2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Welcome to Day 1 of the 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Let’s get some poeming done this month!

For today’s prompt, write an appearing poem. This could be a poem about something (or someone) appearing out of nowhere. Or it could be about appearances–appearing one way to some people; appearing another way to others. If you’re new to my prompts, let me share one thing: I’m totally fine with you stretching the prompt in any direction you need to write; in fact, I encourage it. Now get poeming!

Here’s my attempt at an appearing poem:


They appear in single file
marching through the crowd
unnoticed. They could be

brothers on their way to work
or the local arcade, but we
already know there’s a bomb.

We watch them watch the
explosion, the chaotic aftermath
as everyone else runs.


Get feedback on your poetry! Click here to learn more.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and a long distance runner who regularly watches distance races on television. While he’s never completed a marathon, he has run a half in 90 minutes (and then got sick later in the day). He’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems for which he’s running a remix challenge with a $500 prize for best remix (learn more). Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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335 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

  1. Rosemarie Keenan


    The first time Peggy and I
    were allowed to cross the street
    and walk around the other block
    (“the other block” like the new world,
    like crossing the Atlantic
    to wander foreign shores)

    The first time Peggy and I
    crossed the street
    a scream of tires
    not ten feet in front of us
    As a car turned onto the sidewalk
    and climbed the convent steps

    We ran the other way
    sure we’d caused the accident
    sure we’d distracted the driver
    Weren’t we laughing, skipping,
    enjoying the distance from our mothers?

    We ran the other way
    ran so far in fear and guilt
    I’m surprised our mothers
    (ashen, angry, crying
    when they finally found us)
    ever let us cross the street again.

  2. carolecole66


    Behind my face, a faint melody
    plays against the harsh car horns,
    the shriek of tires protesting
    heavy-footed drivers
    slamming brakes at 42nd and 5th
    where hookers hide behind
    Chanel #5 and chocolate lipstick. Even
    in my paranoid state, I feel
    the piano running up and down my spine;
    the keys tick against my skull.
    In the dust of an unswept gutter, love
    punches me in the chest.

  3. Yolee

    Beach Side Ceremony

    She emerged from french doors
    in a Grecian white dress,
    face artfully painted, joy glossed
    in her smile, arm linked
    to Papi’s, heart hooked
    on a future designed by her
    and the tearful man standing
    beneath a wooden huppa
    draped in sheer curtains.
    Love appeared to be taken.
    The wind had been excited all morning.
    The burnt orange sheers
    clapped and waved.

  4. bjholmes

    Appearing suddenly
    totally out of the blue
    the question that haunts the mind.
    Should I say yes?
    But what will that do?
    And if I say no?
    What will I lose?
    My mind is in a daze
    with the looming deadline to meet.
    “Are you sure you want to delete?”

  5. abbylikesyou

    sweeping sequins

    it appears
    the queers
    have taken over this neighborhood.
    Made it their own.
    Disco balls
    And dancing halls
    But I’m not complaining
    It’s a hell of a lot cleaner than it used to be.

    hand me that dustpan, will ya?

  6. abbylikesyou

    It appears on my
    On my calendar
    in small font

    A little marker
    On this yardstick called life
    Moving us a millimeter to the left

    Perhaps if we could just
    Fall back
    And re-do an hour
    of our
    I’d be up to

    It’s not on my side.
    But it’s on my mind.

    It’s never anything I can ketchup to.

  7. abbylikesyou

    (July 4th, ’76)

    He appears at our door
    Looking haggard
    I want to take the kids. Let me take the kids.
    She says no.
    Threatens to call the police unless he leaves.

    we stand in the foyer
    like little pups
    wanting to play
    as the coyotes howl.

    Dad leaves.

    The fireworks sizzle
    And pop

  8. shanezie

    One Bite

    into your gyro: marinated lamb, tahini and feta,
    but something new this time. A five-star secret sauce

    starts as a low burn on your tongue’s tip,
    quickly catches and spreads like wildfire raging

    through your palate. At first you taste garlic
    and some middle-eastern spices, but the midsummer’s

    sun abominates distinct flavors. You sweat, red-faced
    with a flowing nose; a tickle tingles your skin

    and then: oblivion. Your mind clears and you open
    to the moment of the possible. Nirvana? Not quite;

    too fleeting, but you find some peace within
    that takes you away. Ebey’s Landing, where the

    circling mountains meet at the trailhead
    when the sky is clear and the world is visible.

    Baker, Rainier and the Olympic range each stare,
    and the emerald-white waves snarl on the shore below.

    The gold wheat-field waves in the September breeze and
    she smiles to see it all for the first time. Light drapes

    the dimple shapes behind smoke-curls as she spins
    in the axis of your world. Exhale and return to neon-
    lit tubes and a mural of painted cedars with a single cartoon eagle.

    Published on: http://sillionwind.wordpress.com/

  9. Poet Ariel


    Razor sharp as claws, your gaze is daunting;
    your wariness to trust coiled up deep.
    Still the scent of you stirs wild wanting
    As I think of you as I fall asleep.

    How can I seduce you, oh Tiger proud;
    what heroics to enter your den?
    So many nights I have paced & have prowled
    searching for answers to your love again.

    No voices in the humid dark, my love;
    no revelation came by osmosis.
    No whispering loons, no tattling doves,
    no answer from the savannah bushes.

    So again I wander this earth rejected;
    listening to hyenas, unprotected.

    Nov 1, 2013

    Having internet issues at home so was not able to post. 🙁

  10. Khara House

    Seven years

    See him stand akimbo in a field checkered with sorghum,
    high grain stretched across the plain he must conquer.
    He fingers the copper runes that point him home,
    the mountain pass emblazed like gesso
    from a bird’s eye view of distant lands.

    To you
    a child enveloped in old quilts and billowing cotton,
    pressing pennies to his tongue to taste
    what ancient gods have hidden secret in their cores
    acts as a memory passage to days
    when the world danced
    in the palm of your own tiny hands.

    The earth was giant to you once,
    as it is now to him who sees you a colossus.

    Snatch him from this world of wonders,
    the mystery of wheat fields and magic spells
    he will never truly know. Satiate your love
    in a rain of kisses on his cheeks, and know
    that in that moment, an eager ogre eats him whole.

  11. seingraham

    Birds of Black

    I stare at the screen for what feels like hours
    Then shift to the saggy couch, stare at my favourite notebook
    Opened to the page with the quote by Marcus Aurelius
    The one that’s usually inspiring but today, nada

    “To live happily is an inward power of the soul”
    Said old Marcus…well, no wonder words aren’t flooding
    My brain; I’m not unhappy exactly, but I’m discouraged
    I guess…

    Out the window of our family room,
    the pewter sky is fragmented
    by clouds that look like clouds bringing winter
    and that’s more depressing than it should be

    Still, as I sit, unmotivated, a flock of black birds
    Appears: too big to be crows, too small to be ravens
    What are they, I wonder; I move to see them better
    Now I write about birds for whom I have no name



    Thoughts are like unsolved mysteries,
    Now there here,
    And the next their history.
    They flow with the wind,
    Then vanish with the tide.
    Leave without envy,
    And disappear without pride.

    They sometimes take along with them their friends,
    Joy and sorrow,
    Their characteristics we often time follow.
    Our time and energy they tend to borrow,
    They can make us depressed,
    Or even smile,
    And even take us back to the point of an innocent child.

  13. Amy


    sprout in empty fields
    like saplings of

    A forest
    of development grows
    where white pines used
    to lodge.

    I see
    the outline of a
    diamond, where the sod
    won’t take;

    as if those
    formative years just
    won’t be shorn
    by progress.

  14. rosross


    She appeared at the door
    and breathed herself in.
    Serpent, sacred, pale as snow
    she faced me and asked
    that I kiss her on the lips.
    I kissed her death-white face
    as she had whispered,
    touched lips to wisdom born
    in ages past, and futured
    secrets always known
    and let her lie beside us
    in the bed of my own making.
    I told her I would embrace joy,
    hold darkness off with light
    unless the call came for descent
    into Inanna’s world.
    But not without the plea
    to seek, the depths of unknown Self
    would I descend to Hades realm
    Return myself to Her.
    She answered not,
    and neither smiled,
    just lay in silent state
    as Wisdom, Grace, Eternity,
    as Mother, Life and Fate.

  15. bjzeimer

    Beverly ZeimerLPoem a Day 1.

    Baby Alaziah
    That Sunday morning
    in October
    I waited in the lounge
    at Doctor’s West Hospital
    in Columbus, Ohio,
    for my great-granddaughter
    to be born, as Brittney,
    her aunt stays as side,
    I while away the minutes
    reading posts and scrolling,
    scrolling down,
    until then, there’s
    Baby Alaziah on Facebook! –
    –Her sweet baby face
    looking at me wide-eyed–
    all that love and joy–
    pure innocence
    from the news feed.

  16. mrvanessarose

    I’m a poetry newbie, go easy on me please 🙂

    Writing this series from the perspective of a certain someone hanging in our sky.

    Orbit of Blindness

    So small, the humans,
    the Earthlings.
    So many and so far,
    So helpless and so lost.

    We’re assigned to watch,
    lady solar friend and I,
    Yet to watch, futile.
    All we can is wait.

    Wait for them.
    To see
    to want more
    to believe.

    Meanwhile mess remains
    Priorities askew, love muddled.
    One more rotation, one more revolution
    Trapped in their orbit of blindness.

  17. cbwentworth

    The feeling nags,
    thick London fog
    Nothing is there,
    I cannot see
    Notion dismissed
    the day moves on
    It hits at once,
    I feel so blind
    Nothing remains,
    my life has changed

  18. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Onward and Up word . . . to all! Great new PAD, thanks, Robert!


    It was just like him,
    Luring her into his dream,
    Tender touch so real!


    Maybe the truth is,
    Dreaming love is real to him,
    Made her heart appear!


    Opening to him,
    Her heart simply came alive,
    She knew his touch now!


    Delightful vision,
    Arms reaching to hold her close,
    Love already there.

  19. Dare

    Autumn Rekindled

    Flames of orange-yellow-
    leaves burning with memories
    kindle dark embers
    Soul-fires blaze with
    smokey images lived
    now in joyful sorrow

  20. LeAnneM

    “Look Here”

    In a photograph, I saw
    Light arced around
    A galaxy, circling it in light

    It looked artificial
    As if someone had used a silver pencil
    And a compass

    But it was real, an effect of gravity
    Light bending around a massive object
    Something Einstein had predicted

  21. BezBawni


    First – a few touches, lightly
    caressing the black, caressing the white,
    Fingers are placed, spread widely.
    Eyes flutter shut.

    Incipient, images paint
    the back of the eyelids, splashing around
    memories, while the dainty
    fingers push down.

    Sounds are born, sans labor.
    Engendered by wood and metal, new life
    breathes in strength, and savors
    peace after strife.

    It’s human soul, seeping
    into the fingers, into the keys,
    singing, rejoicing, weeping
    until it’s free.

    Cat’s-pawing silence, gently
    the waves move the air, break it apart,
    reaching the ears, they enter,
    unhindered, a human heart.

  22. PowerUnit

    I am missing something, in my life
    They have it, those people
    That walk beside me in the hall
    That back me up against the wall
    And scream, of their successes

    But not their failures
    Transgressions demand silence
    Conformity will heal all wounds
    Tame all heresy
    Stifle all creativity, all hope

    I know what I miss
    And I don’t miss it
    I know where my feet step
    The music my heart beats, make me
    Sing the song, trust the vision

  23. julie e.

    Hi all! I haven’t had a chance to read yet, but even without reading i’m so excited to back here again for a Poem a Day!


    it seems to her that they are fine
    if you’re looking from the outside
    but in a much much deeper place
    it’s more about them saving face
    and keeping up the status quo
    and not interrupting the flow
    but if you look on the inside
    it’s clearly clear something has died
    it’s never quite what it appears
    there’s very often smoke and mirrors….

  24. Jezzie

    Accounting Month End

    Month end again! I was flagging
    I had nothing more I could give.
    I was giving up, spirits sagging
    and I had lost the will to live.

    “Oh help me Mother, I can’t cope!”
    I said out loud, my prayer of hope.

    From out of the blue she came
    and softly she called my name.
    And I regained my strength again
    and went on to win that month end game.

  25. rdpater

    From mist to dew

    Like the dew that collects on my sweater
    I sit
    Above the leaking stream
    We wait
    Our words pass the time until
    They come

    Like doe
    We look
    Like moons
    You shine
    Like minds
    We wait again


    Their lights
    Irrelevant proof
    That everywhere we sit
    We share

  26. Carupe

    Appearance, Apprehend, Apropos
    Trick or Treat!
    What’s wrong with her?
    Thank you for the candy.

    What to say when you’re caught staring at the broken body of a real-life Disabled on Halloween?
    is it for real
    or a realistic mask
    Disability, Disfigured, Disappearance.

  27. bxpoetlover


    I’ve stopped wondering
    what they see when they look at me

    too many heads are down
    eyes staring into space
    books unopened
    writing pieces undone
    and emphatic declarations
    that I am a bitch

  28. Eve Brackenbury

    11:19 am. Day One. I read all posted verses and commented on a few. This may be the only time this month that happens. Not for lack of interest. It’s a lack of time and dedication and a jumbled list of priorities, (if I were being honest.) Oh, and I should tell you that I’m not being honest; I didn’t really read all of the posted verses tonight. I read all of the first three or four lines of all posted verses. If you don’t hook me right off – I move on. Sorry to all those who have written beautiful little gems and I didn’t stop to notice. Happy Poeming. I hope to spend as much time here as I can steal.

  29. Missy McEwen

    Ignorant Muthafucka on the Corner:

    Black women always be bitchin’, trippin’
    that’s why I date White women. The kind that snap
    they finger, ohknowshedidnt, roll they eyes and wiggle
    they neck when they cuss you out like they Black
    but they not ’cause they still soft like women
    supposed to be, not hard like Black women be. Black
    women, they be cuttin off all they hair lookin’ just
    like niggas do or they go and put that weave shit in
    they head and be lookin like drag queens. That’s why I can’t
    date Black women. Spanish women, they don’t need
    fake hair. They grow they own hair long and keep it
    long ’cause they know how to please they men.
    They treat a nigga right. Even when they mad. My boy said
    his Puerto Rican shorty threatened to kill him
    when she caught him hugged up on his Black baby
    mama on the avenue but she still went home to him
    and cooked for him. Black women they don’t be knowin’
    how to let shit go. They should be gladda than a muhfucka
    that we wit they nappy-headed asses in the first place, should be
    doin’ everything to keep a nigga ’cause White women have
    asses now like they grew dem overnight, jus’ appeared
    outta nowhere like boom! And Spanish women checkin’ for us
    niggas now and it’s drivin’ these Spanish niggas crazy. Drivin’
    y’all Black bitches crazy.

  30. Phileejo

    Their True Names

    Those girls laugh and gossip.
    They think they’re very clever.

    Others think they’re kind and good,
    But I know better.

    Their given names are Hope, Joy, Grace, and Crystal.
    Their true names are Mope, Hate, Crude, and Numbskull.

    They smile at me while they lie to my face.
    Sometimes, I think they even believe their own deceit.

    They are a disgrace to the human race,
    Not even fit to be under my feet.

  31. Margie Fuston

    An Artist’s Face

    My fingers glide across the paper,
    covering perfect white
    with lines and smudges.
    I stare at my face in the mirror
    and let my hand build the point of my chin,
    the arch of my nose.
    I coat my finger in charcoal,
    guiding it under my eyes, creating
    the nights that keep me up
    and the mornings that come too soon.
    I trace the tiny lines at the corners
    of my eyes, the freckle on one cheek.
    I resist the urge to carve my cheeks like a sculpture.
    When I am done,
    I hold myself up for the class.
    An honest portrait, someone says.
    They applaud my effort.

    The next day,
    I stand before the bathroom mirror,
    staring at my spotted canvas.
    I taint my fingers with cream
    that promises white perfection.
    My freckle disappears under expert hands.
    The crinkles under my eyes,
    the ones I have earned, are taken.
    I see no more late nights.
    I sleep all day on a bed made of feathers.
    My brush paints pink on my cheeks,
    creates an allusion of something I’m not,
    but I might want to be.
    When I go out,
    I hold myself up to be viewed.
    You look beautiful, today, someone says.
    They applaud my effort.

    1. Cin5456

      This is so beautiful, Margie. I hope you are the Margie Fuston who was my classmate at Sac State. I’m very happy to see your work here. You might remember me as Cindy Page from Dr. McKinney’s poetry and literature classes. Welcome.

      1. Margie Fuston

        Hi Cindy! I was hoping to see some people from Sac State on here. I hope you’re posting as well! I’ll have to scroll through and find yours now!

  32. hrtaylor008

    Witchy Hippie Chick
    down by the river at night.
    There to watch a total eclipse.
    As the moon disappeared, I appeared.
    She was totaled,
    but I was eclipsed by another.

  33. Julieann

    Hide and Seek

    Our life was a game of hide and seek
    You sought me, but not the true me,
    I hid my feelings, my dreams,
    My desires, however,
    When you finally found me
    I was not, what you were seeking

    You did not want the complications
    Or to try to understand the confusion
    You wanted peace and tranquility
    A life of ease – that is why I hid who I am,
    So now, I am gone, and
    Peace reigns within your realm

    But maybe, just maybe,
    In time, you will miss me enough
    To search again
    And then, if I appear,
    I will no longer need to hide –
    You will accept me as I am


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