2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

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 casting poem. Casting can take on several meanings, including casting a spell, casting a line (such as in fishing), casting the actors in a play, and I suppose even the act of creating a cast.

Here’s my attempt at a casting poem:


she imagines herself played by anne sexton
& he must be robert redford
or brad pitt

doesn’t matter she thinks
& maybe the other lover
the one who doesn’t exist the same

as he doesn’t exist
not really
must be played by pablo neruda

who never says a thing
she can understand
& she loves him all the more for it


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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176 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. cstewart


    He was like a siphon,
    Casting his net far and wide
    Looking for any gullible fish,
    To bite his hook,
    Take down his bobber,
    Sink his line.
    For nothing visible.

  2. shethra77


    His net shone golden
    under that sun, stretching out across his world
    through dimensions, through each layer
    of the stuff of time and space
    he invoked, entranced, entangled her,
    drew her in, leapt time,
    jumped space.
    Plastic reality broke its binding.
    Though she’d reasons not to be there,
    he’d no cause to need or find her,
    spells wove the net and the net held the power
    power dissolved
    all the slag of time away
    all dross of space away
    formed reality anew
    and the two
    He cast the spell:
    golden net

  3. foodpoet

    Winter Shadows

    Winter casts a long shadow,
    grey masks, horns, animals,
    march in time with my elemental
    pulses and the leaves of the forrest below
    sing as they flew the ripping claw of winter.
    sleep fog rises from the forest debris and
    I alone
    in cold solitude watch the seasons

    For now I am king of winter
    but know in cold fear
    that man’s summer is encroaching
    bringing green up to the tops of mountains
    that in my youth only saw

    Now my tears melt
    and i fade to dreams of
    pure pristine snow.

    Winter no longer casts a long shadow.

  4. PuffofSmokePoems

    Casting Spells

    In that moment I glanced away, some witch cast a spell on my children. I remember one golden flash of light. I blinked against the dazzle while they grew tall and secretive, lean with a hunger to be Away. Now there are whole days when they are strangers, sweet or surly, prowling this world we shared, looking for a way out.

    What else can I do but study every spell I find? With luck and diligence, and so much time now that I’ve worked myself out of this job, each day is patched together with spells I cast myself. They are listed in the book we all received, along with Dr. Spock in his serious dark cover. The other book at every baby shower is Spells For Moms, with teething, tantrums, and chicken pox full of notes in the margin, recipes adjusted to taste. But now I’ve reached the back of the book, with all its untested spells. One marked Acceptance, another called New Chapters Blossom Like Wild Violets. And the last spell, the one I practice every day, titled Good Fortune For Their Roads.

  5. vsbryant1

    Love in a Bottle

    Two parts sugar
    One part chocolate dusk
    One heart of cupid
    Two feathers of an angel
    Put everything together and what do you got
    Love in a bottle kissed with the sweetest touch

  6. finallyhereiam

    Casting a Die

    When He casted you, you were hollowed,
    And sent.
    Upon the Earth, you travel on rent.
    Your cast was trashed, you are unique,
    So give up pretences, stop being oblique.

    That hollow, you will, fill in with your choices back here,
    You pick up what you want, or are given, for fear.

    It’s never too late, to start walking tall,
    There is oft’ one window, to reverse it all.

    Kick the non-positive out from your hollow,
    Nothing, more than a fickle will, is shallow.

    Impressions you choose, will, your journey here, last,
    Never give up, for someone thinks your die has been cast.

  7. dextrousdigits

    Inside my brain there is a theater
    where characters appear
    on stage to remind me of
    who I am and how I am suppose to behave.

    Often they are replays of earlier life events from different perspectives.
    Sometimes like dreams, waiting for Jung to interpret.
    The stage has hosted Hitchcock thrillers with me screaming,
    Sound of music, with me actually carrying a tune
    Dancing in a series of hot scenes
    Allowed me to travel with hobbits,
    back or forward in time
    or to other dimensions in space.
    Pleading for mercy, just before being stabbed,
    tossed off a cliff or taken over by mechanical insects.

    From time to time I join them on stage
    for a few scenes
    or one will jump off stage and sit next to me
    to have a little heart to heart.

    I find myself asking characters questions
    “After all these years you still believe?
    And exactly what is the right thing to do
    when being honest could cause irreparable injury
    to someone I truly care about?
    How do I pick between these two men?
    How come you never told me these things when I was young?

    When I get tired of the echo’s from the past
    or the play gets boring or too vivid or scary.
    I leave my popcorn and soda
    Stand up and walk out of the performance.

  8. Deri


    He casts his line
    and sits in
    patient stillness

    The waiting is
    the hardest part
    when hoping for the one

    On the other side of town
    a girl has logged off her computer
    weary of sharpened hooks.

  9. LCaramanna

    Lighten Up

    Cast off your heavy winter jacket,
    abandon your boots, hat, and gloves,
    take to the sidewalk.
    In sweatpants and sneakers
    remove that extra cold weather comfort
    from hips and thighs.
    Lighten up!
    Color those winter blues grass green,
    wear an outfit that screams spring,
    accessorize with flip-flops and shades,
    tilt your face to sun,
    cast your laughter to the sky.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  10. Michelle Hed

    Alea Iacta Est (The die has been cast)

    She will not follow in their steps.
    She will not drink.
    She will not suffer abuse.
    She will not be the abuser.
    She will not be unemployed.

    She will go to college.
    She will get a job.
    She will be kind.
    She will make a difference.
    She will not be judged by them.

    She is breaking the mold.

  11. tunesmiff

    A chorus to verses yet unwritten…

    Scattering seed by the side of the road;
    Scattering seed in a field.
    Scattering seed among thistles and weeds.
    Greatly affects what they yeild.

    The first may grow briefly, then be beaten down;
    The second grow more than you need.
    The third may grow quickly before being choked out;
    Everything matters where you sow your seed.

  12. dr todd harris

    Nesting Mockingbirds in Sierras’ Cast Shadows
    ​by Todd Harris

    two beaks
    four legs
    four wings
    three eggs

    Sierra’s cast shadows climbing out
    directing dawn-spun westing winds
    damp night-curled petals sharing sleeping frogs
    awakening cloudless blue-spread fog’s amends

    simple symmetry rounded stout
    propping mom’s nest-raised dark-white flag
    against woven branches’ cradle strong
    immixing old feathers’ truss against cold eviction

    lovers paired await open hunger’s song
    still closed eyes anticipating fair-sight’s charms
    first morn’s flight drafting now boney arms
    joining airborne nature’s warm-hearted interdiction


  13. drwasy

    Cast Off

    Each morning she slips
    on his flannel shirt frayed
    thin from wear and time
    it seems a part of him
    brushes against her, the hem
    against her bare thigh
    warm and alive,
    as she makes her way
    from her cold bed
    to the kitchen lit
    by another hard day.

    He took the other shirts,
    pants and jackets, too;
    books, boat, excuses,
    the tools she needs
    to fix the leaky toilet.
    Only the shirt remains.
    She can smell him some
    times when she strokes a sleeve
    against her face, the smell
    of shampoo and sweat,
    sweet tobacco smoke,
    the smell of the fog
    when he cast off.

  14. uneven steven

    not sins
    but laws
    the loving bonds
    tying us all
    casting stones
    slinging judgements
    who amongst you not breaking
    municipal code 3789 subsection 5
    or another
    just like it

  15. Jezzie


    Never cast aspersions without checking facts first,
    the person who slanders is quite often the worst.
    Never cast a clout until May be out, they say
    you will regret it soon, without a doubt, next day.
    Always cast your vote in the correct direction
    if you vote the wrong way, they’ll lose the election.
    Be careful when you cast on or off your stitches,
    or your knitting will have wavy, ragged edges.
    Don’t cast off from the shore when the seas are heaving
    or this World you may very soon end up leaving.
    Beware the gypsy who threatens to cast a spell,
    her spells won’t work and she will take your cash as well.
    Don’t stand by the canal and cast your fishing line
    when a boat is passing, or it will break the twine.
    When you’re casting characters for the play you’ve penned,
    be careful not to offend your very best friend!

  16. dr todd harris

    Nesting Mockingbirds
    ​by dr Todd Harris

    two beaks
    four legs
    four wings
    three eggs

    Sierra’s shadow-cast climbing out
    directing dawn-spun westerly winds
    damp night-curled petals sharing sleeping frogs
    awakening cloudless blue-spread fog’s amends

    simple symmetry rounded stout
    propping mom’s nest-raised dark-white flag
    against woven branches’ cradle strong
    immixing old feathers’ truss against cold eviction

    lovers paired await open hunger’s song
    still closed eyes anticipating fair-sight’s charms
    first morn’s flight drafting now boney arms
    joining airborne nature’s warm-hearted interdiction


  17. P.A. Beyer

    Latitude and Longitude

    We are never alone
    Not with the constant signals
    Broadcasting our location
    To the satellites
    Orbiting Earth
    Tracked by servers
    It’s a comfort
    To know
    We all have a place
    A position
    On this globe
    We are never lost
    We are never alone

    Unless the battery dies

  18. Alpha1

    Shadow of a Giant

    Thought I could walk
    in those boots
    that Papa wore
    comin up from
    the dirt of a
    at a time when
    the whole world
    stood against him
    walkin those fields
    tendin those crops
    from sunup to sundown
    castin a shadow
    wide as the horizon which
    til this day hangs over his
    descendants who now
    know it can’t be done

  19. THEGingerSass

    In order to be cast as a teacher,
    the student must pretend
    to know what the hell she is doing
    as she creates
    theoretical professional development
    for a career she has yet to enter.

  20. Sara McNulty

    Cast Out

    Cast out at sixteen,
    he hustled for food
    in New York City.
    Pretty Boy, they called him.
    Wheat colored hair,
    eyes like turquoise
    stones, he appealed
    to men and women
    eager to feel the softness
    of his caramel skin.
    At eighteen, he hated
    his life on the streets,
    strutting his sweets
    for anyone willing to pay.
    One day, miracle appeared
    in the form of a director,
    off-Broadway plays.
    He was asked to read
    for a part, but had to be
    convinced that this
    could be a start
    to a new career. He had
    nothing to lose, nothing
    to fear, and so was cast
    as himself.

    Poetic Asides
    April Challenge – Day 26
    Write a casting poem

  21. Bruce Niedt

    Somehow this poem developed a political theme, and it won’t please everyone, but here it is anyway.

    O’Reilly Goes Fishing

    Took my favorite rod and flies,
    waded out hip-deep, where the river
    bends to the right, and started casting
    aspersions, doubts, accusations,
    reeling in my catch, one after another.
    Tonight I have bigger fish to fry.
    My fans won’t even realize that I’ve
    filleted my dish of reason, logic,
    and fairness, nor will they notice
    when I choke on the bones.

  22. Julieann


    He built an exemplary tackle box
    Of the well-organized variety, he
    Sanded and varnished and hand crafted
    The latch, then carved his initials
    Into the top – JCC

    He gave it cubbyholes, and doors,
    Of all shapes and sizes to hold
    His collection of flies
    He hand tied himself

    The other drawers and cubbies
    Housed chuggers and spoons
    Jigs and flukes, spinners, and
    Curly tail, rubber worm, and even a Rat-L-Trap

    Lift out the second tray to reveal
    Sinkers and floats and hooks
    Of the one, two, and three barb variety
    Also in the tangle were leads and line
    Of different weights along with a fish scaler and knife

    But he was happiest on the creek bank
    Casting into any pond or creek or hole of
    Water he could find, his casts were
    Perfect, rarely missing their mark

    The funniest part was a cast going
    Awry and hooking into the overhead tree
    He never lost his cool or his hook
    Why he’d just up and climb that tree
    If that is what it took

    One fishing hole in particular did try
    His patience, it was loaded with cypress
    Stumps and brush and things to catch his hook
    But not to be outdone, he would just
    Skinny down to his boxers and wade right out

    Many a fish he caught, many a pleasurable
    Hour on the creek bank he enjoyed
    Casting and casting, backlash or not
    Hook in a tree, hook in a stump
    His casting was right on its mark

  23. BDP

    “Hero Syndrome”

    You cast yourself against my window pane:
    your beak pecks glass, your feathers puff. The threat?
    A mirror image. That new bird’s a bane!
    You stare at him while he stares back. Forget

    that guy, that doppelganger. Think perhaps
    a rival taunts you, territorial
    competitor? The answer’s nope. Your flaps
    against the stranger, hops upon my sill

    to scare him back?—a futile job, Robin.
    Though I don’t blame you, doing what it takes
    to stop from falling prey to hobgoblins:
    marauding birds who want your sky blue eggs.

    Reflection basher, flinging at your own ghost.
    But when the foe is real you’ll be in practice.

    B Peters

  24. HandHeldWriter


    An incantation to bring divine inspiration
    To pen marvelous poems without any hesitation.
    It is time to unbind your mind,
    Now carefully… recite each line:

    A grain of salt, a grain of sand,
    A grain of honesty from an honest man.

    A tear from a phoenix, a tear from a dove,
    A tear from a someone’s recent broken love.

    The sight of the blind, the hearing of the deaf,
    The riches of a poor man who has nothing left.

    A drop of blood, a drop of rain,
    A drop of your worst remembered pain.

    A shot of lies, a shot of truth,
    A shot to your heart when it wasn’t bulletproof.

    The pin prick of a needle, the slice of a razor blade,
    The memories of every single mistake you ever made.

    The love of a friend, the hate of an enemy,
    The heated intensity of a lover’s jealousy.

    The eyes of a hawk, the ears of an owl,
    The omniscient presence of an all-knowing power.

    The barbs of a quill, the smear of spilled ink,
    The paper that awaits the thoughts that you think.

    From the top of my head, to the soles of my feet,
    I now declare this spell complete.

    Several seconds passed, and then several more,
    I didn’t feel anything, just the same as before.
    The words were correct, my intentions direct,
    And yet… the spell did not take effect.

    Time went by before I realized,
    It wasn’t the incantation, it was me… inside.
    I failed to see the natural ability
    To express myself openly and freely.

    And then suddenly, it dawned on me,
    Like a voice that spoke directly to me:

    There is no magic in the spell you cast,
    Because whatever inspiration you seek…

    you already have.

  25. De Jackson


        The first
           has been
        in this house
                     of lies
            and glass.

                                 Make no

                                                 I will cast
                                                                  the last.


  26. De Jackson




                                     everyone has
                                          a part in down
                                        and up
                                                   -setting the broken.


  27. carolecole66

    Mathematical Certainty

    My father stands at the bow of the boat and casts
    outward again and again looking toward the horizon
    over the flat, impenetrable waters. The silence is profound.
    I sit in the stern with my cane pole, fat brown worm
    threaded through the hook under the red and white bobber.
    Out of the corner of my eye, I watch the smooth
    whipping cast, the line slung into in a long curve,
    the lure shattering the glass, then sinking. If I study
    the water, if I study the tall man in front of me, if I study
    the straight plane of water, the sharp right angle of line
    to water, the 45 degrees of pole to line, perhaps I can
    at last begin to understand the darkness in his eyes,
    the imperturbable shadows of his distant face.

  28. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Using the idea of “erasure” I cast T S Eliot’s “Ash-Wednesday” into a different style of poem:

    T S Eliot’s Ash-Wednesday: an Erasure

    I do not hope
    do not hope
    not hope
    I no longer strive
    Should I mourn
    vanished power?

    I do not hope to know again
    I do not
    shall not know
    transitory power
    I cannot drink
    where trees flower, springs flow

    ,,, time is always time
    place always only place
    What is actual is only for one time
    one place
    I rejoice – things are
    I renounce the blessed face
    the voice
    I rejoice, having something
    to rejoice

    God have mercy
    Pray I may forget
    matters I too much discuss
    These words answer
    for what is done
    May judgement not be too heavy

    These wings no longer fly
    but beat the air
    which is
    smaller, dryer than the will
    Teach us to care

    Pray for us sinners now at the hour of our death

  29. DanielAri


    Months after moving in,
    I was still new in town.
    On any unassigned
    weekday, cast on my own,
    I’d ride N to the end,

    west to the turnaround.
    Singles dotted the sand.
    I found my place and frowned.
    Red beach blankets bannered,
    personals for women

    and men, lovers or friends.
    I’d quietly get stoned
    and pretend to pretend
    my preference bathed alone.
    At home, I would come down,

    eat some soup, write a poem
    to author the unknown.

  30. Raina Masters

    Casting stones, shadows and dares

    No one saw you again after that.
    It started with dares and bravado,
    that one would walk across the train
    bridge entirely naked while singing
    She’ll Be Comin’ Down The Mountain,
    our stupid games never hurt anyone
    before and you were a perfect
    silhouettes of curves and hair, it
    made me regret not kissing you when
    Heather dared me. The perfect pitch
    in your voice surprised me. I’d never
    heard you sing before and I fell in
    love, thought maybe I could spend my
    life with a girl. We threw the ballast
    around, took our eyes off you and never
    saw you reach the other side, never saw
    you tumble to the earth below. It was
    as if the earth swallowed you whole.

  31. priyajane

    She wakes up religiously
    putting her cast on diligently
    The masks of expressive smiles
    and well executed scripts and styles
    Playing all her parts

    Then, with the waning moon
    Casting off that made up tune
    In the noiseless world of dreams
    She finds her secret pearly scream
    and floats her oyster shell

  32. PowerUnit

    The Darkness

    Stuck in a rut
    Life on hold
    The daily routine sucks in all hope
    Hides opportunity
    Suppresses Life
    Waits for somebody to cast a light
    Drive away demons
    Tear down walls

    Just step forward
    That’s all you need to do
    It’s all anybody asks for

  33. omavi

    Casting Call

    This story is my life and
    What a life is how it’s lived
    I wonder who will be the leading man
    When the world talks about me

    Maybe he will be tall and strong and
    Maybe his words debonair
    And his action makes all wow

    Or maybe he will be a thinker
    A tinkerer of words and thoughts
    A scientist of passionate things

    Maybe he will fight the power
    Become a pillar of community
    Hemming all the world’s ills

    Or maybe he will be like me
    Flawed on surface and within
    Fighting to win the race only rats win

    Maybe he will be loving and caring
    Laying down body so that lady
    Won’t have to dirty her feet

    Maybe he will be Omavi
    And when the curtain falls
    Maybe he will be real


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