Editors Blog

2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 5

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 plus poem. Plus can mean a lot of things, and even the act of addition could equate to subtraction.

Here’s my attempt at a Plus poem:


she forgets the window is there sometimes
& imagines that she wanders the streets
searching for someone to commit her crimes

against true love & poems filled with rhymes
prefering prose to line breaks & metered feet
she forgets the window is there sometimes

she confuses her lemons with her limes
& wishes for a ghost to haunt her sheets
searching for someone to commit her crimes

one plus one is the same as two one times
the glass sweating against the summer’s heat
she forgets the window is there sometimes

as if the dirt of love transforms to grime
& all her memories have lost their seats
searching for someone to commit her crimes

to lift her sheets before breaking her lines
this someone–anyone–for her to meet
she forgets the window is there sometimes
searching for someone to commit her crimes


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


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

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296 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 5

  1. bjzeimer


    My favorite size in clothing is 1x.
    Cut a little more generously,
    the tops are always frilly
    some with ruffles all the way down
    or pleats all across
    the front with puffed sleeves
    and big flowers in print–
    plus size images of dresses
    I wore when I was a girl,
    when I used to stand up in church
    and recite my piece.

  2. foodpoet

    The plus of minus
    Each day a slip
    Each day I cope
    And look for what is forgotten
    As the mind crumbles
    And no longer feels the pain
    Of eventual nothing.
    I search for anything
    To be used as a mental anchor,
    Only I search and find dryness,
    Voids that cannot be
    Filled with logic and calculation.
    No math can cope with mental slyness,
    The plus of minus.

    Only I come and look
    Deep in eyes hoping
    For recall, I find
    Only the shuttered
    Mind closed to all
    And feel the lash whip
    Of failure as we cope
    With fear and shame
    And watch the mind strip
    Each day, a slip.
    We sit in chairs
    Each alone,
    You locked down in
    Frozen recall,
    I locked down
    And no longer can hope
    For a good day,
    Just glad we are alone together
    And as we spin in a mind kaleidoscope
    Each day, I cope.

    The time comes for departure.
    I hold your hand,
    Rub favorite rose lotion in dry sky,
    Wanting a moment
    Of tactile sense, holding on.
    Fold up your flannel cotton,
    Wipe away tears and look away
    Toward home and peace
    Even as I know I need to listen,
    As I look for the forgotten.

  3. Sharon

    Plus and plush

    I used to be a size 4, back when size 4
    meant something. With vanity sizing
    I can squeeze into a 12,
    but really I’m a plus and petite 16.
    Lush in the hips and bosom.
    It doesn’t look as good on me
    as it does on Sophia Loren.
    I’m only 5 foot tall, she’s 5 foot 9.
    Sophia at 78 looks elegant and sexy,
    I at 68 look like my grandmother.

  4. bookworm0341

    “Me – You in my life < Me + You in my life"

    Your eyes light up my soul
    reflecting everything sunny within-
    a plus.

    Once a cobwebbed corridor of darkness
    the curtains flung open and all the spiders vanished
    exposing all of me
    without a desire to be hidden any longer-
    another plus.

    I just long to tell you everything
    an open book for you to read
    Yet, time only permits so much,
    and you've been reading another book
    other pages, perhaps more pristine,
    a newer addition-
    However, you and I both know,
    there is nothing sweeter than the aroma
    of a book set aside,
    more mature at least in years,
    not content,
    as pages flip-
    a definite plus.

    Dedicated to the man who flips my pages: BTA <3

  5. Lynn Burton

    Problem Not Solved

    I’m nonplussed
    by the ease
    in which you divide
    your heart,
    subtract any decency,
    and carry yourself
    with less than the whole person
    you could be
    if you didn’t equate
    a lack of intimacy
    with someone else’s
    borrowed time.
    You degrade yourself,
    making multiple errors
    instead of getting to the root
    of the problem.
    You don’t understand my quizzical stare?
    Let me sum it up for you.
    You’re on a slippery slope,
    unable to function.
    Nothing you do adds up.

  6. Anya Padyam

    Math path

    Life goes numeric
    Additions there are
    The newborn beings.

    Subtracted cruelly,
    Are dear and near,
    Leaving us a zero.

    Pluses in existence are
    Bleak as life seems,
    Seriously outnumbered.

    Minuses, the deceptive,
    Sneaky little ones,
    Overpoweringly stay.

  7. Perfect Landing

    Plus Negative Equals

    It is called a spare room
    implying by name that
    something bad could happen
    to another room
    already used
    A backup which is
    in itself
    a silly notion

    But what is meant
    is nothing more
    than extra
    another silly notion
    implying that there
    is not enough room
    for us
    for you
    for stuff
    and things
    and whatnot
    and more more more

    A silly notion
    to reserve space
    only to crowd it out
    with me & mine
    his & hers
    bric & brac
    excess & what-if
    implying we haven’t enough
    for ourselves
    and everything else aside

    What if
    instead of spare
    we had enough
    instead of reserve
    we could preserve
    and space
    for everything
    and everyone
    not ours,
    an everything else
    that extends itself back
    to us when we feel
    crowded out in
    around pressed upon
    and herded
    against other silly notions,
    and considered less
    of such spacious

  8. Mel Lewis

    Auto Math

    4 collapsed hydraulic motor mounts
    3 car doors that will not open from the inside
    2 run-flat tires punctured by screws
    1 hairline crack in a manifold
    I’m buying a bicycle

  9. Glory

    DAY 5

    Two and one make three,
    an odd number can’t you see.
    What we want, we need, is for
    one and one to equal two,
    you and I, forever true –
    we two.

  10. k weber

    this is a plus

    another inch to cinch.
    believe my cleave.
    can i tip the scale with my hip?
    does this huge boob make my ass look big?

    even in summer, i am wearing layers and
    feeling pregnant with swollen ankles; somehow
    guys are looking at my chest regardless.

    have you ever been a novelty?
    i’m not who they want to date but
    just a curiosity – less sideshow and more of a
    knock-knockers joke and who is there is me, my
    legs as hard as cement blocks in the upper thigh.

    mostly i’d like to love again but right now i am succulent though they
    never notice nips until the full bloom
    of the pinkest skin and widest

    queen-size queen for a day or night until the light is too bright.
    realistically i am beautiful and bee-
    stung for kissing as much as for bites.
    this is me wanting you wanting me no matter what the weather is like.

    underwear on when the jeans have gotten tight and i
    very much want to spend a few hours in a museum with you
    while everyone else is looking in another direction.
    x-rate me from 0 to size 26 in the quiet corners next to the sculptures plied with hands while
    you pry at me and we are insatiable at every angle and curve; you have some nerve undoing my
    zipper with your teeth while the security guard blinks.

    – k weber

  11. tunesmiff


    I guess it’s all been said before,
    But stop a minute, at the door,
    There’s one more thing I need to say,
    And then you can be on your way.
    You won’t believe me, I know it’s true,
    But I’m better for loving you.
    And should you have a change of heart,
    You know I’m here and where to start.

  12. Sally Jadlow

    Plus Poem

    I’ve lived in Plusville most all my life.
    An only child
    of loving parents
    who gave me the advantage
    of a stable home,
    a great faith
    in a loving community.

    They gave me a college education.
    I married a loving husband
    who stood by me through thick and thin.

    We had four wonderful children
    who gave us some great in-law children
    who have produced fourteen precious grandchildren.

    Pluses far outweigh the minuses
    by far, praise God.

  13. Nadienne

    [sci-fi poem]

    To the Extra Person In My Head

    I’ve perfected the art of sinking into daydreams.
    Castles by a stream. Baryben’s lightning forest.
    The afternoon the Ministers took me
    going differently. I can crowd out the white room
    with brightly colored costumes, feathers,
    glitter, flash at the clubs I knew. The squeak sound
    of their gumshoes disappears into rain on a tent.
    And the needles pinch no more than honey bees.

    What do I have to do to remove you, shadow,
    your presence like a warning knife against my chest?
    Your addition is subtraction, my head already full.

  14. alana sherman

    At My Back

    How much is a minute worth—
    Once a stamp cost three cents now it’s forty-six
    those days and minutes slip away

    from the years between
    but we amortize them
    So how much is a minute worth—

    Just a minute people say
    flinging time over their shoulders
    until the day and minutes slip away

    1440 minutes in a day roughly 960
    remain after you deduct for sleep
    So how much is a minute worth

    if you are an insomniac
    Take away 480 more for work,
    the day and minutes slip away

    I count every time the phone rings
    All this subtraction adds up
    So how much is a minute worth—
    when the days and minutes slip away?


  15. drwasy

    CELEXA (or There is a Silver Lining)

    On this day 19 years
    ago Kurt Cobain pulled the trigger
    of a rifle with his toe
    and shot himself in the head.

    He was addled before
    he played with guns:
    he wore his trauma
    on his flannelled sleeve,
    he belted his pain on airwaves,
    his message both embraced
    and misunderstood.

    On this day 19 years
    since his music idol took his life
    my guitar-playing son took
    the first step towards saving himself.

    It has been a tough spring…

  16. Jezzie

    On the plus side, I feel better when I’m working
    than I do when I am sitting at home shirking
    all the jobs that I should be doing round my house,
    whilst writing poems or using my computer mouse.

    Plus, I can better afford to pay,
    because I am out at work all day,
    for all that needs doing for sure,
    which I’ve no time to do any more.

    How bizarre that in retirement
    I cannot justify time spent
    on mundane tasks I really hate,
    and I leave my house in a state.

    Yet when at work each day eight hours,
    I still manage to vacuum all my floors
    and get my house looking just right
    before I settle down for the night.

    There are lots of pluses for having a job:
    it stops me from turning into a slob;
    I get young company every day;
    PLUS best of all, of course, I get my pay!

  17. finallyhereiam

    PlusThe Sun, and Shine
    The Rain, and Wine
    People, Effort, Experiences, with Life, entwine;
    Critics, Followers, Friends, and Foes
    Leave impressions, Time still flows;
    Pick what you want, leave what you don’t
    Memories may haunt you, or leave you, know you don’t,
    Your choices, words, actions, won’t;
    But you have The Sun, and you have your Shine
    There also is Rain and Wine;
    With them around, and some more to it, Life’s a Journey,
    Why whine?

  18. Alphabet Architect


    Some folks say, “Wherever you go
    Leave things as they were before.”
    I concur, but add this to it:
    Do that and a little more.
    Ask yourself as you are leaving
    If the place where you have been
    Benefited by your presence.
    Is it better now than then?

    Some folks say, “A job is done
    When expectations have been met.”
    I would say that once you meet them
    You are not quite finished yet.
    Do a little something extra
    Even if you’ve done your share.
    It’s the cherry on the sundae
    It’s the ribbon in the hair.

    Don’t be satisfied with so-so;
    You are gifted, you are blessed.
    Just as long as you are able
    Offer up your very best.
    You won’t always be rewarded;
    Some will fail to understand.
    But your self respect will blossom,
    Opportunities expand.

  19. vsbryant1

    Plus One

    No one could have told me that plus one could mean so much

    You became our plus one and since that day nothing has been the same

    you have been a light, sometimes shining brighter that the sun

    you have been a shoulder where tears so often flow

    You have provided when we worried how the day might go

    You have been strength when the world was trying to break down our door

    You became our our plus one and we can’t image a world without you

    We become your plus three and the magic seems everlasting

    We three + your one = us four and our now happy family

  20. lionmother

    Plus Two

    First there was us
    an entity
    alone in the world
    our ideas our own
    free to flit like
    unencumbered butterflies
    from one pursuit to the
    next never caring how
    long or how winding the
    road might be

    Then we added one and
    suddenly life became
    more of a set box
    We nurtured and oohed
    and ahhed over every
    accomplishment our
    little plus did, and one
    day she blossomed
    and became her own
    butterfly flitting away
    and we sighed as one

    but over the years we
    had added one more
    and we nurtured and
    applauded her triumphs
    until one day she flew away
    to seek her own pursuits

    We remembered our additions
    and began to live our plus free
    life once again when one returned
    and then the other and now
    we live with our pluses permanently
    attached to ourselves

    Now we are one plus one plus
    plus one plus one and I, though never
    tiring of their presence,
    would love to be adding another
    plus to each one so we can
    have some little pluses too!

  21. Brian Slusher


    The birds bless the air with untutored song
    And the sun inspects each blade of grass
    And the wind chimes jewel the braided breeze
    And the spider floats his silken lines aloft
    And the drone of the mower flows yard to yard
    And the scarf in the hall hangs lank and forlorn
    And the fire lilies begin their striking ascent
    And soup falls off of the grocery list
    And the kids give a shout that rattles the screens
    And it adds up to spring, splendid spring!

  22. Sheryl

    Robert, I am not sure I completely understand your poem or even why it is a plus poem. Having said that, I absolutely love it, especially the repeated line, “searching for someone to commit her crimes”

    I am having problems figuring out a plus poem, but surely I can “post” a poem for today’s prompt.

  23. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    I thought I was more with
    you, that together we became
    something I always wished
    I could be by myself.

    Hindsight . . . you know
    the rest . . . and I know better
    now, no longer an innocent.

    What I wanted to be our love
    magnified a million times,
    like sand on the seashore, like
    the Biblical premise for
    ancestors, turned out to be
    less than what I expected.

    You never met my standards.

  24. Linda Voit

    On the plus side

    After all the dedication, success and inroads
    he made for them, the company decided
    to let him go today
    in seven words and a question
    I have to let you go today. How can we
    work out this car thing?
    On the plus side, he doesn’t work
    for them anymore.

  25. PSC in CT

    The Garden

    This event, decorated
    by a most unusual Federation of flowers,
    harbors an interesting history.
    Each attendee, be they blossom or cactus,
    inducted one by one was
    first introduced by the (now apparently absent)
    guest of honor; an individual
    who delighted in adopting the un-
    (happy, healthy, appreciated, accepted)
    and nursing them to flourish
    thereby increasing their worth.
    Despite all appearances,
    this one (seemingly defunct),
    remains an ever-present addition,
    planted, established and thriving
    within this garden of her own creation.

  26. Andrea Heiberg


    No letter in my mailbox isn’t
    without hesitation.
    Tenants aren’t paying their rent and
    I am no shark and
    the world is a mess,
    I know.

    I’m on my knees,
    bills everywhere.
    I’d like to wipe away things, papers, houses and
    I wonder:
    what do I in fact want to wipe away?
    I’d like to wipe everything.

    Then this other letter?
    I’m lockouted?

  27. finallyhereiam

    The Sun, and Shine
    The Rain, and Wine
    People, Effort, Experiences, with Life, entwine;
    Critics, Followers, Friends, and Foes
    Leave impressions, Time still flows;
    Pick what you want, leave what you don’t
    Memories may haunt you, or leave you, know you don’t,
    Your choices, words, actions, won’t;
    But you have The Sun, and you have your Shine
    There also is Rain and Wine;
    With them around, and some more to it, Life’s a Journey,
    Why whine?

  28. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Added Benefit

    Owning a preschool,
    Her daily joy was clearly,
    Teaching five year olds,
    All the great wonders of life,
    Learning it fresh,
    Through their eyes,
    Making the work,
    Feel more like an endless,
    Not a burdensome chore!
    Secretly though,
    She had a hidden intent,
    Each and every birthday,
    Eager –to-please parents,
    Made special, colorful treats,
    True delights for the children,
    Only fair,
    Teachers and staff,
    Could share in the tasty fun,
    Sampling a large array,
    Rice Crispy Treats,
    Frosted cookies and Halloween candy,
    Anything sugar based!
    Yes, working with young children,
    Stimulating for the mind,
    While teaching language arts, early reading, visual arts and math,
    The true plus though . . .

    Each bite of pure satisfaction!

  29. donnellyk


    Let me remind you
    that I used to change your diaper
    that I stayed up all night with you when you were sick
    that every boo boo was healed with a kiss
    *plus* I was always there for you when you needed me

    that I stood up for you
    to your father
    to your teachers
    to the police
    *plus* I saved your ass from going to jail
    multiple times

    that I did without so you could
    have nothing to do with me
    have no words to say to me
    have total disdain for me
    *plus* after all I have done for you you tell people
    you do not have a mother

  30. pabeyer

    ∞ + 1

    The mathematician never counted
    on falling in love she held space
    for numbers but words, words
    were like errors, like equations that
    did not compute, yet standing
    at the cash bar at the faculty mingler
    Tony’s words (and his blue eyes) left her breathless
    Statistically speaking, there is a one in
    seven billion chance of finding a one’s binary match
    and to this day, she cannot explain
    why that moment and this combination of words aligned
    why this women, when analyzed
    even with the most precise equipment
    of the most concise calibration
    would swoon after hearing
    “I think I love you, like….
    like …
    like infinity
    plus one”
    Though she’s amazed by their formula
    she’s never required it to be verified
    by an independent source that
    would take all of the mystery out of it

  31. carolecole66

    We wear our plus-sized dresses well, the women of my family.
    Sturdy peasant stock, we’re wide, not tall,
    close to the ground to pull green beans
    or twist a tomato loose. Born to have broad hands
    and strong backs, we grow what we eat, render our lard,
    fry the chicken we hook and behead. We take up space
    and daily dress ourselves in clothes big enough to fit.

  32. Plove413

    I wondered about the tulips long after
    They ceased to grow
    plus the rose bush that once climbed
    the trellis that is now
    splintered, cast aside on the porch
    plus the letters gone
    from the suitcase behind the door.
    I wonder if I wonder
    because no one lives here

  33. Deri

    “Plus One”

    Constant shadow at my side.
    RSVP to every
    awkward outing.
    We clap enthusiastically
    at concerts or plays.
    Circle laps on the
    outward fringe of every
    wedding dance floor.
    In step, out of tune,
    one two one two.
    Road trips to nowhere
    in stilted silence.
    Basking in the
    cold glow of
    television screens
    into those
    darkest hours
    of the longest nights
    Never apart.
    Never together.
    My plus one to life.

  34. THEGingerSass

    “Plus…that song.”

    I was trying to find the motivation
    to take a shower
    so that my hair would dry
    while I fell asleep and rested my weary body
    even though Mom has always warned me
    that letting my hair dry as I slept
    could potentially make my pillow mildewy
    even though I think that’s bogus
    and that’s when I FINALLY got up
    because I realized the more I put my shower off
    the earlier I would have to get up in the morning
    so I warmed my shower
    by letting the water run
    because that’s what you have to do where I live
    and I stripped out of my clothes
    but before stepping into the shower
    I made sure my internet radio of choice was playing–
    “TV theme songs” because I was secretly hoping
    that the theme to “Three’s Company” would play
    when Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” came on
    as I soaped up my body–
    which is a weird song to come on
    under a TV theme song category since, as far as I know,
    it’s not a TV theme song–
    and I was instantly flooded with memories
    of being seventeen years old
    and working as a cashier at Shop Rite
    and being told I needed a proper
    “depressing playlist” if I was going to join the ranks of cashiers
    (only the other workers called it a “Kill Yourself Playlist”
    to describe their feelings about being stuck in the grocery store
    but I no longer feel comfortable calling it that
    even though that’s what it was)
    and this all led to me thinking of other songs that
    inevitably induce floods of memories and emotions into my life
    and I started wondering if the people who held these memories with me
    still associate the songs with me as I do with them,
    or if I am perhaps a bit too sentimental with my iPod,
    and then I started wondering what songs people associate with me,
    and hoping that they are happy songs
    or perhaps crazy songs,
    but probably not love songs,
    maybe incoherent rambling song,
    much like this poem
    that I started writing when I got out of the shower,
    after the theme to “Cheers” came on,
    which I actually have saved on my iPod,
    but never truly give the attention it deserves
    because it’s truly a great theme song
    full of emotion-evoking abilities,
    plus it understands me.
    Also, I just realized that this poem
    has a lot of words
    a lot of rambles
    and is one of my greatest masterpieces of delirium

  35. Dan Collins

    Plus War

    Once there was a plague-like homicidal disease
    that broke out with vengeance all over the earth
    How could such frenzy take us with such ease?
    A diplomat laughed, but without enough mirth;
    some Head of State didn’t smile and say please –
    “If you don’t have a sword, then go sell your cloak
    buy one that’s sharp and pay what its worth!”
    – these are some words that the best of us spoke.

    It happened in New Zealand, France, and Belize
    Some countries grew, expanded their girth –
    Some cities got small and lost all their trees.
    It happened in London, Moscow and Perth
    the slaughter of people, their cows, even bees
    they bombed and burned until all was in smoke.
    “A battle to death is more noble than birth.”
    – these are some words that the best of us spoke.

    And then when nothing was left but the fleas
    the land, sky and oceans were smothered in dearth
    the forests were ashes, no bird found a breeze
    from south of the east to west of the north
    all who remained either orphans or amputees.
    Then, as it happened the people awoke
    from their pendulum cannibal blood lust trapeze.
    These are some words that the best of us spoke:

    “I guess there’s no point in these laws and decrees;
    there’s little we can do that does not provoke
    and you know these plagues always happen in threes.”
    – Just a few words that the best of us spoke.

  36. LouiseBilborough

    plus one

    a pearlescent envelope.
    glitter and love hearts
    fall like shiny rain
    as I ease it open

    stiff paper and calligraphic curls.
    a cordial request
    for the pleasure of my company,
    plus one.

    my hand shakes
    more sparkles to the floor.
    how could you?

    you invited me, plus one
    to see you and her
    prove math wrong.

    to witness the day
    when one plus one
    is not two but one.

    you want me to watch
    you add yourself to her.
    and forget all that time
    i thought you were my plus one.

  37. Sara McNulty

    Plus What?

    In dawning days
    of failing economy,
    downsizing was born.
    One person taken
    away equaled a minus
    in team number. One
    person added would even
    team’s number. Simple
    mathematics nailed down
    in grade school, right?
    Downsizing dumbed down
    plus to a meaning explained
    thus: Less employees equal
    more work for those fortunate
    few who remained behind
    to do their work, times two.
    In other numbers, fewer
    employees equal increased
    work for same pay.

    Poetic Asides April Challenge – Day 5
    Write a plus poem

  38. bxpoetlover

    When a Plus Is Not

    A 13 year old whose father is a retired cop was stopped, frisked
    found with nothing
    his parents assaulted at the precinct;
    90 percent of the stops yield no evidence of crime but
    the Commissioner claims it is effective;
    the mayor gets on TV claiming the city has the lowest number of teens with guns
    and credits stop and frisk, so
    I don’t hold much hope.
    Son, as you are of a darker hue,
    do not walk alone. You may need a witness. But don’t walk in a large group either.
    Do not pull your hood over your head, even if it’s cold.
    Do not stand on the corner or in front of a store. Even if it’s on your block.
    If you are stopped and ask why
    know that you will be told you look suspicious;
    it is best to state you would like to remain silent.
    They likely don’t care to see your college ID.
    Do not consent to a search if there is no warrant;
    your voice must be even and calm.
    Keep your hands visible.
    Do not run;
    it will not save your life.
    If you are abused and get the badge number
    file a complaint with the precinct
    just in case someone ever cares about justice.

  39. Raina Masters

    Distractions, reactions and then ambivalence

    She gathers clothes from a basket,
    finds empty glasses in different
    rooms, tries to block out chatter
    from a television that no one is
    watching. Nonplussed, she stares
    at a screen between rubbing lotion
    on aching feet, lets the dog out.
    Stares at blank space again,
    drapes a blanket over his sleeping
    body, twisted on the sofa.
    Not everything can be profound.
    Sometimes, words can elude,
    betray. She resigns herself to the
    fallout of routine. Gives up.

  40. catlover

    (very quick and not quite right but I’m tired so here it is…)

    I have two beds in my bedroom
    Plus two dressers
    In addition to the too many tubs
    Filled with clothes and memories
    Too many pillows
    Too many blankets
    For two people
    In a bedroom made for one

  41. Carl

    Against the Minuses

    The work was a drag, but the music,
    a plus. Tornadoes of gossip, wiped
    by Mahler or the trinkly angels
    of Beethoven’s Seventh. The edits,
    the critics, but cubicle walls, a plus.

    Crystal, a plus, she floated through
    the hallways, another angel, dainty
    with perfect shapes and glorious smiles
    with reddish hair. The windows exposed
    dystopian architecture, but the angles,

    a plus, forging desperate thinking, clever
    gimmicks. The carpet, not so staid, 
    with patterns of light dark medium dark
    light, a plus, and, the biggest plus, three
    four five four three, ending with two threes;

    and march to fives, a plus when permeated
    with a need to meditate, need to soften the blows 
    of the day, the battering of pride, which perhaps
    should be gone, where we keep our heads down
    so we don’t know about being disregarded,

    and that’s a plus.


  42. BDP

    “Add Plus Take Away”

    I burst and only then I size ideas down.
    Possessions are synonymous with thoughts. Downsize

    the lot, and might I utilize less words than you
    who type clean code? Your mind is good at sizing down,

    distilling to the crisp detail with keyboard pen.
    You sometimes wish I’d size my things and language down,

    stop adding to the reams. I choose to gather more
    then change to fewer. You take dense and size it down,

    your forte is unscrambling. But I puzzle in
    extraneous to take some out, to size words down,

    revise. And though that’s something you do, too, you try
    not to. We’re a pair. If we sized “together” down,

    a poet plus computer scientist, what’s left?
    A minus separating us, a wrong down-size.

    B Peters

    P.S. I thought I’d try my hand at a new form, at least for me: a ghazal.

  43. hohlwein

    Making Sense

    I have wasted my life on these four things:

    believing I won’t die

    wondering if its true that I can be seen

    wondering if I speak if I can be heard

    wondering if words do anything but destroy


    strange (or not) that meaning and perception

    are the same

    I am an invisible eye

    and am all that I see, as far as I see

    my name – a distinction


    between breathing and air.

    my size is indefinite to me

    it expands down avenues

    and fills vaults

    changing its composition

    of air

    to light

    I am everywhere, a dispersion

    of memory and yearning

    or I am here curled, contained

    in this dear body, warming.

    I make love as water

    folding over as a wave

    into ourselves,

    my arms, arms, these mine,

    but also, made only

    of time

    and only briefly

    My voice is always a surprise to me

    – an awkward, too quiet attempt,

    at unpolished anecdotes, while the moon waits,

    slips like truth,

    at the back of my throat.

    I do see I am not not invisible.

    The body is not an afterthought.

    But it is porous

    Spring travels through me in spiraling paths,

    trajectories of energy. Sometimes I am all petals or all scent

    all Tuesday, all love.

    This doesn’t make for good stories,

    though I am immortal

    and dying at the same time.

    There is no point in speaking of this.

    Maybe as a poem.

    Not in the the words people use when they see each other

    when they sit across from one another and use words

    as if they actually speak of what they know

    of what life is

    and how living feels.

    Making Sense

    I have wasted my life on these four things:

    believing I won’t die
    wondering if its true that I can be seen
    wondering if I speak if I can be heard
    wondering if words do anything but destroy


    strange (or not) that meaning and perception
    are the same

    I am an invisible eye
    and am all that I see, as far as I see
    my name – a distinction
    between breathing and air.

    my size is indefinite to me
    it expands down avenues
    and fills vaults
    changing its composition
    of air
    to light

    I am everywhere, a dispersion
    of memory and yearning
    or I am here curled, contained
    in this dear body, warming.

    I make love as water
    folding over as a wave
    into ourselves,
    my arms, arms, these mine,
    but also, made only
    of time
    and only briefly

    My voice is always a surprise to me

    – an awkward, too quiet attempt,
    at unpolished anecdotes, while the moon waits,
    slips like truth,

    at the back of my throat.

    I do see I am not not invisible.
    The body is not an afterthought.
    But it is porous
    Spring travels through me in spiraling paths,
    trajectories of energy. Sometimes I am all petals or all scent
    all Tuesday, all love.

    This doesn’t make for good stories,
    though I am immortal
    and dying at the same time.

    There is no point in speaking of this.
    Maybe as a poem.
    Not in the the words people use when they see each other
    when they sit across from one another and use words
    as if they actually speak of what they know
    of what life is
    and how living feels.

  44. Kate Leen

    Sorry, Mr. Brewer! I just read the note in the post about comments – I’d thought my poem was lost and reposted it by memory. If there’s a discrepancy, the first version is the one I wanted to post. Lesson to save in the future. And obviously you don’t need to publish this comment.

  45. Julieann

    Plus One

    Set the table plus one
    She would say
    Use the silver
    And not the clay

    Set the table now
    Do it without delay
    For we must be ready
    If the Lord stops by today

  46. WayneLMurphy

    ‘Plus One’

    You’re invited to the wedding
    of Sir Reginald Bunn
    to Ms. Penelope Starsin
    You, plus one

    You’re friends and family
    will all be there
    There will be dancing
    and music in the air

    Come on time
    don’t be late
    Do not tempt
    the hands of fate

    Yes, you’re single
    but it’s okay
    We all still
    love you anyway

    So RSVP
    as quick as you can
    you’ll need a new dress
    and a new man

    Because you can not
    just show up alone
    You need a plus one
    or just stay home

    Wayne Murphy 4/5/13

  47. cam45237

    Can I get a real grade?

    I want an A+!
    I worked hard on this assignment.
    There was math involved.
    I used all the tools you taught me.
    I included all the salient points.
    I both sweated and bled.
    I neither rested nor slept.
    I did not seek
    Nor did I accept

    This is me.
    All me.
    And I want ,
    Nay I deserve, nay need
    Something more than a rounded-off number grade
    And an icy comment
    That I have made
    “some interesting choices”

  48. pmwanken


    than once
    she believed
    she found the one:
    the man of her dreams.
    Finally! Her “plus one!”
    Yet, time and again, they just
    did not add up. Relationships
    turned out positively negative,
    one miscalculation after the next.

    P. Wanken

    **decided the Etheree form was most fitting today :)

  49. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Not What You Said

    That first meeting – your eyes met mine.
    There was poetry and laughter
    plus music and mystery-
    There was an eternal moment of stillness
    plus infinite sparks of energy.
    But, on that first meeting –
    it wasn’t what you said that
    started my heart to dance.

  50. Andrew Kreider

    Two thumbs

    … and after that his eyes
    start off twitching, like he
    is seizing up with fright
    because they all split up
    in that forest at night

    and after that his eyes
    dart sideways at this dark
    shape in the trees that seems
    like it’s just watching him.
    And then somebody screams

    and after that his eyes
    get huge as dinner plates
    and I can’t even stand
    to watch because I know
    what happens next: his hand

    and after that his eyes,
    his leg, there’s all this blood
    until he’s a zombie!
    I almost threw up twice –
    what an awesome movie!

  51. vincegotera

    Used both NaPoWriMo AND PAD prompts: Maureen Thorson: “cinquain.” Robert Lee Brewer: “plus poem.” For a plus poem, wrote a fib. This poem starts with a fib stanza and ends with a cinquain stanza:

    What a Hand Can Do

    for day 5, a fib
    and a cinquain

    hand is
    pale and slight,
    dotted with freckles,
    long fingers like a pianist’s.

    Who’d think
    he would take up
    an axe like that. Blood soaked
    his parents’ bed. “Such a nice boy,”
    they said.

    –Vince Gotera

    More at my blog.

  52. vincegotera

    Used both NaPoWriMo AND PAD prompts: Maureen Thorson: “cinquain.” Robert Lee Brewer: “plus poem.” For a plus poem, wrote a fib. This poem starts with a fib stanza and ends with a cinquain stanza:

    <strongWhat a Hand Can Do

    for day 5, a fib
    and a cinquain

    hand is
    pale and slight,
    dotted with freckles,
    long fingers like a pianist’s.

    Who’d think
    he would take up
    an axe like that. Blood soaked
    his parents’ bed. “Such a nice boy,”
    they said.

    –Vince Gotera

    More at my blog.

  53. EbenAt

    Non Plus Ultra

    built them

    He could see
    beyond them.
    Anybody could
    needn’t be a God
    for that.

    Yet there it was,
    a line
    drawn in ocean
    like when
    Moses crossed
    The Great Divide.

    That was all there was,
    there weren’t no more…

    Now, the Hubble
    all the way back
    to when God
    lit the fuse.

    Where’s that
    Go No Further line
    when you need one?

  54. Benjamin Thomas

    (a prayer poem)

    Dear Lord,

    Add yourself to me I pray,

    for I know I’ll be no less of a person…

    But as you increase,

    as I decrease,

    there is magnificent gain.

    There is no gain except by loss,

    So do grace me

    to count all things as loss,

    and enjoy the dividends.

  55. Domino


    I’ve always loved addition
    one and one make two.
    And when they have fruition
    the two start to accrue.

    A lot of small additions
    if things work as they might
    and in the right conditions
    the future’s looking bright.

    Eventually addition,
    as time is wont to pass,
    turns into an attrition
    as kids grow up en masse.

    And so, no more addition
    For a little while at least,
    Until pairing-up ambition
    make the numbers soon increase.

    I’ve always loved addition
    one and one make two.
    Continue that tradition,
    And you’ve got a family zoo.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  56. SidraQ

    (a found poem)

    Blue secrets & wild gifts
    Now Available
    Stepping over the threshold
    the shop’s smell covered me
    like a pillow
    hot sweat, Nicaraguan coffee
    languid mamas laying in the sun

    Crouching in the corner
    near the antique cash register
    she crooked her finger, beckoning
    “Are you a night rider?”
    On its own my head nodded.
    The crone tipped back her head, laughed.
    I heard
    a kettle drum, castanets,

    “Come aboard”
    destination unknown hung
    in the air

    I left without
    purchasing anything
    but not empty
    Blue wild secrets were mine.

    Maybe I’ll remember them some day.

  57. Roxy


    They were a family
    a family of four.
    Then she left and
    it was four no more.

    He plus two of his own.
    They became a family
    a family of three.

    Then she came along
    plus two of her own.
    They all became a family.
    They all remain a family

    a family of temporary subtractions.
    But together welcome additions.

    One plus on eequals two.
    But it only takes one to equal more.


  58. Misky


    One plus one makes two
    Of you to make me smile,
    To tuck you in like socks in shoes,
    In bed a story while
    You doze to fairies in your head,
    To sleep,
    To dream
    Until tomorrow.

  59. keithdozier

    Less equals plus, sometimes
    by: Keith Dozier

    Sometimes less is quite a plus,
    Like when the seats are small
    On the city bus.

    Sometimes minus is better than plus
    It wins big purses at Augusta.
    I don’t think Tiger has won
    With a plus twenty four
    At The Masters, it’s best
    to have a negative score.

    Problems- well problems,
    We don’t won’t to upsize.
    We’d all like as few,
    Down to zero, I surmise.

    Now regarding financials,
    We’d rather be in the black,
    Than in the red.
    And, that one is a plus,
    Doesn’t need to be said.

    But poems — like this one,
    Shouldn’t take long to be read
    So let’s not keep adding to it,
    And quit while we’re ahead !

  60. bluerabbit47


    They all add up,
    in the end,
    remnants of
    all the different
    people we have
    been, the toddling
    baby, tasting
    everything that falls
    in reach, the school
    child hearing
    the music of varied
    voices, the teen
    watching for every
    slight, the young
    adult feeling the frustrations
    of a striving world,
    the parent, overwhelmed
    by the surprising perfume
    of a child’s sun-dusted arm,
    the aging friend, walking
    by a river in the afternoon,
    a sum from similar
    numbers, so like, yet
    unlike any other,
    when added up.

  61. taylor graham


    Weeding the garden – interrupted
    by great hawk commotion
    from the big blue oak. A Cooper’s swooped
    out of the branches screaming –
    barred tail fanned wide open. One hawk,
    and then a second and a third. Mating
    season. All three took off north
    above the fence, now on our side, now
    the neighbors – hawks having no regard
    for property lines – and landed
    in spindly oaks just leafing out; not satisfied,
    still screaming courtship,
    two came back to a tall black oak
    behind our house. Will they nest there?
    A plus, and a minus.
    One hawk fledgling costs hundreds
    of native songbirds. What price
    that screaming, aerobatic flight of hawk?

  62. RJ Clarken

    Taking Things Lying Down

    “On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down.” ~Woody Allen

    Right now, I want to be … well. … prone.
    Go parallel. Yes, that’s the key.
    Just the ticket for tired me.
    It isn’t death – just sleepy-zone

    ‘cause I’m dead-tired to the bone.
    If you felt like this, you’d agree.
    Go parallel. Yes, that’s the key.
    Right now, I want to be … well. … prone,

    like … level, planking, plane, a stone.
    I want to be a naiant me,
    positioned horizontally,
    flatter than a tone-deaf tone.
    Right now, I want to be … well. … prone.


  63. Anonabc123

    Hard Math

    When I was just a little lad
    My mother taught me to add.
    She took these cherries from a game,
    And had me pile them one-by-one
    Soon the height grew taller than its weight
    So the cherries toppled to the floor.
    Leaving only me to blame.
    My mother laughed with great delight.
    Seeing her youngest boy in shock
    As the world he knew began to crash.

    Never greatly could she wonder
    That one day I would sell stock.
    I told her it’s quite simple
    Like peddling cherries to the flock.
    Then some months ago,
    The markets began to stumble
    Before too long,
    The world was to crumble,
    The cherries now higher than before,
    So when they all hit the floor,
    There’s was little laughter in the air.
    And unlike the day I learned to add,
    My mother just looked sad.

  64. Rosemary Nissen-Wade


    One plus one is two.
    Two can grow to be one.

    Some couples multiply,
    becoming one family
    of three or four or more.

    We didn’t do it that way;
    not with each other.
    Our former families divided.

    And grew, as the children
    matured and married …
    and dispersed.

    Each of us (we two)
    became single.

    Met. Joined. Coupled.
    One plus one makes two,

    Two become one unit:
    one couple. A single couple.

    Merging, fusing, two
    can grow to be as one.
    This is everything!

    But they may separate.
    One can part from one,
    leaving one alone …
    feeling like just nothing.

    Is this not singular?

  65. Anonabc123

    Hard Math

    When I was just a little lad
    My mother taught to add.
    She took these cherries from a game
    And piled them one-by-one.
    Soon their height couldn’t manage their weight,
    So they toppled to the floor.
    And I worried for the blame.
    My mother laughed with great delight,
    Seeing her youngest boy in shock
    As the world he knew began to crash.

    Never greatly could she wonder
    That one day I would sell stock.
    I told her it’s quite simple
    Like peddling cherries to the flock.
    Then some months ago,
    The markets began to stumble
    Before too long,
    The world was to a crumble,
    The cherries now higher than before,
    So when they all hit the floor,
    There’s was little laughter in the air.
    And unlike the day I learned to add,
    My mother just looked sad.

  66. missjoyce

    Missing Plus

    Swimsuits, check! And my aviators, too.
    Slippers, sandals, and my black walking shoes.
    And of course, my paper back of Dear John.

    A handfuly of shorts and some razorbacks,
    all of these squeezed in a weekender pack.
    I hope my luggages won’t weigh a ton.

    Toiletries topped off my must-not-forget’s.
    This time, camera, to capture sunsets.
    Seems like I’m ready; all packing is done.

    I really need this much-awaited rest.
    But I still feel emptiness in my chest.
    Only one thing could fill it in —
    Plus one.

  67. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Seasonal ad-ons”

    It all adds up
    to a break in reality.

    We were
    the spectrums
    of moons and mood,
    hiding from the odor of burnt
    sienna road slush and poor hygiene.

    Then there were songs in the trees.

    Then there were robins.

    Then there was lightening.

    Then green.

  68. Bruce Niedt

    NaPoWriMo’s prompt is to write a cinquain, which is a natural fit with Robert’s prompt because the form involves adding two syllables per line (2,4,6,8) with a final two-syllable line. Of course, many of you know this already and have posted your own. So here’s my “plus cinquain”:

    sun plus
    warm equals melt
    melt plus soil equals green
    green plus rain plus flowers equals

  69. Connie Peters

    Gotta Have It

    This silly world makes such a fuss.
    To emphasize they add a plus.
    More! Extra! Bonus is a boon!
    The normal stuff is good, but add
    some wonder pizzazz, just a tad.
    The ultra helps you reach the moon.
    New and improved is such a hit.
    Yes, super-size to benefit.
    May, from this hype, I be immune.

    1. DanielAri

      “Gotta Have It” was the supersized ice cream serving at Cold Stone Creamery. I always hated them for naming their sizes “Like It” for small, “Love It” for medium and “Gotta Have It” for way too much. “This silly world,” indeed!

  70. MeenaRose

    Plus en Plus
    By: Meena Rose

    Never settle for mediocrity,
    Set your aim high and soar;
    Despite measures for austerity.

    Penny wise and pound foolish – superfluity,
    Watch for the wise men and their fabled lore;
    Never settle for mediocrity.

    Popular cultural reaches new heights of vapidity,
    Live out your purpose and settle the score;
    Despite measures for austerity.

    Creativity and self expression – boundless fertility,
    The universe is yours to explore;
    Never settle for mediocrity.

    Social conscience unearths new levels of placidity,
    A blight you must never ignore;
    Despite measures for austerity.

    Uncover your personal divinity,
    This is your time, your grand tour;
    Never settle for mediocrity,
    Despite measures for austerity.

  71. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Hmmm. “Haste makes waste” and all those sayings like that. Made a mistake yesterday with Kim Jong-Un’s name, used his father’s incorrectly. Today I posted a cinquain, but afterward realized I’d left out the correct number of beats in the 4th line. So here is the corrected version:

    Pluck it Out

    Small as
    a sandbur without
    the spines to prick the skin
    within my drooping breast. Pluck it
    out. Please.

  72. DanielAri

    “Commute Bonus”

    There’s Chris White! I sing his name as we meet
    at the crosswalk. We embrace and bustle
    into the station. “How’s the clarinet?”
    “We’re playing third Mondays at First Fiddle.”
    “And Claire?” “Some middle-aged angst, but all right.”

    What a good thing that his eyes still twinkle.
    He lets the first train rumble by so we
    can catch up until his stop in Oakland.
    He asks about my work, the poetry.
    Four years back, our wives had a falling out.

    I can feel them sitting behind us here,
    watching each other, ripe with forgiveness.
    I saw groups of friends part like The Red Sea
    when we were young and didn’t need amends.
    We love Chris and Claire. The train’s a zipper-

    pull this morning, interlocking our chains
    a notch or two by our two toothy grins.

  73. omavi

    Loss of Arithmetic

    Thinking that this is the moment
    That we finally meet and the moment
    We become more than just errant beings
    And this is the moment we take a hand
    And this is a moment that we become friends

    This is a moment when we share one voice
    And we play games chosen by chose
    And we parley through morning to night
    We become more than just one
    And two is so real
    This is a moment we begin to feel

    This is long searches plus heart breaks
    Finally revealed as nature becomes so real
    As pain adds joy to its revelry
    As love becomes hate and
    Equality deals two souls to hearts
    This bond is created

  74. PressOn


    When Dickinson swung into action,
    her dashes would aid in the traction
    of auras engendered
    by poems that rendered
    their meaning by adding subtraction

      1. PressOn

        Thanks very much. I love limericks, and don’t think they necessarily need to be confined to light or foolish verse, although that’s what I usually use them for.

  75. Marian O'Brien Paul

    First, a correction: my poem yesterday should have been dedicated to Kim Jong-un. I mistakenly wrote his deceased father’s name (Kim Jong Il).
    For today’s poem, a cinquain about and addition (plus) that needs to be subtracted:

    Pluck it Out

    Small as
    a sandbur without
    the spines to prick the skin
    within my breast Pluck it
    out. Please.

  76. vxl

    Eulogy for Another Isaac

    Honor, it seems, has been transcribed below
    written into the shadows under the stone.
    He dared to go where we did not follow –
    Content to stand watch as he went alone.

    What good will come from this last addition
    when in adding we find less.
    Our Valkyrie, heir to wars tradition
    has no strength left to confess.

    Nature remains as silent as the flow’rs
    who strongly number the fertile bed
    Call to arms our sons and daughters –
    Perhaps they can fight for us instead.

    How can we be content to mourn this ghost
    At the hour when we need his strength the most?

  77. IrisD

    One Plus One Plus God Equals Nation
    Abram and Sara had a son,
    Isaac was the promised one.
    His beloved Rebekkah gave birth
    Esau and Jacob, twins of mirth.
    Jacob worked seven years for Rachel,
    Leah was added for seven more,
    Then Jacob wrestled with God
    Who changed his name to
    Twelve sons for twelve tribes,
    But Joseph’s sons were so special
    Half tribes were added just for them,
    Manassah and brother Ephriam.
    So many begats were added to line,
    Multitudes as numerous as stars
    Or likened to grains of sand so fine,
    Became a nation great and strong,
    Small beginnings, with a few add-ons

    (Needs work but I have no time and wanted to post today)

  78. Jane Shlensky

    Assumption plus Imagination

    She heard him as she served their dinner wine
    ask his son, “What do you think of that one?”
    and gesture toward her, stiffening her spine—
    “a lot of bang for your buck, that one, son.”

    She felt a rush of anger and of pride
    confusing her and blocking common sense
    because from kitchen doorway she had eyed
    the younger one just enough to make him tense.

    She thought they shopped for wives for the young man.
    She wondered just what plans the two had laid.
    She sought his eyes and did not understand
    when he spoke, “We two look to hire a maid.”

    The offer in itself was no disgrace.
    Bang for your buck indeed! She slapped his face.

  79. vickiejohnstone

    Plus one

    It’s meaningless, this plus one
    You so wish I would bring.
    I am here, though alone,
    Accompanied by my thoughts.

    I only want to sit in the corner,
    Tucked away from the bustle,
    Eat a little dinner, something light,
    Drink a glass of sweet red wine.

    Here I can watch the people,
    Listen to their funny stories,
    Enter their unique lives,
    But remain anonymous.

    What does it matter to you?
    It is only me, the widow
    As my dearest plus one
    Passed so, so long ago.

  80. Yolee

    Plus one

    The big apple saw me for the first time
    in the core of its city in August of 94.
    Cousin Ed was getting married. I was unaware
    that the invite was for Mami and Papi
    only. My parents couldn’t go. At their urging
    my sister Maria and I adopted their RSVP.

    We arrived the day before and did the pre-festivities-thing.

    “Pero adonde estan los viejos? But where are your parents”
    “They couldn’t make it” my sister and I would mutter,
    as if our grown-up voices had been seized by third
    graders. We were all a mixed tape of eclectic songs.

    The next day, hard fish scents from Manhattan’s
    outdoor markets rode piggyback on whips of wind.
    The climate had a cold. An on foot beauty salon
    search had us twirling by surly hairdressers.

    The reception was at a modest restaurant divided
    by a long hallway where the children’s table
    was stationed in a back room. My sister
    and I had been penciled in to dine there.

    My plus one, three weeks young in my womb
    prevented me from tasting the celebrated wine.

    1. De Jackson

      This is wonderful, Yolee. Crazy (and cool) that we both went the same direction with the same title. I love when that happens.

      This description is fantastic:
      “The next day, hard fish scents from Manhattan’s
      outdoor markets rode piggyback on whips of wind.
      The climate had a cold.”

      1. Yolee

        De Jackson, crazy, yes. I really loved your poem. Thank you.
        Thank you kindly, Misky. Glad you love it.
        Muchas gracias, Marie. I appreciate you. :)

  81. burrhead

    I thought my busy schedule was driving me mad
    I scrambled to complete the tasks of living
    Like cleaning up after myself
    And taking care of my family
    Going to work
    And on the way home having fun

    Now that I stopped working
    I have enough time to clean up after myself
    Plus concentrate on how mad I have become
    Without a busy schedule
    To distract me from my crazy thoughts

  82. De Jackson

    Plus One

    She hasn’t told anyone
    yet. The dress still
    fits with a tiny safe
    -ty pin fix, and the
    clicks of her stilettos
    still sound the same.

    The crimson corsage
    is from her own Daddy,
    and there’s no black
    stretch limo on its way.

    Just below her heart
    she holds a secret,
    a tiny, sacred stone.

    He’s going
    with another girl,
    she’s not going
    to prom


  83. larrybuf


    looking up from the street
    I see the balcony we used to share
    sitting there
    coffee and dreams
    forever vows
    memories now
    you don’t live here anymore

    shimmering pool
    blue as your eyes
    I see you there
    laughing at my beaming
    but you’re not there
    you don’t live here anymore

    glancing out the window
    parking lot
    there’s a car in your old spot
    taking me back
    so many memories
    but it’s not you
    you don’t live here anymore

    tossed out all your stuff
    everything is new
    but I still hear your footsteps
    there in the hallway
    key in the door
    but one plus one is zero
    and you don’t live here anymore

  84. Misky

    The Deconstruction of a Peanut Butter and Grape Sarnie

    Plus, plus
    No fuss
    A bunch of grapes
    Yes, please
    Bread, bread
    How much
    Two is what I said
    Crunch, crunch
    Nuts to butter
    Peanut butter
    Stuck between the bread
    Plus, plus
    Munch, munch
    Sandwiches served
    For lunch!

  85. Jane Shlensky

    Plus Dressing

    Simple addition is taught with subtraction
    because life is full of confusing abstraction
    of buying five oranges, but eating a few
    there reducing the number to three or to two
    and apparently it matters greatly how many
    oranges a person can buy with a penny
    which only compounds the great problem with numbers
    dividing the fruit while adding fresh cucumbers,
    a few red strawberries and juice of a lime
    and there’s so much to share during subtraction time.
    No quick mathematics instruction is valid
    that won’t teach a child how delicious is salad.

    1. Linda Voit

      :) That was fun! Hey Anders, if I search my name in the search tool, other people’s poems come up along with mine — some I commented on. Just wanted you to know in case there is an issue.

  86. antsocial

    Pariah he will always be
    wrapped up in pyre by the old oak tree

    He yearned to be part of the group
    a welcomed addition
    but lost his dignity via attrition

    Oh how someone with such potential
    could be shunned he stands rejected
    abridged and stunned

    How cruel a wanting for inclusion could
    be so unjust which broke him down to a
    minus and never a plus

  87. identity


    Increase the water
    Decrease oil
    Eliminate the salt
    Skip the candy bar
    And walk a thousand feet
    Decrease the water
    Increase oil
    Eliminate the salt
    Feast on poetry
    And feel your new heart beat

  88. Tai J


    5 AM morning sickness
    4 days in a row
    3rd time we’ve heard the words
    “You’re pregnant!”
    2 blessings already to show
    First time I’ve seen my husband
    hit the floor
    After the doctor says,
    “Yep there’s one in there…plus 1 more!”

  89. Weedlewom


    How is it the soul of a poet
    resides in this body,
    vast as a prairie,
    broad as a plain,
    as the Appalachians,
    varied in rolling
    mountains and hills?

    What beauty can inhabit
    a form not corresponding
    to the conventions
    of loveliness and grace?

    I am plus-sized
    in all my dimensions;
    of spirit and heart
    too great
    to be contained
    by tiny bones and
    a model’s frame.

    And so I celebrate
    with gratitude
    for those who appreciate
    in me
    a full plate.

    Susan Dean Wessells

  90. JRSimmang

    Won’t someone stop her talking
    because sleep is slowly stalking
    and I’ve reached the end of caring
    for algebraic thought.

    She stands in front of whiteboard
    not realizing we’re all bored,
    squawking her marker ever forward
    into the deep and dark mind rot.

    I’ve fallen in and out for hours;
    I’ve lost all my super powers.
    I should take lots of cold showers
    because I’m not feeling hot.

    Then, she finally ends her barrage
    of quotients, dividends, and average,
    and bespeaks her old adage:
    Subtract and plus not.

  91. profal29


    through the internal lines of endless graves
    I see the shores of time
    always beaten by the waves
    as they spread their tons of grime

    where once there was a child of time
    there now stands a child of brave
    awaiting to tell the forces of crime
    the plus and minuses of what they stave

    adding itself upon its field of time
    the way a healer can share your pain
    once bitten, and trying to climb
    back to feel life again

  92. priyajane

    The word, ‘plus’, has an abstract start
    3 consonants, plus a vowel heart
    One can add a hum to it
    A, ‘plush’, luxuriant ending fit
    Or, –remove the tuneful la
    A sick infecting, ‘pus’, of wahs
    Enrich it for a beauty ‘sculp’
    Limit it, for a hurried ‘sup’
    A change sometimes can wither your, ‘plum’
    Or pull the ‘plug’, from conditioned scum
    It’s up to us, how we create
    The balance of our living state—

  93. Beth Rodgers


    Imprinted in everyone’s mind
    Is that one image
    That brings about
    And redemption.

    It’s the sum of these parts
    That makes us whole.
    The sum of our hearts
    That makes us energized.

    We wish on notions
    Perceive life through knowing eyes.
    Take too much for granted.

    We know what is
    What was
    And what could be
    All based on that one image.

    1. De Jackson

      Henderson, Nevada (Pacific Time). I feel ya. Unless I get up at 5am (which I sometimes do), I usually feel behind, too. But these fantastic poetic folks post all day. Just come along for the ride. ;)

  94. Larry

    Poem 4
    Is life always clear for you?
    Like where you’re going, or where you’ve been.
    For you, two plus two always equals four.
    However with Me, I never know where I am going.
    Nor do I know where I have been.
    Two plus two will add up but never to four.
    Your life seems to me like a large Grand Father Clock.
    Ticking away, always at the same pace.
    My life is like Mardi gras.
    Never knowing who I will throw the beads to next.

  95. Nancy Posey

    Playing with numbers now.

    Ten Syllables, More or Less

    Although I always aimed for the heartbeat of
    blank verse, brilliant imitation of Petrarch
    or William Shakespeare on a break from Hamlet,
    my meter trips me up, trochaic then an
    iamb interrupted by dactylic skips.
    My odd-numbered lines, broken more by custom
    or by eye than by sense, won’t relinquish life
    until I reach my eleventh syllable.
    Who will revoke my poetic license now?

  96. Alpha1

    Dem Bones

    To build for the future we
    must learn from the past
    experiences of our ancestors
    whose bones still lay
    buried beneath sky-scrapers
    on Manhattan Valley street
    which was once their
    sacred burial grounds
    before being covered
    with huge blocks of granite
    and cement
    addin insult
    to the injury of
    their already dubious

  97. Nancy Posey

    Oh, and One More Thing

    Hard enough to hang up at all,
    strung there by the tense,
    invisible wire of our call,
    you’d always interject—
    Oh, and one more thing. . .
    and you were off, a story
    that would make me laugh,
    an odd thing that happened
    on the Tube yesterday,
    a book you’d finished, knew
    I would love, additions
    to our ongoing dialogue
    masquerading as chitchat,
    idle talk between old friends.
    Did you know how I hungered
    like some wretched Oliver
    Twist for more and more?

  98. profal29


    through the internal lines of endless graves
    I see the shores of time
    always beaten by the waves
    as they spread their tons of grime

    where once there was a child of time
    there now stands a child of brave
    awaiting to tell the forces of crime
    the plus and minuses of what they stave

    adding itself upon its field of time
    the way a healer can share your pain
    once bitten, and trying to climb
    back to feel the pluses of life again

  99. LCaramanna

    Plus Fours

    1920s golfer on the course
    sported dashing knickers
    four inches longer –
    Plus Fours.

    Bloused over the knees
    fashioned roaring loose times’
    relaxed baggy look,
    The flashy sporty type
    added argyle knee socks
    plus a pullover sweater.

    Any well-dressed golfer
    might overshoot the green
    FORE the rough,
    But his plus fours always
    garnered extra credits
    in the style category.

    1920s golfer in the clubhouse
    women with prohibited beverages
    added shots to his score card –
    Plus Fours!

  100. Jerry Walraven

    “Knowledge Plus”

    Hello Kitty has no mouth,
    which is something I never dreamed
    I’d know,
    like names of princesses
    and how many shades of pink
    can be in one outfit.
    Yet, pink
    and mud
    go together
    like fathers and daughters
    and these small additions
    to the book of knowledge
    defy the properties of math
    as their sum
    is infinite.

  101. Earl Parsons

    Add A 1

    Though we can’t recall the day
    We took our very first breath
    Our parents will never forget it
    Add a 1

    Then our birthdays came around
    We celebrated our survival with
    Presents, cake, ice cream and friends
    Add a 1

    Christmas became our favorite time
    Decorations, gifts, and the Christ child
    The Season marked a time for us to
    Add a 1

    On New Year’s Eve we all would gather
    To sing a verse of Auld Lang Syne
    We’d countdown to the time that we would
    Add a 1

    We grew, went to school, got educated
    Each year looking toward the next
    Summer vacation gave us the chance to
    Add a 1

    We finally found the love of our life
    We court, we swoon, we risk
    We seal the deal with a wedding ring
    Add a 1

    Nine months of nervous anticipation
    The time comes to deliver
    We smile as God sends us a blessing
    Add a 1

    Another and another comes
    They grow up, marry, and multiply
    With each new life we marvel as we
    Add a 1

    The years that used to take forever
    Flash past us faster as time goes by
    So short the time between when we
    Add a 1

    Then one day we look in the mirror
    Wrinkles, grey hair, we’ve shrunk a bit
    We count the days that God allows us
    Add a 1

    But all things must come to an end
    One day we’ll take our very last breath
    Though we’ll be gone, in Heaven they can
    Add a 1

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

  102. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Plus or Minus an Hour (depending on your time zone)

    Your life will be showing today and tomorrow and
    Yes! Yes! Yes! The next day too…
    Your life will be showing all day everyday from now
    until, well the end…of time….well, your time!
    So add up your good decisions,
    total the bad,
    take one from the other and multiply
    by the career you first thought of.
    Divide by the time you spend looking at
    at cats on the internet (every damn day!)
    and if you are still in the plus column,
    then it may be worth watching the rest of the show.
    Now! Shut down that damned machine and get outside
    and live! Live like there is no tomorrow
    because one day there won’t be…

    …Starts 7; 00p.m. EST plus or minus an hour depending on your state (of mind)


  103. Marie Elena


    If I am hooked on counting,
    Then I have questions, three.
    Does that count as a hobby?
    Or just as O.C.D.?

    You say you counted only two,
    When I had promised three?
    Well, I just don’t know what to say.
    Guess you can’t count on me.

    :D An old one. Will “add” one later. ;)

  104. Michelle Hed

    You and Me

    You plus me equal we,
    add baby and that makes three –
    and not to be a bore
    but we add one more for four –
    and with our assets all lined up in a row,
    we throw off an advantageous glow.
    For we are positive our little family of four
    is perfect from head to floor –
    but we decided to add two more to our mix
    our summation now equals six.

    But here’s a riddle to boggle your mind
    six bodies and sixteen feet I find.
    Who did we add to double our feet?
    Can you guess? Would you like to meet?
    Come on over and come inside,
    one will greet you at the door, the other will hide.
    They like to sit and have a belly rub,
    they sometimes drink water from the tub.
    They are quite sweet and loveable it’s true
    but food disappears faster than they can chew.

    Have you guessed? Do you have a clue?
    I’m allergic to cats, I thought you knew.
    Dogs! is the answer and yes we have two,
    Sisters for sisters, true friends through and through.

  105. Angie5804

    This is a a Plus Pantoum

    I am a writer
    I teach four days a week
    I tutor on two afternoons
    And work in an office some mornings

    I teach four days a week
    We read, we write, we laugh
    And work in an office some mornings
    I type, I file, we laugh

    We read, we write, we laugh
    At home I read, I write, I laugh
    I type, I file, we laugh
    Yet still I miss those days

    At home I read, I write, I laugh
    Trying to be creative
    Yet still I miss those days
    The friends who know what I mean

    Trying to be creative
    Getting to know my characters
    The friends who know what I mean
    Who commiserate and laugh

    Getting to know my characters
    Not quite the same as friends
    Who commiserate and laugh
    Drink coffee and share

    Not quite the same as friends
    I tutor on two afternoons
    Drink coffee and share
    I am a writer

  106. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Well, we can breathe again – for a moment!
    That was at least a little better. I ain’t saying I was
    impressed but a win is a win. Plus we can relax a little too.
    With the Yanks on the road for a week, at least we don’t
    have to face seeing them lose in person and if they win,
    we are in a bar where we get free beer & wings. Well,
    I hope so! I like your cousin a lot but then so does everyone.
    Still I hear she’s out of favour with both the Rangers and the Knicks.
    Something to do with a water polo team…better not to ask.
    Plus, if she does spring for the refreshments we don’t wanna
    change her mood. Pick me up at 12 – bring green just in case
    your cuz is in a foul!

    Yours trying to look on the plus side

    Ringo the Howler

  107. uneven steven

    I am fairly certain
    the world will continue
    to exist
    without me.
    The absence of sense
    with the loss of the senses
    is absurdity itself
    drowning me in a
    minus a god
    plus a self
    one massy wheel
    of electrons
    not observing itself


    Round One

    Neutral Observer
    Schrodinger’s Cat

    “Which one are you
    betting on?”
    Wheel of Fortune’s
    axle asked.


    On the plus side
    the horse that broke its leg
    which kept the son
    from being drafted
    which of course
    lost the battle
    which lost the war
    was luckily


    A Plus size love
    takes a Big person
    just like a big house
    more work
    to keep clean

  108. PKP


    The calls are made
    from a cell phone
    outside in the cold air
    sitting on a bench
    under a tree –
    Self admonishment
    as a mantra

    “Just the facts”
    “Just the facts”

    The recitation begins
    His lungs wheeze the
    blood anemic pale
    struggling to reach
    his trembling

    to stop

    at the place of
    “Just the facts”

    but cannot
    curtail the crack
    of voice
    and the
    words spill
    from a mouth filled
    with pouring tears

    plus? the way
    they spoke as

    dear brother
    sweet sister

    he has forgotten
    he is a man
    he has forgotten
    he is our father

    He cries.
    Not in pain
    He cries
    for sweets –
    a little-boy
    with wide eyes
    watching my
    empty hands

    so disappointed
    when I have no
    more and he
    with sugared lips
    forgets even the
    first sweet taste
    as he swallows
    the last

    I am here
    sitting on a bench
    left him inside
    alcohol halls
    pleading if no
    sweets to
    only please…
    bring him
    his mother

  109. BiblioGypsy

    My addition always
    in reduction seems to end.

    Negative joined with its like
    can yield naught but subtraction.

    Likewise, I become less when
    gloom adjoins my thoughts.

    From cation to anion, mood
    shifts with life’s ebb and flow:

    Take flight on positivity’s plumes
    and fall to negativity’s snares.

    Charged with energy, just to be drained;
    despair, the anguished succubus within.

    Vibrance turned grey as ash,
    evidence of greatest deduction.

  110. PowerUnit

    The advantage of being poor is you cannot fall from grace
    We cannot all stand on the pedestal
    But look up from the ground
    Throwing rocks
    To knock the birds off the shoulders
    Of the silent masters

  111. JWLaviguer

    Do The Math

    I added you
    subtracted things
    from my past
    my futon beer bong jean shorts too
    multiplied our debt
    and divided our friends
    but one plus one
    is greater than me
    for I am less than zero
    without you

  112. annell

    April 5, 2013 National Poetry Month A Poem A Day Writer’s Digest

    Prompt #5: Write an addition poem.

    Fragments, Geometry, and Change

    Color selected

    One shape at a time

    One drop of paint at a time

    Brighter or duller

    Warmer or cooler

    Lighter or darker

    Each shape carefully rendered



    Unexpected color in juxtaposition

    Create unique visual statement

  113. JWLaviguer


    Sometimes at a loss
    and it hurts my brain
    but at what cost
    and at what pain

    The words may flow
    out of order they may be
    searching high and searching low
    my prose will set me free

    Start with one phrase plus another
    they keep filling the pages
    on a roll please do not bother
    writing this one for the ages

    Keep typing and writing
    writing and typing
    my pencil I keep biting
    my coffee hot and piping

    The plot is solid but not quite done
    just a bit more almost there
    the villain dead the hero’s won
    The whos and whats and whys and wheres

    Who will edit this masterpiece
    mark it up and change it ’round
    thought I was done with this large beast
    got it back and now I frown

    Years gone by but still it sits
    forgot about it until one day
    lost my keys was having fits
    open a drawer and there it lay

    It can be finished if I try
    I have this weekend and the next
    stop saying I can’t stop telling the lie
    let’s do this thing let’s not be vexed

    A week or more and now its ended
    polished up and finalized
    every task has been tended
    ready for the public’s eyes.

    1. RJ Clarken

      And with that, I’m off to make a spectacle. No – really. I’m back in school (again) but this time, I’m studying opticianry. And just so you know, today’s spectacles are rimless PLUS lenses. (Fashion for the far-sighted.) I’ll do some poeming later.


      See you all later.

      1. PressOn

        This counts as not being able to leave well enough alone, but I couldn’t resist:


        When I was young I had no glasses
        but, nonetheless, I got no passes;

        in middle age I got some specs,
        about the time I left my ex;

        bifocals later were prescribed
        so I could see what I’d imbibed;

        later still I needed trifocals
        to tell the middings from the locals.

        Nowadays I’ve shifting vision:
        my lenses are always in transition.

        1. PKP

          Hi RJ – “see you later” … as well
          as far as Press.. I had no intention of either reading or commenting now… but I’m just lovin the spectacle of your funnin punnin :) and now I’m out of here :)

    2. RJ Clarken

      Time Heals Everything

      “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” ~Carol Burnett

      They say that time heals everything.
      With time, bad memories will fade.
      Remembrance is a past charade
      since time can often stop a sling

      or arrow from grim fortune. Cling
      to thoughts of brighter days. Be staid.
      With time, bad memories will fade.
      They say that time heals everything.

      From winter’s chill to buds of spring,
      life starts anew. Emerge from shade:
      Look forward to those plans you’ve made.
      With comedy encompassing,
      they say that time heals everything.


  114. ewdupler

    Building Fire

    In freezing cold.
    My trembling hands
    Find pocket lint
    For warming plans

    Search in earnest
    For sappy pine
    Add to the pile
    Of tinder, fine

    And then some twigs
    In teepee form
    Added over
    To keep me warm

    A few big sticks
    Are sitting near
    They’re frozen still
    But not to fear

    To find this fuel
    Was such a plus
    When matches strike
    It warms me, thus

    1. PressOn

      I realized I violated the Crapsey rules. Here’s another try:

      OLD MATH

      one another
      adds up to merely two,
      but adding love can generate


    All I want are life’s free Ginsu Knives,
    The ones that come with my set.
    The “wait there’s more” promise galore
    You all but promised I’d get.

    Oh, I’ve called and I’ve waited and acted right now
    For life’s knives and the Bender Ball III
    The rewards you all say I’ve got coming
    All part of the bonus and free.

    I took you up on your offer,
    Was ready for shipping today
    Such a sucker for hope and the promise,
    Of all that you’re sending my way.

    Are there two-for-ones just on Tuesday?
    What else if I order real fast?
    Seems life’s fine print is in small type
    I’ve been taken before in the past.

    Sure feels like I’m missing my freebie
    My plus one not sold in the store
    I fall every time for life’s pitches
    I just thought the plus one would be more.