2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

After today’s poem is done, we’ll all be 67% of the way through this challenge. That’s right! We’re nearing the finish line on this poeming intensive. If you’ve been gliding through the month, keep that form. If you’ve been struggling, take heart, dig deep, and push for the finish!

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Always (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Always on My Mind,” “Always Wrong,” “Always Writing Poems That Don’t Sound as Good the Next Day,” etc.

Here’s my attempt at an Always Blank poem:

“Always Being Watched”

By video cameras,
my credit cards,

every time I log in
or log out,

my cell phone,
but never

the people
distracted

by their cell phones,
video games,

credit cards,
status updates,

spiraling
in and out

of databases
collecting us all.

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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor and a human being constantly concerned with whether he’s distributing his time in the best way. He started off the month thinking he’d explore themes of privacy versus security and how surveillance factors into the equation. However, he quickly abandoned that idea for just writing little poems named after cities. Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems, which is completely devoid of poems named after cities (though there are a few specific locations mentioned in titles). He can be followed on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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182 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

  1. hohlwein

    For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Always (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Always on My Mind,” “Always Wrong,” “Always Writing Poems That Don’t Sound as Good the Next Day,” etc.

    Always, So Far, Another Day

    We get so used to this.
    My eyes open, read the titles of the books next to my bed.
    And my body there, still – all ten fingers, all ten toes.

    Lucky.

    And standing. Every day is a little bit different.
    So much the same. And here – a fleece cover, for the morning.

    We are sensitive to it – the degrees of warmth
    or cool in the light. It is always just right.
    Just as it should be.

    We know, because we get so used to this.
    The way November, for us, who have homes,
    who have socks and coffee, who don’t need
    to think about the parables of Jesus to pass
    early winter’s nighttime hours on the corner
    downtown
    at 71

    – I could use some shoes –

    is perfect. Always.

  2. Yolee

    Always Close the Cookie Tin

    I don’t bake them for the carpenter
    ants likely to come and horde
    from the broke down palace
    of butter, flour, sugar
    vanilla and almond extract,
    for their winter wonderland.

  3. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 20
    Prompt: Write a poem entitled “Always ___.”

    Always with Me

    If I feel alone, that’s the lie.
    Feelings deceive, but facts cannot change.
    To the uttermost depths and heights,
    You dip and soar every millimeter,
    Your presence never leaves.
    If I can’t feel You there,
    waiting until I do makes me believe,
    love You, all the more.
    You are always and forever and ever
    with me.

  4. Jezzie

    Always Wishing

    Always wishing for
    more than I have got,
    why am I never
    content with my lot?

    I wanted to rest
    when I was working
    but when I retired
    I found life boring.

    I returned to work
    and now have no time
    to socialize
    with good friends of mine.

    When it is Summer
    I find it too hot,
    yet in the Winter
    I seek a hot spot.

    I personally
    am always wishing
    that it could always
    be Autumn or Spring.

    I wish I’d give up
    always wishing for
    what I cannot have
    and enjoy life more!

  5. Lori P

    Always, Every, Never, Only

    Them’s fightin’ words

    if he always does wrong
    every time you ask
    or never thinks of you
    only himself

    why did you ever like him in the first place?

    because there isn’t much that someone can be always
    there’s hardly any everys
    never rarely makes an appearance
    only only happens in your dreams

    people aren’t consistent, truth resists simplicity

  6. elishevasmom

    Always, Almost

    There once was a
    peace of happiness,
    piece if happiness,
    when innocence was lingering.

    The happiness of how
    and when to laugh,
    and the innocence
    of not knowing why.

    But sometimes, the
    innocent catches
    the glance between,
    and then laughter is insecure.

    Eventually the curiosity
    of that glance
    overcomes the innocence—
    which now has lingered

    long enough—and
    happiness is broken.
    The pieces can be mended,
    but the cracks are always there…

    a shadow of the innocence,
    whose halo slipped
    (whose hallowed self slipped)
    ever so slightly.

    Ellen Knight 11.21.13
    write a “forever_______” poem, PAD 11.13

  7. bjholmes

    Always Summer

    Morning sun is warm to the skin,
    no dew on the grass
    the shade of the trees
    grows short
    as noon time passes overhead.
    Sweat trickles like streams
    leaving trails acrross my dirt
    smudged cheeks.
    Heat beats down as the afternoon goes on.
    Baskets are filled,
    melons are plucked,
    shade calls urging me
    to rest and refresh.
    Oh the sweet juice
    pours with the first bite
    of red crisp flesh.
    Oh may it always be summer!

  8. Walt Wojtanik

    ALWAYS CHRISTMAS

    Three-hundred and sixty-five,
    if I add one, it’s a leap but
    I let the spirit take me, it makes me
    keep Christmas alive. I have survived
    in an immortal mantle to handle
    the cheer all through the year.
    Why me? I am just a spritely old elf,
    I pride myself with being the key
    to unlock the mystery. I am Father Christmas.
    I don’t miss much when it comes to celebrating,
    for as much as you are anticipating that morn,
    I was born to keep the torch of Christmas
    aglow. I know all things good and bad,
    and it’s sad that the bad can outweigh
    a sleigh full of joy. Every toy and gift
    will uplift their spirit (as I hear it),
    but the fire fades by New Year’s Day.
    So let it be known throughout the land.
    I take a stand for the season of Love.
    Mrs. C and I pray to the Heavens above –
    (We know which side our Kringle is buttered on).
    And I have come to this revelation.
    The Christmas celebration is a time of elation.
    The dawn of Creation and the blessed
    station we proclaim. Call me what you will,
    but the thrill of Christmas should fill
    your stockings right up into your night cap.
    Every day of every life rife with a breath.
    I am an advocate for Christmas’ cause,
    all year ‘round, I am Santa Claus!

  9. Missy McEwen

    Always Remember

    Even if you don’t, I’ll remember, always,
    the times we spent in the rented two family home
    you lived in on Wade Avenue and Joyce Street.
    No cable, no wifi, we had more than enough
    entertainment provided to us by the woman
    upstairs who yelled at her son, as soon as he
    got off the school bus, from the window–hurry
    the hell up, bring your ass on, do this, do that
    and those times he talked back, he got smacked
    around so hard the walls would shake. You laughed
    when I said we should call the police. And then
    there were your friends that were always stopping by
    to smoke weed with you or borrow a few dollars,
    especially Mookie, with his O-Dog braids. He was
    always broke, always getting arrested, always hungry
    and going through your fridge like it was his, but
    you never had anything in it. Breakfast for you was
    the yooj–a cigarette, Coke, and gas station hot dogs.
    You’d ask me if I wanted one and I’d give you that
    you-know-I-don’t-eat-meat type look, basically a duh
    type look, and you’d oh yeahhhh and buy me a banana
    instead. I know you remember that, but you will always
    remember, more, the memories that were made
    and the tragedy that occurred in the house before
    I came and that incident outweighs everything.
    I’ll always remember what you told me, how you
    came home from work at five in the morning, she
    was in the bathroom getting ready for work and the
    water was running. You didn’t peep in to say Baby,
    I’m home. You never did that, just went in the bedroom
    and fell asleep. You remember dreaming about waterfalls
    and how fascinated you were by them. Hours later it was
    the sound of running water that woke you, you called her
    name, said you should’ve been left, although you knew
    deep down inside something was wrong. There was
    water everywhere when you found her there, in just her bra
    and panties, on the bathroom floor, not moving,
    not breathing.

    1. Missy McEwen

      Always Remember

      Even if you don’t, I’ll remember, always,
      the times we spent in the rented two family home
      you lived in on Wade Avenue and Joyce Street.
      No cable, no wifi, we had more than enough
      entertainment provided to us by the woman
      upstairs who yelled at her son, as soon as he
      got off the school bus, from the window–hurry
      the hell up, bring your ass on, do this, do that
      and those times he talked back, he got smacked
      around so hard the walls would shake. You laughed
      when I said we should call the police. And then
      there were your friends that were always stopping by
      to smoke weed with you or borrow a few dollars,
      especially Mookie, with his O-Dog braids. He was
      always broke, always getting arrested, always hungry
      and going through your fridge like it was his, but
      you never had anything in it. Breakfast for you was
      the yooj–a cigarette, Coke, and gas station hot dogs.
      You’d ask me if I wanted one and I’d give you that
      you-know-I-don’t-eat-meat type look, basically a duh
      type look, and you’d oh yeahhhh and buy me a banana
      instead. I know you remember that, but you will always
      remember, more, the memories that were made
      and the tragedy that occurred in the house before
      I came and that incident outweighs everything.
      I’ll always remember what you told me, how you
      came home from work at five in the morning, she
      was in the bathroom getting ready for work and the
      water was running. You didn’t peep in to say Baby,
      I’m home. You never did that, just went straight into
      the bedroom and fell asleep. You remember dreaming
      about waterfalls and how they fascinated you. Hours later it was
      the sound of running water that woke you, you called her
      name, said you should’ve been left, although you knew
      deep down inside something was wrong. There was
      water everywhere when you found her there, in just her bra
      and panties, on the bathroom floor, not moving,
      not breathing.

  10. Cin5456

    Always Be Yourself

    Always strive to be you.
    Yourself, not someone else’s
    dream or a mannequin
    cut from strange cloth.
    Give what you can
    and take no more than
    you need, and smile
    for the cameras, but
    know yourself
    for who you are.

  11. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Always and Never

    Always and Never
    are sister and brother.
    You can’t have one
    without the other.

    If you always drink coffee,
    you never drink tea.
    If you’re never imprisoned
    you’ll always be free.

    If you always worked
    you’d never get to play.
    If you never went home
    you’d always be away.

    But to do something never
    can’t always be good.
    And to do something always —
    I’m sure I never could.

    I often like sometimes;
    I sometimes like often.
    Always and never
    are too hard. Let’s soften!

    But if you leave one,
    you must leave both together.
    They travel in tandem,
    always and never.

    Should I bid them goodbye
    forever and ever?
    No! I often like always
    and sometimes like never.

    So though I won’t always
    say always, that’s true,
    I don’t think I’ll never
    say never, do you?

  12. Walt Wojtanik

    FROM OUR I AM SANTA CLAUS PROJECT…

    ALWAYS WATCHING

    All year long
    he makes his list
    and checks it twice,
    to prepare for
    the naughty and the nice.
    He’s my Mr. C!

              ~Paula Wanken

    ALWAYS WAITING

    Once a year she sits right here
    for my motives are quite clear,
    Girls and boys, a bag of toys
    and speed to carry me from here.
    But no regrets as my “Lady in Waiting”,
    She’ll be right here anticipating,
    for on my return we’ll be celebrating
    a Christmas for just we two,
    my Mrs. C and me!

              ~ Walt Wojtanik

  13. bjzeimer

    Always

    I’m always on the outside looking in–
    sitting on the bleachers
    as tall tanned girls
    place balls in baskets. and score.

    I’m always doing cheers on the lawn
    instead of the football field,
    where my classmates
    spread their arms and legs out to the sky.

    I stand at the edge of town,
    as majorettes march by
    their short white skirts and boots
    fringed with bells.

    and when it was try-out time,
    and I auditioned for the part of Katrina,
    I had to play
    one of the Pied Piper’s rats.

    But,– peace.
    Even the dove in the Hackberry tree
    is always on the outside
    looking in.

  14. BezBawni

    Always Awhile

    What’s a century for the World?
    Our life’s hardly even that long;
    in the hustle to live and belong
    ‘always’ is a relative word.

    We make haste to care and feel:
    day is young and night never ends;
    we are quick to call people friends;
    not as quick to build or to heal.

    Love is instant, so is pain:
    our friend becoming our foe
    feels like there’s a part of our soul
    dying over and over again,

    but true loyalty knows to repent:
    once a friend – always a friend.

  15. Rosemarie Keenan

    ALWAYS LOOK BOTH WAYS

    There I was
    ready to cross like I was taught
    (standing at the curb, waiting for the green)
    when I turned my head and
    caught a glimpse of you,
    sunlight falling on a silver patch of your hair.
    And all of a sudden
    I had nowhere else to be.

  16. DanielAri

    “Always on my birthday”

    I love being places that are shut to the public,
    in backstages amid ropes, cobwebs and privileged gloom.
    I once got a pass to Disney World’s computer banks.
    I saw an LED labelled “PIRATE CANNON BOOM.”
    It lit and dimmed. Let tourists watch the pyrotechnics.

    Don’t ask me what I’m doing on my birthday. Assume
    that I’m streaking from the sauna into a hard rain,
    spiking my coffee, taking all day to write a poem
    because I keep looking up at you as marks darken
    the page, and I keep collecting blessings from Facebook.

    I have a suitcase full of fortune cookie fortunes
    with the fortunes on the outside. Eleven twenty-
    watt flickers lead me back to the back door when Greg Brown’s
    CD ends, and I find the sun’s gone down already.
    I love going to dine when I have plenty of room,

    and tonight, with the world’s indulgence, I have plenty!
    Bring on the jelly rolls, whiskey, tacos and sushi!

    DA

  17. Broofee

    Always the same

    Morning alarm
    Wakes me up
    I hardly get out of bed
    Go to the toilet,
    Always the same stuff.

    Then I make some tea
    Pack my stuff
    Put my socks on
    Put some pants on
    And I’m ready,
    Always the same stuff.

    Morning walk through the neighborhood
    Tram station
    I get in, sit and drive away,
    Always the same stuff.

    But still,
    There’s hope
    Work won’t always be so boring
    Mornings won’t always be so cold
    Things will turn for better at some point
    It won’t always be the same stuff.
    Same old faces, same old
    Misery.

    It takes just one stroke
    Of luck
    One winning ticket
    One chance
    One good idea
    One well written book
    So I go on
    I wake up every morning
    Do my thing
    Pretend I’m ok with being a robot
    And I wait for that chance
    To come.

  18. Mywordwall

    ALWAYS YOUNG

    Trapped in the bubble
    of her fountain of youth
    she watched the world pass by
    taking along the people and places
    of her time, leaving her
    some things new and unknown
    people and places
    untested and untried
    she floats like a mirage
    looking for the anchors that have slipped by
    wishing to hasten her slowed time
    that she would no longer be
    behind.

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