2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

Here we are. It’s been less than a month since the initial guidelines post for the 7th annual Poetic Asides April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge, but it feels like years. I’ve been so excited to get poeming. Let’s do it!

As luck would have it, today is a Tuesday, which means we’re facing a “Two-for-Tuesday” prompt. For folks new to the challenge, you can choose one prompt, write to both, or try to mix them together in one poem. Here are the prompts:

  1. Write a beginning poem. Today is the beginning of this challenge. It’s also the beginning of April. But there are so many other beginnings: Beginning of a relationship, beginning of school, beginning of the rest of your life, and so on. Pick a beginning to write about.
  2. Write an ending poem. Often, though not always, beginnings come as the result of an ending. Sometimes endings are cause for disappointment, heartbreak, or numbness. Other times, endings are celebrated. Capture an ending today.


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Here’s my attempt at a beginning or ending poem:


even beginnings
have a beginning
of the beginning

she tells me how quarks
are never observed
in isolation

how they combine to
form protons neutrons
and other matter

unnoticed alone
together they make
beginnings happen


Today’s Guest Judge Is…

Traci Brimhall

Traci Brimhall

Traci Brimhall

Traci is the author of Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton), selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, The Believer, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and Best American Poetry 2013 & 2014.

She’s received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the King/Chávez/Parks Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Learn more at tracibrimhall.com.


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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He’s excited to start another April of poeming and can’t believe how much the challenge has grown. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


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1,136 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

  1. Heidi


    Finally, Sunday after Sunday
    It happened on that
    Revered day, May 4, 2014 that
    Samantha Brooke Contreras
    Took her first

    Communion—the body and blood as bread and wine
    Of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus
    Must have felt
    Marvelous to our sweet Samantha as she
    Understood the sacrifice Jesus paid with His blood
    Negating ALL of her sins.
    Instead of shame, Samantha is filled with the
    Outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit through the
    New birth that Jesus gave her in Him.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  2. IndiFox

    A Warm Farewell

    With your end
    I look back at memories
    Of you, my friend

    I’d see you every morning
    And over a cup
    I’d share stories

    You were always ready for me
    At the end of the long day
    There you’d be

    In any weather
    I could enjoy you
    On any day
    I could employ you

    You’re something out of a dream
    And I’ll miss you
    Coffee machine

  3. RuthieShev

    Hi everyone,
    Since I didn’t find the PAD challenge until April 18th, I am headed back some days and do some of the older challenges. Here is my idea of a beginning/ending poem for Day 1 Challenge:

    The Ending (Or Is It The Beginning?)

    Where is my Gramma where can she be
    I look everywhere but I cannot see
    I look all around
    But she can’t be found.
    Where is my Gramma where can she be

    She was sick and they took her one day
    To the hospital in a town far away
    We visited her there
    While she got good care
    And I waited for her to come back home to stay.

    Where is my Gramma where can she be
    I look everywhere but I cannot see
    I look all around
    But she can’t be found
    Where is my Gramma where can she be

    Then we went to see her in a new place
    When she saw me the joy lit up in her face
    We played games and talked and I saw her smile
    She hugged me good-bye and said see you in a while.

    Where is my Gramma where can she be
    I look everywhere but I cannot see
    I look all around
    But she can’t be found
    Where is my Gramma where can she be.

    We went to a room where people where crying
    And I saw my Gramma in a funny bed lying
    She was sleeping and when I gave her a shake
    I asked my momma why she wouldn’t wake

    Where is my Gramma where can she be
    I look everywhere but I cannot see
    I look all around
    But she can’t be found
    Where is my Gramma where can she be

    We went to the church and everyone looked so sad
    They were all crying, even my momma and dad.
    I smiled at them all and told them don’t cry
    Angels in Heaven took her up to the sky
    And I look all around though I cannot see
    My Gramma’s in Heaven watching over you and me

  4. Julieann

    Beginnings are Often the End

    It used to be Kindergarten began the years of learning
    While bringing to a close running barefoot through
    The woods and picking wild flowers to lace
    Through your hair

    Then College became the beginning of adulthood
    But still there were classes to attend and tests to take
    And parties wild and free of a kind you’d never partake
    While in high school

    So finally school has ended and everything you’ve studied
    For and yearned for and worked for is now beginning
    Such as a fabled career after finding a suitable mate
    And starting a family

    But wait, it’s the beginning of your children’s schooling
    And Mom and Dad need care as their days are waning
    And then your health is taking a nose dive all while
    Saving for retirement

    And now it’s time to settle back, to enjoy the fruits
    Of your labor, the school is done, the job is done,
    Mom and Dad are gone, retirement is reached
    There’s time to savor

    Alas, your end has come