2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

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, write a complex poem. Complex is a complex word that can refer to mental state, apartments, difficulty of a situation, and so many other complex situations.

Here’s my attempt at a complex poem:


under these wooden floors
creaking beneath her feet
lives the guy she adores

no end to wanting more
she imagines his sheets
under these wooden floors

she feels an awful bore
reading books when beneath
lives the guy she adores

she sees him at the store
always shy  always sweet
under these wooden floors

she wants to knock his door
down in this summer heat
lives the guy she adores

like a lion she roars
paces on padded feet
under these wooden floors
lives the guy she adores


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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216 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

  1. cstewart


    I imagine his voice to be so soft
    His turbulence eclipsed.
    The place of her cheek against mine,
    Contours meant to match.
    His inside hand, strangely rough
    And rounded fingers.
    His way of peculiarity in his body.
    Her roundness; soft and insular.

  2. Alpha1

    Meta-Cognition Seminar

    Found an empty seat
    back row auditorium
    notebook at the ready
    instructor on the podium
    feelin sleepy right now
    thought about tonight
    goin home to rest
    drowsy gotta fight
    recovered for a moment
    dreamin so deep
    thinkin I’m awake
    but really fast asleep

  3. PKP

    The New Boy

    He lived in the ‘complex’
    So he said
    His smile bright and eyes
    She told her mother
    Breathlessly of the
    new boy – heart pounding
    Her mother said he lied
    He lived in the “projects”
    Nothing complex there

  4. finallyhereiam

    And the world thinks I am a complex number

    A+Bi is as simple as I can be
    You say there are two sides to me
    One real and the other imaginary
    I help you solve some mysteries though
    Of science, math, engineering and lo
    You call me complex, when I uncomplicated
    And help you understand the intricate!

  5. vsbryant1

    Complex Life

    All the screams a contained under the roof of the place we call home

    Angry words litter the floors on the rooms that use to hold nothing but love

    Tiptoeing through halls that were meant from running and laughing

    Complex is home and home is life

  6. Yolee

    Mid 60s/Early 70s

    We were the family of ten living in a one bedroom apartment
    in uptown Chicago. You could short-cut to Mrs. Dunlap’s
    place from the second floor porch. We rarely saw her go
    outside. Once she told us kids she was in the movies. I believed
    her. Why would an elderly lady living alone with three tabbies
    and a big old turtle lie to us kids? Besides, she gave us starlight
    candy. I wondered what it was like to just see one face in the mirror
    in the morning and not hear “desayuno! avancen! I used to believe
    her life was easy because her every household doing had none
    of the rumpus prospering through our home. But many years
    later I reckoned complexities visit the lonely too.

  7. IrisD

    Onion Tears

    Onion tears I heard mother say,
    as she used her apron to wipe them away
    But she was in the process of kneading bread
    I knew those tears were genuine instead
    She never wanted us to see her cry
    But her tender heart would often sigh
    Tears cleanse the soul of deepest pain
    Clear the path for smile to follow the rain

  8. PuffofSmokePoems

    Weather Report

    Don’t escape into dreams
    which are cool to the touch
    filled as they are with frothy drinks
    topped with pink paper umbrellas.
    Here, every day is sunny
    and you’ve found your sunglasses.

    Instead, move forward
    into the complex weather of real life.
    Storms brewing,
    bills to pay, children, cars, cats.
    Everything is messy
    and has Opinions.
    Doldrums and tiny dust devils
    and time for a nap and a dance
    before the next emergency.
    Tornadoes spelling out
    This Is Not A Drill
    across your sky.

  9. omavi

    “the cut & dry myth”

    confused by clarity on the horizon
    lives like a haunting ghost
    calling but running so fast
    that the mind is so torn
    that reality seems ultimately surreal
    sometimes on the horizon
    the sun happily peaks only
    so a blue moon poisons everything

    knowing this is the place needed
    to be but only hurt
    in this house lives
    enjoying a passion so furiously deep
    seething with a decaying stench
    of a thing that should
    never really be

    cursing at all deities
    but in this place I choose to live
    complaining about everything
    still moving in
    weathering a storm of horrid end
    why does heart do such
    beautifully stupid things

  10. drwasy

    Deus Ex Machina

    It should be easy
    to love you but after
    I unwrap your skin
    all your moving parts
    hinge and fold
    from different spots
    than before.

    The bones and organs
    shift and shimmy,
    the nerves and muscles
    transmute to more
    or fewer when I fail
    to pay attention.

    Who plays god with you?
    Who shifts your fealty?

    I peel back thin metal
    a dull brass that clangs
    under my clacking fingertips
    dig-dig-digging for you,
    for the gelatinous
    sheath pulsing blue
    and red, the soft
    and tender bit.

    Under the bony cage
    My hands pulsate,
    but you have traveled
    to another space,
    another time,
    or perhaps you have shrunk
    to a corpuscle.

    It matters naught.
    The key the gods
    threw down in fury
    has rusted.

  11. BiblioGypsy

    Beyond the shores of slumber,
    Where peace overtakes daylight’s stress
    Upon the starry shore of sleep,
    There lies a place of dreams
    Over which reigns tranquillity and
    Serenity. Hand in hand,
    They show deepest desires: wishes
    Given life. Hazy, dim, those
    Visions shrouded, lend a certain
    Happiness. Things impossible
    Or improbable upon waking; clarity
    Cloaked by nightfall, a blanket of bliss,
    Encourages, comforts, granting
    Relaxation during repose, a
    Sense of wholeness found,


  12. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    D Street

    In tall brick cubes at the edge
    of a city people were filed away
    like old index cards in the Dewey system.
    Each apartment like a mausoleum
    entombing the poor,
    keeping them hidden and away.

    But, something happened
    that pulled open the shut doors
    that allowed children to run free
    that, horror of horror, permitted growth
    until the boxes where empty
    inhabitants, dead or gone.

    Now, urban renewal has swept in
    with renovating authority.
    Gone are the brick boxes.
    Welcoming condos, bright and shining
    hold court for those who want
    a place in the city to call home.

  13. lionmother

    A Complex Man

    Beneath the surface
    is the man he once was
    leaping through life on
    two healthy feet
    jumping to play basketball
    arms strong to hold me close

    Beneath his surface
    the young man lies
    face unlined with his
    arrogant eyes and soft lips
    mouthing the phrases young
    men use to entice women

    Beneath his eyes is the
    man who once inhabited
    this body
    virile and strong eager
    to catch life in his teeth
    looking for adventure
    around every turn

    each day a new place
    spacing his moments
    dreaming of a freedom
    he saw somewhere
    out there in the distance
    planning for the future
    always looking to tomorrow
    not seeing today

    His days are now filled with
    doctor appointments and
    long hours spent sitting in
    his leather chair with feet
    defeated by the disease
    that is silently destroying
    him and though try as he
    might it will not subside

    He lives with the four-toed foot
    and accepts the wounds caused
    by his need to ingest the
    steroid that keeps him aware
    and holds back the sarcoid
    injects himself with the life saving
    insulin and holds back the truth
    of how he feels.

    When asked how does he feel
    his answer is always, “Fine, great,
    couldn’t be better!”
    The mix of medication such a
    cocktail it takes five doctors to
    keep it balanced

    Beneath the hazel eyes I know so well
    is the youth he once was and in dreams
    his feet move running through the
    city streets as he did as a boy

  14. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Complexities of Being Newly Single

    It’s been surprising but
    I’m learning the new rules.

    At parties, couples close ranks. I
    must talk to other single women.

    Their families seem relieved:
    Oh good, Mum’s taken care of.

    (To some I’m a husband-stealer,
    to others a harmless old duck.)

    So how do I do it now?
    With old friends, there’s no issue.

    Everything’s as always,
    except without my darling.

    We miss him, but we still enjoy
    each other’s easy old companionship.

    With the new, things can get tricky.
    Warmth may be misconstrued.

    I realise all my platonic mateships
    formed in the context of me being married.

    Not so with those I meet now. They
    perceive me as free, perhaps available.

    (No, that’s not on the cards.
    I’m still in mourning. Permanently.)


    I’m staying away from parties
    unless I know the crowd.

    I’ve put my wedding ring back
    on my wedding finger.

    1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

      Have altered first two verses to become first three, for more clarity (i.e. its new people who are the problem, not old pals.)

      It’s been surprising but
      I’m learning the new rules.

      I go to a party with new people,
      dress up and waltz in blithely —

      to see the couples close ranks. I
      must talk to other single women.

  15. Dini


    checking the view
    from where I stand
    observing parallel lines
    conflicting accounts
    which facts to consider
    calculating the vanishing point
    wondering what was intended
    what thought to convey
    muddling around
    seeking the truth

  16. julie e.


    Oh the laughing/talking/creating
    of my sister, mom and me
    all the times that we
    were together when life was good

    Oh the hurting/stinging/harming
    of mom to my sister and me
    all the times that she
    was unhappy ‘cause things were bad

    Always hoped it would end on a high note
    always hoped she’d see the real me
    always hoped that we could end things
    but if times were bad

  17. THEGingerSass


    Fire was about to be set to the stage
    and poetry was set to escape my lips
    when I felt a songbird break free of its cage.

    The songbird seemed to be energized by rage
    as the sky erupted with a solar eclipse.
    Fire was about to be set to the stage.

    A new life seemed to dance upon the songbird’s page
    and words flowed together like the ocean’s ships
    when I felt a songbird break free of its cage.

    The songbird cried as society reverted back to the Stone Age
    and its heart was beaten by whips.
    Fire was about to be set to the stage
Is this the best we can do, in this day and age?
    I questioned our sanity and found it hard to come to grips
    when I felt a songbird break free of its cage.

Its only goal is to sing and engage,
    yet it always goes along on life’s crazy trips.
    Fire was about to be set to the stage
    when I felt a songbird break free of its cage.

  18. Deri

    (In keeping with the idea of complexity, the “complex” in this poem is not immediately obvious.)

    Not So Simple

    should be this hard
    she thinks
    elbow on knee

    at that place
    that has
    scabbed over

    for him to
    just speak
    those small words

    another man
    in his place

    the flow of
    sweet blood.
    Scab again.

      1. Deri

        This is a new one, but it is a continuation of a cycle of broken relationship poems that follow a similar pattern. And I seem to be obsessed with using the word “elbow” lately, lol. Thanks for the compliment!

  19. julie e.


    Do other writers stress as much
    as I do, while i point and touch
    and ask “What do you think of me?”
    while trying to lean casually
    against a stanza just written
    with which I’m really quite smitten,
    and try to ask offhandedly
    “So, what was it you thought of me?”

  20. Alphabet Architect

    I attempted an acrostic of sorts -COMPLEX is spelled out diagonally in the poem. It is easily visible in my Word document, but I wasn’t sure how to make the letters bold here.

    Carry on-
    nOthing is longed for like
    norMalcy in the midst of chaos
    when Peace eludes, precludes the
    inevitabLe onslaught of
    irresolute Emotions, naked
    intentions eXposed –carry on

  21. ewdupler

    Racing, with the Computer Guy

    You want the change now?
    And everything must keep running?
    Yes, it’s easy to do at home.

    Let me explain the complexity, here:
    Does your home support a million users?
    Do you lose money when you reboot?

    Imagine you’re in a race car,
    Going 200 miles per hour,
    and want me to change a spark plug.

    If you don’t want it to explode,
    And if I’m not aloud to pull over,
    Give me some time to plan a little.

    1. Jackie Casey

      I like this! But does your next to last line say: ” And if I’m not a “loud” to pull over.”? or Does it say
      “and if I’m not “allowed” to pull over”? Or does it say “and if I’m not, aloud, (newly coined?/meaning?) to pull over”. As usual, you computer guys keep me in a storm of confusion and complexity.

  22. BDP

    “Complex Orangutans”

    At night they sleep in treetops, in a nest
    of sticks—I wanted that as a child, swing
    from branches, power glide the canopy.

    Their hands have a masseuse’s grip with long
    slim fingers, elegant, the stuff of nail
    polish ads. Opposable big toes hug

    the bark. If their proportions were like ours
    they’d climb as clumsily as most humans.
    Instead, they’ve Cirque du Soleil grace, these high

    wire gymnasts. On soil, they clown: sashay arms
    about their hips to whirl their bodies much
    like slo-mo tops, legs twisting, finally

    toppling. And one more thing: food. They’re always
    sharing. Button-iris babies halve bananas
    for their parents. We’ve not managed that trick

    yet. Elders’ eyes are lidded as though wisdom shrinks
    their view, seen clearly without smudge or mar.
    Intelligent, they’re ninety-seven percent us.

    B Peters

  23. LCaramanna


    42 hit baseball’s homerun
    Crood’s road tripped to an incredible new world
    Ferocious dinosaurs preyed the theme park
    One man’s battle waged to save mankind
    The magician hurled into epic problems in the Land of Oz
    Gatsby roared into greatness
    All in the climate controlled confines of the movie complex
    Characters, setting, plot
    Adventure, drama, twists of fate
    With hot buttered popcorn, an ice cold soda,
    And a theater size box of Jr. Mints.


  24. Marian O'Brien Paul

    In Honor of Earth Day

    Pine cones
    earth’s first flowers
    a complex mechanism
    evolved for spewing seed
    escaping the stationary plant

    The pine cone blooms
    when the green pod dries
    Not yet as velvet as winged
    butterflies nor delicate as silk
    the wooden pine petals detonate

    Silence cracked apart
    by the sudden petal snap
    and the faint ping of seeds
    as they strike the ground, hitting
    rock or shallow soil or good ground

    Whole forests sown by no human hand

  25. carolecole66

    Apartment Complex

    In a corner of the city off highway 31 at the outer edge
    where the interstate will run one day, I live
    in a warren of flats stacked three high and as far
    as I can see, a square mile at least, all painted
    yellow, adjacent to the black asphalt parking lot.

    Above me a shirtless man stands on his balcony
    playing his saxophone to no one, alone, not caring
    who listens, who doesn’t. It’s about the music.
    It’s about how he plays it. His eyes are open
    to follow each note. At five, he’ll go inside.

    Next door, the television is turned up loud,
    Looney Tunes and Roadrunner and Tom
    chasing Jerry. The child sits alone in the living room.
    His mother works late; his father is not around.
    His brother watches him through a closed door.

    In the apartment below, I hear a quick yelp
    a muffled thump. A door slams, a young man
    shoots into the parking lot. He doesn’t say a word.
    The bottle in his hand is brown and his fist
    clenches around it as he disappears between the cars.

    Yesterday I met a woman by the pool
    who said she was moving on soon.
    These kinds of places are temporary, she said.
    it’s nowhere to raise a family. She been
    here five years. Tomorrow she’ll pack another box.

    We are stacked one on top of another,
    in a warren of rooms, a sad imitation
    of neighborhood, no common language,
    no blood ties. We park our cars side by side
    and lock our doors with care each night.

  26. nessajay

    It’s Very Simple

    It’s very simple
    The way the world works
    The earth rotates at speeds of up to 1038 miles per hour, causing the sun to appear to rise in the East
    Daily without fail
    Your parents love you, but being human they cannot help but bruise you in ways that will manifest just when you want to love someone
    Deeply without fail
    Every living creature moves inexorably and with increasing acceleration toward the day of its death, which is terrifying, and also the source of meaning, shape, and urgency in our lives
    Darkly without fail
    Your prefrontal cortex imagines the world it wants – a peaceful, just world through which you ambulate gracefully, knowledgeably with well-defined muscles and well-timed generosity – but your cerebellum and hippocampus repeat certain behavior patterns in self-fulfilling feedback loops, keeping you more or less flabby and petty and resulting in rates of viewing television or movies 100 times greater than combined rates of strength training and being neighborly by baking a pie or lending jumper cables
    Disgracefully without fail
    The way the world works
    Is very simple

  27. HandHeldWriter

    Human complexity is a commodity in today’s society.
    The diversity is a necessity to exercise our minds perfectly.

    Too many times people fall into an place of complacency.
    They act without thought and the mind loses efficiency.

    We think we want it simple.
    We think we want it easy.
    But thinking and discerning, my friend
    Are already complex entities.

    This poem, for instance, follows a certain grammatical procedure.
    But take it a step further and let’s complicate the structure.

    Normally we read left to right just like this.
    .bit little a for left to right go let’s Now

    .discern to hard and strange it’s first At
    .learn to begin you lines few a after But

    .do to needs it what to adapt will mind Your
    .amused hopefully then confused first At

    I hope you can see that we’re back to normalcy.
    Now let’s change the view and drop a vowel or two.

    Y?ur m?nd w?ll perce?ve what ?t sh?uld see,
    F?ll?ng ?n the letters w?th m?derate ease.

    Just a way to explore,
    The mind’s apprehension.
    I said it before,
    And I’ll say it again:

    Human __________ is a _________ in today’s _______.
    The _________ is a _________ to exercise our minds _________.

    (Now, did you look back up to see?
    Or did you repeat it from memory?)

    1. Julieann

      Complex – doesn’t begin to explain this — but, it works beautifully!! Thanks for the different ways to look at what we take for granted. (Yes, I looked back at the top to fill in the blanks.)

  28. Angie5804

    The music of the woods
    Is not just a bird song
    It’s the beat of the brook
    The harmony of wind and leaf
    A twig, a scamper, layers

    The music of the ocean
    Is not just the cry of the gulls
    It’s the crash of the waves
    The melody of wind and water
    A splash, a scrape, laughter

    The music of the snow
    It’s not just the hoot of the owl
    It’s the patter of flakes
    The rhythm of wind and white
    A crunch, cold, whispers

    The music of the world
    Is not just a song, a cry, a hoot
    It’s beating, crashing, pattering
    It’s melody, harmony, and rhythm
    It’s love, peace, God’s creation

  29. ValerieO

    Cabrini Green

    She hid under a cot
    Cousins did the same
    All covered their ears
    Lay belly down in the bedroom
    Outside multiple shots fired
    Ricochet off barred windows
    They wait until its safe again
    To play with dolls

  30. Domino


    A hive of honeybees,
    careful and sure,
    pollinate flowers and
    make honey pure.

    A mound of termites,
    with labor and grit,
    build enormous palaces,
    because they commit.

    Wasps all freely work on
    the nest they all build.
    Building their nest,
    their destiny fulfilled.

    Ants are the masters of
    underground lairs.
    The burrow and delve and
    all commonly share.

    And all of these critters
    are social and free
    to live in their dwellings
    just as you and as me.

    So on this new earth day
    in twenty-thirteen,
    let’s all make a promise
    to try and live “green.”

    Diana Terrill Clark

  31. De Jackson

    What on Earth?
    (an Earth Day poem)

    Is it really that

    Take what you need,
    need what you take.

    Recycle what you can,
    for goodness sake.

    She’s three-fourths water,
    so keep it clean.

    Don’t trash her lands.
    See what I mean?

    A little kindness
    will make her smile.

    Let’s assume she’s gonna
    be around awhile.


  32. WayneLMurphy


    can be
    a variety
    of different things
    One thing
    we don’t want
    is a complex life

    It is better
    to live
    a simple
    easier life
    it demands less
    but provides
    us with more

    When things get
    they sometimes
    get out
    of hand
    and we are left
    holding the bag

    Take a look
    at what
    you really
    and let go
    of what
    you don’t

    Wayne L Murphy 4/22/13

  33. Lindy

    Dueling Banjos

    Cinderella doesn’t care about the ball.
    The Prince’s heart for her is all –
    house and home and garden walls,
    dancing down domestic halls.

    Superman takes care of things alone.
    He doesn’t want to be a drone.
    Marching to a beat he owns,
    turning over all the stones.

    Inside of me are both of these
    complexes of a mind uneased.
    Buzzing on like threatened bees,
    they’ve still agreed to disagree.

    Oh really what should I expect,
    as I sit here to reflect –
    my twin fishes swim opposite;
    yet together, out of respect.

  34. EbenAt


    It’s complex,
    You had
    to be there.

    In your mind’s eye,
    see the north end of
    The Olympic Peninsula,
    late 70s through early 80s.

    Ostensibly there
    to burn slash
    The Forest Circus,
    in reality
    we were there to
    play music,
    make love,
    talk philosophy,
    and mystify
    the locals.

    From PHD candidates
    to High School
    drop outs and
    everyone in between,
    it was
    the place to be.

    Oh, there was work;
    work which,
    very realistically
    could and would kill you
    for a single mistake.

    We waltzed through it
    with a cheer,
    a wink and
    a shit eating grin.

    We saw more fire in a season
    than ‘real’ firefighters
    in a career;
    hundreds of acres
    at a shot.

    Now, we sport
    a touch of gray.
    Some are gone,
    or have disappeared.
    Most of us
    are still here
    some of us
    are still connected.

    Oh there might be
    a respectable few who
    might deny they were there;
    but we know
    who you were.

  35. Julieann

    The Complexity of Human Emotions

    She showed up at the door
    With tears in her eyes
    Removing her ring
    She started to speak

    The wedding is off,
    It just cannot be
    I love you, I do,
    And love you, I don’t

    I would have a wonderful life with you
    I will have a good life without you
    I want to be your wife, but
    I don’t want to marry you

    To be married to you
    For the rest of my life
    Would be a marvelous thing, and yet
    I fear, this marriage would cause great pain

    I can’t say why these feelings I have
    They led me to you,
    They are tearing me away
    Good-by, I have to go

  36. Jezzie

    A Sestina – My Gardening Year

    My garden’s lovely, all pink and purple
    interspersed with the odd splash of yellow
    because it is finally Spring season.
    But everywhere else, of course, it is green,
    except for the footpaths and patio,
    and, not having a lawn, where there’s gravel.

    There’s lots of hyacinths in my gravel,
    they’re all growing wild and mostly purple.
    Looking from the windows by my patio
    I can see patches of sunshine yellow
    daffodils still blooming amid the green.
    This year surely has a mixed up season.

    I missed mowing my lawn late one season
    so next year I replaced it with gravel.
    and just to make sure my garden was green
    I placed conifers amid the purple.
    Then my concrete ducks I painted yellow
    and left them to waddle the patio.

    Forsythia’s in flower, it’s yellow
    but quickly it is sprouting vibrant green.
    Snowdrops have all finished in the gravel,
    violets spring from cracks in the patio.
    But I know it is really Spring season
    seeing Aubretia cushions of purple.

    From now on there will be lots more purple
    and I’ll have seen the last of the yellow.
    I’m not keen on it in Summer season
    I much prefer pink, magenta, and green
    in my flower pots on my patio
    or amongst the rocks around the gravel.

    Then in Autumn I will clear the gravel
    and chop down my Buddleas, all purple.
    I’ll empty all the tubs on my patio
    and watch most of my trees turning yellow,
    then shades of red, although some will stay green.
    That’s the end of my gardening season.

    Leaves lie on gravel, all curled and yellow,
    my hands go all purple, flagstones go green,
    no flowers on my patio, in Winter season.

    Complex or what? My first attempt at a Sestina – not really my style but I just had to give it a go!

  37. RJ Clarken

    All the Answers

    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”~H.L. Mencken

    Those complex problems plague us all.
    You think, “Aha!” But then you find
    you’re wholly wrong. Then you’re inclined
    to give it up. You’re in a stall.

    These issues do not play fair ball.
    (This doesn’t help: you’re in a bind.)
    You think, “Aha!” But then you find
    Those complex problems plague us all.

    So, when this happens… to the mall!
    You haven’t really lost your mind;
    It’s just shop therapy combined
    with problem solving. (A good call!)
    Those complex problems plague us all.


  38. pmwanken


    It seemed so simple then,
    the days of early youth.
    Nothing more to worry about than
    making sure my toys were put away.
    Of course there were endless
    chores on the farm, but it was a part of life.

    Life changed, though,
    when our family fractured.
    While I was really still a kid, the simple
    became much more complex.
    Responsibilities shifted, my age
    became greater than my years;

    independence became my life ring and
    self-sufficiency, my anchor. Later,
    anonymity of city-life, my sustenance;
    the business of busyness, my companion.
    Decades of responsibility brought
    another shift, to a different kind of focus.

    It’s simple: life doesn’t have to be
    as complicated as I’ve made it.
    The stuff that surrounds me is not
    what is important—the people are; and
    making time to play and doing your chores
    is as complex as it needs to be.

    P. Wanken

  39. Sara McNulty

    Green Complex

    Elaborately designed,
    maze of green shrubs
    meanders back to front,
    side to side. Some areas
    are wide, others narrow.
    Gamers gather at outside
    corners, all warned that no
    help will be forthcoming
    should they find themselves
    trapped. ‘Let the games
    begin,’ Master calls through
    his megaphone. ‘Only those
    who win, will rule the fools
    who could not find
    their way out.

    Poetic Asides
    April Challenge – Day 22
    Write a complex poem

  40. PowerUnit

    The filtered sun lands just right
    Aimed carefully, intentionally
    Through the fleeting hole
    Bounced off the myriad mirrors
    Positioned by computer
    And captured silently in the grainy blackness
    Such a complex set of states
    Set in motion by a simple button push

  41. Kimiko Martinez


    “It’s a bit complex,” he says.
    She staring in the mirror,
    analyzing her pores, tugging
    at the laugh lines that make
    her want to cry.

    He’s in the bedroom pulling on
    his pants going on about
    some scientific discovery he
    read about yesterday, oblivious to
    his own uneven complexion.

  42. Nancy Posey


    Language is my life sentence,
    plowing through the syntax
    of amateurs with no interest
    in going pro. Like Stanley
    in search of elusive Livingston,
    I comb through mire and mazes,
    dangling participles, lonely
    prepositions, hanging out
    alone on the corner of a clause.
    Like Thoreau, as I encounter
    them holed up in compounds
    I rouse my imperative tone
    and shout, Simplify! Simplify!
    Why, I ask, do they choose
    the complex, a clause leaning
    on the rail of its mother ship?
    I have grown to empathize
    with the man in the second-
    hand store, dealing daily
    with odds and ends, bents
    and dents that others discard.
    I want to work with words
    of my own, finding balance,
    creating perfect parallels,
    swinging on the trapeze, rope
    held in my teeth, juggling
    startling nouns, zealous verbs.

  43. Kimberlee Thompson

    A Particular Recipe

    Take one herb
    grown out of season
    on the slope of
    an inhospitable mountain.
    Gnaw it.

    Add one drop
    found inside an other-
    wise dry vessel,
    forgotten in a dark cupboard.
    Swallow it.

    Find a seed
    left over from sowing
    during the full moon
    when last you felt truly happy.
    Toss it

    over your left shoulder
    Lost as the day you remembered.


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