2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

I hope everyone’s having a good experience with this year’s challenge. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with many of the poems I’ve written–and excited by many of the poems I’ve read by others (and I’ve read a lot). I’m hopeful that I’ve made some good progress on a chapbook manuscript myself this time around.

For today’s prompt, write a poem that responds to a statement. You can use any statement, quote, etc., that you wish, but I’ve included a few to make it easier. That said, feel free to find and use a different statement for your poem.

Here are some quotes:

  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
  • “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
  • “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf
  • “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

Here’s my attempt at a Respond to a Statement poem:

“Amelia Island”

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf

She woke with the sound of steam,
hijacked a plane,
and was never seen again.


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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 long-time fan of aviation history (maybe because he was born in Dayton, Ohio, also known as Wright Brothers territory). He thinks Amelia Earhart is one of the most fascinating women in history. Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems, and he’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little aviators (four boys and a flying princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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190 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

  1. BezBawni

    Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
    ~Vivian Greene~

    dance in the rain

    sprinkling, drizzling, raining, pouring,
    drop, drop, drop, – stream,
    step, step, wet, – scream!
    spinning, jumping, laughing, soaring,

    people staring, gasping, pointing,
    wind – sharp, cold – whip,
    face – hot, skin – slip,
    running, falling, sky-anointing,

    shrugging, talking, arms flailing,
    up, de-fi-ance,
    eyes smile! drink! dance!
    people leaving, you – staying.

  2. Yolee


    “All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.” Kahil Gibran

    Much of mine is scooped up by evening’s low
    breezes after the day packs her
    harvest, direct and indirect light.

    They become word of mouth
    with information that expands
    lost lore, silence, and dust.

  3. bjholmes

    The man on the corner is standing forlorn
    he is lost looking, shirt tail hanging, and jacket it slightoly worn.
    The man looks both ways when the light signals walk
    and steps off the curb surrounded by unstoppable, chattery talk.
    Opinions on politics, on restaurants, on shoes, and who’s right,
    endless babble, never ceasing, never caring, no one watching the light.
    He notices the change from go to slow down
    and watches as people keep meandering around.
    Standing across from the corner from where he just ventured
    he watches as the pedestrians talk and overly gesture,
    No one paying attentionto their fellow passengers on this earth,
    as if loud spoken words were of anything of worth.
    The man’s shoulders sag much lower than before
    as the light changed for crossing, another large crowd to abhor.
    Same people, same chitchat, same personal gloats,
    they think only of themselves for time to devote.
    The man looses confidence in people of the town,
    really, it’s the whole world that’s bringing him down.
    Is mankind so insistant that it’s their right and opinion,
    that no one really cares if it’s some other’s dominion?
    “We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
    the man pondered secretly, his hopes for mankind deeply distraught.

    Quote from President John F. Kennedy

  4. bartonsmock

    was not happy at all with my previous post for this prompt, called ‘segregation’. so I remixed it for the 25th prompt, and replace it with the following for the 24th.

    “Never, a brilliant woman told me, trust a man
    Who has not been beaten.” – Rodney Jones, from his poem Blessed Assurance

    -thunder in a bottle-

    father takes a shower because he feels half full. in order to revere him in a detached way I have to run a hot bath and sit on the floor while holding a bar of soap with a plastic fork stuck in it and I have to be blind not to see it’s a sailboat. mother has to be blind not to see it’s an iron. I lift it to her unnoticed and there is only so long my hand can burn before it feels like a hand again. father makes his hands into bunny hands at his bare chest and hops into my mother who squeals and covers her mouth and allows her face to look as one who’s given up the ex-con. father removes his towel and she whips him with it and he goes naked laughing and swatting at hanging model planes the guns of which he reports to memory. she fixes him a plate of food knowing he’ll throw it from the roof and say he’d rather eat a bullet. when she is outside for the plate my father controls her with a remote he claims doubles as a detonator. she sees me kissing the ex-con and mouths goodbye like a paratrooper.

  5. Lori P

    Penny pincher

    “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

    if you work hard
    and save and scrimp
    never spend
    to hide it
    in the garden,
    under your bed,
    in an investment portfolio
    who will take your vacations,
    surprise your kids with time,
    leap into your life,
    learn the lessons
    that are free
    but may not stick
    if you pay them
    good money

  6. dandelionwine

    “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

    We seek our attachment, dismiss
    the music mingling in the moment,
    though we have two hands for grasping
    and sense receptors countless as stars.

  7. MichelleMcEwen

    Go Black 

    Say, papi,
    I’m sure you heard

    once you go black
    you never go back

    so let me be

    your afro’d Aphrodite
    your afro’d aphrodisiac

    your black magic
    woman— brown 

    and profound 

    betcha keep comin


    this bush baby
    be made of 

    that can’t-get-enough-

    that so-good-make-


    That Mississippi-goddamn-


    I ain’t jivin, 

    ask any

    1. Missy McEwen

      Ha our poems are together 🙂
      “I’m sure you heard…” — love that and the rest that follows.
      THIS POEM is good. This poem is fun!!
      loved reading it!!

  8. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    I’ve Got Eyes in the Back of My Head

    My Mum said that.
    She meant we kids better not
    do anything naughty
    because she would see.

    When I was little
    I thought they were real,
    those eyes, and I didn’t
    know how they stayed hidden.

    Did the lids blend
    perfectly with the skin behind
    her hair, as if invisible?
    How was it possible?

    Why weren’t they exposed?
    Did she keep them closed
    except when checking on us?
    It was most mysterious.

    If they were really there,
    under her hair,
    didn’t her hair spoil the view?
    How did she look through?

    I never solved these mysteries
    but I still believe she could see us
    doing what we didn’t ought.
    We always got caught!

  9. DanielAri

    “Cartesian Reduction”

    I think; therefore, I am.
    I am; therefore, I think.
    I drink; therefore, I jam.
    I sweat; therefore, I stink.
    I brink; therefore, I brim.

    I weep; therefore, I blink.
    I will; therefore, I’m weak.
    iamb; therefore, I ink.
    I see; therefore, I seek.
    I sink; therefore, I swim.

    I strip; therefore, I streak.
    I lived; therefore, I grew.
    I spark; therefore, I click.
    I clink, therefore, to you.
    iPad; therefore, I link.

    I am; therefore, I do.
    I dig; therefore, it’s cool.


  10. Margie Fuston

    “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf


    Don’t think you can make me
    your angel of the house,
    stick me behind a stove
    in pleated skirts meant to hide
    my body,
    leave me alone at night,
    scribbling poems by kerosene
    only to stuff them in drawers.

    Instead, you can feed me bread
    I’ve won
    spread with butter by your hand.
    I’ll wear jeans that ride my curves
    and write poems about my desires
    and maybe yours,
    but don’t think you can make me

  11. seingraham


    “Memory is the scribe of the soul.” Aristotle

    She sits in a chair at a table, by a window in the back,
    a photo album opened on her lap
    Her coffee has long gone cold but she picks it up
    now and then, sips at it, stares at it, sets it down
    again…and again

    She has started a list, another one, it seems
    If only she could remember, but no, it seems
    she cannot; and what of these pictures on her knees
    The people look familiar but does she know them?
    No, she doesn’t think so — why is she looking at them?
    She closes the book and sets it aside

    Maybe if she drinks some of this drink, she thinks
    Oh…it’s so cold…what is it, she wonders
    She’s pretty sure it’s not supposed to be cold
    She sets it down and picks up a pencil,
    sees she has started a list — what a good idea
    She’ll make a list, it’s always good to write
    things down, she thinks and feels a little bit
    better just then.

  12. LeAnneM

    “Those high plains people
    They’re different somehow” – John Hiatt, “Circle Back”

    He surprised me by building a deck
    He’d never picked up a tool before
    Never so much as changed the oil

    Then one Saturday morning
    He sketched something on the back of a bill
    And left for the lumber yard

    I helped him unload,
    Held boards, passed tools

    Several times, I said
    “This will not be level”
    “It won’t hold up”

    He didn’t smile
    Although he must have been smiling inside

    I marveled at the work and at the father
    I had known my whole life
    Without knowing this
    About him

  13. Walt Wojtanik


    “Grow old along with me the best is yet to be.”

    by Robert Browning

    Lives lived in separate anonymity,
    you and I are relative strangers
    but there is no danger present
    and the promises of futures shared
    are there for the taking. There is
    no mistaking how we feel. It is as real
    as we’ve ever felt. Having knelt at the altar
    of sad despair, it is there that I begin again.
    A heart full of love, and a friend who
    brings the same to this game. It’s a shame
    we hadn’t met in an earlier time. All this rhyme
    wouldn’t have been needed to seed this heart.
    From the start, our words held sway and
    every day we learn what we want for the rest
    of our lives. A chance to grow in heart and mind,
    and find no fear in growing old together.
    Only the best for us in all ways, in our coming days!

  14. Benjamin Thomas

    Its a Job being Me

    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde quote

    Fallen through
    A trap door
    To be someone
    Else rather than me

    Sinking quick
    In this stinking sand
    Of mine rather than
    Just being free

    I’m the simplicity
    In Simon
    Quirky facet
    On a vast diamond
    Of poetry

    I’m the cat
    With nine lives
    Not sure how many
    I’ve got left

    Still in my write
    Mind to wobble
    Scribble a verse
    With just remnant breath

    I’m a quiet man
    You see
    Who speaks
    In the reckless beauty
    Of the word

    Testifying to the matters
    In life and lived
    What I’ve seen and heard

    Its all
    In a days work
    But sometimes its a job
    Being me

  15. bethwk

    “Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.” ~ Rumi

    Be the spark, the knowingness,
    the mother of the moment,
    be the dream, the home, and the hope.

    Wherever you stand, be the stone
    and the wind. Yes, be the wind
    in the trees of the soul of a place.

    Wherever you stand, be a memory,
    a hope of the future remembering
    we all lived together in peace.

  16. randinha

    Uuf, today’s was a little hard! Looking forward to revising all these poems…

    “We do not merely love ourselves more than we love duty; we actually love ourselves more than we love joy.” – G. K. Chesterton


    It seems I love this place.
    It is the default, the space where I escape
    when I’ve annulled the duties
    and canceled the plans.
    I fold into this room—warm, cloistered,
    dry and full of sandman’s dust.
    Solitary, silent, no breath nor voice
    but my own to disturb my dreams.

    The coffee and tea flow from the kettles
    and the cakes and cookies tumble
    from the cupboards like apples from trees.
    All manner of books, read and unread
    lining the walls and tottering on tables.
    All matter I own, gathered about me, mine.

    No office nor laundry nor grocery
    to pull me outside these four walls.
    All I should ever want,
    here inside, festooned with my fantasies.

    I whisper again, I’m happy
    to be here; I can be happy
    again. I’ll be happy
    this time. I’m happy.
    And it’s a happiness full
    of sighs and stares
    outside the small dark window.

  17. Nancy Posey

    “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
    C. S. Lewis (Nov. 29, 1898–Nov. 22, 1963)

    November 22, 1963

    When shots rang out in Dallas
    and America’s Camelot
    came to an end, the grief
    and shock around the world
    overshadowed another death
    —not Camelot but Narnia.
    One whose pen wove fables
    and fairy tales for children
    long grown up, parables
    of devils, lions, queens
    and witches, temptation
    disguised as Turkish delight.
    He shared the wisdom
    acquired through love and loss,
    but slipped away, his death
    obscured by another grief
    observed around the globe.

  18. rosross

    “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci.

    Painted poetics

    The words did wash like liquid oils,
    across the moment’s page,
    and brushed reality in strokes;
    released the form once caged.

    With light, deft touch and heavy fall,
    poetics painted slow,
    and drew the image full complete;
    each letter truth bestowed.

    In vibrant, rich, raw colourings,
    the energy was born,
    as painted, pure poetics;
    gift through voice transformed.

  19. Earl Parsons

    “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” -Thomas Sowell

    Oh, you can certainly fool some
    Sometimes more than others
    Trouble is the day always comes
    When you end up fooling yourself

    The mirror is a dangerous thing
    Like a friend that calls you out
    What you see is what you get
    Not necessarily what you saw


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