Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

I often come up with prompts for my weekly Wednesday Poetry Prompts on the fly. However, I try to get all my prompts for the monthly challenges set before the month starts–to avoid “prompt block.” For that reason, I had to turn down two good prompt ideas from the guest judges: Vince Gotera wanted to do something related to hay(na)ku and today’s judge Daniel Nester wanted to do a sestina prompt. I’ve done the sestina prompt before, and it drove many poets crazy (still littering asylums across the globe). I was tempted to change my prompt, but decided to hold firm–so nobody is obligated to write a sestina for today’s prompt (but if you want extra credit, both Nester and myself would love to see a few sestinas today). Click here to learn about the sestina.

For today’s prompt, write an animal poem. Pick a specific animal or write about your animal spirit. Maybe you’ll get tricky and write about mustangs (meaning the car) or jaguars (meaning the American football team). Maybe you’ll do an acrostic, or even go crazy and write a sestina (crickets).

*****

2014_poets_marketPublish Your Poetry!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the assistance of the 2014 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. This book is filled with listings for poetry book publishers, chapbook publishers, magazines, journals, online publications, contests, grants, and more!

Plus, it contains articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry. There are interviews with poets, original poems, and so much more!

Click to continue.

******

Here’s my attempt at an Animal Poem:

“Animal Sestina”

First thing’s first, I must pick an animal.
My logical first choice is the cheetah,
because I’m first and foremost about speed,
though in high school I was often called horse–
as much for my long stride as my long hair–
still today, I resemble platypus

as I’m hard to classify. Platypus,
frankly speaking, is a weird animal:
It has a bill, otter feet, and hair;
did I mention it’s venomous? Cheetahs,
on the one hand, are faster than a horse;
every molecule seems built for speed,

but there’s more to picking end words than speed.
After all, some end words, like platypus,
are harder to use. Meanwhile, the word horse
is easier, not for the animal
but syllables–three to one. The cheetah
offers two syllables and spotted hair;

they eat gazelles and zebras, even hares.
Their sprinting prey dictates a need for speed;
there’s no such thing as a chubby cheetah.
Though they store fat in their tails, platypus
are not the heaviest of animals–
maybe five pounds. Definitely the horse

weighs a lot more. For instance, race horses
can hit 1,000 pounds. Beneath their hair
are the thick muscles of an animal
bred over generations for top speeds,
kind of opposite from the platypus.
Speaking of breeding, the shallow cheetah

pool of genetics means there aren’t cheetah
variations the same as with horses,
though I’m not really sure on platypus.
One thing is certain: I must prefer hair
over genetics and relative speed,
at least when we’re discussing animals.

I’m an animal, but I’m no cheetah–
lost my speed, though I may still be a horse
with short hair, storing fat like platypus.

******

Today’s guest judge is…

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester

Daniel is the author of How to Be Inappropriate, God Save My Queen I and II, and is editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology.

His writing has appeared in N+1 The New York TimesThe Morning NewsThe Daily Beast, The Best American Poetry, The Best Creative Nonfiction, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, and Now Write! Nonfiction.

He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY

Learn more here: DanielNester.com.

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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 studied under sestina master James Cummins at the University of Cincinnati–once writing more than 20 horrible sestinas in one quarter. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

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476 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

  1. TylerG

    *Ivy League*
    Spring rain coats my surface in the familiar moist
    dew of the morning, as my woody ivy
    leaves get caught up in the wind and attempt to fly
    away and break free of their
    eternal cage that permits nothing but rest,
    slowly realizing our faltering fortitude.

    Enduring the same monotonic life, our fortitude
    can only hold on for so long in the moist
    embrace before our disclination for rest
    takes over and turns to loathing of being ivy.
    With such interesting lives out there,
    we were cursed to sit and watch the birds fly.

    As we idly sit and watch the world fly
    by, we stand by our fortitude
    and wonder what else is out there
    beneath the thin film of moist
    dew that coats our ivy
    leaves just like the rest.

    But as it always has, the rest
    of the world won’t sit still, and as we watch it fly
    by we realize just how monotonous life can be as a simple ivy
    tree. Nothing with freedom requires the fortitude
    we must have when our only job is sucking up the moist
    nutrients from the rich soil situated right down there.

    Although we love the birds who land on our limbs, and they’re
    so much more lovely than us, they can’t deny they’re less than the rest.
    Even though they can fly freely, they reach a certain height where a different moist
    substance coats their wings as they fly
    around with their exalting freedom. Though they lack out fortitude
    they have a much better life than a leaf of ivy.

    But even we have our days to shine, as poison accumulates on our ivy
    leaves and we are forced to leave it there,
    we watch we know we will make a noble human’s fortitude
    quickly falter as we send him to bed rest
    after watching our burdensome oils fly free
    as he connects with us, leaving a patch of poison, not dry, but moist.

    As we well know, their fortitude will falter as they rest
    because they’re forced to be sedentary, not fly
    just like all the ivy because they have to be dry – not moist.

  2. stepstep

    HORSE

    Running wild, running free
    Head held high in dignity.
    Truly a mind of its own
    A very fit body, extremely toned.

    Neigh to the left, neigh to the right,
    Pride is always kept in sight.
    Enjoying nature everyday
    Enjoying life in every way.

    The breeze brushes across my fur
    Which I display so beautifully.
    I shy away from nothing much
    Heavy or light items I transport easily.

  3. azkbc

    Animals and the Zoo

    When you were a baby you had a mobile of monkeys.
    Now that you are older we go see them at the zoo.
    There are so many yellow and green elephants on your blanket
    You took it to the park yesterday when you played on the swing
    And when play time was over we went home and read books about giraffes that night.
    A teddy, a bunny, and a giraffe sit on your bed with other animals.

    You like to read books about animals
    And just got some brand new stickers that are monkeys
    I watched you zip up and down the sidewalk on your scooter last night.
    Today it’s Saturday! We get to go to the zoo!
    We’ll see the kangaroos first then play on the swing.
    At night we’ll say “we had such fun today”, and you’ll curl up in your blanket.

    At night when you’re sleeping you like to have your special blanket
    And have with you all your favorite animals.
    Tomorrow you will play with Dan on the swing.
    Then come in and climb on the couch just like a little monkey.
    Yesterday it snowed but today it’s all melted at the zoo.
    You asked “who puts the animals to bed at night?”

    The zebras stay in their pens at night.
    Did you ever see a lion with a blanket?
    How many of your friends get to go to the zoo?
    Did you ever want to be a wild animal?
    If you were an animal, I think you would be a monkey.
    And do you know why? Because you climb and play on the swings.

    We can walk to the park to swing.
    Playing is something you like to do both day and night.
    Do you want your new stuffed animal to be a monkey?
    Should we look for fabric to make you a panda blanket?
    It’s so much fun to look at the animals.
    We all have a good time when we go to the zoo.

    Oh yay! Pauline and Brendan want to go to the zoo.
    After we see the llamas do you want to go to the park and swing?
    Would you want to live at the zoo and be a zoo animal?
    Where do you think the peacocks go at night?
    Do you think the leopard needs a blanket?
    Is your favorite animal still the monkey?

    See the monkeys at the zoo.
    Did you take the blanket to the swing?
    During the night, did you dream of the animals?

  4. Suzanne_Noelle

    Canis Lupus

    Running fast, panting, panting
    Large paws with toes spreading
    Snowshoeing across the icy tundra until
    Warmth! I sense warmth
    Ptarmigan, fresh and hot and delicious
    I smell it, I feel it, I hear its heart beating
    And then its heart stills.
    Warmth trickling down my throat, rich and filling
    Crunching between my powerful jaws
    Feathers flying, a tasty snack
    And then I continue to run
    Singing out the cry of my people.
    The old haunting sounds of my ancestors
    Ring off the evergreens
    Echoing back to me, a feigned response to my own calls
    But then different voices answer
    Rising up around me as my family converges upon my trail
    Entering the clearing with heads down, tails down
    Licking my mouth, showing their bellies
    They know me as Alpha
    And they are my pack.
    They submit to me, but we all work together
    In a perfect hierarchical system
    Following the ways of wolves from long before
    Running in the pawprints of those whose calls
    Were silenced long ago.

  5. ianchandler

    cheetah

    velvet shell
    pores
    maybe you’re the fastest land mammal
    but can you
    breathe
    in milk
    like it’s part of the willow
    like it’s
    true
    to your marrow
    can you breathe
    in the wild
    ?

  6. PenConnor

    Raven’s Flight (a sestina)

    I just want to stretch my wings
    and float on the air of the night.
    Here I stand, face to the moon
    wishing I were more clever,
    and could find my way to freedom —
    a flight to carry me past the trees.

    You make your throne in this tree,
    sit majestic with ebony wings.
    You wear the mantle of freedom
    and rule the skies of the night.
    No other creature so clever
    lives under the silver moon.

    I spy a girl’s face in the moon,
    as I lean into your great tree.
    Her smile is wicked and clever,
    and I long for ebony wings —
    so I could fly beyond this night,
    and whisper to her of my freedom.

    I have always admired your freedom,
    your silhouette before the moon.
    Your feathers as dark as this night,
    I barely see, perched in this tree.
    Stretch your beautiful black wings.
    I hope I’m at least half as clever,

    as you, sister raven, so clever.
    All others will stretch their wings,
    join in they flying dance of freedom,
    beneath this night’s full moon.
    Alone, I will sit at this tree
    my face turned up to the night.

    I’ll sit beside the black night,
    with toes tapping to melody, clever,
    at the base of celebration tree.
    While night creatures toast their freedom,
    beneath this night’s full moon,
    I’ll fall asleep imagining my wings.

    Dreaming of great wide wings, black as the air of night,
    I’ll climb to my sister the moon, whispering secrets so clever.
    She’ll speak the spell of freedom; I’ll take flight from this tree.

  7. Susan Budig

    Canis Lupus

    Mimi’s waiting patiently for a blood-red
    moon, an eclipse that starts past
    midnight, that starts with a wolf’s
    muzzle pointed skyward, its lips
    making a howling lament, a rumbling
    moan until it’s joined by a rough pack

    Fellow canines, sister bitch, form a pack
    friendly to none but the other, their red
    focused eyes wait until a train rumbles
    far down cold, steel tracks, past
    farmhouses where prayers on lips
    form, children breathing like a pack of wolves

    Tangled like a litter of whelps-to-wolves
    Tussling for their place in the pack
    Tough and snarling, their bristled hair, lips
    turned back in a sneer, yet their red
    tender hearts bleed of memories past
    today and tomorrow with the past rumble

    By 1926, the last wolves were rumbled
    back to their graves in Yellowstone, No Wolves
    became the mantra, this shameful past
    beholden to government control. Yet a pack
    beneath the radar, sheltered on a red
    bed of secrets, grew in Minnesota, on the lip

    of Lake Superior—those wolves’ curled lips,
    open teeth, and crouched haunches, rumble
    outside where they sleep, no predators with red
    objectives will attack them. The alpha wolf,
    only betrayed by man, runs in tight packs
    or strikes out solo in search of a mate. In the past,

    no wailing wolf could be found. “That’s in the past,”
    newspapers claimed, but Mimi still believed, her lips
    not opening, not even mouthing the truth. A wolf’s pack
    need not fear, Mimi’s tongue will not wag,nor words rumble
    nilly-willy. Mimi sets salt-licks for the deer, knowing a wolf
    nearby will soon down one for its dinner, under the moon, blood-red.

    Wolf-packs survive despite past histories of scourge
    Mimi, so unlike Little Red Cap, licks her own lips
    As thunder rumbles and her wolves wake for the night

  8. lethejerome

    “Outside”

    Nothing like a shelter from the cold remembrance
    Of the straight and narrow, of the bone and marrow,
    But just enough to hide amid my heat and hunger
    And lay far underneath the pliant cartilage
    Of the past, of the will, and of every spasm,
    In abandonment to the soil, in earth that stirs.

    The sky waits between moon and high noon, the sky stirs
    What is left of the ground, that solid remembrance
    That draws me out and makes me prowl in spams,
    Already blood and heartbeat, already marrow,
    Teeth cut teeth caught between air and cartilage
    Between whistling and speech, in sleep and in hunger.

    There is fact and knowledge; somewhere there is hunger.
    Beneath fangs and blurred eyes, a renewed vision stirs
    Matter and light, leaving the whole to cartilage,
    To the logic of crevices of remembrance,
    To narrow bridges over spillage of marrow –
    There is morning, there is dusk, settling in spasms.

    I am knees am elbows am standings am spasms.
    Eyes on the horizon, line of silent hunger,
    Ears on fingertips’ resounding taps on marrow,
    Nose-mouth in the unison of a tongue that stirs
    The fluidity of remains and remembrance,
    I am joint I am bendings I am cartilage.

    Circulation in the unfolding of cartilage,
    Circling with the contraction in every spasm,
    Encircles, besieges the heart as remembrance
    Surveys the depths of the stomach’s mounting hunger,
    Survival in its knots, the untying that stirs,
    Ensures that the dye passes into the marrow:

    The dyeing of the brooks, the softness of marrow;
    The dyeing of bedrock, craters of cartilage;
    The dyeing of oak shade, colours in wind that stir;
    The dyeing of underbrush, a fire in spasm
    In forests of thirst and in jungles of hunger,
    A convergence of lives and pasts through remembrance.

    In my jaw remembrance of the shock of marrow,
    In my belly hunger from lungs and cartilage:
    Fixation in spasm as something outside stirs.

    Jérôme Melançon
    @lethejerome

  9. suddenleigh

    Not All Black Bears Are Black!
    By Stephanie Reardon

    “If I could be
    any animal,”
    he said pressing
    his long hands
    to the glass display.
    “I would be a bear.”

    Beyond the glass
    Long-dead, now stuffed
    Black bears
    Falsely foraging
    In a diorama displaying
    Their true habitat.

    Three on display,
    A grim nod to a familiar fairy tale.
    The largest looked coldly
    With plastic eyes that challenge
    Each onlooker.
    His head is huge and misshapen.
    His shoulders hunch, his lip curls.
    The smallest is at his feet,
    Looking dumbfounded
    As if confused by his short lifespan or
    The people who study his corpse.
    The third is strikingly blonde,
    And made to look as if
    Climbing a tree.
    “Not all black bears are black!”
    The plaque beside him reads.

    “You would have to be mainly vegetarian.”
    I replied.
    “I mostly am already.”
    He said, digging his hands into his pockets.
    The bears watched us leave
    In the name of science.

  10. Snow Write

    I had to try the sestina, just to say I tried. There was no hope for iambic pentameter or anything even close, but it was fun to tell a story within the framework anyways…

    SAFARI EXCURSION
    We heard the bellows of the elephants
    Before any other safari sounds
    We were on a mission to find crocodiles
    But on land didn’t see any around
    We had to keep a lookout for lions
    And be sure to get back to camp before dark

    We approached the water, murky and dark
    Taking care not to bother the elephants
    In the distance we spotted a pride of lions
    Though how, we’re not sure; they made nary a sound
    We searched the sea with focused eyes while one kept watch around
    In hopes of spotting those elusive crocodiles

    At first we weren’t sure we saw the crocodiles
    Their big black eyes poking out of the dark
    But quickly noticed no other animals around
    The few by the pond backed away like the elephants
    Who still marked their territory, raising their sounds
    We became aware all were watched by the lions

    There was doom in the prowl of the lions
    As they stared at the water and the crocodiles
    We didn’t move a muscle, tried not to make sounds
    Even with shelter we felt the ominous dark
    The wildlife was nervous except the elephants
    Who sauntered ‘cross the desert as if no one were around

    Our guide cautioned us against moving around
    Though some wanted a better view of the lions
    Who were crouched in the weeds near the elephants
    All focused intently on the crocodiles
    Watching their eyes float in the water so dark
    Everyone’s ears perked by the deep moaning sounds

    The vehicle shook from the rumbling sounds
    As the animals chorused from all around
    Shadows disappeared as the sky grew dark
    We drove away, the patience of the lions
    Outlasting our observations of the crocodiles
    The last view we saw, the silhouettes of elephants

    We heard elephants and all the animal sounds
    Blend with the crocodiles still lurking around
    As we left the lions to prey on them in the dark

  11. TuLife

    “Virgin Queen Bee”
    By: Tuere Aisha

    Everyone wants to be Queen Bee.
    Virgin Queen Bee sounds better to me.

    She remains beneath the radar,
    not publicly a star.

    Born into royalty,
    yet earning her loyalty.

    Fighting off other virgin queens –
    using her stinger as her means
    to eliminate the competition,
    assassinating in repetition.

    Not as flashy as the Queen Bee;
    worker bees must work to see
    that a young virgin is on the scene,
    instinctively bearing the monarch gene.

    By the time she’s grown and ready to be mated,
    her appetite for fame is satiated.

    Why stand out as a target like the Queen Bee?
    Though I’d rather not be a worker bee, as he
    will only slave for the comfort of she
    who earns her keep as Virgin Queen Bee.

  12. julie e.

    DOG.

    Dog, you are so furious,
    running from window to
    window to yell at the
    passersby.
    How dare they use
    the sidewalk
    outside your house!
    How dare they
    push a stroller,
    stand at the bus stop,
    laugh on their way
    home from school!
    And I become as loud
    as you saying
    BE QUIET! No one
    wants to hear you!
    But who am I,
    telling you,
    The Dog,
    how to do
    your job?

  13. Julieann

    Butthead Was Her Name

    A little black kitten
    With one white mitten

    Who’d put her life at stake
    When she’d play with the snake

    She grew to be
    So large and free

    A little black kitten
    With one white mitten

  14. clcediting

    RIDE

    They run,
    sometimes so fast
    all feet leave the ground.
    Hooves clad in iron
    pound across the miles
    galloping down dirt roads.
    Wildness barely kept in check
    by the bond between
    Rider
    and Horse.

  15. mimzy13

    DON’T FEED THE DUCKS

    I’ve decided to stop feeding the ducks. First of all, there is a sign by the pond in the Boston Common that clearly states “No Feeding The Ducks”. Second of all, I suspect I’m giving the ducks—through no ill will of my own!—the wrong impression. Lately, I’ll be walking along the pond path on the way to work, when suddenly they will emerge from their strategic posts under the dark bridge recesses to form a single undulating mob in the water. I will quicken my pace but they remain just to my left, hovering on the periphery of my vision. Oh no ducks I whisper so people won’t hear me not today. Then the ducks start their low quaking Too late they say you have acknowledged us. Now you must give us your bread. The smallest and most sickly ducklings are sent to the front of their assembly. They straggle up onto the path, wobbling and collecting dirt clots on their undersides. You don’t know what it’s like they say as I hurry past those aren’t our real parents! I can see my office building on the other side of the park and remember the note on my computer last week that said STOP FEEDING THE DUCKS. IF YOU ARE LATE AGAIN YOU WILL BE FIRED. My resolve strengthens, when suddenly a feathery lump appears in the grass. I go over to it and kneel down. It’s okay I say with a tight throat there was nothing you could do. Then I bury the duckling near the tree by the pond. The other ducks watch as I walk away towards the office, the job I no longer have.

  16. TylerG

    Ivy League

    Spring rain coats my surface in the familiar moist
    dew of the morning, as my woody ivy
    leaves get caught up in the wind and attempt to fly
    away and break free of their
    eternal cage that permits nothing but rest,
    slowly realizing our faltering fortitude.

    Enduring the same monotonic life, our fortitude
    can only hold on for so long in the moist
    embrace before our disclination for rest
    takes over and turns to loathing of being ivy.
    With such interesting lives out there,
    we were cursed to sit and watch the birds fly.

    As we idly sit and watch the world fly
    by, we stand by our fortitude
    and wonder what else is out there
    beneath the thin film of moist
    dew that coats our ivy
    leaves just like the rest.

    But as it always has, the rest
    of the world won’t sit still, and as we watch it fly
    by we realize just how monotonous life can be as a simple ivy
    tree. Nothing with freedom requires the fortitude
    we must have when our only job is sucking up the moist
    nutrients from the rich soil situated right down there.

    Although we love the birds who land on our limbs, and they’re
    so much more lovely than us, they can’t deny they’re less than the rest.
    Even though they can fly freely, they reach a certain height where a different moist
    substance coats their wings as they fly
    around with their exalting freedom. Though they lack out fortitude
    they have a much better life than a leaf of ivy.

    But even we have our days to shine, as poison accumulates on our ivy
    leaves and we are forced to leave it there,
    we watch we know we will make a noble human’s fortitude
    quickly falter as we send him to bed rest
    after watching our burdensome oils fly free
    as he connects with us, leaving a patch of poison, not dry, but moist.

    As we well know, their fortitude will falter as they rest
    because they’re forced to be sedentary, not fly
    just like all the ivy because they have to be dry – not moist.

  17. pmwanken

    LOST AND FOUND

    In and out
    of my apartment,
    back and forth,
    doing my
    laundry…he was there, watching,
    tugging at my heart.

    Puppy dog
    eyes pleaded with me.
    He wasn’t
    begging, he
    just needed help, asking me
    to find him a home.

  18. PKP

    Oliver

    He came
    not quite two
    pounds of coal
    fluff – as I was
    writing macabre
    Kaitlin poems of
    a little murdered
    girls who appeared
    to me in a yellow
    sundress as a
    November PAD
    unfolded
    He came
    three times
    to the door
    so tiny that
    his persistent
    nickel sized
    paws only
    grazed the
    door-jam
    He came and
    I mistook him
    for an incarnation
    of Kaitlin and kept
    writing of the
    dead child
    I thought I find
    him a good
    home – a so called
    forever home as
    I held him and wrote
    poem after poem
    never thinking that
    he had already
    chosen

  19. JayGee2711

    Rabbits

    Winter turned the orchard white last
    night, but four of you, long ears, soft fur,
    have come out to nibble branches
    new with buds. I’m afraid for you,
    I want to say. You don’t even
    know what color you are. But spring
    has that effect on all of us.

    Julie Germain

  20. ASperryConnors

    Squirrel Monkeys

    Yum-yum strangers march down a path
    With bowls of strawberry, melon and grapes.
    Leaves flutter. Fur whispers softly in the shade.
    You sneak from the canopy like bark coming to life.
    Soft little Angel wants a pomegranate seed.
    Sister Patress wants only that which is orange.
    You are two little squirrel monkeys on a mountain side,
    Picking through life’s sweet nibbles as if they were jewels.
    Big eyes, dark marbles in a furry white mask.
    Pink ears blossom from the poopy army-mustard on your head,
    Melting into the dandelion dander of your velvety arms.
    Long fingers and toes with pads feel like cold buttons,
    As you trail my arm-shoulders-arm as a bridge from one
    Pile of friendly delectables to a gathering of scrumptious disarray.

    1. ASperryConnors

      The poem above was written for DISCOVERY. This one is my animal spirit)

      She is still water that runs deep
      Reflecting all things heaven sent.
      Her neck, pure white and questioning
      A bridge from mire to magnificent.

      Wings that beat slowly, steadily
      For endurance is the key.
      She gathers and stores knowledge
      From the Great Spirit of Remedy.

      Sacred to Venus, goddess of Rome
      Beloved in Ireland, she denotes the Soul
      Where poets cloak themselves in her feathers
      And children of Lir, her virtues extol.

      Her spirit awakens grace, inner beauty,
      self-esteem and evolution dreams.
      She is love, poetry and music!
      All things lovely, so it seems.

      Siren of serene she conjures the flow…
      Working through you, through the ages.
      Her voice instructs the mysteries,
      Her wings, they turn the pages.

      She sees and reads reflections-
      Knowing we are more than we appear to be.
      Both physical and spiritual natures,
      Souls in human bondage, humans being free.

      A mate for life she shows us respect.
      We have chosen and must carry on.
      Love is sworn forever, she sings.
      And thus, the essence of… a swan.

  21. Anders Bylund

    The Moose
    ========

    Themooseisawonderfulcreature,majesticandtalllikethespruceandthepines
      Theantlers,myfavoritefeature,thatsetitapartfromadeerdrapedinvines
    Haveyouseenitemergingfromwoodsinthedew?. Oy .Suchgentlepowerandgrace
      Orone,unexpectedlystaring you up anddown. for mi nutesfacetoface?
      Ifyouhaveyouwouldknowwhat it is aboutm o ose.th.atsetsmypulseracing
    Whetheritsrunningorleapingor s l .eeping or.just.peacefullygrazing
       Themooseistheepitomeofkingly grandeur, I.am.totallycertainofthat
     Ifyougavemeamooseonacuporashirt youwouldn o.tbethefirst,orevenahat
    It'sbeenwellknownhowmuchIapprecia  tethem.. ajesticEurasianelksince
       Iwasaweelad,thefirstpoemIwrote          .celebratedtheforestprince
    Turnonmycellphoneandwhatdoyousee   ?        "Adeadmoooseisabadmoose"
       Ifthedogisman'sbestfriendthe               "nthemooseisaZeus
      Aruler,amaster,aboss'mongst                      """""heetrees
       Asanimalsgo,thefinesttome                                  """""
     Thestrongest,thebestyou'll         see                            
     Ithinkyouwillsimplyhavetoa        gree                            
     Thatthemooseisatreasure,acr     ucialkey                            
    Youcankeepdogsandcats,they'renotmycupoftea                            
    Becausethemooseisthekingoftheforest,yousee                            

    (…hope the formatting works…)

  22. bxpoetlover

    I Don’t Have Any

    pets.
    Some things are not meant
    to be possessed.

    Clean, sexy, strong
    flexible
    beautiful
    territorial
    hunts alone.
    Cannot taste sweetness.
    Sleek
    but can kill a cobra
    if pressed.

    If there is such a thing as reincarnation
    send me back as a cat.

  23. Penny Henderson

    WORDS WITH WINGS

    I cannot fathom the flight of words.
    I don’t know where they go from here.
    They rise from the page like trembling birds
    but where they settle is unclear.
    They may drop cargo like bomber planes,
    causing lives to go up in flames.

    Perhaps they bring dew to douse the flames.
    Nothing soothes like perfect words,
    beaming like blooms on a flowery plain,
    singing a song I can almost hear.
    The whole picture wobbles, becomes unclear.
    lifting, settling schizophrenic birds.

    Not all words go flapping like birds,
    nor rocket toward incendiary flames.
    Some obscure detail, made vistas unclear.
    If you want to confuse, my dear use words.
    Paste them on, first over there, then here.
    They’ll create fog like crop duster planes.

    Like Euclidean geometric planes,
    a three point vee of flying birds
    shifts perspective, brings awe and fear,
    each goose a word, wings fanning the flames
    soon incinerating the words
    you wrote to shine out crystal clear.

    But persevere, tho’ the way is unclear.
    There’ll be another shifting of planes.
    Down from heaven will rain the words,
    not dumping crap like naughty birds,
    but feeding the mind’s creative flames
    with lyrics the ear can almost hear.

    The reign of faith will settle here.
    Nothing will remain unclear.
    Doubt and fear go down in flames.
    Hope will rise on the wings of a plane,
    not flapping about like hapless bird,
    but fed by the jet fueled power of words.

    So take your words and float them here
    like birds whose fortune is unclear.
    Trust the rusty cargo plane will not end in futile flames.

  24. Anders Bylund

    If I Were Ready
    ===============
    If I were ready for it
    I would have told you

    If I were ready for it
    You would have known

    If I were ready for it
    I wouldn’t scold you

    If I were ready for it
    There’d be no, “Don’t!”

  25. Louise Findlay

    Title: The Wolf

    The Wolf, stands, snarling wide,
    Jaws to crush your foes.

    The Wolf, stands, ready to pounce,
    Claws to tear your foes.

    The Wolf, stands, ready to sink,
    Teeth into a jugular.

    The Wolf, stands, ready to fight,
    To the death and beyond.

  26. cdonnelltx@yahoo.com

    TIMELESS TEAR

    I sat upon a grassy hill, beneath a spreading oak
    and watched as autumn sunlight turned green leaves to burnished gold.

    A bubbling stream ran at my feet, its soothing sounds did flow.
    The cool clean air did fill my lungs, refreshing flesh and soul.

    A crackling in the brush did cause the reverie to end.
    My eyes sought out the noise’s source and spied the russet skin.

    The Lord of forest dark and deep did pause to view his realm.
    He turned and contemplated me with head, imperial.

    I gazed into his sable eyes and saw my own face pale.
    He showed me then the hunters’ guns defaming glen and vale.

    I shed one tear, and as I stared into those regal orbs,
    I swear to you, I saw there too, a drop in his eye form.

    And for one timeless moment two united in that wood.
    Our minds, our hearts, our souls did blend. At last, I understood.

    I heard a shot ring from the west. “Go, run the other way.”
    I shouted, pointing to the east to try to aid escape.

    But sportsmen had their way today. Mere contest was their goal.
    Those antlers, just a prize to place for viewing on a wall.

    I went to see that royal head, to pay my last respects.
    For one brief instant, I did wish the hunter’s there instead.

  27. horselovernat

    The Beauty of Wolves by Natalie Gasper

    There is nothing more beautiful
    than the unbridled power
    of a pack of wolves.
    They spend much time running
    as a group, always following
    their leader because it is in their nature

    to do so. It is not natural
    for these creatures to see the so-called beauty
    of domestication, as they have no reason to follow
    mankind. While we may have great power,
    humans so often choose to run
    in the face of danger, unlike a wolf

    who will always fight. Understanding wolves
    gives one a deeper insight into nature.
    Just imagine the freedom of running
    alone in the woods with a beautiful
    sunrise there to power
    every step along the path being followed.

    But few things that are wild ever follow
    a path. Especially not a wolf,
    with his keen instincts and powerful
    muscles. Sometimes solitary in nature,
    these animals will stand alone on a cliff, howling at the beauty
    of the moon, wishing to run

    alongside her. Watching them run
    can be an eerie sight when they follow
    the scent of deer. Such a beauteous
    thing, to witness a pack of wolves
    as they succumb to their more violent nature
    of being hunters. No match for the power

    in their jaws, their prey will undoubtedly fall. The true power
    of wolves lies in the strength of their spirits, always running
    like they are the pure heart of all nature.
    Kings of their world, it is hard not to follow
    them and do as they do, for a wolf
    is superior in his beauty.

    There is great beauty, fierceness, and unrestrained power
    to be seen in the eyes of a wolf, as he so freely and graciously runs,
    following only his wild inner nature.

  28. Jay Sizemore

    an(t)i-mal(l)

    Downtown is a blood-clotted cluster of veins,
    where light is pollution and the sky never blue,
    every hillside quiet as a grave,
    waiting for something, anything to break,
    to feel that dampness on the edge of the wind,
    memory smothered with a shopping mall.

    There’s a monster, a wad of cash in its maw,
    an arrow in its throat like a bad weather vane
    oblivious to the direction of the wind,
    everything dying, born to be blue,
    comfortable in slate as the storm cloud breaks
    turning all young faces into open graves.

    Time existed before a clock face engraved,
    that presence acting on all surfaces like a maul,
    pounding, relentless until they crack and they break
    an eventuality that makes individuality vain,
    why every bird only seems to sing the blues,
    and every wild thing needs a window.

    An old watch will eventually need winding,
    as the joints of giants are grinding into gravel,
    the hottest stars are burning bright blue
    so far away their beauty is a ghost mallet
    leaving an echo where meaning taps its vein,
    bulldozer drivers taking their foot off the brake.

    The modern age can’t stop to take a break,
    to wonder where all the breathable air went,
    it would destroy the moon to find a precious vein
    and tell children to make their wishes graves.
    Behind every parking lot there’s a skyscraper mal-
    ignance, saying sapphires in the sea keep it blue.

    The ice caps melted before the volcano blew,
    and the eruption lit the night like an early dawn breaking.
    These warnings of repetition fall on ears malformed,
    as miles of concrete grow to outnumber the wind,
    all earth removed part of an unmarked grave
    where falling acid rain whispers the words, “in vain.”

    The needle in the vein was always full of wind,
    without green a malicious shade of deoxygenated blue,
    a promise that the grave could never break.

  29. Michelle Murrish

    The Butterfly

    By Michelle Murrish

    I still remember my amazement
    Staring up at rows and row of frames
    Each housing a beautiful creature
    Wings pinned, bodies frozen, under glass

    I told myself they were sleeping
    Holding still so an artist could paint
    My young heart wasn’t ready for the truth;
    That science leaves death in its wake

  30. Mickie Lynn

    Hen House

    The fox
    and the man
    are constantly fighting their
    battle over the board
    with a hole in it, that leaves open access to the house
    that holds precious chickens in black, white, and red.

    Perhaps you have read
    of this clever fox,
    who will so often house
    desire for all that is most precious to the man:
    plump creatures of generosity, love, and attention that he will board
    in his soul; trying to keep safe his heart, that also lives there.

    His chickens, they’re
    cherished, especially the beating red
    heart, but he is willing to share. She is bored
    and will eat all he has to give. Then this fox
    will leave the man
    broken and hollow in his empty house.

    All that was kept in the house,
    the kindness, the passion, the time that abide there,
    were meant to nourish everyone special to the man.
    The slick, slender vulpine with hair of red,
    the sexy, alluring fox
    destroyed the man when he allowed entrance through his board.

    The hole in the board
    is lust, a yearning that leaves the house
    vulnerable to crafty felines, and the fox
    takes advantage of this weakness. She squirms in there
    to tear the insides into bloody entrails of red
    ragged scraps of what was once a whole man.

    It is not the ultimate ending for the man.
    He can repair the board
    and paint the walls red
    to heal the house
    and carefully guard who enters there
    avoiding those like the fox.

    The battle of the fox for the essence of the man,
    they’re the fierce gnashing of teeth against that which is bored
    deep into the house painted red.

  31. drwasy

    A Song My Flute Plays

    The song of the hawk,
    a thin keen, pierces the spirit;
    on my flute the notes soar.
    The white hare
    delves below brush to burrow
    until the safety of night.

    In deepest night
    no one fears the hawk;
    night itself is a kind of burial,
    a space to shelve the spirit
    until sunbreak, when the hare
    and I look for shadows to what soars.

    On wind my song soars
    but notes deaden in the night.
    My flute trembles for the hare,
    heralds the circling hawk:
    his omniscient spirit
    seeks those who burrow.

    Night and denial are burials
    of sorts; only breath makes my song soar.
    It takes breath to summon spirit
    and courage to stay the night,
    even for the hawk
    when he sleeps like the hare.

    A timid trickster, the hare’s
    magic makes his burrow.
    There, he hides from the hawk
    who sees through clouds as he soars
    an avian knight.
    The high cry of the hawk pierces all spirits.

    My flute honors the spirit;
    the dried bones of the hare
    gleam in purpling night.
    Kits tremble in their cold burrow;
    their mother, like stars, soar
    higher than flute and hawk.

    Our hawk hearts are life spirit;
    we sing always to soar, but our hare
    heart buries, afraid in the night.

    ***
    Animals? A sestina? It didn’t gel for me until I started playing my native American flute. Needs a lot of work, but I put the sestina up there with water torture! Peace…

  32. gloryia

    Complex . . .

    You look at me with the saddest eyes
    You listen hard to my replies
    You answer when I call your name
    You sleep, you eat, you never complain
    I love you, yes I really do
    I love to spend my time with you
    You brighten up my every day
    I’m glad you’re here, here to stay
    The only thing that bothers me
    Is when you wag your tail so free
    I thought it love, but can it be
    If you wag for every one you see
    I think I’m beginning to recognise
    That sad, sad look is your disguise
    I don’t know you, no not at all
    I’m just a sentimental fool
    As each day you teach me
    How complex a dog like you can be.

  33. Alaska Christina

    And as the sun rises, I lean in to the light
    Ever-lengthening rays of spring
    Grounding me gently, firmly
    Planting roots down deep in to warming soils
    This heart reaching ever upward
    A song of thanks, whispering caught on the wind
    Carried beyond the horizon, beyond the clouds
    Dancing, rising, soaring
    Throat caught in the soft belly of my animal human
    Upward into the ebb and flow of all that was, all that is, all that will ever be

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