2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! My choice for a poem today is “The Problem Is With Semantics,” by Tammy Foster Brewer (yes, my wife!). If you want to learn more about Poem in Your Pocket Day, click here. If you want to read even more poems by my wife, check out her collection No Glass Allowed.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Tell It to the (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Tell It to the Hand,” “Tell It to the Judge,” “Tell It to the Six-Foot Bunny Rabbit,” and so on.


Free up your poetry with constraints!

Learn how putting constraints on your poetry through poetic forms, blank verse, and other tricks can actually free up your poetry writing skills and enhance your creativity in Writer’s Digest’s first ever Poetry Boot Camp. It will include a one-hour tutorial, personalized Q&A on a secure “attendees-only” message board, feedback on three original poems, and more. Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Tell It to the Blank poem:

“Tell It to the Search Engine”

Prepare for the blood moon
7 dead babies found in home
Bear drags woman from garage
Hundreds fall ill on cruise ship
Weird new trend in plastic surgery
Naked exercise scandal
What ’80s really looked like
Bus crash kills 36 in Mexico
Gun kills people in Kansas City
Iceberg loose
Kid killed playing video game
Politicians track poll numbers
4 ways to cheat on sestinas
9 creatures that shouldn’t exist
DIY fashion ideas
When the world will end
Poll: Nobody cares anymore


Today’s guest judge is…

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina is the author of 17 books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014).

Check out her collaboration, Music For Another Life, with Max Avi Kaplan (BlazeVOX Books) by clicking here.

Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.

Learn more here: http://kristinamariedarling.com/.


PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

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

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

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He spends way too much time on search engines and in databases. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


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763 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

  1. Angie5804

    No time you say?
    Step away from the computer
    Hands in the air
    No time you say?
    Turn off that TV
    Find those shoes
    No time you say?
    Put down that phone
    Put down that game
    No time you say?
    Reach for your toes
    No time you say?
    Tell it to the undertaker

    Angie Bell

  2. stepstep


    Tell it to the Banker
    Make your wishes and desires known
    Let your requests be subject to scrutiny
    As they become full blown.

    How when you acquire loads of money
    You’ll know exactly what to do
    Like feel the hungry, clothe the naked
    Make your charities the glue

    To prove what’s worthwhile
    Cause by needed cause
    Explain to the Banker
    Each cause has a clause.

    Tell it to the Banker
    Money can used for bad or good
    But all your money causes
    Will be used as they should.


  3. seingraham


    “The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally
    one of the chief motives to disclose it.” Dr. Samuel Johnson

    You exclaim,
    saying, you could
    not bear it
    Not another day,
    not another second
    This knowledge
    that you possess
    Of all the
    “listening in”
    your government
    was doing;
    was capable
    of doing.

    Even though
    when you
    your position,
    it was to help
    effect this very
    This “listening in”
    as you call it now
    When you signed
    papers confirming
    your knowledge
    of the fact, and
    your sworn affidavit
    of confidentiality
    when you joined
    this department.

    Now, it seems,
    you are
    suddenly rife
    with pangs
    of conscience,
    worried that
    personal emails
    and other
    private data
    to the citizenry,
    are ripe
    for the picking…
    And your moral
    compass has sprung
    to the fore.

    You have slashed
    all links
    to everything
    Broken, not only the
    rules of employment…
    that would
    be bad enough.

    But – no, you
    have taken
    it more than
    one giant step
    further, and
    broken the law
    More than one law,
    in fact
    As you reveal
    what your agency
    is not only capable
    of doing
    But is actually

    Do you whisper
    this news
    into some
    reporter’s ear?
    No, you announce
    it publically
    in such a way
    that necessitates
    your fleeing
    the country
    of your birth
    and citizenship;
    and having to
    seek asylum
    in some
    other country
    A place
    from which
    you cannot
    be extradited.

    At what point,
    we cannot
    help wondering
    Did you say
    to yourself
    Perhaps I should
    just told this
    to my priest?

  4. ianchandler

    Tell It to the Eavesdropper

    Sometimes I go
    when I look bad

    I haven’t looked that bad in ten years
    one of those

    gobs of

    high pitch

    ten feet from the



    three times

    the little kid
    for some reason.

  5. IndiFox

    Night Visits

    Awaking from my nightmare
    I scream
    Then you rush in
    And comfort me
    Stroking my hair
    You tell me not to worry
    There’s no such thing as monsters
    You say
    Then you kiss my forehead
    Turn off the light
    And leave
    There’s no such thing as monsters
    I hear you murmur
    As you walk away
    But tell it to the rapist
    Who sleeps in your bed

  6. Benjamin Thomas


    Your honor,
    I plead insanity…
    for the prompt
    that strikes my muse.
    But let’s be clear,
    that I’m not confused.
    I’m alert and oriented.
    However, my lunacy
    is quite evident;
    in that
    I blew
    a fuse,

  7. bookworm0341

    “Tell it to MY FACE”

    If you have something negative to say to me,
    Tell it to my face.
    I don’t mind constructive criticism.

    Yet, you won’t tell me, but will tell others?
    What you are doing
    is Destructive criticism

    If you have a problem with me,
    Tell it to my face.
    Maybe it was just a misunderstanding.

    Yet, you won’t come to me, but will go to others?
    Saying things that aren’t true behind someone’s back-
    that is called gossip.

    Next time you have something to say,
    so nothing can get in the way of good communication,
    it will save us both the hurt and frustration,
    if you just tell it to my face.

    By Jennifer M. Terry
    April 24, 2014

  8. Aberdeen Lane


    tell it to the wind

    the wind comes
    with dragons
    dragging my identity
    into trees
    through the mud

    of course I’m dirty
    dear cranes
    please rebuild me

    you want to complain of my condition?!

    tell it to the wind

  9. Amirae Garcia

    Tell It To The Brokenhearted Girl – Amirae Garcia

    Tell it to the brokenhearted girl.
    Let your words spill out onto the pages
    of the letters you will never send to her.
    Turn your apologies into sonnets.
    Compose songs dedicated to her
    containing choruses of “I’m sorry” and
    “I love you” and “I’ll never leave again.”

    Crawl back to her on your knees.
    Beg her and shower her with pleas.
    Tell her how it wasn’t your fault.
    Tell her how it was the biggest mistake
    of your life, but it wasn’t your fault.
    Try to pick her up from the floor and
    stitch her back together with your lips.
    That’s right, make yourself believe you
    are the hero in her story.
    Build yourself up after you
    made her feel so small.

    Tell it to the brokenhearted girl,
    because I don’t believe a single word.

    I grew up and dusted myself off
    from your empty promises and lies.
    I crawled back to myself, all cuts
    and bruises, and held myself.
    Maybe I should thank you,
    but then again, you have no business
    with my thanks. Because when I fell apart,
    I put myself back together.

    Tell it to the brokenhearted girl
    before she becomes me, because
    I won’t have a single word.

  10. foodpoet

    Tell it to the boss

    I sit at the computer
    Key board shackled
    Waiting the clock to click
    I never used to be a
    Tell it by working to the bottom line
    And no more.
    No extra projects
    Tell it by shutting down on the dot
    No energy no pep
    Just telling it…

    Megan McDonald

  11. alana sherman

    Day 24 Tell it to the ____________

    (also a Napowrimo prompt a poem w/20??) I didn’t quite get 20 but…


    Is what the oracle tells me true?
    Have I always required an enemy? And, what mysterious
    meaning lies hidden behind those words?
    Who is my enemy? You, the reader?
    Is it my daughter who wants to live away from me?
    Her husband? Do I really believe he’s my adversary?

    And what does having targets
    for antagonism achieve? Can it change one thing?
    Does it move me any closer to a goal? Will it save the whales?
    Make happen in the world anything I’d like
    to see take place? Why should I prize
    being contrary? What does having grounds
    for erratic action satisfy in me? Does it make me special?
    Will it deflect criticism?
    I tell you Oracle be straightforward for once—
    Give me answers I can understand.


  12. horselovernat

    Tell it to the Northern Wind by Natalie Gasper

    Find an old abandoned lot
    sitting up above the city,
    a place where no one else goes
    and you can be all alone.

    Close your eyes and feel,
    feel everything you’ve been holding inside
    slowly come to the surface,
    raging like an active volcano.

    The pressure is building and building
    until you can’t hold it down anymore,
    so you scream at the top of your lungs
    and hit notes dogs can’t even hear.

    You scream about your overbearing boss,
    the irritating, OCD habits of your coworkers,
    about all the unrealistic expectations of your parents,
    and how you just can’t take it anymore!

    Tell it to the northern wind as loud as you can
    because he’s the only one who truly listens.
    Not a single soul you know really cares about
    or wants to know your troubles.

    When there is nothing left inside
    except the shadows of your stress,
    you fall to your knees and collapse,
    desperate to know how to carry on.

    As a breeze sweeps graciously towards the south
    it stops first to play a game with you hair,
    to let its cool touch send shivers down your spine
    and remind you that everything will be ok.

  13. KiManou


    Tell it to my face
    who your smile lied to
    in the light of day
    but stole away
    in the dark of night

    Tell it to my heart
    metaphysically shattered
    spilling broken promises
    under cardiac arrest
    It believed every word you pumped
    to be true
    I need a transfusion

    Tell it to my body
    She submitted to you
    received you
    assented under your hands
    disintegrated with every thrust
    agile trust…she followed you

    Tell it to my soul
    behind cavernous eyes
    still hunting for peace
    still shedding remnants of you

    Tell it to my future
    not in your hands
    not from your heart
    Blank Colorful Solid
    It is well
    without you


  14. PenConnor

    I lay in the dark,
    wish my wolf-heart wasn’t pierced,
    longing for your touch.
    I failed you, still love you, hate
    some of this and all of me.

    Tell it to the moon:
    howl your wish that we were whole.
    Howl your broken heart;
    Wish to turn back that damned clock.
    Or live with choices you’ve made.

  15. Evelyn Philipp

    Tell it to the principal
    How they were pushing and hitting
    you, making bruises
    and calling you “wuss”
    and worse things.
    Yanking your pants
    until they came down.
    Laughing, laughing.

    Will he hear?

    Tell it to their parents
    that their sweet
    children transform into
    hellish creatures bent on torture
    in the
    warp-space of a bus ride
    every day.
    Planning, plotting.

    Will they care?

    Tell it to the judge
    how you could not
    go back to school
    after they broke your arm.
    They snicker and boys will be
    boys is the lawyer’s theme.
    Horseplay or assault.

    Will justice be served?

    Perhaps, at last.

  16. d dyson

    Tell it to the stars
    they listen, brightly amused
    watching over us.

    Tell it to the sun,
    she injects a breath of life
    to land, sea and earth.

    Tell it to the moon,
    he waits to hear your worries
    and dissolve them all.

    Tell it to the sea,
    she carries secrets so well
    she can bury deep.

  17. mbramucci

    Tell it to the Other End of the Line
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    Tell it to the me who
    Waits for no one
    She took the bait
    Now bears the consequence of haste
    Your patience keeps
    Our line bound and taut
    Only to unravel
    When the hook slips
    And I drift along the wake
    Into your arms and the line slacks
    And the line tangles
    And the net holds us closely
    Deeper in love

  18. jclenhardt

    Tell It To The Minstrel

    Tell it to the Minstrel;
    the Mouse,
    who lives beneath
    the Chapel
    with his big
    and oversized
    ears, and though
    hard of hearing,
    he is a good listener,
    and for a small block
    of cheese will sing
    you a jig – off tune.

  19. julie e.

    TELL IT TO THE OTHER GUY: bird’s eye view.

    I’ve been hangin’ out in this nest lettin’ mom and dad keep me fed and warm and just observing my siblings’ forms as they vacate this humble abode here in the porch eaves and watchin’ ’em lunge and plunge testing out their wings and one thing i can tell you for sure is i’m not leaving till i’m sure i won’t do like the last guy and fly straight into the side of the garage then turn and bounce off the window and end up stunned on the ground wondering why the sky’s so hard, so if you have some advice then tell it to the other guy cuz that’s just words, and i’m gonna keep watching till i know i can soar.

  20. BezBawni

    Fairy Tales

    tell that sweet story of a prince
    remember? when we were in Paris
    putting a lock on a bridge
    with our names on it?

    tell it, the story is so nice
    remember? I couldn’t stop crying
    you had to give me your tissue
    your mother’s present

    tell it, I love it dearly
    could you? there’s nothing better
    than when you get to the end
    and hum the tune

    do tell, you’re such a talented
    story-teller, tell it to that girl
    I saw you with when you called to tell me
    you had to work late
    by Lucretia Amstell

  21. Poetess

    Tell It To Her

    She said write
    A letter to myself
    Third eye
    I need some help

    Be kind to me
    I can see it
    Fleeting pain
    Only a minute

    The gift I have
    My outer form
    Beauty is mine
    My inner score

    Creative moments
    Find me clever
    Birthing words
    Secret endeavor

    I didn’t drive drunk
    I sat on the curb
    I didn’t go with a stranger
    Have you heard?

    I see the bright side
    Of my life
    And my brilliance
    Is truly rife

    Kindness and love
    Mustering for me
    I finally know it

    I am a syndrome
    And oxymoron
    Sharp and dull sides
    This coin is on

    Birth and death
    The sun the moon
    Polar opposites
    My familiar tune

    Eternally voicing
    Pages they render
    My loving acceptance
    My real surrender

    Masculine ways
    Healing the broken
    My feminine heart
    The silent notion

    A “complement “
    Perfect as I am
    Finding my words
    From the pen

    She said write
    A kind letter
    To the wounded girl
    Tell it to her

  22. Penny Henderson


    Winter does not care to leave.
    Snow insists on sifting down.
    Air recedes to frigid zones,
    low slung clouds glower and frown.

    Slowly, slyly, grass turns green.
    The gavel falls, shoots are froze.
    Robin stands to defy the verdict:
    “Try telling that to the primrose.”

  23. Azma


    Delirious over thinking
    Ridiculous magnifying
    of preposterous mole hills
    There’s not much ado here
    take a breather!

    -Azma Sheikh