Editors Blog

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

  34. taylor graham


    The sun set, making more beautiful
    blues and ambers still as a rainbow arching
    from creek-fall away vanishing into dusk.
    The fishes are cold there, gold or ashy-silver
    by turns, as they curve and turn constant as
    amazement. Grasses deepened their greens,
    watching the stream as it banked and eddied
    under riffling sky. The next October comes
    always too soon for young swimming,
    heavens quicker dark and darting with fish-
    stars, leftover flakes of sun, lips sticky
    with peach-flush. Of this, make a shadow-
    portrait with winged eyes blue as a jay,
    flashing fins, moon rounding its cheeks to
    perfect scales of a summer gone.

  35. PoM

    A Casting Poem Draft

    I cast my thoughts into a gramatical sea
    Hoping to write a novel the world might read
    Little did I realized how intense it would be
    Fear doubt insecurities
    They haunted and terrified me
    These demon life through have bludgeoned me
    Only recently I’ve begin to overcome thee

    When I was young and somewhat dumb
    English and grammar skills vocabulary
    I could not see nor understand the value of thee
    I speak read and write that’s all I need
    What use have I to learn and study these
    Now I see what a fool the younger me be

    I now understand the value of these
    Without them a writer I will never be
    So I cast my heart mind and soul
    Upon learning all these
    Older now harder to retain these

    Now daily I learn acrostically
    Practice the basics improve vocabulary
    Though my eyes they’re failing me
    I read daily faithfully

    I cast my heart into a linguistic stormy sea
    Limited grammar skills vocabulary
    Writing a novel it terrifies me

    Today I cast into a doggerel sea
    Seeking to capture some balladry

    Perhaps my niche is poetry

  36. dford


    She was prime material, certainly not their version of pretty or cool. Use your words as weapons as others have done to you! She’s insignificant, do not burden your minds with the hell she’s been through. When the rapture is upon us and we’re in our darkest hour and those worthy spared his wrath, I’ll step forward proudly, whilst you merely cower–no more aspersions shall you cast!

  37. RJ Clarken

    Casting Shadows

    “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” ~Carl Sandberg

    Then cast me as Calliope.
    Your writing tablet’s in my hand.
    The shadows dance on windswept sand.
    My silhouette is, by degree,

    like blossoms from an almond tree.
    It echoes like a wisp, a strand.
    Your writing tablet’s in my hand.
    Then cast me as Calliope.

    Just write one word and you’ll be free.
    I think by now you understand
    that poetry’s your promised land.
    O let me be your muse, your key,
    and cast me as Calliope.


  38. Nancy Posey

    Cast or Crew

    What if it’s not all about me? he wondered.
    Maybe, after all, I’ve wandered onto stage
    like some Rosencrantz or Guildenstern,
    bit part in someone else’s play. Or even less.
    Perhaps I should just tiptoe in
    all dressed in black when lights are low,
    moving props from here to there,
    sliding a chair to the wings, replacing it
    with a corner bar, two wooden stools.
    In that case, I won’t bother learning lines,
    examining motivation, blocking,
    affecting gestures; instead, I’ll play
    my role not with gusto, but that certain
    je nais se qua. Or maybe lines in French
    have been reserved for the actors.

  39. DaisyLove

    Cast your votes!
    To the prettiest,
    The happiest,
    The greatest.

    Deep down the ugliest,
    The darkest
    The weakest.

    Every thought and every action
    Masked by smiles,

    They see beauty,

    She feels beastly,

    Cast your votes!
    To the prettiest,
    The happiest,
    The greatest,
    The ones who can mask it all.

  40. Domino

    Homage? Or Borrowed Genius?

    A friend of mine, a few years older,
    had cast her face
    in ceramics class
    and then made a teapot
    with her face.

    It was unique and original
    and so,
    wanting a bit of that magic,
    her genius,
    I made a cast of my hand.

    It was several years later,
    so all of the students
    I was the original,
    unique one.
    But I wasn’t.

    I cast my hand in the shape
    of a hand cupping water.
    And I still have that
    younger hand,
    green-glazed and
    still cupping,
    and still
    not as inspired
    as I wanted it to be.

      1. Domino

        I never have felt what I created was what it was supposed to be – If one has a creative mind, perfection always seems right out of reach, doesn’t it? Sometimes, when cooking, the food tastes just how I want it to. Sometimes, when singing, I sound like I am supposed to, but creating artistic things like ceramics, and historical clothing, and poems, for me at least, there is always something not quite perfect. Maybe that is why we keep striving?

        1. PressOn

          Yes, I guess you’re right. I always have the feeling that my poems aren’t finished; I’m still revising some that are over two decades old.

  41. Beth Rodgers


    Thrown into the line of fire
    He retreats into a shell
    Whispering hopeful sentiments
    Eager to be set apart.

    The disturbing part is
    That it always ends up this way
    Where the indecisive ability
    Takes center stage
    To the incessant terror that
    Runs through his mind.

    He wonders if
    He is in the right place
    He is saying the right things
    He is getting my point across
    He is really going to let life pass him by.

    Then he realizes
    Just because he was miscast in life
    Doesn’t mean he was miscast in his pursuit of it.

  42. Sally Jadlow

    Casting Glances

    She casts many glances in a day.

    To her unruly child
    in the grocery store
    who screams
    because it’s naptime,
    not shopping time.

    To the man who cuts her off
    because he wants to turn right
    from the left-hand lane.

    To the neighbor
    who loathes her children
    because their ball
    sometimes falls in her yard.

    To her husband
    who comes in late from work,
    tired and worn
    from a grueling day.

    Her glances say it all.

  43. Yolee

    Casting Call

    I was not prepared to cast my eyes on love,
    but you, stammering to get me to go out
    when everyone else was out of the office,
    and finally doing so on a clear cool evening
    at some Chicago Theater got my heart to thinking.
    So I brushed off cobwebs, dust and wiped
    the window clean. I replaced the floorboards cast
    by some previous age of innocence while the cow
    cast a calf in the yard out back. It didn’t take
    long before I would cast my future in yours.

  44. Angie5804

    Cast Off

    Looking behind doors for her
    to jump out and surprise
    to shine a light on this darkness
    I only find the socks she left in the corner

    Stop casting shadows on my days
    stop whispering words in my ear
    stop with all the blame
    let her pick up her own socks

    Seems no one can cast light on the situation
    nothings emits the answer
    no glowing nightlights, no full moon
    just distant stars that wink

    I stumble on in ignorance
    Painting the walls a soft blue
    Packing away the photos
    Humming her song

  45. EbenAt

    One Cast

    Confab with camp host;
    He’s in there.
    Old Man Brown,
    twenty inches plus.

    At the picnic table
    Elk Hair Caddis
    spun onto hook;
    fuzzy topside
    leggy beneath.

    You’ll get
    one shot;
    it better be

    Quiet approach,
    crawling through
    tall grass.

    Rise up
    slow as a cobra
    line coiled
    Rod tip points.

    One shot,
    slow motion,

    With heartbreaking
    He takes it.

  46. Connie Peters

    Cast Your Cares

    Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7 NIV

    Bring God your worries and your fears.
    You’ll find He has attentive ears.
    His Spirit listens, calms and cheers.
    He knows your tears. He knows your tears.

    No trouble is too big or small.
    The Lord can handle one and all.
    He picks you up each time you fall.
    Yes, on Him call. Yes, on Him call.

    He cares for birds and flowers, too.
    And how much more He cares for you!
    He knows your needs before you do.
    Yes, it is true. Yes, it is true.

    So seek His face, don’t fret, but pray.
    Commit to do His will today.
    He is the light, the truth and way.
    Trust and obey. Trust and obey.

  47. BiblioGypsy

    Turn your face to the sun,
    take one step into the light;
    may it fall warm upon uplifted face.
    Let not shadows behind fill you with fright.
    You cannot escape them,
    they cannot be evaded.
    Constant companions they will stay;
    your storied past cannot be traded.

    Eyes lifted to bright sky,
    take another step. Smell the clean air;
    it is unfouled by former path,
    so have not a care.
    Shadows are cast behind, short or long;
    with light ahead they fall behind you.
    There let them stay, as is there place.
    Ahead, in the light, is your beautiful view.


  48. happys

    ~Cast A Spell~

    Once there was a good looking man
    Who came across a poor woman

    Food or drink the woman was asking
    But his attitude has been insulting

    He gave no single consideration
    For the poor woman’s situation

    He later realized his mistake
    And wanted to appease her ache

    Lo and behold, it was too late
    His rudeness determined his fate

    The poor woman left him without a trace
    But silently cast a spell on him in chase

    Good looking man no more
    Turned to an ugly guy to mourn

    Arrogance was he with superb aptitude
    Need an urgent conversion to good attitude

    The indomitable spell will not be lifted
    Unless his sincere kindness is enlisted

    Outer beauty often cannot pass the test
    Except when a pure kind heart attest

  49. Ann Graham Price

    After casting about for less common meanings for the word “casting” (those metal doohickeys you learned about in machine shop, the piles of earth and let’s not talk about what else the earthworms leave behind them), I am casting in the towel.

    Can’t think of a thing.

    Today I posted prose on my blog. Decided to wax prosaic rather than poetic.

    anngrahamprice.wordpress.com, if you’re curious.

    Love reading everyone else’s work here. It’s very impressive what some of you folks have come up with on the spur of the moment.

  50. ewdupler

    The Master Casting

    Silver thread and magic fingers,
              A hook bent to the will,
    Warping colors to patterns,
              Casting life stripped from quills.

    See the master preparing;
              Casts a spell for the fool.
    Breathing life toward a hatchling;
              Flitters subtly, on queue.

    Treading softly into water,
              Those around cast a look,
    Knowing the master won’t falter,
              Drawing fish to the hook.

    An illusionary tactic,
              Casting flies on the line.
    Then a haul, quite galactic,
              And a trophy trout, fine.

  51. burrhead

    Surfcasting the Internet

    I came upon Joe Walsh
    Got to thinking
    What is my favorite
    Joe Walsh song?
    I had one
    But could not recall the name
    or hum the tune

    I had to scrape my memory
    with a spatula
    Against crusty debris
    I could protect my brainpan
    if I soaked it first
    But found I lacked the patience
    So I forged on ahead
    with the steel against cast Iron

    Scratching and scouring
    damaging the seasoning
    The song was in there hiding
    Tucked into some little bin
    Where melodies reside and hide

    Then it came to me
    The Album
    The James Gang Rides Again
    So I searched online
    It wasn’t “Walk Away”
    or “Funk # 49”
    But there it was listed as
    “Cast My Fate To the Wind”

    I watched Joe with his guitar
    Like a fiend I needed more
    So I watched Chet Atkins
    Earl Klugh
    And finally Mel Tormé
    Sang about “a month of nights, a year of days”

    I was really on a roll
    Finding that song
    A long lost friend

    Most renditions instrumental
    I was unaware there were
    Lyrics scribed by Carel Werber
    But I listened to Mel
    Sail through life
    Survive another winter

    I smiled and then turned in
    When I arose
    I checked online again
    For the April PAD challenge
    Pleasantly surprised
    I found a prompt
    To write about a cast
    “Cast my fate to the wind”

  52. Margot Suydam

    To Grandmother

    I raise a toast to society
    ladies marching to church
    always matching in mink
    hat and coat, creaky pews

    fur-lined before luncheon
    at Schraffts’s on Madison,
    white-bread toast and gin
    taken in teacups at art deco

    countertops while the grand
    children romp idly on ice
    cream piled high as a treat
    their mother never got

    there on time but arrived
    in a flurry of thank you
    pushing back a strand
    of vagrant black hair.

    As if cast as Ginger Rogers,
    swung tight on the arm
    of her partner, you grace
    the room in perfume still.

  53. PressOn


    When the last of light
    yields at last to night
    and the stars are glittering,
    and the birds of day
    all have had their say
    and are done with twittering,

    it is time for bats
    and a cast of cats
    to patrol until the dawn
    and for dream-filled cares
    and, perhaps, nightmares
    to persist till grist is gone.

  54. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Casting

    The full moon was clear and bright when I went out to cast circle.
    At first there was only stillness, then there came a rushing wind.
    I cast my spells into the wind, which carried them clear to the moon.

    (This is a Korean form called a sijo.)

  55. ValerieO

    for Maya Angelou

    Something in the tone of her voice
    Keeps me spellbound
    In stillness, listening to words
    Drawn to their pace
    I want to learn
    Drown in wisdom
    Cascading from her thoughts

    1. PressOn

      This feels compelling, and also feels a bit like music. Come to think on it, Dr. Angelou once was a singer and dancer, as I recall. Anyway, I love this piece, especially the last two lines.

  56. Lindy

    Shadows Come Before

    Rarely do the bunch of us
    stay present long enough
    to pay attention to the sea
    as the waves are getting rough.

    Our world exists among us,
    yet we observe it in hindsight;
    everyone glaring backwards
    directly into the light.

    If only we should turn around
    and give credence to the calls
    of nature and the way things are,
    we might prevent the squalls.

    It could just be philosophy
    in the calm before the storm,
    but I believe in coming events
    casting their shadows before.

  57. Glory

    By Moonlight

    Place your hand in mine
    to feel again the soft touch
    of silken skin, fingers
    long, finely tapered, polished
    nails that glitter in moonlight

    Place your hand in mine
    to know again the silent thrill
    as palms caress and fingers
    entwine, hold fast and then
    to part beneath the moonlight.

    Place your hand in mine
    to find again that which you
    already know, the magic touch
    that pressured tale that tells
    of love once lived by moonlight.

  58. missjoyce

    A “cast” poem.

    A Shadow

    It was such bliss
    rooted in a lie,
    then every kiss
    meant a sad goodbye.

    He held her hand,
    not wanting to let go;
    feet buried in sand
    and sunshine followed.

    She was all ready
    but his truth broke her;
    with this honesty,
    she knew it was over.

    Her heart melted,
    time rushed fastly so;
    this love has ended,
    casting a shadow.

  59. PressOn


    Where do they go, these thin blue lines
    that cast their way across map;
    that mark the paths to other times,
    to places that might bridge the gap
    between my dreams and every trap
    that bids to drown them in the twines
    of memories and fond old rhymes?
    I want to know. I want to tap
    the energy that leaps at me
    from twisted asphalt, gravel, sand;
    from places hidden secretly
    off highways running straight and grand.

  60. priyajane

    Sorry- looks like my brain is cast in a thick mould today– I posted this in the wrong spot earlier !!

    They’ve been handed down from fairy tales
    Legends, and our mindful wails
    The proper moon phase is the key
    Trees and stones may work for thee
    Candle colors play their part
    Specially, when you wish for hearts
    Lucky charms can pull some strings
    Careful- some can permanently cling
    Remember, Midas paid a price
    There’s a science to this energetic device
    Casting magic is an art
    Comes with faith and working hard
    A mystical childish reform
    Can liven up our uniform
    So cast your wishes out to blue
    You never know, they may come true!!

  61. taylor graham

    for the girl whose picture was on the news

    This road I first walked thirty years ago,
    edged by black oak, pine, and cedar – my dogs
    casting for scents on a fresh breeze;
    deer prints cast in the dust of early June
    as if there were no other characters
    in the cast of this new scene, mountains
    mined, gouged, and logged, then left as if
    If I’d listened harder
    I might have heard, under years of leaf- and
    needle-fall, earthworms making castings
    through Sierra loam. What more?
    Do ghosts cast spells?
    That late-spring morning, I felt it
    like a doubt cast, a warning – months before
    was found, on the ridge above, her body.

  62. Earl Parsons

    The Castigated

    His name was Cornelius Castro
    Captain of the Castigated
    A ship so rebuked by others
    For few survived its wrath

    Captain Castro and his crew
    A cast of surly characters
    Outcasts each and every one
    Set sail for McCaster’s Cove

    The Cove was cast in folklore
    As having hidden treasures
    That Captain McCaster’s crew
    Had cast into the bay

    The mutiny cost the Captain
    His life and all his booty
    Cast overboard by outcasts
    The act cast many tales

    Captain Castro was determined
    To prove the tales cast true
    Ignoring all the naysayers
    All determined to cast disbelief

    For Castro had a map
    Cast by the hand of McCaster
    Or so the tales cast stated
    The Captain cast off doubt

    McCaster’s Cove now lay
    Off the forward bow
    Captain Castro told his cast
    To cast the anchor now

    Castro had cast a plan
    A cast of seven would row
    Their dinghy onto shore
    And find the long cast treasure

    But Captain Castro’s cast
    Left aboard the Castigated
    Cast off and left them stranded
    McCaster’s Cove castaways

    Should this tale cast a moral
    When outcasts are your crew
    It’s impossible to forecast
    What your crew will cast on you

  63. Jane Shlensky


    We pier fish all day under glaring sun,
    old fishermen lined up on either side,
    intense and taciturn; they’re in the zone.

    He lends me his old rod, his favorite,
    hooking the shrimp, he shows me to cast out,
    To watch the sinkers glide, to slowly reel,

    Feeling the pull of life beneath the waves,
    Communing with the swish of silver fin
    Long before I see it. We do not talk

    Or eat or sip coffee, for we are lost
    In fishing dinner home. I understand
    Why he left us to give himself the sea,

    Why we stayed home and worked while he fished ponds
    Or searched Great Lakes, Alaska, Florida.
    He gave himself reprieves—left us behind

    Our presents wrapped, awaiting his return,
    His voice jolly, his face less taciturn—
    We envied that, his journeys without us.

    The sky and sea conjoin, a matching hue,
    Locating a horizon, challenging.
    We ride a wooden pier thrust into blue,

    watching fish rise to us, a dance of peace,
    removing any need we have and time
    is meaningless as we bring in our catch.

    I love to paint, to dance, to sing and play
    Piano, so I know what art can do
    To rub away our edges, leave us whole.

    When life becomes poetry, simple, pure,
    When every facet of the thing we do
    Becomes an action that can save our soul,

    The lift of falling line, the flutter down,
    The cresting wave beyond, the dance of cast
    And reel, the slowly lifting arms of men

    Who left their troubles somewhere inland, stowed
    Until they can return and bear them up,
    Resolve them as they can, now that they can.

    My birthday gift to take my Pa fishing
    Became his gift to me, a memory
    Explaining who he is and was, his way

    Of bringing dinner home, standing so small
    Beneath big skies, communing with his God
    Fishing for peace, for nature’s poetry.

  64. PressOn


    the assistant director asked,
    “Would you sleep with me for a starring part?”
    She said,
    “Of course.”
    Then he asked,
    “Would you sleep with me for a bit part?”
    She said,
    “Of course not!
    What kind of girl you think I am?”
    He said,
    “We have established that.
    Now we are just discussing your role.”

  65. JWLaviguer


    I am a castaway
    on this island called loneliness
    burning fires day and night
    like so many bridges between you and I
    in hope of being saved
    but the ships that sail by
    only want one thing from me
    that which I cannot give
    and the sand between my toes
    is washed away by the tide
    along with my hopes and dreams
    my message in a bottle
    is a cry for help
    and I cast it into the waves of desperation
    but every morning, alas
    it has washed up on the shore again
    unopened and unanswered.

  66. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Lessons from the Casting Couch

    Casting your net wide is fine and dandy,
    but don’t waste your time, casting pearls before swine.
    As you step through the door to the Casting Director’s office,
    you may well cast your eyes down in doubt,
    be sure to cast an eye over what lays before you.
    Take care not to cast aspersions on the competition,
    for even the newest of leading ladies casts a long shadow;
    so if there’s name-calling to be done, never cast the first stone.
    Cast your bread on the water in the hope of getting a bite,
    do the best to cast a spell that will charm and win favour.
    Careful that you don’t cast a pall on the situation,
    because there are plenty more where you came from,
    all cast from the same mould.
    You are cast adrift in hostile waters so be prepared
    for an ordeal like never before – you’ll need a cast-iron stomach!
    Try and cast your lot in with the better sort of people,
    but once the die is cast,
    then you must accept your lot,
    casting caution to the wind
    cast off,
    clothes off,
    get casted
    on the casting couch.


  67. Earl Parsons


    It was a beauty to behold
    Art at its best
    Donned with bright colors
    Drawn by the hand of
    An undiscovered pro
    His sister
    Work accomplished
    All while he slept

    He would have to wear it
    For at least a month
    According to the doctor
    But he’d not be afraid
    To show it off to all
    And credit his sister
    For the beauty of
    His cast

  68. alana sherman

    For My Daughter

    You wouldn’t stay
    so I became a witch
    learned to weave spells—

    You wouldn’t stay
    I practiced charms
    to call you back,
    to bind you.

    Here’s one—Tomorrow
    you won’t take the bus.
    I’ll keep you here, we’ll play

    all day. I say you are
    too young to go to school.
    You wouldn’t stay

    Another spell—

    You never have to go to sleep
    until late. No one will ever
    tell us what we have to do.

    We’ll make a picnic in the park
    and what you need to know
    you’ll learn in my classroom.

    You wouldn’t stay.


  69. WayneLMurphy


    I cut off
    the shackle
    that restricted me

    I ran swiftly
    until I broke
    the bone snapped in to two

    It seemed forever
    until I could walk
    without using the crutches

    So I released myself
    just to be cast again
    I will retake the field once more

    This hard cement won’t hold me
    I shall soon be healed anew
    It is only a matter of time

    Wayne L Murphy 4/26/13

  70. JWLaviguer


    Is it the liquor
    or the movement of her hips
    that make my head swim
    as she clicks her castanets

    Faster and faster she spins
    the clickety-clack fills the air
    as her skirt twists and turns
    the sequins reflecting the light

    An ancient dance as old as time
    the Mariachi tries to keep up
    with her seductive moves
    and our eyes meet

    She smiles and lowers her gaze
    she has me in her spell
    of her I am intoxicated
    as my heart beats faster

    go the castenets
    speaking to me in morse code
    of an ancient ritual bathed in love.

  71. Mr. Walker

    Casting About

    i would cast my movie
    with community theater actors

    a bunch of unknowns
    but sincere

    in their amateur status
    (remember there is love there)

    it would be messy and imperfect
    just like life

    i would want a different director
    for each act

    would that be three or five?
    i don’t know yet

    i might be persuaded to let in
    a couple of Hollywood actors

    but with bit roles
    and so much makeup

    they would be hardly recognizable
    in their cameo status

    i would want Harlan Ellison
    and Sharon Olds to play themselves

    and the guys from Barenaked Ladies
    could all be samurai

    that might have to be a dream sequence
    or a flashback to a previous life

    and I definitely want
    Michael Giacchino to score it

    maybe I should get to work
    on the screenplay

  72. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Well there ya go! Back on home turf
    and putting the world to rights, casting
    aside all doubts that they can rise to the
    call, come from behind and win. I cast a
    line into the muddy waters of yer ma &
    yer sis’ combined swamp-like minds and
    suggested that they spend Mets week with
    my aunt in Atlanta – they like the idea, I can tell,
    but ain’t taken the worm yet. Sounds great but
    there’s a trade – I gotta put up with Jimmy the
    Greek for a week, since the Braves are up here
    against them before we get them! Still, at least
    the only thing that numbskull throws at me is a
    baseball! Plus he can cook a damn site better
    than anyone in your family. Must be that whole
    Greek side of the family thing. Let’s see if we can
    cook us some Jays again tonight.
    Pick me up at 7 – bring money for beer & dogs.

    Yours casting aside the losing streak blues,

    Ringo the Howler

  73. PressOn


    In the olden days of chamber pots
    the streets were filled with lots and lots
    of sewage, scum, discarded snots
    and, here and there, pervasive dots
    of rats succumbing to the hots
    of procreation. London’s plots
    were worse than most, abetted by shots
    of airborne gunk from window slots.
    This led the Queen to order lots
    of posters reading, “Cast no pots.”

    1. burrhead

      I am going to memorize this. POT LUCK would be a fine poem to recite after a dinner of pot-roast and wine. Brings to mind the Alan Swann character in the film “My Favorite Year”.

  74. nessajay

    Cast in a Play

    Cast out your doubt
    and be done with it
    Spin on casters
    Drink castor oil
    all these things will get you moving

    In the right direction?

    In your direction
    along the silver spoke that pulls you to the hub

    It is an overcast day
    we rock and roll together inside heaven’s oyster
    I cast around for words to explain
    the way the light lifts me
    but am left opening and closing my mouth soundlessly

    like a grouper in the swim around

    I used to take my son there
    to the science museum
    He called it “the dinosaur bones”
    of course the skeletons were not real
    They were high-tech
    polymer casts
    that flabbergasted us

  75. PressOn


    Madam’s panties, worn and red,
    are tribute to her gender;
    to hold them up, until she beds,
    she uses red suspenders

    and wears a negligee of blue
    with piping flashing white.
    Her customers are pleased to view
    this patriotic sight.

    She works the streets, as hookers do,
    but never call her smarmy;
    she serves a cast of well-to-do
    like generals from the Army,

    who pay good money for each date
    to kiss her ancient face
    and part the blue, and separate
    the metal from the lace.

  76. JRSimmang

    He went in
    near the morning,
    and having left his clothes behind,
    found the chill meet his skin.

    He looked down
    and noticed his stomach,
    tight, youthful.
    This thick thighs twitched with
    every step toward his pedestal.

    He’s admired his hands.
    When he was younger,
    his parents would look at his hands
    and tell him that they would
    be his great escape.
    He turned them over in the light,
    searching for the imperfections.
    That’s what he was trained to,
    to find the cracks and brittle

    His arms, bronzed and strong,
    splayed before him.

    He built his studio to allow the sunlight in
    whenever the sun was in the sky.
    Right now, just before the day,
    the light was golden,
    raining down in cascading vellum.
    He stood on the pedestal and let
    himself be bathed in it.

    He picked up his tooth chisel
    and began the delicate process
    of adding definition.
    He scooped from his belly,
    building up from a cast he created of his
    He rounded the corners of his eyes,
    learning from the cast he took from his
    He dug out deep rivulets into his feet and legs
    from the cast of his
    And finally, his hands he scraped and scratched
    and broke and tore
    from the cast of his grandmother.
    For she too was a sculptor.

    1. priyajane

      They’ve been handed down from fairy tales
      Legends, and our mindful wails
      The proper moon phase is the key
      Trees and stones may work for thee
      Candle colors play their part
      Specially, when you wish for hearts
      Lucky charms can pull some strings
      Careful- some can permanently cling
      Remember, Midas paid a price
      There’s a science to this energetic device

      Casting magic is an art
      Comes with faith and working hard
      A mystical childish reform
      Can liven up our uniform
      So cast your wishes out to blue
      You never know, they may come true!!

  77. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Angler’s Meditation

    The water, barely warmed by the rising sun,
    moves in ripples and flows – over rocks
    covered in rich green moss so thick
    one could imagine a tiny universe existed
    within the lush borders – an island in the sea

    Like an actor waiting the call to stage
    the trout sits beneath the surface
    facing the current as it passes over
    the rainbow scales that catch the light
    announcing the treasure waiting below

    The angler stands knee-high – Colossus
    of the stream – patiently casting his line
    tempting the fish with hand-tied delights
    yet, content to simply “be” – here and now –
    a man fishing by a moss covered universe

  78. Rachel Blake

    The Casting Couch

    This couch
    so uncomfortable
    to sit on
    I don’t want the part
    the price way too high
    if it means that
    with you I must lie
    it is lumpy, unsubtle
    no finesse
    it is sexist
    a bully
    no soft cushioning
    can your meaning twist
    I work with my talent
    or not work at all
    do not get in touch,
    e mail or call.