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2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

Two weeks! We’re two weeks into this challenge already!

Today’s prompt comes from Catherine Lee.

Here’s Catherine’s prompt: Write a stuck poem. Write about the struggle or the inability to move. Maybe you’re stuck in traffic, in a bad job, or a relationship.

Robert’s attempt at a Stuck Poem:

“Word Stuck”

All the obvious adjectives have been used a thousand
times over, so I find myself scouring the dictionary,
and still, there are few leads. Maybe this is the opportune

moment to commence speaking in code. I’m no common
lothario after all, handing out candy to any strumpet
who straggles in my direction. Snub me, club me, do

what you will with me. But I’ve lost the lexical capability
to explain how you make me feel when you find me in bed
every evening, leaning over to kiss me and send me to sleep.


Thank you, Catherine Lee, for the sticky prompt today. Click here to learn more about Catherine.

For those poets who prefer the forum, click here for the thread.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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119 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

  1. jlcooper

    Stuck in Traffic

    Oh, here we go again
    Stuck in traffic
    We haven’t moved an inch
    Stuck in traffic
    Looks like a parking lot
    Stuck in traffic
    People honking their horns
    Stuck in traffic
    My patience is running thin
    Stuck in traffic

    The car ahead has moved
    Still in traffic
    I see the road ahead
    Still in traffic
    My exit ramp is near
    Still in traffic
    My weekend has begun
    Still in traffic
    Now I’m finally home
    No more traffic.

  2. heiditoad

    The Middle Child

    I am stuck in the middle, empty at best,
    born an over achiever but less than the rest;
    The black sheep, ousted by position,
    a foul swooping in to grab your attention.
    The weirder for worry, introverted extreme,
    I was born to be nothing and born to be green.
    I have it I’m sure, it’s called Middle Child Syndrome;
    A theory passed down with middle child wisdom!

  3. PSC in CT

    Stuck with you

    snagged, bagged, fastened, fettered,
    hampered, hobbled, hindered
    by wholly human gyve;
    no forward progress,
    no falling back,
    no end in sight;
    on one side bound
    by unwieldy unyielding ego,
    on the other, by inability
    to relinquish right,
    surrender to insanity,
    give in to illogical idiocy;
    for all intents and purposes:

    between a rock
    [ caught ]
    & a hard place

  4. Andy Brackett

    Ode to the Plowman
    It’s two A.m.,
    He’s been out all night.
    Snow keeps falling
    No end in sight.
    The strobe lights flash,
    On downy flake,
    Steals his attention
    A bad mistake.
    As snow rolls off his angled plow,
    Entombing roads edge,
    Sweat rolls off his furrowed brow.
    As he crests another hill,
    Suddenly his tractions lacking.
    He holds on tightly
    And finds now he’s backing
    Sliding sideways,
    He’s lost control
    He prays to God
    The truck doesn’t roll
    Impact comes, his vision dims
    A flurry of white
    Explodes before him.
    He opens his eyes
    And shakes his head
    All is quiet now
    Perhaps he’s dead.
    Left alone in silence
    He considers his luck
    His wheels are spinning
    But alas, he’s stuck.

  5. po

    This poem

    is stuck.
    It can’t
    get past
    the letter
    A. It wants
    to embrace
    O and find
    the lost T
    but can’t
    get over the
    bridge of the
    B. It kneels
    in prayer
    and finally
    moves on.

  6. julie e.


    Heathcliff hearts Catherine
    Catherine hearts Heathcliff
    AND Edgar.
    Clearly one more than is good.
    Heathcliff drinks revenge
    like Mama’s home remedy
    for crazy.
    (Clearly some bitter root.)
    Heathcliff hearts Catherine
    Catherine births Catherine
    And dies.
    Raise the crazy a notch.
    Heathclff obsesses
    while more people marry
    and die
    and are born and whatnot.
    Heathcliff hearts money
    Heathcliff hearts power
    He’s nuts
    and he hearts dead Catherine.
    Heathcliff, past Emo,
    makes them all wretched
    He’s glum
    and scary, possessed
    by hearting a dead girl
    his thoughts not of this world
    he’s gripped
    but finally he dies
    and then suddenly
    everyone’s happy.
    The end.

  7. sonja j

    I have just realized that I posted my stuck poem on day 13, by accident. What a doofus. Reposting here, even though it is too late.

    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.

  8. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 14
    Prompt: Stuck

    Getting Unstuck

    Once I miss a day,
    I freeze. I can’t seem to start,
    can’t jump in midstream.
    I say to myself,
    “Remember; it’s not about perfection.
    It’s about progress.”
    And so I rejoin
    to write a poem
    for Day 14.

  9. Rorybore

    Late at the poetry game today. For some reason this one proved a bit of a stumper for me.
    Irony? I getcha.

    Stuck Schmuk

    It took me all day
    to write this poem
    the words just would not be plucked
    lost, trapped; they rolled about
    inside my head – amuck
    begging to be released
    loosed from the crevice
    where they had snuck
    my own thoughts held hostage
    perplexed victims of my inability
    to grasp some poetic luck
    and find another word; besides that
    to rhyme with stuck.

    will check out everyone’s tomorrow.

  10. Nancy Posey


    Bumper to bumper traffic heading east and west
    along the interstate winding through Cataloochee
    suddenly comes to a halt, inching ahead, stretching
    as far as anyone can see ahead and behind.
    Semis driving deadhead back toward home,
    families with luggage strapped to the roof,
    backseat packed with dogs and snacks and kids
    singing, Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall. . .
    eighty-four, fifty-six, thirty-two, seventeen. . .
    students with bikes and books, escaping the dorm
    for the long weekend. With somewhere to be,
    drivers grows anxious, their jaws tight, eyes
    on the gas gauge, the clock on the dashboard.
    Stuck. Maybe as they roll forward, stopping,
    starting, they’ll see what causes their plight,
    a truck jack-knifed, another state-line rock slide,
    construction forcing three lanes to merge to two.
    More likely, though, suddenly they’ll break free,
    traffic will flow, and no one will know why
    they slowed to a snail’s pace before resuming
    speed, everyone heading toward turkey, dressing,
    pumpkin pie, smooth, clean sheets, rest.

  11. Neenie615

    Here’s a second one…

    Down in a Hole

    Down in a hole
    With nowhere to go
    No one to save me
    Nothing to pull me out
    Down in a hole

    Down in a hole
    The hole of my mind
    Trapped with my thoughts
    My sleepless dreams
    Down in a hole

  12. bluerabbit47

    For Jacqueline

    They say
    when stuck
    in one of
    his intertwined
    tossed the
    canvas out
    his window
    into the intertwined
    branches of one
    of his trees,
    only to retrieve
    it when unable
    to resist the
    way it had
    entwined itself
    with his entangled

  13. Michael Grove

    Wiggle Room

    I looked
    to the left
    of me
    but saw that
    there were no clowns.
    On my right side
    the jokers
    were missing too.
    I folded
    my arms tightly
    across my chest
    closed my eyes
    and found
    a little
    wiggle room.

    By Michael Grove

  14. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Writer’s Block

    She prays for a way out of here…
    Somewhere with a white picket fence.
    The “How” and “When” is not yet clear.
    She prays for a way out of here…
    Where worry and stress disappear
    and life makes a little more sense.
    She prays for a way out of here…
    Somewhere with a white picket fence

  15. bluerabbit47


    I’m stuck
    like the needle
    on a vinyl
    three days
    without progress
    or loss
    I just
    have to
    state what
    I want to do
    and a state
    of entropy
    sets in
    in me loves
    and still
    wants to
    stay still
    though I
    still still still
    to keep

  16. posmic


    I live with a turtle,
    a box turtle with a
    high, domed shell.

    At times, during
    his daily cruises,
    when mounting

    shoes, which are
    surrogate mates,
    or toys, which are

    vantage points
    from which to
    survey his land,

    he will flip over.
    He holds still,
    then, for a time,

    does not soon
    begin the fight
    to gain purchase

    on wood floor
    with head, limbs,
    or stub of tail.

    It’s as if he fears,
    after fifteen years
    with us, that a hawk

    might yet appear
    in the dining room,
    or maybe a raccoon.

    Something. It pays,
    he knows, to always
    keep one eye open,

    to keep one’s
    orange eyes open
    all the time.

  17. Sara McNulty

    Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 14
    Write a stuck poem


    Stuck is in my head, claustrophobic
    feelings of dread. If three
    people share back seat
    of a car, no matter how far
    we are going, I cannot sit
    in the middle, because I feel
    a loss of control. In restaurant
    booths, I try not to place
    myself against a wall. I cannot
    explain this sensation at all,
    because words become
    stuck in my throat.

  18. madcapmaggie

    Nov 14: Write a stuck poem

    What Prevented Me from Coming to the Office

    This morning as I strolled along,
    I came up to a barrier.
    I tried to shuffle round it but
    was forced to be a tarrier.

    A large policeman blocked my path.
    He said, “No one may enter.”
    When called upon to tell me why,
    his voice was suddenly gentler.

    “I’m sorry, sir to tell you now,
    there’s been an awful fire.
    A lot of trash piled in the street.
    Onto it fell a wire.

    A spark lit up the pile of trash,
    and, sir, the pile’s still burning.
    I cannot tell you when you’ll get
    permission for returning.”

    I nodded, turned, and skipped away,
    my day thus turned to leisure.
    I grinned because, no fault of mine,
    my boss would have a seizure.

    Margaret Fieland

  19. The Wired Journal

    I’m stuck as a writer the words won’t come
    I’m stuck as a poet the rhymes chime
    Am I in a dream or is this all real
    So little time but none of its mine

  20. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    I never expected your arms to look
    like prison bars. You turn your eyes
    on me these days, and I shiver on
    the inside, where no one can see me.
    Everything feels like a prison, these
    days: traffic equals one car in front
    of me on a two-lane highway with
    no opportunity to pass, and I see
    your face all over again—and that
    hideous chair at the office, the one
    that envelops me when I sit down
    at my computer, the one that
    swallows all of me, much like you
    tried to do. I don’t know why I
    keep waiting on you to grow up,
    like you’re Peter Pan and you’re
    determined to stay little forever. I
    never liked being little enough to
    want to stay that way for good,
    but now I’d rather be little again
    if it meant I wasn’t stuck with you.

  21. jared davidavich

    no title today

    i follow my footprints,
    worn into the wood
    of my floor
    and the concrete
    in the sidewalks to work,
    always staying in the lines,
    never stepping
    on another’s toes

    the factory floor
    is full of imprints
    of boots and shoes,
    different types and
    different sizes,
    going in all directions
    at all times,
    but filled on a strict schedule

    i do not recognize mine,
    but my feet remember
    the steps to my station,
    and they gently settle in
    to the outline of my shoes
    in the two foot square
    of floorspace
    allotted to me and my feet.

    i often wonder how
    i found my way this morning,
    or how I find it daily,
    consistently, and no other way,
    and to no other place,
    making me think
    my feet did not wear their holes,
    one in front of the other,
    but followed the path
    laid for them
    long before they started

  22. Bruce Niedt

    Oops – edit time:

    Stuck Between Stations

    She said, “You’re pretty good with words
    but words won’t save your life.”
    – The Hold Steady

    Between two frequencies
    is a no-man’s land of static.

    Between two stations
    is a dead zone in the rails.

    Nothing moves tonight,
    and if it does, it’s only because

    a stale wind has blown it.
    You snore in the next room

    and you’re wide awake in this one.
    Midnight is the cusp

    of what we have and what we want.
    Fatigue is judgment’s nemesis

    so you have another drink.
    There are no words, only

    the spaces between words,
    and there is no passion,

    only what happens between the stations.
    Berryman took a flying leap,

    but you won’t because
    your feet are bolted to the floor.

  23. Bruce Niedt

    This one’s a bit of a downer, but that’s just how it came out. It was partly inspired by the song from which I lifted the title and the epigraph.

    Stuck Between Stations

    She said, “You’re pretty good with words
    but words won’t save your life.”
    – The Hold Steady

    Between two frequencies
    is a no-man’s land of static.

    Between two stations
    is a dead zone in the rails.

    Nothing moves tonight,
    and if it does, it’s only because

    a stale wind has blown it.
    You snore in the next room

    and you’re wide awake in this one.
    Midnight is the cusp

    of what we have and want we want.
    Fatigue is judgment’s nemesis

    so you have another drink.
    There are no words, only

    the spaces between words,
    and there is no passion,

    only what happens between the stations.
    Berryman took a flying leap,

    but you won’t because
    your feet are bolted to the floor.

  24. Jane Shlensky

    Twelve-gallon Can

    Our milk cans came in two sizes,
    eight and twelve gallons, shiny stainless
    steel cylinders with handles on either side
    and a choked-off neck at the lid.

    The new strained milk was housed in cans
    until the Carnation man came, lifting them
    from the coolers and into his humming truck.
    New cans were left in their stead for us to fill.

    No one knows why Gail crawled inside—
    twelve gallons of foolishness,
    whose disembodied head perched on top,
    why she giggled and called, I’m over here.

    Minutes passed not seeing her, until we did
    and found it not impossible to pinch her nose,
    thump her ears, take full advantage of her stupidity
    while her long limbs were ensconced.

    Told bluntly by Mama to decamp,
    Poor Gail found that she could not, her shoulders
    stuck at the neck, that what goes in won’t come out.
    We put our heads together, far from hers.

    We wet her down to make her slippery—no.
    We carried her to an open space
    and laid her down to crawl out—no.
    The dogs licked her frightened tears away.
    Daddy came home with our neighbor.
    Great minds considered acetylene torches,
    saws, gallons of soapy water, whippings—no.
    But she could see the lay of things—

    all that could go badly, her future as a potted ham.
    Fear of solutions inspired muscle memory
    as one hand then another shot out,
    while the rest of her followed,

    wet, cold, and humiliated,
    angry, frightened, vengeful, —
    all feelings you don’t want
    to be stuck with.

  25. Mariya Koleva


    Seeing you I’m stuck
    Not only words escape me –
    Memories, beliefs and hopes
    All crash into the empty corners
    Of my mind.

    I’m stuck in the picture
    Of a box being lowered
    Which I don’t see

    I’m stuck with the wailing voices
    That don’t reach me

    I’m stuck and struggling to breathe.

  26. DanielAri

    “| a fork in me”

    I’ll | to my story, though it |s in my craw.
    Judge, I wound up on the wrong side of the |.
    I always tried to | to the letter of the law,
    but my |-to-it-iveness just didn’t do the trick.

    I got stuck in a |y job—carrot and |—
    the CEO’s nose always |ing the air.
    He said we had to | together, thin or thick—
    while he was |ing it up the Boards’ derrieres.

    His fudges started |ing out like sore thumbs,
    and the Feds began to | their noses in.
    He told ‘em were to | it, but those guys ain’t dumb.
    They knew business wasn’t straight than a |pin.

    I got stuck stacking |ers in a stark stockroom
    to keep me from |y questions and news hype.
    If I struck the powder, I didn’t mastermind the boom;
    and, Your Honor, you can | that in your pipe.

    I’m a |-in-the mud accountant. I’m not a crook.
    I’m not trying to | it to the man or get rich quick.
    | around, and | with me—I’ll open up the books.
    If we throw enough mud, some is going to |.

  27. shellaysm

    “Stuck Within” -Quatern

    With sorrowful eyes and quick step
    she dances in a field of pansies
    Wearing butterfly wings that sway
    each breeze sends wisps of hair skyward

    Her days are filled by make-believe
    with sorrowful eyes and quick step
    She spins around in grand circles
    trivial moments tied in play

    If only she knew what life awaits
    perhaps she would escape the dome
    With sorrowful eyes and quick step
    stuck within the water globe

    She dreams of mystery, drama
    beyond her world enclosed of glass
    Yet awakens to her safety
    with sorrowful eyes and quick step

  28. RJ Clarken

    Stuck in the Middle with You

    Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. –Stuck in the Middle with You, Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan

    The three of us are frenemies.
    We get along. We’re enemies.
    Between a clown and joker, I
    still stick by them. I’m not sure why.

    We go back such a long, long way.
    I think if we’d just met today,
    I wouldn’t ‘get’ them. Still I try
    to stick by them. I’m not sure why.

    What is the meaning of a pal?
    To have your back? Provide morale?
    There’s times I want to say goodbye.
    I stick by them. I’m not sure why.

    When I find I’m in the middle,
    which one’s ‘right’ can be a riddle.
    So loyalty must underlie
    the thing that binds. I guess that’s why.


  29. RJ Clarken

    Ode to a Sticky Dichotomy

    Dear Post-It Note, on you I dote.
    You’re handy when I jot a quote.
    You’re wonderful for doodles, too.
    O Post-It Note, what can’t you do?

    I stick you on my wall to see
    reminders, jokes and repartee
    that’s clever. And much more, thank you!
    O Post-It Note, what can’t you do?

    The problem is when you adorn
    my sight lines, I am (dang it!) sworn
    to get stuff to flow from its queue.
    (O Post-It Note, oh why must you?)

    As such, excuses will not fly
    so back to work! (A heavy sigh.)
    But nonetheless, don’t misconstrue:
    O Post-It Note, what can’t you do?


  30. JWLaviguer

    She flies
    and she lies
    the clouds seem to spell out her name

    A whisper on the wind
    A promise in the stars
    The oceans rise and fall to her whim

    I promised her I’d be there
    she laughed and ran away
    For she is just a dream and I cannot sleep

    Sorrow fills my heart
    but my face shows nothing
    I have learned to rebuild the crumbling walls

    They tell me life must go on
    that everything happens for a reason
    And yet, here I sit, on this stoop

    My heart is black as death
    and beats no more
    For you have torn it from my chest.

  31. Yolee

    Between Two Wishes

    I was eleven when Mami took my then thirteen month old sister,
    three month old brother and me to Puerto Rico, leaving behind Papi
    and five of my siblings. I am their second oldest child. Whatever
    life was like from behind Mami’s opal eyes, she must have needed
    to set hers on blue, green, white and magenta houses with black
    metal fences, lush mountains and her childhood landscape.
    Life in Chicago must have licked her energy dry. I wonder if she
    felt like wax in a candleholder, stuck in the puddle shape it makes
    once fire is exhaled by time. I got to go because I overheard my parents
    mull about the trip as I hid in the shadows like peanut butter stuck
    on the roof of a mouth unable to move toward my parents
    sitting in the belly of the living room. It took a while, but I managed
    to break into their space and Mami’s carefully dressed words that could
    have gone out for the evening to sip on folks with big dreams.
    I stated she would need a sitter to care for the babies. Out of the corner
    of my eyes, I saw shadows from the bedroom I shared with my
    sisters lean forward, though time got stuck between two wishes.

  32. Jane Shlensky

    Good prompt, Catherine. Enjoyed your poem, Robert. I love to see the word “strumpet” in use ;)

    Song Stuck

    I hear the coins drop
    into the jukebox of my mind,
    the slide and whir and drop
    just before I wake
    while I’m still a blanket-warmed
    innocent, vulnerable, easy prey
    for the song of the day.

    It’s already lilting through my head
    before I shower, a song
    I scarcely know, its words lost
    except in bits and pieces,
    an irritating tune or jingle
    that will have me humming
    in shame all day, or worse
    writing lyrics to fill my gaps
    in memory. That’s when I know:
    it’s a squatter song and my brain
    is its new home.

    Even when I force a new piece,
    singing loudly, manically,
    I know, it’s still there tapping its foot,
    being all graciously resistant,
    biding its time to jack up its volume
    full tilt. I’m song stuck, with nothing
    to do but share it with others.
    You’re welcome.

        1. Jane Shlensky

          and thank YOU, BR47, for introducing two more irritating tunes to my brain. Let me just offer you the Oscar Meyer Wiener song and Achy Breaky Heart. Enjoy!

  33. JWLaviguer

    Stuck in Regret

    They stuck me with it again
    the tab at the bar
    where we drank the night away

    I cried in my beer
    and they feigned sympathy
    then turned their backs on me

    I tried to leave
    but they hid my keys from me
    so I wouldn’t drive home drunk

    They did the one thing
    that I failed to do that night
    that night I can’t forget

    She comes to me every night
    an angry, vengeful spirit
    asking why, then forgives

    I will never forgive myself
    for not acting quick enough
    she had her mind made up

    Pulling her from the car
    blood on my hands
    still blinded by regret.

  34. Walt Smith

    Helluva Night

    Northbound traffic on the left,
    Southbound on the right.
    Waiting on the wrecker,
    Gonna be here all night.

    Stupid four-wheeler cut me off
    And I chose to turn the wheel.
    Now, I’m stuck in the median
    Waiting for my pride to heal.

    Been waiting for hours,
    Still no wrecker in sight.
    Just another day in a trucker’s life
    And one more helluva night.

  35. Poet Ariel

    What I Remember

    We were the dark silhouettes’ of a couple,
    leaning against the wall, whispering
    promised pleasures to each other ears
    We were Jazz in a crowded café
    Grinning at each other, Whisky notes
    being my hidden hand stroking your thigh.
    We were a quiet snowfall in early spring
    Outside hushed, blankets warm, soft touches.
    We were the Santiam River rushing along it’s own course;
    sometimes along the highway, sometimes a primal force
    pushing down mountains and canyons. A gush.
    We were icy roads and a waiting door.
    We were the pacific ocean, ebbing and flowing
    into each other, dragging the sand smooth
    for bare feet and sand castles. A primal heartbeat.
    We were age-scented books, the pages turning
    on the corner of an armchair, Frost and Doctorow and Hitchens, we were
    the accompanying winter fire, the waiting glass of wine.
    We were 3 am and refrigerator raids,
    reconciliation and passion on an outdoor swing,
    hidden by fences and untamed trees.
    We were conversation in an intimate courtyard,
    slates with wild grass finding it’ way through to grow,
    an aged stairway to lean against. The worn bricks of the building.
    We were illuminated texts in the bathtub,
    not letting distance cool our intimacy.
    Early morning messages quietly seeking passage.
    We were Stan Getz after an argument, improvising
    a symphony to stand, music we made up on the spot; wild notes
    and runaway passion that made knees quiver and surrender

    But we were also infrequent, postponed dinners,
    slow, unresponsive technology and overloaded work schedules
    that left not much time for play.

    But I have trouble remembering that
    because we were dark whispers on a downtown street;
    we were strokes on the thigh on a February evening.

    Nov 14, 2012

  36. JRSimmang

    Sometimes I feel like I’m humming;
    not from my throat,
    but from the inside out.
    I am metal,
    unbending and reflective,
    showing you an image of yourself.
    But, where am I?
    Am I in your face,
    alive and breathing while you breathe?
    Am I your blushed, rosy cheeks
    after you have had a night of ecstasy?
    Where are my eyes?
    Where are my lips?
    You have devoured me in whole, taken the little fog
    that clouds me over
    and now I am a face you draw,
    disfigured and hilarious.
    I am your mirror,
    I am your reflection here to make you look great.
    Forever on the wall I’ll remain;
    forever on the wall I’ll remain.

  37. Miss R.


    The music’s stuck on play,
    But that’s okay, because
    Today I think I’d just dance,
    If given the chance to run
    Away from responsibilities
    And all of these eyes that
    I foolishly assume are
    Watching me. As far as
    I can see, I’m stuck where
    I am, and I guess I care
    Too much about what
    Others think to cross the
    Brink and act like a fool.
    It’s not that I’m too cool,
    It’s just my own rule to
    Avoid looking like an idiot
    Whenever I can. The problem
    Is mine, then. I’m the reason
    That in this season I’m still
    Stuck, stagnant, because
    I can’t get over myself or
    Put my pride on the shelf,
    So I’ll just tap my toes
    To the music as it goes
    On and on because it’s
    Stuck on play. I guess
    I just won’t dance today.

  38. Marianv

    Snuck in the Snow

    And the house grows smaller.
    The sunlight comes from far away,
    When will this captivity end?
    These dull days, each a re-run
    Of the one before.
    A bleak horizon, a weak sun,
    Night comes early and is
    Reluctant to leave..

    Can we look forward to the storms
    Of spring?
    The violent winds that awaken all
    The dormant dreams and spur them
    Into action? The romantic, the violent.
    Are they waiting for us>

    We who are stranded in the dullness of today.

  39. claudsy

    Guaranteed for Life

    Look at it from my point of view.
    This is how I see it;
    You can either agree or not,
    But can you deny that I have a point?

    Seeing world’s adventures
    From inside only one camera,
    Guarantees myopic distortion.

    Each vision pair links thought
    To unique perspectives,
    Ensuring a skewed reality.

    Whether desired or acknowledged,
    Truth demands understanding,
    Each is stuck, requiring compromise.

  40. Marjory MT

    STUCK Nonet

    Gladly traveling free once again – but
    in the wrong place at the wrong time
    stopped in my journey toward home.
    Left waiting, all alone
    no sight of the sun.
    Held without cause.
    In silence

    —-Note; This is a situational poem ‘written’ by the main character in this years NaNo writing

  41. Mike Bayles

    Second Take

    It seems like I’m getting nowhere
    but I’ll try again.
    To be jobless isn’t right,
    it is not my fate.
    To try again, I must,
    Somewhere else, I trust
    will give the desired results,
    and I can start again.
    With a sense of sadness
    I’ll make my way,
    And overcome a sense of sadness,
    today looks just like yesterday.

  42. foodpoet

    November 14, 2012

    Meeting 101

    Stuck in meetings
    Listening to talking heads
    And nothing ever changes

    Words build
    Hot air rises
    Stuck in meetings

    Chatter teeth
    Mumble voices
    Listening to talking heads

    Saying how everything
    Is great find wonder ful
    And nothing ever changes

  43. Misky


    Long whispering words
    and shadows of images
    spilled from this muse with whom he
    had no acquaintance
    and no personal intimacy.
    A foreign body
    taken up residency
    in the shallow folds
    of shadows, a pestilence
    running rampant through
    moments of serenity,
    a black petulant
    drip, a leakage,
    a blockage, a spoon
    glued in grey porridge,
    by night – jibber jabber,
    by day the cold scent of dust –
    stuck –
    stuck for words –
    stuck for rhyme –
    This muse is stuck, baby, stuck,
    and no turn of the screw
    will wring words from it

  44. DAHutchison

    A Perennial Abstraction

    I used to believe,
    In this labyrinthine life,
    All the mystery and lack,
    Meant to keep us on edge,
    So that each wall knocked down,
    Brings our souls to a place,
    Just the same as the last,
    In all but its trappings,
    And in this new room,
    We find joy in new things,
    Until the dust settles,
    And all that remains,
    Is to take up the hammer,
    And smash a new wall,
    But years turned to scores,
    And I found so much more,
    New taste in wall paper,
    Improved crushing skills,
    And the mystery and lack,
    Was less and less lacking,
    And the crushing of walls,
    More mysterious still.


  45. Domino

    A Trap of the Mind

    The evil queen in the Snow White tale
    wants to be the fairest of them all.
    And for years she keeps that title (by
    hook or by crook) until the day young
    Snow White reaches her maturity.

    The queen should have known better than to
    compete with someone at least twenty
    years her junior, but she is stuck in
    a state of mind that ties her worth to
    how beautiful and youthful she looks.

    What happened to the days when a
    woman was content to live her life:
    and happily
    be what she is with all of the at-
    tendant pros and cons to each estate?

    What happened to our world where women
    sincerely believe they are only
    worthwhile if they are young and pretty?
    And so many buy into that mindset,
    men (trophy wives) and children too.

    There is more to us than that.
    There is more to life than that.

    Poor queen, stuck in that peculiar
    mind trap, she finally has to change
    herself into a crone at last to
    bewitch Snow White. But Snow White’s time as
    a maiden has come, and so she is
    rescued and the queen fades away in-
    to obscurity and finally, death.

    How much better would it be to just
    accept and embrace what comes with age:
    wisdom, surety, peace, love, grace
    humility, and the knowledge that
    the maiden today is the mother
    tomorrow and finally, eventually,
    the most beautiful of all, the crone.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  46. Walt Wojtanik


    I write
    therefore I am full
    of thoughts and ideas
    I ought to release to the masses.
    But, my ass is mired;
    a muddled mess.
    I guess that if this were easy,
    I’d have a breezy time
    writing rhyme. Inspiration
    puts the perspiration in my pen.
    But then again, it is
    better than the alternative.
    I could be spent with not a pot
    to poem in. And so
    I begin again, putting pen to pad
    and add another verse.
    It could be worse to not be mired
    long after the muse has fired.

  47. Andrew Kreider

    what we cannot sweep away


    I write my story at my best
    in choice and generosity
    in worlds embraced
    and sometimes rugs
    pulled up to cover what
    I cannot sweep away.
    Most of all I write
    without regret.


    The fire tower on Norwattuck
    is still ablaze with morning light
    and maybe that is why we see
    each other clearly now
    some twenty years removed.
    For we are oak trees in a mist
    dependable and knowing
    long limbs dancing in the wind.


    I called into the rolling mist
    last night while you were running
    eyes bright and laughing
    as a six-year-old.
    In the dark I pulled the rug around me.
    once again, but this time without fear,
    while the shifting breezes called your name.

  48. Glory

    (Day 14)

    Cold bones
    chilled to the marrow
    and silence.
    Ears aching for sound
    to penetrate where
    only blackness rules.
    And the pungent smell
    of rancid earth
    half remembered
    in endless darkness.
    An eternity of nothingness
    awaits me, here…

    within this dark and
    oh so lonely grave

  49. taylor graham

    after the Brothers Grimm

    Our kind doesn’t last long in fairytales,
    unless we’re enchanted
    clear out of our natural dog-ness,
    revealed at last as a prince.

    I was just a dog. I only asked
    for a bit of meat and bread, a walk
    in the countryside,
    a peaceful place to lie down and sleep.

    No one but a sparrow was my friend,
    as it turned out. Man was not.
    There I was, stuck in the road – struck
    under the human villain’s wheels,

    left for dead. His good horses
    died too. The sparrow
    flew away to avenge us creatures all
    while I slept happily ever after.

  50. elishevasmom

    Divining Rod

    Oh, I see. It
    is going to be one of
    those days.
    I have this great winter
    coat—almost a maxi.
    Two-way zipper, London
    Fog, water-proof.
    Down-filled, plenty of
    pockets, zip off hood, edged
    with fur.
    Going into its fifth
    winter—still looks nearly new.
    On good days, I can
    get this zipped up
    with no trouble,
    just like it’s my winter
    hide. Me, warm
    But then there’s days.
    When I can’t even
    get it started right—getting
    caught one side or the other—unwilling
    to stay in the middle.
    And then there’s days, when
    it goes up fine, and
    when I go to zip it down,
    it snarls in a spot
    just on that line at the bottom
    edge of my glasses.
    Yup, today is one of those days—I’m
    gonna have to struggle
    and fight my way out
    of this cocoon I spun
    myself into. One
    of those days.

    Ellen Knight

  51. Marie Elena

    Identical Twin with Alzheimer’s

    Your eyes are fixed on her.
    A smile graces your face,
    But not your eyes.
    Your eyes are baffled by
    This twin who has regressed.

    Your eyes are fixed on her.
    A smile graces your face,
    But not your heart.
    Your heart cries, yearning
    To free her from this snare.

    Your eyes are fixed on her.
    A smile graces your face,
    But not your soul.
    Your soul lives daily in fear
    Of what it assumes

  52. uneven steven

    Tin Man Redux

    Stuck mid-stroke
    ax hanging hungrily above
    the object of his desiring
    fear anger uncertainty
    rusting shut
    until the kindness
    of a stranger
    the sudden sweeping
    follow through –
    his weapon
    a descending
    thank you

  53. Walt Wojtanik


    Where have you gone young man?
    Stuck in a place that binds you here?
    Broader horizons beckon and sleep
    does not appease your tired and weary soul.
    You have no control over your destiny,
    the best you can do is stay true and fly.

    Release then from your earthly bonds. Fly
    through the night to the second star on the right. You are the Pan!
    Your heart is young though your weariness seems destined
    to keep you sequestered. You feel pestered here,
    perturbed by the restlessness of your captive soul.
    Fly on, or settle into that eternal sleep.

    For there is nothing to hold you to your sleep.
    Your eyes move rapidly, and you try to fly
    but fall, there is no soaring for your soul.
    You are sedentary; a solitary man
    who writes the words he wishes he could hear,
    to offer support and the confidence to fulfill his destiny.

    Solid ground has its advantage, and destiny
    is only yours if you embrace it, but face it – your ambition sleeps,
    keeping you from letting your fantastic mind escape here.
    Stand tall and crow, let the people know your visions fly –
    the eternal lost boy; Peter Pan in the trappings of man.
    It is that happy thought that releases your soul.

    And nothing rests in the soul
    for that which the heart has passion. They are paired, destined
    to conjoin in the worlds you will have created. Fated as no mere man
    before, for it is your voice that speaks. While their muse seeks sleep,
    yours words are inspired, not tired. Arms spread, spirit light, you fly
    taking that spirit many adventures away from here.

    And so we pen, words and thoughts that are clear
    when expressed “from the chest”. The best the soul
    can offer, filling your coffers with a wealth of love safely
    tucked away to shadow your days. But it is your destiny
    all the same, straight on ‘til morning – no time to sleep,
    Peter Pan lives within the very spirit of this man.

    Man was placed here to give of his being,
    freeing his sleeping and generous soul.
    It is your destiny to fly, you know! And don’t forget to crow!

  54. Ber

    A Stuck Generation

    Not knowing whether or not
    the government will fill
    the student pot
    Less grants
    less help
    leaving our future
    helpless on an uneducated plot

    Wanting to learn
    to soak up what there is to learn
    left stuck in limbo
    not knowing where the money is going to come from

    Yes the king has spoken again
    bring in a system
    that is sure to win
    the hearts of the rich
    leaving a print of our youth
    off to new shores
    nothing is bullet proof

    Education torn away at the seams
    leaving isolation
    crying and screams
    upset in their hearts
    their future so grim
    no jobs no voice
    no smile to grin

    Where does it stop
    who knows
    but they don’t mind
    stepping on the young peoples toes

    Clamp them now
    when they are down
    tighten up the pockets
    stuck in limbo
    not knowing who wears the crown