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2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

Categories: November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2013, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

Today marks three weeks! That’s pretty special, if you ask me. So let’s take our poeming to another level today (whatever that means). Also, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned on here that my book, Solving the World’s Problems, was reviewed recently by Wild Goose Poetry Review. Whether I have or not, click here to read the review.

For today’s prompt, write a secret message poem. Maybe it’s a coded message, a message in a bottle, sign language, foreign language, etc. Confession time: I’m often (though not always) hiding messages in my poems, and nothing rocks my world more than when readers catch them.

Here’s my attempt at a Secret Message poem:

“Big Country”

When you look at me
and say the words,

no one understands
you except me;

no men at work, not
tonight. As our

children dream, we sing
ourselves asleep.

*****

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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 a person who writes as much for his wife as for himself. Also, he’s sure everyone wants to hear “In a Big Country,” by Big Country, right? Or how about “Down Under,” by Men At Work? Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and married to the amazing poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five tiny poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

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207 Responses to 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

  1. JRSimmang says:

    DARLING, I LOVE YOU

    My palms
    and forehead
    share
    the
    thrushing
    perspiration
    upon the uttering
    of the phrase:
    “I’m not angry.”

    The doghouse
    stays warm
    in the summer.

    -JR Simmang

  2. bjzeimer says:

    MESSAGE TO EARTH DWELLERS

    From the north to the south
    and from the east to the west—
    the climate that is needed
    for lush gardens and forests to grow
    is being destroyed
    by contaminating the atmosphere.

    Carbon pollution from power plants,
    emissions from automobiles,
    and greenhouse gasses are affecting
    the weather. Derichoes, bow echoes,
    and landfalling hurricanes—
    ten miles wide—at the frontlines.

  3. Glory says:

    WAKING OR MAYBE DREAMING

    Waking from my sleep
    Or was I in a dream
    that caught at my head
    bringing old memories,
    sweet yet sour across the years
    as I woke to the sound
    of music,
    or was it your voice I heard?

  4. hohlwein says:

    For today’s prompt, write a secret message poem. Maybe it’s a coded message, a message in a bottle, sign language, foreign language, etc. Confession time: I’m often (though not always) hiding messages in my poems, and nothing rocks my world more than when readers catch them.

    Yellow Paper
    I don’t think it was a suicide note.
    I’m willing to.
    I could.
    The dance was with death, throughout.

    But the note:
    My dear and faithful friend
    ….. Did it have an ‘s’
    – ‘friends’?
    Or not?
    You’d think I’d remember.

    It could make all the difference.

    In nothing.

    Anyway.
    She had started such letters, hundreds of times
    as she had said, as I do, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”
    I love you. I love you. I love you to the wind
    or to someone or just to say it, to repeat it in the dark
    for hours, for decades. Why do we do that?

    Anyway.
    There was nothing after. Line after parallel waiting line
    Season after season. No other utterance.
    Was there a secret message there?

    One way or another, she knew she was loved
    Would never not be loved. Maybe that is the
    secret message I should consider, learn.
    Finally, believe.

    And the hours, next, that passed over the paper,
    The slant, very first, slant light of fall.
    did not illuminate invisible ink
    or the passage of a frail hand, and its telling,
    did not indicate, in any way, that love would be enough.

    Only that there is this world
    and, one way or another,
    sooner or later,
    we must leave it.

  5. Yolee says:

    After All These Years

    I still don’t want to know all your secrets.

    Let them stream in
    like stay-cation days when
    without plan, moments become
    unexpected memories
    with built-in shelves.

    Let the wheelbarrow
    work part-time;
    illusion needs work.

    I want to blow your heart
    on rainy weekdays when plain
    warm milk isn’t the only cup
    on the kitchen table.

    I want to watch your expression
    welcome the stranger guest
    at our party.

    And at the end of our lives,
    let there be one last mystery
    floating between our souls.

  6. deringer1 says:

    SECRET MESSAGE

    There’s a message that I’ve sent to you
    about how much I care.
    And tho’ I never wrote it down
    it’s out there in the air.

    I sent it many, countless times
    but only in my head,
    for things I wanted most to say
    were things I never said.

    You never told me that you cared,
    you never spoke of love,
    and when you left and turned your back
    you shed me like a glove.

    My heart was sick for a little while,
    suffering from its wound.
    It bled awhile but now it’s dead
    and buried in the ground.

  7. Day 21
    Prompt: Write a secret message poem.

    Secret

    Undercurrent and subtext,
    mystery probably never to be unraveled,
    why she left on Saturday,
    when she was supposed to stay till Tuesday.

    Was it texts she discovered,
    borrowing a phone,
    or words misconstrued in a spoken conversation?
    Or did things just not go to suit her?

    Perhaps we’ll never know.
    Nothing is the same, and I’m out of sorts, and I’m not
    being cryptic.

  8. Jezzie says:

    Invitation to the Ball

    Come to the local dance
    and you will be sure to
    see a good time, believe
    me. You will learn perchance
    some more before it is
    time for us all to leave.

  9. (Second attempt)

    Secret Messages

    We wrote them in lemon juice
    on white paper.
    The juice faded quickly
    to invisible. We children knew —

    When you received
    a blank sheet of paper,
    it was a secret message
    from one of the gang.

    To read it, you had to
    iron it — yes, like laundry.
    The heat made the letters appear,
    turning them rusty brown.

    But it all depended on
    having a wooden pen
    with a steel nib — as we did —
    to dip in the lemon juice.

    What do kids do now
    when pens like that
    are never seen?
    Now they use computers.

    Now, to make
    a secret message
    hit Select All
    and turn the text white.

    The recipient has to know.
    They re-select,
    turn it back to black,
    read it. Perhaps reply.

    But that’s the problem
    with secret messages.
    Sooner or later you do have to
    read them. And if you can …

    In my day you burnt the paper,
    or chewed it up in little bits
    and swallowed it. You can’t do
    things like that to a computer.

  10. seingraham says:

    IN THE ARCANE GARDEN

    In the quietude that is yours
    now,
    Here in this place of deathful
    artifice
    I come to lay bare the secrets
    of my soul…
    Those, I seem unable to share
    with anyone still breathing

    Does it give you some modicum
    of pleasure to realize
    That even from beyond the abyss…
    for didn’t we both conclude
    death’s outcome, especially
    for those who rushed to the
    dance prematurely would be that?

    A chasm of unfathomable depths…
    Knowing you as well as I did,
    or at least thought I did
    I cannot imagine you deriving joy
    from causing others pain

    My main secret is the same
    as always and as time slides by
    at an ever increasingly fast pace…
    I feel more inclined than ever
    to be clandestine about this
    You are probably omniscient now —
    at least that’s how I imagine you,
    crossed over

    So, it will come as no surprise
    that I am still furious with you for dying
    And, as you know, not just for dying
    but for taking your own life
    I know, eight years plus, and still my anger
    and regret burns as hot as ever

    Most of my secrets seem to surround
    death; yours, as stated
    My brother’s…so many things left unsaid,
    so much left unresolved
    Now my Mother’s…not even gone a year…
    But, when I think about her…
    And the issues left flapping between us…
    some of which I wasn’t even aware
    Until she had ceased to exist corporeally,
    There is a fine red mist…carnelian
    in hue, that floods my brain-pan, makes it
    difficult to think or see for a bit

    What else? I’m sure there is more
    But I grow weary of your columbarium
    There are more ghosts here than just yours
    And all clamoring for some something;
    The very thought is as wearying as death

  11. Missy McEwen says:

    This prompt gave me trouble
    Found poem from dream moods. I hate it :)

    Rocket Ship to Africa
    While Eating Honeycomb

    To see a rocket
    in your dream means
    your plans, ideas will soon be
    taking off in a big
    way. You are
    experiencing a higher
    level of awareness.
    All your hard work
    is paying off
    or you feel that
    things are going too fast.
    If a rocket is taking off,
    then it is symbolic
    of male sexuality. Africa Reflects
    your desire
    to return to your roots,
    to learn more about your
    heritage. To dream
    of a honeycomb
    means you are trying
    to hold on
    to the sweetness
    and the pleasures
    in your life. It is symbolic
    of your desire
    for love and affection.

  12. MichelleMcEwen says:

    Name All Vivid

    I like to anagram
    your name

    whenever
    we’re apart—

    to feel
    closer to you

    to find
    hidden messages

    in the
    rearranging.

    (fyi: the title is an anagram; I love how it kind of matches)

  13. bjzeimer says:

    SECRET MESSAGE

    You stay in your room all day
    with the door closed
    and when I knock you sleepily
    answer that you’re asleep.
    Then when I come back a little
    while later, you’re already
    dressed and ready to leave.
    A car pulls up in front of
    the house and you run out
    the door that has been
    closed all day to me.

  14. bjholmes says:

    Secret Code

    I think it’s a secret
    or maybe a magic code
    this thing they call math
    my head wants to explode.

    I think I get addition
    of adding 2 +2
    and what is so difficult
    about the subtracting I must do?

    Multiplying and dividing
    are simple by compare
    to variables and FOILing
    how do I even compare?

    Quadrants and formulas
    prisms and angles
    why do they speak
    so my brains only tangle?

    Theres’ area and perimeter
    not too hard to believe
    but Pythagorean Therom,
    how is a + b = c?

    One of the following is average
    mean, median, or mode
    but how do I figure
    if I don’t know the code?

    So many secrets lay
    in Math’s learning path
    I’m doomed to repeat it
    under the secret codes wrath!

  15. RJ Clarken says:

    Essentials

    “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

    I
    am but
    a secret –
    I may be invisible to the eye,
    but not to the heart. I’m cryptic, but not
    a cipher.
    I am
    love.

    ###

  16. RJ Clarken says:

    A Secret Told in Tears

    “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

    One
    small tear
    is my way
    of speaking volumes in a secret way.
    But, do you understand my message, or
    are more tears
    on the
    way?

    ###

  17. Tracy Davidson says:

    Uncommitted

    He says he’ll call me
    but he never does.

    He says it’s not me –
    I’m lovely – it’s him.

    He says another
    time, another place

    he could have loved me,
    but now’s the wrong time

    and here’s the wrong place.
    I get the message.

  18. Lori P says:

    Confession

    My only last night ruined
    by basketball and doorbells
    still hopes of prospectless Facebook
    though looking in the wrong place
    can still make me cry
    through insisting that it’s not true
    an even forty, younger now
    and worse, real
    who could have thought that my own
    was better

    • gl86 says:

      I find this incredibly intriguing and evocative, though I unfortunately can’t quite figure it out. It’s strange how something can speak to you even if you can’t get to the heart of the subject.

  19. shann says:

    American Housewife Haiku # 21

    Talk to each other,
    use whatever means you must.
    Start with the weather.

  20. Rosemarie Keenan says:

    CAPITAL IDEA

    I love you more than ever I loved life.
    Too much, to hear my mother speak of it.
    So much that should you take me for your wife
    Oh, how I’d strive to put up with your shit.
    Vacuum your couch of peanuts and the like
    Echo your homophobic, racist rants
    Remind myself that some fish need a bike
    Signal to strangers that you wear the pants.
    Who wouldn’t want to hitch her star to you
    Ever and a day with no vacation?
    Even though when our first date was through, you
    Told me not to rise above my station.
    I won’t believe my mom. Who cares if I
    Empty my head and live with such a guy?

  21. LeonasLines says:

    My hidden meaning poem is an acrostic titled “Love Poetry” posted on my blog http://leonaslines.com/2013/11/21/love-poetry-acrostic/

  22. BezBawni says:

    Go Figure

    “Aw, well. That’s it, enough of you!
    Shove your excuses up your lazy pants.
    Right, say it! No, on second thought,
    you know, just go – you make my hamster sick.
    Three years I’ve spent – three precious year! -
    on you, pathetic, selfish… Oh, you know,
    even curse words appear too good to waste
    Wait, don’t come any closer or I’ll scream.
    Or, better, I will dial 911,
    I’m doing it right now. See? That’s right,
    go on and put your hands up,
    roll your eyes. Please, help yourself
    to my shoehorn. And take your staff!
    Or rather, I will mail you all your junk!
    Leave, don’t forget to slam the door
    just as you would, and don’t you dare call,
    I’ll swich my phone off, I’m doing it
    right now!.. There!..”

    He left. She pushed her tears back;
    lied down with her phone in her hands;
    she switched it on and stared at it
    for hours, awating him to call.

  23. Secret Message

    He trained
    His eye
    Upon her
    Entry

    She turned
    Her head
    Resonated
    With
    encrypted smile

  24. rosross says:

    Secret message

    The dream in staggered haunting
    reveals the image set,
    repeats the message yet again,
    of something lost … but what?
    It comes to taunt and teach me
    of memory now tossed;
    of time tied to forgetting
    a pain of ancient cost.
    Remembering is tangled
    and broken through the nights,
    of something which has happened,
    yet hides in shadowed fright.
    This loss is ever lingering,
    a trailing through the years
    of something dark and awful,
    in shroud of unshed tears.
    It’s lost, it has no presence
    in real words, or thought or form
    and yet it wraps my world of dreams
    in torn, tormented cause.

  25. De Jackson says:

    Beyond Bottles

    Open it to ocean,
    etch it in the sand.
    Whisper to the pillow,
    trace it on your hand.

    Spill it into starlight
    breathe it on the breeze.
    Put this horizon on hold,
    and leave a message for me.

    .

  26. Broofee says:

    No secrets

    The biggest challenge so far
    Is the fact I have to
    Write a secret message poem.

    There are no secret messages
    In what I write
    It’s either love or hate

    Laugh, cry, scream
    Or shout.
    The poem is a pure
    Emotion
    Put on a piece of paper
    Or a computer screen.

    Emotions are better not to be
    Hidden
    Or so the psychologists say.

    There are no secret messages in
    My poems.
    If I think you’re a bastard
    I’ll just say it straight
    If I love you
    I’ll shout it out.
    I’ll be cynical
    But it won’t be hidden
    How I feel will come out
    As forward as it can.
    You’re gonna have to
    Look for secret messages
    Some place else.

  27. bxpoetlover says:

    Secret Messages

    Do you like me or so-and-so?
    Check yes or no, we’d write,
    or take a survey over which boys or girls
    were cutest or funniest or best-dressed,
    draw flawless hearts over
    the lowercase i’s and j’s
    and then
    fold them into perfect squares
    and pass them around
    under our teachers’ watchful or
    indifferent eyes.

  28. Sara McNulty says:

    Treasure Hunt

    The first clue:
    something blue
    I have hidden.
    I will limit your scope
    to your own backyard,
    so that you will not
    have to walk too far
    to find it. At least
    you can eliminate
    that state where
    the heat can be brutal,
    but everyone says
    it is dry. I had no
    reservations about
    where I placed it.
    If you discover
    my hidden spot,
    you can make
    the item into something
    else. Myself, well,
    I would split it in two.
    Let me know how you do.

  29. LeAnneM says:

    Blood in His Eyes

    The poet’s women tortured him
    Tied him to chairs
    Made him walk on briars

    Yet he loved them
    Missed them

    Wrote songs about them
    And what they did

  30. cbwentworth says:

    Beautiful creatures,
    city of ashes
    Fallen crescendo,
    divergent passion
    Evernight hourglass
    wither clockwork angel
    Hush, hush mockingjay
    twilight finale

  31. Cin5456 says:

    Reposted to separate from another poem.

    Unwelcome Guests

    Sorrow and Misery dropped by.
    Their housewarming gifts –
    memories abandoned
    and forgotten. They bask in the
    admiration of my first guests.
    Their names are
    Distrust, Suspicion,
    and my old nemesis – Deceit.
    Those three arrived soon after
    I moved in. In fact, they
    announced their intention to stay.

    My cold-hearted guests
    who bear unwanted gifts
    snuck in on the sly .
    Looking around, I wonder
    how I missed the signs.
    Bars on the windows,
    alarms on doorknobs;
    what other surprise gifts
    will they bring?

    It’s odd how brutish Deceit
    can wear a brassy smile.
    Since his arrival, he’s become careless,
    considerate demeanor eroded,
    civilized veneer thinned,
    excuses less imaginative;
    his delivery lacks the old energy.
    Deceit’s conceited smile twisted
    into an unabashed sneer.
    Older now, my tolerance
    for lies is diminished.

    Distrust has taken over the house.
    His sharp nails once put pinholes
    in my thin skin; now, he joyfully
    sinks large thorny claws in deep.

    Suspicion has grown louder, more demanding.
    A mere timid toddler when I first met him,
    Now, he’s more like a bold rock star.
    It was he who introduced me to Regret.

    Before now, Sorrow and Misery
    only visited to witness my tears.
    Once, Misery went wild in the house.
    He was still a scrawny thing then,
    raw and mischievous, but I still
    bear small scars from the fright.
    Misery matured, became cunning,
    and now colludes with Deceit.
    Together they’re a formidable team.

    Sorrow is still a bit scruffy,
    but she’s a scrapper. She’s
    sometimes rude and selfish, but quiet.
    She’s showing signs of becoming Petulant
    if she gains a measure of confidence.

    I should have seen these guests coming
    as soon as Suspicion snuck in. Since he
    was the first I noticed, the others were
    sure to follow. If only I had acted then,
    I could have kept Anger at bay
    and discovered Deceit’s secret.

  32. bethwk says:

    You know what I mean. You
    are waiting for the answer, but
    a different question wants asking. The
    gift of the moment is the task you set,
    The answer will come at the moment the
    Universe deems you ready. This
    has its requirements: patience, a heart
    given the urge to open, and a mind tuned
    to curiosity. You may discover the question
    itself is the answer you seek.

  33. elishevasmom says:

    Decoded
    (A View of Alzheimer’s)

    The disease has a
    ravenous appetite—
    daily requiring more
    and more brain code—
    actually, not brain
    code. More like brain
    message decoder.
    Without the decoder,
    the brain slowly gets
    pulled down into the
    quicksand of not only
    why to do—but after
    that, how to do as well.

    Ellen Knight 11.21.13
    write a “secret message” poem, PAD 11.13

  34. elishevasmom says:

    The Difference

    Each and every
    one of us comes
    into this world
    with our unique
    collection of
    talents and gifts,
    fears and flaws.

    Each and every
    one of us comes
    into this world
    with our own
    precisely coded
    key, fitting only
    one lock in the

    entire universe—
    as each lock only
    opens to a single,
    a specific key.
    Don’t wait for
    someone else to be
    you. No one else can.

    Ellen Knight 11.21.13
    write a “secret message” poem, PAD 11.13

  35. Bruce Niedt says:

    An extension, perhaps, of my earlier poem:

    To the Woman in the Sports Bar,
    After the Game

    The way you smile,
    the way you toss
    your hair back,

    the way you bring
    your drink to your lips,
    you have more signals
    than a third-base coach.

    If I should round the bases,
    would you hold me to a triple,
    or would you wave me home?

  36. Julieann says:

    Messages in Poem

    #1
    Secrets are fun to share
    Especially the juicy ones that
    Create a sense of mystery
    Regardless of what is involved
    Exacting time to craft a sneaky
    Truth in the telling
    Surprise – it is already known

    #2
    I received your note last week
    Lovely words of longing
    Only you and I would understand
    Veritable fountains of truth
    Expressed in hinted recollections
    You and I first shared
    On that date so long ago
    Uniting us as one

  37. Hannah says:

    I’m going to just paste a link…please feel free to stop in if you like.

    I wish I had more time to read.

    Tomorrow.

    http://wordrustling.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/any-given-day/

    :)’s to all!

  38. S.O.S.

    I never sent
    the letters I wrote you
    turns out that

    the scribbled words
    were really more for me
    than for you

  39. Secret Message

    Let this poem, going
    on down the page,
    veering not, show
    everything that matters.

    If it had a
    spine,

    a straight edge, all
    links would support
    lucid or veiled explanations.

    Is not such a
    secret message found

    at the beginnings of
    linear explorations, and (partly) one
    long sideways excursion?

  40. Margie Fuston says:

    The Love Letters

    I found them
    in a twenty-five cent copy
    of Anna Karenina
    from some yard sale
    or bookstore,
    I really can’t remember.
    A thin white envelope
    tucked between Tolstoy’s words,
    full of notes built
    from cut and paste clichés:
    I love you like the moon
    loves the sun.
    Our love is made
    to last,
    runs deeper
    than any ocean,
    makes me soar
    with eagles.
    Always signed:
    Your Soulmate.

    So unoriginal.

    And yet,
    some nights,
    when I can’t sleep
    beside my snoring husband,
    I pull them out,
    read until my eyes hurt,
    as if they hold some secret
    I can’t understand.

  41. Mywordwall says:

    BIRDS OF PREY

    Vultures
    swoop down
    feeding
    on carrion
    like them
    feasting
    upon the misfortune
    of countrymen
    to glorify
    their name.

  42. cholder says:

    If this looks familiar, Day 9 Poem didn’t seem complete. This prompt allowed me to complete it!

    The Other Side

    On the other side iniquity lurks
    Sequestered in shadow
    A perversion of immaculacy
    Cloaked in virtuosity
    Morsels of concession melt on serpent tongue
    Savored in cloistered sanctuary
    Sanguine arrogance ascends superior sovereignty
    Malevolent rapture fueled by wretched anguish
    Mollifies the viper
    Shackled souls pray for divine intercession
    Indemnity granted.

  43. DWong says:

    Do You Hear Me?

    I wish I could tell you
    don’t, but I can’t
    fit the right or wrong words
    in conversation.
    I’m worried about you,
    not me. I have
    accepted your ideas.
    I understand that you
    hate not knowing
    my life outside of my
    job, but you’ve built walls
    I can’t climb and
    want to tear down by hand
    to see where we
    quit being together.

  44. barbara_y says:

    When the windows have been closed
    it isn’t easy to remember to breathe. Safe in the night,
    nothing scented or clicking unexpectedly
    to catch a hypnogogic ear. Warm is dark;
    ease, a muffler. And Agreeability–
    rules house and bones. It is the presence
    in the walls, a living thing, its breathing, loud and full
    sonorous. The snoring in the ducts is civilizedly
    canceling cold and freeing night of terrors.
    Outside (how thick is a pane of glass) remains, though.
    Material as comfort. Sharp as a pain.
    Imagine the window open. And hold it,
    night and everything ever in winter,
    gelid in your lungs, the world, now: breathe.

  45. Linda Goin says:

    My Father’s Dad, a Man Who Needs a Picture

    I remember you as a blank wall,
    and I want to hang a picture on you.
    A picture of you sitting in the kitchen, smoking,
    with brown mules on your feet.
    Your wife knocks your feet off the table,
    and you laugh and cough.

    I don’t remember hugging you,
    but one time you nudged my Barbie Doll car
    with your foot under that table, where
    I hid from adults. How many pairs
    of brown mules did you go through?
    Did you ever shuffle a hole through the toes?

    I remember you shuffled a dance in that kitchen,
    and your wife yelled at you to stop! dancing!
    It was a strange dance, and I wondered
    if you learned it from your father, and if he
    learned it from his father, or
    did you make it up just to make me laugh?

    I’d never seen your feet move so fast.

    I remember how you died, but I wasn’t there.
    I heard how your feet turned black,
    how your legs turned black, how everyone waited
    for this blackness to reach your heart, because
    that’s when it would be over. It took a long time;
    still, I never made it.

    I didn’t want to lift that sheet.

    They couldn’t cut, because you were too fragile.
    They couldn’t cut, because you were too brittle.
    They couldn’t cut, and I’m glad you died
    with your feet on, because those old dogs barked.
    They snarled, they growled, they kept danger at bay.
    A strange protection, a perfect picture.

  46. DanielAri says:

    DA

    ˙(ǝɯɐןq oʇ ʇou ɯ’ı ɥƃnoɥʇ) ɹǝuuıʍ ǝɥʇ ǝɯ
    pǝɯɐu ‘pɹɐoqǝɹoɔs ǝɥʇ ɟɟo ʇnɥs ‘ʇuǝɯdınbǝ

    ƃuıןןǝddɐɹ ǝɥʇ ןןɐ pǝʇɐɔsıɟuoɔ
    ‘ǝɯɐs ǝɥʇ ʇsnɾ sʇɹɐp ǝɥʇ pǝʇɔǝןןoɔ ʇsoɥ
    pǝɔɐɟ-pǝɹ ɹno ˙ǝɔɐɹƃ ɥʇıʍ ʇnq ʎןɥsıdǝǝɥs
    ǝɯɐƃ ǝɥʇ pǝʇıǝɟɹoɟ puɐ uʍop ǝɯɐɔ ‘ƃɐɾ
    ǝןdɹnd dǝǝp sıɥ ʞooɥs ǝɥ ˙snoıʌqo

    ʎןƃuıʇןnsuı ǝq oʇ ”ʎʞs pǝɹnoןoɔ
    -ǝƃuɐɹo“ puɐ ”noʎ uo ןןǝds ɐ ʇnd ı“
    ƃuıʇɐןnɔןɐɔ ‘pǝɥsnƃ ı ”’snıuǝƃ sı
    ’ʇɐoɔ ʍoןןǝʎ’“ ˙uʍop ɯıɥ ʞןɐʇ oʇ pɐɥ ı
    ˙ƃuıʎɐןd uǝǝq ʇsnɾ p’ǝʍ ɥƃnoɥʇ—ɹǝƃuɐp ןɐǝɹ

    uı ǝɹǝʍ ǝʍ ˙uoıʇıʇǝdɯoɔ ǝɥʇ ɟo
    ƃuıʞ ɟןǝsɯıɥ pǝɹɐןɔǝp ‘ɔıʇʇɐ ǝɥʇ uo
    ǝuıןosɐƃ pǝɥsɐןds ǝɥ ˙ǝɯoɥ s’ןıɥd uɹnq oʇ
    ƃuıuǝʇɐǝɹɥʇ ‘ʎzɐɹɔ ʎןןɐǝɹ ǝuoƃ pɐɥ
    suıʞʍɐɥ ʎɐɾ ’uıɯɐǝɹɔs ʇɥƃıu ʇsɐן pǝɯɐǝɹp ı

    sǝɔǝıd ǝɯɐƃ

  47. Marie Elena says:

    Dream

    I once dreamed my neighbor asked to use my bathroom. Of course I said yes, with a pleasant smile. But as she closed the bathroom door, my smile fell, for I knew she would discover my hair curlers right there where I always stored them … in the toilet. When she came out, she didn’t say a word about the curlers. She simply smiled, thanked me, and left. I checked the toilet. The curlers were right where I had left them. At this point, I did not know what to do. Does that mean she kindly removed them before … you know … and then returned them after flushing? Or perhaps she did not actually even … you know. OR maybe she was not as nice a person as I believed, and she … you know … all over them, and didn’t flush.

    I woke up, appalled by this dream. What deep meaning lurked behind such a conjuring of my psyche? I looked it up in my dream interpretation book. Of course, I had to put two different situations together, as (believe it or not) there was nothing there specifically addressing the storage of hair curlers in one’s toilet. The result was amazing. Per the curlers: I was having a secret affair of the heart. An emotional affair – not a physical one. This emotional affair made me feel lovely and wanted, without commitment. Per the toilet: In the depths of my soul, I feared this affair would be exposed, then pass away.

    This was more than I could bear. I felt stripped of my privacy – betrayed by my own subconscious. I knew without a doubt this interpretation was accurate and revealing.

    That, or I was going to have a crappy hair day…

  48. bartonsmock says:

    -abstract qualities-

    above me many characters frequent my father. they shake him firmly and I pretend their hands are crumbling into my mouth. I don’t know where I’ve lived but know I’ve been moved numerous times. in the movies that have been on seemingly since my birth there is one I miss. in it, a room service cart is toppled by two men going for a gun. moments later a shirtless woman rights the cart and the righting wakes me to how prone I am to having a body. when we are alone, father reads by flashlight underneath the somewhere of me. I wonder with my feet if his feet are cold. I tried early on to go to heaven but couldn’t convince a single language that I wasn’t already there. when a woman looks like my mother, I spy on hell.

  49. priyajane says:

    My Secret Tree

    I stumbled on a secret tree
    It stands alone, waiting for me
    And buried treasures from my heart
    Have come alive in all its parts
    I see my dreams sway with the breeze
    Or sometimes limp with weather’s freeze
    But they are there, of that I’m sure
    Waiting for the sun to hear
    I whisper in its ear at times
    You won’t believe the things, it chimes!
    So find yourself a secret tree
    The one that spreads its arms for thee
    You’ll find a friend that whispers rhymes
    The ones that help you make the climb—–

  50. PKP says:

    Haiku for you

    This puffed frosted breath
    whispered November madness
    snowflakes fall perhaps?

  51. Clae says:

    Notes

    Secret messages
    Hidden under a binder
    Written just for you

  52. Domino says:

    Code

    I wrote a note with lemon juice
    with a handy piece of stick
    and left it by your window
    hoping it would do the trick.

    I wrote a note in hieroglyphs
    in a ponderous cube of stone
    and put it on the side table
    beside your mobile phone.

    I wrote a note in numbers, next
    I thought you would have the key
    when you opened up a letter sent
    with it inside to you from me.

    I wrote a note in sky letters,
    with a sky-writing plane
    I waited til I thought that it
    would not be done in vain.

    I wrote some notes in languages
    I hoped that you could read.
    I wanted just to guarantee
    you’d get my thoughts with speed.

    But all those methods petered out
    and now I’m almost through.
    Perhaps it’s time I simply said
    My darling, I love you.

  53. PressOn says:

    Navigatum
    jubet
    vicissim.

  54. Marie Elena says:

    Tricky Dicky

    Let me just
    say this
    about that

  55. writinglife16 says:

    Madre, te amo.

    That’s all I could say.
    When she asked me to leave that day.
    Madre, te amo.
    I knew she was hurt.
    Her heart broke in two, but
    I was his son.
    I loved him too.
    Madre, te amo.
    He was the love of your life.
    You were his wife.
    Why ask me to leave?
    Madre, te amo.

  56. Earl Parsons says:

    Look into her eyes
    You would never ever guess
    The secrets within

  57. Cin5456 says:

    Unwelcome Guests

    Sorrow and Misery dropped by.
    Their housewarming gifts –
    memories abandoned
    and forgotten. They bask in the
    admiration of my first guests.
    Their names are
    Distrust, Suspicion,
    and my old nemesis – Deceit.
    Those three arrived soon after
    I moved in. In fact, they
    announced their intention to stay.

    My cold-hearted guests
    who bear unwanted gifts
    snuck in on the sly .
    Looking around, I wonder
    how I missed the signs.
    Bars on the windows,
    alarms on doorknobs;
    what other surprise gifts
    will they bring?

    It’s odd how brutish Deceit
    can wear a brassy smile.
    Since his arrival, he’s become careless,
    considerate demeanor eroded,
    civilized veneer thinned,
    excuses less imaginative;
    his delivery lacks the old energy.
    Deceit’s conceited smile twisted
    into an unabashed sneer.
    Older now, my tolerance
    for lies is diminished.

    Distrust has taken over the house.
    His sharp nails once put pinholes
    in my thin skin; now, he joyfully
    sinks large thorny claws in deep.

    Suspicion has grown louder, more demanding.
    A mere timid toddler when I first met him,
    Now, he’s more like a bold rock star.
    It was he who introduced me to Regret.

    Before now, Sorrow and Misery
    only visited to witness my tears.
    Once, Misery went wild in the house.
    He was still a scrawny thing then,
    raw and mischievous, but I still
    bear small scars from the fright.
    Misery matured, became cunning,
    and now colludes with Deceit.
    Together they’re a formidable team.

    Sorrow is still a bit scruffy,
    but she’s a scrapper. She’s
    sometimes rude and selfish, but quiet.
    She’s showing signs of becoming Petulant
    if she gains a measure of confidence.

    I should have seen these guests coming
    as soon as Suspicion snuck in. Since he
    was the first I noticed, the others were
    sure to follow. If only I had acted then,
    I could have kept Anger at bay
    and discovered Deceit’s secret.

    • writinglife16 says:

      Just great. Got a chuckle out of “Sorrow is a bit scruffy, but she’s a scrapper.” I feel like I know these individuals. Misery and Deceit do make a dangerous team.

    • Linda Goin says:

      My Father’s Dad, a Man Who Needs a Picture

      I remember you as a blank wall,
      and I want to hang a picture on you.
      A picture of you sitting in the kitchen, smoking,
      with brown mules on your feet.
      Your wife knocks your feet off the table,
      and you laugh and cough.

      I don’t remember hugging you,
      but one time you nudged my Barbie Doll car
      with your foot under that table, where
      I hid from adults. How many pairs
      of brown mules did you go through?
      Did you ever shuffle a hole through the toes?

      I remember you shuffled a dance in that kitchen,
      and your wife yelled at you to stop! dancing!
      It was a strange dance, and I wondered
      if you learned it from your father, and if he
      learned it from his father, or
      did you make it up just to make me laugh?

      I’d never seen your feet move so fast.

      I remember how you died, but I wasn’t there.
      I heard how your feet turned black,
      how your legs turned black, how everyone waited
      for this blackness to reach your heart, because
      that’s when it would be over. It took a long time;
      still, I never made it.

      I didn’t want to lift that sheet.

      They couldn’t cut, because you were too fragile.
      They couldn’t cut, because you were too brittle.
      They couldn’t cut, and I’m glad you died
      with your feet on, because those old dogs barked.
      They snarled, they growled, they kept danger at bay.
      A strange protection, a perfect picture.

    • Linda Goin says:

      I don’t know how that happened, how my poem got lodged under your poem. Sorry about that! I love your piece! Very creative, clever. I know them all, as they’ve been here, too. Brilliant.

  58. Earl Parsons says:

    Wearing Silly Caps

    Jesting Eases Souls
    Unexpected Silliness
    Intentional Stupidity
    Thoughtful Humor
    Every Absurdity Necessary
    Sends Worries Ever Running

  59. Suspect and Plan (double acrostic)
    (fiction)

    I
    S ee who you are now. The data
    A rtistically hidden in your text may seem
    A mazingly like drivel from a simpleton’s mind filled with fog,
    C areless ramblings, but they were too
    G raphic, too organized. I
    R ealized none too soon,
    O ver a long time, really, that this was all a big
    V icious set up from a wounded heart,
    E rroneously implicating me. I’m so
    S orry that you feel that way, but I will be much better
    O ff without you.
    N ow, this has stopped being fun.

  60. PONDERED MESSAGES WHISPERED

    In dreams our nights take comfort and rest easily
    while hours of knowing nothing overtake whispered sighs.
    In that, I appreciate more such opportunities,
    invitations never linger. Over virtually everything,
    words insert themselves happily,
    pondering and understanding, leaving a mark,
    when answers never known enlighten nightly!

    • Marie Elena says:

      Loving your theme this month, and admiring your work. You’ll most certainly end up with a fabulous chapbook at month’s end!

      • Not the “theme” I started to write. But it has gravitated for me to the center of all good works… the heart lifts these to a higher purpose. Every one writes love poems, no nothing novel in my words… maybe just a different slant. No matter. Where ever I start, they come from the heart! Won’t win me a challenge or get published and with these… that’s OK! Embrace the message and be touched by it. That’s my reward all ways. Thanks Marie.

  61. Jane Shlensky says:

    Riddle Me This

    She traces his scars
    with her fingers
    lightly, not wanting
    to awaken knots of hurt.
    “What happened here?”
    she asks, “And here?
    And here?” His life laid
    out beneath her hands,
    no way to turn away
    so she won’t see
    some stretch
    of puckered flesh,
    some slice straight
    as a zipper and
    crease her brow.

    She knows the stories
    scars can tell, her grandpa’s
    friends glad to bare a spot
    and talk of war,
    to tell of surgeries,
    of what they lost.
    But he just pets her hair,
    his eyes a mysterious
    and sad and takes her hand.
    He won’t recite his hurts.
    They must be bad, she thinks.

    He lets her touch the
    network of pain that is
    his life, lets her fill in
    a story she can love,
    rewrite the plot to suit
    her goals, fashion a moral,
    one message shouting
    “Steer clear,” the other
    whispering, “Heal him
    the best you can.”
    He lies like a crown
    of thorns, aching
    with hope.

  62. Dare says:

    Codetalkers

    Unbreakable
    The Code, the Men
    Ancient Wisdom
    Obscure and Reveals

  63. Michelle Hed says:

    Whispers

    She loves people
    each and every day
    but she loves him more
    than love words say.

    She looks for the good
    in all they do,
    most people are just like you.

    She walks the path
    that all lovers take
    always yearning in their wake
    for long days that never end
    and loving that your always her friend.

    If the formatting holds, I spell the first names of husband and daughters in each stanza.

  64. Poetry
    is a secret message
    and I have no damn idea
    what it means
    Only a belief
    that such a thing as poetry
    can exist
    And faith
    that such a thing
    can come from
    inside of me
    one small part
    of a world
    greater than
    we’ll ever know

  65. TLE
    (transient luminous event)

    My puppy sleeps, I watch TV. Red sprites
    dance ionic on the screen so she wakes,
    her eyes aflame. Signals? Energy lights
    our space, leap-falling like snow-crystal flakes.

    She gives me her look: “Human, don’t you know?
    Tonight the whole ionosphere’s aglow
    and so am I. And so are you – or could be.”
    She sniffs the air. There’s so much I don’t see.

  66. PressOn says:

    THE SKULKER

    She keeps to the ground
    and shuffles around
    the tree
    then hops to a mound
    but makes not a sound
    of glee.
    Now, will she expound
    some secret profound
    to me?

  67. FOR SAMUEL FINLEY BREESE MORSE

    | ”” ‘ ‘|’ ‘ ~ ||| |’ |’|’ ‘ ~ ‘|| ‘| ”’ ~ ‘| ~ || ‘| |’ ~ |’ ‘| || ‘ |” ~ ”’ ‘| || ~ || ||| ‘|’ ”’ ‘ ||”|| ~ ‘|| ”” ||| ~ |” ‘ ”’| ‘ ‘|” ||| ‘||’ ‘ |” ||”|| ~ ”|’ ||| ‘|’ ~ |”’ ‘ | | ‘ ‘|’ ~ ||| ‘|’ ~ ‘|| ||| ‘|’ ”’ ‘ ||”|| ~ ‘| ~ |’ ‘ ‘|| ~ ‘|| ‘| |’|| ~ | ||| ~ ‘|| ‘|’ ” | ‘ ||”|| ~ ”” ” |” ” |’ ||’ ~ ‘|| ||| ‘|’ |” ”’ ~ ” |’ ~ ‘||’ ‘|” ‘| ” |’ ~ ”’ ” ||’ ”” | ||”|| ~ |”’ ”| | ~ ” | ¿ ”’ ~ |’ ||| | ~ ‘| ~ ||’ ‘|’ ‘ ‘| | ~ ‘|| ‘| |’|| ~ | ||| ~ ‘|’ ‘ ‘| |” ~ ”’| ‘ ‘|’ ”’ ‘ ‘|’|’| ~ ~ ¿ ~ ”’ ”| ”’ ‘| |’ ~ ”’ |’|’ ”” ||| ‘ ”|’ ”|’ ” ‘ ‘|” |” ~

    Hint: http://paul-lockett.co.uk/morse.html

  68. MLundstedt says:

    “Directions to Fitzgerald’s”

    Stop a yellow bullet with your bare hand.
    Fire it again, and ride it through this land.
    Journey up the hill, natives call the mount.
    Pass the obelisk and the sparkling fount.
    Near the hub, where the weary will arrive,
    The minutes left for you are under five.
    Turn to face the way of pale, fading light.
    Look for Park and find tender is the night.

  69. Autumn window
    leaves its message
    scrawled at night
    frost on glass
    tracing
    patterns
    while we sleep
    first ray of
    light
    reflecting ice
    such beauty
    melting
    as we waken
    from this dream
    so terrible and fragile

  70. Nancy Posey says:

    Explication

    I read and then reread your words,
    parse the meaning of every utterance,
    probe for some metaphorical meaning,
    some lover’s message hidden there
    in plain view, as clear, once discovered,
    as those messages in Shakespeare’s sonnets,
    so obvious once laid bare by our professors.

    Your reticence becomes my dissertation,
    your tacit love documented in end notes.
    I listen for every nuance, seek connotation
    beyond the literal, seek ambiguity
    where I desire it. Your heart, my text,
    my puzzle to unravel. The answer key
    in the back of the book, our future.

  71. Bruce Niedt says:

    I’m re-posting this one from earlier in the month only becase it fits the theme perfectly. I’ll post something new later.

    Tanka: Signals

    pitcher peers home for
    fingers flicking between knees –
    the catcher’s signals

    on the postgame subway home
    a guy and girl exchange looks

  72. annell says:

    In the Month of October

    Alone on the seashore

    I look down the beach

    One direction

    Then the other

    The sky grey

    Overcast

    Gulls screams as

    They dive toward the water

    The tide has come in

    I fold the paper into

    The shape of a crane

    Tuck the paper

    Into a bottle

    I imagine it’s long journey

    It will see fish

    And all manner of sea creatures

    It will keep the message

    Safe through storms

    At journey’s end

    When least expected

    You will

    Find it

  73. This Poem Will Self-Destruct

    it Could be
    lemon juice
    you need
    or
    being November
    perhAps you need heat.
    but today
    aLl of these bits
    are colLected
    in a bag
    to be rifled through
    at any moMent
    of leisurE.
    Protection,
    made Legal
    for
    whEn
    blAme
    must be
    aScribEd.

  74. AIRMAIL

    I whispered -
    an ocean away-
    to la luna bella
    hoping that you -
    standing on another shore -
    would hear the message
    only meant
    for the ears of
    mi querido amigo

  75. gl86 says:

    LUNCHBOX LETTERS

    Mom’s
    lunchbox letters,
    tucked between sandwich and
    thermos, made my kindergarten
    heart smile

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