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    2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

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

    Half-way through the month, and today’s prompt comes from Jared Davidavich.

    Here’s Jared’s prompt: Write a tradeoff poem. Could be an exchange, forfeit, or swap.

    Robert’s attempt at a Tradeoff Poem:

    “From the trees”

    I’ll give you this poem for applause
    or withhold it for even more. This line
    is for the next one, this day for smiling
    at the world I love. No trade is perfect,
    but I’ll give you this hand for your hand,
    and we can dash into the forest forever.

    *****

    Thank you, Jared, for the economical prompt. Click here to learn more about Jared.

    Click here if you prefer using the WD Forum for commenting.

    *****

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    *****

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    99 Responses to 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

    1. heiditoad says:

      For my mommy…

      I’d remember for you,
      I’d give you my mind
      So you didn’t have to struggle through another sentence
      So you didn’t have to forget who you are and forget me too
      I’d remember for you.
      I’d give you my mind
      If it erased the fear from your eyes and the anger from your voice
      So you wouldn’t stand a nameless face in the mirror
      I’d remember for you.
      I’d give you my mind
      So that you didn’t have to feel yourself slip away
      Wondering what’s wrong, not knowing, but knowing that your gone.
      I’d remember for you.
      I’d give you my mind
      For another game of cards, for another conversation you’d understand
      so you could actually enjoy what’s left of your time,
      I’d give you my mind.
      I’d remember for you so that you’d remember me too.

    2. Erratic Dance

      As our eyes anxiously wrapped themselves
      tightly about one another

      mutually parading trading

      manifest secrets so effortlessly

      across visible spectrum

      our hearts enthusiastically

      stood erect

      and danced erratically

      throughout the night

    3. Feverish Exchange

      I’ll trade you…
      My heart for yours.

      And we’ll see who has

      the greater love. May our

      affections wildly compete

      against each other

      as in the first day of battle.

      Surrender our shields.

      Drop our armor

      and indulge ourselves

      rightly, moment by moment;

      or rather minute by minute

      in this feverish exchange.

    4. PSC in CT says:

      Fair Trade

      Insulted she was – until
      it hit her: an honest mistake,
      after all: a volunteer, picking up
      trash on the side of the road
      is all too easily taken
      for a lost & homeless soul
      seeking aluminum assistance;

      honestly, she was dressed rather
      shabby – scruffy, even – and
      (having seen some homeless folks
      sporting seedy furs & three piece suits)
      she couldn’t help but wonder:
      what would proper attire entail –
      if one were aiming to avoid
      a case of mistaken identity?

      so she tendered a nod and a smile
      (after all, why not accept a gift
      in the manner in which it’s intended?)
      to the guy in the pickup truck
      who tossed two empty
      Red Bull cans into the street
      at her feet

    5. stealing color
      from the sun
      autumn ginkgo

    6. Ann M says:

      This is a trade no one can win.
      Gaza for Jerusalem
      or vice versa.
      So stop it.

    7. Fair Trade

      I’ll give you my time…
      when you need me.
      I’ll help you out …
      when you need me.

      I’ll give away our castoffs…
      when you need me.
      I’ll give a little extra…
      when you need me.

      I’ll donate supplies…
      when you need me.
      I’ll drive you where you need to go…
      when you need me.

      Even if we’ve never met,
      I’ll do these things and more –
      Just for the feeling I get inside…
      when you need me.

    8. Swap for Eternity

      If I could trade anything at all
      in this world for something
      better, it would be this world
      for a better one. Exchange the
      brokenness, the breakdowns,
      the insecurity and heartbreak
      for something bigger than
      anything I could ever imagine.
      What am I offered for my
      time here? Only the chance to
      find myself healed at the hands
      of the One who knows me
      better than anyone ever will.

      A bruised reed he will not break,
      and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isaiah 42:3)

    9. Glory says:

      Just You

      I wouldn’t trade you in,
      swap you for another.
      How could I when you
      are all of me, all
      that I am – without
      you I don’t exist.

    10. foodpoet says:

      Trade Off

      Another call in the night,
      And I was thinking and almost said,
      I wish just once you would call
      and not be asking for money.

      I was thinking and almost said
      Don’t call and now I wish I could trade thoughts
      You weren’t asking for money
      And I wish you were

      Now I wish I could trade thoughts
      And void the news of more cancer
      I wish you were
      Healthy and free of pressures

      Void the news of more cancer
      I wish you will call
      Healthy and free of pressures
      Not another call in the night

    11. Heart

      Like Midas, I was foolish to trade
      my living heart for one of stone,
      tempted by alchemists’ tricks.

      Not even purest gold fills as well
      that space housing my soul,
      as my poor, lost, feeble heart

      Now I miss its fragile warmth, nestled
      like a frightened bird beneath my ribs,
      quaking, but so warm, so alive.

    12. Tracy Davidson says:

      Old Joke

      I notice your ad
      on the board: “Husband Wanted”…
      feel free to take mine

    13. “Assisted living”
      A permanent new home
      She doesn’t recall

    14. FOR A BETTER LIFE

      They left behind
      the familiar – the known.
      Taking a giant leap forward
      into the strange new world
      where everything is so different -
      sounds, smells, sights.
      But the tradeoff came
      with one glorious gift -
      freedom!

    15. Rorybore says:

      I skipped over the “obey” part…because, really?

      Reality Vows

      My Beloved
      On this day, I take you
      to have and to hold;
      forever – and you alone.
      If I alone might have control of the remote
      so that I may watch All The Sports.

      Dearest Love,
      I will give thee the one remote,
      if thou whilst promise
      to rub my feet while thou watchest The Game.
      Except on Fridays
      when thou must watch a rom-com I choose.

      My Dearest,
      I will rub thy feet,
      and watch Tom and Meg – again;
      if thou whilst make me Nachos Supreme
      and rub my belly when I eat too much.

      Seriously, Love?
      Yes, My Sweet.

      Will there be cuddling?
      Yes – if there will be cold beer.

      I swear it will be so.
      ‘Tis good then. Done?

      Babies?
      Of course, but when?
      mmmm…..someday. Soon.
      But just one, right?
      I was thinking three……
      How about 2?
      one of each! that would be nice.

      mkay.
      Whilst thou change some diapers?
      I can do that.
      And some night feedings?
      I can do that too —
      — he’ll watch the game with me.

      But what if it’s a girl?
      Then she’ll learn to love hockey.
      *chuckle* you’d better teach her to dance one day.
      *smiling* She’ll stand on my feet.

      And early mornings at the ice rink…
      …..that will be rough.
      Aye – some days will be tough.
      But also – wonderful.

      And we’ll be happy?
      Ever After, My Love.
      Always beloved

      All right then….
      ….spit and shake.

    16. De Jackson says:

      Meanwhile, on some distant marble,

      We barter moons.
      You pilfer glow and I pocket useless reflective rocks, cast them loose to
      puncture some new holes clean through this tired sky. This breeze and I,
      we’re weary of spinning things with molten, lying cores, tilt and twist of tongue.
      Everyone murmurs gravity hurts but no one’s told us why and I am no longer
      certain they are coming back for us at all. You play pool with the planets to
      pass the time and twiddle idle thumbs; I dream of hitchhiking, and ache
      to swap these sighs for stardust.

      .

      • De Jackson says:

        Ooops. Missed my italics. Apologies for repost:

        Meanwhile, on some distant marble,

        We barter moons.
        You pilfer glow and I pocket useless reflective rocks, cast them loose to
        puncture some new holes clean through this tired sky. This breeze and I,
        we’re weary of spinning things with molten, lying cores, tilt and twist of tongue.
        Everyone murmurs gravity hurts but no one’s told us why and I am no longer
        certain they are coming back for us at all. You play pool with the planets to
        pass the time and twiddle idle thumbs; I dream of hitchhiking, and ache
        to swap these sighs for stardust.

        .

      • Miss R. says:

        Oh. My. Word. SUCH imagery here!!! Incredibly well done.

    17. Trade-off

      Sometimes you must wonder
      who got the better end of this deal.
      When it comes to love, she’s the MVP,
      and you’re the player to be named later.

    18. A tradeoff, exchange, forfeit and swap

      I gave you my love
      and you gave me yours
      a judicious exchange
      formally
      divided

      I gave you my love
      and you gave me yours
      a tradeoff
      it seemed
      loquaciously
      confided

      I gave you my love
      and you gave me yours
      a forfeit for both
      though the game
      had just started

      and thus was decided

      my love is all mine
      your love is all yours
      so I pushed you hard
      and you pushed right back
      back and forth pushing
      swinging higher
      and
      higher
      each taking turns
      until
      both of us
      soared

    19. Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 15
      Write a trade-off poem

      Scam

      Then there was that deal,
      I will take
      Manhattan
      in exchange for these lovely
      trade beads and trinkets.

    20. jared davidavich says:

      I arrived with hope,
      with skills and tools,
      intelligence and potential;
      with wide-eyed wonder
      and an open mind

      I had value, freedom
      from the confines of nature,
      I had purpose and abilities
      to change, to progress;
      I had dreams

      I forfeited my freedom,
      submitted to control
      in exchange for more, faster;
      a value assigned to me,
      my dreams erased

      i am an instrument,
      a mere commodity,
      a cog in the wheel
      that turns society;
      dependent, expendable

      surplus eludes us,
      but We must seek it,
      the machine demands it;
      We are the machine,
      We are busy

      • Maxie says:

        Great attempt at your own prompt! I like the underlying message in this: We are all in it together, demanding a better exchange. If I can offer a small suggestion, use a period (or no punctuation) instead of a comma after “We are the machine” to call more attention to that declaration. Well done.

    21. Michael Grove says:

      Life With The Queen

      He built a great castle
      filled it with his life
      then he gave it away
      to make her his wife.

      He did what he had to
      and answered the call
      for a life with the queen
      he sacrificed all.

      By Michael Grove

    22. The Swap

      Let’s make a swap, you and I:
      Your nervous tick for my lazy eye.
      My psoriasis for your pimple.
      My unibrow for your pretty dimples.
      Your lovely smile for my pesky frown.
      My generosity knows no bounds.
      Your hunger for my stomach flu…
      I only want what’s best for you.

    23. Miss R. says:

      An Exchange

      If I smile at you,
      Will you smile back?
      You do, and I have
      A heart attack.
      If I say hello,
      Will you do the same?
      You do, and I think
      That I like this game.
      I ask how you are,
      And you say you’re fine.
      Is your heart pounding
      As quickly as mine?
      I hold out my hand,
      And you take it in yours.
      Our love is so strong
      It will probably end wars!
      Then all of a sudden,
      You start to beep.
      I turn off my alarm
      And go back to sleep.

    24. viv says:

      Day 15: A trade off poem at 11.50pm

      If I write a haiku
      can I be let off today
      and go to bed now?

    25. po says:

      Horse Traders

      My great Uncle traded
      his horse for a wagon.
      He traded the wagon
      for two mules. At the
      end of the day he rode
      home on his original
      horse with $25 in his
      pocket. From that day
      forward he was a local
      legend on the horse-
      trading front.

    26. DanielAri says:

      “Pistrami on topsy-turvy”

      My Zeda always had
      the habit of eating
      sandwiches with the bread
      slices misaligning.
      He liked them foot to head.

      He wasn’t past turning
      one slice the other way
      even when dining out
      in a luncheon café.
      Now that Zeda is dead,

      I think to wonder why.
      What was the origin
      of the charm on rye?
      Why the superstition?
      Or did it taste better?

      Wherefore the discipline
      to give sammies his spin?

    27. posmic says:

      Deals

      You will never star in Titus Andronicus,
      but on the other hand, your hair will
      never be flat, and you will be impervious
      to insult, real or perceived. Most of us

      will hate you, but how you will deal
      with that is to build yourself a hut
      out of Styrofoam in the middle of
      a major grocery store somewhere

      in a town of your choosing, and
      hand out cocktail franks on picks
      until you are escorted out by
      store security, your hut broken

      into tiny pellets that someone
      will have to sweep up. But that’s
      not your deal, the sweeping.
      That’s up to the guy with the

      broom and the whistle in his heart,
      and the hump on his back, stooped
      under the weight of all the deals
      he’s made, all his days of dealing.

    28. Yolee says:

      Tradeoff

      I love when unexploited bells and whistles
      of a new romance appear everywhere.
      Though they’re not clear-cut, diamonds
      from the sun band on your route.
      You notice how even the slits between
      your toes are touched by warming light.

      It all gets marked by honey: the fragile
      exterior, internal letters stacked over
      unconsciousness, the serious soul
      and lighthearted spirit.

      Ah, but when love is an antique table,
      wiped clean after meals, timeouts, birthday
      cake, quickies, homework, bills, projects
      and card-games; when stoneware, silver
      and sunlight are placed in their bed,
      we’re ready to relax in the dent
      of a whistle or lie down in
      the crack of our bell.

    29. claudsy says:

      Obsession’s Tightrope

      Passion rages forth,
      Carrying life and time
      Across pages of history,
      Never pausing to consider
      How precious such
      Memories could be
      If only they belonged
      In the mundane world,
      In living forms instead
      Of between covers
      Of paper and ink.

      Could one’s life
      Evolve any more
      Fully than by putting
      Imaginations wanderings
      In concrete form to
      Tantalize, titillate,
      And entrance the reader?

      Could one live with
      More satisfaction than
      To rise and fight dragons
      Within worlds made real
      Only within one’s words?

    30. TRAFEOFFS

      Same old morning: breakfast; papers gathered –
      property tax again already, checks to deposit;
      gizmo to return to hardware store; dogs loaded
      in car; we’re off to fitness class. Same old drill.
      Scrape frost from windshield. Wait –

      down in the swale, is that a deer? Haven’t seen
      one here in months. Too many fences
      in the neighborhood, too much traffic, two-lane
      speedway. But there’s a doe, and
      now another. And look!

      buck with a rack. He’s got a slight limp, maybe
      hit once on the road; but he’s making do.
      How many prongs? Too dim to tell. Five? six?
      Then for an instant, first-light strikes his antlers
      a golden crown.

    31. elishevasmom says:

      The Day I Gave Up My Car Keys

      When I got sick, I had
      to turn in my car keys.

      It’s not that I miss the physical
      part of it—who misses a fifteen
      year old car with no radio or air
      conditioning?

      But it was the independence, or
      loss of same, that knocked the
      wind out of my sails.

      It took me a while to learn a
      new language—the
      public transit system.
      But that brought with it
      a wonderful
      type of freedom.

      Freedom to see, and hear,
      colors. Freedom to see, and hear,
      people. Freedom to taste
      the flavors of life.
      Freedom to be grateful.

      For forty-five years, I had
      been moving through an
      increasing mass of humanity,
      in a self-imposed solitary
      confinement.

      Those bars fell when I gave
      up my keys.
      I think I was (am) addicted to
      independence.
      And I’ll take freedom over
      independence any time.

      Ellen Knight

    32. Trade Off Lullaby

      Come to you my little boy
      It’s time for your wee nap
      I know you would rather not
      So come sit on my lap
      I’ll tell you what I’ll give to you
      So listen close to hear
      Think about the things you like
      And I’ll whisper in your ear

      I’ll give to you a lullaby
      Of castles by the lake
      I’ll sing to you of puppy dogs
      A turtle and a snake
      I’ll sing a song of glittering stars
      And silvery moon beams
      Of flying to Jupiter and back
      If you give to me your dreams

      Now close your eyes my little one
      And do the best you can
      To conjure up the happy things
      And I’ll tell you my sweet plan
      I’ll give to you this lullaby
      Of candies filled with creams
      Of mountains of gummy bears
      If you give to me your dreams

      I’ll sing a song of kitty cats
      And horses running free
      Of sailboats and diamond kites
      Of climbing an old oak tree
      And now I see your eyes are closed
      You’re breathing heavily
      So I will end this lullaby
      And you can keep your dreams.

    33. julie e. says:

      TEA WITH RELISH

      Relishing this
      late night tea
      I forfeit straight
      eight hours sleep.

    34. Domino says:

      The Important Things Aren’t Things

      Things I loved when I was young:
      Singing
      Dancing
      Theater
      Reading
      Writing
      And I was in plays, musicals,
      whatever they had at the local
      theater. I learned all aspects
      from the acting and singing and performing
      to the set construction, costuming and directing.

      And then I had children.

      The choice was to continue
      the way I had been,
      though that would have meant
      a lot of time away from the little ones,
      or to leave behind my first loves
      to be with my little ones.

      The choice was actually still painful,
      even though I knew it was the right one.

      Things I loved when I was a little older:
      My kids
      Singing (children’s songs)
      Dancing (around the house with them)
      Theater (puppets usually)
      Reading (bedtime stories)
      Writing (just for me)
      And the loss of one kind of focus
      was more than made up by focusing instead
      on what was really important.

      Things I love now that I’m done raising kids:
      My kids
      Singing (in a band)
      Dancing (at weddings)
      Theater (at the office)
      Reading (as much as I like)
      Writing (more than ever)

      Totally worth it.

      Diana Terrill Clark

    35. Tradeoff: A Very Old Tale

      The city gate
      was so narrow
      that some called
      it “The Eye
      of the Needle”
      but the rich
      trader coming
      from afar had
      never been there
      so he didn’t know.
      The packs
      on his camels
      were wide
      and bulged
      out on either
      side with all
      the goods he
      had brought to
      sell, but those
      who would
      buy were inside
      and he could
      not pass
      through the eye
      of the needle.

    36. Marianv says:

      The Tree by the Swing sets

      A group of small boys, gather beneath the tree by
      the swing sets. Some adults passing by grow
      suspicious. What are they up to?
      They are trading those small cars. The ones that are
      Reproductions of the real thing. The adults, a man
      And a woman, walk on, remembering. She is thinking
      Of Barbie dolls and Barbie outfits – she and her girl
      Friends engaged in hours of this for that- sometimes
      Ending in tears, and phone calls from angry mothers.
      The man remembers Indian arrowheads, odd stones,
      Keys to who knew what? Sometimes arguments -
      Threatened fights that rarely took place.

      The tree next to the swing set is old. Some of its
      Branches are broken and it is easy to climb. It
      Makes a good outlook for kids playing pirate.
      It watches all kinds of deals. Illegal drugs, but
      Not too often because the police cruise this area
      A lot. Beneath the branches, innocent swaps of
      baseball cards and deadly deals with guns have
      come and gone. No one pays attention to the tree
      It never says a word.

    37. Marjory MT says:

      TRADE triolet

      What say we make a trade?
      I’m sure you’ll see that I am right.
      Your gadget cost twice what I paid
      What say we make a trade?
      I see that yours is so better made.
      No need for us to scrap or fight
      What say we make a trade?
      I’m sure you’ll see that I am right.

    38. pmwanken says:

      Hello?
      (a shadorma)

      I can’t sleep.
      I had a bad dream.

      You forfeit
      your own sleep
      to take my call…to listen
      to my teardrops fall.

    39. WHO NEEDS SLEEP?

      There was a day when I’d sing,
      “I agree, the play’s the thing”
      and pen scripts that dripped
      with humor, and tender moments,
      vitriol and pathos. But writing
      to such lengths sapped the strength
      out of my muse and the ensuing
      abuse of my body and mind.
      I had to find the time where I’m
      solely and silently alone,
      not prone to distractions or
      familial interactions or phones
      that go chirp in the night.
      Burning the midnight oils
      well after three and seeing
      double and triple when I’d trickle
      off to bed for an hour or two.
      A sacrifice of time meant for
      a wife and daughters who ought
      to have as much of me as they
      could stand without the demands
      to write all night. A modicum of success
      made a mess of my life, pushing my wife
      to the brink and fighting the battle of words
      at unheard hours. The accolades showered
      were nice, but did not suffice my expressive
      heart. That’s when I started to write poetry.
      Metered rhyme served my time better,
      and it let her get her fill of my presence;
      the essence of my verse was all hers.
      Until my mind wandered with more
      time squandered again. Too many trade-
      offs made without fair compensation.

    40. De Jackson says:

                      Even.

      Odd,
      how you think
      you can bring
      nothing
      to the table
      have your say
      get your way
      and leave.

                       Let’s call it

      .

    41. Mike Bayles says:

      Barter

      I’ll clean out your house
      for some gas money
      or a place to stay.
      I’ll clean out your garage
      while you watch.
      It will be a treat
      when you take me out for lunch.
      Talk and my poetry
      also fill the day,
      for creativity is the new currency,
      and you’ve also hired me
      for my company.

    42. DAHutchison says:

      The Man Who Lost His Way

      I dreamt of a globe in the palm of my hand,
      Saying this too shall pass and this will not stand,
      From the mafia wars to the ACLU,
      The movers and shakers, the do-nothings too,
      And each desperate day, each socialite mixer,
      Rubbing elbows with powerful brokers and fixers,
      Taking stock of the optics, my manners comported,
      According to how all the facts were distorted.
      Integrity traded for mere good intention,
      Paving my way down a road I won’t mention,
      Til nothing would pass and all things would stand,
      On my way to a globe in the palm of my hand.

    43. barbara_y says:

      I think it’s the Facebook connection thingy fouling up attempts to post, but I really, really want to blame the Ad, which with my slow bandwidth takes forever to load EVERY TIME.
      Ads that require attention, and an accurate touch to remove, do not make me think well of the product.
      she (‘nuff) said, grumpily.

      Trade-Off

      It’s a tossup, a trade-off:
      You get the thing paid off,
      and–car, computer, or washing machine–
      it begins to shudder and moan
      –and turn mean.
      Do you hope that your brother-
      in-law knows another
      guy blessed with the mojo
      and knowhow you need
      for the deed?
      Or go back, once more,
      to the Big Box Store
      and lay down the easy downpayment
      and start up the cycle again?
      You can’t win.

    44. Jane Shlensky says:

      Feeding the Animals

      Anger teaches many arts—
      that heat makes liquids boil,
      that carnivores live in our hearts,
      and twist and gnash and roil.

      Sometimes we feed them arguments
      to keep them quiet there
      to teach us diplomatic bents
      to school ourselves to care.

      Arguments from which we learn
      are trading posts, at best.
      We choose this feeling, that one spurn
      to leave our minds at rest.

      But anger brings such righteousness
      such stubborn blind dis-ease
      that soon we’re trading down, obsessed
      with winning by degrees.

      So here I sit exchanging words
      to swap dark thoughts for light,
      to purchase peace without a sword–
      I don’t need to be right.

      I’m strapping on my kinder eyes
      to see what lies beneath
      each angry word and soon surmise
      forgiveness helps me breathe.

      If fury feeds the animals,
      if forgiveness cools the day,
      I’ll know my trade, my choice, forestalls
      the heat, If I walk away.

    45. JWLaviguer says:

      Eternal Bargains

      What will you give?
      he asked of me
      to have it all

      I know what he wants
      but does it exist?
      the ultimate question

      Life, love, happiness
      not too much to ask
      but then I get greedy

      Power, money, charisma
      now you’re talking
      where do I sign

      And those surrounding you
      what of them
      the power to heal?

      Only one can do that
      and I am not Him
      I have named my price

      Who are you really
      Do you really want to know
      Am I just an illusion

      Or is that desperation
      I could be your savior
      or your destroyer

      It is your choice to make
      but once you sign your name
      there is no turning back

      You cannot know what exists
      behind the curtain
      is it Oz or is it Satan

    46. five years later

      here’s an idea:
      how ‘bout you try breast feeding
      while I ignore you

      I’ll go to the bank
      and screw your secretary
      on her coffee break

      you can clean the house
      if the baby stops crying
      go to the bathroom

      with the door open
      think about your college friends
      and your lost career

      I will grab a drink
      with the boys from the office
      dreading coming home

      you will hate my guts
      I will find you tedious
      the baby will scream

    47. GIVE YOUR HEART – TAKE NO QUARTER

      A simple give and take on the surface seems just so.
      But underneath the layers, we have a way to go.

      Sometimes you give me a hard bit,
      when I’m not in the mood to take any shit!

      I give you what your heart deserves
      and then take your heart, a bit unnerved.

      You give me time to do “my thing”,
      you take all I have, except this ring.

      I give you a headache when my mouth’s in gear,
      and you take all you can, but are always right here.

      You give me so much, I take you for granted,
      You take what I mean and give me a slant that

      even I don’t see. I give you my love and your give yours too,
      that’s just what it takes to make one out of two!

    48. Miss R. says:

      The Tradeoff

      Write poetry all day,
      Every day?
      I’d love to say
      I could play that game,
      But if it’s all the same,
      I’d rather find a job that pays.
      There are a million ways
      To make money,
      But it’s funny
      In a sad kind of way
      That wordplay,
      At least today,
      Will rarely pay.
      There are a million ways
      To have fun,
      But when all’s said and done,
      Most leave you in the attic
      Starving and frantic.
      If you like, you can scoff,
      But that’s the tradeoff.

    49. RJ Clarken says:

      Differences

      We’re yin and yang. We’re opposites
      We’re down to earth; we’re glam and glitz.
      We’re water…oil. (Shouldn’t mix.)
      Despite those things, it all just clicks.

      We’re diametrically apart.
      You’re smart. I’m art. We’re brains and heart.
      We’re each a bag of magic tricks.
      Despite those things, it all just clicks.

      You’re analytical. You plan,
      but you’re a renaissance-type man.
      I’m silly. I write limericks.
      Despite those things, it all just clicks.

      So if you were to ask me if
      the trade-offs head us toward a cliff,
      I’d say, “No way!” (No River Styx.)
      Despite those things, it all just clicks.

      ###

    50. RJ Clarken says:

      Prohibition Inhibition

      “The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become” ~Mark Twain

      I’ll wonder: is it bad for me?
      And if it is, then I’ll take three.
      If something’s inaccessible,
      desire’s irrepressible.

      The trade-off is the damage when
      I think, ‘OK’ or ‘now and then.’
      If something’s unattainable
      desire’s unexplainable.

      Forbidden fruit can call my name
      and I’ll give in. It’s all the same:
      if something’s unachievable
      desire’s unbelievable.

      The more I cannot have my way
      the more I keep good sense at bay.
      If something’s quite unthinkable
      desire’s more unsinkable.

      ###

    51. Nimue says:

      Love-filled poem robert ! totally sweet :)

      Along the market
      I walked,
      roads lines with goods,
      food , dreams , smiles,
      misery and heated words.
      Avoiding the looks in those
      dead eyes,
      I wondered how many
      would want to swap places
      with me right there,right then
      I knew, I did not want
      to be some one else,
      to trade my security
      for beauty and love.
      Those glittering shops
      could not buy me peace.
      These road side stalls
      are what life offered,
      this is where I will make
      the best deal.

    52. RJ Clarken says:

      At Both Ends

      Whether the trade-off is worth it depends on whom you talk to. ~ Craig Welch

      Bargains ‘tween the devil and me
      are never quite fait accompli.
      And even if they were, depends
      on terms decided at both ends.

      If I can get the better deal
      AND he can’t get my soul to steal
      AND we can still remain – uh – friends,
      with terms decided at both ends

      I think the trade-off’s really nil.
      At least for me, it’s all good will.
      Although it’s not what he intends,
      these terms decided at both ends

      are sort of unambiguous.
      There’s only me. There is no us.
      The devil just makes recommends
      for terms decided at both ends.

      ###

    53. I’m trading off
      a poem for space,
      a place where comments
      don’t come too soon
      and time becomes
      a bustle of anxiety.
      This isn’t a race
      and yet it is
      a course to run,
      the finish line
      at month’s end
      worth the hustle.

      **Ahh… I love your poem, Robert… and I loved your interview at Poetic Bloomings!**

    54. JRSimmang says:

      I’ll show you mine
      if you show me yours.
      Here we stand,
      fully clothed,
      in front of one another,
      yet never more naked than we ever have been.
      Unwrap your skin,
      reveal to me the
      muscles and sinews that propel you
      elegantly into the blackest
      and coldest of nights.
      Unravel your bones,
      share with me your
      structure, the reason you tower
      and the strength you hide so easily.
      Give unto me your organs,
      your beating heart,
      your see-sawing lungs,
      your liver and stomach,
      to let me believe that who you are standing before me
      is the person I feel you to be.
      Drop your veins,
      abandon your nerves,
      until all you have left
      is a glowing softness,
      and I am unable to distinguish you from the air around you.
      Then, I will replace.
      You will take of me my blood,
      you will take of me my chest,
      you will take of me all that you
      have given
      until we have merged,
      hand with hand,
      eye with eye,
      and the world will no longer be able to
      tell us apart.

    55. RobHalpin says:

      On Work

      Fast,
      cheap,
      or good.
      You get two,
      but not three, so pick
      which ones you really need. Sadly,
      at work, the one often left out is good quality.

    56. ***
      I search my heart
      And I see
      There is no tradeoff
      I’d agree
      To go through
      If not decently
      Thrilled by you.

      ***
      Robert, awesome poem!
      Walt – so true, and the interview is simply great!
      Misky, you rock!

    57. shellaysm says:

      “Autumn’s Tradeoff”

      The melancholy of autumn’s end
      creeps upon us as nature portends.
      How swiftly seasons pass in a blink,
      inviting once again time to think:
      Did minutes, hours, days I misspend?

      September comes, intentions ascend;
      October fills with festivals penned.
      As November temps dive, spirit sinks:
      the melancholy of autumn’s end.

      This season’s tradeoff we should befriend.
      Change cycles; on that we can depend.
      Modest, humble days are on the brink.
      First frost gives a peek with frigid wink.
      Embrace winter’s own joys; don’t extend
      the melancholy of autumn’s end.

    58. Day 15
      11-15-2012
      Prompt: Tradeoff

      Not Choosing Is Choosing

      Every penny, every second,
      I vote.
      I say, this is how I choose to spend
      my money, my time.
      What may say the most about me:
      what I let slide,
      what I let slip by,
      what I don’t choose.

    59. Ber says:

      Breaking Roadways

      Swap your space
      with someone else
      leaving all you know in suspence
      Consequence

      Consequence of what
      you have left behind
      wanting more then
      were you blind

      Blinded by the exchange
      you felt inside
      forfeiting your pathway
      leaving the past behind

      Behind the windows of yesterday
      what really matters
      is what is coming your
      way this day

      Open roadways
      of not knowing
      where each one goes
      follow your heart
      the beat that flows

      Step outside the line
      courage to enjoy, embrace
      what life has to offer
      soak it all within
      your running veins of living

    60. JanetRuth says:

      We could stand here an hour and bicker
      Raising our protest loud
      Exchanging brand-new one line insults
      That would make the devil proud
      We could dredge up past follies and failures
      Perhaps even curse a bit
      Or we could simply say, I’m sorry
      And then ‘get on with it’

    61. JanetRuth says:

      Incomprehensible Tradeoff

      In place of our guilt- redemption
      In place of our longing- hope
      In place of our wretched sin-stains
      You wash us white as snow
      In place of darkness and depression
      You fill us with marvelous Light
      In place of death and damnation
      Oh God, you give us Life

    62. Misky says:

      Blown Away

      I am the fate of dust
      shade me
      trade me
      for a sip of wine
      so I am never blown away.

    63. FAME OR FORTUNE

      We want to be rich,
      we want to be known,
      we want to be read
      for we write on our own.
      We.follow our muse,
      listen to our hearts,
      we follow the leader,
      a great place to start.

      Today we write of tradeoffs. But we follow what feels right. Thanks to Robert Lee, we are finding our way poetically. He is featured in an interview today over at POETIC BLOOMINGS. Marie Elena Good, as she always does, gives a great glimpse at Robert. Found here: http://poeticbloomings.com ,

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