Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

Poetry is so much bigger than any one poet, genre of poetry, or school. It’s also bigger than any one blog or website. So I want to share a few of my favorite poetry resources before the month is over: The Academy of American Poets; Poetry Foundation; Best American Poetry blog; Coldfront; and Ron Silliman’s blog.

For today’s prompt, write a water poem. Life depends upon water, so there are any number of ways to write this prompt. A few thoughts that jump to mind include pollution, rising water levels, hurricanes, fracking, and more.

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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.

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Here’s my attempt at a Water Poem:

“212”

some people are pretty quick to anger
they spill over whenever they’re able
to point out any possible dangers
most of them get their news via cable

they spill over whenever they’re able
ready with a new complaint every day
most of them get their news via cable
which is where they learn the right things to say

ready with a new complaint every day
they stew like a full pot of hot water
and they forget all the right things to say
as the hot water gets even hotter

they stew like a full pot of hot water
to point out any possible dangers
as the hot water gets even hotter
some people soon boil in their anger

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Today’s guest judge is…

Amy King

Amy King

Amy King

Of I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press), John Ashbery describes Amy King’s poems as bringing “abstractions to brilliant, jagged life, emerging into rather than out of the busyness of living.”

Safe was one of Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2011.

King teaches Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and works with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Check her latest blog entries at Boston Review, Poetry Magazine and the Rumpus.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

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

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

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. His book includes more than a few references to water. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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Drink up the following poetic posts:

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650 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. ianchandler

    wet

    like paint thrown on the canvas,
    the lake spits and overflows, foams and pirouettes
    as a ring of trees watches the symphony
    of synchronized bubble dance.

    unknown, it will be made into grassjuice,
    slivers of ice along the riverbed,
    and reversals of ebb in estuaries.

    down my albatross neck,
    spiraling through and throughout ravines of veins,
    it slips like lovemaking at night,
    early restlessness brought on by the tug
    of teeth and tickle.

    likeness of fern,
    smallness of bubble,
    it tracks itself downstream
    over gilded rocks and suckered twigs
    full of the ancients
    and headed, no doubt,
    to a dank sewage plant

    as if the entire world
    runs on a network of aqueducts.

  2. Angie5804

    A Water Terza Rima

    Salty, foamy waves roll on in with the tide
    Washing over rocks and crabs and tender toes
    Performing the peaceful melody worldwide

    The stream wanders hills and valleys as it flows
    Coursing over pebbles, bubbling all the way
    Playing sweetly as a song it does compose

    The mighty river dances its own ballet
    Fresh or brackish, it rolls on and on for miles
    Telling all to follow, follow far away

    The lake, pond, brook, marsh – they all have their own style
    They slake the thirst for beauty – they bring a smile

    Angie Bell

  3. eileenDmoeller

    Like The Empty Bucket

    We dream of water,
    like the cup set down to dry,
    we yearn to be filled,
    to listen as the spigot plays
    its musical notes on
    the cistern’s surface,
    a song that gurgles
    and tickles, sure as
    the coursing of blood
    in our ears, water
    linking everything
    together, springs
    and creeks, streams
    and rivers, all current
    driven and pushing
    out to the ocean,
    that briny embracing
    magnitude we ache
    to sit beside, wade
    into, float upon,
    fathom.

  4. seingraham

    IN FROM THE LAKE

    Even the sun
    seems wary
    of shining
    too brightly
    on this tableaux.

    The slant of light
    on the lake
    disguises the merl
    of blackbirds
    Until they fill
    the sky overhead,
    their wings so many
    and so thick
    They block out day
    and for a long
    moment
    make dawn
    seem as night.

    The prisoner
    is being
    brought from
    his isolationist
    place by boat
    Crowds lining
    the shores,
    set up a roar
    when they
    see his slight figure,
    orange-clad,
    arise from the water,
    beside the dock.

    They begrudge
    him even these
    few hours when,
    shackled and
    hand-cuffed,
    he will appear
    in court…
    He is still
    too free
    for those
    in attendance.

    All they
    can think—
    and their thoughts
    fill the air
    with collective
    rage—

    His baby girl is
    dead; her life
    stolen by this
    man, her father.
    He never raises
    his eyes and
    they are
    glad of it.
    They want
    his head, but
    will settle
    that his very
    will to live
    be broken.

  5. Andrea Z

    Canal

    The canal is filling up today,
    after a long, harsh winter.
    Bystanders line the lift bridge
    in the middle of Spencerport
    to commemorate the occaision.
    looks of wonder turn to disgust
    as green slime comes up with the water,
    and objects suddenly appear,
    floating down the canal.
    A couch has been spotted in Spencerport,
    while an easy chair makes its way
    through the Village of Fairport.
    Perhaps the filling of the Canal
    isn’t that exciting.

  6. j.wessier101

    Gulf of Yen

    If I were with you now,
    the drowning gulf in my chest
    would trickle to a meandering mountain stream,
    a mere slip of longing I could live with.
    The elephant on my ribs,
    crushing breath and beat and bone,
    would leave to sojourn in some other dark Congo.
    Light would break through
    the blackouts I’ve culled from brown bottles.
    As it is, I breathe here,
    but my heart beats there.

  7. Aberdeen Lane

    a swan anomaly
    as moonbeams skip
    crinkled phosphorescent
    ripples, as clouds
    view themselves
    as distorted refractions
    fish blowing bubbles
    dicey joy

    I see her diamonds
    like a ring of power
    in the cunning undulation
    phantasmagorical whims
    float along in their canoes
    cautionary tales ignored
    heading for the waterfall

  8. IndiFox

    Documented Downfall

    Dear Amy,
    Oh I’M great by the way.
    Thanks for not asking.
    I know he’s your son,
    But I have feelings too!
    Chris x
    P.S. Lucas is fine

    Dear Amy,
    Haven’t heard from you.
    I guess you’re mad?
    The silent treatment,
    That’s just great..
    Chris

    Dear Amy,
    Why haven’t you written?
    It’s been weeks.
    Don’t you care how Lucas is?
    Chris.

    Dear Amy,
    Lucas is playing in the water!
    You know that big lake?
    I haven’t checked on him in a while,
    I hope he’s okay!
    I’ve just been so worried about you Amy!
    You better check on him!
    Better hurry Amy!
    BY THE TIME YOU GET THIS IT MAY BE TOO LATE!

  9. Nancy Posey

    Tennessee River

    Just a trickle
    back during the War,
    easy to ford in spots,

    now she’s wide
    in the haunches,
    covering old farms
    and cotton fields
    since they dammed
    her up, and no one
    thinks about what
    lies below

    except those catfish
    so big, rumors say,
    they could swallow
    a grown man
    if they chose

    mostly they hover,
    moving just enough
    to stay afloat,
    occasionally
    turning a round eye
    toward sunlight,
    at turtles,
    outboard motors,
    and bare toes.

  10. azkbc

    It’s Really Only Water
    Tuesday morning began like Monday. You bounced out of bed, grabbed teddy and ran down the hall. “Mommy?” you called and she answered, “Nursing Hunter”. You ran into the bedroom, then turned and went into their bathroom where Daddy was in the shower. You stood there for a few minutes watching Daddy then he stepped out and said, “Good morning, Connor.” You ran back and climbed up to share the bed with Mommy while she nursed Hunter then gave her a big hug and jumped down and ran around the room like an airplane. “Connor,” Daddy called to you drying himself with the big towel, “why don’t you go get a book and we can read it until Hunter is finished and Mommy can help you get dressed.” So you hurried down the hall to the family room where the big blue book bin sat and squatted down beside it to find a book. “Oh no!” you called, “Pee pee’s coming out!” Daddy ran down the hall to the family room and then Mommy and Hunter came down the hall. Mommy and Daddy looked at each other, “Did you take him to the potty?” they said at the same time. “No, I thought you did,” they said in unison. So Mommy set Hunter down in the family room and scooped you up and ran to the potty and Daddy grumbled and ran to the basement to get the carpet shampooer and brought it back upstairs and it began to make that noise which was so loud you couldn’t hear what Daddy was saying, though maybe that was a good thing. Daddy shampooed the carpet over and over until he decided all the pee pee was gone and then brought up the fan that’s as tall as you and turned it on and closed the family room door. Mommy had helped you get dressed and everyone went downstairs, just like every day.

  11. Shell

    Cleansed
    By Shell Ochsner

    Upon the weight held atop shoulders of the weak,

    Pondering thoughts process as days become heavier and heavier.

    Only relief granted;

    saturation.

  12. Lori DeSanti

    Salt and Water

    Sea foam encroaches along the shoreline,
    handfuls of bone-white ocean clouds clinging
    to our legs. You scoop it into your palms at

    low tide, paint my face with it, it is salty and
    dries out my skin. It forms a barrier into the
    water, a wall between us, and all I want is the

    sea to lap against my feet and draw me back
    into the water. How much of me is salt? I am
    already made of water. We drag our legs into

    the tide, I wait for the hands of the undertow
    to grip at my ankles, pleading, calling me home.

  13. Amirae Garcia

    Lady In The Water – Amirae Garcia

    You will see her face in the water,
    the shimmering glimpse of the woman
    inside. The woman who does not cry
    when boys do not want her. The woman
    who commands the attention of every
    person in the room without even saying
    a word. She is stronger and kinder and much
    more patient than you. You see her and you love her.
    You want so much to dig inside yourself, to
    scratch away at any flaw that pulls you away
    from her, but I beg you to stop. You cannot
    do that. You cannot place a person so high.
    You do not know where she has been.
    You do not know how long it took her to
    get to you. She seems so far away, but if
    she found you once, she will find you again.
    She will find you. Let her. Let her.

  14. horselovernat

    Finding Wisdom in Water by Natalie Gasper

    Generation Y is a great one
    despite having no finite definition.
    I like to think that we are individuals
    who aren’t afraid to be different.

    Because of this, we see the world
    in ways that others don’t,
    and, at least for me, I think
    there is much to be learned
    still from nature.

    An avid lover of all things Disney,
    Pocahontas once made a great point:
    that you never step in
    the same river twice.

    Water is in constant motion,
    no part of the ocean ever stays the same
    just like no lake holds the same water
    year after year, not with all of the winds and tides.

    It can be the most peaceful sight
    or the most destructive force,
    bringing unparalleled beauty
    and untold horrors.

    When struggling with negative emotions,
    the answer to dealing with them comes from water.
    Allowing them to sit and stew does nothing.
    It is far better to let them flow through,
    for doesn’t flowing water erode even the largest rocks?

    It has always puzzled me that in a world
    made for humans (whether you believe in God
    or evolution, both or neither), that water
    makes up most of the planet.
    And we cannot survive underwater.

    Perhaps the earth knew that humans would be destructive,
    wreaking havoc in the blink of an eye, always selfish,
    and so it created a place to keep its secrets safe.
    A place that could take an eternity to claim as ours.
    Earth made the world into a place we still call a mystery.

    I wonder if all the secrets of the world
    aren’t hidden somewhere in the oceans.
    That the depths of the seas are home to ancient knowledge
    forgotten long ago, or to magical creatures
    we think exist solely in the minds of children.

    It’s for the best that water, source of life everywhere,
    an elusive mystery and beauty, remain so secretive.
    For until the day that humans can learn to listen to its waves,
    we will never appreciate all the truth it has to offer,
    all the lessons and wisdom water has to teach.

  15. Pengame30

    “A message from water to humans”

    You are made of me.
    Without me, survival is unfathomable.
    You taint me, by adding salts and sugars to my base.
    This, I don’t appreciate.
    You flush me, drain me,
    and tread upon me when it’s raining.
    What have I done to deserve such treatment?
    Give you life?
    Merge with oxygen in synergistic harmony,
    uplifting you to a heightened existence?
    I was created for you to drink me in my purest form,
    but instead you gargle me and spit me out,
    like a cell excreting waste.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  16. lionmother

    Water

    The rain pours
    over all and I
    begin to think
    of the water
    pooling on the
    ground

    Bringer of life
    We grow in it
    in the womb
    and use it to
    replenish our
    own liquid.

    It can be a helper
    or a monster
    bringing floods with
    deluging rains
    or swirling in waves
    as a tsunami

    Or it can be
    a mirrored surface
    where you can gaze
    and dream and feel
    peace

    We bathe in it
    and cleanse our
    skins and we wash
    our clothes in it
    water splashing in
    circles

    Water is everything
    to us and we are
    part of it
    We live in each other
    Needing and being needed

  17. Angela Kidd

    Deep Sea Wishes

    We went to the sea
    you and me.
    We went to drop petals
    letting go
    watching our pasts float away…

    We made wishes
    half-hearted–
    After all, we didn’t really know
    what we wanted.

    Then we sacrificed our legs
    slipping into the sea
    flipping our tails–
    Mermaids at last.

  18. Emma

    Rain

    You are a droplet of rain.
    You feel the impact as you smack the surface
    Of the stream out back behind the yard,
    The one that’s almost all dried up.
    But you don’t see the ripples you cause.
    You are the first of many, the end
    Of this dizzying drought.
    You paint my world with green
    Water colours, gave me life
    When I felt I had nothing good left.
    In actual fact, 30% of you isn’t water,
    And it was your words that dragged me
    From the brink. I didn’t need
    Hydration – I needed hope.
    You are a droplet of rain
    Rippling out around you,
    Washing all those toxins away
    – but really,
    You are the might of the ocean
    Hiding in human skin.

  19. David Walker

    Need

    They say you need water,
    that you would die without
    it. But I would die faster
    without love. Those phone
    calls with my father about
    bowling or fishing or God,
    those nights without clothes
    laughing at shadows with
    you, the grip of my nephew’s
    hand around my pinky. My
    throat would dry up and my
    lungs would crisp if all I
    did was focus on the elements.

  20. Snow Write

    Water flowing over rocks
    Altering a quiet breeze
    Thoughts of nature overtake
    Every soul within its reach
    Rushing sounds felt all around
    Falling down to the lagoon
    Always moving, constant flow
    Landscape molded by the stream
    Lovely marvel of a view

  21. modscribery

    Day 26: Water poem

    “Over the Deep”

    Waters,
    ancient embodiment of chaos,
    filled the void.

    Were they churning,
    shrouding timeless mysteries,
    transparent yet impenetrable?

    Were they still and calm,
    undisturbed by the
    slightest reflection.

    Did they gently ripple
    as the wind hovered
    silently over their deeps?

    Or did they erupt
    as light plumbed their depths
    for the first time?

  22. JayGee2711

    Dreamboat

    The bridge sloped down
    like a roller coaster
    and our boat slid
    into the sea.

    We took to our paddles
    while the sea birds
    squabbled overhead.
    I’d worn my jacket
    and I was glad.

    We drank beer and
    ate fish stew from
    the iron pot
    with soft white bread.

    And when you asked me
    what I wanted
    I already knew.
    This, I said.

    I thought we were
    going home,
    but maybe we were
    already there.

    Julie Germain

  23. Jaywig

    Greek Wedding

    I expected to cry.
    Isn’t that what the mothers do?
    I expected lots of conversation.
    Instead the priest and chanter
    wove a spell, promised God
    these two would be fruitful.

    Outside, rice and sparkling red
    confetti rained upon the happy pair.
    The sky spat only slightly
    at photographers and family alike.

    Carried away on river current,
    they left us with nothing to do.
    I was told rain was a good omen.
    They ascended into honeymoon skies
    before the cold front brought showers,
    and a necessity for driving carefully.

    Jennie Fraine

  24. Mickie Lynn

    Water

    The essential ingredient
    for all of life as we know it.

    Water is a metabolite,
    a chemical that participates
    in chemical reactions.
    Sometimes it joins the orgy.
    It is a lover.

    Water is also a solvent,
    a place where said chemicals can react
    to become dissolved compounds.
    Acidic, alkaline, and all that falls in between
    to feed the tiny cells of life.
    Sometimes it hosts the party.
    It is an event planner.

    Water is a transporter
    of these compounds
    into and out of cells
    through vessels of blood,
    the veins
    the arteries,
    and through stems of cellulose,
    the phloem
    the xylem.
    Water is life on the move.
    Sometimes it drives the cab.
    It is the designated driver.

    Water has unusually high boiling and melting points
    so it works to protect enzyme activity
    that is sensitive to temperature.
    Water is a temperature buffer.
    Sometimes it keeps the bad at bay.
    It is a bouncer.

    Water is life.
    It has many occupations,
    many responsibilities,
    but water,
    Water is always the life of the party.

  25. Rolf Erickson

    Every Drop of Rain

    Every drop of rain
    is a messenger.
    It tells the story
    of the sea and
    the sky and of flying.

    Every drop of rain
    is an endless river.
    It runs from the sea
    to the mountains
    and returns home again.

    Every drop of rain
    is a broad ocean.
    Wild on the surface
    and softly grateful
    in its depth of silence.

    Every drop of rain
    is an endless soul.
    Coming and returning
    and remembering
    everything that was.

    Every drop of rain
    is your own heart.
    It beats with the love
    of what you are and
    someday will become.

  26. Louise Findlay

    Title: The Water Ripples

    The water ripples, moving fast,
    A torrential rain.

    The water ripples, moving fast,
    Serene in complexion.

    The water ripples, moving fast,
    Immersed in it I am.

    The water ripples, moving fast,
    A sea of tranquil vibes.

    The water ripples, moving fast,
    The tide rushes in.

    The water ripples, moving fast,
    The water cycle ends.

  27. foodpoet

    Water on edge
    Blue sky churning waves
    No shore
    No sign

    Blue sky churning waves
    Searching for fragments
    No sign
    No pieces of memory

    Searching for fragments
    Holding hands
    No pieces of memory
    To bind the family

    Holding hands
    No shore
    To bind the family
    Water on edge 

    Megan McDonald

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