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




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