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2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

Today is a “Two for Tuesday” prompt. In fact, it’s the one that I include in every challenge. Old hands knew this one was coming sooner or later. Here are your two options:

  • Write a love poem. Romantic or more general types of love. Or…
  • Write an anti-love poem. Some folks just don’t like love poems of any type, so have at it.

Here’s my attempt at a love and/or anti-love poem:

“New York City”

I walk from Times Square
to Central Park

and sit on the rocks,
watch children play

and their parents talk
while lovers walk

to a perfect spot
of hot sun light

catching the entire
city on fire.


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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and another one of those poets who loves the anonymity of New York City. He loves flying into LaGuardia Airport and seeing the Statue of Liberty and tall buildings of Manhattan. He even enjoys riding the bus to the train and taking that into the city. It’s not uncommon for him to wander off to Central Park and watch the runners doing laps, children playing, and people lounging. If you spot him, he’ll probably have his notebook out–doodling or writing. Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems, which is filled with love poems, and husband of the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who once met him in NYC while they were “courting.” Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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279 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

  1. hohlwein

    For today’s prompt, write a love poem.

    I can only hope you know
    as I will never tell you.
    It is not fatal
    but it is serious.
    It is not serious
    but is sweet.
    That you are there
    though never here
    It matters more than most things.
    You are a direction, perhaps not mine,
    but for you I align and sing and go on.

  2. Yolee


    love poems used to flow out of my hands,
    now they don’t succumb easily. i over think
    musicality, measure and metaphors.

    isn’t that the problem? after all, love is,
    above pictures, tapes and correction;
    and i thrive under her roof/ inside her mouth.

    love is an impossible poem my unimaginative fingertips cannot revise.

  3. Jezzie

    Lost Loves

    When I have spent most of my life
    collecting objects that I love,
    why am I now overcrowded
    with things I cannot throw away
    because I cherished them all once?

    Would that I could feel so crowded
    by the people that I have loved,
    but who are now gone from my life
    either due to death or distance,
    or because of a dead romance.

  4. bjholmes

    Agape is Love

    A love like this exists
    for those who choose to believe
    in a better life that’s offered
    once you begin to really see.
    A love with no conditions,
    no blame and no conceit,
    so freely is it given
    some think it cannot exist
    Why doubt something that is so real
    and just accept the worldly ways?
    Why not try and open up your heart
    and see if love will stay?
    Agape love is what it’s called
    and is givenfrom His heart
    to anyone who accepts Him
    and rejects the wroldly part.


    It’s all about me.
    that won’t go away
    no room for any trust
    no place in my heart
    for love.

  5. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 19
    Prompt: Write a love poem or an anti-love poem.

    Love Hurts

    Don’t love me.
    I can’t afford the pain of two pieces of paper
    glued together, then torn

    Love Shivers with Delight

    When you touch me, in that way of yours,
    I still feel a small thrill,
    when you kiss me, lips melting together,
    your arms about my waist,
    my hands clasped behind your neck,
    swaying in the kitchen to the music
    of years richly
    layered with empathy.

  6. Lori P


    seeing you as more beautiful the older you get
    remembering your name after I forgot my bank account number
    and where I keep my car keys
    turning off the football game to help you put on the stockings
    those darn doctors prescribed
    bending over to pick up the paintbrush you dropped
    even though my back cracks as much as yours

  7. seingraham


    Winter has blown in super-early
    this year; temperatures are sub-Arctic
    even without a wind-chill
    And snow…snow ’til hell wouldn’t have it
    As senseless as that sounds, that’s
    what we say here often, when something’s
    exceptionally exceptional

    You don’t feel well today;
    oh, it’s nothing serious,
    you’re sure – I’m sure;
    and still, I worry
    Just a bad cold, you say
    and an equally bad toothache
    that has finally given you
    enough pain you have to have
    the offender yanked this morning

    For you to go to the dentist
    when you are already
    not feeling well lets me
    know how bad the pain is,
    you have an incredibly high
    pain threshold

    When you are hurting like this
    I try not to think about
    how much I love you
    but I think it just makes it harder

    You are shovelling out the driveway
    Something you probably really
    don’t feel like doing…
    I look at your ashy-grey face,
    at how closely it’s matching
    your hair and beard,
    another indication of just
    how ill you must be feeling

    My worry ramps up
    and I want to wrap my arms
    around you, make it better
    Instead, I try to get you to sit down,
    warm up — You are stubborn,
    insist on driving yourself

    I watch you drive away;
    the snow has started up again,
    heavier than before..

    and an anti-love poem


    The air is thick with winter
    Oh, how I hate it
    The advent of a season
    never ending
    blowing in on the heels
    of that much prettier one
    Autumn seems made
    for artists
    And winter made for
    those of us who
    need to hibernate
    I hate the very idea
    of all that white

  8. Mywordwall


    Love is not for the faint of heart
    not for one scared to be a part
    of existence beyond one’s own
    self ruling as kings on their throne

    Lovers ought to know from the start
    love is not for the faint of heart
    not for the one afraid of pain
    and so shields his heart from breaking

    the soul of a lover’s naked
    humble before the beloved
    love is not for the faint of heart
    dying to self is love’s own art

    demanding love when it is hardest –
    knowing love won’t be recompensed
    to love is to imitate Christ
    love is no for the faint of heart.

  9. Earl Parsons

    (A tribute to my Love)

    On duty mixing masterly
    Measuring careful with jigger
    Looked up and there was Kimberly
    Seeing her made my eyes bigger

    Her face shined bright with loveliness
    Jigger and bottle shook slightly
    Her presence sparked my giddiness
    Her smile brought me pleasure nightly

    But when the night shift concluded
    On separate ways we’d depart
    Until one night I eluded
    I missed her when we were apart

    That night we upped our relations
    Our feelings laid bear on display
    Our future sealed with conviction
    That only death can take away

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  10. Benjamin Thomas

    Us a Garden

    Us, a garden of sumptuous roses
    We, an exuberant Eden free

    Plummeting greens tip their hats
    A sprinting plush spree

    Wild flowers our love exposes
    Angry winds together we hush

    …But without you it’s a barren wasteland

  11. Earl Parsons

    For me

    I get more from you
    Than I give to you
    Though it seems the opposite is true.
    If you only knew
    Just how much you do.
    For me.

    And I realize
    That I’ve won the prize
    When I look into your pretty blue eyes
    And I can’t disguise
    Finding you was wise.
    For me.

    Now we two are one
    Every day is fun
    And from you I’ll never, ever run.
    My regrets are none.
    Thanks for what you’ve done,
    For me.

  12. Sara McNulty


    Love Blooms

    Love gathers blossoms
    from a farrago of flowers,
    a gladiola for Dad–his strength
    and protection–a tea rose
    for Mom, whose complexion
    fades from years of caring
    for others. A camellia circle,
    fanning petals out as shoulders
    for a sister, to soften life’s blows.
    A purple tulip for a husband
    whose two lips will press yours
    in assurance.


    Done With Love

    He has found, through years
    of failures
    with women–
    recriminations and tears–
    love is unworthy.

  13. elishevasmom


    I love to dance.
    If I was down, all I
    would need to do was
    put on a nice dress and
    go to a club. Most times
    I was already better
    by just hearing the music
    at the front door.

    Franklin overheard me
    telling someone about
    my desire to pick up
    my feet. And that’s all
    it took. He loved dancing
    about as much as I did.
    But then, he loved everything
    he did. He loved living.

    His work as a state employee
    had him traveling around
    quite a bit, and he had
    friends everywhere he went.
    But he had also done some
    unusual things you didn’t
    see every day.

    When he was younger, he
    had been a speed skater on
    the state team, and just
    missed the cut for the Olympics.
    He was a semi-professional
    photographer, and did
    beautiful crewel embroidery.

    Things that you didn’t see
    everyday in a man who stood
    6’3”, and weighed in a little
    north of 300 lbs—or in a
    Thalidomide baby, born with
    no elbows, a thumb and two
    fingers on one hand, and three
    fingers with the thumb on
    his other.

    Franklin might have been
    born physically handicapped,
    but never lived a
    disabled day in his life.

    When we were on the dance
    floor, the rest of the world
    melted away. Other dancers
    would actually step back
    off the floor—our magic
    was visible to everyone.

    His job was 9 – 5, but with me
    in retail, we had to juggle
    schedules to get time
    together—and most often
    we spent it dancing.

    We had been together for
    four blissful weeks, and
    were headed out dancing
    (of course). As we got out
    of his SUV, I told him
    that I finally knew what
    real love was, and that if I
    ever stumbled across it
    again I would recognize it.

    In retrospect, the first
    part made sense, but the
    second sounded oddly detached.

    The bar was one of the
    kind you see downtown
    in the older cities.
    Only a small store front to
    the street, but an old mahogany
    bar toward the back,on one side
    complimented by booths and tables.
    At the back there was room for a small
    band (usually blues or jazz),
    and a small dance floor.

    Franklin and Larry,the band leader
    had been close friends for
    fifteen years, so before the
    next song, he paused and
    gave us a “shout out”. Then the two
    of them went on cracking wise
    about his arms. Franklin offering
    to give them a hand with the band,
    and so on…

    We had been there for about
    a half an hour, and we got up
    to dance to some blues number.
    (It’s funny that I can’t
    remember its name). He led and
    I followed. I did dance steps
    I didn’t know I knew. At the
    end he gave me a little twirl
    in the air, and when I landed,
    we held hands and bowed.
    The crowd went crazy.

    We sat down to cool off—him
    drinking his club soda with a
    twist of lime, and me with my
    ginger ale. It couldn’t have been
    five minutes when his chair
    flew back—and he was gone
    by the time it hit the floor.
    There was a look of shock
    frozen on his face.

    While I was screaming for
    someone to dial 911, I was
    trying to perform CPR—I
    had been trained. It took
    the paramedics forever to
    get there (probably more
    like 8-10 minutes). Later
    at the ER, the doctor told
    me that the kind of heart
    attack he had, they couldn’t
    have saved him had it happened
    in front of them on the table.

    As it turned out, my comment
    earlier about recognizing love
    had a prescient quality to it,
    like I was telling him goodbye.

    The time I spent with Franklin,
    was the most precious in my life.
    What we shared, most people
    would give a whole lifetime
    to have that for a single day.
    I was privileged to have it for 28.

    And I believe with a high level
    of confidence, that should I ever
    happen upon true love again, I will of
    a certainty hold it to my chest.
    The cavity from where the heart
    was torn healed in awkward manner,
    but I have no doubt it can be re-planted
    and tended. It is always worth the
    effort required to receive and hold
    onto true, genuine love.

    Ellen Knight 11.19.13
    write a “love poem” and or “anti-love” poem
    PAD 11.13

  14. Bruce Niedt

    The Fanatic

    She was so patient when I watched the game
    though baseball never really was her style.
    My passion for the sport was like a flame.

    She didn’t know a single player’s name
    but when I talked of baseball, she would smile
    with patience for me as I watched the game.

    I didn’t pay attention – who’s to blame?
    I know to live with me could be a trial –
    my passion for the sport was like a flame.

    I know that my excuses could be lame
    if I ignored the yard, the laundry pile –
    she was so patient when I watched the game.

    I should have paid those bills the day they came,
    instead they sat in some forgotten file –
    my passion for the sport was like a flame.

    She said she’s leaving, and I should feel shame.
    I’ve been oblivious, I guess, but while
    her patience for me’s gone, I watch the game;
    her passion for me’s snuffed out like a flame.

  15. bjzeimer

    Teresa’s House

    I love to drive down that old wagon trail
    that borders Big Darby Creek,
    and winds around the farmland
    and the woods,

    and cross the bridge at Trapper John’s,
    climb Big Pansy Hill,
    brake when I get to the stop sign
    at the top of the rise,

    let my foot off the brake
    until the car starts rolling backwards,
    then hit it again.
    Around the bend

    I turn into the lane
    and park beneath the Silver Maple tree
    where I can forget my worries
    for a time,

    where Teresa wears
    her beauty in a long burgundy braid
    and the old folks
    fuss and fume.

  16. Cameron Steele


    You don’t even know the girl you
    see in the mirror and you have
    never loved her. I know you can’t
    help but stare at those
    choking eyes, that thick
    smile, rolls of neck shuddering
    against a collar. You poor thing
    you’ll watch for seconds and
    even for minutes
    that you really shouldn’t spare
    on a vision of yourself
    that I’ve already taught you
    and rightly so
    to hate.

  17. randinha


    If you opened me
    and found my heart,
    you’d discover
    a golden mappa mundi
    etched on flesh.

    If you traced the vessels
    across the continents,
    you’d discover
    black clots of names,
    some bold, some blotted away.

    If I asked you to find
    a certain name—

    If I asked you route
    the winding way to him,
    you’d discover
    a chip in the gold,
    a hole in the world.

  18. bethwk

    This poem says it wants to be about love.
    What can I say about love
    that hasn’t already been said
    a thousand times,
    a thousand ways?

    We all know the dangers.
    Here, take my heart, this crystal orb,
    and hold it carefully, we say
    to any scoundrel who strolls by.

    Why are we always so shocked, so
    shattered, when we see the scattered pieces,
    the remnants strewn about?

    Look into that orb, your own.
    Find fury there, and hate.
    Find despair and rage.
    Then tell me, my friend,
    when you settle into their abode,
    if they are not often
    simply other words for love.

    The purest fury, the
    most white-hot rage,
    the seizing grief:
    most of these would cease to be
    were they not born of deepest love.

    No, hate is not the opposite of love,
    I say. Love’s opposite is apathy.

    So then, take heart.
    Let not dismay dismay you.
    That which hurts you hurts you
    because your heart is deep and full,
    so full, of devotion to that which you love.

  19. LeAnneM

    What explains those people,
    In distress,
    Living harrowing lives,
    Who still reach out?

    When I am under stress,
    Love is

    A distant figure
    Which I notice
    But ignore

  20. Missy McEwen


    I washed my hair
    for you.

    Had mama part it and plait it
    for you.

    I wanted you to see
    how long it grew

    since I’ve seent you

    It’s thick and curly
    and grows so fast.

    That’s the Sicilian
    in me from you.

    I dream of you.
    I miss you.

    My aunts
    think it’s wrong

    for me to love
    you still

    ’cause you never
    come around

    when you say
    you will

    like now.

  21. De Jackson

    Tryin’ to throw her arms around the world

    Anyone can slay a dragon, he told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.
    – Brian Andreas

    Teach it to sing
    in perfect harm
    -ony; teach it to dance
    like no one’s watching.

    Tell it a story,
    some sign of hope.
    Carve your name somewhere
    on its surface, I was here.

    Buy it a Coke, then use it
    to burn all the crap off
    of a dirty penny, so you
    can once again feel
    the raised words
    In God We Trust.

    Thrust it further out
    into the atmosphere,
    test gravity and rocket
    science and quantum
    something or other
    until the equation
    adds itself back up
    to the sun.

    Teach it the significance
    of scars below
    or stars above, but
    above all else, just
    teach it to love.


        1. De Jackson

          Cameron, don’t ever EVER let anybody tell you that your poetic voice is anything but original, raw, and STUNNING. I was floored from the very first poem a couple of years ago, and I continue to wait for you to start a poetry blog, so I can have you in my poetic “in” box.

          Write like YOU, as you already do. The world needs that voice.

  22. rosross


    Heavens held and sun still knew eternal place,
    while world had fallen into darkness, disarray,
    collapsing through the flimsy skin of old beliefs,
    to lie in shattered, brutal remnants of itself;
    reality reduced to merely moments, broken pieces
    littering the remains of what I once called day.

    In an instant, with words that beat hell’s drum,
    what was, fell to life’s cold and stony floor,
    as if it had never been; substance surely sucked,
    from the body of relationship in mortal wound;
    love’s blood flowed scarlet toward coagulate,
    drying, dark and permanent by future’s door.

    Time swept up the dregs and dross of memory,
    scrubbed at stained, persistent edge of grief,
    removing not just remnants of forgotten past,
    but also hope that loss could be reworked;
    life trod upon dead patterns, faintly, surely set
    to cast death’s silhouette in stark relief.

  23. De Jackson


    if you love something, set it
    on fire,
    send it out into the breeze to
    bold and beautiful for all the
    to see; loved and lit, and fully



  24. Margie Fuston

    When the Ocean Swallows the Sun

    When the sun tries to warm the waves,
    smile at me from the water.
    I’ll lift my hand and wave
    as if there’s no ocean between us.

    When the sun dips its toes in the water,
    lay next to me on your separate towel,
    one hand sifting through endless sand
    as if you could reach me.

    When the ocean swallows the sun,
    I might take your fingers in mine,
    let you hold me while dark waves nibble my toes
    as long as you don’t let me disappear

  25. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Tastes Change

    My greatest love used to be chocolate.
    This was true most of my life.
    But now for some reason I hate it,
    and I just can’t understand why.

    It isn’t your fault, dear chocolate.
    It’s not you, it’s me.
    It was nothing you did. I just grew out
    of loving you. I’m really sorry.

    When I was little I hated
    pumpkin, I thought it was awful.
    Then one day, suddenly, I liked it.
    My Mum thought that was wonderful.

    Tastes change, says my doctor. Don’t worry,
    it doesn’t mean that you’re sick.
    So eat, drink and be merry.
    Eat veggies if you don’t like steak.

    And I do, especially spinach
    which formerly I disliked.
    Now it all gets finished
    and I come back for seconds – yikes!

    Some people like bread, some meat,
    some think fresh fruit is good,
    some adore shellfish, or spices —
    never mind what kind, we love food!

  26. DWong

    Big City

    Once, long ago,
    I followed your feet
    to a land unknown;
    promises of love,
    promises of joy,
    promises of culture
    to explore.

    What I didn’t know,
    my soul it would bleed
    from structures all worn;
    rot on the outside,
    rot on the inside,
    rot making cement

  27. Broofee

    Enough with those love poems already!

    For all of you who think poetry is
    About saying how much you love him or her
    Get over it!
    The last thing in the world I wanna read
    Is how she made you dinner last night
    And how grateful you are to gods up above
    That you found her.
    Look around you
    Damn it!
    Do you have neighbors that have
    Drug problems
    Or friends who can’t find
    Any work
    Or perhaps relatives with an allergy to
    Pesticides that some multinational company
    Put in our food?
    Write about those things!
    That’s poetry of today,
    It’s not Keats any more
    Not even Ginsberg and his boys
    It’s the voice from the street
    The uneducated, the poor, the lost
    The ones who’ve never even heard of any of
    The old poets.
    Poetry is not about writing love poems
    It’s about fighting a war
    It’s about terrorism, illegal immigrants, workers
    Without a pay
    It’s about sleeping on the street
    About living on drugs
    About kinky sex
    About survival.
    Poetry today is written by those who’ve
    Never even read a poem
    And dedicated to those
    Who are never
    Going to read one either.

  28. Broofee

    Just fine

    I ended up sitting
    Behind the same desk
    I’ve been sitting behind
    For the last six years,
    Where my computer is at.
    The place has a history to tell,
    A history of video games,
    TV series,
    News readings
    And a DIY manuals
    I feel like I’m becoming
    A bit nervous
    After I had a beer and watched a football game.
    You still haven’t called
    And it’s almost 11 pm.
    Where are you?
    But then the phone rings
    And your voice says
    I was at the movies
    Saw a Bruce Springsteen documentary
    And I’m so happy
    How are you?
    Oh, I’m just fine
    I respond
    Just fine.

  29. cholder

    a love poem…

    Love Is

    Love need not be
    a rose
    or baby’s breath
    nor a mockingbird’s song
    or the blood red
    of a robin’s breast.

    Love is
    a promise
    a crackling fire
    in the hearth
    a child’s laughter
    the beating of a faithful heart.

  30. Jane Shlensky

    Daily Fare

    He batters her enough to ease his day
    and dares his older kids to intervene.
    They go outside or in their rooms to stay,
    hearing each thud; they listen to her keen.

    They wait until the shouts whimper and end,
    then slither out like lizards under rocks
    to test a hostile sun against their skin.
    They keep their eyes down, slyly taking stock.

    She will be putting ice atop a bruise,
    holding a compress, pulling at her shirt,
    while they imagine lives they’d like to lose,
    and he says, “What you looking at? Love hurts!

  31. Jane Shlensky


    Look where he goes, children. We look and see
    him hitch his pants and walk, his shoulders back.
    We smile imagining how courage strides.
    He drives us crazy, but he is our dad,
    she says, emotion moving in her throat.

    Your father’s coming, look busy for him.
    You know his work is not his cup of tea.
    Let’s show him what good workers we can be.
    It may well take the burden of the day
    right off his shoulders for a bit tonight.

    Your father’s surely hungry, serve him first,
    and then the rest of us will have a bite.
    It makes him angry thinking we might scrimp
    to make ends meet. Let’s not complain to him.
    Save everything you don’t like just for me.

    So every day, she modeled sacrifice
    and taught us how courageous love could be.
    No hearts and flowers, but no disregard
    for what each gave the other willingly.
    No single splash of fabulous romance.

    Their days unraveled, often worn and frayed,
    buts through the worst, they persevered and stayed.

  32. gl86


    I wish there were ECGs
    to interpret the content of
    figurative hearts

    so that they may
    express themselves literally
    instead of relying on

    love-struck brains and
    tongue-tied translations
    of love.

  33. Susan Schoeffield


    All day I’ve tried to get this right,
    to say some things that don’t sound trite
    or too much like a greeting card.
    But I have found this poem hard
    because the subject of this ode
    has walked with me down every road,
    has cheered me on when I have failed
    and fixed my wheels when they derailed.
    But nothing in a silly rhyme
    can match my gratitude for time
    that clearly saw the hand of fate
    pick out for me the perfect mate.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  34. DanielAri

    “Lost & Found”

    Remember the time
    we went on that five elements retreat?
    We passed arm to arm
    every log that made the bonfire rise hot
    and sniff us with flame.

    In the lodge, we sweat
    ourselves into Mother’s patient embrace
    and emerged panting
    the sharp air by the obsidian face
    of Buck Rock, a balm

    to our clutched places.
    We let tiny spiders crawl their dances
    on our surfaces,
    you and I, only steam rising from grass,
    only mounds of dirt,

    only clouds passing
    close by the cliff face.


  35. Domino


    A burden borne of shame
    and hate, the flame of rage still burns
    when she remembers the violation.
    Somehow the blame landed on her
    and not her attacker.

    His transgression fruiting in her belly,
    now, impossible to forget what happened,
    useless to imagine her life as it was.
    All the loathing, the resentment
    felt for her assailant comes to life;
    every kick feels like another assault,
    every movement a reproach.

    She knows she should feel something
    tender and loving
    for this life inside her, but all she feels
    is bitterness and humiliation.

    Finally, at long last, the day comes
    and her labor begins.
    Soon, this parasite will be gone,
    she will put it all behind her,
    her life will begin again.

    The pain is welcome, she embraces it,
    teeth bared, and works to deliver
    the bastard of her rapist.

    And when at last the child is delivered,
    she looks into the tiny face,
    and loves.

  36. Cin5456

    Love in Moonlight

    Love in the moonlight
    of a night’s distant past
    became a rite between two
    who loved for one true moment in time.
    Love in the sun, bright for two
    shared hearts racing their past
    to reach for promised moonlight.

    Love’s Passed

    Time crept on ‘till love’s light
    faded. Fighting, they passed
    beyond joined hands, until two
    could not fill a night’s time
    with being together. And so two
    hearts divide to forget past
    anger and seek other light.

  37. BezBawni

    Love/Hate Theorem Disproved

    Given: I love, you don’t
    Hypothesis: you hate

    I care about you – you care for your dog;
    I think of you – you think your lunch is cold;
    I miss your touch – you find things to touch;
    I know all about you – you know Freud by heart;
    I like you, poke you, comment on your posts – you meet your friends, you drink, you have a life;
    I hate to cry – you never see me cry;
    I hardly sleep – you do, but not with me;
    I want to be with you – you want a Ford Mondeo;
    My world is you – your world is all the world.

    Thus: hate is not the opposite of love
    the opposite of love is unconcern

  38. Eve Brackenbury

    I’m back! I was asked to write a poem about General Order No. 11 in Missouri during the Civil War. This one has had me blocked most of the month with a serious case of “I ain’t got nuttin!” . I have some catching up to do. I just finished this today – and I think it could be a love poem AND and anti-love poem. For more information about Gen. Order 11 and the Missouri/Kansas Border Conflict, go to my webpage for details. http://evebrackenbury.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/forgive-me-mother-my-heart-is-blue/

    Forgive Me, Mother. My Heart is Blue

    My Dearest Mother, forgive me,
    for today I stood before God
    and swore loyalty to mine enemy.
    My sons and husband are dead,
    and I am asked to bury my hatred.
    I have done so and I have begged
    that I might return home to you.

    Forgive me, Mother,

    my heart has turned cold and Blue.
    What was not burned has been picked at
    by packs of wild dogs. Full of mange,
    full of rage and madness, they took over
    looting after Ewing’s dogs left.
    And now these dreaded dogs,
    they plunder our fields for bones.

    The murderous rage of those bent on abolishing
    all we had has taken all from me!
    I returned to what has been called a vast cemetery.
    It seems to me a generous assessment,
    for even our graves were turned out.
    Snow and ash cover what few stones remain,
    a Grey reminder.
    And in that respect, a vast cemetery indeed.

    Mother, I beg for your forgiveness,
    for I buried your Bible next to your bones,
    thinking you might keep it safe.
    And the silver comb Father brought back
    from the old country to give to his bride.
    I knew not what else to do;
    we were given only a fortnight to flee.
    We have been punished for our honor,
    most severely and without mercy.

    Mother, forgive me if you can find it in your heart,
    for I have chosen to marry a Union man.
    He carries a Bible close to his breast
    and has offered absolution for my sins.
    His very dog he pledged to me for protection.
    A silver comb, his bridal gift to me.

  39. MichelleMcEwen

    Magic Love

    Do magic on me,
    Baby— cut me

    in half, make me

    with my insides


    pull me
    from a hat

    turn me
    to a dove, love

    make me levitate
    then leave me


    I’m just sayin

    all this to say
    you can have

    your way
    with me.

    1. Missy McEwen

      “make me levitate/then leave me/hanging”

      love the line breaks in this poem
      I wish I wrote it

      oh man I love that — and how it can be taken literally or like the slang leave me hanging
      love this s— so much!

    1. gl86

      Thanks all for the comments & inspiration!

      Domino – I see what you mean. I tried to write something earlier in the day inspired by ‘Wuthering Heights,’ so maybe that feeling came through here, despite the fact that I wrote this with a more optimistic intent. It can certainly be interpreted both ways!

      PKP – Thanks. That was the direction I was going in!

  40. bartonsmock

    -you are here- (for my wife)


    it’s old. this
    what have I done, this
    dark ship. the crates
    in their charge
    of silence, the ice
    and breaking.
    we move
    in our cabin

    our bellies
    to stay
    the compass
    of hurt.


    our new baby
    we honor
    like a bruise, a slack

    hangs itself



    I say I’m sorry
    in three stories
    I envision
    as three orphans
    of wiser

    your shoulders remain small.


    …too small
    for the arms
    reaching down
    to shrug them

        1. bartonsmock

          thanks for reading, all. slight edit. should have been:

          -you are here- (for my wife)


          it’s old. this
          what have I done, this
          dark ship. the crates
          in their charge
          of silence, the ice
          and breaking.
          we move
          in our cabin

          our bellies
          to stay
          the compass
          of hurt.


          our new baby
          we honor
          like a bruise, a slack

          hangs itself



          I say I’m sorry
          in three stories
          I envision
          as three orphans
          of wiser

          your shoulders remain small.


          …too small
          for what
          reaches down
          to shrug them

  41. uneven steven

    Your body is a house
    with windows for eyes
    your door a mouth
    the weather a god
    keeping all love inside
    neither hate nor vengeance
    raging outside
    only clear steady streams
    of indifference
    flowing near
    your body a house
    longing to be
    a temple

  42. alanasherman

    love # 19
    Love This, Love That
    …all but love is dead…

    love, what is it? Your
    love makes me
    soar, makes me
    explode. What is love if not
    the person praising

    you, knowing
    you the way you are
    and loving
    you the way
    you are, for all your blunders
    all your flaws? Say I

    love you once
    more! Try to say what
    ardor is,
    is not. It
    makes us fools, makes us despair
    makes our hearts sing

    makes us slaves
    makes us free, opens
    our eyes
    closes them
    again, senses everything
    Try to say what love is.


  43. cholder

    A love/anti-love sonnet:

    He thinks me innocent but he is wrong.
    His heart is black with malicious intent.
    For I know the truth, if truth be my song.
    With ev’ry breath he speaks a lie blatant.
    If truth honors, his deceit dishonors
    my love. What a mockery and a sham,
    while he deludes and pretends to adore.
    My spirit reflects the woman I am;
    strong and confident, with faith in my God
    to restore my spirit broken in two
    by his mean intent and benign façade.
    Was it a game, or was his love once true?
    For it’s worthy to love another’s heart,
    and contemptible to tear it apart.

  44. Clae

    Why Poets Starve

    No one really wants
    To read another love poem
    Unless it is an old love poem
    A great love poem
    One of the classics
    No one really wants
    To write another love poem
    Unless it is our own love poem
    Heartbreak’s love poem
    Unlike the masses
    No one really wants

  45. Linda Goin

    Are You Missing Something?

    You turn around on the sidewalk
    to go back for a second look,
    after you check your pockets to make sure
    that you left love at the house.
    Then you remember that you don’t know
    what that emotion means.
    You understand devotion
    to a cause or to a mission,
    and you know that falling
    in wonderment happens
    when you watch stars at night
    as you lie on a beach,
    waves kissing your feet.
    You know lust, too (that animal).
    None of these feelings are close
    to what you forgot
    or never knew.
    You know that little things
    you can fit in your pockets
    mean a lot, because they carry
    a moment’s memory,
    the aroma of acceptance,
    like presents given
    for no reason at all.
    After you check your pockets,
    you realize you forgot
    to pick up something small
    to commemorate this visit
    with your relatives.
    You return with the excuse
    that you lost something, wondering
    if you’ll ever find it here.

    1. PKP

      Okay Linda – you got me – tears rising from the powerful emotion in this beautiful poem . IMHO one of your best which is saying quite a bit – considering your body of work :) BRAVO!

  46. Nancy Posey

    I Love You More
    Every time I say, I love you ,
    you respond, I love you more.
    For you, it’s no cliché,
    no sentiment embroidered
    on a pillow. You mean it.
    Why, then, does it sting me
    to think you don’t feel
    overwhelmed by my love?
    How do we measure
    the immeasurable?
    How can I give a gift
    you keep giving back?
    In the irrational mathematics
    of love, no weights or measures,
    no scales or yardsticks
    suffice. In all the time
    remaining, let’s persist
    in winning this silly game
    of loving most.

  47. priyajane


    How can love
    that shows you
    the moon in the clouds
    and flowers in the fog
    That soars
    with the sun in the stars
    and the nothings of wind
    That seeps
    inside your bones
    and makes every cell sing–

    How can that love
    Blind you
    in a deep dark forest fire
    Smother you
    with cold blasts of care
    Crumble you
    with daily deafening whispers
    And bury you
    in breeding despair?!——

  48. Rita Ackerman


    Some married for love
    Some for convenience or
    to fulfill a contract made when they were very young

    Some learned to love
    Others learned to hate

    Some stayed for love
    Others had no choice
    Some thought if best for the children
    Many just wanted out.

    Love can make, or break, a marriage
    We may never know why.

  49. writinglife16


    This old picture.
    You and me against the world.
    And the elements.
    Your arms around me from behind.
    Head bent toward me.
    Both of us bundled in Parkas.
    You protected me.
    From the weather.
    You surrounded me.
    With your love.
    And you still do.
    You still do.


    I would love you
    if I had space in my heart
    to love
    anyone else but me.

      1. Linda Goin

        Oh, but I think they are related by antithesis. Your first poem reminds me of Billy Collins’ poem, “Embrace.” That’s why, I think, I feel the two are related.

  50. Walt Wojtanik


    Life throws you curves which swerve
    out of your strike zone leaving you
    alone in a crowded room. Your doom
    was feeling love was something
    you could grow into. But you two
    feel obligated, not celebrated in the
    traditions of bliss, every Judas kiss
    turns your head instead of turning
    your heart. You start to feel your
    footing giving way and the day
    you no longer do, will be your first clue.
    You yell and fight all night still standing,
    no soft landing to be had. Is it bad?
    When you never fall, does love fail?

  51. taylor graham


    It’s snowing up there,
    you’ve been kept away so long.
    And so I write you
    of rain that never comes here,
    my drought, I’m waiting for you.

    A cup of loose-leaf
    tea by the stove. Your letter
    warms the cold evening.
    Our sun sets southerly now
    under clouds, beckoning home.

  52. annell

    Since it is my birthday, I will write whatever I like, and what I like, is to return to the “halfway” prompt, every poem is a love poem in a way…..

    On the Median
    Are the sign posts
    I look for

    In this journey
    There is no beginning
    I am always
    In the middle
    Halfway through

    It has taken
    This long
    To get here
    The middle
    Halfway through

    I know nothing
    Of the beginning
    No longer
    In my memory bank
    Long forgotten
    Faded away
    I cannot say
    What effects
    What has on
    Or how it all began

    So here I stand
    In the middle
    Halfway through
    On the median

    1. PKP

      Lovin those last two lines especially – but the whole poem is a treat – HAPPY BIRTHDAY – and LOVE that you took the time to show yourself some love by writing to the prompt that sung Happy Birthday to you :)

  53. PressOn


    The couple, hand-in-hand,
    are pausing by the shore
    as gulls and terns galore
    swirl all around the strand;
    some come to land and stand
    nearby, while others soar.

    They reach for bits of bread
    and toss, in halting style,
    their crumbs; and all the while
    the birds display no dread.
    Each flurry overhead
    elicits but a smile.

    New love is thrilled with words;
    old love communes with birds.

  54. PKP

    Infant Dawnings Bright and Blank

    In the rising dawn
    Sparkled light in
    their sleepy hair
    She lifts the babe
    high in the air
    twirling in magic mystic light
    All is peaceful
    All is right
    Brings him down lies
    on duvet plump and feather-white
    holds him close and melts together dear
    velvet skin-to-skin suckling snuggles here

    In a house not too far from here
    infant red faced frightened screams
    Mother turns her face to the wall
    Birth control on this fifth failed
    It seems
    She pulls a pillow about her exhausted ear
    As a calloused foot pushes at her rear
    “Get up and get that brat out of here”
    Another gray tided day rolls in and soaks her through
    Irrevocably beginning urine acrid pullings, whirling chaos
    Her apparent due
    Stumbles to the crib falls back to the couch
    Tumbled blankets there askew
    Wretched creature mouth agape searching to devour
    Best hoped for peace and blankness for this day, at least for another hour

  55. Michelle Hed

    What Am I?

    I hold you
    in my hands
    and your smell
    is so precious.
    When I have to leave you
    I can’t wait to see you again.
    When we are back together,
    I give you a small hug
    before opening
    to the page
    I bookmarked.
    I love a good story.

  56. Benjamin Thomas

    No Love for Ice

    I’ve got
    No love
    For this
    In the

    I know
    And love
    In fact
    It’s heavy
    I embrace

    With you
    I’ve lost
    All traction
    And grace
    I just can’t
    Seem to
    A grip

    So slick
    So slippery
    In all
    Your ways

    For those
    Who cross
    The wrong

    Think I’ve
    The accidents
    You wrought

    One hundred
    Eighty degree
    Turns when
    I was

    The time
    You slammed
    My Civic
    To the curb
    You put
    Me flat
    On my

    I forgot
    One iota

    I’ve got
    No love
    In fact
    I’ll show
    You some

    You break
    Up a little
    Let everyone
    See your

    Got me

  57. Hannah

    Lone Hours

    Love handles tinder
    before eyes awaken.
    With sleep-numbed limbs
    love kneels
    on cold hearth
    with home in her core
    and love feels always
    the rhythmic heartbeat;
    the house breathing,
    still deep in slumber,
    in their warmth-
    and animated
    in their dreaming.
    Love is fed
    in those lone hours.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  58. Hannah

    I just LOVE your poem today, Robert.

    Also, I’ve really enjoyed the way that you’ve changed up your “about” every day.

    Thanks for all the inspiration thus far….what a great month it’s been. :)

  59. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    study the fine details of a story;
    work on the necessities of a career;
    linger in bed when energy depletes;
    travel away on duty calls.

    True love gives freedom to be
    who you need to be,
    when you need to be, and
    where you need to be –
    no questions asked.

  60. Walt Wojtanik


    Suns first appears precedes her by an hour.
    She is a precious flower; she lingers in slumber,
    languishing in the blankets; she purrs catlike
    much like the feline entwined against her leg.
    She begs for five more minutes, more time
    to give her dreams closure. She know comfort
    from the warmth of your soul, she know peace
    in the calm of your voice. She knows that you
    offer all her heart has longed for. You are her
    first morning revelation; her epiphany!
    As sleep is lifted she is gifted with
    a tender kiss, loves blessed bliss. Her eyes
    butterfly and awaken. You have taken her
    soul and mated it with your own. Just as you
    have known. Love has opened both of your eyes!