2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

Today is the final “Two for Tuesday” prompt of November. Let’s make the most of it. Here are the prompts:

  1. Take the phrase “Free (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “Free Bird,” “Freedom Isn’t Free,” “Free Offer,” etc.
  2. Take the phrase “(blank) Free,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “Fat Free,” “Stone Free,” “How to Be Free,” etc.

Here’s my attempt at a Free Blank and/or Blank Free poem:


“We’re at war, and we’re not giving up.”
-Chad Coffin

Every evening, they skitter ashore,
invade the mudflats in search of soft shells.

The entire army of green crabs hunkers
in the channels by day and wait for night.

As big as my thumb, the crabs come–claws out–
for their yummy clams. We have to fight back

with our crab traps, and clammers can jam
them into buckets–turn crabs into green

profits (for instance, lobster bait, pet food,
or food additives). If nothing else, we

can compost the little green devils, send
them back to wherever they all belong.


Learn the fundamentals of poetry. Click here for more information.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, and he’s been enjoying the process of researching his poems a little before composition. For instance, this prompt forced him to look up cities with the word “free” in them. Then, he looked up the local news stories to finally arrive on the attack of the green crabs (click here to read the story). He loves that the person claiming to be at war with the crabs has the last name of “Coffin.” Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and can be followed on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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145 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

  1. seingraham


    You weren’t even that–
    bundle of fearfulness
    ready to bolt
    at the slightest sound
    Abandoned at a groomer’s
    for heaven’s sake
    Who does that?

    But we’d just buried a
    beloved boy
    And well-meaning friends
    were sure you were the cure

    So we took you in, wolf,
    Taught you not all
    types were out to hurt
    or abandon you

    You taught us more
    than a few things too,
    and now we can’t
    imagine life
    without you in it.


    Through the blizzard of sleet—
    ice-flakes pounding
    the house relentlessly—
    I see you hovering
    on the periphery
    of the glow thrown
    by a street-light

    I cannot bear to look at you
    directly, fearing you
    will disappear or that
    I will see too much sadness
    in your baby eyes still
    Why have you chosen this
    night of all nights to visit me
    or do you come all the time
    and I just haven’t noticed

    That thought takes my
    breath and tramples it
    That you may have been
    hanging around trying
    to get my attention
    And me, unobservant, not

    Am I the reason, you are
    here on this wicked night
    When the weather is horrid
    even for this place
    Where horrid weather is the
    norm rather than the exception

    Did I not tell you before, to
    go, to soar, fly away
    I was sure I had…but maybe
    you need to hear it again
    And again, until you believe it
    That you are free to go little one
    You are set free, no longer
    tethered to this earth
    By any means…
    If I have kept you here inadvertently
    I apologize, hear me now
    You are free, sweet angel
    Now go

  2. Yolee

    Free At Last- Circa 1992

    In the end, though I was relieved,
    I marched away alone from the courthouse
    like a newly released jail bird having served
    a misdemeanor. There were violations
    during our marriage which merited severing
    legal ties. But a single string in the heart
    was still attached to that youthful love
    and illusion like a kite winding out
    of control above my head.

  3. BezBawni

    Subjectivity of Freedom

    Free choice is not your invention,
    neither is grace of forgiveness:
    they are not yours to offer.

    Wherever your good intentions
    lead you, follow them closely:
    leave me alone to suffer.

    I’d rather be choice-free than choice-less.

  4. MichelleMcEwen


    I thought it was love

    Wanted it
    to be love 

    that it was

    that it was 

    Wished on a star
    about it

    Checked my horoscope
    daily about it

    looking for signs
    that we’d have 

    beautiful, brown,
    bilingual babies 


    Thought for sure
    it was love

    but it was not

    just us

    greedy you
    needy me

    in the back
    of your truck

    down Baker Hollow Road 

    all woods
    and a couple of factories

    No love 

    You just wanted 

    that’s all that was. 

  5. Rosemarie Keenan


    He’s jealous of rappers
    who rhyme unfettered
    while lettered
    poets aim their words away
    from easy harmony and say
    farewell to satisfying endings
    convoluted bendings
    are more their speed

  6. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 26
    Prompt: Two for Tuesday–Write a poem entitled “Free _____” or “_____ Free.”

    Free Breeze


    Fluff Free

    Sleek cat
    stretches across
    wood floor
    tawny marks
    black silk
    long fellow
    living poetry.

  7. Missy McEwen

    Free of You

    If someone would have told me
    back then that today I’d be free
    of you, over you, and with someone new
    I wouldn’t have believed her/him.
    But it’s true and the tattoo just below
    the crook of my arm is just another
    tattoo and no longer a declaration
    of my love for you.

  8. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Free Falling

    I let go
    the stone
    and it
    straight to
    the ground

    The dandelion seed
    on its feathery white parachute,
    dancing, dipping
    and tilting
    this way and that,
    floating down slowly.

    If Books Were Free

    If books were free,
    I’d collect all the stories
    and read them the rest of my life.
    I’d never have nothing to read.

    Some would sit on my shelf,
    some would be on my device.
    Some I would give away.
    The best I would keep to re-read.

    Books are my friends and family,
    books are my food and drink.
    I get them for birthdays and Christmas
    but I never have enough.

    You can’t have too many books,
    but you can have too few.
    If books were free and I had enough room …
    I’d probably need an extra life!

  9. bxpoetlover

    Freed Up

    Gloria Steinem said the truth
    will set us free but first it will
    piss us off.

    In my ire I have lined my
    bookshelves with feminist,
    multicultural, postcolonial tomes
    to help me fill in the gaps,
    books about writing
    to help me hone my written word

    Thank God I
    hate guns/throwing fists,
    my sonorous voice/poetry makes
    people stop/turn around/listen
    Ain’t gonna stop
    until I piss more people off.

  10. Jezzie

    “Buy one get one free”

    I wish “bogof” offers would bog off!
    I only want one bag, not two.
    I really don’t need its mate.
    Give the freebie to the
    needy or greedy.
    I can’t use it
    before its
    sell by

    Free Offers

    as bad,
    or even worse,
    are three for the price
    of two. Take my advice.
    We don’t need things twice or thrice.
    If they really want to help our purse
    why do they not just reduce the price?

  11. Benjamin Thomas

    The Land of the Free?

    Tis the land of the brilliant bee
    Home of the honeyed slave

    Running rampant seeking

    Not free
    For the next sip they crave

    Margarita sprees

    Strawberry laced
    Daisy daiquiris

    The party pub-garden
    Season is open free

    Until they’re comatose
    In winter’s cave

  12. Cin5456

    Free Need Guilt Free

    Free this world from its chains of evidence
    evidence of the harm they’ve done. Free us
    from our chains of need, needs we’re told we need.
    Unfilled by all we have, seeking more before
    needs end us; never satisfied. Unsatisfied they’ve gone
    on to other ventures, other fields of plenty,
    plenty most have never felt, lacking resources;
    resources they used up, spent beyond the planet’s means.
    It means society will not provide universal abundance,
    abundance we still seek though never defined
    nor outlined in words agreeable to all who fear,
    fearing life while fearing death might come too soon.
    Too soon, we leave this world behind, and loved ones
    loved us once when we remained vital, believable.
    Believe in yourself, believe in salvation, believe in
    the American Dream that turned to a nightmare
    lacking that substance that a man, a real man once orated aloud.
    Aloud, our voices shout, and pontificate on ethics,
    ethics undefined in their vocabulary.
    I saw it once in a dream.
    Their faces turned away, guilt free.

    1. PressOn

      Hmmm…. I appreciate your sentiment, but sometimes wish heaven wasn’t so generous. Such as now in the east, for example. When I lived in the west, though, a poem like this would be almost a prayer.

  13. Domino

    Free Ghosts! Ghosts! Free!

    I was selling them earlier, but I had no takers.
    I’ve got calm ones and mean scary bungalow shakers
    I’ve got quite a few that spew yucky green goo,
    that sneeze and that slobber and gargle and chew.
    I’ve got the nice kind, the good ones, that sing lullabies
    the kind that smell nice and then scatter like butterflies.
    I’ve got so many ghosts that I can’t quite keep track of ‘em
    Wherever I go you know I’ve no lack of ‘em.
    And since I’m really no kind of a ghost devotee
    perhaps you could take a few–honest, they’re free!

  14. bjzeimer


    From my front door
    I look out at the
    snow covered trees
    that line the streets–
    snowed-in cars
    parked in driveways
    newspapers still laying
    on the sidewalk.
    Sleep on,
    dear neighbors–
    enjoy your freedom
    to do as you will
    on snowy days.


    I was born free.
    I write poems and stories
    from free thoughts
    and send them
    to for profit small presses
    university presses,
    and literature magazines
    I do not worry about
    because I was born free.


  15. randinha

    Free association and weirdness today 🙂


    The kid asked the grampa, What’s to eat
    in the freezer?
    The grampa asked the kid, What’s to eat
    on the moon?

    Nothin, said the kid.
    Just so, said the grampa.


    I could scream right out
    of my skin, she says,
    with her hands
    streaming soap bubbles
    and the bubbles rising
    to the buzzing kitchen light
    and the wine pouring,
    and her lips mumbling
    and him saying
    “I speak mumble”—
    the rack’s full, stocked up
    with cheap wine
    and the radio waves
    bounding from her lips
    in a constant mumble,
    “the chardonnay’s low”—
    so let’s open the zinfandel
    and decide—
    get jiggy with it now,
    he says, with a laugh,
    moving into the dining room
    where there’s no red cabbage,
    just radio waves
    and outside the lights are blinking
    in the snow:
    “I wish there was something right here,”
    she says, because it costs to be warm
    but you can freeze for free.


    Bananas aren’t yellow, they’re
    black when you’ve left them
    high up in a cupboard
    for days
    for your roommate to find
    one day when she’s already
    to her stomach with work
    and the mush makes
    her belly squirm
    and the cat
    comes over begging and
    clawing at her pants and
    stretching up, batting
    for a bit of rotten banana
    and the roommate says
    Giddown ya little black beast
    and you’re not sure
    if she’s talking to the cat
    or the bananas.


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