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2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

Categories: 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Poetry Prompts, Poets, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

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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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

107 Responses to 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

  1. Day 13
    Prompt: Letter or recipe poem

    Dear Children,
    I feel sad
    our holiday
    ended
    on a bitter note.
    No matter how
    modern composers
    tout & flaunt
    cacophony
    I want back the
    harmony.
    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.
    Love,
    your Mom

  2. PSC in CT says:

    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.

    Love,
    Mrs. C.

    ps: Light the fire.

  3. Cara Holman says:

    filagreed frost
    her faded handwriting
    on old recipe cards

  4. Andy Brackett says:

    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

  5. po says:

    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.

  6. sonja j says:

    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.

  7. Miss R. says:

    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.

  8. Glory says:

    T

    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.

  9. Glory says:

    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.

  10. Tracy Davidson says:

    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.

  11. Bruce Niedt says:

    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.

  12. zevd2001 says:

    WORD SALAD
    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

  13. Recipe

    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.

  14. Jane Shlensky says:

    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.

  15. Sara McNulty says:

    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

  16. Dear Santa…

    As a poet I’ve been nice.
    As a human I’ve been naughty.
    Since I’ve made your list twice
    and I’m not the slightest bit wordy,
    I think
    ONE present should suffice…
    perhaps two… maybe… forty?

  17. Mike Bayles says:

    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.

  18. Rorybore says:

    Fantastic Prompt!

    posted on my blog today see it HERE

    Great work everyone!

  19. sonja j says:

    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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.
    Yes,
    I am often frozen
    mid-swing
    and especially when I was younger
    I found there were times
    when I could not stop the swing
    once I was brought back.
    Yes,
    of course I knew
    there were always those
    who knew how
    to use this
    against me.

  22. shellaysm says:

    “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

  23. posmic says:

    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.

  24. Michael Grove says:

    Baby

    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

  25. DanielAri says:

    Like the prompt, Mike!
    Here’s my left-handed letter:

    http://imunuri.blogspot.com/2012/11/on-other-hand.html

  26. foodpoet says:

    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.

    Aargh.
    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.
    Ouch.
    Okay.

    Quickly pick up pen and post on forum – hmm where is the forum?
    Until
    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

    Done.
    Only it’s not.
    Welcome all
    New posts.

  27. JRSimmang says:

    Dearest __________________,
    1 Pinch
    no more than a square inch,
    just inside the arm
    where the soft flesh meets the shoulder.
    You made me then,
    no more than just a lump of dough,
    into a pleading gingerbread man.
    I should have seen it coming; that
    1 dash
    out the door
    the night before we each kneaded another; that
    1 dry ingredient
    that we could never reconsitute.
    You licked my fingers clean
    while I slowly simmered in my own juices.
    1 twist of the knife.
    Consume the leftovers.

  28. Maurie says:

    Sharing Dilemma

    Dear Carol,
    Attached please fine my persimmon
    pudding recipe you have so long coveted.
    Accept my apologies for what, may appear
    to be, well placed smudges and stains,
    covering quantities for sugar, salt, and persimmons.
    They are the result of long
    term use, nothing else. I’ve become
    accustomed to adding these quantities
    by color and taste. Hopefully, you can too.
    Enjoy,
    Sue
    P.S. Please don’t serve this dish at our next
    book club meeting.

  29. Ann M says:

    recipe for disaster

    houses on the sand
    tropical winds
    electrical lines above ground
    cars that require gasoline
    high tides
    millions of people
    rain
    full moon
    subway tunnels on an island
    disbelief that the worst can happen
    large trees next to houses
    bridges between sand bars
    roller coasters on the beach
    high-rise apartments with old boilers at sea level
    disbelief in climate change
    only so many power company workers
    sand dunes that can’t stop waves
    a rising sea
    sinking land
    storm

  30. Dear Me

    Hello, dear me, ten years from now.
    You are now sixty-four.
    How is two thousand twenty-two?
    I wonder what’s in store.

    Has all your hair turned gray or white?
    And did you lose some weight?
    What is your daily schedule like?
    Do you still stay up late?

    Do you finally have an empty nest?
    Did hubby leave his job?
    Is your house all spic and span?
    Or are you now a slob?

    How is your lovely daughter, now?
    And has she met her prince?
    Did God answer this prayer of mine,
    Are you a grandma since?

    Your son is almost thirty-eight,
    Did he grow to be a man?
    Does he have family and job?
    Or he’s like Peter Pan?

    Are you still writing every day?
    Or are you finally though?
    And did you take up carpentry
    like I so threatened to?

    Did you take an Alaskan cruise?
    And see the Island state?
    If so, you’ve seen all fifty now,
    Not just the forty-eight.

    Did you spend money and your time
    In ways that are worthwhile?
    And most of all, did you do things
    That made your Father smile?

  31. pmwanken says:

    This is an older poem, but, on the heels of Veterans Day I thought it would be appropriate to repost it here…a soldier, writing home…

    RESILIENT

    aching from loss
    vision blurred by thirst for revenge
    blood, thrumming in his ears

    in animated whispers
    he wonders aloud,
    to no one in particular:

    Did they train us for this?

    surrounded on the hillsides
    he begins scribbling words
    he hopes will sustain her:

    You are resilient…

  32. RobHalpin says:

    My Favorite Recipe

    a pinch, a rub, a dash, a sprinkling
    turn up the heat and give me hot, Love
    you’ll like this dish, I’ve got an inlking
    a pinch, a rub, a dash, a sprinkling,
    the fire there in your eye’s a-twinkling
    tasting flesh you can’t get enough of
    a pinch, a rub, a dash, a sprinkling,
    turn up the heat and give me hot love

  33. I’ll be so delighted if you want to read my post from yesterday on the blog you reach when pressing my name here.
    I especially hope Claudette, Janet Martin and Vivienne Blake do so – that is if you haven’t done so already.
    My today’s poem is also there for Poetic Asides’ readers. You’ll find it on the notice board; scroll down until you find “A RECIPE FOR MY SON.”
    And thank you everyone! I enjoyed all the poems here. Mariya, I share Misk’s comment.

  34. barbara_y says:

    Recipe that never disappoints

    Find bread
    (may substitute: crackers,
    minute rice, noodles, spaghetti,
    instant mashed potatoes)
    Heat to preference.
    Add butter
    (may substitute: any butter
    substitute, peanut butter–yes–
    mayo, olive oil, jelly–yes, even
    on potatoes, don’t knock it–
    Nutella, ketchup, salsa, mustard)
    Consume.

  35. Yolee says:

    Dearest You

    Nineteen years. I certainly didn’t perceive the timetable when I first looked you over,
    but then the future was an unattended diary with an inexpensive lock. Now we own
    brass, looped fingers, nickel faces, knock-before-you-enter unlocked locks,
    as well as little locks inside kisses with good that opens to morning, night,
    and bye. Part of my existence rocks the big chair in your heart; you travel
    through mine like signatures on many pages that mortgage ideals, trouble
    and a grand promise at the end of semi-spent youth. But we acquired love,
    didn’t we? At least we own its homemade disappointments, joys, tragedies,
    triumphs and depths of territories we’ve yet to unearth. We birthed children
    that desperately need their own security devices but come back often, inserting
    the key that leads to home-base because they miss the diamond, the grass
    and the ether of our tierra. It seems absurd, the culmination of these years.
    Truly, dry and wet moments clap us together mostly with minute to minute hands.

    Love, Me

    ““““““““““

    Kindness
    Altruism
    Cheerfulness

    Homelessness
    Hunger
    Helplessness

    Warm up the second list and blend with raw ingredients of the first within the bowl of you heart.

  36. Dear Knucklehead,

    Of course your sister-in-law
    should not have put your
    birthday present on eBay
    And it is indeed a bad
    sign that your husband
    has a secret bank account
    in the Cayman Islands.

    You might want to talk to a
    qualified physician about
    those nosebleeds and fainting spells
    Texting while driving is inexcusable
    even in parking lots – stand your ground
    And no, you don’t have to
    be a swinger at your age.

    I will hold my tongue concerning
    your attitude towards your
    son’s preference in clothing, except
    to say you know what you need
    to do: don’t blow this one.
    And finally, it’s only a
    set of dishes – get over it.

    Sincerely,

  37. PUPPY FORMULA

    1 can evap milk, 4 oz yogurt, 4 egg yolks, 2 tbsp
    liquid vitamins. Mix in blender. Warm to body temp.
    Pour into a big syringe with feeding-tube. Here
    it gets a bit tricky; get someone to show you how.
    See how much tube it takes to go all the way down
    into the pup’s stomach; this is important. Cradle
    the pup in your hands, very gently insert tube, and
    slowly very slowly press the plunger. Remember
    Q-Tip? little girl-pup who never opened her right
    eye? Tube-fed twice a day for weeks. She followed
    us everywhere; never took the focus of her one good
    eye away from us. Everyone who came to look at
    puppies wanted her. But there was only one Q-Tip.

  38. barbara_y says:

    Note to self as if Self were a friend who died young

    I love you.
    you should love yourself.
    Easy for me to say? Maybe
    maybe easy to say,
    hard to do,
    but love, what is it, after all? It’s no more than
    what you allow yourself.
    Did you love that old shirt
    that never did a thing to deserve love,
    or the dog, the stinking dog? Did you
    love rum, or only the anesthesia? Did
    you love the oblivion? Did you want, really, to die?
    Or did you only want to be
    loved like an old shirt, or stinking dog?

  39. julie e. says:

    RECIPE FOR FRIENDSHIP

    Pour 1 cup of your words into a bowl
    add 2 cups listening and stir
    locate your missing grace
    sprinkle liberally,
    pour into pan.
    Bake, cool,
    frost thickly with patience,
    and enjoy a longer friendship.

  40. JOHN DEERE LETTER

    Dear John,

    I hope this letter finds you well.
    You said war was hell, and I can tell
    it is wearing on you. And it’s true
    it’s been a few weeks since I wrote you,
    it WAS something you said. I would quote you,
    but then I’d be guilty of your same crime.
    There is someone else this time.
    He’s younger and more handsome,
    has more stamina and agility
    and a unique ability to finish the job
    in half the time as you.
    He has a 21 inch span,
    and the man knows how to use it.
    I do not abuse it, but I choose it
    sometimes three times a week.
    Oh, how that boy can mow!
    That is why I’m selling your green
    and yellow tractor. Please don’t be mad,
    but it’s for the best. Glad I got
    that off my chest. Signed, Louise.

  41. pmwanken says:

    Naughty or Nice?
    (a shadorma)

    Dear Santa:
    You know I’ve been good.
    No—really!
    (Stop laughing.)
    Oookaaay, I’ll try harder next
    year for the “nice” list.

  42. Domino says:

    A Pinch of Cayenne

    Darling,

    I know you mean well,
    but sometimes I wonder if you realize
    just what a hot pepper you have
    in me.

    Don’t think this is a complaint,
    exactly,
    but sometimes a girl needs
    a little more spice,
    a little more fire,
    a little more hachachacha.

    Recipe:
    you and me
    fireplace,
    glass of wine,
    and a bear skin (bare skin?) rug,
    tonight after the kids are asleep.

    What do you say?

    Your loving wife,

    Cayenne

  43. Glory says:

    can’t post any poems have tried and tried – Glory

  44. julie e. says:

    Dear Used-to-be-a-friend:

    There was a time you wanted
    for us to hang around,
    we talked and talked for hours
    a listening ear you’d found.
    But when I asked a question
    I’m not sure what you heard,
    it wasn’t what you wanted–
    it’s plain that’s what occurred.
    You called me several names then,
    “sarcastic” “mean” and “rude.”
    I’d never had a friend with
    such a “bad”ittude.
    You took my ear for granted,
    you took up lots of time
    I guess I was your therapist
    who never made a dime.

    (You’ll be getting my bill shortly.)

  45. Marjory MT says:

    13 LETTER Haibum – Many interesting responses to fun prompt, Thanks Mike

    John, your letter was a surprise. Yes, I do remember those candle light dinners for two, dancing to romantic tunes, mountain hikes, pausing by clear pools. A bon fire on a hidden beach with waves lapping at our feet. Hay rides under a harvest moon. Yes, I remember snowball battles, hot chocolate by wood fires. Study dated without study, weekend ball games cheering on our team, victory dances and parades. I do remember “look-out point” …. promises made.

    You left, I waited,
    been wife and mom for ten years,
    I’ll just say. “Dear John….”

    1-2-3-4-5-6

  46. bluerabbit47 says:

    Dear Dad,

    You never were
    much for writing
    so I never wrote
    you a letter.
    You and I
    always knew
    each other
    best through
    landscapes,
    pigments, brushes,
    lenses, captured
    hours, minutes,
    and seconds
    that will never
    come back
    but could be
    relived again
    and again
    through transparencies
    or stacked paintings
    in a closet.
    I write to you
    now, looking
    down at your
    hands, freckled
    and funny
    as a write this,
    and later,
    when Alden
    and I take
    pictures of winter
    deer, you will
    be shooting with us

    As always,
    Linda

  47. Susan Budig says:

    Take Two…no, Three…no, Four…no, Five…

    Wow. I posted on my first attempt above!

  48. Susan Budig says:

    Try #1:

    How many attempts are others making, generally, in order to post here?

  49. RJ Clarken says:

    Letter to My Younger Self

    To say that things will never be
    as you expect? Oh, too easy.
    No millionaire. No famous star.
    But you’ll be great just as you are.

    Talents you might now ignore
    are just a hint at what’s in store
    for you. Aim high and set the bar
    ‘cause you’ll be great just as you are.

    The road is bumpy in some parts
    but you’ll achieve in fits and starts.
    Wear proudly every battle scar.
    See, you’ll be great just as you are.

    And don’t forget, time wounds all heels.
    (Just kidding, younger self.) Ideals –
    please hold them close and you’ll go far.
    Yes, you’ll be great just as you are.

    (One more thing I’d like to mention:
    Don’t date Don. Heart break prevention.)

    ###

  50. The Wired Journal says:

    Part one letter poem

    Dear owner,
    Hello there owner of mine
    It’s me your little brown pocket hugger
    Folded so neatly in the pouch of your jeans
    So thin weak and feeble with no green to eat
    I’ve nothing to feed you again this rainy day
    I know you’re hungry and that’s a shame
    But the rain would not let us work today
    It’s not my fault I’m sure you know
    And for whatever its worth I want you to know
    That I’ll be hungry too if things don’t change
    Like you I fear the coming winter days
    I’m tired of being empty I’m sorry to say
    But maybe it’s time for a career change
    Can you make some money for me to hold
    Writing on rainy dreary winter days
    Feed me with your writing if you can
    Feed me in any which way you think you can
    Feed me feed me somehow today
    For I’m so famished and so empty
    On this rainy dreary day

  51. DAHutchison says:

    Gingerbread House

    A gingerbread house, thick with paste,
    Will hold its shape, but not its taste,
    But make it a more scrumptious way,
    The walls and shutters melt away,
    One for looks and one for food?
    Gifting either would be rude!
    Form and function never meet.
    Who thought up this Christmas treat?

  52. claudsy says:

    You’ve all written so well this morning to this prompt. Thanks, Mike, for the challenge to my tired brain. Here’s my attempt to fill the order.

    Dear YouTube,

    Because of you,
    I went to the movies
    Last night; scores filled
    Waiting ears, mind, and memory.
    Because of you, my emotions
    Did a roller-coaster
    Dance in time.

    Because of you,
    I became young again,
    Seeing those places left behind
    That mattered back then, forgotten til now.
    Because of you I cried, I laughed,
    Revisited who I was
    Before you came.

    A Garden’s Recipe

    A garden works
    As a stew pot;
    Small ingredients
    Brought together
    In time to meld
    For enjoyment,
    Prosperity,
    Lasting flavors;
    Desire begins,
    Planning ensues,
    Tending wins out,
    And then—harvest.
    So few additions
    To create such
    A pleasant life.

  53. Michael Grove says:

    I hope you are enjoying this prompt. I’m finding it difficult to write until later in the day due to my increased work schedule. I’ll be back later with a new one. Here is an older one for now.

    Recipe for Togetherness

    Never, ever rush this special mixture.
    Spend the proper time to gain insight.
    Everything worth having is worth waiting for.
    Take all special cares and get it right.

    Start with two who truly share some common goals.
    Spare the melodrama and white lies.
    Add a dash of romance more than every now and then.
    Fold in great compassion, strain the cries.

    Stir in more desire than you’ve ever felt before.
    Blend with commitment bound by trust.
    Knead gently all those regions which you caringly explore.
    Set aside the coarseness of the crust.

    A cup of compromise will help the texture.
    Add a dash of hope for better days.
    Combine with inner peace that comes from sharing everything.
    Soften up the hard shell for the glaze.

    A pinch of passion helps you thru the hard times.
    Mix in some fun and games to quench your thirst.
    Divide the daily tasks up so that neither’s overwhelmed.
    Add a can of kindness, drain well first.

    Simmer down whenever anger blocks out logic.
    Remove from heat all doubts that make things bitter.
    Prepare for understanding all so no one feels alone.
    Let stand ’till thickened, never be a quitter.

    Spoon on monogamy so thick, spread smoothly for the future.
    Baste in iconic feasts of bread and wine.
    Top it off with some affection pure and sprinkle tenderness.
    Serve warm with hearts of gold and love divine.

    by Michael Grove

  54. LITERACY du JOUR

    Begin with a student eager to learn
    add in a teacher with resources galore
    sprinkle with lessons for which they earn
    to have speaking and writing and reading and more
    Ever so slowly, let it all stew
    stirring and mixing and blending it for
    a wonderful magical linguistic brew

    DEAR TEACHER

    Thank you for teaching
    me to think
    about the words that
    I learn
    so that I can
    use them
    like money
    at the store of Life.

  55. RECIPE FOR INSANITY: PART 2

    Write a poem.
    go to submit it
    to the P-A-D,
    press “Post Comments”
    over and over,
    expect different results.

    Repeat.

    Write a poem.
    go to submit it
    to the P-A-D,
    press “Post Comments”
    over and over,
    expect different results.

    Repeat.

    Write a poem.
    go to submit it
    to the P-A-D,
    press “Post Comments”
    over and over,
    expect different results.

    Repeat…

    • Hannah says:

      Strangely, when I posted today it was the first time that it went through on the first try! Go figure and just below this! :)

    • Technology is grand, Walt….when it works! Thank you for putting our frustrations into verse. :-)

      • elishevasmom says:

        Walt, absolutely brilliant!
        Here is my shot at a two-fer.

        NOTE TO SELF

        If you are reading this,
        clearly you have yet to learn

        the art (or importance)
        of the stand-alone recipe.

        But as you have found this missive,
        you must now find the fortitude

        to push ahead.
        The trick is to take crumbs

        from the unsuccessful efforts
        and to spread them before you

        like clues—each having its own flavor.
        The problem lies in saving

        too much failure—it’s bitterness
        overpowers the rest,

        resulting in a dish
        fit for the chopping block

        of even the most lenient of
        culinary critics.

        But, since you are reading this,
        there is hope.

        ***How to Make Any Good Stand-Alone Sauce***

        Start with simple ingredients:
        equal parts of esteem, good and self.

        With out these basic staples, no
        recipe stands a chance.

        Mix these until smooth and
        fully blended.

        Now, add equal portions of
        intent and direction,

        continuing to beat until
        all doubt has been removed.

        Take the vial of reserve energy,
        (almost forgot you had that, huh?)

        and add it gradually, mixing
        thoroughly as you go.

        Once you have these all whipped up
        you are almost through.

        Fold in a few pinches of
        attitude according to taste—

        savory, sweet, salt or spicy.
        This modus operandi is

        guaranteed to create a personality
        that can contribute flavor and

        substance to any group effort,
        and yet stand comfortably

        on its own.
        And since you are reading this

        you know that you wrote it
        and it works pretty well.

        Ellen Knight

  56. RECIPE FOR INSANITY

    Do the same thing,
    over and over,
    expect different results.

    Repeat.

    Do the same thing,
    over and over,
    expect different results.

    Repeat.

    Do the same thing,
    over and over,
    expect different results.

    Repeat….

  57. Dear Poet,

    Apology for lateness
    worry hard a week now
    this one sick—
    dealing Poem bugs too long.

    Give folks a chance to keep
    everything Today
    Before I do.

    Keep everything Today
    and soon try Poem long.

    Today.
    A chance.

    Written after Robert Brewer and the Chance Poets.
    Anti-Dadaistic
    (Thanks, Robert, for inadvertently sharing your words)

    ***

    “Lost recipe Found”

    Ingredients:

    1 mom
    2 daughters
    3 sons

    Glaze with Psalm 1
    and a bit of fun
    salted lightly with the earth.

    Yield: One prayer

    ***

  58. jared davidavich says:

    recipe for progress

    eager eyes across the world
    focus in on the Western strategy
    for progress, measured in success
    against [mostly] themselves,
    in an effort to compete;
    trying to achieve the American dream
    despite the irony…
    and systemic limits…
    and deterministic warnings…

    but tunnel-visioned goals
    for the as-seen-on-TV life,
    however child-like and utopian
    deserve a helping hand
    to follow our example
    and learn from their mistakes
    instead of the ones we made.
    where they fail in realizing
    the endless chase for efficiency
    is a simple matter of priorities,
    and a quick exchange
    in their mixture can fix it:

    first, take your workers,
    and throw them away in favor of
    labor that does not require
    food or drink or sleep-
    no human needs-
    and your land, your resources,
    give them to the developed world
    and they will mix them up
    and sell them back
    without asking (or caring)
    about the who, what, where, when,
    or how you develop-
    autonomy comes with the package-
    just so long as you grow
    with their technology,
    and using their product
    instead of your raw goods.
    follow this to the letter without exception
    and your society will never be good
    but they would call it better

  59. RJ Clarken says:

    Recipe for Drama

    “Recipe For Drama: 1 Cup Of Gossip 1/4 Tablespoon of Rumors and; A Dash Of Jealousy.” ~Unknown

    A pinch of this. A pinch of that.
    Reality TV. Let’s chat.
    You’ll never guess who’s doing whom.
    A recipe for drama. Boom!

    “I saw it on the Internet.
    It must be true.” The statuette
    for WOW goes to…(just get a room.)
    A recipe for drama. Boom!

    A rumor spreads will easy grace
    but can one ever ‘do’ erase?
    En masse, the tabloids we consume.
    A recipe for drama. Boom!

    And gossip? Add a cup and stir.
    The sex, the drugs, the strong liqueur;
    just light a match and watch the plume.
    A recipe for drama. Boom!

    ###

  60. Michelle Hed says:

    Ode to Ink

    I miss the days
    when in the mail
    a letter would come
    on paper frail.

    The paper smell
    and the words in ink,
    wonderful to read
    like you’re here in a blink!

    Oh and the postmark
    from beyond the shore,
    across the seas
    I would long for more.

    New stamps to see
    I might collect,
    keep one or two
    a treasured object.

    Would the handwriting
    be frail or bold?
    I would know in an instant
    if it was Grandma, she’s old.

    I miss those letters
    that we took time to write.
    To share the news,
    to thrill and delight.

    So send me a text
    or an email if you must,
    but Times New Roman is lacking,
    there’s nothing personal nor robust.

    I’m dreaming of paper
    and letters in ink.
    Call me old fashioned,
    I don’t care what you think.

    Oh, lovely ink.

  61. *Letter*
    Although you’ll never read this,
    I think I have to ask
    Some questions that have
    Been burning my mind
    For a long time
    For over twelve years, to be precise.

    Starting on along this road
    Did you remember to take
    My smiles with you
    And the memory of hugging me?

    Do you still keep them,
    Or have you forgotten all
    About me and how I
    Depended on you in everything?

    Remembering you is never hard
    Do you remember me?

    Crying for you is always easy,
    Where do my tears go?

    Can you really hear my voice
    When I speak up,
    As old wives’ tales warn me?

    I put all this in writing
    On a computer screen
    Which you have never seen
    And which cannot be
    Stained with tears
    As paper does.

    I write because
    I’m still alive
    And want to remember
    And fancy you
    Remember me.
    ***

  62. JWLaviguer says:

    Dear Santa

    I know you may not exist
    but I just could not really resist
    the chance to write this little note
    all I’m really asking is a boat
    so I can travel far and wide
    with my beautiful wife by my side
    there’s not much time so its a rush
    don’t wait for Christmas, just use a bush
    instead of the tree dressed up in bling
    you really must hurry but there’s one thing
    we’re on the run yes we must flee
    ’cause we left dentures for the Tooth Fairy.

  63. Jane Shlensky says:

    Nobody Reaches Out

    Dear Miss Emily,

    Please accept these binoculars
    They’re only lightly used
    For spotting bird particulars
    Great spotted owl or goose

    But they can open windows
    Where those many doors are closed,
    You might even peek what you dared not seek,
    As you tend your favorite rose.

    The war has taken so many boys
    We knew, as has TB
    But I am here and living near
    Do you remember me?

    I think if you stand on your stairs
    And angle past the trees
    From that small portal nestled there
    Perhaps you will see me—

    Another busy nobody
    Who scribbles now and then,
    If you should wish to send a gift
    I’d love paper and pen.

    Don’t tell,
    Your neighbor

  64. Misky says:

    Recipe: Preserving Love

    Fill a cup with the sweet scent of you,
    Spill love into the mix and I
    Will bake you an eternity with me.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Letter From Heaven

    My darling Daughter,

    I miss you more than my heart can hold,
    and from time to time it spills over in floods
    of tears that can still pull me into darkest depths.
    Who is it that can’t let go: you or me?

    With Love,
    Dad

  65. DAHutchison says:

    Then & Now

    I wrote a letter to myself,
    A missive across time,
    And asked myself to open it,
    When I turned thirty-nine.

    Did you launch into the fray,
    Or take the higher ground,
    Love someone with all your heart
    Or was love never found?

    I wondered what would matter,
    In the middle of my days,
    And now, at last, I’m writing back,
    Surprised in many ways.

    Sometimes the path into the fray,
    Can lead to greater peace,
    And though I never found my love,
    I love with greater ease,

    I look back at looking forward,
    And in ways I wonder how,
    I could have missed the subtle bliss
    Of simply living now.

  66. Michelle Hed says:

    Here is my terribly weak limerick…

    Dear Daughter

    There once was a girl with overdue books,
    she would bat her eyes and bait her hooks.
    She said, “I have no clue,
    still reading, what should I do?”
    Return or renew, stop giving me looks!

  67. RJ Clarken says:

    Ooops – the final stanza (which is one stanza too many for a Kyrielle, actually – although I took poetic license there) should read:

    I’ll keep the chateau since it’s nice,
    And since, I’ve asked you nicely – twice!
    here is the statement I will make:
    &@#! you, J. Burns for heaven’s sake.

  68. RJ Clarken says:

    Return Policy

    To Whom It May Concern, please know
    I did not order a chateau.
    I can’t afford this strange mistake.
    Please take it back, for heaven’s sake.

    Dear Madam, surely you must see
    that orders to our company
    must be filled promptly. That’s our take.
    Regards, J. Burns. (For heaven’s sake?)

    Dear J. Burns (whoever you are)
    this situation’s quite bizarre.
    While I appreciate your stake,
    please take it back, for heaven’s sake.

    Dear Madam, it’s our policy
    for satisfaction. You’ll agree
    I’m sure. So please give us a break.
    Regards, J. Burns, for heaven’s sake.

    Okay. Here’s what I do propose:
    I will dispute this charge, while pros
    at MasterCard can sort this fake.
    But well, meantime (for heaven’s sake)

    I’ll keep the chateau since it’s nice,
    And since, I’ve asked you nicely – twice!
    So here’s a statement I will make:
    &@#! you, J. Burns for heaven’s sake.

    ###

    Hope you and your family feel better Robert.

    ♥ this prompt!

  69. Marie Elena says:

    To Whom It May Concern

    I’ve learned you’ve spurned my pleas
    To close accounts oure seas.
    So as concerns your fees,
    I’ll not be paying these.

  70. RobHalpin says:

    Dear John

    Dear John,
    Thanks for teaching
    me how strong I can be.
    I’d never have left without it.
    Goodbye.

  71. RJ Clarken says:

    Green Beans – Simply Key

    To make this green bean dish, you’ll need
    only a few things to succeed.
    Fresh cooked green beans (obviously.)
    The next few things are simply key.

    So, add some butter (just one pat.)
    Then sprinkle garlic over that.
    Next, toss it well. I guarantee
    the next few things are simply key.

    To the pot, please liberally add
    some dried cranberries. You’ll be glad.
    You’re almost finished, as you’ll see.
    One final thing is simply key.

    Into the mix, place walnuts (glazed.)
    Then serve. Your guests will be amazed.
    In fact, they’ll want this recipe.
    This green bean dish is simply key.

    ###

  72. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

    After numerous attempts to contact you
    I have found it necessary to say to you,
    your failure to return my correspondence
    is down right rude; it’s nonsense.
    So I will withdraw my offer since I must,
    and if I had any last word, it would be just
    that I love you and wished thinks could’ve worked
    you jerk! With all my heart, Walt.

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