2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

The April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge is designed to help poets do one thing and one thing only: Write more poems! The process of revision may go on for weeks, months, and years later, but this challenge is all about getting that first draft. Please poem along with us–either in the comments below or silently at home.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “In Case of (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 could include “In Case of Emergency,” “In Case of Oversleeping,” “In Case of Snoring,” or something else.

Here’s my attempt:

“in case of forgetting”

remember the day & hour
remember the way he laughed
when you told him who

when you told him how
you could love a man
& he was the man

& he said no way
i don’t fall for dames
i don’t fall at all

but you did


Workshop Your Poetry!

Writing poetry is exciting, but the hard work of poeming is working through the revision process. The best way to work through this process is to workshop the poems with other poets, and that can be done with the Writer’s Digest 6-week course, Advanced Poetry Writing.


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Want some more poeming fun? Check out these previous Poetic Asides posts:

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318 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

  1. Nadienne

    In Case of Contentment

    In case you settle in,
    in case you find a modest job,
    a modest income that satisfies,
    in case you decorate your apartment
    to lose sight of the mildew stains
    and arrange your furniture in a way
    that pleases you, in case
    you meet your neighbors
    and their dogs
    and like them
    despite their hours of barking,
    their slamming doors, their low-brow
    taste in beer; in case you forget,
    in case you forget your aspirations,
    your goal to live in luxury—
    a long lane leading to your three-car garage—
    look out your window.
    There’s Elisha Potts
    digging through your trash again.

  2. tunesmiff


    In case of heartbreak,
    Fill up the glass.
    Drown my sorrows,
    No need to ask.
    Keep the bottle close,
    Right here on the bar;
    Use it to fill up,
    My broken heart.

  3. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz

    In Case of Fire

    I suppose you could watch
    as everything you possess
    in the form of me, myself,
    my body, catches fire, like
    spontaneous combustion,
    soul-deep, in your arms,
    especially late at night, but
    most people know better
    than to watch flames burn.

    I suppose you could feed
    the flames licking at our
    entwined selves, because
    I know you know that
    fire grows in proportion,
    directly, to the oxygen
    that feeds the hand it bites,
    but I should think you
    also know better than that.

    Then again, I supposed
    that you were ready
    to catch me when I started
    changing against you,
    sparks and cinders instead
    of flesh and bone, but you
    fled before me, and
    I could only weep ashes
    afterward, unlike before.

  4. foodpoet

    In case of fun

    In case of fun
    Do research
    Something is not right
    Fun is not allowed in the work zone

    Do research
    Focus eyes on the scroll of numbers
    Fun is now allowed in the work zone
    Make your quota send more emails

    Focus eyes on the scroll of numbers
    Take callaftercall
    Make your quota send more emails
    With a smile

    Take callaftercall
    In case of fun
    With a smile
    As you know – something is not right

  5. Mr. Walker

    In Case of Case

    If you find you don’t like
    the actual state of things
    as may be the case
    then write a political poem

    If yours is a sad case
    then try to be happy
    or just be happy
    there’s no use just trying

    If yours is a case of hardship
    hang in there
    adversity builds character
    so I’m told

    If it’s a mystery case
    then go investigate
    you won’t find it
    if you don’t look for it

    If someone presents a strong case
    then yours has to be stronger
    and by stronger
    I mean wiser

    If it’s a severe case of the flu
    stay home from work
    take care of yourself
    watch bad daytime tv

    If it’s the nominative case
    then flip it around
    make the noun a verb
    Google it if you don’t know how

    If it’s a briefcase
    carry it
    If it’s a legal case
    hire a lawyer

    If you’re the case
    hope you have a good doctor
    and you’re in a good hospital
    and they don’t mess up your chart

    If it’s a case of conscience
    listen to that little voice
    it’s saying the right thing
    so you’ll do the right thing

    If someone’s on your case
    tell them to back off
    maybe you need
    to get off their case

    If you’ve got a case
    for the girl next door
    or the boy next door
    just ask them out

    In any case
    another stanza can be added
    if this is not the case
    for you

  6. LCaramanna

    In Case of a Tie

    Decision-making was not my forte,
    Back and forth I would swing,
    Maybe yes, maybe no
    I’d let someone else choose –
    I was fine with anything.

    What to wear for the day,
    Back and forth I would swing,
    Blue print skirt? Denim pants?
    I’d call a friend for advice –
    I couldn’t wear just anything.

    On the daily drive to work,
    Back and forth I would swing,
    Highway? Scenic back road?
    Alone in the car, no one to ask –
    Oh, I could be fine with anything.

    At lunch in the café,
    Back and forth I would swing,
    Chicken soup or salad?
    Someone order for me please –
    I could eat just about anything.

    Decision-making was not my forte,
    Back and forth I would swing,
    Until one day I heard a referee say:
    In case of a tie
    Flip a coin!


    I no longer swing back and forth,
    Decision-making is now my forte,
    With a coin in my pocket,
    I can easily say:
    In case of a tie
    I’ll flip a coin.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  7. hcfbutton

    in case of panic

    if you find me on the floor
    fetal position
    afraid to open my eyes
    don’t panic.
    lie down and curl yourself around me.

    if you find me in the bed
    face ashen
    buried in blankets
    don’t panic.
    sit down next to me, massage my aches.

    if you find me on the sofa
    green sick
    bucket next to my face
    don’t panic.
    bring water and a cold compress.

    if you find me in the kitchen
    dancing ridiculously
    to exciting music
    don’t panic.
    just join me.

    also published on hcfitzpatrick.com

  8. Linda Voit

    In Case Of Sickness

    Call my friend Theresa. She will
    sit with you, stay long enough
    to match your pace and breathing.
    She’ll rub your hands and feet like
    there’s nowhere else to be.

    Call my sister Karen. She will
    bring you homemade soup and a poem
    or, more likely, a joke. She’ll sing
    if you want her to, or not.

    Call my friend Lisa. She will say
    Poor, you and Oh, honey and if she’s near,
    she’ll stroke your head until you feel
    the pain melt away.

    Call my friend Becky. She will know,
    scientifically, what you need to do
    and how to get rid of germs. She’ll make
    you feel good about going to bed
    on a work day.

    Call my brother Mike or Dave. They will
    feel so sorry for you, you’ll start to feel
    better just for them.

    Call my aunt Margo. She’s a nurse
    and always on call. She will listen,
    advise and check back with you.
    She will never hang up before she says
    I love you.

  9. PuffofSmokePoems

    In Case Of….

    It was an old wooden box, with no key. She found it at a yard sale in a small town fifty miles away and paid too much for it. Back home, she placed it on the kitchen table and smashed the lock off to see what the box held.

    Inside were bits of paper, handwritten, full of advice, contingency plans, exit maneuvers. She sorted them into piles, dividing them by types of paper. Each kind of paper, she soon discovered, had its own flavor of advice.

    There were blue squares, with roosters in the corner, shopping lists on one side: apples, milk, roasts, white bread. On the back of the lists, in the same flowing script, motherly advice: In case of rain, unexpected company, wrinkled linens. Another stack: Blue-lined notebook paper in childish handwriting, shaky Palmer script advising her what to do in case of lost homework, bullies, bad lunches. There were index cards with neat, blocky printing and instructions on what to do in case of problems with furnaces, rain gutters, flat tires.

    Finally, at the bottom of the box, a few strips of thick, cream colored paper. Some with no words at all, only tiny sketches of trees and flowers that had never grown in this world. The advice, if there was any, tended towards what to do in case of infestations of fairies, how to manage elves who came to visit and wouldn’t go home, plans in case of dragons. The very last slip of paper said, In case you are lost….with a hand-drawn map on the back.

    At last. She nearly cried with relief. Practical advice, at last.

  10. Carl

    In Case You Didn’t Know

    The lady in front of you, crawling,
    intensely tight, lacking a gas pedal
    is not attempting to make you late
    for work. She had eye surgery two
    weeks ago, and not one of her four
    children was willing to take her

    to the doctor today, that the boy
    presently trudging across the bridge,
    looking up as if looking for a space-
    ship is not contemplating suicide
    by jumping off the bridge as you have
    concluded, mostly because you 
    have never seen someone walk
    across that bridge and he does look
    spaced and gone from this world,

    that when you are thinking you
    are a failure, you might be wrong,
    that when you also feel gone from
    this world, you are here, and some
    slice of fucking goodness makes
    you persist in this increasingly

    futile activity, that sometimes, no 
    matter how hateful some may seem,
    sometimes, some people like you,
    that they are battling demons and
    they grip tightly to prevent you from
    seeing this in them, but you don’t 
    talk and no one talks to you,

    so in case you didn’t know, you are
    not alone, but life is the loneliest
    plot created by those before us.

  11. finallyhereiam

    In case of Boredom

    Read that book, try to cook!
    Click a picture, money’s not a stricture.
    Ride your bike, or opt for a hike,
    Paint a scene, play that game, go fishing.
    Paste that stamp, walk the ramp,
    Jog to the nook, swim down that brook,
    Dance to your tune,
    Sing those notes, play that beat,
    Hit the garden to prune!
    Walk the road, talk to them,
    Hobbies from such pastimes stem.

  12. tonijoell

    In Case of Edgar

    In case of Edgar,
    first rule of thumb:
    avoid opiates,
    though I would steer clear
    of hallucinogens
    as well.
    Steer clear of foggy lanes
    and cemeteries,
    on late night strolls.
    When searching for that once
    in a lifetime love
    Lenore and Annabel Lee
    are two names that tend to be harbingers of tragedy,
    though Virginia certainly
    swims in the pool.
    Avoid pits, pendulums,
    old creepy houses and
    letters from old friends,
    gold bugs and unsolvable puzzles.
    Be well aware that everything has a price.
    Oh, and
    don’t kill cats,
    converse with the dead,
    or ridicule crippled midgets—
    just a good rule of thumb.

  13. De Jackson

    In (the) Case of Those Meddling Kids
    (How to foil four teens and a dumb dog)

    Don’t put the lever for the secret passageway
    in the wall, especially not as simple as pulling
    down a candlestick or grabbing a book.
    They may look like a bunch
    of hormonal teenagers, but they’re sharp.

    The Vampire, Witch Doctor
    and Phony Fortune Teller thing has
    been done. Find a new schtick.
    And for pete’s sake, no zombies.

    Cue the mummy.
    Coooooin. Coooooin.
    Now that’s some scary $%^&.

    Put nails on the mansion’s driveway.
    The Mystery Machine looks groovy,
    but its tires are as vulnerable as any.

    Whaddaya mean, you left your scary mask
    out in plain sight?



  14. Dini

    In Case of Music

    In case of music,
    Dance on toes
    Dance and twirl
    Dance anywhere
    Just dance!

    In case of joy,
    Sing loudly
    Sing in harmony
    Sing off key
    Just sing!

    In case of music!

  15. Dini

    In light of all of those suffering poems from yesterday, I just had to post this one:

    In Case of Joy

    In case of joy,
    Relax in garden’s glory,
    inhale honeysuckle’s breath,
    let breeze ruffle your hair,
    splish-splash in the rain,
    reconnect with old friend,
    welcome a stranger,
    touch a baby’s soft cheek,
    hug someone you love.
    Treasure joy in your heart
    and let it bubble out to others.

  16. alana sherman

    In Case of Emergency

    “emergency emergency
    please to get from the street”

    Every day the headlines
    scream the sky
    is falling we have to get our guns
    so there can be armed
    guards in every school

    no place to hide
    from factories being dismantled
    and stiff tax hikes.
    Sex trafficking is on the rise
    keep your kids inside!

    Deadly storms sweep
    the midwest. Stay off
    bridges, out of tunnels we’re advised
    our infrastructure is crumbling
    and our legislators take bribes.

    Did I forget the missile launch
    by North Korea? Fracking?
    Death zones near high pressure pipelines?
    The list goes on and on.
    Is there no way out I cry.

    Still, ever the optimist,
    I sit here
    and write poetry.


  17. Margot Suydam

    Poem a day #11 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Poetic Asides: (1) Write a tanka, a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7 and (2) write a poem beginning with “In case of…”

    In case of tigers
    appearing at your back door
    with wide toothy grins
    remember some old dirty joke
    that blushes pride into silent awe.

  18. lionmother

    In Case of Attention

    In case of someone paying attention
    to the woman who lives here
    please remember to linger on
    who she is, rather than what she does

    Tread softly over her many inadequacies
    and concentrate on her better ones,
    like her writing and her big heart.
    And whatever you do don’t try to
    change who she is.

    If you pay her attention make sure
    you are doing it for the right reasons.
    Don’t call her name when you want a
    drink or want her to fetch and carry for you
    Ask for her time with kindness and
    concentrate on her and not the TV or
    your music station

    Gush over her novel and drool over
    her food lovingly made for you
    Appreciate how she opens her
    heart for the needy and how she
    slips into the lives of the children
    she teaches trying to pry open
    their brains to fix the wrongs

    In case of attention please remember
    the above and gently stroke her ego
    when it is crying out in pain from the
    inattention it receives.

  19. julie e.

    In case of wiener dogs.

    Prepare to have your blankets burrowed off your shivering body
    if you let them sleep with you.
    Get used to every bird and squirrel and shadow that moves
    being the subject of prolonged yapping.
    Know that if you walk them past a Great Dane or an elephant
    your dog will think he’s bigger.
    And be aware that when they lay their head on your chest
    your heart will melt.

    (when my husband wanted the first one i said “why would you want a hard little dog?” but then i fell in love with them– and now we have 3.)

  20. WayneLMurphy

    ‘In case of…’

    In case of forgetfulness
    I leave you this key
    Use it to unlock memories
    and then think of me

    We had some good times
    but some were also sad
    I’ll cherish the little things
    our love wasn’t half bad

    We have both moved on
    we each have a new life
    I wonder what would be
    had I made you my wife

    Looking back on it now
    I surely have no regret
    I will always love you
    and I will never forget

    Wayne Murphy

  21. P.A. Beyer

    In case of a predetermined life, just add a dash of chaos

    Introspection doesn’t get you far in this business especially when you’re running from the Boss and without two dimes between us our options are few but no matter how downright awful it seems we’re never really screwed as long as the stars can be aligned and I just so happen to carry a pocketknife with that curly q thingy

    So I flick daylight at you only to make you howl and without so much as a word you nod your head and wiggle your nose as a sign of acceptance of the overall plan that balances time, space and styrofoam peanuts and for the next forty nights we plot out every detail except for the one we’ll leave to chance

    When the clock flashes 12:00 and we pull the celestial masks over our heads we realize that there’s no turning back now so we go for broke and send shockwaves across the constellations, take hostage of the moon and negotiate not for one, not for two, not even for three seasons, but for four, count em four and we laugh with the knowledge that we can toy with man through rain and sleet and snow

    But we realize that circadian rhythms and total eclipses don’t mix well and the wrath that we strike down, with the locust and African bees and tsunamis aren’t as amusing as they once were and so we wait for hunger strikes and picket lines and fiscal cliff diving to satisfy our need for disruption knowing that in the end it’ll eventually work out as planned.

    But hey, you can take a joke, right Zeus?

  22. julie e.


    in case of not enough showing you
    in case of wanting to be heard
    in case of not seeing who I am
    why did you choose to see the worst?

    we spent so many years in each other’s lives
    I would have thought you’d know me well
    but in the end it came down to what you read
    between lines not even there

    I thought that with enough showing you
    I thought that if you really heard
    that if you could see me for the woman I’ve
    become, it’d be enough—and I’D be enough

    but in the case of time
    we’re out
    and I’m sorry Mom….

  23. Brian Slusher


    Two big boys are rocking
    the snack machine like its
    a terror suspect with vital
    intel. They slam into its frame
    again, again in hopes to dislodge
    a pack of hung-up candy.
    They stare nose-to-glass,
    the Tantalus twins, fogging
    the surface with their
    desire, until one writes
    Why? with the tip of his finger,
    then delivers one last
    whack with his fist
    while in
    a distant place devoid of soda,
    honeybuns, and chips, a child
    lies in the dust, his stomach
    bloated not from chocolate but
    want. He breathes slowly
    while flies touch and go his face.

    And back in the First World,
    where food is fun, the boys
    grumble, like their stomachs,
    wonder if they should break
    the glass: after all, they’re starving!

  24. Maxie

    In Case of Heat

    This heat between us
    curls up, asleep in its turmoil
    blowing spits of recycled air
    at our toes. This heat manages
    a space that should not exist
    between the narrow flanks of a single bed,
    but yet weighted we boil, stirred by
    a breeze conditioned to burrow
    and tarnish the hollow ground
    on which we totter.
    This heat beats our words
    in a tongue-race, pushing silence
    and miscommunication into our night
    time prayers, blanketed with layers of
    the unsaid –snug, content, complacent–
    it lies here between our backs
    as they face each other a bedtime standoff
    after a passive disagreement, though we
    should not call it that. The heat allows
    no combat or fireworks to identify
    where there may be bleeding,
    but blood is here, sweltering between
    our parallel spines as this unbearable heat
    conceals our withdrawn weapons in sweaty sheets
    and releases murmurs about the morning maintenance.
    The heat reveals no fix this malady, no wrench
    to lessen this wedge, no ice to calm its destruction.

  25. ValerieO

    In Case of Lying

    Wounded souls carry entitlement
    Puncture easily
    Eyes bleed vengeance
    Authority is the enemy
    Fabricate whirlpools of deception
    Plummet deeper into
    She wishes they would
    Avoid mocking an accuser
    Plead for redemption


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