2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

Today is a Two-for-Tuesday prompt, and they both come from Michael Grove.

Here are Mike’s prompts:

  1. Write a letter poem.
  2. Write a recipe poem.

Robert’s attempt at a letter and recipe poem:

“Dear Author”

I regret to inform you
a tablespoon of garlic
powder is inferior
to the same measurement of
garlic salt. Try both. One tastes
better, and you’ll know which dish.
As for your “cookbook,” I’ll be
returning it straight to your
publisher with improvements.
I’m sure you can buy my book,
“The Better Cookbook,” next year.


Thank you to Michael for these excellent prompts. Click here to follow Michael on Twitter.

Since only a fraction of readers are participating on the forum, I’m combining the rest of the month into one thread. Click here to share there.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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107 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

  1. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 13
    Prompt: Letter or recipe poem

    Dear Children,
    I feel sad
    our holiday
    on a bitter note.
    No matter how
    modern composers
    tout & flaunt
    I want back the
    But maybe it was never
    really there
    in the first place?
    I pray your hearts heal
    toward one another
    and you make your peace
    in my lifetime.
    your Mom

  2. PSC in CT

    Letter to Santa

    My dear Mr. C.,

    The little angels are fast asleep.
    Meet me at midnight
    by the milk & cookies
    (I’ll be the one in bathrobe
    and bunny slippers
    bearing 2 hot toddies &
    1 warm smile) and
    I will share with you
    my recipe for a very
    merry (ho ho ho) holiday.

    Mrs. C.

    ps: Light the fire.

  3. Andy Brackett

    To my Daughter on her wedding day,

    I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you
    So this letter I give in lieu
    It contains a gift straight from the heart
    In hopes that you will never part
    Things I’ve learned, things you’ll see
    Instructions, or rules, a recipe!

    Always love each other, as you do this day
    Don’t work too hard, leave room for play
    Disagree when you must, but never fight
    And always, always kiss goodnight

    These simple rules I give to you
    Loves recipe for staying true
    When reading this please don’t be sad
    Forever and Always, I’ll be your Dad

  4. po

    Dear Mom,

    It’s been awhile since
    I’ve written you, perhaps
    a year or more. Overland

    passages flow like the rain
    through your garden.
    Summer blooms have gone.

    The sweetness of the valley
    no longer floats through
    the air. The many colors

    of the dahlias have lain
    their heads to rest.
    Winter in November

    and now your work
    is done. But in my
    heart your garden

    is blooming on and on.

  5. sonja j

    Fat Man’s Misery

    Next stop, the Devil’s Corncrib. As if
    the devil was one of the farmers you
    knew who sold his land to Wal-Mart,
    and every time you go buy cornflakes
    and bacon with your throw pillows, you
    think of him. Then again, how many of
    these guys have ever worked a cornfield?

    This is killing my mind. Even if you’re
    skinny, this is the moment when your
    wetsuit is pulled up over your face, arms
    alongside your ears in neoprene gauntlets.
    You know in a few moments your mouth
    will be free to breathe, but right now the
    panic bird is hot under your breastbone.

    Sometimes I dream that I am diving
    through a cat door, through a tunnel
    where I used to fit. This is probably just
    the sleep apnea talking, but I believe
    that if I can take a wave in the face
    and stifle my cough, then I can hold
    my hand in that goddamned box.

  6. Miss R.

    A Recipe for Insanity

    I suppose we should have known
    That you plus me was a recipe
    For insanity, but our explosive
    Expressions of friendship
    Seem to make the scales tip
    In the direction of sincerity,
    If you ask me. Sometimes
    Things get a bit messy,
    And I know I can be testy,
    But nothing’s been broken yet.
    It’s my bet that we’ll always
    Get things cleaned up, because
    That’s what friendship does;
    We take off our masks and
    Put on our gloves in jest,
    Because discussion’s the best
    Way to clear the air, and
    I love you so well I don’t care
    That you’re crazy sometimes,
    And you don’t mind that I
    Get grouchy without reason
    Or rhyme, and people think
    We’re both insane, because
    Undoubtedly you plus me
    Is the very best recipe for
    My favourite kind of insanity.

  7. Glory


    Plum Cake
    (Day 13)

    If you like Plum Cake
    Do beware
    For unripe plums
    Can cause despair

    Be very careful
    With the flour
    Sift and sift but
    Don’t take an hour

    Add just a small
    Amount of sugar – hey
    Diabetics don’t
    Come out to play

    Mix in some
    Butter and lard
    I say, with fingers
    You have washed today.

    Now it’s time, throw
    In those plums
    All juicy ruby red
    Then off you go

    I’m doing the cooking
    For you – it’s time for bed.

  8. Glory

    The Letter
    (Day 13)

    It sits upon the table,
    the white closed letter
    as I contemplate,
    shall I, shan’t I, over and over
    until my mind gives in.

    My hand moves forward
    clutches at its white innocent
    outer coat to reveal within,
    then stops, fear feeding every pore.
    my hand stilled.

    Good or bad, the news it holds?
    Would I know? Or maybe live today
    and all my tomorrows with only
    the knowing it sits upon the table
    the white closed letter.

  9. Tracy Davidson

    I wrote this letter poem and then realised it probably wouldn’t mean anything to anyone outside the UK. But I’m posting it anyway! For those who don’t know who Jimmy Savile is, he was a very popular TV personality, presenter, DJ and charity campaigner for many years. He died last year and it’s only in the past few weeks that we’ve found out he was a serial abuser of children. It’s a national scandal at the moment, as it appears lots of people knew or suspected this, but allowed him to get away with it because of his celebrity status.

    Dear Jimmy

    I would like you to fix it for me
    that you never died,
    so you were still here
    to face the furore
    your evil perversions
    have stirred up.

    It sickens me to think how much
    I admired you as a child.

    I wrote to you once back then,
    was disappointed
    not to receive a reply.

    How relieved I am now
    that my letter went unanswered,
    that my innocence was never
    tainted by your presence.

    How my heart breaks
    for those countless children
    who weren’t so lucky.

    I bet you died with a smile
    on your face, laughing at how
    easily you got away with it,
    nearly half a century
    of abuse.

    Your country mourned when you died,
    remembered you with fondness
    and admiration.

    A year on, your country hates you.
    Even your own family
    dismantled your gravestone.

    If such a thing as Hell exists
    I hope you’re in it,
    hope you’re enduring
    the same pain and suffering
    you meted out to those
    too powerless to resist.

    May you never rest in peace.

  10. Bruce Niedt

    Recipe for an Expectant Grandparent

    Take a cup of happy surprise,
    add a dash of pride,
    add a tablespoon of ancestry
    and suggestions for baby names.

    Blend well, and pour
    into a heart-shaped pan.
    Put in a warm oven for several months.

    Meanwhile, stir together
    telling everyone you know,
    browsing baby shops,
    planning a shower,
    and nervous anticipation.

  11. zevd2001

    It’s easy enough as long as you can dream
    to stay away, be watchful as you scan
    following the images as efficiently when they pan
    across the universe, it’s mostly a scheme
    devised for nimble minds to fill up lines
    with letters forming words that describe what you see
    twisting and turning, grab them quickly, take them they are free
    examine them, project their meanings, study the signs

    they show you, meander, yes wander inside them, roll
    them about in your tongue with your eyes closed, watch the sight
    of how they fill your head, but be careful, they just might
    not be the ones you need. Go back again and call
    out for another combination, maybe a phrase
    that is formidable, but who knows, it could be the path,
    the beginning of what your pen records, like a swath
    cut through into a piñata with stuff to gaze.

    Don’t be embarrassed by this wealth, this mess
    gather it up as you take all the parts
    of a jigsaw puzzle, organize, as it starts
    to become, the details reveal themselves, then address
    how all the colors of this picture come to seek
    not what a painter paints, or camera shoots
    this is a seed that you plant in grey matter, boots
    the information in lines, the language that poems speak.

    Zev Davis

  12. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    I wanted to come up with something
    like a formula, to describe who you
    are, or denote my favorite attributes,
    the ones only you possess in perfect
    amounts that complement me and all
    my random little foibles. The closest
    I could come to anything like that
    formula was less definitive than what
    I initially had in mind, but somehow,
    it fit you better than I expected. Here
    goes nothing: One part faith. One part
    courtesy. One part respect. One part
    that look you get on your face when
    you watch me walk down the stairs
    and into your arms in my night-on-
    -the-town best. One part the look in
    your eyes when I tell you that, with
    or without your permission, we’ve
    made a miracle, one that will squall
    its wet, squirmy way into the world
    in about nine months and captivate
    you in ways that even I never could,
    and I won’t even be jealous when I
    watch you jealously cuddle that
    bundle close. One part trust. One
    part independence—just so you know
    that you don’t need to lean on me
    to bolster yourself up because you
    have other people to prop up your
    self-esteem when it falters. One part
    the security I feel, not when you
    draw me into your arms and hold me
    close but when you clasp my hands
    and bow your head to pray for us,
    the assurance that I don’t have to be
    your higher power. Mix well, and
    serve with affection and laughter.

  13. Jane Shlensky

    Recipe for Rest

    Put the soothing music on.
    Nestle chocolates two by two.
    Strawberries or berry scones
    Grapes and cheeses ought to do.

    Pour a glass of wine and there
    Pick up that book you long to read
    Clear the cats out of your chair
    Your heart and mind you still must feed.

    Turn off your phone and take your seat.
    Inhale, exhale, take sip, feel blessed.
    Just tuck that blanket ‘round your feet,
    It’s time to bake a batch of rest.

  14. Sara McNulty

    Poetics Aside November Challenge – Day 13
    Write a letter
    Write a recipe

    Worth Another Shot

    Dear Ms. Erable,

    I was distressed to learn that your recipe attempt
    did not go well. However, in looking over the
    ingredients and the order in which they were
    blended together, I did find some errors which
    may be causing your final product to fail.

    To begin, you left out compassion which is a
    vital ingredient for success. In placing sexual
    fulfillment first, you have neglected the art
    of conversation and communication. Sense
    of humor was used correctly, as well as love.

    I suggest you give this recipe a second chance
    and please do let me know the outcome.

    Yours truly,

    Mr. Wright

  15. Mike Bayles

    To the Baker

    Dear Baker,

    Don’t to forget the filling in the pie.
    Whether it’s chocolate, pumpkin, or apple,
    what’s beneath the surface is what’s important.
    Be sure to bake it well,
    so the crust is flaky.
    The crust will draw attention
    to your creation,
    but remember what matters
    is the first bite
    and the taste of what you have put inside.
    Be sure to dress well for the occasion,
    and wear a big smile,
    but what makes the holiday special
    is what you hold in your heart.

  16. sonja j

    Tassajara Life

    There is no single recipe.

    You grew up sailing, attended a boys’ academy,
    and breathed in your mother’s cigarette smoke.
    You went to Hebrew school and became Bat Mitzvah.
    They fed you bagels and lox, bananas, horseradish,
    hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps, asparagus.

    I lived in a crumbling farmhouse, stacked firewood,
    fed the chickens, skied, read books to teach myself.
    I took care of my sisters. I ate only two slices of the
    weekly pizza, rutabagas, green corn in July, plattar
    with lingonberries, but I would never touch lutefisk.

    Now the children – one can scarcely find his own socks.
    Cats adore him, machines seize up when he comes near.
    We always finds him underwater. Every day, for lunch,
    he has a cheese sandwich and a clementine. We feed
    him kale and garlic, pomegranates, avocados and tea.

    Another ice skates, reads lying on her back, jumps off
    cliffs and waterfalls. She laughs with other girls, cries
    when she’s angry, looks impassive when afraid. She
    loves pasta, lamb chops and clam chowder. We give
    her beets, sautéed spinach, and champagne mangoes.

    The youngest plays violin, cooks pancakes on Sunday.
    He build switches and radios, memorizes lists, listens
    to German songs he can’t understand. He is allergic
    to apples but eats them anyway, loves cucumbers. We
    serve him meatballs, lentil soup and vanilla ice cream.

    It doesn’t really matter how you make it –
    just so long as you nourish the person.

  17. Walt Wojtanik

    A POEM

    This is a poem about “A”
    The beginning: the start.
    The very heart of the Alphabet
    About as authentic as “a” can get.
    Always aware, alert and adroit,
    answers to no one, always polite.
    Apologetic, apoplectic, agreeable,
    amiable and acceptable.
    Anonymous, and amorous
    an additional plus. This poem
    has been brought to you
    by the letter “A”.
    A letter poem.

  18. uneven steven

    The Tin Man Interview

    Yes sir.
    It is true I am an empty tin can
    as you so amply demonstrated
    with the palm of your hand.
    But I assure you that means
    I am only more open to others
    experiences and emotions.
    Well, it is hard to tell because
    this hard outer shell
    does keep me from showing all that
    I feel
    but it does give me backbone,
    so to speak,
    and keeps me
    being me.
    Yes sir,
    my ax is very sharp
    and at times I did
    and do rust up
    with fear, anger, uncertainty.
    But I am easily brought back
    with compassion
    and love.
    I am often frozen
    and especially when I was younger
    I found there were times
    when I could not stop the swing
    once I was brought back.
    of course I knew
    there were always those
    who knew how
    to use this
    against me.

  19. shellaysm

    “Dear Hannah” (Rispetto Poem)

    From birth’s first breath, you opened eyes to life’s joy
    Love beams from your soul, sunshine within a heart
    At times I chuckle, a mirrored face so coy
    No matter the distance, we’re never apart
    Each summer adds a year being my daughter
    Still wish I could shelter you from rough water
    I know life’s lessons in time you too will learn
    For you, dear Hannah, boundless pride grows in turn!

    “Hannah Pie Dough”

    In large bowl, mix together
    one part each of the following:

    Pianist of six years and counting,
    Budding old-fashioned cook,
    Gourmet cupcake baker,
    Possibly Lucille Ball’s biggest fan–ever,
    Flag-twirler in the marching band,
    Distinguished honor roll student,
    Anthology-published poet,
    Reading Olympian,
    Alto in the middle school chorus,
    List-making planner,
    Trustworthy, considerate, giving,
    Compassionate, helpful, silly girl,
    Hugger extraordinaire

    Pour mixture into a 12-year-old mold
    Watch the dough rise overnight

  20. posmic

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I would like to complain to you about so many things,
    like the sunlight that still butters the edges of leaves,
    some of which are still green. It’s November; if
    everything is going to die, I would rather it be soon.
    For weeks, I’ve braced myself for it, and yet, I still
    see a flower here and there, hanging in, and its
    unwinnable fight hurts me more than if it would
    just die already, so I could mourn a little, move on,
    make myself ready for ho ho ho’s and the exchange
    of good cheer. It takes me a while to make myself
    feel that, you know, though eventually I do, at least
    a little, even in the worst of years. I am not unmoved
    by public sentiment, no matter how frothed it is by
    advertisers, manufacturers of things. I like things
    as much as the next person, maybe more, and I can’t
    lie: I especially like things that are not necessary, ones
    that are apple-heavy in my palm and make their own
    starlight. I would like the world to turn a little, all of us
    to suffer now in darkness and cold, because winter
    can’t end before it begins. This anticipation, it’s like
    waiting for a blood test, sitting there in an awful room
    with a TV you can’t turn off (there’s a handwritten
    card that says so, in Sharpie, no less—it’s permanent,
    you know), and you can’t imagine that your name will
    ever be called, the test ever be done, your blood
    remaking itself before you even get up to go home.
    You can’t imagine home, not when all of you is
    wrapped up in dread, suspended animation.
    It’s like that, dear sir or madam.
    That’s just what it’s like.

  21. Michael Grove


    Sometimes I can’t find the words
    to tell you how I feel.
    I know I love you dearly.
    You know that this is real.

    I’ll write it in a letter,
    I’ll post it on your wall,
    a message in a bottle.
    I’m giving this my all.

    We both know we’re in this
    and my feelings are all true.
    Let me tell you one more time.
    Baby, I love you.

    By Michael Grove

  22. foodpoet

    really a minor irritation but I could not resist

    Dear writers digest, so

    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.
    Okay. So now I have to write each day and
    Uselessly try to post.

    Really, write post repost
    Each day. Fight for

    Poetic prompt time
    Only to get You are posting comments too quickly.
    Slow down.
    Too quickly I give up and think
    I can quickly write another day.
    Nothing comes to mind then I write a thought away.
    Grasping at an elusive idea.

    Too quickly mind over matter.

    Quickly pick up pen and post on forum – hmm where is the forum?
    I plot to post until I can be read yeah.
    Come and see my brilliance and preservence.
    Keep on penning posting and posting.
    Loiter and post instead of writing.
    Yester day is done and I wait tomorrows.

    Slow down
    Laughing at this
    Only letters I now don’t write only emails
    Well glad this is

    Only it’s not.
    Welcome all
    New posts.


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