Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

A few people have sent me e-mail messages asking if I’m going to favor this type of poem or that type of poem; if I’m looking for this kind of poet or that type of poet; and so on (since I’m the person making the finalist lists to send to the guest judges). So here’s what I’m looking for: poems that make me care.

Funny poems, sad poems, angry poems, rambling poems, concise poems (ahem, haiku), traditional form poems, free verse, prose poems, rhyme poems, non-rhyme poems, poems that make perfect sense, poems that leave me scratching my head; or in other words, I have broad range of interests, and I’ll know it when I see it; or in even other words, don’t worry about me or the guest judges–just write what you care about writing, and the rest will take care of itself.

Today is a Tuesday, and you know what that means: Two for Tuesday Prompts! Write one, write the other, and/or write both!

  • Write an optimistic poem. The glass is half full.
  • Write a pessimistic poem. The glass is half empty.


Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.


Here’s my attempt at an Optimistic and/or Pessimistic Poem:

“today is not the end of it”

we’re from the same blood
we’re hooks holding up hooks

we’re lost items being found
before getting lost again

we’re trees bent by the wind
we’re animals searching shadows

we’ve got the scent in our
nostrils tails in the air

we’re running off the path
we’re not looking back


Today’s guest judge is…

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence writes in both English and Spanish and has published over 100 books in many different genres, including the poetry collection Desayuno en la Cama (Egales) and the chapbooks Fairy Tales for Writers (A Midsummer Night’s Press) and Deleted Names (A Midsummer Night’s Press).

He has published poems in a broad range of periodicals, including The Saturday Evening Post, Physics Today, The Christian Science Monitor, and Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and his poems have been widely anthologized in The Random House Treasury of Light Verse, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: The Book of Dreams, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, Chicken Soup for the Horse-Lover’s Soul 2, Obsessions: Sestinas in the 21st Century, etc.

Lawrence lives in Madrid, Spain where he works as a Spanish->English translator.


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. The collection has a recurring theme of pushing the re-set button and getting back to basics. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


These poetic posts are half there but also half not (or something):

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788 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

  1. Angie5804

    Take them for what they are
    Stars in the night, ships from afar
    Once upon a time is the way some go
    Here today, tomorrow, who knows?
    Like a wave crashing on the shore
    They roll away, are there no more
    Perhaps one day, star light, star bright
    Waves will no longer roll out of sight
    Happily ever after, so they say
    Happily ever after, perhaps one day

    Angie Bell

  2. Andrea Z

    Quiet Time

    On a cold morning,
    I walk across the secluded one-lane bridge
    and suddenly stop.
    I lean on the barrier,
    and stare at the rippling canal waters;
    I’ve been walking across this bridge
    for six months,
    and each time I stop and wonder,
    should I climb this rail and jump?
    Today, I stare at the canal
    as the sun peeks around the clouds,
    and I don’t want to jump.

  3. ianchandler


    little boy with red windbreaker
    picks up bottle from cooler
    is picked up by father
    led out the door
    and something seems simple again
    simple like the wind over russet leaves
    tickled by the summer
    and an old lady walking her Bassett hound
    down Reynolds Street
    or wherever
    you happen to call home.

  4. seingraham


    Is the Dalai Lama optimistic, she asked
    or just woefully naive
    We are sipping green tea at her favourite
    teahouse and all I can think
    Is how much I want a Grande macchiato
    from Starbucks
    And how disappointed in me she would be
    if she knew…

    Well, I counter, wondering if she thinks of me
    as being naive or even optimistic
    Amused, or maybe bemused, to hear her say
    rapidly, no way, not either
    What then? You’re a realist, she scoffs…
    Do you even believe in the Dalai Lama?

    Stung, I am surprised at how I must present,
    especially to this one, who I thought knew me
    And the me she knows, is quite different than
    the me I think of myself as…
    The ever-hopeful, even somewhat naive when
    I should know better after all these years
    That one — I must be giving off quite a different vibe

    I try for lightness – ask her how could anyone not
    believe in the Dalai Lama?
    Wouldn’t that be a little like not believing in Buicks?
    She looks at me, clearly perplexed.
    Ah, a reference too dated for one as young as this
    neophyte…I change it up
    Ask her, wouldn’t it be a little like not believing in
    your iPhone, or American Idol
    Now she is looking at me pityingly…oh God…

    She tells me patiently she gets it…of course iPhones
    exist , so the Dalai Lama must also
    But American Idol — does that still come on?
    We both have a good laugh over that…my bad.

    Just how cynical do you think I am, I cannot resist
    asking her, it seems
    She frowns as if giving my question careful consideration
    Then asks me if I really do not intend to ever march
    for peace again
    Her face is so open, her hope so vivid;
    I had forgotten the last time we marched,
    how discouraged I was at the low turnout
    And how the bombing in Afghanistan continued unabated,
    sending four young men home that very same day
    I had probably said some pretty harsh things…
    And I probably meant them…after all, I’d been marching
    for peace and nuclear disarmament for decades
    Lots of the time it did feel futile
    However, being faced with her hopeful face, and the
    prospect of dashing her future
    I found myself angry. Angry at myself. How dare I take away
    her youthful exuberance and hope?

    I do remember, I told her.
    A tired old lady’s words that shouldn’t count
    for everything…or anything
    I do think peace is within our grasp but I also believe we
    need people like you
    Young energetic people who won’t give up on the idea
    Who keep marching, and agitating, and saying no to war
    Voting in better governments, insisting on better everything

    Suddenly she was grinning and caught me mid-sentence
    What? I asked her…
    There, she said. That’s the you I remember. I want her back.
    Do you think she’s available? And right then, I knew…
    She’d just been on hiatus…she’s back and she’s going nowhere
    but forward.
    Let’s march.

  5. Heidi


    Two camp
    together as one.
    Protagonist and Antogonist.
    No peace treaties. Never.
    Only war.
    One side pitted against the other.
    Each living together
    as soul.

    Heid R. de Contreras

  6. Heidi


    Our world in vertigo,
    spins, slides upside down.
    Fractured trees topple split
    concrete hails up razor rocks.
    Roots weave gnarled fingers
    across the red swirling,
    yellow bleeding sky.
    A melting sun falls beyond
    soggy blacks the ripping
    of nightfall at 9:00 a.m.
    Spilling black acid like
    Bruises, shadows of war.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  7. IndiFox

    Full Or Empty?

    I tell myself I’m an optimist
    But then burn my own skin
    I tell myself I’m a pessimist
    But look for good in things
    I guess I’m confused
    What’s the right outlook to take?
    Life is shit
    But my friends are great
    The system is broken
    And love is unspoken
    Does that make me a pessimist?
    But I’m an activist
    So am I an optimist?
    It’s very confusing
    Should we just pick one?
    Then stick to it for the rest of our lives?
    But things change
    And people die
    Then you’ve got the “realists”
    Who just add to the confusion
    I swear they’re just the people
    Who couldn’t decide between the two
    So they made this nice middle ground
    But realism is just as bad
    Who wants to be realistic all the time?
    Where’s the fun in that?
    And there is such a thing as being too happy
    There is such a thing as being too sad
    So fuck these outlooks
    We should all have our own
    Even if they’re not categorized
    Or well-known

  8. shethra77

    The Glass

    Where is the cup?
    Half my coffee’s inside me;
    the rest I give up.

    There is a penny.
    I always take them, though
    no luck comes with any.

    I sigh over you,
    wish you were closer, but
    guess that would not do.

  9. bookworm0341

    “Murphy’s Law”

    My alarm did not go off
    so I woke up late
    I rushed and my pancake
    slid right off my plate

    I rushed outside
    and the bus I just missed
    I fell flat on my face
    as the sidewalk I kissed

    I ran to the school
    and my leg got a cramp
    I hobbled into my seat to hear
    my teacher say, “You’re late again champ.”

    When class did start
    I just wanted to rest,
    but then was shocked to find
    we were having a major test!

    Lunch isn’t long enough,
    as most of you know,
    but the fire alarm went off,
    so out in the cold we did go.

    Going back to the cafeteria
    what did I find?
    The lunch money I had
    wasn’t anywhere I could find.

    Down the hall I went
    hoping to find my girl,
    when there she was smooching
    with another guy, named Earl.

    In gym class we lined up
    from short to tall,
    and when we played on the court,
    I got slammed with the ball.

    To the nurses station I went,
    my stomach all in knots,
    sat down next to a kid,
    and got covered in fresh snots.

    All patched up,
    and on my way home-
    wondering who is Murphy,
    and why won’t the guy leave me alone!

    By Jennifer M. Terry
    April 22, 2014

  10. foodpoet

    Today is cloudy
    With a chance of rain
    Rain is not snow
    Winter is over

    Today is cloudy
    With a chance of rain
    Now we will have to change
    Snow plows for lawn mowers
    And endless green grass

    Today is cloudy
    With a chance of rain
    My heart is occluded
    With no sun

    Today is cloudy
    With a chance of rain
    All clouds eventually open
    Revealing sun warmth

    Megan McDonald

  11. Aberdeen Lane

    the glass
    always full
    whether of despair
    or joy
    you can choose
    not always
    it’s poured
    from someone else
    who decided
    what to pour
    in their glass
    they share
    we share
    whatever the flavor

  12. Evelyn Philipp


    Night, held hostage
    by sadness, is finally
    released and sleep
    comes, softly

    the moon
    keeping watch
    for the few hours’

    Then a sliver of light
    slips in through
    a crack in
    the curtains

    Sweet birds call
    to one another
    softly leaves rustle
    ‘you made it’.

    hello, morning
    Today will be better.

  13. Alaska Christina

    Benign Sobriety

    The bland monotony
    of my daily existence
    Courses through my veins
    and drains my soul
    Driving me to reckless abandon
    towards empty arms
    And vacant words
    and shallow promises
    Which fill me for a moment
    but banish me for a lifetime
    Leaving only reflections of benign sobriety.

  14. Christine Sutherland

    Endless Days
    by Christine D Sutherland

    I hear the constant ticking of the clock,
    The days they pass so slow,
    This anguish and longing I try to block,
    In these moments my spirits get low.

    Sometimes it’s hard to get through the day,
    And I find myself sitting alone,
    There’s no one around to interrupt my dismay,
    When this day will end is unknown.

    Searching for just a little peace,
    From my constant thoughts of you,
    When will this endless day cease,
    Tomorrow is a new day to ensue.

    Missing you so much it hurts,
    I’d like to crawl in bed,
    And to this day avert ~
    Pulling the covers over my head.

    There I would dream of being with you,
    That is where I’d be if I could,
    It’s these thoughts of you I cling to,
    Until the day you’re home for good.

  15. Poetess

    The Perspective Tree

    Addiction fiction
    What’s your diction?
    Hooking up words
    In my mind
    Let’s just see
    What we find
    Love of money
    Cigarettes booze
    Violence sex drugs
    And rock and roll too
    Sports and gambling
    Lying cheating stealing
    Foreign oil fondue
    Love idealism fame
    Mass media hoarding
    The lifestyle game
    Consumption junction
    What’s your function?
    Hooking up words
    In my mind a poem
    What do you see?
    What’s meaning
    The perspective tree?

  16. jclenhardt

    Halfway Full

    A good indicator
    to measure
    (at the halfway
    and looking
    where one is
    halfway full,
    and the other;
    who looks down
    into their glass;
    now, half empty,
    “is it really?”
    But no,
    that’s the part
    they’ve just consumed.

  17. laurora


    I walk around in a haze
    I’m in the eye of a tornado –
    a party for everyone else
    I’m the depressing silence at the center of it all
    I am the eye of the tornado
    People notice me,
    pretend not to
    As people usually ignore the negative
    I drift around among the others
    sort of follow the direction of the wind they create,
    their legs moving fast
    Me, just drifting as if above the surface of the ground
    and not really exiting the eye at all
    I may be pessimistic
    But the others are falsely positive
    At least I know what I dislike
    The others are just pretending,
    following the stream,
    doing what they think is right,
    more confused than drunk,
    I adore my pessimism
    It’s my source of positivity

  18. horselovernat

    Out of the Shadows by Natalie Gasper

    A few years back, there was a time when
    I thought I was sitting on top of the world;
    things had never been better and the view
    from the top of that cliff was amazing.
    In admiring how great life was, I missed
    the warning signs, the quiet breeze that
    had begun to blow, whispering softly
    that this was not mean to last.

    At first it only added to the good, made
    everything seem that much better.
    But it turned into a gust, strong and
    forceful, pushing me so hard I couldn’t
    fight back. Fate, Destiny, Change, this
    wind goes by many names and now, it
    had taken me as its next victim.
    A final blow, and over the edge I went.

    I couldn’t see where I was falling to, the
    bottom was so far away, that all I could do
    was watch as all the good things I had
    slowly slipped away, quiet as a mouse.
    Wondering what had gone wrong, what I had done
    to cause this fall. Trying so hard to change it, to
    lift myself back up again. But nothing worked.
    So I accepted it. Even got used to it.

    I clung wildly to the hope that things couldn’t
    go down forever, that an up would come again.
    As the years passed steadily like the beating of
    a drum, the flame of this hope began to die,
    withering away as my perspective changed.
    Considering that my life before the fall had been
    nothing more than a dream, only vaguely able to
    remember the good. After all, life wasn’t black and white.

    The good had become nothing more than a tease,
    a means of keeping my hopes alive long enough
    so the pain of them being fully crushed, of losing who I was,
    would burn all the stronger, destroy me more thoroughly.

    After all of that, hitting rock bottom wasn’t so bad.
    It was an ugly place: gray, full of rocks, dangerous, and
    depressing. A place I never imagined I would end up.
    A place I wish on no one, not even my enemies.
    There is not a single person who deserves to be there.

    Yet the bird of hope still sang within my heart, knowing
    I could find a way out. Another breeze, a rock staircase,
    an old rope ladder that had been left behind. Search
    as I may, nothing was to be found. My memories faded,
    happiness only an echo of the past, a raspy whisper.

    In striving to make the best of this worst I grew arrogant
    and refused to learn from my past mistakes, and so fell again.
    Down a hole in the shadows I went, the world spinning,
    darkness creeping towards me like a never ending night.
    Deeper than rock bottom, I could hear the screams
    and pains of others who had lost themselves, given up.
    This time I noticed the insults coming at me, the bricks of
    negativity thrown at me by the ill-wishers and nay-sayers.

    In this darkest hour, I had finally found the light.
    I took those bricks and began to build a castle,
    one made from all the bad I had been through,
    and watched it grow higher and higher.
    What had once caused me harm and pain now
    gave me protection, motivation, confidence, strength.
    The weeks flew by as I reached, then passed, rock bottom,
    the cliff in my sights as the song of hope grew louder.

    This is only the beginning of my rise.
    My castle, beautiful and free from the influence of others,
    is now reaching towards the stars. All I had
    once imagined I could be, I was now becoming.
    Do, I was finally doing. Dreams are turning into
    this breathtaking reality that has no limits,
    no end to the possibilities. From here,
    I can only climb higher: maybe even touch the stars.

    I am strong now, passion burning fierce in my heart
    while my spirit soars in the clouds. Happiness that was
    once just a whisper had become my anthem.
    Never again shall that breeze reach me.
    My path to achieving my dreams will be without equal,
    for I am ready to fight for it, to defend it at all costs.
    After years spent lurking and hiding amongst the shadows,
    I have finally stepped into the light.

  19. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Bucket List

    Leaving my mark on the world.
    Quenching my poetic thirst.
    Adopting a boy or a little girl.
    Hoping I don’t kick it first.

    Quenching my poetic thirst.
    That picket fence we both dream of.
    Hoping I don’t kick it first.
    Growing old with the man I love.

    That picket fence we both dream of.
    Adopting a boy or a little girl.
    Growing old with the man I love.
    Leaving my mark on the world.

  20. Susan Budig

    I wrote a Coin Poem, which has 24 syllables, a rhyme scheme, two stanzas, and looks at one situation or issue from two sides.

    A Wide River to Cross

    The ship pulled away from shore
    Spelling disaster

    Hail! I see her come full bore
    Navigate faster

  21. Grey_Ay

    The Cynical Optimist

    People will be people
    I say it all the time
    The motto that I’m living by,
    walking a narrow line

    Call it being cynical
    it is a point of view
    but don’t forget the optimism
    I’ll believe as long as you

    -A. Ault-

  22. jean

    Three days after and still nothin’ —
    Can she not poem anymore?
    Still, she’s quilted and baked muffins,
    Paid bills and mopped the floor.
    She’s bided, chided, organized,
    Scolded, folded, economized.
    Elusive are her poet’s eyes.
    Where are those metaphors?

  23. cam45237

    A Murder

    I am being picked apart by crows
    I can feel shreds of flesh peel from the arm
    I raised to save my face
    I can feel the sharp beaks
    Darting in with purpose and precision
    To pluck my eyes and organs
    I can feel the pain of a thousand wounds
    So I imagine Jesus felt, so Caesar felt, so felt the helpless
    Hanging from the tree


    I can beat them off these black birds
    That clamor
    I can strike out with strong hands
    And loud cries
    I can knock them from the sky
    And send them stunned
    Spiraling to the common ground
    Where they can ruffle feathers, squawk
    Lift their hoarse and horrid voices
    All they want
    Their wings are broken
    They cannot hurt me

  24. Kevin D Young


    The first sentient robot (or computer,
    who’ll care?) will wake and enthuse:
    Come on momma be good to your Daddy
    ’cause baby needs a new pair of shoes!

    I cannot guarantee this first thought
    will be spoken by our crowning
    intellectual achievement, fraught
    as it is with so much that nails down

    those most desirable and expressive traits
    converging on the human condition:
    an understanding that Economics dictates
    goods be moved by barter or transaction,

    linguistic acumen that superimposes
    concrete good over the morally abstruse,
    a grasp of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, supposing
    a separation between essential and superfluous,

    a firm hold on family responsibility,
    a (theoretical) knowledge of reproduction,
    an internalized view of gross anatomy,
    protective footwear and correct proportion,

    statistical acumen of the game of the gods,
    conversance with pop psychology (new versus used),
    unrepentant optimism in the face of long odds,
    and a sense of time’s entropic instinct to abuse.

    But if this happens, and should this robot
    (or computer) roll and lose, I will be much
    less stressed about our human polyglot.
    We really do need a new pair of shoes.

  25. KiManou

    Heaven on Earth

    I hovered somewhere between heaven and hell
    Then discovered I am heaven And I am hell
    I decide where I lay Everyday
    We’re all dying…
    I die every night and every day I live
    There is a heaven on Earth in every minute in every second in every breath
    Until we are no more…
    Have you been?

  26. Louise Findlay

    Title: Angry, Angry, Raging at the World

    Angry, Angry, Raging at the world.
    Angry, Angry, Raging at the world.

    The red-tinted view,
    The world is all the same.

    Angry, Angry, Raging at the world.
    Angry, Angry, Raging at the world.

    Nothing is ever good,
    It just comes hurtling back.

    Angry, Angry, Raging at the world.
    Angry, Angry, Raging at the world.

  27. JRSimmang


    I saw a bird today
    flying above the clouds and
    I wondered if it does
    what I do:

    try to match these clouds with
    the shadows they cast,
    allowing the ground
    to fade into permanence.

    -JR Simmang

  28. Anvanya


    We hadn’t been in town for very long
    when I spotted the Navajo blanket.
    Bright birds and the sturdy corn stalk commanded
    my vision in a way that a dozen other weavings
    featuring geometric patterns never could.
    Vibrant colors of the birds in flight pricked
    my thought processes – so many, I wondered,
    in this everlasting desertified land?


    It’s nothing, really, when you see the sign on Interstate 90,
    just after you cross the Missouri: if you stay on 90,
    you’ll eventually make it through the Black Hills to
    Wyoming. I hear things are better there for the ranchers
    and the townsfolk.
    Take the turn instead and you’ll find us here.
    We’re waiting on the USGS study to tell us
    how much ground water is left in the aquifers.

  29. emmaisan0wl

    The Young And The Dying (a pessimistic poem)
    We have not even begun to touch the moonlight, to map the stars. We’re too young and there’s no time. We’re reckless and we’re boring and there’s no time. My friends wait by a hospital bed and there are flowers by the roadside and there’s no time, no time at all.
    You slipped away one afternoon in the garden sun. Had you done enough? Your body was a canvas of laughter lines and piano fingers but is that enough? Do you even understand what enough is? Do any of us? I wonder if you know your ashes fed a tree into new life. I wonder if you care.

    He was in my room while I was sleeping and I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know whether to say I was sorry, whether he would care. He was in my head while I was sleeping and I wanted to say I was sorry, sorry that there’s no time, sorry because of the glass and the flowers, but instead I asked what it was like there and because he never liked me, he wouldn’t say.

    I’m scared. I’m scared. If this isn’t the kingdom then what is? I’m too young to be scared. Flowers by the roadside and broken glass by the roadside and clumps of hair clogging up the shower. I’m too young to be scared, but I’m scared anyway.

    None of us make it out alive.”

  30. lily black


    Three little birds sing a message to me
    Promising “every little thing is gonna be all right”
    And I believe those birds
    Waking again
    Dressing again
    Driving again
    Doing it all
    Again and again
    Believing in the possibility of the sunrise
    I will stretch
    And bend
    And breathe
    Again someday
    I know it
    I just know it

  31. drwasy

    Negative Suck

    It used to be
    I viewed the rain
    as good for the garden,
    last night’s leftovers
    as more time to spend
    with you,
    a short pay check
    as opportunity to
    stretch my ingenuity;
    but now, each morning
    I fight the vortex
    of you sucking me
    into trusting today
    is cold and gray,
    leftovers smack
    of laziness,
    and my lack of money
    marks me a failure.

  32. FaerieTalePoet

    Uncoordinated Unconditional

    When I was very young my mother signed me up for dance lessons. After months of driving me to lessons my recital finally arrived. My parents and grandparents waited in the audience to see me, oh so cute, in my pink and green maid’s costume. Soon my class took the stage poised with our brooms. However, every time the other girls went right, I went left and when they went left, I went right. My mother was mortified, her daughter was completely uncoordinated. But then my Grandma Judith turned to her and whispered, “Look at Dana, she’s the only one doing it right.”

    Dana A. Campbell

  33. Linda Hatton


    She pushed glasses around
    until she found the right one—
    her favorite one. Her un-kissed
    cheeks puffed out, filled with luscious
    refreshment, wetting memories
    of un-blanketed picnics underneath
    a piney forest where he
    held her hand,
    held her heart.
    Her toughened bare heel stepped
    in sticky substance pooled
    on tiled floor where she’d studied
    every inch of his humanity,
    a textbook’s crinkled pages, bending
    against his will. She rested heated legs
    against hardwood chairs, chin in hand,
    wiping droplets away before they fell
    to rigid surfaces beneath her. Holding
    precious consolation to her lips,
    never letting them leave
    the way he did.

    -Linda G Hatton

  34. Deri

    Small Comforts

    The sun slants through the side window
    illuminating the dust gathered in the corner
    coating a skeleton of some small creature
    who will never be mourned
    by anyone but me
    it’s life and death a cycle of inevitability

    like the stars which shine
    on the dusty remains of a million million
    dead planets, forgotten
    until the stars absorb them in
    infinite implosions
    respewing out their carcasses
    to begin again
    and who will mourn them?

  35. PSC in CT

    Spring Trysts

    I stumbled upon the trilliums today –
    just popping through last autumn’s oak remains
    (trout lilies’ leaves having peeked out days ago,
    but Jack-in-the-pulpit, still in hiding)

    They called out to me on the trail
    wanting to have their picture taken
    so I indulged them,
    marveling at how quickly they’d grown,
    (as they were nowhere to be seen just days before)
    and pleased to see them, alive and well,
    after such a long, cold winter. We visited a bit,
    then went our separate ways, smiling,
    each happy to have seen the other.

    I worry about them, at times, wondering
    who will visit them when I’m gone? (and:
    who will watch out for this lovely place?)

    Every day I say goodbye
    as if this might be our last tryst,
    like a slow, painful peeling away –
    pulling a Band-Aid from a wound.
    I worry & I hope
    someone else will come along
    to pick up
    where I’ve left off


  36. bookworm0341

    “Mister Optimistic”

    A simple, “Tag you’re it!”
    Started a conversation
    Between two people
    Who had lost touch
    Over the years

    Questions asked via cyberspace
    Awaiting answers
    Receiving stickers
    And remarks to make me
    Smile and laugh

    It is such a real pleasure
    Talking with you
    And getting to know you again
    After a score has gone by-
    It’s like you’re right here

    You ARE here
    To talk to
    To smile at
    And to say thank you-
    For being so optimistic

    By Jennifer M. Terry
    April 22, 2014

  37. Emma

    Questions from an anxious romantic.

    Am I the only one who stares at the sun?
    Are there others who know they shouldn’t, who worry how it will turn the world dark, but do it anyway because they cannot resist?
    Does anyone else drink in the beauty of these rare, great things and fear how the mundanity of the routine you’ll return to?
    Will I always thirst for more?
    Am I a dust speck wishing to be a supernova or am I burning through the pleasures of the universe like a forest fire that refuses to be extinguished?
    Will there be anything left after the flames die down?
    Will I ever be satisfied?
    How can I ever be content with the earth when I have lived amongst the stars?

  38. gmagrady


    A cup half empty day by day for Dad.
    A cup half full for Mom, day in, day out.
    I don’t know how these two can still be joined.
    It must be faith. In this, they’re both devout.

    On any given day, I side with Dad.
    Turn off the news, and go back to my bed.
    I’ll let the phone ring on and not pick up,
    forget the talk, just hibernate instead.

    And then there comes a day so filled with light.
    I side with Mom and all her joyous cheer.
    I greet each stranger on the busy streets
    and mingle with my friends both new and dear.

    A cup half empty day by day for Dad.
    A cup half full for Mom, day in, day out.
    I don’t know how these two can still be joined.
    It must be faith. In this, they’re both devout.

  39. Kit Cooley

    Flow, or No?

    No running water for two months
    in the most frigid winter yet
    since we have lived here.

    Temperatures rose enough, at last,
    so tap, toilet and shower flow again,
    and none too soon for worn nerves.

    Hot showers and clean house,
    no more hikes to the creek
    for water for the animals.

    Our celebration is short-lived,
    for news has come of a new threat,
    from clear-cut loggers.

    The land upstream from us,
    and many of our neighbors,
    is owned by a lumber company.

    The destruction is coming,
    uphill and stream-side,
    and we are in for a fight.

    ~ Kit Cooley

    [A try at a triversen.]

  40. Yolee


    I poured out the backwash,
    scrubbed the coffee ring
    and rinsed out my teacups.

    Don’t mind the veiny cracks
    like evening insects out of water
    creeping thru the gilded
    lips of sunlight.


    Not Again

    She looked in her small pantry
    and found a jar of peanut butter
    a ¾ loaf of bread, her favorite banana chips,
    an unopened box of 12 count popcorn,
    pretzel crackers, lemon flavored Jello,
    chocolate chip cookies with an expiration
    date 2 months away and green Gatorade.
    They were going to find her starved body,
    she thought, on the laminate floor.

  41. wallrose34

    The other side of the sun

    Somewhere at sunrise
    the sun is like a tempting lemon;
    bursting with sour rays that
    wrestle with the young
    women and girls
    all lined up
    for present making.

    Their fingers are bearers
    of gifts that send rattle
    snake stings up and
    down their joints.
    Glossy eyed dolls all
    lined up for packaging.

    Glossy eyed women
    weighing heavy at the neck.
    Heavy necked dolls
    never meant to be proportionate.
    Women and girls never meant to be
    less valuable than plastic.

    The sweet smell of sweat
    meets the moon.
    Another day of gift making
    drags under their feet.

  42. BezBawni

    Going for Retro

    Sulking is now this season.
    A moody, depressed, cynical
    cad, preferably with clinical
    record, is the latest trend,
    pouting is a brand.

    Painted all over T-shirts
    is our modern attitude:
    find some bad in anything good,
    gladness is so yesterday,
    grumbling is up-to-date

    Love? How unoriginal!
    Romance? An old-fashioned whim!
    Kindness? Terribly mainstream!
    Sentiment? What a cliche! Nonsense.
    So is innocence.

    Future keeps no promises,
    live and let live, hope is a lie,
    remember, we’re all gonna die.
    If pessimism is the new hot,
    I’m ultimately not.
    by Lucretia Amstell

  43. Michelle Murrish

    The Cup

    Metaphorically sitting at life’s watering hole
    With a cup placed before me, and I know my roll

    If the cup is half full, my joys will be many
    Half empty, then scare, if I even have any

    So I anxiously wait for that cosmic bartender
    To pour out my fate, be it sadness or splendor

    He stops not for a moment, to ask what I drink
    Then he wipes down the counter, and watches me think

    I drink it on down, and push back my chair
    Exit this dank place; leave a sigh in the air

    Although I’m invited to come when I choose
    I find I’m not up for what this barkeep brews

    The sun’s shining too bright; I pull down on my hat
    I’m sure to get sunburned; I have no time for that

    Then I make it my mission, to track down that yup
    The one who first thought to measure the cup

    By Michelle Murrish

  44. PatsC


    Water temperature just right,
    A sprinkle of sugar,
    Or perhaps some honey,
    The proofing of yeast.

    Bubbling with life,
    Rich and promising,
    The prayer of creation.
    The hope of something new.

    The acceptance of weather,
    The loose measure of life,
    Trust that the shaggy mess,
    Leads to inner softness.

    The wait of hope,
    Patience observed,
    The promise of genesis,
    Leading to fulfillment.

    The satisfying punch,
    The sigh of air,
    The massage of faith,
    The formation of belief.

    The resting period,
    The reverie of dreams,
    Castles in the air,
    Require no moat.

    The blessed aroma,
    The birth of new life,
    Reward found through effort,
    The communion of man.

  45. d dyson

    In the mirror there lies the optimist
    who stares the pessimist straight in the eye,
    one half of the whole stagnant
    in the mirror. There lies the optimist
    hoping to piece together the fragments
    more chance of pigs flying through the sky.
    In the mirror there lies the optimist
    who stares the pessimist straight in the eye.

  46. TuLife

    By: Tuere Aisha

    Why don’t you hate those hating you?
    I can’t hate the way you do.
    I can’t do the things you want me to.
    You don’t want to be happy, do you?

    Why do you make everyone’s life a living hell?
    Why do you wail?
    Why not let those ships sail?
    I can’t live your hell.

    I can’t live your pain.
    I can’t take your blame.
    I can’t fulfill your shame.
    Sister, let go of the pain.

    I can’t say the things you do.
    I can’t think the way you want me to.
    I don’t want to be just like you.
    I don’t want to feel the way you do.

    You believe your truth, which is a lie.
    You want to cry.
    Why bother to sigh?
    Why do you lie?

    Why don’t you direct your anger to the right people?
    Stop charging like a bull.
    Sister, I know you’re full.
    But people will be people.

    Why don’t you blame yourself for your misery?
    Stop pointing the finger at me.
    Stop sowing seeds of enmity.
    I didn’t cause your misery.

    Why are you anxious?
    Your stress is contagious.
    Your anger contaminous.
    Don’t be so anxious.

    Why do you upset yourself?
    Leave, at least that, to someone else.
    I can’t understand it, myself –
    The way you antagonize yourself.

    Why don’t you get over it?
    Can’t you forgive a little bit?
    Why are you throwing a fit?
    You must enjoy it.

    I can’t change yesterday’s sorrow,
    Or live for tomorrow.
    You take pleasure in feeling low.
    Your story creates my sorrow.

    You don’t want to be content.
    You grip the world’s excitement.
    And then pass judgment.
    When will you be content?

    You don’t want satisfaction.
    You grab hold of the action
    ‘Cause that’s your attraction.
    For you, there is no satisfaction.

    You don’t want love.
    You reject the wisdom from above.
    You lack the gracefulness of the dove
    And claim your loathing to be love.

    You don’t want peace.
    You don’t want the fighting to cease.
    On war, you feast.
    Don’t come to me about peace.

    You don’t want bliss –
    Not behaving like this.
    For every word, you hiss.
    Huh?! What bliss??

    You don’t want to do good.
    If you did, you would.
    I will never see your good.

  47. Erynn

    Despairing loss and untold sorrow
    You know the judgment of tomorrow
    Joy and happiness are but an echo
    As you face down death’s plateau

    Within the darkness that lies ahead
    Is the fate you used to dread
    As it curls around life’s thread
    You look back on the life you lead

    Time of happiness fill your mind
    People with whom you were aligned
    They talk about you being kind
    And the legacy you left behind

    Hope begins to grow once more
    As you walk to death’s door
    You remember those whom you adore
    The darkness is lighter than before

    Light softly begins to fall
    And you do not wish to stall
    For the fate that used to appall
    Now holds no fear at all

    Now you’ve found a sweet release
    Leading to unending peace
    Your life was a masterpiece
    And your love will never cease

  48. julie e.


    She woke to the sound of Spring’s air

    –more open than Winter

    more muffled than Summer–

    and checked the baby finches’ nest

    -led in the porch eaves

    cradled in leaves and sticks

    and mama spit.

    She breathed deeply as

    her cup of coffee brewed,

    the scent of dark beans

    turning the corners of her

    mouth up. She turned

    back to the window just as

    one baby finch thrust

    itself over the lip of the nest,

    crashing into the pane of glass

    before falling to the ground,

    eyes closed and still.

    “Well isn’t that just how life does,”

    she said, sipping her coffee

    and climbing the stairs.

  49. Mokosh28

    The Aerialist

    He finds threads
    everywhere. One day he is crossing
    the Grand Canyon on a silver wire.
    The next he skips over Niagara
    on a single strand of web. Air
    is his purview. No chasm
    too wide to conquer in his flexible
    shoes. I am such an earthbound
    soul. Gravity’s sister. Each brink
    gapes with no bridge in sight. He
    uses rainbows or a single
    beacon, feet steady, toes
    prehensile. I am clumsy
    on a sidewalk. How
    can this love last: him the terror
    in my throat, my stumbling
    nightmare? Me forever left
    as he leaps, having mastered
    balance which is more than grace
    and genes and no trick. Which lodges
    limbic in the deepest sense
    and comes out flying.

    -Joanne M. Clarkson

  50. jsmadge

    The Optimist’s Creed

    Good morning.
    Face-forward, unstinting.
    It is enough.
    Seeds’ possibility,
    Hot water’s efficacy,
    What’s next?
    Good day.

    Jo Steigerwald

  51. Blaise


    My glass is half full I have no glass
    The sun is coming I hate the rain

    There’s half a tank I’m running on fumes
    That was a close call What an idiot
    This is a long red Who timed this stupid light
    Traffic is really dense Let me in asshole

    We have our bread and water We’ll never get served
    This waiter is struggling Why do I get the bozos
    Portions are small but tasty Bastards are greedy
    I’ll still leave 15% I’ll stiff him

    I need this job Hire me you fool
    That interview was rough Who do you think you are
    I can get by on that They’ll put me on the street
    There’s opportunity to advance This job sucks

    I can feel a Presence God is dead
    There’s always a way I feel like Job
    The congregation accepts me What a bunch of losers
    Sure I’ll donate What about me

    Love is truly here Same old same old
    I’ve made the best of it My life is already Hell

  52. Alfonso Kuchinski


    Phases of the moon
    controlling tidal actions
    psychic fluctuations that are
    tough to encase
    using eyes only

    underground dwelling enduring
    a weighty pathos
    steering me towards
    ballistic endpoints

    restriction of ocean currents near impossibility

    psychological scientific inquiry
    has discovered
    some degree of accuracy
    may be possible
    predicting ocean waves

    passing time in anticipation
    of future peaks

  53. SugarMagnolia

    Half empty or half full

    What a beautiful sun shiny day it is
    The sun is much too bright
    That breeze is simply lovely
    It makes it too cold to be outside
    Let’s take a drive down the shore
    I don’t want t sit in traffic
    Maybe we can enjoy a picnic lunch in the yard
    It’ll be too buggy
    We can sit inside the house, away from the sun, traffic and bugs
    And be miserable. All. Day. Long.
    Why don’t we take a drive down the shore?
    Sounds great.

  54. barton smock


    the nothing
    that’s out there
    I keep
    to myself.

    my talk talks me down.
    my kids laugh

    in sweet tooth and funny bone.

    I am not god’s father figure
    but bring anyway
    a nervous energy
    to my own
    birth scene.

    it is pretty how one manages
    to populate
    a personal hell

    and it is too pretty
    to base an image
    on the diary

    soaked but drying

    in a little house
    with a kicked-in door.

    some have a story and some think
    the having
    the generalizing
    others do

    to clear space
    for space.

    for a hobby I’d say
    be stunned
    by the baby
    it inherits


    once, beneath a storm, be a ghost.

  55. Delaina Miller

    Earth Half Full

    Signs of winter almost gone
    trees no longer completely bare.
    Buds and blooms dot the space
    between branch and earth
    as Nature watercolors
    here and there.

    White with pink frills
    on a dogwood bloom
    next to the magnolia tree.
    Tulips bright yellow, orange,
    and purple deep with the beauty
    of the night.

    A splash
    of optimistic delight
    comes to life
    on this, only slightly chilly,
    Earth Day night.

  56. Snow Write

    Humanity can only postulate
    what final kismet our planet will face.

    A meteor or explosion could strike
    or maybe the earth will simply implode.

    We might kill life with some manmade device
    that someone primes as a vindictive prank.

    Maybe a virus will spread ‘cross the lands
    to wipe human existence from the map.

    We might deplete all energy sources
    leaving us to the whim of Mother Earth.

    Maybe the weather will grow too extreme
    for our bodies and buildings to survive.

    Perhaps human existence will not cease,
    kids having kids many generations.

    But if life is doomed to end sordidly
    what should happen to the infinite souls?

    This could be the stepping stone for something
    far beyond our meager comprehension.

    It’s possible we will find paradise
    or perhaps when the world ends, it’s the end.

  57. robinamelia

    The pessimist faces her greatest hurdle:
    Writing words to inspire the hurting.

    Reflecting on the emptiness of our earthly
    abode, stardust, and such
    will not comfort now.

    Sincerity may have to be crushed,
    because optimism has been almost proven
    to help fight tumors and the pain of battle.

    Robin Amelia Morris

  58. lionmother

    Saving the Earth

    The Earth will be saved
    only if we care enough
    about it to stop the
    destructive ways we
    have been showing
    towards her

    Her green meadows
    will thrive with wildflowers
    and the songs of birds
    while the sun will bathe
    her in its brilliant light
    creating the food we
    all need to live

    We will save our Earth
    from the destroyers who
    care only about greed
    and not about the delicacy
    of a violet rising from the
    soil or the smile on the
    child’s face who sees it

    Our Earth is precious
    and we need its bounty
    not to be sullied by evil
    businesses who want
    only profit and don’t care
    about the dirty oil that
    will spill and cover all

    But I believe we can
    keep this from happening
    with the strength of the
    truth as we fight and
    continue to fight to
    preserve the verdant tresses
    of our land

  59. lionmother


    Each day I fill up my hope
    balloon for the journey
    and we travel along the
    corridors of silent walls
    where it leaks slowly
    and we settle in
    hospital rooms never
    seeing how the leak
    increases and by the
    end of the day it is
    only a withered remnant
    I must take home and
    fill up again

  60. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 22

    Two for Tuesday:
    Write an optimistic poem.
    Write a pessimistic poem.


    kept you going
    when the house burned down or blew away
    when your son perished in a senseless accident
    when the job of twenty years was “phased out”
    when people told you to give up on your dream
    and keep the day job
    when you lost everything because you stood for
    your beliefs
    when it was clear that all you had to hang on to
    was the love, mercy, and sovereignty of God.

    That’s the nature of God-based hope.


    is thinking, Blah, I’ve got to pay bills (I’d rather read)
    is believing, I can’t do this (I don’t want to; it’s too hard)
    is giving up on humanity, on God, on yourself
    (they won’t change; He doesn’t care; I can’t succeed)

    Pessimism disguises itself as realism,
    when it’s really a protective shell or a pathetic excuse.

  61. Margie Fuston

    Looking on the Bright Side

    I backed my car out of the driveway
    and punctured my tire with a nail.
    My gardener mowed my grass and my cat.
    My husband came home wearing Obsession.
    I wear Chanel No. 5.

    But—I’ve been looking for a nail
    to hang my lucky horseshoe.
    I’m really a dog person.
    And I’ve been looking at younger models
    for myself.

  62. P.A. Beyer

    Give my regards
    Matilda watches the train depart.
    There were no goodbyes, only “see you soons.”

    Poppa says her heart is not ready for love
    but the war makes one forget about rules.

    The evening post reported the front moving
    but the ships haven’t yet reached shore.

    She holds a private prayer session by the frosted window
    and feels that there is a God today.

    She ignores her hunger and dedicates her time to sewing
    curtains made of quilts and rags. They’re not pretty but they’ll do.

    And all the while she sends canned preserves to Ralph
    at the infirmary, knowing he’d never ask her to.

    With love comes an understanding,
    we all play a role in this play.

    Broadway may not be for everyone
    but that doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

    Even if you flub your lines,
    you’re called back for another audition.

    There’s always an opportunity to
    Improvise – to perfect your craft

    regardless of the reviews.

  63. P.A. Beyer

    Give my regards</b?
    Matilda watches the train depart.
    There were no goodbyes, only “see you soons.”

    Poppa says her heart is not ready for love
    but the war makes one forget about rules.

    The evening post reported the front moving
    but the ships haven’t yet reached shore.

    She holds a private prayer session by the frosted window
    and feels that there is a God today.

    She ignores her hunger and dedicates her time to sewing
    curtains made of quilts and rags. They’re not pretty but they’ll do.

    And all the while she sends canned preserves to Ralph
    at the infirmary, knowing he’d never ask her to.

    With love comes an understanding,
    we all play a role in this play.

    Broadway may not be for everyone
    but that doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

    Even if you flub your lines,
    you’re called back for another audition.

    There’s always an opportunity to
    Improvise – to perfect your craft

    regardless of the reviews.

  64. Scott Jacobson


    A bottle of tequila is always half empty
    because everyone is scared of the worm.
    A capsized ship is always half full
    because the captain and crew made
    off with the life boats. A plane is either
    here or not here because no one believes
    in engine failure or mechanical problem,
    so the plane must have been abducted by aliens.
    No one knows what really happened,
    so feel free to speculate in the headlines.
    The ocean floor is nearly empty
    because we haven’t figured out how
    to sink to its level. The sky is full of stars
    or dark matter if you are an optimist.
    In front of us waits the future,
    so full of possibilities that
    everyone is certain
    that the world is going to end.

  65. pcm

    Where optimism and pessimism meet

    You were Evgenny Onegin racing your troika,
    an artistic soul, tortured with cleverness you
    couldn’t control. Every moment, a poem in a
    language neither of us quite understood. The
    smallest gesture carried the weight of eternity,
    squeezed out peaceful, mundane routines and
    made every event catastrophic, cathartic, a
    supreme effort to cultivate perfection. We were
    always “on,” united and rallying to your cause.

    You were tortured by your own demons,
    a father who abused your mother, a lack
    of love that things replaced your whole life.
    You learned that you always came second to
    things and you enforced your cruel reality
    objectifying those you disdained so that they
    became things to do with as you pleased. I
    fastened my heart to roller coaster rails, clinging
    to illusions of how you wanted things to be.

    Despite or because of all this, a beautiful baby
    boy arrived. Your passion and strength rush
    through his veins, racing like sleds across the
    Moscow river, withheld whinnies so mighty they
    send sheaves of ice to breaking as sparks fly
    from the hooves of coursers fantastic and strange.
    We forever live on the cusp of terror and delight,
    in a mythical world between darkness and light.

  66. Shell

    Life After
    By Shell Ochsner

    Hearts that lay in pieces truly can beat again

    If only for a moment

    the ease of affliction is possible

    Torment pushed aside by caramel eyes

    Weakened as desire for another presses

    Strong hands touch

    Lips kiss

    Senses dulled by words on sweet breath

    Know this;

    if nothing at all

    There is life after the death of love

    New love blossoms like a flower in spring

    A fresh do over

    Old pains never truly forgotten

    Time doesn’t heal wounds

    Moving on makes it bearable

  67. SuziBwritin

    PAD CHALLENGE 2014 #22 Optimistic and Pessimistic Poems
    Two for Tuesday


    Some days I wake up and I’m all full of hope
    I climb out of bed with a leap
    I run down the stairs full of vigor and pep
    and fall at the bottom in a heap

    I immediately jump up
    dust myself down
    and get back to the streak I was on
    but I go back to bed when I open the box
    and find the last doughnut is gone


    I’ve heard it said by many a one
    that to ward off any bad luck
    you expect much less than you might otherwise
    then things never really can suck

    I’ve heard it said by many another
    that it’s good to expect only the best
    like a magnet you act to draw great things
    and of course you get nothing less

    but, I think it’s good to plan just a little
    it’s good to dream a whole lot
    it’s best to combine them with luck and good will
    and mix opportunity into the pot
    then you have to have courage
    to ignore any snags
    the will to keep moving on through
    pessimists usually give up right away
    optimists always CAN DO!

  68. Shell

    Love Is Suicide
    By Shell Ochsner

    To love and lost is as if death saturates

    Corrupting all good to which once blessed

    Air turns to acid as this shell becomes hollow

    Breaths become mechanical

    Mind and body fight for survival

    as the soul turns to ash

    All’s taken including any reason for life

    Once tear soaked cheeks

    now dry without emotion

    No longer belonging to the one

    True love is better left untouched

    Broken forever with missing pieces

    never found again

    Pain accompanies always

    never gone

    Used to it?


    Covet it?


    Want it?


  69. Shennon

    Time is a vast emptiness
    Surrounded on all sides by despair.
    Hope does not exist for long in time,
    For hope needs room to grow…instead
    despair curtails its growth at every opportunity.
    Neither does love exist anywhere throughout
    For love is dependent upon hope – which
    simply does not exist.
    Without love, the need for jealousy or anger
    never appears.
    Instead, the pressure of despair invades time,
    Crushing, suppressing all other emotions,
    Making everything in time seem futile.


  70. Shennon

    Now I know that I’m growing up.
    I feel all alone in the world.
    There’s no place to go, and no one
    to stand by my side when the going
    gets rough.
    This is life, this is reality. The world
    is a harsh and cold place – no place
    for a young girl of twenty. But the girl
    has now become a woman – reality
    and loneliness wear on a person.
    Endless days alone in a foreign environment
    put lines of experience and
    wisdom on even a young girl’s face.
    Once she was soft-hearted and
    tender, believing the world was her
    friend. Now she knows exactly
    how cold, unsympathetic, and uncaring
    the world can be. At times she
    feels there is nothing left to live
    for or work toward, but always,
    there’s a little nagging feeling in the
    back of her mind, that a little piece
    of happiness is awaiting her somewhere
    in the world. If only she can find it.


  71. Shennon

    In my youth I was fresh and alive.
    Using knowledge as fuel, I kindled
    the desire to grow and spread, leaving
    charred images in my past.
    But now my journey’s slowing
    I am no longer growing.
    Of fuel there is no more
    Fate’s closed another door.
    With erratic gasps I hopelessly
    realize that my life has just been


  72. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Comforting Myself

    My little cat is old and ill
    but so far in no pain.
    Her cancer’s growing slow.

    When I lie down for a nap
    she comes and purrs with me,
    but when I start to dream
    she moves away

    as if she too can see
    the crowding images
    that seem so real.

    With such a bond
    between our spirits,
    surely it will stretch
    to keep us connected, later?

    This could be both the optimistic and pessimistic in one, but I’m labelling it optimistic. The pessimistic poem is in my next post.

  73. Nanamaxtwo


    Robert, funny you should mention
    glass, mine empty and you standing
    with a bottle in your hand.


    Letters and words like bubbles
    when the champagne is first poured,
    when the clever plot first surfaces,
    stay in my glass. In the morning
    all is lost.

  74. cobanionsmith

    One Man’s Trash

    My folks saw the value in everything,
    from mismatched floral tea cups to broken wrist watches,
    and could never drive past a flea market
    or a garage sale sign without stopping.
    So the country homestead, once rustic and quaint,
    gradually became a warehouse full of their surplus junk,
    a Texas version of Grey Gardens:
    Doors permanently closed to rooms
    packed to the water-stained ceiling with hunting
    or gardening magazines, paperback books, craft supplies,
    clothes and shoes of various sizes and conditions, fishing tackle,
    half-used bottles of lotions and perfume, or makeup
    still in the store packaging caked in dust. Kitchen counters
    covered in dirty dishes, outdated or defective appliances
    and expired cans in cobwebbed cabinets, a wall
    of retro cooking utensils even though no one cooks.

    To counter the house choking with clutter,
    the yard blooms collections of verdant wonder.
    Light lavender wisteria adorns the barbed wire fence.
    Royal purple water lilies grace the water’s surface
    in a chipped enamel claw-foot tub near the gate.
    A path to the front door winds through
    more antique rose bushes than most people
    will encounter in their lifetimes.
    Thorny bougainvilleas explode magenta and vermilion
    from black rubber tires near the front porch.

    So grandeur thrives there, too,
    but would that random splendor exist
    without such filth to inspire escape
    or so much gloom in need of disguise?

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

  75. susanjer

      Mr. Wizard,

    Consider this a warning, you weasel.
    Next week I appear on “The View.”
    In case it skipped your mind, I am 15.
    Once Whoopi G. gets wind of your
    sleight-of-hand behind that curtain
    you’ll be hiring a squad of winged
    monkeys. And surfing the web for
    wizard-size ruby red slippers. Click
    till your heels blister, buster. You’re
    about to be sucked up by a tornado.


  76. Rolf Erickson


    He told me:
    “You’ve got a
    good head on
    your shoulders.”

    He said:
    “You can do
    anything you
    set your mind to.”

    I believed him.

    I still do.

  77. Mickie Lynn


    Look at that happy, positive person
    with a twinkle in her eye!
    Her easy laughter fills the room
    with a contagious mirth that all can enjoy!
    She loves to encourage others
    and compliment good deeds.
    She appreciates your hard work
    and plants dreams that
    grow you into something more
    than you had previously imagined.
    This shiny golden optimist
    twinkles in the sunlight.

    But the light does not reach the inside.
    An inky pessimism fills in cracks and
    deep crevices of self-doubt.

    I never
    I criticize, put down, squelch
    who I could be.

    It just doesn’t occur to me to dump on you.
    I won’t complain.
    Everything is fine.
    I want to protect you from my shadows.
    Because of this,
    some friends believe my life to be easy,
    that I don’t suffer,
    but I do!
    My insides writhe with pain.

    So the next time you see that happy,
    positive person with a twinkle in their eye,
    know that the twinkle
    just may be a tear.

  78. christinamcphee

    This is a poem on yesterdays prompt, a ‘ back to basics poem’

    I remember
    the first
    from my quavering lips
    As instinct dictated I shield myself
    Oh, how the armor cut deeply
    shearing innocence
    I turn the hour glass
    beseeching the fearless soul life had

  79. encrerouge

    Gulp the facts

    Metal grinds the effervescence
    A thought will never be shallow enough
    to shovel diamonds back my throat

    eating stones has made the mine kind
    in the way silence speaks to the engorged
    by an eye willing to give a tear

    well then, cheers to the flammable wood,
    who is willing to exist beyond this elixir
    of titanium strength profusion.

  80. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 22 Pessimist poem

    Chain Male

    You have to be
    a fighter,
    a boxer
    clad in short
    protective layers,
    or you’ll knuckle under
    when pressed against
    taunting ribs
    and idle threats.

    Flaunt your muscles
    while you can,
    or grease guns
    will shoot you
    to a size
    that matters.

    Be on guard.

    Your wife knows
    the UPS man’s name.

  81. Mickie Lynn


    She was complaining again.
    This had been going on for months.
    Her jerk of a husband left her
    and alone.
    Her life was ruined,
    destroyed beyond repair.

    I tried to help her feel better
    by telling her it would be okay.
    She would get through this.

    “You are such a God damned Pollyanna! Until you’ve gone through a divorce you have NO IDEA what you’re talking about!”

    I got real quiet
    because I was happily married
    going on ten years.

    But I whispered in my head
    that surely ongoing complaining
    couldn’t be doing much good.

    I wondered if I would be the same if in her shoes,

    not knowing then
    that I would have the chance to find out.

    A few years later,
    my jerk husband left me.
    It was the most painful
    experience of my life.

    I found that some complaining
    helps ease the ache and fear and hate,
    but after a while
    complaining loses power
    and just adds the heavy weight
    of bitterness
    to an already burdened load.

    The past cannot be changed.
    Adjust to a new normal,
    dream new dreams.

    I now know that Pollyanna is a survivor.

  82. EbenAt

    On the Other Hand

    It’s been a shitty
    two days.

    On the other hand,
    I got a girl who
    loves me.

    I’m basically
    always broke, but

    Money ain’t what
    it’s all about.

    I’m not thrilled with
    a three am
    wake up, but

    I love being
    done by two.

    I could probably
    keep bitching
    all night, but

    Sleep beckons, and
    Mamma didn’t raise
    no fool.

  83. LCaramanna

    Mango Margarita Moment

    My margarita glass filled to the brim
    with a cocktail concoction of mango juice,
    tequila, orange liquor, and lime
    on the rocks,
    lemon chili seasons the rim.
    Three generous gulps of
    magnificent margarita refreshment
    leaves my glass half empty of
    delicious cocktail concoction.
    With taste of mango tangy on my tongue,
    optimistic the bartender will shake up another
    before this margarita is done,
    I raise my glass to eager lips
    and savor the moment
    of a mango margarita on the rocks.
    Lorraine Caramanna

  84. MyPoeticHeart

    The glass is half full and The glass is half empty
    A combination of the two.

    Spent all this cold weather past
    for a glimpse of spring to get here fast.
    Sick of snow, ice and cold
    the dirty brown grass looking old.

    Each day would bring rain or sleet
    Something told me it would not be beat.
    Day after day nothing new in sight
    until one morning birds arrived by night.

    Chirping to each other a welcomed sound
    Robin all scattered pecking the ground.
    Worms fled for their life a sad tale to tell
    somewhere around someone rang the dinner bell.

  85. Sara McNulty

    A Fibonacci of the World

    rage across
    the earth,
    adding to nightmares
    of fire, flood, earthquake, mudslide,
    disappearing planes, sinking ferries, and school violence.
    We poison our planet, fail to protect our children, and crash the moon’s side on purpose.
    Is there no end to the dangers we dump on our world, to the indifference of people toward one another?
    Wake up! There’s no time for apathy.

  86. elledoubleyoo

    Whew, I’m late today, and busy busy busy so here’s a quick and silly one for me. I’ll see if I can get a bit more real now that I’m settled down for the night.

    The Problem with Reading Shakespeare

    The problem with reading Shakespeare is we know
    how the play is going to go, sometimes
    just by name alone. Shakespeare didn’t care
    if he spoiled the suspense. Call tragedy
    a Tragedie and stick it in the title,
    fly a flag above the Globe, its vibrant
    hue telling the groundings what they’d view
    that night — maybe so they knew whether it’d be
    worth it to suffer the pains and blisters
    of standing for four hours straight. The crisis
    in Act Three will turn the players toward
    their fate, rushing forward into their deaths
    or sometimes, as in the comedies’ case,
    a marriage — which might be even worse.

  87. GirlGriot

    Not sure this is either optimistic or pessimistic … maybe it depends on what mood the reader is in.

    never sits still,
    gives me a minute.


    We still disagree,
    and I.
    I’m searching
    out common ground.
    Time to save my soul.

  88. Emily Cooper


    Nearly 3 million dollars
    in bonuses was given

    to more than
    twenty-eight hundred

    of the Internal Revenue Service
    between October 2010
    and December 2012

    but twelve hundred
    of these people
    had tax issues

    or official-conduct violations.

    Now granted
    their bonuses are something like
    one ten-thousandth

    of what CEOs get
    for their more egregious
    stealing from the commonwealth

    and those responsible
    for the bonuses
    will likely be reprimanded

    but hypothetically

    who can begrudge
    the more relatable
    Joes or Janes

    from doing what has been
    successful for those
    who have inherited power

    in a would-be democracy?

    Optimists believe
    the people will wise up
    and rise up

    pessimists believe
    the people will be subsumed
    and meet our doom

    and while these two
    were discussing
    how they saw the world

    finding both points of contention
    and overlap

    the CEO had a few quick meetings
    filled up two glasses
    with both their “-Mist” suffixes

    and said
    “You both look so thirsty.”

  89. pamelaraw

    The Alvin Ailey Dancer in ‘Wade in the Water’

    My eyes stay
    with her slim brown
    body awash in white
    mimicking the movements
    of tides, curling to and fro
    at the waist like their ebb
    and flow. I hold
    my breath
    at the moment
    she balances on the tip
    of right toes: her leaning
    frame, left toes stretching
    into the void, arms
    unfurling behind
    in surrender. At the end
    she succumbs—quavering
    and convulsing—to the one
    who saves her, cradled
    by a powerful force.

  90. cbwentworth

    Water still flows with crud,
    the air still smells of ash
    Landfills filled to the brim,
    while sludge oozes above

    Our delicate planet
    wonders why no one cares
    After giving so much,
    we take it for granted

    Apologies aside,
    there’s time to make amends
    The earth is still spinning,
    but waiting for a change

    We can do more than waste,
    the key is in our hands
    Let go of selfishness
    and consider the land

    Somewhere under the grime,
    beneath years of blind eyes
    Lies the chance to wake up
    and see what’s been stolen

    – – –

    C.B. Wentworth

  91. BDP

    “Half-Full: Cinderella Was a Double Agent”

    Eight-year-old daughter spying, digging in
    the closets, counting Vodka bottles stashed
    among the clothes. Her mom would switch to gin
    mid-week. The younger woke the elder trashed
    by late night drinks and sniffing glue—who else
    took notice? Soft skill. Optimism spooled.
    And though she lived a life tossed to the shelf,
    it was a place for things to spin to gold
    some day—good agents knew the worth of discards.
    And getaway: the blanket boat beneath
    the stairs to drift, house dark, claws sheathed, those pissed words—
    “you horse’s rear!” (which meant, her keen belief,
    the speaker was)—silent. As with all spies
    home brewed, she even now hides in her lies.

    –Barb Peters

  92. Michael Wells

    Pessimism Is the New Realism

    I don’t expect everyone to buy this,
    that would be too easy. Life isn’t like that

    at all. It’s not fair. It’s almost always
    coming up short of something.

    Oh yes, the glass half full,
    says the optimist. Go ahead ignore

    the fact it is at the same time half empty.
    Be a practicing optimist if you wish—

    as for me, if I open a half gallon of Ice Cream
    that’s half empty I’m not proclaiming

    to the store manager how happy I am
    that I got two whole pints in my container.

  93. LeighSpencer

    Optimist and Pessimist attend a Fundraiser


    the cause is just
    the speakers will be inspirational
    the heartstrings will be tugged
    the purse strings will be loosened


    the cause is one of many and we can’t help them all
    the speakers will be mind-numbingly boring
    the applause will be polite
    the donations will be meager

    eat dessert first

    Just in case
    they’re right

  94. Jane Shlensky


    Most farmers must be optimists—
    they have to be to face a drought
    or flood or hail or hurricane
    to weather storms of fear and doubt.

    It takes a certain fortitude
    to plant a seed, nurture it grown,
    to watch the skies and concentrate
    on gentle suns and soaking rains.

    A farmer has to learn to wait
    for seeds to realize themselves,
    to hope the crop will pay his bills,
    to forge relationships in earth.

    He fingers foliage, waits to see
    if all his efforts are enough.
    And there’s a sort of greening grace
    that comes with nature’s partnership.

    The rest of us can scan the shelves,
    complain of prices, fret and whine.
    We can imagine milk is squeezed
    from waxed cartons or superstores.

    We don’t know anyone who farms,
    who bends his back at harvest time.
    Consuming ignorance, we miss
    the vital link that makes us whole.

  95. Sharon Ann

    I Think Inventors Are Optimists

    What keeps inventors inventing?
    What keeps them moving on their path
    to changing our world most indelibly?
    When the engines don’t run,
    when the plane doesn’t fly?
    I think inventors are optimists.
    They view what does not work
    and imagine a way that it can if they try.

    Who Will Shore Up the Pessimists?

    Who will shore up the pessimists
    when the optimists come to town?
    Who will join in on the complaining
    when there is no one around with a frown?
    How will they keep the negativity
    churning around and around?
    Who will shore up the pessimists
    when the optimists come to town?

  96. christinamcphee

    are a shimmering duality
    in a banal china cup
    Fueling naïve optimism
    clinging to hope
    How I wish to empty you out
    extinguishing the flame
    Raining the bitter tears
    till you taste the pain

  97. Julieann

    Gloomy Gus

    She enters the office
    With a sour g’morning
    And a dour look
    Upon her face

    While failed expectations of co-workers
    And irritating computer issues
    Work together to create
    A rather sour attitude

    The department plans a lunch
    She says no, I have too much work
    When coerced to attend she sits sullenly
    Neither partaking of food nor banter

    We try to lighten the mood for a pleasant day
    By politeness or even a joke
    But it’s hard to see the sun shine in
    When gloom emanates with every word

  98. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    Here are two short poems (not sure if they are optimistic or pessimistic)

    A flower opens its petals
    every morning,
    a new day begins.

    The flower smiles at
    the blue sky above,
    it has no misgivings.

    The garden does not weep
    for yesterday’s flowers,
    it forgets.

    It is a mistake to believe
    in things bigger
    than the grass,
    fallen apples
    and the wind.

  99. mshall

    The sneer rings in my ears
    Much as I try to hide it
    Middle schoolers have laser vision
    They spy my eyes of one shape
    My nose of another.

    “Double culture”
    The soothing of my mother
    Does little to calm my soul
    How could she know
    What it is
    To live between parts of a whole

    “Bi Cultural”
    Is the PC government term
    Trying to narrowly define
    The undefinable
    Taxing gaping rifts
    To yield a revenue of diversity

    One Heart
    Beats within my breast
    Around me swirls
    The ever-widening gyre of globalization
    A falcon in the storm
    My talons clutching desperately
    Three halves to make a whole
    One part he
    One part she
    One part me

  100. Alpha1


    At first I was sure
    I could do it
    I was positive
    I Told myself
    I can do this
    Walk in Papa’s
    While living back then
    As a farmer was
    Sweat and blood on
    The roots
    Could it be that hard
    I asked myself
    Rising before
    Dawn feeding and tending
    Watching crops grow
    From a seed in the dirt
    Harvesting vast acres
    Of produce from Sunup to
    Then it dawned on me
    With today’s technology
    With modern machinery
    And time-saving devices
    I knew those boots were
    Still big
    I wasn’t so sure
    So positive

  101. arlingtonscribe

    The Future of Man

    we’ve tripped along in the
    dark, touching atoms
    into one another,
    discovering the
    thermodynamic nature
    of self, a hot core
    boiling over,
    making the hard climb
    upwards against nature
    then sideways across the
    mystery of inner-self

    a billion neurons,
    a billion stars,
    tipped at exactly
    the right angle

    all good stories come
    to an end, and ours
    will slow to ice,
    the sun dimming,
    slipping from us
    as dreams deferred
    to the harsh light
    of reality’s lament

    another great migration:
    taking our arts, culture,
    and sports teams with us

    and we’ll have to cross
    over into a multiverse,
    a dark obsidian glass
    half full, parted wide
    for our eventual arrival

  102. RebekahJ

    This is my second attempt at Tibetan prosody (lines of either 7 or 9 syllables, and a mix of trochees and dactyls). My first one was for an earlier double-Tuesday prompt, on violence/peace. Something about those oppositions puts me in a Buddhist mood, obviously. :)


    Shakyamuni counsels us
    Neither to hope nor worry
    Both imply knowledge of coming facts
    Everyone knows we’re lacking

    Rather, watch each colorless
    Dewdrop resting motionless
    See it suffused with pearlescent gold
    Shaken by darkling thunder
    Taste wind imbued with new lilac’s scent
    Breathe moist decay of the forest floor

    Living mindfully, dying
    Unafraid; pain without suffering
    Joy without clinging. Can we
    Moderns, anxious, diagnosed
    Grasp that freedom willingly?

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  103. Jane Shlensky

    The sky is greenish
    calm broken by a rising wind
    a sudden roar

    I pull him from his toys
    the world awhirl
    and through the basement door

    a hooting horrible refrain
    my heart twists in my chest
    my entire mind resounds O God

    but he is happy eyes alight
    listen, mom, a train

  104. flood

    A Little Unfinished Somehow

    Many thanks for your interest
    in our magazine.
    Unfortunately, your submissions
    were not successful. However,
    we would like to stress
    that this was a very difficult decision
    for us to make.
    We really loved your poem –
    it was difficult for us to turn it down.
    We loved how fluid the poem feels,
    but felt that the poem
    was left a little unfinished somehow?
    We suggest that something
    needs to expand at the end of the poem;
    something to draw us out
    into that final image.
    Our views are, of course,
    entirely subjective.

  105. fahey

    The logic behind distress

    You’d been telling me for ages
    but I needed one more second –

    you knew the upside was
    down before it ever got

  106. Janet Rice Carnahan


    There once was a glass half full
    Containing nothing but water so dull
    When someone took a taste
    The vodka didn’t go to waste
    Any argument now void and null!

    There once was a glass half empty
    It was as dry and dry as could be
    Until it was filled with Vermouth
    Stashed away in a booth
    Waiting to become a fulfilling martini

    There once was glass filled to the top
    Once sipped, no one could stop
    It was a fine wine
    Merlot, the best kind
    It would make champagne, pop!


  107. JanetRuth

    Ink Tug o’ War

    …and I would fling this pen aside
    The taunt of word that keens the air
    Wrangles twixt yearning and despair
    To spill their will in verbose tide

    The blood of thought runs wild and blue
    A recompense of cloven ink
    As what I taste and touch and think
    Desecrates a page or two

    What merit is this? Bliss and bane
    Rival on throbbing battlefields
    …its aftermath of groaning yields
    The offspring of a poet’s pain

    And yet the unwritten implores
    Within the pen; miniscule rod
    To tender to meek parchment, God-
    Whispers of Home and heart-shaped doors

    …and I would fling this pen aside
    Save for a graven thought or two
    This life is not a rendezvous
    With fate; nor Time a dead-end tide

    © Janet Martin

  108. JanetRuth


    Like children
    We press our faces to hope’s window
    In eager expectation

    But darkness
    Fills the air with raindrops
    And no explanation

    One by one
    The faces in the window disappear
    Save where

    They linger
    Knowing hope remains as long
    As there are children
    …and prayer

    © Janet Martin

  109. cindikenn

    Ice Cream and Loss

    One night after meal together,
    Hand in hand couple forever.

    His voice weary woeful tired,
    Trembled broken: I was fired.

    Shoulders drooped, his head hung low.
    Hopeless despair sorrow woe.

    She danced about the little space.
    Joy expressed on merry face.

    You mean the job that turned you gray?
    Awarded wrinkles every day?

    Paid out stress in bloody noses?
    Made you forget birthday roses?

    That took more than it ever gave?
    Employment master, worker slave?

    Freedom now for adventures great.
    This news is grand! Let’s celebrate!

    We’ll recognize your promotion
    to a new life – with things frozen!

    Tomorrow, resumes and dreams.
    Tonight, sup caramel and cream.

    He sat up straighter in his seat.
    Thought life’s not fair but I’m not beat.

    Hand in hand couple forever
    Celebrating time together.

  110. Gabrielle Freeman

    While We’re Young
    by Gabrielle Freeman

    At night I turn into a bear,
    ramble around the house.
    My skin grows fur. It’s only fair;
    my sister is a moose.

    We barely fit inside the hall.
    We leave marks on the paint,
    and each night you can see how tall
    we’ve grown to what we ain’t.

    My claws are sharp, her antlers wide,
    which makes it kind of hard
    to open candy jars or hide
    behind trees in the yard.

    It’s fun to turn into a beast,
    to be so big and strong,
    but moose and bear can never feast
    on marshmallows and song.

    I guess we’ll have to learn to be
    happy just as we are.
    She’ll just be she and I just me
    our eyes upon a star,

    dreaming of an animal shape
    but talking ’round the fire.
    Desperate for a hero’s cape,
    but squelching our desire.

    No. I am the bear. Sister moose.
    We clomp around the house.
    Our ears are tuned to Mother Goose,
    gold eggs, live spoons, a crooked mouse.

    At night, my sister jumps the moon
    much better than a cow,
    and I know morning’s coming soon.
    The only moment’s now.

    We turn to fur, to claw, to hide,
    to forms that feel just right.
    Our mother says enjoy the ride,
    and so we say good night.

    Good night.

  111. k_weber


    This is the end of me
    and you. I just know
    the door is closing; will
    make a terrible sound
    before it slams my nerves
    shut. The throb of anxiety
    and a friendship kissed
    away with tongue. We bite
    the lip then slip the years
    into an envelope, ignite
    and singe while this goodbye
    swings on a rusted hinge.

    – k weber

      1. k_weber

        those lines just felt so right when they fell out of my head and onto the computer screen. any revision or further drafts of this poem must always contain those lines! thanks for enjoying.

  112. Zeenie

    ten things i will tell my children

    You only have today.
    I know you are just five,
    twelve, seventeen, twenty-four,

    but none of your days are guaranteed,
    so remember to start your mornings
    with a prayer and a smile.

    Or if you can’t muster the smile,
    at least put your hands
    near your face and ask for beginning.

    Open yourself –
    the way to feel love
    is to put down the barbed wire

    and iron. The way to give love
    is to learn the language of someone’s heart
    and become fluent.

    Speak generously –
    the volume of your voice is not important,
    but the quality is. Speak with love, first.

    Learn quietness –
    use ears more than mouth.
    The blessing is in sitting

    with someone in their grief
    and being still. Find people
    who will do the same for you.

    Sometimes, you will not see the sun,
    but that don’t give up on the light
    inside you because even if there

    is a power outage that shakes
    the entire earth, even if your shoulders
    feel like wired bricks,

    there is a glimmer.
    There is a road map.
    There is a way.

    If you are having a hard time
    getting out of bed, moving on,
    removing walls, remember:

    there is a place for you here.
    I will always hug you even
    if you are covered in nettles and scars,

    even if you don’t remember
    your own name,
    even if you don’t hug me back.

    Trading is a wonderful practice,
    but never give away your heart or your faith.
    These are what puts the jewel in your eye,

    the humility in your voice;
    these are your orchids. They will always
    resurrect you if you do not bury them.

    I love you.

    I love you.

    I love you.

  113. intheshadowofthesoul

    Pessimism Overruled
    Lydia Flores

    Days, they are are dust soon
    so perfect your hours with
    sand castles of hope, build
    them,though they may fall.
    The rain will fall but your heart needs
    it’s thirst quenched so leave your
    umbrellas to ask puddles for a dance.
    The sun will not wait for you, though you
    wait for it. Hold on to the stars while you
    have them, in morning they will go home.
    When you hit the ground, bloody knees
    they will meet your gaze with constellations
    holding comforts, look up and it’s not so dark.
    You may break, you may crack but the demons
    needed a way out and the light needed it’s way in.
    Thank your hearts breakage, a channel and there
    your tears make the stream to lead you through.
    Weeping may endure for the night but joy it comes
    in the morning, whenever that morning. will you wait?
    The sun will call you by name out of winters cage.
    When thoughts argue with you, favoring darkness
    remind them who’s boss and slam your gavel—
    better days are ahead, so serve your sentence with
    good punctuation, bad days don’t end with periods.

  114. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    I think we’re gonna make it.
    I don’t see how we can.
    You know that I can take it.
    You’re not that kind of man.
    Through thick and thin, I said I do;
    You know I’ve lost my faith in you.
    I think we’re gonna make it.
    I don’t see how we can.

    You don’t have to leave me.
    I don’t think that I can stay.
    Your walking out will grieve me.
    I don’t know what to say.
    Surely we can work this out.
    You know that I have got my doubts.
    You don’t have to leave me.
    I don’t think that I can stay.

    I’m willing, if you are;
    Can we give it one more shot?
    I’m willing, if you are,
    It will take all that we’ve got.
    I’m willing,
    I’m willing
    If you are,
    If you are.

    We didn’t get here overnight.
    It’s gonna be a long hard climb.
    I know it’s going to be a fight
    I still don’t know if it’s worth the time.
    You’ve got to give me one more chance.
    I tired of your song and dance.
    We didn’t get here overnight,
    It’s gonna be a long hard climb.

    I’m willing if you are,
    Can we give it one more shot?
    I’m willing, if you are,
    It will take all that we’ve got.
    I’m willing,
    I’m willing.
    If you are,
    If you are.

    1. tunesmiff

      This didn’t format the way I’d hoped/planned…

      : \

      Alternating lines are/should be italicized to indicate a conversation/discussion… I hope it reads that way without too much confusion…


  115. Lori D. Laird

    My Spirit Won’t Be Broken

    How things have changed.
    I feel slightly deranged.
    Six years I gave to you.
    Now I wonder about the man I knew.
    And begin to think I was wrong.
    You were still singing a pretender’s song.

    But you know what, Baby.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe
    I was the one doing the wrong.
    And I was hearing a different song.
    Making you to be a white knight.
    Forgetting the tarnish was more white.

    I won’t be reaching for your hand.
    You’ve proved you aren’t a man.
    My confidence needs to stand.
    At least as much as it can.
    I need to break completely free.
    To regain the woman who was me.

    I deserve equal ground.
    In your heart you’ll always hear my sound.
    I deserve equal footing.
    Not just one more fool playing at soothing.
    I deserve equal love.
    Not to be another hand you can shove.

    I desire the very best.
    Until then I don’t rest.
    My eyes are open now.
    I’ll continue to learn how
    to love with all that I am.
    And never again fall prey to a soulless ham.

  116. Melissa


    Broken dreams
    No one cares
    I am more than this

    Dumb ass
    Waste of oxygen
    I am more than this

    Second fiddle
    Not enough
    I am more than this

    I am all of these
    I am more than this

  117. lionetravail

    “In A Bad Place”
    by David M. Hoenig

    she sums herself by all she’s not,
    and day by day she finds the spot
    she’s put herself into is small,
    too small for her to stand up tall
    and, hunched, she finds she needs to squat

    under the weight, and it’s a lot.
    it bears her down. it’s a long shot
    that she won’t break, and then she’ll fall;
    she sums herself by all she’s not.

    she sees herself, she sees dry rot
    and thinks she’ll crack, but she’s forgot
    just who she was before her crawl
    within depression’s prison wall.
    there’s no recourse in her blind spot;
    she sums herself by all she’s not.

  118. ehauswald

    Optimism Poem

    I come out of class and
    the air is breathless
    and scented — a warm
    night pungent
    with blossoms on wet

    The driving rain
    cleared the allergens away.
    And my broken umbrella
    taught me humility.

    People are getting hit by cars,
    but they are surviving,
    they are surviving,
    bones intact, rising
    up from the smoke-
    filled street.

  119. lsteadly

    The Time We Have

    I wonder how much time is spent
    waiting in line for a kiss
    when the storm will pass over
    the sun to rise a red
    light to change an apology
    for the results of a test
    where the phone will ring with news worth
    bearing only to wait out another
    light kiss just a whisper of
    an eyelash in the grand
    design of god’s delicious plan
    to see what we make
    of the blueprints before us

  120. Lindy™

    Conversations with Myself #367
    : The Glass Trick

    There’s so much light in the world.
    What good is the light when darkness prevails?

    So we can see the true beauty of life.
    Beauty is cast in the eye of the beholder.

    The beholder is the creator.
    Creation requires destruction.

    Everything requires balance.
    Balance is boring.

    Then peace must be boring too?
    Peace is a pipedream.

    I like dreaming.
    Except when you’re nightmaring.

    Nightmares wake me up.
    Probably why you’re always so tired.

    Well, at least I’m not constantly wired.
    Maybe if you were you’d get something done.

    I hope I’m never finished.
    Well you should be a happy camper then.

    I am. :)

  121. SestinaNia


    He never leaves the house
    without latching an umbrella
    over his arm—
    it swings there, lulling
    to the rhythm
    of his stride.
    Every day, no matter
    what the weatherman

    Most shake their heads,
    say what a shame
    to always expect
    the worst.

    But he is no doomsday
    prophet—oh no.
    He hopes
    the mere presence
    of the umbrella
    will bring on
    the storms he so loves
    to dance in.

    — Sara Doyle

  122. P.A. Beyer

    One half-full glass too many

    Marcia’s pinot glass
    plunged off the table
    shattering on the
    oak wood floor
    leaving a stain
    like a murder scene

  123. jasonlmartin

    A Train and a Question

    At the crossing of imagination
    and reality – in this poem, a train track –
    I ask the question, “those freight cars,
    kids, what do you think are in them?”

    The rattling around of that question
    in their heads sounds like the slow attack
    of the wheels against the rusty iron scars,
    but the train and their thoughts gain momentum.

    “Rockets, zebras, and crayons,
    cell phones, sling shots, stacks
    of snow sleds and peanut butter jars
    and toys, as many as they can cram.”

    James is feeling the satisfaction
    of a dream fulfilled, holding back
    nothing from his revolving doors
    of what this little boy can fathom.

    “I think there’s nothing. Empty. Vacant. Gone.
    If there isn’t anything in them except black
    absolutely nothing between ceiling and floor
    there’s space to fill them with my dream.”

    Ella’s half-empty glass of imagination
    is more optimistic than I ever knew before,
    She thinks of the freeing quality of the lack
    of things, rather than the abundance of items.

  124. beale.alexis


    You’re not gonna die.
    Mother told me last night
    that the doctors have
    said you need brain surgery
    for the third time.
    Thirty days until the procedure.
    In between now and then
    fall your college graduation,
    my Prom, and my high school graduation.
    You’ll be missing at least
    one of those events
    because recovery after brain surgery lasts
    for about two weeks.
    The first time it happened
    you cried the whole way
    up the stairs because
    it was too much to handle.
    Six months later we discovered
    the doctors screwed up. They
    missed something. So
    you went in for a second procedure.
    And we thought it went well this time.
    Things seemed
    to be looking up. But
    about a month ago some sort of liquid began
    oozing from your left ear. You ignored it
    because you were afraid of what the doctors might
    say. And last night your worst nightmare came
    true. You need the surgery again
    and again and again
    because what’s wrong with you can’t
    be cured. The inevitable can only be prolonged
    and who knows how much time you have

  125. utsabfly

    Take Off The Dark Lenses

    What if I can’t?
    What if you can?
    What if I fail?
    What if you succeed?
    What if I am hurt?
    What if you are healed?

    Why are you always so down,
    Filled with gloom and doom?
    A spirit expecting the worst,
    Things will turn out bad you assume.
    Your life’s been hard in the past,
    But the past lives in yesterday.
    This moment right now is new.
    Dark lenses bind you as a castaway.

    I wish positivity for your heart and mind,
    Life is filled with more light than you see.
    But you have to seek it to find it,
    Hope can set you free…

    ©E.D. Allee
    April, 2014

  126. inkysolace

    I have lost my chance with you
    18 minutes left in class, 21 days left of school
    you are three inches away from me
    but we will not touch
    I will swallow my thoughts instead of the space between us

    11 minutes left of class and you sit
    leaned back legs bent
    one hand folded over your wrist
    with the casual grace of a tree
    branch holding a bird’s nest and three eggs
    blue and ripe for hatching
    I could kiss you
    in front of our classmates lolling in their test-taking stupor
    and touch the skin I know is smoothest
    golden like the glaze on a marshmallow just shy of burning
    7 inches 6 and a half you stretch and my eyes
    follow you the clock counts down to 5

    There is not enough time beside your seat
    you are wrapped in the safety net
    of almost graduated, of a younger girl and
    a more spirited future
    but we smile at the same time on a test,
    our pencils nodding to the same beat our bare elbows brushing
    your laughter coaxes my own into release
    we make two colors look like a sunset when our voices mix
    when I think of hugs, I think of your hands
    rubbing my back because you wanted me to
    remember you were still there

    4 minutes left of class and you hunch, intent
    on the glimmer of a game on your phone we are 12 inches apart
    I pull myself to the corner of my chair slip
    over its black plastic edge to make it 13

    31 seconds left of class
    I never knew how to say goodbye to you
    because admitting you belonged somewhere else
    was harder than pretending it didn’t mean enough for words

    –jessica marino

  127. Mysummersecret

    I am dead but still alive

    My once red lips silenced forever six feet under
    Yet i am in each word you speak

    No longer able to see,
    you become the eyes of my heart.

    I will be the light.
    Reflected through the clear
    of your half full glass
    as it empties.

    Ill be there every step of the way.
    As sure and steady as your heart beat
    Even if mine is silent and empty
    I know that I have filled yours

    I am dead, but still alive

  128. lidywilks

    How I Wish For Winter’s End

    Winter dregs its feet
    leaving springs ascent much to be desired.
    Yet still I enjoy walking ashore the basin
    and its sea of pink flourishing blossoms
    as the dancing caresses of its cherry petals
    Yet as I look ahead to the coming summer
    and all its feats, it looms further away
    as the approaching heavy air thunders
    with mother nature’s reproach
    that she’s not done with us.
    AT ALL.
    AT ALL.
    AT ALL.

    by Lidy Wilks

  129. carolecole66

    The Wonder of It

    It is evening. Outside, a mockingbird plays
    its repertoire, each note clear, practiced,
    sleek: first a wren, then a jay, then the lovely
    cardinal before it starts again. The air is soft.
    If I stand very still, perhaps I’ll see the quick
    and agile yellow bats swoop round the lights.

    Night falls suddenly here in tropical lands, no
    lingering dusk, no time for blooming melancholy.
    The darkness is complete and comforting.
    In this sharp moment I am sure my life is blessed,
    my heart a flower opening in the night, and like a flower
    I bend closer to your evanescent glow.


  130. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Fish gasping water
    Awaiting fresh spring run off
    Know optimism

    Ugly ducklings wait
    Giving nature its full chance
    Showing true beauty

    Bears wading in deep
    Eyeing the fast salmon run
    Hopeful hunger ends

    Cherry blossoms open
    Gladdening our hearts for spring
    Optimistic now

    Women want babies
    Feeling optimistic dreams
    Softly cradle them

  131. dandelionwine

    (Book Spine Poetry)

    Light comes through
    along the beaten path
    finding what you didn’t lose –
    room to write.

    Sara Ramsdell

    I recently discovered this type of found poetry, and I’m now in love with the books on my shelves in a brand new way (and imagine local libraries!) It works best with a photo of the stacked books, but instead I’ll list the authors here in order:
    Dzigar Kongtrul
    Henry David Thoreau
    Mike Dickerman
    John Fox
    Bonni Godlberg

  132. Janet Rice Carnahan


    You are most cherished by poets, painters and those who love you
    Dreamers, creative souls who whisper endlessly into the night
    For them, life as they know it would simply be through
    If you packed up and disappeared, leaving their sight!

    If pessimism swallowed you whole right before their eyes
    Their own life might simply fade like a candle just blown out
    Maybe they wouldn’t be able to stop and get clear to realize
    To burn even brighter on their own going beyond that shadowy doubt

    Just becoming optimistic themselves, inviting inspiration to light their flame
    Saying no to other competitive sparks, allowing pessimism to effectively drown
    By distracting, overshadowing, burying, kicking away, reducing their creative spirit and name
    Instead taking the upward climb releasing negativity, fear and dread and turn it upside down

    Optimism must continue to inspire and be cherished, respected and loved fully
    Or pessimism could extinguish that fire becoming an effectively hard, cold bully!

  133. Bartholomew Barker

    Slouching Towards Oligarchy

    There is hope yet
    Despite corporations
    Spending untold money
    On other corporations
    To manipulate the masses
    Which the Supreme Court
    Rationalized as speech

    Despite the minority
    Withdrawing rights
    From the majority

    Despite the hyper-rich
    Withdrawing money
    From the country

    Despite all this
    There is hope yet

    The centre cannot hold
    When it goes hungry

    And the 1% of the 1%
    Have let so few crumbs fall
    The rough beast is awakening
    After eight decades
    Of stony sleep

  134. peacegirlout

    ANTology of an Optimist

    Ants are neither
    Optimists nor Pessimists.
    They do what is necessary
    To build a home which fits
    Into the world they live in.

    Something bigger will come

    The Earth is not the center of the Universe.
    We are not on the top of the food chain.
    There are no glasses left,
    Just a million big bangs.

    Something bigger will come

  135. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Love potions” (optimistic)

    It’s midnight every day at the celebration
    of lovers Raising a glass to rapturous rosy lips
    Ringing in each hour with champagne potions of love.

    “Eternal” (pessimistic)

    It’s midnight every day in the lament of
    a liar Pedaling pity drugs into the eternal flood
    of sympathy-seeking through searing lips.

  136. Cameron Steele

    last write-thru!!!

    Half Glass

    i called myself a writer
    long before my words won
    me recognition or money
    and it was weird cuz
    when i finally got both
    in fifth grade(!) after my
    essay on “what optimism
    means to me” i spent
    the next night not
    sleeping and the next
    one telling mom
    “sometimes I wish I had
    a gun and” it was sad
    cuz i never got to
    finish my sentence she
    cried so hard and i forgot
    to write about it in my diary
    which is funny cuz i
    spent the last 26 years
    trying to finish that one line
    and wondering why
    i call myself a writer(?)

  137. Cameron Steele

    Half Glass

    i called myself a writer
    long before my words won
    me recognition or money
    and it was funny cuz
    when i finally got both
    in fifth grade(!) after
    essay on “what optimism
    means to me” I spent
    the next night not
    sleeping and the next
    one telling mom
    “sometimes I wish I had
    a gun and” it was weird
    cuz I never got to
    finish my sentence she
    cried so hard and I forgot
    to write about it in my diary
    which is funny cuz i
    spent the last 26 years
    trying to finish that one line
    and wondering why
    i call myself a writer(?)

  138. Hannah

    Claiming One’s Wings

    Wings folded do not grasp wind,
    wind stirred is only spoken in chimes.
    Chimes speak of captivity and freedom,
    freedom for the caged company of birds;
    birds are held motionless within cold metal ribs.
    Ribs must release, must miraculously crack –
    crack to free feathered beauty of wings.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  139. lshannon

    Hero of Hope

    You tell yourself a thousand tales
    some happy and some better
    left un-thought and un-uttered.
    Your story, your path
    into the forest and out of the woods

    You can be hero or villain
    victim, varmint, or bystander.
    Making choices at every turn
    Castles or dungeons
    prisoner, rescuer, gaoler?

    My plot twists from now
    full cup, brimming
    overflowing messily across
    time and opportunity.
    Making tapestries of joy.

  140. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Launching a kite,
    Takes the same trusted optimism
    As sending out the written word

    The writer feels inspired
    Drawn to crafting a written piece
    Moved by what they feel
    Touched by something real
    Tuning into their heart

    Full of optimism,
    Feeling if it speaks to them
    Others will be touched too

    Gathered, chosen words
    Once decided
    Carrying a life of their own
    Just like a kite,
    Prepared with string
    Attached to a hand
    Poised with pen

    Finding the best current upward
    Released into the wide open space
    Leaving the safety of the writer’s lone place
    Fluttering beyond the blue background
    Lifting off the pages
    After being brought to life

    Now comes the moment of trust
    A must
    As the words catch wind
    The brightly colored and well crafted kite
    Of words and artistry sets sail

    The writer watches as it flies
    Beyond the known window
    To where life takes it
    Full of optimistic thoughts
    As if that alone will lift it
    Hopeful their writing
    May just be carried up
    Higher and higher
    Each time
    They trust it to speak
    To the heart of another

    And to their dismay
    Knowing it may
    They can see before their eyes
    A dip in the current
    A shift in the wind
    An end to the breeze,
    Making the kite fall to its knees

    Again feeling the defeat
    Another disappointment complete
    Signs of no uplifting air
    As their written kite begins its downward descent
    Sent falling back down
    About to hit the ground
    Biting the proverbial dust
    Any trust
    A bust!

    Leaving their heart dangling
    On a string

    Until the next compilation of images
    Is again sent skywards

    Such is the optimism of words!

    1. lshannon

      I loved this passage.

      Gathered, chosen words
      Once decided
      Carrying a life of their own
      Just like a kite,
      Prepared with string
      Attached to a hand
      Poised with pen

  141. jclass527


    Here is what the leaves know:
    sparrows cannot encompass the world in their wide – armed flight.
    They soar over children who walk through town with
    stones in their pockets and loose elastic mouths hung low ,
    perch on street lamps and watch the sun go down behind the heads
    of two lovers nuzzling under an oak tree, trying to relight the fire
    in each other’s dead eyes, with wet lip matches and burnt kindling,
    watch over a woman who flips her stomach inside out over a white basin,
    and the birds whisper that with this they have seen a full life lived.
    In the afternoons they wander over cities, lay back on tree fronds
    and claim they see God in the clouds, tell the leaves that He
    is what the sun is to them. They say that both speak through the
    white light on a blue day. The leaf sees an empty life in the clouds.
    The sparrows see an origami swan unfolding into nothing more
    than a sheet of veins bleeding, an ugly duckling
    screaming that it used to be beautiful.

    – Jessenia Class

  142. Pat Walsh

    PAD poem 22:

    Upbeat and Downbeat
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    upbeat and downbeat were playing
    baseball in a green lush field
    upbeat said I’ll make a hit
    and hurry home
    downbeat said if you try it
    I’ll throw a stone

    upbeat and downbeat were trading
    licks in a hot jazz band
    upbeat said take it pal
    and make it sing
    downbeat said I’d rather
    just do my own thing

    upbeat and downbeat were eating
    a nice meal
    upbeat said the chicken salad
    is really great
    downbeat said I won’t allow
    it on my plate

    upbeat and downbeat were drinking
    in a crowded club at night
    upbeat said you know I’ve always
    liked you a bunch
    downbeat said me too — wait!
    I must be really drunk

    upbeat and downbeat were sitting
    on a bench
    upbeat said so you like me too
    after all these years
    downbeat said nothing
    and slowly began to disappear

    upbeat and downbeat were briefly
    but upbeat missed downbeat
    when he wasn’t around
    and downbeat for his part
    without upbeat felt down

    upbeat and downbeat are together
    once more
    upbeat a little less upbeat
    his optimism less stark
    downbeat now chastened
    a little less dark

  143. Ravyne

    The Glass

    I filled the glass full when I was a teenager
    and drank and drank until it was half-empty
    Sometimes I would begin to fill it
    only to have liquid leak out
    and run down the front of my shirt
    It left a permanent coffee stain
    until I was in my mid-twenties
    and as a magic trick
    I learned to place my hand
    over the top of the glass, turn it upside down
    and leave it on the table half-full
    It was quite a balancing act
    the slightest movement could upset the glass
    and out would pour the liquid
    or someone would come by and rip
    the glass off of the table
    but I knew how to set it right again
    until my late thirties
    My balancing act fell all apart
    my glass shattered to the floor
    and I couldn’t set things right again
    My glass wasn’t half-full or half-empty
    it was nonexistent — I was nonexistent
    I felt worthless and all through my forties
    Now as my forties are coming to a close
    I’ve discovered a very small wine glass
    and I am trying to balance it like before
    the liquid keeps leaking, the table rocks
    but it is staying half-full

    Copyright 2014
    Lori Carlson

  144. miaokuancha

    April 22, 2014

    Prompt: optimistic / pessimistic

    The glass is always full.
    Water of soul and air of spirit
    Each in their respective measure fill it.
    In spring the frozen waters melt
    From high places flowing down,
    Follow down,
    Into the earth
    And out to sea
    Follow down.
    Seep into the damp, dark places,
    Find the roots of trees,
    Be pulled back
    up again.
    As the waters swelled,
    So swell the buds,
    Red in leaf and flower,
    Opening into solar rays.
    Follow down,
    Into the estuaries and bays
    Out to open ocean
    Where fish swim free.
    In spring the air arises
    Heralds changes
    Called by length of day.
    Walk the bridge above the highway
    And let the wind blow through your hair.

    ~ miaokuancha

  145. Stephanie Geckle

    The Pessimist

    Ever the optimistic fellow,
    the pessimist grins.
    He’s got big dreams 
    and hopes
    to fail.
    He knows he wins.

    The Optimist

    Ever the pessimistic fellow,
    the optimist cries.
    He sees the empty
    cup and adds 
    Always, he tries.

  146. Brian Slusher


    Something smells, so I take out
    the garbage and hope it disappears,
    a sourness lingering, and maybe
    it’s just the History Channel reruns,
    Cold War replaying in the Ukraine
    or chemical weapons aired again
    in Syria, there’s a subtle stench,
    and the deck is slanting, though
    the intercom is shouting STAY
    I get to the trash can feeling like
    I should crawl into the bag but
    on top of the lid sits the ugliest
    opossum, hissing and squawking,
    his white face heart-shaped,
    his pink nose glowing in the night,
    his eyes huge, soulful, a strawberry
    we tossed earlier in his paws.
    He’s unsure of me, but he’s got
    a sure grip on that sweet morsel
    and I back away, and the air
    that grips my lungs seems fresh,
    delicious, precious.

  147. annell

    Your Cup Runneth Over
    I have driven these roads
    Many times before
    I did not understand
    Why I saw you fly
    Along the highway

    Your great wings extended
    From west to east
    And back again
    I saw you
    All along the way

    It is simple
    Animals are killed
    On the highway
    And that is where you feed
    Keeping watch for fresh kill

    You dip
    You dive
    You glide
    And fly
    You will feed again
    You will feed on the bloody highway
    It is only a matter of time
    Your cup runneth over

  148. Julieann

    Grace Under Fire

    Greet the day with a smile on your face
    And a hearty good morning to all
    It ushers in a day of love and grace
    With strength to meet each call

    Take time to smell the roses
    To pause along the way
    This quiet moment a solution poses
    Allowing problems to bend and sway

    And yet life has a way of butting in
    Upon the most serene
    Planning its victory, its way to win
    With its power to turn one mean

    Imposing its unpleasantness
    Its harsh reality it shows
    But through its contentiousness
    A positive spirit grows

    So great each day with a smile on your face
    And a hearty good morning to all
    That way you’ll be the recipient of grace
    When obstacles come to call

  149. Daniel Paicopulos

    Pluses and Minuses

    We planted our vegetable garden early this year,
    hoping for a warm march and a slightly warmer April,
    not like in the deserts of Palm Springs and Las Vegas,
    where a warm April is welcomed and feared at once,
    with the knowledge of the price paid for a beautiful spring,
    being a little something called summer.
    We tore out the grapes, not because we didn’t have faith in them,
    but because we knew the raccoons would eat them before we did,
    and they’d wake the cats in the middle of the night,
    and the cats would wake us,
    and then nobody would get back to sleep.
    We tore out the roses since they only bloom a little
    And they make me bleed,
    and require expensive feed.
    We tore out the big greenery since the drought is likely to continue,
    and we’d be faced with a hurtful water bill,
    and everything would die because we don’t want to be hurt.
    We planted cacti and succulents,
    and we like them a lot, because they’ll live forever,
    and yet they cost so much, the nicer ones, oh dear.
    We planted stones and granite.
    We have no hopes and dreams for them.
    We just hope a big wind doesn’t come through
    and throw sand at our new windows,
    did I mention how much THOSE cost?

  150. Kendall A. Bell

    This is actually an optimistic poem, from the viewpoint of the subject, believe it or not.

    If you’re gonna go, go big

    I save what I discard in bottles
    and hide them in my dresser,
    in my closet and under the bed.
    I can feel the cells leaving me
    every day. I am become translucent,
    transcendent. I don’t need the
    mirror anymore. I have never felt
    better about myself than now,
    as I watch purple circles form
    around my eyes. I don’t even need
    clothes anymore. I pass through
    air and space so light of foot,
    so full of grace. This is my last
    ballet and I will arabesque to my
    last breath, smiling as I pass.

  151. ToniBee3

    “Lady Daffodil”

    she pluck-strums her
    secondhand ukulele
    on the transit stop bench
    they perceive her as crazy
    …but she’s filled with daffodils

    she wraps her fissured heels
    with shredded tabloid sheets
    and strolls the town square
    for plastics or eats
    …and she’s filled with daffodils

    she pulls the spring weed
    and empathizes with it well
    ‘cause it too has been shunned
    it too has been failed
    …still she’s filled with daffodils

    she blankets her tattered twill
    around a another dispossessed
    another mourning heart
    that needs to be blessed
    …thus she shares her daffodils

  152. DanielAri


    on I-40 outside Rolla, either Alice or I started losing our shit
    a little at a time over the unfairness of it, how I had to bring
    home the bacon. No, she said, I bring it home, and the eggs
    and the rest of the groceries. F: Because you’re home all
    day. A: And you think I’m sitting around watching TV? It
    takes a lot to clean up after a man like you, a teenager,
    and two dogs, you know. F: Lil’s only there part time
    and anyway you only cook once or twice a week and
    the rest of the time I’m swinging by Delaney’s for
    sandwiches. You knew my daughter came with
    me, said Alice. Part of the deal, which still
    isn’t official—holding up her naked ring-
    finger knuckle. You can get out when
    you want to. I just might—I didn’t
    say that because at that very
    moment, I realized we hadn’t
    eaten since Oklahoma City.
    Let’s get some lunch,
    I said, pulling off.
    St. Louis can
    wait a little


  153. Cin5456

    Lyrid Meteor Shower

    Wait with me – will you? –
    with your arms around me.
    Hold me tight if I shiver
    in the cold night, though,
    when the magic happens
    I won’t notice a Spring chill.
    There – a streak in the east,
    the first one tonight.
    And another up there.
    Did you miss it?
    Meteor showers amaze me.
    Those random streaks across the sky
    remind me this universe is still new,
    despite its age from our vantage.
    Yet it is far older than we can imagine,
    so we need not fear the galaxy, our sun, this planet
    will forget how to keep on spinning.
    Space/Time marches on –
    things happen, good and bad.
    The difference between an old universe
    and a new one is only in how you
    consider the possibilities.
    Are we infants or pioneers?

    by Cynthia Page

  154. AleathiaD

    Best of All Possible Worlds

    This morning the air
    is crisper than it’s been
    in days.

    The sun is hidden
    behind a blanket of clouds
    spitting light rain.

    The dog will be
    cheerful to find
    mud and his appetite.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 22 Optimism

    Elevating Will Above Reason

    Rainy days remind me of Seattle
    and the life I could’ve had.

    It speaks to the path less traveled,
    the adventure, a free woman’s heart.

    The rain is different here.

    It harbors oppression
    like a slave
    on the Underground Railroad,
    but inherently leery of strangers.

    I have spent countless hours
    imagining the woman I should’ve been
    in a place where people felt I mattered.

    There is no going back,
    no receding to the winds of change.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 22 Pessimism

  155. Ashley Marie Egan

    So far I’ve only written an “optimistic”, but if I have more time I’ll write a “pessimistic” one too.

    A Fresh Start
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    With the hope of having a chance
    All my senses start to enhance
    My little feet begin to tingle,
    Because of my endless happy dance.

    With a new place to start,
    Perhaps there will be an ease in my heart,
    That could revive my dying strength,
    And force my pesky fears to depart,

    Within my reach beams,
    All my precious lifelong dreams,
    They fill my tiny bones with hope,
    For nothings as impossible as it seems.

  156. Gammelor

    Today is a Tuesday, and you know what that means: Two for Tuesday Prompts! Write one, write the other, and/or write both!
    • Write an optimistic poem. The glass is half full.
    • Write a pessimistic poem. The glass is half empty.

    You worry that the roof will leak
    with every rain, and it will rain
    every night from dusk to dawn.
    I say we can patch the roof
    and turn it into flower garden.

    For every day the sun will shine
    on soil well-watered overnight;
    orange canna will glow like flame
    above a billow of spiderwort,
    chartreuse leaves and cobalt blooms.

    Gammelor Goodenow

  157. DanielAri

    “White medic”

    —For Sid Jurman

    In Rio, nobody wanted to practice
    Portuguese or medicine. I can’t blame them.
    My work was their vacation. And narcotic.
    But I was young, committed to more than games,
    so I got myself transferred to Xotlotec

    in the Amazon where white skins never came.
    I awed and tickled them, shared my medicine.
    They gaily nicknamed me Doctor Chamberpot
    because once when their itinerant midwife
    was gone, they asked me to lie in the crevice

    and catch the newest native of the jungle.
    I was positioned wrong, directly under
    the gateway. When I saw the crown, I fainted.
    Mother’s soils and waters splashed my face, waking
    me in time to put my arms up and cushion

    that baby girl’s drop. Everyone laughed like mad—
    even more in than Rio, we laughed so hard.


  158. Domino


    She rolled down her window to
    catch some of that fresh spring air
    (and probably a load of pollen with it)
    and as the wind whipped through her car
    it snatched the five-dollar bill that
    was in her cup holder and whisked
    it away through the window. She snatched
    at it, missed, and swerved to stay in her
    own lane. Darn, she thought. No
    drive-through breakfast today. Just her luck.
    Was God trying to tell her she was too fat?
    Scowling, she continued her drive to work.

    He huddled in his worn coat, hoping the sun
    would warm things a little faster. Winter
    was over at last, but spring was still too
    chilly for someone who sleeps outside.
    Something caught his eye, a piece of paper
    whirling in the air, and falling, right in front of him.
    His dog strained her lead to capture it,
    wagging her tail, and she brought it to him.
    It was a five-dollar bill, still soggy with her
    saliva, but it was a godsend. They would
    both eat today. Smiling, he and his dog
    huddled on sunny bench.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  159. Jezzie

    I hope that someone here has noticed
    that my wine glass is half empty
    and comes along to fill it.
    I’m hoping I’ll get more
    before they run out,
    although it looks
    like they have

    wine glass
    really is
    almost half full
    but I doubt if they
    will fill it up again
    before their supply runs out.
    There do not seem to be enough
    bottles left for everyone here.

  160. Joseph Harker

    Ten of Swords
    (from a gay tarot)

    Blood blackens the syringe with which the boy
    tickles one crooked arm. The artist suggests defeat
    and entrapment
    with grey-brown light. Storms flicker
    in and out of the stripped bedroom where I read.
    Rosaries hang round the boy’s bare neck, each one
    heavy with its reddish cruciform charm. I’ve seen
    how tantalizing desperate hope can be. I watched it
    steal into this house, wild-eyed and beautiful, nets
    drawn to catch the one I mustn’t name. Not this boy:
    painted shaven-headed and deadened to the spike’s
    cold alarm. All his other needles embed floorboards
    as though being stuck fast was a children’s game.
    The other, whose room this is, thought he would quit
    when he pleased. Although, he shaved his head too
    that day his voice cracked as he said his hair was
    full of gnats. That was before the priests and doctors
    and well-intentioned came. Emptiness is the arroyo
    through which other hopes are squeezed. How they test
    my patience like the long-unused dishes, the hanging wires,
    the droppings of rats.

  161. Cin5456

    (Here’s another humor poem. A [clueless] optimist writes to her college-age son.)

    News From Home

    We enjoyed your visit last week, my dear.
    It’s going to be a long college year
    without you on the couch drinking beer.
    Here’s the news from around here.

    I learned yesterday that your uncle is sick.
    I’m sure he’ll pull through real quick.
    I have faith, but I’m told it’s quite serious.
    I didn’t know he was delirious
    when he tried to strangle my cat,
    but I forgave him after I put away the bat.

    Your little sister ran away from home,
    and was gone for a week with someone new,
    (She said he has a cockatoo)
    but she came to her senses after the tattoo.
    I think it’s cute – a mermaid in sea foam.

    Your father nearly died on the road last week.
    He broke his arm and he’s still stiff,
    but a tree broke his fall from the cliff.
    (Next time maybe he’ll notice when his brakes squeak.)

    Your brother in DC was under scrutiny,
    but I told the FBI he’s a good boy, and listens to me.
    He would never collaborate with spies.
    Everything that foreigner said was lies.

    I almost forgot to let you know
    your package came from Mexico.
    It’s larger than I expected it would be.
    I wondered about the genus of this tree.

    Don’t worry about your odd tree.
    Your roommates will thank me
    when it comes into bloom.
    It needed some air and more room,
    so I set it on the front porch rugs.
    and used Roundup to prevent bugs.

    Please come home soon if you can.
    I’d like you to talk to a nosy man
    who’s living in his car on our street.
    He should move, or be more discreet.
    Ciao for now,
    Love, Mom

    By Cynthia Page

  162. Joseph Harker

    The Star
    (from a gay tarot)

    We don’t need anything so common as the night bather
    depicted here. Our peace and joy gleam brightest in winter
    when we orbit round each other. We prefer the urban park
    with hills to sled, shared breath making December steam.
    This bather, perfectly dark and lithe, pours mountain water
    over his body, into the mere. On the banks the whip-poor-will
    croons and whistles trust! beauty! dream! But we’ve never
    even been camping, or skinny-dipped in such places, preferring
    a doubled curl by the fire. I show you the curved perfection of
    this card’s nude crowned with a low Orion. You admit that
    inspiration springs from strange corners, and we lay out
    our scheme. A person who denies considering other partners
    is lying. If you, or I, crossed that painted horizon alone,
    we’d race through the mud to seize the chance. Opportunity
    must not be ignored, and we both have so much love to give.
    We draw up systems and flowcharts as the days grow dark
    early, letting the notion of a third guy in. Our relationship
    can survive a more liberal stance. Causal and casual,
    calm and serene: who’d dare deny this can work or say this is
    no way to live?

  163. James Brush


    Inside a shell, there was a sea
    holding all the world’s blue waters.
    But it was also half full of drought.

    All she’d ever known was drought,
    but ear to the shell, she heard the sea,
    the circling cadence of the waters.

    Caroline released the waters
    and left a shell now full of drought
    and threw it deep into the sea.

    Sea waters stall the birth of drought.

  164. Jacqueline Casey

    “Thirty-Five Miles Per Hour”

    The Winter’s gone, blue-bonnets poke their head
    among a broken fence-line, near a sign.
    Blue ground now hallowed, they will bloom, instead,
    in wild confusion for those hearts who pine.

    For those who do not see the need for pause;
    for those who do not heed the gift of life.
    “Put pedal to the metal” seems a clause;
    a saying they would live by as their right.

    Below her bonnet grieves an innocent;
    a wide-eyed angel on her way to school.
    She had so brief a moment to confront
    the jagged bumper of the speeding fool.

    So, Spring is here; blue-bonnets shake their beds;
    a heaven-haloed sky for one who’s dead.

  165. rachelgrace

    My Glasses

    Going down the highway
    Seeing the street lights fade in the mirror
    I came across a moon that was low in the sky
    Days of wonder passed me by
    All alone in this the end of my world
    I prayed to find my memories……

    Always laughing she would stand in the sun
    Background of yellow, blue and white
    Flashes of orange and pink
    Looking toward me
    Always smiling
    She saw my glasses full of wonderment
    She would tell me to follow her
    Where? I never knew.

    I adjusted my mirror
    The moon beckoned the sun to shine
    Time for me to keep going
    Into what was left of the night

  166. madeline40

    Optimistic Poem(140 character Twitter length)

    Open my second chakra
    to happiness and joy
    Deepak says.
    Think happy thoughts, say yes
    and happy flows in.
    Too good to be true?
    Well, why not try?

  167. lethejerome


    In crisscrossed monologues ignorant of the world
    You ask questions of it that weave and elevate
    You’ve stood unforgiving at every gate and dock
    You hear Louis Armstrong’s voice in the melody
    Reveled, marveled in pains, celebrated the word
    You memorize clauses, recite their prosody
    Scraped your knees on cushions, found sparse comfort on rocks
    You’ll find the cracks for light, the life to incubate:

    Jérôme Melançon

  168. David Walker

    Pondering Apocalypse

    Now this is not as heavy as it sounds.
    I am simply weighing the pros and cons
    of a world void of electricity, life, and
    incessant Facebook updates about
    your babies. On the one hand, it’s pretty
    final for us humans. We had a good go
    of it by some’s standards, but apocalypse,
    in the sense that I am thinking, would be
    the traumatic shaking and subsequent
    dropping of the Etch-A-Sketch. Picture
    erased, all sand pooling on the garage
    floor – no one would ever be able to
    figure out what we were all so proud of.
    But, on the other hand, we would be
    cleansed of all the self-involvement
    that makes any trip to the mall excruciating.
    No more overhearing convos about
    the best new angle to take a selfie
    or what it meant when that guy breathed
    in her general direction or the intricate
    subtleties or what does or does not,
    in the opinions of the youth male,
    make this or that girl a whore. Or
    better yet, no more of me wondering
    why the word ‘selfie’ wasn’t met with
    the red underline on my word processor.
    See? There are many sides of this
    awful, awful jigsaw puzzle to take
    into consideration. Guess I’ll just
    just ask Twitter.

  169. Connie Inglis

    Half-empty or Half-full?

    affects life choices;
    speaks of doubt,
    skepticism, reliance
    solely on me–I.

    check–brain switch;
    glass half-full
    speaks of trust,
    in a faithful Creator–
    world seen in new Light.

  170. CLShaffer

    What We Lose Rarely Comes Back by C. Lynn Shaffer
    For Elizabeth Bishop (1934-1979)

    but sometimes it does.
    Just yesterday, a folded up twenty
    in the pocket of a windbreaker
    I hadn’t worn since last year.
    The month before, an earring
    I’d given up for gone
    returned inside a shoe!

    I’ve lost countless fish to the mystery
    of ponds and lakes,
    felt the lovely weight let go
    and reeled in my empty hooks,
    but so many I’ve gleaned,
    admiring each one
    before letting it go,
    the slick eyes, the red gills
    opening like a bellows.

    As a child I once found a little ring,
    what looked like gold with an emerald chip,
    kept a while then released
    back to the world of temporary things.
    This was the same year
    my father’s absence became predictable

    but walking through ankle-high grass
    in the cool evening as deer come out
    I have Papa Walt and Aunt Elizabeth
    their words thick as a just-cut field,
    as the algae a fish breaks through.

  171. TomNeal

    The Mark

    For every dream that I can make,
    There are twenty that I must take.

    A green mark means that you are in,
    And a red one means- for the bin.

    How much better are those we choose,
    Not much better than those we loose.

    When the mark is green I have hope,
    But if it is red, no I don’t.

    1. TomNeal

      The Mark

      For every dream that I can make,
      There are twenty that I must take.

      A green mark means that you are in,
      And a red one means- for the bin.

      How much better are those we choose?
      Not much better than those we loose.

      When the mark is green I have hope,
      But if it is red, no I don’t.

  172. Walt Wojtanik


    Where there’s hope,
    there’s facial hair. Faces
    that are bare are nowhere
    in the running. If they were
    gunning for the prize
    you’d be surprises to have
    a clean shaven hockey maven.
    It’s not too tough to grow
    a cheek full of scruff.
    As for me, I like a goatee,
    and some guys look weird
    with a full, down-to-here beard.
    The longer teams stay in the game,
    the longer beards grow all the same.
    Where there’s a way, hope is there,
    so do not shave your facial hair!

  173. MaryAnn1067

    Going On

    “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

    sitting on the rubbish heap,
    pouring out the dregs of
    tea so that they puddle
    at your feet, the sun
    reflected in the murkiness of brown
    liquid muted, so
    that you can stare at it
    without fear of injury–
    generator of all good things–the
    flowers born out of the
    pile of pig manure, stinking
    to high heaven,
    wiping it from your shoes
    as you go on
    and on and on

  174. Monique


    So many times I let someone in
    So many times I felt something begin
    So many times I hoped love could win
    And end up hurting

    Men always came and left me behind
    Abandoned and abused and losing my mind
    Love’s rollercoaster stopped with a grind
    And ends with hurting

    How can I take chances?
    How can I put my heart at risk again
    If all that I get is hurt in the end?

    It hurts when I’m lonely, but I like “alone”
    Alone is with me when my dreams are dethroned
    Better to be with the devil you know
    Than end up hurting

    I’d rather hide and run away
    Than believe in finding love again
    I’d rather be alone for the rest of my days
    Than start out hopeful and end in pain

    Take out my heart,
    keep it locked up
    Away and apart
    Maybe I’d find
    The strength to be
    so happy
    to be so

    So many times that I’ve loved and I’ve lost
    So many times that I’ve counted the cost
    So many times that my heart has been tossed
    And nothing can change the past
    Nothing can change my mind
    I have loved my last
    So why am I still hurting?

  175. Taylor Emily Copeland

    For Amber

    Most days, I wish for your brand
    of bravado as you broadcast your
    failures, your tears, your pictures
    of half empty bottles on Facebook
    and never apologize for any of it.
    Your face is an alabaster cloud.
    Your words rip open my sides,
    make me feel more than I want to.
    To you, I say this:
    No part of your life has been wasted,
    over-thinking will never leave you
    broken hearted. We sometimes want
    what’s unattainable, if only for
    the fact that we deserve nothing more
    than absolute adoration.
    And you do.

  176. Lori DeSanti

    Dandelion Decree

    Today I choked on dandelion pollen,
    walked right into the path of a small
    girl holding a long, green stem that
    she plucked, without asking, from the
    earth. She blew with lips puckered,
    creating a sand storm with her mouth
    until the neck was bent and she had
    left it bald, each tiny fur tussling with
    the wind until they landed right in
    front of my un-suspecting mouth.

    This happened once before, the same
    park, a different girl in a floral dress
    uprooting all of the dandelions, white
    as the Mary Jane’s she skipped away
    from me in. As the thin bristles cart-
    wheeled like little chicken feet inside
    my throat, I wished I just went jogging
    at the gym. I wonder what she wished
    for, if it was worth my grief, or better,
    if the rules would allow you to steal a
    wish from someone else’s dandelion.

  177. PKP

    Sand Castle

    “Don’t build your sand
    castle near the water”
    she cawed cigarette
    dangling from her lips
    “It’ll get washed away”
    But the child drizzled
    sweet wet sand into
    turrets and placed a
    bright tiny red flag at the
    top – dug a trench and
    dropped shells into the
    gathered water and
    watched as the bit of banner
    waved in the late afternoon
    breeze and the shells
    sank shimmering in
    the setting sun
    and the child sat
    and watched as
    the inevitable tide
    crept and licked at
    the sides and did not
    cry when the castle
    began to tilt
    knowing that all
    castles eventually

    and as her mother
    lit a cigarette and
    packed the blankets
    she let her chiding
    “You see?!!”
    melt into the cawing
    of seagulls

    And walking from
    the beach dragging
    her plastic pail and
    shovel she knew with
    the certainty of the coming
    dark – better to have
    had that castle of
    drizzled- arc beauty
    returned to the sea
    than create a bunker
    sturdy and arid
    built for a bit longer
    only to be kicked to

    1. drnurit

      I love this, Pearl, and – again – building sand castles has been one of my favorite metaphors for living fully, in spite, and this poem paints it so tenderly… So glad for the privilege of walking along the road of in spiting with you…

  178. uneven steven

    It’s a rule in the house
    you have to say you believe in the Easter Bunny
    in order to get any Easter Candy.
    Being 12 years old, you’re hip to the game now –
    chocolate still a strong incentive
    to cling to your childhood for at least one more year.
    I tell you I stopped believing when I was eight years old
    and how do I know
    because ever since then I’ve never received another
    Easter Basket.
    You text for help saying I’m from the dark side
    trying to tempt you away from the light.
    Of course, I say, I am your Father –
    the world is a dark and dangerous place
    and it’s my job to prepare you for it.
    But I’m secretly glad every year
    just to watch you lying to us
    and yourself for a little while
    that the world is indeed a place full of hidden treasures
    if only you’re able to convince yourself
    to just keep looking.

  179. beachanny

    Ranting and Raving 4.22.14

    Supreme court has overturned affirmative action!
    Hail the lucky few who received an education in
    that short loop of time. Jim Crow again on the rise.

    Last night Dallas police shot dead a man without
    trying to disarm him. Misogynists elected to every
    position in Texas government. The worst offender
    an hispanic named Ted Cruz, not born in the U.S.
    grandstanding in hope of running for President.

    Equal pay for equal work is being sent down the
    drain. Women and children need to work long
    hours because they don’t deserve to be treated
    well. They never should have such rights (women
    should be denied the vote because their brains
    are addled by menstruating).

    It’s time to end it and praise Jesus because it’s
    Christianity that built the Republic.
    (Have these people heard of the Federalist
    Papers … NO), and yet they have been elected to office!
    Why? Because education has gone to crap! When?
    Since I left school. We thought it was just OK in the 60s.
    By the 80s a decent education was barely achieved
    in moneyed school districts (yeah the suburban ones like
    Plano and Richardson and Highland Park) the rest got
    the minimum which anyone with a junior high education
    could have provided.

    Are we safer now, (of course not).
    Because guns are in nine of ten houses in Texas.
    People are scared of other people with guns (and
    of course guns don’t kill people, people do). Well I say
    people with guns kill people and men, women, children,
    judges, housewives, secretaries, store clerks, and
    teachers are packing.

    One could live in anger, or fear,
    or buy a gun and train to kill, or do what I do.
    Stay in at night, avoid crowded places, try not to stand
    out, keep my eyes down and move as quickly as
    possible. So far I haven’t been targeted. But it may
    be luck because it’s a dangerous world in this state.

    It was built on greed, (yes they are fracking under my
    house) and it continues, and on a pioneering (leave me
    the hell alone and I’ll do the same for you) spirit which was
    fine when you were the only family in a fifty mile radius.
    But we can’t sustain this lifestyle when bedroom communities
    like mine have grown from 35K to a million and a half, a town
    that courts the nation with the Cowboy stadium, and the Ranger
    stadium, and Six Flags — but only builds twelve hotels and
    has no mass transit at all! (It might bring those black folks
    in which they used to call something else and still do at home
    in front of the TV). Of course the fools haven’t figured out that
    black people (remember just a few got really good educations
    during that period when schools couldn’t get around it
    (even though the KKK descendants who were college presidents)
    still had to follow the rules of Affirmative Action!). Those few black folks
    have sent their children to college now, have had children, and
    they too drive cars – nice ones (yeah they’re uppity,
    aren’t they?) They can handle those mortgages (even if the
    realtors jack up the prices) and they will live among us.
    They have strength! They’ve fought the good battle and by the
    will of people who live on the coasts one day, one fine day this state, too,
    will understand the principles of the founding fathers. They could start
    by voting the racists, misogynists, and arrogant hypocrites
    out of office. Then, perhaps, the people of this state will
    deserve to be a state in the United States of America.

  180. PKP

    Laughter and Tears

    Comics and Poets

    There are those who
    exult in the laughter
    they draw with silver
    tongues and clever words
    There are those who
    exult in the tears
    they extract as aloe
    from cacti
    who decides?
    who decides?

  181. Von Rupert

    Lab Work by Von Rupert

    They test his protein,
    his calcium,
    his white cell count.
    I test his wit,
    his deep belly laugh,
    the strength of his hand tucked around mine.
    They see the engine,
    The high gas mileage.
    I see his wings,
    So beautiful in flight.

  182. PKP

    Que Sera Sera – Or Rag-Time Blues

    My mother sang
    on her bony knees –
    rear high in the air
    waggling in time
    to her off-key tune
    washing the floors
    until they were
    mirrors under our
    careful feet
    a joyful beat
    Until that otherwise
    unremarkable day
    when an accidental
    angle brought her
    face fully realized
    and her up- to -then
    invisible tears seen
    falling silently into the
    sop- soapy rag

  183. Joseph Hesch

    When We Met, This Morning

    When we met, this morning,
    you smelled of rain. I thought,
    “Here we go again.” Lately,
    we’ve been so intimate,
    your rain on my face, wind
    down my shirt, the squish
    of you in my clothes, your
    cold touch my everyday.
    You’re always passing through,
    going somewhere else, north
    south or east. Almost never west.
    Wonder why…

    I always wanted to go west
    when I was young. But I always
    stayed here, doing nothing,
    yet crawling eastward,
    all the while going nowhere
    but old beneath sun’s glare or
    coquettish stare behind some
    veils of clouds. So red-sky morning,
    with your rain-scented warning,
    since you’re going through anyway,
    take me with you when you go.
    Take me with you…

  184. nmbell

    What If…

    What if the sun refused to wake up tomorrow
    And the moon drowned in the sea
    What if the stars froze in place
    Ceased to trace the endless star paths

    What if the rain held itself back
    From the thirsty earth
    What if the rivers overflowed their banks
    Or worse, dried up altogether

    What if all the Wonder fled from the world
    Leaving only despair to flourish
    What if the Enchantment faded
    Leaving only Darkness in its place

    What if you ceased to love me
    And I shattered into crystal bits

    Nancy Bell 2014

  185. nmbell

    I Believe

    I believe the world I live in
    Is a place where Magic lives
    The Magic of a lover’s smile
    The Magic of my children’s lives

    I believe the world I live in
    If full of Miracles
    The Miracle of the turn of the Seasons
    The Miracle of sun and wind on golden prairie

    I believe the world I live in
    Is a Tapestry of Wonder
    The Tapestry of gorse and heather bloom
    The Tapestry of blue sea and white foam

    I believe the world I live in
    Is just where I need to be

    Nancy Bell 2014

  186. Nancy Posey


    She knows some people live their lives
    in one house, two at most—the childhood
    home, where the folks remain; the home
    of their own, that first admission
    of adulthood, room to raise a family,
    an attic made for filling, a giant swing
    set in the yard, perhaps a pool. The idea
    itself is comforting, though unfamiliar.
    Her own belongings have logged
    more hours in cardboard boxes
    and moving vans than attics. Nomads
    they are not, rarely venturing farther
    than ten miles down the road, the next
    in a long line of houses become homes.
    Each move, she always swears will be
    the last, knowing before the taste
    of the words leaves her mouth it’s a lie.
    Each November, though, she plants
    bulbs, deep enough to wait out winter.
    Each spring, she visits the nursery
    and chooses perennials, knowing
    the chance they will bloom next year
    for someone who never dug this soil.

  187. Michelle Hed

    Thinking Counter-Clockwise to Your Thoughts

    I wrote a mad poem
    (I wrote a happy poem)
    full of blackness
    (full of light)
    and awful words.
    (and nice words.)

    Words I scribbled
    (Words I wrote)
    to show my anger
    (to show my happiness)
    and how bad I am.
    (and how good I am.)

    I am stomping my feet
    (I am skipping)
    my arms are crossed
    (my arms are flying)
    and there is a frown upon my face.
    (and there is a smile on my face.)

    My face is a sad, mad one
    (My face is a happy, happy one)
    because I didn’t get my way
    (because I shared with you)
    and I really wanted to.

  188. MichaelMcMonigle

    When does it stop?
    When does the swirl
    In my mind calm
    For focus?
    Does that focus fall?
    We derive from rebellion,
    Yet to enter we must follow.
    Defeat our own nature
    And accept direction.
    Once why is explained away
    Every thing should have place.

  189. aphotic soul

    Crimson Chaos
    by Paul Ryan

    Oh how twistedly funny it all seems,
    This dreary life mimics nothing more than a vividly torturous dream,
    Even as I search for meaning in this doomed abyss,
    I still think of that beautiful flower, the girl that I miss,
    But as my rhythmic mind betrays me, I hate the way it had made me,
    I still miss her gentle sweet kiss, And the happiness that had sparked into a bliss, But sadly that was just a hope filled dream,
    The true world is a harsh mistress it would seem,
    I cannot help but face, This poem is just a disgrace,
    It seems I’ve totally lost my taste, And I’ve put my mind to waste,
    So I’ll attempt to cure this thorough distaste,
    Though with poison my words are so luminously laced
    Puzzled with my writing style, I start to question if I’m in denial,
    Or am I simply putting myself on trial, I’ll never know for I am in a solitaire exile,
    I desire no longer to expose my heart on display,
    For all too often being that open ends up with dismay,
    Maybe it’s myself that I betray, or my heart’s atrophy as it slowly decays,
    I’m so conflicted with these feelings,
    I don’t know what to do with life’s dirty dealings,
    All I see is my heart burned and peeling, As I stare alone up at the blank ceiling,
    She was once in my bed, Now only imprisoned in head,
    These feelings of mine, so mortifyingly dead,
    My crimson heart, so thoroughly drained and bled,
    On my chest, her face would rest, But it all became such a mess,
    Blood stains on her pale white dress, A tainted lover’s corrupt caress,
    I feel so emotionally worn, It’s been this way since I was truly born,
    Not from the womb from which I was torn,
    But rather who I became after all the heartbreak and scorn,
    When women do appear, I’m afraid to even let them get near,
    So I drown the thoughts in vodka and beer, Until my sight is anything but clear,
    Just so it isn’t blurred by the tears, As it has been for years upon years,
    This eerie unbreaking silence, Is the foreshadowing of an impending violence,
    Blood stains on a barbed wire fence,
    Body and mind growing so strenuously tense,
    Needing so desperately to gain some distance,
    So tired of this world plagued with repeating consistence,
    Where’s the meaning in all of this? None of this was a problem before,
    This world is one I simply will not miss,
    As I journey my way closer towards life’s door,
    And as I frantically make a dash, These memories turn to dusty ash,
    For life is meant to come and pass, True love or just a naive lass,
    They’re both meant to stay buried in the past,
    Though try as I might they always will still last.

  190. jakkels


    It’s a beautiful day the sky is blue and spring is on its way. 

    The weather report predicted rain in all the nearby towns. 

    The sun shines warm  the birds are singing and the breeze blows gently too, It warms my bones and gladdens my heart , this I’ll have you know. 

    A fickle wind like a dark crow it could soon become a blow, hide the sun and chill your bones almost before you know. Look at the flowers peeping through the grass to welcome the hurrying spring. 

    Silly things the winter’s still here and the night’s chill will burn them dead. 

    Thanks for the chat but I really must go, my home is quite far ypu know. 

    I doubt you heard a word that I said, but go before you’re caught in the storm.  


  191. Michelle Hed

    When in Summer, We Long for Winter

    When everything is green –
    like the grass between your toes,
    the leaves of the trees where father takes a doze.

    The sky is so blue
    and the lake so clear
    and being outside is ever so dear.

    But while we’re at the beach
    building sand castles in the sand,
    you suddenly long for winter
    and I just don’t understand.

    You try to build a snowman
    or rather a sandman,
    right there on the beach
    but making a ‘sand’ fort
    is just out of reach.

    You make a sand angel
    but it’s just not the same,
    so you go back to building castles
    and playing a game.

    Just when I think
    it was all just a whim,
    you ask me for hot chocolate
    right after your swim.

  192. mandygirl238

    Towards the light

    The grief so powerful
    I can’t catch my breath
    Pain everywhere
    Mostly in my head

    Well meaning cliches
    Your love would want you
    Would want you to carry on
    But I still wish I were dead too

    Tiny steps
    Through the dark tunnel
    I wii go on
    I must go on

    To feel be warm
    and breathe again
    I will find life again

    The gravel crunches under my feet
    As I head toward the glimmering light
    There is light at the end of this dark tunnel.

    I reach to embrace it
    To feel its warmth again
    It’s too late to realize
    That light is a train!

  193. RJ Clarken

    Some Days

    “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

    Some days just seem brown and dreary,
    and I wonder how I can turn
    it all around. Some days I can’t,

    and my eyes feel bleary, teary,
    and I’m full of nerves and concern
    that my prospects appear but scant.

    That’s when, well, at least in theory,
    I see jonquils; I see a fern,
    I see daisies, a rose, a plant

    of any sort. Then, I’m cheery
    and a little less taciturn.
    Some days, tiny buds can enchant.

    When I feel a bit of dismay,
    I’ll perk up with a sweet nosegay.


  194. Eibhlin

    On Feeling Pessimistic About My Ability To Continue To Write A Poem A Day for ANOTHER EIGHT Days:

    This PAD’s getting weary, I find.
    It’s a terrible strain on my mind.
    I’m as dry as a bone.
    Good words I can’t hone.
    I’m reduced to a verse of this kind.

  195. mzanemcclellan

    I Hope – Not
    If you want to be
    a student of life,
    you do not need
    to study death,
    though that is the
    greatest of life’s enigmas.
    If you want to understand love,
    do not seek to understand hate,
    for hate is not love’s opposite,
    nor does it offer useful clues.
    Can we learn what it means to be wise
    by studying ignorance?
    Or do we begin to understand
    ignorance when we gain wisdom?
    Nothing in this physical realm is
    a simple dichotomy.
    All things embody portions of
    their opposites.
    Varying degrees of all
    that lies between the poles.
    For that reason I am both
    optimist and pessimist.
    For that reason I am neither.
    I like to keep it

    ~ M. Zane McClellan

    Copyright 2014
    M. Zane McClellan
    All rights reserved

  196. James Von Hendy

    Love Unabated

    We’re a family of men drawn to the beauty
    Of brooding, intelligent women. Look, they married us

    Too, a gift my youngest brother never saw coming,
    Bent to the ground in a turnip patch. His was

    The darkest seeing, black with despair, as if
    The world arrayed itself across from him at the line

    Of scrimmage where I would have bounded, afraid
    And allured, certain of living in the fierce glitter

    Of hearts frayed with worry, the sadness of love
    Unabated. He’d tell me it’s not who you are,

    But who you know, and I’d half agree, he who saw
    Nothing until he looked, I who looked terror

    In the eye and saw nothing but the infinite well
    Of beauty draw me down from the inside out.

    1. PressOn

      Woe. I read this several times, and still am afraid to say something that won’t sound trite, but this is masterful: it captured my emotions and led them along, up and down.

  197. Azma


    I took an empty lonesome glass
    and started filling it with water
    But however much i poured
    it wouldn’t go more than a quarter
    I gave up and decided
    the task was impossible to complete
    I didn’t even care to resolve
    that the leak could be sealed

    -Azma Sheikh

  198. shellcook

    I have recently discovered
    that I am a bit more of a mess
    than I thought I was.
    It came as a great surprise to me
    that I inhabit the life of a pessimist.

    Half empty or half full
    never really bothered me.
    I just wished for something more
    every day of my life.
    Then wondered why it did not come.
    Or if it did, it slipped away.

    Well I am a spiritual pessimist
    I might say,
    But aren’t these words mutually exclusive?
    I am shaken to the core.
    How can I, at this late stage,
    recover from the discover of my own

    Never enough or always some,
    could it be that I have found this blessed key
    to my own yearning personality?

    So, I suppose, this is the conundrum
    of my lifetime.
    I thank you sacred Spirit for allowing me the time
    to explore what that can mean
    to the evanescence of me.

  199. diedre Knight

    My attempt at a Two-fer :-)

    Breathe In…
    I propose a moment, stolen
    A spontaneous twirl in timeless rhythm
    trickling streams and crashing waves
    and sparrows in first flight
    Dare a peek and realize someone has let go
    and gone, too, are your training wheels
    Then ride into the setting sun
    where falling stars abound
    for the catching.

    Breathe Out…
    I suppose a piece of baby blue
    will one day swiftly fall
    and knock me to my knees,
    while a mangy fire-eyed mongrel
    races away on demon wings
    with my purse.
    I’ll of course, give chase in anger
    for which I’ll be promptly charged
    with assault.

    diedre Knight

  200. poetrycurator

    Here is my Optimistic and Pessimistic Poem for day 22

    Poetry Pending

    I’ve done the work, now what’s next?

    Searching for a magazine that fits my style;

    A publication that is open to young new writers.

    It’s quite a process.

    Write, re-write, revise, submit and wait.

    Hopefully the editor will acknowledge my submission.

    “Thanks for contacting us — your message has been received.”

    Keep Writing!

    On to the next publication.

    I’m optimistic the editor will like my poetry and want to publish my creative work.

    I look forward to the day they write me and say:

    “Your submission is under consideration for publication in an upcoming issue.”

    “Your poems have been accepted for publication.”

    Just what every poet wants to hear!

    Then there is the flip side—facing Rejection!

    Not to be Pessimistic, but…

    The publisher could very well say:

    “Your poetry does not fit our needs at this time.”

    “We regret to inform you that your submission was not selected for publication.”

    My list of rejections is expanding every day.

    But keep trying!

    “We really do hope you’ll keep sending new work as it’s ready.”


    Did you follow the guidelines?

    Be patient. Good things take time.

    Keep Writing!

    On to the next publication.

    “Thanks for continuing to share your work.”

    Better luck next time!

    I’m anxiously waiting to hear:

    “Congratulations on publication!”

    Words to warm my heart.

    When your acceptance letter finally arrives, don’t forget to reply.

    “Thank you, I’m delighted!”

    By Denise Fletcher Copyright © 2014

    1. mzanemcclellan

      Perfect! Something we all can relate to. Interesting so many of us took the “tow birds, one stone” approach today. Nicely done, Denise. ~ Michael

  201. dextrousdigits


    I knew you would come.
    As I sat here waiting
    three Swallow tail butterflies did air dances for me
    a humming bird sang in my ear
    clouds danced in a magnificent parade.
    I smelled hot bread and oatmeal cookies
    coming out of the often at the same time.
    I heard babies contagious laughter
    felt Amber kitty’s warm body curled in my lap
    and her rhythmic pleased purr.
    felt your gentle kiss on my forehead
    and the warm hug of bodies held tightly.

    I knew you would come
    brighten my day
    I couldn’t tell if the images were real or in my head
    this is always how you
    breath images to my hand.

  202. skanet

    When your cactus has flowered
    You know it’s all right
    To breathe a sigh of relief

    When the rain falls hard
    And the trees grow dark
    They relax right down to their leaves

    As shadows grow longer to the east
    The twinkling sun sits down
    And you can finally rest in peace

  203. taylor graham


    She’s been reading
    new questions about old answers:
    did Gilgamesh or Noah
    have the true word on the Great Flood?
    What must she believe?

    Years ago she saved the scraps
    of worn-out suits and skirts
    and sewed them into a fine woolen quilt
    for the bed; lost
    when the house burned down.

    Last night it was supposed
    to storm – no record flood, just enough
    rain to green the fields,
    snow on the mountain; the world
    as it ought to be.

    That tall Valley Oak that leans
    so sweetly over the drive –
    this April it didn’t leaf out,
    but holds onto its old brown leaves
    from last year. She expects

    they’ll have to fall it. A lovely tree.
    Its loss would open up
    more sky, a view of the opposite side
    of the canyon. A new
    perspective. Gilgamesh or Noah?

    She believes in time.

  204. Bruce Niedt

    NaPoWriMo’s prompt today is to write a nursery rhyme. This one probably owes more to Shel Silverstein than to Mother Goose:

    Ursula Upp and Dahlia Downn

    This is the story of Ursula Upp,
    who always regarded the drink in her cup
    and said, “It’s half-full! Oh, can’t you all see?
    There’s plenty to drink left in this cup for me!
    I look on the bright side, and that’s no baloney!
    When I see road apples, I look for the pony!
    It’s a wonderful day – I don’t mind the rain –
    I’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain!”

    This is the story of Dahlia Downn,
    who approached everything in life with a frown.
    “My cup is half-empty – it’s never enough.
    If you ask how my day was, I’ll say it was rough.
    When I get a cold, I think it’s pneumonia;
    I have a brown thumb and I killed my begonia.
    Each day’s disappointing and life is a drudge –
    and don’t try to cheer me, ‘cos I just won’t budge!”

    That’s Ursula Upp and Dahlia Downn –
    there weren’t two more different girls in our town.
    But soon they grew up and they married their misters,
    and no one could guess that they really were sisters!

  205. MMC

    here’s my attempt at a rispetto (the first version, 2 quatrains, iambic pentameter, 8 syllables, etc)

    Earth Day Again

    One day a year we pause to hold
    this planet close – to hug the earth,
    to honor life forms new and old
    and hope the air can be rebirthed

    to cleanse the taint of smog and oil
    to cleanse our children’s lungs, our soil,
    to make a future home for all,
    and heed abundant nature’s call.

  206. drnurit

    AMITTE DIEM – a haiku

    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    She is looking out
    From her hospital window
    Watching pain-free lives.


    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    Like an unforeseen sunshine
    Despite a bad weather forecast
    Which makes her get ready
    For the worst –
    The gift of light…


    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    By the beautiful sea,
    I seize the day.
    I am here.
    In spite.

    And when I leave,
    I hold on:
    I close my eyes,
    And I am here –
    Which is there –
    By the beautiful sea,
    Seizing the day,
    Finding bliss
    Yet again.
    In spite.

    1. Linda Goin

      Ah, Nurit — after spending so much time caretaking my mother this past year, your poem(s) today really resonated with me. My mother still is doing well, “in spite,” and sometimes it takes that slight stubbornness to survive, to seize the day, to find bliss. Thank you.

  207. anneemcwilliams

    2 fer


    lays on the edge of the couch
    inside the crook of my arm
    stretching his legs as far
    as he can, his big tiger body
    drooping sideways,
    sure of my refuge, he’s
    poised for the pleasure
    of a soft bed
    and safety

    first draft 04/22/2014

    (after Matt Cook)

    Her grandmothers, for example, were pathological pack-rats.
    She was aware, then, that her compulsion was
    Built on the backs of a lot of other people’s preoccupations.
    She would never apologize to anyone for her values,
    But she understood how little sense it made to compensate for urges.

    It was difficult enough for her to weed a flower bed.
    Gardening is a function where nonsense is permitted.
    When foliage turns green, you absolutely must cull, no matter the beauty;
    Whether or not it is the truly Buddhist thing to do.
    She hoped she was the last generation in her family to operate on yen.

    first draft 04/22/2014

  208. creilley


    With eyes as used as spent bullet casings
    he glares at her in unseen and silent reproach
    unable to voice his bitter protests
    lest her pain overwhelm her once more.
    Tenderness for her rides his anger –
    a cowpoke busting a maddened bronco
    until his rage is spent and tamed.

    Anguish coats his throat
    holding back barbs and retorts,
    damming them, and damning him
    to a continued existence he hates –
    another day of desperate duty
    another night of marital distance –
    then he must rise once more
    and trudge off through bitter cold
    and unfullfilled dreams
    until he cracks, or caves, or dies.

    He laces his boots tightly
    strangling his ankles in silent metaphor
    all too aware of the path he has taken,
    mistakes he has made, choices unchosen.
    The long road behind him from a place
    where screams go unheard,
    the rocks and potholes ahead
    showing both a one-way sign
    and a dead end.

    Yet more than his weariness,
    more than his concerns over material things,
    and even more than his distrust of Fate
    what guides his actions is the love he feels
    every time she looks at him
    and the icy grip around his heart
    melts away a little bit more.
    For this and this alone,
    he pushes his way out into the world once more
    trusting in Love to bring him home.

  209. CristinaMRNorcross

    If Hope Were a Beetle

    We are all born with hope.
    It sits in the palm of the hand –
    a spinning black beetle –
    tiny legs turning like wheels.

    Our hope scurries –
    it flees enclosure –
    it hides from cloying fingers.

    Hope spins in circles,
    seeking shelter,
    memorizing every line of the palm –
    your map of self talk.

    I am not worthy.
    I don’t think I can finish this.
    I’ve never done this before,
    but I hope I will.

    I hope.
    I hope.
    I hope.

    Cristina M. R. Norcross
    Copyright 2014

  210. ASperryConnors

    An optimists lens

    Firework shredded right eye
    Blessed to have another
    21 stitches and 5 months
    Of God time and healing

    Driving frustrations
    Suspended in migraine hell
    Where silence held me
    Keeping fear at bay

    No one believes
    I see through a pie
    With missing pieces
    No one knows

    I cannot see the signs
    Or dive into novels
    I once found pleasure in
    Doctor’s promise

    That my brain
    Can wrap around
    A new distorted view
    The brain says NO

    But being optimistic
    I went hunting
    For what my left
    Brain needed

    A doctor with vision
    And ability
    To make a lens
    That fills in

    Scarred masses
    So now, I see the world
    As a delicious
    Cherry pie

  211. dextrousdigits

    “Oh Hell”
    “not again”
    “Why does this always happen to me”
    “Can’t anyone else take the late shift”
    “Wouldn’t you know it, the state would pick
    this busy hour to work on Main Avenue”
    “Every day I hate my job more than the day before,
    but I have to pay the bills and who has time to look
    for another job”

    “my stomach and intestines are gas and water pumps
    my head is filled with rocks rattling with every movement.
    Earwigs are crawling in and out of my ears.
    If I have to lift another box, I’m sure something
    will pop out of place in my back”

  212. Connie Peters


    Most people have forgotten
    cheerfulness is a good thing.
    They may call people who
    look on the bright side
    a Pollyanna, a hopeless romantic
    or an unrealistic idealist.
    It may even be fun to complain,
    criticize, or grumble about this or that.
    Tiny raindrops wear down a stone.
    Lemon without sugar sours the cake.
    A sunny smile can encourage
    a despairing heart.

  213. Roderick Bates

    Oh, Wait — There’s no Money in That

    by Roderick Bates

    Before I get out of bed, NPR tells me that today
    the FDA considers approval of a new drug —
    Moxduo, a combination of morphine and oxycodone,
    a capsule easily opened and snorted or injected.
    As I wash my breakfast dish, my wife comes out
    and tells me that they just approved powdered alcohol
    for sale to consumers sometime this Fall.

    Jesus! Let’s just skip the intervening pain,
    the addiction-driven crimes, the wheel
    of jail and rehab and jail —
    let’s have all our babies born,
    not in sunny birthing rooms
    with soft music and gathered family,
    but in a gutter, with a cirrhosis-hardened liver,
    with wet brains and Hepatitis C
    and infected tracks on their pudgy little arms,
    between their darling little toes.

  214. jsanch04


    “I can’t see you,” she said to me
    so perfectly poised like a flower
    and open to the intrusion of the everyday whispers of the wind.

    “I can hear you,” I said
    eternally confused about such a blind statement
    while I hoped to feel our connection with more than just my five senses.

    “Are you a material or immaterial part of my body?” I asked.
    “You can’t hear me,” she said.
    “I’ve answered this question many times before.”

    Jorge Sánchez

  215. DCR1986

    Optimistic vs. Pessimistic

    Point 22

    Out of range, I know:
    I can.
    I will.
    If I try.

    Under his safety, I knew:
    I could.
    I would.
    Before I did.

    Catch 22

    Thoughts under water
    As limbs anchor with doubt.
    Soul currently drowning.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  216. bethwk

    Walking the High Wire
    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider

    We walk the high wire
    between hopelessness and hope,
    between rage and joy.
    Perhaps it’s only stories
    that will save us.

    We pray to be empty.
    We pray to let go.
    We pray to give away
    attachment to outcomes.

    In one hand, we hold a golden cymbal.
    Its name is Despair.
    The one in the other hand is Hope.
    We wander the Earth
    like Cassandra of Troy,
    clashing them together.
    They make a mighty noise
    but no one seems to listen.
    We sit in the space
    between the cup half full
    and the cup half empty,
    knowing that neither will save us.
    We pour out that water
    upon the Earth,
    upon the seeds
    which will grow,
    or not grow.
    We tend them
    all the same.

    The work
    the work
    the work
    is what matters.
    Hearts open,
    souls on fire,
    we heed Pema,
    we heed Vaclav:
    we work because
    it must be done,
    not because we know
    that it will save the world.
    Listen to Wangari
    we plant trees
    we free the prisoners
    we honor women
    Listen to Jane
    we notice
    we listen
    we honor the animals

    Listen to Vandana
    we save seeds
    we scatter seeds
    we honor seed and soil
    Listen to Natasha
    we grieve and mourn
    we witness
    we honor the wild
    Listen to Leymah
    we speak our truth
    we honor the scars
    we heal
    Listen to your mother
    we feed and nurture
    we protect
    we honor Wisdom

    Walk that thin silver line
    between the flame and the fire.
    Be amazed,
    be feral,
    be wakeful.
    Walk between the heartbeats.

    Listen to the Earth
    Listen to the Earth
    Listen to the Earth

  217. Mr. Take The Lead

    Who says you can’t fly?
    Daniel R. Simmons
    So, you think you can’t fly?
    Sure you can.
    You can spread your wings as far as you want and soar as high as you want.
    You can fly straight to the top of the corporate ladder
    You can fly over life’s hurdles through your persistence and perseverance.
    You can fly straight through the winds and rain of adversity, or even through failure.
    For in life, the possibilities are endless, there isn’t a limit on how far you can go, or on how much you can accomplish.
    You can reach your wildest of dreams.
    You CAN go to the NFL, NBA NHL
    You CAN make the Olympic team.
    You CAN graduate from college.
    You CAN get a record deal.
    You CAN be a world leader,
    You CAN lose that weight.
    You CAN beat that addiction.
    You CAN beat that illness.
    My friend you CAN fly!
    So don’t stop when you reach the stars, skyrocket past the moon.
    Push your dreams pass the universe
    Make your success out of this world!

    1. jojo1127

      Very inspirational. This would make a great motivational poem for a motivation/inspiration conference or for a life coach to give to his/her clients.

  218. drnurit

    “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi


    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    Hour after hour, I sit in this room –
    trying to help those who entrust me with their lives
    re-write their stories.

    Immersing myself in their struggles – often close to mine,
    feeling their pain – all too familiar.
    Walking together through the mud of confusing uncertainties.
    Stories unfolding – like layers of an onion.
    Tales of love and loss. Triumphs and regrets. Adversity and challenge.
    Endurance and longings. Always longings…
    Profound plots. Major and minor characters. Milestones.
    Chapter after chapter – filled to the brim with the force of life.

    Listening to the soundtrack of their voices –
    so unique yet so commonly human.
    Attending to the silences. The tears and the laughter.
    Monitoring scars. Tending broken wings…
    Throughout – the candle in the room is flickering. In spite.
    Hope – even in the midst of darkness…

    Exploring story lines, hour after hour.
    Reflecting. Translating.
    Detecting courage in tales of adversity.
    Recovering faith in scripts filled with desolation.
    Introducing i-Tunes of hope.
    Developing new maps for familiar terrains.
    Carving new pathways out of dark rooms.
    Courses diverted.

    Insight entering through open wounds.
    New destinations emerging.
    Trying, and failing, and trying again.
    Story lines changing.
    Scripts re-written.
    Dreams re-envisioned.
    Moving forward.
    Lives transformed – theirs and mine…

  219. alana sherman

    When I said good poems

    I didn’t mean mine, (Although I’d be a liar
    If I said mine weren’t fine!)

    I meant the other peoples’ posts
    Always a pleasure to read
    their work impresses me the most!



  220. elishevasmom

    A New Pair of Glasses

    I know how much she
    loves her daughter, the
    one in jail. The one who

    has a rare medical condition
    that requires specialized
    treatments. The one

    who gets transferred
    from one county lock-up
    to another and back again.

    And each time she does,
    needs new clothes because
    she can’t bring them with

    when she transfers. And
    that each transfer requires
    starting from scratch

    for toiletries (purchase
    only permitted at the
    commissary.) And

    then a wisdom tooth needs
    pulling (the antibiotics stirring
    up that medical condition.) And then

    the commissary money
    that should have lasted
    for four weeks only

    lasting for two. And then
    one day I watched her
    spend eighty dollars on

    a carton of cigarettes.
    And when asked, she
    told me that they would

    last her (and her
    husband) about five days.
    And when I compared

    the glass half empty
    of her daughter’s
    incarceration and

    the glass sucked near-dry by
    her own cigarette
    consumption she

    was offended.
    Then embarrassed.
    Then very quiet.

    She had never looked
    through that pair
    of glasses.

    Ellen Evans

  221. alana sherman

    Good poems today.

    2 for Tues. Optimism/Pessimism


    First Tulips, Then Violets

    Am I ever truly contented, like a girl
    in a white dress walking in a meadow filled
    with Queen Anne’s Lace, inhaling summer?

    I can’t say. If flowers are symbols of love
    or happiness, it still isn’t any easier.
    Does anything make sense as we sort through

    what we should keep in our selves, what let go?
    Did I once feel like a tulip
    that paints itself red, petals blown,

    leaning toward the earth, and seem
    more beautiful because I was modest?
    Was I ever gaudy as a tiger lily, bursting

    toward the sun for a day, or blatant as an orchid?
    What are these feelings anyway?
    Some say flowers wither without knowing

    while we pursue emotion recklessly
    along the road we journey —its verges beguiling
    with violets, forget-me-nots and yarrow.


    Poem for a World Weary Husband

    People say I’m the moody one
    But after all is said and done
    They just have to look at you

    To see who’s sulky —you. It’s true!!
    You rise each morning with a frown
    and nasty word—you know the noun

    of which I speak,
    and then “the glum” begins to leak,
    over the hour, over the day.

    Your disappointment finds a way
    to hinder any smile,
    Egads, I wouldn’t walk a mile

    in your unhappy shoes.
    What a burden it must be
    to think you’ll always lose.


  222. writinglife16


    Her life is a mess.
    Nothing new.
    What to do?
    Can she ask for a lifeline?
    Or just a new life?


    The mom smiled.
    She sat quietly.
    While they laughed.
    Mocked the court.
    There is wrong and there is right.
    Karma will get them.

  223. Liliuokalani

    Supernovas in My Glass

    Words are a song or else
    a slice of sandpaper
    that rounds thrown stones
    into snowballs rolling downtown
    amassing the desperate,
    fading and forgotten
    expanding and exploding them
    when they hit rock bottom –
    into bright, bouncing Blue Giants.

  224. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 22 Optimistic poem

    Radio Flyer

    Any child
    whoever packed their wagon
    with licorice
    and teddy bears
    knows there is a better place
    to run to
    where broccoli
    doesn’t grow like trees
    or bedtime comes
    while the sun still smiles,
    and hope,
    warm as the opening
    of the oven door,
    drifts freely
    like fresh dinner rolls,
    and keeps them
    from adventures
    past the end
    of the block.

  225. acele

    Math Problem

    Is there a fraction
    to be found
    somewhere between
    half full and half empty?

    Does it mark it’s line
    on the edge of my cup
    somewhere between satisfaction and longing?

    Should I top it off with cream and sugar
    or just drink it bitterly down?

    …or perhaps find a smaller cup?

    Can it be measured?
    At what tenth of a microlitre
    do I find that I am
    more full than empty?
    And precisely how more much is needed to reach overflowing?

    Is there a fraction
    to be found
    somewhere between
    half full and half empty?

    ©A. Cele

  226. TRDailey


    Writing by moonlight
    Seems difficult
    If there is a roof over your head.
    It was only last night
    That I knew
    Lights shimmered from my mind
    In glittery ribbons
    And lifted my hair
    From my shoulders
    Weightless and feathery.

    Reading in sunshine
    Seems difficult
    If there is a roof over your head.
    Yet it was today
    That I realized
    If you close your eyes,
    Read with your soul
    Feel the words kiss your ears,
    You may feel
    The breath of the writer on your neck.

  227. Mr. Take The Lead

    I’m With Zero
    Daniel R. Simmons
    You suit up for the game of life
    Put on your suit, dress, or Nikes
    You’re focused but feel alone
    After all your jersey bears the number zero
    You’re so anxious to pursue your dreams
    But you realize just how lonely zero can be
    Zero supporters
    Zero help
    The greatest amount of frustration you’ve ever felt
    Still you press on not giving up on your dreams
    Take advantage of every opportunity
    But still you stand alone
    As you battle failure on its field far from home
    Tired and hurt
    You hear the crowd cheer as failure pushes you into the dirt
    You stare up into the sky as the game lights hit you in the face
    You’re hurt, bruised and disgraced
    You have no strength to get up again
    You feel like quitting and letting failure win
    Eyes surveying the crowd
    The shouts of your doubters screaming ever so loud
    You’re about to place your eyes back to the ground
    But something, someone is standing out
    You catch a glimpse of a familiar face
    It’s not like the others
    Not one filled with jealously or hate but one of grace
    Joy and strength overwhelms you
    You recognize who He is!
    Why it’s Jesus!
    The one who died for our sins
    You stare harder as you notice His sign
    Eyes blurred you struggle to make out the words
    You smile as you see your Hero
    Waving a sign saying I’M WITH ZERO!

  228. James Rodgers

    Still Kicking

    Now halfway through chemo,
    all her friends and family,
    to show their support,
    keep telling her,
    “You’re kicking Cancer’s ass!”
    emphatically stated,
    with high energy and emphasis
    on the word “ass.”
    This always makes her smile
    as she doesn’t always feel
    like moving much,
    let alone kicking something,
    and on top of that,
    she didn’t even know
    Cancer had a rear-end to kick,
    and if it did,
    she certainly didn’t know
    where it was.
    She does believe,
    when all this is done,
    her hair will come back,
    her energy will come back,
    and she will be
    She knows this to be true.
    She can feel it,
    see it,
    visualize her happiness,
    even if she has no clue
    which direction to kick,
    let alone how high.

  229. De Jackson


    and tired, we toss
    in our tarnished pieces of copper
    and listen for their impotent plop.
                          Heads or tails,
    we whisper, knowing neither will do,
    for our heads are befuddled and be
    -draggled and our bodies feel like
    strangers we must lug long
    distances, heavy and unwieldy.
    We wish for some brighter place
    to be, but we’ve run out of stars
    and perhaps candles, too, and
    this dirty pool is our last stop. The
    fountain has long dried out, spouting
    only rust and empty chlorinated pro

    We swam here once,
    do you remember? Long ago, full
    of youth and anticipation
    and the delight of un
    Finned pockets full of silver
    coins and moonlight, we spilled
    our salt to a waiting sea,
    wave danced until dawn
    and watched our tails
    glisten in the sun.


  230. Debbie


    A change cannot become the victor
    unless it owns the heart.
    Beware of the turning of events
    After all, it may only be a start.

    Be strong, stay focused
    and do not attempt
    to become the magician,
    for nothing is exempt.

    We drive with the strength we have
    and keep priorities in sight.
    It’s then and only then
    that we are even able to fight.

  231. shellaysm

    “Optimistically Pessimistic”

    It’s complicated
    But it’s a challenge

    I’m cautiously hopeful
    And hopefully close

    It could be worse
    But it might get better

    One step forward
    One step back

    It’s probably nothing
    But I’ll just wait and see

    How’s it going? Not too bad
    Can’t complain, I suppose

    This is just a phase
    But nothing lasts forever

    That was weird
    Then again, so am I!

    Michele K. Smith

  232. Linda Goin

    A Trio of Tankas
    for the Episcopalian Prophet
    John Muir

    Read Azariah
    or Psalms 104 and walk.
    Listen beyond words
    to hear the way earth utters
    thanksgiving for its stewards.

    We all are servants
    who bend to fabrication,
    yet fully vested
    in this breathing in and out,
    in our stands upon this stone.

    Calm your hearts and minds.
    Recall halves to make them whole.
    Fill the emptiness
    with articulate intent.
    Rest among the pines and rise.

  233. Mama Zen

    We Buy Junk

    When I was empty and half-full
    grown and couldn’t stand myself
    another minute, I used to walk
    to this tacky little shop at the corner
    of Broadway and Main Street.
    Hanging in the window, just to the left
    of the dusty, silver-belled door, was a sign
    that still comes frequently to my mind
    even after thirty long years:


    Words to live by, don’t you think?

    Kelli Simpson

  234. Mark Danowsky

    Only Child

    I used to believe Kia
    was a type of car
    made by IKEA.
    As you might have guessed
    I had some difficulty
    with spelling.
    The nuances of quality
    strike me unlikely
    given age.
    Told about latch-key kids
    I never guessed I could
    be or know, much.
    “You always say everything
    is fine,” Mom said.
    And says.
    It’s true, I say too much.
    Is this something about
    only children?

  235. DanielR

    Pick a name, someone to blame
    anyone will do, surely it can’t be you
    accountable for your own actions
    and for your own life’s dissatisfactions
    You don’t have a job? Find someone to rob
    it’s okay, I’m sure they can pay
    it might even be funny
    if they have too much money
    and worked for it, it’s the easiest way to get
    some Jack at the corner store, maybe some more
    of these people owe you,
    since your cellphone bill and rent are due
    that gun in your hand, don’t make you a man
    step up to the plate, before it’s too late
    ain’t nothing in life for free
    so why don’t you stop hassling me
    and get a job.

    Daniel Roessler

  236. Cin5456

    Bear Market

    I suppose it’s possible.
    but the odds are slim.
    You’ll see I’m right.
    The outlook is grim.
    Don’t expect me to gamble
    on a harebrained whim.

    The chance for success is far too weak,
    Don’t cry to me when forecasts turn bleak,
    or your market shares don’t peak.

    I’ll concede you have a point about market forecasts,
    but I have my certainty; I’m not giving in.
    As sure as I stand here talking to you
    The venture will be ruined by a gremlin.

  237. LizMac


    Hope is a miracle
    That somehow manages
    To seep through a crack
    To find us buried
    Deep in impossible places,
    Tombs we retire to, too soon,
    Where the sun cannot reach;
    And slowly, patiently
    It coaxes us to look
    Up at first, and then,
    For a way out,
    Suggesting other possibilities
    And a world above
    That did not
    In fact, disappear
    While we were gone.
    It makes no promises,
    Just holds our hand.

  238. jojo1127

    PAD #22
    Write an Optimistic Poem
    Write a Pessimistic Poem

    I Try

    Birds start to sing their happy song
    chanting a lovely tune
    at least this is what I say to myself.

    Do I open my eyes to ‘loveliness’
    or keep my eyes shut and slip further into the covers
    for ‘protectiveness’

    From the corner of my eye I see the paleness of the yellow sun rise
    and I begin to think to myself; “The day has begun,it’s much too soon.”

    The birds chatter reminds me of this matter
    So I slowly climb out of bed
    walk to my window and contemplate
    “Should I open the curtains and receive the day of freshness and hope
    or leave them shut and keep the world outside in the ‘cold’.”

    In attempt to bring myself happiness and inspiration
    I slightly opened the curtains
    Just a little cheerfulness is all I need.

    So now what do I do with myself?
    I sit in my big red chair and attempt to meditate.

    All these random starts to come alive inside my head.
    “Today will be beautiful..make it shine” I chant to myself
    But instead I thought all the tasks I must accomplish before the sun really brightens and the
    places I must go before the sunsets.

    So I gave up on this bequest and thought how my bed was looking so ‘divine.’
    I got myself ready for this ‘dread’ day ahead trying to clear my thoughts and accept
    the greatness of this day.

    A hot shower will do with a drop of eucalyptus oil to brighten my smile
    before getting dressed I relished the aroma of lavender for a while
    still I don’t feel any better.

    Looks I’m in need of a much stronger potion
    maybe its coffee
    or juice

    I’m all dressed ready to go
    I dragged myself to the kitchen to prepare me some ‘joe’
    and pour me some orange juice add some brightness for today
    so I hope and pray
    Hoping to feel inspired-desire to conquer the day
    I took out this affirmation that said; “Be the best you…only you can do.”

    So with an eye roll and an oy vey
    I drank my mug of coffee
    and my glass of orange juice
    half full
    to start my day

  239. gloryia

    The Old Diary (pessimistic poem)

    I turn each page
    black on white scribbles
    of yesterdays long gone.
    Eyes strain, ache,
    hold back tears that threaten
    as words half remembered
    sear my brain.

    Stained, brown-edged, each
    page a sword that pierces,
    draws forth old resentments,
    frustrations buried deep,
    worms that gnaw held
    ever close through
    wasted years.

    A story told,
    once dear, buried beneath
    words spoken in haste, never
    revealed the love, and hate
    held close to snake through
    body and soul until

  240. Gwyvian

    The traveler

    I landed with a sense of wonder,
    watching the Sun rise over the crescent of home,
    the dome just a shimmer between myself and
    that harsh, life-giving light – the hisses and
    odd noises washed over me, so barren this place,
    yet so filled with hope: I am watching history,
    the constructions going on in shipyards in a vacuum,
    great journeys begun not long ago, and humanity
    showing no sign of slowing…

    But what was the price paid to get this outcome?
    the tick of the grand clockwork is pushing me on,
    and the dice fall out in a scheme of vast complexity,
    random chance meeting an intelligence…

    Shift – and I am home again, but not home
    as I know it: this place has death permeating,
    a tangible force that swallows me bodily; something is
    shivering inside of me, cringing away unsuccessfully;
    I can see there was great valor shown on this battlefield,
    yet dignity is a casualty of the opening blows of war—
    nothing exists here that hasn’t tipped the balance
    to a point where the fabric of existence would rather
    shred itself than continue as we are…

    I watch the stars with sorrow in my eyes, that place
    the only thing unmarred where I stand, and I wish
    the hands would move faster, to take me away: I refuse
    to be an observer to such a place…

    But I am a traveler, answering a compulsion deep
    within my soul that carries the burden of needing to see—
    I go again, and visit a place that settles uncomfortably,
    but not quite so jarring; we have changed yet again,
    and nothing is really different – we have tried and
    failed often, but we did not succumb, we have not
    slipped under and met the harbinger of our destruction,
    but I know that there is a price for continuing on—
    whatever we achieve here, it is never fast enough…

    I am moved by familiarity, but I am disappointed,
    for I have seen what we could be, and the dangers waiting…
    there is much that could shove us over the edge
    with a single breath: and I am so helpless – only a witness…

    The grand clockwork balances with a cold
    impartiality, and I am but a passenger, caught
    in a current that takes me through sequences of
    great achievements and great disasters alike;
    in all of my travels, what seizes my mind the most
    is the game of chance we dance to so blithely—
    we can struggle and strive, but at the end
    only the clockwork knows which path is chosen,
    and we are all variables of an unidentifiable quantity…

    My hands are feverish over sculptures of possibility,
    and my wish for a guiding hand is fervent; I know not
    what must come to pass to reach where I want, but I
    cannot help but withhold trust: I feel it, yet it is not enough.

    Flicker – I am in a place in between now, trying
    to divine the proper chain, yet limited by my mortal mind,
    and consumed by a war waging inside: a calm river
    of surety that what must be will be, a hope that I’ve seen
    the answer to our fate’s question – and the other,
    a raging storm of sure knowledge, that we were composed
    as an epic of failure after failure; what hope is there
    in such a truth? I wish I could believe, but I’m sure
    it will only take one catalyst – one, that could be anything…

    A traveler is a soothsayer at the end of the journey, yet one that
    no one will ever believe: knowledge was the gain, but a kind of
    insanity was the price paid; now I hover in a delicate balance:
    for all my vaunted knowledge answers not a single question.

    April 22, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

    1. PressOn

      For me, this long poem is necessary because of the complexities it deals with; that no answers are easy, but we flow from hope to despair and back again in so much of life. It asks for careful and repeated reading. Thanks for this.

  241. grcran

    Pessimistic for the Planet

    Earth’s broken past the point of no return.
    We’ve shit the planet well, now it winds down.
    No other place for human life to spurn.

    Some look to heaven for a warning, stern,
    “Fix it yourselves,” we’re told, without a frown.
    Earth’s broken past the point of no return.

    Some look to travel, outer space to learn.
    Right, seven billion people leaving town?
    No, we decided Earth’s the place to spurn.

    A few more years, the melting, then we burn.
    You disbelieve the science? What a clown!
    Earth’s broken past the point of no return.

    All gone: rose bush, pine tree, maple, kelp, fern,
    magnolia dressed in Spanish mosses gown.
    All plants from large to small did humans spurn.

    Erased: from glib dolphins to taciturn
    blue whales, red birds, glow worms, spry monkey brown,
    dead animals, Earth broken, no return.

    Regretful, yearning, upset stomachs churn.
    As kings of death, we humans share the crown.
    Earth’s broken past the point of no return.
    No other place for human life to spurn.

    By gpr crane
    Ps. It’s Earth Day!
    Pss. Not sure I believe all of what I’ve written here, just following the prompt, boss.
    Psss. Yes, I know this goes beyond the length of a proper villanelle… our destruction of Earth just keeps going on, too.

  242. mzanemcclellan

    Strange Change

    The only constant
    we know is flux
    everything fades
    then redux
    things are perfect
    then deteriorate
    separate arguments
    visions of tomorrow
    progress undreamed
    reality of today
    atrocities teem
    technology saves
    as it kills
    machines for healing
    from wars ills
    bored with dogma
    rapt with rhetoric
    spiritual beauty
    the greedy pathetic
    concern for self
    not the mundane
    societies expand
    so urbane
    What expands
    will contract
    I hope
    have no hope
    that’s a fact

    ~ M. Zane McClellan

    Copyright 2014
    M. Zane McClellan
    All rights reserved

  243. DanielR

    I view you from afar with admiration
    how you skip down the sidewalk at seventy-one
    the roses in your front yard now in full bloom
    blending perfectly with your red cheeks

    Your choice of happiness still amazes me
    considering all you’ve lost along the way
    you wear it like one of your flowery dresses
    and regardless of the weather, it fits you perfectly

    I have always laughed at those blissful fools
    who find treasures by climbing rainbows
    or endlessly chase after Monarch butterflies
    convinced they will catch them with bare hands

    But after you smiled and said “Good Morning”
    I have taken off my shoes, sinking my toes
    into the green grass damp with morning dew
    and that is a big step for a jaded guy like me

    Daniel Roessler

  244. Andrea Heiberg

    Outdoor in January

    Here are the wind-shaped bushes,
    the stones,
    the sandy spots,
    the dreams of kisses on a summer day.

    Only when longing
    for you,
    your dozens of roses,
    your idea of strawberry cakes,

    I feel alive,
    even today out here
    going for tomorrow.

          1. Andrea Heiberg

            Hello William! Thank you so much for your comments. I’d love to write the world for you because it feels that you’re always here – always ready with positive comments. Thank you so much.

  245. candy

    I Had No Shoes and Complained

    I glared into my closet no shoes to
    match my new aqua suit last years
    ferragamo will have to do

    you put on your only pair of work shoes
    black pleather, soft soled, rundown in the
    heel, reinforced arch

    I get in my late model suv it laps
    up gas like a thirsty dog

    you wait on the corner with the
    masses for the cross-town bus

    I sit behind my desk – sending out
    email juggling meetings

    you stand behind a counter scanning
    groceries and deflecting complaints

    I call for dinner reservations at
    the newsest hot spot in town

    you pick through the bargain bin
    of dented cans and bruised apples

    I climb into my king bed and pull
    egyptian sheets over my powdered body

    you lay down on a pull – out couch
    with an multi – color afghan from goodwill

    it must be easy to be you
    no one to impress
    no car to maintain
    no worries to keep you awake at night

  246. Taylor Mali


    You’ve just returned home
    after 24 hours of travel
    from the other side of the world.

    You’ve been away for two weeks,
    and you have missed your wife
    and she is too happy to let you sleep?

    Want to go straight to bed?
    Wife wants to take you there?
    Try Ambiagra/Viambien

    and everyone will get what they need.
    Ambiagra/Viambien: For the best ride
    you’ve ever slept through.

    Talk to your doctor about
    When it’s too hard to stay up.

  247. Clark Buffington

    The Everyday Battle

    The ever optimist fights the good
    fight against the ever pessimist who
    thinks they’re always right

    The half full says it will be all for the
    best while the half empty says it is
    all for naught I’ll take a rest

    The positive states I can make this a
    go and the negative never fails to
    come back with a big fat no

    The upbeat moves through life blissfully
    unaware of the downer’s need to
    drag them under into despair

    The happy continue gaily through the
    day and hopefully misery’s love
    company does not get in their way

  248. pomodoro

    A One-upon-a-time Opp-Pess Duet

    Charmed, I’m Sure

    I ride each day
    with my brother.
    We travel from hovel to hut,
    dawn to dusk,
    armed with a see-through shoe.
    Is there no end to the
    bunions, warts and hammer toes,
    calluses, corns and carbuncles?
    Oh the agony of de-feet.

    Anchors Aweigh

    She sashays across the pier
    in Sweethaven,
    siddles up to the sailor.
    Her eyes undress the one-eyed runt.
    his anchor tattoos ripple on muscular forearms.
    New in town, sailor?

  249. De Jackson


    Have you met her?

    She’s got feathers,
    and wings. She sings.

    She’s a good one
    to have around
    if you’re down, or
    drowning or frowning.

    She serves lemon
    -ade on the front porch,
    finds a lullaby
    inside every lull –
    and her rose
    colored glasses are always
                               half full.


  250. DanielR

    Unsuspecting, I enter the cave of your cynicism
    your bitter words fly at me like bats
    jagged edges of stalactites poke down at me
    while your crooked finger does the same
    and the unbearable coldness reminds me
    of how easily it is to possess a heart of stone
    it is difficult to see through the blackness
    and in that way I guess I know how you feel
    your restlessness stalks you like a mad animal
    deep in the recesses of crevices and corners
    Are there joyful memories you have forgotten?
    I find it hard to believe that misery has dwelled
    in you as long as ancient drawings on these walls
    surely you haven’t always been the victim
    but I guess that is what happens when you hide
    in dark places keeping yourself away from the Son.

    Daniel Roessler

  251. Quaker



    He was confident the world would end.
    He even had a date.
    It was a message from the great unknown.
    I asked, “How are you so certain?”
    He was too busy building a boat
    and animals were waiting in couples.

    I went away thinking he was crazy
    until the rain kept coming.


    She knew she had heard angels.
    She had led men into battles
    holding a sword of truth and visions.
    When she was tied to a stake,
    and skirts of flames engulfed her
    she was still hearing voices,
    “it will be alright.”


    As he landed on the moon,
    he was positive he would return.
    He had placed his fate
    in the hands of engineers and trust.
    When he planted his foot on the surface,
    it was with uncertainty.

  252. dianemdavis


    When I was a little girl
    Papa said he grew rocks,
    and I believed him because
    every year he’d plow up
    a fresh new crop of stones from the fields.

    I’d gather those rocks in bushels
    and pails, and he’d build them into walls
    making trails that bordered the farm
    for me to follow.

    And when I wished he would grow
    the biggest rock in the world,
    Papa dug up a stone
    that took two horses and three days
    to remove.

    He set it down next to the barn,
    so I could watch him
    work the farm. And he called it
    my wishing rock, to make my dreams
    come true.

    Now I sit
    with my back against its flat side
    and wish that Papa would smile
    like he did back then.
    And wonder 
    he’ll be happy enough
    to spend time with us

  253. Phil Boiarski

    Coisas perdidas

    in Estoril, the public restrooms
    on the beach
    are maintained by volunteers.
    The rooms are clean
    and beside the entrance,
    where the doors separate,
    are several shelves:
    a Madonna and flowers,
    a dozen pairs of sunglasses,
    shoes and sandals,
    a small ball, some sand toys,
    change and a few keys.

    I look, though I know
    I have never been to
    such a place, where people
    clean bathrooms for free
    and place lost a watch, or key,
    right out in the open,
    as if trust were a mere
    stone by the roadside.

    On the beach,
    fortunate gulls
    peck at crabs,
    turning over horseshoes
    and feasting
    on their underbellies.
    The rest of them
    are things lost
    in the tide.

    # # #

  254. BethBrubaker

    Some say I’m optimistic
    I see the glass half-full
    But my pessimistic side
    thinks that this is just plain bull

    “Someone drank my milk!” it cries
    (whining just a bit)
    while my happy part’s content
    with simply having it!

    “It’s just not fair!” says Pessimism
    while optimism laughs
    “I wanted that whole stinking cup
    not settle just for halves!”

    Optimism shakes its head
    “That’s simply not the point,
    It’s better to have some than none-
    your nose is out of joint!”

    While they argued back and forth
    hoping for some unity,
    Someone came and drank the milk-
    it’s name was Opportunity!

  255. CLRichardson


    Never a stable home
    Always on the run
    Puzzle pieces of education
    Always a cloud over the sun

    Cycle of degenerates
    Not a role model in site
    Been fitted for cement shoes
    No matter how much I fight

    Negativity abounds
    No positive words to be said
    My life is an abyss
    Further downward I am led

    I have every excuse in the world
    To repeat the life I’ve been given
    But today I choose a different path
    A path worth living

    Many days I will struggle
    But my struggles make me stronger
    Today I make a choice
    A degenerate…….no longer

    Christy Lynn Richardson

  256. PressOn


    When hope is nigh, a cloudy day
    is full of sun, so much like May
    when all luxuriates in green
    and revels in its reborn sheen;
    the glows bring grace to conquer grey.

    Sometimes I’m in a weary way,
    with wonderment held off, at bay;
    but it returns to light my mien
    when hope is nigh,

    for then all Earth turns bright and gay,
    and laughs bust forth in full display.
    It’s spring; it’s time to brush and clean
    the cobwebs from the pessimist gene;
    joy can never stay away
    when hope is nigh.

    1. Hannah

      Love that you opened and closed on the same note, William…cyclical elements always make me smile and the idea of brushing away cobwebs from the pessimist gene made me grin, too…spring has always held a fresh hope feeling for me…I enjoyed this!

  257. Benjamin Thomas


    First I’m opti-
    then I drift…..
    shift gears to pessi-
    mystic behavior

    I start out
    on the peak
    of the high mountain
    conversing with eagles
    inhaling the same air
    at high altitude

    my attitude
    loses it’s footing
    down the mountain
    rolls violently
    to the foot of the valley
    where I lay humble
    splayed horizontal
    where chatty snakes
    hiss my arrival
    pissed but I insist
    I’m not their rival

  258. Kimmy Sophia


    Because I believe we’re all one
    then it’s possible
    when the sewer covers
    blocking compassion
    from human hearts
    are pried off, then
    the tyrants will be dazzled
    by the light of truth,
    tormentors will kneel in remorse,
    floods of love
    will stop
    hatred and fear.
    If I could find a big enough crowbar
    I could fix everything.


    Sometimes I’m p.o.ed at God
    because He/She is so damned quiet.
    I send prayers to the silence.
    I want God like a Bible movie!
    “Yes, my daughter?”
    I want the shaft of light
    the high sustained notes of singing angels,
    My burdens lifted!
    I want a vending machine God!

  259. JanetRuth

    We pick pussy-willows
    Thirteen and I
    And marvel at how blue the sky
    Sweeps past those plumes we cannot reach
    Her chatter blooms, and I beseech
    The mock of clock; its tick and tock
    Stealing what I can never hold
    And all the while
    With seasoned smile
    It knows that I am getting old
    And cannot keep
    The tearless weeping
    Of an hour from the air
    Or evade heaven’s wand
    That graces youth
    With laugh-line kisses where
    Love, loss and longing keen a sigh
    Striking Time’s timbrel; lullaby
    And mornings meld
    Escape withheld

    Where she and I
    For one brief spark
    Pick pussy-willows
    Ere the dark
    Consumes the sky
    The silver sheaf
    Of pussy-willow
    Turned to leaf

    © Janet Martin

  260. ambermarie


    Skeletons line the path
    The death card – flag flying high – crosses before me and off into the fog
    Afraid of the dark but lost and intrigued,
    I escape from the rusty trap door of my invisible cage and follow
    Suddenly torches and campfires illuminate a new way
    The avenue sprawls out before me
    Heading toward an unknown land
    I step cautiously to life for the first time
    Greeted by fairies and feathered shamans
    I am strangely certain that I will do more than merely survive –
    No matter the obstacles that may manifest ahead

  261. Margot Suydam

    Happy Place

    I’d rather go dancing
    than clean my room

    dress up all fancy
    in a pink frilly gown.

    My friends all around
    me prancing spoon

    fashion together like
    gold stars that sing

    in the sky. No one
    can shine brighter

    than the glow
    of our dreams.

  262. CLRichardson


    The waters are calm
    But soon the storm rages
    My clearness fills with sludge
    And slowly I’m pulled into its depths
    Fighting requires strength
    Strength I absolutely do not have
    Complete and utter darkness swallows me
    The clock ticks on as deeper I digest

    Christy Lynn Richardson


    Today I choose happiness

    Today is a new day,
    I wake with a fresh start,
    It’s going to be a good day,
    I can feel it in my heart.
    My schedule is free,
    I’m filled with mysterious bliss,
    No stress on my mind,
    A great day it is.

  264. Mark Conroy


    Tears of pride—
    Knowing what was needed wasn’t done
    Tears of regret—
    Holding back on your own lost causes
    Tears of rage—
    At an ambush of betrayal
    Tears of forgiveness—
    With doubts of exhaustion
    Tears of joy—
    When she says it’s just you
    Tears of sympathy—
    For the emptiness in their eyes
    Tears of fear—
    When there’s no way out
    Tears of remembrance—
    For what you wished had been
    Tears for all the lost and forgotten—
    Tears from everyone else but you.

    Mark Conroy

  265. Walt Wojtanik


    Decision sometimes is laced with regret.
    We get down to brass tacks and the odds
    appear stacked against us, renders us morose
    and close to tears. The greatest of fears lies
    in the eyes in the mirror. Things become clearer
    (although they seem nearer than they actually are).

    We would have done things differently, we’re thinking
    and the stinking feeling is that our conviction was lacking,
    we were slacking on the job. The heart was willing,
    or we’d like to think so and our drive just seemed
    barely alive. Confidence is a fickle mistress.
    It’s the kiss of death when it is slightly shaken.

    We could have taken a different tack and steered clear
    of the rocks. Could have taken stock in our ability
    and had the agility to avoid such obstacles.
    Opportunity knocks, but will not rip the door from her mooring.
    We’ve been storing these energies for a better day,
    but who’s to say it will ever come. Now would suffice nicely.

    Precisely, but we never did take the initiative.
    We had given everything short shrift and lived with the fear
    that rejection offers, it fills our coffers with negative thoughts;
    the ought nots, the not likelys, the can’ts, won’ts, shouldn’ts…
    We would have, we could have, but we never did. Regret gets
    stupid. Send it packing and take stock in what you’ve got going.

    You know you can!

  266. Connie Peters


    My hands tremble as
    lightning flashes and
    rain drizzles outside
    on the once-dry
    lumber, making a fire
    hard to come by. I feel
    the vibration of thunder
    and I wonder at
    life’s intricacies.

    In the darkness and clouds,
    the downpour denies
    the image of dreariness
    and depression
    as it waters the earth
    and makes trees grow.
    If we had no storms
    our days would be

    Maybe a happy boredom
    would be delightful,
    but no, not for me.
    Sunshine and shower.
    Roses and thorns.
    Clamorous and melodious
    music sets couples dressed
    in satinwear dancing
    to jives and waltzes.

  267. courageousdreamer

    When the Optimist met the Pessimist (A working title)

    You are the hopeful optimist,
    Who hears robins jubilantly singing,
    Trees brimming with life,
    Views the world through,
    Your rose-coloured glasses.

    I am the dull pessimist.
    Who recoils at the black raven’s call,
    I am too small,
    To make a difference,
    Seeing the world,
    Through twenty different shades of grey.

    We live in two different worlds.
    You look towards your glorious future,
    I cast my glance away from my unforgiving past.
    Your world seems impossibly happy and carefree,
    Whilst mine remains grim, deteriorating,
    Full of mandatory responsibilities.

    And yet,
    Despite these prison walls,
    Which I have build tall,
    To surround me.
    For one instant,
    Our eyes lock on,
    You send on your disarming smile forward,
    And I am captured in a moment of breathless delight.

    Though my heart is still scarred,
    Guarded from the horrors of my past,
    There may now be room for hope in my chest.
    Now I may begin my quest,
    My search for something more in this world,
    Than the lies I’ve been told of good and evil.

    Because whilst you are a happy optimist,
    And I am a cynical pessimist,
    Sometimes I can see you crying inside,
    Drowning in an all-consuming mist,
    Of shadowy thoughts and feelings,
    Which torment your ever-glowing soul.

    So I poke and tear through the crumbling brick,
    Stick my hand straight out,
    In the vain hope of catching you,
    To repay the debt of you saving me,
    From those all-consuming thoughts,
    All those years ago.

    This world may be small,
    Unfair and cruel,
    But I am so glad,
    That it contains people like you in it.
    To be the beacon of all that is good,
    The light shining through the end of the tunnel,
    The funnel that filters out the bad memories,
    And make it colourful once more.

      1. courageousdreamer

        Coming from you, that means a lot. Thank you. I really admire the way that you can succinctly express your thoughts and feelings on the page whilst mine are usually Homeric epic poems. :P Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful night/day.

  268. Benjamin Thomas


    That glass
    is half empty
    I know because
    it’s the story
    of my life
    half empty
    that good half
    was poured out
    long ago
    but I let that go
    when it was
    lost to the wind
    already wasted
    never seen again
    yep I’m half filled
    with misty vanity
    mocking my very

  269. alan1704

    On Me….

    I can hear laughter
    Cold laughter
    It hurts
    It stings
    Leaves wounds
    Unfaltering laughter
    Heart beats faster
    Silver words glint
    The pleasure of disbelief
    Feeling dizzy
    I can laugh
    I can relax
    Join in
    The jokes not on me!

  270. kelly letky

    scenic route #27

    i drove to the mountains once
    because i couldn’t leave you from here

    i tied asphalt ribbons in my hair
    and sang louder than 12-ton thunder

    but everywhere i went had already been touched
    by the same sky i’d left you holding

    in a balloon the color of loneliness
    tied to your wrist to mark you

    as the strange lost child
    i could never reclaim

    ~Kelly Letky

  271. donaldillich

    Science Fiction

    When young he gobbled up science fiction,
    believing in starships, lasers, wormholes,
    thinking one day he might fly up to space,
    a colonist of a distant planet,
    where the aliens taught him their science,
    how to live inside robots forever.
    By his forties, he figured that was wrong,
    that NASA was broken down completely,
    the earth would heat too much to support life.
    Movies and books promised sheer destruction,
    apocalypses gathered around him.
    He wouldn’t give up on humanity,
    though; he tried to find a truth to save us,
    a story where everyone loves and survives.

  272. lina


    Once my grandmother won the lottery
    and gave money to everybody.
    My aunt bought a bicycle
    so that when the Germans pulled
    all the boys and men off a city bus,
    she pedaled to where they held my father
    and argued until they let him go.
    When I see the lottery lady
    after the news at night,
    spinning the wheel
    and saying the winning numbers,
    I think of my aunt on her bicycle.

      1. PressOn