Editors Blog

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

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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99 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

  1. heiditoad

    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. Benjamin Thomas

    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. Benjamin Thomas

    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

    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. Michelle Hed

    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.

  6. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz

    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)

  7. foodpoet

    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

  8. Nancy Posey


    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.

  9. Rorybore

    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?

    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.

    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.

  10. De Jackson

    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.


    1. De Jackson

      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.


  11. uneven steven

    A tradeoff, exchange, forfeit and swap

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

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

    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
    each taking turns
    both of us

  12. jared davidavich

    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

    1. Maxie

      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.

  13. Michael Grove

    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

  14. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    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.

  15. Miss R.

    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.

  16. po

    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.

  17. DanielAri

    “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?

  18. posmic


    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.

  19. Yolee


    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.

  20. claudsy

    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?

  21. taylor graham


    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.

  22. elishevasmom

    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

    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

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

    Ellen Knight

  23. Connie Peters

    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.

  24. Domino

    The Important Things Aren’t Things

    Things I loved when I was young:
    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

  25. bluerabbit47

    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.

  26. Marianv

    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.

  27. Marjory MT

    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.

  28. Walt Wojtanik


    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.

  29. Mike Bayles


    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.

  30. DAHutchison

    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.

  31. barbara_y

    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.


    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.

  32. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  33. JWLaviguer

    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

  34. Andrew Kreider

    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

  35. Walt Wojtanik


    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!

  36. Miss R.

    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.

  37. RJ Clarken


    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.


  38. RJ Clarken

    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.


  39. Nimue

    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.

  40. RJ Clarken

    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.


  41. laurie kolp

    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!**

  42. JRSimmang

    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.

  43. shellaysm

    “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.

  44. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 15
    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.

  45. Ber

    Breaking Roadways

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

    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

  46. JanetRuth

    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’

  47. JanetRuth

    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

  48. Walt Wojtanik


    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 ,