Editors Blog

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

Today’s prompt comes from a long-time Poetic Asides poetry dude (and super nice guy), Walt Wojtanik.

Here’s Walt’s prompt (a Two-for-Tuesday prompt) which is actually two prompts:

  1. Write a Left Poem.
  2. Write a Right Poem.

Umm… With today being Election Day in the States, there are, of course, political implications to Walt’s prompt. If you go that route, please be respectful of conflicting views (it’s about the poetry, not the politics, on this blog). If you decide to go the directional route, then be respectful of people with two left feet or who are always right, especially people who are always right who happen to have two left feet.

Robert’s attempt:


He said he was right
and left the room. She
decided to right
a wrong and left him
alone with his right
to exit stage left.


Thank you, Walt, for the direction on Day 6! Click here to learn more about Walt.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


What’s the best resource for poets?

Funny you should ask, because I’m the editor of the 2013 Poet’s Market, which I think is a pretty impressive resource. At its core, Poet’s Market lists hundreds of publishing opportunities, including listings for book publishers, literary publications, contests, and more. But beyond that, the 2013 Poet’s Market includes 20 contemporary poems from some of today’s best poets, a list of poetic forms, instruction on the craft of poetry, advice on handling the business of poetry, and more.

Get a copy of the 2013 Poet’s Market today!


You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

149 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Political Animals
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    The Donkey came first back in 1828
    when Andy Jackson was running for Prez.
    Labeled a “Jackass” for his populist views,
    he turned that into quite the campaign tool
    convincing the Demos the Ass humble,
    courageous, resourceful, and loyal.

    The elephant came later in 1864
    first as a fluke in some Lincoln campaign lit,
    then again ten years later in a political cartoon
    when an Ass dressed in lion skins intimidated
    a menagerie of zoo critters, save for an intelligent
    Pachyderm who remained strong, steady, and true.

    Democrat or Republican, which are you?

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. ivywriter

    I’m still playing catch up with the chapbook challenge:

    Poem #1: I know my Rights!

    I have to be right all of the time

    even when I know I’m wrong

    even when I know I’m lost the battle

    to get my point across.

    Even when I’ve beat you over the head

    with my point

    to view

    my way

    through my eyes

    through my

    somewhat squewed


    I have to be right all of the time

    because if I don’t

    think I’m right

    Who will?

    Poem #2: GPS Haiku

    What if I turn left?

    Who will help me go right?

    Find Your Directions

    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. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith (BMI)
    She was right,
    When she left me,
    At the end of the bar;
    And there was nothing,
    Left to say,
    To make things right.
    I was close,
    To the edge,
    Then I went one step too far,
    Now it looks,
    Like I’ll be all,
    Alone tonight.

    And sometimes the right thing,
    Is the only thing left;
    After everything else,
    It may be hard, but it’s best.
    Two sides to one coin,
    They both come up heads;
    And sometimes the right thing,
    Is the only thing left.

    I found my heart,
    Where I’d lost it,
    In the palm of her hand;
    And there was nothing,
    I could do
    To make her see,
    It was hers,
    And so am I
    And I would kneel to make my stand.
    I’d take it all back,
    And give up everything,
    If she would still love me.

    And sometimes the right thing,
    Is the only thing left;
    After everything else,
    It may be hard, but it’s best.
    Two sides to one coin,
    They both come up heads;
    And sometimes the right things
    Is the only thing left.

    Most times the right thing
    Is the only thing left.

  4. KathyA

    Left Brain vs. Right Brain in the Bedroom
    Let’s decorate with yellow butterflies
    And purple snapdragons
    And lace and a glittery mobile,
    That will hang from the ceiling.

    The room is 10 x 10
    And has one 3 x 4 window,
    A 6-foot mirrored closet
    And one entry door.

    It would look beautiful
    If I made a hand-quilted cover
    And matching curtains
    With indigo and orange cottons.

    Buy one gallon
    Of flat paint,
    One quart of semi-gloss,
    And a plastic drop cloth.

    I’ll make a stained-glass window
    With peacocks and a deer
    And the morning sun will sparkle through,
    Splashing color everywhere.

    Mask the window, the light fixture,
    The door handle and the switches.
    Get the ladder and the rollers
    And the gloves and the rags.

    We could stay in bed and laugh,
    Drinking coffee like we used to,
    Snuggling under the blanket
    And tickling each other’s feet.

    Now, put everything away and
    Wash out all the brushes.
    Peel back the masking tape
    And move the furniture in.

  5. jlcooper

    Right Living

    At an early age
    I was taught
    Right from wrong.
    Granny always said,
    “If you live right
    And behave right
    Your life will turn out right.”
    Doing the right thing
    Is very important to me.
    I try to have
    The right conduct every day.
    Even though
    I have the right to say
    What I please
    I make sure the right answer
    Is said in the right place
    At the right time
    That is the only way to live right.

  6. po

    Coming in
    wind throws
    for a perfect
    waves asunder
    near the ancient falls
    bound in
    feathers and bone
    clouds of a storm
    ducks call
    a cry
    of a seasonal fall
    the inevitable cold
    as willows sway
    a sun
    to and fro
    makes love
    on a bare floor
    shooting stars
    tell nothing
    never know
    or all
    which direction
    and forgivingly
    to fall
    the hour tolls

    1. po

      author replies doesn’t make as much sense because
      every other line is suppose to be over 30 spaces (left to right)
      but when copied out of word didn’t carry over–any ideas
      how to fix?

  7. taylor graham


    When we looked at puppies, you said she
    was the right one. I was undecided.

    So we loaded her in our little Honda
    beside the old dog grumbling. Old dogs

    have no vote. On the drive home,
    we got lost – an omen? We took a right,

    which was wrong: up endless grassy hills.
    When we stopped for the dogs,

    the puppy was wild to see a whole new
    world. We crested a ridge, too far south,

    and learned a new route home.
    Months later, you’re watching the returns

    on TV, puppy’s head on your lap.
    At her feet, the old dog grumbles in sleep.

    She keeps us all running. Was she the right
    choice? It’s become a whole new world.

  8. Bruce Niedt

    Red’s Lament

    The Left
    is out in left field.
    They’ve left behind
    all reason, those bleeding hearts.
    I will pay them no compliments,
    not even a left-handed one.
    I don’t even trust southpaws.
    You know “sinister” is Latin for
    “left-handed”, don’t you?
    When they’re done with our country,
    what will be left?

    Blue’s Ballyhoo

    The Right
    just aren’t thinking right.
    What gives them the right
    to leave the poor behind?
    They think everything’s all right
    as long as they’ve got theirs.
    In Latin, “right-handed” is “dexter”,
    like the serial killer on TV.
    You think they’ll kill our country
    with greed and selfishness?
    You got that right.

    Purple’s Plea

    We’re in the middle
    of all this fuss.
    Let’s get over ourselves,
    find our center, and breathe.
    Compromise is not a dirty word.
    Here in the middle of the road
    there are no ruts.
    Red and blue together
    make such a beautiful color.
    If we’re even-handed, we’ll be great again,
    the center of our universe.

    [If you want to see the appropriately "justified" versions (because I couldn't figure out how to do that here) please visit my blog at bniedt.blogspot.com.]

  9. Mary Mansfield

    Had a lot of fun with this prompt. Used this to sort of explain how my blog got its name (Write Wing Conspiracy.)

    Write, Not Right

    For more than a decade
    Pundits have spoken
    Of the great right wing conspiracy,
    Those evil capitalists
    Lurking in the shadows
    Seeking to seize power
    Regardless of the cost,
    Heartless bastards
    Fueled by greed,
    Willing to sacrifice
    Anyone weaker
    To better shape the world
    According to their insidious schemes.

    I speak of a different quest,
    My write wing conspiracy:
    A mission to illustrate my vision
    Of triumph and disappointment
    Both at a personal level
    And also on a grander scale.
    Words hold power,
    And one poem at a time
    Every poet possesses
    The power
    To change the world.

  10. Yolee


    is a lefty,
    depises leftovers,
    was left by her dad,

    has a right handed mother,
    who is a right brain tenant,
    and is her right maternal match.

    A daily timetable keeps record of their rightful land.


    Two Left Feet

    Stumble across a starlit
    ground; cocoon falls
    from a tree; zebra long-winged
    butterfly unbuttons its old coat,
    emerges, flits here and there
    with a slightly bent right wing.

  11. julie e.

    Letsee…yogurt, raspberries, cereal: that means one
    thousand fifty three calories left. Breakfast done.Now,
    lunch: cheeseburger, chocolate milkshake…….I make
    myself laugh! –SALAD. That means six hundred
    seventy five calories left. Not too bad, I can do this.
    Soooo long till dinner, but my salad has run out—
    cheese stick, eighty calories, so, five hundred
    ninety five left. WHY DIDN’T I GO TO THE
    GYM? And then dinner….letsee….tacos
    tonight at three hundred calories
    a piece times two is too much.
    That can’t be right! One taco?
    Ahhh! One taco leaves two
    ninety five, so I’ve left off
    the sour cream—zero
    calories left, this better
    be worth it! What? i
    look thinner? Oh,
    I just watch what
    I eat, but who’s

  12. PSC in CT

    No Reason

    There was no
    reasoning with him.
    (She’d tried.) Arguing?
    Not an option; and
    perspective carried no
    weight. What if…
    your perfectly poised world
    were to tilt abruptly
    on its axis? What if…
    you were suddenly
    sitting on the moon, or
    situated in the center of the sky –
    middle of the milky way – maybe
    sailing over Sagittarius
    (arrow aimed at heart of Scorpius)
    or exiled to (used-to-be a
    planet) Pluto?
    your absolute answer be
    (just a little?)
    Never. No way. Not possible.
    He wouldn’t concede,
    couldn’t conceive;
    was absolutely certain
    he was always, Always,
    ALWAYS right;
    so she left

  13. RJ Clarken

    Ballroom Dance

    Ready…and…five, six, seven, eight!
    Grapevine right. Kick-ball-change. Turn. Wait.
    Time step…and then slide left. Advance.
    It’s politics. Come on – let’s dance.

    Never mind the grumbled cavil.
    Tap…tap…tap. And then let’s travel.
    And chassé. Leaping Lords now prance.
    It’s politics. Come on – let’s dance.

    Pasa Doble or a Foxtrot.
    November party’s food for thought.
    So swing your partner. Take a chance.
    It’s politics. Come on – let’s dance.

    Make flourishes in red and blue
    while talking heads toe Ol’ Soft Shoe.
    This tango won’t lose its romance.
    It’s politics. Come on – let’s dance.


  14. aviseuss

    “One Left Missing”

    Inside a circle going ‘round
    I run away then back to you
    No left or right, up or down
    You make it difficult to choose

    Let’s not wave this flag at half mast
    I think we can see this through
    If we left it all in the past
    Staying seems the right thing to do

    Fractured moments in your eyes
    Tell me your heart’s wearing thin
    Let’s do this right, no more lies
    It’s not time for us to give in

    You were right when we started
    When I left and since departed

  15. barbara_y

    On one palm, the reading
    is the story you were destined for.
    On the other, how you’ve edited that
    birthright with your dominant hand.
    Do bits of leftover potential drift
    to the ground like pared nails.
    Does your left sole collect abstractions:
    honor, pride, patience.
    Does the right remember when you cut your hair
    with round-tipped scissors? Does it wonder
    about that boy–what was his name?

  16. rustydude

    Nov 6 Left/Right

    He left because he thought he was right
    She started to write because he left

    Each page she wrote, was penned with her right
    Each page began, with explicits on the left

    When ink caressed paper, it felt so right
    Still her heart was empty, her love had left

    Her love returned, to make all things right
    Love blossomed brighter than before he left

    Careful which side you choose, be it left or right
    Everything that seems wrong may be all that’s left

  17. Marie Elena

    A GREAT prompt, but I’m out of words and energy. So far this month, it’s like my muse has packed up and left the premises. :(

    I was going to read, but got engrossed in the election coverage.

    Whine, whine, whine … ; Good night, all.

    1. whatevertheyaint

      My muse left the building this month too. :-( Didn’t you mention that you’re doing both Nano and the PAD? I did that last year and completed both. But this time… I love your poetry and look forward to your muse reappearing…sometime soon?

  18. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Some folks just want to lose it

    I have a small lump behind my left ear
    It grew overnight; a tumor, I fear
    Wherever it came from is simply not clear
    I pray it’s just fat

    Happening right now…

    I’m latin, petite, and brown in complexion
    I can’t shake the frown off my facial expression
    I sense a heart attack coming in my direction
    I can’t take any more of this doggone election

  19. seingraham

    A Bill of Rights

    Just because it’s not wrong
    Doesn’t mean it’s right
    Or so the saying goes…

    It could be, but it’s not certain
    More a theory than proven
    Like the old adage about
    The two wrongs?

    Another mathematical equation
    That’s never been tested
    Satisfactorily in a lab


    Left of Centre

    Who decided that left is diabolical?
    In many countries and languages
    The word itself is represented
    By words meaning evil or devil
    Italian? sinistra; Portuguese?
    Cantoto – a popular word for devil
    But why? It’s just one side,
    A direction really … who decided
    It was any worse than right?

  20. Melissa Hager

    “Muddled Brain”

    Forced to use the right since parents
    were righties. Locked
    outside of the
    box, places where
    one does not go

    naturally. Bad handwriting,
    rational thought,
    symptoms of a
    muddled brain not
    in its right mind.

    Imagine the compositions –
    symphonies, or
    novels – never
    spawned, because the
    left was not right.

  21. mapoet


    What’s left?
    Food for a second meal
    Shelves filled with books
    Closets filled with clothes
    Boxes filled with memories, and

    Right Turn

    The right road isn’t
    paved with perfection.
    It bends and dips and
    sometimes closes for repairs.
    Detours take us out of our way,
    but eventually bring us back
    to our path of choice, both
    weary and wiser.

  22. taylor graham


    Serenity of forest-green velvet
    lines the box, with one mute bloom,
    once crimson, crumbling dust.
    Journal entries in a careful cursive
    hinting at unnamed guilts of omission,
    those lesser-known corners
    of conscience. Besides this, a plain
    cardboard box with a trail of journeys
    via ambiguous unsent picture
    postcards, the only trace of places
    she traveled perhaps in her mind.

  23. jacq

    Leaving Isn’t Always Right

    You thought you were right
    So you left
    Feelings remained
    They left you not
    To make it right you reached out
    But only found that I had left

  24. Miss R.

    Election Day: A Cautionary Rhyme

    Right or wrong,
    Opinions are strong,
    And venomous, oftentimes.
    Do your research
    Or stay in the lurch
    Of performing ignorant crimes.
    You’re on the brink;
    Just stop and think:
    It’s true your decision matters.
    Be careful, my friends,
    Before it all ends,
    And common sense finally shatters.

  25. PKP

    Two for a Tuesday

    Have been left
    swirling right in
    the center of
    the vissitudes of
    the majesty and
    malice Mother Nature
    in the span one
    crashing week
    where water broke
    and an infant
    appeared miraculously
    as days later the sea
    rose and turned homes
    to tinder

  26. ely the eel

    Too Soon Gone

    Just to the left of love and longing,
    that’s where you’ll find
    the path to the rainbow bridge,
    and, if you cross over,
    cast an oblique glance to your right,
    you might catch a glimpse of
    kitty heaven.
    I’ve been given that direction
    in a dream,
    perhaps better than any map,
    though I have yet to spy our Roxie,
    who left us all too soon.
    I plan to keep looking,
    accepting sadness for little while,
    holding fast to hope.

  27. DanielAri


    Advertise your fright!
    We have! Nationtheft!
    Proxy fight! Uptight
    DEMandate bereft!
    REProbate flea fight!

    Left. Left. Left, right, left!
    Leave! Leave! Leave, fright, leave!
    Heaving over heft—
    bone-dragged and bereaved—
    half by a long sight!

    Aftermath pre-believed:
    Lord of the French fries!
    Devious deceived
    plates of pork fried rice!
    Fractured father cleft!

    Yesterday we grieved!
    Tomorrow—to live!

  28. Natalija

    Let’s Meet in the Middle

    It’s not a time to question
    or a time to fight
    it’s not about being
    on the left or on the right

    Let’s not forget the meaning
    of the “U” in USA
    about being united
    and not so far divided

    It’s not about finger pointing
    or calling each other names
    about the hate and lies
    and those silly political games

    It’s about getting a job done
    the best that one can
    about us all working together
    and following the master plan

    Despite the fact
    that you might be
    on the right or on the left
    or somewhere in between

    Despite your view
    for the one or the other
    let’s meet in the middle
    let’s support one another.

  29. Sara McNulty

    Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 6
    Write a left poem
    Write a right poem

    Right around the bend
    an even keel
    awaits you.
    Be daring, choose the left path,
    sail seas, tell tall tales.

    I come from a family
    of lefties. I am
    the only righty.
    Good thing your writing
    preference does not determine
    your political views.

  30. Ash

    Life is about options
    But I’ve been faced with an easy yet complex option
    To my right
    My dearly beloved mother
    Who is to me unlike another
    And to my left
    My father
    Who has been always the toughest soldier
    How can one decide
    When they’re in a courthouse being given a ride
    How does one choose
    And choose to abuse
    The other
    His mother
    His father
    The truth be told
    What I would do to have time on hold
    To go back to the moments when they were together
    When they held me high in the sky and shouted forever
    I was too young to know this
    But never were they lovers
    I was the only thing piecing them together
    Like a shoe’s leather
    But I love them both
    So the question goes one last time
    To the left or to the right
    One last rhyme
    To end the fight

  31. shellaysm

    “Left of Right”

    Taking what’s left:
    On one hand
    seems unselfish, frugal
    allowing creativity to compensate.
    On the other hand,
    it feels like settling, second-best sighs,
    earning the consolation prize.

    Doing what’s right:
    On one hand
    reassures our worth,
    fueling good karma’s return.
    On the other hand,
    right is according to whose eye;
    even if it feels a lie?

    There’s always two sides to every hand.
    So, gratefully take what’s left
    and earnestly do what’s right.
    For, within each life’s great hourglass
    there’s only so much sand.

  32. JRSimmang

    We were in the front seat
    of our ’76 Chevy pick-up
    with the horn that blew
    when we took a left turn over 15 mph.
    We would have to drive another 12
    city blocks
    before the right turn righted the horn.

    She told me she always liked being on my right.
    She said my hand was softer,
    she said that if I had
    a sword I would be the perfect knight
    shrouded in a chain maille mystery
    and compounded by the
    nights I would leave myself
    left out in the pale moonlight.

    She was right there
    when she said she would
    rather leave
    than be right all the time.
    Which, I suppose,
    is better to be honest that way
    than to be the one left out.
    I can’t blame her.
    I can’t be left out anywhere.

  33. Michelle Hed

    Giving Me Pause

    I don’t know why
    after all these years,
    I need to pause
    and oil the gears.

    I need to think
    and not be quick,
    which way is left
    now don’t be thick.

    It is the same
    for going right,
    I have to pause
    try as I might.

    I don’t know why
    I need a hand,
    a visual clue
    perhaps I’ll stand.

    Please don’t rush me
    for if you do,
    I’ll go the wrong way
    and you’ll be late too.

  34. Michelle Hed

    Being Tricky

    When I was little, I learned if you are right-handed, you wear your watch on your right wrist. I took this to heart. ALL right-handed people wear their watch on their right wrist. Not me. I decided this would be an excellent way to fool any government secret agent into thinking I was left-handed. I know exactly why I thought I would be in a situation where this was extremely important. I am a product of watching too many spy/cop shows in my youth. I must confess, I still wear my watch on my left wrist and I’m still right-handed.

  35. posmic


    Left and right,
    holding up a crystal platter
    of cream puffs, maybe,
    or porcelain angels, their wings
    already chipped from
    a bumpy ride in the back
    of a rattling panel van.

    Left and right,
    holding up a fragile realm
    like that, keeping broken things
    mostly stable, lest anything
    break further, though everything
    breaks at least a little in this
    unpadded world.

  36. Miss R.

    Left Feet (An Acrostic)

    Losing what little balance I had,
    Embarrassingly enough I trip on my
    Feet, of all things, and stumble on,
    To fall a few bumbling steps later.

    Fear of repeating the incident
    Everlastingly keeps me aware,
    Each and every day, of these
    Two left feet I blessedly possess.

  37. Jane Shlensky

    Good one, Walt. Two here.


    She listens with her head
    nodding on her neck—
    “right, right, right”
    she says, meaning
    I hear you, go on.

    He seeks her out
    to recite his daily
    complaints, joys,
    triumphs, losses,
    always feeling
    right right right
    yes yes yes
    when all he has
    is no.

    She just
    rights him.

    L is for Loser

    The left hand
    makes the right
    letter, capital
    L, for Loser,
    while the
    right one is
    So the left
    is right and
    the right is…
    for a little boy
    his hands
    in doubt.

  38. taylor graham

    BONE DANCE (a tritina)

    We live in a house with a pair of dogs
    and (last count) 17 butcher-shop bones.
    Musical chairs, choose partners, name your dance –

    old dog gnaws his bone, puppy starts a dance
    of right & left paws, a cotillion of dogs –
    no, only one pup who’s got all the bones

    Surely it isn’t a question of bones,
    but pride of possession; who leads the dance;
    who’s right, who’s left in this sashay of dogs.

    Could these dogs just put down their bones and dance?

  39. Linda Hatton

    Good prompt! I feel like I just barely scratched the surface. I hope to play around with it some more later.

    Being Right

    She left a note saying
    he was right, she was better

    off without him. She left
    out the important parts, how

    much she loved him, how
    she would never smile again, how

    she would think about him every day
    into forever. All of that didn’t matter,

    she had to do what was right, let him go
    to the left while she went

    right. Years later, they discovered they
    both should have gone right.

      1. Hannah

        Yes, I was remembering our Daniel had taken this approach last year and with a theme too, I think….Was it love? I’m not sure now but some forced brevity just may be the medicine needed. Thanks a bunch, Walt…warm smiles to you always! :)

  40. sonja j


    Never really could tell which way people meant.
    Understood the concept, that was all good, but
    which foot to kick the ball with, which way to turn
    at the second light, which column in the paper, not
    ever gonna get it. Do you mean from your side
    looking at me, or from my side looking at you?
    I could tell you if you really meant vocation or
    avocation and when to use whom instead of who,
    could determine by smell if there was enough salt
    in the sauce, could choose the exact shade of green
    to set off your eyes, but there was only a fifty-fifty
    chance I would pull the lever you wanted me to.
    My sister was fine with it, would give me driving
    directions saying “my way” or “your way” to guide
    me. Now you’re trying to get me to a place I’ve
    never been, and I’m looking at the road, but discreetly
    rubbing my middle fingers, feeling for the callous I
    got on my writing hand, back before we had computers.

  41. claudsy

    So many lefts, so many rights, how does one choose direction?

    Full Circle

    The world is encompassed
    Between my left and my right,
    A dream of the mind folded
    Tight around a germ of intention;
    Seldom breathed a secret desire
    For creative flurries made manifest
    From hands skilled in light touches.

  42. whatevertheyaint


    You make wrong
    so right
    set my mind in flight
    like, all in left field
    Would it be wrong
    if I were to yield,
    if I ran off and left
    with you

    You make right
    so wrong,
    all turned on,
    all along…
    I know this is just
    one of those adolescent
    simply hormones

    Would it be right
    if I up and left,
    ran away…
    with you

  43. DAHutchison

    Thanks, Walt! I found this challenge to be one of the toughest, but really enjoyed.

    “As of Yet Untitled”

    Their elders, held in high esteem, but aging took its toll,
    The demands of a nomadic life wore hard upon a soul,
    Infirmities we call setbacks, to them were so much more,
    While living off the land the way their elders did before.

    No life extending medicine, no endoscopic powers,
    Stent the vein, prevent the pain and buy the man some flowers.
    Their DNA not analyzed for flaws on every rung,
    No iron horse to carry them to brand new iron lungs.

    My legs no longer carry me. I know my time is near,
    And so my dear Sioux children, I pray you leave me here,
    The noble elder left behind, alone and out of sight.
    But nowadays in many ways, it’s hard to know what’s right.


  44. foodpoet

    aaah left or right to post or not

    Left to decide what to keep
    Echoes of
    Torn by lost memories

    Reaching for stuff,
    Recalling humor
    I hold photos
    Gather the past to

  45. bluerabbit47

    The teller
    filled out
    my withdrawal
    slip writing
    as I do
    and upside down
    I asked her about
    the inevitable bump
    on her middle
    finger and
    whether she was
    an artist. She
    said she drew
    but wasn’t
    great and I
    admitted to being
    no Leonardo. Then
    I took my money
    and she said
    she had never met
    another person
    who wrote like
    her, and that
    remains true
    of us both.

  46. Andrea Heiberg


    Today I pick the pencil
    not to write a poem
    and not
    to write my name
    but to enter my choice
    on a sheet of paper
    which goes along with yours
    in this immense people’s voice
    confirming our future
    in this place where we belong.

  47. Buddah Moskowitz

    No Sides

    Looking into the
    infinite blackness,
    one cannot tell
    which side of the sky
    has more stars.

    Standing on the beach
    dwarfed by the waves,
    it is impossible to tell
    which side of the sea
    is more friendly.

    Listening to the sobs
    of a mourning mother,
    no one knows
    which side of her heart
    is torn away.

    Meditating on
    The One Who is All,
    I know that when
    all is finally
    put right,
    none will be
    left out.

  48. uneven steven

    Whatever’s left (a chant poem)

    Political ranting late
    into the night
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    That little hurting need
    to ease
    another’s pain
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    To be alone, independent
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    Mother, father of your clan-
    your family’s name
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    The 3 year old’s invective
    “can do myself”
    ringing in your ears
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    Do unto others
    before they would do/
    or as you would do
    an unanswered question
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    In the dark
    your first time
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    The song in you playing
    for you
    and you alone
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    The song that came
    and went
    wanting more
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    Her hand in yours
    the laying on of tears
    her cheek, her chest
    the low slow breathing
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

    Your own pumping
    in, out
    going on and on
    waking to find
    whatever’s left
    is right

  49. Marianv

    What is left?

    Left alone and left behind
    Left sitting on the shelf
    Left to make up my own mind
    Left to learn to be myself.

    Left to lie in my narrow bed
    While the busy world goes passing by
    Left alone to use my head
    To learn to reason and not to cry.

    Left to try to get it straight
    My world is gone and everything is new
    Time does not pause or even wait
    Things move too fast, what can I do?


  50. IrisD

    Write right
    Write left
    Write what you think is right
    Write as a compulsion
    Write for your freedom
    Write to right division
    Write for unity
    Write for peace
    Write for truth
    Write for release
    Bottom line of freedom
    Is we CAN write

  51. jared davidavich

    What of Society Remains

    Seeking the means
    for efficiency for surplus,
    yields faceless decision makers,
    price takers and actors
    choking on rationality,
    separated into factors and inputs
    of production
    of consumption
    and stacked,
    one after the other,
    arms outstretched
    higher than can be seen
    or gained, or understood.

    What of society remains
    when the pursuit of technique
    leaves the people
    bereft of humanity?

    Nothing is left
    when the last man
    forfeits light for pleasure.

    Nothing is right
    when reason falls
    to unbridled desire.

    Happiness yields to efficiency
    and progress stalls.

  52. Domino


    The boxers enter the ring,
    One in red trunks,
    one in blue.
    They circle, feeling each other out.
    One lunges forward swings with
    a right,
    a left,
    a right.

    The other blocks, and swings;

    They retreat,

    The crowd howls with

    “He’s dishonest!”
    “He’s no good!”
    The crowd battles
    among themselves,
    barely noticing the
    until one of them makes a mistake.

    “He’s wrong for our side!”
    “Well, yours is worse!!”

    And the battle continues
    a left
    a right
    a left.

    “The referee is useless!”
    “The referee favors your side!!”

    And the battle rages on,
    for months, it seems,
    until election day.

    And then, when the battle is over
    and the victor determined,
    the crowd will leave the stadium,
    half victorious,
    half disappointed,
    but both factions have
    at least one thing in common.

    Both must live with the result.


    It really makes no difference
    in the end.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  53. Walt Wojtanik


    The band has re-assembled, and it’s the right
    time, and the write time to perpetrate poetry.
    Here, where the spirit first moved some of us to that end,
    the dissection of words and rhyme have filled our time
    and when we’re finished, what’s left
    will be emotive, evocative, expressive and fine.

    Here, where the line in the sand is as fine
    as the poets who amass here, and it is right
    that we come back together despite our quirks, left-
    over muses used to touch hearts and soothe souls. Poetry
    becomes the magnet that draws our mettle, and this time
    as always, we pen without end.

    Twisted rhymes and mangled meter that we bend
    to placate our peculiarities of poetic license; the levied fine
    is never excessive as long as we stay expressive each time.
    For we write, whether wrong or right
    and fight for the cause of poetry
    making sure that no thought is left

    behind. It is the mantle that has been left
    to us; the banner that has been given to us. The end
    justifies the course we take in the production of our poetry.
    No matter the form, or meter, or rhyme, we are fine
    with our choices, we are voices to be heard; a chorus right
    for our ears. We will have our say over time.

    Many of the poet wanderers come back in time.
    However, we will miss the friends that have left
    for reasons we respect and understand; it was their right.
    They are no less talented or poetic friends,
    for their worded wonder remains true and good and fine.
    They are minstrels all, with the lyrical rhymes of their poetry.

    Here, back where we started to hone these skills poetic,
    writing until it is our time
    to pass that grail to hands less frail and refined.
    Our words will linger long after we’ve left
    this poetic plane, remembered until the end
    because what we’ve written will be held up as a beacon bright.

    It is right that we return again to write poetry,
    verse that will stand until the end of time.
    Left for the eyes of future generations; our work will be fine.

  54. Marjory MT

    Haunting in the melody
    left to me since
    you went away.
    Softly it slips into my dreams.

    NIIAN (20-24 syllables, 4 lines)

    So many delightful, fun, sharp poems today.

  55. barbara_y

    (a twofer two-in-one)

    Loaves and Fishes, the Left-overs

    What if a guy comes home–he’s been out,
    the whole block knows, looking for work–
    and he’s weighted down with fish sandwiches
    (around here, those would be fried and dripping
    grease. Whiting, bony and sweet fleshed, dredged
    in corn meal with just flour enough to make it hang;
    and pepper to wake up your mouth; salt for satisfaction,
    and some pickles like a slap on the tongue. And
    mustard. The bread would be white sponge
    from the day-old store, just there to keep hold
    of that rich hot pickle mustard fat) and his wife
    has already started supper, bought and paid for, maybe
    pork chops or tamale pie.
    She’s going to ask him
    about that fish.
    Where’d all that come from. And what’s he doing with it.
    What’s he going to tell her? That he worked all fucking day
    at some fool’s political picnic and got paid off in left
    over fish sandwich? Or just say he thought he’d pick up dinner
    and surprise her and let her think he can’t do anything right.

  56. Dan Collins

    The Choice

    One choice on the left
    and one on the right
    We’re always stuck
    in the middle!

    But It’s election day
    so what do you say
    there’s no time
    left to piddle.

    What makes it so hard
    to fill out the card
    -first we must solve
    this small riddle:

    The candidate’s stands
    flip hand to hand
    like pancakes hot
    off the griddle.

    Which man will we pick?
    Which Romney will stick,
    if the vote count
    his way settles?

    ~ with apologies to my friends on the Right

  57. MeenaRose

    When The Dust Settles
    By: Meena Rose

    When all that is left
    Is but a husk – empty and hollow,
    Consumed by ashes of memories now gone,
    Releasing echoes of a life lived in full,
    Yearning for a wraith’s last lingering kiss,

    Step right in to
    Fill a void overwhelmed in sorrow,
    Breathe new life into the hollowed bone,
    Embrace a soul with the touch of soft wool,
    Gently reminisce and pull the heart out of the abyss.

  58. Connie Peters

    Philippe Petit

    It was illegal
    But he had do to it
    He was born to

    He alone was able
    No one else could do it
    There was no why

    They snuck up
    Strung a rope to the other tower
    Using a bow and arrow

    That August morning
    People stared up, eyes wide
    Mouths agape

    The trick
    Not to go the right or left
    And he did it

    But he was arrested
    Police report simply said
    Man on wire

    His punishment
    To perform for children
    Then he was free

  59. elishevasmom

    Right From the Start

    She looked up as he
    entered the kitchen,
    -What happened to your chin?
    Puzzled, he lifted his
    right hand to his chin.

    He didn’t know there
    was anything wrong with it.
    -No, a little more, just
    left of center.
    Now more puzzled than ever,

    -Oh, that was an ice hockey
    game when I was twelve.
    You mean we have
    been together for fourteen
    years and you never noticed?

    -Your eyes bewitched me
    when we first met
    and you have yet to break
    the spell, for that would surely
    break my heart.

    She stood up, wrapped her
    arms around his neck and
    kissed the scar.
    -Just one more place to
    love you.

    Ellen Knight

  60. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    It was my choice to make,
    I thought, as I stood adrift
    in an ocean of options,
    none of which really gave
    me what I wanted. Was it
    my choice to pick what
    would make me happy?
    Somewhere, I missed the
    memo, if that was the point.
    It wasn’t even so much
    having two directions, not
    any longer—not like two
    easy choices, either this
    way or that way, but more
    like having all the micro-
    directions in a compass
    that’s way too thorough
    for its own good, like
    having north-north-north-
    west and south-south-east
    and all those choices that
    probably don’t really exist
    but for the efforts of people
    who got bored with having
    two options and decided
    to give themselves more. I
    wish now that I had stayed
    where I was supposed to.

    Do not turn to the right or
    the left; keep your foot from
    evil. (Prov. 4:27 NIV)

  61. Andrew Kreider

    When the poets left town

    Whatever I try, it’s the same song:
    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.
    It’s got me convinced that I’m in the wrong,
    whatever I try, it’s the same song.
    But surely this faceless technology’s wrong?
    Soon there will be few poets left in this shell of a town.
    Whatever I try, it’s the same song:
    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

  62. JWLaviguer

    Right Where We Left Off

    Through many lifetimes
    we have traveled
    Each journey
    is different
    but one thing
    is constant
    and that is
    You and I
    as one

  63. JanetRuth

    …a little fun with left and right:)

    In this left-foot-right-foot journey
    We are left with one certainty
    The consequences of our action
    And whatever that might be
    Of wrong or right


    You left because it was right


    I write with my left hand
    And eat with my right
    Thereby to appease
    Both appetites


    Left side or right
    I do not care
    Oh my darling, as long
    As I know you are there


    Some things are better left alone
    Right where they are


    Right after the words left my lips
    I wished they hadn’t


    Oh God, You remain right where you are
    Yet it seems you are not there
    Is it I then, that has left?


    The left-overs
    Are right under
    Your nose


    Sweetheart, we have this left
    In love’s pleasure and pain
    The right to keep trying
    Again and again


    Right now
    I left…

  64. Andy Brackett

    Left to Right

    They say left handed people, are in their right mind.
    That Democrats are left wing Republicans the right.
    I’m something of an oddity, I really must confess
    I’m kind of in the middle, kind of, more or less.

    You see I write with my left hand, and throw with my right
    But left handed scissors won’t work right for me.
    I’m politically neutral I see good on both sides.
    I suppose, if I could, I’d vote for both guys.

    What’s left to say? I rightly don’t know
    There’s puns left I’m sure But right now I’m toast.
    Between poems and NaNo I’m losing my credit,
    Left with no choice But to write without edit.

  65. IrisD


    Don’t let the right hand know what the left is doing
    The Bible gives us this example for giving
    If I keep to myself the abundance of a gift
    Or recipient of this unknown treasure
    The reward comes from above not accolades of man
    Give, and it will be given unto you

  66. Michael Grove

    Right or Left

    Turn your head to the right.
    Feels a tad bit strange.
    Have a little drink of cherry kool-aid.
    Dream a pleasant dream of lasting change.

    Turn your head to the left
    and fake a little cough.
    Grab your ankles if you please.
    Stop this ride or else fall off.

    By Michael Grove

  67. JWLaviguer

    She was right
    so I left
    my many demons
    amongst themselves
    violent outbursts
    with words
    caused pain
    and sorrow
    in the bottom
    of this bottle
    I can see clearly
    though blurred
    too late
    much too late
    I stayed away
    for awhile
    but in spite
    of myself
    and her
    I returned
    to do harm
    was not my
    here I sit
    with blood on my
    an on my
    will I go to hell
    or live
    with her last words
    in my ears
    please God no

  68. Misky



    He left this life
    bereft of joy,
    left these muzzled, puzzled bones
    behind, and took flight
    right into
    a heavenly light.


    All that was left was to write,
    so there he sat,
    through the short
    bells of the clock,
    in a bid to write
    a happy ending.

  69. JanetRuth

    This Left-foot-right-foot Journey…

    We are not so different
    Whether fearful or brave
    Life is a left-foot-right-foot journey
    From the cradle to the grave

    No matter where on earth we be
    Whether master or slave
    Life is a left-foot-right-foot journey
    From the cradle to the grave

    Humanity has much in common
    Not measured by the things we have
    But by this left-foot-right-foot journey
    From the cradle to the grave

    We are fellow-travelers
    So let’s share what mercy gave
    In our left-foot-right-foot journey
    From the cradle to the grave

    …for we are not so different
    In this path of life we brave
    On a left-foot-right-foot journey
    From the cradle to the grave

    © Janet Martin

  70. Ber


    I do not know my left from right
    so who is your man today
    who is the one to the winning post
    i know who is my favourite to stand

    I do not live within the land
    that holds this all so dear
    i only watch from afar
    to hear the clues of despair

    People have their voice
    the paper they will mark
    even after all the talking is done
    the running wills will spark

    Let the one who is to be there
    do the job come what may
    make sure you use your vote so well
    on this presidential voting day

    Its your right to have your say
    which road to take
    left or right
    only you can come to that conclusion
    its your given right

  71. Nancy Posey


    Yelling hello into the house
    that seemed so empty without her—
    not even her walls of books
    absorbed the echo—
    he pinballed around from room
    to room, first waiting
    then looking for clue.
    No ransom note.
    No Dear John letter.
    No emptied drawers.
    No I’ll be right home phone calls.
    No clues to tell him why
    she’d left.


    I can see him now,
    wandering through the house,
    poking through the pantry
    for a snack while he waits
    for me to come home.
    But I’m not coming home.
    He’s probably saved them up all day,
    little things he’ll tell me,
    niggling complaints–
    About his boss.
    About his colleagues.
    About the idiots all around him
    on his drive to and from the office.
    About the waitress who got his order wrong.
    Tonight he’ll sit alone,
    since I won’t be there
    to nod my head as if to say
    he’s right. He’s always right.

  72. JWLaviguer

    Right The Ship

    Don’t rock the boat (baby)
    they always say
    but freewill for us
    is the only way

    We left their shores
    so long ago
    to begin a new life
    with family in tow

    The right to live
    the right to speak
    the right to worship
    defend the weak

    I served so you
    could freely live
    so cast that vote
    “but one to give”

    Let’s not get all
    politically correct
    does it really matter
    which one we elect

    The promises they make
    to get your vote
    are only words
    so let me quote

    The greatest band ever
    despite his voice
    “If you choose not to decide
    you still have made a choice.”

  73. Nimue

    There it lies.
    in a corner.

    words piled together
    awaiting a spark,
    to rub in with each other,
    and fireworks to start.

    lines of dreamy thoughts
    lie on the naked sheet
    like marks of his kisses
    left for her fingers to feel.

    the poem lies.
    Can she let go ?

  74. viv

    Thanks for the prompt, Walt. Very timely!

    Let’s look at this thing in a balanced manner:
    yes, it is your right to vote for whoever you choose
    but, when you discard the incompetent,the scoundrels,
    the deluded and the monstrous egos, who is left?

  75. Walt Wojtanik


    Right brain vs. left brain.
    The division is well defined,
    in the opposing functions of our mind.
    The right brained seem expressive; creative,
    displays emotion, a music devotion,
    color and images come to the fore,
    and intuitive like nothing before.
    This is the left brain, in the final analysis,
    logic and language are this sides’ emphasis,
    Numbers come easy (eh, go figure).
    Reasoning makes sense whence
    done with the left side. But I beg
    to differ (I’ll state it with pride)
    that poets seem to join the two,
    they think with one mind
    and when they’re through
    they’ve created a part from
    their head and heart that
    is expressive and full of emotion,
    sings like music, and paints
    an intuitive picture with their words
    as their medium. The tedium comes
    when revision occurs analytically
    speaking they tweak their words
    so that language is logical
    and indeed quite “poetical”
    Almost mathematical (and
    mostly so reasonable).
    Right vs. left, here’s the disclaimer,
    why make a choice; it’s a no-brainer.

    1. Marjory MT

      “….But I beg
      to differ (I’ll state it with pride)
      that poets seem to join the two,
      they think with one mind>”

      Well stated , Walt. [maybe because I agree ;) ]
      Thanks for the prompt and the smiles to start my day.

      And Thank Goodness for ‘Copy and Paste’ to reduce frustrations in commenting attempts.
      So many delightful poems today love to comment on more, but….. “…slow down”

  76. Maxie


    I see.
    I see well enough to discern
    some things on my own,
    but lend me lens of clarity
    and I’ll see
    what’s left is not right.
    I looked.
    I looked beyond what my eyes
    recognized and accepted the blur,
    refusing lens of clarity
    and I saw
    what’s left was not right.
    I know.
    I know well enough to leave
    well enough alone, and though
    we thrived, we ignored lens of clarity
    and I knew
    what’s left was not right.
    I see.
    I see beyond what my eyes
    desired, focused my vision,
    aligned the lens of clarity
    and I see
    I left because it was right.

      1. Maxie

        Thanks for the support in sharing your example, both to you and de (who was quieted by the comment gremlin). I really appreciate the community here. The wound is only days old so it means a lot. Writing poetry has been cathartic.

  77. Jerry Walraven

    “I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque”

    Delicate lines of frost
    have appeared on the sunroom window.
    Absorbing the early morning sun
    they put me in mind of a map,
    hubs and spokes,
    urban areas connected
    via single lines which run through
    vast expanses of prairie,
    touching countless lives
    while I sip hot coffee,
    then exhale,
    forever changing the map.

  78. Mariya Koleva

    Thanks, Walt, for this great prompt. I always have fun with you :-)

    You have the right
    To take what’s left
    And leave with it.
    And leave me here empty-handed.
    As long as there’s
    No other left
    To go right where you’re headed
    And right the wrong you did to me.

  79. Walt Wojtanik


    A refrigerator full of meals
    days in the eating and making,
    taking a little of Monday’s
    meat and Tuesday’s pasta,
    lotsa vegetables in green,
    I make a mean mash-up
    of stuff we haven’t finished yet.
    My bet is that my daughter
    will roll her eyes and mutter
    like she did the other time
    I had served this. Hit or miss.
    If you’re hungry enough,
    you’ll eat it. Never defeated.
    Leftovers will be served.
    Don’t look on it as doom.
    Soon comes Thursday,
    Tacos loom! Yum!

  80. Benjamin Thomas

    Taking Aim

    I greatly desire…

    to be left alone with you,

    when the time is right.

    To be together often,

    simply have you in my sight.

    Swiftly take steady aim,

    make the target your heart;

    the bullseye your love

    in hope my possession

    until death do us part

  81. Walt Wojtanik


    Close and closer still,
    nestled and comforted
    by a love hard earned.
    I’ve learned that the grass
    isn’t really greener, but
    just variant shades.
    And in the end, the friend
    that she began as, has
    taken every length
    to find strength in my malady.
    More of a lady as I’ve ever deserved,
    the best is reserved for when times
    get bad, for better or worse,
    sickness and health,
    various stages of wealth;
    there is love right there.
    I smile knowing I have her
    right here where she wants me.

  82. Marie Elena

    ROBERT: This totally rocks. Thank you for the humor and the message.

    “…be respectful of people with two left feet or who are always right, especially people who are always right who happen to have two left feet.”

      1. Walt Wojtanik

        Only a nice guy would recognize a nice guy! Robert, thanks for being one yourself, and for all you do for poetry, poets and helping a guy like me to find something to do with all this “noise” in my head. I wrote poems before Poetic Asides. I am a true poet because of your guidance.

  83. Walt Wojtanik


    This is it,
    today’s the day.
    All the noise should end today.

    The race near finished
    the line in sight,
    and the choice is clear tonight.

    Right at this moment
    I’m picking a winner,
    beef, not chicken tonight for dinner.

    Right down to the wire,
    I go with my hunch,
    now if I knew what I wanted for lunch!