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2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2013, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

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 an auto poem. Auto could mean automobile, automatic, automaton, or any number of possibilities.

Here’s my attempt at an auto poem:

“auto correct”

i meant to type a lowercase i
& i wanted to leave out all my

punctuation marks & use poem
as a verb & pen the words show ‘em

without making ‘em them & until
should be ’til & please spell check be still

*****

Workshop Your Poetry!

Writing poetry is exciting, but the revision process can be too, especially when you’re revising with a group of dedicated poets and an experienced mentor. As luck would have it, that can be accomplished with the Writer’s Digest online course, Advanced Poetry Writing.

*****

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*****

Quick note on commenting: Please always save a copy on your computer. There have been moments in the past in which comments have disappeared, and I don’t want anyone to lose their work. Heck, I’ve lost some of my work here in the past, and it’s not a great feeling. That said, commenting here is a lot of fun, especially in April. If you’re completely new to the site, you’ll be asked to register (don’t worry, it’s free), and your comments might not appear initially until I manually accept them. However, after that initial phase, your comments should appear without my help.

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

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

193 Responses to 2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

  1. stepstep says:

    COFFEE

    Every morning when I awaken
    A cup of coffee welcomes my arrival
    Into the world once again
    Without notice,
    Automatically.

    LaSteph

  2. mlcastejon says:

    Autocritic

    Turtles on the beach
    Swimming with the flow off-shore
    I should let you go

  3. vsbryant1 says:

    Automatic

    Aspiration…
    Uniqueness…
    Together…
    Optimism…
    Motivation…
    Attractions…
    Tenderness…
    Incredible…
    Charisma…

  4. LCaramanna says:

    Wonder Ride

    When Daddy drives carefully,
    two hands on the steering wheel,
    through town with me, his precious cargo,
    car seat safe and secure,
    I watch with wide-eyed wonder
    the world whooshing by my back window -
    church steeples and houses’ gables
    sunshine on rooftops
    birds on wires resting wings
    leafy treetops breeze dancing
    blue sky powdered with cotton ball clouds
    inviting me to fly.
    Oh, I do think a car ride with Daddy
    is an adventure amazing,
    with the top of the world
    in my wide-eyed wonder
    until the warm jazz on the radio
    lullabies me to sleep
    as Daddy drives carefully,
    two hands on the steering wheel,
    through town.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  5. Life in Auto Pilot

    The music plays, and Nature whirrs,
    What does your soul stir?
    What stories, dreams and aims concoct,
    Some ideas that your head and heart begot.
    Few words uttered, those deeds done,
    Some have a recourse, yet some undone.
    It is not a bad thing, though,
    To throw your worries, out of your window,
    And watch yourself sail through it,
    That’s Life, in auto pilot

  6. lionmother says:

    I’m so far behind, but I hope to catch up this weekend. Another hard week for me and somehow missed doing three days.:)

    Auto-Response

    The call picks up
    and right away I
    know it isn’t a
    person on the
    other end only
    a robotic voice
    with the sound
    of a person
    telling me to
    push buttons
    on my phone
    and press 1
    to show it is
    correct

    The voice doesn’t
    care if you answered
    with a teary sound
    or if you screamed
    at the top of your
    lungs as long as
    you press 1 the
    transaction goes
    through

    Then there is no one
    to discuss anything with
    like where do you live
    or what is the weather like
    there? I remember those
    conversations from a few
    years back when a live
    person answered and
    you could talk about
    the immediate thing
    in your life

    Now it’s only press 1 and
    done and everything
    goes back to where
    it should be.
    Where does the
    robot voice live
    when there are
    no phone calls?
    Does it feel sorrow
    or pain? Does it
    hate the voices
    it hears on the
    other end, but
    it has no outlet
    to let it out.

    Next time I
    find a robot
    voice on the
    other end of my line
    I will ask it those
    questions and does
    it have a robot love
    somewhere?

  7. Michelle Hed says:

    The Drone

    On auto pilot
    I get things done.
    Barely alive
    and not having fun.

    I have no feelings,
    no emotions to remark.
    it’s just a job
    I could do it in the dark.

    Am I alive?
    A human being?
    Or just a drone,
    my driver all seeing.

  8. Yolee says:

    Autonomy

    I like to defy my own gravity
    and challenge the ego to be a floating
    maid-in-waiting for sunrise as it breaks
    away from the dark sheet of night.
    I remind myself that to be or not to be
    requires that I think outside
    the paradox of nearsightedness.

  9. Linda Voit says:

    It’s A Wonderful Autonaumic System

    Knowing what lines
    will come to your mind if
    someone whistles or mentions
    National Geographic,
    knowing to say “Why must you
    torture the children so?”
    when you are crabby, and
    “You’re not gonna like it, George!”
    in a dire voice that can only foretell
    prostitution or, as it turns out,
    library work, will make you laugh,
    knowing when you taste something
    gone bad, you’ll say “It’s poison I tell you.
    It’s poison!” and knowing that every
    December we’ll carve out a few hours
    for the movie that feeds our years
    is like breathing to me now.

  10. Note: Sometimes, life just tosses things at us, an odd little synchronicity like a tiny wrapped gift. Due to some tech glitch, we’ve been without Internet access for a couple of days, so I missed the daily prompt here.. Instead,I wrote a poem prompted by my day. This morning, Internet restored, I checked the prompt I missed. “Write an auto poem.” Automatic? Automobile? Hmmm….here’s the poem I’d already written.

    There’s an over-sized pickup truck
    ahead of me-red, with lurid art
    covering the back window:
    Skull and crossbones, flames.

    I am idly judging the driver,
    thinking my thoughts,
    not so much jumping to conclusions
    as wandering over to them,
    cozy and familiar.
    Then he stops
    in the middle of the block
    to let little kids on bikes cross the street.

    There it goes again. Life,
    shaking its head,
    giving me new thoughts to think.

  11. Gone are the days of the autograph book;
    Signers often responded in rhyme.
    Teens are now tweeting and writing on walls
    And dude,
    rhyming
    is so
    not
    cool

  12. Deri says:

    Numb

    Impatient
    for the coffee
    to finish she
    thinks perhaps
    setting the timer
    just a few minutes
    earlier will make
    the mornings go
    smoother, as if
    she doesn’t realize
    her entire life
    is already on
    auto-pilot.

  13. bxpoetlover says:

    Some gifts are useless.

    When we were girls my best friend showed me how to
    read lifelines and love lines on palms.
    I wish I could read minds instead.

    He and I went to a restaurant and I asked a stranger
    to take our picture. We were smiling. Me standing over him
    sweetly hugging him around the neck.

    When I showed him the photo he
    said it looked like I was choking him.
    Of course we did not last.

    Since common sense trumps love
    I now dissect each gesture and look
    and the hard questions about
    family
    goals
    past loves
    faith
    are
    automatic.

  14. dejauveda says:

    jackie-o sunglasses
    flashing cameras
    yes darling
    its nice to see u
    thank you for coming to see me
    i finally made it
    i have finally arrive
    yes u may have my autograph

  15. Dini says:

    “Car Talk”
    Hello, I’m calling in, but please don’t tell
    My husband or he will surely yell.
    You see, there’s a collector he wants to buy,
    but I need a vehicle on which I can rely.
    Mine actually runs but needs a lot of work,
    but that’s not why I want him to shirk
    this purchase, this ‘57 Chev, all green and white.
    These disagreements now have caused a fight
    Between us, for mine has 200,000 miles, you see.
    and it coughs and sputters, and repair jobs are not free.
    Shouldn’t he buy me a beautiful new Lexus
    not wasting dollars on a rusty, wornout carcass?
    I’m all in a dither, nerves shot, I’m all on edge.
    Please advise: what to buy, how to save a marriage.

  16. Glory says:

    Auto poem
    Self

    In automatic mode, auto –self
    drives me on relentless
    in my search for perfection,
    ignores my fight with ‘thinking self’
    the goals planned, the path decided,
    working apart – sabotage
    working together – fulfilment,
    and success.

  17. Lindy says:

    Not Today

    She didn’t notice
    the pen in her hand
    or scribbling
    on the paper beneath it.

    Her mind drifted
    through the clouds,
    bouncing
    from thought to thought;
    daydreaming,
    sight-seeing,
    the world in a new light.

    She didn’t see
    the words she’d written
    until thunder
    struck her home.

    [Prose]

    A perfect rose
    in the middle of her stormy day
    and greenhouse schematics.
    The phrases
    barely made sense to her,
    yet ebbed
    and flowed
    with a nature all their own

    Automatic writing:
    some say it comes from
    beyond,
    some from
    within,
    perhaps both.
    In any case -
    I say,
    “Sometimes
    it happens that way,
    but not today.”

  18. Annie Auto

    She came to us new to the world
    of long trips and quick drives to town.
    She quickly became part of our life,
    each day shared, surrounding us in
    nine point protection and steel construction.
    Sitting in the drive, she waits
    always happy to take us for a ride
    up and down the old highway of life.

    Great prompt for the day after I bought a new car!

  19. Julieann says:

    My second attempt – forgive its lateness

    Comparisons

    Henry Ford gave us the Model T
    But have you compared

    George Jetson’s flying car, folded into a briefcase
    Against Fred Flinstone’s foot powered model

    A police cruiser on Car 54 Where are You?
    However Adam 12 was a fire truck

    The Munsters drove a hearse
    But the Addams family didn’t seem to use a car

    The Equalizer drove a classy Jag
    While the Dukes of Hazzard drove a Charger

    The ever-cool Corvette traveled Route 66
    And Kookie parked cars and drove a t-bucket hot rod

    There are so many, but let’s not forget
    Kitt, the Batmobile, Speedracer, and the Monkeemobile

    Which is your favorite?
    Can they be compared?

  20. drwasy says:

    little Autocrat

    my sweet
    my love
    my first born
    so willful
    as you reach
    for crown-like
    clouds
    how is it
    you twist
    my heart
    turn my insides
    out
    with your
    denial
    of my
    wish?

  21. julie e. says:

    ON THE OTHER HAND…

    People call him
    and make a noise in
    to the phone
    he tells them
    what is likely wrong with their car
    kind of an auto genius.

  22. julie e. says:

    SALUTE.

    Sometimes I think your complaints are just
    automatic
    so much so that sometimes all I can hear
    is static
    On the outside I stay neutral with a
    hint of smile
    On the inside I salute you middle
    finger style
    How long have we been married? Cuz I’m
    pretty sure
    you would know now after decades I’m no
    epicure
    and I’m feeling you should grab yourself some
    self-control
    cuz you can’t be sure what might be in your
    casserole.

  23. tonijoell says:

    Summer Breeze

    My body may be on auto pilot
    moving through the day with perfunctory precision
    sidestepping my mundane tedium
    between exhalations
    but the rest of me
    remains tangled in cool cotton sheets
    with you
    beneath an open window
    drinking in the scent of us
    mingled
    with the night blooming jasmine.

  24. AUTOCORRECT

    I do not
    think you meant to say
    what you did

  25. Memory on Automatic

    I come up the steps
    with bundles of shopping
    and see you again,
    opening the door
    in pyjamas and socks
    and your faded old grey top
    with the blue writing:
    ‘Life’s a Beach’.

    Under the soft white hair
    your face is beaming
    to see me home, even though
    you’ve enjoyed the movie
    and your talk with the Respite Carer —
    who is grabbing at the waistband
    of the grey top, to stop you falling
    as you reach, tottering, to try and take
    my heavy bags and help me indoors.

    All the while that overjoyed smile.

    Oh, my love!

    It’s one of many sweet memories
    that arise automatically
    in their settings.

    And then, automatically,
    the tears follow.

  26. omavi says:

    Muscle Memory

    No thoughts, no emotions
    Just an autonomous reaction
    So something that cannot be heard
    Cannot be felt, no taste no smell
    No action foretelling what will come
    No torrent of inspiration
    No smoking gun
    No reason behind what letter come
    Eyes closed
    Soul sleeping behind bolt doors
    Muse long fled to planes unknown
    Heart no longer beating
    Blood congealing in vessels
    Brain deprived of even oxygen
    Taking a break from this world
    No rhyme
    No meter
    Nothing wanted or needed
    Nothing aching to be released
    But
    Fingers still go through the motions
    Poetry still lives

  27. P.A. Beyer says:

    The People Have Spoken

    They thought their party was solid
    Everyone knows incumbency usually wins

    The primaries gave a bump up in confidence
    There was a glimmer of hope for a few more years

    But over time they saw cracks in their platform
    The poll results started trending down

    As much as they tried to reverse the direction
    The negative jabs became the common ground

    There was uncertainty up ‘til the day of the election
    The last ditch messages like a barrage never seen

    The votes were counted and recounted
    The results were close but always the same

    And as much as the concession speech pained Jim
    Jill declared her heart an autonomous state

  28. carolecole66 says:

    Auto-Pilot

    Who is this woman who sits at the kitchen table
    drinking tea? She has just come in from the cold,
    she has hung up her coat and thrown her keys in the drawer.
    The tea is where it always is. She knows exactly
    where to find the grocery list. She composed a sonnet
    in her head on the way home from work, but still
    stopped at all red lights. Will she wake up?
    Is it important that she knows she is brushing her teeth?
    Can she wake to herself? The weeks stretch ahead.
    She will take one step deliberately, contemplate
    the movement of her toes. But it’s all too much.

    Tomorrow she’ll set the coffee pot on the floor,
    let the cat wash himself in the kitchen sink,
    leave her bed unmade. She will whirl through the house
    singing old Beatles songs until she’s breathless, flinging
    old photos around the room. Tomorrow all bets are off.

  29. De Jackson says:

    LOL or OMG?

    Thx to u,
    autocorrect
    I just sent a client
    this salacious text:

    Sounds good.
    See you in a sex.

  30. De Jackson says:

    Drive

    She gets in and knows nothing,
    except that maybe that yellow
    dashed line might lead her some
    -where else, some place warm
    and silent and sans sorrow.

    She’d wait ’til tomorrow, but
    the last straw has sucked the
           (breath)
    life out of her, camel needs a
    chiropractor, heart needs some
    highway triage. Stat.

    For some time the flat buzz
    of the
           (ass’s fault)
    asphalt will do, and then
    somewhere around mile 102
    her autopilot kicks in,
    right hand reaches out to turn
    on the radio. Coldplay moans
    low and slow, a familiar song.

                       She hums along.

    .

  31. Sara McNulty says:

    The Automat

    Rows of glass compartments
    offering creamed spinach,
    macaroni and cheese, baked beans,
    and tempting desserts. Take a tray,
    pick out your lunch, load the correct
    coins into slots of glass cases.
    Watch doors slide open, and remove
    your choices. Called the Automat,
    a hubbub of suits, families, characters
    out of Damon Runyon, and down-
    and-outs. I felt lucky, loved
    eating in such a cool place, yet sad
    seeing those who could not
    afford food, and made do
    with packets of free crackers
    spread with ketchup.

    Poetic Asides
    April Challenge – Day 24
    Write an auto poem

  32. Alpha1 says:

    My Life

    Life for me
    myself and I
    is never goin home
    without one more try
    I crave party girls
    even when I’m snubbed
    I just hop over
    to a brand new club
    for the best thing
    to have on late
    Saturday nights
    is a sweet party girl
    under dimly lit lights

  33. We clock in. We clock out.
    It’s the same thing each day.
    All monotonous, not autonomous.
    We need to break away.

    Performing the same tasks
    Without thought or provocation.
    They want a pre-programmed robot
    Set on full automation.

    Do this. Do that. Are we to go
    About our work and just remain silent?
    Like a mindless drone set upon its course
    As if we were set on autopilot.

    We’re to disconnect our intellect,
    Swatted down like some measly insect.
    Roaming like a zombie searching for the brain matter
    That is the sanity to survive ‘til the next paycheck.

    Numbing down our mentality.
    Micromanaged to a ridiculous degree.
    Stripped of freedom and imprisoned to voluntary slavery.
    And thus, rewiring our natural circuitry.

    Sadly…

    We are subjected to the tyranny of the dollar sign,
    And it’s actually quite traumatic.

    We must redefine the line
    That has kept us behind,
    Confined and blind
    From a freedom so benign.
    It’s time to unleash our mind
    From this daily grind
    And not resign
    To these familiar binds…

    That have become so automatic.

  34. alana sherman says:

    42nd Street

    Saturday mornings my brother
    and I would go
    to the Daily News Building
    to deliver photos. In the lobby
    we’d gawp at our world,
    circle our planet,
    wonder at all the countries, say
    their names aloud.
    Bronze lines, laid out like a compass
    gave the distances to Athens or Bombay
    We’d study the clocks
    showing the hour in Beijing and Madrid
    amazed by the idea that
    it could be 6pm in London or 2am in Cairo.
    Best of all I loved the enthralling facts
    that surrounded that ball: If
    the Sun were the size of this globe, then
    the Earth would be the size of a walnut,
    located at the main entrance
    to Grand Central Station. Glorious!
    In the elevator we jumped
    as it lifted off hoping to be weightless
    while it sped to the 30th floor
    and beyond like a rocket to the moon.
    Afterward, with two dollars per photo plate
    clutched in my hand
    we went to the Automat.
    You put your nickels in
    and out came sandwiches,
    sodas and cakes. We thought
    we had come to the future.
    Then we’d wander Fifth Avenue
    stopping at SAS or Japan Air
    to gather brochures and dream
    of all the far away places
    we’d seen on the globe
    we planned to explore together.

    alana

  35. RJ Clarken says:

    Gourmand

    “Supermarket automatic doors open for me; therefore I am.” ~Craig Bruce

    The automatic doors swing wide.
    The foodie in me rushes in.
    Some pomegranates, to begin?
    Oh joy! Oh rapture! I’m inside

    the place where menus are my guide.
    I want some cheddar cheese sliced thin.
    The foodie in me rushes in.
    The automatic doors swing wide

    and cravings will not be denied.
    The cakes here are a deadly sin
    and…homemade breads…a total win!
    My every food wish, they provide.
    The automatic doors swing wide.

    ###

  36. RJ Clarken says:

    Autograph

    “Hold onto that. You have an autograph. I’m going to be famous some day.” ~Haywood Nelson

    How much is an autograph worth?
    If it’s signed by someone admired
    and it’s personally acquired
    then it is truly worth the earth.

    Collected sigs from Colin Firth
    and Hugh Jackman are what’s required?
    If it’s signed by someone admired
    how much is an autograph worth?

    Regards celebs, there is no dearth,
    but I want just to be inspired.
    The ‘best’ is from someone desired
    who adds some joy or love or mirth.
    How much is an autograph worth?

    ###

  37. Julieann says:

    Scooby Knows — Do You?

    Ask Scooby and the Gang
    What makes an auto?
    Engine, body, doors, design,
    Stick or automatic

    The ever-loveable VW Bug
    ‘59 manual choke
    ‘66 flower power
    ‘72 tomato red

    The do anything, go anywhere VW bus?
    Orange and white
    Green and while
    And psychedelic 60’s

    A myriad of other VWs
    A white hippity-hoppity Rabbit
    A blue 5-speed Golf
    The king, a maroon Volkswagen Vanagon

    Scooby and the Gang
    Can’t be wrong
    They traveled the world in
    Their VW bus

  38. tunesmiff says:

    THINKING WITHOUT THINKING (Senryu)
    ———————————————————–
    My knee-jerk response
    is to write around the word,
    yet paint its picture.

  39. BDP says:

    “I Didn’t Die: Steve’s Email From Daytona”

    Tires scuffed and ready, I’m pumped, starting twelfth,
    with buddy Pete in ninth. All other GT3s
    have broken down or crashed throughout the week.

    Green flag! I tuck behind my pal, he tucks
    behind the AS Mustang lead. I press hard
    on the back straight going into the bus stop,

    ahead, lap 1, but an idiot Corvette
    fakes me to the apron, turn 3, costing
    momentum, Pete gains, dealing with the Mustang,

    he’s balked, pinched down the run off turn 4.
    I blast by as if he’s on a Sunday drive.
    He guns a retort, but the track’s slick, I swing

    wide in the infield, pushing him two wheels off
    by mistake. His speed’s good, I yield the corner,
    he skids me off course (on purpose?), I lose

    quite a few lengths. The AS car slows more
    each lap, keeping us tight, when Pete blows
    a motor just past the infield kink, oiling

    the speedway. I drive through, easy, next time
    hit grease, spin slow mo, pull out, game on,
    but some guys I buried at the start nip

    at my wheels. I let them dash past. Then note
    the attrition. The pack’s half gone. I end ninth.
    My car hits one-eighty, but I want it to last.

    Heading home a tractor-trailer wreck delays
    us two hours, eight miles of dead stopped traffic.

    B Peters

  40. Raina Masters says:

    A Chevy Malibu is not a race car

    That Chevy Malibu was your excuse
    to drive with the kind of abandon
    that tossed my organs around. You
    showed me the difference a V-6 makes
    when you want to rip past someone
    to get to a u-turn, to blaze down
    a dimly lit highway at 3am at 100 mph
    as I sat in the passenger seat, bearing
    down, amazed you never got a ticket.
    You can’t do that in your Hyundai.

  41. PoM says:

    I stepped off the train
    An underground railway
    Was somewhere near Fenway
    Kenmore square on a hot summer day
    Was on my way to watch the Red Sox play

    The melody they played
    Echoed through the subway
    A crowd of people watch them play
    One finger-picked and strummed
    Another beat wooden drums

    The music they played
    In such a spectacular way
    Some in the crowd they swayed
    Others sang as they watched them play
    Not one watching refrained
    All threw money in velvet guitar case

    Took all I had to walk away
    I almost forgot the Red Sox game
    Didn’t want to leave
    They sounded so great

    A quadruplet of hot babes
    Danced and sang
    Then one of them asked
    Where did you learn to play
    Without missing a beat
    They ad-libbed an answer autodidactically

    That was back in the day
    Mini concerts in the subway
    It was the Boston way
    Now the music no longer plays
    Those mean spirited autocrats
    Said no more music in our subways

  42. Biopsy yesterday and computer problems today set me behind writing two today instead of two yesterday, so the “auto” is sort of in poem 23 (yesterday’s) written today and today’s poem is only “auto” in that an anagram generator needed to be consulted.

    Anagrams: Marian Therese

    Hers is an earthrise name
    Its aiyee vowels lamenting
    the moonset salute the sun
    when light reanimates her

    Mania here rest No need
    for excess for you’ll find
    a stream herein Recline
    serenely on verdant banks

    Listen to birds soften day
    with aerier anthems then
    human song Listen each
    dawn at midday at dusk

    Listen, O matinee sharer
    Sound moving soft throats
    avian songsters trembling
    when they re-raise anthem

    The anagrams are earthrise name, reanimates her, Mania here rest, a stream herein, aerier anthems, matinee sharer, and reraise anthem

  43. ewdupler says:

    Teenager Trials

    “I know,” “I will”, I always hear,
    Still you ignore those chores, my dear.
    Advice from me can’t touch your ear,
    Unwise choices are a real fear.

    I know that life should have its fun,
    But that’s not all it is, my son.
    Don’t scorn my help, or you’ll get none.
    Earn respect, Autonomous One.

  44. This poem comes from the automatic music that plays when you are placed on phone hold.

    “Please Hold the Line …” (a triolet)

    On hold the music chings ca ching
    my brain is bouncing beating time
    ah da hey ho this music sings
    On hold the music chings ca ching
    ah da hey ho on music’s wings
    a twirling turning swinging rhyme
    On hold this music chings ca ching
    my brain is bouncing beating time

  45. THEGingerSass says:

    Auto A?
    -KB

    Springtime delays me.
    My wheels go slow– should go fast.
    I arrive, barely.

    Presentation time.
    Drunken classmates stumble in;
    Twenty-four more days.

  46. profal29 says:

    Automatically wondering
    who’s thinking of me
    and why are they thinking
    sexually, thats the only answer
    for out of nowhere, I am
    sensitized, I was not thinking
    of a thing, I was teaching
    stereo mic techniques and…
    bam!
    Who is this person that has
    taken me there, and why has
    it been going on all day
    this must be a person that
    likes me a lot and is able
    to break through all barriers
    all walls, all thoughts against
    what she is thinking of with me

    who is she?

  47. deringer1 says:

    AUTOBIOGRAPH

    He lived down the street,
    a friendly, elderly man, alone.

    I thought him ordinary;
    he appeared like many little old men,

    somewhat vague but harmless.
    One day I stopped to talk to him.

    “Where were you from originally?”
    I asked, to start the conversation.

    I listened to his story with open mouth.
    He was born in a small village on the Thailand-

    Chinese border. Grew up with none but native friends.
    He learned their language and their ways.

    He was of his parent’s country but not from it.
    A man who had led an amazing life!

    He told me of a book he recently published…
    his life story. When I read it

    I pondered long, wondering
    about the rest of my neighbors.

    How many of them are heroes unsung,
    or were outstanding in their younger days?

    There are stories that hide behind a wrinkled face,
    sight that is dimmed, or a slower pace.

    I’ll try now to listen more to the old,
    for they have tales that should be told.

  48. JWLaviguer says:

    Autopsy of a Dream

    The pages fall
    cracked and yellow
    from the yearbook

    Faded memories
    and broken promises
    reveal themselves to me

    We always said
    we’d be together
    always

    Travel the world
    never settle down
    and live forever

    I sit and stare
    as tears fall
    onto the page

    Like drops of rain
    washing away the pain
    but the memory remains

    Of how we said
    we’d be together
    always

    But not forever.

  49. Margot Suydam says:

    Guy Sort Madam on Automatic

    What you know
    about me is not just
    the words in type,
    enclosed in my
    resume. For one,

    I have strived long,
    showing off my
    business acumen
    to your executive
    mettle. I’ve

    relished in taking
    long manly strides,
    talking in a low
    voice, and chewing
    on all your big

    plans. One Christmas,
    you bought us
    snow shoes. While
    the white piled up
    outside, we couldn’t

    wait to try them.
    In the black
    and white woods,
    we attached plastic
    and tin to our boots,

    and ventured, comrades,
    into the dark. I also
    used to strut,
    for you, feminine
    dresses; wear spiky

    heals to play for
    your interest; flaunt
    myself to make sure
    you didn’t forget
    I liked your reaction.

  50. priyajane says:

    Autograph Book

    The faded writing stares rudely at her
    with razor like edges
    and mages of school yard yesterdays
    float in the peripheral vision
    and, she is thirteen again.
    A bulldozer that turns the soil
    spills loosely out of the autographed pages
    crushing her tender spirit
    once again.
    She slams the drawer shut, automatically
    and drives away on autopilot.

  51. JWLaviguer says:

    Automaton

    He wants to be alive
    I have to die
    We hate each other
    Although he doesn’t feel hate
    I can see it in his eyes
    He doesn’t sleep
    I just can’t
    watching him
    watching me
    the mimic in him
    matching me move for move
    he is a mirror image of myself
    throwing himself into reality
    shattering my hope
    like so many shards of broken dreams
    dragging bloody memories from room to room
    searching for the one who used to heal me
    as he mocks me
    dragging his metal soul
    from hell to hell.

  52. WayneLMurphy says:

    Automatically
    birds chirp every morning
    sweet sounds of nature

    Wayne L Murphy 4/23/13

  53. Nancy Posey says:

    In the Parking Lot

    Monday after the time change
    they still arrive early, in time
    to see the sunrise, jockeying
    for the best spots in the lot,
    backing pickups into spaces
    for a quick exit hours away.
    No classes until eight or nine,
    some plug in their ear buds
    or crank up the volume, bass
    vibrating the body of cars
    on either side; others read
    the story assigned weeks ago,
    due today or the horoscope
    in the local paper, finding
    little else of interest, A-list
    celebrities giving birth
    or leaving rehab. A few
    nap, catching up on sleep
    they miss back at home,
    where children or spouses
    don’t even understand
    why they are back at school.
    Ten minutes later arrival
    means two or three rows
    farther away from class,
    a longer walk. Once inside,
    they’ll wait for the elevator
    rather than take the stairs
    up or down. For now,
    they’ll sit in their steel
    cocoons, breathe a prayer,
    smoke one last cigarette,
    check the phone for emails
    and then emerge smugly,
    eying latecomers circling
    coveting their spaces.

  54. Domino says:

    Past Unwritten
    (A sonnet about autobiographies, or lack thereof)

    I imagine the lives my ancestors lived.
    I try to picture what their lives were like
    by looking at things I do know about them,
    like where they lived, when they were born or died.

    All the small details that make life complete.
    How I wish they’d shared their words, had written
    their thoughts, their lives, the way I’m compelled to.
    Surely compulsion is passed from the past.

    It seems I’ve chosen a futile quest, though.
    Yesterday is gone and so are they, yet
    I do see my great-grandmother’s nose in
    my youngest son, her curiosity in me.
    And that secret to the past, the knowledge
    I crave? It’s been before me all along.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  55. PressOn says:

    AS THE AUTOCRAT SAID,

    by oneself,
    one
    owes none to none.

  56. Jane Shlensky says:

    His and Hers

    He is automobiles; she is plants.
    They know this of one another and try
    not to trespass into one another’s zones.

    What kind of car did you buy?
    He’ll hear one of her friends ask her
    intrigued, as most folks are by motored things.

    She smiles, rewarding them for interest.
    It’s blue! She says. I always like blue ones.
    He wants to scream Toyota, Chrysler, Ford!

    For God’s sake, you know they’re not all the same.
    But he can see she’s left this all to him.
    And so he grits and bears it, shakes his head.

    She hears his golf friends compliment the lawn.
    How lovely are the blooms and decorative trees.
    What is this beauty, pointing, What are these?

    He flushes thinking how to make it end.
    Roses, he says, before he sees their look.
    That’s not a rose, they say. It’s not a bush.

    If you know everything, why do you ask?
    They stare incredulously as he squirms.
    It’s yellow, damn it all, and that one’s red.

  57. Jane Shlensky says:

    Thanks for the constanza form today, Walt and Marie.

    Sacrifice

    The class discusses sacrifice.
    For what would you give up your life?
    Are martyrs always pushed by strife?

    For all you love, what is the price?
    You have to think your loves have done
    more with their lives than anyone.

    You make a trade, pass on a slice
    of time to someone, something true.
    The world is made better by you.

    One boy is moved by a caprice
    and swears by all the saints that are
    that he would die for his old car.

    The class makes him repeat it twice
    You know machines don’t live? they say.
    Foolishness gives your life away.

    Is volunteering for death a vice
    like blood thrown into howling winds,
    life made so cheap, we relish ends?

    Do martyrs get to live life twice?
    Reincarnation could change choice—
    throw ten away, let one rejoice.

    When we debate if fire or ice
    will end the world, we overlook
    stupidity and avarice, run amok.

    • PressOn says:

      Your passion is palpable. The last stanza recalls Frost, for me anyway, and I think it is powerful. Well, the whole thing is, but the ending is like a punch line, almost literally.

  58. Angie5804 says:

    I Blink

    I blink the dust from my eyes
    as I write my name in the dust of the coffee table.
    I blink the dewy fog from my eyes,
    but can’t seem to shake this fog from my mind.
    I blink the smoke from my eyes,
    While memories blaze a hole in my heart.
    I blink against the sun in my eyes,
    Yet no light illuminates to tell me why.
    I try to blink back tears,
    Still they fall on the empty page.

  59. Melanie says:

    Autograph hunter

    She walks two miles
    to the edge of the village
    The hotel is perched
    by the side of the M1
    A source close to her
    (her sister who is a chamber maid)
    reveals that Cliff Richard
    Is in Room 205
    Rain pours in torrents
    but she’s not daunted
    She’d like to be his
    Devil Woman
    but she hasn’t left school yet
    She’d like him to be her
    Bachelor Boy
    but he is probably too old
    She shivers and drips
    in front of Room 205
    She cannot find
    the courage to knock
    Her autograph book remains
    unopened in her back pocket
    as she heads back into the rain

  60. Relics

    The auto that the old man drives
    A 1950 Cadillac
    Red interior, satin black

    Most people gawk when it arrives
    It floats like a luxury ship
    From rounded nose to taillight tip

    It looks as sharp as diamond knives
    With large tailfins and shiny chrome
    And crowned with classy rounded dome

    It has outlived almost three wives
    Inspired by war time aircraft
    So smartly engineered to last

    It must have had at least nine lives
    To make it through these many years
    It has outlasted most its peers

    He tinkers, polishes and strives
    Just out when weather’s very mild
    And treasured like an only child

    So through his nurture it survives
    Who knows what future is in store
    As owner goes on ninety-four

  61. DanielAri says:

    Been following “silently at home,” but here’s today’s:

    “Rube”

    Xylophone hammers
    vibrate the pillow.
    The merry-go-round
    ostriches go still—
    unveiling glimmers

    on the windowsill
    that make the blankets
    caterpillar off
    the dog—who stretches
    and licks the merchant’s

    nose ‘til the merchant’s
    lungs need tongue-free skies.
    The music switches
    to the news. He sighs
    and collects his cells.

    Rhythm reprise.
    The body rises.

  62. EbenAt says:

    Automania

    At the dawning of my
    auto consciousness,
    a Rambler wagon at dawn,
    (Rear facing back seat!)
    At noon, a Super Beetle,
    then a Mercedes 180
    (Cream with red leather interior)
    in slanting evening light.

    In My time;
    a Datsun 510,
    (Pea soup green,
    dual points,
    died lonely
    in a Port Angeles junkyard.)
    A Cressida followed,
    (Faded yellow, big primer spots,
    died in the Painted Desert.)
    Finally,
    a ’78 Hi-Lux,
    (257,000 miles,
    1 clutch,
    much oil)
    ended the Way Used Era.

    The long Toyota Epoch
    followed, broken by
    a minor Chevy Ice Age.

    Finally, the Anthropocene,
    one Smart convertible,
    (bitchin’ stereo)
    to a Prius C
    (All the
    bells and whistles.)
    It is,
    after all,
    2013.

    • EbenAt says:

      Dang, not good – revised:

      Auto Ages

      Awakened to
      auto consciousness by
      a Rambler wagon at dawn,
      (Rear facing back seat!)
      At noon, a Super Beetle,
      then a Mercedes 180
      (Cream with red leather interior)
      in slanting evening light.

      In My time;
      a Datsun 510,
      (Pea soup green,
      dual points,
      died lonely in a
      Port Angeles junkyard.)
      A Cressida followed,
      (Faded yellow,
      big primer spots,
      died in
      the Painted Desert)
      Finally,
      a ’78 Hi-Lux,
      (257,000 miles,
      1 clutch,
      much oil)
      ended the Way Used Era.

      The long Toyota Epoch
      followed, broken by
      a minor Chevy Ice Age.

      Finally, the Anthropocene,
      one Smart convertible,
      (bitchin’ stereo)
      to a Prius C
      (All the
      bells and whistles.)
      It is,
      after all,
      2013.

  63. priyajane says:

    TUK TUK RIDES
    Tuk tuk autos, resting on wheels
    An indoor-outdoor flying wheel
    Taking you from here to there
    An Alice-in-Wonderland, adventure dare
    A common respite, in many worlds
    Weaving traffic with bumpy swirls
    A classic bike, with a mower’s heart
    Each a story of enriching folk art
    A nightmare effect, or, a fairy tale feel
    As you cruise along expanding your reel—

    • ewdupler says:

      I’ve seen them, but never knew they were called tuk tuck autos until after reading your poem and looking them up. The description was wonderfully done. I particularly liked “an indoor-outdoor flying wheel”, and smiled at the nightmare effect as I could only imagine how crazy it would be.

  64. ewdupler says:

    Irritable Illness

    Autonomous action of anatomy,
    Brings bellowing breathing, so blustery.
    Cantankerous cold – encourage coughing -
    Deluge of draining, drastically daunting.

    Everything, everywhere, exceptional
    Fragile. Fidget in fits, feeling so final,
    Grandly Gesticulate. Guttural groans
    Heed healing, holistic, from hands he hones.

  65. Jezzie says:

    On Automatic Pilot

    My alarm went off at its usual pace
    and I rubbed my tired eyes and washed my face,
    as I grudgingly got up from my bed
    to prepare myself for the day ahead.
    A bowl of cereal I was needing,
    and my dog, she also needed feeding.
    Soon my dog had eaten my Weetabix
    and there were her dog biscuits in my dish!
    I showered, got dressed and drove off to work,
    but before too long I felt such a jerk.
    I’d wondered where all the cars were that day -
    when I got to work, it was Saturday!
    I had been on automatic pilot.
    Drink again on Friday night? I will not!

  66. Larry says:

    Three hours, line after line
    Letter by letter. I type and I type
    My fingers are numb. They want my address
    They want my digits, etc, etc, etc.
    Why did I delete Auto populate?

  67. WHAT I DIDN’T SEE

    I step outside and
    wind!
    from the east whoosh! no
    autos whizzing off the hill, sizzling
    the flag and whipping
    my hair, automatic buzz machine
    high-frequency
    harmonic to the constant
    tin-tinnitus
    spin-whirring in my ears

    this morning
    only the overhead V of wild geese
    is louder,
    honking wing-against-wind
    on the long flight north
    to summer.

  68. PressOn says:

    NO AUTOMATICS HERE (a pair of pikus)

    Old-car buffs
    buy
    fours on the floors;

    older buffs
    seize
    threes on the trees.

  69. nessajay says:

    auto means self

    the automobile took me
    two kids & dirty laundry
    up north to be free

    the autobiography has a section break
    where I decided not to take
    the deeds he did & words he spake

  70. dextrousdigits says:

    AUTOPILOT

    A new day has begun
    Use to hot brew
    To get me going then
    Open the shower door
    Pulsating water and luffa scrub
    Ice water rinse
    Leap me to alertness
    OH NO, its Saturday
    To bed I return.

    • PressOn says:

      This is nice and fun. Of all things, it recalls Lee Hayes, of the Weavers. In his last performance, from his wheelchair, he sang these lyrics to My Get Up and Go Has Got up and Went:
      I get up each morning and dust off my wits;
      open the paper and read the obits,
      and if I’m not there, I know I’m not dead,
      so I eat a good breakfast and roll back to bed.

      • dextrousdigits says:

        Good memory of the Weavers.
        sometimes when I write, I surprise myself
        not having any idea where the writing will go,
        which certainly is fun when it goes in a totally
        different direction.

  71. De Jackson says:

    Engine Light

    Surely by now
    I auto know
    when I need it most
    my car won’t go.

    .

  72. Bruce Niedt says:

    I didn’t use today’s NaPoWriMo prompt (at least not yet) because it was to write a poem based on anagrams of your own name. I did that right here a few years ago, in response to Salvatore Butacci’s invented form called the “aragman”. Instead, I used their prompt from yesterday and wrote another triolet:

    Last Repair

    I’ve had enough of you, old car.
    For many years you carried us
    to destinations near and far.
    You’ve had enough. Of you, old car,
    I’ll say you used to be a star,
    but now I’ll need to take the bus.
    I’ve had enough of you. Old car,
    thanks for the years you carried us.

  73. pmwanken says:

    MAKE WISE CHOICES
    (a piku)

    Life does not
    come
    with autosave.

  74. Beth Rodgers says:

    AUTONOMOUS

    Relatively obscure
    He spends his time
    Obliviously anonymous.

    Fishing for independency
    He symbolizes strength
    And agility of character
    Despite his own insecurities.

    The systematic nature
    Of the automaticity he embodies
    Steers him away from
    Engaging interactions, thereby
    Furthering his autonomy.

  75. Cin5456 says:

    Auto Trouble

    Attuned to the smallest change in performance,
    the mechanic leaned beneath the raised red hood.
    He tweaked a bolt here, tightened a belt there;
    he added oil, drained the radiator
    and filled it full again with coolant.
    He used a flashing light to time the chain,
    installed new wires and plugs. And then he checked
    the brake fluid, and tranny fluid, and then
    he checked the power steering fluid too.
    He handed me the keys. I paid the bill,
    and drove away, happy with my car.
    That engine hummed sweetly for a while,
    but two miles down the road I head a horrid
    Clank, then the tortured squeal of something dragging.
    Steam fogged up the windshield, and smoke burned
    my eyes. I pulled onto the shoulder while
    something clanged beneath the car, then finally
    broke off. The tranny shuddered, and it shook the frame,
    and then that powerful engine wheezed and died.
    I grabbed the fire extinguisher and opened
    the hood. No fire, just steam, and acrid smoke
    billowed in my face. I stared, dismayed.
    my classy ride was nothing now, a heap
    an eyesore, a tow. While calling Triple A
    I paced. Fifty feet behind the car
    I found it, deep in the weeds, twisted and scraped,
    my oil pan with a single broken bolt.

    • PressOn says:

      Ouch. Reminds me of a friend who had to force-land his plane because a mechanic’s failure to tighten everything properly caused oil loss and seizure.

      • Cin5456 says:

        I had to adjust this to meter, but actually, my mechanic forgot to put the tranny fluid dip stick back back. It got in his way while working on something else. The tranny quit working during my thrice weekly 70 mile drive through the mountains to school in a larger city. I needed a 30 mile tow to a garage. The engine got so hot from lack of tranny fluid during frequent automatic gear shifts up and down the mountain roads that the radiator could not keep it cool, so I had frequent overheating issues for two weeks before we figured out the problem. On my way up a hill the tranny went into first gear and would not budge after that. Going 15 mph the for the next 40 miles did not appeal to me, so I pulled over on a mountain roadside. Once it stopped, it would not go again. At the transmission shop, they noticed the dip stick was gone. I had not looked under the hood since he worked on it, so it had to be that mechanic. I had to replace the transmission, but never got the mechanic to admit neglect or pay me a dime.

  76. PowerUnit says:

    They want to give me a new device
    One promised to make my life nice
    An artificial pancreas

    They have invested a lot of time and money
    To help me manage my toast and honey
    Sounds encouraging

    Have they calculated the work I do?
    All the hardship I have to go through?
    Cause and effect is a simple science

    It can mimic all my body’s reactions
    All my compliance and all my infractions
    It can even look into the future

    Im reminded of the man with the RV
    Who put it on cruise and went for a pee
    But who am I to question educated people

  77. Earl Parsons says:

    Switch on and expect
    This device will do our job
    Automatically

  78. Earl Parsons says:

    Automatic

    A fully-automatic rifle
    Is not a semi-automatic
    Yet some seem to think so
    Politically charged static

    My Jeep’s an automatic
    My V-Star has a clutch
    So it ain’t an automatic
    Thank you very much

    The automatic carwash
    Ten bucks for wash and wax
    Then vacuum out the sand
    Go home, sit down, relax

    Putting on the 14th green
    A gurgle caught my ear
    The automatic sprinklers raised
    Better get away from here

    I closed the door to start it
    The motor strained to spin
    My automatic dishwasher
    Would need my help again

    We react automatically
    Automatically we speak
    We live in an automatic world
    Without it, would we freak?

  79. happys says:

    ~Red Panther~

    Can’t forget the first auto I had
    Clothed with my favorite color red

    Car was new and off to church for blessing
    Safe journey to be prayed on christening

    A lovely name for her I have been thinking
    Bewildering wide range of choices in naming

    Prayers said with blessed water sprinkling
    Good priest looked at me and long been waiting

    Hard to think of a beautiful name for her
    Priest recommended she be named Red Panther

    Since then she has been my loyal road partner
    Making my travel life marvelously easier

  80. Jane Shlensky says:

    Insight

    He’s all auto, she says, shaking her head.
    Some men are like that–in love with cars?
    No. In love with himself, she replies.

  81. Sally Jadlow says:

    Auto Poem

    At three,
    I climbed behind the wheel,
    pushed the clutch
    and drove
    on auto pilot
    out the garage,
    across the alley,
    and into the neighbor’s
    garage.

    Didn’t drive again
    until I was fourteen.

  82. Dini says:

    Sounds like “Car Talk” around here today. LOVE that show! Back later – Wed. Is “automatically” painting day for me.

  83. PressOn says:

    AUTOPILOTED

    Folks who run on automatic
    aren’t emphatic;
    they share no joy
    nor can deploy

    warm wisdom laced with weal and wit.
    This, I submit
    is no surprise:
    phlegmatic guys

    oft cruise along, directionless,
    held by a mess
    of silted streams
    bereft of dreams.

  84. missjoyce says:

    Prompt:
    An “auto” poem

    Autobiography

    If I were to die,
    I’d like to change this sad world
    even for a while.

  85. Auto-Destruct Engaged

    they burnt all the old trees
    and cut down the new ones
    the caught all the big fish
    and poisoned all the small ones
    the ice caps dwindled
    and the seas rose up
    the coast lines disappeared
    but the rabid greed didn’t
    the oil prices soared
    the planes were grounded
    they talked and talked
    they never ever acted
    just a few good people
    against an untold mass
    much too little far too late
    panic stricken measures
    the stable doors bolted
    the suns heat reduces
    as the earth heats up
    time still remains to act
    to save this precious jewel
    but protocol demands
    that all parties must agree…
    >
    >
    auto-destruct engaged:
    enter simultaneous codes to deactivate…
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    …waiting…

    Iain

  86. Don’t-Ask Babe

    I’d been sitting in the street with my hand up the
    left front wheel well of the van like some large
    animal veterinarian checking the cervix
    of a past-due rhinocerous.  Been there for at
    least half an hour, effing and blinding about
    why Chrysler can’t put the turn signal bulb
    in a place accessible to normal sized hands

    and I look up and there’s Don’t-Ask Babe
    coming down the sidewalk towing his entire
    forty-two-inch Craftsman rolling tool chest, 
    with twenty ball-bearing drawers, black.
    (Don’t-Ask Babe, you wonder?  His dad was
    a huge Yankee fan back in the old country,
    and it’s a bit of a touchy subject.  So… you know).

    I look up and he says, That’s a ’97 isn’t it?
    Think I got what you need somewhere in here,
    and he starts pulling open drawers like he’s 
    playing whack-a-mole with a socket set.  No, Babe,
    I’m good, I say.  He wheels around.  What?  
    You think just cause I’m some stupid Mexican
    I can’t fix your sh*tty van?  Then he flashes
    his trademark smile and hands me a wrench.

    Anyway, I’m from the Dominican.

  87. JRSimmang says:

    With the end
    in his sights, the two
    tired rivals
    Volkswagen
    and BMW, comes
    Auto von Bismark.

  88. Dear Moosehead,
    Can you believe it? Rear-ended
    by a gypsy at some lights in the Village!
    Listen I don’t care where these guys come
    from. Ain’t but one of us, ‘cept Big Joe in
    the auto-shop, from here – we all came
    from somewhere else. All I’m saying is:
    get the license; pay your dues and your
    taxes like any other working stiff and I’ll
    say fine – ply yer cab! So speaking of the
    the auto- shop – that’s where my black &
    yellow is! Big Joe works magic but not on
    the same day! Like he said to me – he’s
    Lakota- Sioux not Superman (he whispered
    something about that being close enough
    for most folks). Anyway I’m busted for today
    so I’m kicking back, taking it easy… Let’s see
    if we can close the series with a win tonight.
    We left those Rays wriggling on the hook last
    night & I wanna see me some grilled fish steaks
    for dinner. Pick me up at 6 – bring yer bill fold.

    Yours unintentionally auto-free and easy,

    Ringo the Howler

  89. JRSimmang says:

    When, in a state, of
    total control, even the
    faintest heart quickens.

  90. PressOn says:

    SLIDING ACROSS THE HIGHWAY,

    shifting;
    drifting;
    shrifting;
    gifting;
    automatic’s shifting; drifting now,
    I offer a shrifting, gifting vow.

  91. Rachel Blake says:

    Automatic

    smile
    cry
    talk
    walk
    rub stroke
    prod poke
    laugh
    rant
    dream
    think
    plan?
    not likely
    yawn
    fidget
    stare into space
    hyperventilate
    eat
    drink
    listen
    don’t listen
    heart beat
    scratch
    itch
    sneeze
    wince
    groan
    hum
    jump run
    flight
    not fight
    love
    hate
    ( temporarily )
    drive
    doodle
    kiss
    canoodle
    these things
    responses
    happen
    automatically

  92. RobHalpin says:

    The Daily Commute

    Jackwagons
    to the left of me
    Jackwagons
    to the right
    When cars have autopilot
    will it be better?

  93. burrhead says:

    Carl F.W. Borgward
    Must have understood
    His name on the automobile
    Was no good
    What do you drive?
    A Borgward
    A Borgward?
    Sounds like a benign growth
    To be removed

    That must be why
    He named the car I drive
    The Borgward Isabella

    • PressOn says:

      I love this piece. The car I recall looked a bit like a gap-toothed Mercedes.

      • burrhead says:

        I think they were homely and strange; unique. Mine had a back seat 4 inches higher than the front so the backseat riders could see where they were going. It had wing windows that rolled down, as well as a four-speed column stick shift. The floor pan was sealed top and bottom, so there was no access to the driveline. The most interesting feature was the cigar lighter, which had a large coil element (as big as the diameter of fat cigar) that faced out. To activate the lighter you pressed down on a little button on the outside radius of the lighter, when the element glowed red you pulled it straight out towards you. People were fascinated to see it operate but they tended to forget how it worked. Needless to say most of my high school buddies ended up with spiral brands seared on their thumbs from attempting to push the still hot lighter like the lighters in their ’58 Chevrolet’s.

        • PressOn says:

          Thanks for that great little story. I have a couple of friends who own vintage cars; I’m going to share this with them. I only recall seeing the cars a couple of times; they WERE homely, but unforgettable.

  94. foodpoet says:

    Metro Blues Redux

    On auto pilot each day
    words may flow with metro vibes
    another round of musical seats
    doors closing the rush for seats
    the slowest standing at Vienna.

    A seat?! can write on Auto pilot…

  95. PressOn says:

    THE MINISTER MUSES

    As I look at my congregation,
    I sense no sense of elation;
    perhaps I’ve induced sedation
    or else they’re on automation.

    A sermon’s supposed to enlighten;
    it certainly ought not to frighten;
    but to proffer a cause to see right in,
    there are phrases, perhaps, I should brighten.

  96. Ann Graham Price says:

    “Autocracy”

    In his rule of one
    No one else has any say.
    “My way or highway.”

  97. PKP says:

    auto-words

    I wake
    as a petulant child
    stirring with sand
    papered unease
    irritated toes hanging
    on the cusp of
    irritating others
    the sun too bright
    the birds annoying
    cackle grate
    until
    words coalesce
    from the sharp shards
    falling gently together
    over tense shoulders
    I am embraced in
    the golden shimmer
    the warble and wiggle
    of a new day reconfigured
    by automatic grace
    gratefully savored
    as a sigh releases
    a smile and from
    whirling head to
    clenched toes
    words springing
    flow, tickle
    rework
    awakening

    • PressOn says:

      I am always impressed at how visual your work is. In this case, “warble and wiggle” jump out. Nice.

      • PKP says:

        Aw thanks my third grade straight-backed blue-haired elegant teacher-inspiration Mrs Doyle, who impressed me with her talk of “picture-words” would smile, as do I, at your comment. My college profs would cringe as they did back then at the foregoing sentence structure :) Thankee …. Back later kitchen being gutted today waiting for the work to begin momentarily.

  98. PressOn says:

    RACING ON A WET TRACK
    (melody: “Singin’ in the Rain”)

    I’m drivin’ in the rain,
    just flyin’ in the rain
    what a glorious feelin’
    to hydroplane.

    I’m laughin’ at spray
    from tall rooster tails;
    I’m grinnin’ in glee
    as my old racer sails.

    Let the stormy clouds chase
    ev’ry one from the race;
    I’ll thrive in the rain
    till I fly into space.

    A dry track’s a bane
    and a driver is made
    by drivin’ and flyin’ in the rain.

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