2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

One of the refrains from the Austin International Poetry Festival was, “Buy the book!” During poetry month, it’s not a bad refrain. In that vein, I want to remind people about pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology, which will collect the best poem from each day of this challenge, along with a prompt and space to add your own poem. Pre-orders are marked down 20% until May 1, so be sure to buy the book today. Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, make a statement the title of your poem and either respond to or expand upon the title. Some example titles might include: “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy;” “Guns Don’t Kill People, I Do;” “This Is Your Brain on Drugs;” “Smile for the Camera,” and “Be Kind Rewind.” Of course, there’s an incredible number of possible titles; pick one and start poeming!


Workshop Your Poetry!

Break out of a rut or jump start your revision process with the Advanced Poetry Course offered by Writer’s Digest University. This course involves workshopping poetry with an instructor and other poets of varying levels.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Statement Poem:

Buy the Book

“You can do more than merely look,”
she said out loud, looking at me.
“Open your wallet, buy the book.”

So I paid her the cash it took
and found a seat in the cafe
thinking I could take a quick look

anonymously in my nook
while sipping hot sweetened coffee.
Opened my wallet, bought that book,

and let myself hang on a hook
feeling somewhat literary,
I did do more than merely look.

Thinking, feeling until I shook–
those words did a real job on me,
but I was glad I bought the book.

So don’t treat poets like they’re crooks
just because their line breaks aren’t free:
You can do more than merely look;
open your wallet, buy the book.


Today’s guest judge is…

Joseph Mills

Joseph Mills

Joseph Mills

A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills holds an endowed chair, the Susan Burress Wall Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities.

He has published four collections of poetry with Press 53, including Sending Christmas Cards to Huck and Hamlet.

Joseph’s fifth collection, This Miraculous Turning, will be released in September 2014.

More information about his work is available at www.josephrobertmills.com and he blogs somewhat regularly at www.josephrobertmills.blogspot.com.


PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He would be thrilled if you bought the book. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


Make a statement by reading others:

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745 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

  1. Suzanne_Noelle

    I’ll Wait For You

    I sit here and wait
    One day, two days, three
    And more, until the days turn into weeks
    And into months.

    But I love you, dear, and every moment apart
    Is worth the time I get to spend with you.
    And though our minutes together are few,
    The hours that fly by are my favorite times.
    I just sit every day and crave those precious moments
    That fleeting togetherness.

    Because your arms feel like home to me
    Your words make me smile.
    Every fiber of my being is electrified by your presence
    And my heart spills over with joy.

    A warmth comes up from somewhere deep inside.
    It’s something I cannot contain…
    I cannot explain it.
    But it takes hold
    It has power
    And so I wait for you.

    I wait for the days when we will see each other freely
    Easily reaching across a short expanse
    Simply letting our fingers brush together
    Because we can.

    And every touch sparks a fire
    A love that burns brighter for you every day
    A longing for just having you there next to me.
    Everything just feels so perfect with you.
    Too good to be true–but
    It’s not! We hold fast to a bright, amazing future.

    Our meeting was luck
    Our spark came by chance
    Who knew this would happen
    This happenstance turned perfection.

  2. tatewentz

    Make a Scene

    Be loud.
    Make it known.

    Look crazy.
    Dance alone.

    Speak freely.
    With who you want.

    Have your way.
    Tell them up front.

    Sing wildly.
    Disregarding pitch.

    Fight you’re enemy.
    Plot that jerk.

  3. azkbc

    Do Not Take My Truck

    On May 23 you had already shared

    your space at Miss Linda’s side when she read
    Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
    and you wound up sitting where you couldn’t see
    the pictures because her arm was in the way when
    she held the book. And that is your favorite book.

    your chair at lunch because Noah wanted to sit by Eli
    and Miss Mary was on the other side of him and she asked
    you to change your seat and then the vanilla cookies
    ran out and Noah got the last one and you got a chocolate cookie.
    You hate chocolate.

    your place in the “go to potty” line because Rachel
    was at the end and she said she had to go really bad
    so Miss Anne put her in front of you
    but she really didn’t. She just wanted to get through fast
    so she could go play in the kitchen with Mason and then
    you wet your pants and had to change into Dan’s clothes
    since Daddy had forgotten to bring extra clothes after
    you had gotten muddy on the field trip.

    So when Jackson came up to you during “major muscle group”
    exercise and grabbed your truck and said he wanted to play with it,
    you said in your outside voice, “Do Not Take My Truck.” Miss Linda
    and Miss Anne turned to look and Miss Mary walked over to you
    and asked if you would share your truck. You said, “I have shared
    all day. I do not want to share my truck.” Then Miss Mary told
    Jackson to go to the truck box and get another truck.

    Sharing has its place in the world, Connor, and so does standing up for yourself
    and it was just fine that at that time you said, “Do not take my truck.”
    Tomorrow will be soon enough to share again.

  4. taylor graham


    which was nothing but
    bankrupt language, unemancipated
    imagination – a celebrity’s solid-gold
    surfboard; someone declared
    a homeless-camp in trespass –
    what’s poetry if not
    trespass? I clicked off the TV
    and walked outside. Air
    crisp as night frost in the brain.
    Through quivers of oak-leaves, a moon
    rising. The full blue moon, a once-
    in-a-poem moon.

  5. bbjzmn

    day 11
    If one day can change,then today can hinder

    a threepeat is a day wasted,before day can even brake

    five day marathon can make you need sicks day-time medicine

    “seventh heaven” is an ok day, but a great day it aint

    nine times a day iv’e said its not day ten

  6. ianchandler

    Don’t Touch the Glass

    At what point does solid become silica?

    Why can’t I find our chandelier in this mess?
    Why can’t I unearth the spinning baubles from our porch?
    Why can’t I slide open the shower door and step into a puddle?

    Why can’t I find my mother’s art,
    her longing linger,
    her airy glow?

    Of course,

    she painted the walls with such vivid color
    but it’s now impossible to tell the bathroom
    from the kitchen.

  7. JamesW

    This is the Night

    The stars twitch in and out of sight, bathing things in feeble light,
    When song is quieted and the lonely finch shivers in the cold night
    Measures of alone ring long, hollow and deeply melancholic
    And trees reply samely to every lone intrepid howl and speech
    Demons are nursed with tremulous hands around perilous pitchers
    As brave countenances give way to more fright-filled features
    And tendrils of dark around things one and all wrap their fingers
    Pressing against the light that would reveal its well hid dangers
    Diffident lovers hit the cliff at awkwardly worked ardour’s end
    A tot burns in feverish tremors, as fits the wispy frame bend
    The wind plaintively whispers through the trees in eerie dirge
    Hounds raise a piercing relay chorus in doleful chilling surge
    Whispers of latent tragedy beset all things, till it is light
    As with breath held we sleepless wait; this is the night!

  8. TuLife

    “Goodbye…and I love you”
    By: Tuere Aisha

    I’m sick with the way that I love you,
    But you can’t love me whole with half your heart
    You can’t love me right while doing me wrong.
    We don’t have what it takes so it’s time that we part.

    With hot, streaming tears, I love you.
    But I can’t love you long on your too-short chain.
    I can’t love you strong while your words make me weak
    Critically heavy, they weigh on my brain.

    With a passion so pure, I love you.
    But we cannot unite while you’re drifting away.
    How can you feel me if you don’t let me near?
    How do we grow when you refuse to stay?!

    So this is goodbye, though I love you.
    I love you, but this is goodbye.

    I love you; my arms ache to hold you;
    My hands – they tremble to touch you;
    My lips quiver to kiss you.
    But do I settle for pain just to call you my “boo?”

    I would love you forever if I could.
    As your wife, I would bring forth your seed.
    But we can’t build a life on anger and rage.
    We can’t run a home on selfish greed.

    I love you, yes, this is true.
    But there’s so little warmth in a heart chilled by hurt.
    There’s so little You left in a skeletal frame
    That’s been rotted by life and dragged through the dirt.

    And I UNDERSTAND, but this is goodbye.
    Honey, I love you, but this is goodbye.
    If I love what remains of you more than myself,
    Then I’ll love you enough just to die.

    So this is goodbye, and I love you.
    ‘Cause your love in return is diseased.
    Don’t know how to go; my feet you have seized.
    I’m crying out loud! I’m down on my knees.

    ‘Cause I love you… Baby, I do.
    I love you, but this is goodbye.

  9. mimzy13

    He’s Watching Her Sleep

    In the dark honey
    pool of your invisible
    waist pressing like a white
    fish below the ice
    I would rather see

    you drown under than
    trace the plate
    remembering your face or
    these shadows matter
    something to the nakedness

    you twist around my
    slenderest finger as if
    I would forget the water
    moonlit heavy
    in my nets of promise or

    navigate your wounds across
    hallways my blue
    hounds slinking nakedly through
    doors swinging a field
    of solar wavelets.

  10. ASperryConnors

    Dreams of flying
    Leave me sinking
    In a golden honey
    Almost wonder lust
    A long winter
    Bereft of Spring
    A craving to climb Kilimanjaro
    A bidding to bike along the Rhine
    To drink the spark
    To inhale a fresh beginning
    Waking only to habit
    Of living in four walls.

  11. bxpoetlover

    “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

    Confucius knew.
    Why don’t you, with your
    loving heart?

    We sit at my kitchen table and commiserate about life.
    You quench your thirst with my water;
    I drop in just enough ice.

    As my collard greens, cheesy macaroni, barbecued chicken, and cornbread
    disappear behind those fleshy lips,
    I listen and gaze at your ebony skin and eyes.
    With your keen, mathematical mind
    why did it take you so long
    to add it up
    when you took her to meet your mother
    and her ex-boyfriend called to ask what she was up to
    and she said, “Nothing.”

    You said, “Women don’t like nice men.”
    I said, “You’re choosing the wrong women,”
    as I clean your plate.

    I know we are just “cool” but
    I wish you would consider
    a woman who is slightly older, wiser.
    Tickle me
    like you do your piano.
    Bang, thrum me like your drums.

    All I get is a hug and a dance lesson.

    Part of me wants to reveal how I feel instead of
    write it in an anonymous poem but
    I know like Confucius knew–
    “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

  12. Anders Bylund

    Don’t Give Up
    It’s not too late to make a difference
    Not too late to take a stand
    Not too late to give assistance
    Not too late to lend a hand

    You’re not too short to reach the coffee
    Not too tall to ride the train
    Not too young to have a frosty
    Not too old to dance in the rain

  13. Amirae Garcia

    Why The Trees Grew Tall – Amirae Garcia

    There was a time that the trees used to be as small as the shrubs; and I am quite certain they were in love with each other, with their likeness. I am quite certain that each day the trees would stretch and sway so their leaves could touch those of the shrubs just once, at least once. I’m quite certain that the shrubs would blush and shake their leaves in response.

    Even the wind grew jealous. Such a force moved them so, these small shrubs. They were so small, they couldn’t even imagine what hit them. What is love to a shrub? What could they possibly do with all the love spilling over their branches? The wind would flow through, trying to distract them. The trees would sing, keep your eyes on me and me and me. They tried. They tried.

    They grew frightened, the wind would not give them up. It grabbed where the trees would touch. It thrashed them and shook them and hurt them and ruined them. Enough, said the shrubs. Enough. We will give the trees up. The shrubs would no longer blush. They turned away and would not touch.

    And since then, the trees had been weeping, their tears sliding down to their feet. The shrubs realized what they did; and they cried and cried and cried, their tears offered to their lover’s roots. Don’t go, they pleaded. Don’t go. We are shrubs. We do not know how to love. The trees, growing with haste, softly replied But you did, you did. You loved us, and then you broke our hearts.

  14. PenConnor

    Just Go (a chant)

    For months I’ve held your place.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    I trusted the hope in your face.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

    You’ve kept me here on a string.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    You’re protecting me from the sting.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

    You just couldn’t face hurting me.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    While bending to another’s decree.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

    You hid the truth in your silence.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    You covered up reality’s violence.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

    You’ve never had the strength.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    So you held me at great length.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

    She took matters into her hands.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    Cut me deep, so I’d understand.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

    Still, you cannot speak what’s true.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.
    You chose, and our future is through.
    Just go. Just — go, please. Go.

  15. gloryia

    Today is the Day . . .

    Look at all the people
    standing in line
    afraid to move, to motion
    to show anger or decline,
    to frightened to protest,
    to persist, to throw arms open
    wide, to look up, see the sky,

    Yes, look up, see the sky,
    today’s the day to grab
    the moment, hold fast,
    with one voice shout out
    loud – privileged?
    You’ve had your time,
    Let’s fight for freedon.

  16. gloryia


    ‘Be careful’, said French Soap with irritation.
    ‘Sorry’ said Soft Sponge, all dripping wet.’
    ‘I’d like to keep my shape,’ said French Soap,
    ‘I’m proud of being pearly, don’t forget’.

    ‘You won’t last forever,’ said Soft Sponge.
    I know, but I’ll stay beautiful until,
    ah … life is hard, said French Soap
    but life is for living, seeking every thrill.

    Here comes the boy with dirty hands,
    how very rough his hands all over me,
    but ‘Owoooooo…nice’ I like it’ says French Soap
    I’m wearing frothy suds, look at me.

    Soft Sponge’s voice starts to quiver, his body shakes,
    he is already feeling lonely, it’s all a big mistake.
    Soap’s suds are disappearing, fast, as fast can be,
    down the plughole goes every soap sud –

    ‘Bye Soap’ says he.

  17. Mr. Walker

    Asked and Answered

    I just might have to use
    this bit of legal jargon
    in my classroom

    not often, mind you,
    but when appropriate

    you know, when it’s clear
    a student wasn’t…

    paying attention

  18. IzzyG

    Misery Loves Company

    That friend of yours
    She’s always down
    The glass you just filled for her
    Is somehow still half empty
    And drama follows her like a shadow.

    She sees you and she seethes with rage
    As though your contentment
    Threatens her perfect unhappiness.

    She cajoles, she coaxes
    The all kidding aside
    A snide remark, an insult (unveiled).

    The glint in her eye tells you
    She’s satisified she has bested you.

    That friend of yours?
    She is misery
    And she hates to be alone.

  19. LCaramanna

    Don’t Drink Too Much

    ‘Though I have fermented with the years
    and gathered wisdom from experience,
    when the second glass of wine
    numbs lips and sets the world a-spin.
    I wish I had heeded the warning –
    Don’t drink too much!

    Lorraine Caramanna

  20. Snow Write

    The best is yet to come
    what an optimistic phrase
    that someday in the future
    we’ll see better days

    The best is yet to come
    I surely hope it will
    for when we talk of bad times
    I feel I’ve had my fill

    The best is yet to come
    when will we know it came?
    what will happen afterward
    who will be to blame?

    The best is yet to come
    what a pessimistic view
    that we will never reach the best
    no matter what we do

    The best is yet to come
    so we live day to day
    we strive to reach our highest goals
    seeking joy along the way

  21. Yolee

    I’m Serious about Happiness

    Because rain drops in on us
    when we’re beach bound or something
    internal went from setback to fracture to broken.

    Crops, flower beds and wild fires
    live or die in its presence.
    But everything gets its dew.

    I can weather anything with happiness.

  22. horselovernat

    I Closed My Eyes and Listened by Natalie Gasper

    To the whispering of the wind
    gently tossing my hair as it pleased.
    The sun leaving honey-sweet kisses all over my skin
    while I felt the cool grass as it danced across my ankles,
    sinking my bare feet into the soft damp ground.

    I opened my eyes to see white clouds floating on a sapphire sky
    moving as though they hadn’t a care in the world.
    Lowering my gaze, an endless field of the richest green stretched out before me,
    flowing and bending to some hidden song.
    As I turned to take in the stunning landscape,
    I spotted a single apple tree near a gurgling brook.

    Closing the distance to the sweet shade of this tree
    a large forest became clear off in the distance.
    Curiosity began to grow as a mist rolls out from deep within this wood.
    Feelings started to stir, but not of anxiety, worry, or fear.
    Rather, it was warmth and caring and good
    that emanated from this peculiar mist.

    It slid steadily closer to me.
    Then, from within the center of the mist, a light began to shine
    golden and powerful, it grew brighter and brighter until I had to look away.
    Chancing a peek, I saw a figure cloaked in this light
    as it floated nearer the light slowly faded,
    revealing a woman dressed in all white.

    Her arms outstretched with a smile upon her face,
    she radiated the purest of love.
    A single tear broke free and slid down my cheek
    for the woman before me was my grandmother.
    Lost to me many a year ago,
    I thought I would never see her again.

    So many thoughts began racing through my mind
    while I studied her sweet face, eyes full of joy.
    I could not remember the last time I saw her, spoke to her, held her.
    But in this moment none of that mattered.
    She silently closed the space between us,
    pulling me into her arms.

    Smiling, she beckoned me beneath the apple tree and sat against its trunk.
    Full of emotion and ready to burst, I fell into her lap
    without a word she leaned me onto her body, hugging me warmly.
    Tears fell freely now.
    Oh how I missed her, wishing she hadn’t died!
    Somehow, in that moment, I knew that she knew all of this.

    How much time we spent like that I cannot say,
    so caught up in our shared loved
    enjoying being held by her once more as the brook gurgled sweet melodies.
    She ran her fingers gently through my hair,
    and I knew the time had come.
    I knew she could no longer stay.

    As we stood I struggled with what I should say
    goodbye is much harder the second time.
    Knowingly, she placed her hand upon my cheek,
    reassuring me with her loving gaze that I didn’t need to say anything.
    She understood me, understood that I loved her, missed her, and thought of her often.
    We hugged one last time
    I never wanted to forget how she smelled.

    Her hands passed slowly through mine
    a final smile before she turned back towards the forest.
    I watched her take every step, in awe as the mist returned to greet her.
    Bright golden light, then she was gone once more.

    No longer sad, but finally at peace
    for I knew now she had never really left me
    And that I could always find her in this place,
    In my heart, where she lives forever.

  23. kimberleetm

    Waste Not, Want Not

    Mildewed peppers
    Desiccated citrus
    Dateless yogurt
    Blue white cheddar
    I had such good intentions
    Not to practice over-retention –
    Best finish that chocolate

  24. Angie5804

    At the End of the Day

    At the end of the day
    As it draws nigh to evening
    Listen to the quiet
    Feel the approaching cool
    Watch the darkening sky
    Wait for the whisper

    Twilight descends in a whisper
    Gone is the heat of the day
    Away with the sun in the sky
    Enter the unruffled evening
    Enter the calm and the cool
    Enter the peaceful quiet

    Entertain the blessed quiet
    As trees begin their whisper
    Night brings on the cool
    Farewell to heat of day
    Welcome the hushed evening
    Greet the dusky sky

    Stars flicker in the sky
    Shining down on the quiet
    Glimmering in the evening
    Listen to the lovers whisper
    Listen to the end of the day
    As notes fall soft and cool

    Close together against the cool
    Underneath a starlit sky
    Gone are thoughts of day
    Here are thoughts of quiet
    Listen to the breeze whisper
    Listen to the call of evening

    Now beckons the evening
    Now summons the cool
    It is time for the whisper
    Settle down under the sky
    Lean into the quiet
    Forget the day

    Rest in the evening underneath a twinkling sky
    A respite cool and lusciously quiet
    Just a whisper at the end of the day

  25. modscribery

    Day 11 – Statement poem

    Ode to Kenneth Burke

    “It’s more complicated than that.”
    He says,
    squinting those intelligent eyes,
    causing little wrinkles to spread
    across his mild face
    and broad brow.

    “It’s not either/or; it’s both/and.”
    Weighing the options
    in outstretched hands.
    One up, then the other,
    then stretching both out toward me.

    I say, “Yes.”
    and “How can it be?”
    And yet, I know it is so.

    Humanity is mysterious,
    paradoxical –
    wonderfully dangerous,
    tragically beautiful.

    Lungs breath in and out, in and out.
    Hearts beat and rest, beat and rest.
    Minds wake and sleep, wake and sleep.
    Souls give and take, give and take.
    And we are more than the sum of our parts.


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