never deserved.
    That bloodless little
    shred of my soul with
    the wound you left
    when I let you talk
    me into making a mistake.
    I can’t start over, can’t
    be matchless anymore.

  9. bluerabbit47

    We’re a match,
    the two of us,
    you with your
    temper and me
    too tempered
    you with your
    careful pacing
    and me
    with my wild
    last minute
    We’re a match
    of seeming
    opposites, seamed
    so closely together
    that sometimes
    there is no space
    between us
    like sky
    and sea at
    sunset on the

  10. julieee

    The swift, slick snap of the match
    The wisp of sulfur, then the flame
    Wavering in the crisp, fall air

    Heather cups her mittened hand
    To block the wind

    The tip of my cigarette burns red
    The flame flaters, smokes
    Blows away as the leaves dance
    Between our feet

    I hold my burning end to Heather
    As she lights hers from mine

  11. barbarab


    When I look at my feet, I notice my socks they do not match,
    Worse than that, I notice my sock has a hole that needs a patch.

    I am not embarrassed that one sock is black and one is blue,
    No one will ever notice ’cause my socks hide inside my shoe.

    I am not embarrassed that my sock has a hole and needs a patch,
    Holes in socks are handy in case I have an itch and need to scratch.

    If my mismatched socks are the main topic at the local coffee klatch,
    Guess what-I have another pair at home like my pair that does not match

  12. aviseuss

    Day 1: Match

    “Made Hand”

    Marked prematurely, false terror in my eyes
    A trap surely, rethink your alibis
    Time to fold your cards; I know exactly what you are
    Chill down my spleen, unlock this player’s latch
    He’ll go grab the kerosene, and I’ll go grab the…

  13. po

    Matches Are No Longer Made In Heaven But In DataBanks

    When your father and I were
    growing up we had to find
    find our matches the hard
    way. We could not rely on
    computers to match our
    interests in a data base of
    several hundred thousand.
    Maybe soon the computer
    will make the phone call.
    Why stop there–virtual
    control of the whole process.
    You kids have it so easy
    these days.

  14. po

    Matchless to Mach Two

    Socks, always matching socks.
    I’m sure my washer ate them
    for try as I would when my
    sons were growing up there
    were always stray socks.
    In high school they taught
    me a better way. They would
    grab any old two, pull them
    up matched or not, strap
    on their tennis shoes, and then
    exit out the door–mach two.

  15. po

    Matches to Matches

    A blue flame catches the sun–
    two ends to a puzzle. Sparks
    fall as puffs of smoke twirl
    away in a warm light huddle.

    In Sunday School burnt matches
    were lined up to make the face
    of Jesus. On birthdays Mom
    would hold the match until her

    finger burned lighting the
    candles. Matches were, like
    everything else hard to come by.
    Endless sparks of molt lost

    in liquid sunsets. Candles
    extinguished in a heartbeat
    of burnt red and orange, holy
    blue and yellow.

  16. The Wired Journal

    They all look the same

    Two blonde’s on a beach Sunning in the heat

    With Two burgers and some fries Just makes me want to cry

    In bikinis’ looking fine Wish I could wear mine

    If I only I could lose that weight My waist too would look great

    All those burgers and French fries Have fattened my waistline

    I wish I was those blondes on the beach With their tans looking so great

    So thin like the laces in my shoes Ii makes me sing the blues

  17. Ann M

    in the back of the red shed
    the leaves pile,
    turning to wet rot and muck,
    thicker and denser
    by the day,
    until even if a match was
    flicked and dropped,
    even if gasoline tipped
    and spilled,
    or an actual flame tried
    to lick and burn,
    the pile still wouldn’t turn to fire
    and I still wouldn’t
    be moved.

  18. LoriP

    Ugly Fence

    The storm knocked it down
    while I was traveling.
    Just part way down
    while I was traveling
    to London and Tuscon
    and Cortez and Paris.

    It just sat there
    while I was wandering.
    Just stayed right there
    while I was wondering
    about my job and laundry
    and life and Christmas.

    An ugly fence
    that I can’t take down.
    An annoying eyesore
    that I can’t tear down
    because I don’t have
    the time or tools
    or truck or patience.

    Finally called a guy
    to cut it down.
    A guy is coming
    to tear it down
    and take it away
    for scrap or a treehouse
    or termite bait or matches.

  19. SJStephens

    Instant delight in the coupling heat of
    words. The obsession begins with a
    craze to cure a lonely heart.
    In the fervor of need that claws and
    climbs and ignites unresting souls.
    Sweet compliments of flesh in the
    rising touch. Detonates the infatuation
    and crushes the flame. Madness
    sweeps into the inferno of coupling.
    Burning out before the fever reaches
    its fullest arousal.

  20. posmic

    Late, because I decided only today to go ahead and post all 30 poems here like I did last year, rather than holding most of them close to the vest in order to ward off the dreaded “previously published.” Further explanation forthcoming later tonight, on my blog. :)


    Whittle it down to matches;
    the tree is only the start of fire,
    sunlight locked in its heart
    like a memory of leaves.
    No leaves now, it is wood
    in a box; strike sulfur tip,
    bring to wet, lichened log.
    Cousin!, the match says.
    I have returned.

  21. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 1
    No Match
    (Written as if spoken by a survivor, KST)

    I can match you stride for stride,
    though I’m tired from the fight,
    because you’re no match for my God.
    I’ve got a new husband.
    I’ve got a daughter to live for.
    I’m bald and beautiful and sick and scared,
    but not scared or sick enough for you to whip me.
    I’m kickin’ you to the curb.
    Yes, you.

  22. mbjensen16

    My poem never posted from yesterday – still says “awaiting moderation” so I’ll try again…

    Strike the Match

    A fire burns in my chest and rests
    long enough to consume all the air
    in the room to breathe. I can’t.
    I reach my hands up and yell no words
    to see if you care enough to help.
    I swallow it down. My throat sore and dry
    from all the yelling and no helping, no air
    or a care. I’m drowning in these flames
    that came from no where; from every where.
    Can’t you see? Me? Provoked. Puffing out smoke
    from the corners of my smile. Stay awhile and see
    what happens when you strike the match one more time.

  23. Bruce Niedt


    She met him through a computer service,
    and it was a match made in Heaven,
    or at least on the Internet.

    Like a match to kindling,
    they struck sparks, fed a fast flame,
    and soon had a roaring, crackling romance.

    But before long the arguments began,
    and she would prove his match.
    Their differences spread like wildfire.

    A few months later, their fire burnt out,
    with little lost, but nothing won –
    game, set, match.

  24. mjfingerprints

    I tried several times to reply to many of the great poems that I read yesterday, and had the same issues that other people mentioned above. Here is my poem from yesterday’s prompt.


    for a
    match to spark
    the embers of creativity
    and inspiration forming ideas that
    fill my white page
    with the black
    flame of

    ©M. J. Lord

  25. shann

    matchbook sonnet

    Your bodyheat caught me unprepared,
    the acrid burn of hell and heaven
    as our elbows touched, I was consumed.

    Defined by intensity, we played
    pretend, lips sealed in understanding:
    to match is not to go together.

    Alone, I am incomplete, jagged
    edge catching on the delicate gauze
    our story wears in such circumstance.

    You are my everyday devotion,
    the scripture I carry in my hand,
    fingerprints left on piano keys.

    On the horizon a meteor
    flares and disappears. We are done.

  26. viv

    I hereby declare that I shall read and appreciate the poems, but decline to comment for fear of wearing out my computer in the multiple attempt process this site seems to insist on.

  27. Natalija


    Should I draw you a picture
    or would words suffice
    seeing how they get twisted
    when you stop being nice

    When laughter turns to silence
    when eyes simply turn away
    thirteen months ended up
    being one hell of a price to pay

    Should I leave you a snapshot
    or an album of fading memories
    seeing how our past would be erased
    and replaced with falsified stories

    The firm grip of vexation
    I now leave behind
    the haunting of your stern look
    forever embedded in my mind.

  28. June


    tiny spark fire

    fly glow

    worm in the fence

    row out to the deep

    water life

    giving life

    taking chances

    are we almost home

    coming full circle

    skirt the edge

    of night time

    to dream

    lover come back

    away down south

    in dixie

    cups champagne

    toast burned to ashes

    dust to dust

    the piano

    player in the dark

    room to develop

    photo in the solution

    to the cross

    words are puzzles

    awaiting answers

  29. julie e.

    We drove
    around Wyoming and Nebraska
    in a great big car hearing tales
    of my uncle’s days on the range
    as a real life cowboy
    sounded like a novel to a city girl like me
    and there was never another moment just like that

    I sat
    trembling on the hospital bed
    after giving birth to a baby girl
    I couldn’t believe I was holding her
    I was a real life mom
    seemed like I’d done an impossible thing
    and there was never another moment just like that

    We went
    to Australia and sat by a lake
    where turtles swam and lizards as big
    as my arm sat on a log next to me
    in a real life rainforest
    felt like a dream to a suburban mom like me
    and there was never another moment just like that

    I watched
    my first grandchild being born
    waiting to say hello to
    a brand new generation
    I was a real life grandma
    it seemed unreal to the girl in me
    and there was never another moment just like that

    I talked
    to my brother-in-law on the phone
    he said she was gone
    suddenly in that morning
    real life meeting real loss
    how could I never hear my sister’s voice again?
    and there was never another moment just like that

    each moment
    shaping me
    each moment
    who will i be
    each moment
    I have the choice
    to grow, to learn, to see
    each moment
    making me.

  30. MeenaRose

    No Contest

    By: Meena Rose

    Go ahead!
    Betray me, stab me;
    Sabotage me, just try me!

    A lesson in leverage!
    Push me, shove me;
    Just try to dislodge me!

    My stance is firm!
    Woo me, fool me;
    Won’t work, I know me!

    You can’t sway me;
    You can’t break me;
    Clearly, you’re no match for me!

  31. joann555

    the fire still a hope

    swirls of pink, layers of richness
    sweetness drips from its side,
    chocolate luscious chocolate.

    Toppings of petals, soft lovely florets,
    slender bright and sparkling towers
    eagerly await to be quenched by fire.

    endeavors linger, wishes unsung
    missing ingredients never to be lit
    the fire still a hope with matches found.

  32. Casey

    “The Search”

    That matchless part of you I will recall
    when next I need a steady hand to hold
    when in my terror of a nightmare’s sprawl
    when visions come and I’m no longer bold.

    Comparing you with others I have known
    Fulfillment falls so short; so pale; so stark.
    I seek the look within your eyes that shone
    I cannot find another with such spark.

    I search to fill the mounting loss of you;
    the cost is counted with my length of life.
    The longing stays amidst the searching, too.
    to find a quiet lull in my heart’s strife.

    I’ll end my search before it has begun;
    there are some loves in life that matches none.

  33. Mike

    2 for day 1

    book of matches
    left out in the rain
    no cookout today


    brown with tan
    blue with black
    or maybe gray
    not sure what
    to do with the
    lonely white one
    laundry day
    doing my best
    to match
    the socks

  34. Melahlah

    My face has never matched my feelings
    Wrinkles and gray hair are deceptive yet revealing
    When young, I looked older
    Yet getting older I feel bolder
    Wasn’t youth supposed to be fearless?
    That wasn’t me, I was scared spitless
    So I’m glad for this thing called time
    It has rhythm and rhyme
    So, as my outside nears fifty
    The inside feels quite nifty
    For it toggles ‘tween ancient & teen
    With barely an eon felt in between
    And as time flies to these earthly eyes
    Whether immature or wise
    I like my gray hairs and lines
    I do, because they’re mine.

    All things change in time

  35. Susan Budig

    Strike the Match

    “The color of your eyes, they match…”
    Yes, I wonder what he’ll say next
    My eyes are brown

    What exactly might resemble brown
    And still be…polite?
    “A match,
    the moment it’s struck!” Uh-huh, next

    He’ll be fawning over my rose-red…Next!
    Speed dating! A blast of one-liners, no brownie
    points for depth. The goal? A one-night match.

    Singlehood matches my mood, except when the boy next to me turns on his flame to brown my love-clock to the perfect hour.

  36. jlcooper

    A Pair of Socks That Match

    I need to find a pair of socks
    A pair of socks that match
    There’s one of every color made
    With stripes and dots, Oh drat!

    I need to find a pair of socks
    A pair of socks that match
    No holes, no stains, no awful smells
    No twigs, no grass, no thatch.

    I need to find a pair of socks
    A pair of socks that match
    So when I stand before the crowd
    The audience won’t laugh.

    Yes! I have found a pair of socks
    A pair of socks that match
    Now Mom will be so proud of me
    I’m wearing socks that match!

  37. mbjensen16

    Strike the Match

    A fire burns in my chest and rests
    long enough to consume all the air
    in the room to breathe. I can’t.
    I reach my hands up and yell no words
    to see if you care enough to help.
    I swallow it down. My throat sore and dry
    from all the yelling and no helping, no air
    or a care. I’m drowning in these flames
    that came from no where; from every where.
    Can’t you see? Me? Provoked. Puffing out smoke
    from the corners of my smile. Stay awhile and see
    what happens when you strike the match one more time.

  38. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Three left in the book
    From our first night on the town;
    When we stayed out till the sun came up,
    And everything we touched burned down.

    The candle flame at either end,
    Soon caught us in the middle,
    And left us standing in the dark,
    Staring at this riddle:

    If we were matchless,
    Does that mean we weren’t a match;
    Even though we turned together
    Like a key turns in a latch?
    There may be more stars in the heavens,
    And more fish in the sea,
    But if we’re matchless;
    Where does that leave you and me?

    If we’re matchless;
    Where does that leave you and me?

    Two hearts often beat as one,
    Till one heart skips a beat;
    And when something sparks with someone else,
    You can’t deny the heat.

    The oldest lessons,
    Are the hardest learned:
    When you play with fire,
    You’re gonna get burned.

    If we were matchless,
    Does that mean we weren’t a match;
    Even though we turned together,
    Like a key turns in a latch?
    There may be more stars in the heavens,
    And more fish in the sea;
    But if we’re matchless,
    Where does that leave you and me?

    If we’re matchless;
    Where does that leave you and me?

  39. Connie Peters

    Since posting is a slow process I’m just going to list some poems that hit the spot for me. But if your name isn’t on my list, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t think your poem was good.

    Utterances and Meaning, Linda Rhinehart Neas; Matches, Nancy J; A Matched Set, Jerry Walraven; Mismatch, J W Laviguer; Living with an Inferno, Misky; The Match of Autumn’s Lilt, Janet Ruth; Matching Smiles, Ber; Friction on the Matchbox, Leo; Close Cover Before Striking, PSC, My Sock is Missing Its Mate, Walt; Emma Meets Her Match, Miss R; Match Made in Heaven?, Holly Matison; Matchbooks, Nancy Posey; Blaze, Andrew Kreider; J Lynn Sheridan, Orange Matches; Composition, Jane Shlensky; Matchstick, RJ Clarken; Matchbooks, Ely the Eel, Swatches, Ellen Knight; Matches, Buddah; Playing with Matches, Domino; Always, Michelle Hed; Getting through the Night, Taylor Graham; But for a Match, Andy Brackett; In Love and War, SE Ingraham; Flame On, Sarite; Matches, PKP

      1. Dan Collins

        :-) I’ve set myself the added challenge of trying to write them all about Italy. (Robert, you really need to get a better format. I love this contest and the poetry here, but honestly … you need a webmaster to fix this glitchy page.)

        1. Susan Budig

          Knowing you, Dan, I’ll end up over the (full) moon as I read your month’s worth of prompted poems.

          No doubt Robert’s trying to do something about the glitchy page because I am positive he’s losing readers and writers to its bug.

  40. DeniseMcCormack


    Matchbox cars came cheap
    when my boys were small –
    and fit in the seat
    of a shopping cart,
    feet dangling,
    wearing real shoes.
    Then, it was easy –
    to collect the cars,
    to scoot them across construction paper roads,
    and push them over and through paper-tube bridges.
    Building memories that still shine like new.

  41. Walt Wojtanik


    A fight for your life,
    a battle to the death.
    From under the knife
    you just hold your breath
    and pray to the Powers
    that were and are and will be,
    passing the hours
    to set your fears free.
    Once more from the breech
    to stand up victorious.

  42. hurtin-heart

    Hello to all…I did the April pad,mostly for myself because I enjoy writing eventhough I’m not very good,so decided to try this one,hope I can make it to the end.

  43. Benjamin Thomas

    Match made in Heaven

    A match made in heaven
    a celestial solution
    so delicately prepared

    Predetermined paths of love
    have been prepped
    for estranged elements
    elegantly paired

    Transfixed hearts
    interwoven, knit
    now seen on earth

    Timely ignition
    of holy flare

    A match made in heaven
    now burns on earth

    Attempt to quench it
    if you dare

  44. hurtin-heart

    A match made in heaven,it seemed from the start.
    Yet,as the years passed,heaven turned to hell as it caught a spark,
    Of the liquid fired that burned
    As it was being poured down,
    The more it took, each time around.
    Then one day it finally hit me,though once,I was his first choice,
    Now,I am second,to the liquid fire
    To which he has become addicted.
    The spark of liquid fire burned on
    Till the match made in heaven has become……History!

      1. uneven steven


        You strike
        the numbers
        your calendar,
        so many matches,
        each day
        quick and bright
        and so easily
        burned away
        Didn’t you ever fear
        that damp matchbook
        of old age
        never knowing what fuses
        you may or may not
        that it was all just
        a dream,
        your being part
        of an eternal flame
        the entire world,
        your one little piece
        of heat
        the flashpoint
        burning it all
        to ash?
        So afraid
        you’d shake out
        each day
        too soon,
        of getting burned
        and dropping
        the whole box
        too old
        to throw it
        in the face
        of time
        go out
        in a blaze
        of glory?

  45. Melissa Hager


    I stand fearlessly in the wind,
    staring down the
    waves that crash through
    fences, sand bags,
    and my neighbor.

    How dare the salty sea encroach
    upon my lot,
    engulfing my
    yard like any
    dune on a beach.

    Then, suddenly a fire within
    sparks when seeping
    brine meets hot wires.
    Unprepared for
    this trespass, I
    burn like a match.

  46. Mary Mansfield

    The Rogue Gods of Domestic Chaos

    They send forth their minions
    Who invade under the cover of the spin cycle,
    Stealing socks and spiriting them away
    Into the nether regions of the laundry,
    Transforming cotton-woolen blends
    Into wire coat hangers,
    Those distorted instruments bent
    On staging a clothing coup
    And seizing control of our closets,
    Leaving a path of disarray
    Through our carefully constructed household bliss.

    And that’s why you don’t have any matched socks, dear.

  47. mapoet


    A simple game.
    A grid of cards
    laid out facedown.
    Turn over any two.
    Do they match?
    If not, replace them
    and try again.
    Memory is the key.
    The game is
    not as simple
    as it used to be.

  48. PKP


    I understood the little match girl
    standing outside in the snow
    watching all inside
    warm and safe
    I never understood those
    inside warm and safe
    and happy never seeing
    the little match girl
    standing outside in in the snow

    1. Mariya Koleva

      Lovely and very actual, right now, Pearl. Sadly, one side never understands the other and the people who see both, suffer for not being able to make those party see each other and connect. Sad to be in the middle and able to see…

    1. Mariya Koleva

      Whatever one decides to say, it can only damage the perfection of your haiku, Mike! I love it. (Now I’m thinking of it, I haven’t written haiku for a long time. Shame on me, I was beginning to get the trick :-))

  49. CarolineD

    One Match

    The flare of a stuck match
    interrupts the quiet.
    No bombardment tonight.
    He counts down the seconds
    after the match has gone out
    before bullets thump into sandbags
    above his head.
    If they could just pin point the sniper
    Is it worth another match?
    He doesn’t think so.
    The end of his cigarette glows
    red in the dark.

  50. DanielAri

    Pismywidgy (piz’ · mee · wih · jee)

    Last night we parsed _granfalloon_ and _karass,_
    ideas from Vonnegut’s _Cat’s Cradle._
    The former interpersonal masses
    are founded on superficial handles:
    Texans, Cubs fans, writers, class of ’80…

    Your _karass_ is The Creator’s circle
    of people who mesh with you in The Play.
    Now, granting myself hypothetical
    permission from Kurt (for those who can’t see
    believing in big cosmic redresses)

    I propose a new term: _pismywidgy._
    This is the group of people with whom you
    match, first by some chance commonality,
    and later by putting up with their moods
    and quirks at meetings, campouts and socials.

    You bond in a pismywidgy through food:
    cooking, eating, cleanup, talk…always food.

  51. seingraham

    In Love and War

    Days grow shorter
    As we slide towards
    Remembrance Day;
    I am reminded
    Of an old soldier’s tale
    “Three on a Match”

    In the trenches at night
    One struck the flame—
    and the enemy sighted—
    The second cupped the light—
    and the enemy focused—
    The third lit his cigarette—
    and the enemy fired and killed
    The third man on the match

    Conversely, these days
    match.com© promises
    To commercially connect
    You with the love of your life

    I know people for whom
    This has worked well
    It strikes me as certainly
    better than being the third
    Man on a match …


  52. Jeannine P

    Hi I’m new here, new to this writing poems daily (usually takes me a lot longer) so this will be fun!

    You hold the box
    of red-tipped sticks,
    julienned like carrots,
    pull one from its cardboard drawer,
    and scrape it across the sole of your shoe
    knowing the wisp of flame
    can illuminate a darkened corridor,
    set a prayer on fire,
    burn down an entire forest.

    You empty the box
    lay-in a piece of cotton batting
    the kind sandwiched in quilts,
    and build a bed for a handmade doll
    or a tiny grey mouse,
    or, perhaps, a coffin for the earrings
    your husband bought you last Christmas.

  53. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Little Match Girl

    She had fanned the flames –
    with each strike – some warmth
    took the chill from her soul

    She had fanned the flames,
    holding the light close,
    believing that it could last

    She had fanned the flames –
    until one last match
    burned itself out with a sigh

    She had fanned the flames –
    but this love had died,
    long ago, in the cold of night

  54. mikeMaher

    Wet Matches

    I don’t even try to match my socks anymore,
    don’t even feign trying to pair them up out of the dryer
    or fold them inside of each other to make those sock balls
    I remember seeing from when I was a kid.
    Other matches are starting to fade too.

    How did I get this rusty?
    Just yesterday it was the Battle of Bull Run,
    Ricketts turning his artillery fire right at Judith Henry,
    and here we are again hating the other side’s presidential candidate,
    cleaning up after another hurricane.
    Cue the ellipses.
    Bring everything you can carry to the tailgate.

    One book says it’s the grasping
    and another the contemplating
    that puts everything you want to control out of reach.
    A third was in Greek
    and so we’re still tied.

    The Eagles may never win another game
    but luckily we’ll be busy this November.
    Once I figure out where I am
    it will feel good to be back.
    Eventually it will all be up to the historians.
    Let them piece everyone together.

  55. JRSimmang

    Do you remember where you were
    the day your spark died out?
    I do.
    It was the night you were
    wrapped in my arms
    under the canopy of a
    soft shelled tortoise.
    We could hear the
    rousing rabble battle cry
    of the night-borne screechers.
    It wasn’t enought that
    your skin
    outward from some internal clock
    ticking tocking away the perfume
    you wore all the time.
    I was trapped in an effervescent
    your giggle,
    tickling my nose and
    sending childhood memory shivers
    down my arms and thighs.
    You struck,
    nimble lady sulphur,
    and drowned out my cold.
    It was then,
    your matchstick body,
    kindle to kin,
    that I felt with my whole body
    your heart
    your heat
    your blossoming head on fire.
    You were more than I could handle,
    a blazing blubbering buxom
    When I breathed,
    it was more than the
    smoke that choked me.
    But, as with all things that
    burn so bright,
    they burn so quick.
    you were an ashen twist
    resting a grudge
    on my newly reddened cheek.
    You were the light.
    Now, you are the black.

  56. elishevasmom

    Back at ya Viv!


    When I was eleven
    my mom taught me to sew.
    That dress taught me everything
    I’d need to know.

    Whether hemline or collar
    there was only one catch,
    it might not be perfect
    but it all had to match.

    No easy task,
    installing the zipper.
    But if it didn’t match
    out came the seam ripper.

    If it didn’t line up
    with the collar and yolk,
    I’d do it again,
    and that was no joke.

    But I soon came to learn,
    it was a matter of pride,
    when the stripes would match up
    at the shoulders and side.

    Attention to detail
    was the way it was shown
    just how carefully
    the garment was sewn.

    To sew for myself now
    just doesn’t make sense
    with fabric and patterns
    at such an expense.

    Thrift shops have stepped up
    as my primary source,
    for attention to detail—
    I have no remorse.

    I still get compliments
    coming and going
    with all of the beautiful
    outfits I’m showing.

    Ellen Knight

  57. Andy Brackett

    But for a match

    Alone in darkness, I can not see
    I have ten candles set before me
    They’d burn bright,
    But for a match.

    Alone in darkness, I can not eat
    To light this stove would be a treat
    Propane works well,
    But for a match.

    Alone in darkness, my one regret
    Is for the one I never met
    I’d be happy
    But for a match.

  58. Michael Grove

    Burn Forever

    She held all the power in her bright
    red top with the whitest of white tips.
    He was merely a scratching post.
    Her powers could ignite and destroy
    an entire continent if left unchecked.
    He would not allow darkness
    to inherit the land. Her slender
    wooden frame could burn the
    fingertips of many. His only
    desire would be their brief union
    resulting in the lighting of a single
    purple taper which shall burn

    By Michael Grove

  59. Michelle Hed

    Don’t Play With Matches (Chant Poem)

    Don’t play with matches
    (You’re gonna burn, you’re gonna burn)
    They said.

    Don’t run with scissors
    (You’ll cut yourself, you’ll cut yourself)
    They said.

    Don’t tell lies
    (Your nose will grow like Pinocchio)
    They said.

    Don’t swallow the watermelon seeds
    (That’s how babies are made)
    They said.

    Don’t step on a crack!
    (You’ll break your Mother’s back – gruesome)
    They said.

    Who are they?
    I said.

        1. Michelle Hed

          Don’t Play With Matches (Chant Poem)

          Don’t play with matches
          (You’re gonna burn, you’re gonna burn)
          They said.

          Don’t run with scissors
          (You’ll cut yourself, you’ll cut yourself)
          They said.

          Don’t tell lies
          (Your nose will grow like Pinocchio)
          They said.

          Don’t swallow the watermelon seeds
          (That’s how babies are made)
          They said.

          Don’t step on a crack!
          (You’ll break your Mother’s back – gruesome)
          They said.

          Who are they?
          I said.

  60. taylor graham


    Cozy spot among leafless trees. November,
    foggy-bottom of the Patuxent. Survival training
    with search-dog, Prissy, and my daypack.
    Lean-to of branches. Cleared spot for a fire.
    Damp wood. A searcher prides herself on a one-
    match fire. Feed it like an infant. More wood.
    Dead leaves in a trash-bag – my mattress. Prissy
    takes it as her own. Search-dog who was a couch-
    potato before I got her. Show Prissy a place
    of her own. Lay daypack on mattress. Inventory
    rations: granola bars, can of sardines; teabag, trail
    mix, kibble for my dog. My teammates are out there
    in the dark, each alone with dog. Feed the fire,
    bright spot in the dark. Cold dinner, warm cup
    of tea. Lie down on mattress, imagine sleep. Turn
    over, try to get comfortable. Turn over again.
    Feed the fire. Tell Prissy a bedtime story, child
    lost in dark November woods, saved by search dog.
    Feed fire, invent more stories. Turn and turn again
    on bed of dead leaves. Time lapses in ever-present
    tense through the night. Morning comes at last.
    We few survivors gather at the lodge. Instructor
    accuses me of breaking rules. “I heard you talking
    when I did my bedtime check,” he says. “You
    weren’t alone.” “No. I was talking to my dog.”

  61. jane hoover

    Side by Side in Time

    she was five, I seven,
    when we began to sing
    when we found dancing fun

    she was seven, I nine,
    Mom required piano,
    insisted we keep time

    she at nine, me eleven,
    our baby sister laughed
    or so it was we claimed
    her tiny face all eyes
    her stubby toes so cute.
    Three of us a blessing

    we heard from Mom and Dad
    who watched us all the same
    as music filled our heads

    at thirteen she twirled
    I marched to match her steps
    she strove to catch my drift

  62. Marie Elena

    Due to the WD computer gremlins, I’m going back to the “old days” in which we didn’t have the capability of nesting comments. Loads of talent out here, folks! Here are a few of my favorites so far:

    Khara House (superb!)
    Nancy J (great take, and amen!)
    JWLavigue (touching, sad, and so well written)
    Janet (lovely, as always!)
    PSC (Brilliant!)
    And the ever prolific and brilliant Walt!

  63. Walt Wojtanik


    Everything one-to-one.
    Mirrored, similarities same.
    Both alike. They are duplicates.
    Replicas are they. Things overlaid exactly.
    Copy-to-copy, face-to-face. Things matching.
    Front to back to front,
    Matching things. Face-to-face, copy-to-copy.
    Exactly overlaid things, they are replicas.
    Duplicates are they, alike both.
    Same similarities mirrored
    one-to-one. Everything

  64. Richard Fenwick

    Fire Ritual

    The trees have donned their thin,
    wintry kimonos, now nearly skeletal,
    to prepare for next week’s snow.

    This morning, I tasted the burn
    of chimney fires through the valley,
    and tonight we begin our ritual

    of burning too-green wood, crossed
    to breathe upon the grate, sooty
    like an English Cathedral, as wide
    as the altar at the end of its aisle.

    Tonight, I’ll strike the match
    to light the crumpled Sunday Times,
    crumpled and tucked within the logs,

    singing my Grandfather’s Gaelic
    song, Isle of Skye and the north,
    as the fire reaches up, coaxing

    that too-green wood that pops
    and sings along, and pools of sap
    bubble up in this apse of a cabin.

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      Wow, I really like this piece. Like the imagery, the cadence of each line. Seriously, it could almost be a Jethro Tull song! Well done Richard!

    2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      Wow, I really like this piece. Like the imagery, the cadence of each line. Seriously, it could almost be a Jethro Tull song! (big Tull fan here, so trust me when I say that’s a big compliment! His song lyrics are pure poetry!) Well done Richard!

  65. Michelle Hed


    one soul drifts through
    the open door, just missing

    love, as another door closed
    repeating missed opportunities

    eternal longing, searches
    for one perfect mate

    disillusioned, settles for contentment
    no longer recognizing love

    when met face to face, loyal
    until the end

    never realizing, love was there

  66. Poet Ariel

    Your Life Before My Eyes

    I’m unraveling that web you spun
    around my heart, looking at those flaws
    my eyes consciously shied away from.
    The searing lightning of impatience,
    roiling tempest of temper on the horizon,
    the blood red fists that played with matches.

    It was yesterday, you a neglected nine
    trying so hard to be an unaffected
    animated character (damn, you would
    piss me off), a rude disinterested clown
    drowning without anyone to see
    you were smart, you were funny, you
    wanted your daddy, you wanted
    your mommy, your sister; you wanted
    to be a kid, to be loved. You hated that
    you only had me (damn, I would piss you off –
    acting like grades and manners were important,
    enacting limits & time-outs & groundings)
    You learned; multiplication and division
    finally made sense. You learned what to say
    and how and when, but not why
    and not how to truly mean it. And you
    learned how to do what you wanted to do –
    crossing from one ocean to another
    (but you insisted alone). And I kept your room.

    And now I’m packing it up, empty boxes
    I am taping up and filling with your adulthood.
    I have sealed the house against you,
    wedged the windows, rebuilt the fence,
    hope the police locate you; your brother and I
    pray against the day we look up and you are there.
    I keep the gun loaded and close – I remember
    “I will do what I want when I want”, your hand
    on the gearshift, your butt in the back seat –
    a telling tale, you wanted me to parrot words.
    You told yourself I was not your real mother;
    you wanted me to release you.

    I did.


  67. Domino

    Playing with Fire

    My angry brother-in-law
    once found a pile of
    spent matches
    at my parents’ home
    when my sons and I
    were house-sitting.

    He raged until he discovered
    the culprit,
    my 16 year old son,
    who, like all teens,
    had a penchant for
    playing with fire.

    “This house,”
    my brother-in-law raged
    “could go up like a torch.”

    My son and I exchanged

    “What are you,” he bellowed,
    “A kleptomaniac?”

    Without laughing,
    (one must give him credit
    for keeping a straight face)
    my son replied,
    “I’m sorry, I must be.
    I won’t steal any more matches
    in the future.”

    “Better not.”

    “What would we do without you,”
    I said, as I smoothly shuffled
    my son out of the house
    to thank him for not
    lighting any more fires
    under his uncle.

    Diana Terrill Clark

      1. viv

        I can’t seem to comment at all. I’ve tried to leave my appreciation of many wonderful poems but nothing sticks. If this one gets through it will be a miracle. Oh for a Mister Linky!

  68. Domino

    I know, this is another with the same title, but it’s just as fitting as the first. ^_^

    Playing with Matches

    My angry brother-in-law
    once found a pile of
    spent matches
    at my parents’ home
    when my sons and I
    were house-sitting.

    He raged until he discovered
    the culprit,
    my 16 year old son,
    who, like all teens,
    had a penchant for
    playing with fire.

    “This house,”
    my brother-in-law raged
    “could go up like a torch.”

    My son and I exchanged

    “What are you,” he bellowed,
    “A kleptomaniac?”

    Without laughing,
    (one must give him credit
    for keeping a straight face)
    my son replied,
    “I’m sorry, I must be.
    I won’t steal any more matches
    in the future.”

    “Better not.”

    “What would we do without you,”
    I said, as I smoothly shuffled
    my son out of the house
    to thank him for not
    lighting any more fires
    under his uncle.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  69. Linda Hatton

    I am having trouble posting here, too. I managed to get through to a few of these wonderful poems. I think I will also post these on my blog. Thanks!


    You said we were not
    a good match, your love
    for the dark annoyed by
    my light. You said we were not
    a good match, you drank
    yours black while mine
    was white. You said we were
    not a good match, force ruled
    your world while mine
    held peace. You said. You said.

    But me. I thought. I thought we had
    a match so swell, your snickers,
    my sobs, our songlike sighs. Dark
    and light stroked day to night, black
    and white merged to tones no one had felt.
    Now time has chimed its judgment,
    too. A match unbalanced,
    but true.

  70. Yolee

    The Husband Match

    We met, and there was a strike from a forgotten box
    of matches kept in my heart’s drawer. I soon recalled
    my soul rolled with four relationships. Amorphous
    contracts to love were drawn by the crackle of campfires.

    Past liaisons survived on atmosphere, until rain
    made us scatter; short ceilings saw us, each on
    our own. But there you were, cariño, fingertips
    tinged by smoke. They held a bridge
    between burnt and unconsumed ends.

    And when seasons drench pockets
    of wits and deferred dreams, we march
    inside, pace around the silent hearth
    until the sticks we’ve drawn light up.

  71. Domino

    Playing with Matches

    Age: 7
    Playing cards,
    The game is Old Maid.
    Finding matches with the boy
    who lives next door.
    Sure, he’s kind of stinky,
    but fun to play with.

    Age: 18
    Playing with fire
    The game is Hearts.
    Finding matches in the local
    high school.
    Sure they’re all kind of dumb,
    but they’re fun to play with.

    Age: 21
    Playing hide and seek
    The game is Gin.
    Finding matches in the
    corner bar.
    Shopping the meat market for
    the exact right one.

    Age: 25
    Playing for keeps
    The game is Texas Hold ‘em.
    Found your perfect match
    and staying at home
    is more fun than you’d
    ever imagined.

    Age: 35
    Playing with the big kids
    The game is Craps.
    Finding him matched with another
    is the worst feeling
    in the world

    Age: 40
    Playing the field
    The game is Roulette
    Finding the matching scene
    is worse than the

    Age: 45
    Playing for change.
    The game is Uno.
    Finding a match is impossible,
    better to just be comfortable
    in ones own skin.

    Age: 50
    Playing by heart.
    The game is Stud Poker.
    Finding a match at this age
    is a miracle that you’re
    happy to accept.

    Age: 75
    Playing alone.
    The game is solitaire.
    Finding a match is not necessary,
    you’ve already had it all.
    You’ll join him when you’re done.

    Age: 87
    Game over.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  72. Catherine Lee

    Cave Dwellers

    Their fingers turn raw from rubbing
    slick hope against tear-stained walls,
    but tinderbox hearts must be cured
    with brittle threads of things no longer living.

    Don’t they know that dried up dreams
    are the stuff of pyres and conflagrations?
    They are signal flames alerting the world
    that we are still alive.

  73. Buddah Moskowitz


    (whether wooden
    or in cardboard
    usually look alike,

    Human matches
    rarely ever
    look alike
    on the outside,

    but inside
    all their souls
    is a little
    oxygen and
    the proper balance
    of friction,

    and they will

    start a fire
    and warm a
    moonlit beach,

    light a candle
    and make the flesh of two
    into one,

    shine a light
    and guide us
    out of the darkness.

  74. elishevasmom


    The migraine takes
    a perfectly good brain (at least I like to think so)
    and chops it into swatches

    stitched back together
    into random places
    where they don’t

    belong. The seams are
    rough and jagged, frayed
    edges holding hands,

    to stay together in mismatched
    spots—spotted with
    random letters

    and frayed words—that
    sometimes become
    a poem. Ellen Knight 11.1.12

  75. Nancy Posey

    Last Match

    They could still hear the jokes back at the office.
    City slickers, they’d been called by friends just as urbane
    but unwilling to take their chances, man versus nature,
    for more than an afternoon. Their optimism waned
    as the sun set, as their brand new rugged outdoor wear
    admitted a bone-chilling cold penetrating to their core.

    Cocooned inside their goose-down sleeping bags,
    neither spoke a word aloud about the howls–
    coyotes or just someone’s yard dogs raising a ruckus–
    but when they woke to find their raft deflated,
    heard the hiss as air escaped, they knew they faced
    more than an easy day’s walk, and they feared
    the previous night’s cold a prelude to the next.

    Bone-weary, wet, muddy, tired from trudging
    beside the icy stream they’d plan to navigate
    afloat, they stopped to set up camp by bright
    moon light, scavenging dry branches, twigs,
    they searched their pockets, backpacks
    for the matches each was sure the other
    had used last, and finding at last one match
    inside a book so old the name and number
    penned inside evoked t no recollections.

    Hands cupped as shelter from the breeze
    now whipping into frenzy, the match
    was struck, reinforced by silent, futile prayers,
    a sizzle then all sound muffled by curses
    as the match head broke and fell to the ground,
    landed on the dry wood, prepared so well
    one might expect to find an Eagle Scout nearby.

  76. claudsy

    Hello, peeps, and I must say that it’s good to see everyone. Like all here, I’m in it for the discipline as much as the verse. I look forward to taking time every few days to pause long enough to read all the entries of the day and comment when possible.

    Kit, good luck. Keeping my fingers crossed for you and prayers on my lips. Yours isn’t an easy path. I’ll certainly enjoy any posts to share with us.

    On to the challenge. Good luck, all. Happy writing.

    November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2012
    Day 1 Prompt—Write a matches poem.

    Spinning the Myth

    School taught that skirt
    Must match sweater: a set
    Held more sway in circles.

    Etiquette placed one in
    Circles as well, lending
    Ammunition to those excluded.

    “You don’t match your name,”
    Echoed through your mind
    Until you lost all identity.

    You always noticed socks
    Worn as individuals in
    Undiscriminating shoes.

    You found yourself among
    Friends who matched your
    Interests, family, circles.

    Your first amour had to
    Fit that mold carved into
    Your burgeoning social mind.

    “Your name doesn’t match you,
    I can fix that, you know, if
    You will only marry me.”

    Would this be a perfect match,
    This one who wants to fix me
    And make you something else?

    Why must “a fix” be found,
    And why is a match
    Necessary for each of us?

    Are all things created in pairs,
    Lost to each other at creation’s
    Instant of birth into the universe?

    Can there be nothing of such
    Profound uniqueness that
    No match could be created?

  77. DAHutchison

    Lost Palms Oasis

    Lost Palms Oasis, that aptly named trail, had come out from under our feet,
    It was seven below, the mountains had snow and the evening was far from complete.
    The light grew dim on the canyon’s rim and every ravine look the same,
    Our mid-winter hiking through Joshua Tree had turned out to be quite a shame,

    We took stock of our water, our food and ourselves, the latter was all that we had,
    As day turned to night, my girlfriend and I could imagine the lost persons ad.
    If only we still had those matches the chill, would be dampened enough to survive,
    We crawled under a rock, huddled close as the clock ticked off every hour like five.

    She was wrapped in my arms as we shivered all night, for I loved her as much as the sun,
    When dawn finally came, we sang praise to God’s name, our ordeal would be over and done.
    In the full light of day, her hip pack was surveyed and we found a small pocket we’d missed,
    And in it the matches, we’d needed that night, she looked like she thought I’d be pissed.

    I smiled and laughed told her, “Let’s gather wood,” to warm up some before we go out.
    For I loved her that day more than mere words can say, of this there was never a doubt.

  78. Amanda Oaks

    striking thirteen

    i walk backwards
    on the second hand
    of a clock, one step
    a tick, between twelve
    & six, counting
    how many times
    my heart
    beats yes
    before i slide
    like a match
    down your arm
    pushing me
    up & over

  79. Walt Wojtanik


    The Bard once asked, “What’s in a name?”
    By any other, a rose would smell the same.
    From our birth, names were assigned
    to keep things straight in our minds.
    But what is truth if called a lie?
    Would folks still see things eye-to-eye?

    Take the beleaguered platypii,
    as funny looking as their name.
    In the clearing they will lie
    duck-bills facing all the same.
    What is it they have on their minds
    with that label they’ve been assigned?

    Throughout the day we’re faced with signs,
    though clearly written to the eye.
    They sometimes seem silly to the mind,
    but heed these signs, be true to your name.
    For in the end, they’re all the same
    and we play our hands as our cards lie.

    Fond of my own name? I won’t lie,
    from my father and grandfather, it was a sign,
    that our three names would be the same.
    I could stand to man their chins or eyes,
    but I was saddled with their name.
    Sure, I could have done much worse in my mind.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t mind,
    but I want to make my own name! I can’t lie,
    it has afforded me some fame; this name – my name,
    as if emblazoned on a sign
    eight miles high into the sky
    or 3 x 5, it’s all the same.

    My name and I are not the same,
    I am unique (in my own mind).
    Stuck with this heart and poet’s eye,
    I see things skewed and write that lie.
    And under the title someday I will sign
    a pithy passage o’er my name.

    A Name is a name is my name all the same.
    For in my mind, it’s what I’m assigned
    and through these eyes, I’ll let sleeping fish lie. What’s in a name?

  80. RJ Clarken

    Bad Matches

    So, certain things don’t mesh too well,
    like dentures with rich caramel
    or ketchup with ‘la haute cuisine.’
    They do not work. See what I mean?

    And sneakers with a formal gown
    are comfy but one’s hosts might frown.
    You could say you’re a sporty queen.
    They do not work. See what I mean?

    And have you ever had a date
    with someone whom you might equate
    to walking dead? A zombie scene?
    They do not work. See what I mean?

    So, certain things don’t mesh too well.
    They do not work. See what I mean?


  81. jared davidavich


    the gift of fire
    changed the course of humanity
    giving us the power of nature
    to call upon it whenever
    it was needed
    for food
    for defense
    for comfort

    the art of creating fire
    has long been lauded
    as the first step
    in the dominance of nature
    and the freedom
    from cold
    from darkness
    from hunger

    but the need for fire
    was greater than the desire to learn
    as our fathers did
    how to control nature
    so we created matches
    for convenience
    for speed
    for the masses

    now fire is a commodity
    a price assigned to nature’s gift
    taken from able hands
    and given only for our Father’s faces
    and now there is no fire
    without paying
    without sacrifice
    without matches

  82. Marjory MT

    In forest I see
    movements of each tree.
    The wind matches my heartbeat
    pounding hard ‘fore soft retreat,
    seeking to find way
    to slip ‘round my day
    where frayed emotions, thoughts meet.

  83. viv

    Day 1, Accessorize
    Nowadays accessorize
    means pricey bags and bits,
    posh designer labels and a credit card to hit.
    Matching no longer seems to matter,
    only to show whose wallet is fatter.
    In my young days
    accessories all had to match
    or Mum would send me back
    to change shoes or gloves or handbag,
    not to mention the all-important hat.

    Now that I’m old, I don’t give a damn.
    I put on the first to hand,
    matching or not, comfort comes first –
    a purple coat with a red knitted hat
    like that poem, ain’t it grand?


  84. ely the eel


    Gathered together,
    like our family at Thanksgiving,
    recalling memories, telling stories,
    each a moment in our shared lives.
    There must be more than a thousand,
    too many really to count,
    pretending to be snowflakes,
    every one distinct from the other.
    The shiny ones call for attention,
    their embossed lettering leaping out,
    not dimming the significance of
    their plainer cousins, but screaming
    mightily for attention.
    The calmer models,
    with no special filigree,
    just the facts, ma’am,
    of no less significance to us.
    We kept them for a reason,
    some times simply for an address,
    a telephone number,
    a note written on the inside cover,
    almost never for their created purpose,
    seldom to provide fire.
    We’ll keep them for awhile,
    even play with them, spread on
    the dining room table,
    remembering the times, the places,
    a bit wistful, a little laughter, feeling older.
    Eventually, probably when we move,
    we’ll toss them, not without an argument,
    but a box of matchbooks
    just makes no sense in
    a moving van, moving on.

  85. Andrea Heiberg


    Excuse me?
    You can’t be serious, man!
    You cannot be serious!
    That ball was on the line.
    How can you possibly call that out?
    I’m going to award a point against you, Mr. McEnroe.

    One love!

  86. Anie


    Even if the matches fell unlit,
    there was a fire
    that burned brightly between us,

    Even if their hatred marked us,
    there was a gentle spark
    that didn’t take.

    Even if I find myself
    still in that moment on occasion;

    Even if you found your match,
    among the lilies and the watercress;

    We are even.

    I carry my little daisies,
    and happily they dream and dance,
    taming your remains,
    and that matchless battle within me.

  87. Kit Cooley

    I will be checking the prompts and poem-ing mostly off line this November. A few posts may appear at my blog over at henwithpen.com. I’m also doing the nonfiction challenge this month, squeezing my writing between the lines of client work, farm chores, family life and cancer treatments. We shall see how far I get. May the winds of inspiration fill your sails, fellow poets!

  88. RobHalpin


    one sock, two socks,
    red sock, blue sock
    This one has a little star.
    That one is too small, by far.
    varied color, varied size,
    some are ankle, some are thighs
    Freshly washed and freshly dried,
    for each mate, a search is tried.
    No match found, means we chuck it
    into the “lost sock bucket”.

  89. RJ Clarken


    For what is a matchstick, but a
    diving board for a flame. What a
    brilliant spark! Creativity
    is my natural proclivity.

    Ideas catch on with a burst:
    so spontaneous; unrehearsed.
    Conflagration! Festivity
    is my natural proclivity.

    I strike a match. It lights my space.
    My inspiration. An embrace.
    I get it: perceptivity
    is my natural proclivity.

    My muse – she dances on match-head
    and through the blaze she spins a thread.
    Pick up the pen! Activity
    is my natural proclivity.


  90. Jane Shlensky


    “A beautiful flower, even a wild and humble one, can make you believe in God.” Mary Craver

    She snips and gathers flowers
    grazing across her garden and yard,
    her eyes ranging for color and heft,
    stem length and angle, mass and fragrance,
    her basket filling as she collects
    notes in a symphony of petals.

    A lightness around her heart
    guides her to which blossoms are
    the lead singers, first to catch an eye
    and confuse the senses, and
    which make up the chorus,
    which lacey foliage lays the bass line,
    and which sweep of grass will direct
    the movement in this arrangement.
    She knows that some buds hum,
    barely matching pitch, while others
    sing an aria, voices soaring,
    but truth uses them all, and
    masterpiece is not a solo.

    She wants her audience to pause
    and sigh, to see and hear and smell
    what grows on earth and be made glad.
    She wants their feeling to be like hers,
    that wonder and blessing, that such
    things grow from dirt with little care,
    that such varied personalities do not
    riot in her garden, but bring peace
    and joy. She wonders if those who
    see her flowers perform now feel that too
    and if that feeling raises them
    toward the source of seedlings,
    to that big orchestrator of all things,
    blooms among the stones,
    and makes them believe.

  91. pmwanken

    I couldn’t resist posting an old one that fits this prompt so well…

    (a shadorma)

    love, fifteen
    a game long ago
    love, thirty
    then forty
    Am I that set in my ways?
    now serving Match point

    P. Wanken

  92. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Orange Matches”

    It’s sad that leaves burn
    twice in Fall
    first on the branch then
    in the pyre,
    Burning matches struck
    by matches
    a fate for Autumn colors,

    A keening cloud
    hides tiny hands
    that tuck
    the saved ‘tween leaves
    of poets’ lyre

    and all the children cry for one
    more Autumn rain.

  93. Andrew Kreider

    A villanelle for my uncle Steve.


    The coat is surely from his east coast days
    those years in Boston no one talks about
    when he untied the strings a thousand ways.

    I find a matchbook from the nightclub BLAZE
    unopened in a pocket – without doubt
    the coat is surely from his east coast days.

    I think of him on stage, the thick-breathed haze
    above his head and how the crowd would shout
    when he untied the strings a thousand ways,

    so far from home, a farm boy in that maze
    of all that drugs and rock n roll could spout.
    The coat is surely from his east coast days

    and now I smile to think of all the ways
    he honored her along that sacred route
    when he untied the strings a thousand ways.

    I treasure every unstruck match that says
    some people love home best by getting out.
    The coat is surely from his east coast days
    when he untied the strings a thousand ways.

  94. Nancy Posey


    Our dream house we considered it then,
    having driven past thousands of times,
    dreaming of life behind that boxwood hedge
    inside those thick brick walls,
    and then it was ours, an empty shell at first,
    large rooms, deep fireplaces echoing
    with their disappearing traces.
    The only furnishings they left behind,
    great wardrobes, build long ago
    inside those walls, gave up nothing,
    even the dust wiped clean, the scent
    of lemons in its place. But downstairs,
    still hanging on the stone walls
    of what the former owner—the only
    other owner—called the lower level,
    sniffing at the word basement,
    we discovered an unglazed framed
    holding matchbooks in row on row,
    evidence of travels, some quaint
    and curious, others fanciful, remote,
    beyond our dreams, having sunk
    everything we had into the place.

    And fate stepped in, treating us
    as interlopers, our stay a mere sojourn
    on the way to more prosaic homes
    on look-alike streets. Leaving,
    we knew what ghosts we left behind.
    But in the last load, on our way out,
    Jeannie reached up and lifted from its nail
    the match collection, adding to it
    year after year, their collection finally
    indiscernible from our own.

  95. Holly Matison

    Match Made in Heaven?

    You spoke to me,

    stating the rythmic beating of your heart

    asking breathlessly, “why?!”

    I had no answer,

    for mine, too, was beating incessantly.

    For this moment,

    we spoke the same language,

    our emotions matching

    unspoken wants,

    evident desires.

    Now you are silent,

    afraid of what you felt,

    afraid of what you still feel.

    I can see the longing in your eyes.

    Do you know I miss you?!

    Do not look, just leap!

    I’ll catch you, but you need to jump

    and we need to rise!

    You raised the stakes,

    I match your call!



  96. Miss R.

    Emma Meets Her Match (An Alternative Ending to Jane Austen’s Emma)

    Dear Emma,
    I think I’ve come to the realization
    After some hard consideration
    That your knowledge of me and my desires,
    Despite all that you so kindly conspire,
    Is smaller even than what I know of me,
    And that’s small enough, as you will agree.
    If I’m ever to figure this out, dear friend,
    Your influence must come to an end.
    I say this, of course, in the kindest way:
    Pack up your meddling and get out today.
    If you can speak without giving advice,
    I will certainly take this all back in a trice,
    But I have doubts which are most sincere.
    Goodbye, Emma! I’m glad you’re not here.
    Without any pain of regret,
    Your dearest friend,

  97. Walt Wojtanik


    Where could it be?
    I cannot see.
    That blasted sock
    is hiding from me.

    It looks like this one,
    but not as worn,
    the color’s faded.
    I’m so forlorn.

    It took a scamper
    from the hamper
    it needed washing
    a chance to pamper

    all the fibers
    it was knit with,
    this missing stocking
    is a nit wit.

    Beneath my shoe,
    my feet are blue,
    these little piggies
    sure miss you!

    My feet are cold,
    without protection,
    oh wooly foot mitten,
    wither your direction?

    I’m running late
    you reprobate,
    I need your function;
    I need your mate.

    I have no time,
    the point is moot,
    I’ll put another
    on my foot.

    These mismatched argyles,
    lacking style,
    I think I’ll hide
    this pair a while.

    If it returns
    by some odd chance,
    I will cease
    these barefoot rants.

  98. PSC in CT

    Close Cover Before Striking

    Once ubiquitous, those books
    available everywhere –
    bars, restaurants, hotels,
    banks and local businesses;
    ambassadors of goodwill,
    unobtrusive peddlers,
    stationed patiently on counters
    offering assistance, promoting
    products & services; free
    for the taking and found
    in Everyman’s pocket;
    once popular wedding favors
    (perfect for lighting fires, but
    unlucky for three on a match),
    some slumber in cupboards and
    drawers – relics of failed marriages –
    yet some matches function still

  99. Uma

    The Failed Search

    The wind blew clouds into the sea;
    the sky naked, lurid and luminescent
    as in the moment of creation.

    When your hair tossed and turned silvery
    I knew you were a lie, does one see
    moon on a stormy night?

    I went that night to the sea searching,
    the infinity that you pointed
    I dug with my fingers;

    lines creased on the seabed broke as flakes –
    those are the maps, your voice caressed
    through the choppy water.

    From the dark depths I only collected words
    with lost arms. Disembodied
    they floated in silence.

  100. Walt Wojtanik


                         with a     spark.
                    Striking is what sets
               you aflame, but it’s a shame
            your pyrotechnics last
                 just so long. But
                        when first lit
                           your heat
                          is strong,
                          but   you
                          f i z z l e
                          when    it
                         dr iz zl es
                        or your fing-
                         ers are bre-
                         ached. But
                        have no fear
                         there’s an-
                         other right
                         here and I
                        will   keep
                         t h i n g s
                         b r i  g h t
                         a s  l o n g
                         a s   t h i s
                        other match
                         l i g h t s !


    with a spark.
    Striking is what sets
    you aflame, but it’s a shame
    your pyrotechnics last
    just so long. But
    when first lit
    your heat
    is strong,
    but you
    f i z z l e
    when it
    dr iz zl es
    or your fing-
    ers are bre-
    ached. But
    have no fear
    there’s an-
    other right
    here and I
    will keep
    t h i n g s
    b r i g h t
    a s l o n g
    a s t h i s
    other match
    l i g h t s !

    with a spark.
    Striking is what sets
    you aflame, but it’s a shame
    your pyrotechnics last
    just so long. But
    when first lit
    your heat
    is strong,
    but you
    f i z z l e
    when it
    dr iz zl es
    or your fing-
    ers are bre-
    ached. But
    have no fear
    there’s an-
    other right
    here and I
    will keep
    t h i n g s
    b r i g h t
    a s l o n g
    a s t h i s
    other match
    l i g h t s !

    ((An experiment in poetic picture pyrotechnics! I’ll never know it works unless I try.))

  101. Leo

    friction on the matchbox..
    she strikes a match
    lights a lamp as she prays;
    invoking the Almighty
    to bless with happy days,
    lead us to brighter ways;
    give us strength to cope,
    in bad luck, show us hope.

    a match, a prayer, a light,
    burns within, a will to fight.

  102. barbara_y

    Burnt Matches

    Bar Game

    Man come into my bar and bet me a five.
    I quit washing glasses,
    and moved his damned burnt match.
    I say where’s my money? He says no way,
    says that wasn’t the right move, like moving
    a thing can only be done
    the one way, so I shot him.
    What would you have me do?

  103. Ber

    Matching Smiles

    Stepping out both feet in place
    her beauty made his mind race
    as her image passed before his eyes
    she was his affectionate surprise

    Her smile made him
    get weak at the knees
    he wanted her to himself
    he wanted to please

    Wishing he had her
    all to himself
    knowing he had no courage
    to take that step

    Would they match
    could he catch
    her attention long enough
    could he chat her up
    with lines off the cuff

    Scents of her
    filled him inside
    she walked up
    as he seized his pride

    His shy eyes feel to the floor suddenly
    she was glad to have him in her company
    her eyes locked in on his
    as a smile crossed his face
    their lust filled the room
    oh what a beautiful chase

  104. Bonita Jones Knott

    Last night, as I slept, I walked out of the material world
    through a portal in which I only travel as spirit,
    and dreamed of you.
    The setting was in a room,
    perhaps an apartment, mine, with exposed brick.
    I walked into the room…
    you were sitting there waiting for me.
    I was full of wonder but mostly awe,
    to see that you were really there.
    I sat on your knee and told you about my day.
    You held my hands and listened.
    Every touch was alive, warm, not imagined.
    It was a natural moment
    filled with the excitement and light of divine love.
    You were there with me, spirit to spirit…

  105. Nimue

    Perfect Match

    Lets take it backwards,
    she proposed one night;
    take me back to the moment
    you would not hold me tight;
    think of the time,you barely knew me
    or never understood half of anything;
    that moment, that night,in the hotel
    you did not ask,nor did I say
    yet together we slept,cuddled
    smiled in the morning,though puzzled;
    we were always a match love,
    he smiled as she pronounced;
    we will always be this perfect match,
    he said,and that settled the talk for a while.

  106. Mariya Koleva

    If it isn’t a thrill to be writing to your own prompt! That added some gravity to my attempt, of course.
    strike a match
    with that gentle touch of your
    hand which holds my
    heart agile and waiting
    afloat long waking
    Believing in the magic of
    that unmatched and
    fire of your breath
    applied to my cold cheeks
    That irrational thrill in my
    dreaming memory of a
    “Safety Matches” box
    I still cling to
    at night

    1. Nimue

      Believing in the magic of
      that unmatched and
      fire of your breath .

      Ah ! that magic can sure create wonders .. you just don’t need a match box anymore ;)
      thank you for the prompt :D

  107. JanetRuth

    The Match of Autumn’s Lilt

    The match that lit the hills a-fire

    In autumn’s ruddy glow

    Is snuffed by chill November’s ire

    Exhaled in rain and snow

    Leaf-lullaby and willow-sigh

    Falls to the garden path

    The quiet reaches to the sky

    In autumn’s aftermath

    The lamp-lighter of verdant tress

    Wanders the stricken hill

    As sky-lines flaunt the nakedness

    Of autumn’s waning will

    The bully breeze has snuffed the gold

    The match of autumn’s lilt

    Is buried in the burnished cold

    Where its leaf-tear is spilt

  108. Misky

    Living With An Inferno

    That old house was built of matches,
    sulphur dancing on the doormats,
    tapping on windows, prying latches
    and crawling about as leggy clouds,
    through air pulled tight as rubber bands –

    We breathed in the fumes of your scorn
    that snorted, ‘Scratch me, scratch me,
    feel the heat and watch me burn’.

    Ash-flecked moths in a flame we were,
    drawn to your combustible moods,
    those thunderous clouds
    that scored valleys on your face
    and we waited behind the sofa,
    for your inevitable inferno.

    ~ Misky

  109. foodpoet

    November 1, 2012

    Cross Weaving

    Matching elements in a woven pattern,
    Fire,air easy but to match opposites ah
    Heaven or combustion.

    Take a breath soft intangible
    WeaATake rooted ground
    Matching elements in a woven pattern

    Weave fire water slowly
    Delicately on the loom of time
    Fire, air easy but to match opposites

    On the loom weave
    A pattern of fate
    Heaven or combustion.

      1. foodpoet

        not sure what happend to third stanza so here is reposted

        Matching elements in a woven pattern,
        Fire,air easy but to match opposites ah
        Heaven or combustion.

        Take a breath soft intangible
        Take rooted ground
        Matching elements in a woven pattern

        Weave fire water slowly
        Delicately on the loom of time
        Fire, air easy but to match opposites

        On the loom weave
        A pattern of fate
        Heaven or combustion.

  110. Walt Wojtanik


    The opinions you serve up
    miss the net and fall short of love.
    Each volley you strike
    puts me out. You have set me up
    to play your game, even though
    you hit me with your backhand smash.
    You have the advantage
    and think you hold all the aces.
    It’s not my fault that you let
    me hang, that baseline was too far.
    I was all in for mixed doubles,
    but apparently that just wasn’t your racquet.
    So, be assured. I will rally, and find your
    sweetspot (I believe I have the balls to pull it off!)
    This is set point, and the match is at stake.
    It was an honest mistake. Give me a rematch,
    or I’ll get all McEnroe on your ass.


  111. JWLaviguer


    She matched me
    step for step
    move for move
    She was there
    but for a moment
    Then gone.
    We matched each other
    every day
    for years
    Then she turned
    on me
    and changed.
    People grow
    it is said
    and move on
    with their lives.
    But we used to match
    kiss for kiss
    and now
    I match myself
    tear for tear.

  112. Jerry Walraven

    A Matched Set

    She carries mischief
    around in a bag,
    like so much pixie dust
    she can pull out
    and throw in the air,
    catching the sunlight,
    making her eyes sparkle
    (green then blue).
    She smiles, knowing that,
    while daddy pretends to be
    beyond mischief,
    a small tug can pull him back
    from beyond,
    creating magic
    under mommy’s rolling eyes.

  113. IrisD

    Matchless Perfection
    Matchless grace
    Matchless love,
    Matchless wisdom
    Sent from above
    Matchless power
    In creation we see
    Matchless beauty
    Matchless mercy
    Reflection of grace
    Reflection of love
    Reflection of wisdom
    Sent from above
    Reflection of power
    You created us to be
    Reflecting your beauty
    Reflecting your mercy

  114. Nancy J


    ‘Where there’s smoke,’ she always said,
    defending her gossiping ways,
    passing on tidbits, spreading inuendo,
    enjoying the whispers and sideways glances,
    with a ready ear and eager tongue
    blowing on the flames, smiling at the glow.
    Truth be told, in the years of devastation
    she started most of the fires.

  115. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Wow! Great poems to start our new PAD challenge.

    Robert, your poem is lovely. The line “How you repeat each blast of heat?” – wonderful!
    Iris, I learned to do the same thing in Girl Scouts, but before putting them in the jar, we would dip the heads in nail polish to make them water-proof. (Of course, they had to dry before we put them in the jar.) Brought back fond memories.
    Khara, “the world hushed in a water quilt” – Oh, how beautiful!

    Can wait to read more…Blessings to all! Linda

  116. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Utterances and Meaning

    From day one, you were determined
    to master this language that has the power
    to change your life from one of fear and darkness
    to one of hope and dreams

    You work diligently, matching sounds
    with marks on the page – so foreign to you –
    challenging your mouth to make shapes for uttering
    words that bring power to your life

  117. Khara House

    “Woman thou art”

    In the evening I flicker on, loose myself
    from the grain of the day in a ripple of water
    closing in tighter than a fist on my now
    unsheathed frame. These are the times
    I call myself She. The eyes closed inhale exhale
    pulse of blood. Give it one last leap of the heart
    before the stillness settles in: all the sounds
    of the world hushed in a quilt of water,
    and the burn of an unquenched flame.

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      Now THIS is simply gorgeous writing, Khara. (“…all the sounds of the world hushed in a quilt of water…” favorite line). Being female, I can totally relate to everything you wrote here. Bravo!

  118. IrisD

    In case of sudden tornados in Oklahoma, farm families were always prepared.
    The most important thing besides the kerosene lantern and candles,
    were the matches kept in a pint canning jar with the lid screwed on tight.
    We seldom used them, but they were a constant reminder that you never knew
    when the air pressure systems would change and a tornado would form.
    I once used the precious matches to turn on the kerosene lantern and read.
    Mother was upset because the matches were for emergencies, not for solace. I replaced them with fresh ones from the kitchen, and later that summer we had to spend half the night in the cellar due to tornados in area and I was glad for her forsight. I still keep matches in mason jar in my own cellar a half century later. Haven’t used them for two years, but if I need them, I am sure they will be ready. Priceless.

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      I really love this piece, Iris. It reads kinda folksy, with a prose poem/essay kind of narrative vibe. Best of all it not only paints a snapshot of a moment in time, but also tells a poignant story. The only suggestion that might be considered is to drop the very last word at the end (Priceless) because I really don’t think it needs it. The last sentence is pretty powerful and beautiful by itself. I think you need to leave it, end it, just that way. Kudos, well done!