2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

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.

Click here to learn more.

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

127 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

  1. Nancy Posey


    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.

  2. po

    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.

  3. janmoram


    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

  4. Mike Bayles

    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.

  5. Tracy Davidson

    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

  6. Bruce Niedt

    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.

  7. elishevasmom

    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

  8. posmic


    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.

  9. sonja j


    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.

    1. DanielAri

      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

  10. ina

    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.

  11. PSC in CT

    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