Editors Blog

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

Today’s prompt, a Two-for-Tuesday prompt, comes from Sarah Bartlett.

Here are Sarah’s prompts:

  1. Write a gathering poem.
  2. Write a letting go poem.


Robert’s attempt a gathering and letting go poem:


One-by-one, the birds abandon their nests
to gather along power lines and tree branches
from which they launch into the sky. First,
in small groups, but then, they grow larger
and larger until, like a wave, they swell and
swirl before letting go for something new.


Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your prompts! Click here to learn more about Sarah.

Click here if you prefer sharing your poems on the WD Forum.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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131 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

  1. IrisD

    Letting Go

    Nineteen inches and seven pounds, eight ounces
    They swaddled you in soft blue blanket and placed you in my arms.
    You were our second and six years younger than your brother.
    What a gift of joy you brought to our life.
    Full of giggles and so content to just be anywhere near big bro.
    We were making plans for starting savings accounts for both of you.
    One night when you were a little over five months,
    I checked on you while sleeping on vacation, and you were blue.
    I yelled and gave you mouth to mouth until paramedics came.
    They reached for you and I had to release you into their care.
    I never held you again, but I know who holds you now.
    My mother soon followed you to heaven and I am sure
    She sings the same songs to you she sang to me.

  2. Marjory MT


    How many times have I let-go,
    opened my hand, released the hold,
    let-go the make believe?

    Did I, long ago, say Good-bye
    and turn away to hid the lie?
    Let-go, useless to cleave.

    Trying hard to hold on to tight
    to what is not mine, is not right.
    Let-go what cannot mend.

    How many dreams were in the night
    that dispersed in the morning light?
    Let-go, my heart defend.

    Life is in today, not in past,
    Good-by should end what cannot last.
    Time to grow…

    Let-go the promise, let-go the dream
    Let-go what was not as it seem.

  3. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 20
    Prompt: Gather or let go

    Gather and Release

    Gather memories, some bitter, mostly sweet.
    Release grudges, bitter thoughts, harsh judgment.

    Gather friends, in all walks: work, neighbors, family, leisure.
    Release those who bring out the worst, who are hostile, who hurt.

    Gather skills, experiences, new ideas, books.
    Release the clutter of a lifetime, to bless another’s life.

    Gather praise, encouragement, joy, peace, and love.
    Release pain, harm, criticism.

    What you gather, what you release,
    define who you become.

  4. RJ Clarken

    Smallish Bits

    If sadness permeates the room
    don’t take the proffered cup of gloom.
    Instead just gather up your wits
    and find the good in smallish bits.

    Let go of what you cannot fix.
    Consider: karma’s little tricks
    just signify a loser quits,
    so find the good in smallish bits.

    The smallish bits equate to days
    which can make sorrow but a phase
    of life. It runs in starts and fits
    so find the good in smallish bits.

    Take inspiration from its seed.
    Then nurture it. It will succeed.
    Time’s short. Don’t waste it on obits
    and find the good in smallish bits.


  5. Glory

    Gone For Good
    (Day 20)

    How you lied
    broke my heart,
    never did play your part.

    How I grieved
    how I sighed,
    at your many hurtful lies.

    How you laughed
    at my woeful face
    turned away, showed no grace.

    And now I smile
    forget those lies,
    find new love, in another’s eyes

  6. Yolee

    The Gathering and Letting Go

    It slips through the flap of my mind.
    Then the thought flickers in my heart.
    Both meet on the steps of the will.

    Clean closet.
    Break up with the ones that aren’t right.
    Let charity carry you in its case.

    Back and forth the hangers go, as if angels could not resist swinging.

  7. jared davidavich


    at the thunderous sound
    of pounding boots
    and scuffless shoes
    shuffling from cubicles
    and the factory floor
    to the doors
    between this world
    and the one that lies
    just outside
    beyond the fragments
    of thought and intent-
    when simple-minded masses
    pass each other
    without reason-
    collect your things
    forgetting not to leave
    your hopes behind
    as you walk away
    so they may guide
    your return journey
    in the morning

  8. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Caught up!

    A prayer poem…

    Thanksgiving Feast

    Thank you, Lord, for this food we are about to eat.
    It looks delicious, from its head down to its feet.
    I’ll have a limb. Don’t worry, it’s got four
    and it won’t be using them no more.

    In gratitude

    The Turkeys

  9. taylor graham


    Beyond trailhead, the way’s cut
    into rock and soil layered with centuries
    of needle-fall, veined with roots,
    maybe bones. Wind
    gives leverage, and that uncanny
    sound of archival records,
    nostalgic as 1930s German jazz. The past’s
    grooved into granite
    for a storm to play: history beyond
    recorded memory, if you
    could unravel its riffs and chords,
    its gathering of elemental
    and its letting go.

  10. janmoram

    Fallen Kings

    You gather the kings among us,
    before the wall, break bread
    before dawn –

    You gather the kings among us,
    gallant, insouciant, astride
    destriers –

    You gather them,
    dash against sun-soaked spears
    stitch pennants,
    into the bloodied sky

    bear the iron sword
    harvest a bitter spring
    fell friend and foe
    from hearth and home

    upon your shoulders
    heard in hushed voices

    you gather them among us

  11. foodpoet

    November 20

    Gathering and Letting Go

    Shuttle free in the time of war
    Neith will weave blood and fire
    Letting go the hopes of peace
    The ancient one walks the night
    Gathering threads
    Shedding truths so that
    None can find their way
    Through weft and warp

    Shuttle free in the time of war
    Walk away from blood and fire
    Gather dream threads
    Binding truths so
    That we can find our way
    Through weft and warp
    To the other side of peace

  12. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    There’s something about the way
    summer smells like ripe peaches,
    sun-dappled and warm in wicker
    baskets beneath shade trees in an
    orderly orchard, and something
    about the way a crop of apples
    perfumes the autumn air with the
    scent of fine wine and the look
    of jewels, garnets and topazes and
    rubies, in piles and stacks—can
    you stack apples?—and something
    about the way snow glints in the
    bright, cold sunshine, gathered
    into rounded figures with branches
    for arms and a worn top hat from
    somebody’s closet, smelling like
    mothballs, and something about
    the way an armful of daffodils
    dances yellow-gold in a wrought
    white vase, that reminds me of you.

  13. julie e.

    OKAY. here is the “kinder, gentler” rewrite of my CHOICES poem posted above somewhere, with my slip tucked nicely out of sight.


    You pull them back and let them go
    your weapons fly like little stones,
    the slingshot of a crazy child
    while me, I’m much more meek and mild.
    I’ll never understand, I s’pose,
    but that’s just how this marriage goes:
    I love to play ‘round with my words
    you love to play your Angry Birds.

  14. sonja j

    Taking in the Wash

    It is summer, and I am seven.
    My mother is still young. We
    are in the near field, the one
    kept mowed, behind the thick
    cape of spruces that buffers
    the north side of the house.

    All summer my mother hangs
    the wash outside to dry. She
    does this because we are poor,
    but I do not know this yet. I run
    between the lines where sweet
    bed sheets have begun to flap.
    I have never been in a sailboat,
    have not even read about it, so I
    pretend to be a Thracian princess
    in a temple of laundered air and

    My mother takes down the nimble
    clothes, and drops the pins for me
    to gather into the basket. I clip
    them onto my fingertips, my skinny
    arms, my nose. My mother lowers
    her arms to rest her tired shoulders,
    then looks west at the thunderheads
    building. She stretches her whole
    self, her full wingspan, to quickly fold
    the sheets, before the sky lets go.

  15. heiditoad

    Good NIght!

    I’m letting go of all of this, just for a brief brief spell
    I have to tarry off to bed, I don’t get up so well.
    And if I stay up any longer trying to compose
    I’ll be sitting at my desk trying not to doze!

  16. heiditoad

    Winters Last Breath

    The tree bends beneath my window under a gray blanket. Even after the snow, there is a leaf that is still clinging to its branch, holding on to its last bit of life, not wanting to let go.
    The branches move and the leaf stands still, as if by moving it would lose it’s will to remain.
    I wonder when that moment will be and if I’ll capture it; the moment it circles the ground before it comes to rest taking Winter’s last breath.

  17. Rorybore

    I don’t know about y’all…but if I am going to do this challenge again…..I’m gonna need some babysitting provided! Goodness….how are y’all keeping up? I so close to bribing one of my kids to write me a poem…but sadly, only one is old enough to write yet.

    Fleeting Moment

    Eye to eye
    I just passed by
    The wind was just too strong.

    A kiss goodbye
    too late for why
    Shouldn’t have stayed so long.

    Blue meets blue
    two missing two
    So torn by this wrong.

    Beautiful smile
    please stay awhile
    No longer cherish the song.

    Let it go
    no need to show
    Love for one that’s gone.

    By and Bye
    Sea always meets sky
    And storms become the calm.

    1. heiditoad

      Good NIght!

      I’m letting go of all of this, just for a brief brief spell
      I have to tarry off to bed, I don’t get up so well.
      And if I stay up any longer trying to compose
      I’ll be sitting at my desk trying not to doze!

      1. sonja j

        I hear you Roxy! I don’t know how these speed demons get stuff posted so fast. My brain needs all day to come up with a response to the prompt, so I’m always posting super late. Glad to have a fellow night owl!

  18. heiditoad

    I gathered all your thoughts and stored them in a box so that one day when your mind got old, they would not be lost.
    But the box stored in the basement had succumb to terrible floods, the years they just kept rolling in erasing all they could.
    I tried to save your memories and tucked them clean away hoping that when years had past I’d pull them out someday.
    But age came rapidly and quick with a thunderous raging roar. If only I could have picked, which houses it ignore.

  19. rustydude

    Nov 20

    Gathering to Let Go

    We gather our thoughts
    To let go our distress

    We gather our love
    To let go our hate

    We gather our family
    To hold on to place

    We gather our past
    To let go our mess

    We gather our faith
    To let go our fate

    We gather our Savior
    To hold on to grace

  20. Marie Elena


    My once-upon-a-goal was to score tickets
    to take my dad to Columbus to spend a crisp autumn Saturday
    with about a-hundred-and-five-thousand Buckeye fans
    gathered at “The Shoe.”
    We would relish the drum cadence,
    as “The Best Damn Band in the Land” enters the stadium.
    I’d anticipate misty eyes
    as they perform Script Ohio to Robert Planquette’s
    Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse.
    Silly? Perhaps.
    But the misty eyes now come from the fact that
    I waited too long.

    1. Marie Elena

      Dad is still “with us,” but can no longer physically handle the walk, the steps, sitting so long in the stands, sitting so long period, etc. Why didn’t I make sure it happened some time in the last 30+ years? I have no answer.

  21. De Jackson

    How to Write





  22. Mike Bayles

    Fall Leaves

    Leaves that fall make good stacks
    of yellows, reds and browns
    during calm weather
    to gather these remnants to see,
    for the young, the old and me.
    When children jump into them,
    they scatter,
    and we gather them once again
    to compost or mulch
    or let the winds disperse,
    for nothing can stay the same,
    once they fall to earth.

  23. PSC in CT

    The Gathering

    This tightly knit circle
    heads bowed for sustenance,
    hands clasped in community,
    structural support;
    pillars & underpinnings,
    family & friends, gathered all
    together to bolster, buttress,
    fortify, for one
    last farewell

  24. Marjory MT



    How many times have I let-go,
    opened my hand, released the hold,
    let-go the make believe?

    Did I, long ago, say Good-bye
    and turn away to hid the lie?
    Let-go, useless to cleave.

    Trying hard to hold on to tight
    to what is not mine, is not right.
    Let-go what cannot mend.

    How many dreams were in the night
    that dispersed in the morning light?
    Let-go, my heart defend.

    Life is in today, not in past,
    Good-by should end what cannot last.
    Time to grow…

    Let-go the promise, let-go the dream
    Let-go what was not as it seem.

  25. madcapmaggie

    Nov 20: write a gathering or a letting go poem

    The Blathering

    Let us all listen to our family fable
    as we gather round the holiday table.

    We’ll pretend not to notice that Shelley and Bill
    won’t speak to each other. Lucky looks cannot kill.

    Who will win the fight to the right to the knife?
    Carving the bird brings out posturing, strife.

    Jack’s sure to tell us his mother’s was better.
    Mom’s ten years gone, or I’d make him go get her.

    At last come the slices of fresh pumpkin pie,
    heave a sigh of relief and bid all good-bye.

    Margaret Fieland

  26. Sara McNulty

    Poetic Asides November challenge – Day 20
    Write a gathering poem.
    Write a letting go poem.

    Meeting Needs

    We rummaged through closets
    gathering up good clothing
    that we would not use again,
    the kind that follows you
    from house to house,
    season to season. Shirts,
    pants, sweaters, dresses,
    coats, and jackets. Packed
    them and shipped to friends
    who had lost all but their
    lives and pets, in a hurricane.
    Heartbreak, anguish, almost
    violation of life. How painless
    to let go of possessions
    you do not need to foster
    a new life for friends.

  27. Michelle Hed

    White Wings of Winter

    Winter comes diving in
    and wraps her arms
    around us, cocooning us
    in peaceful splendor.

    When daylight cracks,
    we walk the frosted garden,
    a barren landscape
    washed clean
    and given new clothes.

    We linger,
    not wanting to let go
    of the magic surrounding us;
    but haunted by ordinary things,
    we return home…but,
    not without a few longing glances…
    trying to freeze the magic as a snapshot
    within my mind.

  28. Michelle Hed

    Minnesota Migration

    We say goodbye
    to the Loons
    (no, not Aunt Edna and Uncle Bob),
    the Cranes
    (no, his first name is not Frasier),
    the Blue birds
    (no more rainbows till Spring)…

    and we turn around
    and say Hello
    to the Snowy Owls
    (if we’re lucky),
    the Snow Buntings
    (if they sit still long enough),
    and the Tundra Swan
    (as the move south from the Arctic).

    Even in the North, we have birds
    basking in our southern climes.

  29. JRSimmang

    Her hands are old and scarred and weathered,
    but she still can use them
    before they tire out.
    She is bent and stooped,
    a common malady for a woman her age…
    in her position.

    It wasn’t long ago she used to sit on the lap
    of her mother
    in the crisp autumn mornings
    and listen to her songs
    melt with the songs of the birds in the trees.
    She used to thing that her mother was a raven,
    and wise,
    and never afraid to use her talons.
    But that was long ago.
    As she stoops over the golden wheat,
    she reminds herself
    that in a few short
    hours, she’ll be asleep once again.

    She had a boy when she was 16.
    He was taken to quickly to receive his name,
    but she always knew it would be Komnan.
    It was a family name
    built on family values.
    He, however, would not be family.
    He was torn from her arms by the man
    who used to be his father.
    They didn’t share any words.

    The sun gets especially hot around 2,
    at least the time her bones has.
    She smiles to herself.
    Oh, the twists and turns of a life lived out of her control.

    He was a man,
    like all the other men before him.
    He had a pretty smile and his eyes
    were just crooked enough to still be called perfect.
    She was taken with the man
    who said he loved her.
    She knew it was only because he was
    stuck inside her,
    but it still felt good to hear someone say it.
    Afterward, she cried.
    He left into the steeled night,
    the shadows created by the moon enveloping him fully.

    He didn’t return until she had the child.
    It wasn’t him, though.
    It was a blackened facsimile of the man she once knew.
    It was pure hatred that boiled into his flesh.
    He didn’t say a word.

    She usually gets nostalgic at this time of year.
    It must be the changing of the leaves,
    the chill in the air
    driving you inside to the hearth where you are left with little more than your memories
    and a hot cup of tea.
    She reminds herself that the days are
    going to get shorter.
    She’ll have more time to sleep and

  30. bluerabbit47

    Letting Go

    What she meant
    to do
    to me
    when she did it
    I don’t
    really know
    but I really suspect.
    The intent
    to hurt
    was worse than the deed,
    since I
    never meant
    any harm to her.
    In the end,
    It doesn’t matter.
    To carry
    her farther
    would do me no good.
    Though she’ll
    never know,
    I now forgive her.
    Like a balloon
    I am let go.

  31. julie e.


    You pull them back and let them go
    your weapons fly like little stones
    in the slingshot of a cranky child
    your attitude is far from mild.
    I’ll never understand, I s’pose,
    but that’s just how this marriage goes
    I’ll keep on flinging out my words
    while you just play your Angry Birds.


    1. julie e.

      Whoops! This was supposed to be a funny thing where it was really the Angry Birds game that’s the “little stones” as weapons, but it looks like my (freudian) slip is showing. :-/
      i may attempt a rewrite!

  32. taylor graham


    I got here by curiosity – those old ruins clinging
    to cliff. Crumbling masonry, free-standing walls
    and archways dreaming of collapse – almost lost
    under vines. A small pine rooted into shale.

    No, it was the dog who brought me. From the back-
    seat, he said in Dog, Stop here! Then he pulled
    me up stone steps, to the mouth of shafts, sniffing
    the history of yesterday, or a hundred years ago –

    he wouldn’t say. Then a car pulled up, a man
    jumped out, GPS and map in hand. He raced up
    stairs, ducked into tunnels, peered into crannies –
    for what? A plain glass bottle with a piece of paper

    inside, and what looked like buttons. He logged
    his name; took his token, left a coin in its place.
    Checked his GPS and drove away. Still, I felt
    the old broken walls trying to message me,

    sending silent percussion waves, stone to ear-
    drum. These abandoned ruins were gathering
    us all in, not yet ready to let us go. My ears
    tingled. What was it that brought me here?

  33. DanielAri

    “Stack 45”

    I get lox, bagels and just what I wished;
    my daughter’s art in my favorite colors;
    my folks send a card with a whoopee cush-
    ion; my in-laws’ holds a hundred dollars.
    My wife also gives me a brand new, plush

    messenger bag and hand-sewn pants for dance.
    I buy myself a year’s supply of mints
    (the ones I prefer), and from the App Store,
    Ticket To Ride—now I can play with friends
    who live far away. My life fills muchly.

    I’ve made improvisation my practice
    and language my discipline and family
    my priority and spirit my plinth
    and gratitude my neighborhood and glee
    my tiramisu and play my pillow.

    Daily vibrating in grooved mystery,
    it’s Me on 45, sides A and B.

  34. bluerabbit47


    We stand
    by the strand
    of highway
    and Telluride
    on a gleaming
    day between
    heat and chill
    looking out
    on pastures
    green still
    and peaks
    touched with
    snow. A hired
    rancher’s tractor
    pulls a contraption
    that gathers
    cut grasses into
    rangy rolls.
    All the sweet
    summer is soon
    stored away
    to feed winter
    stock as surely
    as stock earned
    in other ways
    has been
    gathered to hire
    a rancher.

  35. julie e.

    FOSTER(ing) LOVE

    I swaddled you in blankets
    and my love
    and soothed your cries away
    in my arms
    and nestled you close
    to my heart
    speaking hope and calm and
    “you belong”
    and walking circles circles.

    I felt the need to fill
    your soul
    with mother love I missed
    when young
    so when I last would kiss
    your face
    I’d know hope and calm and
    “I Belong”
    your heart would carry always.

    *we were emergency infant foster care providers for our county for ten years. It reinforced what i’d known all along, that a child doesn’t need to be of your own flesh to belong to your heart. We adopted 2. One of the most amazing experiences of my life.

      1. julie e.

        thank you, Hannah! i loved it, though i didn’t always love the sleepless nights at the time! LOL! i’m just glad God could use my own lack of nurturing to drive me to nurture others. Years later i read about how much those early months mean in a child’s development regarding their sense of self and security and was so amazed to realize my heart had known all along.

    1. Marie Elena

      I’ve tried over and over to post a response to you for this one, Julie, but with no luck. I’m determined this time to tell you how impressed I am with both your poem, and your heart. If only the world was filled with more like you.

    2. julie e.

      AWWW! Thank you sweet ladies, so encouraging! I know people often say “I got more out of it than i gave,” all humble, but i loved the giving and i learned so much about people in different circumstances than mine in the whole process. It’s always hard for me to act like i’ve done something big when i know other foster families who have done it for so many more years and for so many more children, but i know what i did counts too.

      And thanks for holding strong against the posting gremlin, Marie Elena. ;-)

  36. Domino


    1) Preparation

    Gathering supplies,
    sweet potatoes, apples, flour
    pumpkin, mincemeat, cherries
    lemon, custard, coconut.

    Rolling dough,
    filling pie shells

    Fragrant scents rising
    from the ovens, then
    cooling on the counter
    lined up circles of
    edible bliss.

    2) Letting them go

    Two to the office
    two to go home with
    four to the homeless shelter,
    and two
    to the sergeant in charge
    of my soldier-son’s four-day pass for

    Just keep three or four to the side
    to feed the holiday guests.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  37. shellaysm

    “Gather and Let Go”

    Early within your life,
    gather experience
    (alike: joys and regrets)
    with utmost gusto.

    At adulthood’s shadow,
    sort them into two sacks.
    Label: joys and regrets.
    Leave room to welcome in
    new additions to each.

    Mid-life, take counted stock
    of the load you juggle.
    Smile at each regret;
    thank it for its lessons,
    then swiftly let it go.

    So, in the twilight days,
    all the weight you’ll carry
    will include no regrets;
    just a life full of joy!

  38. barbara_y

    Because it’s what a dragon does
    I gather things: opal rings, sea shells
    and acorn cups; words whose meanings
    contradict; scraps of leather, squares
    of silk batik. And leather books with empty pages;
    broken chains from graveled parking lots;
    the backs of earrings prised with onyx claws,
    painstakingly, from sidewalk cracks to heap
    and keep beneath my leather wings. I hold–close
    as my head, my scales, my aches
    and extra pounds–the things my reptile eyes
    have read–and haven’t read yet;
    dust balls, cat hair, plastic red hotels;
    crimson pears, freshwater pearls,
    and pork and beans.

  39. DAHutchison

    The Pillars

    In dogwood dell,
    They spoke in tongues,
    Beside the serpents’ den,
    And gathered by the river,
    Cleansing hearts of mortal sin.
    They read of Godly sacrifice,
    On altars stained with blood,
    Of Moses and his covenant,
    Of Noah and the flood,
    But most of all, salt pillars,
    How they loathed those aberrant souls,
    Doomed to hell for feeling things,
    O’er which I can’t control.
    I tossed and turned,
    And still I stirred,
    For all they won’t forgive,
    And though it was my family,
    I knew I had to live,
    Apart from them or lose myself,
    Or lose his gentle touch,
    And never graze the sinews,
    Of the man I love so much.

      1. DAHutchison

        Julie, part of me was afraid the poem would come off too stark. While there are a lot of simple people in my family, I actually don’t know any parents like this at all!

  40. Casey

    “The Empty Chair”

    At table, next to empty chair
    we gather thoughts; give thanks and bear
    to muddle through the holiday
    and mourn for him who is away;
    Missing In Action_ none knows where.

    Our wall holds baby pictures there;
    Our family remembers; shares.
    And here, his dog; ol’ George, he waits
    at table next to empty chair.

    We raise our glass; the wine is fair.
    The food delights mid candle’s flair.
    Our hearts let go, but long the day;
    a mist of sadness hangs and stays.
    I pause, observe ol’ George; aware
    at table, next to empty chair.

    (Day 20; A Gathering and Letting Go poem for Nov PAD)
    Form used: Rondeau (Quintet; Quatrain; Sestet)

  41. posmic


    Let it go, the story still in
    the drop of beer in the bottom
    of each bottle. Whisper it out

    with water; then imagine how
    each empty will tell a story
    about you: Did you have

    a wild party, or did you drink
    all twelve by yourself (and,
    if so, in what span of time)?

    Imperial red. Milk stout.
    The names are stories, too.
    The labels. The bottle caps.

    Your son likes to gather those,
    click them together like gears.
    What a thing to let him play with,

    but there’s no denying that
    each one is each one, attractive
    to magpies and little boys.

    Let him keep them for a while
    or a longer while, bordering on
    forever, so that a few years

    from now, you’ll be surprised
    he still has them. How did that
    happen? How is it that years pass

    and some small things stay with us?
    Toss the bottles in the bin in the alley
    to be crushed, refilled, made new.

  42. claudsy

    Looking good this morning, all. Wish I could stay, but NaNo has me tied in more knots than an sailors hands. Here’s my contribution for the day.

    PAD 20: Two for Tuesday Prompt–Write a gathering poem followed by a letting-go poem.


    Labor Day is gone away,
    All Hallows Eve yet to come,
    Giants of the forest await
    Gleaners of dropped fruit;
    Kids scratching in floor’s litter,
    Hunting, playing, harvesting.
    Hickories and walnuts tower
    Over sibling hazels clumped
    Together, protected by numbers,
    A yellow-orange ball at forest’s edge.

    No Sacrifice

    Gathered with pride,
    Assembled into treats
    For winter’s enjoyment,
    Leave home as cookies,
    Pies, candies nestled
    Within colored boxes,
    Tins and on pretty plates
    Gathered throughout year’s
    Long months for this time.
    Can there be anything as
    Gratifying as sending one’s
    Caring to those who can
    Use the cheer at this most
    Magnificent time of year?

  43. Andrew Kreider

    Pub Team

    I only robbed a bank one time in my
    life. It was a Nat West I think, by the
    off license up the top of Gladstone Road.

    It took three months to assemble the team:
    a paranoid former taxi driver
    a games mistress with a love of firearms

    a charming sociopath, an ex-con
    who was good with a blow torch, an orphan
    we could shove down a ventilation shaft,

    a numbers genius who only talked
    to himself, and a witty Irishman
    no one could work out why he’d been hired.

    Sometimes we still meet at the pub to talk
    about the old days. We formed a quiz team.
    Turns out the Irish guy knows everything.

  44. RASlater

    Chains on my legs

    Pictures and papers laying about
    Scattered petals of a dying flower
    Memories and broken dreams
    Chains about my legs
    No order at all
    A life of chaos
    One day at a time
    Sorting it all out
    Bringing order to past and present
    So I can let it all go
    To embrace the future
    And fly with the eagles
    Released from my chains

  45. Nancy Posey


    The house full again with laughter,
    noisy footfalls along the hall,
    down the stairs,

    When someone calls Mama,
    I am the one who answers
    without impatience

    Kitchen work becomes
    our choreography, stage blocking,
    circling around each other

    opening then shutting the doors–
    percussion of the oven, cabinets,
    refrigerator, freezer

    Passing the calendar, averting my eyes,
    avoiding that old cliché— time flies,
    at least when they are here

    This gathering more joyful now
    since assemble from across four states,
    dispensation from workday lives

    How did I miss the joy of the noise,
    the happy chaos living
    all those years under this roof?

    As I celebrate our abundance,
    I gaze backward through years
    I must relive now in days until they go.

  46. Jane Shlensky


    Even the lost sheep come home
    for his funeral, the ones who rushed
    away in anger, reached back now
    and then in hope and pain, saying
    I love you I’m sorry I cannot help
    being me please understand forgive.

    At last, he gets what he wanted most,
    to have all his children back beneath
    his roof, his family together, he
    a thickening vapor of sorrow, memory,
    he watching them from aloft to see
    if they will remember happy times,
    if they will eat and laugh together,
    if they will reach for one another
    when they let him go.

  47. Marianv


    And now the time has come for us to go our separate ways
    We say that we will be together someday soon.
    The rhythm of our shared lives has slowed and stopped
    You say that this time apart will help our love grow stronger.

    Another holiday has come and gone and I remember
    How carefully the snowflakes fell between our faces
    And landed on the collars of our coats.
    The smell of damp wool as we held each other close
    While the crows circled above us, jeering “Never!”e

    Please don’t let that be the last of you and me
    I still sit at my desk each morning
    Ready to send the message to tell you I still care
    Instead I tell you how I enjoyed the story of your day
    And mention how lucky you are to have the sun
    Your sports scores are impressive as is the way
    You have made new friends and done your share
    To help the less –privileged (how fortunate they are
    To be so close to you…)…

    My friends are still around, but none of them is you-
    What I really want to say is to tell you “I love you”
    And beg you to come back to me forever.

  48. pmwanken

    (a double shadorma)

    One by one
    they arrived: Moms and
    Dads; brothers
    and sisters;
    friends and family gathered
    to say their goodbyes.

    One by one
    they marched from the room:
    brave soldiers,
    ready to
    serve with pride. We let them go…
    from sight, but not thoughts.

  49. Miss R.

    Christmas Eve

    The lights are bright and the music jolly.
    We leave behind a long year of folly
    To remember a Gift given with grace
    For every nation, tribe, tongue, and race.
    The house smells sweetly of bountiful care,
    Filled full with good food and hands that prepare.
    The pine tree adds to the fragrant delight.
    We eat, and we sing, and we talk through the night.
    With hearts full of thanks, we all exchange gifts.
    Despite the year’s darkness, every heart lifts.

  50. JanetRuth

    We Gather…

    They filter through our being
    We gather in their wake
    Our portion of their rendering
    Fond memories to make

    Ephemeral allotment
    Yet surging through our grasp
    We gather in their aftermath
    Fond memories to clasp

    Invisible out-pouring
    Above, around, beneath
    We gather from life’s moment-spring
    Fond memories to keep

    We Let Go

    The tree must relinquish its grandeur
    The bloom must surrender its mirth
    The ravishing splendor of nature
    Soon returns back to the earth

    The child must let go of its mother
    The mother must release her ‘dears’
    For love is a double-edge wonder
    Of beautiful laughter and tears

    …for just as the wake of moments
    Renders love’s gifts in its flow
    Its surge is a tender-sweet torment
    Of holding and letting go

    Thank-you to Robert and all the wonderful and encourager poets and commentators! I have tried many times to thank you or comment personally and have had to give up due to their technical glitch.

  51. JWLaviguer

    Let Me Go

    Let me go
    rock and roll
    eat drink and be merry
    for my days here are done

    We had some good times
    and we had some sad times
    but we always got through them
    because we were together

    And now we must part
    for He has called me back
    and I cannot deny Him
    be at peace, my love.

  52. JWLaviguer

    Let Us Gather

    Let us gather
    around the fire
    and speak of better days

    Let us laugh
    as we reminisce
    back when the world was new

    Let us cry
    as we remember
    those who have gone before us

    Let us hold on
    and perservere
    and live through the pain

    Let us live
    and love
    and just…be.

  53. Ber

    Wake me up Inside

    Come sit closer
    let me feel your breath on my neck
    kiss me so softly
    give my soft lips a soft peck

    Wake me up inside
    put your hands in mine
    undress me with your eyes
    you are so fine

    Biting the side of your lip
    as thoughts run through your mind
    imagination overload
    heart beats out of time

    Wanting lusting
    craving at will
    for you to gather me up
    in your hands of still

    Eyes that are brighter
    than the sunshine of the day
    sparkling like stars
    shooting my fear away

    Gather me up
    in your strong arms of love
    hold me to gently
    enjoy my love

  54. Walt Wojtanik

    COMING AND GOING (Sijo Form)

    Family gathers in the embrace and honor of those long passed,
    unresolved issues dissolve, burdens carried longer than they should.
    Coming together, now everything is good – as it could be.

    Children fully grown, home for another lively repast,
    fast becoming the next generation toasted in celebration
    of lives in remembrance in some semblance of passing.

  55. Walt Wojtanik


    Every day in April.
    And equally in November.
    Each Wednesday in between
    we can be seen penning,
    proudly poeming. Our ersatz home.
    Come one, come all –
    come together. Wipe your feet,
    close the door and keep your feet
    off of the furniture. Write a spell!

  56. Connie Peters

    Well one thing about insomnia, you get some writing done.

    Gathering My Thoughts

    Gathering my thoughts like family at a feast
    The jolly, the kind, the serious, the quirky
    Reacquainting from greatest to least
    Gathering my thoughts like family at a feast
    Some working through like active yeast
    Picking over them like leftover turkey
    Gathering my thoughts like family at a feast
    The jolly, the kind, the serious, the quirky

    Letting Go

    Letting go of something or someone
    means they no longer have a hold on you.
    Releasing them sets yourself free.
    Submitting to God’s power
    means you’re no longer under theirs.

  57. Walt Wojtanik


    I can hold you no longer.
    My resolve is stronger and
    rest beckons you. Love has kept
    us connected long after life
    had rejected you. I had protected you
    the best I could. It was good
    while it lasted but I am moving
    past it. My memories will linger.
    But I must send you, my love.
    Our time has ended.