Editors Blog

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.

  26. Scribbling Sue

    I’m trying to catch up after the weekend so this one is a quickie!



    There was a young man in our street,
    Who could never say no to a treat,
    He weighed half a ton,
    Before he was done,
    A victim of ‘All You Can Eat’.

    Suzanne Lalor
    11th April 2014

  27. Jay Sizemore

    Nothing changes but everything every second

    atomic displacement makes touch an illusion
    so imagine yourself as a collection of marbles
    wading through an ocean of different colored marbles
    everything held together and constantly flying apart
    like a perpetual motion machine throwing rods
    through the hood or the clock face or a rain cloud
    kicking hail stones around like lottery balls
    adding layer upon layer of onion-like ice
    until too heavy for wind
    and supernovas occur once a century in our sky
    the light outrunning everything except neutrinos
    which the universe gives a head start
    because energy always needs a place to go
    and humanity is a hail stone gaining weight in the clouds.

  28. Cameron Steele

    Prairie Girls

    Honestly, all the girls learned early
    to play ball harder than their brothers.
    They broke their wrists more easily
    on the ice when the lake froze over,
    waved their casts around in the air
    like beacons or guns, and called
    it just another game of cowboys
    and indians. All the girls learned
    first to be indians, to tie their hair
    in braids and yodel even when the
    air felt so cold it stabbed their tonsils
    like the forks their mothers were
    always losing, their brothers were always
    throwing away. All the girls learned
    not to throw anything away, not
    the last nub of lipstick from Aunt
    Maggie’s Mary Kay case, nor the
    old stem of a sunflower that dad
    gave them before the peewee
    basketball game, and you had to keep,
    of course, the white little new testament
    bibles pastor handed out before confirmation,
    because how could you make an honest
    statement of faith without a little book
    with red words hidden beneath your bed?
    The boys never learned as fast, all the girls
    knew that. That’s why they saved the books
    and skinned their knees on the winter court
    in the first place.

  29. nmbell

    Statement Poem

    If I could make one statement
    That the whole world would act on
    It would be…

    All life is sacred
    Not just what is important to an individual
    Not just what is important to your family
    Not just what is important to mankind

    All life is sacred
    Plant, animal, mineral
    Everything that exists
    Is part of the collective Life Force

    Mankind is not more important than the rest
    We are just far more destructive
    And thoughtless
    We need to change

    Nancy Bell 2014
    I was away for the weekend and am late with this, but better late than never

  30. PSC in CT

    Shoot for the Moon

    Once in a blue moon
    is insufficient frequency
    to enjoy a bit of luna-
    see, there are not enough hours
    in a day or even-
    tide to enjoy her sweet smile,
    contemplate that sedate face;
    tempus fugit (all too swiftly),
    and yet again tonight
    I have prior commitments:
    places to go,
    things to do,
    people to see,
    and so, sweet Luna,
    our date will have to wait
    once more
    (but not, I hope,
    until the next blue moon)


  31. Emma

    You are my what if

    I wonder sometimes in strange moments of
    The day, between fear of death and time and
    All the more mundane things that fill my hours,
    What if? You and I could have been something,
    Friends or enemies or allies or God
    Knows what. But I pulled back, walked away, chose
    Not to risk it. A predictable choice.
    But in quiet minutes, in the gaps of
    My life, I think of all of my lives lost
    By that decision. You are so much that
    Could have been, but wasn’t. I regret it.

  32. foodpoet

    Change your password

    just finally able to remember
    The correct combination
    Not to get
    Password not recognized
    Only to
    A dear john bleeding heart
    Super bug
    Next generation
    Computer virus
    Must write
    Shut down

    Megan McDonald

  33. Reynard

    “Your glass is half full”

    if you were to hand
    me a glass
    whose contents were
    at the half way mark
    I would not wonder
    if it was half full
    or half empty
    I would just be thankful
    that I had a glass

  34. Penny Henderson


    We poets wage a grueling war.
    Midst the carnage of critique
    we gamely trumpet defiance,
    slathering words on our wounds;
    binding them with home made chapbooks,
    read from at open mic nights
    in obscure coffee houses.
    Morale raised by modest applause,
    we once more charge the enemy
    armed with ball points and Moleskins.
    Honor the fallen, gather the odes
    that littler their trail to glory.

  35. Autumn

    Behind Her Mask

    Behind this mask
    of coldly calculated reason and logic,
    is a small girl
    choking on her tears,
    helplessly drowning
    in her despair.

    All she wants
    is understanding and acceptance,
    and even love:
    unconditional love.

    But, she’s too meek to ask for it.

    So she just cries and mourns
    the waste of her eighteen years,
    the loss of her joyless childhood.

  36. Jaywig

    A nation built on immigration

    Driving home
    I catch the twinkling
    eyes of stars.
    They watch us
    come and go
    arrive and leave
    slam doors
    and greet with
    open arms.
    Distant enough
    to remain detached
    they do not call
    our movement
    “waves” or “escape”
    nor our individual
    selves “refugee”
    “expatriate”, “migrant”
    “asylum seeker”.
    The stories do not
    move the stars
    to tears or rage.
    They simply continue
    to travel, as we do.

  37. jean

    I Have a Superpower Now:
    a Rispetto(iambic tetrameter, ababccdd) for women over a certain age

    I have a superpower now:
    It’s female-over-40 stuff,
    Invisible to many, how?
    They’re mostly male. It’s not that tough.
    Younger people look right past me.
    I do and speak ‘cuz now I’m free!
    I’m not whinin’ I’m not pissin’
    They don’t know what they are missin’.

  38. Blaise


    Such an easy slogan, sketched
    on paper tablecloth, between beer can
    chicken and red wine stains,
    brainstorming at dinner.

    Now an oval on countless car bumpers,
    PLAY the big word shouting to passing cars,
    commanding what cannot be commanded.
    Put play in your heart, and bring it to all you do.

    Put more play in your –
    working, kids, meals, chores, walking,
    fundamental attitude, grocery shopping –
    the list endless and not just music or sports.

    Now every time I lapse into struggle,
    working on something, even a poem,
    the challenge seems impossible.
    Mother Goose meets Merwin?

    Billy and Tom Collins go for a walk . . . .
    Please don’t publish this poem,
    for then it would surely be work
    done well, and certainly not Play!

  39. Alaska Christina

    It Takes Two to Tango

    Shallow depth of sand
    surrenders to my weight
    a path of footprints trailing.

    Narrow width of flesh
    releases in his grasp
    a night of careless loving.

    Shallow depth of sand
    surrenders to our weight
    a path of teardrops falling.

  40. rlmatt7

    A bad penny always turns up (Day 11 – Statement)

    A bad penny always turns up
    Unwelcome rain on summers day
    You cannot run away from it
    Stale perfume in a heated room

    You can run but you cannot hide
    A bad penny always turns up
    Wrongside up, rightside never there
    The right fall off, the joke goes on

    Bad writing yet a bestseller
    Emotions will delude logic
    A bad penny always turns up
    Taking in fools with the clever

    Steps can collapse, cardboarded maze
    Microwave dinners, unreal yet
    sustain, take chances even if
    A bad penny always turns up

  41. Janet Rice Carnahan


    He built an ark,
    They came on board to begin anew,
    Birds, snakes, tigers, gnu, make that two,
    Just want to know . . .

    Where’s the shark?

  42. lethejerome

    “Know Thyself”

    You sit there glorious, determined, knowing we
    won’t accept your disappearance. Don’t expect we’ll
    stop arguing, appealing to your senses, call
    for a glimmer of emotion in response to
    us – we will inscribe our words, our selves into our
    will as we bury you. How could the world forget
    you? These walls, laws, voices also see through our eyes.
    We don’t share your demon, we aren’t shadows, we
    know what life and country demand and so repeal
    you; all we ask you is to listen and perhaps
    wait. With our love we make you irrevocable.

    Jérôme Melançon

  43. Rolf Erickson

    Seize the Day

    It’s not as if we have a choice.
    We either seize or are seized.
    The day comes, ready or not.

    And if ready, then we can
    do our best to pretend
    that we are indeed the seizer,
    sitting on our throne.

    And if not, then we may
    be taken by the hand or
    collar or scruff of the neck
    and cast into the waters
    to either sink or swim.

    Always the same question.
    Will we be the conqueror
    or become the conquered?

    And if the day comes not,
    then have we truly seized?

  44. jclenhardt

    Love is a Choice

    Love is a choice,
    he said,
    not a feeling
    you can
    depend on
    or even trust,
    but when
    he said it,
    he said it with
    a noticeable
    in his throat
    and a hard,
    hard swallow,
    and I wanted
    to tell him,
    (if only he had
    that love is
    and feeling,
    that to have
    without the other
    is nothing –
    but a recipe
    for disaster.

  45. sallenwright

    If I’m Going to Save the World…

    …I’ll need to stop at WalMart and pick up a few things first.
    Now, I realize I could go to the specialty World Saver’s Emporium down the street
    But I’m sure I’ll get a better deal at WalMart

    First, I’ll need to stop by the Ass Kicking Gear aisle
    Or aisle 7 as you may refer to it
    Here I’ll gather the essentials
    Pick ax
    A various assortment of guns
    And this sweet new hand grenade (it’s on sale and it’s pink for the ladies)

    Then I’ll make my way over to the Leather Catwoman suits aisle
    Or aisle 4
    Can’t exactly save the world if you don’t look the part
    And, as everyone knows,
    No woman can save the world
    without the right amount of cleavage showing

    So now that I’m suited up and stocked up
    I’ll need a crew
    That’s on aisle 13
    Although, I must say
    They don’t have the best selection here
    Just a mangy bunch of misfits really
    But I can’t do this alone can I?
    Of course not

    This old man here seems to have one last good fight in him
    And he can tie a perfect knot
    (I’m not yet sure how this skill will help me in my lofty endeavor, but he insists)

    This young boy here and his sister
    They’ll be excellent spies

    And here’s a hulking beast of a man
    Who would make an excellent guard

    And this young woman here
    Will make a perfect soldier

    Okay, I have almost everything I need
    Crew, clothes, guns and more

    Now all I need is to find the aisle where they keep the
    Master Plans
    You know, the detailed guides that tell you
    Exactly how to save the world

    “Excuse me sir, could you point me to the Master Plans?”
    “Oh, sorry, we don’t carry those anymore. They weren’t selling. You’ll just have to create one yourself”

    Oh crap

  46. Mustang Sal

    I Can’t Write a Poem in the Morning

    unless I’ve been up all night
    with an army of alliterative ants
    marching through my mind.

    I can’t write a poem in the morning

    unless an onomatopoetic lightening bolt
    strikes my cereal bowl
    with a Snap! Crackle! Pop!

    I can’t write a poem in the morning

    unless the daily paper has news
    so upsetting that it presents me
    me a new metaphor for evil.

    I can’t write a poem in the morning

    unless a songbird sings outside my window
    with a melody so pretty that it melts
    like butter into my raisin toast.

    I can’t write a poem in the morning.

  47. mfitts847@gmail.com

    If Ever I Am Remembered – Marie H. Fitts

    If ever I have failed you
    Forgotten whose I am…assailed you
    ‘Twas not me that you have heard
    But hate through me that spoke these words

    If ever I have cursed you
    Pursed my lips…said things to hurt you
    “Twas not me that you have heard
    But hate through me that spoke these words

    If ever I have inspired you
    To act on something good inside you
    ‘Twas not me that spoke these words
    But love through me that you have heard

    If ever I have played a part
    In the leading of your heart
    To put aside your selfish pride
    And let the love of God inside

    If ever I have loved you
    The agape love above you
    Speaks through me and you have heard
    The breath of Jesus…those are His words

    So if ever I am remembered
    In your thoughts come some September
    I pray in remembering me you will find
    More words of love from The Divine

    For “twas not me
    That your have heard
    But Love through me
    That spoke His words

  48. C.

    “Future Prompt Haunts Days Gone By”

    Draped in red pedals, a gown
    Fell softly to the ground
    From a skyscraper building,
    Passing mirrors on its way down
    Where unassuming penguins stood
    With accompanying clowns.

    Tumbling red in the wilted sky
    Black lace underneath did hide
    Suffocating, from newborn’s heat
    While Winter’s cold, burning flesh
    Rose pedals will hope to find
    A new beginning in springtime.

  49. mfitts847@gmail.com

    Never Miss a Good Chance to Shut Up! – Marie H. Fitts

    We all want to be heard
    And understood
    Sharing a confidence
    Can feel oh so good

    But disclosed thoughts
    And information
    Empower the listener
    With sweet temptation

    To use against you
    Exploit you in some way
    Not earning your trust
    When words are freely displayed

    But vengeance is mine
    Says The Lord
    So hold off on any
    Attempt to restore

    Because it’s not your battle
    To always fight
    Straightening everyone out
    Or to prove your right

    If your heart is in the right place
    You will find
    You don’t have to do the talking
    All the time

    Engage your brain
    Let the Lord build you up
    And never miss
    A good chance to shut up!

  50. Heidi

    See Dick Run

    Mother had a hankering
    for cigarettes and red lipstick.
    The war about broke her back.
    Army enlistments made
    working men scarce.
    It was up to Mother, my brother
    Dick and me to pile the dead,
    one on top of the other.
    Like stacking checkers
    along the basement stairs,
    Hoping Daddy
    got to them in time
    before they exploded.
    You know,
    from all the internal gases.
    What a mess to clean up!
    And Daddy never had to do it,
    since he had Dick and me.

    Momma smoked Menthol Salem’s.
    Her red lipstick marked red
    kisses on the butts.
    She helped with lifting
    but not cleaning.
    That was our job, Dick and me.
    Ammonia and dead man’s guts—
    a smell to behold.
    Not easy to forget and
    none too quick to recall.
    Lifting dead weight
    did do a number on Momma’s back.
    I think she enjoyed hospital rest
    After back surgery,
    and doctor’s orders,
    “No more lifting the dead
    at the mortuary! You let
    those kids do it.”

    Momma lifted more cigarettes
    to her red lip-sticked mouth.
    I think she tried to get
    the dead smell off her skin.
    It sort of seeped into our pores,
    and tangled up in our hair.
    Jeepers! Dick said
    he smelled it when he pissed.
    I believe him, too,
    ‘cause I smelled it in the mashed potatoes.
    And it was worse in the summer.
    I will say no more.
    I think it was summer when Dick ran.
    He ran as fast as he could to College,
    leaving me to do all the helping.
    That’s when I smeared
    red lipstick on my lips and
    lit up a Lucky Strike.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  51. JHollick

    “Stabbed in the back.”

    A blade so sleek and silver
    Cold as ice it made me shiver
    Through my skin it made me quiver
    As it finally reached my spine

    A hollow screaming in the dark
    As the blade it found my heart
    Slowly tearing it apart
    Yet I never saw this coming

    A trust as deep as age
    Turned the spotlight to the stage
    For the world to see me rage
    As a friendship was betrayed

    A snicker in the whisper
    Turn the blade until I whimper
    For to you this is the simpler
    Than to change your selfish ways

    Now you think that I may hate you
    Want to find you and berate you
    Take a blood red brush and paint you
    For the horror that you are

    When what I truly want
    Is to undo all you wrought
    And forget I ever thought
    You were worth calling a friend

    For in a multitude of ways
    In our youthful summer days
    You proved to many a dismay
    You could only care for one

    Ignoring all the talk
    Everyone telling me to walk
    I stayed and told them off
    By your side I remained

    Now here I am with no more sadness
    My life all the richer from your absence
    Makes me wonder if your conscience
    Lets you sleep at night at all?

    Well, of course it does
    You were never one to pause
    Upon whatever wrongs you caused
    Where there’s a mirror to distract you

  52. emsytraut

    2014 April PAD Challenge Day 11
    Prompt: Statement

    “Leave My Tree”

    You’ve taken all I have
    Though to you I still have everything that matters

    You’ve chipped away at my heart and strewn the pieces on the living room floor

    You’ve broken my arms and legs and I have had to mend myself countless times
    But you never see this for I never walk with a limp

    You’ve taken everything and I have sat in silence
    I never tried to stop you because what do I know

    But now you’re here
    and you’re telling me to come down

    You never saw my pain before and you still don’t
    Even now

    In turn

    This time
    If this is what you want

    To uproot the last of the hope in my heart

    You can
    I’ll let you do it
    This time

    You WILL see me

  53. Sara Mendes

    No, I swear: I won’t.
    I won’t write; I won’t tell.
    I won’t let this feelings come out.
    Never ever.

    I’ll become a castle and
    drown myself in pain
    I’ll be the princess at the top of the tower
    who won’t need saving
    I won’t even be friends with the monsters:
    I’ll be alone in pain and fear and I’ll
    be as cold as the walls in this castle.
    I will never be able to walk through my own castle
    without looking at every corner and not feel afraid.

    Someday the walls will be so tall that
    people will stop trying to climb them.
    That day I’ll sigh in relief and weep in pain
    I’ll blame the hunters for not trying enough
    I’ll blame everyone for giving up on me

    And then,
    while I’m weeping
    through the tears I see:
    a pen and a paper.

    My monsters sometimes are gentle

  54. jsmadge

    You Catch More Flies With Honey.

    But vinegar sasses,
    Demends (never shirks)
    And finds you
    With a tug
    On your back collar.

    It’s me.
    I’m here.

    Jo Steigerwald

  55. Delaina Miller

    A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

    The moon hangs high
    and the slumbering sun flips over
    smiling at the earth’s other side.
    There’s no time to waste
    the train’s on time and we are late.
    Grab your bag
    don’t hesitate.
    Just over there the sun swims
    in a crystal lake.
    Tomorrow lies ahead
    and my love won’t end.
    Your dreams await
    beyond the garden gate
    where you can ride the moon
    and kiss the stars.
    It does’t all make sense, that’s true
    but dreams rarely do.

  56. Khara House

    Let go and …

    Let all the worries of the day
    scatter to the four winds,
    let them be drawn and quartered,
    let them ascend to the throne room
    of the most high and settle in
    among the prayers of all the saints
    that ever breathed. Learn the fine art
    of letting go: skip a stone or road
    or breath and let the day roll off
    like waves. There’s a reason for a God.

    There’s a blessing in abandon,
    in passing over and moving on,
    drawing one breath then another
    and forgetting all the breaths
    that came before—this new
    sweet air coursing through your lungs
    reminding you that in this one moment
    you live—as you have lived
    in every moment before.

  57. pcm

    The Show Must Go On

    However you feel
    when nothing seems real
    just plot your course
    with all your force
    and what will break through
    out of the blue
    might surprise you.

  58. k_weber

    I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Down

    Please send help
    in the form
    of a boogie.

    I need one
    last disco
    before my discs go.

    Oh! I want to be
    entranced by tens
    of my reflections

    in a mirror ball.

    Allow me to bust
    out the cardboard
    and break dance.

    I might break
    my hips dancing
    achy or electric.

    Please don’t send
    help as I discovered
    I can inch the floor

    like a worm.

    – k weber

  59. cam45237

    You Cant Go Home Again

    There are more than seven hills in Cincinnati
    Rosehill was mine. Long lawns, Tall trees
    Gardens in the front and back,
    Rookwood tiles, lead glass windows, turrets, sunlit roofs,
    four-square grids chalked daily in the curved road
    unfenced yards, unfettered children
    and the green glass house, so fragile now

  60. Kit Cooley

    Just Say No

    Forget the neon-orange cheese puffs,
    the fake Franken-foods, mixed
    in a vat, the trans-fat nightmares,
    chemically “enhanced,” because
    there is no more nutrition in them.

    Eschew the buckets of pills
    the pharmaceutical pushers
    purvey, urging us to take drugs
    for every ache and pain, in vain,
    as we piss it back into the water we drink.

    Think, and step away from the screen,
    the big and the small, mind-numbing,
    insidious dream-stealers. Find what
    is real, and to all the eye candy, toy store,
    quick fix junk–just say no.

    ~ Kit Cooley

  61. Aberdeen Lane

    Flick My Bic

    so I can burn this place down
    the photographs
    the furnishings
    the artifacts

    step inside
    burning at my own stake
    to rise as the phoenix
    at sunrise

  62. MMC

    The Secret to Looking Years Younger

    Is it some cream or serum?
    Daily facials and weekly massages?
    Money can buy almost anything
    but not the secret to a wrinkle-free face.
    The only saving grace – it may be hard
    to believe – is leading a worry-free life
    and that includes, by the way,
    that nagging worry that haunts your dreams:
    the worry about looking years younger.

  63. Grey_Ay

    Patience is a Virtue

    What do we know of why we wait
    and our perceptions of time
    It is a strange consequence
    of our nervous minds

    Quickly our impulses overwhelm
    no time to concentrate
    there is a difference in the mind
    as our thoughts precipitate

    But if our minds can impart,
    affect some string of time
    Could the waiting but in fact
    slacken the casting line?

    Or does the waiting help to ferment
    the seeds ahead we threw
    Cause, effect, or happenstance?
    The struggle of our worm-eyed view

    -A. Ault-

  64. LeighSpencer

    Why Buy the Cow?

    So, lemme get this straight –

    Women are akin to livestock
    purchasable commodities
    valuable only
    if they’ve never been fucked?

    Not even by you,
    the prospective buyer?

    Not to confuse the matter
    by jumping species
    what a pile of horse shit!

    Taken literally,
    a good dairy cow
    costs around $1,200

    Which is a slight pretty penny
    to spend
    on the promise of sweet, plentiful milk

    A good wife
    open air bred, moderate weight, and with strong teeth
    costs significantly more
    than a good dairy cow

    Even more costly
    and downright dangerous
    should you decide to sample
    free milk
    at neighboring farms

    And, if the milk isn’t free
    then you’re doing a direct
    dollars and cents exchange for it

    Isn’t there a name for that?

    Traditionally, I don’t recall that title
    being in high demand
    in the wife market either

    So maybe
    that’s not really what you meant?

    Symbolically, though
    it’s not much prettier a picture

    When you buy the marital cow
    that milk might be amazing

    Like, seriously

    The best fucking milk
    you ever tasted

    For a year or two

    With glimpses of glory later

    But certainly not
    gracing the breakfast table
    every single morning

    But don’t despair!

    You didn’t just buy the milk

    If you bought the right cow
    the bonus plan includes

    And just maybe, even

    You know,
    expanding the herd
    (you may not immediately see the positive cost/value ratio, but trust me, it’s there)

    Taking care of you when you’re sick
    Giving a shit when you’re sad
    Growing old with you
    Generally making every aspect of your life
    (not just the smallest section of the pie graph fuckable parts)

    You’d be lucky to have a cow like that

    Even/especially if her milk had been freely given
    to half the damn valley
    before you came along

    It’s all about knowing what you’re getting into
    Seeing real value
    Not being tempted by anything on the other side
    of the white picket fence
    because you’ve already grazed there

    Been there
    Done that
    No need to go back

    Of course
    none of this argument matters

    women are not cows

    And men
    worth having
    not to make important life investment decisions
    with their dicks

    Think higher

    Everyone knows
    the way to take a bull
    is by the horns

  65. jean2dubois

    by Jean Dubois

    so what’s the score?
    blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more
    yep blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more

    blue sky blue hills your man’s blue eyes
    yep blue sky blue hills your man’s blue eyes
    blue is a color we loved so dear
    no other color could come so near
    blue blue blue as Wyoming’s skies

    blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more
    yep blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more

    but now in the moment something else has come to flower
    yep now in the moment something else has come to flower
    blue red purple the states take sides
    hang on folks for some really great rides
    rides no kiddin’ at a hundred miles an hour

    blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more
    yep blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more

    doing my part for the local dems
    yep doing my part for the local dems
    fingers and toes bright royal blue
    if you’da thought of that you’da done it too
    look at my nails they’re dancing gems

    so what’s the score?
    blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more
    yep blue used’ta be a color but it ain’t no more

  66. destinywilliams

    Fuck Your Expectations

    Who the fuck are you?
    To think you can tell me what to do?
    I’m not your little doll to be played
    with at your pleasure.
    I’m not your little bitch always at your
    beck and call.
    I’m not your little gitchy doll!

  67. eileenDmoeller

    Grin And Bear It

    Lumber over to it
    to see if it smells
    of berries or honey.
    If it does, eat too much,
    then go down under
    a tree that smells like rain.

    Wander through
    dry lakes of yellow,
    rolling in it, fur tipped
    yellow with flower
    dust. Lick it off.

    Growl whenever
    your solitaire
    breaks open.
    Growl at birds
    and beaver tail
    slap and fox rustle.

    Wade in a river
    on all fours and
    cool belly watch
    for a twist of silver
    moving upstream.
    Then go in for the kill
    from true stillness. Be
    all bite and hard clench.
    There will be wriggling.

    Claws and teeth are
    good for many
    things. Show them,
    show them, show
    them freely and often.

  68. d dyson

    It is sad when people we know, become people we knew.

    We don’t talk anymore.
    We have become nothingness to each other.
    We are ghosts in each others back yards.
    We are closed doors.
    We once knew the other inside out.
    We now know nothing at all.
    We fail.
    We hope for a replacement.
    We wait with no hope.
    We feel lost but know where we are.
    We ware days into weeks without caring.
    We do not talk anymore.
    We have become void to each other.
    We have become the end of the sentence.

  69. clcediting


    It is a long way down.
    Here at the summit
    the valley below
    looks like a patchwork quilt
    of various greens.
    The rocks around the cliff-side,
    like jagged teeth
    smile in anticipation
    waiting for one small slip.

    Right now I don’t fear the fall
    as you dangle me over the edge
    my feet swinging in open air.
    Your arms tremble and shake
    with the strain of holding
    onto me.
    Or is it anger that causes
    you to quake,
    that makes your hands clench
    tight in my shirt
    wrapping the fabric round fingers
    caked with dirt and blood.

    The fall is far from my mind
    when I stare into your eyes
    dark with betrayal.
    The light of reason
    cast out by anger.
    Where there once was
    Now all I see is

    No the fall won’t kill me.
    How can you kill someone
    who’s already dead?

  70. Clearseamoon

    “Don’t let the cat out of the bag.”

    Don’t let the cat out of the bag,
    Quiet them with catnip treats.
    Provide warm milk and toys to keep

    Add a scratching post or two,
    always adding something new

    Take your time with the wire brush.
    The goal my friend, the cat to hush

    Don’t let that cat out of the bag.
    There’s no compass for sad or glad.

    For when that cat starts to run their mouth
    The news comes out not “meow”
    but “SHOUT!”

    You’ll have a time to catch them then,
    Cats don’t listen to “I’ll count to ten!”

    I hope you learned from this lesson true
    Cats out of bags will embarrass you.

  71. MeenaRose

    Image Is Nothing
    By: Meena Rose

    You and I and he and she
    We all know that
    Thirst is everything

    I wish you a cup of life
    Full enough, potent enough
    Obey your thirst

    Drink up, drink deep
    Let life dribble down
    Your chin snaking its

    Way into experience-etched
    Ravines encoded with love
    Embrace the mystery

    May it be a cooling touch
    On a summer’s day and a
    Fiery kiss on a winter’s night.

  72. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Paper Statement

    Words are whispering,
    swirling and whirling in my head,
    they must be read,

    April 2014 Poem a Day,
    a challenge to play,
    create a bouquet,

    The prompts provoke thought,
    sometimes I get caught,
    efforts lead to naught,

    The Dictionary, thesaurus,
    sing a chorus, amorphous,
    this is enormous,

    I put my thoughts on paper,
    a caper, vapor, a deal breaker,
    Now I’m a risk taker.

  73. Kevin D Young


    Doc Holliday, a Latin-spouting Southern gentleman
    among the dung of the West holds a gun close
    to the temple of an unidentified man buried
    beneath a haze of whiskey and consumption
    (the now-archaic but evocative decript
    of a disease that was then itself shrouded
    in misunderstanding and unavoidable
    ignorance). Sir, says Holliday, you are the burl
    on the butt of this territory, a pustule among
    the pubic hair of this good public. (Perhaps not
    perfectly correct, but after we edit his
    Wikipedia page it could be true.) I have a gun
    to your head, it must be true. The hammer cocks.
    What have I done? Wrong question. Quo vadis?

    1. Kevin D Young

      I apologize, please ignore the first iteration of this poem and accept this one. The one thing that suffers in the PAD challenge (if I actually write one per day) is editing (the soul of writing).


      Doc Holliday, a Latin-spouting Southern gentleman
      among the dung of the West, holds a gun close
      to the temple of an unidentified man buried
      beneath a haze of whiskey and consumption
      (the now-archaic but evocative decript
      of a disease that was then itself shrouded
      in misunderstanding and unavoidable
      ignorance). Sir, says Holliday, you are spit
      on the lips of my people, the burl among
      the pubic hair of a good public. (Perhaps not
      perfectly accurate, but after we edit his
      Wikipedia page it could be true.) I have a gun
      to your head, it must be true. The hammer cocks.
      What have I done? Wrong question. Quo vadis?

  74. Glory


    ‘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.

  75. Poetess

    Let It Go

    Tears in my eyes
    Remind me I’m not numb
    Willing the words
    Rising in my heart a sun

    Tears swell up once more
    Drowning out the sorrow
    Washing out the poison
    Dawning my tomorrow

    Letting me see inside
    A self-image disappear
    The rage and anger hiding
    That preserved me in fear

    Trapped and invisible
    So perfectly bad
    Life out of balance
    Let me be sad

    Tears dropping again
    Teeming like rain
    Play acting out
    Voicing my pain

    This way of uncovering
    The lost part of my soul
    The nagging questions
    I’ve stuffed in a hole

    Speaking inside myself
    A friend my guide hiding
    Yearning for years
    Trying but denying

    The fiber of my being
    Which way should I go…
    Left right fused together
    How can I know?

    Living in a quandary
    Two faces opposing
    Enslaved to myself
    Aftermath unfolding

    Broken men distractions
    A darkened-my-way lair
    Breeding distortion and lies
    Leading me nowhere

    What a perfect defense
    Keeping it in a hole
    I didn’t have to see it
    The re-raping of my soul

    But the truth will shine
    Having its way too
    Healing inside
    Bearing the true wound

    It may never crystallize
    But facing this I must
    Here comes the flood again
    The virgin tears of my lust

    Pouring down my face
    Untangling my knot
    I am afire
    I am red hot

    Quenching my flames
    Burning my lips
    Don’t cry little girl
    Soon this will eclipse

    I will hold my own hand
    Passing the shadow of doubt
    Surviving revealing my worth
    The sun will shine out

    Exposing the shame
    No more fearing the dusk
    This construct of mockery
    Produce and be loved

    Thank you my guide
    For holding my hand
    It’s truly who I’m not
    Lost in a man

    The words reverberate
    Lost in a man…lost in a man
    Resounding ringing
    Undamming the jam

    There I’ve done it
    Unraveled the chain
    It was mine to wear
    Innocence and blame

    Be what I am
    Sweet with trusting charm
    Menacing myself undone
    My henchman of harm

    Versing and sharing
    Selfless and whole
    Crystal my calling…
    Let it go

  76. PatsC

    Silence Is Golden

    With a name like shampoo, It has to be good.
    Make it a mouthwash night,
    Soap – the fresh maker,
    All you need is deodorant and a dream.

    Behold the power of moisturizer,
    This is not your mother’s lipstick,
    The best mascara a woman can get,
    Mild, green wrinkle repair liquid.

    Detergent is what we do,
    So easy, no wonder bleach is number one,
    Easy, breezy, beautiful fabric softener,
    Better living through starch.

    I’m only here for the chips,
    We bring good beer to life,
    Beware of expensive popcorn,
    Better living, through vodka!

  77. Daniel Paicopulos

    Write It Down, Write It Down, Write It Down

    They write or fade, those
    big-hearted bards, one hundred
    April images per hour.
    Poetic Asides
    becomes their stage,
    longing for what’s due
    their flowing thoughts, yet
    loving each other’s works,
    competitors no more.

  78. ambermarie

    You Have No Power Over Me

    Magic sphere tell me the glass secret
    Barn owls know in the night
    The maze does not resolve, forever changing
    Minds and worlds evade comprehension
    Alas, a ladder climbing to the enchanted orchard
    From the shattered dream of the majestic fantasy
    I find the infant – I see the self I banished
    Toby was the inner child
    I am David Bowie

  79. Jezzie

    “There’s nowt so queer as folk”

    “There’s nowt so queer as folk”
    my granny used to say
    and I find that I believe it
    more and more every day.

    I wonder why folk are queer,
    why are they not like me?
    although I am starting to fear
    that the queerest one I might be!

  80. lidywilks

    Wen it maga it pop

    imagine a balloon inflated
    until it bursts like confetti
    imagine wearing pants 2 sizes
    small, that it rips at your backside
    for all the world to see
    imagine stretching a rubber band
    til it snaps into your eye
    imagine going through all 100
    ways to save money and
    there’s no 101
    imagine having 38 cents left
    on a $1,000 limit credit card
    and all the others are maxed out

    maga, scarce, can’t take no more,
    not enough, inadequate…
    that’s what it means and
    that’s who we are

    living the maga life

  81. Azma


    I see light down the dark tunnel
    A light where love is unbiased and happiness for all is the only form of happiness
    Where cheerful shoulders are ever ready to boost up comrades
    Where the garden of hope and joy is always in bloom
    Where the stones of denial are drowned by the ever expanding ocean of generosity
    Where personal success is worthless without success of society
    I see light down the dark tunnel
    And the light is bright

    -Azma Sheikh

  82. Brian Slusher

    The Unknown Unknown
    “I’m not going to say which it is.”—Donald Rumsfeld

    A man in an excellent suit and red tie
    explains the problem, says there are known
    knowns, like the earth orbits the sun or
    I’ve pissed myself. And there are known
    unknowns, such as will the Yankees win
    the pennant again or does anyone see I’ve
    pissed myself? But the absolute kick in
    the head is what we don’t know that we
    don’t know, like the white-bread kid
    with two knives tucked in his pockets or the
    airliner that rises gracefully into the air
    and disappears off the scope or
    I don’t love you anymore.

  83. drwasy

    Pay the Piper

    “Pay the Piper” my Daddy always said
    and by that he meant squirrel a bit
    of weekly pay into savings

    But like nuts, those pennies had a way
    of losing themselves, of not amounting
    to much more than a handful of metal

    to rub together, hoping for something
    substantial like a hat or coffee, or maybe
    a sweet song to sleep by in the shelter.

  84. Poetic_line

    Fail Big

    Put your neck
    on the chopping block.

    Put your dream
    in a vise. Being wise

    cannot compete
    with dreams that push

    against the grain
    as humanity strains

    to keep everyone
    grounded, chained
    to Earth.

    Fly and fly again.
    Next time, you’ll make
    the grade.

    Try and try again.
    Never be afraid.

    Stand as the star
    you are; fail till you succeed.

    Rosalyn Marhatta

  85. Poetic_line

    Fail Big

    Put your neck
    on the chopping block.

    Put your dream
    in a vise. Being wise

    cannot compete
    with dreams that push

    against the grain
    as humanity strains

    to keep everyone
    grounded, chained
    to Earth.

    Fly and fly again.
    Next time, you’ll make
    the grade.

    Try and try again.
    Never be afraid.

    Stand as the star
    you are; fail till you succeed.

    Rosalyn Marhatta

  86. anneemcwilliams

    how much wind can a windmill mill
    if a windmill only uses wind
    (found poem)

    dose makes the poison
    amniotic fluid is water. drinking water
    becomes blood plasma.
    it is the creeks and rivers
    that fill reservoirs. It is underground water
    that fills wells. it is rain.
    rain drops are the juice of oranges
    and milk, and honey stirred into tea.
    They are in spinach and apples,
    in the yoke of an egg, melons,
    potatoes in wet earth, frost on pastures.
    They are the blood of meat animals.
    Whatever is on earth, is inside the womb.

    contaminated without consent.
    take Bhopal.
    Over twenty thousand people dead so far.
    that pesticide was a trade secret
    and so people died
    without antidotes.
    without knowing what hit them.

    dose makes the poison
    poison makes business
    take chemotherapy drugs
    which are made by companies
    that make the chemicals
    that cause the cancer
    that needs a cure.
    our exposure to chemicals
    in air, food and water
    is called safe threshold levels.
    Drink plenty of water.
    Life depends on water.

    first draft 04/11/2014

    1. anneemcwilliams

      2nd draft

      without consent

      amniotic fluid is water.
      water becomes plasma.
      it is the creeks and rivers
      that fill reservoirs. it is
      underground water
      that fills wells. it is rain
      whose drops are the juice
      of oranges and milk,
      and honey stirred into tea.
      it is spinach and apples.
      it is in the yoke of an egg,
      melons, potatoes in wet earth,
      frost on pastures. the blood
      of meat.
      what’s inside eggs,
      is inside the womb
      breast milk
      the most chemically
      contaminated food
      on this planet
      is the mutable
      of mothers

  87. FaerieTalePoet

    This is horrible, taste it!

    She pushed her dish towards me, while simultaneously spitting into a napkin. I stared down at it, it looked okay. After all, how bad could a meatball be? I swallowed, reached with my fork towards the offending blob of meat. I shaved off a bit with a prong and pulled it towards my mouth. I examined it as if I was a dermatologist taking a look at a suspicious mole. Then I bit the bullet, not literally, but the metallic tang of gunpowder would probably have tasted better than the rancid combination of beef, pork, and chicken ground together and mixed with stale bread crumbs. The meat had obviously turned before it reached our table. I spit mine into a cloth napkin and asked to speak to a manager. He comped our meal and gave us a gift certificate. But we’re afraid to go back, and we don’t really want to send our friends there either.

    Dana A. Campbell

  88. silencebreaksyourheart

    Can you live with yourself,
    when all you have done is
    lured others to a sweetly
    enchanting destruction?

    Can you live with yourself,
    when all you have done is
    betray the trusts of those
    who once called you blood?

    Can you live with yourself,
    when all you have done is
    plant wreckage into the young
    when they should be blooming?

    Can you live with yourself,
    when all you have done is
    lead the innocent down a
    winding path you couldn’t
    manage to take alone?

    Can you live with your

    Can you live with your

    Can you live with your

    -S. Monahan
    All Rights Reserved

  89. Ravyne

    The Higher the Leap, The Harder the Fall

    I crash into your memory
    a leap so high
    I feel your bones crack

    I separate the pieces of our lies
    those told in malice
    from those told out of love

    and weave them into an escape
    down down I climb
    ’til I reach the foundation we started

    there was once love here
    the star dust of our first date
    glistens on the ground floor

    letters you bleed for me
    plaster the walls
    thick as stars in the night sky

    and echoes of orgasms
    ring through these halls
    calling me, calling me back to you

    Copyright 2014
    Lori Carlson

  90. Ravyne

    The Higher the Leap, The Harder the Fall

    I crash into your memory
    a leap so high
    I feel your bones crack

    I separate the pieces of our lies
    those told in malice
    from those told out of love

    and weave them into an escape
    down down I climb
    ’til I reach the foundation we started

    there was once love here
    the star dust of our first date
    glistens on the ground floor

    letters you bleed for me
    plaster the walls
    thick as stars in the night sky

    and echoes of orgasms
    ring through these halls
    calling me, calling me back to you

  91. Clark Buffington

    I miss you

    We are not apart often, you and I, our lives intertwined as tightly as the world will allow. When the time comes that we must be separated I dread it with a sadness and resentment born of the ache I feel when we are broken asunder.

    We are each our own person, you and I, but I am so much more when I am with you. When we are apart I see the light is not as bright while beauty and joy pale without you to share in them.

    We are so blessed, you and I, with the Love of another that has been given to us as we travel through life together. When these periods of absence must come I hurt while rejoicing in the love that this pain is born from.

    We will not be apart long, you and I, no matter that the seconds are hours and the days are months I will be home soon. When we are together again I will see the light shine bright and the beauty of the world will resound with joy.

  92. cbwentworth

    For A Limited Time Only

    Cue the countdown,
    days are numbered
    Fences are few,
    so don’t hold back

    Get up and stand,
    rather than kneel
    With just one shot,
    everything counts

    Toes to the edge,
    dare to look down
    Take a deep breath
    inhale the sky

    – – –

    C.B. Wentworth

  93. Shennon

    You’ve Just Won Two Tickets to Hear the Davis Brothers Perform Live at the Harlan County Dam Playhouse

    The who?
    Play where?

    I have a feeling this isn’t in metropolitan Minneapolis
    I’ll have to venture down to south central Nebraska

    Some of the best vocals,
    finest acting skills,
    and most talented musicians
    can be found in these hills.

    Please tell me how to find the nearest airport.

  94. Clark Buffington

    The Beauty in Fishing is the quiet

    The thrill of that first take is exciting
    Everything has come together in that moment

    The exhilaration of the trout dancing across the water is amazing
    All was adrenaline as the battle commenced

    The pride of the rainbow in your net is satisfying.
    Entirely content as the fish was released

    The silence of the mind as the next cast goes out is relaxing
    Utterly beautiful was the quiet of fishing

  95. ERavagniCarter

    All is one

    is a statement of paradox
    I look around me and see a world differentiated
    a complex duality
    made up of prisms of light

    white light encompasses all colors

    colors are only a matter of refraction

    we all refract

    the illusion that we are somehow more than light

  96. lionetravail

    “Objects In Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear”
    by David M. Hoenig

    My first thought this morning is: Ohmygod,
    there must be crippled crows aplenty flying about,
    because they’ve left their feet beside my eyes!

    The orphaned extremities seem to underscore
    the extremity of my visceral consternation,
    and a Holmes-ian level of inspection commences.

    I have one of those horror film moments,
    where dreadful fascination suddenly settles
    the rest of the bathroom under sea of molasses.

    Within the kennel of brown mongrels which, another day,
    would be of more restrained and better behavior,
    I see more greyhounds than usual within their slips.

    My forehead appears more successful at writing than I,
    with many more lines on the page, and I want to cry
    at the creases laughing at the corners of my mouth.

    And suddenly, the world is once more normal, as unkind camera
    withdraws outward enough to blur time’s irresistible artistry,
    and I can again convince myself that nothing has really changed.

  97. SeekingSoltitude

    Statement poem-

    See, hear and feel

    Out on the streets
    Is when you see
    Freshmen smoking
    anybody can tell, they are on a spree

    Out in the night
    is when you hear
    a girl screaming and pleading
    its not long, till it disappears

    Out on the shore
    is when you see
    children, women being forced on a ship
    and the ringleader on the deck laughing in glee

    Out near the abandoned shop
    is where you hear
    gunshots and whispers
    and then silence

    Out on a quiet day
    is when you see
    another girl crying
    her husband kicking her out of his house

    Out at a mall
    is where you see
    masked people with guns
    killing anybody on sight, you run

    Out at your house
    is when you see
    yourself in the mirror,
    the one which ran from every corner

    Never raising your voice
    you and them are alike
    except they are demons-
    you are a coward


  98. Dennis W

    Statement poem.

    My Brain on Dogs

    I am
    never much to slam

    my nose
    on the ground ‘neath my toes

    and lick
    bits to eat, then get sick.

    But I
    could be happy that I

    Found the
    exact place I could be

    If I
    only found my groove by

    a whiff
    at somewhere else to sniff.

    Dennis Wright, April 11, 2014.

  99. Anvanya

    “It’s not out of the ground that they get it…”

    My sweet, sometimes you stand just like your Dad did,
    Slightly hunched over, brow scrunched with thought –
    Sometimes I find you hunkered down in front of the radio,
    Intently listening as you tweak the dial
    Just like your Grandpa did so long ago –
    Sometimes I recall the time that Sitka bounded from the
    Apartment through your bedroom window:
    You had the biggest grin on your face as you raced
    Into the living room and breathlessly and gleefully announced:
    She’s out the window!

    Mostly you are your inimitable self,
    Proud Dad and loving husband, making your living
    In Maryland because the wife needs to live near her Mom.
    Which gives the grands a hands-on Grandma
    And one on the Pacific coast.

    That’d be me, who looks in the mirror and says
    She has always been her Daddy’s girl, whose hands are his,
    Whose face reveals the same smiles as his sisters over the decades.
    Aren’t we all, us girls, proof positive that his German genes
    Trumped the Irish in our family tree?

    As for Nurture, these years I believe in it less and less,
    Having seen strengths and weaknesses we inherited
    Play out in all our lives – even though we had the same
    Parents, attended the same schools, went to the same
    Church. So I contemplate the smiles in the school photos and the
    Ears and the brows of the girls as they grow and I can plainly
    See which what comes from which parent and which
    Trait is now dominant … forever and ever, Amen.

  100. Cin5456

    I Am Calling It Quits

    I hereby declare I will not write
    another poem about poetry.
    I’ve written on the subject enough
    to exhaust the subject it seems.
    I’ve written my Ars Poetica,
    and certain tributes to words.
    I’ve written lays about laying down words
    with precision and acuity.
    I’ve written about poets,
    themes, and rhyme schemes
    until onomonopeia drips
    from my finger tips to squilsh
    into the page.
    I’ve personified impish inklings,
    and performed poetic surgery,
    all in the hopes of building
    the perfect prose poetry.
    Some were exercises
    in formulaic interpretation
    taken to the nth degree, until
    my professors said, “Spare me.”
    The number of poets who write
    about writing poetry is too numerous
    for numbers to capture. If I could,
    I would cage them all,
    until they discovered other subjects
    more worthy than their own creativity.
    And so I swear this will be my last
    pontification on poeming…
    At least, until my muse hits me
    over the head with my own cleverness,
    and asks me to explain how
    I came up with such lame ideation.

  101. Astrid Egger

    Rainy Day Poets

    Rainy Day Poets
    rarely need lip gloss
    to get ready for a reading

    Perched on barstool
    in a coffeeshope
    their lips move silently

    to words rumbling
    in their belly
    ready to come out

    Their mates have
    saved themselves
    for a rainy day poet

    And those among them
    who are single
    won’t suffer a dry spell

    They can lament
    about the loss of
    fairweather lovers

    On a vacation
    they sense the arrival of
    the Mexican chicadee

    and Costa’s hummingbirds
    by the creosote bush and
    Saguaro before the rain

    and then their girl says
    “when I grow up,
    I want to be a hydrologist”

    And they smile
    and say to themselves
    yes, yes, yes.

    They are handed a
    rhythm which they can
    chose to ignore

    but Chopin didn’t
    and it will add more
    to a rainy day poem.

  102. KellyDelValle

    It’s Hard Having Writer’s Block in a Crowd.
    On days when my skin
    does not feel too much like me,
    and I don’t even feel like inviting
    myself –
    I walk, and whisper to my possibilities,
    “Don’t mind her,
    She’s just looking for her lonely place.”

    1. KellyDelValle

      I added to it. This is one of those poems (like many others of mine) that I will probably bury for a year before figuring out how it should be made. Anyway, here’s version two out of a likely hundred or so.

      On days when my skin
      does not feel too much like me,
      and I don’t even feel like inviting
      myself –
      I walk, and whisper to my possibilities,
      “Don’t mind her,
      She’s just looking for her lonely place,
      her thinking spot,
      her words.”

      And do my possibilities whisper back?
      but probably not until tomorrow.

  103. RavenCorbie

    Inspired by Robert Browning:

    At the End of My Rope

    At the end of my rope is a nice long loop,
    Tied just the way you showed me how
    Two years ago, on the boat in Maine,
    With all those other knots and hoops,
    As we sailed around the No Name Pond.
    Do you remember how you smiled?
    So hard it hurt your very cheeks?
    Oh, it made me ever so fond.
    That trip was the beginning of the end
    My heart was given, for you to take,
    And vows we made, if not in a church —
    (That would come later, my dear, sweet friend) —
    Because we were there, and alone, and in love.
    I never was jealous, I knew you were mine;
    Just as you knew I was yours and ever would be.
    But then last night, I heard enough,
    From Pauline, on your answering machine,
    My friend, my very best of all —
    (Besides you, of course, but that’s needless to say)
    Saying you were her king, and she your queen,
    And that she adored the way that you smelled
    With your mouth on her breast and hers on your chest
    All tangled within the crisp, white sheets
    Of her bed where no passion was quelled.
    So you see, I know that tomorrow we planned
    To fly to Paris, to Vienna, Milan.
    For our yearly reminder of marital vows.
    I hope you don’t mind; I sold your wedding band.
    So don’t you worry, and don’t you fret,
    I’ll be long gone before the constables come
    To find your body all swollen and stiff:
    My new life will start after leaving the jet!

    1. RavenCorbie


      At the End of My Rope

      At the end of my rope is a nice long loop,
      Tied just the way you showed me how
      Two years ago, on the boat in Maine,
      With all those other knots and hoops,
      As we sailed around the No Name Pond.
      Do you remember how you smiled?
      So hard it hurt your very cheeks?
      Oh, it made me ever so fond.
      That trip was the beginning of the end
      My heart was given, for you to take,
      And vows we made, if not in a church —
      (That would come later, my dear, sweet friend) —
      Because we were there, and alone, and in love.
      I never was jealous, I knew you were mine;
      Just as you knew I was yours and ever would be.
      But then last night, I heard enough,
      From Pauline, on your answering machine,
      My friend, my very best of all —
      (Besides you, of course, but that’s needless to say)
      Saying you were her king, and she your queen,
      And that she adored the way that you smelled
      With your tongue on her breast and hers on your chest
      All tangled together in the crisp, white sheets
      Of her bed where never that passion was quelled.
      So you see, I know that tomorrow we planned
      To fly to Paris, to Vienna, Milan.
      For our yearly reminder of marital vows.
      I hope you don’t mind; I sold your wedding band.
      So don’t you worry, and don’t you fret,
      I’ll be long gone before the constables come
      To find your body all swollen and stiff:
      My new life will start when I get off that jet!

  104. Shennon

    This Poem Has No Title

    I don’t like titles
    So why should I cow?
    I don’t conform
    I prefer not to bow.

    A title sways
    The reader’s mind
    It sways opinion
    It makes one blind.

    A poem should be left
    To interpret at will
    Not defined by a title
    Or the last syllable.


  105. inkysolace

    This is what crushes are made of

    They are pages ripped from a dictionary because every object you know
    is defined by how long he touched them
    they are white stains on the seam
    of your jeans, they are the name
    repeated into air too dark to see yourself in, solid enough
    to be the ink to your fingerprints

    This is what crushes are made of
    not fairy dust and loud, open giggles
    they’re made of heartbeats, of torn paper, of watching him
    push another girl to the front of your locker and feeling his hands against her waist
    as if each finger pulled out one of your ribs with every one of her stupid smiles

    This is what makes them so fierce in your breath
    they are not love and they know they never will be

    They are soft knives snapped in two
    they are the discarded tabs of soda cans, rusted scissors waiting for dissections in
    a biology classroom’s corner cupboards
    they cry of how they never hurt enough to matter
    but they built themselves into a mess of pieces
    held together only by the screech of their parts,
    stained glass and thumbtacks and howls
    that dare you not to feel its bite

    They are made of scars and eyelashes and blood that hasn’t had a chance to dry
    scabs picked with rugged fingernails
    they are made of the words you forget when you’re listening for voices
    looking for the one that makes your fingers wish
    they had more practice holding each other

    This is what crushes are made of
    when they are done with you they’ll add the memories you wished to burn
    into a screech that rattles the cages of their generator
    your ashes are the power that pushes clawed feet in search of someone else
    this is the only way they know how to live

  106. Shennon

    “Do You Take This Man?”

    “Are you freaking kidding me?
    The only place I’m taking
    this no good piece of trash
    is to the curb.

    The lying, cheating bastard
    drinks too much,
    comes home late,
    and I suspect he gambles.

    He doesn’t respect my privacy
    He stomps on my self esteem
    He’s bossy and arrogant
    So NOT the guy of my dreams.

    He’s the scum at the bottom of a week-old beer can.
    Therefore, kind sir, I do NOT take this man!”

    Is what I should have said
    when the preacher asked.


  107. EbenAt

    A Day Which Will Live In Infamy

    December 8th, 1941
    F.D.R. said it,
    referring, of course,
    to the day before.

    He was certainly right
    but comparatively,
    August 6th and 9th, 1945
    were unimaginably
    more so.

    Yes, the Nazis were horrific,
    Stalin’s pogroms as well,
    but what of
    the tens of millions of
    indigenous people
    us westerners killed
    in the Americas?

    Whatever your race,
    ethnicity, tribe or sect,
    the human condition
    is such;
    nary a year
    goes by
    that does not
    live in infamy.

  108. carolecole66

    Don’t Go There,

    You said, with that hard look when
    I tried to tell you that the house
    needed a small repair, that you
    should call your mother on her
    birthday, that maybe later we
    could take a trip to Long Island
    to see my sister. Don’t go there.
    I wondered where we might go,
    if not there, if we couldn’t risk
    quick trips to places that cause
    dis-ease, poke into dim corners
    that might hide small treasures,
    a gold coin, a lost child, an old
    song, prizes I’ve glimpsed
    at the edge of my vision,
    that vision we had at the start.
    I have been down that road,
    that one you’ve told me
    not to travel, the one that
    might take me to the heart
    of the heart I once held in my hands.


  109. Bucky Ignatius

    Til Death Do Ye Part?

    Yes. There are no fingers
    crossed, I, lone codger
    in this hippie house,
    take thee, Oreo the Cat,
    no matter what
    comes out of your
    limitless bag of tricks.

    You’re barely three, and me,
    much older. Chances are
    our odds are fairly even
    in the long run, though
    your fur is much softer
    and in the short run
    I can lock you in.

    Bucky Ignatius

  110. P.A. Beyer

    How about a nice game of chess?

    Marcus rubbed the stubble on his chin
    a habit from his younger days
    His brown eyes fixated on the flashing blue cursor
    as if the next letter would appear like a desert oasis
    Consonants or vowel?
    A finite set –
    The English alphabet
    A 1 in 26 chance
    but like the Big Bang, was this the creation of a noun or a verb?
    Adjective or adverb?
    Pronoun or preposition?
    His mind raced as he plotted the neural decision tree
    Must add onomatopoeia as another variable
    The evolution of letters to words, words to phrases,
    to sentences, paragraphs, pages & books
    A universe unfolding, but following rules and order
    There was no chaos and he could prove it
    A man possessed, he spent day and night
    Deciphering the patterns, until, in a final
    exhaustive fury
    he collapsed on his keyboard
    his final, greatest algorithm complete –
    A program to create any past, present and future
    body of written work
    Checking in on her husband, Tina,
    (a well-versed scientist herself )
    leaned over his shoulder,
    reviewed his program and declared
    “Your work is wonderful honey,
    there’s just one small problem…
    It doesn’t explain poetry.”
    Marcus glanced up at the screen
    reviewed his code, and whispered
    in his final, exhaustive breathe
    “That’s because
    it just
    does not

    1. Cin5456

      I like this. The title set me up for something out of Hollywood, but took a different direction. Still, all roads lead to a summary written in words, whether poetic or not. The final sentence was unexpected, until I reached the same conclusion.

  111. Nanamaxtwo

    All of Us
    The Collected Poems of Raymond Carver

    All of us: Cheever, Hemingway, Williams,
    stayed a near death by intoxication;
    lost careless fathers who, like their papas,
    could neither hold their liquor
    nor the circumstance of living.

    We searched for words, precise, unforgettable,
    wrote through the flow of liquid food.
    We hunched like monarchs in late morning sun,
    and looked for memory, sipped wine to find it.
    But honestly did not, could not remember.

    Now all of us, done.

  112. SestinaNia

    Guns Don’t Kill People

    It’s just metal artfully
    arranged. It could have been
    any number of things:
    baseball bat, sword,
    playground slide, or
    garbage truck.
    It had no say in design,
    owner, or use.

    It is not the seed
    planted in your heart one
    night when he came
    home late, lipsticked
    and humming. Nor
    is it the vine of lies
    that now threatens to choke
    you every time his lies
    water your soul.

    It is not even his black
    rage when you confront
    him about her.
    It’s just metal, artfully
    that you brandish
    to try and ease
    your pain.

    — Sara Doyle

    1. SestinaNia

      edit–rewrite of last stanza:

      It is not even his black
      rage when you confront
      him about her.
      It’s just metal, artfully
      through which you channel
      the bullet
      of your grief.

  113. MyPoeticHeart

    “Guns Don’t Kill People, I Do”

    Killing people is a choice
    I could kill by breaking up with someone
    Killing isn’t always human death
    It could be a heart wrenching decision.

    I could kill someone with a thought
    Wishing someone they would die
    Is the same as killing them, biblical speaking
    Using the word hate means death in my Bible.

    Guns don’t kill people
    A bullet to the brain kills someone
    In this case, the choice out of my hands
    The gun didn’t kill my brother. He did.

  114. GirlGriot

    Still thinking about all the family history discoveries I made yesterday at the Underground Railroad museum.

    backward, in,
    looking behind
    doors, folded pages.
    for myself,
    a new image
    a new story. There,
    somewhere –
    are pieces
    that were lost, peace
    I still need to find.

  115. encrerouge

    Body knows of only one language

    Annabel once showed me the back of her hands
    a trance only known by the weeping willows
    every finger twitched with a glance of sunlight

    under the skin veins, a rush of annexation,
    placement was not of the introverted
    flying above atoms and theories, the clock grew
    around and beyond her manual dance

    trying to explain detachment , her index finger
    became something of a celestial galaxy, and the spaces,
    centuries and years of light from where I stand now

    her voice didn’t quiver like the winter with warmth
    of a shallow try behind the curtain of the theater
    or a quilt of little extension to cover the movement
    also known as a progressed being experience

    the body only knows of seasons, today her clothing
    uncovers a little in the heart area, letting free
    a rabble of butterflies into the eminent drought

    under the sun, everything glistens onto an embrace of change
    layers and layers of what the movement is made of
    the rays hit harder and her quirks become stranger
    idioms disintegrate only to fill in a new speech

  116. Michael Wells

    Boundary Lines Are Purely Adult Creations

    A line in the sand, a twisty river bank, a road,
    a fence line, coast line, a surveyors’ line that
    that is as invisible as your imagination.

    Busby bodies these lines are, dictators
    in the dirt, of tax rates, tariffs, who owns what
    and what language you should speak or anthem

    you should sing. The imagination of grown men
    gone mad. Separating good schools from lesser
    schools; telling you who delivers tap water,

    electricity, how you get well when you are sick
    and when and where you go to war. Who is your
    sports team, but we tinker with this a bit.

    Congressional districts, school districts, fire
    districts, special tax districts (what tax is special?),
    sewer districts, foul lines, tan lines (okay maybe not)—

    If this is the best adults can do with their imagination
    maybe there is no hope for us. I draw a line in the sand
    when it comes to boundaries— I’m against them.

  117. hwerther

    April 11 Poem-a-Day

    Do Not Drive or Operate Heavy Machinery on This Medication

    My mother disappeared when I was eight. Another who looked
    almost like her came back in her place. Her face was puffy,
    eyes matte, mouth unmoving, a life-sized doll that sat in a green
    chair by the window. I burned boxed mac-and-cheese on the stovetop,
    noise and smoke filled the house. She never moved and I knew
    she wasn’t real. Chunky pill holders with bold blue initials indicate
    times, days of the week, dosages, have weak latches. My dolls
    had a tea party on a Thursday. Small, sticky hands fall limp, a barrette
    leaves a scar above the left eyebrow when pressed between
    a small head and the edge of a bed. My mother flopped like a fish.

    —alysia sawchyn
    Copyright 2014

  118. MaryAnn1067

    Deo Volente

    Deo volente, because a stitch
    in time doesn’t always
    save nine and yes,
    sometimes we cry over
    spilt milk when there
    isn’t enough left for the
    tea and, sure, there are
    those who would steal
    the milk out of your tea
    as soon as look at you–
    shower of bastards raining
    on our parade, but we laugh
    while the world laughs
    with us, never
    crying alone

  119. smdnyc

    Be Brave

    Nothing can be undone now.
    We toughed it out like we were told.
    Look, our blood of self-fulfillment
    has broken us whole.

    You can’t wonder why we scattered.
    We cling to the errands for our salvation.
    We drive further on to find what
    we missed, though we’re far and we’re cold.

    We can’t say we’re afraid.
    No distance is enough,
    though we’ve lost all sense
    of what it feels to be warm.

  120. beachanny

    “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
    ― Søren Kierkegaard

    Life has a cinema verité that could be filmed,
    yet it’s experienced primarily in periods of lucidity
    framed by periods of vivid dreams. Each day is filled with a
    montage of images experienced as an intricate filagree
    of acts melded into fantasies and imagination.

    Problems emerge as suddenly
    as tax documents. They require finding solutions —
    money, new jobs, health care.
    There are expectations by family, peers, church, society.
    There is a yearning for something else – vaguely a sense
    of freedom – meaning usually that one wants “out” of whatever
    thorny thing that’s become bothersome.

    Thoughts, daydreams, hopes scrape the bare table
    filled with challenges, fear, threats, disease. Those then
    may be washed in the blood by prayers, beauty, games,
    drugs, drink, and perhaps a friend with purpose, a clear thought, a
    reason to pursue a noble life, a truthful cause, or merely
    to follow a whim. Life’s a journey of experience both real and imagined.

    © Gay Reiser Cannon * 4.11.14

  121. MichaelMcMonigle

    Asthmatic Life

    Stuttering for breath
    Upon endless fields
    Of pointless flowers

    Painted red and gold and brown and black
    Dressed in the fashion
    Of the grandest gardens
    Watered by workers
    Under the unforgiven sun
    The moment of stop
    Near one’s fragrant petals
    Another shakes leaves for attention

  122. Sara McNulty

    Don’t Play With Your Food

    It was not that I didn’t care
    about all those starving children
    my parents guilted me about
    whenever a nasty vegetable lie
    dormant on my plate. I would
    hesitate, then ask why we could
    not send our food to them. Maybe
    they liked vegetables.

    True, I could shape a napkin
    into a tent and erect it
    directly over those canned peas
    and carrots, not to mention the vile
    lima beans that I would pluck
    out of my soup, and pile in stacks
    next to my bowl. My sister and I
    became adept at the art of scattering
    vegetables into corners, so that
    it would look like we had eaten
    at least some. But along came Dad,
    lifting napkins, moving vegetables,
    and saying, ‘don’t play with your food.’

  123. christinamcphee

    ” Do Or Die ”

    Be you
    No tomorrow
    Just a lie
    we’ve sold ourselves
    Do now
    that’s all there is
    Hope puts off
    the pregnant present
    Birth now
    Abandon to the labor
    Lest you grieve
    a stillborn lie

  124. Shell

    I Love You To The Moon And Back
    By Shell Ochsner

    Once amidst lifetimes ago, adoration rose above all else leaving us most satisfied.

    To nature’s waning, waking cleverly in masculine arms protected from days break.

    Slow movers we were then, care not in the great wide world as liars lay bound in bed.

    Loving for loves sake, as if anything else coexisted in minds distracted by sweet words.

    “I love you to the moon back,” on breath from soft lips with gentlest smile made.

    Thoughts of forever parading in dreams of youth long-lost to a much older age.

    Memories of true love, this soul takes to heaven and once again is held in masculine arms.

  125. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 11

    Write a statement-titled poem.

    This Is My Most Embarrassing Moment

    I’m standing, then I’m kneeling, then
    I’m on my face.
    I can’t look up.
    Laser-beam light cuts through my squeezed-tight
    eyelids, and I hear that voice, woven with sorrow,
    lilting with joy.
    I feel the gentle hand, and it’s as if I’m chided,
    chastized, and chastened, at the same time I’m
    soothed, smoothed, and satisfied.
    I draw hands from under my prostrate body to cover
    my burning eyes, and with horror, I see the once-golden
    gifts I’d brought to offer have turned
    brassy. Now they burn before my eyes as if paper,
    cinders blowing away.
    I have nothing left to give but ashes and brokenness.
    My cheeks have never before flamed with this
    that nothing I have is good enough,
    nothing I’ve done is fantastic enough,
    my little deeds done with secret pride
    blackened by selfishness.
    Of course I knew it was about grace,
    of course. But this isn’t about my being forgiven.
    It’s about my grateful heart being willing to obey,
    bending itself in sacrificial love for the least of these.
    I cry. I wrench with sobs.
    I grieve, because I’ve grieved Him,
    too busy enjoying all the gifts He gave to share
    them with everyone else; riding the wave of His blessings
    while children were locked in rooms where terrible
    things were done; cruising through the easy days with
    plentiful food while the hungry browsed through garbage cans;
    listening to others who ministered to prisoners and saying,
    “I’ll pray for you,” but never considering that I should go.
    Too late, too late, too late,
    to undo, to redeem my most embarrassing moment.

  126. Yerma Skyflower

    i’m so fucking tired

    i could fall over right now but
    i still have two poems to write
    before midnight and i should read more
    patricia smith before she comes on sunday
    and i still need to brush my teeth
    and to wash my face and to feed the cats
    so they don’t wake me up so early—
    so much to do before sleep.
    so much to do before dreams
    full of colors that don’t exist with open eyes
    and children who look like me
    who like to ask why and
    loved ones who don’t breathe
    who refuse to say goodbye…
    even with head on pillow
    there’s no rest — and
    i’m not even that wicked.

  127. TheFlawlessWord

    The Sword Is Not Mightier than This Pen

    From the poems that healed me—
    As much as a broken being
    Can be put back together—
    After my mother died
    To the memoir that endeavors
    To bring her back to life,
    The ink spilled by my ballpoint pen
    Is bloodier than the sharpest
    Blade could ever produce.

  128. Scott Jacobson


    The banshees want to see rainbows,
    but are not allowed, so seethe and moan
    to scare the children who want candy.
    I want to sleep, but my alarm keeps
    going off. Beauty wants to wake up
    and get out of her pajamas, but no prince.
    In the forest, a bear wants potato chips,
    but the prince just won’t let them go.
    The king has a special attitude toward
    nuclear weapons. He likes seeing them
    explode in the forest. I always get told
    what not to do before storming a castle.
    You have to be this tall to kiss a princess.
    Why was I given a pen, but not a sword?
    How much ink do I have to spill till I get
    what I want? All I want to do is spare us.

  129. BDP

    Wonder—is not precisely Knowing
    And not precisely Knowing not….

    –Emily Dickinson


    “It Never Rains But It Pours”

    Drops pelt in tone deaf codas strong to weak.
    Again the sideways bluster seeks to push
    its palms on windows where I sit and read
    the lines of panic. Given that, I much

    prefer dry snow, the smoke that velvets black,
    the dimming outdoor lights, white flakes that flute
    my path when all around me, quiet. Tracks
    on soft sound flowing down. You brushed through it

    before me, winter’s final storm—your steps
    a half hour old, and time for glasses filled,
    the heat still rising from the last, my guess
    you hear the song just as I do, the thrill’s

    in never pleading, lift our wine to toast
    our trust, no ramping fear, no sudden boast.

    –Barb Peters

  130. spacerust

    “Listen to Me” by Karl A. Avila

    Young I was when you first told me
    that I was nothing
    that I could do no right
    your roar would send me into shivers
    and I would cry all through the night

    Young I was when you first mold me
    to believe I was nothing more
    that I could not be bright
    your paws would send me to the floor
    and I would run and hide from fright

    Older I was when you kept insisting
    “Listen to me” and things would be better
    I didn’t know that I had ever been wrong
    and still I tried to learn your lesson
    though it was never enough to have you leave me…


    I am now an older man
    with three children to call my own
    but inside I still hold the child that feared
    every word you threw I held
    and bottled up inside me

    Through it all you always hurt me
    and to this day I still recall
    the words I hold are heavy to bear
    although none of it makes me fatter
    but “Listen to me” father…

    I love you

  131. shellcook

    That’s my boy!

    That’s my boy I say with a smile so soft.
    Oh my God, I love that boy so much.
    I almost lost him to his own heredity.
    That’s my boy…
    I found him in the mirror waiting for me

  132. pamelaraw

    Spring Has Arrived

    And so has he to the same park bench
    where he unfurls the morning paper
    and feigns to read. In a moment,

    a woman will occupy the seat
    to his left, where she can keep
    a mother’s eye to the playground, a lover’s

    eye on the man who waits, week-
    day after weekday, lunch in a crumpled
    paper sack by his feet. Perhaps today,

    she will lean into the sweet-hot
    nothings that fill her ears–neck
    exposed, heart covered by hand.

    Perhaps today, she will keep
    her knees pressed against his,
    tighter than a secret. Every time,

    she will linger a little longer
    than the noon hour, but always,
    always, she will leave.

  133. Tashtoo

    We Want You

    You can be all you can be
    If you just listen to me
    Forget all those dreams
    You once had
    Trust me on this
    Life can be bliss
    It doesn’t have to be so bad
    Just stopping all this free thinking
    It’ll keep you from sinking
    In the quagmire of lies & deceit
    Sheep have it easy
    Live easy breezy
    It’s the shepherd
    Burdened by belief
    We all want you
    Will stalk & haunt you
    In hopes that you’ll join the team
    Just lay down your mind
    For those of like-kind
    Close your eyes
    To what it all really means
    Follow the masses
    The jerks and the asses
    Who’ve painted the fence posts to match
    You’ll not feel fenced in
    If you stop and give in
    We’ll make you think
    You’re a hell of a catch

    Natasha Head

  134. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Too much, too soon,
    Too little, too late.
    No time like the present;
    Hurry up, and wait.

    Leg up, handout,
    Half truth, white lie,
    Lions, and tigers, and bears;
    Oh, my !

    No blood, no foul,
    No guts, no glory;
    I could be mistaken,
    But that’s a-whole-nother story.

  135. Gabrielle Freeman

    The Immortals
    by Gabrielle Freeman

    “We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.” Eduardo Galeano

    It’s why we return to the lip
    of the bottle, deep red kiss
    of black cherry, blackcurrants,
    chocolate, even tobacco,
    licorice, pepper, grass. The first
    taste. The first kiss. The body,
    light, medium, heavy. The nose.
    Swirl the glass, inhale. Slip wine
    into your mouth. Brush your lips
    against my neck. Salt, sandalwood,
    lavender, leather. An empty
    bottle. Legs grip decadent curves
    of thin crystal dripping dark.
    Round, fleshy, opulent. Bold.

    Thanks for reading! Check out the full post at http://www.ladyrandom.com.

  136. gmagrady



    crossed or drawn,

    no matter,

    they’re there.

    just wrinkles

    defining what is.

    not what was

    not what could be—

    no longer bookends to a smile’s squint

    but gravity

    pulling at lips’ corners—

    lips that never touch

    because of


  137. DCR1986

    A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

    Thoughts for the day?
    Be close.
    Be absent.
    Be narrow.
    Nah, never mind.

    WARNING: Consciousness in session!

    Mind you, generations?
    Willpower is starving for knowledge
    out of passion to live in memory of
    what we imagined—
    Living without ignorance and fear.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  138. Puja

    Follow Your Heart

    What does your heart have to tell you?

    You know….how do you fail me when I need you the most?
    Dear damn heart, where do you go when I need that maturity and that wisdom people say you have?
    “Listen to your heart! Listen! Listen to it!
    Your heart can never be wrong! Listen to your heart!” they say
    I mean where does that come from??

    You? What do you know? You know what’s right??
    Out of nowhere you will stubbornly squat
    in memory lanes, at dead ends, atop castles in the air
    and back over and over again on that wall
    where Humpty Dumpty broke himself
    never to be put together again!

    You squat, you stubborn brat,
    and you throw your hands and feet in the air
    and bawl for all those things
    you just have to have.
    So what if they hurt?
    They’re yours and they must be brought to you!

    There’s no bringing you up!

    And today you ask for the faith that will kill me? And I will listen to you,
    won’t I?
    “Listen to your heart!” they say, those ridiculously
    pathetically foolish wise people!
    As if we had a choice..

  139. acele

    “Keep the Faith”

    Keep the faith, my father said
    I wonder how far his voice had to travel
    from tower
    to orbiting satellite
    then back somehow
    to my ear

    So I’ll keep it, my faith
    like solid block
    placed in the center of the teetering shelf of my life
    till it steadies
    allows all of the other weighty burdens stacked so high
    to be carried

  140. gmagrady

    “Do as I say, not as I do”

    Go to bed.
    Cut the crap.
    Use a map.
    Never swear.
    Never speed.
    Never gripe.
    Always lead.
    Pay the bills.
    Stay out of debt.
    Go to Mass.
    Don’t place a bet.
    Answer the phone.
    Talk it out.
    Forgive the enemy.
    Don’t you pout.
    Turn it off.
    Clean your room.
    Rise above it.
    Don’t speak too soon.

    Caffeine in moderation.
    Don’t join the smoking sensation.
    Treat each day as a new celebration.

    Go to bed.

  141. rhiain30

    “She’s In Her Element”

    The ship I lead through the mist
    Is of a different type of tree
    Than the one I was carved from
    At times I dream of goosebumps up my bare arms
    And silky dark hair whipping in the wind
    But letting the barnacles collect in my shadow
    And over my half-done form
    Is better than getting a chill

  142. Elizabeth Koch

    Kings and Queens

    Night away
    A hotel stay
    A king size bed
    sizzles troubles away

    It’d be fun
    Buy it, it’s done
    More room to be
    together as one

    Wish we’d seen
    Wish we’d kept the queen
    In a bed so wide
    our love grew lean

  143. peacegirlout

    I’m at a loss for words

    My brain feels squishy
    And my tongue’s twisted tight
    And no willful trying
    Will make my ishees rhyme right.

    I’m not a giver upper
    Nor a snub nose Viola
    But this word sway and gushy
    I just can’t control her.

  144. Emily Cooper

    What the State Meant

    Yes all you well-heeled
    well-meaning Republicans

    paying one’s taxes
    is the law and laws
    can and should

    be tested and questioned

    and yes most folks like
    having more money
    rather than less

    but laypeeps poorer than you

    (the ones you are allegedly
    trying to swoon

    as we can see
    through your kindly-televised
    brainstorming sessions)

    readily give up a portion
    year after year

    to pay for the continued
    functioning of a modern
    civilized society.

    The part of taxes
    the laypeeps don’t like?

    Funding government activities
    they find morally repugnant

    and funding people in power
    who take the money
    make the laws

    and suppress and oppress
    all those people
    who we all know

    don’t actually exist.

  145. seingraham


    In the tastefully furnished office
    of my dealer,
    my shrink really but all she does
    these days
    is write me a prescription
    and send me on my way
    I find myself checking out
    her latest acquisitions
    wondering at her art choices,
    the lack of family photos,
    stuff like that,
    before she arrives to chat…
    not really, but
    she has to write something
    in my file, I guess
    I have my happiness’s
    and my sadness’s
    rehearsed ahead of time
    I don’t like to waste hers or mine—
    time that is—
    I can’t even remember
    what I mentioned when she
    said the phrase, “this too shall pass”

    And I found myself jerking
    in the chair opposite her
    Staring at her as if your ghost
    had entered the room
    Draped itself over her body maybe,
    perhaps even took over her person;
    I must have been staring
    because she had to ask me
    something a couple of times
    before I finally came around,
    realized you weren’t there

    I couldn’t help myself,
    I blurted out, “It’s just that
    saying…that “this too shall pass”
    I never thought I’d
    hear it again after my Mom died…”
    She chuckled in that nervous way
    people do when they’re not sure
    anything’s funny
    The way shrinks do when they’re
    just a little bit worried
    the patient before them might
    be getting ready to flip out
    “Oh don’t worry doc,”
    I smiled broadly at her
    as I reached for my script.
    “I’m not going to throw a fit.
    It just makes me mad, that.
    My Mom used to say
    it all the time, and about anything.
    I finally told her to knock it off —
    just because I didn’t like some-
    thing didn’t mean I wanted it
    to “pass”. If everything she
    said would pass, actually did,
    my whole life would be gone…”
    The doctor looked confused,
    a bit concerned maybe,
    but she also let me leave
    with my yearly prescription
    so I guess, I’m good for another year.

    1. shellaysm

      I don’t know if it’s just me, but I often rethink poems after submitting. With this one, I think I like the second to last line better as: “than later. When gone, you may”
      So the poem would now read:

      It’s better
      to appreciate
      what you have
      now rather
      than later. When gone, you may
      wish it yours again.

  146. PKP

    “You Get One Ride on the Merry-Go-Round”

    “You only get one ride on the merry-go-round”
    my father often said
    shaking young raven
    hair from his intense eyes –
    I was just past sixteen
    when he added an addendum
    with a tender surprised smile –
    “You are my second ride”
    and I tried –
    I tried to make
    it a good one
    up to – and past
    the day he lay –
    upon crisp white
    sheets – cologne
    combed through his
    silver-shot hair –
    arms rising and
    falling to the sound
    of a calliope only he
    and I heard in that
    final soft summer song
    I tried – I try

  147. Angie K

    The Real Thing

    The real thing-
    this is the slogan they repeat,
    as if the rest of life is false.
    How do “they” know?
    Is this a fair moniker for a soda –
    isn’t there more to life than a drink?
    Am I taking this a bit too seriously?
    But in this world of existential soda,
    I must contemplate –
    Is there A real thing?
    THE real thing?
    And if I find it, now do I share it?
    Perhaps I can teach the world to sing –
    in perfect harmony, even.
    Or share a smile.
    Make it real,
    more than just a Thing.
    Catch the wave –
    there is so much more to life, and it’s not found in a can.

  148. bethwk

    Abandon Hope all Ye Who Enter Here
    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider
    with apologies and thanks to Pema Chodron and Margaret Wheatley

    “Hope. . . is not the conviction that something will turn out well,
    but the certainty that something makes sense regardless
    of how it turns out.” –Vaclav Havel

    I have a fierce attachment to hope,
    to that inward knowing
    that this boat will stay afloat no matter what.

    I have a deep-rooted, heavy-booted fear
    that in this moment
    we are in the very act of sinking.

    Like they say, the hope keeps me living,
    living in the middle of the fear,
    and paralyzed to move,
    lest my shift cause this bark to sink.

    Perhaps the future demands not hope,
    but willingness to sleep with uncertainty.
    That we lay our heads on pillows of rock,
    and though we know not whether the day will dawn,
    sleep soundly through the storm.

    Though we know the fight is likely useless,
    onward we fight because it makes sense
    to hold our ideals no matter what we face.

    Oh, I’ll hold hope in my pocket–
    uncoupled from its sticky twin–
    like a shiny copper penny,
    like a talisman.

  149. Hannah

    There’s Beauty in Simplicity

    I hear laughter of a young couple and eager chatter
    as they run beneath an ancient, flowing, flowering sky –
    fresh in love – two pursue the timeless path…breathless.
    The heavens pour forth in blooms of purple wonder,
    wisteria’s lavender climb consumes a vast space
    it carves out a place for a new duo to pause in embrace;
    laughter and chatter quickly transform into sensual sighs
    as mythical and eternal stories linger in their minds.
    These woven florets that hang in colorful close clusters
    they’re a symbol of their heritage – pulse of true passion,
    the epitome of beauty blooming from simplicity.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  150. briehuling

    April 11, 2014

    Day 11

    batteries not included

    What I can tell you is it that it probably looks
    prettier on the shelf
    vacuum sealed in a deliberate package,
    all the parts facing out and in tact.
    When you rip it open,
    fondle it in your capable hands
    giving it a taste of what its like to be wanted–
    cram the batteries deep inside,
    positive to positive
    negative to negative
    assuming you want to see it all its tricks,
    you better have some modest idea
    of what its like to breathe life into the terrified.

    By Brie Huling

  151. flood

    I Have 10 Unbreakable Rules Of Writing

    One – Start writing, stop counting
    Two – The World Is Large. Pick a piece of it and tell us about it
    Three – Stop stealing from your gods, your friends, and your television
    Four – Read something besides TMZ
    Five – Don’t use a list of ten when six will do
    Six – Stop counting, start writing

  152. Zeenie

    i’m no good

    My best friend says this to me
    between sips of chai, burning
    the skin of our throats –

    and I want to grab her
    by the wrists and insert mirrors
    into the palms of her hands

    so she will never read or pray
    without seeing the way
    her eyes choose to glow –

    twin sparklers under
    a wilted sky, starless
    and heavy with black seeds.

    There is no good and bad.

    I will scream this until
    the glass fence we draw
    around ourselves shatters –

    until every bruise loses its color,
    until we float into each other,
    stomachs split and eyes bleeding –

    we have always been ready
    to open, but we have questioned
    our bravery too many times.

  153. Phil Boiarski

    How To Get an A from Gwendolyn Brooks

    She looked like Shirley Chisolm’s sister,
    tough as rusty iron, bright in her floral dress.

    She called women, “Miss” and men, “Mister”
    in a voice soft as a caress; listened closely
    to every single breath, diphthong and phoneme.

    I remember, she asked each student “Why?”
    “What possible reason could there be
    to spend one’s life in this obscure vocation,
    to believe there was a future in poetry?”

    She listened, to each answer, carefully, nodding
    with a small smile. Finally, when it came to him.

    He said, “It is not something I chose; it chose me.
    It’s not a career, it’s an obsession. I can’t stop.”

    She paused, smiled and said, “A plus.”
    His was the answer she was waiting for.

    # # #

  154. CathyBlogs

    There Will Come a Day

    when I will pick up my pen
    and write a poem of great things,
    love and death, God and life —
    There will come a day
    when I will pick up my pen
    and the ink will skein into words
    that grown men cry to read —
    There will come a day
    when I will pick up my pen
    to write of you and me and us,
    the words as lovely as those
    you once whispered to me —
    There will come a day
    when we transcend our story
    maybe with the help of time
    and a little wine; perhaps then
    my pen won’t stab the parchment,
    nor the ink flow freely and red even
    as my heart bleeds lines to paper —

    Darling, you must know by now
    that this is not that poem
    and today … is not that day.

    by Cathy Dee writing at CathyBlogs.com

  155. PKP

    “Trust me”

    Trust me
    he said
    and she did
    and remarkably
    although so often
    the result had been
    quite dismally different
    this time with hope springing
    again eternal – he was all he said

  156. PKP

    With Liberty and Justice “Invisible” For All

    Soo many little ones
    hands pressed to their
    chest recited words to
    waving banners – sadly
    more correct than
    they would have guessed

  157. Alpha1

    is easier said than done
    for a troubled mind is restless
    constantly seeking solace
    searching for some sign
    that everything will be okay
    in the face of disaster
    destruction or disease
    so when there is nothing else
    you yourself can do
    when things are out of your hands
    let go
    let the flow of life
    bear the burden
    smile in fate’s frantic face
    for the end result
    cannot be changed
    smile like it’s
    your birthday be happy
    and your mind will smile
    and be happy too

  158. PKP

    “If Money Can Fix It – It Isn’t A Problem”

    Ah there are those that dream of lotteries
    raining green paper in swirls of comfort
    Yet, those problems that can be covered
    with green paper are but scratches in the
    life of love, of health, of peace of mind -the
    tortured soul with green paper – lies awake
    on a higher thread count – tossing – the
    unfinished sonata, the wooden novel –
    the blank canvas remain untouched by
    the whirl of green paper falling like so
    many torn leaves.

  159. PKP

    “Never Again”

    shall there be infants
    tossed into ovens
    as sticks of firewood
    flashing families into

    Never Again
    shall a family
    pack their
    things to run
    and have no
    where to go

    Never Again
    shall a people
    be forcefully ex-
    patriated left
    to beg entrance
    at closed harbours
    turned away
    again and again
    Humanity cannot
    as yet be entrusted
    to be humane
    genocide continues
    despite the floating ash
    of infants
    never grown to tell
    their parents’ stories

    Still –
    the present repeats the
    horrors of the past sometimes
    with less precision with
    a different shade of skin
    with a twist of the horror
    the story repeats across
    the globe
    and so

    Never Again
    shall the Jewish
    people birth babies
    subject to ejection
    depending upon the
    kindness of others

    Never again
    without a home
    in which to
    where open
    arms await

  160. Gwyvian


    There is something lurking behind your eyes,
    so distant and inviting:
    masked, unopposed—
    a kindling that awakens with hunger,
    …yet so entwined with suffering…
    there is something in your words, your voice
    is ice and your tongue is sharp, but there,
    just for a flicker, there is a tremor:
    stark desire, iron control—

    Your eyes say nothing, yet whisper so much, your
    words are cold, but crack with the heat of thought;
    …the ruins stretch tall and silent around you,
    and the moonlight drinks your features, leaving that
    stony expression swimming in the shadows of all
    that is left unsaid…

    There is something in your hand when it reaches,
    it begins to take, but ends up holding:
    strength riddled with shivers, unyielding—
    a betrayal of feelings perhaps better left unsaid, yet
    so very much involuntarily escaping…
    there is something in your footsteps,
    echoing into the distance, yet never fading:
    a heartbeat voiced, quickened, though not by choice—

    Your hands tried to steal my heart without giving yours,
    but tangles into my grasp, your footsteps falling without
    withdrawal, stepping closer, whatever your intentions;
    …I saw the ice break in your eyes, heard the honesty
    ripped from your voice, took your trembling hands and
    pulled you close:

    …because I know you fight it fiercely,
    but such love is hard to resist;
    I may not be the love you dreamed before me,
    but now I am here, and your answer is
    the tremble of your lips on mine as resistance gives, and
    so I ask what you have begged me not to, because
    I cannot turn away from how I feel:
    surrender to my arms, and let the wounds heal…

    April 11, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  161. susanjer

    The Heart is an Organ of Fire
    Michael Ondaatje

    Yes, I agree. Is the liver, then, an organ of redemption
    or a swamp on the shores of the Red Sea? Are not the
    brows twin aerial bridges lifting over Superior and
    Huron? The ears are alert to pick up any tidbit tossed
    their way. Are they spaniels who’ve lost their sight?
    From the scaffolds of the shoulders, will Picasso realign
    facial contours—move the mouth to the south of France,
    relocate the eyes for a panoramic view and inflate nostrils
    like those of a warthog grazing the savannah? Are the
    legs hinged chopsticks? Upright beams? Ionic columns?
    And could we agree that the brain is the organ, the body
    of imagination?

  162. Sharon Ann

    A little bit of fun for a Friday!

    Hold On To Your Hats!

    You’re about to go ’round for a spin!
    Round and round and round you will go
    where you will stop
    nobody knows!
    Hold on to your hats,
    it’s as simple as that!
    If you’ve spun me around
    you’re about to go splat!

  163. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Thanks to Robert Lee Brewer,
    The words are fun, prompts newer!
    Every day to the PAD,
    A great time we’ve had,
    Displaying many poems or fewer!

    Poets weave, dance, or subtly shout,
    Spelling their crafted poems out,
    You inspire us all,
    To respond to your call,
    Your leadership, we can’t do without!

    You encourage us to write,
    Morning, day and night,
    You invite us to play,
    You know what we say,
    This is an excellent place, quite!

    A wonderful online community,
    Meeting here to share poetry!
    Marvelous to come post,
    Thank you for being the host . . .

    It is a fabulously fun opportunity!


  164. LizMac

    There Must be a Good Reason

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    They have their reasons for the decisions they make.
    It is too much for me to understand or know,
    So I will not try.

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    They were all carefully selected for this position
    So who am I to probe and doubt them?
    So I will not try.

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    If they say those who disappear are troublesome
    No doubt they are (however surprising),
    So I will not try.

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    If I do, I might then draw attention
    And find myself questioned.
    So I will not try.

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    Anyway, I’m far too busy to have my own opinion;
    Isn’t this why these were chosen anyway?
    So I will not try.

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    Besides, with luck history may never notice
    My name won’t show me as one who said nothing;
    So I will not try.

    It is not my place to question the authorities.
    And then there are always sleep aids
    And plenty of distraction,
    So I will not try.

    It was not my place to question the authorities
    But I always thought something was fishy;
    Someone should have got to the bottom of it long ago.
    So what I want to know is,
    Why did no one try?

  165. beale.alexis

    “I Bet That You Look Good On the Dance Floor”

    With your skin covered
    in blood red fabric
    and your hair waterfalling
    down your back
    in loose curls.

    I wouldn’t know
    or anything
    because we’ve never
    been out together
    like that.
    I guess
    you’re not looking
    for romance
    or exclusive titles,
    which is fine
    by all means. But

    it just kills me
    thinking of how good
    you’d look
    on the dance floor.

  166. Brian Slusher

    “I’m not going to say which it is.”—Donald Rumsfeld

    A man in an excellent suit and red tie
    explains the problem, says there are known
    knowns, like the earth orbits the sun or
    I’ve pissed myself. And there are known
    unknowns, such as will the Yankees win
    the pennant or does anyone see I’ve
    pissed myself? But the absolute kick in
    the head is what we don’t know that we
    don’t know, like the white-bread kid
    with two knives tucked in his pockets or the
    airliner that rises gracefully into the air
    and disappears off the scope or
    I don’t you love me anymore.

    1. Brian Slusher

      1) Should anyone care, I reposted this poem in its correct form, so disregard this version. 2) What I want for Christmas is an EDIT function on this blog so I can fix my stupidities and leave no trace of them. Thanks!

  167. intheshadowofthesoul

    I Will Always Love You.
    Lydia Flores

    When the words recede
    crawl back down your throat
    and your mouth goes dry.
    When the pavement cracks
    under our feet and we’re chasing
    time with hands groping each other
    like looking for the light switch in the dark.
    I want to remember what your skin tastes
    like, what your hair smells like and your mouth.

    When we are watching the moon from different
    windows and car horns block out our howls
    I will drink red wine till I am a slurring song
    and wake up heavy headed to the truth
    that we will never be lip to lip again.
    When loneliness aches and I grimace
    at the empty bed side at 4:27AM,
    When I catch a smile birthing from your lips
    at the hour of her meeting you for brunch
    I will take the space between us and coil
    it around my tongue and swallow hard.
    I will welcome the midnight hour with
    heavy eyes, and instead of the memories
    I will sleep alone tonight, cold side of the pillow.

    In the morning, with yesterday’s residue in
    motes of dust on my honey oak floors
    I will walk barefoot to the kitchen, and have
    a cup of black coffee. with the bitter burn
    on my tongue, I will swallow it all and
    I will tell you, your memory this:
    I will always love you. I will
    always, love you but
    I love someone else.

  168. SuziBwritin




    That means free to write this whole poem in one long line if I choose and keep going until I run out of breath or finger strength or ink, or line width or imagination

    I love freedom so much that
    I will not quantify what someone
    else’s freedom might or should
    look like

    I love freedom so much that
    I think I would be on the frontline
    yelling my head off
    to show everyone they have freedom
    to lead or follow
    regardless of what the risk

    I love freedom so much that
    my lungs can’t yell loud enough
    how great it is

    I love freedom to breathe in
    breathe out
    And BE FREE
    right here
    right now

  169. J.lynn Sheridan

    We’re not in Kansas anymore

    We’re not in Kansas anymore.
    Not Dorothy’s Kansas or Auntie
    Em’s We live for the future We die
    on the farms in post-apocalyptic
    wars The world of hiding, running,
    lying, residing in fifty shades of
    Twighlight fires Diverging from the
    (ahem) mild-mannered Almira Gulch
    to the tongue of olé Miley We Hunger
    for dystopian Games Running Mazes
    through Vampire Academies fifteen years
    after the Revolution We’re on the Fringe
    of Jericho after a nuclear disaster
    with Toto in our basket Each nano-
    second counting to save Uncle Henry,
    the Lion, the Scarecrow, and a man of tin.

  170. Joseph Harker

    A Vandal’s Manifesto

    We the Youths, having had our fill of suburbia
    arrayed around us like a thousand branches strung
    with webs and nooses, set out from Colin’s house,
    backpacks filled to the brim with cans of spray paint
    and flashlights handy for the factory’s interior–
    blind and dirty, all hooks and chains, where Colin
    practices backflips and the rest of us violate
    panes of glass with our boots to let in August and
    an unexpected chill. We the Youths begin to articulate
    names we found in the crooks of our elbows and
    naked toes, polished and cobbled into autographs
    that we flex now in colors that move beyond colors–
    blue, green, fuchsia, tangerine, heartbeat, distance,
    disaffection, rage. We the Youths are the ones
    who know how lucky they have it, who know how
    everyone feels the bile rise in them, eighteen,
    nineteen years in, even when there’s no reason for it
    and it still needs to be spat out or sprayed upon
    broken walls that we climb over, bridges that we
    hope to burn, train trestles whose rumbling goddesses
    carry us anywhere else but here. We the Youths
    run for cover when other lights begin their sweep over
    empty fields. We the Youths are good Christian boys
    sick of being harmless. We the Youths, in order
    to form a less perfect union, are out all night–
    scrawling on supermarkets and highway barriers,
    so we can believe our lives are kinking and thorning
    and growing contours, your sons, pale and desperate,
    orbiting out and back, to Colin’s house, where we’ll
    scrub our hands raw, scrub them clean, like there’s
    anything we regret or wish we hadn’t been.

  171. beale.alexis

    “Each time I swear I’m leaving you”

    You grab me from behind and
    Place your palm gently over my mouth
    Smiling, you press your lips against my ear
    And they whisper scarlet nothings
    My body has memorized this routine.

    I’m facing you now
    And our lips are hardly inches from each other
    This tease has me drunk
    I taste your ego and confidence
    That you’ll have me tonight

    I drink up your words and forget
    Every bad thing you’ve ever done. Suddenly it all seems
    So petty and meaningless
    My mind is lost in ecstasy.
    I’ll stay baby, I’ll stay.

  172. starrynight3

    God Reliance Not Self Reliance

    Maybe dependency is a disease
    Or maybe it’s not.
    Maybe it’s where we place it
    That’s at the root.
    What if we turned to the light?
    What if we relied on something
    Greater than ourselves?

    Stuff. People. You name it.
    Anything is better than nothing.
    Self reliance comes from
    The mistaken perception that
    Something’s out there. It’s not.

    There’s nothing out there.
    People have signed up to go anyway.
    The next stop is Mars. Hundreds lined up
    For a one way ticket. When we run out of
    Water on earth, there’s some on one of Saturn’s
    Moons, we just discovered it.

    Hey, no problem. Crank up the rocket.
    When everything here is used up
    We’ll just go there.


  173. beale.alexis

    I’ve got to be drunk to kiss you

    Yes, that’s how bad
    It has gotten between us
    I can’t bear to let myself feel
    Something for you sober

    Intoxication creates anarchy.

    Guilt leaves my shoulders
    All the voices are quiet
    I find courage
    And I am so powerful.

    My favorite part of the little game
    ociety lets us play
    Is not having to admit it meant anything at all:

    “It was a mistake!
    I don’t remember!
    Wow, I was so drunk!
    I can’t believe I did that!”

    Truth be told,
    It was
    I remember everything
    And I wasn’t that drunk.

    Hand me a shot and
    I’d do it again

    The thing is,
    Society tells us being drunk makes you do bad things
    Oh God,
    We can’t control ourselves
    Oh God,
    Our judgment is impaired
    Oh God, Oh God.

    Fuck society. Do not listen
    To their lies
    It only gives you the power to do what you are afraid to sober.

  174. Shaindel Beers

    When Lights Flash, Bridge Is Up

    With two sentences borrowed from the article “The Bridge’s Long Shadow” by Jane Seyd

    I was in the City of Bridges, always nervous,
    always crossing water to get anywhere.
    The lane changes needed before the GPS
    voice could say them. The Morrison Bridge,
    the Hawthorne Bridge, The Burnside
    Bridge, The Steel Bridge. Bridges to cross
    between the restaurant we’d wanted to go to
    and the one that was open. The bridge
    we thought we’d turned onto going
    the wrong way until we saw the sign
    facing us that said, “When Lights Flash,
    Bridge is Up,” and we knew we were safe.
    I read poetry in a friend’s house on the crest
    of a mountain, the view breathtaking.
    Up there, I knew, the world could belong
    to me even if I didn’t always belong to it.
    She’d put a sign in the yard that said,
    “Poetry parking this side,” and I felt
    that this was a world I could exist in.
    Earlier on the meditative path of a solace
    garden, I thought of the elephants
    I’d seen at the zoo. The ones my son
    had fallen in love with, the small circle
    that had become their lives. But I tried
    to appreciate that we were there,
    that Liam loved them. That he wanted
    two elephants from the gift shop,
    Mama and Baby, because now this
    was his idea of elephant. When you
    and I talked it wasn’t so much of loss
    but of what we had never had. Those parts
    we’d been born without. The pain passed
    down from pogrom to shtetl to Auschwitz.
    The way fury and fear were more real
    to us than love. That day you found
    a bridge of your own.
    You told yourself:
    Here you are.
    You can decide to slip
    a little bit
    and you’re gone.

    1. drnurit

      This poem touches me deeply. The bridge metaphors remind me of a famous Nachman of Breslov quote: “All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all.” I keep on thinking about ”what we had never had” as the ultimate loss, about the elephants – symbol of courage and strength – as a bridge (especially “mama and baby”), and about a bridge of pain and fear (and survival) “from pogrom to shtetl to Auschwitz…” So loaded with meaning and so beautifully conveyed… Thank you.

    2. PressOn

      This drew me in immediately, especially “Burnside Bridge.” That seemed out of place at first, but then I considered its history, and as the poem went on I kept thinking of those who died trying to cross it. That image and teh poem worked in tandem from then on. This is a complex piece, but as it flowed on, like the water under bridges, and faded to a rivulet with the final line, the whole thing came back to bridges again and it all seemed simple. I am so impressed with this one; it’s a keeper. Thanks.

  175. Taylor Mali

    Step Out From Behind the Camera

    Born at the dawn of color
    photography, albums of my childhood
    are a mix of black and white
    and sun-faded pictures in sizes
    not rarely seen, with scalloped edges.

    And there even flicker frames
    of shaky movies starring me
    blinking, oblivious, entire fist
    in my mouth, or crying because
    I am the center of attention

    but not in anyone’s arms,
    which begs the difference
    between who a photo’s of
    and who it’s for. Recalling
    love not a two-way street,

    turn the camera on yourself.
    Or turn it over to a friend, and say,
    Please take this of my love and me.
    You are the story, not only the teller.
    You are the one they want to see.

    for Ellen

  176. Mokosh28

    Eclipse of the Moon Due Next Tuesday

    It’s all shadow. The way astronomers count
    planets a million light years gone. The way comets
    loom or volcanos strafe the sun. More vision
    than event. Still, we mark the calendar, check
    weather, gather lawn chairs and binoculars. Already
    we gossip about our singular goddess
    satellite: blaming her for PMS, the unplanned
    third child, the unwise affair. We reassure

    each other that it’s okay to erase her
    for an hour or two, though they expect us to see
    a blood red corona and the darkness cast
    might be complete. Then, to outwit us,
    she might turn so we would see,
    at last, her mystery side, full of castles
    and forbidden love. Where all our wishes
    have gone to hide and dance like shadow
    puppets behind a white screen.

    – Joanne Clarkson

  177. Kendall A. Bell

    Press button

    Receive bacon. Receive a reprieve
    from the daily doldrums. Receive
    $200 and don’t pass go. Receive
    a free backstage pass. Receive a
    ticket to paradise. Receive a dream
    date with the actress of your choice.
    Receive three gumballs. Receive a
    unlimited supply of popcorn. Receive
    two extra fortune cookies that will
    tell you that your luck stops now.

  178. Earl Parsons

    Get Over It

    By others
    Get over it

    People are cruel
    Even best friends
    No one is perfect
    Many don’t care
    Get over it

    Some don’t even know
    They’ve offended you
    Others were purposeful
    Can’t tell the difference
    Who really cares
    Get over it

    We all get hurt
    We all fall down
    Some stay down
    Some get up
    Get up and
    Get over it

    You’ll be glad you did

    © 2014 Earl Parsons

  179. Margie Fuston

    Whistling Girls and Crowing Hens, Always Come to Some Bad End

    My grandma always made me sit, knees pressed together, not crossed
    (crossing causes spider veins), hands folded over a pastel skirt
    (sensible color choices reflect a woman’s intelligence), hem below the knees
    (a bit of calf and a hidden promise is all you need to catch a husband).

    When my pastel-covered lap caught a man, she taught me how to cook
    (food, not love, keeps a man), how to clean dishes in gloved hands
    (work like a maid, but never let it show), how to keep my mouth shut
    (a good wife knows when to let her husband win an argument—always).

    But, I’d rather be on a ranch in Tennessee, knees bare and covered
    in dirt from my garden, ringing the necks of hens, whistling all the while.

  180. kkalexander

    Fly away home

    Be it ever so humble
    The heart puts on airs:
    The crown of a debutante’s
    Rattail-teased hairs.

    Plastered and postured
    A highlighted dome
    Strands ever straining
    To fly away home.

    Like froth on the crest
    Of an ocean blue’s wave,
    Phantom arms overhead
    A wannabe knave.

    Advancing, retreating
    The vanishing foam
    Is an apt metaphor for
    To fly away home.

    Like vagrants, vagabonds
    Adrift in the gloaming,
    We circle the planet
    Relentlessly combing

    The countryside, searching
    For shelter of womb,
    A haven, awaiting
    Escape from the tomb

    Of self-doubt, rejection
    The pessimist’s poem.
    We flee by retreating
    To fly away home.

    Why search without,
    Though others may roam.
    Heart’s journey is ever
    To fly away home.

  181. DanielR

    Innocent words drip from guilty lips
    raining down upon the unsuspecting
    and with your wink you make us think
    it’s our ideas that you’re suggesting
    you stay a while and flash your smile
    until we let down our defenses
    then you take our money and think it’s funny
    we’re paying for your expenses
    I hate the way you lie then try
    to explain it all away
    but just beware that I’m now aware
    of this wicked game you play
    so if you’re smart you will depart
    and just let us be
    cause if you don’t then you won’t
    ever again say “Trust Me!”

    Daniel Roessler

  182. maxie409

    It Is What It Is

    Oh you like that one
    don’t you? I hate
    the way you think
    it absolves you
    of all responsibility.
    No apologies. No remorse.
    Shoulders shrugging, palms raised,
    “It is what it is”,
    that smug look on your face.
    And then the capper:
    “That’s just the way I am”.
    Oh I hate that one
    most of all.

  183. RebekahJ

    Even A Blind Chicken Finds a Piece of Corn Now and Then

    Our mother used to say.
    And: that town is so sleepy they roll in the sidewalks at night
    And: your father is a checkered dog, everybody knows him.
    Imagine our surprise to learn, years later
    They were German expressions, not her originals
    But the translations were all her own
    And not bad, either.
    She certainly had her faults, my brothers and I can tell you.
    At the very least, she was a character
    Some would even say a piece of work.
    A lot had happened in the war
    And as much as she tried to pretend
    Life started when she got off the plane at Idlewild
    It was always there
    Like the accent only her sons couldn’t hear
    Hidden in plain sight.
    But looking back, now, after all that madness
    All the fights and tears and rants
    I realize that somehow, we always forgave her. I guess it’s true:
    Sometimes you have to let five be an even number

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  184. toujourskari

    Live in the Moment

    Moments are fleeting.
    They barrell towards eternity like a bullet train.
    There goes one.
    There goes another.
    The velocity of a moment is deafening.
    It arrives and it is gone in an instant.
    I will choose instead to live in your smile,
    Your hair, your hands, your scent.
    These are endless.
    I will live in your whim and your wisdom,
    in your breath and your bed, in your growl and your gumption.
    I will live in anticipation of golden years spent
    walking at sunset, arguing over pancakes,
    dancing by the light of the moon.
    I will not live in the moment, because at this moment
    you are not near.
    No, I will live in the thought, the feel, and the promise
    of you.

    1. lshannon

      swooning over this part…

      “I will live in your whim and your wisdom,
      in your breath and your bed, in your growl and your gumption.
      I will live in anticipation of golden years spent
      walking at sunset, arguing over pancakes,
      dancing by the light of the moon.”

  185. Linda Voit

    What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

    So I guess I can drop the exercise guilt.
    Apparently I’m doing strength training
    my underarms raw
    from the pressure of crutches
    as I get around, find ways
    to bring a book, shirt or water
    from one place to another,
    catch my balance with anything
    but my left foot
    after the fall Saturday
    when I thought I was already
    at the bottom step.

    Linda Voit

  186. James Rodgers

    Sell My Soul

    at another blank page,
    the words not coming,
    I summoned
    the devil himself,
    offered to sell my soul
    to be a famous poet,
    never have writer’s block,
    and be well paid
    for my verse.
    He agreed,
    and just as he began
    to lean in
    for the handshake,
    he pulled back,
    looked at me
    with disdain and derision,
    and disappeared
    in a puff of sulfur.
    He must have realized
    I’d already sold my soul
    a few dozen times
    in the last five years,
    at least twice last month.
    So I guess
    I won’t ever be famous,
    won’t ever be rich,
    and I should have held out
    for a much better deal.
    I wonder how much the devil
    would give me
    for a kidney.

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      Enjoyed how you went from “staring at a blank page” to wondering “how much the devil would give me for a kidney” . . . just not expected. Interesting way you wrote your poem, nice job!

  187. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Cat’s Out of the Bag

    She’s sitting on the chair next to mine,
    demanding bits of my breakfast toast.

    She stares at me and cries, she is so
    desperate, she wants to tell me,
    for just this treat; she is owed,
    Her person (me) keeps her starving.

    Earlier, after her own breakfast,
    she accompanied me back to bed.

    She spooned with me, settling her tiny back
    into my chest, as I arced around her,
    stroking her tummy and throat
    while she stretched and purred.

    She is my boss lady, and I’m hers.
    We’ve made our negotiations.

    There are matters on which
    we renegotiate daily. We work it out.
    E.g. she will use the cat door, reluctantly, if
    I keep ignoring requests to open others.

    But I’d like to see me try to keep her
    in a bag! There would be ructions.

    She would scream at me and claw,
    scrabbling fiercely, the way she used to do
    at the carpet outside the bedroom door
    when I shut her out … before I surrendered.

  188. poetrycurator

    Here is my Statement Haiku for day 11

    Find Your Beach

    Beauty on the sand
    with a bottle in her hand
    Key to a man’s heart

    By Denise Fletcher Copyright © 2014

  189. Bartholomew Barker

    Taxes are due Tuesday

    Death and taxes
    Our only certainties
    And unless I die
    Within four days
    I must pay

    Maybe I’ll ignore
    My obligations
    Sell my dollars for gold
    Barter some acres
    Dig a hole
    And insert my head

    It’s probably better
    To suppress my bile
    For another year
    Write a check
    And try once again
    To make a better world

  190. dandelionwine

    Your Face Will Freeze Like That

    In memory, this is how you’ll stay,
    your eyes dancing with the corners
    of your mouth upturned.

    This is not the only face you wore,
    but it’s the one you chose to share,
    the one that remains,

    my favorite.

    Sara Ramsdell

  191. RamblinRose

    Hope Springs Eternal…

    When the snow melts and the ice loosens its grip
    When the spring freshet recedes and the river
    Returns to gentle rapids
    When the brown grass reappears
    When the chocolate brown soil thaws
    And buttercup shoots fill waterlogged ditches

    Then I’ll put away the winter clothes
    Then hang up the snowshoes for a few months
    And dig out the sandals and put on my rubber boots
    Then plunge my hands in the life-giving earth
    Then believe again in the miracle of life
    Of the inevitability of Summer

  192. robinamelia

    Make time for Me Time today

    If all else fails, the county lockup
    may provide some solitude,
    though you have to hurt someone first.

    Or try crawling under the front porch.
    I liked it fine when I was nine or ten,
    before the ground hog called it home,

    so it just had that cool dirt smell I liked.
    Once I brought a friend there
    who told me how her mother kicked her

    in the stomach until she puked. We had found
    some cigarette butts
    and smoked them under there too.

    It’s easier to find a place for Me time,
    when you’re small enough to crawl
    below porches and nostalgia

    isn’t even on the vocab list.

    Robin Amelia Morris

  193. Pat Walsh

    PAD Day 11 poem:

    I Will Give You Mine
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    Looking at the mud in the yard
    I noticed that your tracks
    were broken in spots
    where the soles of your boots had split

    it must make it hard for you
    to get your work done
    you could really use some new shoes
    If it wouldn’t make you too uncomfortable
    I will give you mine

    and I will stop and stay and do what I can
    and I will remember you in the quiet evening

    Standing behind you in line at the store
    I noticed the soft frayed cuffs
    of that old gray sweatshirt
    that you always seem to wear

    you must really feel the cold
    once the sun goes down
    you could really use a new jacket
    If it wouldn’t make you too uncomfortable
    I will give you mine

    and I will stop and stay and do what I can
    and I will remember you in the quiet evening

    The odor in the vestibule is not pleasant
    and I noticed that several teeth
    were missing when you smiled
    as I entered through the side door

    it must make it tough for you to find
    someone with a couple extra minutes
    to just sit and listen
    If it wouldn’t make you too uncomfortable
    I will give you mine

    and I will stop and stay and do what I can
    and I will remember you in the quiet evening

  194. Gwyvian

    Watch the Kingmaker’s swindle

    Dreams are the luxurious silk we are told we cannot afford,
    and truth a commodity only sold to the weak, for allegiance,
    the Kingmaker promises relief, for obedience,
    there is a promise of riches and sweet, coveted peace – but
    there is also war for the dark thirst in our souls,
    an enemy to distract us, and his quickest path to control;
    when rivers and mountains are no longer untouchable,
    they are relics of being connected to our Earth, monuments of
    obsolete respect: there is no need, the Kingmaker says
    for the feelings of belonging in the universe; he will tell us
    what to feel, and give the direction – there is always
    something or someone to hate, and we murmur with diligence—
    for the Kingmaker has spoken, and he has said
    that now the impossible is at our fingertips: food, shelter,
    righteous reign and revenge, the lines of ally and enemy
    a blurred statement in bold midnight against a black parchment:
    invisible to the sons and daughters of all lands, though
    we are means to a simple end: the Kingmaker’s reign is
    intricate and sweet, but for the countless tiny cuts from
    which we bleed – it was necessary, so we are told,
    and both the bold and the wise are quelled not by the man
    himself – but by his believers, his people,
    his sons and daughters so obedient, so meek—
    and the blame is never given to any other than those
    unlucky fools who lack excuses, even while the rope tightens
    and we dizzily fall to our knees—
    but is it the executioner who should burn in our rage,
    and not the man before whom we incidentally kneel? and pleas
    are heard by the Kingmaker always, now wise counselor
    to the king himself, and he whispers and tugs our strings—
    we are absolved, and grateful to him; yet some question,
    in secret whispers to be sure, who the Kingmaker is,
    and what he is for, in a land where the people have a voice:
    but no one discovers the truth of his identity,
    for he is scattered across the four corners of the Earth—
    the Kingmaker is the desire for more, when one or many
    dominate, he is the jealous lust we all feel
    for things just out of reach, he is the burden of command
    when the will to push against it cracks—
    he has our backs, and raises us through guile and smiles,
    but he only has power through our own blind desires…
    and to that, there is no end: as long as there is something
    to take, someone to hate and betray,
    the Kingmaker reigns… and no one catches his swindle,
    for all our futile hunting and games of doling out blame…

    April 11, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  195. Gammelor

    For today’s prompt, make a statement the title of your poem and either respond to or expand upon the title.

    Time Is an Arrow

    But not for the sleepless.
    It stutters and stumbles
    from midnight to six
    an all-night drunk
    that won’t go home:
    Then picks up the pace
    as a fresh day dawns
    with sunshine and zephyrs
    it sprints on its way
    while we stutter and stumble,
    our minds turned to stone.

    Gammelor Goodenow

  196. poetbeta154

    Walk this way

    In the eighties, bart simpson was still
    A figment of furniture to come. Music was
    The primary source of entertainment for
    Disillusioned teens experimenting with weeds.
    In Fall River every neighborhood had its
    Self supportive break dancers drinking twenty-
    Twos if Mickeys because it was Irish in name.
    The street corners were magnets. The smell
    Of sweet bread and fresh fish are spangles.
    The red lights on the Avenue pound with bass.
    Treble cuts through the glass curvature
    The song playing on the radio is a cultural
    Mashup which is all i can remember from the day
    Fathers Volkswagen van caught on fire.

  197. Domino

    Be Careful What You Wish For

    If you wish for rain
    . . . pack for a flood

    If you wish for a fish
    . . . don’t forget about Jonah.

    If you wish for money
    . . . say goodbye to all your friends.

    If you wish for wisdom,
    . . . expect many more trials.

    If you wish for more time
    . . . you will grow older, and everything will slow down.

    If you wish for sunshine
    . . . watch out for a sunburn.

    If you wish for more wishes
    . . . expect dandelions.

    If you wish for more patience,
    . . . guess that it will soon be sorely tried.

    If you wish for your one true love
    . . . you may find a friendly stray dog.

    If you wish your headache would stop,
    . . . prepare for zombies (they want your braaainns).

    If you wish for Friday to get here faster
    . . . you may find yourself waking from a coma one Friday.

    If you wish everyone would just go away
    . . . you will probably find yourself lonely.

    If you wish for more time with loved ones
    . . . you may find yourself on the other side of this life.

    If you wish you were more like your mom or dad
    . . . look in the mirror and smile.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  198. laurie kolp

    It’s All Part of the Grieving Process

    oh, to feel unheard like this is so
    unheard of. I mean really, now
    I need some sympathy. my mother
    just died and I’m all cried out.
    I’ve pouted and shouted, too.
    don’t you understand?
    I relive the past
    since she passed away—
    the days that seemed to go on forever, weeks of lacking sleep
    are but flashes now
    like when you drive at breakneck speed
    everything is a blur
    and I relive those conversations, those bits
    of laughter amidst the tears
    oh, to hear Mom laugh again
    it makes no sense, this whirlwind
    emotions swirling at my feet like reckless leaves no rake can tame
    I know you’re leaving me alone
    giving me time to sort through
    the sordid process of grief
    I’m fine! really, I am!
    she’s free of pain now, in a better place
    my ass
    I want her here with me
    to give me a little bit of sympathy
    and say everything will be okay
    to be heard

  199. Ashley Marie Egan

    You’ve Been Served
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    Hello Citizen,
    How have you been?
    Still proud to be American?
    Why you looking so thin?

    We have some papers to bestow,
    Remember those bills,
    From three years ago,
    When you were ill?

    We understand you’ve been struggling,
    Working 60 hours a week,
    Between the two jobs you’ve been juggling,
    And life can seem pretty bleak.

    Regardless, you’ve been served,
    We want our money now,
    Doesn’t matter what you deserve,
    People like you are our cash cow.

    So ready your bank account,
    Or we’ll subsidize your play,
    We want the exact amount,
    And prefer if you don’t delay.

    Thank you for your time Citizen,
    Pay soon to avoid discipline.

  200. Jane Shlensky

    Behave Yourself

    How often have I heard this said
    by Southerners—and others too.
    Behave yourself, they say, until
    I wonder what else I could do.

    They never specify the sort
    of behavior they have in mind.
    The idiom is meaningless
    unless they add, be mean, be kind.

    I’ve heard some separate the word
    as if one could do “being have,”
    but have ( long A) is seldom heard.
    Test it: I’m slave to being have.

    My sainted mother once advised
    behaving myself to excel.
    I said, I always do although
    I don’t always behave so well.

  201. alan1704

    Red Sky

    Red sky at night shepherd’s delight
    Dragons and wolves
    Rumours of wings
    Dispel the light
    Violet and mauve
    Dark amethyst
    Cold rain shadows
    In a sanctuary of darkness
    As a drizzle of petals
    On opal white apple trees
    Kiss the colours of balm
    Red sky in the morning shepherd’s warning.

  202. Emma Hine

    Make a Statement

    Put on that scarlet dress.
    Step into those killer heels.
    (the ones that help to hide
    the way you really feel)
    Paint your lips with colour.
    You can chose the hue.
    (it doesn’t really matter
    if it hides the real you)

    Make a statement,
    Make it bold.
    (make it one to remember
    when you’re grey and old)

    Be the life of the party.
    Talk loud and make your point.
    (do you remember what that is
    or did your mind disjoint?)
    Air kiss all your so-called friends.
    Then take another drink
    (allow the alcohol to mask
    the way you usually think)

    Make a statement,
    Make it bold.
    (make it one to remember
    when you’re grey and old)

    Hold the hand of a stranger.
    Be there in their hour of need.
    (allow an act of kindness,
    your starving soul to feed)
    Shut your mouth and listen.
    Open your heart instead.
    (your designer lifestyle’s nothing
    when your body’s dead)

    Make a statement,
    Make it bold.
    (make it one to remember
    when you’re grey and old)

  203. Nancy Posey

    George Washington Slept Here

    Climbed up on the high, soft bed
    and crawled beneath the covers,
    powder from his head puffing
    in clouds on his pillows.

    He left his wooden teeth
    beside the milk glass oil lamp
    by the bed. We heard him smacking
    his lips as he rested his gums.

    Sometimes he cried out—
    Redcoats! or murmured,
    Martha, dear, where are you?
    We never heard him snore
    and rarely heard him weep.

    At breakfast, no one said a word.

  204. Andrew Kreider

    the proof

    is never in the pudding
    no matter what they say
    how could it be?

    for proof is not a trinket
    in a three kings cake, bitten
    down upon at random

    no, most properly said
    the proof of the pudding
    is in the eating, just imagine

    like all good things, wisdom
    is proved when we find ourselves
    in it, and are digested at leisure

  205. Cin5456

    (I may revise this again, and again…)

    I Cannot Afford It

    Many things I have wished for
    but could not afford to buy.
    Many material desires I’ve had
    will go unfulfilled ‘til I die.

    Among those things are clothes and shoes,
    these often caught my greedy eye.
    Jewelry, gadgets, and gewgaws, too,
    but I decided to pass them by.

    Many things I can’t afford
    are more important than stuff.
    Material things some people horde,
    but they amount to mere fluff.

    I cannot afford to forget
    friends who hoisted me
    over tough milestones. I remain
    gratefully in their debt.
    Without their help along the way
    my efforts could only yield sweat.

    I cannot afford to toss aside
    my obligations to family.
    Those loving guides have kept
    my feet pacing forward on the path.
    In a dark vault, I trapped false pride
    for without them I would never have tried.

    I cannot afford to disregard
    preceding pioneers’ stoic blazing,
    whose wearied lives were scarred
    while seeking scientific grails.
    I can only hope this fortunate life
    serves as a healing balm, a cure
    for ills they could not afford,
    and yet did not avoid.
    They paid their fortune forward
    with pain, in humility, without reward.

    I consider these unaffordable luxuries
    that I willingly pay in kind,
    and pray my tribute of memory
    keeps their efforts forever alive.
    I cannot afford to forget them.
    Without them, I could not survive.

    Cynthia Page

  206. jakkels

    By the book

    The meters marched with military precision 

    Word, after word with no indicision 

    Rhyme and shine they seemed to say 

    Poetry is meant to read this way. 

    The scribbler laughs his evil chuckle 

    Only prose lives life in shackles 

    Burning images scattered         imagination          

                          around          can fire                     better than 


    A picture is worth a thousand words 

    But a poem takes a picture for a swim in imagination 

    A rose on a table near window facing sea 

    The blood of its soft petals 

    squashed against stark linen cloth 

    Like the anguish of a discarded lover 

    Come swim in the sea of emotions 

    While your mind is stretched by some words 

    Your mind may be changed 

    Passions inflamed 

    Past explained 

    future unchained 

    By the book

  207. miaokuancha

    April 11, 2014

    Prompt: Make a statement

    “Life on other planets may rely on plate tectonics.”

    Life on THIS planet relies on plate tectonics.
    And plate tectonics relies on life.
    Continents floating on an unfathomable sea
    of magma.
    Air and water alchemed with rock
    by living matter.
    It is all living matter.
    We are all living matter.
    Pushing up mountains
    Subducting into Tartarean trenches
    The lichen weathers
    The moss blankets
    A mile of organic sea sediment
    wets the wheel of creation.
    The ground we stand on.

    ~ miaokuancha

  208. Pengame30

    “The man who loved man”

    Hung on the cross for our sins,
    and all we’ve given in return are tears,
    consisting of two parts grief, and one part deceit.
    His name, rolls off of spiteful tongues, blasphemous
    in all it’s beliefs.
    “Open your hand, and I’ll open a window,” he said, yet
    fists stay clenched as tight as ever, and humans wonder why
    blessings are seldom bestowed upon us.
    Instead, clouds separate, unleashing scores of ice and rain.
    Hospitals clutter with bed ridden patients that cry out his name.
    “Jesus, deliver me,” they scream, but not when our step is vibrant,
    and all is pristine.
    The only time we call for him is while we’re in a deep coma,
    unable to fulfill his dream.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  209. Jane Shlensky

    “He’s playing ‘possum”

    the big one says before he kicks him again,
    this time in his kidneys and his gut,
    going for soft tissue, toeing him like refuse.

    “You funny,” the other gang boys snicker.
    “His nickname’s Possum. Possum Sikes,
    his old man teach biology. Old Man Sikes?”

    “Yeah, I know him. Failed me twice
    and me doin’ my best as always.”
    General merriment almost makes Possum grin.

    “He dumb as a possum, out here at night
    by hisself, sniffing along like he got business.
    I’d hurt him for practice, but he no fun.

    Ain’t worth killin’and having to serve time.”
    They take his money and rip up his stuff
    to prove you don’t mess with the Snakes.

    He waits as they shuffle away mumbling,
    only the young kid checking for his pulse
    and lifting his eyelid, patting his shoulder.

    He listens as their voices fade up the street
    and disappear and then he waits some more,
    only stirring when he’s sure he is alone.

    The pavement is damp from morning rain
    and cool beneath his cheek. He lets his brain
    do a spot-check on body parts to see if they work.

    The Snakes claimed these streets as their own,
    public or not. He could have argued right of way,
    could have yelled for police, could have fought.

    That would have been more fun for them
    when they beat him bloody and stuffed him
    in a sewer, a Possum among rats. He almost laughs.

    If the Snakes were up to learning about marsupials,
    he’d apprise them of the fact that opossums
    are among the longest surviving species on earth,

    largely because of their stupidity and cowardice,
    but still, look how they’d adapted over eons,
    their tiny brains in bone tubes nestled between their eyes.

    When threatened by predators, they fainted, stunk
    themselves up, and assumed the posture of defeat,
    feigning an abhorrent and unsavory death.

    Who wants to eat something so unappetizing?
    They like sweets, have a thumb-like toe,
    and are immune to the poisons of pit vipers.

    The Snakes should surely find that interesting.
    He knows he’s defending a nickname he hates,
    but he’s been mugged, beaten, and kicked,

    all without complaint or participation.
    He salvages a few of his belongings
    and trudges home, hoping he can sneak in

    without his parents seeing the shape he’s in
    and being embarrassed or ashamed for him.
    The thought makes him want to hiss

    into the hazy moonlight and shout up the street,
    “Possums are plenty smart! They’re just lazy!”
    but that would be grasping at straws.

  210. Lori D. Laird

    I’ve Got You Babe

    Six years we’ve been down this road.
    More than once, fear has frozen me cold.
    But this is the garden I’ve hoed.
    Saying no regrets isn’t being bold.

    I love you for being you.
    I’ve never wanted you to change.
    Seems no one else gets your clues.
    The latest is completely freaking deranged!

    But I get it.
    You have to do what you have to do.
    You think you have to be perfect.
    It’s a mask only I get to see through.

    Forever you have my heart.
    I’m always by your side.
    I now understand we’ll never truly part.
    Because in your heart I’ll always abide.

    You aren’t being treated fair.
    But do what you must.
    I’ll always be here breathing the air
    of what remains to be us.

  211. Liliuokalani

    Sit Like A Lady

    Give me a pimpled face with a grin-
    the kind that lips transmit, meaning
    to mute laughing at a joke they find funny,
    but would rather not.

    A Hepburn hat,
    umbrella spilling ribbons,
    I’d rather not;
    but a flowered baseball cap 
    smudged with forehead sweat
    and dirt from pushing onion sets to soil,
    yes, yes, yes, please 
    to scarlet lipstick 
    smeared wild above the left upper lip,
    like the mouth of a child left
    alone with a bowl of raspberries;
    not the mouth that’s inside the lines.
    Excuse me,
    No, thank you, but
    I do, 
    paperback novel with dog-eared pages,
    I do,
    unkempt head with a greasy cowlick
    that swirls to scalp, 
    then frays to the day.

  212. Taylor Emily Copeland

    Lyric sheet included

    They are the words to your favorite
    songs, and every one is about you,
    like the time you went to the beach
    and a wave literally destroyed your
    bathing suit in front of three 13 year
    old girls who buckled at their knees,
    put their hands to their mouths and
    laughed until they cried. Don’t you
    love the bass lines in this one?
    Or the twenty second drum solo in the
    middle of the album to your graduation?
    The liner notes are a three page shout
    out to your family, your dog, your best
    friend who saved you from jumping off
    the side of that run down building in
    the city. The picture of you on the back
    page holding up double devil horns really
    brings it all together.

  213. elishevasmom

    How’s That Working Out For You?

    You insisted you wanted
    To do it all
    By yourself.
    Nope, didn’t need
    Any help.
    Not ever.
    Too proud to ask,
    Too stubborn to receive.

    Well now,
    Here you are.
    Broke and
    Run down
    And run around.

    So busy being
    Full of your own self
    You never did give
    Anyone else a chance
    To share anything
    With you.

    You wanted to do it
    All by yourself.
    Well, how that’s been
    Working out for you?

    Ellen Evans

  214. geetakshi

    “ The Flickering Candlelight”

    The flickering candlelight
    augments an implied mood,
    with subordinate stars
    and an air of bliss:
    My world is on temporal pause.

    A moment of exaggerated infinities
    Is reflected in eyes brightened by
    ideals and ideas,
    hopes and resounding pain,
    implied echoes
    of a loss
    experienced before it arrives:
    Bliss is a state of deferral.

    © Geetakshi Arora
    April 11, 2014

  215. cobanionsmith

    Beware of Dog

    Me with my laptop and my son with his easel
    and sidewalk chalk, Spring found us
    expressing ourselves in light
    and color on the patio this morning.
    Dissatisfied with the limitations
    of the chalkboard, he quickly transformed
    his daddy’s old cotton t-shirt into an oversized
    Easter dress of orange swirls and yellow smudges
    and his nose green. Quietly, he crawled between
    my legs under the seat of my rocking chair
    to claim a bit of canvas that called to him
    or maybe to color the dog’s black and white
    spotted hide to match his shirt.

    I usually know how things will go
    and try to keep everybody
    out of trouble. This time, though,
    I didn’t know she was there.

    She silently snapped at him—an old dog
    warning a puppy that’s gotten too close.
    He cried, not because she’d touched him,
    but because she’d rejected him again.
    I picked up the sobbing boy and yelled at the dog
    even though he’s been told countless times
    leave the dog alone.

    Once the tears stopped, he went back
    to his easel. Still clutching the chalk,
    his hand hovered in front
    of the blackboard. He paused,
    then, staring at her, slashed short,
    quick bright blue lines over and over,
    banging the board faster and harder with each stroke.

    I was proud and a little amused
    by my son’s artful statement
    of fury at rejection,
    at being frightened.
    Remember this,
    I wanted to say.
    It won’t be the last time;
    foresight is earned
    but not always heeded
    regardless of repeated warnings.

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

  216. derrdevil

    In The Land of Grey
    By Derryn Warwick Raymond

    To the solitary master
    Of black and white,
    To he, who never knows
    What it is to not be right
    Always held in high regard
    For that which you do best
    In contrast, your acclamation
    Has damned you for your test
    For the black and white,
    Mr self-righteously vain,
    The most unforgiving margin
    Will end your fame
    So step out of line
    And learn into the frey
    Forgotten and lost, you’ll be,
    In the land of Grey

  217. PowerUnit

    The Toughest Men Are The Biggest Babies

    It is easier to put a man down than to bring him up
    Especially if you are a man
    Who has been on his knees

    It is easier to shove a fist into a guy’s face than
    Throw your heart at a woman
    When you have never been loved

    It is easier to walk by a child than
    Face his tormenters
    When you see yourself in their faces

  218. rachelgrace

    They didn’t include her.

    Medicinal eyes watched her
    Cutting her with their wisdom
    She knew better
    They never stopped to ask for her opinion
    This will take care of it they said
    They took it all away from her without asking for her opinion
    Her wisdom denied she closed her mind and smiled.
    This was where she would be lost.
    Where she belonged

    1. PowerUnit

      So very poignant with me. 20 years ago this month I sat at a laser canon watching my vision being taken from me. This sacrifice might save your sight, they said. They were right. It was a lonely ride.

  219. Monique

    Follow The Yellow Brick Road

    For the longest time I prayed
    To be taken over the rainbow
    Out from the sepia tones of my life
    Into a technicolor world

    But it seems like all I do in this new world
    Is wander around looking for home again
    And although I made some friends along the way
    The path ahead is still winding and long

    I pray for wisdom
    For the courage to say “Yes”
    and for a heart willing to love
    Because these things will lead me home

    Unlike those who walked this path before,
    I am not seeking an all-knowing wizard
    I carry home with me with each step I take
    Knowing that I can go back

    But for now, I follow the yellow brick road
    To discover who I am before I go home

  220. Jenn Todd Lavanish

    “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need”

    Never satisfy my soul

    Is not on my side

    Dissolve versus my responsibilities

    Ambitions beyond my reach.

    All I have left to give.

  221. shethra77

    It Rained Cats and Dogs

    but that was just at first.
    As it went along
    fish fell
    followed by seagulls
    although we were not sure if the seagulls
    were not there on purpose.
    The frogs were odd, because they were freshwater,
    whereas the fish had been saltwater denizens.
    How they all mixed up there…
    who knows?
    But then, it started
    (of course)
    with cats and dogs,
    and everybody trying
    not to step in a poodle.

  222. Jane Shlensky

    His Eye is on the Sparrow
    but he hates the crows as well,
    calling for friends to pull up corn
    he’s planted before hope can sprout.

    House wrens and mockers stir his ire,
    cowbirds, the blackguards, have no soul—
    lay eggs for other birds to tend—

    they fly with grackles, blackbirds, such as
    drop and strip a landscape clean;
    woodpeckers too can leave his trees.

    Even the blue birds, his wife’s loves,
    will shit his car at mating time.
    “They’re such good parents,” she will say.

    “Look how devoted to their young.”
    All he can hear is “young”—that’s more
    blue nestlings he must worry with.

    She’s feeding hummers. What the hell!
    What do they do but fight and eat?
    “I’m not running a bird preserve!”

    he wants to say, but doesn’t. Look
    how chickadees will make her smile;
    she makes them special suet now.

    He’s watched winged vagrants eat his fruit
    before it’s ripe, lay waste his grapes,
    despoil his berries, squawk and mock.

    She tells him, “Listen to birdsong!”—
    cacophony of caws and tweets.
    “I’ll make it stop.” He loads his gun

    while she stares sadly, shakes her head;
    she knows he is a scourge to birds,
    no need to sing like Etta James.

    The turkeys raid his garden while
    he makes a name that fits all birds
    and suits his current attitude: target.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        I knew this would bother you (and all other birders). I get to hear this sort of thing from a brother who prefers his garden to all living creatures. What can I do? Our mother brought us up right, to live in sanctuary with all critters, then he went astray ;)

        Thanks, Bill and Daniel.

  223. Funkomatic

    Buying A Car For One Hundred Fifty Seven Dollars and Fifty Three Cents

    Nothing but tax and title paid
    Dad’s old rusty Mazda 626
    Older by half another decade
    Nothing but tax and title paid
    A grand?! So ends the charade
    Seals, ball, and CV joints to fix
    Nothing but tax and title paid
    Dad’s old rusty Mazda 626

  224. rachfh

    We Weren’t Meant to Live Like This by Rachel E. Hicks

    Fatigued, expiring and separate
    as Pangea, tectonic plates
    blown into motion, apart.

    We need a violent reversal:
    plates colliding—
    to push you up against me,
    to taste each other’s sweat,
    tangle ourselves
    in each other’s hair,
    wrap our hands around
    each other’s living flesh
    hot and rich as earth.

    You are me, sister.
    Brother, these eyes are yours,
    this beating heart.

  225. DanielAri


    the white bucket is half filled with weeds,
    above and beyond the emptied rain gutters,
    the repaired door skin under the overhang,
    the deep hole dug for the rose bush who’s
    moving to sunnier horizons. Saturday and
    I’ve folded the laundry, emptied the sink,
    even swept the kitchen and wrung out the
    dishrag, and I admit this all feels perfectly
    lovely. Am I really that predictable? Ask
    Alice. All my resistance washed down
    the shower drain with the soap suds.


  226. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Big, heavy thought,
    You’ve had me caught!
    It is time you ought,

    Look another way,
    Please don’t stay,
    Go away today!

    Pack it in,
    I’d rather grin,
    Now is when.

    You have been too grim,
    I’d prefer to swim!
    Go attach to him!

    Why do you dog me?
    Go climb a tree!
    Just let go of me!

    I am not in the mood,
    Take a hint, Dude!
    Go find some food!

    You bring me down,
    I am done with the frown!
    Take it to town.

    I am going to dig a hole,
    Kick you in it, the goal!
    You deplete my soul.

    I’ll release you underground,
    Where you’ll never be found!
    You’ll disappear, not around.

    I’ll grab the next kite,
    Trust me, I might!
    I prefer the light.

    I’ll rise up high,
    Make a mark on the sky!
    You ask why?

    Because you’re a burden I know,
    Not letting go,
    So I’ll just have to show,

    What you do is hold me back
    It is a fear of lack,
    Not ever cutting me slack!

    You aren’t even real,
    You block my way to heal,
    Let me through to feel!

    Love is what takes me higher,
    It is my muse’s freedom to aspire,
    A lighter perspective to inspire!

    I’ll let you go and follow that balloon,
    I am sure we’ll fly off to the moon,
    I’ll be finished with you real soon!

    It is the way, I fill my cup,
    It is the only way, yup!
    My heart wants to brighten and lighten . . .


  227. Amaria

    “I see you”

    I see you
    sparkling like a diamond
    walking by as if floating on clouds.

    Those dazzling eyes
    hold a magic over me
    that pulls me into your enchanting stare.

    And that walk
    is more like a swaying
    to a jazzy tune no one else hears.

    As you stroll
    your aroma fills the air
    intriguing all who fall in its path.

    I see you
    and want to be you –
    oh how I so covet your allure.

    If only you
    would tell me your secret
    but you’re playfully demure at my request.

  228. candy

    Collards are the New Kale

    There it was
    printed on the Whole Foods bag

    I’m eating the Other White Meat
    Orange is the new pink
    Brown is the new black
    60 is the new 40
    (or is that wishful thinking?)
    Whiter, brighter, better

    Marketers spin dreams
    and we fall in

  229. Bruce Niedt

    A bit of light verse today: NaPoWriMo’s prompt today is to write an “anacreonic” poem – one about wine and love. The form is optional, but I tried to stay with the traditional form. The “statement title” is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson.

    Wine is Bottled Poetry

    Wine is bottled poetry
    said Stevenson, and now says me.
    I can woo you with my rhymes,
    but wine assures us both good times.
    Join me in the meadow, lass –
    We’ll read my works and raise a glass.
    I think that a rondelet
    complements a chardonnay.
    Or let’s try a villanelle
    with a zesty zinfandel.
    You might prefer to sip merlot
    while I read you my rondeau.
    Then I’ll share with you a sonnet –
    just don’t spill your claret on it.
    A limerick, my last resort,
    will go quite well with tawny port.
    I’ll read my verse if you will hear it,
    but take it with the proper spirit.

  230. lionmother


    I tell myself this as I prepare
    to spend my day in the company
    of a morose man
    who knows illness like a lover
    and longs to break it’s spell on him

    He moves gingerly from bed to
    chair and back seeking comfort
    for his hospital weary body
    while I try to bring the day to him
    Trying with patience and diligence
    to move him closer to the man he was
    and finding his actions like a movie
    exist separate from me.

    Trying, so trying to build a wall of
    happiness around me to insulate
    my susceptible psyche against the
    misfortune emanating from his
    weak body

    Trying with a poem to squeeze happiness
    from this experience
    Concentrating on the new growing
    daffodils as they decorate winter weary
    spaces and remembering past springs
    and the daffodils in our front yard so
    many years ago.

  231. mrs.mjbauer

    De-motivational Speaking
    by Mary Bauer

    Work smarter, not harder
    What you mean is
    We don’t have the time
    Nor the resources
    To do the job

    Work smarter, not harder
    What you plan is
    To micromanage
    Every aspect
    And blame me for the results

    Work smarter, not harder
    What you hope is
    We are a group
    Easy to manage
    That does not think for themselves

    Work smarter, not harder
    What you want is
    Work harder, not smarter

  232. Beverly Deirocini

    Put that away

    “Put that away”
    A most overused phrase
    From phones in students’ hands
    To dishes purged of stains
    From ice cream dripping on kitchen counters
    To shoes strewn across the floor
    From clothes folded nicely into piles
    To the man standing naked before you.

      1. Lori DeSanti

        Although, I don’t think you need the first line, “A most overused phrase,” you could definitely just jump right into the list :) The last line is a particular favorite, so great haha.

  233. Janet Rice Carnahan


    As the world dissolves,
    Into chaos, fear, concerns,
    Our past looks brighter,
    Yet going backwards distracts,
    Away from us . . .


  234. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Late at night,
    Greatest fears arise,
    Feeling real,
    They pull us,
    Deeper into our shadows,
    Unless . . .

    we say no!

  235. Margot Suydam

    Love’s The Drug

    Didn’t cause it, can’t control it, can’t cure it,
    My drug of choice always leaves a deposit

    amidst the shattered skins of trampled
    grapes. And again my heart gets stapled

    to the addictive stench of the mixed-up
    lover’s wine that still can spill my cup.

    I crawl home under a shuddering sky
    with remorse and regret standing by

    to remind me that by never letting go
    I’ll never keep all my ducks in tow.

  236. PressOn


    I’ve read your poem several times, grinning more and more each time. Seems like buying the book would solve a lot of the world’s problems, or remix them, anyway.

  237. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Dash out a poem,
    Make it quick,
    Just show ‘em,
    It isn’t a trick!

    Let your fingers fly,
    Across the keyboard,
    Type madly,
    Don’t get bored!

    Do push ups,
    Sit back down,
    Try yoga,
    Stand upside down!

    Make it up,
    Run an errand,
    Just toss it out,
    Get it done!

    Just stay on a roll,
    Fly it off the sheet,
    Make sure to edit,
    Keep it neat!

    Post fast,
    Click send and go,
    Be spontaneous . . .

    They’ll never know!

  238. HoskingPoet

    Wine – Bottled Poetry

    There’s nothing quite sublime

    As reading poetry with wine

    Until the bottle is tipped

    And every poet ripped

    Who can recite what was read
    Next morning no one leaves bed

  239. ToniBee3

    “Take the Clothes out of the Dryer”

    You have a shirt and
    some undergarments you need
    to take back with you.

    No, don’t ball them up
    in the suitcase like that, Dear.
    You don’t want wrinkles.

    I already packed
    your toiletries in the bag.
    Did you get gas yet?

    …and your sandwiches,
    I stuck those in the front seat
    with some grape juices.

    Give your sis a hug.
    Oh, I’m gonna miss you too.
    Do you have your books?

    Uh-uh, no, you can’t
    take Tessa back to campus.
    Dogs and dorms don’t mix.

    Do well on finals.
    Glad you came for the weekend.
    See you in two weeks.

    Drive safely and no
    speeding – the cops will get you!
    Turn your music down!

    Text me when you get…
    No, call me when you get there.
    I love you. Bye. Mwah!

  240. pomodoro

    My Bacteria Is Dying for a Hershey Bar : A Villanelle

    Craving for chocolate scientists explain
    lurks from deep in the gut
    where bacteria reign.

    Chocolate lovers, in the main,
    seemingly, no matter what,
    have an acid, glycine is its name.

    But abstainers who refrain
    have more taurine to strut
    where bacteria colonies reign.

    For chocolate lovers it is plain,
    your HDL will take a cut
    and a healthy number you’ll sustain.

    Where the research leads is germane
    to the intestines in your gut
    where bacteria colonies reign.

    Skip the chocolate, white and plain;
    Come o’er to the dark side lickety-cut.
    Craving for chocolate, scientists explain,
    lurks deep in the gut where bacteria reign.

  241. kab

    You Kiss Me

    with your mouth wide open
    and by God, I do my best to grab the comet at the back
    of your throat.
    I don’t know how to love and throw away the key.
    I don’t know how to eat and convince my body that
    it’s full.
    Don’t you see?
    My heart is ten mouths and I don’t just want half of
    Call me a tidal wave.
    Call me my own sun.
    Honey, love is it’s own storm.
    It is it’s own supernova
    -Karese Burrows “You Kiss Me”

  242. Genevieve Fitzgerald

    Just Add Water

    To soup mix
    Or a packet of bright hard beads
    Of dye for Easter eggs,
    It’s simple:
    Just add water.

    When flushing out bodily toxins
    Or reviving a colony
    Of freeze dried sea monkeys,
    The simplicity’s deceptive,
    But still…..
    Just add water.

    To have Pharaoh’s
    Horses and chariots
    Swallowed in the Red Sea
    Or to repopulate the world
    With the crew in an arc
    It gives me pause that
    The instructions are the same

  243. Walt Wojtanik


    A new version of your software
    is available for upgrade. So you approve.
    It moves so far and it glitches, it unlatches
    a few hitches. Shut down and locked.
    You’ve clocked the process at a minute thirty-seven.
    You would think using their own process
    would guarantee success. You guessed WRONG!
    And the bill is your to foot,
    but the point is moot.
    You would think.
    But think again. Think different!

  244. Ravyne

    It Takes Two to Tango

    They wait for the music
    their faces turned away like strangers
    their arms and backs stiff in pose
    like their marriages
    They wait for the beat, the passion
    to fill up the emptiness inside
    And the music begins
    They stomp and twirl
    their eyes locked upon one another
    finally like lovers
    their bodies move in unison
    as they make love on the dance floor
    the music intensifies as their legs encircle
    caressing one another
    They spin and dive and lips touch
    and like the rush of an orgasm
    they collapse in one another’s arms
    eyes still locked, heart’s pounding
    until slowly, their bodies part

  245. BezBawni

    Don’t believe in yourself. Have faith.

    Hard as it seems, stop thinking you’re the worst,
    because you’re worth this whole damn world and more!
    Who knows what else life has for us in store.
    Is there a point wasting time on sulk?
    I could just say believing in yourself
    is what it takes, but what would it all mean?
    Are you a Santa Claus to doubt if you exist?
    Are you a Neo lost in your own mind?
    Want my advice how to deal with life?
    Well, stop believing in yourself, have faith,
    because I have, and I can say for sure
    you’ll get this job…/this girl/this cup/this dream. . .

    P.S. and even if you don’t, we’ll still
    be friends,the world will still be there,
    and there will always be another chance.
    by Lucretia Amstell

  246. DanielAri

    “The pipes, the pipes are calling”

    Now he’s on “Hello, Dolly”—the dapper
    busker whose honey baritone echoes
    past the turnstiles, down the escalators
    into the seats of the San Francisco
    train—but it’s you, my Danny Boy, who turned

    this commute into sunshine and shadow—
    how the moment I walked in the station
    his sweet mouth opened to call, “Oh, Danny
    Boy”—how I stopped marching as he began—
    Invoking my name—the song my father

    sang to me on cassettes and in person
    when he came home from the war—how I stayed
    to see him smile, to watch the lyrics sink
    down the tiles, into the ground where the trains
    rush their gears past the dormant and the slow

    day pretending to continue apace
    as songs in ceaseless chorus play and play.


    1. DanielAri

      this is really strong. the short lines are doing wonders for your depth of meaning. I read “brother suicide” and “brother note” as phrases. Also find the single, central parenthetical powerfully treated.

  247. Lori DeSanti

    Put on the Dress

    he’s waiting; stagnant like cream settling
    in your untouched coffee. Your hands are
    clammed shut, tight as bi-valve shells; and

    the dress— the dress is bone white with a
    trim of smoked pearls. The silk will hang
    in rippled waves across your collarbone,

    breathing tension like ocean mist until his
    lips part broad as a pelican beak, carrying you
    on wind drift like feathers of a Royal Tern.

  248. De Jackson

    No Nukes
    The world breaks everyone
    and afterward many are strong
    at the broken places.
    – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

    Put up your dukes, or daisies – which
    -ever makes you less crazy. Chain them

    into some (equal and opposite) reaction,
    some fraction or faction of peace. Crease

    the map if you may, say the world gets
    smaller, pay a visit to your new neighbor

    and try on his filthy shoes. Choose life
    and love and peace – find a new song

    to play. Then, put down your swords
    and grab a pen. It’s mightier, anyway.


  249. Jacqueline Casey

    Why Am I Not Surprised?

    He scrambles across the street after school
    like a jockey at the bell.
    He dodges screaming traffic
    a fearless Don Quixote.
    Hair flying
    pants slipping
    fist-grabbing britches below his butt
    fashion compromising comfort.
    Don pulls his car next to mine
    inviting a race to the finish.
    Booming, straining
    a regular James Dean.
    Hack-hacking, and scratching
    he monkeys the noise on his radio:
    meaningless, beat-assured, dark gibberish.

    Was ever a new generation whose act
    might mimic the best?
    Honor and want to be like the rest?
    Oh, Dulcinea, No!
    Don also dreams of glory
    in his mad and dread-locked world.
    It’s not surprising…
    Not at all.

  250. JWLaviguer

    If It’s Too Loud, You’re Too Old

    Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution
    so rock rock ’til you drop
    and have a drink on me
    be a real trooper
    but don’t look back
    you may be unforgiven
    if you are a heartbreaker
    we may not be here for 2112
    and we may find ourselves in Hangar 18
    but when we finally arrive
    at the stairway to heaven
    if you die with your boots on
    it will be a celebration day.

    JW Laviguer

  251. mbramucci

    “Can’t We All Just Get Along?!”
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    Can’t we all just get along?
    How many times have we heard it?
    Agreed with it
    Laughed at it (I mean it’s been like 20 years)
    Shucked it off like some clichéd idealism.
    Like some trivial suggestion from a distant,
    Unrelatable fellow who might lack credibility.

    Can’t we all just get along?
    I mean how hard is that really???
    It’s not saying we all have to love each other.
    Go out of our way.
    Dole out shallow compliments to distant,
    Unrelatable fellows who might lack credibility.

    Can’t we all just get along?
    Not that it holds some profound cure for the human condition.
    Does it, though?
    Do we need that?
    Can we?
    Do our egos prevent us from considering any
    Unrelatable fellows who might lack credibility?

    Can’t we all just get along?
    Are we above compliance now?
    Have we now such a grand sentinel of self
    As a result of some misguided leadership of
    Unrelateable fellows who might lack credibility?

    Can’t we all just get along?
    Sweet, simple, so what do you want to do today?
    Let’s make it work
    My intention is not to upset you
    I am not stronger as a result of your weakness
    Let’s agree to disagree since we are two
    Unrelatable fellows who might lack credibility.

    Can’t we all just get along?
    Like we learned in grade school.
    At home, at church, temple, mosque,
    The playground…
    Boyscouts, Girlscouts, your neighbor’s house,
    Your grandma, your grandpa, your dear Aunt Mary,
    Some unrelatable fellow who might lack credibility-

    But isn’t…
    And doesn’t…
    So, can’t we?

  252. Nabeela


    What do you do when you buy books?
    Stack them onto a shelf and look at them. Pretend to notice them for the first time. Hug them like a long lost best friend. Squeal with laughter and touch them, page by page. Put them onto your desk and pick them up for the first time. Open the middle and sniff in the wonderful stories and people and emotions. Sniff the smell that comes running with new books and old books and torn books and dusty books and all kinds of books.

    What do you do when you buy books?
    You feel the pages, ridden over with scribbled letters. You read one word and skip, afraid of ruining the story. You show them off in the mirror, to see how you look with them. You stand in an empty room and say aloud,”I’ve got books to read and I don’t know what happens on page 22 yet!” Because all the books that you own, you can tell the story word to word. And then you laugh as if hit by an epiphany.

    What do you do when you buy books?
    You read them. Of course.

  253. dhaivid3

    Poem title: Of Heart and Mind

    I feel alive when you are near
    I really hope you feel the same.
    We’ve quite a lot in common dear
    That’s why ‘tis such a great big shame

    You stole my heart the day we met
    Now I can’t speak and make much sense.
    For though you’ll always have my heart
    Where, oh where have I put my head?

  254. Nabeela


    How do you write a poem? Does it require inexhaustible amount of words, seething fire in the curves of your back bone? Does it need a linguistic approach? Have you ever felt you could write all day long and does your brain sometimes whisper no more?

    No, no, yes, yes.

    Here, you have all the questions I hear and I have all the answers you need.

    It’s a simple thing really, a poem is. And don’t you feel that too? How I’m describing the world in a language so foreign yet belonging to me and you. For who could explain the clouds and the way the sun sets in a calculated manner?

    It is 6 pm. The sun is setting in the west. It is getting dark.
    Here, grab my hand and lets write that in a different way?

    It is almost dark. The hands on the clock are just brushing the curious curve of 6. The sun is a red ball of glowing fire, marinated with hot spices and chillies. It tucks itself into the water, ready for it’s midnight swim to cool off the global warming in the sweet fluid. For tomorrow it will rise again, a star shining in its wake.

    So if you ask me again, writing it means I have a dictionary entrapped in my upper chamber? My fingers can flow like water to create all the words I need to know?

    No. It just needs a heart and a jar full of love and emotions. The ability to see the world through different eyes.

    And that, pretty much defines, just what you are.

  255. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 11 Statement Poem

    Where No Man Has Gone Before

    Don’t just shake your head
    and look away.

    Speak up, man.

    A soft tissue
    your tongue
    can be your strongest
    and firmly
    shouting against
    the unspeakable acts
    that women
    and children
    from the raised fist
    of anger
    and domination.

    Sit up
    man up
    speak up.

    We can work it out

  256. Evelyn Philipp

    Some time has passed
    Since the cops came that morning,
    To the door and said
    “You’ll need to come with us”

    Just like that television show
    We watched in blocks of reruns
    On stormy weekends
    in Montana

    You were working, and gone
    Like always
    I went with them and found
    Our boy had been shot

    In the cafeteria, at school
    While waiting for the bell
    For his first class, art,
    finishing an assignment

    He would be ok after rehab
    after therapy,
    and has gone on,
    went to a small college
    without a
    meal ticket requirement
    Life is Good, even if there is
    still a slight limp.

    It is taking me longer
    Guilty and broken
    because I was not there
    to protect my baby
    It seems I have fallen
    and I can’t get up.

      1. Evelyn Philipp

        Thank you. I came back and edited it down a little.

        Mother’s Nature (working title…)

        Some time has passed
        Since the cops came that morning,
        To the door and said
        “You’ll need to come with us”

        Just like that television show
        We watched in blocks of reruns
        On stormy weekends
        in Montana

        You were working, and gone
        Like always
        I went with them and found
        Our boy had been shot

        In the cafeteria, at school
        While waiting on the bell
        For his first class, art.
        Finishing an assignment

        He would be ok after rehab,
        after therapy,
        and has gone on,
        To a small college

        without a
        meal ticket requirement.
        Life is Good, even with a
        slight limp.

        It is taking me longer
        Guilty and broken
        because I was not there
        to protect my baby
        It seems I have fallen
        and I can’t get up.

  257. Carl Palmer

    Act Your Age

    Watching South Park on TV
    as his grand girl enters the room,

    he’s writing on a notepad, bare feet
    propped on the coffee table,
    munching popcorn and drinking
    chocolate milk from the carton…

    “He stays up as long as he wants,
    doesn’t have to get up for school,
    eats whatever, whenever and
    nobody tells him what he has to do.”

    “I can’t wait until I’m an adult,
    so I can be a kid just like my Papa.”

    “He was a poet; and they are never exactly grown-up.”
    ~ Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

  258. taylor graham


    One week after the accident, he came
    with mattock and shovel
    to a spot overlooking the scene.
    It was long, sweaty work, digging a hole
    to let the roots reach
    the way they were meant to, delving,
    expanding, exploring into soil.
    As her mind, her soul would have,
    with its love of green life grasping earth.
    Not just any tree, the one
    that amazed her childhood;
    the one she said she’d climb to see
    the whole world from its canopy.
    She never had a chance.
    He trusts the tree to survive
    here, just outside its range; to create
    its own environment by force
    of tree-thought. His daughter would
    have known if the place
    was right. Had she grown up –
    dendrologist, or poet?
    The spirit of trees, she said.

  259. diedre Knight

    Restrictions May Apply

    Heedless to heat or the suns searing glare
    his hooded eyes rake the scorched terrain
    For expired crossers
    His talons itch to rip to shreds
    the dogged dreams of either side
    of barbed wire
    Nailed to a splintered post, crude homages
    Yester-year missions of hope endured
    Evermore etched into petrified wood
    Go Home

    ~diedre Knight

  260. Eibhlin


    Now they lie in a corner of the garage,
    black leather cracking,
    tiny dried-in mud-spots on the heels.
    Better eyes would see the coat of dust.

    “I climbed Lugnaquilla many a time,”
    he tells the Day Care Assistant.
    “The highest mountain in Wicklow.
    Many a time. We were up there
    the day Erskine Childers died.
    They kept it under wraps till we got down –
    it was my job, you know,
    to organise things in the interim.
    Some things anyway.

    “Yes, up Lugnaquilla.
    You couldn’t do it now, of course –
    mobile phones, that Twitter thing –
    But we stayed out all day,
    hiking at our leisure,
    knowing nothing.”

    He hesitates
    at the bottom of the stairs.
    The Day Care Assistant
    – a black South African who knows his Yeats –
    is at his elbow,
    discreetly gives the needed help.

    “You should climb Lugnaquilla
    on your day off,” says Jim.

    “Perhaps I will,” replies the DCA,
    smiling at the Irish notion of a mountain.

  261. CrashHiker

    This is Your Brain on Dogs

    I get lonely when You go out
    to the mailbox without me,
    I don’t know why You don’t want me to come
    I know the road is busy,
    but I promise not to run in it
    unless there’s a squirrel.

    I love squirrels, they’re fuzzy,
    they’d be nice to play with.
    I think they’d squeak
    like that toy You bought me,
    that one, here let me get it.
    You wanna play, I like to play.

    Wait, why are You trying to take my toy.
    I want it back. Gimme it back.
    Oh, You threw it over there
    don’t worry I’ll get it back.
    Wait, You threw it again.
    Oh, You’re playing with me,
    I like that.

    You were gone a long time,
    like years and years,
    I can smell it.
    Those are faraway smells
    on Your pants. Foreign dogs
    places I’ve never been.
    Don’t leave me again
    it feels like You’ll never come back.
    When You’re gone, I miss You
    more than You can know.
    Rub my belly?

    Of course I want a cookie.

  262. GarrinJost

    You’ve Got to Crack a Few Eggs to Make an Omelette

    Of all justifications,
    (for cracking a few eggs)
    this one usually tastes the best.

    But mind you,
    you’ll want more to your omelette than
    just eggs
    (just eggs)
    by the time they crack.

    Someone will have plucked
    savory peppers.
    (but you’ll have the task
    of paring their flesh
    into atomic little chunks)

    And an onion
    that slept calm in fall dirt,
    will be pulled
    and set to dry
    (and dry alone)
    before it too is atomized
    by your hungry knife.

    Don’t forget
    that someone
    (no matter who)
    will have to take
    mother’s milk
    from mother’s own
    and let it fester-
    (call it culture)
    before cheese hits egg.

    And never
    (ever) forget
    that someone will have to kill the pig
    to make your ham,
    and that pig shall be no more.
    (no more no more)

    But I am a vegetarian.
    And I am confused.
    And I am hungry.
    And here are all these eggs.
    (all. these. eggs.)

  263. brendam

    “It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn”

    How does dark get darker in the night?
    Do stars blink out one by one?
    Does moon turn its face from light
    Because it fears the coming sun?

    Or is this something mindless said
    When nothing else makes sense?
    We seek the comfort of white bread
    When we are otherwise incensed?

    Perhaps it’s meant to give us hope
    When all seems lost and cold?
    Something that can help us cope –
    A rope to hold ‘til morn bells toll?

    Could it be that in that dark
    The light can shine more brightly?
    For naught obstructs it arc
    And makes the dark more darkly.

    It’s always darkest before the dawn
    And quiet as an empty park
    When the light seems long gone
    Waiting for aurora’s spark.

  264. Lindy™

    I Can Write a Poem a Day!

    I can write a poem a day
    and post it everywhere
    for folks to say,
    “Hey, that’s great!”
    or “Man, that sucks.”
    Most just shoot a star my way
    or thumb it up, if I’m lucky.

    I can’t seem to do much else.

    I would love to gab
    about this and that
    with all the wonderful people
    (old friends and new)
    get to know you,
    catch up on your sequels.

    It takes half the day
    for me to wrap things up
    and with my lunchtime crutch,
    energy drained, I have to nap.
    Then school is out
    and I’m up and about
    cleaning up the cooking of mess:
    animals’ roars
    make a plan for tomorrow…

    I can’t even get my plants to grow,
    now that Spring has melted snow.
    My yarn stash has
    foresaken me,
    hooked on phonics-

    I’ve become a hermit
    inside a hole,
    my muse the light
    I blindly follow thirty days
    and thirty nights.
    Her spasmodic ways
    take every breath
    for a sip of water.

    I guess it really doesn’t sound like much.
    Maybe I need to readjust
    time and reality,
    illusions of fate,
    my temporary insanity:

  265. Walt Wojtanik


    Too many years wasted
    tasting the bitter brew of defeat.
    Sadly, my only foe was inside my head.
    I should have stood and fought instead,
    because I’ve found I have a lot to say,
    and in my poems have found a way
    to express what my heart held fast.
    And at last the world will know
    as my confidence grows, I can finally
    show what my muse is made of.
    Take your shot, you only live once!

  266. elledoubleyoo

    You Are Here

    My brother had that t-shirt, glittering stars
    and planets whirling in the Milky Way,
    and there, in the left corner of stardust,
    an arrow points: You Are Here. He would say
    “It’s traveling 67,000 miles
    a minute,” and I’d throw myself, giggling, down
    to hug the earth, afraid of falling off.
    “465 a second, ‘round,
    the earth turns on itself.” My head would spin
    as I stared up at the everchanging sky
    above. “It takes the galaxy
    240 million years–” But I,
    being so small, found the numbers too vast,
    and sought solace in light from stars long past.

    1. elledoubleyoo

      correction — since I just took a look at the shirt (it rotates, so it could be left, but the shirt has it on the right! Damn you, Google!)

      You Are Here

      My brother had that t-shirt, glittering stars
      and planets whirling in the Milky Way,
      and there, in the right corner of stardust,
      an arrow points: You Are Here. He would say
      “It’s traveling 67,000 miles
      a minute,” and I’d throw myself, giggling, down
      to hug the earth, afraid of falling off.
      “465 a second, ‘round,
      the earth turns on itself.” My head would spin
      as I stared up at the everchanging sky
      above. “It takes the galaxy
      240 million years–” But I,
      being so small, found the numbers too vast,
      and sought solace in light from stars long past.

  267. Walt Wojtanik


    You view her from across the room,
    and to ask the question could spell your doom.
    She looks like she might, but you’re unsure.
    She sort of carries herself THAT way,
    but it’s not easy to say; you can’t tell.

    She has a certain style. And her smile
    could surely entice. She may even be very nice!
    But you need to know before you pay the price.
    Does she… or doesn’t she? You wipe your brow,
    you scratch your chin. It would be a sin if…

    You figure the only way to know
    is to go over and ask her. You’ll either unmask her
    or get your face popped. She might even call the cops,
    You hesitate – start and stop, then decide to hop on over.
    It would behoove her to at least give you that chance.

    So you approach her and dance from foot to foot,
    “Shoot me now!” your mind screams. It seems she’s pleasant.
    No peasant, she! You clear your throat to introduce you. It’s on!
    And you come out and just ask. “Do you… have any Grey Poupon?”
    Into her purse she clutches. “But, of course!” And away she went.

  268. Misky

    In Pursuit of Fairies

    I am on my way
    to make you love me. You with wings
    of butterflies, shining glassy clear
    in light. You with skin
    of silken sand, scented with the sea.

    You who changes like the wind,
    blowing songs that chime in trees.
    You who yesterday
    slept within my dreams, smothering
    me with your fairy dust
    as I longed for you in need.

    I woke to see you
    standing like sunlight chasing dew
    and so I am on my way
    to make you love me,
    if I can find where you might be.

    Written for Miz Q but seems to work here, too

  269. Michelle Hed

    He Proposed to Her

    Sit down, right here, sit by me
    on the grass, under the tree.
    Have some cheese and sip some wine,
    have some more it’s quite divine.
    Now close your eyes, do not peek
    I have some…shh, do not speak.
    In my hand I have a gift,
    you can now let your eyes lift.
    Will you Marry Me? Be mine?
    Don’t cry, have a sip of wine.

  270. Louise

    Life is Short

    Coming into this human experience
    I look around me and hear life
    constantly calling me to be more to do better
    and while I listen to this call
    feelings of frustration and guilt build
    when I don’t measure up to that call
    But I am reminded
    by a part of me that doesn’t agree
    that I am already all I need to be.
    while life continues it’s singular focus
    I must heed the part of me that says
    Life is eternal just not on this plane
    when I listen to this part of me
    I hear it’s all good
    everyone does his or her best
    we can all get along if we only try
    I like those sounds
    they bring me peace and calm
    and understanding that life may be short
    but it can be sweet

    1. dhaivid3

      “Life is eternal just not on this plane
      when I listen to this part of me
      I hear it’s all good
      everyone does his or her best
      we can all get along if we only try”

      Beautiful words. Thank you for writing.

  271. lily black

    Some enchanted evening

    My glass slipper shattered
    When I fell
    No prince helped me

    Crawling to the rail
    I lifted myself up

    Rinse and Repeat
    Rinse and Repeat

    One day balance returns
    No more falling
    Or believing in fairy tales

  272. lily black

    Some Enchanted Evening

    My glass slipper shattered
    When I fell
    No prince helped me

    Crawling to the rail
    I lifted myself up

    Rinse and Repeat
    Rinse and Repeat

    One day balance returns
    No more falling
    believing in fairy tales

  273. laurie kolp

    Take Your Job and Shove It

    Mr. Superintendent of Deceit
    with hidden agendas and greed,
    placing kids on chain’s bottom
    where bare trees bleed
    much needed paper,
    and chalk talks
    of equality

    stripping teachers
    like trash in a gutter
    swimming in dross, they
    scream and shudder
    while you intimidate them
    into keeping mouths shut.

    You misspend taxpayer’s money,
    attend costly conferences and sport
    events with your thieving cronies,
    cover up misdeeds, kick back and relax
    call the FBI phonies

    while end-of-year field trips
    for students are cancelled,
    zoos and museums-
    many never would see
    if not for school opportunity-
    sloughed off like snake skin.

    Your reign is nearing an end
    Mr. Ass-Wipe of a man,
    you’re not anointed and appointed
    like you claim to be
    so take your job and shove it,
    this town needs peace.

  274. Linda Goin

    “Oh, it was gorgeosity and yumyumyum.”
    – Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

    Did Burgess learned this trick
    from Orwell, or did Dr. Seuss influence
    the short sentence, the litso, the nogas,
    the slow movement with periods?
    They served as stop signs.

    Everything is an epigraph, especially
    the gorgeosity and yumyumyum that tickles
    the esophagus when swallowed with long
    drafts or with short chops of chilly syllables.
    A cut-throat britva.

    Metric echoes sound best when surrounded
    by tall canyons of red rocky bravado,
    lands of 40-word sentences that can lull
    a person’s defenses as the enemy advances.
    None of us are safe.

    But, my hat’s off to Alex DeLarge,
    a savage beast Burgess named the same year
    cigarette ads were banned from television
    and New York City introduced a subway train.
    It ran without a crew.

      1. Linda Goin

        Great, Robin! I never saw the movie, and I intended to read the book last month, but had to return it to the library. I’m taking another stab at it this week.

      1. Linda Goin

        Right? It’s amazing to me how some words have made it into the “Urban Dictionary” and beyond, too. I looked up the words before I used them and was astounded at the available references.

  275. Walt Wojtanik


    Poetry has me in its possession.
    She is surely my obsession.
    Because of her, I find the time to rhyme –
    or at no worse, write verse.
    I love the play of written words,
    I’ve been smitten by their allure. They are pure
    and precise, they sound rather nice
    strung together to construct these thoughts
    that drive me insane. I’ve had a few loves
    in my life and I am rife with their passion.
    And somewhere in between lives my obsession.
    I poem for the sake of it, and make no mistake,
    it has me under its spell! I may as well!

  276. CristinaMRNorcross

    You Are Closer Than You Think

    The space outside of you –
    that color spectrum cloud
    of potential and spirit song –
    contains the toolbox you need –
    your want,
    your trust,
    your skill
    your passion,
    your philanthropy,
    your purpose.

    The scent of patchouli
    hangs in the air.
    You follow the yellow brick road
    to the you of tomorrow –
    the bungee jumper
    you were meant to be.

    Your threaded fingers
    weave their magic.
    Hands clasped in prayer –
    a hoped for future.

    You are closer than you think.
    Reach out –
    touch it.
    Feel the juice
    of the fresh peach,
    the leather soft glide of the leaf,
    the subtle give of earth
    beneath your feet,
    when you take that first step.

    Cristina M. R. Norcross
    Copyright 2014

  277. Snowqueen

    Have A Nice Day

    Busy day
    Running here and there
    Mental list replaying
    Phone calls

    Have a nice day! 

    Joy to be alive
    Grateful for my car
    Understanding of other drivers
    Written to-do-list
    Voice mail

  278. AleathiaD

    Birds of a Feather, Flock Together
    For Michael

    I’ve never had a true flock
    always on the move,
    an over migratory bird
    no one recognizes
    from year to year.

    I never built a nest
    not wanting to waste
    all that time in meticulous
    creation to wave goodbye
    when the last thread is placed
    so I kept it simple and retractable;
    hobo roll clutched in my talons
    for safe keeping.

    Then I met you,
    running because you needed to,
    hiding in plain sight behind a wall
    no one gets to push through.

    We both feared the same abandonment
    never trusting anyone would ever understand
    us enough to have our backs.

    And then I let you love me
    more than any other
    and my sky suddenly turned
    bluer and more brilliant
    than I remembered
    in all my life.

    How many times
    had I sailed it
    and never saw
    its hidden potential?

    Here we are,
    feathers mixed and woven,
    building a nest
    out of all the important
    fibers of our being
    and I finally have
    a place to come back to.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 11 Proverb/Saying

  279. Erynn

    You get what you pay for

    I handed the man some money
    He took it and looked at me funny
    “Sir,” he said, “This is not enough
    For the amount of your stuff.”

    I must have looked confused
    For he began to muse
    “The price of your pile here
    Is unfortunately very clear”

    “This amount will not do
    For the dollars are too few.”
    I looked at him in wonder
    Then I began to ponder

    My money was already gone
    And I wasn’t trying to pull a con
    I asked him to please provide
    What I could get for what I supplied

    The man picked over my pile
    Ending his search after a while
    He put back over half of it
    Making the prices finally fit

    So I guess the morale of this tale
    Is when making a final sale
    Be careful of the price of stuff
    And make sure you always have enough

  280. Michelle Hed

    Girls Chase Boys

    Every generation
    does a dance
    body language instinctual
    sometimes subtle … or not;

    broken hearts
    laughter, fun
    courtship rituals
    of humans

    best to state it
    girls chase boys,
    boys chase girls.

  281. JanetRuth

    SO many good poems here. Can’t wait to return and read some more. love this prompt and what it inspires:)

    Love Never Fails

    Words fail; sometimes they spew twisted, black
    And I wish I could have them back
    My only hope for mercy hails
    To Love because it never fails

    Deeds fail; I blush to view my thought
    Of good intention never wrought
    Accomplishment for all its pain
    If not for Love would be in vain

    We fail; but Love is there to mend
    Where other attributes pretend
    This daily death to Self prevails
    And satisfies; Love never fails

  282. alana sherman

    Day 11 A Statement Title

    Twelve good horses and silver candlesticks
    won’t stop the snow from falling in Bialystock.

    The universe is against me—
    I wait for the Perseids, the Leonids,
    the Geminids—Whatever the season
    that night is always overcast.
    When I have money in the bank—
    plumbing fails, I lose my glasses, a deer
    lands on my car.
    If a deadline is looming
    my computer crashes.
    Plan a BBQ?
    It will rain.
    I never win anything.
    Sometimes I think I will change my name
    to Halekaluni Scharfenshregger, fool
    my dark cloud into following
    some other poor shmoe.
    Who am I kidding—
    that tree won’t fall in the forest,
    It will come down on my roof.

    another statement poem

    “You cannot paint…”

    In fifth grade
    I wanted to be an artist, but
    the teacher said,
    “You can’t paint. You just don’t
    understand perspective.”
    I cried and for years
    squirreled away crayons and brushes,
    stowed pastels in backs of drawers.

    Other statements I stockpiled: You can’t
    sing. You’ll never be an architect.
    And, I listened, went swimming where
    they let me, never daring the sea.
    Because I believed
    everyone knew the things
    about me that I couldn’t do.
    So when I saw Hofmann’s Au Printemps
    I cried again. And now,
    all I do is paint and paint.
    Oh, and sing while I’m doing it.


  283. jasonlmartin

    Enter at your own risk

    I was sitting in the Back Bang Saloon,
    which sounds Old West but really is a dive
    for the hipsters and pretenders of fortune,
    when I watch this sleek woman arrive,
    sit on a stool beside mine, reach for a spoon
    from behind the bar, and scoop an olive
    into her mouth. But that’s not even
    the noteworthy part of the story. While I’ve
    been drinking my tonic and gin, alone,
    without giving her a reason to believe
    I am interested in her quirks and her Latin
    beauty, she turns, puts her hand on my sleeve,
    and so right then it’s hard to hide my attention,
    pulls me in to plant a kiss, and gets up to leave.

    Sometimes we need to be awakened, shaken
    out of our monotony. A dream is easier to conceive
    when we look straight on with all the might of our vision,
    rather than look back and regret that we chose not to live.

  284. Walt Wojtanik


    Machismo, Bravado and Braggadocio met for drinks.
    Each one thinks he’s the bigger man.
    Looks can deceive and they all believe
    their charms will have the cuties in their arms.

    The first one played to the ladies, but
    was shot down in flames. It seems
    they’ve heard his all lines before.
    The next was a pushy lout,

    an over-aggressive boy scout, always prepared.
    he never spared them from his conquests
    and adventures, but had them scared at hello.
    The loud mouth was harmless, all talk

    but no game. It was a shame.
    Lesson learned in three spurned.
    Smoke and mirrors are great devices,
    but just being you, truly suffices.

    You should always live within your means.
    Things are always bigger than they seem.

  285. writinglife16

    “Words will never hurt you”

    Sticks and stones
    May break your bones
    But words will never hurt you.
    That silly, childhood rhyme
    is just wrong.
    Words can hurt.

    They can cause a fragile soul
    unseen damage.
    To stop the chorus
    that their mind keeps singing
    They open their arms to death.
    Yeah, words can hurt.

  286. DanielR

    Bulls don’t belong in china shops
    nor I in relationships
    delicate plates, trinkets, and glass
    are not unlike fragile hearts
    they all easily shatter
    into thousands of pieces
    when handled carelessly
    she warned, “You Break It, You Buy It”

    Daniel Roessler

    1. DanielR

      Thanks to all of you for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed it! And elledouble you…I can’t wait for your poem “both the bull and the broken”:)

  287. Mr. Take The Lead

    Pick up your instrument and Play On
    Daniel R. Simmons

    The most beautiful thing about our world is that we all play our part in this orchestra we called life.
    Our beautiful faces, gifts, talents and passions, sets off angelic melodies so sweet that the whole world enjoys and sings.
    Yes our heart sings and erupts to the scenes from our favorite movie that was creatively crafted up by our favorite directors and played out by our favorite actors
    Or to the enticing lectures given by our favorite teachers-
    To the writers who send us worlds away,
    the singers whose songs and voices that send ripples down our spines and heals dying hearts. Our stomachs and spirits rejoice to the wonderful foods created by chefs,
    And our eyes glory in the majestic moments that will never grow old in time, no we can hold onto forever thanks to our photographers
    Our emotions and imaginations run high as we stare at paintings drawn by those who dare to be different, to stand out and bless the world with the amazing images that started in their head.
    And when a director sees their movie come alive and played out, an actor watches themselves on the big screen, a teacher sees their students cross the stage and become successful, a writer sees the words come to life, a singer hears their song on the radio for the first time, a chef sees their dish laid on a platter and eaten with smiles, a photographer looks at the pictures captured, or a painter sees their imagination displayed on the wall: when they and the world looks at these things, they don’t see a script or a movie. They don’t see students graduating and making an impact in the world. They don’t see words written on paper. They don’t hear music. They don’t see food. They don’t just see a painting or a captured picture; what they see and hear is ART, not a profession but ART.
    You see our world is filled with art and the instruments of our gifts and chosen walks of life=
    that when played together it creates a universal song whose rhythm the world turns to.
    So play on,
    No matter what your instrument is, pick it up and play on.
    For the world is ready to dance.

  288. lionetravail

    “What Is The Fascination With Zombies These Days?”
    By David M. Hoenig

    Each saint or god raised
    seems much overshadowed by
    millions of zombies

  289. Beth Rodgers

    “So Much to Do”

    So little time is such a cliché
    When there’s so much to do.
    Breaking it down requires focus
    On less procrastination
    So it all ends up that there is so much time
    To do so much.
    That all the items on our bucket lists
    Will be accomplished in all the time we have
    To spare.

  290. Connie Peters

    A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

    But Goldie would glitter and gleam
    Pedaling along on a two-wheeled machine
    Blowing bubbles and grinning
    While her shiny wheels are spinning
    And little fishes would complete the scene

  291. CLShaffer

    “Read the Bible, Not Poetry” by C. Lynn Shaffer
    Facebook post in response to an educational publisher’s encouragement, during Poetry Month, to “Keep Calm and Read Poetry”

    But who made the heartbeat that inspired the Psalms
    and the poems of Walt Whitman who also loved the dirty feet of the poor and sick
    as well as the just-washed skin of the young laughing on the streets of the city,
    the fingernails of the gardeners and mechanics crusting with green and black
    the child who proves the world is complicated with a simple question
    about grass,
    each single biological machine contemplating its fleshy mortality, and you,
    you who cannot imagine beyond the surface
    of a rock in a stream, Walt would kiss your palms,
    hold your hands to his bristly face and have you consider
    all the rocks of the universe darkened by water, the universe of the crawfish
    living beneath them,
    the moon and the roots of trees electric as brain pulses settling
    on a word, aatma, sholem-bayes, agua, cup.
    Old Walt Whitman, beauty finder of the apocalypse, his head and his hairs
    white like wool, his eyes as a flame of fire, who leaves his thumbprint
    of printer’s ink on all our foreheads,
    who is young and old at once,
    who proves the existence of the mathematician and of God,
    who traces the spiral of the inner ear and the seashell with equal intensity,
    who looks so familiar to so many, deity or distant uncle,
    he will someday walk toward you, each stride spanning miles,
    his great arms spread wide as continents.

    Note: The italicized portion is paraphrased from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, book of Revelations.

  292. Connie Peters

    The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach

    She aimed to steal his heart that day
    with sex appeal and hips that sway.
    She should have baked him cakes and bread.
    And shot for his tummy, instead, he walked away.

  293. Roderick Bates

    Bridges Freeze Before Roads

    by Roderick Bates

    The bridges hang in mid-air,
    as cold winds from Canada
    blow over them, under them,
    and the cold rain turns to ice
    on those narrow spans.

    The ground to the west
    is warm from months of summer —
    the ground to the east, the same.
    It is only the connection
    which is exposed, changeable.
    And so it is with us.

    I am Vermont;
    you are New Hampshire —
    both solidly who we are,
    we change slowly
    with the seasons, with the years.

    Our connection, the bridge
    we build with such care,
    is delicate, vulnerable
    to the winds of passing moments,
    now hot, and now bitter cold.

  294. aphotic soul

    I ignored the prompt, for I was afraid it’d dampen the quality of my poetry.

    Emotions Unplugged
    by Paul Andrew Ryan

    Emotions are something I have to plug in, a draft of weariness and woe,
    My heart has grown a little too thin, for it’s had far too much to tow,
    So once this poem is finished and done, and the words I no longer know,
    These emotions I will continue to outrun, and not a single one will show,
    For these things called love and and affection, are just lies people tell,
    While searching for a place to put their erection, and their humanity they sell,
    So why even bother to feel, in this self created hell,
    When all people do is lie cheat and steal, so in apathy I dwell,

    All love causes are aches and pains, fearful rejections and bitter disdains,
    So I unplug my heart to keep myself sane, to avoid the worry and to hide from the rain.

  295. fayina

    Awake at 3am

    yes ,
    I may piece together the words
    to eloquently explain

    but for now I’ll just say
    that nearly everything I see
    reminds me of you.
    Even things
    that don’t
    remind me of you
    (like kitchen knifes,
    and Timbuktu)
    remind me of you
    simply by being things
    that don’t
    remind me
    of you
    in a salty, inland sea
    of things that do.

  296. drnurit


    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    When she left him, years ago,
    and shut the door behind them –
    she deleted the life they had not lived
    from all of their files.

    And yet since she left him, years ago,
    blueprints of the life they had not lived
    decline to fade away – unmoved by time,
    reluctant to make room.

    And yet since she left him, years ago,
    images of the life they had not lived
    come back to her in vivid colors –
    best laid scenes of might-have-beens
    casting a shadow on her path.

  297. Alfonso Kuchinski

    The unseen is greater than the seen

    Dr. Leopold disregarded
    this discreet world
    possession of a PhD
    is not necessarily a helpful pre-requisite,

    an invisible metropolis
    networks and domains
    guide desire and judgement,
    though those less quixotic
    laying out derision,

    subsurface edifice (oedipus?)
    lying to veiled glances
    psyche penetrating radar
    spirits feast
    organs consumed
    fractions of blood
    flowing underground
    unseen honesty

  298. LaurelRose

    Take Twice A Day With Water

    to calm down.
    Don’t swallow, let it dissolve
    on your tongue,
    seeping through the membrane
    to your broken head.

    Psychiatrists will never tell you
    the secret difference between
    misery and joy,
    but I will:
    it’s all in the way you hold your lips.

  299. Zart_is

    “You May Already Be A Winner”
    It’s fine to be naive and really believe
    that any random envelope
    could contain the means
    to make it so, bestow awards
    and be all crammed full of accolades.
    You, like a conquering hero
    feeling a bit humble
    as you slide your finger
    under the seal, opening
    the promising sachet
    anticipating a bright
    and brilliant missive that
    declares you a worthy victor.
    Then, of course, it becomes all about
    what you must do to qualify.
    You can’t just step up to the podium
    to accept your reward.
    You must vie with billions of other pretenders
    attempting to usurp your rightful place.
    It’s a fine dream but perhaps it’s better
    to just rip the note, wrapper and all, unopened.
    But, before you toss it toward the shredder
    you might hesitate wondering
    how dubious it is that you would ever need a letter
    to divulge that you win.

  300. Tamara Rokicki

    Time Flies, You know-

    When we are young,
    We aren’t old,
    Until we’re old and
    Wish to be young.

    Our children grow,
    But you don’t know
    How much they do
    Until they grow.

    Minutes drag on,
    We wish them away,
    But they drag on
    Until they pass on.

    We count stars
    Oh, every night
    We think they’re the same,
    But are different stars.

    Our hair turns gray,
    As slow as it may
    But we dye it again
    But its nature is gray.

    Our steps are slower
    Can’t run or jump,
    We are much slower
    And can’t use a lawn mower.

    So each passing day
    We grasp it to stay,
    But it goes away,
    Can’t hold down a day.

    Time flies, you know
    You want it to go
    Then you want it to stay,
    But time flies, you know.

    –Tamara Rokicki

  301. uneven steven

    “what kind of person are you actually?”

    the latest facebook quiz
    says the kind of person I actually am
    is “neutral evil”
    not “chaotic evil” or “evil genius”
    but lukewarm evil
    the worst kind of evil you can possibly be –
    a lethal Lord Voldemort and Miss Piggy cocktail
    for anyone stupid enough to taste the wrath
    of my being me –
    of course the results upset me like it would
    any normal person – so I changed the results,
    trolled the author’s blog and facebook pages and tried
    to hack the quiz site unsuccessfully –
    no one likes to be thought of as evil
    the real evil ones have no buyer’s remorse,
    hearts filled with loves lost, slim fingers
    of chance touching but taken away
    by a vengeful fate
    until it occurs to me those are exactly
    the things keeping evil on the right path – the proper focus
    for an evil so epic it’s incapable of change,
    my own lazy ADD distracted personality
    quickly onto the next quiz and keeping me from being
    or doing anything important, good or really truly evil

  302. creilley


    I guess it depends
    on the stuff,
    of course,
    if you are speaking
    trade goods,
    material things,
    only a small amount, really.

    Emotional baggage?

    Big enough to have
    its own
    Enough for


    One is too many,
    a million
    is not enough.

  303. stargypsy

    You Can Never Go Home

    When the whole
    world falls apart
    and all I want
    to do is hide…
    lick my wounds…
    sleep for a week…

    It is good to
    remember we all
    have the chance
    to start over
    Begin again
    Try to right
    the wrongs

    I turn to words
    for healing
    My beloved
    short stories…

    I begin to craft my
    through my own

    Writing my
    way Home

    Copyright © 2014 Annie – Original Poetry
    Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
    As Ever, Annie

  304. DanielR

    Dancing across city sidewalks
    pirouettes in high heeled shoes
    red-dressed, green-eyed woman
    a glimpse of diamond sparkle
    strangers twist to catch a view
    the church bells ring an ode to noon
    her electric smile matched the neon
    of flashing storefront open signs
    the steady pace of pavement feet
    slowing to a crawl around her
    taxi drivers turned their heads
    brake lights shone down the street
    horns began to honk in concert
    in unison, a symphony
    then she waved when she saw me
    waiting in front of Sam’s Café
    and as she neared I gently kissed her
    asking her about her day
    I smiled at all the passing drivers
    and her being so unaware that
    she stopped traffic

    Daniel Roessler

  305. lionetravail

    “Politicians Should Have Term Limits!”
    by David M. Hoenig

    Politicians need to be changed, regularly and often,
    and for the exact same reason as diapers.
    Thurmond ossified for forty eight years before the coffin;
    politicians NEED to be changed, regularly and often!
    Dingell- longest run at fifty eight: I’ve a pain in my head, like poor Jane Austen,
    and we can’t reduce the debt, let alone pay any pipers!
    Politicians need to be changed, regularly and often,
    and for the exact same reason as diapers!