2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

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.

Today’s prompt is a Two-for-Tuesday prompt. For those new to the challenge, you have the option of writing to the first prompt or the second prompt–or even both if you feel so inclined. Here they are:

  • Write a bright poem.
  • Write a dark poem.

Here’s my attempt:

“impossible to fold”

boys are so silly
reading minds like directions
instead doing it their own way

girls know
how to tweak
them where it counts

not that they’re
ever even aware they’re
supposed to do x not y or well

shucks tom
dick and harry
are kind of a punch line

right white
knights don’t exist
not even in this dark kingdom

ever afters
slide under the bright
sun measuring men like maps


Publish Your Poetry!

The 2013 Poet’s Market has one purpose: Help poets publish their poems. The 2013 edition includes articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry. It offers 20 brand new poems by contemporary poets and hundreds of publishing opportunities with listings for book publishers, magazines and journals, contests and awards, grants, and more! Click to continue.


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446 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

  1. TOPOPS22

    This is aimed at both light & dark.
    Your poem is sad, depressing, blue, more so if you feel it’s true,
    So I felt compelled to answer back and set you on another track,
    One where you will realize, being alone is just
    A condition of the soul’s eyes, something to adjust,
    For all you’ll see is dark despair behind lids shut so tight,
    Open wide and look around, there is a better sight.
    When everything so close to you shows you naught but drear,
    Look beyond that palling view and throw away your fear.
    There’s no such thing on God’s good earth as “just another Tuesday’!
    Every one of God’s days is a canvas, blank, field un-sown,
    Awaiting you and other souls to paint with outlook all their own,
    Thus going beyond weekday to instead become a Choose day!
    Go back and read again your poem and see where trouble lies,
    Six of eight lines start with NO, so it’s really no surprise.
    Say YES, not NO, look up, not down, look out, not in and then,
    You’ll find that you are not alone and that you’ve never really been.
    Those walls you’ve built, like night’s bad dreams are coming to an end,
    You simply haven’t seen the ones that have tried to be your friend.


  2. drwasy


    In the gray of morning
    the mocking bird trills low
    and I sit at my desk
    waiting for words to come,
    waiting for your feet on the stairs.

    The thrum in my chest
    anticipates whether you
    will throw a rainbow
    or a shroud on my day.

    It is feeling hostage
    to your moods
    I cannot tolerate:
    the ferocity of
    the volatile flash
    that erupts from
    some place deep and hidden,
    a place even your mother
    could not know.

  3. dextrousdigits

    Shadowy clouds dance
    while dark memories rain down
    I shiver in coldness

    Rainbow Sky please come
    Sun bring warmth and radiance
    Flowers in my yard

  4. Dburke477

    Day 2 Dark Poem

    crouched over in the corner eating something

    it looks at me with glaring eyes which seem to stare into my soul

    i see in it has a handful of bugs he crushes them

    for it has found something more delicious, more fresh

    something to it smells so sweet, my flesh

    it leaps toward me with nails like talons

    scratching my face ever so deeply

    it quickly runs off through a door in which i was unaware exist

    i follow it unknowingly to what i’m getting myself into

    leaving a trail of crimson droplets behind me from my wound

    i begin to feel the pain which struck me like lightning

    i thought it must have been poisonous

    falling backward unable to control my body

    right then i knew…it was poisonous

    with the fall i hit my head so hard it must’ve cracked

    i begun to slowly lose my hearing

    only hearing what seemed to be thousands of footsteps nearing

    out of nowhere my hearing was shot

    but i was only left to feel something grabbing my ankles

    it felt like several of what i had seen earlier holding me tightly

    they began to drag me toward the light

    but the source to me was still unknown

    i came to a standstill feeling bugs all over

    creeping in my clothes and crawling into uncomfortable places

    barely conscious i see the light nearing me

    but this time it wasn’t me moving toward the light

    the light was moving toward me

    and thats when i saw it, towering over me with eyes like lanterns

    lighting the whole room, i see hundreds of creatures huddled around me

    glaring once again practically drooling over what lies in front of them

    but drooling to me didn’t make sense, what was i to them

    instantly i knew as my leg was torn off and thrown into a small crowd of them

    i was their feast something that would last them weeks

    they thought bugs were a delicacy but when they tasted my leg

    they knew what a true delicacy was

    and that delicacy was human

    limb by limb i was torn apart

    bleeding out as if a orange that had just been squeezed

    i suddenly am able to move and speak again

    i yell like i’d never yelled before my vocal cords screaming in pain

    as is my soul and every part of me that remains

    instantly all of the glaring eyes are back on to me

    their feast was being interrupted by no more than what remains of a human

    i hear the pounding of footsteps in the distance

    could what was once towering over me be coming back for round 2

    yes it was but this time it wasnt happy to see me

    because the only thing that made this creature happy

    was the suffering and pain of humans

    and it intended to do just so

    he puts both hands on each side of my head and picks me up like an ant

    he speaks for the very first time

    and what he had to say was not what i had been expecting

    but at that i hadn’t expected it to speak english in the first place

    but that part didn’t seem to shock me at the time

    loudly he groaned and cracked his neck

    saying to me “Sleep” and i had no idea what he meant

    until my head was slowing being ripped off

    my flesh was tearing at its seams stretching to its most ability

    but i knew it was over for me so i didn’t scream but i closed my eyes

    intending to do just as he said


  5. stepstep


    Your eyes convey a message of a thousand words
    Those who don’t understand think it’s absurd,
    But I clearly decipher the message within
    I respond although they’re my silent friend.

    Many times they’ve led me around an empty room
    Pushed my heart to pound and blossom into full bloom,
    I can’t deny all that I feel
    Your eyes sate emotions beyond the real.

    Your eyes convey such a powerful force
    Inwardly I do rejoice,
    Each and every hour is passion-filled
    Your eyes cause my entire being to yield
    Your eyes.


  6. clarior

    Darkest Dark
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Is any room a darker dark
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀than to flick on the bedside lamp
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀put there for her, as you lie
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀to yourself that the love you had
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀can be had with her not there?

  7. bookworm0341

    “Radiate” (bright poem)

    Light on my face
    draws me closer to warmth
    away from the darkness inside.

    Clouds dissipate
    as rays flow confidently forward-
    Heaven sent.

    Arms stretched out in reckless abandon,
    closed eyes,
    face held high,
    lungs fill with air,
    heart ignites with life
    that the speed of light brings my way.

    “Rag Doll” (Dark Poem)

    Done with being what you wanted
    A slave to your every beckon call
    I must have the word, “doormat”
    written all over my face
    as footprints have left their mark

    I’ve given 110% every day-
    and for what?!
    just so you can run off
    and leave me all alone again
    to have your fun- knowing
    I’ll still be here for you when you get back

    Heed my words-
    I will not be here
    for I am done being your lifeless rag doll
    Find someone else to control
    I have a life too

  8. Sharon

    Ebb and Flow

    Smart as a whip,
    cliché though it may be,
    children amaze with their
    quick minds and easy chatter,
    fearless and direct
    honest to the core.
    No one has taught them
    to lie, hedge, monitor their words,
    but it will come.
    The bright eyes and easy banter
    will be tarnished, dimmed by life,
    cut down by political correctness
    that robs them of originality
    and the integrity of innocence.
    Until one day they are old,
    aged by the ebb and flow of days
    the bright light of honesty returns
    if only for a time.


    They creep across the floor
    Like ink spreading toward the door
    Someone is there, waiting
    On my nerves always grating
    Hovering and so drear
    Beating my senses into fear
    The moon so bright does appear
    The thing I feared that was so near?
    I cannot say for now ‘tis consumed
    By moonlight shining into my room.

  9. k weber


    I tie myself up 
    With cords and cables

    Midnight ropes around me
    And my slippery tits ache

    I see which fingers are free
    I fuck myself frenzied

    I reach for my camera
    Just as I orgasm

    I breathe your name
    I scream for you

    I blush and take a picture
    And swim inside the ties

    You are there when you aren’t 
    And I want you to bind me tighter

    I am more wet and wish for you
    To untangle me and whip me

    I hum while you smack my tired ass
    You grab my hips and claw me

    You let me crawl the floor awhile
    Only to come back to suck you tired

    We weave the rubber into a nest
    And make love on my bruised skin

                                          – k weber

    Day 2
    Dark poem
    I took a risk

  10. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    if ever
    there was cause for celebration
    it certainly wouldn’t be now,
    unless of course you count the 9 civilians
    gathered just outside the cubicle window
    to hear final thoughts, then
    the prisoner wet himself
    all while bearing witness
    to an execution.

    © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  11. Jezzie

    From darkness to brightness

    In darkness I can suffer from fright.
    During the long, long hours of night,
    I hold my teddy quite tight.
    All alone in my bed,
    unable to sleep,
    I could start to weep.
    But I get up instead,
    turn on my bright bedside light,
    and very soon I start to write
    and everything then will seem alright.

  12. vsbryant1

    The dark depths of the endless night
    The shadowy abyss of a soul that lost the fight
    Deeper and deeper I fall, you rise
    Farther and farther into the night I hide
    Slowly, very slowly the demons of the night ascend
    Running faster, never winning my feet are sinking in despair known as a mist
    I see the light; no I see the fires of my personal hell
    Darkness creeping, getting closer; to late it’s already in

  13. finallyhereiam

    Two-for-Tuesday: write a bright poem; write a dark poem
    (i choose bright)

    A song of Faith

    Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow…for ages together known to Man
    This is what works, and still does; this is what keeps one strong
    The hallmark of a character prudent, the sign of a Life brave
    Oh Faith, oft beaten, and marauded, yet holding fort as a stave
    Your Journey it defines, the road you tread,
    And the impressions you carve

  14. burrhead

    More like brother and sister

    We greet and kiss and hug
    We talk about what happened
    But we don’t talk about our dreams
    Our ambitions
    Our hopes or desires or plans

    The news is on
    We share opinions about events
    But avoid our own
    Stepping carefully around our feelings
    Like dog excrement on a lawn

    When you are talking on the phone
    I get jealous when you laugh
    I wish you would laugh with me
    Like when we first met

    Where was I
    How did I miss it
    That event that
    Stole the fun from us

    Just so I don’t blame myself
    I blame the TV
    For stratifying two humans like a carpet and throw rug
    In the same room

  15. finallyhereiam

    Two-for-Tuesday (write a dark poem, write a bright poem)
    I choose bright
    A song of Faith
    Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow…for ages together known to Man
    This is what works, and still does; this is what keeps one strong
    The hallmark of a character prudent, the sign of a Life brave
    Oh Faith, oft beaten, and marauded, yet holding fort as a stave
    Your Journey it defines, the road you tread,
    And the impressions you carve

  16. profal29

    2 into 1

    bright, let it be
    but not for me
    I’ll take the dark of night
    for that is where my love
    will be
    that the dark we meet in
    will bring the light of love
    into her life
    I agree

  17. Mr. Walker

    sitting on the dark couch,
    waiting for the moon rise,

    hoping for a bright thought
    sparking new thoughts to rise,

    like the half moon still dark
    behind fog and gray clouds,

    finding these thoughts do rise
    because I put words down

    with pen and ink on grids
    counting for more than math

    any bright thought will do
    symbol, or yes, symbol,

    language, oh yes, such words
    as I cannot find now

  18. Nadienne

    Winter’s cool-mint

    glitter, balm
    after fall’s brown,
    is an eye-
    stabber when
    the world tilts
    the other way.
    This is just
    to say everything—
    day and dark,
    rhyme and reason—

  19. Feary

    I Do

    There was once a tree, you see
    White doves would fly around,
    pink ribbons in their beaks,
    Singing lovely songs.

    Cute, furry squirrels would jump,
    Smiling to all that can see.

    They traveled down the grassy hill;
    Grass so green and true,
    Hands held in hands,
    Smiling to each other.

    A carpet was laid out for them,
    And the roots of the tree stretched out,
    In one’s palms, there was a simple,
    Gold ring.

    The butterflies placed the ring
    In the man’s hands,
    And he bent down,
    And whispered those four words.

    The woman cried in delight,
    A ‘yes’ louder than an elephant,
    And they hugged,
    Kissing each other with a sweet kiss.

    Now when they were done,
    Animals of all were here;
    Giraffes, dogs, pandas, peacocks,
    And everything in between.

    The tree called attention,
    With the whistle of his leaves,
    And began the grand old speech.

    Everything was silent,
    Except for the unspoken words
    That the tree gave with wisdom,

    And when he was finished,
    He gazed down at the two,
    And what did they say?

    “I do.”

  20. bellestarr12


    There in the dark we waited.
    We knew the light was somewhere else.
    We knew it would not come to us,
    sitting in parked cars on country lanes
    fumbling with each other’s clothes and bodies,
    or on hillsides overlooking pastures and fields
    of corn and grain dotted with farmhouses set far apart,
    tiny points of light that winked out one by one
    as night deepened and the farmers,
    who would rise again in the dark
    a few hours later, went to bed.
    Sometimes we watched other distant lights,
    as those same farmers’ combines
    went round and round their fields all night,
    cutting the wheat or alfalfa before a threatened storm.
    From far enough away, they looked like fireflies.

    There in the dark we waited to grow up,
    not sure we wanted—but what else could we do?
    —to take our own places in our own dark houses,
    to worry about our own children
    who sat in the dark and waited.

    We waited as if we could leave the darkness behind
    for places where lights burned all night long
    and sunrise and sunset were only words and pretty colors
    that did not govern lives.

    We waited to come alive,
    each of us wrapped in the dark of our own cocoons,
    hiding our incompleteness,
    hoping that when the light finally came,
    we would be beautiful.

  21. EbenAt

    This to That

    Just opened the oven

    Cool gray
    salt tinged

    Simpsons blue sky
    Alert Level Red
    outdoor breathing
    not recommended

    Sucker holes
    promising sun
    before you grasp
    the gold ring.

    Hold the door howdy
    smiles that end
    at the eyes?

    I’ll take
    Door Number Two,

  22. Penpal57


    Through the dark of grief
    I think of him
    our dog. of twelve years.
    He was so loyal
    and loving, in his way.

    He was oh so sick,
    hadn’t eaten for five days.
    He was weak and he
    felt so bad when he
    couldn’t hold it anymore
    and went on the floor.

    A dark, dark day when
    they said “There’s nothing we
    can do for him!”
    Sleep well, Blackie
    we love you
    and we miss you, daily!

  23. catlover

    (a day late but here it is)

    Bright is the light
    That shines through the glass
    Seeping into the dark blanket
    That covers the glass
    To block out the bright light

  24. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    Gollum hid from light.
    I suppose I see why.

    After all, I do the same.
    Darkness is my haven,

    My sanctuary, the place
    Where I rest the most

    Easily, and nowhere
    Else. Light reveals,

    And I hate it. At least
    Darkness shrouds

    Secrets, even as it keeps
    Secrets of its own.

  25. Kaitlyn

    Water Water Colors

    The darkness is soothing and deep as a metaphor
    Hidden in it’s depths
    And sightless monstrosities gnashing their teeth
    Rest their weary fear

    But water water colors in the dark dark dark
    Don’t mind if you sink down with them
    In the cold
    With the goosebumps
    And the fishy flesh

    It’s dark in the deep
    And the hand-painted dreams of those nightmares sing
    In the deep, dark wet

  26. ceeess

    Posted this on my blog with nice pix: http://quillfyre.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/april-2-writers-digest-pad-challenge-poem/

    The Dark Outside
    after Katy Ellerman

    Struggle. Darkness of senses.
    Fight fog-blur, sightless.

    Before, there was light. Before the blinding of eyes.
    There is no turning-away. In this place
    I make my peace with where I am.

    Enfolded. Enveloped. Silence. I stand
    against the dark outside this circle. Remember light.

    Inside the heart, a flutter of doves.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 2, 2013

  27. Emmluu

    Here are a few…..one dark….the other light….

    You can decide which one is dark and light 🙂

    We are the master of our desire
    Boldly searching forgotten memories
    Profoundly held in the awe of our smile

    Here are my demons; fallen angels
    Crippled with desire;
    The innocence enclosed
    Like a caged dream fate has captured

    Midnight shadows murmuring
    Sleep rhythmically probes delicious dreams
    Deep past fantasy into shadows
    Of Fading music; silent but sinister

    The chaos of the centuries
    Great desire storms through
    Jealousy elevated ending a stage in
    The revelry of Love

    Crippled with tears I face myself
    Would innocence be found my fate?
    Guide me angels
    Into the arms of Love


    Abandoned soul lost in a tempestuous storm
    Cascading raindrops stream down the windowpane
    Oblivious is she to her own mournful wailing
    Leeches line up to lay claim on their investment
    Darkness falls soundly, hollowing out the pit of her being
    Dirty deeds done dirt cheap cost her more than her life’s worth
    Abundant is her despair as she lay spread eagle in a trance
    Retching pain sears a trail of unbearable anguish through her
    Knight in shining armor rusted stiff in her backyard
    Noble efforts faltered, too frozen is her spirit
    Invincible is she to Love’s embracing flame
    Gone is her heart, forbidden fruit consumed by savages
    Howl wind, Howl, sing a song of Misery
    Tonight she is a ghost cast away amongst the shadows

  28. Eve Brackenbury

    This poem is bright and dark. I hope you like it.

    She’ll get her kiss

    He keeps a bottle close to his breast
    convinced of its salvation,
    for each sunrise keeps a torturous longing alive.
    He won’t give up on his promise of one more kiss
    this side of heaven.
    The brightness of morning alerts him
    to the lateness of his duties.
    His blurred gaze turns to hellish things;
    he is entrenched with death.
    He can still feel the drink in his blood,
    mixing a bold acceptance with his paralyzing fears.
    He will not surrender;
    He will not go gentle into that good night.
    Damn her poetry.
    He is bound to return to her at the end of his tour,
    his passage secured by hell.

  29. Marjory MT

    BRIGHT vs. DARK (Etheree)

    is the
    of what is dark.
    It is morning light,
    a promise of good things,
    an attitude of giving,
    a knowing that things are alright
    and that the good far outweighs the bad.

  30. Margot Suydam

    Bright Lies in the Darkness

    I place my head on your pillow
    this crooked evening of feather
    weight fighting

    the lisp of argument wrinkles
    these clean sheets and cases
    that make up the bed

    we lie in, waiting for apples
    to turn crisp and sweet enough
    for pie baking

    for I can see a glowworm rising
    to parse the dark with its brightly
    unspoken tale.

  31. PuffofSmokePoems

    Darkness and Light

    A pregnant teenage daughter,
    poem so dark
    you cannot find a candle.

    Three years pass
    while the next stanza

    Now, this laughing child:
    All bossy charm
    and sidewalk chalk,
    asking five hundred questions
    while she blows her small breath
    at the wind chimes
    announcing that when the chimes play,
    Everyone should dance–
    Pouring light all over this house
    so thick you dance slow
    just to savor the view
    through the glowing windows.

  32. Tracy Davidson

    The darkness

    the light fades
    in his faithful eyes
    I stroke his head
    as the vet says sorry
    and rolls out the body bag

    Lost my beloved dog, Jasper, last week after 15 years of loving companionship. Missing him terribly.

    1. julie e.

      Oh i am so sorry!! i have cried so hard at the death of pets, much harder than at the death of some relatives. My heart is sad with you, and praying for “good grief” for you that heals.

  33. PoM

    The Dark poem
    Stumbling poet
    Trips and stumbles
    Blackness of night
    No rhythm or rhyme
    No stanzas so fine

    The Bright Poem

    Bright lights Tail lights
    Slowing for red traffic lights
    I hope that soon be me
    I’m off to the R. M. V.
    I’m hoping to get
    My driving permit again

  34. tunesmiff

    Blue on blue;
    Obelisk in silhouette,
    Cardinals dart and pirouette.
    Angels trapped in shadowed stone,
    Guard and plead in tone on tone.
    No stars.
    No moon.
    The sun hints it is coming soon.
    The faintest glow above the wall,
    Below the trees.
    Birdsongs call,
    There is no breeze.
    Blue fades into blue,
    Blue fades into blue.
    Blue fades…

  35. ngayari

    Bright and Dark

    Light or no light. Or dark?
    Color or no color. Or black?
    Presence or absence
    Existence or non-existence
    Life or no life. Death?
    Bright or dark?
    Two sides of the same side?

  36. donnellyk

    A late night writer, forever behind, this is for the day 2 PAD challenge, combined light and dark.

    ~Stage Lights on the Missionaries~

    Halos in layers around orbs in the dark piercing
    high in the rafters that smell of mildew and time
    like planets in orbit she sees outlines
    of ancestors in dust motes shimmering
    she feels the pull and is frightened
    but the lights are so dazzling
    and they are crying

    Eyes blinded and reeling she is drawn to her mark
    to perform and to dazzle to twirl and stay spinning
    to entice and to lure have the answers she must heal them
    she has ground level lanterns aimed just so illuminating
    bright color wheel shifting surface mood magical she works miracles
    but the lights are too bright for her
    and there are so many

    As she tires from the calling vessel emptied falling back
    crowds encroaching she is reaching backward blindly flailing panicked
    desperate for the exit slipping hands in the seam of the velvet blood
    red curtains yearning for the comfort enveloping folds that smell
    familiar though faded and heaped heavy draped final
    her lights flicker out with the rest of them stage dark
    but her daughter is waiting in the wings

  37. lionmother

    So many great poems here. Adding my two:

    Bright poem

    Spring has returned
    Crocuses bloom on grassy hills
    People shed their coats and ignore
    winter’s freezing breezes that
    hang around making it harder for the
    searing sun’s rays to warm us
    Yet with spring comes hope and the
    rebirth of long stagnant poetic juices
    bubble to the surface
    erupting in lines of words
    Creating a symphonic blend of
    voices as all rush to fulfill our destiny
    And I rejoice in each one’s melody.

    Dark poem

    Spring has returned with its misery
    The birds tweet at 2:30 AM
    My eyes, nose and throat are
    assaulted by the fresh growing new grass
    and the pollen of every growing plant
    flies in the air with its inevitable consequences
    Not that I don’t love flowers
    Their beauty and fragrance can transform me
    Why do they need to send their pollen into the air?
    Yes, I know the whole birds and bees thing and the
    answer to the why
    But being on the receiving end it is really like
    being in a war zone as the plant world awakens
    All I want is to be in a sealed room
    Too much of a good thing is Spring!


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