Editors Blog

2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

Whew! These are the dog days of the challenge, right? The middle wasteland, but remember: “The Wasteland” is like a pretty incredible poem (for some folks anyway). As we wander in the desert of the November PAD Chapbook Challenge, be sure to let your mind wander and maybe a mirage or two will spring into a keeper.

For today’s prompt, write an element poem. Maybe an element from the periodic table (hydrogen, oxygen, etc.). Maybe an element of surprise?!? Or a missing element, which could refer to a person, tool, or poem. Run wild with it.

Here’s my attempt at an Element Poem:

“Silver City”

Almost mythical, it should surprise
no one Silver City is where Billy

the kid cut his teeth. Famous
as a stop for Butch Cassidy

and Kit Carson, it was built
on an old Apache campsite.

Geronimo and Cochise haunt
the valley first mined for copper,

but silver purifies and conducts,
and eventually time moves on

so that the only thing left mining
are the stories left behind.


Workshop 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 has never been to Silver City, though he thinks it sounds like a great place to take a hike. He’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who has been writing some incredible poems this month. If you haven’t read any of them, you’re really missing out. No, seriously, you are. Friend her on Facebook and see for yourself. Follow Robert on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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160 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

  1. hohlwein

    For today’s prompt, write an element poem. Maybe an element from the periodic table (hydrogen, oxygen, etc.). Maybe an element of surprise?!? Or a missing element, which could refer to a person, tool, or poem. Run wild with it.

    The Element of Sleep

    I came up with this title
    whenever it was I awoke
    and however I did I thought
    that sleep is only knowable
    in the return from sleep
    in the reconstruction of the self
    using wanweed and the cry of an egret

    and from this and fabric
    the touch of fabric

    you put together your entire

    and when you stand on your feet
    cold, little,
    and separate the blinds
    and see no one there
    not one soul stirring
    you know you are back

    because the sidewalk is wet
    and it is real and for awhile
    you, yourself, were not.
    or you were
    and now you are not.

    but the tree is there
    and that means a lot
    and everything
    – all of it –
    is okay.

  2. Susan Schoeffield


    lightly cascade
    in soft, shimmering splashes
    off the shoulders of a mountain
    to shallow pools below.

    As clouds
    obscure the sun,
    temperatures quickly drop,
    the wet shoulders of a mountain
    wearing an icy shawl.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  3. bjholmes

    Lost & Found

    I lost my mind
    just the other day
    it just shut down
    and walked away.

    I wonder where it went
    if it got to go somewhere warm
    or did it choose to go North
    and find a cabin in a storm.

    My mind tends to wander
    I have absolutely no control
    it takes of when it wants to
    going of for a nice little stroll.

    I hope my lost mind
    will find its way back
    because I know without it
    a form of knowledge will I lack!

  4. seingraham


    She shimmers in dusk like shattered stars
    Her hair a nimbus glowing brilliant, outdoing
    Luna’s sad sheen; she fills space with elemental
    airs and breaths metallic…
    To look on her is fatal
    Her mission is unclear to all but she…
    as she stalks earth on limbs of tungsten searching
    for atomic children long abandoned…

    *(Symbol Hf – hafnium – atomic number 72 – Hafnia, Latin Name for Copenhagen, Denmark)

  5. cholder

    Legend of the Storm

    When thunder rolls
    and lightening strikes,
    the warring gods
    give quite a fright.
    They battle and rage
    throughout the night.
    The wind and rain
    fuel their strife.
    Sword to sword
    they clash and fight
    until dawn brings
    the glory of light.

  6. alanasherman

    #17 elements
    Wu Xing

    Under ground
    in WuHai, miners
    hear water
    winding down
    stone walls. They search for diamonds
    Instead, they uncover

    paintings: People
    arms raised, legs wide apart
    the sun god’s
    human face in a deep pit
    in stone. Discover

    in a sphere
    around him, the sky
    full of stars
    comets noted on mundane
    things—animal bones,

    And, buried further
    down, even
    on shells—the constellations
    perfect, familiar.


  7. Cin5456

    (This was written in September)

    Out of My Element

    Concrete, this unsteady stone beneath
    feet stumbling toward a fickle future.
    Can’t find my footing in this city.
    So much time spent looking
    for work to buy survival,
    goals benched for substitutes.
    I yearn for solace, a secret valley
    hemmed with mountains peaks.
    Deer graze the yard and garden;
    otters dive for salmon and play.
    Days slide blushing into night.
    Sunsets, like late daughters,
    sneak past unseen. In silence,
    vibrant colors explode across western
    peaks, silhouettes of tree furred ridges.
    Often surprise by sudden dark,
    I watched stars gather
    like sand grains tossed high,
    the winking, crystallized dots
    salting a sky feast; they sing,
    and sail seaward on wind’s wistful sigh.
    The river breathes; its moisture
    spills into these grateful eyes.
    My secret valley paints my soul-song
    with a brush dripping wildflower colors
    across this vision of peace.

  8. BezBawni

    Elemental Song

    who can’t admire earth?
    its solid womb engenders life
    and takes it back into the depths;
    it suffers and endures all,
    without prejudice absorbing blood or rain;
    it welcomes all: whatever race or faith;
    its skin is cracked and callused to the touch
    in deserts where the sun has no heart;
    but in a green field on a summer night
    it suddenly feels like a mother-land…

    where can one hide from fire?
    its scorching tongues speak Death;
    it eats away at life, licking the plate;
    the Hell is its eternal host,
    while on a festival fire commutes to heaven
    where it works a shower of sparks;
    once tamed it shares light and warmth,
    it saves, it feeds, it comforts,
    and with its magnetic dance it fascinates;
    its freedom runs uphill in glowing red poppies…

    has anybody ever seen the air?
    yet we can never find an airless shelter;
    it seeps through life, it’s life itself;
    and even death lets air come to its aid;
    air travels through and over generations;
    no time it fears, no distance feels too far;
    it shapes the mountains, and smoothes edgy cliffs;
    and blows apart whole cities without effort;
    it carries ice, and snow, and rain, and withered leaves;
    it holds the earth in its secure embrace,
    and touches our face in gentle reassurance…

    what are we but a splash of water?
    and what are we without its saving grace?
    it blesses spring with blossom, fish with home;
    it bores into the flesh of land to be its soul;
    up to the sky it rushes with the heat
    only to fall again, to crash and bleed through streets;
    its mighty waves play the eternal tag
    till they are stilled by frost and put to rest;
    and in the rising sun over the tops of trees
    it’s born from air on the waking leaves…

    …you are a summer field
    ablaze with crimson flowers
    that are caressed by gentle breeze
    and cleanse my skin in dew…

  9. Hannah

    Enlightenment (a tanka)

    Earth feels eclipsed
    until she begins to see clearly;
    peering through her third eye
    she contemplates stardust,
    a golden bloom of rose.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  10. Missy McEwen

    Brown Baby


    hits your skin


  11. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 17
    Prompt: Write an element poem.

    Weightless as Helium

    Like the feather in Forrest Gump,
    I long to float and drift through my days,
    not earthbound by stress and cares.

    And I find the answer: casting
    all my cares upon Him, Who
    cares for me.

  12. Earl Parsons

    The Elements of Life

    Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen
    Are said to be the basic
    Elements of life

    Without them
    Life would be impossible
    At least as we know it

    I fully believe
    There are more important
    Elements that make life
    Worth living

    Love, Grace and Forgiveness
    Caring, Understanding and Love

    And God

  13. LeAnneM

    In a Good Cause

    Hydrogen to Helium to Carbon
    To Neon to Oxygen to Silicon
    To Iron

    Then –

    Elements spread throughout the heavens
    For the taking

    They joke and say your frying pan
    Killed a star

    But the star was already dying
    And we needed all that stuff

  14. Sara McNulty

    The Surprise

    Once a fleeting thought,
    now a written-in-stone
    plan. If he did not leave
    now, at age fifty, when
    would he gather courage
    enough to go. Whispers
    on the phone, abrupt
    endings to phone calls,
    and evenings after dinner–
    those errands she had to run.
    He was positive; she was cheating
    on him, meeting someone else
    whenever time allowed. In front
    of his house now, he takes
    a deep breath, turns the doorknob
    to darkness. Then, lights flood
    the room, people yell, “Surprise,”
    and there stands his wife proudly
    beaming at him.

  15. cbwentworth

    The question arrives,
    solve the mystery
    Dig deep for the truth,
    purposely hidden
    Watch the obvious,
    for clues, Dear Watson
    To find the error,
    of a perfect crime
    We look no further,
    than deduction’s proof
    A simple theory,

  16. bjzeimer


    In March of 1852 when Great-Uncle Charlie
    got done chopping wood that day,
    he sunk the sharp blade of the single-bit
    axe deep into the tree stump,

    carried an armload of cut logs to the house
    where Grandma was peeling
    potatoes for supper,
    and fired up the old cast iron cook-stove,

    got himself a dipper of water
    from the galvanized water bucket at the
    back of the stove and sat down
    at the kitchen table where he ate

    beans and potatoes, and rolled biscuits
    for the last time in Ohio,
    took his roll and went to the train station
    and went west.

    That’s how it was during the gold rush.
    Struck by gold fever,
    a man just up and left his home and family
    and was never heard from again.

  17. DanielAri

    “Bills in a breeze, September 2008″

    Who left the money
    for the breeze to steal?
    Now the rosemary
    fills with torn, wet bills,
    and Grant gets mushy

    in sprinkler spray. “Ill
    winds,” the neighbors say.
    But the sun still shines
    on Sunday’s yard sale
    where the many things

    we’ve said our thanks for
    get price tagged and aired.
    But little is sold
    to the neighborhood.
    No one’s selling wool

    blankets or wrapped food.
    Money’s in a mood.


  18. Benjamin Thomas

    Elements of Love

    Elements of love
    Always go together
    Like electricity and magnetism
    Defying the laws of gravity, logic
    Powering humanity
    In a mysterious current
    Of unknown magnitude
    From person to person
    Lighting the world
    Energizing the earth
    As if it were the materials
    Of the very universe
    Invisible forces
    Like matter itself
    Residing in our hearts

  19. Jerry Walraven

    “elements of fall”

    the swirling
    winds of November
    pick up
    these fallow leaves,
    a purpose of movement

    in the process
    of lifting
    and moving

         in creating
      a    sound    so
    with the members
    of this

    to notice

    the brass
    is blowing

  20. Margie Fuston

    The Missing Element

    My husband cradles my arm
    with his fingers, keeping me
    balanced on the earth.
    He sends his words on winds
    that warm my ears.
    He bathes my feet in water
    soaked with roses.
    But where is
    the fire?

  21. bartonsmock

    -elemental comfort-

    I say things above my son when he is underwater. I say things in a rage. I pretend I am nearby the brother I am closest to. he would forgive me. my body has always been outdated. my son’s body is plinked. not unlike a piano beside which siblings hug. there is a sorrow I’ve forgotten. not unlike the recording equipment one leaves in a dream. it is a stretch, the tornado siren momentarily belonging to a church bell. more of one that my son is a cracked bullhorn. ghost town debris.

  22. rosross


    In crucible connected,
    Mercurial the mould,
    As heart in leaden treasure,
    And mind is sure dissolved.

    Retort of love hermetic,
    In secret, simmered draught,
    As fires of pain hold constant;
    The alchemist’s pure task.

  23. Clae

    Dance of the Elements

    Dance with us bright flame
    Called the wind
    Bright flame fluttered and swayed

    Dance with us old rock
    Called the fire
    Old rock somersaulted, tumbled

    Dance with us great water
    Called the stone
    Great water rippled, rolled, churned

    Dance with us clear wind
    Called the water
    Clear wind twirled and spun

    Dance with us time
    Called the elements
    Time woke up and stretched

    Stop your dance careless ones
    Warned steady time
    You do not look where you step

    Clean up the mess you left
    Behind your jubilations
    Time went back to sleep

    Dreamed and waited
    It would not be long until
    They danced again

  24. bethwk

    Five Sacred Elements

    I call upon the air,
    the breezy inspirations,
    the winds that bring ideas,
    that cut through the muddle
    like a sword of sharp steel.

    I call upon the fire,
    the passion that ignites,
    creative force that excites
    the Muse and drives
    the enterprise, the energy
    that awakens the spirit.

    I call upon the water,
    deep peace and dream seeking,
    realm of the heart, and
    keeper of intuitions.
    The flow and the flood,
    the ocean around us.

    I call upon the earth,
    the ground of our being,
    the rocks and the stones,
    the caves, and the bones
    of the ancestors.

    I call upon center,
    great mystery and spirit,
    the hub and the wheel,
    the home and the fulcrum,
    the life-force, the bringer
    of balance and union.

  25. Nancy Posey

    Mountain on Fire

    With Table Rock ablaze,
    several hundred acres burning
    for days now, we arrive
    in the mountains , and even miles
    from the fire, mistake the smoke for fog
    until the acrid odor seeps into windows.
    It parades in wisps before us,
    crossing the road, hanging
    in the trees like Christmas bunting,
    and reducing the colors
    of the mountainside
    to white and gray and black.

    In a quick inventory, we tally
    the elements, finding Earth on Fire,
    the Wind spreading the evidence,
    trying out the metaphors
    like an uncertain poet–
    blanketing the trees,
    smothering, the hills, the hollers,
    a web woven, wisps chased
    across the road. What’s lacking
    is the single element able
    to restore balance, Water,
    more than simple showers
    to douse the flames
    wash clean the whole world.

  26. Bruce Niedt

    Granted, there is a tenuous connection with the “element” theme here. Maybe I could say there is an element of humor.

    Potassium and Strikeouts

    K stands for potassium
    but also for strikeouts,
    neither of which I understood.
    There isn’t even a K in “potassium”,
    and the one in “strikeout” is in the middle.
    K could just as easily stand for
    English literature, shampoo,
    or that chicken salad sandwich you’re eating.
    Baseball even has the backwards K,
    to annotate someone who strikes out looking,
    as though K is the batter and he turned around
    in disbelief when that fast ball got by him.
    Maybe I understand the baseball K after all,
    K as in Knockout, or Killing, knocking the batter
    out of the box, killing his chances for a hit.
    Someone just told me that the potassium K
    stands for kalium, its Latin name.
    You could really use any letter, though,
    and somehow justify it standing for anything.
    For instance, I am designating this poem
    with the letters HR.

  27. JRSimmang


    I went in search for the
    beads of assurance,
    the link from me to
    the other heads on the street.

    Down near the park,
    I saw Mr Wells,
    who always feeds the pigeons.

    Janie-Daye runs through his
    pigeons every morning,
    scattering them.

    Mr Wells only laughs,
    claps his hands once,
    and Janie-Day looks back over
    her shoulder,
    and waving back behind her.

    In front of Samuels,
    Gary slows down his morning
    travels to stare at the
    rings in the window,
    and rubs his ring finger absently,
    searching for the
    link of metal that
    has stained it white.

    The couple who lives next door,
    comes down the stairs every
    morning at 9:02 precisely.

    I check my watch,
    and as I walk out the door,
    my own wedding ring
    spins wildly with the coming cold front.

    In front of me, a flock of
    pigeons kick up
    their flurry of feathers,
    and Mr Wells claps again.

    I think to myself,
    that we are the
    most abundant
    element in the universe.

    -JR Simmang

  28. Cameron Steele

    Elements of Style

    I may have misspelled a word or two
    my darling, wrongly hooked a comma
    besides and certainly there
    were “a few matters of form”
    in that first letter I wrote.

    Strunk and White would hardly
    know what to do with my slanted
    vowels and barely lucid felicity
    but I did what I could, my dear,
    furiously gripping my pen, and biting my lips

    against all the ways that words fail you —
    and leave me thick with some vague
    fear that I haven’t said it best;
    that, indeed, anyone who’s ever
    loved someone will always fail
    to write it down in plain English.

  29. Jane Shlensky


    We take the body, blood, and pray
    for purity, and then we stray;
    we cannot give ourselves away
    to something holy, true.

    We’re filament so thin and bright
    that flickers with electric light
    but burns to nothing in the night
    as current passes through.

    Earth, Water, Air, and Fire combine
    in all existence by design,
    yet we grope life as if we’re blind
    and elements are few.

    We wonder what is missing still
    as we grab what we can to fill
    our empty vessels, when good will
    might make us whole, renewed.

    Of all that is, we are a part
    like feet or shoulders, hand or heart.
    We have a purpose from the start
    to love and care and do.

  30. DWong


    There I stood,
    pondering life,
    escaping daily tasks
    and expectations.

    There I stood,
    patiently waiting,
    changing ideas on dinner
    and jobs I have had.

    There I stood,
    wondering why
    nothing was heating up,
    pan staying dead cold.

    There I stood,
    taking apart
    pots, pans, and elements,
    spark plugs, and fuses.

    There I stood
    among the wreck,
    the metal scraps and wires
    that once were my stove.

    There I stood,
    pondering life,
    escaping this task,
    calling for take-out.

  31. shann

    American Housewife Haiku 17 (element)

    In your element,
    you schmooze like a good salesman
    tap dancing on glass.

    Mama said “Watch out!
    The bad boy element thrives.”
    That’s why I chose you.

    Water, earth, fire, air.
    Everything we need to be.
    No matter? Matter.

    Did you know you’re it?
    You were tagged before your birth.
    God don’t do markdowns.

  32. Julieann

    Element of Surprise

    Sunday noon
    Home from church
    There came a brazen knock upon the door

    On the porch
    Stood a dried-out, bleached blond
    With tough, weather worn features

    Dressed in white
    Go Go boots, leather jacket,
    Cap and her version of a mini skirt

    “Little girl,
    I’ve lost my motorcycle,
    Have you seen it?”

    I stare
    And answer “No.”
    “Little girl, go get your Momma.”

    I tell her
    She should go, but all she said was
    “Go get your Momma.”

    She wasn’t moving
    Nothing left to do
    So I called Momma to the door

    “Lady, I’ve
    Lost my motorcycle,
    Have you seen it?”

    She asked again.
    Momma said, “No,
    I think you should go.”

    “Are you sure
    You haven’t seen my motorcycle?
    I’ve lost it somewhere around here.”

    “No, now go!”
    Momma said, and then to my surprise
    “OH!! Get in here,”

    And they hugged
    Right there on the porch
    As two uncles and the other aunt
    Stepped from the side of the house!

  33. Lori P


    Eat bananas, someone says
    and the cute health food counter guy
    sold her this supplement
    drink it three times a day, he says
    Keep healthy, exercise, the tv says
    So she runs, so she drinks it, so she eats them
    no one ever told her to check
    didn’t say that the therapeutic range was 3.6-4.6
    such a small margin of success
    and healthy hearts don’t like
    too much Potassium any more than too little
    it throws off their groove
    now she waits to open her eyes
    while her blood spins in circles

  34. Broofee

    The missing element

    The money
    Is the missing element
    That would help a great deal
    For me to turn my plan
    Into reality.

    The land is the missing element
    So is the material
    So is the furniture
    So are the workers
    Who would build me the house
    I have already built in my mind.

    The location is the missing element
    Cause I have no idea where
    I wanna live
    Same as I have no idea
    How wil I earn, once I move into
    The wilderness.

    It seems to me
    All the things I need
    Are missing elements
    I miss everything that is
    Crucial for my plan.

    Only thing I got
    That gives me hope
    Is you.

  35. De Jackson

    (for Pete’s sake)

    Don’t forget to breathe,
    she says. As if these tired
    lungs don’t have a mind
    of their own, don’t groan
    and rise and fall constant
    against their slatted cage.

    It’s O
    -verrated, this whole in-
    and ex-
    haling from somewhere
    deep, inspiration some
    murmured whisper
    underneath all this skin.

    It’s O
    -pen heart and
    panting soul;
    loss of control
    and all things
    held, expelled
    to start again.


  36. taylor graham

    for Loki

    At daybreak, just see how her eyes burn bright.
    Earth-dark sable puppy, puckish-gay
    by cell phone photo taken at first light –

    “magic energy” in dog-form, you’d say.
    I say she’s wild as water, hard to hold.
    Earth-dark sable puppy puckish-gay,

    quicksilver. She whirls through a dawning cold;
    next she scouting wind for coyote scent.
    I say she’s wild as water, hard to hold

    by leash or theory. What was it I meant
    to teach her? The far ridges call her now,
    next she scouting wind for coyote scent,

    she startles birds from a low hanging bough;
    a rise of wings, wanderlust song of birds
    to teach her the far ridges. Call her now,

    try to catch her with a line of flung words
    or cell phone photo taken at first light.
    A rise of wings, wanderlust song of birds
    at daybreak. Just see how her eyes burn bright.

  37. De Jackson

    Salt Water and Other Solutions

    She wears pieces of ocean
    on her wrists, insists on
    turquoise purses and in
    -digo ink, periwinkle chalk.

    It’s elementary, really –
    these foreign desert skies
    are vast and wide, and void
    of wave, yet full of salt.


  38. De Jackson

    NaCl H2O

    She’s nearly three-fourths liquid,
    and spilling.
    He’s filling
    her head with worry wave and wish.

    She’s sloshed over these lonely streets
    for years,
    held tears
    at bay in pocket, sprinkled them loose.

    She’s pathologically, periodically displaced;
    and owned
    the weight of her own discarded grace.


  39. uneven steven


    The way sand makes
    is the way
    we see the world through
    our windows at work, in the car, from
    the living room
    still not clear enough
    we frame everything
    in the pretty stain
    of religion
    yet what woman or man
    can see the single grain
    in a finished
    and still function
    in this world
    not even glass blowers
    I would guess
    then what hope
    for the rest of us
    the sand making the glass making
    the mirrors we long to see
    ourselves through

  40. Linda Goin

    Upstairs Elements
    el e ments

    1. The pure forces that build this two-story house, all matter and air; also, the factors that build the builder, stability and decay.
    2. The hall’s shiny waxed wood, perfect for sliding along its length in socks; beware a window at the end of the hall, where a nose is broken.
    3. The sturdy shelves that hold pot after pot filled with African violets; all blooming all year, a jungle humidity that frames southern views.
    4. The claw foot bathtub, a window, a mustache brush, a razor, damp towels. The bathroom serves as a receptacle for hawking, a sport reserved for elder smokers.
    5. The dim back bedroom that remains sunless even with open windows; serves as headroom to remedy migraines, the softest bed in the house.
    6. The light, especially in the two front bedrooms after births and deaths: the glow that perseveres even when details fade from a mindful eye.

  41. Walt Wojtanik


    She is of the earth, grounded
    and hearty, a solid foundation
    I which to build a life. No upheavals,
    a relief to have belief behind you.
    She will remind you that the salt or the earth
    has great worth to season your lives.
    Pure, Majestic, Well-weathered –
    tethered to each other standing on
    Terra Firma. You yearn to get your
    hands dirty; she is of the earth!

  42. Domino


    It seems overt, everyone must see
    the way I light up when you’re near.
    All my passion, my joy, and my glee.
    The way that I bask in your sphere.
    As a rule all my life was austere
    and I kept my thoughts close in my heart.
    But this feeling can’t help but be clear.
    Oh, I used to think I was so smart,
    no emotion a component part
    of my carefully planned life alone.
    But now all of this love feels like art
    and I know that my cover is blown.
    Please give me some hope, I implore,
    darling, tell me it’s me you adore

    1. PressOn

      This is a wonderful sonnet, and its basic anapestic unit (or so it seems to me) carries this forward because of the feeling of anticipation that foot conveys. I love it.

  43. writinglife16

    Road Map

    Just because I named her Cobalt,
    they locked me up.
    In a mental hospital.
    They don’t have anymore.
    They keep asking me why I named her that.
    Telling me I must be sick to have given her that name.

    I smile and shake my head.
    There are a lot of different names out there,
    but nobody gets committed for giving them.
    So, I wonder and keep my peace.

    I know what they don’t.
    Cobalt is found in meteorites.
    It’s in faraway places like Morocco.
    When it’s polished, it’s a deep blue.
    And it is needed for life.

    My baby girl, Cobalt, will travel to far places.
    Her spirit will be true.
    And she will live life.
    She may even reach the stars.
    So, i’m not crazy.
    I just gave her a road map.

  44. taylor graham


    Bone-spur of bedrock, our Earth’s spine
    molds the dry creekbed, cuneiform
    of drought. How the scrub-hills pine
    for portents of a coming storm.

    With my dogs, I’m scouting the ground
    for wild: coyotes turning warm
    to bloody for our lambs, and bound
    like fury of a coming storm.

    But now these Thor-strikes from the sky
    as if heat-lightning could transform
    the landscape. Do these rain-clouds lie
    with promise of a coming storm?

    Weather gives commands in thunder,
    rain-spit; the glory-flashes swarm
    above us. We’re walking under
    the blessings of a coming storm.

  45. PressOn


    of hawks
    from the heavens
    signal that springtime
    is beginning to flow
    across the across the hills and meadows,
    approaching on southerly winds
    with the leading elements of birds.
    Breathless, the land awaits the grand parade.

    1. PressOn

      whoops…. typo tic there….


      of hawks
      from the heavens
      signal that springtime
      is beginning to flow
      cross the hills and meadows,
      approaching on southerly winds
      with the leading elements of birds.
      Breathless, the land awaits the grand parade.

  46. annell

    Like the conquistadores
    I search for gold
    Seven cities made of it

    Relationships of gold
    Words of gold
    That reflect and sparkle

    Fill my purse
    My pockets
    My life
    My heart
    You are the treasure
    I seek
    Made of pure gold

  47. Walt Wojtanik


    The ember glows left to smolder,
    Fending the colder temperatures off
    And setting off a blaze of uncontrollable
    Ferocity. The seeds of love become
    As volatile. From the first smiled hello
    Until you are both consumed by its pyre,
    Love is a fire. It is consuming yet not
    Destructive, it is instructive and nurturing.
    Love will penetrate you and warm your
    Insides until you are ablaze with her.
    You can be sure if you play with fire,
    You’re going to get burned.
    You surely hope so!

  48. MLundstedt

    “Winter Elements”

    The dark has come to cloak this land,
    For months now, spread by Winter’s hand.

    It comes with cold, its fitting friend,
    Which bites at life, through Winter’s wind.

    And the snow waits, in every cloud,
    To play its part, as Winter’s shroud.

  49. RJ Clarken

    Those Periodic Neighborhood Block Parties…

    in my
    cried Helium, in a high, squeaky voice.
    “Mercury’s rising to the occasion,
    too,” noted
    Gold and

    um…would you
    care to dance?” asked Lead. She nodded. “Lead on!”
    Cobalt queried, “Have you seen the Bismuths?”
    “They Argon,”

    oh!” yelled
    “It’s the Coppers! This party’s outta hand!”
    DJ Dubnium (doing Dubstep) just
    ignored him,
    which was

    “Don’t be such an Arsenic,” Sulfur hissed.
    Then, the Cops joined in, which was Tantalum
    to giving
    the O

    the fete
    to go on.
    “You and Iodine well tonight,” Krypton
    told Silver. “Our Table’s full of Nitro-

    so, the
    party went
    on, with much Praseodymium from one
    and all, who toasted, “Livermorium
    and prosper!”
    That is


    1. Julieann

      I’ve been trying to learn that elements table for over 50 years. Maybe if I’d had your poem/outlook on the table I’d have mastered that blasted thing. Way to go. Absolutely marvelous!!!

  50. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    Lightning blazes fire across
    angry skies as winds whip
    the galloping waves into a frenzy.
    The earth trembles and cracks –
    madness seeping from its pores.
    Forests ignite, sending flames
    high into the heavens, but no one
    there seems to notice the
    raging battle brought on by
    careless disregard for harmony
    and connection.

  51. PKP

    Lunch Table Blues

    she’s singing the lunch
    table blues
    sitting in a plastic
    chair warm milk
    dented carton
    sitting there
    from where they
    threw it at her
    head shouting
    that they wished
    her dead
    staring at the
    tray of viscuous
    lunch leering
    faces linger
    an ugly bunch
    alone, a stray
    their daily prey
    so out of the
    words that fall
    like cherry blossoms
    cover her from head
    to feet
    struggle to retrieve them sent
    as she sits – so out of her

  52. Jezzie

    Autumn Stroll

    My iron willed dog and I,
    with aching leaden joints
    in her platinum days,
    out on our stroll we go
    cheered by the fiery glow
    of gold and copper trees,
    standing tall like neon lights
    against a cobalt sky.

    Away from our city scents
    we gulp in oxygen.
    Away from those deadly
    foul carbon emissions
    we’ve better conditions
    in this sylvan medley
    and we’re happy again
    out in the elements.

  53. bxpoetlover

    I Did Not Know

    Richard Pryor could sing.
    Somebody posted a video of him singing
    “Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out”. On Facebook.
    He was standing up, young and cool, and when he had to belt it out
    he closed his eyes and his upper body moved in rhythm to the bass.

    His album “Was It Something I Said” was the first in one of Daddy’s stacks of records but
    my sister and I knew not to touch it. We were allowed to laugh at “Bustin’ Loose”.

    I didn’t know that when he first hit the New York stage
    he used to be so nervous he shivered like a baby until Nina Simone
    hugged and rocked him.

    All that comedy and music and wisdom and artistry.
    That his grandmother beat him
    parents left him
    and somebody took his innocence at seven
    breaks my heart.

  54. gl86

    Ode to NOMA

    Raw, sweet, deep-sea shrimp
    Cleaned, peeled, chilled, placed
    Back in its natural habitat –
    a chilly pool of seawater –
    Salient in its rosy exuberance

    Verdant Nordic flora – grassy,
    foraged herbs and flowers –
    Cling to life, sprouting up
    amidst common beach rocks,
    woefully inedible

    Dill oil and cream clash, wash
    against the rocks, against a
    sand of summer sea urchin
    that completes the dish
    I one day hope to eat.