2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

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.

Today is a Two-for-Tuesday prompt. Write one of the following (or both):

  • Write a hunter poem.
  • Write a hunted poem.

Here’s my attempt:


occasionally she hunts
for arts & crafts projects
& experiments

with paints & yarns
glue guns & mason jars
felt & popsicle sticks

one week batik
the next baskets
& always something new

around the corner
as if trying to throw him
off her scent


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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308 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

  1. Marjory MT

    Day 09 – HUNTER or HUNTED

    The day was underway, with the need to get to work.
    Racing through the house, onlookers would think I’d gone berserk.
    Checking patio and yard as neighbor peeked, I wanted to shout, “Come help, you jerk!”
    Where, o-where, o-where do those car keys lurk

  2. Nadienne

    Bounty Hunter

    I know my little voice holds no command,
    and my eyes and my face. No danger.
    Just another martini drinker at the club,
    another jogger at the park.
    You hear me only because
    I’m the only one here,
    and still your attention drifts.
    I am master of the humble art,
    lord of the unseen reach,
    gifted with a camouflage mask.
    I can see now it truly was a gift.

  3. bookworm0341


    One must wonder the agenda
    of a hunter-
    Is it to provide for
    the good of the whole,
    or for his own personal
    sport and gain?

    The same can be said
    for each Presidential Candidate.
    Which makes me wonder
    who’s side is he really on?

  4. foodpoet

    In the shadow time of film
    When noir was it
    Mystery clouded in fog and black and white
    Crept from screen out into the imagination
    Curling smoke filled nostrils not yet drenched in
    Techni color lurid modern hit you in the face reality.
    Today color jumps and hunts the minds of youth with
    Enticements and gimmicks.
    For now I spend time with shadow hunting the past.

  5. Mr. Walker

    through the windshield
    I am the hunter

    my thumb on the trigger
    launching mini-rockets

    at other cars
    the explosions

    slow motion

    then i notice
    the rear view mirror

    and i am the hunted
    another vehicle

    coming up fast
    closing in

    then it’s time to park
    and go to work

  6. tonijoell

    PAD Day 9 – Hunted Poem

    The Hunted

    Back braced
    against the bathroom door:
    sweat streaks his ruddy face
    heaving breaths
    shirt plastered to his concave chest
    with raw egg,
    shell still nesting in his
    wispy straw hair.

    She sees him
    misplaced beautiful and strange
    but the plea in his eyes
    knocks the squeak from her lips
    she sits on the filthy floor beside him
    back against the door
    takes his hand

    the taunting
    “girly boy, girly boy
    come out, come out
    wherever you are
    we’ll show you
    what a real man is”

    He closes his eyes
    she rests her head on his shoulder,
    willing him her strength
    the way someone did for her once
    in a long ago somewhere

    As out in the hallway
    the squeaking of rubber sneakers
    and cruel laughter
    slowly fades away.

  7. Sharon

    Perfect Pitch

    On the hunt for the perfect pitch,
    Brilliant in every way,
    That grabs an agent by the throat
    So he’ll take my prose into the fray.

    Word Search

    Who gets my clever turns of phrase
    The words that have hunted me into the night
    Begging to be strung together in a work that will delight.

    Hunted by those errant thoughts
    To make a story strong and true and new
    Not sure it’s original enough to appeal to you and you and you.

  8. Mel Lewis

    a drop of blood

    a drop of blood
    a broken twig
    a shallow print
        I am close now

    a rustling leaf
    a furtive gasp
    a whispered cry
        I am right behind you

    a gaping mouth
    a pleading eye
    a single tear
        my dear
        it is over now

        I win

  9. Anya Padyam

    I am not sure if it accurately fits the prompt: my attempt at it …

    Lament of loss

    How can death be,
    A celebration,
    An end of a life,
    Be a joyous one?

    Young and old alike,
    However be the shape,
    A last breath is one,
    Always to be mourned.

    The stamp left behind,
    By the fading soul,
    The one last time,
    Of doing what is done.

    Even a hunter of yore,
    Mourned the hunted,
    Survival be it for,
    Even that’s duly grieved.

  10. BDP

    “Rabbit Bonsai”

    First winter: chewed down to the grafting nub.

    A tri-color beech leaf is white ice cream
    with green sauce, pink edging, all melting when
    you stand behind the tree and peer toward sun.
    My old, dead pal. I’m growing a new one.

    The winter after: they—by that I mean
    the procreator long-ears that the owl
    has missed on dark patrols—got it again.
    What size is a bunny’s head, anyway?

    Numero tres: chicken wire cage, small holes.
    Damage done? Nada. This year: three foot high
    fence, staked well, watched daily. Sapling there? Check.

    Then, overnight, nearly gone. Scat inside
    the pen. He’s back to guard his empty plate.

    B Peters

  11. vsbryant1

    The Hunted

    I can feel the eyes watching me
    I can hear the breath at my back
    I can see the shadows as they move closer to me
    I am the hunted, I can’t rest

    Afraid to turn and face the night
    Afraid to know if this is truly wrong or right
    Afraid to step away from this dance
    Afraid to turn and take that chance

    I am the hunted, I can’t rest

  12. LCaramanna

    Pirate’s Desire
    Discover buried treasure, fortune desired
    Since first I captained this pirate ship.
    With promise of riches, my crew I inspired
    Discover buried treasure, fortune desired,
    Live happily ever after with wealth acquired.
    Arrr, swashbuckling mateys on this hunting trip –
    Discover buried treasure, fortune desired?
    Since first I captained this pirate ship!
    Lorraine Caramanna

  13. lionmother


    I am always hunting
    for things hidden
    within my sight
    Rummaging in my handbag for items
    somehow misplaced in two
    square feet

    Finding crumpled pieces of paper
    Old register tapes kept for what reason?
    Searching for that coupon I know
    I saw and wondering why an object
    can appear and disappear
    without my noticing
    As if the things in my bag have
    a life of their own and
    move and remove themselves
    at will as soon as my hand
    is felt among them.

    My eyes deny their absence
    Yet where can the objects be?
    Where is that drugstore
    Extra bucks I handled yesterday?
    Gone to the secret hideaway
    Only to be found when that magical day occurs
    and I empty the bag completely.
    By then all the coupons will have expired.

  14. PuffofSmokePoems

    Hunter and Hunted

    Instead of gratitude for being noticed,
    there are days when the world gets tired
    of all this applause and dissection
    and tries to hide.
    Like us all, now and then the world wants privacy, not
    this woman stalking it with a pen, commenting on
    every item in the world’s blue-green basket:
    Skunks and pineapples,
    Blizzards and espresso,
    Another pineapple,
    Chalk drawings, tennis balls, thatched roofs.
    And here’s the trouble with anthropomorphizing everything—
    Now I feel sorry for it,
    as it scurries away,
    like the spider I disturbed in the flowers this morning
    startled and on the run, me hurrying to catch it.
    And the spider has no idea
    whether I will crush it or cradle it gently to a new home
    now that it’s captured my attention.
    The world says to the spider, I know just how you feel.

  15. julie e.

    ‘50s DREAM

    She took her bow and arrows
    out to hunt a dream
    of a man and a house
    and three babies.
    But the babies grew up
    the man and the house
    wore down
    and she skewered all their hearts
    with her arrows
    of disappointment
    and discontent.

  16. Nancy Posey

    Requiem for Cultural Literacy

    Liking grieving next of kin breaking
    into inexplicable snickers, convulsing
    silent laughter at the wake,
    I find myself in class unable to choose
    between laughter and tears,
    revulsion and dismissal.

    Charged with sharpening minds,
    both young and old,
    I sometimes throw up my hands,
    not quite sure where to place blame
    when a classroom full of adults—
    if an eighteen year old
    can be considered such. I know
    the ones my age should be—
    look back with blank stares
    after reading “Letters
    from a Birmingham Jail.”
    Not only failing to be moved,
    they did not comprehend
    those powerful words, and worse,
    when I asked, “What do you know
    about Dr. King?” they sat silent
    for a while. One poor brave soul
    spoke up, tentative, and asked,
    “Wasn’t he the king that freed the slaves?”

    Small wonder, then, as I grade this last
    essay test, more than one student responded
    to the question on women’s suffrage:
    “I think women’s suffrage is wrong.
    Women have suffered enough.”

    I know this woman has.

  17. PhantomPhan1881

    Hunting for Inspiration

    She stalks her prey in silence,
    sitting within earshot, but
    not lose enough to be seen.
    She doesn’t need them in her
    eye-line, just so long as she
    can easily collect their
    emotions and thoughts, filling
    audio files, notebooks
    with her observations which
    she will later season, spice
    up for use in a future
    poem, article or novel.

  18. Margot Suydam

    Nocturnal Moment
    (A response to “Done For” by Sophie Cabot Black)

    Like you I feel done for. After reading
    your poem, I perceived my mouth
    in a dream,
    the muscles taut,
    I am ready to swallow.

    However, I have not
    to the hunter, become
    a slaughtered lamb
    on squares of black and white linoleum
    My spanking kitchen floor has no blood stain.

    In my dream, the world floats
    and desire is painless.
    Still suspended in this
    before moment,
    I soon awake.
    Still cushioned in sleep,
    I yearn for such nocturnal
    of power.

  19. vickiejohnstone


    Beneath the curved moon’s stare
    She runs

    Livid in the ice-cold touch
    Of air’s fingers
    She turns

    Lithe limbs burning,
    Her mind sets on nothing
    But the escape –
    She dashes

    Silver in the distancing,
    The silent shimmer
    Of the lake entices –
    Knowing, panting, slipping,
    She leaps

    Into the dark, inviting depths.
    Chill water cascades,
    Dipping her ears,
    Coating the twitching whiskers –
    Flicking the droplets
    She swims

  20. drwasy


    Even at night the desert swelters.
    Sweat veneers the mustache tracing his lip.
    The boy perches in granite, hidden behind
    camel thorn, and waits for animals to venture forth.

    Do it for honor, the elders told him.
    Do it for manhood.

    A sharp eye blesses the boy, and a steady hand.
    He does not taste fear: he can fell a bat in flight,
    shoot a hare from a stone’s throw, kill
    a leopard preying on the goats
    when other men fail.

    The boy is a poet; his heart sings
    with words even as he crouches amidst
    the rocks, and waits.

    Listen to the sand,
    Listen to the tale it tells
    The spirits of the prophets
    Joined with the One.

    Gold silhouettes the distant ridge.
    The boy’s arms tremble from the heat,
    the weight of the Kalashnikov,
    the exhaustion of anticipation.

    Below, a pale rectangle of light spills
    from the hut onto the scorched field of poppies.
    The boy’s finger curls around the trigger,
    and he prays for the animal souls
    he has taken: panther, gazelle, hyena, vulture.

    It is only meat, the boy murmurs.

    He raises the rifle.
    The door opens, the Commander greets the day.


    A character sketch in poem form. Peace…

  21. Janet Rice Carnahan

    In the Beginning a Gecko

    An indoor green pet,
    The gecko came with the house,
    When we’d call him, “Yoda”,
    He’d turn his head,

    Fond of him,
    We took extra care,
    Making sure he was present,
    Safe, moment to moment!

    One random day,
    Wondering to a screen door,
    To stand in the breeze,
    Yoda dared to gaze out into the yard!

    Three days in a row, he went to feel the wind,
    Fourth day, we left the door open,
    He ventured out,
    Only to be caught up by a chicken,

    Acting like any mother would,
    I shook the screen and went noisily outside,
    The sacred chicken dropped Yoda,
    Left quickly in loud chicken squabbles!

    Immobile for some time, Yoda recovered,
    Climbing up our red umbrella,
    Sunning himself,
    While he watched more carefully for chickens!

    Not sure what to do,
    I saw a cat in the yard,
    Eyeing the chicken,
    Felt an odd sense of revenge,

    Just as I saw the cat,
    I noticed a dog coming down the street,
    Beginning to smell the feline,
    Meanwhile Yoda was most alive,

    I smiled, realizing the balance of life,
    Standing in the sun,
    By our red umbrella,
    Glad to see our gecko . . .

    Munching away on bugs!

  22. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Hunting for Me

    I am hunting for me
    at these crossroads
    where I stand and hesitate
    alone, invisible.

    So many paths to the future!
    Not all will suit my feet.
    And they go in different ways
    to different destinations.

    First I must re-discover
    the me I left behind
    at the point before brambles
    covered the road.

    Where would she have gone
    if the way had been clear
    of thorns and tangles?
    What would she have discerned?

    Who was she, that girl?
    That woman?
    I know the face … almost …
    as one dimly remembered.

    I close my eyes, step out,
    creating a new path:
    questing for me in my future,
    hunting to catch myself.

  23. Carl

    Me and the Woolly Black Bear

    He is my rear shadow, the woolly
    black bear. He doesn’t have
    a name, and shadow because he
    spends his time coming

    after me, always getting close,
    but not killing me. A few times
    were close. I almost surrendered.

    He’d love to eat me. He wouldn’t wait
    to cook me. He’s fierce, and the winds
    from his claws cause my hair
    to fly like when I’m on a motorcycle

    without a helmet, and a helmet
    would be good when he’s
    after me. I know it’s his nature,

    but his battering and clawing
    create tremendous distress. We
    treat it with medicine, but my prayers
    go unanswered, for I wish

    the medicine would kill the woolly
    black bear. I see a kind
    lady, a doctor who specializes

    in people who are traumatized
    by these black bears,
    and when I am with her, I
    become the hunter, and

    very rarely, I imagine I have
    killed my tormenter, but it’s
    never true, he’s never dead,

    so I’ve learned not to celebrate
    when it seems he’s dead because
    his absences are far too short. I
    am hunted, but I try to use

    my injuries to help
    others and sometimes, I forget
    about my woolly black bear. Though

    I know better, during these times,
    for short spats of time, I celebrate
    his absence and love the world.


  24. P.A. Beyer

    The Jingle Pushers

    They seek small
    children, left alone
    on the couch.
    Time, without
    parental supervision,
    without a cover.

    Vibrant scenes.
    Blues, yellows and reds.
    Faces, all
    friendly and
    familiar with melodies
    to plant in their heads.

    It doesn’t
    matter how many
    times the tune
    plays over
    and over again. As long
    as the song takes root.

    To blossom,
    as predicted from
    their research
    studies. And
    sprout the next generation
    of blind consumers.

    The window
    is narrow before
    the tangled
    web seizes
    hold of the future. And so,
    they seek small children.

  25. omavi

    “racing the moon …”

    the season of the chase draws
    near as Aphrodite no longer loves
    but with subtle grace of a cracked whip
    lets loose the bolt that draws blood
    and tears will fall making the earth slick
    as running feet struggle for some purchase
    to carry on the flight of improbability

    or maybe thats just the way the lost
    see all this

    running wild through moonlight savannas
    catcalls and silent roars encouraging
    frightening cajoling calling caressing
    enticed by the rush of the impending end
    the unknown beginning of the continuation
    as sweat dripping no longer blinds as it
    washes the grime of depression
    enjoying the hunter’s moon as it
    sets on the twilight of all life

    those who enjoy life racing the sun
    joyously into the coming night

  26. Sara McNulty

    The Hunted

    He languished in a labyrinth
    of his own design, erected
    to protect him from evil
    perpetrators lurking,
    hovering like famished
    hawks eying an impending
    feast. As purple dusk darkened
    to nebulous night, he knew
    there was no way out.

    The Hunter

    Seasons of searching
    flew by as calendar pages
    caught in a windstorm.
    Dusty heat of desert,
    white ice winters of
    Antartica–tracking, ever
    tracking–until that final
    winter. A wizened, whiskered
    old man, he awoke
    one morning and could not
    recall what he had been
    after, all those seasons
    of searching.

    Poetic Asides
    April Challenge – Day 9
    Write a hunter/hunted poem

  27. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Hunting Poems

    At sunrise, I begin the search
    from the blind of my laptop
    scouring the Poetic Asides horizon
    for the prompt that will offer
    itself for my taking.

    I wait – and wait – and wait
    until duty calls the hunt,
    leaving me wanting for a taste
    of alliteration, laced with metaphor,
    simile and more.

  28. taylor graham


    far might
    a small boy
    wander in search
    of treasure? Past blue
    lupine, poppies, and all
    the blossomings of spring; past
    the mine shaft, through manzanita,
    up the east ridge as April sun sets
    in the west; a night-stone seals shut the day
    and we bring our dogs
    to hunt the dark
    into dawn,
    to find

  29. Deri

    The Hunt

    I started in the kitchen
    opening cupboards and drawers,
    even the oven just in case.
    The living room was just
    as empty, nothing under
    couch cushions or
    ring-stained tables.

    I didn’t catch the sent
    until I reached the bedroom
    door. I cracked it, just a little
    at first, since it is such
    a lost and scared thing.

    I saw a blur scurrying
    along the pitting base board.
    It made a pitiful sound
    as it dove, heedless
    into the closet.

    I grabbed it by the tail.
    “Don’t go there”
    I yelled. “You know
    what you will find.”
    I pulled gently, gently
    until I cradled it in my hands.

    “Those things will kill you,”
    I warned. “Secrets and lies,
    they kill you every time.”

    “I want to see,” it whispered back.
    “I need to.”

    No, we don’t.

    Such a frail and pitiful thing.
    I will keep it out of closets,
    from under cushions, out of cupboards,
    out of all your hidden places.

    I need this thing
    to grow. Four decades
    of abject starvation
    has come to this.
    And when it has I will
    consume it whole.
    For what is a woman
    without her self-respect?

  30. carolecole66

    Egret in Parking Lot

    The egret, –s curved neck, winter white
    perched atop emerald viburnum,
    stalking –what? I couldn’t see.
    Cars hummed past, rubber shushing
    on cement. Odors of cut grass,
    of gasoline, of salt and fish
    layered the close air. I posed motionless
    as the egret, the slick metal
    of the car hot against my hand.
    The lizard in the egret’s beak froze and I
    could feel the bite of bitter flesh against
    my tongue, the gristled flesh against my teeth
    before I turned away, before I stalked
    across the lot, smoothing into place
    my new white dress.

  31. catlover

    Hunter vs. Hunted

    She sits quietly in a tree
    Bundled to protect her frail body
    from the elements
    of the outside world
    Gun resting by her side

    The deer stands behind
    Unaware of her presence
    As it searches for any bit of food
    peering through the snow

    A slight rustle of her coat
    The deer perks its head
    Notices her
    And prances away
    As she remains

  32. Angie5804

    In between the stories of our childhood
    I look for time
    I hear it between the sighs

    We danced in the rain
    Played in the dark
    Laughed at nothing
    And everything

    Listening to records
    And whispering secrets
    We padded away barefoot

  33. PassionateQuill

    He rose early to rehearse his plan,
    sharpen his tools,
    visualize each move
    and every necessary response.

    After a long and exacting hunt
    his careful positioning
    and steady endurance paid off

    As he paused now, his game leveled,
    the trophy laid out before him,
    he stepped back in triumphant pride.

    Never noting the gleam in her eye,
    the smile that played across her lips,
    nor the snare now encircling his leg.



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