Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

I hope everyone’s having a great time with the challenge; I know I am! But I’m already looking ahead to what’s happening on the blog in May and beyond. I’ve interviewed more than 100 poets on this blog, discussed dozens of poetic forms, and covered other topics. But I’m not done yet; so this is my one-time call for queries related to poet interviews, guest posts, or other ideas. If you’re interested in being interviewed, providing a guest post, or have another idea, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poetic Asides Blog Idea.

For today’s prompt, write a monster poem. There are the usual suspects: zombies, vampires, werewolves, and mummies. But monsters can take any form and terrorize a variety of victims. So have fun playing around with this one, because we’ve only got a few days of April left.

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Here’s my attempt at a Monster Poem:

“Clones”

I don’t know where I stand on cloning
but sometimes I think it would be helpful
to have two of me, especially for administrative
work, which I always seem to foul up.

I’m not advocating a Frankenstein’s Monster approach,
more like The Twilight Zone, thought without
the twist at the end that makes me realize
it was a bad idea, because that would be

such a buzz kill. No, I just want the version
of me that cooks and cleans and transports
the kids to do all that stuff while the other
version of me that writes and edits and blogs

does his thing, and we both get extra rest
at the end of the day. And maybe both
versions will hang out sometimes
because they both should have similar

taste in music and movies and write
poetry. But then a third version will emerge
that wants to get outside more to run
and hike and swim and bike. A fourth

will flirt day and night with the ladies,
and a fifth just hangs in the basement
playing old school Tetris. Eventually, my selves
will have drama and a reality TV show

and everyone will complain about that guy
who is actually a bunch of guys
and he/they never get along, and anyway,
I still wouldn’t have time for administration.

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Today’s guest judge is…

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine recently served as the Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington, and is the author of four books of poetry: Unexplained Fevers, She Returns to the Floating World, Becoming the Villainess and The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, upcoming in 2015 from Mayapple Press.

Her work has been featured on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily.

Her poems have appeared The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review and Prairie Schooner.

Her website is www.webbish6.com.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

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

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

Click to continue.

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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 a few monster poems, from man-eaters to fathers. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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600 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

  1. Poetess

    Origins
    `
    The taste of death
    Began in my birth
    Marking me the monster
    Stealing self-worth

    Pungent and tasteless
    Aggression raging
    Face painted black
    For the war waging

    Impetuous inner villain
    Acting out of dread
    Profound murderous anger
    Reckoning the undead

    Bearing the beastly
    Archetype of disruption
    Onto myself the other
    A risky projection

    Lodged in la-la land
    In limbo crossed
    One foot on each side
    The wall embossed

    Neither a home
    Uncanny the double
    Immortal and dead
    Supernatural trouble

    Incarnate memory
    Lived dying somehow
    Eternal higher self
    Lead me now

    Three roads home
    Madness is the worst
    Then words and writing
    Fair destiny I thirst

    Psychology three
    Individuation pun
    The pathway out
    So says Jung

    From “not to be” to “to be”
    That is the question
    Unlearned it early
    The being lesson

    This story board
    Of my soul
    Is reaching beyond
    The being goal

    Ancient vibrations
    Resonating anew
    Key to my lives
    Unlocking high truth

    Impressing upon
    Primeval seeing
    Pure prosaic oneness
    A scene seen being

    The tying threads
    Woven together
    Restoring balance
    The death-life tether

    Infinite my heart
    And beating energy
    Reclaiming it found
    A vivid soul-tapestry

    My inner goddess
    Above the fodder
    Lifts up my being
    Of divine daughter

    Warrioress alas
    Offing the fight straddle
    Breaching the barrier
    Blinding broken battle

    Her copper shield
    Revolves the night
    Beautiful being
    Creature of light

    Scattering illusions
    Victory begins
    Tasting new truth
    And my origins

  2. PenConnor

    The Fiend (a gwawdodyn)

    Grief comes, and it chooses the hour
    it torments as I’m in the shower;
    There’s really no trick for not getting sick,
    on my swallowed tears turning sour.

  3. eileenDmoeller

    Godzilla

    Destroyer of cities,
    born of lightning
    striking the plastic
    Pacific Gyre, melting it
    and congealing it, till it
    came lumbering out of the sea
    mean as a hurricane after climate
    change. Stomping into every
    metropolis, a lumpy skinned,
    blubbery wrecking ball, its
    reptilian footsteps thundering
    down highways, all tail bludgeon
    and sweep, a smell like burning
    tires, a black oil spill big as
    a tsunami, breath a polyclastic
    cloud cauterizing the terrible
    wounds we call cities, the damage
    we call civilization. God-zilla
    the earthy’s new Messiah, all
    action incarnate, word made growl,
    made scour, made scowl, no more
    Beatitudes for us, too late, too late
    for that, for anything but loss and
    death and aftermath. Go ahead, try
    and survive among the carcasses,
    skeletons, relics, flotsam, rubble.

  4. seingraham

    THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT

    It’s not always ghoulies and ghosts
    Imaginary beings that wake me
    And put me on edge, my heart
    Hammering like a timpani drum

    More often than not, it’s a chill
    In my room, a sense that I’m not alone
    And that the person who’s with me
    Is someone I know well but not
    Someone I want to acknowledge

    Being haunted by someone I found
    Frightening in life, is scarier still
    In the dark, and my mind goes places
    That are probably unreasonable
    But still there’s no undoing the thoughts
    That come to me unbidden in the night.

  5. Andrea Z

    Unwelcome Visitor

    I shoot up in my bed,
    hugging my doll close to me
    when I hear a loud noise outside.
    The driveway is outside my window,
    and I’m afraid to look out,
    of what I might see.
    Is it a monster at my window?
    Maybe a scary man
    is trying to break into the house
    to kidnap me, or hurt my family.
    I throw the covers over my head
    and curl up in bed,
    hoping the monster
    will go away on his own.

    The next morning,
    my monster is revealed
    when we go out to the car
    to head for church
    and find it ransacked.

  6. LeighSpencer

    The Monster Collective

    Short man
    dark hair
    iconic mustache

    About as un-Aryan
    as could be
    shouting charismatic ideals

    Blame the monsters!

    Collectively

    Jew
    Gypsy
    Homosexual
    Cripple

    Give hatred a face
    many faces
    while somehow stripping humanity

    You are a title
    real only as the yellow felt star on your chest

    Badge
    for children
    playing at cops and robbers

    But who are the good guys?

    We are!

    And we will be good again
    when the evil is
    exterminated

    Cutting out a cancer
    so the rest may heal

    But who are the monsters?
    We are!

    No, not us

    Not the millions dying in camps
    scapegoats
    for a broken country

    It’s him!

    Little man
    un-Aryan
    iconic mustache

    Big chip on his shoulder
    that looks suspiciously like
    a bar of soap
    or pile of gold teeth

    But it’s not him
    either

    He was a pile of loud words
    dust cloud
    kicked up by soldiers’ feet

    Shrouding
    humanity
    compassion
    decency

    As if his words had more meaning
    than what their eyes could see
    hearts could feel

    Taking up their felt badges
    Accolades
    rather than turn on the master

    Turn on the light
    Turn up the gas

    Who? Us?

    We were just following orders
    saluted from small, lily-white hands

    He left the blood to you

    True badge
    never to be unstained
    of the monster collective

  7. Heidi

    THE JACKAL-MAN

    As I awoke on the grave to blackbirds
    As I awoke to blackbirds screeching
    I saw the monster’s trail rippling the yellow field
    In the yellow field I smell his stench reeking.

    I inched on my belly to the river
    I inched to the river quiet, slow
    He stood half man half jackal with yellow-clawed feet
    With yellow-clawed feet he struck his silver bow

    His hands blood dirty he strung an arrow
    His hands strung an arrow blood dirty
    A twang and swoosh the arrow flew straight for my heart
    Straight for my heart the arrow flew to smite me

    Where the white wolf came from this I know not
    From where he came, this I do not know
    A lunge of white fur between me and the arrow
    Between me and the arrow he took my blow.

    With eyes wild he rushed at the wolf, bleeding
    With eyes wild at the bleeding wolf he rushed
    Amid pecking torrents the blackbirds descended
    The blackbirds descended pecking as blood gushed

    Forming a sheet the blackbirds up lifted
    Forming a sheet lifted up the blackbirds
    The white wolf bleeds droplets on my eyes now watching
    On my eyes watching the white wolf bleeds a dirge.

    At my feet lies fallen the jackal-man
    At my feet the jackal fallen, lies
    In grain fields he lurked waiting to kill the bloodline
    To kill the bloodline, at my feet he now dies.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  8. j.wessier101

    Careless Creation

    Mary Shelly knew the folly
    of creating monsters,
    of believing
    control is the maker’s due.

    When we met, you called me Angel,
    though I claimed more kinship
    with sprites than cherubs.
    Still you set me atop your headboard,

    worshipped me from your creaky springs,
    sang lauds of my beauty and wit
    until – secured by your lure – I
    was helpless to leave.

    Thereafter, each night
    you slipped me
    further beneath you, while you
    disparaged,

    derided, and
    derailed
    everything you
    once claimed

    to love. Blinded
    by the radiance of creation
    you missed me
    growing into something

    more terrible than you.
    Now, I am the monster
    under your bed
    And you cannot sleep.

  9. IndiFox

    Creature

    He reminds me of a vampire
    With his pale skin
    Sharp teeth
    And lustful eyes
    The way he grips me
    I lose myself
    The way he looks
    I can’t help myself
    I’m lost in my obsession
    And he has me by my heart
    He reminds me of a vampire
    Especially in the dark

  10. kevinwiatrowski

    “Monster”

    Deep down, the howling:
    muffled now, but
    always there.
    The dungeon door shudders
    but the bolts hold
    for now
    Chains drag across the floor,
    from wall to wall and
    back again.
    I hear it.
    I feel it.
    Deep inside.
    Waiting.
    Waiting for the day
    it can once more break free
    and rise
    to smother me
    with its black wings,
    to breathe
    its cold breath
    in my ear
    and whisper
    “Doubt” and “Failure.”
    That day will come.
    The earth will turn.
    The sun will sink.
    The hunter will climb the sky.
    That day will come.
    Until then, I shore up
    my defenses and store up
    the light.

  11. David Walker

    The Lines and White Space Terror

    I dare not go in that room.
    The desk is in there. The
    notebook. The just-right
    lighting. The symphony of
    nature buzzing outside
    the glass. I will write if I
    go in there. I will walk in
    with noble and productive
    intentions, but then a humming
    bird will hover above a rosebush,
    carefully avoiding thorns
    as it lands, and the pen
    will grip me. It will shake
    me upside-down until the
    blood has pooled where
    the pen needs it, and then
    it will smear my head against
    the page until my entire soul
    has all but been abandoned.

  12. Emma

    Under the bed

    It’s a scary lesson to learn.
    The realisation creeps up on you,
    Gradually eroding the simple, easy
    Black and white binaries you thought you knew.
    The understanding that there are not monsters
    Under the bed, very few dangerous men
    Waiting down alleyways.
    You learn that the world is not populated with
    A handful of Disney villains amongst the villagers
    And no matter how often you wear
    Your prettiest dresses,
    You are not a princess.
    Under the bed was a metaphor –
    You were scared of what you couldn’t see.
    These monsters hide in plain sight.
    In your father, in your friend,
    In the beautiful boy who looks at you
    Like you are the only jewel of the universe.
    They are not pure evil. You will learn that
    You have to unpack and analyse their love
    Before you ever accept it, looking for
    Threats and ultimatums and abuse
    As if they are bombs and guns and knives
    And you are airport security.
    They love you and cherish you and are a
    Strange shade of dark grey,
    One pretty enough that you will not
    Notice when they slip poison into your drink.
    You are not a princess,
    And no chivalrous knight will save you.
    Get up, learn to fight and learn when to leave.
    Grow your skin thick, wear your best armour.
    If you want to survive,
    You’re going to need it in this world.

  13. horselovernat

    Hidden by the Pines by Natalie Gasper

    Such a lovely afternoon there was
    not too long ago, perfect
    for a walk in the park
    with my valiant steed.

    All tacked up, western of course,
    down the driveway we went,
    excited to be out in the sun
    and away from tedious circling.

    A short time on the road before
    we reached the bridle path,
    semi-trucks, buses, and motorcycles
    all drove by and not once did he flinch.

    The breeze tossed my hair and
    I was hopeless to resist a canter.
    My weight shifted, and off he went
    like we were headed into battle.

    Finally I caught sight of the Piney Woods,
    where tree trunks dance high in the skies,
    the smell unparalleled on all the trails.
    With a sigh of content, we headed in.

    Suddenly my horse stopped, ears at attention,
    muscles tensed in preparation to flee,
    focused intensely on something in the trees,
    his breaths now short and puffed.

    Branches rustled in the brush,
    cracking and creaking the sound came closer
    as my horse started to fret, backing up
    until his heart was racing, death now imminent.

    Tension continued to build as he pictured
    this thing hiding in the pines,
    like a deer, but with three heads, razor teeth,
    long clawing arms and a taste for horses.

    I was barely able to control him as his fear
    overtook whatever logic he possessed.
    There was a monster in these woods,
    at the ready to kill without mercy.

    Then it happened, something emerged from the trees!
    It darted across the path, forcing my horse
    into evasive maneuvers, swerving and weaving,
    desperately wanting to flee the beast.

    Nervous, I caught a glimpse of this monster.
    Terrifying it was, cross my heart,
    about the size of my fore arm, a menacing three pounds,
    and coated in soft brown fur.

    Worst of all were the warm brown eyes,
    not to mention the wet, wiggly nose.
    My horse now under control I stroked his neck,
    understanding his fear at last.
    For I had heard that more horses die each year
    from rabbit attacks
    than anything else.

  14. Pengame30

    “The Fallen One”

    You are locked in chains
    because he put you there.
    You hate every one of us,
    yet we welcome you with open arms,
    while crying his name in vain.
    You are not visible, yet your presence is overbearing.
    Temptation is virtually unavoidable under your jurisdiction,
    although we know you cast it before us.
    You are beautifully scary,
    and inescapable, even in the house of god.
    Till kingdom come.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  15. Amirae Garcia

    Untitled – Amirae Garcia

    I’m trying not to be so mad at you all the time.
    I’m trying not to curse and scream and cry when
    you close the door on me. I know you’re dealing
    with something much stronger. I know the monster
    has a gun to your head and I know that you’re thinking
    it’s only for the best.

    I’m trying to help you. Surely you know this.
    You have to know this. You have to know that
    I’m swimming in the deep and I’m not afraid
    of drowning if it means finding you first. I’m
    not afraid of your darkness. I am not afraid of
    your monsters.

    I am still outside with a bouquet of light.
    I am still willing to put up a fight. The winds
    and rain could never drag me away. The monster
    could swallow me up and still I would stay.

  16. lionmother

    Monsters

    When I was a girl there
    were movies with monsters
    playing on Saturdays in huge
    theaters where the smell of
    popcorn hit your nostrils as
    you walked into the lobbies

    But I didn’t watch those
    for I had my own fears
    of monsters hiding in
    my closet each night
    waiting for me to open
    and they would jump
    out to get me

    So my friends would go
    and tell me they had to
    hide their eyes when the
    monsters like Godzilla,
    came on the screen
    I thought I would never
    see these horror movies,
    including the ones with
    zombies and vampires,
    but somehow they found
    me

    At summer camp the night
    movies with their scratchy
    sounds filled the canvas
    pull down screen with the
    images I most wanted to
    never see with the sounds
    roaring over me and I a
    captive audience needed
    to stay and watch

    Years later I became
    desensitized to monsters
    of all kinds with Mystery Science
    Theater and suddenly I saw
    how phony these monsters
    were. I could see the craziness
    of these movies without feeling
    fear and found the fun that my
    friends so long ago had known

    Of course, by that time
    I no longer believed monsters
    lived in closets and knew they
    really lived in the real world
    where I could not hide from
    them and had to pray they
    would not visit me

  17. d dyson

    I have a monster inside my head.
    He won’t disclose his name.
    His features are all contorted,
    and he spouts words that fill me with shame.

    He won’t disclose his name:
    the bearer of fear,
    and spouts words that fill me with shame
    whenever people are near.

    The bearer of fear,
    he rakes up nightmares,
    whenever people are near,
    and I become too weak to fight.

    He rakes up nightmares,
    the nightmares that induce gut wrenching screams
    and I become too weak to fight,
    I lose sight and hope for a dreamless sleep.

    The nightmares that induce gut wrenching screams,
    his features are all contorted.
    I lose sight and hope for a dreamless sleep,
    I have a monster inside my head.

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