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2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

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

Look: I know what today is: It’s “Black Friday,” and there are all kinds of sales all over–people getting into fist fights over the most popular toys and deeply discounted hotdog rollers and stuff. I get it, I understand. But if you want to get an amazing gift for friends and family without leaving the comfort of your home, why not order a copy of my debut poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems? Click here to learn more.

Also, look below: I have a few more writerly gift ideas beneath my prompt, poem, and bio today. Speaking of today’s prompt…

For today’s prompt, write a commercial poem. This prompt makes me think about the commercialism decried in Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, but there are any number of ways to attack a commercial poem. I have complete faith in everyone here being able to take this prompt in wild, new directions.

Here’s my attempt at a commercial poem:


The commercials proclaim, “Tell a buddy,
bring a friend… Don’t you dare miss it.” I’ve heard
it my whole life, it seems. Happy hunters

and knife throwers skip hand-in-hand to buy
and sell. As much a part of the landscape
as Tom Raper’s RV’s and Marion’s

Pizza, Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife Show brings
friends and buddies together–a comic
convention forged of black powder and steel–

if only for a moment, paranoid
theories are exchanged, big purchases changed,
and exploits shared of time spent on the range.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and was born in Dayton, Ohio, in the shadow of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and, yes, Bill Goodman’s Gun & Knife show. He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, which makes a great gift for friends and family (see above). Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Here are some other great gifts:


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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

150 Responses to 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

  1. Black Friday

    Hallmark cards can’t express how
    much I loathe
    Black Friday super mega sales


    In this darkest season of light,
    a store window’s draped in deep-royal
    to display a pricey pair of shoes
    (private collection) and a scarf in silver
    gossamer. Other items by special
    order. Out here in the cold, a group
    of carolers is singing the gift-wrapped
    joys of Christmas. As they move on,
    their music drowns in traffic-din.
    There may have been angels, but now
    not even an echo; no more
    returns of song, the cheerful
    sound of light, alleluia in the midst
    of dark, this rush to holiday.

  3. cholder says:

    A Nod to Edgar Allen Poe’s, The Bells

    The Sales

    Hear the retailers with their sales
    Friday sales!
    What a thrill their ad reveals!
    Oh the ring, ring, ring,
    Throughout the store!
    The happiness it brings
    Hear the register cha ching
    Time with the family a bore;
    Sounds of the season,
    Meaning forgotten, the reason,
    The promise of savings never fails
    Oh the sales, sales, sales,
    Sales, sales, sales, —
    From the ringing and cha changing of the sales.

    November PAD Challenge, Day 29: Write a commercial poem

  4. seingraham says:


    Her brother the lawyer
    said it best
    In his eulogy when he
    asked the question
    “Can poetry make
    a difference?”
    Poets and other writers
    had spoken before him,
    had recited poems: hers,
    theirs, famous ones
    But no-one had raised
    this fundamental
    What was the worth
    of a poem?

    In simple eloquence he
    spoke of her dedication
    to the kids who ended
    up in his court room
    How she had written
    entire books of poems
    specifically about
    the kids that came
    up before the courts

    “The invisible ones,” he
    referred to them the same
    way she had
    and went on to say how
    much it had bothered her
    The way the courts ignored
    those on trial
    There was much bowing
    and scraping:
    To the judge, to the photo
    of the queen, to the lawyers
    But to the kids?

    Eyes don’t even meet their
    eyes; it is as if they
    are not present
    Never mind that they are
    supposedly the reason
    for the proceedings

    The eulogist went on
    to say that one
    poem had been read
    so often and by
    so many lawyers and
    judges alike
    that now, the youth
    are acknowledged
    several times during
    the proceedings

    And he talked about
    other poems that
    addressed the heartbreak
    of family court,
    about parents arguing
    custody a week before
    Another about a tiny
    child stretching her
    arms across the aisle
    trying to hold both
    her parents’ hands
    at the same time,
    become the healing
    bridge right there
    in the courtroom

    Poems that are being
    read in court with
    seeming regularity
    Because they are
    Because they are
    Poetry that has

  5. Who says poetry can’t have mass appeal?

    The once-boy-now-a-man wizard frowned
    “Tell me I will always find
    you my eager willing slave
    for whatever kink may come to mind.”
    The vampire beauty licked her lips
    “Slave is not what I planned to be
    that sounds to me the wrong way round,
    I usually stand in mastery.”
    Outside a zombie werewolf howled
    its canine love in foetid breath
    devotion dogged ever true
    lasting past sickness and past death.
    The TARDIS landed in full song
    carrying the current Doctor who
    arrived in time to make things rhyme
    conveniently in his box of blue.
    Then some explosions let’s say three
    enough to add some energy
    without which this poem would not
    have much to root you to the spot.
    Chuck in some Star Trek – Captain Kirk
    sexual smouldering in his smirk
    (a subliminal flash of Miley’s twerk)
    and to finish the whole thing some steampunk
    and we might just be able to sell this junk.

    Michele Brenton. 2 December

  6. Yolee says:

    Star of Bethlehem

    It was the bright billboard
    wise men followed to obsequiously
    present a king with expensive
    items acquired not because frenzied
    ads urged them to hop on a camel
    and shop but because the sign
    would never blacken
    the rest of their Fridays.

  7. Nancy Posey says:

    Shopping List

    Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
    Premature Thursday,
    Small Business Saturday.
    Christmas carols already
    old and tired, played since
    the day after Halloween.
    What to buy for children
    who have plenty,
    who need nothing?
    Something readable,
    something musical,
    something huggable,
    something never shown on TV.

  8. Domino says:


    I don’t pay attention to the commercials
    I tell myself,
    but somehow when they come on
    I find myself humming along
    to the annoying jingle.
    It has inserted itself somehow
    into my mind, a persistent
    recurring tune
    playing over and over and over
    drowning out whatever other
    thoughts I had before
    it came along.


    Chill breeze through an aisle of liquidambar – Loki pulls me past gold-crimson chimes weaving shadows across sidewalk cracks and white shoulder-striping. The rest of the world is shopping. Kate came this way, leaving her glove as token. Black Friday-deserted school, rows of closed doorways promising treasure, passwords to the prize, an unlocked mind. Imagination’s truant. Loki pulls me across a quad littered with saffron-yellow leaves, and out the other side. Here’s Kate sitting under a tree.

    grand old valley oak –
    squirrel’s dream of fallen acorns
    polished chestnut-gold

  10. DanielAri says:

    “These messages”

    How do you spell relief?
    Plop. Plop. Fizz. It’s two all-
    beef patties special sauce
    lettuce, cheese, pickles–and
    I can’t believe I ate

    the whole spicy meatball.
    I want my baby back,
    baby, you’re in good hands
    for a snack sneak attack.
    It coats, soothes, relieves–pink!

    Wear a belt–wipe out crack.
    Beer makes you smart–it made
    Bud wiser. Bomb their ass.
    In and out urge. Rough trade.
    I’d rather be bowling.

    Old-fashioned lemonade–
    Bet your ass I’m Swedish.


  11. Poof the PAD is gone

    It’s gone
    Like the wind
    That thief

    Although it spent
    Thirty days with us kindly
    Lending a hint of muse
    From november’s inspiration
    To soothe feed a nation starved of poetry

    Assembled they scatter
    Now back to their own pasture
    Each to his own matter
    Of heart and rhyme

    Although dispersed
    Widely to the four corners
    Poets populate the face of the earth
    And in due time they will
    Return with a vengeance

  12. bxpoetlover says:


    Talking ducks
    Meals covered in cheese
    A drug for every ill
    As much as you please.


    We are the product of our words,
    the sum total of our collected works.
    And all the quirks and nuances that
    grace our poems give them veritas
    and great worth. Where else on earth
    can poets be heard word-for-word,
    to much fanfare. And if we dare to
    present ourselves, all our shelves
    will be filled with worded wonder.
    We are under the spell of each other,
    poetic sisters and brothers and all
    the rest in our minds we are all
    a commercial success!

  14. Lori P says:

    What’s wrong with it?

    Itty bitty video man
    with ideas bigger than your dreams
    had to dig in a trashed couch on the curb
    for coins to buy breakfast
    sat in the hallway for an open wifi and made
    everyone amazed

    one who understands that
    trying everything means finding
    what works

    but he couldn’t try if we didn’t support him
    he reaches you because of us,
    the big companies with products
    everyone has heard of

    we need him because he gets you
    and he needs us for now

    he’ll out pace us one day
    but until then let him touch your soul
    and buy our products because
    at least
    we understand where the future is heading

  15. DWong says:

    Holidays for Sale

    Happy Holidays!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Happy Shopping
    should be the greeting.

    Sale today!
    Buy decorations!
    Halloween not yet,
    but bows, balls, angels?

    Only this Friday
    starting this Wednesday.
    They gripe, whine about

    as they sit stranded
    with a conductor
    who cries, shaken
    by the change in life.

    Dollar signs and sales.
    Perhaps less of these
    and more shows of love.
    Maybe then he would

    have decided that
    the sale was nothing
    meaningless without
    his life.

  16. Missy McEwen says:

    whoops meant “without you” at the end

    aaugh meant without you

    TV Commercial Love

    Make me believe
    I need you.

    Make me want
    to own you, spend all

    the little money I do have
    all on you.

    Make me hungry
    for you.

    Make me think
    that the one I have isn’t good enough,

    that you could do more
    for me, than all the other

    I had
    in my past.

    Tell me how
    everybody wants you.

    Tell me my life
    would be better if I had you,

    that I couldn’t
    live without you.

    • Missy McEwen says:

      Sorry to keep posting this
      but I typed it so fast. Too many errors. It bugs me:

      TV Commercial Love

      Make me believe
      I need you.

      Make me want
      to own you, spend all

      the little money I do have
      all on you.

      Make me hungry
      for you.

      Make me think
      that the one I have isn’t good enough,

      that you could do more
      for me, than all the others

      I had
      in my past.

      Tell me how
      everybody wants you.

      Tell me my life
      would be better if I had you,

      that I couldn’t
      live without you.

  17. Missy McEwen says:

    TV Commercial Love

    Make me believe
    I need you.

    Make me want
    to own you, spend all

    the little money I do have
    all on you.

    Make me hungry
    for you.

    Make me think
    that the one I have isn’t good enough,

    that you could do more
    for me, than all the other

    I had
    in my past.

    Tell me how
    everybody wants you.

    Tell me my life
    would be better if I had you,

    that I couldn’t
    live with you.

  18. Day 29
    Prompt: Write a commercial poem.


    Now’s your chance; get it half-price!
    This offer’s only good today.
    For a limited time, no shipping fees.
    Buy one, and the second’s free.

    As if there’ll never be another sale,
    as if this chance won’t come again,
    as if you could never find this thingamajig,
    as if you need it, from juicer to MIG.

  19. RJ Clarken says:

    Commercial Appeal

    ad screamed,
    This could only mean one thing to me: Don’t!
    Mad throngs and crazed crowds fighting over…stuff…
    doesn’t ‘ad’
    up to


  20. Broofee says:

    The shrine

    We entered
    A Fancy, marmor covered, parfumed
    Shrine of today.
    All sorts of signs flashed me
    As soon as I walked in.
    Shoes, toys, chocolate, jewelry
    And even fried fish to go.
    People with coffee cups in their hands
    People buying boots
    Selling lace panties
    And silk.
    She needed a jacket,
    She wasn’t one of those
    Who needed to spend the whole afternoon
    In there.
    So we walked around
    Until we found a perfect fit
    And then had lunch on the top.
    Beefsteak, potatoes and lettuce
    No fancy
    Japanese food.
    Thank god
    She didn’t like those either.
    With Christmas around the corner
    And a book fair that I still had to go visit
    It seemed everywhere we turned
    Someone wanted our money.

  21. Evil Eclipse

    The evil eclipse has begun.
    Total darkness heinously sets in.
    Angst of the land wails of its vacant sun.
    Subtle maliciousness takes over men.
    Its…the commercial apocalypse of society. Its Black Friday.

  22. MichelleMcEwen says:

    Sad Ones 

    Sometimes I cry
    at commercials

    like some are really
    sad— especially

    the ones with men 
    surprising women

    with jewelry 

    and the woman 
    cries tears outta


    I’ve never been 
    so happy I could cry—

    what  kind of happiness
    is that? 

    I guess 

    I shouldn’t say
    the commercials are sad


    the people in it
    aren’t sad 


    I’m just
    the sad one

    the only kind

    of tears 
    I know how. 

  23. Cin5456 says:

    Poet’s note: I suggest reading the words in quotes all the way through, then going back to the beginning and rereading with the inserted parenthesis text.

    “We Heard” (Finished Sentence)
    Entertainment (Enter – Attain – Mental Numbness)

    “Enter right here, folks.” (Leave your problems at the door)
    “See the new wonder.” (Television)
    “The box with moving pictures” (designed to fixate the mind)
    “and sounds” (louder when we want to sell)
    “Imagine, a movie in” (your head)
    “your own home.” (where you should be instead of organizing)
    “Sit right down here,” (not in the union hall.)
    “Take a load off” (our backs)
    “your feet,” (will never march against us, again.)
    “RELAX!” (Give up; give in!)
    “Let us take” (your mind)
    “you to places you” (will never be able to go/can’t even imagine)
    “have never been.” (and will never go.)

    “Leave your problems” (alone, forget them.)
    “at the door.” (when you leave work)
    “Set your mind free.” (to believe in what we show you)
    “Don’t worry,” (about your job anymore.)
    “We’ll keep an eye” (on you)
    “on things happening” (without you)
    “in the world” (we run)
    “for you.” (as we wish)
    “We’ll even tell you” (what we want you to hear)
    “what’s happening out there” (in the real world)
    “on the daily news.” (developed by psychologists)
    “You’ll be fully informed.” (but you won’t care anymore)

    “In the meantime,” (RELAX, rube)
    “our little invention here” (Aren’t we clever?)
    “is not just entertainment.” (Enter – attain – mental numbness.)
    “Become an informed” (by us)
    “citizen” (of our domain)
    “Enter and find” (dumbies)
    “a better mind”(-set – a mental state of numbness.)

  24. bethwk says:

    Face it. You’re not good enough,
    not clean enough, not nice enough,
    not beautiful.

    You need more stuff to fill you up,
    to ease your grief, to fit your need,
    to fill the hole.

    Don’t you feel that blinding ache,
    relentless need, the restless urge,
    desire’s pull?

    Just buy more stuff, just do your part
    to keep the Corporation in the black,
    to meet our goals.

  25. randinha says:

    Still got a few minutes left, right? Wrote this earlier and neglected to post it.


    On this sacred day we’ve come en masse
    to worship a strange and glitzy god
    in plush robes, an electronic halo.
    From his broad golden hands
    smelling of perfume and leather
    pour markdowns, deals and bogos
    under silver-tinseled signs saying
    buy now or forever hold your peace.

    I’ve seen this god and his dazzling
    twenty-four-carat smile. I’ve thrown down
    my cards and my hard-won
    joy at his altar. Enraptured by that smile
    I’ve sung his commercial hymns
    and eaten his Pan de Visa. You’d think
    I’d have learned after a time
    to spot a fool’s gold grin.

    On this god’s good Friday there’s no fasting
    nor feasting, but a catch-me-if-you-can
    of famine and consumption.
    It’s a sly and sterile
    bit of shine, stunning you here
    and now there—just keep
    searching high and low, just keep trampling
    the foe. Your crown awaits, pre-ordered.

  26. Linda Goin says:

    Cascading Consumerism

    Please bring back those black and white Alka-Seltzer ads.
    You thought that we forgot them.
    Instead, we watch little old ladies who ask,
    “Where’s the Beef?”

    We were taught that pinks and blues were for girls and boys,
    that two tubs in fields meant failed erections.
    Please bring back those black and white Alka-Seltzer ads.

    Zombies didn’t need insurance back when.
    Human pinatas weren’t subject to lynching.
    You thought that we forgot them.

    Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief,
    and it beat all this inane sexist crap.
    Instead, we watch little old ladies who ask,
    “Where’s the Beef?”

  27. Clae says:


    Commerce golden age
    Immerse ourselves in products
    All stuff no one needs

  28. Commercial Poem

    Come here, come here, come over here!
    Here’s a fresh, hot poem for sale —
    one you can sink your teeth into,
    one that tastes better than chocolate.

    Look at it, listen to it; you have to agree
    it’s a very good specimen. Join the queue.
    We’re going to auction it off.
    Who’ll be the highest bidder?

    Settle down! Don’t push and shove!
    I know you’re keen, I understand.
    But once the original sells,
    you can bid for cheaper copies.

    So don’t let’s make it a free-for-all.
    What was that? Who yelled, ‘Free verse’?
    Bugger! He’s started a riot.
    Now they all want gifts.

    Listen, mate, there’s the internet
    for that kind of thing. There’s all those blogs.
    What will you offer me
    for this virgin poem, unread?

  29. Bruce Niedt says:


    Buy these sneakers, buy this car,
    buy this salsa in a jar.
    Buy this sandwich, buy this wrap,
    buy this shirt and baseball cap.

    I play for millions every year,
    and millions more I make right here,
    on TV ads that make you buy;
    you love me so, you won’t ask why.

    It costs a lot to use my name;
    I cash in on sport-driven fame.
    Endorsements drive you to the store -
    As I get richer, you spend more.

  30. Rosemarie Keenan says:

    Buy her
    a charm to show
    how much you care. She’ll wear
    it dangling from her wrist until
    it falls

    like all
    the rest. Your heart
    of gold a strain to lift
    each time she moves her arm. Her links
    too weak.

  31. cbwentworth says:

    Red tags fool the eye
    Meant for suckers who don’t mind
    Spending hard earned dimes

  32. priyajane says:

    Early bird special

    The early bird specials
    spice gravy talk
    And the thankful holiday spirit
    Dissolves into the dazzle
    Of retail masterminds –
    pretending to be the good guys–

  33. LeonasLines says:

    I wrote an Acrostic which spells out BLACK FRIDAY SALES–it is titled” November’s New Traditions” and is posted on my blog at: http://leonaslines.com/2013/11/29/novembers-new-traditions/

  34. rosross says:


    You made your love conditional,
    as if it were for sale,
    a contract read and neatly signed;
    my heart did feel betrayed.

  35. De Jackson says:

    Pining Away

    These trees know how to
    stop, collect the sun’s last

    They’d rather browse a breeze
    than shop; put indigo sky on


  36. PatNEO says:

    (Okay poet friends, I crashed and burned for a while, but I’m back here, near the end! I normally don’t write rhyming poems, as they usually feel a bit hokey to me, but here’s tonight’s effort — a commercial poem.)

    Long Lay the World, In Sin and Error, Pining

    Those ads on TV as we get closer to Christmas
    Urge us to buy, buy …and buy some more.
    Be sure you get everyone something –
    you know, if you do, you’ll be adored.

    The commercials start off strong and loud.
    To endure them jangles my nerves.
    And as the days pass they get more frantic.
    This I unfortunately have observed
    “Only five more days till Christmas! Hurry!”
    “Make the season merry, make it bright!”
    But I don’t need your Christmas sweaters,
    or the latest electronics…(Okay, that might be nice.)
    But I see through your glittery promises
    of happiness, success, and love.
    “Every kiss begins with Kay.” Isn’t that right?
    It seems shoppers believe as they shove.
    “Give us your money, and we’ll give you a life.”
    That’s what is really said to the crowds.
    “We’ll take cash and your future cash, too.
    Just put it on credit”, they howl.

    But God…God so loved this world,
    that he gave to us His life.
    He doesn’t ask for any currency
    Because money won’t end your strife.
    At the end of ourselves this Love awaits,
    and with grace He does enthrall.
    Even when…and especially when…
    we see that we have no currency at all.

  37. De Jackson says:

    Blue Friday

        the waves
      of crowds
             all you want,

                             I’ll take
                   the Lake.


  38. De Jackson says:

    A Short Spiel From Our Sponsor

    Don’t touch that dial, it’s such a deal!
    Now how much would you pay?
    One gorgeous, glossy glockenspiel!
    Don’t touch that dial, it’s such a deal!
    But wait, there’s more! Hip hip hooray!
    Order now, oh, don’t delay!
    Don’t touch that dial, it’s such a deal!
    Now how much would you pay?


  39. Jane Shlensky says:

    Nature’s Black Friday

    I won’t be going out to join the hordes
    of deer, chipmunks, and squirrels under oaks,
    fighting for every acorn, lifting leaves,
    then snipping dogwood berries, myrtle seeds.
    The trees are full of shoppers, feuding tails
    run round and round the trunks out to the ends
    of branches, leaping to another tree.
    The chipmunks stuff their goods into their jaws,
    while crows and blue jays take turns being loud.
    I think I know what causes them distress.
    Hardly an acorn this year can be found
    when normally they fall ten thousand fold.
    I blame it on the summer rains, but there
    you have it: high demand with no supply.
    The squirrels are in the red and know it too.
    The feeders will be popular this year.
    The birds will have to toughen up, fight back,
    lift up their tiny wings and duke it out
    with rodents, raccoons, other hungry folks.
    And I will have to wade into the crowds
    to buy more seeds, make suet, and provide.
    It’s what I do to keep hordes on my side.

  40. Hannah says:

    Sorry to post and run!!

    It’s been a fun but busy few days…


    Happy writing poetical peeps! :)

  41. JRSimmang says:


    After hours of
    waiting, I still
    don’t have warmed seats.

    -JR Simmang

  42. Sara McNulty says:


    Oh you spoilers, you plunderers
    of family traditions, an affront
    to amiable celebrations
    with kin and friends who share
    a day of giving thanks, enjoying
    a communal meal–one day
    a year–where we open
    our eyes, expand our hearts
    for all we have to be grateful for.

    Oh you spoilers, you plunderers,
    putting greed before grace.
    dangling deals like carrots
    on a stick, to be chased.
    And you, frenzied followers,
    camping out in the cold
    for bargains, forsaking
    sacred, shared warmth,
    shame on you.

  43. LeAnneM says:

    The Question

    Which dreams are mine
    And which did they create?

    How do I know?
    Those ads are wily
    There is emotion attached to their dreams too
    Fears and desires

    I can’t sort them by that

    What if I unplugged?
    How long would it take?
    How isolated would I feel?
    What would I do with my time?

  44. Family values

    OK, loved ones, here’s the deal:
    while you are spouting family values
    downing Wild Turkey in front of
    endless first downs and play action passes,
    while you bite your tongue and smile
    at what’s her name that you can’t stand
    who came home with the brother you hardly know,
    while you count the hours, white knuckle, until
    you can slam the door and hit the interstate again

    I am here in the crisp night air, a fugitive
    with my girl, laughing in the crowds
    dodging elbows, letting the current carry us
    At ten pm I will buy a belt, at midnight
    she will find leopard print high tops, we will
    say we are not hungry, and then we will buy
    fries and eat all of them because we can’t stop.
    At two am, we will slip into the house like
    the last wisp of turkey, like teenagers past curfew,

    like maybe we could look forward to next year.

    • Hannah says:

      This is so alive!! Such personality shines through this piece, Andrew. Much enjoyed. :)

    • Linda Goin says:

      That’s one way to view the other side. I can understand that. Really like your voice in the second stanza, “At ten pm I will buy a belt, at midnight/she will find leopard print high tops, we will/say we are not hungry, and then we will buy/fries and eat all of them because we can’t stop.” Lovely lead-in to the last few lines, so full of energy.

  45. Michelle Hed says:

    Turn a Blind Eye

    I cannot
    stop the ads,
    the pursuit of every dollar.
    But I can choose
    where to spend
    my each and every dollar.

    I love a good sale,
    a chance to save a buck.
    But I’m not in the mood
    to race and holler
    and put my hopes on luck.

    I buy
    what I need
    as quietly as I can
    and choose to give my heart,
    helping hands, or greenbacks
    to a charity from the start.

    So every year at Christmas time
    we take a little break
    to give to those in need
    whatever it may take.

    I might not change the world
    or end all poverty
    but at least I will fill good
    about my family.

  46. Dare says:

    My first attempt, “Black Friday 2013″
    redone using the S + 7 form
    previously mentioned :

    Black Fries 2013

    Stoves aren’t packed
    No long lingerie
    snaking around the bloke
    Some still camp out
    just to be seen
    Now the thrill of the hurdle
    has moved online
    Shortcake jamming sesame
    prey-driven hurdy-gurdys
    Stalk amber
    Seeking a quart of


    Tall-wedge boots in stygian black
    Air-weight fleece in smoke or butterfly cascade
    Poly half-zip off the rack
    Have they anything hand-made?
    Neon Sleeveless Mesh in camo pink or jade

    I’m drowning in quick-dry
    Seven thousand tramping footsteps on the floor
    Galaxies spin in star-dye
    Everything’s on sale-galore
    All brands all colors (oh, let me out the door!)


    to warm, tropical places.
    Palm trees and white, sandy beaches
    in seductive locales.

    suits and flip-flops,
    umbrella drinks, fresh seafood.
    Temptations too strong to resist
    on cold November days.

    snow plows and scarves
    for jet skis and scuba gear,
    woolen gloves for suntan lotion.
    The islands are calling.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  49. Earl Parsons says:


    Early September

    Already on the store shelves


    Has replaced the Reason

    For the season

  50. Earl Parsons says:

    Black Friday

    I’m wondering about Black Friday
    Should I stay home or join in
    Is it worth my time this year?
    Would I win?

    Getting up way, way too early
    Or not going to bed at all
    Just to fight the horde for bargains
    What’s the call?

    But Black Friday’s starting early
    Some stores open on Thanksgiving Day
    There’s a hint for Thursday shopping
    I’ll stay away

    And I think I’ll sleep in Friday
    Hunt for bargains galore on line
    Let the super bargain shoppers
    Stand in line

    For I’m older now and wiser
    Kids grown up and out the door
    So Black Friday doesn’t call me
    As before

    And the Internet is easy
    Everything you’d want and more
    And the best thing they deliver
    To my door

  51. Dare says:

    Black Friday 2013

    Stores aren’t packed
    No long lines snaking
    around the block
    Some still camp out
    just to be seen
    Now the thrill-of-the-hunt
    has moved online
    Shoppers jamming servers
    prey-driven hunters
    Stalk Amazon
    seeking a quary of

  52. barbara_y says:

    Cute puppy
    Cockapoodle-doodle (mix)
    Neutered, all shots
    Good with children
    Soulful eyes of a velvet painting
    but wait there’s more
    Sired by a bomb-sniffing hero
    House-trained, cleans up and
    on command will take out the garbage
    Comes with a certificate of authenticity

  53. Good God (It’s Alive!) Lobster

    On Tongass Avenue
    In a blue and white shop,
    We sell specialty foods.
    You won’t regret the stop.

    Salmon (fresh, smoked or canned):
    Sockeye, silver or king,
    Lobsters, oysters, mussels,
    Clams and crabs —just the thing!

    Or go wild! Buffalo,
    Venison, caribou,
    Musk ox, wild boar, elk, and
    Antelope—just for you!

    Abalone, rock fish,
    Halibut, scallops, cod,
    Red snapper, prawn and shrimp—
    Online or at Good God.

  54. PressOn says:


    Sing a song of slick birds,
    murder of the crows;
    four and twenty black birds
    standing tail to nose,

    shopping on black Friday,
    fighting for some scraps;
    just don’t figure why they
    get into such flaps.

    Maybe they should roost here
    through the Christmas season;
    surely, in cahoots here,
    they’ve abandoned reason.

    Leave them here to bicker,
    pecking eye to eye;
    later, likely quicker,
    all but one will die.

  55. Julieann says:

    Sellers’ Delight

    Christmas comes but once a year
    With its commercials and good cheer
    Just one short and special day
    Until all the sellers enter the fray

    Come one, come all get the latest gadget!
    Run up your personal debt
    So why, oh why, did I not buy
    And finish this up in July?

  56. bjzeimer says:


    Consider ads that say, “Buy one, get one free,”
    with pictures of roasts and T-bones
    on the front—on the back, a bright colored
    orange or two, clusters of purple and green grapes.
    Everyone likes to get something free.
    So gathering our purses and coats, we lock
    up the house, pile into our red Toyota Camry
    with extra wide tires we were told was
    a good deal too, and head for Columbus,
    where skyscrapers define the shopping centers
    on the outskirts of the city, let some sun
    shine in on the deserted shops in the Short North,
    that try to preserve our culture and the arts,
    remind us how good it is to live in our small town
    near a city with stores that give us free stuff.

  57. laurie kolp says:

    Temporarily (ab)Normal

    it’s like watching TV with my kids
    and an ad comes on for erectile dysfunction
    or intimate lubricants
    guaranteed arousal when applied,
    suggestiveness an awkwardness
    driving me to change channels
    or send the kids outside

    only it’s you
    and the ads involve the holidays,
    revolve around mobility and cheer
    colors of the season, reds and greens
    as matriarchs like you
    serve home-cooked meals

    while you lie in the dining room,
    which is now your bedroom, coughing
    oxygen tank off in corner, a scolded child
    and I sit beside you
    watching the parade


    If ever there was a training-day, it’s
    Black Friday. People rushing heavy dis-
    count sales. I’m shopping, also, with my dog
    in harness. Loki’s list is short: find Fred.
    Among the scents of all these people, she’s
    got Fred’s – one whiff from a zip-lock bag stuffed
    with his sock. She’s hurrying past Grocery
    Outlet – a glance in the door – his scent sucked
    inside by the natural breathing-in of
    buildings. (Will all those shoppers escape with
    their lives?) Fred’s scent moves on, window-shopping
    Main. Loki checks a stranger’s pantleg in
    passing – not Fred. In all this crowd she’ll find
    her man. Crisp air cracks as a raven calls
    bleak winter cheer; twinkling blue lights in the
    Quilters Corner window, whose reflection
    shows a dog pulling her handler – fast! – past
    holiday trimmings, around the building’s
    backside. Here are damp piles of flattened card-
    board, flyaway plastic bags, fallen oak
    leaves. My dog tugs on the line, reminding:
    “Christmas is coming, we’re shopping for more
    than just a poem. We’ve got to find Fred!”

  59. JanetRuth says:

    We Need More!

    The latest plastic gadget amplifies a futile thirst
    Beneath a cry for more and more it seems that we are cursed
    And when the thrill of new wears thin we turn to search again
    For something that will satisfy the growling void within

    They scream for our attention with a ‘don’t pay now’ control
    Commercialism drawing innocence into a hole
    As greed and need are misconstrued in colors that appeal
    …an eighty-inch home-theater to watch a third world reel

    Are colored balls the answer to our hungering for more?
    Is happiness a promise that we purchase at a store?
    …or better yet, don’t leave your comfy chair, but simply sign
    Our life-savings into the air; now we can buy on-line!

    This credit-craze is Holidays; the Christ-child has no part
    For He Himself was Heaven’s gift to satisfy the heart
    And only He can quench our thirst; though merchants ply and plead
    Peace, joy and love, His gift to us is all the More we need

  60. Commerce

    Service, community and compassion -
    cornerstones of a wall
    holding you back
    from your natural
    money the true window
    of your worth,
    salary determining
    the importance
    of your work,
    cash making you cash
    making you an economic
    first amendment rights
    an investment
    the amount of dollars you can give
    equaling your political and media
    those lacking the proper
    work ethic
    rightly left speechless

  61. annell says:

    Yes, in so many ways we long for yesterday…we have lost so much…and yes the smells of the old markets, the wood floors, the ceiling fans cranking away, the casual talk between the shop owner and the customer. Where did it all go? No wonder we often feel empty.

  62. Tracy Davidson says:

    January Sales

    buy one get one free…
    our gullible customers
    will never work out
    that we doubled the prices
    before the discounts began

  63. writinglife16 says:

    You made me miss what I’ve never had. Where vendor and buyer actually had a real relationship.

  64. annell says:

    Christmas Eve


    At the base of the Mountain
    No electricity
    Fires lit

    Doors open



    The Virgin aloft


    Gun shots

    Sparks fly

    Stars shine

    Cold wind blows

    Circle the plaza

    Plung into darkness


    Ancient old


    Christmas eve

  65. writinglife16 says:


    How low can you go?
    You interrupt Thanksgiving
    to go and shoplift
    at some retail stores
    that were lower than you were
    by being open.

  66. annell says:

    An Artist

    How can one put a price

    On the blood

    The heart

    Yet we



    The madness began so long ago
    that no one remembers the cause -
    this desire for more and more and more
    until more is never enough –
    The cure, it appears, lies in disconnection
    from commercial mantras lulling the mind
    into seeing emptiness where cups overflow.
    Once disconnected from the tirade,
    we witness the change, slowly at first.
    Redo – do over – or do without
    becomes a new mantra.
    The eyes and heart open to see
    our needs are few – we have much to share.
    Life is full of riches when we learn
    to silence the Siren’s call for more.

  68. BezBawni says:

    Paid in Full

    Mercy is power:
    hiding inside commercial, partly
    formed into sounds ‘comme merci’.
    Mercy is power.

    Mercy is womanly:
    stronger than it appears, only
    sharper than any blade or spear.
    Mercy is womanly.

    Mercy comes quietly:
    stepping on every fear lightly,
    washing away salt from tears.
    Mercy comes quietly.

  69. Jezzie says:

    Our Butcher

    “I’ve got a good joint of pork for you today”
    my friendly butcher down the road used to say.
    “I saved it ‘specially for you, my dear,
    and some special lamb chops, so never fear,
    you won’t go hungry this week, my sweet.”

    We don’t have that sort of custom today -
    we just go to the supermarket, then to pay.
    All our meat is packaged, clean and scanned -
    we’ll buy what looks good, and what’s close to hand.
    We don’t bother to go far down the street.

    What happened to the shops where we used to stop
    where they knew us as soon as we walked in their shop?
    Where they’d give us an apple for all our kids
    as we chose our fruit, and made our bids
    for the rest of the veg this week we’d eat.

    Down to the bakers – I need a bloomer -
    and “How’s Mrs Jones? I heard a rumour
    that you weren’t well? Are you better now?”
    “Ah, yes thanks” I said, wiping my brow -
    “It must have just been the heat!”

    And then in the grocers, the biscuit tins
    at the front of the counter, for those with sins,
    full of the bits of broken biscuits, cheap as chips -
    never mind what they were likely to do to our hips!
    But we only had them for a treat!

    And on to the post office which also sold candy,
    and bulls eyes and gobstoppers that they kept handy.
    Four for a penny, and that’s not so bad
    I could buy eight with the pocket money I had!
    - but I knew I should not have a sweet.

    “I’d like some stamps with Charles and Ann
    to save my money so that I can
    afford a house when I am older.”
    Then with my handbag on my shoulder -
    I would go home and rest my feet.

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