Editors Blog

2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

It’s not too late to catch up, but for those who are already on day three: Great job! After today’s poem, you’ll be a whole 10% through the month. We’re going to poem this month out!

For today’s prompt, write a “the last time I was here” poem. Imagine you’re returning to a spot (physical, emotional, psychological, etc.): Is it a good thing? Bad thing? What did you leave behind (if anything)? What’s there to welcome you back (again, if anything)?

Here’s my attempt at a “the last time I was here” poem:

“Hollywood”

The sign, stars, and strip were smaller
than I imagined. I found James Stewart

and the Beatles, hid my money
from people in costumes, tour buses. Not

that it’s the worst place on earth, but
if you don’t feel lonely here, where will you?

*****

Publish your poetry! Click here to learn how.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and a published poet with three new poems in the latest issue of Otoliths, an online poetry publication out of Australia (click here to read the poems). He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, which has a poem or three about lonely places not located in California. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of his five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

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262 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

  1. Rosemarie Keenan

    STOPPED

    Look at her
    Or if it makes you uncomfortable
    Don’t look, I’ll tell you

    She’s almost fifty
    But maybe looks younger
    Usually, maybe
    Not today
    Not now
    Not at this particular moment

    Today, trying not to weep as she
    calls her doctor’s office while
    standing at the bus stop
    Lines of the monsters roaring by

    She’s barely hanging on
    If you’re looking, you can see it
    Eyes welling up
    Phone goes back in her pocket

    Watch as she gives up
    She’s almost fifty
    She has a good job
    She’s sobbing at the bus stop

    She doesn’t know what’s wrong
    Her heart keeps missing beats
    Then throwing in an extra to catch up

    The doctor says she’s fine
    No more tests to do
    It’s not serious

    So she’s sobbing at the bus stop
    And it’s not serious
    She’s almost fifty
    And it’s life catching up with her
    And she doesn’t want to die

  2. Mike Bayles

    The Road to the Park is Open

    Fallen branches cleared point to sky
    like angel wings. There’s a song in the air.
    A mother takes her daughter to the park
    for an afternoon treat. She swings takes
    to the skies while birds fly. She thinks
    she’s an angel, and her mother watches.
    The road less travelled leads to stories
    and imagination, a subtext of the news.

  3. Yolee

    The Last Time I Was Here in My Bedroom

    I thought about going downstairs
    to make coffee as morning began to brew.
    But not before I soaked in the glory of silence.

    The best part is when I awaken to it
    like a lover in the early days of marriage
    where answers have yet to pull
    business cards out of their pockets
    and into the cupped hands of questions,
    where communication has no need for
    sound to affirm pure truth.

    I drank my souped up caffeine. Slowly
    the second stage of silence dispersed
    like smoke. I climbed the stairs
    as the rumpled sound of
    commitments rolled out of bed.

    My boxer-pit was barking at the front door.

  4. bjholmes

    The last time I was here
    was not like the first time I was here.
    I am alone with my thoughts.

    The last time I was here
    alone with my thoughts
    gazing at the many years of growth
    that time could not control.

    The last time I was here
    my thoughts were of you,
    the glittery smmowy lights
    floating through my mind.

    The last time I was here
    you were far from me
    but not far from my heart
    you are always in my heart.

    The last time I was here
    I thought about that night
    we talked about our pasts
    the hurts and the tears.
    The last time I was here
    sitting on our bench
    remembering the promisies we made
    knowing that we are forever.

  5. Lori P

    Your House
    I lived three streets down from your house
    for almost two years
    after I moved out of your house
    and never once went down
    your street or looked at your house
    except today by accident
    I turned too soon and saw your house
    I thought it would eat me
    take me back to when I lived at your house
    but I felt nothing
    I almost didn’t recognize your house
    it couldn’t hurt me
    now that you’re gone from your house
    it’s just a house

  6. foodpoet

    Lotus Reflections – Scribe to Bro ther

    Brother
    Today is the day of judgment, I wait for Maat’s decisions.
    The differences between us seem small
    Today I write for myself.
    I miss the long talks by the river of lotus and papyrus.
    I know now I was wrong to let she who walked between us
    To separate us in anger.
    I am content in my small village safe from past wrongs.
    If in judging today, you can see past

    Write.

  7. hohlwein

    Morning

    The last time I was here
    it was yesterday

    and I can’t recall it.

    Who was I then
    – waking, standing up stiffly,
    having some time to do some
    things.

    I did them, largely, by the time the sliver
    thin moon dipped into the Pacific.

    And today
    I have some time.
    There are things to do.
    There is a sense of having

    some time.
    How much – perhaps –
    was the question
    yesterday
    and today

    and tomorrow I – perhaps –
    will be here
    and this hour

    the light of the November morning
    will glow the white curtains beige as if
    from underneath

    The day will feel familiar, but also brand new,

    and I will glimpse but not grasp
    the imperative
    of either.

        1. hohlwein

          thanks so much.

          It’s always nice to feel someone might relate to a phrasing.
          I hope you’re having fun with this.
          I wish I had a tiny bit more time; I’m often rushing to catch up and knocking out three at at time.
          Better late than never, I suppose!

          Thanks for taking the time to read it!

  8. Julieann

    714 France Street

    Twelve years old, we moved away
    No longer welcome, useless to stay

    Four years of life, lived in two rooms
    Best years together, full of love’s bloom

    Mom and Dad and Uncle too
    Family and friends stayed a night or two

    Sickness and health, poverty or wealth
    Life snuck up, without much stealth

    We went back last year, and shed a tear
    The house was gone, as we feared

    The storm took it away, too fragile to stand
    We stood there morning, hand in hand

  9. shanezie

    The Magic Woods

    My last time here,
    trees still stood
    where they had watched us
    grow from gnomes to knights
    to teenagers.

    We danced on ropes,
    burnt fires at night
    and drank
    too much
    to youth.

    Once trees fell
    they became paths
    connecting villages
    to fortresses
    in an infinite forest.

    Nailed on boards
    made castle towers
    that we climbed
    to see over
    the kingdom.

    As we aged
    we outgrew enchantments,
    brought in friends
    with beer cans
    for weekly campfires.

    Then it sold
    to some new family
    to build their new home
    where we once wove
    our old spells.

    I still climb trees
    but these are gone,
    torn and seeded,
    replaced by horses,
    and I won’t return.

    Published on:

  10. Linda Hatton

    The Last Time I Was Stumped

    The last time I was here,
    resting on a stump, splintered
    by word overload, alphabet
    soup stewing in my brain,
    trying to contain misplaced
    energy, rope it, wrangle it,
    pull it back in until frayed ends
    meet-and-greet new beginnings
    at restless fingertips,
    keyboard, or unsharpened
    tongue. I wish I could say the last
    time I was here was the last
    time and words lived
    happily ever after, but last
    times always circle back around
    to first times, rolling
    like a stump bumping
    and jumping over earth’s
    word(l)y imperfections.

    http://whatnotshop.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-last-time-i-was-stumped.html

  11. BezBawni

    LETTER IN THE ALLEY

    Our bridge has rusted,
    but I still remember the way the railings
    felt behind my back.
    I’d walked here wrapped in
    hopelessness and darkness, and my thin trenchcoat
    soaked by the rain.

    You’d followed, barefoot,
    running through the bushes, as you collapsed I
    saw your soles were cut,
    just as my soul was
    shredded by the tears I’d never shed and
    since then never have.

    You held my death note
    I’d lost in the alley, the note you later
    shredded in your hands,
    and when you told me
    we would die together, I held your hand and
    knew that life goes on.

    Our bridge has rusted,
    but we still remember last time that we were
    here we wanted death.
    Now when I look at
    you there’s nothing more I’ve ever wanted
    than for us to live.

  12. annell

    I was here the last time
    Or…the last time I was here
    Golden grasses dried in the field
    Trees stand bare
    The COLOR of autumn is gone
    Clouds bank against the mountains
    The sun shines through
    Broken gray and scattered blue
    Horses in the field
    Nibbling last bits of green

    End of autumn
    Signals winter is on the way

    And it was here
    The coyote died
    Dark night
    He appeared
    As if by magic
    The cruel wheels
    Stopped him in his tracks
    An ending in an instant
    We took a breath
    Began again
    But I can never pass here
    Without remembering him

    I look in the rear view mirror
    The highway is empty

    Down into the canyon
    New snow under the sagebrush
    Landscape ahead
    A painting
    The beginning of time
    Life is full
    Of beginnings and endings

    In the canyon
    There are trees
    Still with glorious color
    Yellow and orange
    Oh my….
    It takes my breath away
    Shangri-La
    All else is grayed
    The sky overcast
    Tiny slivers of blue
    Cerulean and cobalt

    The Here of Yesterday
    Is there a difference…
    The here of yesterday
    The here of now
    Strung together
    Like shiny beads
    All one
    Yesterday and today

    Nov 3

  13. MichelleMcEwen

    Ocean Beach

    The last time I was here
    was in ‘88— maybe.

    It’s been so long.

    They still sell ice cream
    and pizza on the boardwalk.

    Summers, daddy would drive us
    here in the station wagon.

    Not knowing how to swim,
    we spent the whole day

    in the sand
    next to our radio:

    Mama sleeping
    Daddy eating
    Missy reading
    Shana dreaming
    Joyce screaming

    Me keeping my eyes,
    like now, on the swimming

    girls— jealous of what their bodies
    were doing beneath waves.

    1. MichelleMcEwen

      *edited

      Ocean Beach

      The last time I was here
      was in ‘88— maybe.

      It’s been so long.

      They still sell ice cream
      and pizza on the boardwalk.

      Summers, daddy would drive us
      here in the station wagon.

      Not knowing how to swim,
      we spent the whole day

      in the sand
      next to our radio:

      Mama sleeping
      Daddy eating
      Missy reading
      Shana dreaming
      Joyce screaming

      Me keeping my eye,
      like now, on the swimming

      girls— jealous of what their bodies
      were doing beneath the waves.

      1. MichelleMcEwen

        FINAL EDIT; I wasn’t happy with how it was.

        Ocean Beach

        The last time I was here
        was in ‘88— maybe.

        It’s been so long.

        They still sell ice cream
        and pizza on the boardwalk.

        Summers, daddy would drive us
        here in the station wagon.

        Not knowing how to swim,
        we spent the whole day

        in the sand
        next to our radio:

        Mama sleeping
        Daddy eating
        one sis reading
        another sis dreaming
        baby sis screaming

        Me keeping my eye,
        like now, on the swimming

        girls— jealous of what their bodies
        were doing beneath the water. .

  14. bjzeimer

    Copyright (C) Beverly Zeimer, All rights reserved.

    THE LAST TIME I WAS HERE

    The last time I was here
    a big white farmhouse stood right over there
    across the railroad tracks–
    in that shady area between the pear tree,
    and the lilac bushes over to the side
    where that pile of ashes is–
    a white picket fence
    that’s gone too. Using the white
    clapboard siding for a backdrop
    and our Kodak Brownie,
    we put on our best taffeta
    dresses, curled our hair like our
    favorite movie star and took
    turns posing for pictures.
    I styled my hair like Lucille Ball’s
    and posed under the white flowering
    pear tree wearing a yellow dress
    and red lipstick I kept hidden
    from our mother, all that’s left
    of it a memory of the beautiful red
    color in the gold case,
    and the pile of ash and wood
    between the pear tree and
    lilacs still blooming like
    they were the last time I was here.

  15. Jezzie

    Seasons

    Last time I was here it was in the Spring,
    and there was a freshness about everything.
    Trees were dressed in their leafy lime green
    and pink cherry blossom was everywhere to be seen.
    There was a spring in my step as I walked along
    listening to the bright early morning birdsong.

    Now in the Autumn I’ve come here again
    just before dusk, and it’s starting to rain.
    Trees are dressed in their harlequin suits
    and I’m kicking up the fallen leaves in my boots.
    I’m tired and weary just like those trees
    and waiting for my rest during the winter freeze.

  16. mjdills

    a “the last time I was here” poem

    there was no bloodletting; only sorrow
    the will to have a hollow heart …
    yet all the tears that once filled an ocean
    had turned to salt and stood like a pillar in the land of Lot.
    we stood akimbo from one another
    chins of steel
    elbows piercing
    one to the east, the other west
    if only I had allowed you to spend your back on mine, to feel the warmth, to nuzzle, coo and let go of a tiny giggle…

  17. rosross

    The last time I was here I was ten.

    Head raised, ruffled at the sill of memory and regret,
    where tangled locks did gather and grace the hewn edge,
    to fall, softly, in disarray, as breath frosted cold glass,
    and grief drew frozen fingertips to trace the past;
    so then did questions force the word in place, the Why?
    that had no answer; the need that would forever be denied.

    Dry lips pushed drier shapes of lettered, rigid form
    so warm it fell as frost, as new life, glittered born,
    and wrote in ice the message that demanded to be seen,
    in scattered image, shattered voice and ancient keen;
    as silence gathered strength, made reason pause,
    dismissing childhood stories; destroying hidden cause.

  18. rdpater

    First thunder

    Not long after the ground had been broken
    I’d learned to dribble
    and we’d made a house a home
    We stored windex beneath the sink
    along with empty grocery bags
    Between the nozzles and plastic
    Was room for me
    To hide from my new home
    Where everything around me rumbled
    My stomach the air and the walls

  19. Alyssa McNulty

    Ice cold water splashes the wooden stakes.
    Wooden stakes beat into a beach to hold up barbed wire.
    Rusted wires are long since gone but the wood stands strong.
    They stood as a first defense against our freedoms.
    Freedom that was won gives me the luxury to
    walk along the silent beaches in Normandy.

    A clean, unpolluted beach bears no mark but
    the wooden stakes
    that pierced the soldiers as they ran
    against the tides that hit the sands still.

    Tranquil rolling hills topped with green grass
    and a path that wanders down to the beach
    leads me away from innocence and towards
    the grated realities that gave me what I have.

    I traveled to understand and
    realize how real the tales the bloodless beaches hold.
    I return ever so often by memory lane
    to remember.

  20. Cin5456

    The Last Time

    The last time I was here, vandals –
    a trashed house, but livable. Now…
    Look, that’s where the printers sat,
    and Mom’s loom stood this high and wide.
    All my science fiction books – gone.
    In fact, all the best books are missing.
    Power tools, new bicycle, weed whackers,
    my collector’s edition encyclopedias.
    and a drawer full of connectors
    and wires, Who would steal wires,
    but not the TV? Thank goodness,
    my dishes are still here. My neighbor
    showed up in time to save appliances
    the thieves had already dragged outside,
    the washer, dryer, and refrigerator.
    It’s heartbreaking to remember
    all the things I used to depend on.
    I don’t know if I have the heart
    to pack what’s left, but I must.
    Then I leave for the last time.

  21. Earl Parsons

    The Visit

    So much had changed
    Most not for the better
    Old friends mostly gone
    Moved to other places
    For jobs and opportunities
    And a better life

    So much run down
    Poverty the norm now
    Money moved South
    Jobs moved right behind
    Population on the decline
    Just the elderly remained
    For the most part

    But why
    Why the decline
    This once great town
    Nearing extinction
    Did no one care
    It appeared not

    I left many years ago
    For much the same reasons
    As many more that had gone
    No future
    No jobs
    No opportunities
    And no change

    It brought me to tears
    So I moved on

  22. Cin5456

    My Mission This Year

    November is a cold month
    for remembering what’s lost.
    The last time I was here
    the house had been trashed
    by squatters and vandals.
    The year before that,
    I came to assess fire damage.
    A few months ago, thieves
    tried to strip the place bare.
    Now my mission is to
    inventory the loss
    and pack the rest.
    It’s heartbreaking to recall
    all the things I thought
    would still be here for
    my return, waiting to support
    my summer writing retreat.
    But last summer, I stayed
    in town to write. Somebody
    found out it was vacant,
    and took their time
    deciding what to steal.
    It’s not the things I miss
    so much as I miss this town,
    this place I used to call home
    and wish I still could.

  23. Sara McNulty

    No Crumbling Allowed

    Muster up my strength
    Must fight this fresh bout
    of emotional distress,
    where mind and body join
    forces to create a mess-
    age of red panic, and black
    tar that mars my hope.
    I will shower, makeup
    my face to face the world.
    This is not new. The last
    time I stepped into
    this nightmare, . . .well,
    I will not go there.

  24. Margie Fuston

    Dear Bampa,

    I still stay in the spare room—
    like when I used to visit.

    In the mornings,
    I drink coffee from the Snoopy mug
    I got you last Christmas
    while sorting through your collections
    of WWII movies
    and trains.

    At night,
    I press my ear to the thin wall
    between your old room and mine,
    thinking I hear that spring,
    you know, the one that always squeaked
    when you rolled over in your bed.
    I can’t seem to sleep
    in silence.

  25. Missy McEwen

    Chocolate City

    Used to be you
    didn’t hardly see
    no White faces
    on the streets of DC.

    Used to be you
    could count the number
    of White people
    in Columbia

    Heights on one
    hand, could punch
    a brotha in the arm
    and yell

    Punch Buggy
    when a White man
    or woman walked by
    even though

    they’re people
    and not old Volkswagen
    Beetles but you
    get the picture.

    They was rare there
    and everywhere
    for the most part,
    except for George-

    town and even that
    used to be
    mostly black back
    in the 70s

    ’till
    they
    kicked us
    out.

  26. dandelionwine

    The Last Time

    I was here, and Cindy,
    as any loyal bodyguard
    would, retrieved my first
    grade show and tell rock
    emblazoned with an “e”
    from the hands of Eric.
    In third grade I walked,
    oblivious, into the middle
    of a playground fight,
    then huddled under a tree
    with a black eye. The last
    time I was here, I slouched
    for the sixth grade photo,
    then took a winding path
    away and back to these
    elementary halls. An old
    classmate notes I appear
    much taller. I am.

  27. bethwk

    Here we go again,
    me and Mike Finnegan,
    and some old Benedictine:
    Begin again,
    begin again,
    begin again.

    I thought I had evolved
    past the brooding and the sulk,
    past lack of will, lack of resolve.
    Begin again,
    begin again,
    begin again.

    The last time I was here,
    the emptiness was vaster,
    I was drawn to the disaster.
    Begin again,
    begin again,
    begin again.

    Today that distant light
    seems brighter, closer, right
    around the corner.
    Begin again,
    begin again,
    begin again.

  28. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    Not too happy with this, but here it goes:

    Last time I visited
    We had hot chestnuts
    From the oven
    And I could still find my way
    Round your kitchen.
    Your wedding picture
    (the one I am in)
    Was on the wall.
    You were planning to go to Paris.
    You hated modern art
    And bold colours.
    Today we talk about
    How cold it is
    For this time of the year
    As a stranger walks in
    And says he is happy
    To meet me
    At last.

  29. Amy

    The Boom

    The last time I was here, I was taller than the trees,
    but didn’t know what to do with the inches;
    knock-kneed and long-limbed.

    The cottonwoods shed their leaves
    just as I shed a skin that never quite fit;
    a bark deeply etched with flaws.

    Now, it seems, I have contracted
    as the cottonwood giants tower above
    like ochre jailers dangling their rusted keys.

    But they do not hold sway any longer and
    I wonder as my feet crunch over fallen casings,
    how I could have been fooled by their

    lonely limbs.

    1. PressOn

      I find this fascinati8ng, partly because poplars do tend to look spindly when leafless, despite the massive crowns they bear when in leaf; “lonely limbs,” therefore, sounds both peculiar and right. Mainly, though, I’m fascinated by the idea of you being taller than a tree. This is an absorbing poem.

  30. Cameron Steele

    The Dock by The Bay

    I used to know how it
    felt to stand on the edge
    of our dock, knock-kneed
    and weak, head bent
    against your neck as
    you pointed out satellites.
    We pretended they were stars.

    I don’t remember when you let
    go of the myth that we would be
    great or even just OK. Loneliness
    crept up on me the way dusk
    always used to steal across
    the harbor. It’s funny how what you
    don’t even notice can feel familiar.

    Now that I’m here again
    I sit up straight and stare
    at the water. If I don’t
    blink maybe I can will
    our old reflection into the waves:
    A starry-eyed couple hopelessly caught
    on the edge of life, casting wishes to the wind.

  31. Joanna Truman

    “old days”

    sweltering summers, we stayed inside
    cool breeze winters, we rode our bikes at night
    smoked cigarettes on the docks
    and watched the pelicans pick up fish.
    we stripped ourselves of sand and skin
    buried in the salt dunes
    black grains beneath our feet
    and pebbles between our toes.

    we drank because
    we thought it brave
    spelling our names on our backs
    shooting stars out of our mouths
    we looked up
    and shouted
    about forever.

    but see, that was a long time ago.
    now the concrete is hot and
    the water is warm
    now i spend my nights alone
    on hammocks and under stars
    falling asleep early
    to the sound of the tide coming in.

  32. Jerry Walraven

    “Last Time Home”

    Standing in the road
    with my 5 year old daughter,
    showing her the home
    I lived in
    when I was five,
    I am reminded
    that memory
    is not only
    a factor of time
    but of eyes
    and minds
    and little feet
    counting steps
    between
    the garage
    and the road
    and marveling
    at the distance.
    Distance
    which now
    has vanished-
    replaced
    by miles
    and small fingers
    held in mine.

  33. DanielAri

    “Last I passed”

    The last time I was here,
    we walked through the gardens,
    fed grass to the horses
    in the pasture, walked down
    all the way to the shore.

    We sat while our dog ran
    the sand into her mouth,
    talked of being parents,
    stood on the packed, wet berm
    barefoot. When the sun shone

    low, late in that summer,
    we went to the English
    Inn, a decadent time
    of french fries and fried fish,
    dark beer, generous pints,

    hot cocoa with so much
    whipped cream, just as you’d wish.

    DA

  34. JRSimmang

    FULL TANK OF GAS, LEANING ON THE PEDAL

    Where’d I go?
    You don’t want me to get into that right now.
    All’s I can say is that the road ain’t gotten shorter.
    It was nice to see that the name on the mailbox
    hadn’t changed.
    Some reason, thought it would, ‘specially after I
    got that crazy notion in my head and had to leave in the first place.
    Then again, it weren’t all that crazy. You did kiss ‘im out
    under the willow tree.
    Yeah, you thought I didn’t see it, but I did.
    Hey, it’s okay.
    Truth is, I drove out to the stadium that night, caught in the bleachers, where
    we first held hands, and you said that you loved me. I sat there until the
    stars held me up in the heavens and clothed me in their robes, and they
    sang to me like my ma used to sing to me when I couldn’t sleep.
    Well, I didn’t sleep. After I’d had enough, realizing that the stars let me fall,
    I got in the truck, and drove. I drove straight on until the world flipped
    on itself, but
    funny thing is
    when you’re on your belly side, rock bottom looks like solid top,
    and just when you think it’s over, well, what’s really happening is that it’s
    only just begun.
    Thant’s why. That’s why I had to come all the way back over here.
    Now, I know it’s been too long,
    but I knew.
    I knew that that name on the mailbox wouldn’t change,
    because that kiss under the willow tree
    weren’t a kiss.
    Your lips met only to exchange a name, my name,
    because he saw me reflected in your eyes,
    and you still smelled my cologne in your jacket.

    -JR Simmang

  35. DWong

    Home

    Blue two-storey,
    you matched the inner mood
    that condemned each soul
    that lived within
    those walls behind
    the willow,
    the rocks,
    the flowers,
    the prickly cactus.

    You look at me
    quietly asking me
    where before it saw
    my wretched bones,
    my glasses,
    my hair,
    my body,
    my clearly aged soul.

    I looked right back.
    It was evident
    you were not the one
    ever be blamed
    for the grief,
    horrors,
    ignored screams
    unwanted battles.

    Blue two-storey,
    I hope they take care of
    your floors and your walls.
    I hated you
    for all that
    happened.
    That was wrong.
    I regret it.

    My dear old house,
    I hope you forgive
    the banged doors, bashed walls
    harsh words and tears
    None of it
    your fault.
    I miss you.
    My old refuge.

  36. Connie Inglis

    PHUKET, THAILAND

    I paint a memory–
    Three shadows
    chasing crabs,
    collecting shells,
    warm waves burying feet and toes
    against a masterful sky
    pinks and oranges and gold.

    My brush pulling purple ripples,
    around dancing feet.
    A sweet, simpler time.

    To paint a returning–
    The sky still brilliant
    reflected in gentle waves and sand. Yet–
    without shadows,
    without connection,
    without joy.
    The sky appears dull, lifeless.

    My brush, lost to silent ripples,
    would rather remain silent
    in the memory.

  37. Connie Peters

    Nowhere to Somewhere

    The last time I was in Ketchikan
    I was a cruise ship tourist.
    Now I’m a permanent fixture
    like the New York hotel
    with its multilayered history.
    And here I am with mine,
    looking for a job,
    love,
    a new start.
    Searching for You.

  38. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    The last time I was here
    I must’ve been a turtle.
    I walk so slow sometimes.
    Or a 19th century poet
    full to the brim with rhymes.
    Some days, out of the blue,
    I walk into a place
    and I swear it’s Deja Vu.
    I’m hyper, so I’m quite sure
    I HAVE been here before.

  39. cstewart

    White River

    Sun bursting off the water, white light taking the day,
    The smoothness before the small dam,
    And ripples at the intersection of the island –
    The sound of water’s spirit voice.

    A languishing expanse of coloured pebbles worn smooth,
    Covered in an inch of rushing, bubbling water,
    This.
    This rapturous beauty has not been taken away.

  40. seingraham

    SHOWING MY LOVE, MY CITY OF LOVE

    I lay awake in a room growing light
    And wonder at you breathing beside me
    Have we finally made it to New York?
    It’s been such a long-time dream, I can hardly
    believe it’s true…
    I wonder have I oversold you on this place
    I love; these towering halls of commerce
    where the architecture of skyscrapers
    is such it actually blots out the heavens
    (not always, but sometimes…)

    This city of cities that harbours museums
    and art galleries, and a whole street dedicated
    to shows – well what else would Broadway be?
    You, who revere opera, must get to the Met,
    and we both need to try for Madison Square Garden
    to see a fight – “maybe a hockey game will
    break out” – that old saw..hard not to joke
    about, these days, when every contest
    has skirmishes galore… way more than ice-time finesse…

    I slip from the bed, over to the window
    Realize the glass must be double-glazed,
    sound-proofed in some way; I can see
    lines of taxi-cabs, all part of morning rush
    hour, and know they must be honking
    — when are they not –but
    from where I am, it is as if I am viewing
    a silent movie in full on colour

    God, but I love this place; I can’t help
    remembering the last time I was here
    when I missed a train connection to
    Chicago and ended up overnighting
    in Penn Station –
    Imagine – a world-class city that permits
    their homeless to bed down inside
    a mega-train/subway complex…
    One that has poetry painted on
    its tiled walls…
    And buskers that are so good,
    they actually have business cards

    Leaning my forehead on glass already
    starting to warm, with a sun barely up
    I spot a corner of the green that’s Central Park
    at the far end of the street we’re on
    and feel my pulse quicken…
    I check on you love, and decide:
    I’ll let you sleep a little bit longer
    while I make some coffee, but then
    you have to get up..
    There’s so much to see
    and do here, and I know there’s
    no way to oversell this place….

  41. Walt Wojtanik

    MY CITY WAS GONE

    He stood in amazement
    so much had changed.
    It was a strange epiphany,
    his once stoic symphony
    had been knocked to its knees.
    The Central Park trees failed
    to hide the absence of
    the majestic twins. The brownstone
    once home was a mecca for
    tourists and purists who needed
    closure. The exposure wrought
    could not be bought; a recluse,
    a self-abused; self proclaimed
    Caulfield in search of fame
    and a name to remember.
    That cold December. He could
    not see past the last place
    he had seen in life, leaving
    a young son, a wife and
    an adoring nation that came
    in adoration of his journey.
    Seeing it again was hard,
    in the Dakota courtyard
    a stain remains. Reliving it
    again and again he hears it.
    “Mr. Lennon?” Bang, bang,
    shoot, shoot. A warm gun
    and a Double-Fantasy.
    New York City gone wrong.
    His city was gone.

    1. seingraham

      What a sad juxtapositioning of poems, Walt– my celebration of NYC against your lamentation for Lennon and the Dakota, and the towers…perhaps the parataxis makes for more more effective poem telling? Not sure…Glad to see you writing in any case…

  42. cbwentworth

    Before I left,
    I knew my place
    Anchored by kin,
    bound by duty
    Land was sturdy,
    borders carved deep

    The heart wonders,
    aching for more
    Explore beyond
    the known embrace
    Across the pond,
    adventure waits

    Bitter winds blow,
    rain brings cold feet
    Shivering bones,
    answer the call
    A broken soul
    finds new meaning

    Upon return,
    veils are lifted
    Familiar ground,
    now so foreign
    Rewritten view,
    question remain

  43. Angel Villagomez

    ON A SWING

    On the edge of the slide, she sat.
    I lay my head in her lap, creeping
    closer to the soft spot in her chest, telegraphing
    desire drunk with the rush of a swing.
    If I leapt from the chains, I may fall
    right into her lap, face first, but
    I kept swinging back, afraid to crack
    my neck should she reject my advance.
    I sold my soul for a safer dream
    as a faithful pup for her to pet
    and hug and share her every secret with.
    She may not welcome me inside
    if she knew I wanted much more
    than Wednesday nights out in a park
    with her and adopted friends on swings
    that made me dizzy. I’d be in bliss
    to spend each night inside her bed–
    the warmth preferred to the winter chill–
    instead of out with other boys
    who fought me for scraps that fell off her
    as she walked through life unbeknownst
    how every boy wanted much more
    than a walk in the park. Her room
    promised greater prospects to he
    who had the courage to leap first, but
    though appetites suggested wolves,
    we were nothing but pups.
    without opposable thumbs
    to open the door or even to knock.

  44. julie e.

    Robert, I LOVE your poem about Hollywood. Had the same feeling when I was there! So well said.

    THE BASEMENT.

    Here in this basement
    the furnace ran
    as I wrote math equations
    across the big blackboard,
    tiny teacher playing school
    with the white tom cat
    from my aunt’s farm
    weaving a story around my legs
    and a neighborhood tapestry
    of white-splotched kittens.
    Here in this basement
    safe and warm,
    beneath my mother’s chilly cold,
    alone with my oil paints
    I captured the memories
    I chose to keep
    of this old house
    and that old life,
    a dismembered childhood
    needing to be mourned
    and buried.

  45. Eve Brackenbury

    “Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.” ~ Daphne du Maurier

    The last time I was here
    you thought I’d committed some heinous crime,
    cheated on my lover,
    and hid bloody evidence in a stolen book.
    You thought I’d painted my walls red
    and consumed demons with breakfast.

    The last time I was here
    you said a prayer for me.

    Thank you, but…
    the last time I was here, I wasn’t.

    1. Eve Brackenbury

      Sometimes I think I’m fighting a losing battle. I write mostly fictional poetry. My poetry is created or edited for the reader. I take myself out of it. I don’t want to be seen. My guess is at least 50% of all poetry is autobiographical, confessional, or based on a true event. 98% of all readers think it is. I get really awkward responses sometimes.

  46. Phileejo

    Hoping for Peaceful Waters

    The lies, the sadness, the
    deceiving sickness was too much.
    Those two were not meant to be.
    The ship sank not in the ocean,
    but in a lake of fire.

    Down it went, no survivors except for one,
    who was burned and traumatized. His body
    would heal but his mind would be forever
    affected. One day he would grow from this,
    maybe not today, or tomorrow, but someday.

    Since then he has built a new ship,
    ‘tis much stronger than before,
    and has picked a better helpmate,
    to ride with him, through the storms.
    He only hopes now for peaceful waters.

    Smooth seas may not make
    good sailors, but they sure are good
    at keeping a ship together.

  47. Jane Shlensky

    Re-Creation

    I used to walk these woods down to a stream
    that swelled or shrank with rainfall’s fickle flow.
    Sometimes I walk it still, though in a dream,
    for now, you see, my walking here is slow.

    The last time I was here, this was a farm,
    as fair a one as you are like to see,
    sleek grazing cows and fish ponds added charm,
    the rolling pastures, green as they could be.

    The vineyards stretched where tennis courts are now,
    and here were orchards—apple, plum, and pear—
    and flowers flourished. Lord, I can’t see how
    a place to play can beat the beauty there.

    Development with bulldozers is quick,
    as all destruction is, the lay of land
    erased, replaced with pavement, smooth and slick.
    You’d not think now this place had known love’s hand.

    I knew the people who once owned this place;
    their working farm was made of sweat and love,
    lifetimes of building, hope writ on each face.
    These “visionaries’ “wallets, they think of.

    I’m sorry that I’ve come to understand
    the world now favors money over home,
    amusement more important now than land,
    and men like me are dinosaurs who roam

    like ghosts across a well-developed ground,
    perpetually lost, looking for signs
    of what was once, when beauty could be found
    in nature, when we trusted God’s designs.

    A mountain got to keep its mountaintop.
    We didn’t fear the universe’s size.
    We watched the waves and stars. We’d sometimes stop
    to see what nature put before our eyes.

    I’m old—I know it—nothing stays the same.
    The earth will spin, despite what we revere,
    regardless if we wonder or feel shame.
    It’s just I loved it, last time I was here.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Thank you all so much. It hurts me every time I see a family farm become tract housing or strip malls, although I know too well that taxes make small farming almost impossible. I appreciate your kindness.

  48. Broofee

    -Cold drops-

    That sound
    Keeps me awake at night
    Drop by drop
    Hitting the gutter.
    I turn around
    On the other side
    Of the bed.

    Maybe
    I should turn up
    The heating
    Maybe it wouldn’t
    Feel so bad
    Being there alone.

    It’s there again
    No matter how much
    I try to deny it.

    That feeling
    Every time you’re away
    I’m lost.

  49. elishevasmom

    Coming Home
    (A View of Alzheimer’s)
    The last time I was here
    Daddy knew he was sick.
    He knew he was forgetting,
    and even joked a little about it.

    “You’d better ask your Mother
    for the phone number, I can’t
    remember them anymore.” Or
    “You might have to tell me more

    than once; I’m not as sharp
    as I used to be.” All said with a chuckle.
    Now the jokes are gone. He no
    longer remembers

    that he’s forgetting. When he gets
    up from his recliner and pulls
    back the living room curtain
    to look across the street

    for either my brother or
    sister-in-law’s cars,
    he has forgotten that they
    are both at work just now,

    and probably wouldn’t be home
    anyway. And, he doesn’t remember
    that only 45 minutes had passed
    since he looked the last time.

    I understand the nature
    of the illness, and was expecting
    this, just not so soon. The last time
    I was here was only three months ago

    Ellen Knight 11.3.13 write a “the last time I was here poem” PAD 11.13

  50. Bruce Niedt

    November, Post- Season

    Even the best of them packed up last week.
    Mine was done by the end of September –
    before that, really. Today I sneak in
    through an unlocked gate. The only action
    I see is the groundskeepers, fertilizing
    and seeding the outfield, getting it ready
    to survive the coming winter. No bases
    on the diamond, no rubber on the mound.
    The press boxes are dark, the stands empty –
    blank stares from the seats and backs of chairs.
    The lockers are cleaned out, doors half-open
    like raided sarcophagi. Everything here echoes.
    All the jerseys have been shipped out,
    the bats and balls, gloves and catchers’ masks.
    The players are home with their families;
    some of them will play winter ball.
    I find an old ticket stub in my pocket -June 6th,
    Dollar Hot Dog Night, when we were still
    optimistic. I toss it in a trash can near the exit,
    then head home to wait it all turns over again,
    when spring brings playoff predictions,
    hope, apple blossoms, and soft rain.

  51. Domino

    The Last Time I Was Here

    I was seven and it was my birthday
    and you let me have a banana split
    for breakfast.

    I was ten and you gave me books to read, science fiction,
    that were far beyond what I normally got
    and I loved them.

    I was thirteen and I was the head fruit-picker, cleaner,
    and assistant, helping you put up jam: plum,
    blackberry, applebutter.

    I was fifteen and disobeyed you for the first (and only) time,
    and went on a date, a double date with my
    future husband.

    I was eighteen and had to talk you into going to my
    wedding because my mother told you I was
    probably pregnant. (I wasn’t.)

    I was twenty-three and my first child was with me,
    you had Alzheimer’s and kept asking me
    his name, over and over.

    I was thirty, and your daughter had sold the land.
    Strangers live here now. And I can’t believe
    I’ll never see you again.

    1. PressOn

      I’ve read this four times, one after the other, and will likely read it again after posting this comment. Such a compelling story. I presume it’s about a grandparent, but that doesn’t matter; the story has internal power.

    2. elishevasmom

      That one hit me hard. Even re-reading the second time, and knowing what it was going to say, I teared up all over again. Such a loving tribute to a loving relationship.

    3. Domino

      Thank you all so much for reading my words. It was my great-grandmother — and the anchor of my life until she passed away. Still, I think such people affect generations because of the influence they have. I miss her every day.

  52. Janet Rice Carnahan

    He Was Standing There by the Stairs

    The first love for each as teens,
    Dated for six years,
    Finally settling as friends,
    After drifting apart,
    College and careers pulling them,
    In directions, not familiar,
    To each as they moved away,
    Leaving behind the beach of their youth!

    Yet, as with anything real,
    They found their way back
    To a new connection,
    Through email,
    Deciding to meet each Christmas Eve morning,
    On the end of the wharf,
    For as long as they were both,
    Back in their hometown!

    For years, they did,
    While he ordered fish for a traditional dinner,
    She drove up and parked,
    Checking the mirror and catching her breath,
    With him pretending he had not noticed.
    Once re-connected, they’d walk,
    On the squeaky old wooden boards,
    Listening to the waves, the seals and each other!
    Catching up on where they were now,
    In their lives!

    In the beginning, they met on a beach,
    At the bottom of a long set of stairs,
    Throughout the years,
    With fate’s guiding hand,
    They happened to be there,
    Unannounced at the same time,
    Because it was meant to be!
    Still a surprise,
    Yet they always seemed to know.

    The last time she was there,
    Down on the sand taking pictures,
    Planning to email them to him,
    She suddenly felt it,
    In the distance, she knew it,
    He was already there,
    Waiting for her . . .

    At the top of the stairs.

  53. IrisD

    Autumn Chill

    I breathed in you as I smelled persimmons
    The wasps wound around your head
    Now I just smell the fall and feel the wasp
    As it lands on the only one on the walk
    Fall seemed more colorful with you beside me

  54. bartonsmock

    -bed rest-

    in a country bereft of curfew
    part two
    of a skit
    assembled
    by orphans
    trades attendance
    for the applause
    of angels
    and skips
    the clothesmaker’s
    best scene
    for another-

    a secret favorite
    that has Moses
    leaving behind
    an orange
    soccer ball
    to be with God
    in the sobbing blackness
    of an oven.

  55. Amanda Oaks

    HOW TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT

    It tells you to meet it where the sky is face-to-face
    with the surface of the sea, tells you, “Here, take this

    plate.” Sitting on it is a box. You reach out but it’s
    so heavy your hand slips. The box hits the ground

    & opens on impact. You look inside & there is nothing.
    You ask for another serving & then another & another,

    still nothing. So you climb into the box & you realize
    it’s your past & somehow you’ve locked yourself inside.

    Again. There are so many doors but you always pick
    the same damn one. You try the knob but it’s locked.

    You fight with the knob until your hands are cramped
    & bleeding. You fight with the door until your shoulders

    are throbbing & hard to carry when a note creeps out
    from underneath the door. You pick it up & unfold it.

    It reads:

    Listen, the last time you were here you broke the door
    down so I got a heavier door. I really didn’t think you’d

    be back after that but here you are & when you are here,
    you are here alone. None of the others come anymore.

    You are the only one that relives this memory. You made
    this place your home for years. You all did. Each individual

    inspection process was brutal for me. Yes, I know you
    moved out but look, I’m tired, you still show up here

    every day & I just want to sleep & let’s get one thing
    straight once & for all:

    I’m not haunting you. You’re haunting me.

  56. Susan Schoeffield

    THE TRAIL TO BLACK ROCK SPRINGS

    Did my memory fail?
    Has too much time passed
    since I last hiked this trail?
    This way or that, I have made my selection
    based on an old, worn out guide.
    I fear I have lost my sense of direction,
    as well as a bit of my pride.

    I can vaguely recall
    the ghost of a spa
    was beyond that stone wall.
    There are few remains after so many years.
    The mineral springs are all gone.
    And so are the town folk who treated their fears
    under umbrella trees on the lawn.

    They live in the shadow
    of flickering light
    on land now fallow.
    I look at the relics of what used to be
    by searching the green forest floor
    and find my way back from this lost memory
    in footsteps of those gone before.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  57. mrvanessarose

    The Great Collide

    We were young, you
    And I
    Lines blurred
    Movements entangled

    We journeyed so fast
    Through the grand sky
    With grand ease
    Two with one view of twinkle.

    Our speed no match for the
    Safety in our connection
    Our size, our promise.
    It could have been forever.

    Wrong time, wrong place
    Or destiny with the great collide.
    He stole you for himself,
    Propelling me into the unknown

    Alone. From where I gaze
    As you create vibrant life, still
    They travel across you, build
    Born, breathe and die.

    I stay cold and baron
    With nary a footprint, a heartbeat,
    A breath. Still grappling at your pull.
    For even from so far

    Is better than to be gone.
    I stay close to guard,
    Needing you, I hope so great
    You need me too.

  58. LeAnneM

    The Cabin

    She took the condo
    I the cabin and the car
    We divided the cash
    And it was done

    The last time we were here
    I slept on the porch,
    Smelling dampness and
    Scratching the metal screen
    With my thoughts

    Tonight I will sleep inside
    Alone
    But dry

  59. Other Mary

    This is a combo of this prompt and the image “Resurrection Reunion 2″ by Stanley Spencer offered at The Mag writing blog. The Mag site is here: http://magpietales.blogspot.com/2013/11/mag-192.html?showComment=1383501359191#c4750245327708137336
    and my blog is here: http://writinginthebachs.blogspot.com/2013/11/recurrection-reunion.html
    Happy writing everyone!

    What the hell?
    Here I am, back again;
    dirt up my nose and in my ears,
    amid all these crazy people
    in woolen stockings.

    When time bends over, double
    and we step
    across the fold
    to back-here-again,
    then dinosaur oil slicks
    knit back
    into shining, bone-hard whiteness
    covered in leather-flesh,
    full of being.

    Then dusty tombs
    fill with reconstituted blood and juices
    and fresh flesh,
    so succulent and tender,
    lips again kissable
    tongues speaking, shrieking
    hands pulling aside
    death shrouds.
    Feet,
    my feet,
    in woolen stockings
    amid all these crazy people.
    Dirt up my nose and in my ears,
    here I am, back again.
    What the hell?

  60. taylor graham

    PERKS FIELD

    The last time I was here, poppies in bloom
    made of pasture a golden keeping-room.
    Two swallows soared on airwaves overhead,
    a hound went ranging off where new scents led,
    and bees shuttled a fragile grassy loom.

    This morning, bulldozers at work – a fume
    and grumble, scraping, then a sudden boom
    like earth-thunder, drum to shake the dead
    one last time.

    No more poppies, unless I could exhume
    the past. No need for flowers on the tomb.
    We’ll have a shopping center here instead
    and trust the balance sheet’s not in the red.
    For me, I’ll pass on by in evening gloom
    this last time.

  61. Glory

    How Long Ago

    It’s a small world,
    the last time I was here
    with you my darling,
    how long ago?

    How time flies,
    never thought I would
    forget, yet somehow
    life moves on.

    Maybe it’s better
    to forget, to find new
    dreams, and let the hazy
    happy past; slip by

  62. writinglife16

    Last Time

    The first time I was here
    it was five years ago.
    The first burial in this cemetery.
    It was spring hot and I was sweaty.
    No tears to cry.
    My heart broke.
    I left those pieces on the grave.

    The last time I was here,
    it was three years ago.
    The final burial in this cemetry.
    It was fall hot and I was still sweaty.
    I could not cry.
    The broken pieces of my heart left behind
    now sank into their graves.

  63. elishevasmom

    Time Traveler

    The last time I was here,
    I was walking down this same
    long hallway, only from
    the other end.

    Time was wrapped in
    neat little parcels waiting
    to be handed out like party favors
    —and forgotten just as casually.

    A parcel dropped at each door
    like a trail of bread crumbs,
    there for future reference,
    a key to unlock possibilities.

    Now as I walk down the hall,
    I indulge in a brief peek
    beyond each opened door.
    Wanting to see, but afraid to look.

    And afraid I should be,
    as most scenes display
    the wreckage of time squandered.
    Others, offer the order from time well spent.

    Most of the unused parcels have been lost.
    Those that remain have been stamped with,
    “Manufacturers Coupon—good only
    while quantities last.”

    With faith and wisdom, acquired
    from beyond the other end
    I proceed confidently, investing the time,
    whose dividends will touch anyone else

    who follows down that hallway.

    Ellen Knight 11.3.13 PAD 11.13 write a ‘last time I was here” poem

  64. De Jackson

    Returning

    The moon was full, remember? And you
    turned just right in that infinite light and

    asked if I would wait for you. And how do
    you say no when the sky stretches out for

    -ever, and the waves sway your feet in a
    swoon? Naughty moon, she’s been here

    this whole time, but she’s a wily one, and
    tonight someone has taken an eraser to

    her southern edge, sending stardust every
    -where. I thought sure I left some footprints

    here along this ragged shore, but it seems
    they, like you, have been sent back out to sea.

    .

    1. PressOn

      This poem has arresting images, and for me, the erased southern edge of the moon is the strongest one. I can see it casting light on a shore, where the waves are filling in the remnants of some footprints. I adore this one.

  65. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    JOURNEY TO NOWHERE

    Iridescent orange mountains rise above
    the unfamiliar landscape.
    Two moons – one close, one light years away
    brighten the evening sky
    as diamond-bright stars dance around
    the cerulean canopy of night.

    I awake…not sure where I am –
    not sure of where I have been
    but the color – the texture of the place
    lingers just beyond my consciousness.

    © 2013 LMRN

  66. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 3
    Prompt: The last time I was here

    Last November

    did I really listen, really hear, the waves
    endlessly lap, lap, lapping,
    splashing to embrace the white sand?

    Did I feel my heart slow, muscles relax,
    as the beat of the surf
    set pace for my pulse?

    Did the cool morning sand and the warm
    afternoon sand powder and grit
    between my toes like some strange caress?

    Did the olive green water off the St. Andrews pier
    hold such treasures as teeming silver mullet
    and a lone sea turtle, paddling back and forth beneath?

    Did the raucous laughter and the just-so seasoned seafood,
    corner TV silently celebrating football at Hunt’s Oyster Bar,
    make everything taste better and enhance our sense of fun?

    Did our quiet moments, both of us reading and hearing
    one another sigh or breathe, hold such love,
    as the breeze passed between us through open screens?

    Did the sunsets, one day muted, another too brilliant to believe,
    fire our imaginations, make us believe in a perfect future,
    an eternity where like the vast white beach, nothing is marred?

    Did last November feel like this, the last time we were here,
    or–am I right?–does every time get better? Because we treasure
    the moments, the chance to walk the beach together, another year?

  67. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    CAN’T GO HOME

    Last time I was here, the streets were full of children,
    playing stick ball, running pretend bases.
    People still knew my name, smiling greetings
    to the “one who left this all behind” –
    last time I was here.

    Last time I was here, the homes were old,
    mostly filled with extended families.
    People shouted names like Seamus and Siobhan
    out windows trimmed in lace –
    last time I was here.

    Last time I was here, the church was full
    of those you loved and who loved you.
    People shared memories of days gone by
    as they expressed sorrow –
    last time I was here.

    Last time I was here, the streets turned cold,
    bustling traffic, pushing and shoving.
    People kept heads down or eyes glazed,
    looking at nothing, feeling nothing –
    last time I was here.

  68. Walt Wojtanik

    Recurring Dream

    In shadows, hearts harken
    A call to arms to have and hold
    Closerthanthisclose, breaths
    And sighs and the beauty of eyes
    That look past my failings ande
    Sends me sailing into the comfort
    Of Calming seas. I am her oarsman,
    Stirring emotions in an ocean of doubt,
    Out on a limb to begin the journey
    Again. Trust and caring, the sharing
    Of hearts like the first time, every time.

  69. Dare

    Psych Ward

    The last time I was here
    there was carpet on the floor
    muting steps paced
    a rutted path of madness

    The last time I was here
    there were outings
    the world lived through
    hazy windows of a van-mind

    The last time I was here
    I wanted to stay forever
    until I wanted to leave NOW
    expecting it would be
    The last time I was here.

    1. Marie Elena

      “I wanted to stay forever until I wanted to leave NOW”

      Dare, I KNOW this. Not for myself, but for my incredibly beautiful, intelligent daughter. Bless your heart. This little piece of writing is amazing. Keep it up.

  70. Linda Goin

    I Lost My Mother’s Parents

    The last time I visited Virginia
    I couldn’t find their graves,
    and I was livid that I couldn’t remember
    where we buried them.

    I thought they were under the elm
    by the drive that circled
    the last loop in the cemetery
    at Low Moor near the Jackson River.
    Those flat stones are all the same.
    I have to stand over each one
    to read names, to know that this one
    or that one isn’t the marker,
    that they aren’t here or there,
    but they are somewhere, together,
    buried deep in the middle of ubiquitous.

    Later, after I arrived home,
    I called mom to ask her where
    they were buried and she was calm
    in the face of my confusion, so distant,
    so incredulous that I had anchored
    in a sea so rough, so blown hard
    by my own breath and loss.

    She reminded me that her parents
    were dead, and, unlike me,
    they were in the same place
    we had left them so many years ago.
    They didn’t migrate, they didn’t move,
    they didn’t leave without warning.
    I wanted to remind her that she was wrong,
    but I didn’t have a leg to stand on.
    I lost her parents, and I had moved on.

  71. Clae

    What Did I Come In Here For?

    Last time I was here
    I forgot something
    Now I’m back and wondering
    What I left behind

    Last time I was here
    I picked up something
    Now I’m back and wondering
    Where I left it this time

    Last time I was here
    Was days ago
    Now I’m back and wondering
    If it was maybe yesterday

    Last time I was here
    I left suddenly
    Now I’m back and wondering
    If I ever went away

  72. uneven steven

    The last time I was here
    it never occurred to me
    a good bowel movement
    or sex
    at a certain age becomes
    a question
    your body a well oiled machine
    grinding away, breaking down every
    day at every
    age needing to be properly
    lubricated
    your doctors now all inscrutably
    obsessed
    with your picture window
    ass as they peek through
    the blinds talking
    in cupped whispers
    to each other
    about certain unseemly
    and unwelcome
    neighbors

  73. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Last Time I Was Here

    Last time I was here, I was maybe eleven
    but I’d lived here since I was very small.
    The lawn stretched, vast, down the back
    to the summerhouse and a stand of bamboo,
    and there were two willows.
    In the front were roses my Dad planted.

    I felt as if I was living in Heaven.
    In bed at night I could hear the bell
    chiming from the Town Hall clock
    across the still air. It does now, too.
    I hug the motel pillows,
    and remember listening with my Dad.

    Sometimes we’d hear it striking seven:
    he sat up till morning if I wasn’t well,
    telling me stories — not from a book
    but his own inventions. (He did read to me too.)
    Then he would breakfast, get into his clothes
    and go to work sleepless — what a Dad!

    Last time I was here, I was not alone.
    Fairies were my friends. I only had to call
    and they would surround me. I knew where to look
    and how to look. No-one taught me; I just knew.
    There was one in each willow and every rose.
    ‘You’ve got such imagination!’ my Mum said.

    (Form: rimas dissolutas.)

  74. David

    Quiet Visits

    By David De Jong

    Went to visit Mom the other day
    Just for a bit, about end of day
    Told her things she generally asked
    Rundown of mundane, everyday tasks
    Brought her some flowers knew she would like
    And a light-up angel on a spike
    Ground still broken, open to the sky
    Tough to see her there, tough not to cry

    Went to visit Mom the other day
    Just for a bit, about end of day
    Told her all the kids had gone back home
    So good to see them and hold them some
    Watered her flowers, pulled out the weeds
    Ground still settling, covered in seeds
    Could use some rain, it’s gotten so dry
    Tough to see her there, tough not to cry

    Went to visit Mom the other day
    Just for a bit, about end of day
    Told her all the same things told before
    Said hello to Dad, right there next door
    Replaced the flowers, this time with mums
    Mom always liked them, bright purple ones
    Fresh earth scent gone from rain’s settling
    Covered with new-growth grass filling in

    Went to visit Mom the other day
    Just for a bit, our usual way
    Another day or two I’ll stop by
    Tough to see her there, tough not to cry

  75. PatNEO

    (Day 3)

    The last time I saw you
    you were mine, or wanting
    to be mine.
    And I was alive with knowing that.
    Our eyes connected,
    and we held that communion.
    We were brave. Or stupid.
    Or hopeful.
    Or just young.
    Distance kept our love pristine
    in our hearts; we had no chance
    to test it in the muck of common trials.
    Our miscarried romance…
    buried tenderly in my soul.

  76. Michelle Hed

    Sweet Sixteen

    You called
    (with Mom’s help)
    from your hospital bed.

    You wished me happy birthday
    and then you wished me happy birthday again
    (your mind deteriorating).

    I said you are repeating yourself
    and you got mad
    (tortured by your own failings).

    You gave the phone to Mom,
    no words of goodbye,
    (basically you hung up.)

    This time
    I let you ramble,
    ignored your repeats –
    so our last conversation
    is remembered more fondly
    and instead of hanging up
    you tell me you love me
    before saying goodbye.

  77. Nancy Posey

    The Last Time I Was Here

    this house was home.
    I knew where to find the spoons,
    the coffee cups. I felt as ease
    climbing that set of stairs,
    taking off my shoes,
    sprawling on the bed.

    My daughter had her first
    birthday there on the lawn.
    The toddlers hunted eggs
    within the garden lined
    by ancient English boxwoods.

    The only bride, when this
    was home, my sister descended
    those winding walnut stairs
    in white, a movie star entrance
    on a storybook day

    and that’s the spot where
    the first Christmas picture
    was shot, all five of us,
    then all seven—the last time
    together—posing
    in our brand new gowns
    and robes, singing
    Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.

    Paying admission at the door
    to enter this show house, now more
    like a museum than a home, our home,
    I see the careless scars
    on priceless oak pieces,
    too large to take with us—if only
    we’d had somewhere to go.

  78. barbara_y

    the last time I was here

    I found a half slice
    orange candy moon
    stuck in the walnut tree.

    It will have fallen,
    down with the walnuts,
    orange to their green husks.

    The squirrels are digging
    larders, planting trees.
    What if one hid the moon?

  79. bxpoetlover

    The Last Time I Was Here

    I watched “Fruitvale Station”
    and when Oscar Grant was shot
    I was sitting next to my son and I
    cried and cried and cried.

    Now I am here to see “12 Years A Slave”
    and when Solomon Northrup is kidnapped and enslaved
    and begins to run
    I will cry and cry and cry.

  80. Michele Brenton

    The last time I was here.
    I said, “No more.”

    Which I meant
    and hoped
    would make
    you see
    what it does
    to me
    each time I’m here.

    So here we are again.
    I say, “No more.”

    Feeling tired
    and drained,
    It starts
    over
    and over
    again.

    It’s not over.

    Michele Brenton 3 Nov 2013

  81. PressOn

    Robert, your poem reminded me of Grauman’s (or whatever it is now) Chinese Theatre, and the footprints, and the crowd, and the anomie of it all. Wonderful.

  82. PKP

    Kaitlin

    The last time I was here
    in this woe-begone and
    lovely town with its created
    shops and perfect hot chocolate
    and whipped cream whirled crest
    The last time I was here
    walking with Caroline
    looking for Kaitlin
    four-year-old
    Kaitlin who had
    danced away in
    barefoot in the
    August sunshine
    The last time here
    I believed as Caroline
    that she would be found
    and now I see but
    a scrap of yellow
    sundress
    caught on a bare
    autumnal branch
    of my imagination

    *****************************
    Note: as you might assume I am still working on my novel that arose from a series of “Kaitlin” poems about a raped and murdered four-year-old little girl and the resulting search for explanations.

  83. Hannah

    Stirring
    ~
    Always,
    the first few notes
    transport me.
    Back-
    back to twinned wooden desks,
    side by side
    my sister’s and mine.
    Carries-
    carries me on invisible notes
    flowing from her obnoxiously yellow sport boom box
    and it conjures up the many afternoons
    spent on the obnoxiously yellow nauseating diesel bus.
    Then-
    Then when my adolescent bones craved-
    craved the moment
    when releasing the day,
    I’d play my music.
    Listening closely in the corner of our room
    I’d recite word for word
    gut-wrenchingly
    poured-
    emotions poured forth powerfully each A-B side-
    A side again
    and again I was whisked away by the green apple sea;
    I was free for a moment.
    Moments like these today-
    today I’m immediately beamed to this time
    my inner being makes a journey-
    journeying through each of the lyrics
    every word holding an emotive memory.
    Yes, and just like then, now-
    now sometimes I hanker for it, too;
    I place the CD mindfully,
    close my eyes
    and feel in my very core
    those same seventeen feelings-
    stirring.
    ~
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013
    ~
    Poetic Asides-Nov PAD-Day 3-The Last Time I was Here
    ~
    “Green Apple Sea,” reference is from Counting Crows, August and Everything After. Interestingly I put this CD in, (after not playing it for a l o n g time), and then checked for the prompt….the puzzle pieces fit themselves together nicely this early Sunday morning. :)’s

    1. PressOn

      Oh, this is wonderful writing. I chuckled at the “obnoxiously” yellows, but the transporting across a green sea (I don;t know the song, but no matter), neutralized that and left me feeling a sense of ache and longing. You touched nerves with this one, even for an old man.

      1. Hannah

        Wow…it is interesting to me to hear this stated, about the colors…I wonder if in “my world,” it all did feel obnoxious and so that transient space of “green apple sea” balanced it all out for me.

        I’m grateful for your thoughts on this, Bill and I’m thrilled that it touched you. Thank you!

    2. elishevasmom

      I liked the way you would take a thought, lay it down and then pick it up again, going in a slightly different direction. Kind of like embroidery, running with one stitch, then knotting, then going on with a different stitch, all without changing thread.

      1. Hannah

        That’s a really lovely way to see this, Ellen! Thank you for sharing this thought with me. I didn’t go into the poem with intentions of writing it this way so it was a nice surprise when it went in this direction…it felt right. :)

    1. PressOn

      This is fascinating. I’m used to poems conjuring up images, but not odors. But you did, especially that white paste. This simple piece is masterful, in my view.

  84. PressOn

    MEADOW

    The last time I was here, the swallows flew
    above the swaying grass, and sparrows too
    were all around me, darting here and there
    as kingbirds fussed about. The very air
    was living then, and seemed a sharper blue

    in contrast to each flower’s varied hue.
    It thrilled me to the core, through and through,
    to pause and contemplate each nesting pair
    the last time I was here.

    Today the asphalt sweats, and cars accrue
    where blue jays used to scream, and I see new
    apartments and their plastic lawn chairs where
    the maples were. It’s utterly unfair.
    Now there is nothing but to weep, and rue
    the last time I was here.

    1. Glory

      How Long Ago

      It’s a small world,
      the last time I was here
      with you my darling,
      how long ago?

      How time flies,
      never thought I would
      forget, yet somehow
      life moves on.

      Maybe it’s better
      to forget, to find new
      dreams, and let the hazy
      happy past; slip by

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