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    2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

    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 a mechanical poem. Either you’re mechanically-inclined, or you’re like me and hit things to make them work after they break (which, by the way, rarely works).

    Here’s my attempt at a mechanical poem:

    “robot”

    her circuit board
    her engine
    her voice chip

    all of it
    short circuits
    when he’s around

    *****

    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.

    *****

    Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

    *****

    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.

    181 Responses to 2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

    1. foodpoet says:

      Mechanical
      all is rote
      nothing changes
      the mechanics of living
      is routed by the breakdown of memory
      and I
      I in the middle
      plan nothing but the day ahead
      with no changes allowed

    2. cstewart says:

      In Grade Seven

      My vocational counseling questionnaire said
      I should be an engineer, an artist or an actress.
      I have tried all three and I like all of them.

      Is there a determinative test for a result of
      “aptitude for many things.”
      One that would psyche out a particular choice
      One that would not include obvious test questions like:

      Would you rather sing a song, draw a picture, or fix a car?
      Any test taker could weight a test with those questions.
      Maybe that is what the test determined,
      Who can see through the test and make it come out
      Like then want.

    3. mlcastejon says:

      Wind-up heart

      Broken wind-up heart
      No more dancing days for you
      The attic is closed.

    4. bxpoetlover says:

      Mechanics

      Never been one of those kinds of girls
      that liked to get my nails dirty
      but if you were here
      I would lift the hood
      ask how to check my oil
      and battery
      I would ask you to name all the parts of the engine
      take notes while you talk
      let you show me how to fill and change my tires
      My mechanic is a good one but
      no one tops my daddy.

    5. MORNING ROUTINE

      Snooze button pauses
      my morning system start up.
      Where is the coffee?

    6. shethra77 says:

      Program

      Branch to
      seven open rungs
      on the ladder
      *****beep*****
      stop
      *****beep*****
      If this is TWINK, then run SINK
      What?
      *****buzzzzzz beep*****
      Does it end?
      *****Yes*****
      No? then repeat
      Where’s the top of this
      *****buzz beep*****
      loop?
      *****blink blink blink blink blink blink blink blink*****
      Start again
      Define TWINK stop
      Tweak SINK stop
      *****TWINK=SINK
      Does it end?
      *****Maybe*****
      What?
      ACK
      STOP
      *****beep beep beep beep whooooshhhhhhh*****
      *****ILFBGOO is undefined*****
      Damn straight
      STOP
      Branch to awake
      *****STOP*****

    7. Linda Voit says:

      Why We Need Each Other

      There must be a gene for wondering how machines work
      and needing to fix them. And there must be another gene
      for just wanting them to work. I have the latter gene.
      I try not to offend these saviors by interrupting
      their passionate relay of the how and why
      of what they did to say, “OK, so does it work now?
      Thanks a lot and here’s your check.”

      I get it, though.

      I’m on the other side of the grammar gene.
      When asked to check a letter I explain the change
      I corrected. “You’ve got a dangling modifier here.”
      Who would not want to know that and how
      to avoid it in their next letter, I wonder as they say,
      “Thanks, looks good,”
      and turn to their next task. I leave knowing it’s likely
      they’ll jot a note to someone and probably write
      “After fixing the letter, my morning list was done.”
      And they won’t even care.

    8. Lindy says:

      Mechanical Zombie

      As such the smiles that innocence grants
      etch painted faces in their wake,
      so must our demons invoke the chance
      to rebuild souls in dark mistake;
      mechanical smile and covert glance,
      this mystery cyborg’s plated face.
      We’re all but children of circumstance,
      that life becomes our undertake.

    9. profal29 says:

      mechanics it seems
      is just a dream
      to someone who used to be
      a technician by trade
      a router of lines
      a dreamer of words to say
      but now I see
      those words to me
      and down they go to read
      but are they good
      do they move you
      as they should
      or even make sense
      when you read

    10. “The Fonz”

      Just a tap
      on the jukebox
      and it played
      our favorite song

      I could never
      do it right,
      but Fonzie
      never got it wrong

      Wayne L Murphy 4/27/13

    11. tunesmiff says:

      GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS
      (c) 2013 – G. Smith (BMI)
      —————————————
      Every day is like the day before,
      I get, pour coffee, and head out the door.
      I work late, then head home;
      Another night spent all alone.

      I’m just going through the motions,
      Running on cruise control;
      Trying not to feel a thing,
      Ignore the aching in my heart and soul.
      Put my life on autopilot,
      To make it through the day,
      A robot with no feelings,
      Since you packed and moved away.

      We were married a dozen years,
      Slowly laughter turned to tears.
      Tears turned into nothing at all,
      And I realized when you made that call,

      I’m just going through the motions,
      Running on cruise control.
      Trying not to feel a thing,
      Ignore the aching in my heart and soul.
      Put my life on autopilot
      To make through the day.
      A robot with no feelings,
      Since you packed and moved away.

      How did it happen?
      Who’s to blame?
      Sad new is
      No one wins that game.

      I’m just…
      Going through the motions,
      Running on curise control;
      Trying not to feel a thing,
      Ignore the aching in my heart and soul.
      Put my life on autopilot,
      To make it through each day,
      A robot with no feelins,
      Since you packed and moved away.

      Every day is like the day before;
      I get up;
      Pour coffee;
      And head out the door.

    12. April 27 Mechanical

      Even though I know he must have gone to work
      when I was young, I only remember his fishing days,
      long after retirement, puttering around, dropping
      his pocket knives off the pier, at my beck and call,
      for me hanging tire swings in his backyard oaks.

      I’d seen the pictures, though, when he was young,
      bearing a hint of a swagger, confidence of youth,
      almost a pioneer, building dams, bridges, roads,
      moving his young family from one project to another
      along the Tennessee River Valley, always the first
      to arrive and establish a home in the new village.

      He gave me free rein among the little drawers
      in the chest holding all his relics of those years,
      amid the buttons and folded notes. Best of all,
      I loved those mechanical pencils stored there,
      imbuing the deep drawers with their sweet aroma,
      the heady scent of lead, to him the smell of work,
      of calculations, but to me, the smell of words.

    13. THEGingerSass says:

      how to toast a sorority girl
      -kb

      previously, in my mind,
      a sorority girl was a simple recipe:

      1 part giggles
      2 parts tits
      1/80 part dignity
      3 parts superficiality
      1 part loyalty
      1/2 part bitch
      1/2 part crazy
      2 1/2 parts pink
      and sprinkled with as much school spirit as the booze would provide.

      for the past 5 years, my recipe proved to be pretty solid,
      with only the occasional modification.
      that was, until now.

      now i’m dressed in
      3 parts hairspray
      1 part new dress
      1 part nice shoes
      2 parts makeup
      and 1 part biting my tongue

      for my

      4 parts butch
      2 parts secretly girly
      2 parts kindhearted
      1 part silly
      1 part tux
      1 part bow tie
      all parts love

      a-typical sorority-girl girlfriend.

    14. EbenAt says:

      Many a future engineer
      liked to take stuff apart
      as a kid.

      Here’s a tip:
      Taking things apart
      doesn’t take courage.
      What takes courage is
      to truly not give a fuck
      when you put it back together
      and it doesn’t work
      right away.

    15. ewdupler says:

      Lefty Lucy

      Broken,
      But not for long.
      Adjusts the wrench and then
      She torques it with a few more spins.
      Car girl.

      She likes
      Challenges, too.
      Using the tools to make
      Mechanical problems of yours,
      Fixed.

    16. Yolee says:

      My mechanical pencil
      and I have been apart.
      We had a poignant connection
      until a fast and slick
      one grabbed my attention.
      What was different
      about the new liaison
      changed habit when
      my thoughts needed
      an outlet. I miss the point
      my old friend made.
      I miss the sheets
      we rolled in.

    17. vsbryant1 says:

      Love of Home Entertainment

      Red goes with red
      Yellow with yellow
      White with white
      And now the sound is just right

      Now there’s the red with the red
      Green with green
      Blue with blue
      And the TV plays magically

      Suddenly HDMI is the new hotness on the block
      Sleek, low maintenance and taking over the spot

    18. Mechanically Yours

      Well, it is,
      As you may see,
      Without you, I will go free.
      It is with you, that they tied me here,
      It is with you, and its Fate’s decree;

      I see, said his lady love,
      And cannot without you pull or shove.
      I need you to hold me tight, so that I can slip alright,
      I want you, just as you want me O,
      Without you, I am lifeless, a line.

      “It is when you wind yourself,
      Along my rim, I appreciate more of myself.
      Together, we balance it so well,
      Should we miss, it dispels.

      And so said the pulley to the rope,
      “Oh Dear, I am forever, mechanically, yours”.

    19. Ber says:

      Mechanical Minds

      Telepathic interests
      feelings coming out
      wondering who they were
      where they came from
      minds mesmerizing each others emotions

      Movement of their feet
      around each other
      looking into dark eyes
      glowing images
      to their surprise

      Hands held together
      lips combined
      love of eternal lusting
      future hearts entwined

    20. Non-Mechanical

      When it comes to mechanical
      I prefer digital.

      In either case I am inept
      but, with IT, more apt

      to solve things by trial and error.
      Cogwheels cause me terror,

      and all the other metal bits;
      they give me the — er — spits.

    21. drwasy says:

      THROUGH THIS DAY

      Through this day
      my body breathes
      into clothes
      coffee–
      breakfast
      not needed–
      brushed teeth
      combed hair
      but barely

      A bus whisks me
      to my desk
      grey & cluttered
      my brain moves me
      into the chair
      the monitor blinks
      my hands tap
      lunch passes
      Earl Grey at 3

      A bus returns me
      dinner retrieved
      frozen
      tv & wine
      to unwind
      after Johnny
      the couch swallows
      my body
      through this night

    22. DanielAri says:

      “Consider the machine”

      A. Assume the machine possesses
      some minute fractional measure
      of the soul of its creatrix.
      B. Begin its automatic whirl.
      C. Observe how all its procedures

      execute in what seems a pure
      ballet of physical science.
      D. Mentionless variance accrues
      and releases—the innocence
      of physics plays on mechanics.

      E. In its fraction of soul, a sense
      of wobbling, a proto-tango,
      quasi-Judo, or meta-dance
      lifts automated a-go-go
      to some level of surrender.

      F. Study the machine as it slows.
      Its maker’s friction makes it glow.

      • BDP says:

        Much to like about this entire poem, but “lifts automated a-go-go / to some level of surrender” caught my eye most. I’ll consider machines differently now!

    23. tonijoell says:

      If Only he had a Heart

      Tha-thump:
      Echoes resound…
      she thinks of her father.
      She did always like the Tin Man
      the best.

    24. Alpha1 says:

      Iron Bull

      Midnight cowboy
      afro hair
      lookin for a rodeo
      in Times Square
      ten-gallon hat settin
      high on his dome
      toe-pinchin boots
      walkin miles from home
      searchin side streets
      moon light shinin full
      hot on the trail of
      mechanical bull
      Midnight cowboy
      afro hair
      ridin iron bull without
      no fear
      ten-gallon hat
      settin tight on his dome
      found him a rodeo
      far from home
      on a side street
      moon light shinin full
      thrown from the back
      of mechanical bull

    25. Days on end
      I automatically moved
      About doing what I always do
      Like the bottle capping machine
      I once saw at the Pepsi Cola Company
      Drop, cap, twist, raise, repeat…
      Bottle after mind numbing
      bottle moving past
      Days on end

    26. P.A. Beyer says:

      The Inventor’s Mantra

      Gadgets,
      Gears and motors
      Big dreams begin at home
      In dull garages and basements
      “Someday…”

    27. omavi says:

      Fixer

      She fixes me
      As heart broken in pieces
      She repairs me
      As mind short circuits
      She re-energizes me
      As soul lays hurt
      She heals me
      She revives me
      Tool and die and sweet caresses
      She fixes me
      Upgrading me from a mere man
      To a vision of perfection
      In her hands I become better
      More than a man
      She automates me
      Broken
      She completes me

    28. GENES: THE MECHANICS OF LIFE

      Internally
      Externally
      From the center
      To circumference
      Our entire being is just
      One awesome organic expression
      Of flowing biochemistry
      Dynamically acting
      Reacting harmoniously
      Mysteriously in unison
      And strictly within boundary of
      The universal balance of homeostasis
      Exploded from specifically coded
      Blueprints elegantly designed
      Marvelosly well-built
      Well-aligned Elements
      bit by bit
      Brick by brick
      Atom by atom into
      Gorgeously complex
      Structured molecules
      Plastered, shaped,
      Wisely connected
      Fitted together
      To make you, you
      And me, me
      Splendid.

    29. Smart People Cannot Do Everything

      Group of engineers
      hunched around oval table
      at meeting to discuss
      structural and architectural
      aspects of new power plant
      to be built. At my desk,
      outside this room, I sit juggling
      telephone calls, and setting up
      priorities for my workload. Boss
      comes out with report in hand
      requiring copies. He decides
      to make them himself. One
      minute later, he calls out,
      ‘the machine is out of paper.
      I don’t know to load it.’

      Poetic Asides
      April Challenge – Day 27
      Write a mechanical poem

    30. JRSimmang says:

      Despite the late hour,
      my fingers turn and spin out
      subtle ironies.

    31. THE MECHANICS OF LIFE

      The phrenic nerve
      Forever plugged into
      And motoring rhythmically
      our diaphragm
      Contracting, relaxing
      Contracting, relaxing
      Contracting, relaxing
      Involuntarily at it’s own pace
      Expanding the thoracic cage
      Taking, receiving, relieving
      Itself of unnecessary gases
      Dependency at its best
      All unconsciously
      Thank God, while we rest.

    32. Deri says:

      Automaton

      I would
      bludgeon
      the smooth
      nothing of you
      your face
      crush your
      still fingers
      crack the
      knob of your
      stubborn
      kneecaps
      just to make
      the mechanical
      thuding
      of your
      black heart
      skip
      one
      single
      beat.

    33. PowerUnit says:

      Nothing sooths the soul like fluid gears, like a skater on fresh ice
      The effortless rotation of the focus ring on your pair of Celestron binoculars
      Or the German shifting in your Mercedes Benz Coupe’s gearbox
      And you know the world is right in your hands

    34. AN ODE TO THE BONES

      Our bone’s cells those precious busy little worker bees
      send endless messenger chemical keys
      depositing and removing these minutely massive
      endless materials supporting our hefty frames
      So significant yet we hardly know their names.

      Our bone’s bells and whistles go largely unnoticed
      Its exceptionally intricate detailed work spent behind closed doors
      Its when we’re frail and the mechanics poor
      we begin to experience the thorns and thistles
      of life’s mechanics gone awry. Sometimes we
      scratch our heads and wonder why?
      Hopefully then we learn to appreciate
      those little worker bees.

      Its because of them we can bend our knees
      run, jump, reach, live as we please. But sometimes
      our bones break unfortunately; and with them, our
      hopes are broken too. But those little worker bees,
      the osteocytes if you please; never give up and go right
      back to work. They repair, reshape, remodel, they share in the midst of despair
      adding hope, stability to our weakened frame.
      You just gotta love those precious little worker bees.

    35. Arm of Pain

      Mechanical bull
      Mechanical arm
      Arm and hammer
      Arm candy
      Candy Land
      Candy cane
      Cane chair
      Cane handle
      Handlebar
      Handle with care
      Care package
      Care Bear
      Bear cubs
      Bear hug
      Hug bug
      Hug kiss
      Kiss me Kate
      Kiss bliss
      Bliss and joy
      Bliss and peace
      Peace sign
      Peace keeper
      Keeper of the law
      Keeper of the stars
      Star light
      Star bright
      Bright eyes
      Bright beginnings
      Beginnings and endings
      Beginnings and beyond
      Beyond me
      Beyond hope
      Hope fulfilled
      Hope and love
      Love child
      Love poems
      Poems about life
      Poems for kids
      Kids in mind
      Kids eat free
      Free and easy
      Free as a bird
      Bird dog
      Bird brain
      Brain teasers
      Brain pain
      Pain in the neck
      Pain reliever
      Reliever
      Neck

    36. BDP says:

      “The Anti-Mechanical”

      We pushed off and our legs t-boned the sky,
      rocking the swing set ringed by backyard cedars.
      That first summer in the new house, our dad
      chain-sawed the trees, bulldozed the play space,
      paved it for the stretched body of his Olds.

      The second, ants crawled from my mayo jar
      bouquet, spread across the kitchen table
      to the floor, and mom asked him to slash
      our only row of pink peonies, this last

      shock softened by a field of hawkweed flush
      behind my Grandma Lee’s vegetable garden:
      kiwi-skin stems, blended orange petals painting
      Aunt Lizzie’s nose, my uncultivated
      happiness among the deep vanilla

      scent in the sun. After moving from the farm
      adopted Grandma B wrapped a plant
      into an 8 in the east light of her home
      and called it a solemn Crown of Thorns.
      Flowers waxed tears onto the sill

      while dragons snapped color at Grandma Peters
      by the lake, rectangular concrete pens of them.

      Today near my drive, a clover in gravel,
      orphaned from elsewhere, reaches to my hand.
      I smooth fingers around its rabbit tail,
      pull its fur across my palm, leave it rooted in
      the hillside down to my voracious suburb place.

      B Peters

    37. carolecole66 says:

      What Did You Say, Dear?

      My mechanical “yes” to your question
      helped get you off my back,
      but did little to solve the problem,
      merely delayed it until the day
      you showed me my packed bags
      and our tickets to Bali.

    38. Domino says:

      Surreal

      Isn’t it strange,
      the way ones body
      can simply go on
      even in the face of the most
      horrendous stress.

      How strange,
      uncanny,
      surreal, even,
      to be standing at the sink
      calmly washing dishes
      when my whole
      world
      has turned
      completely upside down.

      I feel almost as if
      I am watching myself
      from above
      or behind,
      slightly off center.

      I feel numb,
      but somewhere,
      deep inside,
      there is a howl
      trying to escape.

      And so I continue
      the mechanical
      movements.
      Swirling the warm soapy water.
      Sudsing the plate/cup/spoon,
      and rinsing in water so hot
      it leaves my hands scalded,
      yet untouched,
      because the real pain
      isn’t on the outside.

      Diana Terrill Clark

    39. LIFE’S A CRANK

      Sometimes life can be quite mechanical
      and not in the least green or botanical
      but rather mundane, lacking robust spontaneity.

      As the gears turn and grind, the years crank
      and cry but cannot resist the relentless burn,
      yet hopes to be freed from their rigidity.

    40. This is a MECHANICAL poem because I followed NaPoWriMo.net’s prompt to take the first 3 words of a common proverb or phrase, plug it into a search engine on the web and skim through the first few pages of results, collecting words and phrases that interest you. Then use those as the inspirations (and some of the source material) for a new poem. Voila!

      Better a broken …

      ankle – you can skip work
      toe (than leg, but you should ice it)
      nose if it was ugly to begin with

      Better a broken …
      piece of jade — than whole piece of pottery
      mirror if you’re into risk-taking
      or non-broken Kimberwicke bit?
      (Answer: a leverage bit with a broken mouthpiece is
      unnecessarily harsh on a horse’s mouth)

      Better a broken…
      promise … or, you could keep it
      mindset — after all a new perspective will enlighten you
      courtship, especially when your fiancé is Drew Peterson

      Better a Broken …
      Vows Mystery book (you can find one @ Amazon .com or maybe in your local library)
      or is it Better to be Broken? (Also a book advertised on the web)

      Better a broken …
      – down NYC to D.C. train than no Amtrak wine tasting (see The Huffington Post)
      car or a computer?
      Parking meter if you are broke

      Better a broken …
      defensive line when you are the aggressor
      reality or a broken game? Which one changes the world?

    41. Larry says:

      My stove has stopped working
      Whatever shall I do?
      I know how to fix it
      But I think a new one is due.
      With all the new gadgets
      Plus energy efficient too.
      My life will be easier
      I believe a new one will do.

    42. RJ Clarken says:

      Mechanical Things

      “In the next century it will be the early mechanical bird which gets the first plastic worm out of the artificial grass.” ~William E. Bill Vaughan

      Synthetic stuff is what’s in store
      for nature, and for all of us.
      So artificial, fakey, plus
      we do not mind. We ask for more.

      And yet. And yet, I’m not at war
      with modernizing. Let’s discuss
      for nature, and for all of us.
      Synthetic stuff is what’s in store

      ‘though creature comforts, I adore.
      Don’t want to be a Gloomy Gus.
      Just like it real without much fuss.
      Some balance is what’s called for, or
      synthetic stuff is what’s in store.

      ###

    43. pmwanken says:

      Matters of the heart
      follow different rules for
      the mechanical.

    44. I love your poem Robert! It was the inspiration for mine. Thank you.

      He Talked to Her

      Tongue tied, face red
      she sputtered stunted syllables.

      Like a puppy, he cocked his head
      and smiled at her.

      She sighed, smiled back
      and tried again.

      He took her hand
      and kissed it.

      She wisely
      didn’t open her mouth.

      He grabbed her hand
      and took her out for coffee.

      They still hold hands
      but she no longer sputters stunted syllables.

    45. Angie5804 says:

      Oh how I want a time machine
      programmed to go back
      to contented times
      self-starting and self-regulating
      instinctive and intuitive

      it will find that July 4th
      when we relaxed under fireworks
      with two kids cavorting on the lawn
      one not quite born, yet dancing
      one still a thought we’d yet to think

      it will transport to
      warm spring evenings around the supper table
      with homegrown beans seasoned with bacon

      it will impulsively find amusement
      when we laughed at,
      with,
      and in spite of each other

      it will automatically land in the year of the we met
      so full of newness
      so full of wonder

      and perhaps travel back, back,
      to kick-the-can and glow in the dark antics
      and fried chicken
      and Daddy’s lap

    46. RELEASE MECHANISM

      Today they let me go.
      It’s Nature Day in NatureLand. SUVs
      and sedans, more arriving all the time. I can’t
      wait for the forest to catch up with me.
      Past the old railroad grade for carrying logs
      out of the woods to be mechanically
      turned into walls and doors that
      long ago became kindling for a fire.
      When did the trees give out?
      Berries ungrade everything with their dusty
      sweet black breath, their voices. Coyotes
      eat them in the dusky dark, and leave
      their sign full of seeds and fur.
      I taste one berry close to the thorn, to the bone.
      Game-trails beckon through the green
      eternity of bramble. Old sleeping-
      bag adobe’d into clay, someone found
      a hidden space to sleep among sweet berries
      by the pond, where they put a cyclone-
      fence around anything so wild, but maybe
      that’s just my amnesia. Clouds of pond-
      water when my pup emerged to shake
      her joy all over me. Today
      they let me go, issued me fresh batteries.
      I didn’t tell them about the pond, out beyond
      the bridge, quietly slipping away.
      They’d’ve said I’m crazy.

    47. Margot Suydam says:

      Online Dating

      Through the mesh
      of fiber-optic speed
      I gaze at your network
      of lonely offspring
      and tabled thoughts.

      From what I can tell
      the globe no longer holds
      us round, but takes a blistering
      turn down deserted corridors
      to stale, messy bedrooms

      where the links and chain
      are more vocal than visceral,
      There are no voices, but only
      words that haunt and hurt
      the scrambled vacant faces.

      What people smell like
      asleep in soiled bedsheets is
      made quiet, drowned out
      with the stiff staccato
      clicking of keyboards.

    48. Julieann says:

      Old Fashioned

      No computer needed
      Not even a mechanical pencil
      Just a yellow No. 2 with an eraser
      And a scrap of lined paper
      To write this poem

    49. Your robot poem inspired me today, Robert:

      Birthday Robot

      I need a robot to absorb all my birthdays,
      so he will be the one who needs service
      and repair, more often every year.
      He’ll be the one who everyone will tell,
      “You look pretty good for your age,”
      and “You’re only as old as you feel.”
      He’ll get all the snarky getting-older birthday cards,
      and he’ll be the one who will worry
      what will happen when his warranty runs out.
      And while he’s fretting about circuits
      that don’t connect so quickly any more,
      blockages in circulation, dimming light sensors,
      joints that creak with every movement,
      I’ll be lounging on an island somewhere,
      no older than last year, sipping a piña colada
      and sending him a snarky birthday card.

      And here’s a “bonus” short poem:

      You’re Only as Old as You Feel

      “A little age can be a wonderful thing.
      Take a fine bottle of scotch for example….”

      Okay.

      • Julieann says:

        A robot to age for us – what a marvelous idea!!

      • julie e. says:

        Haha! I’m with you on this idea. I seem to be at the age where the clerks at Ross on 55 and up discount day KNOW they’re being cheeky when they say “you don’t look old enough!” I would prefer the pina colada on the island to putting up with that. Let the robot deal with it! Lol!

    50. LCaramanna says:

      Write On

      A Capital Letter
      To begin,
      Precise language
      Delivers the punch
      In subject verb agreement.
      Spell words,
      Select homonyms,
      Write tense consistent throughout.
      A comma slows the reader’s pace,
      Words in quotes speak volumes.
      Punctuation marks the end
      Exciting !
      Questionable ?
      Everyday normal .
      Mechanics make the message clear
      Period.
      LCaramanna

    51. “This is your captain.
      Mechanical problems have
      delayed our takeoff.”

    52. julie e. says:

      THAT’S JUST GRATE.

      “If you wash the grater right away
      it’ll clean easier” she’d say
      mechanically, every single time,
      I pulled out the grater, assuming I’m
      incapable, my mother-in-law.

    53. PoM says:

      From ancient days to modern now

      Sloth of humanity escaped its plight
      Fashioned tools made the work burden light

      Then came copper bronze iron steel
      Tools carved history of humanity

      Rode Elephants camels donkeys the like
      Humanity used animals mechanically

      Now no need creature’s oxen yoked
      Plow fields grow crops feed family
      Now have tractors made by John Deer

      O we humans our mechanical ingenuity
      Now even fly mechanical machines through mid air

    54. julie e. says:

      MECHANICAL DREAMS

      and his bad dreams involve
      machines he can’t fix
      and other people who
      can’t fix the machines
      and workers who don’t
      get it don’t understand
      what he’s saying
      and machines that are
      old and past saving
      the usual nightmares
      of a mechanic

    55. Sondie says:

      I Lost My Comfort

      The doctor rotates my arms
      and I feel the slight jerk
      like a catch in every gear
      of a cogwheel.

      I am a ratchet moving
      quickly in the wrong
      direction to nowhere
      I want to go.

      Locked in my skin alone
      with thoughts that can’t
      be loosed by word or action
      or expression.

      That I know what the end looks
      like gives me no
      comfort in the days of life
      I have left.

    56. alana sherman says:

      Things Mechanical

      The very best things that humans make
      have always been
      for their very own sake—
      for instance air conditioning:
      When it’s hot and steamy
      the AC’s wind blows cool
      I lie around, I’m no fool—
      I can make it cold
      and I can make it colder.
      Bless the person who invented it.

      Oh, I’m for people who concoct
      all gadgets—electricity which makes it light
      and fires up my computer
      the lowly barometer—harbinger of weathers,
      telescopes so Saturn’s rings are easier to see.

      Yes, I applaud all things human crafted: Hot showers
      microwaves and the Kodak (that took the photo
      of my mother, seventeen, with a bruise on her knee.)
      Life is short and Icarus’s tale just doesn’t appeal to me.

      alana

    57. De Jackson says:

      I’m Running Out of Steam, Punk

      This poe
      -mmmmm
      is un
      -cogged and
      gizmo water logged
      and running out
      of rhythm, realm
      and rhyme.

      The future is tic
      and tock
      and the work
      -ings of the clock
      are all out of gear
      this long,
      wrong year.

      It’s knew-
      matic
      and new
      manic and
      with a series of
      clicks and clacks,
      you see,
      it’s about to be
      invented
                indented
      before its time.

      .

    58. burrhead says:

      Before internal combustion engine tractors
      When oxen pulled the plows
      Farmers already possessed mechanical skills
      And know-how
      Windmills and separators
      Had parts that broke and needed repair
      And usually the farmer was the only mechanic
      Around anywhere

      As tractors and combines
      Big wheel motor driving
      The farmer’s job became more complex
      As repairs required more knowledge
      Of engines and of wiring

      That is why I had to grin
      Found it a little comic
      downright ironic
      When my car broke down in front of Farmer Browns
      He just scratched his head
      looked at my car and said
      “don’t look at me,
      I know nothing about ‘chinery or ‘tronics”

    59. dextrousdigits says:

      Pencil in Hand

      Keyboards let me pound out my words,
      relic taping from typewriter days.
      Gel pens flow with color and offer
      rainbows and hues to enliven dry shadow images.

      Yet, from time to time
      I must feel the Pentel Mechanical pencil
      .7 or preferably .5 lead in my hand.
      Putting the fine lead into it
      is preparing the pencil and
      loading my brain.
      The fine lead to record fine words.
      A bridge between
      brain, neurons, fingers
      with paper
      with people.

    60. PressOn says:

      END OF THE LINE

      My mechanic says the Ford is done,
      this car that’s brought me years of fun.
      The engine block is warped and cracked;
      the clutch is slipping; gears are wracked
      by missing teeth; there’s only one

      ignition wire where spark can run.
      “There’s not a thing under the sun
      that I can do, and that’s a fact,”
      my mechanic says.

      I know I should have long begun
      to look at cars; long have I spun
      my mental wheels and failed to act,
      in hopes the coupe would stay intact.
      But this is it. Wear favors none,
      my mechanic says.

    61. Glory says:

      Mr Mechanical

      He speaks, one tone for all
      He stands straight, he stands tall.

      His eyes hollow, show no life
      His face stony, no sign of strife.

      His hands cold, cold as ice,
      His touch, a touch not wanted twice.

      Is this man a man I knew
      Or just a robot, that I view

      He really is, cold unflinching?
      I look at him and I’m thinking

      Mechanical that’s what you are
      Just a rotating ice cold star

    62. PressOn says:

      VIRTUAL REALITY

      So much is false in the world today,
      we’re surrounded by legions of fakes;
      all awash in things not what they seem,
      we even have fake lakes.

      You can buy fake flowers to sniff forever;
      date a blow-up dolly named Lisa;
      but thank goodness, something still is real:
      there’s no mechanical pizza.

    63. ValerieO says:

      We need things to work
      Skilled hands make it possible
      When toys malfunction

    64. nessajay says:

      Kevin has mastered the crane game
      that machine with a glass case full
      of plush toys key chains Americana
      and the mechanical claw you move

      left right front back with a joystick
      ordinary kids feed dollars & dollars
      & dollars into the slot trying to get
      the toy they want the toy that falls

      again and again or that never lifts
      Kevin surveys the array of felt and
      plastic he accesses a cache of data
      he has spent his life gathering data

      about the claw mechanism’s track
      object’s tilt & orientation answers
      to questions casual players do not
      ask as they mindlessly play what

      they believe is a game of chance he
      only targets the claw on what it can
      actually pick up he has never sought
      the Stewie doll (smooth round head

      will slip out of the pincers) although
      he is a die-hard Family Guy fan, its
      close to religion every so often the
      items get jostled into positions that

      mean the claw won’t grab any prize
      in that case he waits nearby to warn
      foolish ones – don’t waste your time
      they don’t listen pump coins into the

      slot then watch prizes slip fall land
      on the heap obeying laws of physics
      “I told you so” means nothing to the
      master operator of the crane game

    65. pendulums and springs

      wheels move hands over its face

      clock anatomy

    66. PressOn says:

      OLD-CAR DOCTOR

      It’s old, it’s holed, its heater’s cold
      it starts begrudgingly:
      my car’s a pile of fool’s gold
      and costs accordingly.
      It yet may put me on the dole,
      my personal Titanic,
      but ah, I have an ace in the hole:
      an honest, good mechanic.

      He fixes things that grind and shake –
      the shafts, the gears, the pumps;
      he changes plugs and turns the brake
      and smooths assorted bumps.
      No engineering folderol
      can ever make me panic,
      because I have that ace in the hole:
      my son, the ace mechanic.

    67. burrhead says:

      THIS COULD USE SOME WORK – MECHANICAL

      The muffler wasn’t muffling
      Rusted broken tailpipe
      Needs repairing
      the back half of the pipe scrapes on the pavement
      sparks fly from the street
      that cop on the corner seems impatient
      at least that is what I believe

      the driver’s seat is broken
      it rocks back on acceleration
      should fix that pretty soon
      each time I take off
      the seat rocks backward
      my foot leaves the gas pedal
      and the car suddenly slows
      pitching me and the seat forward
      and forcing my foot back down
      upon accelerator
      which makes the car go
      and then the seat rocks back
      and my foot again leaves the floor

      so my car and I go hopping across the road
      in front of the cop
      my tailpipe roaring
      and sparks flying from below
      the car rocks back and forth
      I look over at the cop
      And he is shaking his head no
      Back and forth in time with my foot
      That keeps raising and lowering onto the gas pedal
      As the exhaust continues to roar
      Sparks fly from down below
      The cops head keeps time alright
      I think he is saying to himself
      No, no, no
      Which means it’s the end of his shift
      And he doesn’t have time
      He can’t believe my nerve
      He doesn’t want to waste his efforts
      To write me all the tickets
      That I do deserve

    68. PressOn says:

      MEDICAL SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT

      One would hope the graduate pediatrician
      is pure physician, not a mechanician;

      and one would hope the graduating surgeon’s
      a mite more skilled than Hudson River sturgeons;

      and one would like a newly made oncologist
      to be an actor, not a mere monologist.

      For after all, these new-diplomaed doctors
      are now entirely free of all their proctors,

      and hence they have to practice
      all their knowledge and their arts,
      and patients must have patience
      till their skills match all their smarts.

    69. Rachel Blake says:

      wind , wind, wind the key
      watch her dance around
      the music tinkles
      beneath
      red velvet floor
      leather case
      costume jewelry landscape
      pink tutu
      coiffured french pleat
      ballet shoes on plastic feet
      disciplined to stand up straight
      by metal spine
      from head to toe
      she has no one to see
      nowhere to go
      she spins entirely at your request
      at first fast
      time passes
      she slows
      close the lid
      she lays to rest
      entombed until you next
      open the box
      wind and wind
      her arms ready raised
      turn again , again
      in music land
      precise, unphased.

    70. priyajane says:

      ‘A poem is a small machine( or large) made out of words’- W C Williams

      April has sprung an eloquent machine
      Poem coffees squirting cream
      Laced with frilly body parts
      Not just mind but soul and heart
      Some factory round-up musical talks
      An enchanting world outside the box
      Musings that can seek and find
      An express belt that unzips minds–

    71. burrhead says:

      ANOTHER PROJECT

      So many pieces
      So many parts
      How am I going to recall
      Where they all go

      I do like to dismantle
      And see
      The inner workings
      Of a machine

      Springs and clips and housings
      Lay scattered
      All over the floor
      Why did I unbolt
      And open it up
      Just to see the insides
      When it worked just fine
      Before I got my grubby hands
      All over the intricate and delicate mechanism
      That was in good working order
      Before I got curious
      And dissected the damn thing
      Now it looks a mess
      Of scattered springs, clips and housings
      May never be the same
      And worse yet
      If I don’t get it back in working order
      I will feel a failure
      Which I wouldn’t have to confront
      If I would just keep
      My hands in my pockets
      Instead of splitting cases
      Just to get a good look
      At the intricate workings of mechanizations
      With idiosyncratic
      Relations
      From part to part
      That I will never understand
      But I can’t help myself
      Curious to a fault
      I like to take things apart
      But then they lay
      Scattered all over the floor
      And may never be whole again
      To work
      To run
      To be useful
      As tools
      Or to even look interesting
      To anybody else with an inquisitive mind
      To anybody else with desires to start
      Something they won’t finish
      Floors all over this land
      Are covered in
      Springs and clips and housings
      You wouldn’t even imagine
      That the parts assembled
      Made wonderful machines

    72. happys says:

      ~Mechanical Pencil~

      Before mechanical pencil was invented
      We used traditional pencil at school
      Sharpener is its matching tool

      When mechanical pencil was created
      Refillable lead has been the rule
      Handy to carry and so cool

    73. Nothing too fantastic today, I’m exhausted.

      Making the required
      responses, and
      going through expected
      motions.
      Tasks are performed by
      rote, dutifully as the
      ticking of a timepiece.
      When did life become
      so mundane,
      mechanical?

      http://wp.me/p3mgzW-28

    74. Jane Shlensky says:

      Mechanical Bull

      For some, it comes so naturally,
      the back and forth, the spinning ’round,
      sweet rolling banter, complex, full–
      some folks sling mechanical bull.

    75. Jane Shlensky says:

      Mechanical Love

      He knows the cogs and wires,
      the push and pull,
      no bells or whistles,
      tilt or twirl or thrill;
      his skilled attempts
      at sex so workmanlike,
      mechanical and uninspired,
      like knowledge of the plugs
      without the spark.
      But he’s all revving,
      racing, spinning tires,
      thinking that he can
      make this engine hum.

    76. burrhead says:

      MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

      I want to help you work on the car
      Bring a flashlight it’s under the stars

      Follow my hands with the beam
      And we’ll make a good team

      Shine it there in the hole
      While I try to cajole

      This bolt thru this bracket
      By turning this ratchet

      Now hold the light still
      While I work on this grille

      Keep shining it there
      Not up in the air

      Try not to shake
      Or I’ll make a mistake

      Cross-thread a nut
      Or misplace a strut

      Keep paying attention
      While I try this ignition

      Tighten the fan belt
      So it doesn’t melt

      Son you did pretty good
      We can now shut the hood

      Pick up the tools
      Wind the cord on that spool

      Thanks for the help with the light
      We are done for the night

    77. Mechanicals

      Aging Train tracks’ uncertain mechanics
      awakened me
      sunsetting afternoon’s
      coastal waves
      painting fellow passengers’
      seaside window-portraits

      Partly risen fog
      exposed surf’s uncertain gait
      gravity’s clockworked secrets
      shaping western horizon’s curve
      Azure eddies
      seeking early moon’s great cerulean second hand.

      Palming Father’s still late pocket-watch
      mourning fingers
      caressed
      gray-shod tension’s
      silvery forehead-sweat
      cold-working Parkinson’s ceramic face

      =======

    78. Quantum Mechanics in a Nut Shell

      Quantum mechanics departs from classical mechanics
      primarily at the quantum realm of atomic and subatomic length scales.
      Quantum mechanics provides a mathematical description
      of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behaviour
      and interactions of energy and matter.
      The mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics are abstract.
      A mathematical function known as the wave-function provides information
      about the probability amplitude position, momentum,
      and other physical properties of a particle.

      Which for wordsmiths like thee and me, can be simply translated
      as the bits in The Big Bang Theory that don’t get laughs.
      Except of, course when Penny looks blank or even better pretends
      that she knows what Leonard and Sheldon are talking about.
      Advanced developments such as quantum field theory, string theory
      and speculative quantum gravity theories also play a major part in the dialogue
      and likewise are not in the slightest bit amusing – unless you are trying
      to work out why your cat chases a length of string like a lunatic.
      Now that’s funny!
      String Theory – Tee, Hee, Hee!

      Iain

    79. Blissful Ignorance

      Inside the box are whirring thingamies
      and doo-hickeys
      that connect to widgets and whatchacallits
      and they’re what make it work,
      (apparently there are no hamsters on tread wheels
      or little leprechauns involved – who knew?)
      The mechanic with a sharp in-take of breath
      and a grimace lets me know that it will
      cost an arm and a leg or both,
      but blissfully ignorant of the workings
      of the internal combustion engine,
      my watch, laptop, wind-up mouse
      (for the cats’ amusement)
      and assorted etceteras,
      I willingly hand over the hard-earned,
      resigned to the fact
      that such is the way of the world.
      I use it,
      I don’t need to know
      how it works
      and if you were to explain it to me,
      I would undoubtedly respond
      with a puzzled expression and a querying
      “How much, dear?”
      Wholly against the concept of D.I.Y.
      preferring, by far, a policy of Y.D.I.:
      You Do it Instead!

      Iain

    80. priyajane says:

      MACHINES
      Engineerings of a genius mind
      With drawing squares and rooting sines
      Shining pieces of an earthly core
      Encrypted by some special laws
      There’s power food to feed this lad
      These puzzling pieces, then, well clad
      Pinching bolts, attaching parts
      And lo behold a work of art!

      Pulling, drilling, printing, ploughing
      Swimming, curing, heating, drying
      Visuals that can hear for miles
      Zapping thoughts and auto smiles

      They cannot feel our loving ties
      Supposedly, have straight forward guides!
      We love, abuse, confuse, misuse
      And when they’re ill we blow our fuse!!
      Heartlessly, the wrinkled are junked
      As we move along, improving spunk

      These babies that we thought were slaves
      Are masters now, that we so, crave!

    81. missjoyce says:

      Prompt:
      A mechanical poem.

      The Bridge

      She opens the lid at 8 pm sharp,
      7 am his time,
      hoping for a short chat
      before he runs out for work.

      She presses a button;
      the system boots up,
      lights would flicker
      as she takes a sip of coffee.

      The welcome screen appears;
      she taps on the keys
      for her password
      hoping it will load faster.

      No other program
      but theirs that she opens
      waiting for the popup
      that he’s online.

      Six minutes past
      and the call starts
      as they exchange stories
      about her day
      about his dream.

      His alarm goes off
      as time beckons for him to work
      as time permits
      only little for goodbyes.

      And for that short while
      a mechanical wave
      brought joy and love
      across continents.

    82. Jezzie says:

      Car Mechanics

      When I was married to a mechanic,
      I was constantly told I was thick,
      oh so thick!

      I couldn’t get my car to start
      even though I had taken the plugs apart
      and warmed the distributor head on the stove
      if only to prove
      I had learned a bit from him.
      But still he thought I was dim,
      oh so dim!

      But those days are gone now, as has he,
      and now I know what it’s like to feel free
      to be thick, to be dim, to be me.

      And so if my car won’t start today
      I’ll call out the RAC or the AA.
      I have to pay, but I have to say
      I like it better that way!

    83. Dear Moosehead,
      A win but at a price! An injured catcher and
      a pitcher with a broken hand! The DL gets longer
      instead of shorter, what we need are some androids
      or bionic ball players that don’t break every time they take
      the field. Damn sure an engineer would be cheaper
      than a surgeon too! Speaking of mechanics, I’ve got a ringing
      in my motor not dissimilar to the one I get in my head
      when yer ma & sis are beating their war drums! Wish I could
      fix the former with a few beers and a ballgame but I guess
      it’s back to the shop to see Big Joe. Jimmy the Greek says
      if I respected his ethnicity the way I do Joe’s, the mechanics
      of our relationship would improve. Dumbass! He could be Martian
      for all I gave a hobo’s cuss, it’s being a Braves fan that I despise him
      for. So I’m ready for an afternoon at the stadium and some more
      plucked and stuffed Jays on the menu.
      Pick me up at 3 – bring the do-re-mi, I have a feeling my big end is
      gonna cost me big time (not unlike yer mother’s!)

      Yours mechanically challenged but stepping up as ever,

      Ringo the Howler

    84. Mechanical

      Much of life is lived
      on mechanical setting.

      Get up,
      go to work,
      come home,
      do it all over again.

      Take a moment.
      Sniff spring flowers.
      Notice the various shades
      of green.

      Inhale the fresh air.
      Praise the Maker of it All
      for His excellent handiwork.

    85. Genius

      The parts are scattered – helter/skelter.
      To the novice, it looks like a mechanical explosion
      but he knows were each part is and where it belongs.
      True, the bits often do not return to their origins
      but then again, we often find new homes in unlikely places.
      The true genius is in taking what is left and creating
      just the right tool to help make life interesting.

    86. Raina Masters says:

      Mechanical love

      Your voice is measured, a perfect monotone drone
      that tells me how to get to my sister’s new house
      on my first drive there, tells me if I should expect
      rain and wind, gives me suggestions for dinner.
      I don’t know how I ever did without you before.
      Today, I made you sound British, you deep voice
      resonating at 7:30 in morning – “Good morning,
      Raina.” I can’t hug you and you can’t make me
      waffles and bacon for breakfast. It’s not the ideal
      situation, but I know you’ll never leave me for
      a nineteen year old.

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