Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

    2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

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

    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


    Awesome First Pages!

    Learn how to create them and sell more stories, whether short stories, novels, memoir, articles, poetry, or children’s writing. The first words are the most scrutinized by agents, editors, and readers. This live webinar will reveal the secrets of what readers really want.

    Click to learn more.

    You might also like:

    • No Related Posts
    • Print Circulation Form

      Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    119 Responses to 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

    1. jlcooper says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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. the garden spider’s
      web in tatters
      morning chill

    5. Ann M says:

      Cony Island after the Storm

      14 flights of stairs
      a pail full of water
      bad knees.

    6. Andy Brackett says:

      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.

    7. po says:

      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.

    8. julie e. says:


      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.

    9. sonja j says:

      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.

    10. 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.

    11. Why Not Dwarfs?

      Every time a poet writes
      I’m stuck.
      No more poetry reading,
      no more writing,
      I’m stuck.

      Right there I become Buddha
      I hate poetry.
      Only today I thought of dwarfs.

    12. Rorybore says:

      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.


      The woman on the phone
      won’t stop talking.
      But I love her anyway.

    14. Stuck

      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.

    15. Neenie615 says:

      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

    16. 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

    17. Neenie615 says:

      I can’t think of anything to write
      Writer’s block has taken my mind.
      Sleepless nights and exhuasting days
      I think I may go crazy.

    18. Writer’s Block

      Sneakers on a power line
      do not mean drugs of any kind.
      It means a poet’s feet are bare
      after tossing shoes into mid air;
      out the window into parts unknown
      because (s)he couldn’t write a poem.

    19. Michael Grove says:

      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

    20. 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

    21. Inertia

      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

    22. posmic says:


      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.

    23. 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.

    24. 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

    25. The Wired Journal says:

      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

    26. Stuck

      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.

    27. jared davidavich says:

      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

    28. 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.

    29. RobHalpin says:


      Between worlds.
      How did I get here?
      Not Heaven.
      Not quite Hell.
      Wandering the plane of souls.
      Where did I go wrong?

    30. 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.

    31. Jane Shlensky says:

      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.

    32. Stuck

      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.

    33. DanielAri says:

      “| 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 |.

    34. shellaysm says:

      “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

    35. RJ Clarken says:

      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.


    36. RJ Clarken says:

      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?


    37. I seem to be stuck in a pattern of scrambling to get my poems posted… :-D


    38. JWLaviguer says:

      Sticky Situation

      Stuck on you
      because of the glue
      wanted some lube
      but grabbed the wrong tube.

    39. JWLaviguer says:

      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.

    40. Yolee says:

      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.

    41. Jane Shlensky says:

      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.

    42. JWLaviguer says:

      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.

    43. Walt Smith says:

      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.

    44. Poet Ariel says:

      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

    45. It hurt to love you,
      but leaving
      was the hardest thing
      I’ve ever had to do.
      My heart bled out completely,
      and I am dead inside.

    46. JRSimmang says:

      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.

    47. Miss R. says:


      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.

    48. Marianv says:

      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.

    49. claudsy says:

      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.

    50. Marjory MT says:

      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

    51. Mike Bayles says:

      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.

    52. pmwanken says:

      (a shadorma)

      Between a
      rock and a hard place,
      I found you.
      In a heap
      of brokenness, you found me.
      Like glue, we bonded.

    53. foodpoet says:

      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

    54. Misky says:


      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

    55. DAHutchison says:

      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.


    56. Domino says:

      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


      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.

    58. 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.

    59. Glory says:

      (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

      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.


      Have you heard?
      I’m stuck on a word.
      It rhymes with truck.
      Is it muck, buck, duck?
      Cluck, puck, suck…no.
      Tuck, pluck, um…um…
      What the #@*! …


    62. elishevasmom says:

      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

    63. Great prompt, Catherine, and I can’t wait to see YOUR response to it!

    64. incessantly caught
      between profound brilliance
      and mere poppycock

    65. RobHalpin says:

      In hopes of an appointment

      Please call back
      during office hours,
      but only
      if we’re in,
      on-time, during office hours.
      Otherwise, just wait.

    66. 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

    67. 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

    68. barbara_y says:

      You may
      say you’re stuck
      when for every one
      of the three hundred
      and sixty
      degrees of the compass toward which you can’t
      redirect, if you fall,
      you’ll only get a new slant.

    69. Stuck

      S o not going anywhere
      T ied down and tangled
      U nusually stationary
      C apable of much but
      K ept in one place


      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!

    71. Where ARE my keys?!

      I’m stuck! I’m stuck!
      Well, just my luck.
      He’s over there
      While I’m stuck here.
      Is this long-term?
      I can’t confirm.
      But stuck? And how!
      At least for now.

    72. answering a dare
      he licked the metal post
      this relationship is not moving

    73. leaning against a tree
      pine sap all over
      their relationship is a mess

    74. RobHalpin says:


      I finally broke
      one hundred
      stuck at one fifteen

    75. no time to stop
      stuck between seasons of dreams
      today poems wait

    76. Ber says:

      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

    77. Linda.H says:

      what a sweet poem, Robert. I like it.

    Leave a Reply