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    2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

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

    Today’s prompt comes from Madeline Sharples.

    Here’s Madeline’s prompt: Write a “Wheel” poem: of fortune, ferris, bike, auto – any kind of wheel. Even a big wheel and wheeling and dealing will do.

    Robert’s attempt at a Wheel Poem:

    “Spinning my wheels”

    Yesterday, I saw my friend sitting on a bench
    staring at birds, and I asked him how we was
    doing. He said, “Fine. Just fine.” “Just fine,”
    I asked. “Yes, fine,” he said. “Just swell.”
    “I thought you were fine,” I said. “Well,” he said,
    “that too, but I’m really all right.” “Which one
    do you feel the most,” I asked. “I suppose,”
    he started to say and then he got distracted
    by a squirrel working its way along a branch
    before jumping to another branch in another
    tree, and then my friend was up and walking
    away from me without an explanation or
    a good-bye, which was fine with me, because
    I took his spot and his seat was still warm
    and those birds were still darting from tree
    to tree and the squirrel was still working
    this way and that and there was not another
    person in the park who might ask how I was.


    Thank you, Madeline, for the circular prompt! Click here to learn more about Madeline.

    Click here if you prefer using the WD Forum thread.


    Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


    Explore Poetry!

    Learn more about poetic forms, poetic terms, poetic schools, and more about the history of poetry with John Drury’s The Poetry Dictionary, a wonderful poetic reference for any poet’s desk. In fact, my copy is always within arm’s reach of where I’m sitting.

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

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    127 Responses to 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

    1. Glory says:

      On Two Wheels
      (Day 19)

      See me ride
      my bicycle,
      see how high I fly.
      I can reach the silvered
      moon, and catch the shining star.

    2. Wheels

      By the time he took the pulpit each Sunday,
      we knew the sermon outlines, the illustrations,
      the key verses he would read—always King James
      back them. At the dinner table Saturday,
      he’d run it by us, more talk than lecture,
      and all week long, he’d visit the sick,
      carry a sack of groceries to those down on their luck.
      Sure, he was a preacher. Nobody questioned it,
      but he was a hoss trader too, knew in his guts
      a good deal on a tract of land, a used car,
      a rent house. As I approached sixteen,
      he dampened my enthusiasm. I wanted wheels
      but not just any wheels. He suggested a Ford Falcon,
      a Gremlin, something heavy and safe, no temptation
      for car thieves, an AM radio was good enough surely.
      The wheels he finally delivered—a rebuilt wreck,
      but sport, red—was a greater gift than I dreamed:
      Years later, when I began these negotiations
      with children of my own, eager to hit the road,
      we could honestly say, Be grateful. You should
      have seen what my dad gave me to drive at sixteen.

    3. foodpoet says:

      Okay now that’s funny my loong poem posts my longer poem posts my sliver of a poem too fast

      the ferris wheel
      child fancy sinks under
      rising waters

    4. po says:

      Ode to Wheels

      Thank you for your roundness
      perfect circles.
      Sometimes it seems your shape
      surrounds everything.
      You take us places we want to go
      and some we don’t.
      And are with us when we grow
      bicycles rollerblades.
      You can be a status symbol
      or ordinary
      as the boy next door.
      A major
      player in the Indianapolis 500
      yet you do
      your part in my garden
      hand plow
      and in the overall harvest
      Sometimes you are naughty
      lover’s lane
      when you burn rubber.
      Who does
      not admire a well-rounded
      Wish I was there the first
      you helped us lift our
      heavy load.

    5. janmoram says:


      You are a gossamer firefly with coal black eyes

      among copper urns, fold silk robes,
      pin loose hair back

      wheel around the world,
      a spool,
      with golden thread

      woven into the ash colored night

    6. Catching up…

      A wheel of a tale!

      At the wheel of my Corolla,
      I hit a poet tree.
      The impact was so great,
      a poem came out of me.

      Now I’m crashing into walls,
      convertibles and buses,
      but no more poems come out of me;
      all I get is scratches.

    7. Mike Bayles says:

      Flat Tire

      The tire on my friend’s wheelbarrow
      went flat from sitting too long.
      There’s so much inertia to overcome
      and get it moving again.
      So I push it with a start and a stop,
      to clear a space,
      start, stop and plop
      until it rests on the flat spot.
      I figure life is like the wheel barrow,
      that it goes flat with inactivity.
      When I return to the garage
      I help her sort through the clutter
      and move through memories of her life.

    8. Tracy Davidson says:

      15 Minutes of Fame

      my mother-in-law
      appeared on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
      but she won sod all

    9. Tracy Davidson says:

      Turning Cartwheels

      she begs me to watch
      as she performs three cartwheels
      one for each of us
      laughing as her wig falls off
      exposing the surgeon’s scars

    10. Setting the Wheels

      When I was a kid my dad and I set up
      our model trains under the Christmas tree –
      HO scale, smaller and more fragile than
      the hefty Lionels he had when he was young.
      Everything was scaled down, small enough
      to put a whole town beneath our Scotch pine -
      cars, people and buildings, a church,
      5&10 store, gas station, post office,
      and several snow-covered homes.
      The steam locomotive puffed “real” smoke
      and pulled box cars, gondola cars, tankers,
      and a caboose, working hard just to go
      around and around a big oval enclosing
      the small-town scene. Being smaller,
      it was more likely to jump the tracks,
      so it was my job to inspect the couplings
      and the wheels, make sure everything
      connected and rolled smoothly, and to right
      frequent derailments like some demigod,
      putting the wayward train back on track,
      feeling the groove of each wheel slip
      into place inside of the rail, then sending it
      chugging again on its single-minded mission,
      even though it would never really leave town.

    11. Poetics Aside November Challenge – Day 19
      Write a wheel poem

      At The Fair (shadorma)

      A wheel you sit on?
      Spins around
      open space.
      Meet me at the carousel,
      clutching painted horse.

    12. elishevasmom says:

      Spin the Wheel

      Back in the day,
      (my but that makes me
      sound so old),
      Gran and I used to watch
      Jeopardy together when I
      was visiting during the summer.

      If she had grown up in
      my generation, Gran
      probably would have
      ended up with an MFA.

      I don’t know if she had a
      photographic memory, but
      she was already well north
      of 70 then, and I can’t remember
      anything she ever forgot.

      Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
      They bridged a programming
      gap between the
      Nightly News and
      Prime Time.
      Now, game show/reality shows
      have invaded
      Prime Time TV.

      From Survivor to the Biggest
      Loser. From American Idol to
      Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
      From Cash Cab to
      Dancing With the Stars.

      Maybe I just like to remember
      back to when I watched
      Jeopardy with Gran, when
      Alex Trebek didn’t have
      a full head of white hair
      (thus reminding me of my own).

      And I also remember why I
      gave up my TV.

      Ellen Knight

    13. posmic says:


      I fall apart now.

      I drip
      onto a plate
      underneath me.

      I can’t help it.
      The fire is warm.
      I am so sleepy,

      and I lack arms
      to get myself
      back together.

      We are inside,
      the things
      that used to be


      I think I used to be
      a cow, or inside a cow,
      or some part of a cow.

      I don’t know, but there
      was grass somewhere
      and I seem to remember

      its taste. Maybe
      sunlight also.
      But now

      there is this fire.
      It unlocks the sun
      I have held.

      The sheets of something
      next to me used to be
      cow, too, but different.

      They try to talk to me,
      but I can only catch
      a word or two,

      because we are so
      different, and so much
      has happened since

      the time when we were
      cows. The potatoes
      and gherkins, I don’t

      even bother with.
      They just say
      their own names

      over and over again,
      and it seems to me that
      we should forget

      our names, now that
      (as I believe) we will soon
      become people.

    14. sonja j says:

      The moon. For once, I am a little sorry I didn’t get six opportunities to edit.

    15. sonja j says:

      Thoon moon must be in alignment with Orion’s left foot – tonight everything posted on the first try!

    16. sonja j says:


      People keep pressing me to explain that night,
      what I saw, the fire within fire, one creature alive
      with many faces, and all I can tell you is this:

      We exist inversely with the stars. In these times
      there is scarcely night, and we do not fear the desert.
      The voice of humanity, once many waters, floods
      its cacophony through the cities, we have the appetites
      of pitiful manticores, we subsume the oceans.

      As children we could see everything, dust motes
      revealed themselves in the sunlight of our morning.
      Now we are blind; the evening blazes. You ask me,
      but still, I do not know under what throne we shall live.

      • DanielAri says:

        That’s the poem I meant to write :)
        I like where you go with the Ezekiel story, which I confess leaves me quite baffled. But I think you have an essential element of wonder (and its loss) here:
        “In these times / there is scarcely night, and we do not fear the desert.”
        “Now we are blind; the evening blazes.”
        Wonderful, sonja

    17. ina says:

      Goldilocks Zone (wheel 2)

      Goldilocks zone, a fluid blue
      halo of oxygen scattering starlight.
      Launch from orbit
      to find a place of rest after
      the water has been sucked from
      the earth, after the water has been covered
      in sheets of plastic, encased
      like a memorial, like your grandmother’s
      sofa, uncomfortable in life as your
      hot summer skin and useless
      to her after death.

    18. PSC in CT says:

      Captain’s Wheel

      You think you’re at the wheel
      captain of your own ship
      calling all the shots, a homo sapiens
      gathering evidence, weighing facts
      making informed decisions,
      but all evidence points
      to the contrary – a
      gray matter – colored by
      chemistry & biology,
      action & reaction,
      mental amoeba
      manufacturing facts to fit you
      r preconceived notions,
      personal fictional perception of
      unreality, your justifications – just a-
      nother spoke in the wheel

    19. DanielAri says:

      God will strengthen

      E-Z from an eaten nation
      wandered beside a muddy stream.
      The sky above seemed to open
      to fire—as in a deathbed dream.
      Key elements of the vision

      E-Z would swear were cherubim.
      He spoke of it with eyes like fire,
      and peers in exile heeded him:
      wheels on a heavenly choir
      running by Divine Intention—

      wheels in wheels under icy spires—
      fiery, human-eating design.
      No one marked E-Z a liar,
      for who could doubt the hungry sign
      of the deity’s cold machine?

      It lifted E-Z by the spine,
      dropped him in a valley of bones.

    20. JRSimmang says:

      I suppose I’ve never looked around before.
      She had always been there, standing in front of me,
      our eyes level and locked.

      I never noticed how her irises, pale blue and bright green,
      radiated from the center, almost unbroken.
      But, I suppose it is that slight variation that
      keeps us going round and round and round.

      In circles,
      her mind twists.

    21. Cigar Box

      My sister and I used to fight
      over the insert in Dad’s
      cigar box, a something -
      you see, I can no longer
      remember the shape -
      made of very thinly shaved
      wood. Was it a cylinder?
      A square?
      We both wanted it,
      no to play with, really,
      but simply because
      she wanted it.

      We would chase each other
      around the dining room table,
      endlessly around,
      since we ran at approximately
      the same speed,
      until one of us,
      my sister,
      would make a break
      for our room,
      dash like lightning
      down the hall,
      slam the door shut,
      while the other,
      usually me,
      pounded on the door.

      And what, you may ask,
      happened after that?
      Dad says we abandoned
      the insert somewhere
      in the house.
      and he, shaking his head
      over the strange ways
      of girls, would pick it up
      and throw it in the trash.

    22. Nov 19: create a wheel poem

      Spin Those Wheels

      We Americans love the illusion
      of progress, of moving forward,
      conquering outer space,
      colonizing the moon,
      making more money than our parents,
      or even being gainfully employed.
      Sadly, the current economic atmosphere’s
      blowing a cold wind over our expectations.
      We shiver, shrink back on ourselves.
      True, we sent a Mars rover
      to explore the Red Planet,
      but when was the last manned flight?
      Can you even remember?
      Most of us would settle,
      a roof over our heads,
      food on the table,
      and somewhere, somehow, a job.

    23. circle time
      another round
      of “wheels on the bus”


      the steady squeak
      of the hamster wheel…
      awake with the moon

    24. The Wired Journal says:

      Giddy up Giddy up horsey please
      Up and down up and down
      Round and round we go
      O so fun it is yes it is
      To ride the Carousel wheel of fortune

    25. Yolee says:


      A cranky wind took the wheel away
      from the August sky just as moonlight
      cruised in its parking space. I was
      walking home with my heart in the
      pocket of my church uniform. The boy
      I wasn’t supposed to crush on used
      the a cappella notes of my infatuation
      as stepping stones to reach my friend
      whom towered above me in every way.

      The spiraling rain licked my face.
      Mama was at the door holding a swan
      printed towel, announcing I was certain
      to catch a bad fever or cold.

    26. ina says:

      I love this prompt, Madeline. This is the first of the draft poems I wrote today.

      Wheel (1)

      Karma sleeps like the
      man on bench by the trash
      bin in the far corner
      of Grand Central station,
      greyed from dirt and
      living without the sun. One day
      he will rise up without warning;
      he may become an avenging
      angel, against our sins of callousness, he
      will rise up without warning, clutching
      his hungry heart, arms outstretched
      to receive. Will they be blows
      or will you breathe in, will you
      breath in his sweat, his urine,
      will you hold him?

    27. Jane Shlensky says:


      Sunday dog waits by my car
      Inspecting tires, sniffing out
      road trips, reading scents
      like maps into a new life.

      I imagine him in the car,
      riding with his head out
      the window, ears flapping,
      tongue swept sideways

      Gogo dog, adventure dog,
      happy road warrior yipping
      with excitement, a church lot
      dog no more. He shops,

      a serious buyer, lingering,
      walking round and round,
      admiring the wheels,
      and then he lifts his leg.

    28. RJ Clarken says:

      What Happens to All Those Tossed Pizza Wheels?

      “Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” ~Dave Barry

      How many times have you eight-cut
      your pizza with a wheel? But what
      is more important, when employed,
      how many wheels went to the void?

      Into the pizza box you stash
      your wheel, which then goes out with trash.
      It doesn’t take a Sigmund Freud:
      How many wheels go to the void?

      We all have done, by accident,
      the wheel toss. No admonishment,
      no matter if it’s well-deployed
      can keep a wheel out of the void.

      At least, that’s my experience
      re pizza-pie and beerience.
      Replace your wheel – don’t get annoyed
      if you’ve just tossed it in the void.


    29. RJ Clarken says:

      Lost Art

      She threw pots on a potter’s wheel,
      created just by what she’d feel.
      They’d rise from lumps of slip and clay:
      she’d make ceramics a ballet.

      An artisan, her figurines
      would tell her tale; they were her means
      to offer a beaux arts display:
      she made ceramics a ballet.

      Upon her wheel, a vase could grow
      for orchids rare; a true tableau.
      Her weathered hands would dance and sway
      and make ceramics a ballet.

      But now she’s gone; so is her art.
      She’d never had a counterpart,
      or an apprentice with a way
      to make ceramics a ballet.


    30. Misky says:

      We Are Time

      like cold coal
      dust, we’re free-wheeling,
      spinning, slipping on glinting steel
      rims – we’re water tumbling over slickened stones.
      we ride wheels through lives, slowing for the young but fast as a chased rabbit for the old.

    31. Hannah says:

      So fun…played with some imagery…gears count as wheel right? :) Thank you for the prompt!



      Round and round they go

      Nurses, doctors, teachers -
      scientists, lawyers, accountants-
      bakers, mechanics and more

      Yes, this is the land of opportunity -
      No, you degree means nothing -
      Yes, you can get a job -
      No, you have to speak English -
      Yes, we have assistance -
      No, you have to be a citizen -
      Yes, this is the land of opportunity -
      No, you can’t get there from here!

      I know this is a wee bit cynical, but that is how I feel after learning that another of my students is having difficulty finding work even though this student is a qualified dentist in their homeland. Makes me sad.

    33. pmwanken says:


      Some days I
      like the hamster.

      Other days
      feel like the wheel.

    34. Marjory MT says:

      There are so many beautifully, thoughtful and fun poems written today to the prompt. I wish I could comment on each, but my success at posting is beyond frustration. Have a great day, thank you for adding to the day’s beauty during the day of stormy weather outside my window. (Domino, Uneven, Connie, Janet, RA, DA, Marie, Sally Michelle, Walt, JW, Andrew, Rob, Karen, elish., EDT, Marianv, shella, blue, jared, pmw, barbara, taylor, Miss R, julie, DeJ, claudsy)

      Trees pulsate
      in the building storm.
      Boughs reach down,
      branches crack
      Over land, debris wheels,
      wind’s bounty.

    35. De Jackson says:


      What of spin? And where
                       to begin?

      make a circle of worn
      fingers, and I’ll
      try to reshape these tired
      treads. Let’s thread some
      ribbon through the spoke
      -n phrases we forgot,
      so we can pull our way
      back. Paint the whole she
      -bang black, maybe, turn
      our mourning to shiny roll
      -ing tide.

      at least we’ll look cool
      cruisin’ down this wild


    36. claudsy says:

      Still haven’t managed my Glosa. Working on it, but not easy. Wheels, now. That’s fun.

      Pharoh’s Dilemma

      Which came first;
      Pyramids or chariots?

      Science tells us stone
      For pyramids rolled
      Into place at Giza
      On logs across plains.

      Climate differed then,
      More trees, lusher growth,
      Providing logs for use.

      How many stones rolled
      On each log before
      Resulting firewood?

      Who taught Pharoh’s
      Builders to build wheels
      And chariots for moving
      At speed behind horses?

      If they had wheels and horses,
      Why decimate forests by stone?

    37. De Jackson says:

      1980 AMC Concord

      It was cheap, and white
      and handled just right
      on the curves on the way
      out of Podunk, Nevada.

      It was no red tape
      and paced for escape
      and though she didn’t
      go far, it felt like flying.

      It was all hers,
      and filled with something
      she would never forget.
      That used car smell:
      freedom, and all too soon,


    38. julie e. says:

      My husband would say, “that is not a real poem!” and i suppose it sounds much more like just the traffic in my head ;-)
      but here it is anyway.


      My mother
      used to say “where is
      the pen that is supPOSED to be
      by the phone?” and I would think,
      gee, what is her problem, she makes
      such a big deal out of nothing, and I would
      answer her, “I don’t know, why?” all innocently
      and she would say “because the pen is supPOSED
      to stay by the phone!” and so in my adult life I have
      solved this problem by buying copious amounts of pens
      and placing them by the phone /by the computer /by the
      kitchen, and when I want one I think I should be able to
      pick up at least ONE of those many pens but all I can
      find is a dead Sharpie and an emery board and I
      say “where are all the pens that are supPOSED
      to be by the phone?” and my children
      shrug their shoulders and look at me
      like, gee, what is her problem, she makes
      such a big deal out of nothing, and they answer
      “I don’t know, why?” and look at me all innocently
      and I say “because there are supPOSED to be pens
      by the phone!” and I sigh and realize the wheel of
      life has turned full circle and I have no real
      answers and have turned into
      my mother.

    39. JWLaviguer says:

      Wheels Up

      Leaving her
      for the last time
      she won’t hurt me
      I won’t forgive her
      I can’t live like this
      She called
      I forgave
      I hate my life

    40. Miss R. says:


      She hates the way she wheels around
      Just because he calls her name.
      She always hopes he will have changed,
      But things are always just the same.

      She wishes he would just commit,
      But she is scared and won’t insist.
      She wears her heart out on her sleeve
      To cover where he bruised her wrist.

      But all the makeup in the world
      Won’t cover what he did this time.
      She tries to blame upon herself
      What she knows is truly crime.

      The mirror, cracked with angry blows,
      Cries at her broken reflection.
      She cannot help but gasp aloud;
      There can be no quick correction.

      Healing will take quite some time.
      She quietly begins to pack.
      She slams the door; he wheels around,
      And knows that she will not be back.

      for an old dog

      Sheet of plywood for a stretcher –
      we lifted you onto the vet’s steel table,
      recounted how the dump-truck wheel
      rolled over you. Thanksgiving Eve.

      His hands probed, x-rays reached
      deeper. Diaphragm sprung, you worked
      at breathing. Nothing else wrong.
      But, it was Thanksgiving Eve.

      We got you to your feet, you walked
      to the car. We drove freeway
      to the big-town surgery. Left you there,
      drove home to our Thanksgiving Eve.

      By dawn, you were sewed back,
      almost whole. A hundred miles to bring
      you home; napping beside our table:
      what makes Thanksgiving.

    42. barbara_y says:

      She was a stone wheel, with a porthole for the sun,
      happy when light passed through her.
      She was not adept at red letter dates,
      forgetting to memorize their faces, she
      confused weekends with their cousins, the holidays,
      became addled over fasts and feasts.
      When the leaves fell, she wore a sweater, and raked.
      When there was snow: a coat and gloves,
      though snow rarely stayed past breakfast.
      When there were new chickweed stars, she wished,
      for that was what one did with stars.
      Every day was new when it began, and died old.

    43. pmwanken says:

      (a shadorma)

      behind the
      wheel at age fourteen
      was not for
      I was the designated
      daughter to drive home

    44. jared davidavich says:

      Never Another Fresh Step

      This world always seems
      To be in motion,
      Either between locations
      Or in all directions;
      Even stationary objects
      Are always working,
      Never at rest

      Everything appears
      To move up and down,
      Back and forth,
      In a technological
      Cacophony of man,
      Machine, and nature
      Struggling to preserve
      Whatever slim hold
      They have on the others

      But at the heart
      Of every movement,
      Of every machine,
      Is a wheel, Spinning
      In quiet isolation
      Carrying our society
      With each revolution
      Ever onward;
      Even the system
      Of life-sustaining liquid
      Flowing fluidly through
      Our veins, and the pipes
      Of our society
      Is a closed loop

      We built it this way,
      With purpose,
      Efficient and rational,
      Replacing diversity
      With uniform degrees-
      We took the creative life,
      And made it routine,

    45. My first wheels
      were skates:
      I rumbled
      down the sidewalk
      across calculated
      cracks in concrete,
      clicking out
      a rhythm for
      Rolling along alone
      under the
      summer sun,
      Clackity clack
      was the sound
      of freedom.

      My second wheels,
      in a different
      place, were
      on the used bike
      my father bought,
      but I was afraid
      to ride for a long
      time, though I
      longed to, not
      trusting that
      seemingly impossible
      balance, until
      someone let go
      and I wobbled off,
      until that wobble
      turned to a whir.
      Whir, whir
      was the sound
      of freedom.

      After college
      came my
      first car,
      a used Dodge
      that randomly
      died, but
      took me
      farther and faster
      than I could
      have dreamed.
      Vroom, vroom!
      That was the
      sound of freedom.

      When a Sumerian
      first put
      a log under
      a load
      to roll,
      could he
      or a distant
      of freedom?

    46. shellaysm says:

      “Ferris Wheel”
      (Palindrome Poem)

      Amusement Park:
      rides filled of thrill
      our pulses rise
      each climb high on
      Ferris Wheel
      on high climb
      each rise pulses
      our thrill of filled rides:
      Park Amusement

    47. Marianv says:

      Dreams of the Swarm

      In their dark, sweaty beds they dreamed
      Of light that lit up the night. Of a life spent
      Dancing around its brilliance. Never-ending
      Celebrations with all the members of their kind.

      So off to the city they flew, drawn
      to the thrill of light that lasted
      all night long
      Lamp-posts where they could
      Wheel and circle fast enough
      To become almost invisible

      It was the lights , that incandescent
      Watch the swarms wheeling, circling
      Round and back again

      Some never learn that approaching
      Too close is courting danger.
      Danger, brightly silhouetted, lurks
      In the anonymity of darkness. Who
      Could not succumb to that siren call?
      That quick elimination in a blaze of glory?


      Loud and proud,
      pounding the poems out
      like a smithy with a chip on his anvil.
      The sure way to be noticed
      is to make the most noise.
      It is your choice, it’s up to you
      the squeaky wheel always gets his due!

    49. Wheels

      What on earth is it, do you suppose,
      about guys and cars? I’m sure I’ll
      never be able to understand the
      close appeal that seems to render
      every masculine personage utterly
      speechless in the face of something
      that, to me, provides transportation
      from one place to the next to the
      next. Maybe the reason I hate cars,
      or at least don’t adore them, is that
      I spend so much time driving one
      around from place to place to place
      to . . . you get the idea. But, really,
      what is the difference between a
      serviceable SUV and a Lamborgini?
      In the male mind—the difference
      between utilitarian and its opposite,
      whatever you want to call it today.


      Four cars
      and a motorcycle,
      that’s about right.

    51. elishevasmom says:

      Diary of a Dervish

      The me-ness that is not you.
      The part of me I can’t reign in—
      like a hive of hornets—
      poked. Bouncing off
      each other, buzzing in a thousand
      different voices
      all at once all
      the same but different.
      Uncapped, untapped energy.

      The me-ness that I think back with later,
      when I am alone, and
      replay those conversations in
      my mind.

      Realizing the enduring,
      the patience you must have
      letting me prattle
      on about whatever at the time—
      not childish—but child-like.

      Your nodding in approval
      and understanding even as
      my swirling swarm
      has left you whirling
      in the dust, as the
      me-ness that is not you
      (but perhaps yearns to be, if even for a while)
      roils away, agitated energy, in
      search of a new target.

      The me-ness that is
      not you, still trying to win
      your approval (as I have my whole life)
      must finally come up for air,
      allowing the dust
      to settle.

      And the only tools that my me-ness
      (the one that is only me) has
      are these words—and
      if I can but place them properly
      you will come of your own you-ness to
      seek me out when
      I am not
      swarming in your face.

      Ellen Knight

    52. Day 19
      Prompt: Wheel

      Forever, Amen

      Seasons roll over,
      world revolves.
      What goes around,
      comes around.
      Endless wedding band,
      life’s circle.
      Death and resurrection,
      eternal life.


      They call me “Renaissance Man”.
      I laughed when friends saddled me with that name.
      I’m the guy they’ve always known, the same
      soft-spoken poet, slightly broken and on the mend.
      But there are a few modifications in the works,
      for this one who in poetic circles lurks.

      Diet and exercise are the thugs that lurk
      in the dark alley waiting for me. Baiting me to become the man
      who is leaner and living cleaner. I hope it works.
      I’d just and soon change my pants size, than my nickname,
      since anything with the word “BIG” in it sends
      me over the edge. But all the same

      it is a necessary adjustment. I’m trading all-beef patties on sesame
      seed buns for a more sensible menu. With turkey lurking
      I’m working on maintaining life on the back of deep knee bends
      and friends encouragement to make me a better man.
      And cancer can kiss my ass if it thinks it will keep my name
      on its insidious “honor roll” any time soon. A return to work

      has my head spinning like a Ferris wheel on speed, I need to work
      on getting my strength and stamina in line. I’m fine all the same
      but I feel tame, not the ferocious fellow, just mellow. I can name
      others more fiery that I, but my desire will not fade, left to lurk
      in the back of my mind. So this time, I will become the man
      who changes all he can and stay within himself. One of those men

      who will battle until all the fight is gone. Still, I’m mending
      the parts of me long in need of repair. It is there where I will work
      on re-inventing who I am, this supposed “Big Wheel” kind of man,
      (no big deal in my mind). I find that I am still the same
      clown who insists on penning poetry and will lurk
      in writing circles where I can reestablish my name.

      What’s in a name?
      Despite all these flaws I plan to mend,
      I will stand strong against maladies that lurk
      in my depleting shadow, and continue to work
      on getting well. You can tell I remain the same
      guy who’s starting to believe he is a “Renaissance Man”.

      Just a man; the same face and name,
      on the mend to become the same kind of guy he’s always been,
      with all new working parts who will lurk around life a while longer.

    54. RobHalpin says:

      Poor Cover

      Hunkered down,
      taking aim through spokes,
      a bullet
      takes his life.
      Wagon wheels make poor cover
      except in movies.

    55. Breakdown

      We were haring through Hartford late at night
      when something sharp reared up from the dark earth
      leaving us on the hard shoulder trying
      to change a tire without getting hit
      while our friend just gave up and called a cab.

      Nowadays I wonder about symbols
      and if maybe it’s just our destiny
      to be laughing on the side of the road
      because we’re too proud to admit defeat
      and no one else remembers we exist.

    56. JWLaviguer says:

      Wheel Sowwy

      Hewe’s a wed wose
      I’m wheel wheel sowwy
      I’m sad and I cwy
      Because I had speech thewapy


      Once a Huffy Angel,
      banana seat, low-rider,
      sissy bar reaching skyward,
      my father preaching the dangers
      of such a monstrosity,
      and me secure in my pomposity
      riding on the double-forked “chopper”.
      The bald “slick” in the back
      was right for traction action.
      Getting the front tire off the ground
      was the treat. It was truly neat
      until the lugs came loose
      and raised my voice two octaves!


      Chatter and flapping,
      spinning and grinning at the sound.
      The wheels go around,
      the faster your pedaled,
      the louder you “motor” revved.
      It was cool then, but from what I know now,
      this fool lost some major jack
      on the Mantle card mounted in the rear.
      But, your should have heard
      how loud Mickey hummed!

    59. Roundabout

      He couldn’t say the words,
      so he showered her with kisses.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      so he brought her little gifts.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      but he was there when times were rough.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      but his constant presence warmed her heart.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      but he would protect her with his life.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      even when he was old and gray.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      but she knew he loved her.

      He couldn’t say the words,
      because he was a dog.

    60. Wheels


      The wheels of time spin faster
      the more years you add.
      Milestones of celebration,
      birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays,
      become a blur.

      Is God speeding up the clock,
      or does it just seem so?

      I’ll be glad when time is no more.
      When I can sit on a log to visit
      an old or new friend
      and not be bound by
      the wheels of time.

    61. AT THE HELM (poem for children)

      While at the helm of Daddy’s boat,
      A storm begins to brew.
      Big waves come in – they rock us hard –
      But I know what to do.

      I’m at the helm of Daddy’s boat,
      But he shows no concern.
      He knows he’s taught me very well –
      I know it bow to stern.

      I’m at the helm of Daddy’s boat,
      I’m strong and have no fear.
      I bravely guide us through the storm
      Until we’re in the clear.

      While at the helm of Daddy’s boat,
      I shout out, “All aboard!”
      He lets me steer it ALL the time
      As long as it is moored.

    62. DAHutchison says:

      The Pup

      Amazing as it was to watch,
      The pup seemed more amazed,
      For every time he dropped the ball,
      The ball just rolled away.
      On down the hill,
      Oh, what a thrill,
      He wagged the whole way down.
      Raced and raced,
      To end the chase,
      And clutch it in his mouth.

      Over and over and over again,
      The pup seemed full a joy,
      At having found a playmate,
      In this automated toy.
      But what a shame,
      To need this game,
      To be the one and only.
      How would it feel,
      To make the wheel,
      Just because you’re lonely?


    63. RASlater says:

      The NeverEnding Saga

      The Wheel spins ever on
      Taking its characters from one country to the next
      One Way or another
      Spinning a tale too large to take in
      Capturing its visitors with prophecy and intrigue
      Description of splendid palaces and humble villages
      Men and women of Power
      Villains masquerading as heroes
      Heroes found among villagers, wolves, and savages
      Love entanglements and hatreds running deep
      From one Age into the next
      He held us captive even beyond his death
      The NeverEnding Saga ends this January
      Much to our anticipated dismay

    64. JanetRuth says:

      Cart-wheels in the Sky

      Dear little child, you don’t know it yet
      A moment to you is simply a breath
      A necessary means
      To reach The Beckoning ahead

      Moments spiral and gleam
      A subtly disguised requiem
      Wheeling through your thought
      To the melody of a dream

      You do not hear the rush
      Of time moan in the autumn hush
      Pushing to an ever-expanding hollow
      Disguised by living’s underbrush

      Reels of pleasure and pain
      Glimmer through Time’s ephemeral vein
      Children become women and men
      In its rising-falling refrain

      Run, dear little child, run
      Your intangible deliverance has begun
      Into the vexing arms of life
      And the jaws of the waning sun

      Nay fly, dear little child, I say fly
      Cart-wheel on clouds in a neon sky
      Lest your Moment deflates
      And your dream-well runs dry

    65. Flying Jenny

      The idea must have come
      from one of our parents
      but when it took root
      in our girls club, The Sunflowers,
      it was our own and we took after it
      like a bulldog to a bone.

      We claimed an old piece of farm machinery
      lying abandoned in the weeds.
      Our Uncle Jim, who often helped us
      with his tools, cut the axle in half so we could
      have a big wheel, about three feet in diameter,
      with the half axle as stem.

      After procuring Pappap’s permission,
      we proceeded to dig a hole under his willow,
      not too deep, but deep enough.
      Then my sister and I took Sunflower money,
      walked the mile to the feed mill
      and bought a sack of cement.

      It was twenty pounds or so
      and we paced ourselves, counting
      out the steps and taking turns
      carrying our burden back to Pappap’s
      where the oldest of us mixed it up,
      put the axle in the hole and let it set.

      We painted the wheel from leftover paints
      in Pappap’s basement: mostly blues, greens
      and whites avoiding his beloved battleship gray
      and had Uncle Jim make us some
      wooden seats so the metal spokes
      wouldn’t wear ridges in our bottoms.

      When the cement was set, the paint dry,
      we gave the wheel a spin
      and eureka it worked!
      We took turns riding and spinning
      till the trees, the road, the houses all blended
      together in a smear of colors.

      The kids passing by on the school bus
      were inquisitive when they saw our Flying Jenny
      and some even came for a country visit to try it out.
      We whirled about on our wheel until we got older
      and didn’t notice when it became so neglected
      Papap dug it up and threw it away.

    66. Wheel

      Everyone keeps talking about
      the invention of the wheel
      but I want to know
      who invented the axle
      and what makes it possible
      for one wheel to share its travels
      with another
      and not just be


      The wheel in the sky
      keeps on turning
      like an old clock
      before digital
      and who wouldn’t think
      we humans are the teeth
      in the gears
      of time
      but I want to know
      what winds us up each day
      and how do we remind them
      not to forget
      and never to


      One must have the mind of a wheel
      to live on a round earth
      under a dome of infinite stars

    67. Domino says:


      My arms spread wide,
      my children at my side,
      we fly through the field
      the grass passes by
      and cerulian sky
      as we whirl and wheel
      and spin and dive
      and laugh and

      Diana Terrill Clark

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