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2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

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 tentative poem. The poem could be about a tentative date, a tentative person, a tentative situation. The narrator could be tentative. The subject could be tentative.

Here’s my attempt at a tentative poem:


though she wants to knock on his door,
he’s suddenly without music
and transforming into a bore.

though she wants to knock on his door–
though she wants to ask him for more–
she’s afraid that he might lose it.

though she wants to knock on his door,
she’s suddenly without music.


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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343 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

  1. utsabfly

    To Love Again…

    True love was always away from her grasp,
    Always just out of reach.
    Now he’s entered into her life,
    And is sweeping her off her feet.

    His smile, his touch, the kindness of his heart,
    The feel of her hand in his.
    She wants so badly to believe this is real,
    Not a fear-filled impossible labyrinth.

    But is this a fading dream she’s in?
    She’s been hurt and loved in vain.
    Her heart torn in pieces, black and blue,
    Sworn never to love again.

    She’s loving him with most of her heart,
    Right now that’s all she can give.
    Deciding with caution more every day,
    She wants to be with him…

    ©E.D. Allee
    April, 2014

  2. dextrousdigits

    Day 4
    I could begin now with that poem for day 3 born,
    but its late and I need to go to work
    I could write tomorrow morn

    Day 5
    It’s late and from work exhausted
    my brain and body need a break
    perhaps I can be poetic after I’ve rested

    Day 6
    I’m on a roll
    keeping up with the daily poems
    No time to backward scroll
    #3 will have to wait for the addendums

    The days roll by only 3 more including today
    each day needs a poem representative
    it is the perfect time to pick up the third day
    and stop being tentative.

  3. clarior

    Something to Consider
    ⠀⠀Let’s talk. By webcam tonight would do fine, after work
    ⠀⠀and your usual stop on the way home. Take care of you first.
    ⠀⠀I have a request. For one thing, I know how nothing’s changed
    ⠀⠀on sticking it out there expecting to keep Mister R restrained.
    ⠀⠀I was thinking, how maybe it’s time for us to make the move
    ⠀⠀you had wanted me to make before, only this time for good.
    ⠀⠀That one’s Maggie’s idea, or you could say the idea’s mine
    ⠀⠀and Maggie said how it was fine, how it’d be for our good.
    ⠀⠀The baby’s well, should be coming home earlier than thought
    ⠀⠀which is when we get to hold the little life for which she’d fought
    ⠀⠀so desperately, knowing all along what was never to’ve been
    ⠀⠀mistaken for the saving grace to her most original sin.
    ⠀⠀David seems to be holding up well. He’s been through hell.
    ⠀⠀He still keeps waiting for her. He’s so damned alone.
    ⠀⠀So what do you want me to promise, that it’ll somehow work out?
    ⠀⠀You know as well as I how you and I aren’t accepted down south
    ⠀⠀like we have it up there. We knew that going in, how some remain
    ⠀⠀set in their ways. That didn’t stop us then. Why would it again?
    ⠀⠀I was thinking, how maybe we could help out caring for the child
    ⠀⠀as if she were still here. Yes, David’s right here. He says good.
    ⠀⠀It was Maggie’s idea, or you could say the idea was mine
    ⠀⠀and Maggie said how it was fine, how it’d be for our good.

  4. bookworm0341

    “Pensive Priss”

    Bags clutched tight.
    Hands white as her face.
    Perfect outfit to go with pursed lips.

    A voice overhead mumbles.
    Outstretched hand.
    Exchange of words and a ticket.
    Miss Priss, cautious as a cat, boards the plane.

  5. Sharon


    Step up, but do not jump
    Elsewise you’ll end up on your rump
    A cautious step will get you over the hump
    Don’t rush! Don’t be a chump!
    A tentative toe will avoid a lump.

    One step forward and two steps back,
    Don’t rush or you’ll get off the track.
    Don’t let your brain get out of whack,
    Tentative thinking keeps you from being a hack,
    Makes it for certain you’ll lead the pack.

    Every carefully determined thought
    Makes sure you do just what you aught
    So none of your plans come to naught.
    Boring you, say this battle you’ve fought?
    Tentative sinks, yet in its web I am caught!

  6. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    “Life always harder near the Summit.” — fortune cookie

    Our relationship is tentative,
    blood ties, anemic at best.
    You seem focused more on
    possessions and status
    than your own daughters,
    but I love you anyway so
    forgiveness is easy,
    though wish you could
    return the favor.

    Your love,
    at times provisional
    and tenuous as a rhino,
    you still prefer gathering
    prophecies and luck
    old school,
    tea leaves & cookies.

    And though I
    have made cautious inroads
    in this life together,
    your sanctions still remain
    too high a price to be left
    mothering this poem

    © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  7. Glory

    DAY 3

    You stood beside the W – Z bookcase,
    I could see you musing over your choice,
    I looked for some kind of recognition
    but no, oblivious to my smile, when
    you eyes met mine you turned away hesitant,
    unsure, my face not one you remembered.

  8. tunesmiff


    I take one step toward you, Baby,
    Seems to me you take two steps back.
    I take one step toward you, Baby,
    Seems to me you take two steps back.
    It’s like we’re standing on the platform,
    And you keep looking down the track.

    After all we’ve done together,
    How can you say that you don’t know?
    After all we’ve done together,
    How can you say that you don’t know?
    What is it about me?
    Can’t you let your feelings show?

    Won’t you tell me, Darlin’,
    Tell me what I need to do?
    Won’t you tell me Darlin’,
    Tell me what I need to do?
    Tell me what it’s gonna take,
    For me to finally win over you.

    I take one step toward you, Baby,
    Seems to me you take two steps back;
    I take one step toward you, Baby,
    Seems to me you take two steps back.
    It’s like we’re standing on the platform,
    And you keep looking down the track.

  9. Beth Rodgers

    It’s ridiculous how words
    Can form meanings
    That incite ridicule.

    How supervision
    Can lack vision
    And logic
    Can be illogical.

    There are far too many who
    Revile vile and
    Respect disrespect
    Which instills fear
    Rather than the likelihood to lend an ear.

    It’s discouraging that the courage needed
    To regard yourself as strong is guarded against
    By words of hatred – so we must tread lightly
    And manipulate these wrongs before it’s too late.

  10. k weber

    I stand back

    I’m living by the millisecond
    Because I don’t want another
    Hello or goodbye
    Or another love to hate
    And I can’t bear losing
    Or winning the climb
    To fall down from the top
    And you reject me
    But you embrace me
    I see how your thickness
    Has worn thin

    – k weber

  11. Rain200

    *No Words*

    A poem ticked in
    My heart last night
    And it began with

    A delicate word kissed my
    Dreams last night and it rhymed with

    A soothing memory of when your arms
    Folded around me could not compare with

    A coat of pain wrapped me in my
    Sleep kept me warm with cold shoulders
    That left me with

    A poem ticking in
    My heart.

  12. drwasy


    Calm only pervades
    when I sleep
    if I sleep
    the deep blue forgiving

    My floors littered
    with robins’ eggs,
    shells translucent: inside each shell
    a heart beats, valves pump
    the thin nectar of life.

    Days pass this way
    treading time: every step
    a tragedy.

  13. Jezzie

    Tentatively speaking

    it is plain.
    I really think
    I am on the brink
    of a brand new romance.
    Shall I take a second chance?
    Or will I soon be shedding tears
    when it all goes pear-shaped over years?
    But if nothing ventured, there’ll be no gain,
    or maybe I’ll just end up alone again.

    (This poem is designed to appear slightly pear-shaped when centre aligned)

  14. finallyhereiam

    A tentative poem (tentative: cautious, hesitant, unsure)
    speak up

    There, they danced upon the tip of the child’s tongue
    In his eyes, his manner and his countenance;
    He hopped and hoped, and ran to his Father
    Unsure, reserved, should he say it, or rather,
    Go unnoticed before his other siblings,
    And continue to bear the brunt of their wrong doings;
    In circles he ran, unsure of his stance
    The Father looked at his son, askance
    In circles he ran, flailing his tiny arms
    That mouth he opened but for a tad bit,
    His Father said, “Ho son, what the matter is?”
    He uttered a wild tune and flashed his smile,
    His Father knew his son chose to beguile
    And they still dance upon the tip of his tongue,
    Those words unsaid, that deed undone

  15. Mel Lewis

    This Afterthought

    This afterthought –
    an aftershock to me,
    not he,
    the argument that he is.

    Had I these words
    when last words were my claim,
    I would not have relinquished
    to his last laugh.

    I would have offered
    more than the dull scratchings
    of my scant retort,

    and he would have choked
    on my great thunder.

    But my reformed reply,
    assembled too late
    to close harsh on sibling discord,
    now sits dark in my pocket –
    to be unleashed
    at our next meet
    and his first pause.

  16. vsbryant1

    Five days til’ the month
    Five days til the month
    I wear my ring as my badge
    The future is unclear but I’m grateful that you’re near
    Tomorrow holds no promises, but I’m glad I walk this path beside you
    Fear sometimes grip me, but never paralyze for you my feet.
    Fear scares me, but never consumes me, for your arms are always on me, protecting and guiding me.

  17. Linda Voit

    Could we talk?

    above comfort of the predictable
    one big toe extends
    mid-air by force of the foot
    above solid ground
    polish smudged
    the other four curl
    down tight
    nails forward
    this could go anywhere

  18. finallyhereiam

    April 3 2013
    A tentative poem
    speak up
    There, they danced upon the tip of the child’s tongue
    In his eyes, his manner and his countenance;
    He hopped and hoped, and ran to his Father
    Unsure, reserved, should he say it, or rather,
    Go unnoticed before his other siblings,
    And continue to bear the brunt of their wrong doings;
    In circles he ran, unsure of his stance
    The Father looked at his son, askance
    In circles he ran, flailing his tiny arms
    That mouth he opened but for a tad bit,
    His Father said, “Ho son, what the matter is?”
    He uttered a wild tune and flashed his smile,
    His Father knew his son chose to beguile
    And they still dance upon the tip of his tongue,
    Those words unsaid, that deed undone

  19. burrhead

    Faith (or lack of it)

    I want to board the train
    The car you ride is near
    You tilt your face down
    And your eyes smile up and to the side
    Green side-eyes
    I fear the destination

    You are close enough to sit with
    But the train is moving
    As it does every desperate night
    Away from me
    Because I am afraid
    You are leaving

  20. PSC in CT


    Her attention to detail too intent, (in-
    tense), she treads on eggshells – construing,
    inferring, interpolating;
    (extrapolating in BOLD typeface
    their Honey Script Light font)
    decrypting accusations
    in soft spoken suggestions.

    She’s reading (chapters) betwixt the lines,
    (paragraphs) in the spaces between words, all the while
    (sensing “sink or swim”) she’s casting about
    aiming to conjure calm, but floundering;
    her dissembling debatable – composure belied,
    betrayed yet again, by the flutter
    of her hummingbird heart.

  21. Perfect Landing


    When the distance is only inches
    But a decision is never made
    It may as well be miles instead
    For all the choices weighed.

    The space between a longing touch
    Whether hug or kiss
    That never turned to fond embrace
    Is rarely a near miss.

    The heat of hesitation and
    The clammy hand of doubt,
    These keep a mind from trying and
    Curb hearts from growing stout.

    “I will” turns into “should I” while
    “I want” limps toward “I wish”
    And all the best intentions sworn
    Succumb to seeming foolish.

    A finger hovers just above
    A plastic mouse at rest
    As pride, once swelled, is quelled instead
    Never minding a mind did best.

    Or minding that it did its best
    But not quite good enough.
    It doesn’t matter how good the work
    When the goal seems so far off.

    The finger stalls when it should send
    That poem in to peers.
    A brazen kiss imagined once
    Now seems a lesser fear.

  22. Carl

    Here is a late entry for Day 3:

    Lightly, Not Trespassing

    Her ego, too large, but perhaps not,
    might it be a sensitive soul,
    needing defense, causing compassion,
    and I’ve fallen in, or have I?

    She talks of her fans. They love
    her, cause her to be reticent in shar-
    ing, about how close they get to her,
    and I want to be one, a fan, close to her.

    More of her takes me into deep, warm
    areas, and I must hold back, not tell
    her any truth about my desires, so I
    watch her, shiver, downed by longing.

  23. bxpoetlover

    Open Mic?

    A teacher told me when you don’t know what to write
    Choose one word and write it repeatedly until the block is broken.

    Word word word word word word word word
    Word word word word word word world world

    In a world of foot-stomping, finger-snapping, third-eye seeing spoken word
    I seek a home for my poems.
    They are like
    alto tones of a flute
    slow licks down the spine
    any one of the seven oceans.

    Since the only way to know
    if my voice will drown
    is to march
    towards the cacophony.

  24. mariaphoenix

    Slab Cabin Run
    What’s next?
    Jump on and slide down.
    What if I tumble off the sled?
    That’s the point.
    Looking around at the tiny adrenaline junkies no taller than my knee hurling themselves down the hill on flimsy bright colored plastic disks squealing filling the valley with their winter elation.
    Just slide already!
    I tremble as I sit on my tiny red disk.
    Just slide already!
    A sharp shove from behind and I am wailing down the hill, filling with wind-joy rushing into my stomach and back out of my lungs in the form of HOLY SHITS and OH MY GODS.
    My disk catches a bump on a rock and I am thrust into the air and back down onto hard milk-white snow.
    Like a pile of broken tickle-me-Elmos the victims of Slab Cabin lay holding sore arms and legs, but laughing nonetheless.
    I lay among them wanting to slide down again.

  25. Feary


    It creeps out hesitantly,
    inching it’s way over the green grass,
    Starting off with just a few flakes.
    But as it becomes more accustomed
    to this bright land,
    It leaps in joy,
    And falls down steadily,
    Quickly covering the once green
    To pure white.

  26. foodpoet

    Hold that thought

    When all is broken
    hold that thought

    piece together
    The remnants of an unused

    When the day brews in the dark
    I hold on to nothing and cannot

  27. vxl

    Hold That For A Moment

    Hold that for a moment.
    Let the weight sink in
    and swirl the drain.
    I want to leave you thinking
    about how people look at me, children’s toys
    groceries, tabloids,
    and stain remover.
    Just hold that for a moment.
    I am sick enough to obtain.
    To take in. Your eyes
    never blinking
    take me in.
    Not without love
    they take me in
    and hold me for a moment.

  28. Nikki Markle

    “By Moonlight”

    We’re all mysterious
    By moonlight, so hush
    Now and sleep so I can
    Watch you.

    I love the way your eyelashes
    Flutter against your cheek,
    Eyes dancing behind eyelids
    Caked in mocha shadow and the
    Smeared eyeliner you
    Forgot to wash off again.

    I’d like to think that you’re
    Dreaming of me, but you don’t
    Even know I’m here.

  29. Nikki Markle


    I’ll add it to the tally of
    Things to do someday,
    Scratch it at the bottom of a
    List that stretches like adding

    Machine tape as far as the
    Eye can see – up one
    Hill and down the other. A
    Great Wall of China (certainly
    On the list somewhere, probably
    Somewhere after “learn to tie shoes” but
    Before “age gracefully”) of somedays.

    So if you’d like to wish me well,
    Wish me a life long enough to live my list. 

  30. lionmother


    She wants to read the word
    sees the letters and
    recognizes their sounds
    She starts moving her
    mouth still unsure of the
    letters as she circles from
    the various beginnings

    Her voice is silent as she
    searches the word and then
    her head looks up to me
    as she starts to say the
    string of letters that so
    stump her

    She starts softly with a
    false start on the wrong sound
    then gradually she finds the
    sounds and they spring from
    her mouth in a whisper.

    Did she say it right?
    She looks over to me as if
    I were the answer she seeks
    and I smile at her attempt
    We say the word together
    and there is triumph in her voice
    as she masters the three letters.

  31. EbenAt

    Quite Possibly

    We’ll be fine
    but then…

    All wounds heal in time
    if you’ve got it
    to spare.

    Things work out
    When they don’t.

    really is
    as it does.

    And hope
    Ah, Hope;
    that’s a poor formula
    for success.

  32. Penpal57

    Day 3’s Tentative

    Looking into the room
    I wonder, should I go in?
    So many people,
    would I fit in?
    Gingerly I walk through
    the doorway and into the crowd.
    Do I fit in?
    No I just blend in,
    no one knows I’m there.
    I’m invisible again.

  33. bluerabbit47


    It’s the first film
    our fathers took,
    fiddling with the
    unfamiliar controls
    of the camera,
    with unaccustomed
    excitement, knowing
    that there would
    only be one chance,
    without clumsy
    reenactment, to catch
    the mythic occasion,
    as we, clinging
    for dear life, to our
    mother’s forefingers,
    stretch our unsteady
    legs and, tentative,
    let go.

  34. Nancy Posey

    Hold That Line

    the cheerleaders chant over and over,
    inciting the fans in the stands to near riot,
    expecting boys of sixteen, seventeen,
    suited up and padded, helmets aimed
    toward the visiting team, to guard
    the scrimmage line, that shifting border
    between us and them. The taunt
    echoes like that long ago jeering chant,
    Red Rover, Red Rover! Intended
    to make them muster their courage,
    somehow it only built their dread,
    knowing the bone-jarring impact,
    like the running aimed at tender wrists
    heading for the weakest link.

  35. Jackie Casey

    “Hold that Beat!”

    Now, Pyrrhic foot: twice introduced or shown;
    a trick some poets use to gain an edge.
    Some ‘pose it , though it’s mostly unbeknown
    to them whose innocence be privileged.

    The dainty line, where Shakespeare said we must
    speak, trippingly, upon the wanton tongue.
    So now my foot is firmly, simply thrust:
    Oh, Magic! where the word’s so often hung.

    Once entered, please allow the tempo’s time:
    allow it, love; once in a spin you’re in.
    It’s sure, the sound of poetry’s near rhyme
    will cast you in the beat fore you begin.

    Oh, lovely is the pyrrhic foot: well-kept;
    So long as in the voice it has not slept!

  36. PuffofSmokePoems

    Thursday’s Tentative Elephants

    First, one elephant
    climbs on top of
    the yellow Volkswagen.
    Worried about his weight
    and the clash of color,
    yellow car, purple toenail polish,
    he finds his precarious balance.
    Then, one by one, from the long line
    in the quiet street,
    each new elephant
    clambers up
    till there’s a tower
    of elephants
    on that car—-
    Graceful or
    On Tiptoes,
    Awkward, or Humming,
    each thinking their own thoughts—-
    One multiplies fractions in his head,
    another plans her European vacation.
    The last elephant in line is basking in nostalgia,
    remembering the old lion tamer
    with his shabby mustache and his
    pet monkey who hated all elephants.
    And only the first elephant,
    the one at the juncture
    of yellow car and
    gray bristled skin,
    only he is Tentative
    about this whole Arrangement.
    And, honestly,
    I can see why.

  37. PhantomPhan1881

    A Tentative Quatern
    I’ve been balancing on the edge,
    but has the time come to choose sides?
    Little things push me one way, but
    then something else happens, pulling

    me back. My friends are doing it while
    I’ve been balancing on the edge,
    enjoying my freedoms, the lack
    of responsibility while

    I use other goals to drown out
    the ticking of biology.
    I’ve been balancing on the edge.
    The cuteness draws me in, the chance

    to mold a better me, but then
    I hear a cry or horror
    story of parenthood and I’m
    back to balancing on the edge.

  38. Chimnese


    Unfortunately a world filled with unknowing
    Things that is upon the realms of each person
    Trudging through life
    Yet not knowing how to get through the current storm

    As we are facing life with a lot of unexpectancy
    I know some are longing to know yet tentative
    At the same time not knowing
    How to ask there lover, there friends
    The impossible question.

    How do you see me?
    As a tentative grown up always trudging
    Through life dreaming of yesteryears
    Are a matured individual with a complexity

    That sometimes the answers we tentatively
    Seek somewhere else are given for us already.
    Because through great knowing that unknowing
    Can become a great experience in just by being expectant.

  39. pabeyer

    The Cactus League

    The dirt from the mound
    hasn’t yet dusted the blue cleats
    tied on the green splintered bench
    The Arizona sky looks like a missed steal
    sign with each long breath
    each bobble, slip and slide
    and the rookie’s stomach turns
    like a pivot at second the first time he hears
    “Let’s see what the kid’s got.”

  40. tonijoell


    She grips the diving board with her toes,
    knuckles white, sun-pinched cheeks, chlorine green hair
    and a pooched 12-year old one-piece belly poised above the water;
    arms outstretched, hands overlapping:
    “You can do it! Just fall forward, pumpkin,” he shouts.
    In her mind’s eye she just keeps falling
    until her head cracks open like a ripe melon
    and a thousand tiny sharks file out of the pool filter
    drawn by the scent of her blood
    ‘til every bone’s picked clean.
    “Piece of cake,” he says.
    “I’m not that sweet,” she grumbles,
    but she still bends her knees,
    still bounces,
    still leans farther in
    as her father mimics her actions, dry docked,
    willing her to make it through this time; this is it for sure—
    but that one sun sparkle—
    hey, was that a fin?
    At the last moment
    her arms flail like chicken wings,
    and she springs off into the air against a pale blue sky
    that matches her eyes
    to enter the water feet first
    as her father slowly drops his chin to his chest
    and the un-diving board wobbles, empty and laughing
    above her sputtering mermaid head.

  41. SidraQ

    Tentative…a list poem

    quiver of a bottom lip before first kiss
    night bud of a tulip
    flutter of babies movement in a swelling belly
    my penned hand over a blank page
    leaving the warm space of your lover’s sleeping body
    match to candle wick
    a sigh
    meditating eyes upon ring of the bell
    the memory of that night
    cool cloth on fevered lips
    a sigh
    the last kiss

  42. donnellyk

    We’ll make tentative plans
    for lunch and a chat to catch up
    I’ll try to get away for an hour or so
    we really need to do that I mean it
    I’ll make the time really

    I’m in the weeds but
    if I have the time I’ll get to it
    I know there’s no way around it
    I’m good I’ll deal with it tomorrow
    If you play you pay then where will you be

    you gotta get it while the getting’s hot
    if you want it get it life’s short
    go for it it’s got your name on it
    make hay while the sun shines
    it’s the the early bird that catches the worm

    What do you feel like
    just pick one it doesn’t matter
    it’s six of one half dozen of another
    make up your mind
    I haven’t got all day

    take a shot what have you got to lose
    grab the brass ring don’t let it pass you by
    If not you then who
    hey a chance like this only comes around
    once in a blue moon

    man I’m sorry I’ve been so busy lately
    I’ll call you when I get a chance

  43. Perfect Landing


    When the distance is only inches
    but a decision is never made
    it may as well be miles instead,
    for all the choices weighed.

    The space between a longing touch
    whether hug or kiss
    that never turned to fond embrace
    is rarely a near miss.

    The heat of hesitation,
    the clammy hand of doubt,
    these keep a mind from trying,
    curb hearts from growing stout.

    “I will” turns into “should I”,
    “I want” limps toward “I wish”,
    and all the best intentions sworn
    yield to seeming foolish.

    Tentative is the finger on
    a plastic mouse at rest
    as pride, once swelled, is quelled instead
    never minding a mind did best.

    Or minding that it did its best
    but not quite good enough.
    it doesn’t matter how good the work
    when the goal seems so far off.

    So the finger stalls and does not send
    that poem in to peers.
    a brazen kiss imagined once
    now seems a lesser fear.

  44. Deri

    Death and Taxes and Romance

    There is no surety,
    not in shy glances
    or those first fumbling words
    or the ones that come after.

    Not with diamonds
    or gold bands
    or off-white dresses
    or the vows
    spoken either in
    whispers or shouts.

    Not with the prospect
    of fat babies
    or white picket fences
    or checks with two names
    and pictures of
    cartoon animals
    or lighthouses.

    We’ve overdrawn again.
    Of course we have.
    That we can be sure of.
    Those things that
    punctuate the crystal ball haze.
    Exclamation marks
    in the miasma.

    We could stand
    still wondering
    if there was more.

  45. THEGingerSass

    “American Values”

    You sound like a smart lady, how’d you like to SAVE BIG?!

    “Save Around”– Your LOCAL Discount Savings Book
    i’m lovin’ it
    Central Jersey

    “I’m not sure…”

    This offer is NOT valid with any other
    cordially invited
    Got scissors?
    See ad
    All locations
    Buy One
    special menu items
    Create Your Own
    your guest
    See reverse
    greater value
    America Runs On
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    ONLY $20

    “Ummm… try calling back tomorrow.”

  46. Alphabet Architect

    To Ask or Not to Ask

    The question dangles
    between them-
    warm, sticky air
    holding it there
    unnoticed, ignorable
    to all but the asker
    who isn’t asking
    except in her head.

    Possible scenes play out,
    eager to free
    the hovering question
    wrangling, strangling
    while the asker
    who isn’t asking
    silently poses it a dozen ways

    She wants an answer;
    Or dose she?
    Shivering despite
    the sweltering heat,
    courage wanes
    doubts rise
    and she walks away,
    the question suspended there.

  47. carolecole66

    I Don’t Get It

    I wonder
    how the dark fell so fast
    and what the raccoons think
    high in those oak trees while
    the dog circles underneath.
    I wonder who
    will show up tomorrow
    on the steps of my front porch
    or what I will do tomorrow
    when it rains and I have
    no resources to see me through.
    I wonder how the cat knows exactly when
    to push his nose into my ear and
    when you will call, when you will
    want to see me again, when you
    will want
    I do not understand,
    not for one half second, what causes
    anyone to pace the darkened streets
    or wait outside a convenience store,
    outside those big glass doors, huddled
    against the pavement and spit and
    cigarette butts and when
    will you want to see me,
    when will I finally take a steady
    step forward and know that I
    will not fall?

  48. Amy

    Contents May Be Hot

    I sip on anticipation
    blowing steam from the
    surface to keep my heart
    from getting burned.
    The heat of frenzied
    hope begs to scorch
    in proclamation but
    I will delay its
    fire, satisfied to
    warm my fingertips
    in the interim.

  49. deringer1


    I’ve tried so hard but I’m just not sure
    I can write a poem at all today.
    I’m so afraid it will be a bore,
    and I’m not so good at this anyway.

    The other poets that fill this page
    can ramble on with poems long
    while all that seems to come into my head
    are some lines from my favorite song.

    I suppose I should think just a little while longer.
    I’m not sure I’ll give up on this yet.
    I’m trying to decide if I’ll send it on out there
    but it’s under consideration. You bet !

  50. Dan Collins

    Tentative Promise

    Roald Amundsen when

    he crossed the fjord and left

    his town, his school, his kin,

    it was to chase the dream

    he’d had since he was ten.

    Roald Amundsen when

    he broke his sacred vow

    he thought it not a sin.

    He knew she’d understand,

    when told where he had been.

    Roald Amundsen when

    he set out on his quest -

    where Franklin failed he’d win. 

    He’d trek from pole to pole

    commanding valiant men.

    Roald Amundsen when

    the airship crashed on ice

    went out to bring them in;

    but he was lost in fog -

    his mother joined therein.

  51. Anya Padyam

    Maybe Baby
    Life is indeed a maybe,
    Provisional events, at best.
    Squinted deals made with,
    The unseen higher power.

    Arguably agreed is the case,
    When daily events, give a licking,
    Hard to march on, with definiteness,
    When faltering are the steps.

    Perhaps and possibly are
    Oft recurring expressions,
    Uncertainty, being the only surety,
    We are in for a rough ride!

  52. Benjamin Thomas

    Set Sail

    Let us set sail at once

    and conquer the world at sea

    take no prisoner

    tame every wave

    boldly set our people free

    Go as far as east will go

    fearlessly venture

    to and fro

    Let us scale the northern seas

    plummet the depths of the southern domain

    let us scour the face of all the Earth

    may our presence, kingdom, dominion remain

    As soon as the wind comes upon our sails

    our glorious journey will soon begin

    Anyone happen to check the weather report

    before we left?

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      Benjamin . . . I think we blew in the same direction today! I enjoyed your poetic sail and the feeling to your poem. Thank you for your kind comment! The wind had us in its grasp . . . so to speak! Sail on! :)

  53. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Waiting for the Wind

    Concrete plans,
    Become solid,
    Edging their way into reality,
    Like some cement pillar,
    Set on a heavy highway.
    Flexibility not their strength,
    Bending, shifting, evolving,
    Not allowed,
    Given their nature!
    If new growth comes at all,
    It will be whipped up through sheer will,
    Pushed and driven,
    Most determined,
    Not to be deterred,
    Until the immoveable object,
    Forced to release its strong hold,
    Breaks apart,
    Blown wide open,
    Finally destroyed,
    Never to solidify again,
    Malleable through brunt opposition,
    Shaped by the continual . . .

    Winds of change.

  54. BDP

    “The Indecisive Drake”

    You know? You have a shy male charm.
    Though vacillation’s frustrating,
    might do your hen a bit of harm.
    To wit, you waddle on the lane

    where vacillation’s frustrating
    to her (at least to me). You halt,
    she halts, then pecks your green-capped brain.
    A car speeds down, and by default

    you do your hen no end of harm
    just staring—fly! Honest to Pete,
    use your two wings! She heeds alarm,
    you stay and bumble with your feet.

    To wit, you waddle on the lane
    as engine idles. Shake a leg!
    What charm? You stroll and strut—so vain!
    She glides onto her nest of eggs.

    B Peters

    PS If anyone’s wondering, this form is a retourne.

  55. LouiseBilborough

    Ten tiny toes digging into sand
    Pugdy little thighs braced and bowed
    Breezes whispers, tickles her neck.
    The sea’s roar seems far too loud.

    Little head bobs, eyes narrow-squint
    Lips pursed, she watches Mum.
    A fat, sticky fist clings to Dad’s
    She’d much prefer if neither swum.

  56. Lindy

    Left Behind

    I’m afraid to go
    into that bright world,
    my senses and I,
    with this broken heart –

    to live in a life
    of love and of joy;
    to let them soak in,
    to let me seep out;

    to smile once again,
    to reach for the sun;
    to hear nature breathe
    as seasons go by:

    To know I’m alive.

    From my storm window,
    it all looks so fun –
    I don’t want to just
    be withered away.

    So slowly, maybe,
    I’ll Just take a peek:
    One hand on the door,
    keep twisting the knob…

  57. Julieann

    Hometown Hero

    Tall, fair-haired, blue eyes
    Captain of the football team

    Military duty
    Proud to be a marine

    Land mines
    Friends dying

    Missing limbs
    Oh, God, their mine

    Back home, rehab
    Anger, frustration

    Parallel bars, walker
    First wobbly steps

  58. LCaramanna

    A single daffodil
    Enticed by April
    Undeterred by snowflakes swirling
    Coaxed by sun shine
    Sweet-talked by whispering wind
    Hesitated but a moment
    Materialized magnificent
    Yellow daffodil
    Heralded spring

  59. keithdozier

    I’ll be OK.
    by: Keith Dozier

    I wish you’d go away–
    Don’t come back,
    I’d want you to stay.

    I want you to leave
    Me alone.
    Yes, that’s it…
    That’s what I want.

    I never want you
    To touch me again–
    Like that… no that…
    I want this to end.

    I want to bid you adieu
    Take a break from love
    And cut my losses too.

    I’m sure that I can’t,
    Love you anymore–
    Than I do right now–
    This very moment
    What a powerful feeling,
    I just cannot own it.

    I will fall, I’ll fall, I’ll fall
    Won’t I ?
    Would I be ok ?
    If I fell real hard ?
    I don’t think so.
    Not in my cards.

    I’ll be better,
    When you get out.
    Now go quickly,
    Stop milling about.

    I’m gonna be fine.
    I won’t even fight.
    I’m gonna be ok
    If you leave, right ?

  60. omavi


    Looking but not really looking
    Feeling with really feeling
    Words perfectly formed full of warmth
    Stuck not on the tip of tongue
    Still trapped in the depths of thought
    Wanting but not ready
    Maybe not willing for success or loss
    Maybe a step would unblock this thought

  61. maggzee

    Summertime. A ditty.

    Look at him all bronzed and bold
    Those muscles in that tee
    The day is hot but her feet are cold
    I want him but, oh does he want me?

    His mighty wristwatch glints in the sun
    He laughs as the gulls wheel and scream
    Everything shifts, becomes tangled, undone
    Is it nothing or the something she dreams?

    On the boardwalk in the sand
    She thrills and turns as he takes her hand
    Takes her hand, glory
    Takes her hand

    Mystery man, aglow on the beach
    She tries to look away
    Too close, too soon, too easy to reach
    Can’t run, can’t stumble, can’t stay

    But then he turns and smiles so sweetly
    She can only look up to his eyes
    To be taken so completely
    So uncertain, so surprised

    On the boardwalk in the sand
    She thrills and turns and takes his hand
    Takes his hand, glory glory
    Takes his hand

    A heated romance, self contained
    A heart unbroken, forever stained

  62. Dini

    Fellow poets, I have loved all your submissions to this prompt, and that’s NOT a tentative comment! I’ve been with the art guild all day, hence my submission.

    Wonder if I should add more green?
    Or maybe it begs for ultramarine?
    Perhaps some dark to tone this down?
    Is it true that branches are not always brown?
    Does my painting reveal its source of light?
    Is there a way to make this more bright?

    “Oh, quit that vacillating, Draper!
    After all – it’s just a piece of paper!”

  63. RASlater

    Don’t Wait Too Long
    By: R. A. Slater

    My finger hovers over the mouse
    I hesitate and think
    What will the reaction be
    To the question I am sending
    Will he laugh and say no?
    Maybe he will send a ‘yes’ instead?
    What if he doesn’t reply at all?
    The longer I wait
    The more I hesitate
    Out of fear of the unknown
    But if I don’t hit send
    I will never know

  64. catlover

    I live in Minnesota
    A state with mixed feelings
    At times the clouds cry out
    At times the wind screams at the trees
    My least favorite are the times
    The clouds cry tears so cold that the sandman comes early
    So he can get home before the dark
    And there is a hush across the plains
    As we wait ’til the sun says its time
    To come out of hiding and let our feet breathe in
    The fresh spring air

  65. Raina Masters

    A skeptical housewife ponders her next move

    The broken flower sits in a shot
    glass on the windowsill facing
    the backyard. It is hesitant to
    drink. It is refusing to open,
    to release its scent to me.
    I can see wrinkles forming on
    the petals. I fear it will soon
    pay for being stubborn. I fish
    for a mixing bowl in a cluttered
    cabinet, watch a pitcher tumble
    to the floor, see a colander graze
    my leg and begin to wonder if baking
    will lead to a concussion, leave me
    to be found the next morning in rigor,
    covered in cake batter and clutching
    a spoon. I turn off the oven.

  66. De Jackson

    Pencil Me In

    Sketch loose
    my limbs,
    bent and broken,
    hope unspoken and shard
    of phrase.

    my skin,
    bruised and battered,
    bartered song and stilted

    Spill my heart
    and make me true.

    These hesitant hands
    are hungry, too.


  67. Chris7BA

    Goes Begging

    The desire sits in his heart
    As he sees this beauty before him
    Before the words form in his head
    His pulse quickens
    And his palms sweat
    And his throat goes dry
    She’s still smiling
    Still awaiting his request
    But he loses his nerve
    He deflects and misdirects
    And her hope dissipates
    As she sees the desire still on his face
    That fateful moment goes begging
    As opportunity looks for a different door

  68. Lynn Burton

    Pants on Fire

    Tentative truths pass through your lips
    a heavy shift in silence follows

    your eyes

    always give you away

    bending your fragile tale

    under heavy scrutiny
    your cheeks

    flush crimson

    and I watch

    your nose


  69. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    It’s not like you can
    admit to feeling any
    surprise, not now.


    The only reason we
    survived this long
    was your infinite
    patience, or maybe
    my irreverent fear
    of divorce.

    You know?

    I know I said things
    that hurt, but you
    knew to expect that
    from me after so long.


    We’ll be better off
    separate, as in apart
    from one another, in
    a permanent sort of

    You know?

  70. HandHeldWriter

    With pen in hand,
    And paper upon the table.
    I am to write this poem,
    If at all able.

    A tentative poem is the prompt,
    Do I even really know what that means?
    I believe I’m quite stumped,
    At least that’s how it seems.

    Where is my motivation?
    Where is the inspiration at?
    Ugh, I need to just write something,
    Even if it comes out like crap.

    No, no… I can’t,
    I just can’t do that.
    Quality is important,
    And poetry is where my heart is at.

    I can write about books,
    And how they send me into euphoria.
    But what’s that got to do with tentative?
    I have no idea.

    I could write about writing,
    Is that too redundant?
    Yoohoo… Hello…
    Can we get back to the topic?

    Have I lost my creativity?
    Why do I feel so uncertain?
    I just look forward to tomorrow,
    So today’s challenge won’t be a burden.

    I look upon the horizon,
    And what dost thou to mine eyes perceive?
    OMG, why the hell am I talking like that?
    This is not Shakespearean poetry.

    Get a hold of yourself,
    It’s not that bad.
    Let’s just start over,
    With a new page on my legal pad.

    Ignore the crumpled ideas,
    That lay in a pile to the side.
    Take a deep breath and relax,
    And just clear your mind.

    With pen in hand,
    And paper upon the table.
    I am to write this poem,
    If at all able.

  71. RJ Clarken

    Iffy Words

    “I’m cautious about a lot of words. ~James Hillman

    About some words, I’ll tread with care.
    I’ll ask myself, ‘So, would I dare?’
    Because, it’s true, some words can bare
    one’s soul out in the open air.

    So, I’ll tread gently, I declare.
    Those iffy words can haunt and scare.
    I’ll ask myself, ‘So, would I dare?’
    About some words, I’ll tread with care.

    No cautious wit was old Voltaire.
    The same was true, re Moliere.
    ‘Though Shakespeare’s Hamlet dithered, there
    was reason. Still. To keep things square
    about some words, I’ll tread with care.


  72. elishevasmom


    It is something you have
    always wanted to do.

    But have never quite had
    the time, or the money, or the…

    And one day, the possibility
    comes up and introduces

    itself. At first you look around
    thinking that it must surely

    be speaking to someone else.
    When you realize that you

    are the target of its attention,
    you blush a little, shuffle

    your feet, and admit with
    more than a little bit of

    trepidation that this meeting
    is an answer to the wish of a lifetime.

    After completing the necessary
    training, you are finally ready.

    Your expectations are rising, and
    the tension is mounting in tandem.

    As you reach the summit of
    your journey, you look about

    and are overtaken by a brief
    wave of vertigo. Then, you

    tentatively reach out for your
    virgin solo flight.

    When your parachute opens,
    all that remains is for you

    to feel free, and fearless
    and so totally alive,

    that you wonder how it is
    you never did this sooner?

    Ellen Knight 4.3.13
    write a tentative poem

  73. missjoyce

    Are revisions allowed? Because I think this haiku is better than my original post. What do you think? :-)

    For Now

    “I love you,” he said.
    Whispering a gentle breeze.
    I start to wake up.

  74. Madeleine Begun Kane

    I really don’t want to commit.
    I’m afraid I won’t like what I’ve writ.
    At my keyboard I stall,
    Wishing I had the gall
    To write fiction that’s jam-packed with wit.

    I write lim’ricks awake or asleep.
    My essays are funny — not deep.
    But I’m afraid to write tales
    Causing laughter — NOT wails —
    Filled with humor, so readers won’t weep.

    Madeleine Begun Kane

  75. Miss R.

    ~ The Goats ~

    The goats cringe.
    They always did, you know,
    Waiting to see
    If it would be
    Worth their while to lend a hoof.
    They hesitated
    While Opportunity looked over its shoulder at them
    Love did not propel them;
    No gain compelled them;
    They stood by, hesitant.
    They’re standing by
    That darkness now,
    You know, hesitating,
    And who on earth could blame them?

  76. taylor graham


    Three men in a tent
    pitched on a frozen lake, waiting
    to be rescued; sharing scant
    survival rations from their packs.
    Granola. Jerky. Practically
    strangers, they never expected
    to spend the night together
    here, a hundred miles from home.
    Not knowing if anyone
    would find them in the morning,
    or the day after; would even
    know where to start looking.
    One rummaged in his pack,
    pulled out a pair of socks; put them
    on his hands like mittens,
    like sock-puppets. Made them
    speak the tale of three strangers
    stuck in a tent on a frozen
    lake, believing they
    might someday be found.

  77. Sara McNulty

    Life, Tentative

    Many homes are stones
    that skip by for a short time,
    then roll along to a different dwelling.

    Many people assume a persona,
    slipping on adornments, using
    quirky lingo–then change abruptly.

    Every person has place card reminders
    in their here-and now heads.
    Make a life, but know it is tentative.

    Poetic Asides April Challenge – Day 3
    Write a tentative poem

  78. Catherine Lee

    Empty Desk
    (for those who understand what it is to pick up the pencil after putting it down)

    Once, I loved the feel of a pencil in my hand,
    how it coaxed callouses like wrinkles
    following lines of old laughter,
    how every Tin Man i who ever
    wished for a heart, got one.

    Those days were replaced by erasers
    earnest to remove every mistake,
    but letters and words leave impressions
    on the page even after the black
    is rubbed away.

    Now the pencil is too sharp.
    It accuses me with points straight
    as gallows raised in rows of perfection.
    They watch me with the beady eyes
    of dolls left too long in the package–
    never to hold, never to play–
    only collected.

  79. Trudy Varcianna

    Should I?
    Should I help him?
    I think he needs help
    He’s lying there
    Saliva dripping from the corner of his mouth
    I should help him
    But maybe . . .
    Maybe someone already did
    Maybe help is on the way
    Maybe he’s waiting
    Maybe he’s ok

  80. Marian O'Brien Paul

    This poem is based on an actual drowning that took place along the western Irish coast when I was living in a cottage near Rossport, a fishing village, in 2002.

    A Sea Shanty, of Sorts

    Why did he come from Latvia?
    Oh why did he come from Latvia?
    Why did he come from Latvia, that boy?

    He came to fish on the fishing boats
    came to fish on the fishing boats
    came to fish on the fishing boats.

    He came to fish on the fishing boats
    that ply the sea on the Irish coast
    that ply the western Irish coast.

    That’s how he came to be washed away
    how he came to be washed away
    washed away in the storm that day.

    You can hear his parents weeping still.
    Can hear his parents weeping still?
    Listen. Hear his parents weeping still.

    When the wind moans deep and long
    and the air is full of a fearful song,
    sure the Lativian sailor is still gone.

    In Lativa his parents far away
    drown themselves in tears still today
    for the boy they lost in the storm that day.

  81. Nancy Posey


    While driving, she feels them come to her,
    some subtle, tentative, others brash and bold,
    these pieces of a poem enjambing themselves
    in the part of her mind not occupied by turns
    and road signs. The word espaliered arrives
    without explanation, demanding to join
    the verse. As she crossing a small creek,
    she sees a lone heron cross her path,
    gracefully awkward in its light, always
    alone, she notes, but then at the next bridge,
    another heron flies over. Or is this the same,
    some natural déjà vu? The shredded tires
    litter the shoulders like carrion, but then
    she spies a broken-winged fowl—a hawk
    or an eagle—lying in the median shredded
    like an old tire. She chants the words,
    memorizes the images, wondering aloud
    if they’ll last until she reaches home.
    She considers pulling off the highway,
    digging through her bag for pen and paper,
    jotting down just enough to force recall
    then chooses to trust her muse to stay put,
    riding shotgun, silently pointing to this
    and that, trusting her to see the import.

  82. cam45237

    Is Lost

    What happens
    To he who hesitates?
    I’ve heard of him before,
    But I can’t recall the cost
    Of his hesitation.
    I know there was a cost,
    Some dire consequence to his inaction.
    How heavy was that price?
    What quantity of silver coins?
    Tumbled from the torn seam of his pocket
    When he failed to act?

    Why did he hesitate?
    Was there some greater purpose to his delay
    That validated his slow motion response?
    Or a fear perhaps?
    Would he bring shame upon his house
    With this ill –considered alacrity?
    Would he condemn an innocent man
    In some sudden rush to judgement?
    Or would he miss the moment
    When the wine has found its perfect age
    And be left
    Sipping vinegar?

    Dire I know, dire
    The effect of his inertia
    But the outcome, oh the outcome
    If he took a forward step
    Still so uncertain
    And it scares me to be wrong and risk
    An indeterminate fate

    Better to procrastinate.

  83. Alpha1

    Dear Rev

    It was never really clear
    whether we were your children
    or not
    or did you not just father us
    for reasons unknown
    to you
    who never wrote back to us
    to say nothin but no i aint got no money
    or well when your mother left
    she took away your rights
    to fatherly love
    all the while from the pulpit
    down south
    we heard up north
    how eloquently you spoke
    of brotherly love
    and lovin your neighbor
    as yourself
    so even though we loved you
    dearly Rev
    you clearly left us confused
    as to who you were
    to us

  84. De Jackson

    Why Waffle?

    Just do it, if the (Nike) shoe fits.
    It’s plain as day, from where I sits.
    No kvetching,
    or pitching a tent
    -ative fit.

    Don’t hedge your bets,
    just quiet those qualms.
    Calm your itchy fingers
    and sweaty palms.

    Take a leap of faith,
    like the doctor ordered.
    Cold feet?
    Buy socks,
    and put your best one forward.

    Are you gun shy? Shoot!
    C’mon, Honey, that’s nothin’.
    Let those old doubts out,
    and then beat out their stuffin’.

    No hemming or hawing
    (or humming or hiding).
    No second thoughts, or
    first impressions dividing.

    Don’t fret, my pet.
    No more stopping or stewing.
    Let’s dig in, and begin.
    Wait…what were we doing?


  85. JRSimmang

    You told me to call you.
    So I did.
    And the phone rang and rang
    and rang.
    No voicemail?
    I thought that came standard on every
    I bet it was awkward at Wallgreens
    when you saw me coming up the candy aisle.
    I was there for popcorn.
    What were you there for?
    Were you there to tell me we’d grab a drink
    or two and commiserate over a pint of
    lost conversation and stare into each
    others’ eyes until they watered?
    You grabbed your bag of chips
    and never promised to anything.
    Perhaps I’m being too dramatic.
    But you… don’t make plans
    if you can’t make them.
    I’m not going to be here for you
    with my open hands and fingers
    wishing you’d fill them with yours.
    I don’t have time for that…
    and neither do you, apparently.
    See you when I see you.

  86. Andrew Kreider

    …this once

    Do you think it might be
    okay this once if I
    asked you out on a date
    like we were young lovers?
    (I know it’s kind of late).

    Do you think it might be
    beautiful by the lake
    at sundown, with a glass
    of pinot soothing us,
    stretched out upon the grass?

    Do you think it might be
    a perfect starlit night
    where we can sit and shut
    our eyes, listening to the
    tree frogs’ song? I do! What

    Do you think? It might be
    your last chance so say YES
    before I lose my nerve
    and bolt, telling myself
    I’m less than you deserve.

  87. Domino

    Whisper Soft

    When I look back to the
    younger version of me,
    I sometimes wonder how
    I got by at all.

    Who was that uncertain,
    shy, whisper soft,
    bewildered girl?

    Who was this stranger
    who didn’t know
    who she was
    or what she wanted
    or how much she could do?

    Who was this person
    who let others walk
    over her and who
    actually listened when they
    told her how to live
    her life?

    The very trials that
    were the torment of that life
    turn out to be
    the very things
    that made me into the
    that I am now.

    How I wish I could
    whisper soft in my own ear
    the encouragement
    I needed
    back then.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  88. ely the eel


    At a certain age,
    it all becomes provisional,
    the big things,
    the small stuff,
    everything contingent on
    the time remaining,
    a simple fact of life.
    It is also true that,
    no matter the years,
    the many or the few,
    we’re all just passing through,
    temporarily positioned between
    two eternities.
    So what is one to do?
    Perhaps boldly experiment with
    one’s uncertain future,
    not fretting about
    tentative schedules,
    tentative arrival times,
    tentative deals,
    tentative release dates,
    or tentative rulings.
    Maybe it is best to
    not stew about outcomes,
    not worry about unfixed uncertainties.
    Better to be as feisty as
    the 80-year old man,
    a bearded hero who
    buys a new hammock
    and two saplings.
    He doesn’t concern himself with
    future change for today’s dollar.

  89. Sally Jadlow

    A Tentative Poem

    I think I’ll have tuna for lunch,
    but I like onions in it.
    What will that do to my breath
    at the dentist’s office?

    Perhaps Potato soup with parsley
    would be better.
    But then, I don’t need the starch
    of potatoes.

    Peanut butter and jelly
    might do,
    but then again,
    it’s so hard to brush away.

    Fish might be nice
    but it’s all frozen.
    Besides the tartar sauce
    has minced onions.

    Cheese and crackers
    sounds good.
    Darn! Someone ate
    the cheese.

    Oh dear. Look at the time.
    I’ll be late if I don’t brush
    and leave now.
    So much for lunch.

  90. De Jackson


    I’m fixin’ to write a poem today,
    If all the verbs will come out and play.
    We’ll write and rhyme and sing and sway.
    Oh, I’m fixin’ to write a poem today.

    I’m fixin’ to just start writin’ away,
    once I give my muse a good poke.
    I’m fixin’ to write a poem today
    if this old keyboard ain’t broke.

    I’m fixin’ to scribble some magic today,
    if these adjectives find they’ve got something to say.
    They’re all kind of shy, and I guess so am I,
    but I’m fixin’ to write a poem today.

    Yep, I’m fixin’ to write a poem today.
    Have you got a pen I can borrow?
    I’m fixin’ to write a po
    -ummm, today?
    …Maybe I’ll start tomorrow.


  91. Larry

    Can we meet today? Or perhaps we can schedule it for tomorrow?
    Maybe we can set a tentative date for yesterday.
    Perhaps we can meet next week. Or maybe even the third Monday of next year.
    Tentatively I am open to any time as long as we can set up a date.
    All I know is I have to see you soon, Tentatively!

  92. vxl

    Tentative Fate

    Together they would come to know the cause.
    Resolved as they were in their affection
    To be a love greater than any laws.

    Her look should have given Adam pause.
    The fruit of choice being against perfection
    Together they would come to know the cause.

    His tongue gave name to her virtues and flaws.
    The taste of it all provoked the infection
    To be a love greater than any laws.

    Upon the fall of night, the feeling gnaws
    at the heart, the mind, and the midsection.
    Together they would come to know the cause.

    He cries “calamity” when winter thaws
    receding ice shapes their indiscretion
    to be a love greater than any laws.

    How has this union made them outlaws?
    Banished from God and Nature’s intersection
    Together they would come to know the cause
    to be a love greater than any laws.

  93. Arash

    New Treatment

    by Arash

    This new treatment, you see,
    is experimental. Be
    ready at any moment
    for the dew to roll down the blue petal
    and fall
    on the whistling thrush
    that’s soaking up the sun,
    chanting a love song
    of life’s joys and chains
    on the frail branch
    of your heart’s jaded veins.

  94. Angie5804


    So much if
    Perhaps and maybe
    Taking a taste
    It’s a four-way stop

    Creeping to the edge
    Just a peek
    Dipping toes in the surf
    A yield

    Paint samples and fabric swatches
    Raising a hand
    First steps
    So many yellow lights

    A kiss on the cheek
    A glance
    May I?
    Pass go and collect

  95. julie e.

    ROBERT: love your “tentative” poem today! And thank you for making it clear we have the freedom to get the first words out knowing i can continue to revise, and that i don’t have to feel like a failure for posting my feeble tries!

  96. Plove413

    A City Dog’s Lament

    Her bed of concrete
    bleeds with the scent of her
    emptiness now that he is gone
    who knows where. Once they
    were a pair tethered side by side,
    city dwellers without hope of
    greener pastures, but love of
    one another. But now he’s gone,
    perhaps to those pastures, yet
    she is not so naive as to not believe
    it might be to narrower quarters
    in someone’s darker kennel
    where he feels the loneliness
    tonight without her too,
    at least for now.

  97. DanielAri

    - Tentative Feedback –

    Charlton gave his grandson a BB gun—
    a real rifle. It had a caliber.
    “After breakfast I’ll show you how it’s done.”
    “Oh, boy!” Dad was nonplussed. Mom got angry.
    “I thought we had an agreement, Charlton.”

    “It comes with safety lessons, don’t worry,”
    he winked at the boy, “taught by the master.”
    “He’s too young.” “You’re too protective, mother.”
    “Ralph?” Mom turned, but dad was in another
    room, a vote in absentia. “Not funny!”

    Charlton barked at the boy who already
    had the sight to his eye, aiming at Buck,
    the old retriever drowsing on the hearth.
    “You’re responsible now for protecting
    your family and yourself.” But his daughter,

    when he glanced at her, looked livid. “Go back
    to L.A.,” she thought. “Have a heart attack.”

  98. Sheryl

    Today’s Poetic Asides PAD prompt was to write a tentative poem, and the Poetic Bloomings In-Form Wednesday form was Duo-Rhyme. The attempt below is clumsy at best, but at least I gave it a shot.

    A Two-for-One

    I want to write a two-for-one,
    but can I get this project done?
    So tentatively I now will start
    and meaning to my words impart.
    Will rhyme and rhythm give it heart,
    or simply substitute for art?
    So many thoughts through my mind dart
    to catch them all I’d need a chart.
    I want to write a two-for-one.
    So tentatively, I got it done.

    Sheryl Kay Oder

  99. Yolee

    Her Empty Hand

    Excuse me, Miss with the serious business attire and long red hair,
    we’re both in the same café this April evening, except I had chicken
    fried steak and stale coffee, you, an orange smoothie. Opportunity is
    a blue moon. While you’re transfixed in conversation with a companion,
    something urges me to write this note. Is this weird? Sure. But that blue
    moon is also a philanthropist . And I, a foregone confusion of flesh
    and bone see you getting up to walk away. You forgot poor Khalil
    and his entourage of poems on the booth.
    Please use this as a bookmark that it may hark back from time
    to time of some faceless guy so overbooked for his one-man-show,
    yet so very aware of you, and of how your hello would tune-up
    his heart. Or discard. Either way, I will watch this
    soon-to-be memory from my blue-collar mind.

  100. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Going home”

    The bed belongs to guests.

    Tonight I am one. Tonight
    in this bed, I wonder—

    have I come into their home
    to steal a bit of their soul
    or do I come to quench
    a shared pining?

    Love fidgets upon
    my tongue threatening
    to bite the air

    but manners and tradition
    force me to remain
    a non intrusive guest.

  101. Emmluu

    One more try….


    Too many decisions to make
    Even promises can’t be kept
    Nothing is ever definite
    Today is even tentative
    All is lost in hesitation
    Tomorrow’s a rough estimate
    If the terms are conditional
    Verification is pending
    Estimate maybe, maybe not

  102. MeenaRose

    Tentative With A Chance Of Certain
    By: Meena Rose

    Frozen in time;
    Stomach is all aflutter;
    Your eyes and their unmasked desire
    Pose a silent question – a plea.

    Heat rises;
    Breath grows shallow;
    My body screams a vigorous YES
    Inhibited by a mind that’s been burned twice.

    Bodies inches apart;
    A lone tear is shed;
    With a slight nod, I walk into an embrace;
    Suddenly chilled.

  103. whatevertheyaint

    **They say always go with your first thought. I like the original alignment better. (Sorry)
    Second try/first try:

    I’ll write an epic novel,
    a chapbook too
    Or maybe I won’t
    Sometimes I don’t
    Don’t know what to do
    These dreams and things—
    I ‘ve got more than a few
    I’ll start today—no, tomorrow
    I need more time;
    So what if I borrow precariously
    I’ll do it all, just you wait and see
    I will
    I can
    I am!
    But what if…I don’t
    know what to do?

  104. Margot Suydam

    In the Midst

    The distance cannot be seen;
    green carves up sky too lean.

    Misty days beg one to doubt
    the evil gulls screech about.

    Yet we have given up the sea
    because there can never be

    drunken sailors falling down
    on this rocky shoreline town.

    Where can we stand to catch
    a glimpse of the bluest patch?

  105. Jackie Casey

    “Time is Money”

    Tentative my time spent in the moment;
    with raising of this shade, the night now falls.
    Minutes lost while peering out the casement;
    a look beyond the window, day now calls.

    How much I want to cease the light’s new trend
    to grab another yawn; another stretch.
    Postpone the clock and make her hands depend
    upon the needs in life that I might hatch.

    But pressed upon my breathing, in and out;
    unconsciousness, the beating of my clock.
    I’m warned of hesitation’s reckless rout
    that sends the head of ennui to the block.

    Why can’t we for the day feel free to pause?
    Hold back the monied treadmill for a cause?

  106. whatevertheyaint

    ‘ll write an epic novel,
    a chapbook too

    Or maybe I won’t
    sometimes I don’t
    know what to do

    These dreams,
    I swear I’ve got more
    than a few

    I’ll start today—no, tomorrow
    I need more time!
    So what if I borrow precariously

    I’ll do it all, just you wait
    and see

    I will
    I can
    I am

    But what if…I don’t
    know what to do?

  107. Miss R.

    ~ Stone Girl ~

    “Reach for the stars,” they tell her.
    She does, then pulls back quickly,
    Afraid it will burn,
    Afraid the pain and her clumsy fingers
    Will let them fall in ashes.
    “Best to leave the stars as they are,” she thinks,
    Sifting through the stones.

  108. Emmluu

    Come Sail Away

    Imperative is my urge for this ship to sail
    But I stay harboured in the dock of your illustrious bay
    Pungent is the sea air that is your scent
    As I yearn to sail Neptune’s tumultuous waters
    Yet I am for reasons unknown
    Drawn to this island that is your heart
    Something sensual and alluring
    Leaving me breathless and unfurled before you
    Wanting more, needing more, searching for more
    I lay anchor and talk a walk in the sands of your soul
    Overwhelmed by the sublime landscape enveloping me
    Sacrificing my dreams for the harmony of you
    I decide to stay for awhile…………………………………..

  109. alana sherman

    April is my brother’s birthday month. He’s been gone 13 years and it’s always like yesterday.


    An iconic pose—
    Boy with chin in hand,
    Full on or with head tilted
    slightly to one side—

    I couldn’t ask about it
    just kept stealing looks
    from across the room
    as we chatted about boats
    and landscapes
    and how paintings
    can feel more real
    than a photo
    in the way
    these words
    aren’t the thing
    they are talking about.
    But that portrait
    was my brother.
    Though I wondered
    who might have painted him
    at that age.

    I didn’t want
    to consider it more closely
    because I was afraid
    it wouldn’t be Doug
    and I was sure
    I had a photo
    of him exactly like that
    I wanted to check
    for comparison.

    Maybe I will go back
    to buy that portrait.
    But not today.


  110. preeti_4684

    Tentative Love…

    A tentative moment when I fell in love,
    A tentative guy from heaven above,
    I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be…
    My heart was as tentative as it could be…
    He promised me things, he bought me flowers,
    His feelings were true, for some tentative hours
    Everything was tentative from beginning to end
    But I was happy, to have a tentative friend.
    Life is tentative, I would tell myself
    But slowly things changed into something else
    Love is not tentative, love is strong
    And tentative love was bound to go wrong.
    I got hurt, don’t ask me why…
    Hanging on was a tentative try
    Life moves on and makes you learn
    Don’t make a tentative foundation.
    As you grow, you make a better choice
    You don’t rely on any tentative voice.
    Let’s be strong in what we do and say…
    Don’t get hurt and don’t hurt in any way.

  111. Bruce Niedt

    Oh, I had fun with this one: The NaPoWriMo blog prompt was to write a sea chantey. So here it be, mateys!

    The Tentative Sailor

    They slipped me a mickey and I took a sip,
    and it’s hey ho, I’m all out to sea,
    that’s how I got shanghaied and put on this ship,
    this sailor’s life is just not for me.

    They said I’d get sea legs as soon as we sail,
    and it’s hey ho, I’m all out to sea,
    but I am still retching by the starboard-side rail,
    this sailor’s life is just not for me.

    I’ve been trying for days to tie a good knot,
    and it’s hey ho, I’m all out to sea,
    but my bowline comes loose and my hitch ain’t worth squat,
    this sailor’s life is just not for me.

    I eat salt pork and hardtack at morning and night,
    and it’s hey ho, I’m all out to sea,
    and I pick out the worms before every bite,
    this sailor’s life is just not for me.

    The last ship we met, we blew a hole in her hull,
    and it’s hey ho, I’m all out to sea,
    and the flag that we fly has some bones and a skull,
    this sailor’s life is just not for me.

    My patience is thin and my health is declinin’,
    and it’s hey ho, I’m all out to sea,
    they’ll hang me from the yardarm if I don’t stop whinin’.
    this sailor’s life is just not for me.

  112. Misky

    Mayonnaise Weather

    There’s nothing tentative about the weather in mayonnaise.
    We wind-whip and liaise slicks of oil that rain down
    on sun-tinted yolks. There are hails of egg
    and flaked fragments of shells
    that we whack and crack like Thor’s hammer,
    thunder-struck and spilling against sharp-edged bowls.
    There are pollen drifts of dry mustard,
    moist clouds of garlic perfumes,
    and spritzled streams of acidy wine
    that curl your tongue back on to itself
    in recoiled soured retreat. We whip
    mayonnaise into frenzied billowous
    pillowous piles of soft mallow mounds,
    and then gaze at it in wonder, as there’s
    nothing tentative about the weather in mayonnaise.

      1. Misky

        No, I haven’t done Joseph’s for today. I ran out of time, so I’ll have to tackle his found poetry tomorrow. For yesterday’s, I did a poem about steam vents in London’s back streets. All of my April poems are being posted at http://miskpad.wordpress.com if you want to read any. Just do the follow button there to receive updates. :)

  113. Emmluu

    She looked at her hand
    So delicate and smooth
    Her fingers elegant
    But bare
    She looked at him
    Where is this going
    How long til my hand
    Is no longer lonely
    Will it ever be bejeweled
    Or continue to stay bare?
    Will this house become a home
    Or is it just a hotel
    He looked at her
    And said “I love you”
    She responded “Prove It”

  114. Patricia A. Hawkenson


    If I were clairvoyant
    I wouldn’t have to peek
    and my pancakes
    would all be perfectly browned
    without one edge curling
    bent out shape
    with my indecision.

    But it isn’t my fault
    for it is God
    who messed with my head
    tossing and turning
    my hair as I slept
    checking to see
    if I was perfectly

  115. Rhae

    ‘how long’

    if one sits long enough
    will the waiting be over quick,
    not like the way these wish to stare
    shouldn’t I
    should I,
    sit a bit longer.


  116. Michelle Hed

    Hands On

    A new place
    a bit shy –
    wanting to participate
    moving closer
    there’s room
    hand in paint
    smiles blossom
    shyness is forgotten –
    making friends
    while finger painting.

  117. Connie Peters


    How did I get me into this?
    I have to think of ways to miss.
    Oh, must I face this lions’ den?
    Yes, there are better ways to spend
    my time, on this I can depend.
    I feel I will soon meet my end.
    This promise I must soon amend.
    I’m scared to death, I can’t pretend.
    I said I’d do it for a friend.
    I volunteered to speak again.
    I made it fine the last abyss
    I’m sure I’ll be victorious.

  118. Weedlewom


    Timid as a toe
    outstretched over water,
    I try to read
    with limited risk.

    Cautious as fingers
    wielding a blade,
    I choose words
    knowing the ones
    that will cut.

    Hesitant as a first date
    I contemplate
    pursed lips,
    wondering if they hold
    a grim word
    or a kiss.

    Susan Dean Wessells

  119. Nimue

    Just few days –
    that’s all she had to pretend
    one or two , not even few
    she corrected herself,
    still making a list of ways
    she would not think of him,
    for days, he did not want her close,
    the very days she knew
    he would be closest to her –
    in memories and thoughts.
    two days, she decided
    she could give up her worries,
    and rather focus on hopes
    and dreams, she was part of,
    no matter to whom they belong.
    So it was settled for now,
    she had to do move on,
    she had to ?
    she questioned him once more …

  120. uneven steven

    “When asked about attributions for the individual poems, one of them replied, ‘Everyone gets tired of this continuing cult of the personality… This book is an assertion in favor of poetry and against credentials.”
    (Braided Creek – A conversation in poetry – Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser)

    I’m no longer tentative
    because I’ve lost all ambition
    because I’ve lost all ambition
    I’m no longer tentative
    You look at me like
    I’ve gone nuts.
    “But what do you want to do
    with your life –
    you must have some goals.”
    You may as well be asking
    a dog with his head out
    the car window
    for a quadratic
    or ol’ jim and ted
    what drowned moths
    in whiskey glasses
    have to do with
    or Ms. Oliver
    feeding grasshoppers sugar
    out of the palm of her
    hand all day
    “Tell me, what else should I have done?”
    what else indeed
    but with this one wild
    and precious life
    to love you
    free and
    my “I don’t know” answers
    to all of your questions
    a big grin on my face


  121. IrisD

    Spring Not Sprung

    Sun peeks out and we feel almost warm
    I saw one robin hopping last morn
    We planted annuals in pots and beds
    Then cold front sneaked in and awoke with dread
    Calendar seems to indicate spring
    Sun and mercury say it has taken wing.

  122. Brian Slusher


    There are soothsayers,
    naysayers, but I’m a
    maysayer, like “Wanna
    go dancing?” And I say
    Maybe, I’ll let you know
    or I may go to Spain in
    the spring, but it depends
    on money, time, present
    Threat Levels. I am mighty
    Like I might try the
    gazpacho, but gee, the
    the corn chowder appeals
    to me…I’m trying to
    build a house between
    Unsure and Hesitant, yet
    I can’t seem to get past
    selecting a plan. Still
    I found a nice hammer
    I’m thinking of buying,
    though I’m torn: claw
    or ball-peen?

  123. Ber

    One step forward

    Taken them on a journey
    not knowing what what lay ahead
    the adventure was in their bones
    if they failed they had made their own bed

    Rescue their minds
    steal their souls
    fight for their freedom
    beyond the white walls

    Standing for the cause
    knowing at will
    resolution may never
    be the happiest pill

    Marching ahead
    like deer in the night
    hungry for answers
    their will and their plight

    Wanting to achieve
    what others never did before
    to change the matters
    that lay at their door

    Voices did crackle
    footsteps were felt
    words did exchange
    paperwork was sent

    Sunshine it glared
    hot to the core
    they had achieved so much more
    than the people before

    Giving them voices
    choices indeed
    freedom was theirs
    sowing the seed

    Watching it grow
    into the future that came
    no longer afraid to fight
    women and men

  124. Genevieve Fitzgerald

    The man kissed the woman –
    once near a gate where they made wishes;
    once in a parking lot, after a speech
    in which he relayed a message
    that moved people to stop him
    and say that they heard
    what he meant.

    Of her three wishes
    two came true the same day
    so she was ashamed
    that she’d so watered down
    the third one, the one about love,
    for fear of it being
    too big

  125. kali.kristine


    He greeted her with open arms,
    She was diffident and shy.
    He tried all his charms,
    She knew he was a nice guy.

    He took her out to dinner,
    She didn’t really know what to say.
    He knew she was a beginner,
    She was all work, no play.

    He walked her to her door.
    She didn’t want to kiss him.
    He had been here before.
    He knew his chances were slim.

    She waved good-bye,
    He put his hand on her thigh.
    She looked surprised, but kissed his lips.
    It was about time she got a grip.

  126. Jane Shlensky

    What the Mind Wants

    “If I said everything I thought,
    I’d have no friends at all,”
    she says, her long index
    finger pointing my way.
    To be frank is to be a
    hothead in her thinking.

    She says nothing that
    can be construed as
    her own ideas, beliefs,
    later chronicling to me
    what she should have said,
    almost said, wished she’d said,
    excellent responses and
    witty come-backs born too late.

    She almost spoke up once,
    she says, set her friends straight,
    showed some backbone, but
    they intimidate her so
    with their eyebrows lifted
    as if she were a stammering
    surprise, needing their help
    to finish a sentence.

    She laments her indecisiveness,
    her failure to speak,
    to stand up, to be,
    but what if she
    spoke her mind, her
    heart, and they turned
    her away, what if she
    were alone with herself,
    then what?

  127. identity

    The Carpenter Bee

    A round, black, hairy Carpenter Bee
    Wobbles back and forth from the tree to me.
    How do I tell him? What do I say?
    Even the Killer Bees went away.
    Just do your best, I ask him, please.
    He wobbles back among the leaves.
    His big, builder body delicately
    Probes fragrant blossoms on the tree–
    Thousands of blossoms on scores of trees
    Awaiting the puzzled Carpenter Bee.

    1. identity

      Thank you all for you comments. Brian, I’m cracking up over yours. At first, I thought you were kidding. Then realized it is a reasonable take. No matter how you view it, the little guy is going to be exhausted before he’s done.

  128. Beth Rodgers


    Belying the fact that you love her
    Is your dissatisfaction with innocence.

    Plagued by modest notions of ineptitude
    You struggle to find your path to absolution.

    The difficulty is not lost on you
    It merely weakens your resolve to continue.

    Love is but a four letter word
    While courage is what will bring about refuge.

    From your problems
    From your guilt
    From your dejected self
    You will find that presence
    Is the heart of the matter.

    Knowing how to deal
    Soaking it all in
    Reveling in the uniqueness of the situation
    Will bring renewed clarity.

  129. PressOn


    The Tin Man, made without a heart,
    was rusted fast, because, in part,
    his empathy would, like a dart,
    seek love and art; seek love and art

    that made him weep a gentle rain
    to bathe each bruise, and seized him again.
    The Lion’s courage, the Scarecrow’s brain
    could not know pain; could not know pain

    that stops me cold, afraid to try
    and love again; no heart have I
    to emulate the Tin Man’s cry
    when love goes by. When love goes by.

  130. Earl Parsons

    The Door

    This door I face I recognize not
    This door, the only choice I’ve got
    Though closed
    I’ve checked
    It is unlocked
    I wonder what awaits

    What if I open this door and see
    A horrid future awaiting me
    I’m scared
    Of what
    My life might be
    Once open, it’s too late

    What if I see fortune and fame
    If I don’t open it, I’m to blame
    It’s risky
    But, just the same
    Either way, it is my fate

    I grasp the knob with tentative fear
    Ready to face whatever appears
    I pull
    I look
    Can’t stop the tears
    Why did I hesitate

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

  131. JWLaviguer

    Through the Heavens We Can Be

    Reaching out to touch the stars in her heart
    each one brighter than the last
    and yet she hesitates
    for those that burn brightest
    die out the soonest
    it is better to have loved they say
    she loves too much
    too passionately
    too easily
    and pays the price for her loneliness

    He reaches out but cannot touch
    for he is held prisoner in his mind
    unblinking eyes of his soul
    searching for an answer
    salvation is all he asks for
    as he lies there unmoving
    if only he can speak one word
    so she will understand
    she needs to let go
    so he might live again
    another star burns out
    in the universe that is her heart.

  132. Angie K

    (tentative to share this, but I shall anyhow. Backstory: I was diagnosed with MS in 1997. And the poem is now.)


    Walking is simple, they say.
    I just take a step, and I won’t fall.
    It worked when I was 2; it’s easier now.

    Biking is supposed to go the same way.
    I just peddle, and I won’t fall.
    It worked when I was 10; it’s easier now.
    Mmm hmm.

    But what if it’s not easier?
    And what if I fall?
    Not “if,” but “when.”
    Get a cane, sell the bike. And shed a silent tear.

    But must that be the end?
    What else worked when I was 2?
    The red tricycle, ridden on fantastic adventures, with great fanfare
    …and confined to our driveway.

    My balance is closer to 2 than 10,
    so perhaps the adventures can begin again.
    The red trike is long gone, but could a big blue one work?
    …and can it leave the driveway?

    1. elishevasmom

      At some point in our lives we must reconcile who we are to who we once were. You have been given the opportunity while you are young enough to enjoy the reconciliation. :)

  133. priyajane

    Today’s wake up call encountered flakes
    Looks like its a passing phase
    The shrouds seem blended with the sky
    But soon they’ll fluff some cotton pies
    The chirps are fleeting from, somewhere!
    Navigating thro the dare
    Life is flowing as we blink
    Coming going, mixing drinks
    Unseen forces in progress
    Quandering, what comes next?
    My day,-contingent not on moves
    But a good or sloppy attitude—:)

  134. ClaytonsRamblings

    Baby steps

    I have a long, long way to go
    It may take me days
    To find you again
    But I am coming

    It will be a long, long journey
    But I will do what it takes
    I will find my way
    I will walk the path
    I am coming

    I have mountains to climb
    Forests to traverse
    Deserts to battle
    But I will find you again
    I am coming

    Even if it takes baby steps
    I am still taking steps
    I am coming

    One baby step at a time.

  135. ewdupler

    Storms a’Coming

    Roiling clouds, with tempest brewing,
    Slung low across the sky.
    Windy gusts greeting goosebump flesh,
    How long will it stay dry?

    Heavens growl; the sun surrenders,
    Holding us in such suspense.
    Thunderstorms, about to happen,
    Scary, strong, and intense.

  136. Iain Douglas Kemp

    So…you’re thinking…Oh no! He didn’t! Then you realise…OMG! He did!

    All is not well in the kingdom of Penmanship
    (with my sincerest apologies to William Shakespeare)

    To poem, or not to poem, that is my question:
    Whether ’tis higher in the spirit to endure
    The rocks and spears of discouraging editors,
    Or to take pen up against a tide of rejection,
    And by confronting them? To fail, to weep,
    still more; and by weep to say we sob
    with heart-ache, and the thousand daggers slicing
    The soul is given to: ’tis a condemnation
    Divinely to be wished. To fail, to weep;
    To weep, perchance to scream – ay, there’s the trouble:
    For in that weeping of desolation what screams may come,
    When we have departed from this poetic web,
    Must give us doubt – there’s the barb
    That makes disaster of so long life.
    For who would stand the lash and jibes of publicity,
    The critic’s wrong, the haughty man’s sneering,
    The pains of dismissed works of love, the readers dismay,
    The arrogance of office, and the spurns
    That quiet honour of the unpublished takes,
    When he himself might his heart pierce
    With a fine quill-pen? Who would critics stand,
    To moan and strive under a tiresome life,
    But that the fear of something after submission
    The unknown adventure from whose roads
    No voyager returns, confuses the mind,
    And forces us to prefer those maladies we have
    Than rush to others that we know not of?
    Thus trepidation does make cowards of us all,
    And thus the base colour of decision
    Is skimmed over o’er with a dark coat of doubt,
    And works of great depth and perception,
    With this aspect their currents turn against,
    And lose the name of poetry. Soft you now,
    The fair Poet Laureate, in your company
    Be all my words remembered.


  137. JanetRuth

    Hearts are not flowers pressed between pages
    This flesh-blood appendage of life
    Suffers obscurely wild passion that rages
    In conflict, in wonder, in strife

    I cannot give you with reckless abandon
    Blood-petals composing its sphere
    But consider first with firm contemplation
    Your whisper caressing my ear

    Why is it that echoes evoke a keen hunger
    For more than the hull of your sigh?
    And why does the tenure of yesterday’s laughter
    Feel now like an endless goodbye?

    Wisdom and knowledge divide the heart’s choosing
    The mind knows what life has made known
    But somehow when you press your lips to my musing
    My heart has a mind of its own

    I cannot mute mortal need and desire
    Though my mind employs its staid part
    It cannot guard with barracks of fire
    The thought of you stealing my heart

    1. Eve Brackenbury


      I couldn’t help but stop and stare. Your words are beautiful and clever and contain elegant imagery. But, I have to confess: My latest book is titled “The Lennox Garden: Pressed Between Pages,” and my facebook page mentions something about my being able to discern the difference between Wisdom and Knowledge. My favorite line in this poem is “But somehow when you press your lips to my musing…” I love your use of the sensory.

  138. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Tentative Poem

    This poem is made out of nothing
    so how can it begin?

    There are so many directions
    this poem might take —
    which one?

    What is the mood of this poem?
    It seems uncertain.

    The message, then?
    Indeterminate as clouds
    drifting and shape-shifting through the air.

  139. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    What can I tell ya, buddy o’ mine?
    I was in such a black mood, in such a daze
    from the terrible loss that I forgot that
    yesterday was a rest day! Who has a rest day
    on Day 2? Idiots! So anyways, thanks for the
    heads up. I coulda done without the snippy note
    from that harpy in Baltimore but she can’t resist
    – sends her best to you and yours, by the way!
    Can you believe the nerve of that bird-lover!
    Like you and yours ain’t getting enough love and
    attention from yours truly. And me? Sure! I can go to blazes!
    I gotta tell ya though, she has a point. That was a bad
    start and I am not feeling good today. No, sirree!
    Not confident. I need to see some hot pitching
    and some big hitting to restore my faith.
    I am…what’s the word… waiting in trepidation.
    My breath is bated! Anyway, the green is rolling in
    so beer and dogs on me.
    Pick ya up at 6.

    Yours crossing my fingers

    Ringo the Howler

  140. the scribbler

    Casting Shadows
    Trying to lock the seasons in,
    the Keystoners roust rodent.
    Punxstawney Phil over-
    shadows world news.
    We wait and wonder
    if now at last we dare
    leave our hoods

  141. just Lynne

    At last

    After nine days,
    the bird feeder we crafted
    is yet untouched
    birds shy closer to its base
    in tentative movements
    yet fail to ascend
    to the license plates we bolted together
    to form a feeder shaped like a house

    finally a squirrel scurries up
    the pole for the tomato plant
    lunging towards the feeder
    knocking out seed
    as he knocks the feeder askew

    you hurry out to fix the feeder
    sending your dog to chase
    that errant squirrel
    the guilty squirrel runs in panic
    as the little white dog
    rockets across the lawn
    its bark punctuating the cold air

    back in the house,
    you wait by the window
    a shiny dark grackle lunges about
    its wings flapping
    landing clumsily on the feeder
    falling off as the feeder tips

    you exhale in frustration
    but now the grackle returns
    settling onto the feeder
    scooping black birdseed
    into his ample beak

    you call me and shout excitedly in the phone
    the first bird to come to the feeder at last

  142. PowerUnit

    The scenes blend together
    They stick, and stack togther in a rouleaux
    Sticky blood unable to feed the Muse
    My attempts of correction
    Lead to subtraction, distraction, abstraction
    So I sit on my hands
    My fingers will not press on
    Until a path through the rubble is cleared
    Slowly, mercifully, by life

  143. annell

    You ask if I know
    Am I sure
    My answer
    Is no
    I do not know

    I walk on ice
    Is it strong enough
    To hold my weight
    I do not know

    I jump off high places
    Flap my wings
    Can I fly
    I do not know

    I wet my brush
    Dip it into paint
    Will it be a masterpiece
    I do not know

    Is the color of my choice “right”
    I do not know

    Is it a worthy thing to do
    I do not know

    It is because I do not know
    I travel with confidence
    I take a chance
    I reach beyond what I know
    My answer is now
    And will always be
    “I do not know”

  144. PKP

    the first time

    Could I?
    well of course I “could”

    May I?
    shouldn’t need permission

    Thought I might?
    respectful sharing of plans

    Don’t wait up for me tonight.

  145. Jerry Walraven

    “Morning Song”

    This morning traffic has rhythm,
    a horn blast from outside
    a trumpet blast from within,

    a short stop outside
    is followed by
    a crash (cymbal) in,

    I shake my head
    to clear this illusion,

    for I know
    the world
    and I
    are never
    in tune.