2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

Want to learn more about me than you thought you could possibly handle in one interview? Great! One of my favorite poets, Nin Andrews, interviewed me over on the Best American Poetry Blog. The interview shares so many secrets that somebody will probably make a movie based off the interview. Okay, maybe not, but still, it’s a good read (I’ve been told by someone who’s not related to me). Click here to read.

For today’s prompt, we actually have a Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  • Write a love poem. Love, it’s such a big 4-letter word that can mean so much to so many for a variety of interpretations. Friendly love, sexual love, dorky love, all-encompassing love, jealous love, anxious love, love beaten with a baseball bat, hot love, big love, blues love, greeting card love, forgiving love, greedy love, love in a music video, and so on and so forth.
  • Write an anti-love poem. Well, kinda like love, but take it back the other way.


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Here’s my attempt at a Love and/or Anti-Love Poem:

“first sight”

i surrender you render me
as a fragile kite on your string
or as some flashy one-night fling
choose me use me baby bruise me
if that is what you want to do
to me i see where we are gone
begin the night don’t leave ’til dawn
amaze me crazy make me blue
but honey please don’t make me guess
let the sun rise let the sun shine
tell me sugar that you are mine
as i am yours yes i confess
if this is love let it be true
i’ve surrendered myself to you


Today’s guest judge is…

Barbara Hamby

Barbara Hamby

Barbara Hamby

Barbara is the author of five books of poems, most recently On the Street of Divine Love: New and Selected Poems (2014)  published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, which also published Babel (2004) and All-Night Lingo Tango (2009). She was a 2010 Guggenheim fellow in Poetry and her book of short stories, Lester Higata’s 20th Century, won the 2010 Iowa Short Fiction Award.

She teaches at Florida State University where she is Distinguished University Scholar.

Learn more at: www.barbarahamby.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’s fascinated by the constant balance (or lack of) between violence and peace. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


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586 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

  1. Heidi


    He dropped dead
    bare chested
    married thirty-six years,
    seven children,
    he dropped dead.

    Her hands used to cooking
    pumped his chest,
    not breathing,
    on his heart
    not beating,
    five minutes eeked
    until paramedics arrived
    with electric shock
    and gurney,
    twenty minutes waiting
    for a heart to beat
    that was not beating.

    “A faint pulse,”
    came the cry.
    They sped to the hospital
    sirens wailing
    stopping traffic.
    Five hours
    in surgery
    a two-inch stent,
    the left ventricle blown.
    Prognosis grim.
    or life in a nursing home,
    call family home,
    now call family.

    But God in His
    Glory gave him
    a chance.
    He awoke from the coma
    with no brain damaged,
    nine days in the hospital,
    nurses smiling
    at the Miracle Man.
    It was love
    that sent him
    back to his family,
    with a new heart beating
    a new heart.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  2. ianchandler


    you tickled me back under cornflower sky
    as the daisies grew tall, grew breasts, grew under the light,
    grew darker, magnetic, horrific
    they grew in a trance
    of bought smoke and borrowed petals,
    all to promenade on our lawn
    which I forgot to fertilize one day
    and the weeds grew taller, grew breastser, grew under the lighter,
    grew darkerer, magneticer, horrificer,
    until they blocked out the cornflower

    it was an accident

    I roosted on our windowsill, peering out
    with a sickle
    you harvested me backward,
    you reigned me in
    with comfortable skin and endless eyes,

    in our cornflower living room
    where the only daisies are your lilies,
    blooming inside my organs like I’m a living garden,
    where the only breasts are your breasts,
    where the only light is our light,
    growing lighter, center of gravity, beautific
    growing in a trance
    of each other’s traded hearts like baseball cards,
    all to become plants of our ideal life
    which I water eight a day,
    sometimes nine.

  3. Christine Sutherland

    by Christine D Sutherland

    Working tirelessly day after day,
    Everyone expecting you to show them the way,
    Sitting alone in empty motel rooms,
    Lonely the days pass wondering if you’ll be home soon,
    Ever faithful, patient, and kind,
    Your love always there for me to find.

  4. PenConnor

    Love Arriving, Love Leaving

    Your love came in like a lamb:
    light-footed, and playful
    curled against me for warmth
    all tangled and matted wool

    Your love went out like a lion:
    roaring and breaking windows
    angry at such a deep wound.
    No, wait — that was me.

    That was my passion, spilling out
    staining the bedding with tears
    and the floor with blood.
    Your love went out, like it came in.

  5. Rolf Erickson

    It Must Be Love

    That’s what my father said.
    And that’s all it took to talk
    my mother into saying, “Yes.”

    I wasn’t there, but I heard the story
    many times through the years.

    And asked my father to tell that story
    just one more time during their
    fortieth wedding anniversary dinner
    prepared by my bride-to-be and me.

    She didn’t know this would be the night
    that I would become bold enough
    after so many years and so many stories
    around the dinner table to ask.

    And I didn’t say, “It must be love.”
    But thankfully, she said, “Yes.”

  6. Jaleese Nicole

    It was not love.
    It was war.
    And he made a burial ground
    Of your body,
    Digging deep and hiding each of his demons
    Deep within you.
    Headstones decorate your body in the form of bruises.
    R.I.P. to who you used to be.
    His lies are as shallow as your grave
    One big storm and everything will surface.
    The truth always finds its way out
    Even if it has to claw its way out of you.
    -Jaleese Nicole, R.I.P.

  7. lily black

    There Ain’t No Love Here

    There ain’t no love here
    The grass don’t grow
    The birds don’t’ sing
    And no squirrels scamper through shady trees

    There ain’t no love here
    This hand don’t get held
    This knee don’t get patted
    And no arms circle these wide open hips

    There ain’t no love here
    There’s no more slaps
    No more spitting
    And no one’s left to cause me pain

    There ain’t no love here
    Just a kid
    Who’s finally safe

  8. lily black

    Love Poem
    Sobbing south on the trail of tears
    following old Spanish back roads to the sea
    Lonely leg longs for a hand
    Is that too much?
    A hand on a knee
    “People we were made for love”
    So the song goes
    Perhaps not this lonely scarred knee
    Traveling back roads further and further south.

  9. TuLife

    By: Tuere Allwood

    There’s a four-letter word;
    they call it…well, you know.
    From others, I have heard
    it can be friend or foe.

    I heard it sneaks up on you
    like a thief in the night,
    steals your heart and mind too
    when the timing is right.

    I heard it crowds your meditations
    in the middle of the day,
    but serves as medication
    when it’s made the right way.

    I heard it makes you do strange things
    not even you can understand;
    with the kind of high it brings,
    you walk on water and swim on land.

    I heard when it’s your enemy,
    your whole world just descends.
    So hope that you are fortunate
    and it chooses to be friends.

    I heard it rings your bell
    at times you least expect,
    so you can’t always tell
    that you’re its prime suspect.

    I heard it utilizes strategy
    when entering your home –
    Plan “A” and then Plan “B.”
    By “C”, your house becomes its dome.

    I heard it twists you and turns you
    ‘til you’re tied in a knot,
    but there’s little you can do
    when it’s got you this hot.

    I heard it turns the key
    To your temple when it’s late.
    I wonder what I’ll feel
    when love taps at my gate.

  10. JayGee2711

    This Is Love

    Say something. She says no,
    there’s nothing to say.
    Dust from the shelf swirls
    in the afternoon sun.
    He opens the window,
    a robin sings. He touches
    her hand and this time she
    doesn’t pull it away.

    Julie Germain

  11. clcediting


    It’s when I turn around
    to tell a tale,
    that I remember;
    you took your love away.

    It’s when I buy white chocolate,
    it’s your favorite,
    and then can’t share it
    because you took your love away.

    It’s when Christmas
    comes and goes
    with barely a blink
    for you took your love away.

    It’s when lovers
    are stupidly happy
    on February the 14th
    but you took your love away.

    And when old age
    makes bones creak
    and memories fade,
    I can’t remember why
    you took your love away.

  12. horselovernat

    When I Looked into His Eyes by Natalie Gasper

    This last year had been tough.
    A relationship ended, difficult career decisions,
    never mind numerous family complications.
    To take the cake as one might say, my horse and I were constantly at war,
    each ride was a struggle for dominance, leadership, simple cooperation.
    After months of our arguments, my limit with Icon had been found
    so I decided to take a different horse to a local show.
    Shying, spooking, spinning; our ride there was a delicate dance,
    one for which I did not know the steps. Upon arrival,
    he saw a monster in the shadows and off I came. Me. I had fallen
    off of Quarry, the easiest horse in the barn, the horse that 5 year olds
    ride without fear. I remounted, determined this was a simple fluke.
    But each class I entered went progressively worse and worse. In my fifteen
    years of riding horses, I had never before felt so embarrassed.
    A few days later I returned to the barn in the evening, desiring a simple ride
    with Icon. Too beaten down to tack up, I rode bareback. My fortunes of late didn’t
    hide for long: as soon as I asked him to trot, he spooked, and I slipped off.
    I had fallen twice in less than a week, the hurt all the greater
    because this time, it was with my horse, the one I had spent almost 4 years working with.
    Face down in the grimy sand I could feel my life slipping,
    all hopes, anything positive, every ounce of confidence,
    gone. Devasted, I began to cry softly,
    unable to hold it in any longer, unable to see my future.

    At some point, I realized that Icon was loose in the arena.
    But when I found the strength to look up, he was there.
    He had not taken one step after I had fallen.
    Surprised, I pulled myself into a seated position,
    wondering at what had happened. Reins trailing on the
    ground his eyes met mine, and towards me he walked.
    Still crying, I watched him come as close as he dared,
    nuzzling me as if to check for broken parts.
    He placed his left leg out and lowered his head to ground.
    I wrapped my shaking arms around his neck
    and felt his strong muscles as he pulled me to my feet,
    waiting for me to have the strength to let go.
    Taking a step back, our heads were now equal as I met his gaze,
    looked into the soft brown eyes I had come to know so well.
    A shiver shot down my spine and I felt my heart warm.
    In this moment, I knew he loved me.
    This horse that had once tried to kill me, hated hugs, and despised
    any form of affection knew I was his person.
    As I looked at him, I realized that he was my reason
    to push through this slum in my life. When I looked into his eyes he saved me,
    because I realized he would always love me, no matter what.

  13. madeline40

    It must be love.
    Why else do
    they stay together?
    They bicker,
    they don’t like the same books,
    movies, foods, or drinks.
    Yet, when his loving eyes
    peer into hers,
    she melts.
    After forty years
    it must be love.

    1. Rolf Erickson

      It Must Be Love

      That’s what my father said.
      And that’s all it took to talk
      my mother into saying, “Yes.”

      I wasn’t there, but I heard the story
      many times through the years.

      And asked my father to tell that story
      just one more time during their
      fortieth wedding anniversary dinner
      prepared by my bride-to-be and me.

      She didn’t know this would be the night
      that I would become bold enough
      after so many years and so many stories
      around the dinner table to ask.

      And I didn’t say, “It must be love.”
      But thankfully, she said, “Yes.”

  14. PSC in CT

    Some think $$

    Some think money
    is the answer to all the world’s woes –
    health, hunger, homelessness,
    education, environmental issues;
    that cash will find the cures for cancer,
    autism and diseases of the heart –
    fear, loneliness, depression and (the list goes on) –
    everything that ails us.
    All of these just need enough currency
    tossed at them to be fully fixed.
    But (you & I) we know it ain’t so.
    It ain’t the billionaires
    who’ll be making these repairs;
    it’s the Poets, the Singers and Songwriters,
    and Everyone who understands that
    (no matter what the question is)
    there’s really only one answer,
    and it ain’t money.


  15. mbramucci

    Digital Clock
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    Where has the time gone?
    Is it under my shoe?
    Stuck to gum I stepped on when we went to the zoo?

    Is it in with your socks?
    That are riddled with holes?
    From chasing your dreams and reaching your goals?

    Did the tooth fairy take it
    Along with your tooth?
    Leaving change that we used to go through the toll booth?

    On our way to the ocean
    And if you recall
    It may have bounced off with your giant beach ball.

    Did it drip down the side
    Of your ice cream cone?

    Did the dog chew it up
    With her favorite bone?

    Is it under the seat
    Of Daddy’s big chair,
    With pencils and blocks and Cheetos and hair?

    Did we leave it at Grandma’s
    When I picked you up early?
    Maybe it’s still with Miss Marge and Aunt Shirley.

    Go check your backpack,
    And I’ll check my purse.
    We always find keys and this couldn’t be worse.

    Oh shoot!
    Do you think it snuck in with your books?
    Let’s go to the library and take a quick look.

    Guess I lent some to Joey, and Ethan, and Jack
    Well, I’m glad they had fun
    But now I’d like it back.

    Was it used to heal cuts
    When you fell in the dirt,
    And I kissed all your bruises so they wouldn’t hurt?

    We used some
    When you wanted to grow out your hair.

    And some when you got too big
    For your high chair.

    And some to grow out of your first pair of shoes

    And some time was spent
    On things too hard to choose.

    Oh! Now I remember!
    How quickly it flew.
    All of my favorite time has been spent with you.

  16. jclenhardt

    Meant for Me

    My Love is in
    the whispering pines,
    where he walks
    along well worn
    deer paths
    covered in
    pine needles,
    and his shadow
    in the remainder
    of light
    that filters
    through the
    broad leafed ferns,
    as they reach
    for his
    and how shy
    the moss
    on the fallen trees
    will bristle
    at his brazen touch
    meant for me,
    meant for me.

  17. Benjamin Thomas


    Love is beautiful elm;
    stately as grand oak,
    fair as pink
    flavored magnolias
    set in season.
    Very potent
    in it’s essence
    although never static.
    Sightly as sequoia
    in scope
    sometimes dramatic.
    However it
    never stands still
    rooted like a tree
    or an abandoned
    screw drilled
    tightly to the earth
    with no hands free
    But runs buoyantly
    like happy stallion
    in the open field
    numb to the world
    but one thing left to feel
    the mighty
    flowing energy
    pounding in his veins
    powering each stride
    with more ground
    left to gain

    © Copyright 2014
    Benjamin Thomas

  18. Benjamin Thomas


    Love is sure
    as the dawning of the day
    although never static, but always at play
    like a fluorescent child
    sporting dynamic smiles
    shines happy grooves
    extends the country mile
    always on the move
    reflecting and expecting
    all the while

  19. Alaska Christina

    Love, Naturally

    Tall trees
    Reaching ever upward tilting forward
    Shedding leaves like a winter jacket
    Naked bare, then blooms bursting
    Bend and creak
    The lifting breeze sways you so
    Nesting birds, crawling ants, a squirrel hides chattering chattering
    Splendid form with roughened skin where bodies lean
    Ancient roots and layers of years
    Your life force calling
    Calling out to me
    Raging fire
    Scorches through the forest
    Shaking canopy
    Knocking large timbers to their knees
    Exposing roots
    Charcoal trunks
    Leaving a desolate wasteland
    Carpet of dark black soot carves a path through the distance
    Birch and pine
    Needles splayed beneath dying embers
    Ancient legacy of primeval story
    Smoldering stillness envelopes the woods
    Dripping sap
    Sprouting green
    Singing lark
    Life force calling
    Calling out to me

  20. Anders Bylund

    My Many Loves
    I loved her
    And she forgave me

    I loved her
    And she got over it

    I loved her
    And she loved me back

    I loved her
    In secret

    I loved her

    I loved her
    She never knew

    I loved her
    And she’s still mine.

  21. ASperryConnors


    When love is overflowing with emotion it is…
    Love snot
    When love is in decay it is…
    Love rot
    When love is fish-on-a-line it is…
    Love caught
    When love brings something special it is…
    Love brought
    When love ties you up it’s a…
    Love knot
    When love is a website it is…
    Love dot…
    When something positive creeps into your mind it is a…
    Love thought
    When love steals your soul you are…
    Love fraught
    When loves begs, borrows and steals you are…
    Love bought
    When love is a scribbled note it is a…
    Love jot
    When, at the end of the day, you have only a love of fine cuisine, you are…
    Love haut
    When you aren’t in love any longer, you’re in the emptiness of…

  22. Penny Henderson

    OH YEAH?

    Love is a misused word.
    It flutters through chatter-
    a ubiquitous bird-
    a New York pigeon perhaps.
    “I love that dress.”
    “I love stonecress.”
    No one loves stonecress!
    Not with requisite passion,
    not with commitment.
    Their love will soon stale.
    Next they’ll fall for kale.

  23. LeighSpencer

    I Love

    Day’s end
    when you tuck me in

    Looking into your eyes
    caressing beard stubble
    in the calm of closing another day

    A dog (or two) barks

    A child (and a stuffed blue gorilla) will wander in soon enough

    All parts
    of the living dream
    we put together
    with our own two hands
    two hearts
    sealed with the mortar
    of our twisted humor

    If only
    we weren’t too tired
    to make love
    to sign the contract

    Maybe tomorrow
    or the tomorrow after that
    or after that
    or all the tomorrows we are gifted
    in this delicious life

    I chose

    I live

    I love

  24. Angie5804

    What do I know of love?

    When does it begin?
    That moment in newness of life
    Not the downy softness or mewling cries
    But the whole being

    How does it stay the course?
    So easy in the tender years
    Joyful and effortless
    Down the childhood itinerary

    How does it enter the curve?
    The track is slippery
    The wheels are spinning
    It’s easy to veer off

    How is it sustained?
    Do not overcorrect
    Persevere steadily
    Pray and accelerate

  25. CLRichardson


    I do not tell my most painful secret
    Because the world is harsh and unforgiving

    I hide my secret with my overnight bag
    The bottles and jars contain my paint

    Products to paint my canvas
    A canvas that is damaged

    When questions abound
    I lie to survive

    My love endures
    What I’m not strong enough to leave

    Christy Lynn Richardson

  26. bxpoetlover


    I can’t think with your fingers
    between my thighs.

    I love the way you suck my lips.
    Yours taste like dark chocolate.
    Your skin is shea butter soft.

    I love tracing my finger across your face and
    the way you close your eyes
    as I do it.

    I cannot go home with you tonight.

    Time will reveal your moods
    and you mine.

    Before we get to shared showers
    and my arched back

    I need to know
    if I will still be your
    beautiful sweet darling baby
    after a month or two of held hands
    and city adventures.

  27. cdonnelltx@yahoo.com


    I thought I had gotten over you
    but then I saw you again.
    And in those fleeting moments
    I knew my heart would never mend.
    I will never love another,
    not like I’ve loved you.

    How many times have I tried to find
    someone who could take your place.
    But once your heart is given,
    it cannot be retrieved.

    Once you were my very heartbeat.
    Now I have no life.
    I exist in body only.
    My heart has forgotten how to sing.

    The last time I was truly happy
    was the last time I loved you.
    And how long ago was that!

    What’s the use in waking,
    if the sun shines not on you?
    What’s the point in rising,
    if there’s nothing that I want to do?
    I would have done anything with you.

    I am nothing without you.
    You were my only life.

    I know you will never love me now.
    So why do I continue to live
    this meaningless existence?
    I do not have the nerve to end my life tonight.
    Maybe tomorrow will find me on a bridge…

    The memory of you haunts me forever.
    If only I could mend my heart
    and cleanse the stains of you therein.
    Then perhaps I could live again.
    But I don’t think I can.

  28. Aberdeen Lane

    is it a lie,
    Love lies
    lies down in green pastures
    lies down in the fire
    lies with rings and wings
    such fancy things

    lie to me love
    tell me it will be
    lie down
    lie down

    he says:
    I commit to focusing on the beauty within you if you can agree to do the same for me
    that is love
    so lie down my dear
    lie down
    and let’s play at mirrors

  29. Angela Kidd

    For You, an Egg

    I want to make you an egg.
    Sunnyside, the way you like it.
    Not fully cooked in the middle.
    But I always feel the need to flip it,
    so I guess it’s really poached.

    I want to make you an egg.
    White edges, golden yolk—
    I’m a pretty darn good egg maker.
    I think I’ve told you this before.
    I can crack the egg
    and not break the yolk,
    but the key is in the watching.
    A watched pot may never boil,
    but an abandoned egg
    will burn on the sidewalk.

    I want to make you an egg.
    I’ve even started using olive oil
    instead of butter.
    But I still add salt.
    Eggs don’t taste like much
    without salt.
    I promise I won’t forget
    the ketchup.
    I always forget the ketchup.
    Only because I can’t make the connection.
    I think ketchup is for French fries.
    But for you my darling,
    I want to make an egg you will enjoy.

  30. Jay Sizemore

    Love walks into a bar and says

    this is all for me, a cathedral of mistakes.
    She lies on the floor and spreads her legs,
    making a snow angel in the grime,
    sticky beer and cigarette butts.
    She invites men to pour their drinks
    into her second mouth,
    but they just stare,
    aroused, and ashamed of their arousal.
    She says, “fuck me, this is the voice of consent,
    this is the voice of my power over you,”
    and no one moves, someone whispers,
    “this makes me uncomfortable,”
    shuffles his feet, kicking a bottle.
    “Aren’t you afraid of dying alone?”
    she strokes a hand up her slit
    and a swath of spiders issues from the hole,
    scattering in all directions,
    they evaporate into wisps of fog,
    leaving a scent of sweet candied perfume.
    The men shriek like children,
    cowering against every wall,
    throwing themselves over the bar
    as she laughs the way wasps must laugh,
    a high-pitched buzz like paper-thin wings.
    And suddenly she’s gone,
    like a cherry fire scraped under a boot,
    leaving only a dark mark on the dingy ground.
    The music picks back up, and the clinking ambience
    of alcohol dreams resumes, each sip shaking
    the shock off the crash. It’s not long
    and one man says to another,
    “When you going to fuck that girl?”


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