2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

UPDATE: As problems continue with the commenting, I’ve decided to open up a WD Forum thread for the first 7 days. Beginning with tomorrow’s prompt, there will be prompt-specific threads linked to each post. Click here to share your poems/comments for the first 7 days.

Sorry for the late prompt today–stayed up a little late last night.

Today’s prompt comes to us from Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz.

Here’s Eleanore’s prompt: Write a circular poem. It could be a poem about circles, or about a circular concept, or about something shaped like a circle. Or it could be a poem with a circular format, in which the end of the poem somehow connects directly back to the beginning of the poem.

Robert’s attempt at a circular poem:

“Been Here”

Feels like I’ve been here before
with my head hidden under the covers
and wanting another hour or two.

Feels like I’ve been here before
rushing around to get lunches packed
and telling people what to do.

Feels like I’ve been here before
saying “goodbye, have a great day”
but wanting more time with you.


Thank you, Eleanore, for the terrific prompt! Click here to learn more about her.


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121 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

  1. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 7
    Prompt: Circle

    Circle of Thanksgiving

    This time last year, I planned my list,
    my agenda of shopping, cleaning, cooking.
    I listed in my mind my thanks.

    This year, even more to be grateful for,
    I start my list anew:
    Groceries, tasks, blessings.

  2. KathyA

    Women’s Circle

    Women, each with a story
    Claim their spaces in the circle
    Under the twinkling stars,
    Firelight dancing off their faces.

    A circle of tents surrounds them
    Canvas protectors of the tales within.
    One reveals her heartache
    And the others say, “Oh, no…”

    The next one speaks of work
    And money, saved and spent.
    Two more nod with understanding,
    While a third throws a log on the fire.

    The shy one who just got here
    Pulls her chair up close to me.
    We heard she just lost her mother
    And is finally starting to talk.

    The jokestress cracks a good one
    And the night air crackles with mirth,
    And the woman wearing the jacket
    Says she’s leaving early tomorrow.

    The two that have been friends forever
    Are discussing when to head home,
    And the talking comes full circle
    Once everyone goes to bed.

  3. Nancy Posey

    When You Arrived

    When you arrived, looking so fresh,
    so ripe, the new and improved version
    of everything I never even knew
    I needed walking right in the door,
    with nowhere else to go but here,
    I poured us both a glass of sweet tea,
    we sat right down at the kitchen table,
    and the rest of our lives began
    it seemed. I knew I would mark
    the beginning of my life of happily
    ever after from this November day
    when you arrived, looking so fresh.

  4. po

    The Trouble With Color

    The problem with describing color is that color is not a word.—Robert Hass

    I disagree.

    Of course color is a concept
    but it is also a exquisite word.
    A word to build other words—
    watercolor, colorblind.

    How many colors to know
    the pine tree? Its bark turns
    from gray to silver in the sun.
    Needles green, then gold as they
    fall to cover the bare ground.

    A finch hides her nest of brown
    and black twigs intermingled with
    colorful pieces of string. Shadows
    turn blue when the sun goes down
    and at night a black reflection dances
    before the moon.

    Of course
    color is a word—it holds the world.

  5. PKP


    A lone refugee
    my great grandmother was
    borne across the roiling seas to
    relatives on streets peopled by pushcarts
    possessions spilling with no place

    I fled to leased marbled grandeur
    displaced guiltily into buffeted breakfasts
    by a angry sea too lightly regarded

    Home as visitor spectator assessor
    amid displaced possessions
    pushcarted onto an unpeopled street

    I stand

    A lone refugee

  6. PSC in CT

    Spinning Thoughts

    In dark, silent stillness they
    launch from their perch,
    tiny rockets circling, circling,
    swooping, swerving in perfect unison
    until, as one, they settle to preen,
    flaunting their feathers, (ruffling mine)
    then lifting off to take flight again
    in a whirlwind spinning eddy of
    autumn leaves, swirling flutter dance
    divinely choreographed ballet, where they
    pause, breathe for but a heartbeat,
    shiver, quiver, rustle in place
    before spinning off again in a flight of
    fish swimming in flawless synchronization,
    flashing light and color, moving as one:
    up, down, left, right, around and around,
    keeping me sleepless
    within those spinning circles

  7. Paoos69

    Going in Circles

    Have you ever wondered?
    Why circles have no sides
    Why dogs chase their tails
    And how soap bubbles glide

    Have you ever wondered?
    Why ripples are concentric
    Why water in a sink twirls
    And bellies become a curve

    Have you ever wondered?
    Why baldness leaves a ring of hair
    Why most spas are round
    And curls are curls no squares

    Have you ever wondered?
    Why the earth is round
    Why our eyes have circular pupils
    And “Ohs” follow anything profound

    The questions are endless
    And go around in circles
    Because in the end
    Anything that goes around, comes around.

  8. Yolee

    Three Times Expectant

    I rubbed my planet
    often when I was significant
    with child; spoke my peace
    of heart; my son and two
    daughters pushed their universe
    with fists or feet and formed
    circles within my internal
    loops as if to answer
    by codes, pregnant
    with inscrutabilities.

  9. foodpoet

    Broken Circles
    river chimes from ice melt
    young frisk roaring
    eating earth rock land
    etching forming veins
    from ice to ocean
    ending with a sigh.
    Rivers are always in a state of flux.
    Why control the floodgates of tomorrow,
    drums beat with rain of tears
    dance in the mountain swirl
    of green land of youth roaring
    over and over in
    white rapid terror
    risking daring fearing nothing
    and only change is eternal
    and the rain pounds on
    feeding the mountain’s tears.
    And the drums echo out
    of the mountain
    to flood the floor of agless
    between time in the chant of rain
    the river meanders killing feeding fueling
    But now in new cycles
    oh to be tamed and burnt used
    no longer churning but wrought thin as slivers are shared.
    Water is sucked up by man faster
    then the drums of rain can fuel the flow and the chimes falter.

  10. Tracy Davidson

    The Circle of Life

    How that song in ‘The Lion King’
    made me choke up…
    not with emotion
    but with a surge of vomit
    induced by the sight
    of the cutesey-wutesey cub
    being praised and adored
    by other animals.

    I wanted to stand up
    in the cinema and shout
    “That ickle-wickle cub
    will grow up big and strong
    and tear you all to pieces
    you stupid creatures!”

    Circle of life, my arse.

    Only my 5-year-old’s hand
    in mine stopped me,
    made me sit quietly
    through the whole thing.

    Now, she makes me sit
    through the DVD
    over and over
    and over…

    I don’t have the heart to tell her
    I like Scar the best.

  11. Tracy Davidson


    The world is round
    but not a perfect circle.
    It’s slightly flattened
    at the top and bottom,
    it bulges around the middle.

    I know how it feels.

    Perhaps the Earth
    has its own version
    of middle-age spread.
    Perhaps the Earth
    is having a mid-life crisis.

    I know how it feels.

  12. Walt Wojtanik


    Good days come.
    Bad days linger
    and I lose control
    of most of my fingers.
    Some days find me
    incoherent, not so
    apparent when it’s done,
    not recognizing my voice
    and none of the words
    Translate great on the slate
    of a blank page.
    Can’t blame age,
    I’m not that old,
    but I’ve been told
    I carry myself thus.
    When the tremors can be seen
    it is a mean trick to play
    on a poet poeming
    a poem-a-day. But today
    seems a good day.
    I seem to be coming around,
    and when I do, I won’t slow down!

  13. aviseuss


    Music inside us
    Plays the story of our lives
    On this circular disc, holds secrets
    Only shared by us, only known by us
    As it spins around and ‘round, we kiss
    Run your hands through my hair
    I listen to your beating chest
    In your arms I feel at rest
    You are my muse
    My sprite

  14. Buddah Moskowitz

    The Process (for me)

    white page,
    waiting for the muse.
    Suddenly, she quickly flies
    in the window sometimes straight,
    sometimes on an angle, and the ideas
    race like wildfire across the plains
    of my imagination as I pluck
    the right words to tame
    the moment, before it
    goes, taking with it
    the life, the zing,
    before returning
    once again to

  15. sonja j

    Sigh…Robert said ‘circle’; it is Joni Mitchell’s birthday, and that was it for me. No matter how hard I tried, the only thing I could hear in my head was Circle Game. I can’t beat it, so I am joining it with a found shadorma from those lyrics.

    Fearful child
    behind the circle.
    Over ten
    seasons we
    turn and drag feet to slow him
    before better years.

  16. Benjamin Thomas

    Life is Circular

    Life is hardly a linear experience
    on a single plane

    a tediously boring

    once and for all stretch

    but very circular in nature

    taking a turn for the better

    or for the worse

    oftentimes repeating itself

    over and over again

    in mundane ordinary ways

    otherwise adventurous

    continually guiding us unto

    unimaginable destinations

    and situations unfathomable

  17. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Santa’s lovely shape

    Santa doesn’t like the gym.
    (He gives kudos to the slim).
    Santa is not a loser!

    He despises Jenny Craig.
    He avoids workouts like the plague.
    Santa is not a loser!

    Santa won’t go on a diet.
    He thinks dieting is a riot.
    Santa is not a loser!

    Doesn’t weight watch, he just eats.
    Santa likes all kinds of meat.
    Santa is not a loser!

    Of his shape, he’s not ashamed.
    He wants you to feel the same.
    Santa is not a loser!

  18. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz

    Circular Reasoning

    Some things don’t change:
    the pulse of your blood as it
    beats through your veins; the
    quiet strength of an older
    man who drives with one
    wrist; the uncanny ability of
    a young guy to handle a
    pickup truck on corners with
    one hand, with implacable
    grace and poise; the crystal-
    clear sapphirine blue of the
    sky; the mosaic of colors in
    autumn leaves; the feel of
    a child who buries her head
    beneath your chin in a silent
    plea for comfort; the bitter
    spicy taste of a salted caramel
    mocha, extra hot; the majesty
    of an eagle—an emblem—
    soaring against that clear sky;
    the crashing roar of ocean waves
    on a black-sand beach; the
    inexpressible wonder of a
    waving American flag, in all
    its glory; the inimitable
    release of relief from a prison
    (pick your poison); the crisp
    sheen of satin in black or
    Christmas green or red like
    rubies or silvery grey; the
    timeless look of ancient
    wisdom in a newborn’s eyes;
    the soundless fall of snow on
    a static-white night; the
    reliable sneer on a cat’s face
    at your return home; the
    gleaming beauty of a cello
    from the 1700s with a mellow
    alto voice; the inexplicably
    predictable slide of sweat
    in wet rivulets in the space
    between your breasts as your
    anxiety or your desire—six
    to one, half dozen the other—
    rises; the glistening fall of
    misty rain on sparkling wet
    asphalt; the haunting loveliness
    of music with a Hebraic
    tonality; the easy breathlessness
    of a major triad with a minor
    jazz seventh arpeggiated all
    the way up the piano; the
    shimmering pain in the arches
    of your feet when you wear
    your favorite stiletto-heeled
    sandals; the classic simplicity
    of a strand of matched pearls
    (synthetic, but, really, who’s
    counting?); the sour vinegary
    dressing over German potato
    salad; the just-right flavor of
    hot homemade pizza, topped
    with roasted green peppers with
    blistered skins; the delicate
    scent of a baby’s milky breath
    as he sleeps and dreams
    impossible dreams; the worn
    comfort of fuzzy socks; the
    safe cocoon on a brisk winter
    morning that your inert body
    forms under layers of quilts;
    the smell of Old World soup,
    a family recipe, simmering
    gently on the stove; the view to
    eternity from the precipice of
    Storm Peak in Steamboat Springs
    on a day when your breath
    crackles cold in the air and the
    sunshine sparkles off mounds of
    snow and the horizon melts over
    the mountains in the distance;
    the brisk cut of a black business
    suit with heels and the power of
    the same ensemble in red; the
    delicious sensation of
    unconditional belonging in God’s
    throne room (wherever it is); the
    uncontainable surge of pride at
    seeing a member of the United
    States military—greatest on earth,
    any branch—in impeccable dress
    uniform; the almost-invisible
    glimpse of a silver sliver of moon
    at mid-morning; the selfless
    attentiveness of a lover for his
    beloved; the self-sacrifice behind
    every rare and lovely act of
    chivalry a man makes on a
    woman’s behalf; the kind-hearted
    affection between two people who
    have spent decades growing
    together and somehow know much
    more than what the other person
    is thinking; the blush of spring on
    thorny roses; the incomprehensible
    knowing that your life is worth
    someone’s death; the slow fall of
    shed blood and gushed water that
    co-mingle and obliterate your
    record of wrongs; the pulse of
    precious blood in the veins of
    someone who believes, even now,
    that you are worth everything.

  19. Dan Collins

    Cosimo’s Lament (triolet)

    No dome, this church, to shield us from the sky
    No plan to hold the weight of brick and plaster
    Foolish Florentines to build so wide and high.
    No dome, this church to shield us from the sky
    come snow and rain the floor is seldom dry
    Santa Maria del Fiore waits upon the Master
    No dome, this church, to shield us from the sky
    No plan to hold the weight of brick and plaster

    1. Dan Collins

      Cosimo’s Lament (triolet)

      This church has no dome to shield us from the sky
      No plan to hold the weight of brick and plaster
      Foolish Florentines to build so wide and high
      This church has no dome to shield us from the sky
      Come snow and rain the floor is seldom dry
      Santa Maria del Fiore waits upon the Master
      This church has no dome to shield us from the sky
      No plan to hold the weight of brick and plaster

  20. chicneek

    Not Like Him
    I ate
    the crust
    the bread.
    Saved the best
    for last.
    Just like Dad
    who saved for
    and died
    Spun me
    right around.
    I fold the bread over
    and bite the middle first
    and throw away
    the crust
    when I don’t
    want it.

  21. 1flychicken

    Here’s mine, ok? (: I haven’t tried to share yet. It’s kind of silly. But I’m really enjoying this! And all of the sweet poets here. Nice community. Ok… here goes:

    your mouth is what’s stuck. small flower,
    pink as reason & slow to wake. tell me:
    what is it you won’t miss? in this flight
    [the hum of my hover] you have me—
    promise of a body, both
    foreign & tragic to travel you:

    the lengths between your
    once-a-week reach for sun,
    trenches pinched into the folds of
    your fragile no-bones, sticky gaps
    of indifference, where
    pollen collects, i orbit—

    waiting for touchdown, quick
    gasp [like instinct] to catch that
    single second we might intersect;
    so long, i might smash myself
    into you, hope nothing breaks.

    thanks for the read!

  22. seingraham

    The Circle of Life and Death and Poetry

    Before I began trying to write
    Poetry with anything like real
    Seriousness – that’s not to say
    Every poem I write is of solemn
    Nature, or even true – what I
    Mean, I suppose is back when
    I just fooled around with the words
    My perception was that poetry
    Was written by dead white guys
    From centuries ago, then interspersed
    With the odd – very odd – white broad
    Or two, also usually dead, not surprisingly
    Or maybe it was – I can’t remember
    What I thought – actually yes, I can
    It bothered me more than a little
    That more than a few of the poetesses
    I fancied had offed themselves

    This I discovered just as I was beginning
    To pen verse myself and it seemed
    A bit of a cautionary tale coming as it did
    At a time when suicidal ideology
    Also figured prominently in my own life
    And so it went – the more I wrote poems
    The more poetry I read, the more I learned
    Of poets I liked who had taken their lives

    This was not a circle of life and death I cared
    To spend time examining but examine it I did
    However, it didn’t keep me from writing
    In fact, in the way of it, my eccentric concentric
    Circles spread themselves like ripples
    Growing exponentially larger – the more poems
    I write, it seems, the less suicidal I feel
    It might be my imagination but I’m not
    About to put it to the test …

  23. Bruce Niedt

    Hamster Wheel

    you get up again and
    drink your coffee and
    shower and shave and
    sit in rush hour traffic and
    spend the morning on drudgery and
    go to the usual place for lunch and
    spend the afternoon on drudgery and
    sit in rush hour traffic and
    heat up a quick dinner and
    watch TV all evening and
    crawl into bed and

  24. Catherine Lee


    Heading west out of Phoenix
    in a worn Chevy that matches
    me scratch for scratch

    Our soles rubbed free of traction
    kick up clouds of dirt that stay
    beneath my nails

    It reminds me of the dust
    left behind and the fire
    by night that guides me home.

  25. tunesmiff

    (A Pantoum)
    (c) G. Smith
    Round and round I go
    Spinning like a top;
    Where I’ll stop, who know,
    How hard will I drop?

    Spinning like a top
    I teeter at the brink.
    How hard will I drop?
    I don’t have time to think.

    I teeter on the brink,
    Of seeing you again.
    I don’t have time to think:
    A beginning or the end

    Of seeing you again?
    Where I’ll stop, who knows:
    The beginning or the end?
    Round and round I go.

    Round and round I go,
    Spinning like a top;
    Where I’ll stop, who knows…

  26. Jane Shlensky

    Circle of Friends

    I had forgotten
    who I used to be
    when we were
    young and had
    such naughty fun,
    laughing too loud,
    before we acquired

    I don’t use that nickname
    now that I’m older,
    a professional matron
    away from home,
    now that wine is
    the worst habit
    I’ve kept and memory
    has circled back on me.

    But oh, it is so fine
    to see you all, my dear
    old friends, so good to
    remember who we were,
    what we stood for,
    what we suffered,
    where we grew up
    and caroused—seeing
    the early signs of who
    we might become,
    all these new wrinkles
    in time, these new selves,
    just flimsy robes
    covering our aging
    but solid

  27. Sara McNulty

    Poetic Asides November Challenge – Day 7
    Write a circular poem

    Bicycle of Life

    We are born unblemished, curious,
    needing caretakers, guiders, teachers
    to provide food, shelter, education.
    We are taught how to tell right
    from wrong, goodness from evil,
    and history’s place in shaping
    marvels of the present,
    promises of the future.

    And so we grow, some following
    rules, others breaking them, all
    the time evolving into who
    we are, and how to fend
    for ourselves.

    When we are old, most of us
    are blemished. Some maintain
    curiosity, continue learning,
    and growing. Others know
    they are no longer participants
    in the future. Independence
    reverses, tasks are troublesome,
    if not impossible. With minds
    intact, knowledge and marvels
    still occur. If faculties fracture
    as old bones, you become
    helpless, and once again,
    reliant on caretakers
    to keep you alive.

  28. shellaysm

    “Carousel” (Rondeau poem)

    Once again, up and down, round and round
    mystical equines on common ground
    prancing in eternal rotation
    aristocrats in glam formation
    masquerade, dignified and profound.

    Gilded mirror, dancing light playground,
    this elaborate merry-go-round
    remains a carnival foundation
    once again, up and down, round and round.

    Cotton candy-stuck fingers surround
    metallic poles as the organ sounds.
    Beware the childhood fixation:
    golden-token-only elation
    ushers young greed (not awe) to abound
    once again, up and down, round and round.

  29. Misky

    Covetous of Circles

    She was jealous of circles,
    such sheer perfection –
    those miraculously ends-meeting
    together rings, 360-degree’ing,
    zealously looping and scooping
    up and back on to itself again,
    rounds of spheres and drops
    of tears, rope wound and bound
    round into balls. Circles to be found
    everywhere she looked and they
    all made her covetous heart spin.

  30. Mike Bayles

    Fall Again

    I’ve seen this weather before
    the gray haze lingering all day
    and weighing upon my thoughts
    while falling leaves
    leave trees bare
    after the verdant incarnation summer
    so alive after winter and spring,
    after the last fall
    when I’d seen this weather before.

  31. Andy Brackett

    Sun’s Circle

    Dawn’s light breaks
    With early warning
    A new day
    Is just beginning

    It rises higher
    Softly healing
    Natures hearth
    With gentle warming

    By midday’s acme
    Brightly shining
    On fallow Earth
    And cloud lining

    By dinner time
    Slowly waning
    Setting soon
    Sunlight’s fading

    Touching horizon
    Its last glow cast
    It’s circle done
    It sets at last


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