2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

Today’s prompt comes straight from Marie Elena Good.

Marie’s prompt is: Take the phrase “Just Beneath (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem.  Possible titles include “Just Beneath My Feet,” “Just Beneath This City,” or “Just Beneath the Surface.”

Here is Robert’s attempt at a Just Beneath poem:

“Just Beneath This Line”

Is another line
and another.
Perhaps, a metaphor
will simile its way in
like a deer
wandering out of a forest
nearly axed
out of existence.
Like the time I stood
just beneath your window
and shouted, “Juliet,
oh boy, Juliet,”
until your father
chased me off your lawn
and woke half the neighborhood.
Each line
leads naturally to the next
even if I don’t have a destination
and maybe sometimes
it’s better that way
knowing you’re only here
to be along for the ride.


Thank you to Marie for the great prompt. Click here to learn more about Marie Elena Good.


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339 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    beneath this face
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    just beneath this face
    is a tired old latina
    ready for the bone yard.
    she likes rock & rye
    at midnight, 54 proof
    and the strings of
    gypsy kings to
    help induce sleep.
    other nights
    she lights candles
    and dons a night owl tapestry
    about her cold shoulders,
    her beak hooked full
    of muse droppings
    which rain like confetti
    across her keyboard.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. ivywriter

    Just Beneath My Skin

    just beneath my skin

    what you can’t see

    is my heart

    blood pumping through my veins

    giving me life

    my bones

    holding up my frame

    guiding me through

    the hustle and bustle

    of busy schedules

    what you don’t see

    is the intellect

    underneath my skin tone

    beyond my hue

    the dark skin

    that doesn’t allow you to

    see the human

    the woman

    the citizen

    who wants

    the opportunities from life

    that historians have defined as

    life, liberty, and happiness

    but because

    scienc doesn’t allow you

    to see underneath my skin

    you only see what’s at sea level

    somehow society that allows you to

    assign derogatory names

    to people you don’t know

    for whom you’ve willingly overturned

    years of civil rights

    violated biblical courtesies

    so that in the name of God

    you have been allowed to treat me

    like the slave

    that in your mind

    was never allowed to be free

    and in your mind

    Lincoln never signed that declaration

    giving me

    the same assignment as you

    to call America home

    yet, underneath my skin

    you will never know

    what it feels like

    to be treated

    as second class

    not even the mail

    gets demoted like this

    c) Kellea Tibbs and march thirty one, 2012. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original march thirty one material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

  3. cstewart

    On the Border

    Just beneath my heart, is a place for you.
    I had to remove you from my heart,
    But I could only place you so far away,
    So you landed right beneath the curve.

    They say if you do not feel your heart,
    You can not feel or receive love.

    Just beneath my heart, is a place for you.
    Where you stay in perpetual anonymity,
    Without outside notice, with inside stamina,
    Counting butterflies and whistling a tune.

  4. thinkinabouthim

    This is my first time posting and doing the Poem-A-Day !! I really liked this prompt:

    Just Beneath your Love

    There is no other love

    that compares

    to that of a parent’s love.

    Your love has saved my life.

    The fact that you

    have never forgotten me

    or judged me.

    You love me unconditional.

    No matter what i say,


    your love is always there.


    I think your love is overbearing.

    Calling me constantly.

    I just didn’t understand,

    you have the love of a parent.

    1. Marie Elena

      Hi “Thinkin,” and welcome! Love your piece, and I am so flattered that my prompt inspired you to write and post. How humbling! Thanks so much for letting me know that. I hope to hear more from you out here. 🙂

  5. foodpoet

    Just beneath

    Just beneath the water
    Find glimmer of earth in
    Floating kelp
    Gather threads to weave thirst away

    Just beneath embers
    Find a breath of wind
    To flame love free to

    Each element
    Must balance as you
    Search beneath.

  6. Glory

    Beneath My Feet
    (Day 4)

    Just beneath my feet they sit
    lifeless in the autumn air
    until I kick, red, gold, russet and
    burnt brown leaves and watch
    their dance as they fly and twirl
    and come to rest in velvet heaps
    upon the frozen ground.

  7. Richard Fenwick

    Just Beneath Siddhartha’s Moon

    Across fifteen hundred miles,
    she calls to say the moon is full
    and hangs like a medal
    on a veteran’s black coat.

    In my sky, I peeks across
    the hunchbacked mountains, yellow
    like a lamplight sailing softly,
    and all I sense is a smile.

    Siddhartha said you cannot hide
    the moon and sun, and even
    the truth. As we watch the ball
    cross the only sky we have,

    I love that my shadow crosses
    the white Bank’s Rose, wondering
    if that’s yours on the wisteria.

  8. Karen H. Phillips

    Transitioning from vacation, catching up…Great poems, love the prompt, Marie!

    Day 4
    Prompt: “Just Beneath” title and poem
    Just Beneath the Golden Gingko

    lies a blanket of sunny leaves
    glowing even when clouds pass over the sun

    tree still cloaked in gold
    yet shed enough to lay a mantle

    so the green grass contrasts
    with the buttery quilt

    and I wonder what lies beneath me
    that I’ve sloughed off over years

    of releasing habits, sins, and clutter
    and whether my shed skin makes me gingko lovely.

    1. Marie Elena

      Hi Karen! Loving seeing you back again! Great piece here. I especially like “the green grass contrasts with the buttery quilt” and releasing habits, sins, and clutter and whether my shed skin makes me gingko lovely.” WONDERFUL!

  9. Poet Ariel


    Yes, I suppose it could be any number of strange
    Men I haven’t spread my legs to.
    Or perhaps even the dog.

    One day perhaps we’ll know.
    Certainly your nakedness could not have caused this,
    Not you laying just beneath me every night.

    I heard your whispers to our friends,
    The conjectures, the conspiracy theories thrown
    In the drawers like unused condoms in the bedframe

    Since you are without responsibility, this
    Must be rationalized, the truth synthesized
    For public consumption.

    Yes, I suppose it could be any number of strange
    Men I haven’t spread my legs to.
    One day perhaps they’ll know.


  10. po

    Just Beneath Detroit

    is a salt mine that flashes
    an incessant reverie
    off its scared walls.

    Braided beneath a city
    it yields nothing but
    branch after branch of empty

    space. It swings through
    the night, without the grace
    or morning light, awash

    in memories and lonely
    graves of paperwork
    and rock.

  11. julie e.

    One more for yesterday’s prompt. i so thoroughly enjoyed it, Marie Elena!


    Just beneath this wrinkling skin
    is the girl walking barefoot
    in the backyard
    Just beneath these tired legs
    is the girl who hiked miles
    in Rocky Mountains
    Just beneath these aching arms
    is the girl who held
    her babies close
    Just beneath these aging eyes
    is the girl in need of a mama
    who’s learning to be one
    for herself.

      1. po

        Your poem is a beautiful tribute to motherhood–well-penned. It goes through a sequence and in each are words that touch the heart. (Hope this gets through, it has been hard to post. It takes me about 7 tries to post a poem.)

  12. sonja j

    Just Beneath the Bridge

    Is a Troll. It’s the same Troll it always was, with
    chicken-of-the-woods face, ears like green-necked
    rutabagas and morning breath from getting by
    on lumpers with late blight. It still has to hide
    from sunlight, hunt when it won’t be seen.
    It used to do all right, but that was when
    there were plenty of goats in Gotham.
    Now the goats are gone, so are the wagons,
    and children don’t wander by in the night.

    But the bridge. The bridge is not the same at all.
    The whole time they were putting New Bridge up,
    Troll had to hide in the culvert. New Bridge is big,
    concrete, good for sleeping under during the day,
    but Troll is getting so hungry. Nothing trip-traps over
    great, grey New Bridge – now giant steel dragons with
    white eyes roar across. Troll is so hungry, sometimes
    it tries to snatch a smallish dragon, then quivers under
    New Bridge, whimpering, and sucking on its mashed paws.

  13. The Wired Journal

    Just Beneath the expanse above

    Just below the expanse above
    My flesh So Weak my spirit so meek
    Just below the stars above
    On bended knee I bow to thee
    Paying homage to the Christ my king

    Just below my faith so weak
    I trod the path below my feet
    I stumble and fall
    Cry out and call
    Thank you my lord for setting me free

  14. ina

    Okay, I accidentally posted this as a reply to Daniel’s poem. It was supposed to be down here (sigh). Not sure if I should blame the repeated “you’re commenting too quickly” or just my own sleep deprived brain.

    Just Beneath You

    That’s my skin
    clamped to your skin.
    That’s my breath,
    mingling with your breath.
    When you kiss me, those
    are my eyelashes making a web of
    love with yours.
    I am here, right beneath you.
    I can see the bright blue of your eyes
    as they look right through me to
    an imagined someone better.

  15. Marjory MT

    Just beneath the garden soil
    I planted the prompt
    That should have been planted here.

    —Just beneath the haze
    —I reach out to remember
    —what life use to be.

  16. seingraham

    Just Beneath the Truth

    a lie I might manoeuvre
    into place; a twining

    looped loose as a noose
    under a moon split

    into halves, not unlike Gaia
    wearing her invisible belt

    purporting to bisection
    hers a prevarication

    whistling huge, swallows
    shrieking dark

    edges, spilling chips rough
    as field gems

    complex Machiavellian

    I may use
    for my own designs

  17. melly1551

    Just Beneath the Green Tarp Roof

    The light pours in
    a milky emerald stream
    made magical by the plastic sun
    I can barely see.
    Sawdust gathers around my feet
    while I follow him down the sale aisles,
    past marked-down screws, lumber stacked, 2x4s and
    bubble gum machines.

    It doesn’t last long.
    Never does.
    Not sure how much longer I have,
    but I’ll keep following him down the aisles,
    past the small talk and silence and stale jokes,
    until one of us finally stops
    to admire the light
    and breathe in the sawdust.

  18. aviseuss

    “Just Beneath the Bell Curve”

    Always reaching, not quite breaching
    Above—the brightest goes
    Esteem undressing, not impressing
    Supercilious foes

    Wits bereave and underachieve
    Lest these thoughts give treason
    Assay tough books or rely on looks
    Should one forgo reason

    Quash dominions, quell opinions
    Below—the weak observe
    High arcs to court, thus coming up short
    Just beneath the bell curve


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