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2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m always so thankful for these challenges, and the community that’s formed around this blog. I hope everyone, whether you live in the States or abroad, has a moment to reflect on something for which they’re thankful not just today but every day.

Speaking of thankful, I’m thankful for today’s prompt from Brenda Bishop Blakely.

Here’s Brenda’s prompt: Write a paradise poem. What is your idea of paradise? Is it a person, place, or thing? Maybe it is an idea which changes like weather changes. Is it simple or complex? It can be what ever you want it to be. Create your own paradise! Perhaps it is even paradise lost.

Robert’s attempt at a Paradise Poem:


A pen, some paper, and a dirt trail,
your hand in mine without a map
or time to be “back,” just an afternoon
to explore and witness and whatever
else might come naturally to us.


Thank you, Brenda, for the wonderful prompt! Click here to learn more about Brenda.

For those who prefer sharing poems on the WD Forum, click here.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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98 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

  1. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 22
    Prompt: Write a paradise poem.


    To eat as much 85%-cacao dark chocolate as I want
    and not gain an ounce?

    To bask on the beach all day without a smidge of sunscreen?

    To walk these hills and not pant or swear or have aching joints afterward?

    To spend hours together as a family, and not one argument break out?

    To hear that all the wars ended, all the famine disappeared, all the people
    had the medicine and treatment and healing they needed?

    To wake up in a perfect place, with perfect people, where no tears fall,
    no cries are heard, only laughter?

    Paradise won’t come to earth, but Jesus did,
    and Paradise is where He lives.
    I’m signed up.
    Are you?

  2. JRSimmang


    Perhaps the trouble is never having
    been in paradise.
    I would say a stately manor, filled with
    turkish delight,
    sounds rather nice.
    A faraway beach complete
    with cabana umbrellas in the drinks
    sounds like the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
    A snow-tipped mountain in the middle of mountains
    could do just the thing to calm my nerves.
    But, that is here.
    That is the world.
    Isn’t paradise an escape?
    If I sit alone in my manor with all my things
    am I still not sitting alone with too many rooms
    to even fill?
    If I sit with my toes touching the Atlantic
    do the toes on the riot line no longer exist?
    If I am on top of the mountain
    is my view of the rising ozone not clearer?
    Paradise does not exist here.
    Paradise cannot exist here.
    Pardise has found a way to constantly elude.
    It is a dream in between the eyelids of a restless night.
    It cannot be touched,
    it cannot be held.
    It is without ever being.

  3. foodpoet

    Paradise, when is paradise not
    A heaven,
    Right around the corner take
    A Rest with paradise spring wines
    Dine in lonely paradise Utah.
    In Alaska rest
    Sprawl and cast a line into
    Evening snow echoes.

  4. julie e.


    in my egocentric paradise
    (where “one size fits all” actually does fit me)
    streets are not to be paved in gold,
    silver being much more flattering to my skin tones.
    I am thin and fit yet I eat chocolate truffles
    I enjoy exercise and actually go running
    on purpose, not because the dog got out,
    my house is always drop-in ready, as in,
    “Who’s that at the door? The Queen?
    Why of course, come in for tea
    and scones I made fresh only this morning!”
    my family thanks me daily for
    shopping/cooking/cleaning/wisdom/love/encouragement/humor under pressure…
    Oh wait.
    I think I’ve wandered out of paradise
    downstairs into fantasy….

  5. Miss R.


    So accustomed to struggle as we are,
    Can our paradise be a place of peace?
    We strive for just that, to be sure,
    But when war and strive actually cease,
    Will we find joy in passionless harmony?
    How long will it be until we get bored?
    Will we enjoy a world of soft delights,
    Or long to end it and cut the cord?
    Is humanity made for paradise?
    I suppose we’ll have to wait and see
    As we pray for the transformation
    That prepares us for eternity.

  6. janmoram


    You are shroud in paper light
    shuffle the suns,
    kings first.

    Murmur summer prayers

    for a few cubes of ice,
    cool white sheets.

    You play with love,
    anoint gods
    buckle lovers
    to one another

    ankle to ankle,
    wrist to wrist

  7. Nancy Posey


    In four days, the kitchen will be clear
    of all reminders of the meal, left-
    overs eaten or tossed, turkey platter
    back on the topmost shelf.

    We’ll be free to saunter barefoot
    through the living room, even
    in the dark, unafraid of stumbling
    over Legos or tiny metal planes.

    No one will be beckoning us
    upstairs when we’re down or
    downstairs when we’re up. No one
    will be calling to us at all–

    Except by phone to ask if we found
    the missing shoe (No.) or Barbie’s
    Palomino (Yes. Under our bed)
    and when we ‘re heading that way.

    For now, though we never say it
    aloud, this is paradise: No reason
    not to sit right down in the floor
    for sticky kisses and Monopoly.

  8. madcapmaggie

    Nov 22:write a paradise poem


    The turkey has learned to dress itself,
    and jumps right into the oven.
    It figures out when to knock on the door
    and exits, all without shovin’.

    The dishes form an orderly line
    on the counter to the left of the sink,
    then soaped up and washed, they climb on out,
    dry out and stack quick as a wink.

    Guests, who arrive exactly on time,
    bring flowers or pie for dessert.
    They fight over who will help us clean up.
    No one is surly or curt.

    We all enjoy a walk round the block,
    remark on the beautiful weather.
    And if your holiday’s ever like this,
    well, knock me down with a feather.

    Margaret Fieland

  9. Sara McNulty

    Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 22
    Write a paradise poem

    Eden Beach

    On pink pristine sands,
    nacreous under amber moon,
    ocean bedded down,
    water still in sleep,
    we recline on blanket
    of fleece, fragrant with scent
    of jasmine, joyous in solitude,
    ardor arousing flames
    that shoot and spark
    from flesh soaked
    in secretions
    of synchronized

  10. RJ Clarken

    Paradise Lost – A Reunion

    “In this fool’s paradise, he drank delight.” ~George Crabbe

    In paradise, we drink delight
    and toast ourselves, which is our right.
    Friends’ poetry, we each recite
    as it gets later in the night.

    A feast that’s fit for king and knight
    is what is served. We reunite.
    Strange boundless stories come to light
    as it gets later in the night.

    Another round. Both red and white
    are poured in paradise. We’re tight,
    but not enough to be contrite
    as it gets later in the night.

    “Those were the days,” I say, “Despite
    the mess we’ve made.” (Guess words can bite.)
    From there we all get less polite
    as it gets later in the night.


  11. Bruce Niedt

    So late! I blame the holiday. This one was partly inspired by my own music-themed prompt for day 21:


    I didn’t need two tickets to get here.
    I haven’t had any trouble here –
    I haven’t met any strangers or gangstas.

    It’s not by any dashboard lights,
    and they haven’t paved it to put up a parking lot.

    I haven’t had a cheeseburger here,
    and I haven’t even stammered its name:

    So how I do I know it’s where I am?
    I don’t, till I find you. Until then,
    I’ll just spend another day in it.

  12. Mike Bayles


    The creek at my side
    whispers a special language
    only I can understand.
    Coming from an unknown origin
    it makes its way
    to the river.
    While walking in greenery
    and facing the sun,
    I forget for a moment
    that I am in town.
    In soft breezes
    I find the spirit of a muse,
    a moment’s inspiration,
    so timeless to me.

  13. Mike Bayles


    The creek at my side
    whispers a special language
    only I can understand.
    while coming from an unknown origin
    it makes its way
    to the river.
    While walking in greenery
    and facing the sun,
    I forget for a moment
    that I am in town.
    In soft breezes
    I find the spirit of a muse,
    a moment’s inspiration,
    so timeless to me.

  14. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    The touch of your hand against
    me as you kneel on the bed
    behind me and breathe with me
    and splay your hand, cool, not
    sweaty like mine, across my belly
    and apply counter-pressure to the
    tangled muscles in my back until
    I groan—the feel of you there
    as I arch into your touch and gasp
    for more strength, more courage,
    more of you to carry me through
    the pain—the fearless calm in
    your eyes as you let me clench
    your hand hard enough to grind
    delicate finger bones together
    and smooth my soaked hair off
    my forehead—the tears that drip
    from your cheeks onto mine as
    your gift to me, and mine to you,
    sleeps winsomely in my arms
    and you pray . . . these are paradise.

  15. DanielAri

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
    Belly full here, and just under the wire on 11/22 PST:

    “I got a pair o’ dice”

    Even I can see what’s sacrilegious—
    especially hiking Mt. Diablo—
    about suggesting paradise as this:
    shooting craps at Joker’s Wild Casino,
    all my old crew and I against the house.

    It’s not the industrial-strength deco,
    nor the band exhuming Grandmaster Flash.
    It’s being with the gang and letting go
    of everything except one little wish:
    for the dice to land on two perfect twos.

    Paradise comes from simple attention
    where danger and caution are held without.
    Concentrate on the pass line—a vision
    of sweet deliverance in a pay out.
    Rattle the bones and come on, Little Joe!

    You can be anywhere without a doubt
    and reach heaven in a triumphal shout.

  16. sonja j

    Paradise Hill

    Everyone knows where it is, it’s right
    out the back of town. The families that
    live up there have kept the view clear.
    You can take a nice walk after dinner,
    summer evenings.

    First, as you come up the ridge, you’ll
    see the Longfellows as far north
    as the light will show them. After you
    pass the Chadbourne’s barn, all board
    and batten, you can look to the other
    side, and the Presidentials stretch south.
    In that direction, you can’t even see any
    roads or houses, though of course there
    are some. Just hemlock, firs, spruce,
    until they blend into great hummocks,
    foothills first dark green, then navy
    turning to grey.

    At the very top is the old burying grounds.
    It’s all set around with an old iron railing,
    and enough five-needle pines to keep it
    shady and mossed over. The families don’t
    mind folks sitting down to rest and appreciate
    the place. Plus, you know the hill will never
    go all to condos, what with the best site
    already taken by gravestones.

    It isn’t like Height of Land, which any fool
    could find by accident, driving around
    state roads. You have to go past what
    looks to be the end of anything important,
    and the road gets kind of hinky. That keeps
    it mostly for the locals, so no one bothers
    the highway department to go fixing the
    potholes. Sometimes, the summer people
    see the street sign, and ask why we call it
    that. We just look at them.

  17. rustydude

    November 22 –

    Paradise Every Day

    Paradise – is the awakening sun chasing the lost bits
    Of shadows of the moon like ghosts of foggy mist
    Meandering rivers and valleys their private path of play
    Slowly each finds his place to sleep, aloft, until end of day.
    I saw paradise – in the day

    Paradise is the cottonwoods draped in crystal allure
    Winter’s kiss, clasping each out-stretched branch, clear and pure
    Crackling songs as they sway, are they glass, or are they trees?
    Diamonds filtered, fumbling in the cold, crisp, krypton breeze,
    I saw paradise – in the trees

    Paradise is the laughter in a voice, unmistakably belonging
    Young, innocent, playfully and bright, wanting not anything
    As he chases with powerless legs strapped in a tiny wheelchair
    His smiles and delight make our complaints wither in compare
    I saw paradise – in the chair

    Paradise is the thought, the knowing, traveling that too familiar road
    Home lights illuminating, your love waiting, even in a humble abode
    Regardless the fires, precarious alligators treading, requiring your slay
    Coming home to enduring love, is life’s perfect infusion to any day
    I see paradise – everyday

  18. PSC in CT

    Worry Stone

    There’s no pilfering peace
    but if she could, she would
    slip it inside her pocket
    steal some smooth, cool, serene.
    Onyx, agate, jasper – blues and greens
    begging to be rubbed, buffed, fret
    chafed by frazzled fingers,
    worried by the weight (inside, in-
    visible) uncountable cuts, slights, slices
    (in a week or a month they’ll be mean-
    ing-less, but) today their scorch, sizzle,
    sting keeps her awake, aware, aching
    for some solace from the discord
    and heaven, she reckons, is harmony

  19. Ber

    Paradise Falls

    Lake of wonder
    make my soft gentle thought open up
    just as you do
    let them spread like wings of wonder
    imagination of rolling thunder

    Flashing ideas
    flowing deep beneath my craving calms
    lusting taste buds
    thrusting themselves
    against one another
    like hungry wolves
    growing like fresh sown bulbs

    Flourishing away
    setting food for thought
    inspiring those who read
    of my paradise
    will want its secret ground
    rolling waves
    make even the strongest heart pound

    Sand that gently finds it way
    between my toes
    over the hills where no body goes
    more beauty beyond your wildest dreams
    images that no one could paint
    like rainbow beams

    Paradise i hear you call me
    im hungry for your grasp
    holding onto my mind
    adventure in my path

  20. rustydude

    November 22 – Paradise

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

    Range in the Sky

    Not sure what caused this all to come to mind,
    Ain’t ill, just celebratin’ life, feelin’ just fine.

    One bequest though for when I die,
    Take me home, to that range in the sky.

    Where the herd and horizon never end,
    Every campfire warms a pot and many-a friend.

    When the ground gets parched and the roots are dry,
    I’ll round up the clouds and pour rain from the sky.

    With a cool breeze silent from the east,
    It’ll nourish the earth, for a bountiful feast.

    Won’t be a need to hurry, no cause to fret,
    Though the sun may touch the horizon, she’ll never set.

    Evil of night, dark, forever gone, eternally lost,
    Blood of a Lamb, a perfect Son, its ultimate cost.

    No matter the trail the mount will never tire,
    This range is open – not a post – no sight of wire.

    When you shed a tear and strive to cope,
    I’ll steer a ray of light, to shed some hope.

    The Paint and I will race the cirrus and give a hasty chase,
    We’ll make that cloud break, and sun beams touch your face.

    I’ll sit round the fire and hear stories from David and Paul,
    They’ll tell of their adventures and help make sense of it all.

    Paul’s ride on the trail to Damascus when he lost all his sight,
    What went thru his mind when Christ spoke to him from that light?

    David will show his scars from battle and beasts of the field,
    He’ll let us hold the stones and sling, that made Goliath yield.

    So when I’m gone, don’t ya fret for me; no, none,
    I know my fate’s secure, with my Savior, God’s only son.

    The Almighty, beat the devil at his game, when he thought it was fun,
    Not a thing I can do to pay my price, the Father and Son, have already won.

    Make sure ya’ll place Him in yer heart, before yer days are done,
    Do it now, before the trigger’s pulled, before lead leaves the gun.

    Hankerin’ to greet; Dad, Pakka, Beppe and Tantje Bet,
    I know there’ll be a-slew of kin, haven’t ever met.

    When you think on me, shed a smile, never a tear,
    As you pass the pines, I’ll whisper in your ear.

    I’ll relish all the memories of joy; I’ll understand the pain,
    You’ll know that day – when tears of joy come down as rain.

    Come evenin’, on that day the old hearse rolls and passes ya by,
    Look to the west, I’ll be a ridin’, fresh horse and saddle, paintin’ the sky.

    You take your time, take no concern, of comin’ up late,
    Reins in hand, I’ll be waitin’, patient like, right at the gate.

  21. shellaysm

    “True Paradise”

    Warm breezes, sunshine
    Little cottage by the sea
    Sleeping under stars
    Even dreams can’t compare when
    True paradise is at home

  22. bluerabbit47


    For some
    is a tropical
    but I am
    no fan
    of sweat and bugs.

    For some
    is a mountaintop,
    but I am
    no fan
    of wind-blown snow.

    For some
    is the first mad day of love
    but I am
    no fan
    of intoxication.

    For me,
    is this
    these hands,
    these lettered

  23. posmic


    Coconuts kiss you on their long way down
    to sugar sands (here, at last, your clichés
    are acceptable, even hailed as original)
    as palm fronds gently caress your cheek
    or playfully slap it—your choice, and you
    also get to choose which type of cheek.
    This is endless summer, a bottomless
    sunset daiquiri that never leaves you
    mouth-dry and filled with regret.
    In the gift shop, many items are
    personalized, and all bearing
    your name, no matter how
    unusual your name was
    in life.

    At last, Harbert and Micheline,
    Wilford and Atalanta, you are #1,
    and you have the license plate
    to show it. By the way, you have
    a bike to put it on, and it has
    a banana seat and a flag,
    and you will never look
    ridiculous riding it.

    Your spouse is here, and does not
    tell off-color jokes or make any
    embarrassing noises. Not all
    of your friends are here,
    though some might
    arrive in another
    twenty years
    or so.

    But you won’t miss them, because
    there are new friends here, like
    Bob and Sandy with their
    perfect hair and polite
    way of inquiring
    about your

    moments, how it felt to come here,
    and whether you think there
    might be a crack or a door
    somewhere, a way to
    escape, go back


  24. taylor graham


    There’s a mountain meadow
    beyond the hard granite hike, after fighting
    a thirsty way through willow thicket.

    A snowmelt stream winds among
    hellebore and lupine, columbine and lark-
    spur. Over the summit, clouds

    build spirit-thunder; a crisp wind brings
    news of changing weathers. Sun
    makes light of shadows everywhere.

    Pull off boots, splash tired feet
    in bold, chill water; wiggle toes. Listen.
    From the thicket, they push through –

    old friends – too many to name,
    leaping, dancing joyful as dogs on a lark,
    this adventure that lasts forever.

  25. uneven steven


    That cool
    very nice
    why didn’t I
    I get it now
    when I read your poems –
    It’s ok
    certainly not hell
    unless I go back
    and realize
    I never even noticed
    the tiny little umbrella
    lazing in the frozen fuzzy navel
    sitting in front of me
    and I’ve been staring at it
    the whole time
    a harried bartender
    looking at me
    like I’m a dork
    wondering what the hell’s wrong
    and when I’m gonna
    just start
    it all

  26. Domino

    To Go Back in Time

    What I wish is to go
    back to the time when
    you were still alive.

    Back to carefree
    summer days
    and long starlit nights
    and deep, yet somehow
    still carefree
    talks with you.

    I would ask you about
    your childhood,
    back around the turn of the century
    and you would tell me
    about the homestead in Missouri
    and about the train ride to Oregon
    when you were just a girl.

    You would show me pictures
    tintypes and old-fashioned photos
    of family members, and you would
    list their names until I began to
    recognize them for myself.

    Here was your brother Alvin,
    who died in the Great War.
    He was only 21 when he died, back in 1919.

    Here was your father,
    eyes blazing, full beard, and
    the father of twenty-two children.
    (After his first wife died,
    he married your mother, and she had
    twelve more children.)

    And pictures of you and your mother
    and your daughter, my grandmother.

    It was strange how your eyes,
    her eyes,
    my mother’s eyes,
    all looked like
    the same eyes.

    Oh, how I miss you.
    It would be paradise
    to see you again.

    And now that I think about it,
    it probably will be paradise
    where I see you again.

  27. Connie Peters


    A place where colors are more brilliant,
    Worship music emanates even in our beings,
    Beauty surrounds in such away you feel
    like you’re swimming in it.
    Where dancing is more common than
    sitting, standing or walking.
    Where God’s presence replaces the sun.

    A place where I can be with wonderful people
    including my parents and grandparents,
    my Uncle Bill who died in WWII,
    Newton, Herbert, Da Vinci, Pocahontas
    Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Noah, Peter,
    the apostle Paul and all the Marys.

    A place where I can travel
    to destinations more marvelous
    than the Grand Canyon,
    the beach at sunset,
    New England in autumn,
    Old Faithful gushing to the skies,
    lakes, rivers, forests, and valleys.

    A place where I can do things I love,
    thing I can’t do now or haven’t done
    before but always have wanted to:
    Hang glide, sky dive, bike long-distance,
    kayak, climb mountains, scuba dive, ski,
    horseback ride, sail on crystal oceans.

    A place where I can sing, paint, write
    and finish a poem without getting up
    to check the microwave
    or brush someone’s teeth.

  28. Yolee

    Appreciation on the way to Paradise

    I am thankful for small things
    that lead the way for big
    things to take their place:

    soft whistles inviting my heart
    to turn around and walk by His light

    pink nails of dawn
    opening a life-size day

    a certain man’s unobtrusive hello
    that help build a large altar;

    their first cry streaming
    toward childhood, and those
    curious limbs touching
    the deep-sea of things;

    guidance from folks
    that paid tuition for life lessons;

    cute baby sisters
    that inspired beauty
    to reach new levels;

    thankful that little things
    stack like stones;
    that inceptions become
    the height of greater territories.

  29. Marianv


    Lost, found, regained, returned to, almost
    In our hearts, our selves, our island, our condominium
    On earth, on wheels, in nature, for lovers, take a tour to

    Not always recognized when it surrounds us every day
    Too late! We might cry when we realize it has gone away

    Rarely found when on a journey in search of

    Often recognized by the elderly looking back
    on days of their youth
    Those in the midst of youthful days
    Rarely agree those words speak truth

    Isn’t that the place where good people go to when they die-
    (That is, if they believe in the correct variation of scripture, lead lives that are pleasing to the supreme Deity of their particular set of believes, and follow all the rules and regulations of the organized body of fellow believers to which they belong.)

    It is a place we might catch a glimpse of between the time we have ended this earthly existence and prepare to be born and live either a better or not as good existence on the same old planet, and keep on doing this until we get it right. Maybe.

    It is a word used over and over again to describe all kinds of great experiences,
    Especially when we realize we will never be that happy again and why didn’t we
    Appreciate it when we were there?

  30. Glory

    And, I’m Happy
    (Day 22)

    Sitting, maybe dozing
    in the sun,
    with the sea softly
    whispering its tune
    carried on the breeze
    that lifts my hair
    that kisses my cheek.
    And should those
    lapping waves
    that crawl across
    golden sand brush
    against, then climb
    to tickle my toes.
    I’m happy.

  31. Walt Wojtanik


    Thanksgiving morning.
    The day is dawning and I feel
    this real sense of love.
    A new life given for living
    and loving all that has
    been accomplished
    and resurgence of dreams lost.
    I feel at home. Awakening
    from my familiar bed,
    but the thoughts in my head
    are of days long past.
    The air was different,
    breathing the scents
    meant to comfort and soothe.
    A cheerfulness exuded,
    included in the savor
    of the flavors to come.
    Parades on the tube,
    riveted in wonderment
    until the Jolly Gent
    appears,(an you can hear
    pins drop and thoughts
    redirect to lists and
    wishes for Christmas
    a month away. But today,
    you are thankful that
    Mom and Dad still rule
    the roosted brood, in
    a grand mood, sneaking
    glances and hugs, snug
    in the love so ignited.
    Right now, seated with
    stages of Thanksgiving 2012
    in progress, this simple
    digress brings peace.
    Church and parades,
    and no masquerades of
    a perfect family. Just
    the promise to be better
    people and thankful for same.
    Paradise lost has been reclaimed

  32. De Jackson

    Cultivating Contentment

            Hold still,
                   find heart filled.

                                         Breathe slow,
                                    let all go.


  33. Misky

    What is Paradise

    At a round table three young ones sat,
    green with innocence and quiet
    as stones before appled wisdom.
    They’d each come for answers
    but only questions they heard.

    Tell us about paradise,
    they said, but wisdom smiled
    as apples might, and asked
    But what is paradise?

    It’s a place, one said,
    with snowy mountains
    and flowing icy streams.

    It’s a thing, another said,
    with soft, comforting clouds
    and tunes smooth like cream.

    It’s not, said one,
    it’s a place with of towering trees
    and scented endless dreams.

    But then wisdom asked
    of the one who’d remained silent:
    What is paradise young one,
    and this one said,
    paradise is to know you’re loved.
    That’s what paradise is.

    And wisdom stood and bowed
    deep to the young silent one,
    and then gave his blessing
    of thanks to them all.

  34. Glory

    And, I’m Happy

    Sitting, maybe dozing
    in the sun,
    with the sea softly
    whispering its tune
    carried on the breeze
    that lifts my hair
    that kisses my cheek.
    And should those
    lapping waves
    that crawl across
    golden sand brush
    against, then climb
    to tickle my toes.
    I’m happy.

  35. Jane Shlensky

    Paradise enough

    Lavender grows thick
    flicks of rose and gold
    shocks of green and
    purple, blue, indigo
    the spice of earth tones
    orange, yellow, nutmeg
    choral color blending
    down the slopes

    sound, the voices of
    all that lives, cacophony
    or harmony, but joy
    and praise, reverberates,
    all my senses keen.

    Oh, my heart, I breathe
    in but a moment of yes
    observing the furry
    wonder of a cat’s paw.

  36. De Jackson


    We wrap ourselves in simple
    skins, warm
    our brimming hearts
    by tiny embered fires,
    breathe in small
    crooked, crinkled smiles
    cherish days
    sing praise
    exchange phrase,
    every heartbeat a promise
    every word a gift.


  37. RASlater

    Is This Paradise?

    Is this paradise?
    With the morning crush invading my sleep
    The smog infested dream breakers
    That harrow me on my way?
    Far from it and no one can deny
    The drive to make a dollar
    Bowing and scraping to another
    Watching for another to fall
    Securing our place for tomorrow
    To pay the bills and keep up with the Jones’
    Is no one’s paradise

    Rather to stay up too late
    Writing of humanities silliness
    Spinnings webs of lives and dreams
    Causing wars and bringing down kingdoms
    Breaking hearts and putting them back together
    To sleep the sleep of the satisfied
    Arising late to watch the last fog
    Wisp away in the morning breeze
    Sipping from the coffee cup new vigor
    Fresh resolve to solve
    All the loose threads from the night before

  38. barbara_y

    fronds (leaves)departs
    unglued (loose)wanton

    mystery (from)perfume trumpet salt caress lavender
    original(different)mondo bizarro

    puffed candles(blown)explosive demolition
    spartan clocksprings(300 winds)compass roses

    geology(time) in-tick out-tock


    brought together (and) by this agent combined

    sing (sing) sing

  39. Andrew Kreider

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. Thanks for being such an important part of my creative life!

    Four meditations on Paradise

    I Pair of dice

    Listening to Muse
    Laughing at the fuzzy cubes
    Hung from my mirror

    II Parrot ice

    He used a chainsaw
    To coax a beautiful bird
    From this frozen block

    III Para dies

    She was only there
    To help the kids learn, but they
    Stabbed her with a pen

    IV Pair o’ odd eyes

    Thanks to Picasso
    People think it’s normal
    To have two left eyes

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Andrew, I love you so. These were just the delightful read I needed today. I laughed aloud. You inspired me to do this poorly! Happy Thanksgiving!


      lacking a heaven
      she entered his and tinkered
      rendering it hell

  40. zevd2001

    It may just be dreams about me that I see
    things I wish that were and know are there
    as long as I’m alive. With loving care
    placing them in open spaces, flowing free
    and easy, picking them up out of the air, inspect
    what suits me, how they work, where they take me why
    it pleases my senses, it makes me cry
    out in happiness, this that I elect

    to add to the treasures in the private store
    I gather in my warehouse, separate,
    enough for now, some as gifts to ingratiate
    them who aren’t coming to join, together for
    sharing the bounty I’ve garnered, all the care
    of the back and forth, all the labor of love,
    the hands that work, and the thoughts that move,
    that shower of blessings upon us, what we share.

    Zev Davis

  41. De Jackson

    Happy Thanksgiving, all. I’m so thankful for the friendships formed here, and the incredible words I get to read, penned by all of you. Writing from Tahoe (my Happy Place) today, so Paradise comes easy…



    Paint somethin’ indigo,
    liquid and cold and pure
    poured out like gold be
    -fore these hungry feet.

    Listen to the lullaby
    of these angel sentry trees,
    hold your breath, count to
    ten. And then, hand me my


  42. Walt Wojtanik


    Nested and nurtured,
    the place where love
    grows and nourishes
    in flourishes of hearts.
    It starts with two and
    grows exponentially.
    Potentially live giving.
    Glad to be living and
    gathered in the hearth
    of home. Never leave
    without a piece of it

  43. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    The great prophet said,
    “Heaven is within you now.”

    The scholars argue about
    the accuracy and definition of

    words spoken during turbulence –
    times of war and doubt.

    Heaven is within me?
    How is this a possibility?

    Then, I hold him –
    so tiny, fresh from God.

    In that moment, surely,
    I see, Heaven – within him –

    and then I know
    what we lose when age

    demands its greedy price
    for wisdom from the tree.

    We were all Heaven,
    once, when Life was new

    Now, we simply forget
    until a miracle is placed

    in our callused hands
    opening our hearts to see

    Heaven within you and me…

  44. Walt Wojtanik


    From two to twelve
    and everything in between.
    Each roll will take its toll
    and spell your success
    (or failure) Galloping
    Dominoes in cube form.
    Now you’re getting warm,
    Poppa needs a new pair of shoes.
    Devoted to a loaded pair o’ dice.

  45. Andrea Heiberg


    Light like a feather,
    I feel the
    warmth surrounding,
    the tender yellow light everywhere,
    so clear and bright,
    all letting me want to
    stay a little longer.

    No voices,
    I feel so happy,
    so grateful,
    and now
    right here on my childhood’s meadow,
    being five years old,
    I hear the lark.

    1. ina

      This is so simple and beautiful – and the title is perfect as well. We so often have the negative associations with lemons (bad cars, acidic) that we forget their perfect color, that divine smell, lemonade. Thank you for sharing

  46. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Wonderful poems, DA and Steven! Happy Thanksgiving, fellow poets everywhere! Grateful to Robert and all who make this PAD possible.


    To think of forever
    think of you and I
    as particles of stardust
    yet, conscious beings
    mists of energetic matter
    witnessing the cosmos
    like the back drop
    of Sagan’s show
    you and me – we
    blissfully observing
    until the epiphany –
    we ARE the paradise!

  47. uneven steven

    Paradise Oppa Tinman Style

    No tears, no thunder, no rain,
    oil can full
    and a sturdy friend by my side
    to wipe, to clean and to dry
    these eyes,
    on second thought
    paradise wouldn’t feel quite right
    without the friend and the tears
    and the rust and all.

    No war, no murder, no killing,
    my handy ax by my side,
    a horrible foe to defeat,
    a life to save,
    a forest to husband to keep from getting
    too wild,
    on second thought
    paradise wouldn’t be quite right
    without an ax to clean
    from saving the girl
    and getting her home
    and getting back
    to mine
    in the nick
    of time.

  48. DAHutchison

    Wading into all kinds of unfamiliar territory for me… no rhyme scheme AND first to post–eek.

    Deep Suspicions

    She thinks I don’t believe in heaven.
    Amused by her faith in miracles,
    I tell her of my deep suspicions,
    Suspicions about deep space and more…

    We’re star stuff, yes, but also,
    Seeing, tasting, touching fingers,
    of a universal life force so vast,
    We can never know its dimensions much less…

    How many permutations of that force,
    Which created and shaped us… what?
    Well sure, love, call it polytheism if you will,
    But more to the point the deep suspicion is more…

    We… are the work of committees…