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2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

Here we are: The final day, the final prompt. Ack! What’ll we do tomorrow? Well, okay, we’ll probably rest tomorrow. But if you’re full of energy, you can start working on your chapbook manuscripts. Click here for a reminder of the challenge guidelines.

For today’s prompt, write a disappearing poem. Simple as that. Just make sure you don’t disappear after the month is over. I’ve got some fun stuff planned for the blog in December, and we’ve got the Wednesday poetry prompts. And eventually, there’s the April PAD Challenge.

Here’s my attempt at a Disappearing Poem:


Some land is marked
as if by god

that no man should
land there and stay.

Five twisters in
fifteen years, more

than sixty dead,
and three followed

the exact same
track–folks assured

Mother Nature
is coming back.


Write a novel in 12 weeks!

Make it happen.

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 saw first hand the destructive aftermath of the 1999 Moore tornado that killed 36 people and injured nearly 600 others. It was a sight that will forever be etched into his mind. Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. He’s 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.


Check out a couple more poetic posts here:


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225 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

  1. cholder

    Here I sit
    All alone
    In my countenance shown.

    Here I cry
    Wretched and blue
    The tears I spill
    Because of you.

    Here I lie
    Fretful sleep
    You vanished
    I weep.

    November PAD Challenge Day 30- Write a disappearing poem

  2. seingraham


    I am walking down Market Street
    in Boston,
    talking into my mini-recorder,
    lamenting Robert Parker’s death
    especially as there will be no more
    Spenser novels, no new ones anyhow
    And I remember the cabbie telling me
    if I want to see a wonderful panorama
    of the city, I should go to the top
    of the Prudential building
    so I make my way there

    He also asked me, the cabbie did
    why it was I wrote…I guess the topic
    came up — that I was a writer, I mean
    It’s not the first time I’d been asked
    the question of course
    In fact, many people seem to find the
    notion of someone writing
    an odd choice of vocation or career
    Never mind that most of the writers
    I know feel it’s a calling
    Or, if it’s their work or occupation and
    they have a natural ability or talent
    They’re just happy if they also have
    an inclination to also do the same…

    But for some reason, on this day
    with the sun burning so brightly
    off the sea
    I think it must surely scorch my eyes
    as I peer at what I am told is the JFK
    library way off in the distance

    The whole issue of why I write
    is weighing on me again
    And I cannot seem to stop thinking
    about it
    I have stopped talking into my recorder
    as I stroll the three hundred and sixty degree
    viewing area
    But keep going over it in my mind – there are
    the famous universities – MIT, Harvard, Tufts,
    and Cambridge too,
    Across the Charles River, there is Fenway Park
    where I know the Red Sox play
    And again it comes to me, why do I write, why
    do I write
    And there’s the Boston Public Library – the first
    one in all of the United States – imagine that,
    I think
    Why, I am wondering more vehemently, do I
    write, why, why, why
    I slide down the glass wall at one point, overcome
    with the view
    Overcome with the thoughts that are not new to me
    But that are coming at me as if fresh and unanswered

    Why do I write?
    It comes to me suddenly and I know it to be true
    I write to stay present, to just be, to not disappear
    More than anything, that last—
    I write so I won’t disappear…

  3. Yolee

    Second Nature

    As children raised in the Spanish culture,
    we were always required to (pedir la bendicion)
    ask our elders for their blessing in lieu of greetings
    and goodbyes. Parents, Grandparents, aunts and uncles
    responded with: “May God accompany and favor
    you” I had my children and the tradition I should
    have passed on simply vanished. I guess it didn’t
    leave on its own, I just didn’t teach my children
    the value and meaning behind it. Pity.
    Most of my siblings with kids of their own
    allowed it to escape the realm of custom,
    except for one of my brothers. He relentlessly
    urges his daughter, nieces and nephews to request
    his blessing although he’s a self professed
    atheist- a man without God. I find his need
    for this kind of liturgy rather ironic.

  4. DanielAri

    “Lose yourself to dance”

    I find a point where I stop vanishing
    and all that’s there is breath, fluid and meat.
    And content—but it’s not constraining me.
    I am only, endlessly twirling sweat.
    I’ve dropped away from some cloud of meaning,

    a drop of substance for the earth to eat.
    Someday, and starting now, I don’t vanish
    because all that’s here is stuff, sound and heat
    in a moving mirage of mannish shapes
    doing what was once called “dancing.” I know

    the sound of one hand clapping and the splash
    of tree topples in a remote forest.
    The beat’s complex; the lyrics are Spanish;
    a mountain is moving inside my chest.
    Saca la mano! Saca los pies!

    Saca la cadera si te quieres
    aprender infinity in your breast.


  5. Nancy Posey

    Christmas Card Family Photo

    Inevitably, sometime long after
    the dinner tables are cleared,
    the dishes washed and put away,
    leftovers fitted into tight spaces,
    after the board games, the plans
    for shopping made, someone
    announces it’s picture time.
    The sisters gather quickly,
    and herd our children inside,
    wiping sticky faces, running
    fingers through tangled hair.

    With everyone here, after shots
    of the siblings, the grandkids
    and cousins, we start to arrange
    everyone for the big group shot,
    four generations packed in close,
    on the couch, staggered up stairs,
    cross-legged on the floor, a guest—
    a girlfriend—takes the camera
    and the count confirms: two missing.
    Not the small children, unaware
    and romping out of doors. No.
    Two of the sons-in-law nowhere
    in sight. A quick impromptu
    game of hide-and-seek ensues,
    and they’re dragged laughing,
    one from the closet, another
    out from under the bed. No one
    has to say, “Smile for the camera.”

  6. Nancy Posey

    After Thanksgiving

    One by one our children load
    the cars, with their families,
    and we stand bundled against
    the cold,hearts still warm inside.

    The turkey carcass simmers
    in the stock pot, but before
    we drag the boxes of garlands,
    lights, bells and balls down

    from the attic, we stand together
    on the front porch, watching
    as the last of the cars
    pulls out of our drive,
    until their tail lights

    disappear, lost in the distance
    among streetlights and traffic lights.
    Only gratitude remains. It is enough.

  7. Domino


    Have you ever been that person
    who, when you walk up to the
    cafeteria table, everyone pointedly
    doesn’t look at you, doesn’t
    meet your eye,
    doesn’t make room for you,
    even your friends,
    or, well, those you thought were your friends,
    in fact, crowd in a bit more
    so you can’t sit.

    Have you ever been that person
    who, when you have a party
    nobody RSVPs exactly,
    though some say, sure they’ll
    stop by if they can,
    and you’re left with a hundred
    canapes and vats of dip
    and untasted fondue
    because no one showed up.

    Have you ever been that person
    who, when you tell the joke,
    or raise your hand in class,
    or volunteer to help,
    or comments in an elevator,
    everyone else just uncomfortably
    looks away, not meeting your
    confused eyes.

    So many other instances,
    I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
    Unless you’re the one that
    disappeared instead of being there,
    or pretended not to hear,
    or you were that someone
    someone was counting on,
    but it was just too hard.

  8. randinha

    Neglected to post my “disappearing” poem in time (a reversal of the first prompt — nice!), but I wanted to thank you, Robert, for hosting this challenge and putting in the work of posting all those prompts…it certainly helped me get back into the habit of writing, and not just reading, poetry.

  9. BezBawni


    are not carved in the bark of trees,
    they are neither drawn in caves nor set in stone.
    They are ships that drift into the endless sky;
    frightened by the morning breeze.

    are like withering flowers
    stuck between the pages of dusty books;
    they are healing bruises on a weary skin;
    turning into pallid scars.

    they are evanescent butterflies;
    fading lines of letters to our aging selves;
    burning leaves; pathways hidden in the wilds;
    echoing through darkened lanes.

    …and the strings of our hearts
    still remember the old melody
    with the lyrics written in the sand:

    when we sing, when we play,
    to the seashore comes the tide of times,
    and the memories are washed away…

  10. MichelleMcEwen

    Staying Gold

    What’s that you say, 

    Nothing gold can stay, 

    But just you watch, 

    Imma stay gold
    and hold 

    that hue
    for you 

    just to show 
    you, love, 

    that I’m not going


  11. Rosemarie Keenan


    He never takes his leave as heroes do:
    into the west, the setting sun a lamp
    to cast a brawny form in silhouette.

    He makes his getaway at night, or dusk,
    through air the temperature of chardonnay,
    the fog wrapped round him like a cashmere coat.

  12. De Jackson

    Rabbit Holes, Hats & the Never-ending Wonder of Lateness

    I fear
    I have lost
    my muchness,

    left my head and
    shed my salt to
    silver linings,
    spilled my
    self to some un
    -seasoned sky, imp
    -ossible things
    floating by

    and here I
    waiting for someone to
                          drink me.


  13. bethwk

    An interesting piece of synchronicity: someone declared today (Nov. 30) to be the International Day of Remembrance for Lost Species.

    One black rhino falls on the Savannah.
    Deep in shadowed jungles,
    the Formosan clouded leopard
    winks out of time.
    Poor old Lonesome George,
    the last Pinta Island Tortoise,
    slowly ages to stone. And gone.
    Celia, the last Pyrenean Ibex, taking
    one last breath beneath a quivering acacia
    on a windswept, sunset plain.

    The Japanese river otter. The Liverpool Pigeon.
    The Eastern cougar. Javan Tiger. Golden Toad.

    The Ivory-Billed. . .don’t say it.
    The Ivory. . .no, not yet.
    Keep that door open yet a little longer.
    Listen for the wheep and cluck
    deep in the swamp. Watch
    for that flash of white through the mosses.

  14. Benjamin Thomas

    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

  15. Michelle Hed

    A Graceful Goodbye

    As the last leaves fall
    and the birds fly south,
    a raindrop drips
    to the ground
    and as the dusk gives way
    to the Nox,
    the rain drops crystalize
    and turn to snow
    muffling all sound
    and as the dawn
    breaks across the fields
    Autumn has vanished,
    covered by winter’s mantle
    forever and anon.

  16. rosross

    Disappearing days.

    The days
    in disappearing
    without me
    and suddenly,
    the moments came,
    when I knew
    they had been,
    although no more
    than ghostly shapes,
    still lingered
    on those hours,
    and shivered in
    amongst the thoughts
    that now were
    part of me.

  17. Cin5456

    Dickinson, the Poet Called “Myth”

    She rarely left home
    for fifteen years
    yet corresponded
    with wit and vigor
    observing, responding
    to life in her poems
    Replaced living
    among the living
    by speaking
    with her pen
    She spoke behind
    the safety of wood
    a door unopened
    for any but family
    The recluse named “Myth”
    disappeared from life
    May 15th 1886
    leaving behind
    eight hundred poems
    Emily’s genius
    we sadly missed.

  18. Cin5456


    I feel small
    hopelessly lost
    in a crowded room
    without notice from
    anyone who matters
    I’ll find a hiding place
    and stay out of sight
    Please don’t look
    I’m not really here
    If anyone asks
    just pretend
    you didn’t
    see me

  19. Cin5456

    Family Photos

    At the birthday party, somewhere over there
    After dinner; I was in the kitchen
    In the sixth grade in the back row
    On the school bus in the last seat
    In the mall behind the others
    In this crowd behind the tall guy
    At a bar with an empty mug
    At the concert behind those people standing
    At a board meeting; I didn’t get to speak
    I promise, I was really there
    I don’t get noticed much
    and you can’t find me
    in these photos.
    I’m too short
    so they forget I’m there.
    I’m the invisible middle child.

      1. Cin5456

        Thank you. It’s not hard to get it right when you’ve experienced it. I guess I identify with Emily Dickinson as well. Once you’ve banished yourself, coming out of your room is difficult.

  20. bjzeimer


    Where have all the starfish gone?
    The skydivers can’t find them.

    Where have all the humpbacks gone?
    Beached on a distant shore.

    Where have all the penguins gone?
    Disappearing, every one.

    Where has the earth gone to?
    Where has the earth gone to?

    Were we not born to keep the earth?
    Her lush forests and gardens.

    Were we not born to sun ourselves?
    To lie beneath her stars.

  21. Sara McNulty


    Beginning with shadows
    shimmering on the edge
    of her body, the slow eclipse
    blotted out a bit more
    of her each day. When
    it reached her lips, words
    wandered out that were
    not her thoughts. Soon,
    her person was made
    over in his image. The
    vanishing lasted four years.

  22. Walt Wojtanik


    Now you see me,
    before your eyes, no surprises apparent
    not quite transparent or see through
    but you chose to abuse the magic.
    It was a tragic ending to a promising
    befriending. You’re sending me packing
    and sacking my memories. A tremor
    under the surface and opened a chasm
    that can not be sealed. It’s been real.

    Now you see me,
    Naked, bare, staining there
    without a stitch of dignity and
    you came along to cover me,
    you’ve discovered me with no defenses
    and you commence to glue me together,
    better than ever, a clever rouse to chose me
    to be your magician, in the tradition of Blackstone
    and Houdini, you shield me fro further harm
    a part of your charm in how you see me.
    Now you see me; now she won’t.

  23. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    A Disappearing Poem

    The poem was here and now it’s gone.
    I thought it would stay and carry on
    doing its poetic thing –
    you know, shine and dance and sing.

    But no, the poem went.
    It was only lent,
    it wasn’t given –
    not a live-in,

    just a guest
    that came to rest
    a little while
    and made me smile.

    I weep now,
    can’t sleep now.
    The poem
    went home.

    Who cares
    is gone.

    poem –

  24. DWong

    Where Did He Go?

    Thirty-five years
    of always working hard.
    Thirty-five years
    of not understanding.
    Thirty-five years
    of constant struggling.
    Thirty-five years
    no longer needed.
    Thirty-five years
    and filled with panic.
    Thirty-five years
    no one can find him.
    Thirty-five years
    and now he is gone
    Thirty-five more
    they will search for him.

  25. Bruce Niedt

    Sorry – slight edits needed:

    The Ball That Never Came Down

    August 6, 1974: Key West hosts
    a baseball game between two minor league teams,
    the Key West Conchs and the St. Petersburg Cardinals,
    on a particularly windy evening.

    In the bottom of the first,
    Joe Wallis of the Conchs hit a high fly ball that arcs
    and drifts toward the glove of John Crider,
    the Cardinals right fielder.

    Crider can’t find the ball,
    and ducks defensively, while the other outfielders
    rush in to back him up. They can’t see it either.
    Wallis rounds the bases.

    The umpire calls a home run,
    but the Cardinals argue. The ball is missing in action.
    No one remembers hearing it fall. No one remembers
    catching it in the stands.

    Key West is a town
    of ghost stories that sits on a corner of the Bermuda Triangle,
    so everyone has their theories. Gary Templeton,
    the future Cardinals great

    who played the infield that night,
    said half-jokingly, “Maybe a UFO took it.” Bruce Sutter,
    in the dugout that night, and the Hall of Fame today,
    swears that it happened.

    Maybe the wind,
    clocked at twenty knots that night, blew it out to sea,
    right into the infamous Triangle. Maybe a wormhole
    opened over the stadium

    and the ball is still falling
    from the evening sky in some other universe
    where an outfielder is wondering where the hell
    that fly ball came from.

  26. Bruce Niedt

    The Ball That Never Came Down

    August 6, 1974: Key West hosted
    a baseball game between two minor league teams,
    the Key West Conchs and the St. Petersburg Cardinals,
    on a particularly windy evening.

    In the bottom of the first,
    Joe Wallis of the Conchs hit a high fly ball that arcs
    and drifts toward the glove of John Crider,
    the Cardinals right fielder.

    Crider can’t find the ball,
    and ducks defensively, while the other outfielders
    rush in to back him up. They can’t see it either.
    Crider rounds the bases.

    The umpire calls a home run,
    but the Cardinals argue. The ball is missing in action.
    No one remembers hearing it fall. No one remembers
    catching it in the stands.

    Key West is a town
    of ghost stories that sits on a corner of the Bermuda Triangle,
    so everyone has their theories. Gary Templeton,
    the future Cardinals great

    who played the infield that night,
    said half-jokingly, “Maybe a UFO took it.” Bruce Sutter,
    in the dugout that night, and the Hall of Fame today,
    swears that it happened.

    Maybe the wind,
    clocked at twenty knots that night, blew it out to sea,
    right into the infamous Triangle. Maybe a wormhole
    opened over the stadium

    and the ball is still falling
    from the evening sky in some other universe
    where an outfielder is wondering where the hell
    that fly ball came from.

  27. Susan Schoeffield


    Time is
    Pages on the calendar
    fly into the recycle bin
    faster than I can blink.

    is closer now.
    I’m not certain I’m prepared
    to meet it with a smiling face
    when it knocks on my door.

    And yet,
    in it will come.
    What’s a few more pains and aches?
    I’ve known plenty in my fifties
    and I’m friends with Aleve.

    Time is
    While grateful for yesterdays,
    I look forward to tomorrows
    before I’m recycled.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  28. Hannah

    Separation will Disappear

    Body, soul and mind
    hide divided
    behind this fleshly canvas
    always secretly craving solitude-
    indigo strings
    to tether oneself together;
    yes, these woods will do
    to walk in and to breathe in.
    Just a small space to stand quietly,
    awhile to be still
    and listen intently
    hear that which is inaudible,
    like the feathered rays of sunlight
    filtering through the pines.
    This trio of trees transforms,
    trunks grow conjoined
    and I imagine that some day
    it will be a single being;
    bark from each meshing together,
    weathered and melded of moss.
    Soon, if they’re still enough
    three will become one
    and lines of separation will disappear.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

    @ my site is a photo I snapped today of this tree. :)

    1. Hannah

      Oh, yes and I meant to say, “Thank you,” to you Robert for facilitating this challenge and to all of the other poets that have been posting all month, (awesome work everyone)!

      Congratulations on a poem a day completed!

      I look forward to seeing everyone soon. :)’s

    2. PressOn

      This poem and your picture work so well together, but the line, “hear that which is inaudible,” adds a dimension no picture can convey, in my view. Sometimes, a poem is worth a thousand pictures. I think you write poems like that.

    3. Linda Goin

      I am so glad I’m friends with you on facebook so I won’t lose touch with your poetic progressions. Your poetry has grown so much over the past few years, and I so admire your passion for your gift.

  29. Margie Fuston

    Do you have skin
    like a 70-year-old crocodile?
    Buy our lotion
    and you can be
    Jennifer Aniston.

    Do you have eyes
    stamped with crow’s feet?
    Buy our concealer
    and you can be
    Sophia Vergara.

    Do you have hair
    like an abandoned bird’s nest?
    Buy our shampoo
    and you can be
    Eva Mendes.

    Buy our products
    and we’ll make you

  30. priyajane


    Sparkling pearls of memories
    have disappeared,
    broken free ,
    from scuffed strands
    Those moonlit dewdrops
    that once glistened
    the spiders web
    are now floating in the clouds
    lost in paradise—-

    1. PressOn

      Wow. Your images are strong yet leave me wondering if the lost memories owe to some kind of memory loss, or perhaps death. I feel some tension between the beauty of your images and what they what mean. Of course, I’m just musing.

  31. Michele Brenton

    Disappearing bite by bite.

    She keeps herself to herself
    locked away
    house arrest
    growing in bulk
    as if trying to expand
    to fill the space
    as if her body
    tried to escape
    despite the mind’s
    creeping imperceptibly
    seafloor spreading
    continental drift
    but she doesn’t have
    that sort of time
    her head knows
    but her body
    gambles on plates
    not tectonic
    not tonic even
    stupid body
    making things worse
    if only it had the brains.

    Michele Brenton

    1. PressOn

      For me, the last line evoked the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, despite the image of your subject “growing in bulk.” The spreading seafloor is a powerful metaphor; frightening, really. Very effective writing, in my view.

  32. LeAnneM


    Loved things are

    It’s a Facebook phrase
    But it’s true

    Only hate makes you ugly

    Not being loved makes you lose
    Color and form

    You recede into the background
    Lose definition
    And seem to fade

  33. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    When I just a babe, you pulled the blanket
    over your eyes – waited – then popped up
    with a “Peek-a-boo” singing behind your smile.
    The game was played often, our little joke –
    hands held over my eyes – you can’t see me –
    then we would laugh, doing it again.

    You always reappeared, even when I stood
    as an adult, center stage – until
    the day when you slipped behind
    the final curtain – leaving me without reference-
    lost on the stage of life, fumbling lines,
    missing cues – yet, when I stilled
    the chatter of my mind, your words
    echoed from the wings – or perhaps
    more correctly, from behind the scrim –
    that thin veil that divides now from the unknown.
    I know then, you are still here –
    you have not disappeared -

  34. Jezzie

    What a Spectacle!

    Where did he put his glasses?
    They seem to have disappeared.
    He’s searched the whole house
    and even looked under the bed.
    But then when a mirror he passes
    as he went to trim his beard
    he had a shock, my spouse,
    when he found them on his head!

  35. Lori P

    Better Hands Now

    Car radio scans and catches
    only the last fading lines
    enough for memory sense
    of darkened rooms
    and safer times
    you’re loved
    something stronger
    than you
    than life
    remembering a future
    where stepping off
    means security

  36. Jane Shlensky


    In early milk glass fog,
    the trees
    stand half obscured,
    last leaves
    in puddles at their feet.
    They greet
    secretive day. The way
    they wrap
    their heads in cloud,
    you’d think
    no perching birds allowed,
    but we’re
    just biding time until
    a fist
    of sun breaks through
    dense mist.
    And there’s the sky.

    1. PressOn

      This is such a wonderfully evocative piece. It has several arresting images: “milk glass fog:; “wrap / their heads in cloud”; fist / of sun,” each a bit startling and focussing my mind on your imagery all the more. I think this is magnificent.

  37. Jane Shlensky

    Thanks to Robert for another great challenge and to Bill for being a wonderful and helpful laureate and to all you fabulous poets for making my day every day for a month. See you next Wednesday?

    Slipping Away

    We’re in trouble when he disappears
    all the time, and I can’t remember
    when I last saw him.
    Where were you?
    I was right there. Didn’t you see me?
    That last an accusation.
    He knows damned well
    I didn’t see him, else why would I ask.
    Why you always creeping around,
    receding into woodwork?
    Can’t you make some noise
    like that flashy friend of yours?
    Lord, even his hair is loud.
    She fusses at and over him,
    piling high his plate with foods he loves.
    She watches while he eats,
    her mind elsewhere.
    I won’t always be here, she says.

    She calls for him repeatedly,
    but not a peep.
    Then there he is, taller, in uniform.
    What game you playin’ now?
    she wants to know.
    I’ve called you ‘til I’m hoarse.
    Where did you go?
    She’s older than she was, more gray and thin.
    He hadn’t realized the shape she’s in ‘til now.
    I’ve been to war, Grandma,
    almost a year. How long’s a year
    in the great scheme of things?
    Her old eyes factor wars—
    world wars, Korea, Vietnam,
    those desert ones—but they’re over,
    aren’t they? Who is left to fight?
    Dear Lord, you worry me.
    She hugs him close. Come on
    and eat while it’s still warm and good.
    I guess you think I’m slipping,
    and I am. A little more each day.
    One day you’ll come and only
    find an apron and a spoon.
    He kisses her forehead and eats

  38. writinglife16

    Control Disappears

    He yelled at her daily.
    He was in charge.
    Told her to leave.
    Leave him alone and let
    him be.
    He could take care of himself.

    She got yelled at daily.
    She knew it was the illness talking.
    Told to get out his house.
    She came one day and he
    didn’t know her.
    She never left him alone.

  39. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 30
    Prompt: Write a disappearing poem

    Gone, or As If Never

    Kevin tromps through the house,
    flailing his arms and shouting for joy,
    “I made my family disappear!”

    George wonders at the people of Bedford Falls,
    who don’t recognize him,
    chiding him that Bailey Building and Loan tanked
    years ago, finally calling him crazy, when he confronts
    Mary, a spinster librarian.

    What is it about Christmas that makes us reflect
    on the impact we have on other lives, and how
    they impact us? Could it be that One Life,
    supposedly celebrated in December,
    a life that divided history by His birth
    and stirred centuries of controversy by HIs death
    and resurrection,
    loves us and shames us into contemplation,
    so that this one season,
    we consider,
    what makes my life mean something,
    how can I leave a legacy,
    who or what is most essential to me?

    If I were never born, or my family disappeared,
    what would happen to the world?
    What would become of me?
    We watch the movies, we pack Christmas away,
    and we forget to wonder.

    1. Linda Goin

      Wow — thank you all…I’ve really appreciated your feedback this past month, as I was bound and determined to take the time this year to participate. I really have enjoyed your poems, too, and hopefully we’ll stay in touch!

  40. Earl Parsons

    Going, Going, Gone

    Got a worry?
    Got despair?
    Got depression?
    Lost your hair?
    Sign of aging?
    In your genes?
    Going bald?
    What does it mean?

    Do not worry
    Don’t despair
    Don’t get depressed
    It’s only hair
    It may be aging
    It may be genes
    Going bald
    Means more sun screen

  41. Andrew Kreider

    Away in a manger

    Dear Mr Gregory,

    Yesterday my daughter and I stood in line for
    three hours, hoping to get one of your limited edition
    olive wood nativity scenes (Ho Ho Holy Land Amish Collectibles).
    As luck would have it we received the very last one in the store.
    Unfortunately, upon inspection, the set was incomplete – lacking two
    shepherds and the baby Jesus. Being a reasonable man,
    I was willing to overlook the shepherd thing, but I drew
    the line at the Holy Child himself. Your store manager
    not unkindly told us that there were no rain-checks, but that
    he would be happy to replace the missing item
    with something of similar size and value. To this end
    he presented us with a Daffy Duck Pez Dispenser
    from your Disney Classic Christmas Collectibles series.
    At first, I admit to being mortified at the complete
    insensitivity of this gesture. But when we got home,
    I was soon won over by the delight in my daughter’s
    face, who spent the rest of the evening showing her siblings
    what happens when you press on the head of baby Jesus.

    Can’t wait for your Easter Sale!


  42. Julieann

    Disappearing for Now

    Goodbye, adieu
    Until we meet again
    Parting is such sweet sorrow
    But for now I must go
    The sorrow of parting
    Is only surpassed by
    The joy of reuniting
    Happy Trails to you
    God be with you
    Until April

    1. PressOn

      For me, save for “Happy Trails,” this sounds like someone going to Florida or Arizona for the winter, or maybe the Trapp family. It was fun to wonder. Thanks.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Oh, my. We had similar thoughts today, and you did it better. I love reading you, Taylor. I’m still waiting for that collection. This is a wonderful poem.

  43. Michelle Hed

    In a Puff of Pink Smoke

    She was a bit of a drama queen
    who always had something to say,
    if she didn’t make an entrance
    then she made an exit,
    always a show you didn’t have to pay.
    She came to the party
    all decked out in pink
    and didn’t seem to be up
    to her usual high-jinx.
    But then she got going on some
    issue or perceived slight
    and with a slap across his face
    she seemed to glow in pink light
    and she began to pace,
    and Poof! she was gone
    in a puff of pink smoke!

    1. PressOn

      I enjoy contemplating this, both for the image of someone walking around a bend and for teh shape of the poem, which looks like a bend. It also brought to my mind the idea of a fellow who had been on a bender, and needed to sober up.

  44. annell

    The Disappearance
    Each day
    Almost exactly
    The same
    As the day before
    The last of the night
    Still dark
    The sun
    Attempts to rise
    Over the mountain
    The clock in the hall
    Ticks away each minute
    And tomorrow
    You will wonder
    About the disappearance

  45. Dare

    Fall Leaves

    It fell silently
    Just a leaf
    The last one
    clinging to a naked tree
    Just a leaf
    bearing the last vestige of fall
    Leaving us to hunker down
    Midst frigid winter winds
    Dreaming of spring’s
    warm kiss

  46. MLundstedt

    I wrote this one several weeks ago. My head is congested–but not with poetry today. Anyway, I do think this fits the theme today. I wrote it about my grandmother.

    “Running Deer”

    Tall prairie grass whispers
    To gentle wind, its friend,
    “Running Deer was here.
    She ran until the end.”

    “I know,” sighs wind,
    “I blew across her brow.
    I tangled up her hair.
    I sense her absence now.”

    Black earth hears this
    And cannot help but say,
    “She was light and swift,
    and I supported her each day.”

    “How sad,” cries grass,
    “That she won’t run and play.”
    “She’ll run,” says wind,
    “She just won’t run our way.”

  47. uneven steven

    From the bed
    in the room
    you disappear into
    right before you die
    windows diminish
    to mere picture frames
    the world
    an abstract image
    by an unknown artist
    all becoming light
    glinting off a paned
    the sun reflecting
    upon itself
    one last time
    before it’s

    1. uneven steven

      posted too quick – slightly changed version below
      Congratulations to all who participated and thanks to Robert for hosting
      If you haven’t yet and are able I recommend getting his book it’s is a wonderful read that you will keep on hand and reread again

      From the bed
      in the room
      you disappear into
      right before you die
      windows diminish
      to mere picture frames
      the world
      an abstract image
      by an unknown
      all becoming light
      glinting off paned
      the sun reflecting
      upon itself
      one last

  48. Jezzie

    Where has November gone? Our dreaded accounting month end
    quickly came and went and I was looking forward then
    to more creative time spent writing some poems
    after work. However that was not easy
    with my brain bursting with figures.
    But, with the excellent variety
    of different poetry prompts
    from Robert I then got
    back into the swing
    of things and now
    it’s month end

    Thank you Robert.

    1. Linda Goin

      I’m with you on the thanks and the praise. Robert, I appreciate your venue, and hope I can participate more in the near future. You are very much appreciated.

  49. PressOn


    The last of open water slows and freezes
    as tundra swans depart the whitened land
    to take their graces south on breathless breezes
    of crystal air. Lifting a mittened hand
    to shield my eyes from glaring sun and snow,
    I watch them form and go.

    They fly in line, undulating with
    a rippling, rhythmic flow, a wending wand
    of white that slowly fades away, a myth
    in motion high above a silent pond,
    while to the north, opposing their fleeing forms,
    lie waiting winter storms.

    1. Dare

      You paint such stunning beauty with your words.
      I particularly like “a myth in motion high above a silent pond.”
      Thank you for the wonderful images.
      I agree, “December Swans” is awesome!

    2. Linda Goin

      Brilliant images, lovely words, “Lifting a mittened hand/to shield my eyes from glaring sun and snow,” is a great way to introduce yourself into the poem, so subtle and soft. Thank you so much for all your poems this month!