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2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

Nine days may not seem like much, but hey, we’re now 30% of the way through November, and that’s a lot of percents, right? We’re making real progress, and I hope making some real poems. By the way, I want to thank people who purchased a copy of Solving the World’s Problems earlier this week; it nearly sold out on Amazon. Woot! Hope you’ll all consider participating in the free challenge for $500 (click for guidelines).

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The Other (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Some possible titles may include: “The Other Side of the Story,” “The Other Brother,” “The Other Hand,” or whatever else you concoct. And remember: I really don’t care if you bend or break the prompt in your favor. My prompts are just a starting place.

Here’s my attempt at “The Other (blank)” poem:

“The Other Shooting”
-for Jessica Ghawi

I’ve felt death at my elbow
since Toronto balancing
my living with my not dying
as if it could be tonight
rising with the loaded moon.


Fit writing into your life. Even with all the blogging, the day job, the laundry, the social life, the being a human being, etc. 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 can’t believe how a person can just miss out on a shooting in Toronto mall only to be a victim in Colorado, but that’s what happened to Jessica Ghawi (here’s more on her story). Brewer 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) and who has been on a roll this month writing to his prompts (go, you!). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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204 thoughts on “2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

  1. dandelionwine

    The Other Night

    I entered through the doorway
    just as you were departing. We
    met briefly, full with our own
    lives, and though our arms weren’t
    free to embrace, I recognized
    a part of me there in your being
    as I honored you within mine.

  2. bjholmes

    It does not speak
    it cannot be heard
    but the sounds that it makes
    seem almost absurd.

    It does not make sense
    it only conflicts
    with the words that are spoken
    no way to predict.

    Positive…no, negative.
    This way…no that.
    It’s no wonder my mind races
    with the constant oppposite chat.

  3. Amy

    The Other Side

    The other side of the river
    watches the inexorable melt

    with contempt, the bowers
    hold fast to sodden branches

    while their echoes sway
    gloriously, free from winter’s

    white shackles. If only they
    had been planted on the

    sunlit western shore, among
    the benches and green commons

    instead of cowering in the gloom
    of the craggy eastern hillside.

    Perhaps the breeze will bear
    a kindness, lofting seeds

    across chilly waters, where they
    might live again, in limelight.

  4. bartonsmock

    -the other poverties-

    wolf, pig, childhood.

    a bit
    of brother

    the creative

    all in my father’s
    were other

    (where mother
    no one)

    (but faced)
    with a poverty
    of disguise
    the dog
    ate homework
    I couldn’t

  5. mjdills

    The Other War

    no bombs
    no explosions

    deadly silence
    common lies
    fires lit deep within that burn remotely

    rubble in the dark
    that trips you up
    and leaves you sprawled
    while others land upon your back and
    break your bones

  6. foodpoet

    The Other Women

    Scribe to Brother

    She who walks between
    Is on the river of history
    She sails away
    And I miss her glory
    But on the river afloat adrift
    She can cause no current ripple.

    Your dance with he who walks in light
    Is ongoing and he is full of peace
    With strength.
    I must learn this new dance
    I don’t know the steps.

  7. laurakutney

    The Other Side of a Breath

    He breathes for her
    Her hair, near transparent, & golden in the sun
    One of her safe parts
    It frames her exquisite, radiant face
    But he can not see it

    His love is the color of day light
    He can not help himself
    Although she has rough, thorny elements;
    Her hurting places
    In the glow of sun, her beautiful aspects distract

    Her shadows cast over her sharp rough regions
    Her bright places illuminate

    How can he help himself?
    She is a balance of tough & delicate
    He only sees a save haven
    Perfect for love to dwell & thrive

    He continues to breathe for her
    To keep her afloat

    Laura Kutney, November 11, 2013

  8. BezBawni


    We’re young, we’re happy, we’re alive –
    the other me, the other you.
    Of simple joys we need a few,
    we have our dreams, we plan, we strive,

    you help me cook, I learn to drive,
    and every day we love anew,
    we’re young, we’re happy, we’re alive –
    the other me, the other you.

    On country fields we dance and jive,
    we wake up in the morning dew,
    with rings of grass the other you
    proclaims the other me your wife,
    we’re young, we’re happy, we’re alive.

  9. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 9
    Prompt: Write a poem entitled “The Other ___”
    The Other Hannah

    Twenty-five years ago, she started a quilt,
    for her baby girl Hannah.
    With a toddler son to care for,
    the quilt pieces, bright and soft, ended
    up shelved, forgotten.

    Fourteen years ago, a terrible call,
    news no one wants to hear about a child:
    cartwheeling Hannah collapsed at age eleven,
    tiny defect undiagnosed, yet enough to stop her heart.
    Her parents continued to hope in Christ.

    Today, the surviving son, opening shower gifts
    with his expectant wife, unwraps the quilt,
    finally complete, souvenired with tiny needle rust spots,
    God’s gift come full circle,
    as the other Hannah grows in his wife’s womb.

  10. bjzeimer


    You remember
    the expression on her face
    when she laughed—her
    two front teeth that
    you realize, now, sixty years later,
    looked like a rabbit’s.
    You wonder if you could
    Google her name and find a story
    about her in your hometown
    newspaper, maybe in the obits,
    you hope, maybe Karma came
    ‘round. You remember the crisp
    sheets of writing paper she
    pulled out, her brand new lead
    pencils. You remember the
    names she called you, how you
    felt your face burning just before
    you ran after her, how both
    of you went ‘round and ‘round
    until you caught hold of her coat
    and when she fell on the muddy
    playground, she told the
    teacher that you ruined her
    new coat. You even remember
    her name, but you won’t write it in
    your poem, because somehow
    the other bully might come
    from somewhere out of your past
    and hurt you again.

  11. julie e.


    with her life
    of mother/sister/wife
    of being needed
    and teaching wrong from right
    for a story
    with a more romantic end
    out her seaside
    for 5 acres in the wheat
    and adoring
    this other woman she’d become
    at least
    she was happy

    (til she wasn’t.)

    1. MichelleMcEwen

      Wasn’t in love with this, so I added more to it.

      The Other Side of the Tracks

      My Latin lover
      lives on the other side

      of the tracks

      where some go
      and don’t come back

      where the houses lean
      and the boys are mean

      but not always to their women

      where the bikes are stolen
      and the Jesuses golden

      where the fruit is cheap
      but just as sweet.

  12. Susan Schoeffield


    The one dog, the Labrador, is long in the leg,
    has an gentle demeanor and is eager to please
    The other dog, the Basset Hound, is shaped like an egg,
    incredibly stubborn and a bit of a tease.

    The Lab stares right through us with please-love-me eyes
    and prances around in his shiny black jacket.
    To look at the Basset Hound, one might surmise
    a vision of sadness in a lemon/cream blanket.

    The one runs in great strides with feet off the ground,
    a bit of a sissy who hides behind growls.
    The other just waddles, no rush for this hound
    and shakes down the rafters whenever she howls.

    They’re not so much different than they might seem.
    They both despise bath time and bite at the suds.
    When chasing the cats, they’re a wonderful team
    and together these pups are the greatest of buds.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  13. Nancy Posey

    The Other Mother

    Her loss, my gain,
    a wanted child
    long awaited

    filling my empty
    spaces, that place
    near my heart
    where before no child
    would grow.

    Does she ache
    at the loss? Did she
    ever believe
    she had a choice?

    (I’m in my nanowrimo groove here,channeling a character.)

    1. julie e.

      Oh I really appreciate this one as both a foster mother and an adoptive mother. Now I want to see what you’re writing for nanowrimo. (which just impresses the heck out of me that you can even do that!)

  14. rdpater

    The other jacket

    The other color jacket I have is jean. Both are from friends and both make me friends. One makes me feel like Michael j fox when he was traveling through time. The other makes me feel like my best friends step sister. Depending on the weather and the day of the week I wear one or the other. Right now I’m wearing jean in the cold on a Saturday. Tomorrow may be time for the one I call brown and the world calls red. Depends on whether or not it rains.

  15. hohlwein

    The Other Path

    Sometimes the entire course of one’s life
    depends on

    whether you catch that taxi
    trip on a sycamore ball
    stay sick one day more
    wait five minutes
    leave too soon
    speak your mind, for once,
    in public, speaking truth
    to power.

    If you invite someone to come along
    so you are not alone you will linger
    with them over Irish Coffee and not see
    someone slipped on a sycamore ball,
    someone you would have then met
    and loved until the universe

    But none of this is interesting.

    The life unlived
    in a different state
    and state of being.

    The meals untasted
    or the books unread
    or the way you would have
    scraped the gunk off the plates
    had you become a printmaker,
    somewhere where it snowed,
    where you would have had children
    a faith of some kind –
    at least a different discipline.

    Every moment is the same.
    It’s a wonder we don’t go mad.
    I have not yet left the house today.
    And that other life that won’t now manifest
    Dissipates as risen dew
    and my mentor in how to live, how to be,
    has finished his pancakes,
    paid the bill and, just barely,
    made the green light.

  16. Missy McEwen

    (Revision: I hated the other form and changed a few words. I feel better now)

    The Other Kind of Love

    A son can’t touch, love a mother the way
    a man can. There was a time when the love of her young

    son was enough. So busy loving
    and caring for him, she didn’t have time to think

    about that other kind of love—the love only
    a man can give—and about how a man’s hands can

    make you forget the rent’s _been_ due and the electricity
    is about to be shut off, how a touch, a kiss, a look, a word

    can make everything alright and oh how she needs
    that now, but it’s been ages since a man has

    slept and loved in her bed, ages since she has heard a man
    say she was looking so fine. Her son says she looks pretty

    in the dress she bought and this means so much
    to her, but it’s not the same.

    1. Missy McEwen

      (This poem getting on my nerves, but changed it again :) )

      The Other Kind of Love

      There was a time when the love of her young
      son was enough. So busy loving

      and caring for him, she didn’t have time to think
      about that other kind of love—the love only

      a man can give—about how a man’s hand can
      make you forget the rent’s _been_ due and the electricity

      is about to be shut off, how a touch, a kiss, a look, a word
      can make everything alright and oh how she needs

      that now, but it’s been ages since a man has
      slept and loved in her bed, ages since she has heard a man

      say she’s looking so damn fine. Her son says she looks pretty
      in the dress she bought and this means so much

      to her, but it’s not the same. A son can’t touch, love
      a mama the way a man can.

  17. Amanda Oaks


    I opened You’re Stupid & all I could hear was her laughter.
    I opened her laughter & saw she had silver spoons for teeth.
    I opened the spoons & found a flood of pills in her mother’s mouth.
    I opened the pills & found loneliness sitting on a sunporch.
    I opened the loneliness & found my grandmother.
    I opened my grandmother & found my fears.
    I opened my fears & found a well-crafted wall of illusion.

    (Gratitude to Rachel McKibbens for her prompt from last April that inspired the nesting idea.)

  18. seingraham


    in life there is reality
    and there is the other
    the unacknowledged
    of everyday sadness
    that permeates
    just below breath
    and consciousness

    it’s not that we all lead
    lives of such quiet desperation
    no matter what that
    famous person wrote
    but there is a commonality
    of pain that lives
    within most

    it’s as if we’re all
    given the same template
    for living to start with
    and in some ways
    we resemble a mine
    with seams
    of various valuable
    minerals running
    through the makeup
    of our lives

    the way
    our lives unfold
    depends largely
    upon the way
    we learn to manage
    the mining that goes on
    or doesn’t go on
    and always
    there still is
    the other…

  19. Missy McEwen

    The Other Kind of Love

    A son can’t touch, love a mother
    the way a man can. There was a time when
    the love of her young son was enough. So busy
    loving him, caring for him she didn’t have time
    to think about the other kind of love—the love only
    a man can give—and about how a man’s hands can
    make you forget the rent’s _been_ due and the electricity
    is about to be shut off, how a touch, a kiss, a look, a word
    can make everything alright and oh how she needs that
    now, but it’s been ages since a man has stepped foot
    in her house, ages since she has heard a man say she
    was looking so fine. Her son says she looks pretty
    in the dress she bought and this means so much to her,
    but it’s just not the same.

    1. julie e.

      This is really good, but I do like your most recent version the best with the added repetition at the end and the formatting of it. :) (since I’m reading backwards, top of the page to the bottom.)

  20. mrvanessarose

    The Other 1

    Protecting land,
    People, indigenous
    And threatened
    The defense of a rosebud

    A gentle liason, a keeper
    Of peace, a reminder of
    Beauty, the potential
    To flourish

    Your resting place rests
    On paper as the last best place
    But I know you’re much
    Businer than that

  21. Sara McNulty

    The Other Woman

    Wall Street boomed,
    gone was the gloom
    like blues filling each room.
    Sun shined on the newly groomed
    man who wore a bloom
    in his lapel. He was consumed
    by his own charm, and the perfumed
    ladies, one of whom
    he chose as his mistress.
    She thought she was blessed,
    and seemed to not be distressed
    that this man was married, as she’d guessed.
    His marriage was over, he confessed.
    She felt a spark of hope in her breast.
    Then came that night when she had to digest
    the news, his wife was pregnant, and he was stressed.
    For the ‘other’ woman, a sorrowful song,
    but a lesson learned that would keep her strong.

  22. bethwk

    What if the other name of God is Magic?
    If the other name for Magic is Science?
    Is Wonder, is Awe, is Hope?

    What if the other name of Goddess is Art?
    Is Music, is wailing, is howling, is bells,
    is the sound of the wind in the branches?
    The Other Names

    What if you call out Oh Beauty! Oh Marvel!
    and the Voice Ineffable answers, Yes. I Am.

    Or this: What if the other name for Divine is
    I Want, is I Need, is I Can’t Take It Anymore?
    And you call it out and the Mystery
    at the Heart of Everything answers
    I Am Here.

  23. Julieann

    The Other Woman

    I saw it coming
    I couldn’t stop it
    You were so excited
    Should I even try?

    You have so looked forward
    To this day with joy
    Yet I faced it not with joy
    But with dread

    What was I to do?
    How would I handle it?
    For so long you had been mine
    And mine alone

    How could I share
    Why would I want to
    Knowing she’ll steal your heart
    Knowing you’ll give it gladly

    Today we’ve reached this new place
    The past is gone, no longer
    Is it just you and I
    We’ll have to consider the other woman

    She came in the night
    Earlier than we figured
    Ten toes, ten fingers, a lusty yell
    This other woman, is ours to love

  24. Connie Peters

    The Other Islands

    Everyone has skiffs in Ketchikan
    so they can boat from island to island—
    Gravina, Annette, Pennock Islands,
    but none like Revillagigedo.
    Skiffs rest in its outstretched docks
    like babes cradled in Mama’s arms.

  25. Cameron Steele

    The Other Dog

    is younger
    and sloppy cute
    brown velvet ears
    twitching tail
    a nose that’s always
    in some lap or the
    dishwasher if
    mom left it open.
    We love him
    well with exaggerated
    sighs and
    half-angry shouts
    “Mousse get your
    paws off the damn table”
    with fond whispers on nights
    when we find him
    stretched out
    on the oriental rug
    legs kicking in
    the air as he dreams
    “that crazy brute!”
    He’s not calm like
    our older boy
    he doesn’t sit
    when he’s told,
    he barks when
    we try to sleep
    and I swear he’ll
    never learn
    to leave my heels alone.
    But every morning
    when he yawns at
    my feet, winds like
    a cat between my legs,
    he reminds me this:
    The sloppiness of love
    is also what makes it beautiful.

  26. DWong

    The Other Day

    Standing on the quai
    I looked away
    as the train came to stop
    in front of me.
    The sound of metal wheels
    grinding on the rails
    stabbed shivers through my chest.
    It was, after all,
    just the other day that
    I was mangled
    underneath and in between
    the train, its wheels, and the blasted rails.

  27. DanielAri

    “The other West”

    My friend, John, is dead. What a weird thing.
    Seems like I just saw him on Facebook—
    the place I always see him—posting
    that he was seeking a new kind of work—
    and now, here’s Facebook telling me John’s

    defunct. In college we’d gotten drunk
    together, talked French philosophy,
    listened to and played classic rock songs.
    I had been a social butterfly,
    but I thought we were intertwining

    for some version of eternity.
    Ours was not a bond that remained tight.
    “I want to massage your meninges.”
    He devised that phrase. We all loved it.
    I recalled it to him when we talked

    again, many years later, online.
    Jesus, John, we’re only 45.


  28. De Jackson

    The Other Shore

    It’s been days since her feet
    have felt anything but waves
    and storm-tossed salt. Her
    fault, perhaps, for leaving
    those last hourglass sands.

    Her hands long for un
    -reflected sky, land’s
    final spill, unsway.

    Lulled loose, still
    lost, she dreams
    of dove wings,
    olive branches.


  29. Jacqueline Hallenbeck


    You’ve all heard of Rudolph; how he saved the day.
    He guided that sleigh from New York to Bombay.
    And all the children got their presents.

    But there’s another reindeer way out in the sticks
    who wears a sombrero; whose accent is thick.
    He’ll make sure you get your presents.

    His name is Kleber; he lives up to his name.
    He knows Santa’s forgetful; he isn’t the same.
    He’s intent on getting you presents.

    St Nick’s getting tired and quite long in the tooth.
    Might forget where you live and that is the truth.
    And you just might not get your presents.

    But with Kleber aboard, he won’t forget your address.
    And if he happens to do so, Kleber has GPS.
    This year you’ll definitely get your presents.

  30. cbwentworth

    The Other Life

    Urban landscape,
    sidewalk and tar
    Crowds of people,
    silence can’t breathe
    The city screams,
    I fade away

    Lost in the wild,
    sand at my feet
    No one for miles,
    single heartbeat
    The wind whispers,
    calling my name

  31. PKP

    The Other Novel

    You know that one
    the one that has been
    bubbling in your gut
    since you could read
    that one
    the one that will have
    them whispering your name
    long after you are dust
    on their lips

  32. Dan

    The Other Lovers:

    The other lovers – and endless list. Lying likes lisps upon my tongue.
    Names, I refuse to repeat for fear of judgment from peers.
    Not practical in the slightest sense. Perhaps idiosyncratic in insanity’s eyesight.
    The dominant ones I desire to dominate. Remove them from positions of power
    with the obsolete force of lust.

    Graceless bitterness – the only complete feeling; injecting sour thoughts
    into the crevices of jealous minds.
    Binds erode the skin of my wrists and tie me to burning chairs at the centre
    of isolated rooms. While the whip of the hose leaves no marks despite the thousand lashes.

    Is there any escape from the synthetic machines I crafted within the twisted corners of my imagination.
    Once love, now only relentless envy for those I would never be with
    despite how much I tricked myself into thinking otherwise.


  33. Broofee

    The Other Life

    The other life I lead
    In a place not so far away physically
    A place where quirk and imagination
    Go hand in hand.

    The other life I lead
    Is filled with happy faces
    Instead of misery
    It is also filled with thinking people
    Instead of everyday idiots.

    The other life I lead
    Makes me happy when I talk to people
    When I walk down the street
    When I open the newspaper.

    The other life I lead
    Gives me freedom to be
    Whatever I want to be
    Gives me freedom
    To pursue any idea.

    The other life I lead
    Is unfortunately just in my head
    Where I try to escape from
    Small mindedness.

  34. Domino

    The Other Shoe

    I knew that things were
    going a little too well.
    You hear it drop too?

    My Other, Better Life

    The one where I made all the right choices.
    I think about it all the time.
    If I’d had a different childhood
    and my parent’s hadn’t divorced.
    If we’d stayed in one town, in one house
    instead of moving every other year.
    If I’d gone to college the way I’d planned.
    If I’d married the right man the first time around.

    I think with chagrin on all of the dumb decisions,
    and gaffes,
    and poor choices.
    And think of my other life, the one where
    I’d never made the mistakes I’ve made.
    And for half a second I dream about how
    perfect it would have been.

    Until I remember how much I’ve learned
    from the crazy, unpredictable, flawed life I’ve led.
    Then I remember that wisdom comes from
    learning from those mistakes.
    And I would probably hate the shallow,
    vain, insipid self I would be
    without those decisions,
    gaffes, and

  35. elishevasmom

    The Other Way
    (A View of Alzheimer’s)

    There is a common adage that goes,
    “If anybody ever told you life was
    fair, he lied”.

    All of the latest studies on
    Alzheimer’s are beating the same drum.
    And that’s a good thing. It amplifies
    the song they’re singing.

    They say that by doing simple
    things (that we already know we
    should be doing), it is likely we
    can side-step this scourge altogether.

    (To ignore advice like that would be
    like diving off the cliffs in Acapulco
    without knowing how to swim.) So
    what are these simple things?

    Things like exercise (that seems to be
    a preventive for everything, hello).
    And, keep challenging your mind.
    And, eat a balanced diet (seriously?)

    Maybe the increase in cases of
    Alzheimer’s has something to do
    with our cultural lifestyle button
    set on self-destruct.

    But to look the other way,
    there’s my dad. Exercise?
    How about chopping wood?
    Does that qualify?

    Since the late fifties, my
    folks have lived in wood-burning
    homes (fireplace or wood stove).
    So chopping wood has been

    as natural to Daddy as taking out
    the trash. If he heard a chain saw
    while out taking a walk, he’d be
    right over there asking for the logs.

    And this continued up until three
    days before my 88 year old parents
    moved this fall. And eating right?
    I’m not sure my mom even knows

    how to prepare an unbalanced meal.
    Then there was the volunteer
    work. He had been a carpenter,
    and would offer his help either

    in the planning or by actually
    picking up his hammer and saw.
    So, I think he was so busy with
    living a full life that when

    the Powers That Be were handing
    out free passes against getting
    he was looking the other way.

    Ellen Knight 11.9.13
    write a “the other _______” poem for PAD 11.13

  36. Mywordwall


    The other side of the bed is a rich place
    holding all I wished for in life
    a kind heart, loving arms, and a pillar of strength
    There’s no bad day that I turned to that side
    and not find solace
    or a good day that I looked its way
    and not find the day doubly joyous
    That other side of the bed
    makes my dreams real
    I just wonder –
    how does my own side
    make the other feel?

  37. LeAnneM

    The Other Direction

    Astronomers predict that Comet Ison
    Will survive its loop around the sun

    What will it look like
    After nearly grazing the surface of a star

    Will it have cracked apart,
    Its remnants spread across the sky

    On December mornings, if we look up
    Will there be glare of gas and dust

    To remind us of
    What happens to uncareful things

  38. Linda Goin

    The Other Sides of Bessie

    Baltimore Bessie was born in Cardiff,
    the one in Maryland, not in Wales;
    but, that’s where her daddy’s parents
    were from, on the other side of the sea.
    Blue-eyed Bessie read romance novels,
    wore blue plaid, blue stripes, blue dots.
    She would eat Chesapeake crab ’til her teeth
    fell out, on the other side of her dreams.
    Short, stocky Bessie fell in love with a boy,
    a long tall drink from the south.
    He chased her ‘cross the Mason-Dixon line
    to the other side that of ‘That War.’
    Just fine, said Bessie’s mom,
    who was Irish, not Welsh. Go away
    and stay in that bed you built
    on the other side of our hearth
    Blue skies, blue sighs, and babies were born
    on the other side of five years; but
    big-dreaming Bessie took every chance
    she had to visit family in the north.
    Weddings worked, funerals, too, but none
    of her sisters strayed to stay with her
    on the other side of their lives.
    Blue-haired Bessie is the woman I know,
    the granny who loved without doubt. But,
    sad old Bessie hid her feelings real well
    on the other side of her heart.

  39. Walt Wojtanik


    A needed escape for two
    planned and expected,
    they had rejected conventional
    getaways. Nowadays, castaways

    play it smart. They play it by heart!
    He and she on a spree, packing –
    stacking the deck in their favor,
    a chance to savor life as it was meant

    to be. Free, unstressed and untested.
    Dressed for a successful hiatus
    for the two of us to reconnect
    and reject any notion that this ocean

    that surrounds us completely
    finds us sweetly lost and “stranded”
    hand and hand in the sand
    on the other side of the island.

    She smiles and the temperate nature
    her inherent warmth bathes me
    with the salubrious rays that emanate
    from well within her heart. I start

    to construct a hut, a hideaway to stay
    well hidden from the elements
    and native prying eyes, under azure skies
    on our island for two. No “little buddies”,

    no bloodstained volley balls. Not a single
    luxury, just my lady and me free as the breeze
    In tropical climes writing rhymes of love
    while stars above illuminate and seal our fate.

    It is great to know we are here solely
    for the other to rescue lost treasures
    and take our pleasures in the closeness
    that is shared. Signal flares have been doused

    no emergency exists when lips are kissed
    and all the rescue needed was my each other.
    She saves me time and again on this island.
    A solitary place for two, we who have taken

    this journey hand in hand on the sand of our
    isle. Smiles and more on the shore on the bright
    side; the other side of the island where living on
    love and coconuts and all that we packed will suffice!

  40. Bruce Niedt

    The Other Way

    I’m a late swinger. I don’t react
    to the ball till it’s almost past me,
    if I react at all. If I hear leather slap
    behind me, I know it’s a strike.
    I don’t even have to hear the umpire’s call.
    If I manage to get wood on the ball,
    it dribbles toward shortstop or third base,
    an easy out. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a bloop
    into shallow left, before the fielders
    catch up to it. I “go the other way”,
    as they say in the game. I’m really no threat,
    me and my weak left-handed bat.
    If only I could pull the ball, drive it down
    the first-base line, or better yet,
    launch it over the right field fence,
    man, that would be something.
    But I’m doomed to a life of swinging late.
    I miss opportunities, and by the time
    I jump at them, they are already past.

  41. Phileejo

    The Other Side of the Wall

    We’re trapped
    Inside these walls,
    Ignorant of the world.
    It must be better on the other
    Side, right? “Danger resides on the outside!”
    Is what they say. I think they’re lying.
    We live, though we aren’t free.
    I will take my

  42. Lori P

    The Other Occupant

    I wake up in a different place
    every night when she goes to sleep
    whatever was on her mind
    forms my surroundings
    her friends and foe dance around me
    faces blending together
    locations shifting like sand
    purple and telephones and freshness
    door chimes and Oliver and orange
    as I struggle to make sense of it all
    to pick out the story she could write
    or what she can say to her boss
    because it is my job to work
    through it for her, to allow her
    to heal from the day’s noise
    I suffer through this bundle
    of tangled colors, threads of chaos
    so that she may live in a straight line
    when I end the dream and tell her to
    wake up

  43. Jane Shlensky

    The Other Me

    The other me I let you see
    dresses in smiles and kindly fun.
    She knows no stranger, trouble, danger;
    she is friends with everyone.
    She seldom utters words that bite,
    or stays upset into the night,
    or wishes she could once be right,
    this one I let you see.
    When you judge me but find no fault
    or praise me for the things I do,
    I take it with a grain of salt,
    for you don’t know me like I do.

  44. Margie Fuston

    The Other Woman

    I can see how
    you thought you were with me
    the other night
    when I took a scalpel
    to my chest
    and showed you
    my inner workings.
    You said it was cute
    when I told you how,
    I stay up at night,
    planning over and over
    the conversations I might have
    the next day.
    You laughed
    when I told you stories
    about my cats.
    The kind of stories Cosmo
    tells you
    not to mention.
    You held my hand,
    not my thigh,
    or my hip,
    when I told you
    my last boyfriend
    left me
    for a better version
    of myself.
    You might have thought
    that was me,
    but that was another woman,
    untamed and bare.
    I’m not sure how she escaped
    her attic,
    but I promise you,
    you’ll never see her again.
    I’ve changed
    the locks.

  45. elishevasmom

    btw, Robert, an amazing job at packing so much emotion into so few words.
    Also, congratulations to Misky for being chosen over at “We Write Poems” to be the prompter of the month.
    You go girl!

  46. Jane Shlensky

    Other Moons

    My students take me hiking hills,
    well, mountains with pagodas, steps
    built in to make for climbing ease.
    We’ll view the moon from a high place.

    Along the way, vendors set up
    their snacks and toys along the paths
    for thirsty peckish customers
    worn out with effort, needing rest.

    I’m taken to a favorite stall
    with pans and pans of chicken feet,
    barbecued claws grasping the night.
    “We love these,” says one of my friends.

    But I do calculations fast,
    each pan must hold two hundred feet.
    Where are those breasts and thighs and wings?
    Where are the drumsticks, tender, sweet?

    “We Chinese enjoy this snack,”
    they say devouring skin from bones.
    They won’t allow themselves to think
    or unimagine chicken fried.

    Here distribution’s gone awry,
    has plucked the moon out of the sky.
    Dark night intensifies my task,
    when questions loom that they won’t ask.

    They tell me communism’s great,
    a claw and rice ball on each plate,
    but somewhere fat cats eat the meat,
    leaving the people chicken feet.

  47. elishevasmom

    The Other Side: Act Two

    Back in ’95, I wrote a poem—
    went like this:

    The Other Side

    “Watch out!”, they say.
    “It has a way of sneaking up on you!”

    Well, I don’t think so,
    because they won’t let it.
    Already, a full five years before,
    people start warning you,
    reminding you.
    “You’re getting closer…”

    And then, in that last year
    it’s all you can do to
    get through it
    without hearing:

    “How do you feel?”
    and, “Those aches hang around a bit longer, huh?”
    and, “How’s your memory holding up these days?”
    and, “What, you’re still doing that?!”

    Then there’s The Crisis.
    What have you done?
    What haven’t you done?
    Who are you, anyway?
    And, do you even care?

    So, after all this build-up,
    and all this apprehension,
    and all this anticipation,
    I stepped across the threshold.

    And hey, is THIS what the
    other side of forty looks like?
    Well, you’d better step
    right out of my way.
    ‘Cause me?
    I’m just getting’ warmed up!
    * * * * *

    Well, these days the mantra is
    “sixty is the new forty”.
    And whereas it all may not have fit then,
    now it fits like a glove.
    And I don’t mean a golf glove either.
    I was thinking more of the
    arthritis support variety.

    Ellen Knight 11.9.13
    write a “the other _______” poem for PAD 11.13

  48. Glory


    She smiles, crimson lips
    parted to show pearly teeth.
    Her arms are around my neck,
    her skin soft as silk
    smells of lavender.

    Today her mouth’s grim,
    tight, a slash in her pale face
    Her hands are clenched, her knuckles
    show white to the bone
    waiting – to strike

  49. Earl Parsons

    The Other ….
    (a Haiku string)

    The other day I
    Fell into a rabbit hole
    Into Wonderland

    The other world seemed
    Just a little different
    Or maybe a lot

    The other creatures
    Didn’t seem to understand
    Why I was so strange

    I thought the other
    Creatures were the strangest things
    I had ever seen

    The other world then
    Disappeared when I awoke
    Chili makes strange dreams

  50. inbetweenthelines

    The other reason

    The one no one will know
    The one that eats you up inside
    The one that keeps you up at night

    Like waking up an realizing it wasn’t a dream
    With your hands tied behind your back
    It holds you back, and ties you down

    The one that pushes people away
    The one that leaves you in the dark
    With nowhere to go

    It leaves a knot in your throat
    And a void in your heart

    The other reason is not a reason at all,
    but a fear

  51. Jane Shlensky

    The Other Outcomes

    In this one, you are fully grown
    with two young boys that look like you.
    One runs away; one rides your neck.
    They laugh as you do, hug me close.

    Sometimes you’re sixteen, king of angst
    and giving me long worried nights,
    but we know if we weather through,
    there’s love beneath the frets and fights.

    In one vision, you’re smart and fun—
    an athlete, artist, thinking man;
    when other people look at me,
    they think I’m wonderful as you.

    But even if you’re moody, strange,
    you love your mother every time.
    We have such fun and talk and dream
    of possibilities to claim.

    I have to reckon a new me
    had you been born, my little boy.
    How would the world I wandered through
    have varied with you by my side?

    Would I still know your father now?
    Would you have glued our aching hearts?
    Would I like who I might have been?
    Could I have played my current part?

    The world is paved with might-have-beens,
    like sweet stars blinking in the night.
    Imagination never ends,
    and that is why I write.

  52. De Jackson

    The Other Time You Smiled

    I hung it in my pocket
    for a rainy day, but
    I think I shall let you
    keep this one for yourself – all
    those smooth teeth are sharp
    and I keep cutting my fingers.

    The other time you called
    I couldn’t get to the phone
    fast enough, tripped over the
    chord and the cat and the
    couch and landed flat with
    a breathless hello. This time
    I counted syllables between
    each ring, breaths lost before
    bending my ear to your

    The other time you said
    there was no other time,
    no other one, no other
    -ness to that which we
    are, I held up truth and
    proof, and you melted
    both with your shadow
    smile spreading

    The other time you told me I
    was beautiful, I didn’t have any
    reason not to believe you, but
    oh now,
         I do.


  53. Jezzie

    The Other Dog

    I had two dogs, one was called Jezebel.
    She was a madam, but she was beautiful.
    The other was her litter sister, but she was good.
    and she always did exactly what she should.
    Jez always had to be first to get her walk,
    or she would bark so much, my neighbours would talk.
    The other was resigned to stay home and wait
    so she got her dinner first on her plate.
    Jezebel would never leave my side
    “Where’s the other dog?” I often cried,
    because I missed her. In she came
    as if she thought that was her name.
    Sadly, my Jezzie passed away this year
    and I did more than shed a tear.
    I wondered how the other dog would cope,
    or if she would just pine and mope.
    But the other dog took on a new lease of life,
    not having to suffer any more sibling strife.

  54. De Jackson

    The Other Side of Franklin

    Mama says don’t cross that street
    and don’t look the man on the corner
    in the eye but I like his big boots. His
    eyes look tired and I wonder who took
    his smile.

    Mama says don’t cross that street
    and don’t let those dirty children
    borrow your ball, but they don’t have
    one and I wonder why we can’t all
    be friends.

    Mama says don’t cross that street,
    it’s not safe, can’t you hear the
    sirens? Someone’s done another
    bad thing but I bet their mama will
    forgive them.

    Mama says don’t cross that street,
    and so most days I just sit on the side
    -walk and think about all those people
    in the other houses, and make up
    happy stories.

    Mama says don’t cross that street,
    but today my feet don’t want to
    obey, and I think I might walk that
    extra mile in my very own new
    dirty shoes.


  55. Yolee

    The Other Man

    I get impatient when he’s late, and at times I’ll
    peer between the white plantation slats. I want
    him to chill and eat when dinner is two degrees
    departed from burning his mouth. He wrestles
    after school with his classmates, attends to
    other duties as life assigned, and then arrives
    here to tackle homework. He’s a growth spurt
    away from being not just another a man in
    love’s meditation. For 18 years my brown eyed
    son has been stretching the womb in my heart.

  56. Michelle Hed

    The Other Side of the Blank

    What will they pick?
    Something unexpected –
    surprising you
    with their twist.

    What will they pick?
    Something expected –
    nodding your head
    in agreement.

    What will they pick?
    Something that seems unrelated,
    until you read on
    wishing you had thought that way.

    What will they pick?
    The unexpected, the expected,
    the related, the unrelated,
    the barest connection –
    the whisper of something different,
    no connection at all…
    What will they pick?
    It’s unknown
    until you read them all.

  57. annell

    The Other Day
    Not today
    But the other day
    Not tomorrow
    The other day
    Always the best day
    Either to think about
    Or to remember
    Always better than this day
    Funny how it works
    When this day
    Is all we have

  58. Andrew Kreider

    Vindaloo Interview

    Other than the chicken
    how was the interview?
    I reckon that I had
    a good hour before
    I started feeling bad.

    Other than the chicken
    it went great! I answered
    all their questions about
    those pictures on Facebook.
    I’ve really got no doubt,

    other than the chicken,
    I would have nailed the job.
    But things changed subtly
    when they saw me start to
    cry uncontrollably.

    Other than the chicken
    I could have ordered steak
    or even some tofu.
    But no! I got cocky
    with Chicken Vindaloo!

  59. gl86

    The Other Earring

    A black velvet gift box springs open
    And two tasteful teardrops are twinkling
    “Gosh,” I gush with gleaming eyes,
    confirming my sincere surprise.

    But the earrings hang heavily
    And their weight feels oppressive
    A symbol of status or eternity?
    Neither, I suppose. I lost one.

  60. Misky

    The Other Side of Fire

    fire is love
    fire can burn
    fire is alive
    fire is the name of the game

    fire is born, again and again
    fire is burning, still
    fire is a witnesses
    fire is a tongue

    fire is a tear drop
    fire has will
    fire burns blue
    fire is irrelevant if it burns

    fire is a spirit
    fire can be small
    fire is born, again and again
    fire is still, burning

    fire is heat
    it doesn’t need a wick
    fire is dead but not extinct
    fire is a symbol

    fire is an event
    fire is war
    fire is your heart
    fire is a spark

    fire is the reason that a candle exists
    fire is speech
    fire is love
    fire is a blow

    fire is hot and relatively cool
    fire is poor
    fire is blue
    fire is burning still, yet still

  61. Jerry Walraven

    “The Other Time we Danced”

    Today was a dancing day,
    winds swirl’d in from
    and the ornamental grasses
    began their intricate
    The last leaves
    which clung to the river birch
    crashed the party,
    ignoring the
    “Grasses Only”
    The grasses stopped,
    at first timid
    in the presence
    of the interlopers
    but soon the wind
    blows anew
    and the grasses see–
    we all move
    we all dance
    in the wind.

  62. Dare

    The Other Winner

    Beyond exhaustion
    Lungs heave in searing gasps
    Lie down before I faint!

    I did it!
    Too tired to feel joy…
    The other guy finished first
    But I won

  63. barbara_y

    the other face: a googlism

    the other face is smooth or saw textured depending on the grade and customer preference
    the other face is finished and a did a couple color variations
    the other face is lustrous and unsculptured
    the other face is finished and a did a couple
    the other face is all in german text
    the other face is fixed to
    the other face is hidden
    the other face is gone
    the other face is bone
    the other face is plain
    the other face is south
    the other face is a south pole
    the other face is the outsider economy
    the other face is automatically constructed
    the other face is black if and only if the card is the black card
    the other face is quickly turning the ice water into room temperature water

  64. taylor graham


    Before dawn
    under kitchen-light
    I unwrapped
    the chicken,
    pulled out giblets – liver, heart,
    then, another heart.

    Whose heart?
    This hen was sold by
    weight, not
    Is this some bonus-hype or
    careless packaging?

    What secret
    does this chicken bear
    to the slow-
    cooker pot?
    I have just one; shall I care
    for a hen’s small heart?

  65. writinglife16

    The other woman

    The other woman is staring at me again.
    Primping in the mirror.
    She doesn’t have an original thought.
    Or act.
    Watch her leave when I do.
    Wish she would stop following me.

  66. hrtaylor008

    Otherworldly vibrations
    emanate from her.
    Resonance declares
    Attracted by her field of gravity
    and kiss away our cares.
    Such balm for lonely night!

  67. uneven steven

    The other side
    of 50

    just outside
    my window
    strung out
    hung over
    the line
    one on
    to the other
    to the telephone
    not loafers or working
    boots but
    first one
    then the other
    ready and willing
    to drop
    the point
    being it’s
    all good
    must end
    in a comforting

  68. Cin5456

    The Other Ones

    We are not like you, and we know
    your disdain runs deep. We’re not
    you, not part of your brotherhood.
    We are different; not dominant, nor
    shaped to your specifications.
    We don’t think like you, or sit like you.
    We don’t look like you, or speak like you.
    We don’t conform to your standards.
    So we are other than… unlike, untypical.
    Othering is a term coined in colonialism,
    a justification for imperialism.
    This other has now come home to roost
    in your own nest, because we women may not
    be not men, like you, but we live here too.
    Lately, you feel we must be governed,
    colonized, like some land or territory.
    You feel you a need to make special
    rules for us, and categorize our forms.
    You think we should conform to your ideals.
    We are fifty-one percent of the world
    population. As soon as we decide to get
    organized, your rules will be damned to perdition.

    (Pardon the feminist rant, but the word “othering” was focal to my studies on women writers and the suppression of their work for over 400 years.)

  69. Clae

    The Other Side

    I hold my breath, try to slow down
    Hope you hurry up or stay
    You rush forward, panic, can’t decide
    To go forward or back where you leapt from
    Suddenly you turn around
    I cringe and pray we don’t collide
    If we connect here in the dark
    One of us will die
    You turn around and dash again
    All the way to the other side
    I let out my breath and loose my grip
    Thank God we both survived
    Keep my eyes peeled
    For more squirrels and deer
    As I continue my drive
    I’m sure you’re telling all your friends
    How you fled the thing with lights
    On your bold and daring adventure
    Running to the other side

  70. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    Look! Go deep into the cosmos,
    past all the galaxies
    found by satellites
    thrown unforgiving into
    the void.
    Look between
    the orbs of fire
    between the known
    and unknown
    into Nowhere
    then, just beyond —

    I’ll be there waiting.

  71. Misky

    The Other Side of Wind and Water

    There’s so much to like about water, until it comes at you,
    a whipped lash on the tail of a typhoon. It’s viral, it is.
    It’s a disease that penetrates the privacy of your thoughts,
    blisters and bubbles paint on interior walls as the wind

    blows its spawn at you. And now last minute precautions:
    tape the windows; water, yes, everywhere but soon none
    to drink, so water in jugs and buckets, cups and jars;
    and candles and matches; and batteries that are always
    in their twilight. We always fumble around last minute,

    searching for bloody batteries, just as the wind
    shreds flags to fringe. We know what’s coming.
    The news rolls in from the distance, the inevitable
    is coming as steady as night. And I want to write
    a few trembling-hand notes to my family:

    … I love you, I’ll write,

    but I can only find a pen with red ink. I can’t write
    in the colour blood; bad luck – I might bring the house
    down on my head. So I think only good thoughts
    and pray that I’ll not be found by a rescue dog
    sniffing me out in a mountain of rubble.

  72. MLundstedt

    “The Other Way”

    He waited in the rain,
    On that dark and dreary day,
    Where no one heard him whisper,
    And no one heard him pray.

    I imagine it was you,
    That he waited for that day;
    But you were never coming,
    You had found the other way.

    The drops turned into drips,
    And he turned into stone,
    And no one knew he suffered,
    As he found himself alone.

  73. rosross

    When the other is within

    The split in self is seen so clear,
    And yet recoils in mortal fear
    From any touch that seeks to bring,
    A healing to the wound within.

    Twixt good and bad the players set,
    And rise to make their triumph, yet,
    A tiny voice keeps up the cry
    That truth is found within the I.

    So peace and wisdom, love and truth,
    Stand on one side, placed well aloof,
    And rage and vengeance, basest thought,
    Will hold their ground, no matter what.

    The I rides Grace and then will leap
    The fence to fly upon Deceit
    And all the while knows neither can
    Hold sure, swift hoof on flimsy ground.

    That day will come when each will find
    They disappear in new-born mind,
    And truth of each is made anew:
    The I becomes eternal You.

  74. bxpoetlover

    The Other Day

    it was my turn. He had beckoned to me and
    extended his arms. I took his hands, glad that
    I had massaged mine with cocoa butter.

    He gently gripped my arms. “Relax. Don’t
    anticipate.” He counted off and on the 7 8, I
    stared into his onyx eyes and acquiesced.

    Basic. Box right. Ballroom right half left stroll.
    Done right. Those pretty ebony lips parted,
    revealing his brilliant white smile.

    “Gooooooood,”. He swung me around, drew me close
    and I mirrored his steps, hip to hip. He easily pulled my arms
    back, and I eased forward into the butterfly and stepped back.

    He high fived me, and
    summoned the next one. I walked away, grateful he cannot
    see the way I kiss and caress him in my dreams.