Editors Blog

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 28

Note: Today is the final day to sign up for a special poetry boot camp with Daniel Nester. Learn how to free up your creativity with this special event. Click to continue.

As luck would have it, today’s guest judge, Sandra Beasley, has a poem featured over at Poets.org as part of their Poem A Day program. Write your poem today, and then read it; or better yet, read it first, then write your poem. Either way, once you’re ready, click here.

For today’s prompt, write a settled poem. Settled can be a good, relaxing thing; settled can be an accepting something that wasn’t your first choice thing; settled can be coming to a stop; settled can be pioneers in a strange land; and so on. With only three days left, don’t settle for less than your best.


national_poetry_monthGet the National Poetry Month Kit!

Yes, this has been another great National Poetry Month, and here’s a great kit to celebrate: The Writer’s Digest National Poetry Month Kit, which includes a digital version of The Poetry Dictionary, a couple paperbacks (Creating Poetry and Writing the Life Poetic), a tutorial on building an audience for your poetry, the 2014 Poet’s Market, and more!

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Settled Poem:


the boy picks up a stone
holds it loose in his hand
studies the smooth surface
for just a brief moment
before drawing hand back
and casting the stone forth

the stone cuts through the wind
taps the water’s surface
before pushing airborne
again and then again
five skips total before
slipping beneath the thin

skin separating air
from water and the stone
twists awkwardly against
liquid and bounces off
the wet bottom finding
a new place to settle


Today’s guest judge is…

Sandra Beasley (credit: Matthew Worden)

Sandra Beasley (credit: Matthew Worden)

Sandra Beasley

Sandra is the author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Recent honors for her work include the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, Cornell College’s Distinguished Writer fellowship, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Writer in Residence position, and two DCCAH Artist Fellowships.

Her most recent book is Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergy. She lives in Washington, D.C., and is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa.

Learn more here: sandrabeasley.com.


PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

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

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

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He’s grateful to today’s guest for endorsing his book. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.


Hope you’ll settle for these poetic posts:

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

585 thoughts on “2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 28

  1. Benjamin Thomas


    After the dust settles,
    and the smoke clears
    from the vicinity.
    When the fog is lifted,
    and widespread destruction
    becomes apparent.
    Desolation runs freely
    to and from every place.
    But our words will remain
    hidden within the heart.

  2. Alaska Christina

    At Days’ End

    The cool, damp dew caresses my neck
    as I lay in a field of sweet clover.
    Long branches stretch across the horizon
    my hand caressing that of my lover.
    The call of the raven echoes the beat of our hearts
    and we’re lulled to sleep as the robin sings.
    White, fluffy clouds dance across the blue skies
    while nymphs of the woods do foresty things.

  3. Alaska Christina

    Through cool, damp woods
    And hot, dry desserts, my feet have taken me.
    Up rock-strewn mountain sides
    And across flowing creek beds too.
    Along winding back roads through the Irish countryside
    And the paved streets of Paris, Denmark and New York.

    I’ve two-stepped in low-heeled cowboy boots
    And barely walked in four inch black stilettos.
    I’ve played on beaches in pink rubber flip-flops
    And green and tan sneakers have pushed me past crystal clear lakes
    I’ve searched for octopus and seastars while wearing xtra tuffs
    And summitted cliff faces in tight-laced hiking boots.

    I’ve not walked a mile in another’s shoes
    But I’ve walked more than my share of miles.
    I’ve stumbled and faltered and fallen down hard
    And danced barefoot beneath an Alaskan Solstice sky.
    I’ve run naked through a field of bursting yellow clover
    And set my socked feet up against a warm, crackling bonfire.

    I’ve swayed beyond a tall, limber man playing guitar
    As I wrote poetry under the setting Mexican sun.
    I’ve paced up and down long, narrow hallways
    Nieces and nephews tucked deep into the hollow of my arms.
    I’ve rubbed my toes up against a lover’s hard, sinewy calf
    And smiled as he’s taken my hand and held it firmly in his.

    I’ve cut the toenails of my Father’s swollen feet
    As he lay restless next to the humming oxygen tank.
    I’ve rested sunburned ankles on cool towels
    As the Hawaiian sun beat relentlessly through an open window.
    And I’ve trudged hill after hill across snow and grass and leaves
    To place flowers, shells and stones on the graves of those I love.

    I’ve stepped across the cool, cracked salty water of salt flats
    To realize a dream come true.
    And run through a jungle of lions and juniper trees
    Dreams where my feet twitch and twist through the night.
    And still these feet keep moving forward
    Settled and unsettled on top of this planet spinning it’s dizzying pace.

  4. Angie5804

    A Settled Villanelle

    Truly gone are so many years
    Washed away like a little paper boat
    Leaving here the lovely souvenirs

    Settling down it’s clear
    A beautiful, single note
    Truly gone are so many years

    Washed away are the numerous fears
    Shed like a winter coat
    Leaving here the lovely souvenirs

    Peeling away the false veneer
    Gone the burden of rote
    Truly gone are so many years

    Like evening when the moon appears
    And the stars seem to float
    Leaving here the lovely souvenirs

    So it is when nothing interferes
    Contented and pleasantly remote
    Truly gone are so many years
    Leaving here the lovely souvenirs

    Angie Bell

  5. Heidi


    Am I hard?
    Or do you consider me kind?
    Am I sandpaper scraping
    smooth bare wood?
    Or like a red silk scarf on
    dry soap? Am I bitter? Sweet?
    A little bit of both?
    Am I a tangle of thoughts
    like threads in a bird’s nest?
    Or am I a winding labyrinth of
    crooked streets? Do you
    still love me, even though
    I get lost on these streets?
    When I smell the rain,
    spicy on winter wind
    I want to live with you, always,
    feeling your mouth on my mouth.

    No. It is your black whiskers
    like sandpaper against my
    smooth cheeks. Red silk dancing
    in your arms.

    Heidi R. de Contreras

  6. grcran

    You, Not Your

    She’s not here anymore
    But at least you are
    into the sack
    the end of a difficult day for you
    and for me
    Some hard sleeping
    Then, night’s luscious middle
    i wake, hear you breathing
    across the bed
    This waking feels soft, easy
    the idea of returning to sleep
    not troubling at all
    even though I am
    always aroused
    by you
    i reach out with my right hand
    gently fondly lightly
    palpate your firm flank
    i rest my hand on the bed between us
    (i didn’t think i had woken you)
    you reply to my caress
    extending to touch the back of my hand
    your own wonderfully deft
    i love you too, sweet cat

    by gpr crane

  7. seingraham


    I’ve fallen out of love, she said
    tears welling in her beautiful eyes
    Then amended that to:
    If I was ever in love…
    Then ensued a long heart-to-heart
    About love and marriage and when
    To go and when to stay and how
    unwise it is for all concerned
    to settle

    It’s true, and it was time to own up
    to the mistake but not lightly
    and even an amicable parting
    as this was sure to be was going
    to involve grief and mourning
    for all concerned…
    But – no – there was no way she
    should settle, of that she was certain.

  8. Aberdeen Lane

    the discomfort of settling

    with this ring
    I give up myself
    to try to bring you
    in morning coffee
    and clean laundry

    I thee wed
    in all our sicknesses
    to attempt to avoid
    tragic ends

    to have and to hold
    all the doubts
    and resentments
    over your head
    all the days of our lives

    or until I decide I will settle for this no more

  9. LeighSpencer

    Sweetness Settled

    The tea is bitter

    I like it dark
    but this brew stings my tongue

    The warmth still soothes
    steam eases my breathing

    So I am thankful overall
    to relax into the last sips

    But there
    a sweetness almost cloying


    at the bottom of the cup

    Should I have stirred it up
    to sweeten the whole journey?

    Or be thankful
    to appreciate all I had
    while savoring the last surprise
    of settled sweetness?

  10. JayGee2711


    May walks in at three o’clock.
    I’m cleaning rocks, listening
    to the snow geese trilling
    overhead, circling, looking for
    a place to rest.

    Later, we look at a house
    that is almost perfect, but
    we decide without speaking
    that neither of us is
    ready to move.

    Julie Germain

  11. j.wessier101

    Snow Settling on Poet

    To a poet, cold feels like a brittle branch
    in the beak of a starved dark-eyed Junco.
    It has a scent like pine crisp needles,
    a taste on the tongue like a fire ant’s bite.
    Cold is a warrior’s courage
    with all his battles behind.
    It is a woman told, “I settled for you,”
    a man who worked
    while his last chance for love
    left on the Northern Belle.
    Cold is a home with no lights on,
    a city with no pulse,
    a country with no pride.
    To a poet, cold is fat flakes
    in lazy drifts along the Dalton Highway
    settling on stalled life.

  12. IndiFox

    Settling Down

    I’m getting older
    I’m settling
    I use to view that
    As an awful thing
    But with you
    It’s not so bad
    With you
    It won’t be a drag

    We can build a house
    On a faraway cliff
    Fill it up with antiques
    And other silly gifts

    We’ll have dinner parties
    Play scrabble by the fire
    People said we wouldn’t last
    But we’ll make them liars

    So settling won’t be awful
    If that’s what ensues
    And I couldn’t make this promise
    To anyone but you

  13. shethra77


    As the sun disappears—
    orange sky, hooting owls,
    the edge of the woods quivering
    with night creatures awaiting release—
    we sit, hand in hand, appreciating
    being here, just sitting

  14. PSC in CT

    Ooops! Not that it should matter, but I couldn’t leave it wrong. (Thanks to Linda H for pointing out the error.) This poem was supposed to be in the Pleiades form — which requires 7 lines, not 8. (Guess I can’t count when I’m tired.) :-/ Fixed it here:


    “Settle down” she whispers,
    seeking a tiny spark –
    some inspiration. Un-
    settled she’s still searching.
    Suddenly, Pleiades
    suggests a solution.
    Situation settled.


  15. KiManou

    Casualty of Love

    I lay awake
    Watching darkness
    Listening to crickets
    The ceiling fan rotates
    Your stubble grazes my chin

    This is your tenth second chance

    But who’s counting

    Five fingers holding tightly onto me

    In the morning

    They’ll be coffee

    And I’ll question myself

    Feel a lil guilty confused with humility

    And two scoops of clarity

    You break me… then mend me…

    To shatter me

    I think I’m missing pieces


    Now you’re the casualty

    Of this broken love

    Another funeral to attend


  16. PenConnor

    Prayer Before Bed (a pantoum)

    While I settle to the ground,
    close my eyes and try to breathe,
    while the forest fills with sound–
    silence whispers, underneath.

    I close my eyes, struggle to breathe.
    I cannot face the stars or moon.
    Silence taunts me underneath.
    I turn to face the earth, here strewn

    with broken shards of stars and moon.
    I lie beside them, near to where
    the pieces of my heart, are strewn.
    In time my tears become a prayer.

    I lie here, lonely, near to where
    discarded stars and leaves have blown.
    Tears oft repeated, become a prayer:
    Let me just lie here, turn to stone.

    Discarded stars and leaves have blown,
    and gathered, rest around this tree.
    Let me just lie here, turn to stone,
    release my pain and be set free.

    Come gather near, around this tree,
    and see the work that grief has done.
    Woman of stone, I’ve been set free.
    Washed by the rain, warmed by the sun.

  17. Linda Hatton


    Word-tied, hands tired, metaphorical
    milk carton nearly empty. Timer’s almost
    boiled all the eggs in this poetical
    basket, and the delivery man
    won’t make trips to simile city
    tonight. The sonnets resting on my cranium
    can’t withstand the heat, so I’ve settled
    for freestyle swimming through alphabet souped-
    up poetry not making it from pen to paper.

    -Linda G Hatton

  18. SugarMagnolia

    It’s Settled

    After it all settles
    Voices lowered
    Only an awkward silence
    Fills the empty room
    Looking around for scattered
    Pieces of my heart
    My vision blurred by
    Tears that roll
    Down my face
    Dropping to the ground
    Where the words still inger
    After being thrown
    Like daggers
    Intended to kill
    My spirit, my soul
    Hurting and wounding
    Every ounce of my being
    But a faint heartbeat
    That will strengthen
    And learn to love again

  19. poet42

    Lord, I long for
    that settled feeling
    in my soul–
    the sense that all
    is right because
    You are all light.
    Help me to stop
    fretting, fearing, flailing
    because things are
    not going my way
    and instead let me
    submit to Yours.
    Help me to keep
    my gaze on You
    and not on problems,
    pressures and pessimists.
    Give me grace to stop
    resisting and to
    rest in Your love.

  20. Linda.H

    A settling in poem.
    Pleiades form.


    Sleep seems to have sailed off
    somewhere beyond the sea,
    slipped beneath the blazing
    sunset, harboring the
    snores I’ll not breathe tonight.
    Snug under covers, I
    stare at shadows, silent.

    (I just posted this in the Day 29 post but wanted it here. Sorry for the double post.)

  21. Mickie Lynn


    friction between plates
    intense enough to melt rock
    gets stuck
    pressure builds
    rising until the earth can no longer hold on
    energy pent up
    becomes destructive in its release
    as it pierces the earth
    making it wrinkle like a skirt pushed up a thigh
    listen to the rumble in the distance
    soil roaring waves
    cracks screaming open
    energy escapes to freedom
    and the earth settles
    into stillness

  22. Pengame30


    I was once apart of something that lived and breathed.
    Now I am devoid of life, but I host a city of beings.
    The wind carries me aimlessly taking me where it may.
    You either breathe me in only to sneeze me out,
    until you take antihistamines, or ignore me
    while I rest on top of the DVD player,
    until its time to clean.

    Written By: Sean Drew

  23. jean2dubois

    by Jean Dubois

    I woke up this morning with a chilling thought.

    Could it be – just a possibility –
    that I am receiving communiques
    from my soul – communiques about praise?

    Could it be – just a possibility –
    that the reason I settle for endless hours
    of playing Bejewelled on my computer
    instead of going out into the world and
    living a real life is because in real life
    no matter what I do, no matter what
    wonderful thing I accomplish – and
    believe me I pull off some doozies –
    makes me almost woozy to think about it –
    still no one praises me whereas the least little
    accomplishment in Bejewelled earns me a
    good or an excellent or even an incredible as the
    gems explode down the columns and cause
    other explosions blasting to the next level to
    higher and higher scores.

    Or could it be – just a possibility –
    it’s this continuous excitement I’m addicted to
    and not the praise at all?

    Why would my soul think I need praise as one of the mainstays
    of life? Praise, if we tendered it to one another,
    would surely soften the contours of life, provide
    an inner warmth no one should have to live without
    but no one praises me. Why not? Why can’t
    they just say hey, Jean, good job! once in a while?
    But they don’t. No wow! No greats in my life.

    Silence such as I get in the real world means only
    one thing in Bejewelled: You’re doing a piss-poor job here.
    But we’ll talk more about that later.

    First let me play a few rounds of Bejewelled.

  24. PSC in CT


    “Settle down” she whispers,
    seeking a tiny spark –
    some inspiration. Un-
    settled is what she is,
    still searching, days later.
    Suddenly, Pleiades
    suggests a solution.
    Situation settled.


  25. LCaramanna

    Sugar Sprinkled Over Cheerio’s

    My cheery start to the morning,
    happy o’s made of oats, topped with strawberries,
    every bite lowers a cholesterol number,
    joys my heart with good health, fibers up my day.
    Sugar sprinkled over Cheerio’s
    settles to the bottom of my bowl,
    mingles with skim milk and berry juice,
    my last cheery spoonful
    unnecessary calories with a sweet day guarantee.
    Lorraine Caramanna

  26. TuLife

    “Settle Down”
    By: Tuere Aisha

    Yesterday I rose early for Sunday worship with a different congregation because my congregation’s program time lapsed into Jaime’s dance performance, which I promised to attend, after which I had to hurry back to my side of town for Delroy’s farewell shindig, but not before stopping at the grocery store to buy water for the party, though I was supposed to show up early to help serve the food. So I fought traffic and sleep to get to the banquet hall, but dropped by my house to freshen up first so I would still look chic. This morning I had to head way north for my appointment with the physical therapist so that she could twist my foot back into shape. I should be staying off of it ever since the injury or otherwise, wear support sneakers, but how can I stay off of it when I work five days a week, technique class every weekend, gotta support my fellow dancers’ productions – another of which is coming up this Saturday – and show up for good-bye parties…in support sneakers? I think not; that’s not hot. My therapist wanted to know why my foot was so stiff and I pretended to have no clue, then raced to the office for another full day. By evening, I couldn’t even function well enough to write a poem for this challenge that I committed to, a poem a day for the entire month ‘til May, which is really important to me because I’m naturally a writer, actually, although I drag myself into an office daily to wear several hats – receptionist, executive assistant, accounts manager, researcher, etcetera. And it’s only Monday. It pains me to see myself at 40 nine years from now and looking back wishing I had made time for me, although the beauty of writing is that it’s never too late; I’m just afraid it might be if I don’t…settle down.

  27. Shennon

    To feel such a pull
    Such attraction, such need
    To ache with awareness
    To hunger but not feed.

    To yearn for a touch
    A small kiss, a taste
    To hurt with the longing
    But to understand the waste.

    To lust from afar
    Vibrantly pulsing with desire
    To master one’s body
    While the mind is on fire.

    To throb with emotion
    But to conquer the drive
    To die slightly within
    While remaining outwards alive.


  28. Shennon

    By the age of twenty-eight
    I decided it was time to
    settle down,
    and so I
    for the first man who
    asked me to marry him,
    worried that I might not
    receive another offer.

    The way he
    treated me was
    I had to tell him
    too frequently to
    Now I’m
    for the amount
    in my divorce


  29. Amirae Garcia

    Untitled – Amirae Garcia

    Go ahead and laugh. Laugh.
    Let me watch you as the rumbling
    erupts from your belly. Let me
    hear the evilness flow out of you like
    the lava that swallowed Pompeii.
    Let the world know.

    I want you to watch me watching you.
    Are you done laughing now?
    It’s my turn and I don’t even have to
    laugh. I don’t even have to make a
    sound to tell you that you did not win.
    Do I need to say it louder? Shall I write
    it in the sky? You did not win.

    You are not the whale and we are
    not Jonas whom was swallowed. We
    are not Pompeii. We did not run away.
    Come back and you will see us stand as
    tall as the trees. You are a storm,
    but your time is up. You are not welcome
    here anymore. It is time for the sun to shine.

    So, laugh. Settle for the empty noise in your
    belly like we settled for your cruelty.
    You did not win and we were never
    something to be conquered.

  30. azkbc

    Get Ready to Go

    It’s a shopping trip with Daddy
    and you like to go to Costco
    and ride in the cart,
    but you must get ready to go.

    Go potty
    get a Sippy cup of water
    and a snack cup
    with Puffins and Cheerios
    with a lid that snaps on
    then get your jacket
    and your pink fuzzy hat
    (it’s blowing out there)
    then go potty one more time
    just to be sure
    and find your shoes,
    where are your socks?
    Give Mommy a hug
    (I love you, Mommy)
    and baby brudder a kiss
    on his fuzzy head
    and pick up a truck and car
    from the play room
    and tell Daddy you are ready
    (he’s working on his phone)
    and go to the garage with him
    and climb up into the car seat
    and get snapped in
    and then lean back
    and smile at Daddy
    in the mirror
    and take a drink of water
    and say, “I’m ready to go Daddy.”
    He smiles and says,
    “Okay, buddy, we’re all settled in.
    Let’s go!”

  31. lionmother

    A Life Unsettled

    I thought my life was settled
    A smooth sailing until the end
    where eventually all would fade
    and fly away, but into this
    tranquil scene arrived a storm

    No one realized how strong
    this storm was
    Yet it continued to batter
    and smash up his body
    Unyielding and relentless
    it continued to destroy

    Until now the body is
    weak and fighting, but
    needs life support
    for its breath

    Nothing is settled
    yet and we are in
    limbo waiting for
    one small body
    part to be healed
    and go back to
    its job of holding

  32. Mustang Sal

    Second Marriage

    My lawyers,
    his lawyers.
    Who will be the judge?

    First party,
    second party.
    Whose party is it anyway?

    Big print,
    small print.
    Who mislaid my glasses?

    My kids,
    his kids.
    Have you thought of grandkids?
    My cat,
    his dog.
    Is that why there are leash laws?

    My house,
    his house
    I’m ready for the nut house.

    thoughts of wedded bliss.

    Why can’t we just shake on it
    and seal it with a kiss?

  33. Funkomatic

    To sit in the chair with wooden arms
    Such would be a Father’s heaven
    Ignoring the klaxons and alarms
    To sit in the chair with wooden arms
    Confident my loves face no harms
    A spell no claim against to leaven
    To sit in the chair with wooden arms
    Such would be a Father’s heaven

  34. Snow Write

    The storm brews outside
    The wind cries to get in
    I pull down the blinds
    To protect my fair skin

    I fill up the pot
    To heat water for tea
    The whistle blows steam
    I pour a cup for me

    Blankets inviting
    I sink into the couch
    Wrapped in warm fabric
    No worries if I slouch

    A book in my hand
    A candle by my side
    Nestled for reading
    No schedule to abide

    Immersed in fiction
    Nothing can disrupt me
    I feel so relaxed –
    Oh dear, I have to pee!

  35. Delaina Miller

    New Neighbors

    Out from the cedar tree
    wings stretched wide
    our new neighbors built
    their home in eaves of mine.
    Beak load by beak load
    the sides of the roost form.
    Despite the roof
    that shelters us both,
    the mighty Wren
    places a giant leaf on top
    to disguise his one room shack.
    Carpeted wall to wall
    with cedar fresh needles
    the newly settled home
    is a cat proof mansion.
    We try to be good neighbors.
    We don’t ask them to water
    when we are away
    and we all keep watch
    of each other’s doorways.

  36. modscribery

    Day 28: Settled poem


    The new well
    behind my home,
    I had been walking on water
    all the time, ten feet down.

    The silt settled,
    and I grew tall,
    and grateful
    drinking the
    generous flow.

  37. sbpoet

    had it been on offer
    i would have settled for less
    cantaloupe on a white plate
    a single-occupancy room

    had it been on offer
    the kindness of strangers
    a single-occupancy room
    the kiss of your mouth

    the kindness of strangers
    is a weight on the heart
    the kiss of your mouth
    mangos and lemons

    is a weight on the heart
    a blessing or curse
    mangos and lemons
    one narrow bed

    a blessing or curse
    an unanswered prayer
    one narrow bed
    a window that opens

    an unanswered prayer
    the sound of your voice
    a window that opens
    lilacs in spring

    i would have settled for less
    had it been on offer
    the kiss of your mouth
    had it been on offer

    ~ sharon brogan

  38. bookworm0341

    “The Way I See It”

    How do you do it?
    Captivate my heart like this-
    like you’ve owned it from the start.
    It has tried to go its own way
    and fall for someone else,
    but it’s loyalty lies with you.

    It’s quite hard to be so close
    and not be able to touch
    You lean in towards me
    and I cannot hear past the pounding of my heart
    Imagine if we did touch
    it would be the world’s best natural spark
    Then all would be settled

    I truly wasn’t expecting this
    it’s a blessing in disguise
    because from right where I’m standing
    I can see my whole world in your eyes.

    By Jennifer M. Terry

  39. Jaywig


    Suddenly there is another woman
    with my surname.

    Suddenly I have another daughter.

    Suddenly my son is a husband.

    That’s settled: I have to learn
    Greek language and dancing.

  40. FaerieTalePoet


    My fiancé
    and I find
    the end of
    each night
    next to each other
    on the couch
    watching Netflix
    and playing games
    on our iPads.

    Years from now
    when we have
    they will laugh
    at how outdated
    the references
    in this poem are.

  41. jean

    S T L

    We are
    Going to re-settle
    In Seattle
    Without the kids.
    Since they are all gone,
    It will suit all.—
    So, we’re house-hunting,
    Two days,
    To see it all.
    My frustrations
    Are anything but
    He thinks
    A fancy restaurant
    With his business friends
    Will help.
    Enough food will
    Sate all.
    We sit till
    A long-limbed waiter comes –
    So tall –
    To take our order.

    I’ll have
    A vegetable saute’; he’ll
    Have something deep fried
    Which in his stomach
    Will set. Ill
    He will be
    Before too long.
    … Before we settle in Seattle.
    Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all See it all Subtle Sate all Sit till So tall Saute’, he’ll Set, ill Settle Seattle Suit all

  42. Nanamaxtwo


    Childhood should cling
    like new leaves to trees
    in Spring, able to trust
    the connection for nurture
    through their season: the cheerful
    quake of coppery aspen leaves,
    their flipping, a joy-filled song;
    the dark green of maples,
    five points like fingers
    pointing to a supportive world.
    Children like new leaves are not
    supposed to dry as parchment
    prematurely on a dying tree,
    unsettled on the branch,
    and fall to earth sodden
    in the rain before their time.

  43. MyPoeticHeart


    It has taken me a lifetime to settle down
    Years upon years moving here and there
    Some for the experiences of a new place
    Most out of necessity

    From the early age of three
    Then again at five, eight and again at ten
    My father’s heart was down south
    His father’s demands were up north

    Family business to deep sea fishing and diving
    Moving back and forth through childhood
    To my teens it did not stop there
    Longing for the scent of sea air

    Settled after boot camp then off to school
    Military obligations move here and there
    Soon after discharge honorable too
    Off to another state you guess right I moved

    Years later moved once again
    Years after that I thought I was settled
    No surprise when I packed my bags
    Back to my home state for a couple of years

    Didn’t last more than twenty one years
    Moved briefly to Illinois then to California
    Then off again months after
    Kansas land of Dorothy and Tornadoes

    As life would have it dear friends we embraced
    Moved then to Pennsylvania in 2005
    Been here nine years now
    I think I am settled

  44. Ravyne

    The Hiking Trip

    We made blankets out of moon beams
    and cradled our heads among the stars
    As the last embers of fire flickered and died
    we slept upon the mountain’s back

    When morning came, we pulled on sun rays
    and trekked down the mountain
    As we moved in a dance with the river
    we gently caressed it in the palms of our hands

    At Midday, we rolled patches of wildflowers
    into pillows and curled into the mountain’s belly
    We watched clouds smile for us
    and nature lulled us into an afternoon nap

    Evening came and so did our trip
    we packed our gear into the truck
    and tossed nature back to the mountain
    back like a painting for someone else to enjoy

    Copyright 2014
    Lori Carlson

  45. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 28

    Write a settled poem.

    “It takes a mighty good husband to be better than none.”
    — Amish saying

    “You’re too picky.”
    “You’re looking for the perfect man.”
    “You’ll never find a guy who lives up to your standards.”
    Not always spoken, but often thought, when I still wasn’t
    married at twenty-six.

    Yes, I’d met some good men, and probably
    could have been reasonably happy with any
    one of them. But something somehow held
    me back, I couldn’t commit.

    Then there was my failed engagement: A solid
    good guy, but in retrospect, he didn’t bring out
    actress, writer, lover, the passionate me that I
    could be. He could make me okay-happy,
    but not elated.

    I’d given up. Told God, yes, I’ll be a single
    missionary, answer to prayer would be
    “Your husband is your Maker.” Content,
    I turned the page of the paper, and his
    picture smiled up at me. My mom recognized
    the warm and friendly face, and when I inquired,
    we made a date.

    This summer, we’ll celebrate thirty-five married
    years, and hundreds of reasons why
    I’m glad I didn’t settle.

  46. Zeenie


    Tonight, the stars
    are flickering bulbs
    weaving between each other
    like racing shivers of light;
    they look as if they’re reaching.

    For the earth.
    The thread of sky.
    Other stars.

    I reach my hand up,
    a flurry of bones and feathers
    into the hole of night.
    A single star explodes,

    galaxy dust brushing my knuckles,
    settling in the spaces
    of my fingers,
    the lines of my palm,
    the curve of my stomach.

  47. break_of_day

    this is it
    the end of the destruction

    you’re used to me being the one who pleads
    but no

    it’s time
    I’m bringing it to a close today

    and offering no more apologies
    for your choices

    it’s you
    and I am no better friend, either

    it is settled, then
    the break

    the release
    it will be best for both of us, in the end

  48. Sky

    Back when we could change
    whenever we wanted
    we’d go out swimming all the time.
    He liked to be an octopus.
    I told him never to settle that way
    and he said he wouldn’t
    but just for then, floating in the ocean
    while he jetted around,
    it was nice.
    When my friend’s daemon settled
    and another friend’s
    then another
    we were still free, and I was glad.
    I asked him if he wanted to be a bird
    but he said it was me
    that wanted to fly.
    That was years ago.
    He sits on my arm as I write
    and flicks his lizard tongue at the letters
    before scampering up to my shoulder.
    His shape is right for him
    and we don’t want to be anything different
    we don’t want it
    we don’t
    it’s just sometimes
    he wishes we could go out swimming
    in the ocean, the way we used to
    back when things were easier.

  49. Mustang Sal

    Seasoning a House

    It takes awhile. Never happens
    overnight. Freeze and thaw, sun and
    rain, all test a house until
    it shifts its bricks, cracks its
    beams, groans out loud with
    a heavy sigh,

  50. Emma

    Thrice Betrayed

    I don’t blame you
    Instead of showing loyalty to the fantasy
    You chose the place that was loyal to you.
    Because it was a betrayal to give
    You fifteen years of beauty and power
    And to spit you out of a wardrobe
    Insignificant and unremarkable.
    The woman that men fought wars for,
    The one who could fight them herself was
    It was a betrayal to taunt you with
    One last taste
    And shut you out forever.
    So the silly schoolgirl followed orders,
    Moved on, settled,
    Found a new way to be Queen.
    But he had to betray you once more,
    Excuse it by calling it punishment.
    He pushed you and
    Blamed you for breaking.

  51. lidywilks


    Stuck in a box made
    from steel beams
    and glass, hidden
    by faux home furniture
    counterfeited in
    multiples, he watches as
    his peers, old and young,
    out lusts him in his work.

    Cooled down and settled,
    he dares not strike when
    the iron is now tepid
    to go freely where he wants to,
    but continues on his work.

    by Lidy Wilks

  52. madeline40

    Under the Rug

    I had to settle for
    the bitch of a girl
    who could care less
    if she talks to me or not
    if she treats me
    with love and respect
    if she pulls him away
    from all of our family.

    My son fell in love
    and when he decided to marry her
    I had to sweep all my reservations
    under the rug.
    I had to settle
    for the bitch of a girl
    now my daughter-in-law
    who has broken my heart – it
    goes to show I was right
    about her all along.

    Now I wait until
    she breaks his heart too.

  53. mzanemcclellan

    Settled In Synchronicity
    Her fingers found me tightly strung
    as she took me into her arms.
    Holding me as if in cradling
    her love infused my whole body.
    One hand on my neck held gently,
    massaging loose all of my frets.
    Her fingers danced across my strings
    plucking and strumming me in tune.
    She closed her eyes, started to hum,
    then song took wing from her soft lips,
    merged with my every vibration
    together we are harmony.
    Her body sways sensually
    she plays me with an increased pace
    before I can even catch my breath
    she’s tapped into the celestial.
    Yielding to her ministrations,
    awed by graceful ability,
    I surrender, we are music
    settled in synchronicity.

    ~ M. Zane McClellan

  54. jsmadge

    A Prioi

    Question that shard of rock
    (smaller than the setting crescent moon
    seen from a car window at dawn)
    As it falls floating to the depths
    (deeper than the inkwell blue
    found in a silky junk shop)
    To settle on a shell lip edge.
    Ask: did you dream with intention
    to move grit into pearl?

    Jo Steigerwald

  55. julie e.


    The house once used
    to settle scores
    and raise small
    children amidst wars
    has been returned
    back to the dust,
    a fitting end
    I say. I must
    believe the mem’ries
    bad and good
    left fertile ground
    where my home stood,
    preparing, churning
    up the soil
    now become
    a community garden.

  56. nmbell

    Cabin in the Hills

    Trapper cabin in the hills
    Moss and grass sprouting from the roof
    Like hairs in an old man’s nose
    The door hangs askew by one leather hinge
    Rusted tins labeled flour and sugar
    Cling to a badly tilted shelf

    Behind, half hidden in the young maples
    A sagging corral testifies to the fact
    The trapper uses mules or horses
    To pack his gear in each spring

    He settled in this valley for the summer
    Or maybe it was a she? A trapper suffragette
    Unwilling to settle for the life society
    Proclaimed was fit for a decent woman

    A blue jay streaks low overhead
    Breaking my contemplation of the cabin
    How many more springs will it take
    Before the logs subside
    Allowing the eaves to settle
    Into the wilted leaves of autumn

    Nancy Bell 2014

  57. Yolee

    Settled Dust on a Journal

    And then you were seed
    and son settled in my strange
    land, living off the vine.

    Today you are a pioneer
    tilling new ground
    with unsettling strength.

    A city mayor you are,
    kicking and serving hope,
    stabilizing our wild economy.

    Hurry up and get here.
    We settled on a great
    name in need of you.

  58. Debbie


    I sit alone
    all by myself

    The weather is cold
    warm air has vanished

    Stratus whisks
    clouds blow

    Faint rays break through
    the sun peeks about

    A bird sails over
    and flies above

    Hues in excess
    colors are shared

    I hear sounds
    my ears at work

    The day is new
    Yesterday’s passed

    I shed no tears
    and cry not

    The earth exists
    I am here

  59. foodpoet


    In ruins of yesterday and today
    We never know
    Why the failure
    Why the leaving

    We never know
    What was settled in ground and armies
    Why the leaving
    What knots remain to unravel?

    What was settled in ground and armies
    Is found today
    What knots remain to unravel
    In the time of only settling

    Found today
    In the ruins of yesterday
    In the time of only settling
    Why another failure

    Megan McDonald

    1. julie e.

      Actually Robert (the admin) uses a wide variety of poetry forms, and there are quite a few poets here who work in forms and rhyme. I think the Poem a Day Challenge brings out a lot of us free-versers. :-)

      Come check out Robert’s blog when the challenge is over at end of month for Wednesday prompts and the fun stuff he does other days–there’s so much to learn! BUT OF COURSE your rhyming is absolutely welcome here too! That’s what’s fun–seeing all the different styles and thoughts of the worldwide poets who come to Poetic Asides. :-)

  60. laurora

    I wanna settle down right where you are

    I wanna let out the horse in the stable
    wanna leave at full gallop so time and I fly
    I wanna make myself staple as ever
    wanna settle down right where you are

    I wanna jump in the saddle this once
    wanna stabilize this godawful cradle
    wanna calm down my rocking mentality
    wanna settle down right where you are

  61. shellcook

    Prompt #28

    Prompt #28

    Once again, she settled
    Over opal clouds in the sky
    Pushing out her moonbeams
    She is very nearly sure

    that she has done this
    a million nights before
    they ever knew she existed.

  62. annell

    Back to the Basics
    Soon I will
    Return to my life
    In the studio
    Back to the basics
    For me
    Up early
    Begin each day
    With a plan
    Like fluffing a sheet
    You snap it into the air
    It settles as it will
    Each time the action is the same
    Each time the sheet settles
    Just slightly different
    From the time before
    The settling of the sheet
    Is never the same
    As each day in the studio is never the same
    Even if the plan for the day is the same
    The day settles like the sheet
    Always a little different

  63. PressOn


    The green is tinged with yellow now;
    the grass is brown and tired;
    the bushes now are singed with red,
    as if they were coal-fired.

    The green is tinged with yellow and
    the grapes are purpling over,
    and in the morning, vapors form
    and play with corn and clover,

    and everything is settling down,
    and even crows are mellow;
    now is the time for cider and wine,
    now green is tinged with yellow.

    William Preston

  64. BezBawni


    what can be simpler than getting married
    what can be better
    who wouldn’t like to wear a white dress
    who wouldn’t say yes
    how much joy having kids must bring
    how great a thing
    still when I think of being settled it’s
    so unsettling
    by Lucretia Amstell

  65. Kevin D Young


    Kill a fish. Watch it float
    one eye up on the ocean
    and think of the veneer
    of all dead things trying
    to look two ways at once:

    at the sun, light and dry,
    walking across the world
    with the grace of gravity,
    at the liquid deep, where
    living things live, steeped

    in what they know. Wait.
    See what this fish does?

  66. Mokosh28

    Birth Stone

    River bottom beneath the
    bridge holds a mosaic
    of lost lives. What was thrown over
    in anger or release. What was
    wished. How promises settle
    among river stone, shadowed
    by echo and a few more
    tears. I once worked a ring
    off my finger here, let it
    fall. It made the tiniest splash
    between current and eddy.
    When I drive this way north,
    which isn’t often, when I cross
    the thunder of these planks, I
    am tempted to pull over,
    scramble down the nearly vertical
    banks, to wade it, dive under,
    see what might fit again
    on a fourth finger.

    Joanne M. Clarkson

  67. alana sherman

    Day 28 a settled poem
    This is also a napowrimo challenge for today
    a poem from a newspaper article

    A Warm, Dark Place

    …the skunk cabbage’s roots pull the plant deeper
    into the soil, making it almost impossible to be rid of…

    no nectar
    no pollen
    or perfume

    Skunk Cabbage
    in March and April
    makes its own heat
    pokes a beaky spathe
    through ice and snow

    hard to believe
    it’s a cousin of the calla lily

    By August
    the foul smelling
    streaky greenish purple
    flower has turned
    to black goo

    leaving seeds
    settled and waiting
    for next spring to rebloom


  68. alana sherman

    Day 28 a settled poem
    This is also a napowrimo challenge for today
    a poem from a newspaper article

    A Warm, Dark Place

    the skunk cabbage’s roots pull the plant deeper
    into the soil, making it almost impossible to be rid of

    no nectar
    no pollen
    or perfume

    Skunk Cabbage
    in March and April
    makes its own heat
    pokes a beaky spathe
    through ice and snow

    hard to believe
    it’s a cousin of the calla lily

    By August
    the foul smelling
    streaky greenish purple
    flower has turned
    to black goo

    leaving seeds
    settled and waiting
    for next spring to rebloom


  69. Mark Danowsky

    Most Hunts are Piecemeal

    I met a treasure hunter
    wielding a metal detector
    at the big dog park, nearby
    our 502 square foot, 3rd floor walk-up

    I asked what all of us want
    to know

    He told me he had found some
    or else he would not have kept at it
    these past 40 years

    He told me things in open fields
    have a habit of sinking fast

  70. EeLas6678

    Title: Unsettled Cold

    Christmas is over,
    time for mid-January purpose finding.
    This year I’m going to turn a new leaf,
    better yet-uproot a tree,
    stick with my resolution,
    learn to be still.

    Glare at the water moving below the thin, cracked sheet of ice,
    watch it squirm in a defined pattern,
    cracks don’t penetrate or disrupt.
    It won’t be the same tomorrow.
    Will I?

    Burning desire to know,
    observe, listen, hold back, hold back,
    Patience escaped from its cage.

    The cold puts out my fire,
    forces me to wait,
    reminds me that I’m not in control.

    -Emily Lasinsky

  71. robinamelia


    The old house had settled
    into granite ground
    built angles once
    carefully formed
    now immeasurable
    by tools of geometry
    Leave your levels behind
    Cheat at marbles

    Robin Amelia Morris

  72. drwasy


    It’s no use
    thinking about what
    might have happened
    if I had not climbed
    Mount Monadnack with you
    that autumn afternoon
    and had not later
    decided to share a meal
    in Applebee’s—
    all I remember is the crisp
    white of your shirt
    and the apple crumble
    for dessert.
    But I did
    and here we are—
    two kids, a cat,
    a white-sided house,
    living our lives
    as if in separate states.

  73. anneemcwilliams

    all roads lead to Walmart

    “a man’s unavoidable contradictions
    are his purgatory.” Czeslaw Miłosz

    there were chariots of steel
    filled with cases of canned cat food
    and clearance leotards.
    there were aisles full of books
    about aliens and diet cures.

    there were toiletries in every flavor,
    the easy absolutions and ablutions
    of grooming and decorum, (for
    there is no limit to the beauty of
    things that fill the heart with joy)

    there were bags of fertilizer and bird
    seed stacked on ten foot shelving,
    sparrows calling from the bar joists
    in the ceiling, women lugging
    mulch and soil and lawn chairs.

    and in the garden center, at the
    checkout counter, there
    was a small Buddhist monk
    with a shaved head, wearing
    orange robes, the living
    symbol of simplicity,
    buying packets of cosmos,
    the flower of order and balance.

    the Buddha tells us that
    the only sure possession is
    one’s own mind, for it cannot
    be taken from you. truth
    has a way of making itself known,
    even amidst the boredom
    of devotion to abundance

    first write 04/28/2014

  74. pamelaraw

    Experiment in Settling

    Pour yourself—pure and cool—
    into a glass jar filled with the simple
    sand of me at the floor.

    We’ll churn, shake, and spin
    in our friction, turn together
    become cloudy, become one.

    Time and sense will suspend
    as we cling to our turbid union.
    We won’t know how long this

    state will last before gravity
    forces the natural breaking apart.
    When your water goes quiet, larger

    chunks of my wits will return to rock-
    bottom faster than the crumbs
    of hope left in my heart.

  75. Misky

    The Cathartic Years

    Found a horse and a home in Scotland,
    hillside tweed on a neighbouring belt,
    and a grow-wild manège on the Borders.
    Sanctuary moved there, this I know.
    Solace healed our many musts,
    and I’m sitting in my study, swept clean
    by those horses. I begged and begged
    to be on their backs, around and led
    by bamboozlement. These pastures
    new. These are the cathartic years.


    (c) Misky 2014

  76. Scott Jacobson


    Red Riding Hood settled
    for the werewolf
    because she had
    no one left after
    he ate her grandma.
    She consoled herself
    by saying that the sex
    was good, but living life
    with a wild animal
    was bringing her
    to an early old age.
    So she sought out
    vampires which don’t
    exist in an attempt
    to fix her situation.

    Snow White settled
    for Prince Charming
    until she caught him
    in bed with Sleeping Beauty
    trying to stick his key
    in her chastity belt.
    So she pulled the cover
    off the magic mirror
    and decided to see
    just how evil a good girl
    like her could get.

    The Princess always settles
    for the Prince
    until they find out
    how much work
    it is cleaning a castle.
    So they dream of the day
    when a Robin Hood
    will steal them away
    but who knows what
    that scoundrel will
    do to them once
    he unmasks himself
    in his Sherwood Forest.

  77. gmagrady


    I think
    I think
    I think
    too much
    I just can’t stop
    this train
    of thoughts
    grade a paper
    write a paper
    write to Paige
    turn a page
    in a book
    go to school
    to a club
    have a drink
    have another
    have a shot
    a lemondrop
    a glass of wine
    call the girls
    set a date
    you train
    of thoughts
    let me off!
    the plane
    my trip
    it’s coming soon
    tune your car
    say a prayer
    drive top down
    head no where
    play some music
    turn in up
    your mind
    your body
    your soul
    you’re late
    for a meeting
    your final is due
    pay your bills
    those bills
    damn debts
    meaningful thoughts
    meaningless sex
    now living
    in separate worlds
    apart from love
    family caught up
    these hellish words
    these hellish nights
    keep whizzing by
    now you see them
    now you don’t
    here… there
    Dr. Seuss
    were you high?
    I’m straight as
    but Friday night
    oh God
    blind date
    what to say
    what to wear
    I need to shop
    I need
    I think

  78. lethejerome

    “I Flow Upstream”

    I hear,
    I read
    what I – settler –

    I came

    I came
    Clear and covered
    Uprooted the last the lasting
    Sowed the season the seasonal
    Began the cycle

    Covered mountains forests lakes rivers
    Hamlet and street
    With immortality
    Covered with sand with tar
    A passageway covered
    By invocations of the poor
    A grand entrance
    In August for Saint Lawrence

    I came
    Against the recession of the banks
    the fires extinguished

    Rivers covered so I could walk and dance
    Upon them
    Reach my new origins
    Soils of high spirits chewed regurgitated chewed
    Building among new merchants among the scattered
    I hear Odawa
    Picking the words that would get me

    I got as far as I could count
    Stared at
    Two islands
    In the middle of waves of cranes of storms
    As their names
    I burrowed underground

    I write and incorporate –
    and see
    inscribed, scribe,
    them, me
    reads hears –
    Anishinaabeg –
    bends –
    Temiskaming –



    Jérôme Melançon
    I hope not to have appropriated anything myself or for myself.

  79. Deri


    I have floated
    somewhere in the stratosphere
    defying gravity, homeless
    watching the Earth
    spin slowly beneath me
    I have floated and longed
    for this ethereal existence
    to end, finally to pull me
    down to the life
    I could have
    if only someone
    cared enough
    to tug at my feet
    just once

  80. gmagrady


    settle in
    for the night
    settle down
    before a fight
    settle with
    safe and sound
    settle on
    common ground
    settle for
    a simple grin
    let things settle
    before you swim
    settlement comes
    at quite a cost
    unsettled you’ll be
    if you find you lost
    settle it wisely
    for in the end
    you need to get settled
    with your very best friend

    don’t settle for less

  81. Ravyne

    Settle Into You

    I settle into you
    my arms melt around your waist
    bones fuse with bones
    a hodge-podge of skin against skin

    Years together seal us
    work together or cause friction

    we learn friction first
    how it tears us limb from limb
    brusings bone deep
    and pain that still lingers

    a working union prevails
    peace so deep I dip my toes in it
    we are monks sharing one space
    toiling to the beat of our hearts

    Oh yes, I have settled into you
    as our passion burns out

    Copyright 2014
    Lori Carlson

  82. danieletu


    A brisk jog
    To greet the sun
    On early
    Vernal mornings.

    A leisurely stroll
    To smell the roses
    On summer

    A rocking chair
    To caress my bones
    On drowsy
    Autumn evenings.

    A downy comforter
    To welcome sleep
    On dark, cold
    Winter nights.

    The paces
    Of settling in
    For the seasons
    Of my life.

    © 2014 Danièle Turcotte

  83. bethwk

    Un-Settling, a sestina
    by Elizabeth Weaver-Kreider

    This morning, a single shaft of sun
    settles on an opening curl of fern.
    A hermit thrush yodels, breaking the silence;
    a salamander lays her eggs in a vernal pool;
    trout lilies, may apple, and trillium come alive in the breeze;
    and a gravid squirrel prepares her birthing nest.

    Spring has settled into this glen, this nest
    of a valley dappled with sun
    where a dread new word is whispered on the breeze:
    “Pipeline.” Listen to me, seed and egg and fern.
    Hear me. Let the message sink into the pools
    and the shadows in these hollows. It shatters our silence.

    The time is past for us to be settled and silent.
    Safety will no longer be found nestled
    in these hills, in these pools.
    The trees will be torn out, your secrets open to the sun,
    the yellow machines will crush the ferns,
    and diesel fumes will waft on the breeze.

    Tell it far. Let it float on the wild winds and breezes:
    We must not stay silent!
    Awake and rise up like the unfurling fern!
    Un-settle yourselves to protect the wildness.
    Be fierce and penetrating as the sun.
    Let action ripple outward like circles in a disturbed pool.

    We must work together, pull together, pool
    our energies. Tell it to the breeze.
    Marshall the forces of our hearts, our will, our reason.
    Protect and preserve the settled silence.
    Make it safe for the den, the perch, the nest,
    for the spider, the swallow, the fern.

    We want no pipeline, only the gentle swaying of the fern.
    Tell them No. We want to see the salamanders in the pools
    in the glen, the intricate basket of oriole’s nest,
    the wild honeybees, the lady slipper, the melodious breeze.
    Tell them a firm and settled No. We seek the solitude and silence
    of the unscarred valley dappled by the sun.

    (This is for the protesters tomorrow in Lancaster, PA, who are fighting a natural gas pipeline proposed to run through our wildlands and river valley.)

  84. Kit Cooley


    I wander the earth,
    and wonder where
    I belong: the place I was born,
    the lands of my ancestors,
    this piece of dirt we call home.

    No longer do I feel I fit in,
    most anywhere I end up,
    but since we travel now together,
    take me in your arms,
    love, and I am home.

    ~ Kit Cooley

  85. danieletu


    Do not settle
    In life
    For the choice
    That merely does.

    Strive for more
    Than all right
    Aim for joy
    And self-fulfillment.

    © 2014 Danièle Turcotte

  86. taylor graham



    “It’s sad.” From your armchair
    you’ve been watching a documentary
    on the plight of shelter dogs.
    In younger days, you’d have had
    a plan to fix it. Find the lost and train
    the wild. “Sad” was a different
    hopeless language.
    Our own young bitch is restless
    to run the fence, bark at dogs across
    the way, follow whatever
    her eight or nine canine senses
    tell her.
    The end of today. What hides
    between holes in the dark
    and the stars. She hits the front door
    with paws and chest as if
    to bust it down. “Crazy dog!”
    You wonder why we brought her
    home, this bitch no one else wanted.
    Too smart, too hard. She’s
    me in a dog-suit, but her eyes –
    amber, lit by a live flame.
    Stay in your armchair,
    keep watching that sad program.
    I’ll walk the dog, see what she wants
    to show me.

  87. Sara McNulty


    had been
    settled in
    their tiny house
    one block from the beach,
    when a hurricane blew
    across their neighborhood, moved
    houses, cars–a fierce force of floods.
    Left them adrift, homeless with two dogs.

  88. P.A. Beyer


    Abigail positions herself on the settle.
    Worried about being scolded, again, for fidgeting, she stares
    Upon the stained glass window depicting the crucifixion.
    She wonders what Christ felt like in those final seconds.
    Beyond the pain and exhaustion, was there a moment of clarity?
    Did the screams of allies and enemies harmonize, like a choir?
    Was there fear or anger or
    She closes her eyes and imagines the breeze on his tears,
    the sun’s pure light on his skin,
    the effortlessness wisp of his final breath.
    Her face is moist as she awakes from her trance,
    startled to see the room filled with
    her family, her friends and neighbors.

    “See! She’s a witch!”

  89. pcm


    A star fell from the sky,
    shattered far from Versailles,
    its light fractured into prisms
    only you could spy.

    You blew and snuffed out
    the prism rainbows
    the way you blew through
    birthday candle flames
    when you turned five.

    Instead of extinguishing
    the light, your air puff
    caused the rainbows
    to settle and sprinkle
    lapis lazuli, hibiscus red,
    bergamot green, canary
    yellow, lotus blossom pink,
    Van Gogh violet, and
    Panama papaya on
    birdhouses bobbling from
    oak trees in spring.

    This makes the birds happy.
    And sometimes you can still
    see the starlight shimmer
    in puddles after it rains.

  90. GirlGriot

    like to
    wear glitter —
    gold dust sprinkled
    over cheeks and eyes.
    in my hair,
    wafting in my
    wake. Gold and still more
    My friends
    laugh, dismiss.
    But I know best,
    give myself over.

  91. Clark Buffington

    The Porch

    The porch is the most wonderful place to settle
    No matter the season there is peace to be found
    At any time of day there is beauty to be seen
    Settle into a rocking chair for a contemplative moment
    Lean on a rail to watch the hummingbirds dive and buzz
    Rest against a post and watch the chickens at their work
    Sunrise in the morning in all its fresh glory out the back
    Shade to be found all day on this wrap around oasis
    Sunset in the evening in all its day-end beauty out the front
    Everyone who visits ends up settling onto the porch

  92. flood

    Twenty-Nine Miles

    You pay attention to
    punctuation, because
    inflection is rare when she’s
    twenty-nine miles away.

    You learn to read between
    every single line, because
    you’ve already memorized
    every single county line.

    You barter with the gods
    of transportation, of declaration,
    of exultation, of satisfaction.
    You offer your paltry sums,
    your bones and your blood,
    because they’ve heard all
    of your come on lines and
    you’ve nothing else to give.

  93. RebekahJ

    On Wandering

    Most of us long, ache, search, for home
    Next year, we say, in Jerusalem
    Free Kurdistan, Tibet
    And who’s to say we’re wrong?
    It makes such simple sense

    But the Romani yearn for freedom
    No diaspora, they
    Are not to be ingathered
    When they settle, it’s in grief

    What they teach is that what matters
    Is not where you and yours are from
    What forms you is your poetry
    Your music, dance and song

    How they terrify the powerful
    The makers of passports and maps

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  94. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    The floors are not quite level,
    A wall or two is not quite plumb.
    But this old house on these old stones,
    Will stand till kingdom come.

    The roof slopes two directions,
    The dormer looks like it’s askew.
    But this old house with its old bones,
    Will outlast the next door new.

    Built by hand
    So long ago,
    Kept in place
    With love and care;
    It fits into the wooded fields,
    Like it’s always rested there.

    The chimney leans a little,
    And whether it’s cold or warm,
    This old house with its creaks and moans
    Will ride the wildest storm.

    Built by hand
    So long ago,
    Kept in place
    With love and care;
    It fits into the wooded fields,
    Like it’s always rested there.
    Like it’s always belonged right there.

  95. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    I Wouldn’t Have Settled for Anything Less

    Tight-rope walking
    can become routine
    if you practice every day.
    There is comfort in
    the familiar movements,
    the wind on your face
    the view.
    The perfect balance
    and the walk
    from point A
    to point B.
    You see the whole picture
    and you are grateful
    for that moment
    of complete stillness
    when nothing is happening.
    It is OK to
    look back
    and enjoy the memories.
    Try not to think too much
    about the future.
    Spread your arms wide
    and be completely still.
    The beauty of repetition.
    The same jokes,
    still funny after all those years,
    the crazy belief
    that nothing will ever change.
    Call us lucky,
    but I wouldn’t have settled
    for anything less.

  96. Sharon Ann

    Set here for a spell and settle in.

    There is a rocker and a front porch swing.
    On the table is a pitcher of sweet tea.
    Grandma walks out to the rocker.
    She pours us each a glass.
    I swing as I share the events of my life.
    She smiles knowingly.
    She rocks and smiles.
    When I finish with my story, Grandma says,
    “You should set here for a spell and settle in.”

  97. dandelionwine

    Sweet Sweep
    (Fibonacci variation)

    say they
    are lined up
    for him if it falls
    apart, but it won’t. He’s a saint
    with patience to bring up the rear
    for twenty children
    hiking up
    and then

    Sara Ramsdell

  98. Reynard

    we settled
    decided on
    made a home
    calmed and quieted
    focused upon it
    paid our debt
    had our children
    started our family
    we gave our lives
    to the dream
    we were resolved
    we settled

  99. peacegirlout


    Now the day will come
    When the earth opens up
    The bottom will fall
    And all the children die
    Because we forgot to tell them
    We are one like the other
    Like a chain-linked fence
    Like sister and brother
    Because we forgot to teach them
    To let go of their fear
    To lead and have courage
    To shed a tear
    To abandon false hope and
    To believe instead
    That nothing is settled

    1. Janet Rice Carnahan

      Loved your use of imagery here, especially, “We are one like the other, like a chain-linked fence” and To believe instead that nothing is settled yet.” Good job!

  100. intheshadowofthesoul

    Lydia Flores

    Body trembling,settle down
    Breathe in and breathe out
    the wind in your lungs they
    invite tranquility over
    to comfort anxiety tonight.

    Tomorrow has many pills
    to take, deciding between
    red or blue. both hard to swallow.
    And whether you go down the rabbit hole
    or straight into the eye of a storm,
    settle down and hold on to your heart.

    Quiet the room, clinking your silverware
    to the glass. clear your throat and your
    head will give you it’s attentive silence.
    Sleep will come soon and I’m waiting for you
    so I can hold you during the ride to dreamland
    There’s no one else I rather ride the rollercoaster with.
    Solitude will always be at home waiting up for my key
    in the door. I embrace her every night.

    Breathe in and breathe out
    You don’t need a stethoscope
    to hear time ticking against my ribs.
    Alone or with you, I will settle down
    with my heart— open like these hands
    to everything right now. Because tomorrow
    has a short commute and it won’t be long
    in the waiting room.

  101. SestinaNia

    This one started as a haiku and then begged to be more…


    The robin searches
    deep under verdant boughs
    for the home it remembers—
    but time, and the winter wind,
    have once again robbed
    this red-breasted one—
    yet she will begin again,
    gathering bits of twig, string,
    and the soft grasses
    that peek through the wet ground,
    because a little spring
    cleaning is always
    a good idea.

    –Sara Doyle

  102. Clae

    A Roar Among Whispers

    As dust settles
    on my face
    I realize I breathe

    The stars I watch
    the dark of space
    my only company

    So long ago
    when I was whole
    you chose not to love me

    Now I awake
    a new mistake
    now everyone will see

    an angel’s curse
    a universe
    compelled to follow me

    Smile in the pain
    all that remains
    is what I choose to leave

    It’s been so long
    since you were wrong
    forever I have grieved

    Too recent yet
    I won’t forget
    you chose not to love me

    T. S. Gray

  103. lshannon

    The Expatriate

    Backdrops of steel and concrete
    “Are we settled here?” I ask,
    comfortable in our surroundings,
    safe in the social blanket of conformity?

    Walking the dark paths at night
    there is very little risk, so little that
    it is hardly a thought. This is not true
    where I am from. Even the small
    beginning towns and later of course
    the big cities. Night brings
    no nervousness here.

    Turning daytime corners with
    temple gates, and black swirls of
    language and surface understanding.
    I can commit or ignore as the mood
    and necessity require.

    Understanding is not essential-
    most of the time, I have assistance.
    Given in kindness and need.
    It is a strange way to live, both
    independent and essentially helpless.

    We make it work. Because we want to
    stay here to play at jobs and experience
    in freedom created by pressure,
    responsibility and beauty, in tiny
    unexpected places and things.
    A part of an expected landscape.

    “Will we stay here?” I ask
    this place of contradiction and restriction.
    Time has not given me the answers,
    as years lurched by. Winding
    raised highways – sometimes speeding,
    sometimes still forever, stopped in the traffic
    of thirty million people. On trains,
    cars, buses all settling into the pattern.
    We are a part of the fabric now.
    green, white, brown and gray roofs
    sprawling off to forever from my perch.
    A part of and separate from.
    Wings of relocation, willingly clipped.

  104. jasonlmartin

    Momentum to Dream (a pantoum)

    I’m no more settled than a boiling tea kettle
    Raging from within, burning through the skin.
    Aging doesn’t slow my momentum to dream,
    A dream for a life unwieldy, daringly un-human.

    Raging from within, burning through the skin,
    I carry the burden of an unfinished life,
    A dream for a life unwieldy, daringly un-human.
    I refuse to be alive and yet dead too young.

    I carry the burden of an unfinished life.
    How do I recognize the crest of my potential?
    I refuse to be alive and yet dead too young,
    So in this limbo I am both empty and full.

    How do I recognize the crest of my potential,
    While standing still, dwelling on what’s missing?
    So in this limbo I am both empty and full.
    I decide to calm the water so I can sail away.

    While standing still, dwelling on what’s missing
    Aging doesn’t slow my momentum to dream.
    I decided to calm the water so I could sail away
    But it first took being unsettled as a boiling tea kettle.

  105. carolecole66


    In early 1800s, Gunar and Anna packed their extra set of clothes,
    a rocking chair, a cook pot and a rifle, left the rocky
    unforgiving fields their families farmed, and set out westward
    toward the land, fertile and free, beyond the Appalachians.

    In winter, cardinals bled red against unbroken whites
    and grays. The murderous ice paralyzed the mind
    and snow blanketed desire. The world went silent save
    for the breaking ice on a narrow, sluggish river.

    It was a harsh world my ancestors embraced, a world
    of labor and sudden deaths. The family line proved weak,
    but those who managed to survive each generation,
    scrapped and clung to the land they plowed

    and harvested. In 1934, bellies concave with hunger
    Erie and Elbert plowed by hand the acres that were left
    to them, raised a single boy who looked around
    with exhausted heart and knew when to surrender.

    Nothing’s ever settled, really. The world is flux and shift.
    We perch like tenuous birds, fragile, insubstantial, too lightly
    blown from trees. Those meager acres now are gone, pawned
    and paved. Gunar and Anna’s photo, taken on their wedding day,

    sits badly framed upon a shelf beside a window where, through
    icy window panes, I watch the cardinals, bleeding still, and dream
    of gardens rich with flowers and rock in my ancient chair.


  106. jclenhardt

    The Silt Beds

    in the silt beds
    of his heart
    he sifts,
    and sits
    and waits
    this longing,
    I dare not
    to speak of,
    he looks
    for traces
    of his love;
    but all
    is fools gold,
    he finds
    he’s built
    his life on
    of lies
    he’s told
    the mask,
    where still
    he sifts,
    and sits,
    and waits,
    where one day
    the truth
    will rise
    from the silt beds
    of his heart
    I write,
    I write,
    I write on.

  107. BDP

    “Execution, Eastern Washington”

    A funeral in searing afternoon
    in front of thunderclouds, each widening,
    storm threat and eagles. We observe the tomb,
    an open desert ground. The sky has wings,
    is life. We’re on a cliff, below us, birds
    dead, slaughtered—our guess, aphrodisiacs—
    for beaks and claws, for flight. Binoculars
    count fourteen golden heads. Why not fight back!
    Greed’s never settled law. You know this truth.
    On any given day you eat your fill,
    no more. Why not avenge your air, down swoop
    and pluck an eye for eye? Kill they who kill.

    But you did not: your convocation soars—
    a score of you, broad spirals—disappears.

    –Barb Peters

  108. Linda Voit

    Settling In

    As soon as I get home I change
    from business pants and jacket
    to flannel pajamas. My husband
    has drawn the curtains on the cold,
    wet evening. He brings ham,
    cheese and pickle sandwiches
    on marble rye and two bowls
    of chicken soup he made himself
    to the dining room table.
    We talk and laugh, the rumble
    of thunder, the patter of rain
    outside our warm cocoon.

    Linda Voit

  109. LizMac


    I once had dreams
    Bursting with possibility,
    As sweet and full as a ripe fruit
    Which I alone must pluck.
    Yet, I did not soon find my way
    To the orchard that year, or the next,
    But confined myself instead to the fields
    Gleaning, for now, whatever was to hand
    Thinking, sometimes, of the taste of fruit.

    Life has finally cooled,
    Thinning and lifting my senses
    From the heat haze of blind absorption
    In the pursuit of minutiae that eats up days.
    As I look at the contracting earth around me
    My attention finally falls on the path for which I never looked.


    Now, at last in the orchard, I sit beneath a tree
    Where one last withered fruit droops
    Amidst a fading odor of lingering fermentation;
    And there I pause to consider what might have been.
    As shadows creep about me I watch
    As the final rays of the ending day catch
    The last crisp warmth glowing
    Mournfully in the shaved fields below.
    And suddenly, an ache of fond recognition
    Rises from deep inside me, drawing me back down
    Towards that life I did not know to choose.

  110. Alpha1


    i’m with you
    because i want to
    because i chose to
    but i stand confused
    i thought
    you wanted me too
    until you confessed
    i wasn’t your first choice
    i’m not who you thought
    i was
    but love is what
    it is
    does what it does
    to a man or a woman
    or is it different with you
    and me because it’s not
    me you want
    yet i want you
    you were always my
    first choice even though
    you not who i thought
    you were either

  111. DamonZ

    “Anniversary in the Hocking Hills”

    The open fire moves like a river.
    It pops in the early April night.
    In cold mountain air we shiver.
    Our winter white skin so bright.
    Our bodies worn from hiking all day.
    On the deck the hot tub stirs.
    So nice to just get away.
    A push of a button and the pump purrs.
    A bottle of wine and fifth of Parrot Bay.
    The water is hot, the air so cold.
    I can feel my muscles relax.
    A good, good night starts to unfold.
    The radio playing some hot sax.
    About this cabin someone once said,
    “It’s the most peaceful place on earth.”
    I stare across into brown eyes of the girl I wed.
    I’d say those words meet their worth.
    This peaceful place warms the heart like a hearth.

    By: Damon Zallar

  112. Pat Walsh

    by Patrick J. Walsh

    In first flight

    the brittle edge of an ancient leaf
    lifts like the tip of a sparrow wing
    carried on the forward rise
    of the first sweet breath of morning

    while I make my way forward
    in the first weak days
    of a season of growth

    when the middle days come
    the trees stretch their limbs
    in ambient discourse
    with water and light

    and each step I take
    seems bestowed with a blessing
    of firm resolve

    Carried aloft

    the leaf soars on golden motes
    swung low from the lights of Elysia
    to warm the longer days
    with delicate specks of joy

    while I sit by the pond
    and ponder the mysteries
    of the water

    at the longest hour
    in the air above the surface
    frond and froth trade memories
    of sounds and seasons past

    and aromas of suppers shared
    transport my spirit at length
    as eventide unfolds


    in the long pull of breath
    that signals the start of shorter hours
    the tiny leaf sails bold forward
    as storm and sorrow gather

    formed by the flight of time
    and chastened by the chill
    my steps grow quick

    all around the leaves lose hue and vigor
    to fall in early darkness
    like the memories of tiny birds
    whose nests have brittled and froze

    and I think of the warm time
    even as I rush to finish walking
    in the earliness of shadows

    Coming at last to rest

    the delicate discarded ornament
    of limbs once strong and supple
    the brown leaf follows down the wind
    as the days trail into dormant twilight

    I stand at the cathedral door
    peering past the trees and stones
    nearly ready

    passing lightly across my shoulder
    as I stand awkwardly at the trailhead
    the leaf crosses in front of me
    to come at last to rest in the shallow of the path

    and prodded gently I settle
    in peace with the fading breath of wind
    as I step gently toward home

  113. PowerUnit

    The shelves are up, finally
    The misplaced books have found their place of rest
    The musty sci-fi shelf is in the back corner
    Modern tastes lean towards literary styles
    Genres less easy to nail down
    Perspectives less settled and tested
    An empty shelf waits for new arrivals
    Treasures yet discovered in used bookstore wanderings
    Someone else’s discarded tomes looking for homes

  114. DanielAri


    cynical as I am, I would never name a bar The End Up
    because that’s exactly where I first met Alice, where we
    had both of us—yes, indeed—ended up in the dregs of
    separate parties, hers for girls, mine for my buddy Jay.
    He, Heek and I were all that was left of his break-up
    extravaganza, and Jay instantly found one of Alice’s
    drunk friends and—yes, indeed—ended up with her
    at the dartboard obstructing any potential for a game.
    Heek and I were thinking how to save him from himself,
    when Alice pulled up alongside and asked if we might
    extricate our drunk friend from her drunk friend who 

    was not in a good place to start something new. It was
    a night for the half-drunk to stand up as samaritans for
    the full. In our good-deed glow, Alice and I wound up
    entangled, stumbled through the city back to my pad
    and—yes, indeed—ended up together for the long haul,
    give or take. But if there’s one little irk, one niggle, one
    splinter in the thumb or our good thing, for me it’s that
    name: The End Up, which re-introduces itself by name
    whenever dissatisfaction swamp-gasses up from our
    time together. It says, “Here’s the pond-bottom, Fang.

    You can depend on it. I recommend surrender, friend.”


  115. Amaria

    I suppose I can never be
    a super model with thin legs
    with a gap between my thighs.
    No, I am just who I am –
    the woman in the mirror.
    She has curves in many places
    and a waist I wish was smaller.
    Breasts I wish were fuller
    and abs that were tighter.
    I guess I will never be a lithe
    ballerina or a muscular athlete.
    No, I am just the who I am –
    the woman in the mirror.

  116. Bartholomew Barker

    Settle In

    Half a bottle of red wine
    Lasagna laden with cheese
    Greasy ground meat
    Soaked noodles thick
    Not just one slice
    Two slices with garlic bread
    To mop up diced tomato sauce

    I leave the dishes
    In the sink to dry
    Encrusting barnacles
    On their smooth hulls

    The siren song of the sofa
    Entices me to her comfy shore
    I feel the weight of dinner
    Settle in for slow digestion
    Stomach full mind empty
    I flip channels
    Barely twitching my thumb
    Eyelids droop
    Sloth and gluttony

  117. Amaria

    I cannot fight in anymore.
    My path has been set in stone.
    For it seems no matter what I do
    I always come back to you,
    with pleadings eyes at your door.

    You, always with those caring eyes
    let me in as if you’re not surprise.
    I suppose your heart already knew
    that my running away would not last
    and one day I would come back.

    Mother told me I should slow down
    but my mind wanted to paint the town.
    I chased the stars, dance with the sun
    and had torrid affairs with the moon,
    but none of them compared to you.

    So here I stand outside your door
    looking at the one I truly adore.
    I don’t know why you settle for me.
    I’m not sure I would do the same.
    I cannot fight in anymore.

  118. Cameron Steele


    Let’s treat stories like money
    swap the dime purses and plastic

    for the memories of our births.
    If we recall them enough

    maybe they’ll settle or stick around
    longer than grubby bills and checking

    accounts. Maybe we’ll need
    some expert, a doctor, a lover, a

    mother to wipe the film of
    our stories off our capped heads

    our same dark hairs swirled by the vernix
    of what we were and where we

    came from and what we need
    to clean up before we move on,

    peddling dirtiness as truth, a barter
    we’ve never needed to complete in coins.

  119. De Jackson


    Unsettle my heart. Leave me
    stirred and shaken, shirred
    about the edges and ready
    to fall.

    Wrap me in words and whisper
    -ed whim, a scrim of wishing

    strum my skin,
          then settle


  120. EbenAt

    PAD Day 28 – Settled.

    You are living
    fifteen million years ago
    in what is now
    eastern Washington State.

    When the eruptions start
    it’s not like
    Mount Saint Helens;
    These are just fissures,
    rifts in the ground from which
    lava flows like water.

    In the fullness of time,
    it covers sixty three thousand
    square miles and
    over six thousand feet deep.

    Granted, this occurs over
    millions of years, yet
    the fossils we find today include
    leaves, wood, insects
    and bones.

  121. DanielAri

    “After shocks”

    Door frames and lintels—
    there’s where we are told,
    when the earth jostles
    herself, to stronghold
    and remain until

    aftershocks have rolled
    off; but our startled
    bodies don’t unfold
    fast from dreaming beds.
    We blink. Is it still?

    When we are rumbled
    we don’t want lintels.
    Instead, awake, we
    find the channels that
    broadcast the bald facts:

    epicenter, scale,
    damage in dollars.


  122. beachanny


    She carried in the groceries
    Even though the power was not yet on.
    Thrilled to have her own apartment,
    Triumphant over the new job.
    Liberated and independent by leaving home.
    Ecstatic to have a place of her own.
    Determined to make this her success.

    © Gay Reiser Cannon

  123. Gabrielle Freeman

    by Gabrielle Freeman

    I will write you a story explaining everything.
    Its pages will be blank. I got that from Voltaire.
    Voltaire described Mars’ two moons (panic/fear) and
    (terror/dread). He got the orbital distances,
    orbital periods info from Swift. Who probably
    was just speculating but pretty much got it right.
    These moons are not nice and round like Earth’s moon
    named Moon. We are very concerned with whether or not
    the Moon had water. And then if Mars had water.
    From space, it sure looks like it. And so humans can settle.
    In 2024, we will watch humans shoot one-way
    to Mars to live in Mars trailers. They will grow their own
    greens. Two men and two women from disparate cultures.
    They paid their $38 or equivalent based
    on per capita income. They will have shown
    “indomitable spirit” (“What”). From the “Five Key
    Characteristics of an Astronaut”: “Your humor
    is a creative resource, used appropriately
    as an emerging contextual response” (“What”).
    Reality TV from space. With no escape.
    What would make me get on that ship. What would make me
    get in a wagon and head west. What would make me
    get on a boat and head west. What would make me.
    Panic and fear in my pocket, orbiting terror and dread.
    I will write you a story explaining everything.

    Let me know what you think! Check out my poetry prompt and process website http://www.ladyrandom.com.

  124. Grey_Ay


    Fresh white paint, new sign, four blue letters
    New shutters, new dog, new baby
    Years stacking, seamlessly, one inside the other
    Fingers worn ’round, silver and gold, sometimes shine
    Dreams of lists, always another, don’t forget your lunch
    No time but memories, movies, anniversaries
    Adventures are small, on discs, online
    Settled, the goal, settled the life

    But this pen cannot settle
    it rattles on this page
    this heart is still beating
    for dreams you don’t shape
    this mind cannot forget
    its promise to itself
    these feet wander farther
    than the path of someone else.

    -A. Ault-

  125. Shell

    Our Path
    By Shell Ochsner

    The path walked along is sometimes winding and changes,

    bringing about excitement,

    from time to time; chaos.

    Sometimes the path is long and straightforward,

    possibly boring,

    at intervals it is the right direction.

    Sometimes the path seems dissipated,

    one becomes lost,



    Sometimes we are carried along the path during moments of trial,

    given comfort,

    graced with love.

    The path we walk is of our own,

    to choose as only we will.

    It matters not,

    of how it’s walked,

    or who it’s walked with.

    In the end,

    we all end up settled together in perfection,

    in loveliness,

    in heaven

  126. DanielR

    Strangers in crowded rooms, intimidating and judgmental
    If only I could melt into walls, become invisible
    Now that I have settled into my skin, who cares what they think

    Daniel Roessler

  127. De Jackson

    Aubade to Broken

    -set, and he is settling

    -rise, and he is settling

    leaving her nettled,



  128. Sandy Green


    You’re humming along with your love
    and the heaviest part of life hits you,
    like a bag filled with ununoctium
    and he says you’re
    Your name merely a number,
    a placeholder on the periodic table of his life

    Your limp grasp drops away
    as he drifts off

    You ask:
    Where did I go wrong?
    Did I settle for good?
    Or good enough?

    A flicker of fun
    and it’s over,
    Too soon?
    Not soon enough.

  129. susanjer

    Settling Someplace

    Perhaps you are in a garden thinning radish seedlings
    and pulling weeds because you believe the world
    is worth saving and because in three weeks you want
    to slice radishes on a buttered baguette and call it dinner.

    Or, perhaps you are riding a bus, reading the last chapter
    of a story, crying softly so you do not have to explain
    your tears to the teenager sitting beside you who trusts
    in the omnipotence of the internet.

    You could be running on a treadmill among rows
    and columns of machines, but remembering a dirt trail
    through the woods where the pines are guardians
    and where every so often the ocean is visible
    to remind you that the body, too, is part ocean
    and as fluent as water.

    Maybe you are lying in a hospital bed and a nurse
    arrives to dispense the pills that will make you forget
    the body is done fighting and ready to accept
    your decision to move on.

    You might be tracking down a chirping smoke alarm
    because it is a sound hard to ignore and because
    you don’t want your world to end in fire
    or ice for that matter.

    Perhaps you are walking the last few blocks
    toward home and from an open window
    you hear someone playing the violin, repeating
    a phrase that sometimes sounds like a prayer,
    sometimes like a rebuke and sometimes like a place
    whose name you have forgotten.

  130. Emily Cooper

    Special Rites

    Sarah Palin said something
    and what she said was sensational

    and it was about
    President Obama’s failings
    as a leader

    and who should care

    since she’s just a quitter
    who can’t settle graciously

    for living under Obama’s
    race-baiting socialist rule

    and she is ageless and perfect
    in every picture

    which is actually bad
    because a politician’s job
    when done with a measure of nuance

    not typically found
    in a fascist

    (same difference
    you elitist) dictatorship

    is very hard
    on the hair and complexion.

    She said “Well if I
    were in charge

    they would know
    that waterboarding
    is how we’d baptize terrorists”

    a statement that
    is accidentally brilliant

    in that it just may settle
    the debate

    between so-called “secular progressives”
    and so-called “traditionalists”
    (thank you Bill O’Reilly)

    which is “Is Sarah Palin
    an affront
    to basic human decency?”

  131. novacatmando

    Whatever you say fits on a napkin, under the noise of a grinding Tom Jones tune, pussycat, and steel scraping ceramic on bused blue-plates of meat and threes. Whatever you say, the answer lies, within a tarot card or settled on strips inside fortune cookies. An ink of ilk. You say this is an old tattoo, an ode to a girl I’ve never seen. Sometimes the best poem is a sigh. Whatever you say protrudes, after the day of wanting, before memories morph, this henna of love is a side-helping scold nestled along with the entrée. Whatever you say. So much in this world to swell the throat— a flash, a reverb, a playing of “I’ll Fly Away” on bright red combs and wax paper. Whatever you say screams siren. Warns tornado skies. Whatever you say is lost in the rush of diner figures, the abandoned pawpaw pie. The chance of debris. Hunkered beneath an underpass where you say we went as far as the car would take us. Whatever you say.

  132. ambermarie

    Stability Boredom

    Such luxury as I have seen
    Leaves me idle
    Angry that there are no mountains to scale
    Or oceans to explore
    In a vast sea of emptiness
    There is nothing I must do
    Yet help the others
    Save them from my own privileges
    And relinquish the goods that were hard won
    By someone else
    Can I give away that which is undeserved
    And earn my keep after all?

    I write a story to tell you what I know
    Does that help you to live better
    Inspire you to love more
    And work harder
    And rest again?
    Can I write for them –
    For the solitary ones,
    Plodding along in the woods
    So that they might feel less alone?
    Clutching at their shoulders urgently
    Telling them not to give up
    I know the path ahead

    Can I dance in your heart
    And smile in your eyes –
    Can I be more than I was yesterday?
    Authentic and honest
    When I grow from the dirt, I feel clean
    As the rain washes over me again and again
    Taller and taller I press the sky higher
    As the sun shines brighter on me
    Until the stars and I are one

  133. Brian Slusher


    Just on the edge of sleep, I feel
    a creeping sensation, a push to
    move, get up, pace, run!

    I shift and roll like a ship
    In a choppy sea, but I can’t
    shake the desire to rise and stride

    And no one knows why my legs
    refuse to settle, deny
    my shouted thought of HALT!

    As though they’re fugitives
    or unhinged marathoners or
    someone else’s dislocated limbs

    desperate to bolt from this
    slum of a frame and reconnect
    with some perfect Grecian torso

  134. mbramucci

    “The Girl’s Obtuse”
    By: Michelle Bramucci

    My father suggests that I settle
    For simple, low risk, occupations
    Though I do wish he wouldn’t meddle
    I’m tired of these conversations
    I’m a young, smart girl in sure fettle
    And life is so full of temptations
    His temper I do seem to nettle
    For, I’m clever but lack reservations

  135. diedre Knight


    Mystifying messages, secrets sworn in blood, diminished
    in the tempestuous deluge of erratic normality until at last
    venomous apologies are proffered and a tenuous calm
    lasts only as long as her medication.
    Too young to flee, too worn to stay, wounded resignation
    pervades by day till nightfall when hours are eternity as terror
    hovers darkly, beyond a toy box refuge.
    A leaning tree holds deep the reasons for its differences,
    flourishing in spite, to promise future seedlings
    a better place to grow
    In passing years, a ragged stone was gently smoothed,
    a rotting soul was cleansed
    in the steadfast cadence of a forgiving river,
    where a leaning tree debt was settled.

    diedre Knight

  136. Rosemary Nissen-Wade


    We settle down on the bed again after breakfast,
    we three, the cats and me, all of us elderly now
    and free to indulge — though they are freer than me,
    and can stay here all day if they will, and in fact they will
    until I give them their lunch (the small dry biscuits
    that keep their teeth clean and strong) after which
    they’ll wander outdoors awhile, now that the weather’s autumnal:
    cooler than the worst heat of summer and not yet chilly winter …

    whereas I, when I finish the coffee I brought back to bed,
    and finish this morning’s poem, shall rise at once
    to go out into the world — where, too, I am settled,
    into my familiar lifestyle: the small town,
    the old and new friends, the little cafés,
    the trees and the nearby river.

    Based on the “Stretching the Sentence” exercise by William Wenthe in Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry (Dos Gatos Press, 2011)

  137. James Rodgers

    Tea Leaves

    Ensconced in a corner booth
    of her favorite Thai restaurant,
    Tania was in the middle
    of another argument
    with her boyfriend,
    trying to keep
    her words low enough
    to not cause a scene.
    In agitation,
    she poured more tea
    for herself,
    forgetting it was
    the end of the pot,
    filling her cup
    with more dregs than tea.
    She waited,
    as he continued talking,
    for her drink to clear,
    kept glancing over,
    but the tea leaves
    were still swirling round
    and round in her glass.
    In that moment,
    she looked up
    one last time,
    then back to her cup,
    and decided,
    just like her tea,
    that she didn’t want to settle.

  138. Jane Shlensky

    Semantic Settlement

    My mother hoped I’d settle down—
    for her, a peaceful happy place—
    but I preferred to settle up
    and wait to settle on one place.

    I tried to find a better word
    than “settle”, for it is absurd
    to weigh oneself beneath, below
    where unselected choices go.

    A horse is settled with a load,
    and gangsters settle scores, explode
    and stir up settled sediment
    until life has a murky tint.

    When people exchange continents,
    they settle in a settlement
    until these squatting hordes discover
    they make smog that settles over

    everything; the firmament
    settles in layers—mud and flint—
    and what began as clear assent
    becomes a legal settlement.

    Years passed, I’ve settled down and in
    and given choice, I settle on;
    push comes to shove, I’ll settle for
    a lesser evil, space, or chore.

    And all the while, gravity grins
    watching most everything sink in
    ‘til yang floats up and yin descends,
    heaven and earth, split, settling in.

    Although I wage semantic fights,
    I’m fond of settling down most nights
    when murky dreams settle and clear,
    dark dregs down there and rest up here.

  139. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Patricia A. Hawkenson’s Day 28 Settle poem

    Every Other Friday

    He waits
    for the engine
    to warm,
    and his tears fall
    as his hands
    grip the wheel,
    and a passerby
    might think him
    drunk or asleep,
    but he needs
    that moment
    to gather his strength
    before driving away
    and leaving his kids
    because he waited
    too long
    to warm up
    his ex.

  140. DanielR

    Mid-day sun’s yellow shining
    sparkles diamonds off roadways
    littered with shattered glass
    reflecting flecks of brilliance
    not unlike polished gems
    I am a treasure hunter
    but these are not the jewels
    that I have come in search of
    instead I comb the underbelly
    of damp, overgrown ditches
    seeking to find aluminum
    a poor man’s gold
    tossed from speeding cars
    rolling down steep inclines
    Bud, Miller, and Coors
    settled in my secret garden
    a bumper crop of fortune

    Daniel Roessler

  141. Emma Hine


    It’s half past seven, time for bed,
    Now go upstairs, sleepyhead,
    Pyjamas on, brush your teeth,
    Wash your face and wash your hands,
    Then close your eyes to see dreamland.

    Twenty to eight, are you done?
    This is not time for having fun.
    Just put those toys away now please,
    Now get undressed, pyjamas on,
    When you’re ready I’ll sing you a song.

    It’s quarter to, and you’re still dressed
    Undo your shirt, take off your vest.
    You need to still wash hands and face,
    You need to brush your teeth and hair.
    Are you listening? Do you care?

    Ten to eight, the basin’s run,
    I’ve asked you five times, aren’t you done?
    I don’t know where your pyjamas are…
    Under your pillow, they should be
    If you put them elsewhere, why ask me?

    Eight o’clock, it’s getting late
    Why must you always make me wait.
    Find your pyjamas, then brush your teeth,
    While your doing that, I’ll brush your hair
    And what’s your pyjama top doing there?

    Ten past eight, are your teeth brushed?
    I hope you cleaned them well, not rushed.
    And have you washed your face and hands?
    Don’t lie, that water’s seen no soap.
    Just do it now, and please don’t mope.

    Quarter past, are you finally done?
    Nearly an hour since we begun.
    Now choose a book and make it quick,
    What do you mean, you’re not tired yet?
    A more tired child I’ve never met!

    All in bed, the house is still,
    A glass of wine just fits the bill.
    My feet are up, the TV’s on,
    And…. Relax!

      1. Emma Hine


        It’s half past seven, time for bed,
        Now go upstairs, sleepyhead,
        Pyjamas on, brush your teeth,
        Wash your face and wash your hands,
        Then close your eyes to see dreamland.

        Twenty to eight, are you done?
        This is not time for having fun.
        Just put those toys away now please,
        Now get undressed, pyjamas on,
        When you’re ready I’ll sing you a song.

        It’s quarter to, and you’re still dressed
        Undo your shirt, take off your vest.
        You need to still wash hands and face,
        You need to brush your teeth and hair.
        Are you listening? Do you care?

        Ten to eight, the basin’s run,
        I’ve asked you five times, aren’t you done?
        I don’t know where your pyjamas are…
        Under your pillow, they should be
        If you put them elsewhere, why ask me?

        Eight o’clock, it’s getting late
        Why must you always make me wait.
        Find your pyjamas, then brush your teeth,
        While you’re doing that, I’ll brush your hair
        And what’s your pyjama top doing there?

        Ten past eight, are your teeth brushed?
        I hope you cleaned them well, not rushed.
        And have you washed your face and hands?
        Don’t lie, that water’s seen no soap.
        Just do it now, and please don’t mope.

        Quarter past, are you finally done?
        Nearly an hour since we begun.
        Now choose a book and make it quick,
        What do you mean, you’re not tired yet?
        A more tired child I’ve never met!

        All in bed, the house is still,
        A glass of wine just fits the bill.
        My feet are up, the TV’s on,
        And…. Relax!

  142. Mr. Take The Lead

    One Million Hours of Isolation
    Daniel R. Simmons
    Many people will argue against isolation from others and many, fear loneliness, but as for me, I find isolation to be a wonderful gift and I have no fear of loneliness.
    I find that when we are isolated from distractions, isolated from people and isolated from praises and criticism that is when we can focus on who we really are and what we truly want to do with our lives. You see when in isolation you find your, strengths as well as your weaknesses.
    You learn of your goals, your dreams and inner most desires. Ultimately I have come to the realization that, when it comes to achieving goals, it is your isolated preparation that leads to your public success.
    So when you reach the point in your life, where everything that you ever hoped for is right within reach.
    When everything that you ever dreamed of and longed for, fought for and worked for is staring you right in the face.
    When you reach the “this is finally it” moment. The moment in your life where you say this is always where I wanted to be.
    When you reach your moment of success, no matter how big or small your dream and goal is, when you reach it, when it finally becomes a reality, the feeling is unbearable and breathtaking. The ecstasy from the thrill ride of triumph and achievement overwhelms and grabs hold to you.
    Even though you have finally reached this ultimate moment in your life, you are not surprised, neither are you lost, or ill-prepared. No, because you have been preparing for this moment your entire life. You see, when your moment of success has come, your mind goes back to all of the hours that you spent studying in your dorm room until five in the morning. You go back to the times when you took 5,000 jump shots on an empty court. The times when your pen kept moving to a beat that you just couldn’t get out of your head. You remember your moments of isolation. When you weren’t in the classroom, an NBA floor, or music studio recording your first album.
    You wander back to the moments where you were all alone, when it was just you and your dream.
    And the moments when the only chants of your name were in your head. You track back to the countless hours you spent going after your dream and all the blood , sweat and tears you put into it, has finally paid off.
    But this all, couldn’t be so if it hadn’t been for those moments of isolation: those moments spent alone, dreaming, practicing writing, and preparing for your future. After all, where there is no, isolation, there is no elevation in life.
    Nobody knows the amount of hours Michael Jordan spent alone on the court, the secluded hours Phelps spent in the pool, or the solitary hours a valediction spends in the library. My guess one million.
    So when you walk across the stage of graduation, into the job of your dreams or whatever personal accomplishment you reach in your life. Never forget your hours of isolation. Your hours of pain and hours of frustration.
    ever forget the hours you put in to reach your personal milestone.
    Because, in order to obtain true success in anything that you do, you must first conquer the island solitude and endure the countless hours of preparation, for your moment to shine.
    Only then can you kick back, smile and say
    I’m settled.

  143. Janet Rice Carnahan


    There once was an April PAD
    Where poets came to share what they had
    Written like the wind
    From beginning to end
    Delightful, happy writers and Robert, so glad!

    Prompts were creative, varied and fun
    Haikus, limericks, sonnets or sestinas would run
    Carefully measured, a good find
    Each to own a treasured kind
    Settling down now, we’re almost done

    Thank you, sweet, dedicated poets who write
    Your words and poems offering joy, wonder, insight
    It has been a great April
    Each day such a thrill
    It has been a pleasure to be here, quite!

    Now we can all go and play
    Grateful we came here to say
    All we wanted to share
    After writing it from somewhere
    Have fun in the sun . . .

    As you May!

    1. SuziBwritin

      Aww. I love it. It is a fun time and a frantic time and seems like a big long trek at the beginning and ends all too soon. Lovely thoughts and a sweet way with words.

  144. Christine Sutherland

    Régler dans la bonne vie
    (Settling into the good life)

    by Christine D Sutherland

    I’m spoiled, this I know,
    I wake long after the rooster crows,

    I linger over my après-midi latte,
    With a glazed almond biscotti,

    The day is mine as I see fit,
    To challenge my assonant wit,

    Toiling over every word
    So that my poème may be heard.

  145. Margie Fuston

    Planes, Hotels, and Beds

    When you settle into that center airplane seat,
    fighting for just a small piece of an armrest,
    don’t you wish you could trace the pattern
    of cities below or have the freedom to stand
    and stretch your legs without a please & thank you?

    When you settle into your three-star hotel room
    and bite into a two-star burger from room service,
    listening to your neighbors through thin walls,
    don’t you wish you were eating filet mignon
    with 500-thread count sheets caressing your skin?

    When you settle into bed, wrapping yourself in cheap
    sheets with someone you’re supposed to love,
    and feel the space of cold bed between you,
    don’t you wish you were that perfect couple
    your neighbors were wishing they couldn’t hear?

  146. Kendall A. Bell


    It was my choice, is what you would
    say when I ask about why you stayed
    in the little house you bought on
    your own, with someone who gave only
    a donation of himself and the paychecks
    he handed you. It was me, my brother,
    the idea that you weren’t giving up
    what was rightfully yours, even when
    he could barely be bothered to make
    it to the hospital when you were in
    labor. His job always came first.
    Still, you were his only constant –
    the one who saw him through cancer,
    took him to specialists when his mind
    began to fail him. And now, you stay
    resigned to being the caregiver, the
    babysitter, the one who helps my brother
    save his home from the worthless woman
    who left him. The one who gets phone
    calls from relatives complaining about
    their lives. The one who no one asks,
    What can we do for you?

  147. Ashley Marie Egan

    Lifelong Quest
    by Ashley Marie Egan

    No more settling for second best
    or assuming I’m not as good as the rest.
    Life isn’t a grade school test:
    it’s a lifelong quest,
    a push to leave the nest,
    and I think I’m headed west.
    Maybe I’ll just walk until I find a little zest,
    or some people who possess some jest.
    In the end I believe traveling will become a pest
    then I’ll find myself leaving the west,
    and heading to the south where I’m not a guest.
    There I’ll climb back into my cozy nest,
    and tell my family about my lifelong quest.

  148. MaryAnn1067

    Red Birds

    two red birds settled upon
    a bush, bare yet, of leaves,
    one greyblack insect, manylegged,
    scuttles across the stoop

    one heart and stomach
    provoked and
    unsettled, protected by
    a cage of bone and
    gristle, quietly resistant to
    any cutting tongues or
    thick stupidities

    dust, settling, upon a baseboard,
    wiped off by a gloved hand,
    the debris of past days settled,
    brownboxed, overspilling

    the quiet that settles
    after chaos and strife (better
    than the blankness of an April morning unfurling)
    comfort of settling into
    an attitude of rest,
    curved into the quilts,

  149. uneven steven

    Settle that whole muddied water middle you
    and clarify yourself
    hands not your hands until you
    think their work
    into being
    suckling dance edge of
    paper delineation
    all that’s flat turned over
    beyond dimensional
    line to shape to knowledge
    unfurled unformed to formed
    like Rodin birthing solid stone
    a ballerina goddess head swaying in a
    clear sky
    feet in the clouds beneath
    scuffling the map of a universal
    split god infinitive
    creating all worlds

  150. uneven steven

    You will not settle for less than everything

    and what will you settle when there are no new people’s to exploit
    will you make money your land to be conquered at any cost
    water like our children’s blood expendable
    in your pursuit of mammon, your idol,
    your false god of never enough
    sick, ruthless, unsettling your doubling down
    in times of trouble doubling your riches
    while halving our worth
    we are not you and never will be
    even if we wanted to you would never let us
    join your lot
    we simple commoners who once thought
    the commons were for the common good –
    now mere money pits for you to swim in
    and leave burning in your wake
    a fitting tribute to us
    attending our own wake from you
    your dead and dying proselytizers
    as we watch
    the world burning inside us
    as we burn the world

  151. hojawile

    Plane-tive Recollection

    Quiet we all sit because
    we can’t hear above the buzz.
    Papers, books, electronic gadgets,
    jingling ice in plastic “glasses.”
    Baggage stuffed in nooks and crannies–
    people too, from babies to grannies.
    Some nod off.
    There’s an occasional cough.
    Waiting patiently
    beneath the clouds to see.
    Skidding thud, thud, thud!
    Screeching to a stop!
    The plane has landed.
    Let’s be candid–
    the pilot has the fun;
    we’re glad to be done.

    1. hojawile

      Actually scribbled this from brain to page several years ago in flight. Unearthed the scrap paper version today while de-cluttering. Yes, that’s right…I am NOT “settled” after moving yet again, and sifting through boxes collecting dust the past few years.

  152. feywriter

    Two poems today.


    small unit
    looking for the right
    to settle down
    grow roots
    first a home,
    then a village
    finding our place
    in the world


    birds fresh from the nest
    two by two they seek a roost
    flit from tree to tree

    by Mary W. Jensen

  153. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Wanting you both began as a dream
    Hoping for a daughter and a son
    Joy was answered it would seem
    Once my little family was complete and done

    I couldn’t wait to know you
    Love you and watch you grow
    Enjoy each moment and all the years too
    On this journey together, we’d go

    It all worked well until you each became a teen
    Bumping along through our collective maturity
    Grabbing hugs and sharing love just as quick time in between
    Working for the right balance, somehow someday, to develop into certainty

    Looking back, no matter any roughness, toughness of it all, right from the start
    You are both beautiful human beings, standing on your own, forever settled . . .

    Into my heart

  154. Blaise


    Refused to learn from the Joads
    my inevitable cannot be negotiated.
    Everything to a season
    in a procession of moments
    treasured or reviled
    they fall away just the same.

    Exhale so deep my bones dissolve,
    muscles with nothing to hold,
    all the tense breaths,
    every clenched jaw,
    and this silent fist
    all relieved from duty.

    Mind not racing for alternatives.
    What is this quietude?
    Not death, it is peace.

  155. De Jackson

    A Lone Wolf Finds Himself at the Altar Wearing a Tuxedo

    one for
    settling down.
    What’s he doing here?
    He should be riding off solo.

    Then she walks down the aisle, bearing flowers and helmet.
    Do you think you can love just her?
    Oh, yes,



  156. Taylor Emily Copeland


    I keep coming back to this place –
    all asphalt and little shards of
    ambitions. The empty buildings
    are chapters. The swing on my
    parents’ porch holds the last of
    my hair when it was dark brown,
    a confused remnant of Midwestern,
    starry eyed dreams. This town wants
    to hold me, even when I break its
    heart. For now, your weathered arms
    will do. For now, I can count on
    you, like my worn and comfortable
    blanket, my smiling consolation.

  157. miaokuancha

    April 28, 2014

    Prompt: Settled

    They settled
    In the sacred place.
    Dug their foundations
    Through the bones
    Of our mothers
    Of our fathers.
    They settled.
    Book readers
    Sifted the throwing sticks
    And the beads.
    Sorted and counted,
    Dreamed of new
    Resting places,
    In cases
    of glass.
    But our mothers
    Our fathers
    weigh too much
    for the reckonings of
    And of green.
    They settled.
    Surrendered their theft
    To the children and
    an unmarked grave.
    Broken flutes
    Of a people
    Leave songs
    on the wind,
    Where they settled
    On this earth that bore us.
    The condor passes
    A feather falls from her wing
    Heavy as
    Their golden mountain.

    ~ miaokuancha

    co-prompted by http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Indian-artifact-treasure-trove-paved-over-for-5422603.php#page-1

  158. lionetravail

    “Batter’s Box”
    by David M. Hoenig

    four by six.
    The game’s greats stand
    reverently, waiting for perfect pitch.
    Crowd’s roar in their ears, smell of horsehide ball
    in their nostrils:

  159. Walt Wojtanik


    This has been unresolved for quite some time.
    I’m trying to make sense of a senseless
    situation. Maybe if our minds meet
    we’ll be greeted by a grand solution,
    instead of the illusion that nothing’s wrong.
    This song and dance is out of step;
    out of tune with the times. Mimes
    couldn’t have said it better themselves!
    So, for once and for all let’s get this settled?
    DO you know the way to San Jose, or not?

  160. jclass527

    “things I would never say”

    Tell me this is over; tell me if we are nothing more
    than dust too stubborn to be wiped clean off of each
    other’s fingerprints without leaving scars of what once was.
    Tell me lies, whispers these sonnets like raps you can’t
    get out of your head and if I’m insane it’s only for a little while.
    Just help me listen to the silence in your eyes and from there
    I’ll be steady someplace far far away in your reflection.
    Just help me get over this road bump because we’ve been speeding and
    I think I’m going to fly away sometime soon if I’m not held back.
    I sense your presence and see blood red apples, and I’m tempted to
    bite into its waxy flesh just to see what I’d learn and if it would
    settle me down or leave me airborne, to crash into the
    cold hard gravel like dust.

    -Jessenia Class

  161. cmjones

    Settling on a city

    Maybe a city was walking around
    Drunk in the middle of the day
    Trying not to talk with too many
    Burn victims. Do you got any
    Money? Have you sought sweater
    Vests for life advice? A pinwheel
    Because the room was too hot?
    While the floor had been made to
    Look like wood, it wasn’t acting
    Like it, like the actor acting like
    He doesn’t call his mother nightly or
    Abuse the truth on days off, the air
    Soft becoming too pure, too suddenly
    Dark, far beyond alcoholic rewiring,
    Never felt with the skin, such was
    The thickness of sweat and dust.

    Maybe a city was suffering from
    Post orgasmic illness syndrome,
    The polis sweating out its salty
    Citizenry from concrete glands
    At night while the taxi waits, the
    Meter telling the driver to give up,
    Drive away and leave this drunkard
    To take it upon himself to find his
    Way to wherever it is he needs to go
    For the night, or for the next few
    Nights, a dusty old couch next to
    A nondescript kitchenette and
    A broken carbon monoxide
    Detector, the beeps from which make
    You hungry after a while, dawn
    Roaring on the pine straw inside you.

    Chad Jones

  162. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Settling for cheap”

    The warblers are arguing
    in the ash trees, one of them
    sings in my morning voice or what
    I wish my morning voice sounded like.
    My hands tremble from my fourth coffee.
    If she had paid a little more to get it done
    right, it only be my second cup and I’d
    be at home on the couch instead
    of slouching in this plastic chair
    staring at ten tubes and
    specks of blood on
    her lovely

  163. Anvanya


    I know, the words are backwards but the kids in first period
    never knew that. Five mornings a week I stood at the door
    to greet each one, some with a handshake, others with a nod –
    matching the comfort zone of the child. A bit of fuss usually arose
    at the back table as students picked up their name tags.
    Each one had been personally decorated; the rules were
    that any visitor could see the name clearly across the room.
    This was summer school the office organization way –
    if I was Mrs., then the learners were Miss and Mr.

    Class began with asseyez vous, whereupon each student quietly
    took an assigned seat. It ended with nous allons arise,
    and a controlled rush to turn in their name tags.

    In between, we worked together to cram the essence
    of one-hundred days’ worth of English class into six weeks.
    Most important was practicing reading skills. Across the board,
    they upped theirs one to two years.

    No matter the grade level, we tore into the prepositional phrase
    and recited the correct declension for lots of verbs.
    One novel, a handful of poems, some news articles,
    discovering Gondwanaland; how to view a film,
    a very special guest speaker – we dug and delved into many
    areas of life. Good thing that no administrator ever stopped
    by to evaluate the curriculum. But every student knew
    that a grade of C or better was pure gold towards their
    high school graduation requirements.

  164. Hannah

    Striped Silver Tabby

    Yes, starving silver cat’s licking its paws next to the curb
    and the sandpaper scratch of its tongue’s nearly audible.
    My heart’s around the corner utterly treed with emotion;
    wallowing that I cannot bring home every famished animal
    and I think, at least it’s still spongy – still feels for the small,
    its springs haven’t rusted and lost the magic of empathy.
    The gentle grooming has progressed from its paw to a leg
    and truth’s picture stings – ribcage protrudes sharply.
    I begin to wonder just how long its forever will be…
    sky’s carefree blue doesn’t line up with this drawn creature,
    a knot forms in my chest as I watch it work in vain
    a careful cleaning is the most that it can do for now,
    my only hope’s that soon he’ll need not settle for less.
    Wind wails around the edges of brick buildings
    it rises and rides silently across the grass carried by the gust
    maybe life’s good offering will bring it an insect…?
    Some kids drive by with their radio and laughter blaring
    air shifts swiftly as their squat-low-rider car passes by;
    they look like they know where their next meal will come from.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  165. Lori DeSanti

    Untamed Shadows

    There you were, curled into the bed
    knees tucked to your chest, and sleeping.

    Your hair was light as a ginger root
    splayed across the white of the pillow

    almost purposefully. Your chin was
    arched toward the window, the moonlight

    resting on the blinds, cutting through
    the window glass like a portal. The rays

    streaked your face with cryptic white light,
    three sharp lines like tribal paint. You laid

    there while the moon reached toward your
    skin, coated its milky canvas with colors

    of the night, marking you wild and beautiful—
    and while you were settled into sleep, the

    shadows were alive, dancing into morning.

  166. Alfonso Kuchinski


    External influences
    also located within
    unsettled plains
    dramatic changes not only
    in weather conditions
    but shifting entire climates,

    Waiting for an inscription
    or completely plunge
    with an unknown toll
    panning for fools gold
    some small shiny nugget
    subjective sensibility
    of little concern
    though i take notice,
    the daylight reflected
    back to my eyes

  167. DanielR

    Guttural sounds from kitchen blenders
    create uncontrolled flailing and shouts
    of displeasure, introducing chaos
    for a ten year old cupping his hands
    over his ears, frantic to insulate his world
    frustrated with his inability to make it disappear
    his fists viciously pound the wall begging it to stop
    like I have done so many times with lesser results
    he settles into the familiar rocking motion
    escaping to the gentle hum that calms him
    and I wonder why making soup has to be so hard

    Daniel Roessler

  168. Jezzie


    In my teens I had ambitious dreams
    of being an architect, a journalist,
    a cartographer or a meteorologist.
    I was restless and I hated maths.

    I would never in my wildest dreams
    have been an accountant like my father
    or a book-keeper like my mother.
    I was rebellious and I hated maths.

    In my twenties I met the man of my dreams,
    followed by marriage, kids, and was working
    doing secretarial duties and book-keeping.
    I was settled but I hated maths.

    In my thirties I was vastly improving
    at motherhood, domesticity, gardening,
    My career in accounting was developing.
    I thought I was settled, but I still hated maths.

    In my forties I was divorced and dating,
    had a new house, a decent job and two cats
    I was mistress of my own destiny at last.
    But I was lonely and I hated maths.

    In my fifties I had found a new man,
    ran a business, and it was looking like
    I was finally about to settle down again.
    But that was not to be. I hated maths.

    In my sixties I broke free. Got two dogs,
    got rid of the man and the high pressure job,
    made new friends when I joined a social club,
    started writing again, but I still need maths.

    I wonder what my seventies will bring?
    I will probably still be part-time working
    but hope I’ll always find time for writing.
    I won’t need a man. I won’t care about maths.

    1. Anvanya

      Great. I’ve always hated maths, too. Bit I learned that I have numerical dyslexia – what a relief. I’m seventy and I just pay the tax man to do the maths, and I pray that the chequebook adds up on the bank’s computer at the end of every month. Thanks for speaking for me, too.

  169. Eibhlin


    Two boys fighting,
    hitting, hurting.
    Mom roars
    “I’ll settle this!”
    clips them hard
    around their ears,
    ignores the whimpered
    “It was just
    a friendly fight!”

    When Dad clips Mom
    around the ear,
    that’s what he says:
    “I’ll settle this!”

    That’s how we
    settle things
    round here.

  170. Margot Suydam

    Exotic Settling (a found poem)

    Tuesday is filled with commotion.
    Dwarf caimans, a giant bird
    eating spider are exploring

    a forest glen overlooking
    a stream emptying into
    a lagoon shared by river

    otters six feet in length,
    red-bellied piranhas

    stingrays, and a pair
    of endangered cotton-top
    tamarins. Also roaming:

    two tapirs, hefty with dexterous
    snouts, snorkeling devices
    submerged in water.

    The sensation of walking
    the rain-forest spread
    across two acres

    luxuriant foliage teeming
    exotic wildlife. species
    pushed to the edge.

    Rough-scaled crocodiles
    known as dwarf caimans
    sprawled in

    a shallow pool that doubles
    as an Amazon river.
    Creature comforts:

    thermostats and water
    pumps, ringside seats
    for admiring

    some of the most unusual
    characters in nature.
    The biggest draws.

  171. Joseph Harker

    Triptych: Conversations with my Mother

    i. October, many years ago
    My mother believes that I am the moon,
    asks whether this weakness for boys might
    just be a phase. Everything is temporary:
    celestial bodies, young love, small tears
    collecting on the steps of her eyes.
    We are talking about two different things.
    Listen, I’ve always been this way, and
    I grew tired of hiding: my crescent begins
    showing its colors. Daughters-in-law
    evaporate one by one in my mother’s head.
    My mother believes in guiding the lost,
    the persistence of heaven, truth in love
    no matter the cost. She sits and watches me
    open up new sails, lift anchors, cast off.

    ii. June, some time later
    My mother presses my shirt for a wedding
    I’ll attend tomorrow with my boyfriend.
    She wants to know about the Pennsylvania farm
    where it’ll be held, the B&B where we’ll stay,
    the happy couple. What do you want from
    me? I invent a few details and crack some joke
    about catching the bouquet– but I never know
    how to feel about the boys on my surface.
    My mother is ranked a grandmaster in hope.
    I can see her see my future unfold like origami:
    civil unions, adoptions, a minimum of distance.
    I’m not ready; I’m only half-done. I tie ropes
    round my wrists so I can slip them again. She
    adds more water and pushes the iron down.

    iii. February, recently
    My mother stirs batter as I tell her I’m sick
    of being sick of Valentine’s Day. Single,
    but hopeful, for now. Lately I’ve been tired
    as a forest clearing an hour before dawn:
    webbed with dew and ready for a change.
    My mother says you meet the right man
    when you’re ready, and it isn’t strange
    anymore when she says it. “The right man.”
    I spent so long hoping you would forget it.
    Forty years of marriage means her advice
    comes without thinking. Maybe I’m Ulysses
    longing for the harbor as much as the moon,
    full and ready to wane at last. Maybe she’s
    the current I’ve followed so long without sinking.

    1. SuziBwritin

      I loved this. Best line: My mother is ranked a grandmaster of hope. I like the allusions, the images and most especially the universal feelings you elicit from the reader.

  172. PatsC

    Classroom Management

    Settle down!
    Heard daily in schools,
    Sometimes spoken by me.

    The lesson is already lost,
    Before even beginning,
    The energy zips through the air,
    Alive and contagious.

    Ignore the lesson plan,
    The teachable moment,
    Is found among rays of sun,
    Spring fever.

  173. donaldillich

    The Naked Man

    On the train he was wrapped in blue,
    a blanket from childhood he named
    Mooney, its lights protecting him
    from darkness. Under the cover
    he was naked, his stomach, penis,
    buttocks caught in a vulnerable world,
    because no one could tell him
    where to find his clothes. Each stop
    was mysteriously blocked, a boulder
    covering the exit, or construction
    equipment preventing his departure.
    Nobody said anything about his nudity.
    They acted like he was a child
    who needed to sleep, to nap
    as if he was in nursery school.
    His tie floated nearby, out of reach,
    with a jacket where his arms lived.
    Did he want to leave? Was this dream
    the return of his infancy, the bottle
    he could drink from and escape?
    Or was this just him inside a blanket
    for no reason at all, settling in warmth
    he didn’t deserve, sustained happiness
    he could feel but not truly believe in.

  174. Azma


    I struggle with work everyday
    to meet the needs of my family
    to level with rocketing prices
    to compete with the lavish society.
    Yes I have settled

    -Azma Sheikh

  175. candy

    Oil change

    The tall bald man behind the service desk
    asked if the shuttle driver could drop me anywhere
    Barnes & Noble was my reply
    Now with a chai latte and a Billy Collins
    book I settle in to wait

  176. laurie kolp


    last time, the mound
    a cover of dirt

    beneath the sheets,
    your swollen belly
    protruded just the same

    ground tamped tight
    and weeks, they said,
    before it settled

    mere months
    until the end for you,
    they said

    I call your name,
    pound the earth
    with taut fists

    but get no answer

  177. Bruce Niedt

    Sooo, here’s what I did: NaPoWriMo’s prompt was to take words from a newspaper article and rearrange them in any fashion you like to create a poem, What I did was a search for the word “settle” on the website of my local paper for today. It came up in the horoscope, so I wrote an “excision” poem (where you use the words from another source in the order they appear, but cut out as many of the other words as you want). Here’s the result:

    Today’s Horoscope

    Your imagination will be as you imagine it.
    Spoil yourself – you’ll need to make more money.
    Much depends on the immobile solar eclipse.
    Focus helps immutable circumstances –
    boy, do you have it. Several people recognize you.
    You’ll be stymied by today’s puzzle –
    let it be chaotic. Emotions eventually
    will settle themselves. If you kick the problem,
    the situation will be lost, a solution never thriving.
    Hypotheticals waste the end of the day.
    Who could ever be sure of that?
    The door isn’t standing wide open, it’s ajar.
    Stop thinking big. Create some minor rock songs,
    even if it’s a bad one. Be kindly.
    Your next idea really doesn’t really work,
    and it doesn’t look cool.

    [Source: Holiday Mathis' syndicated horoscope in the Camden Courier Post, 4/28/2014.]

  178. Snowqueen

    Sturgeon Spearing

    Ice fishing is something
    I always enjoyed doing
    With my dad but sturgeon
    Spearing we never did

    I had to do it at least once
    One year I had the chance
    My friend’s dad Joe had a shanty
    And agreed to take me out on
    The lake

    Out on the frozen lake we went
    Outside the sun was bright
    Inside the shanty it was dark
    The only light came from
    Under us through the gaping
    Hole in the ice

    There we sat and stared into the hole
    Joe on one side leaning forward
    Elbows on his knees and me on the
    Other side holding the exact posture

    For hours we stared down that hole
    The water was super clear and we could
    See the bottom of the lake

    The sandwiches came out
    Ohhh they looked great
    Big chunks of chicken, crisp lettuce on
    Home made bread – Delicious!

    Accidently a chunk of chicken fell from
    My sandwich and plopped in the water
    I gasped. As we watched it descend we agreed
    That if Kathy’s fabulous chicken doesn’t
    Get those sturgeons over here nothing will

    The chicken settled on the bottom of the lake
    No sturgeon or fish of any kind were seen by
    Us that day but we had a nice visit and like
    The chicken, it was settled
    I had gone sturgeon spearing

    Karen D.

    1. SuziBwritin

      I had a nice chuckle out of this. Lovely memory picture poem. Still don’t get the ice fishing or sturgeon spearing thing, but I’m always curious about it :)

  179. Roderick Bates

    A Brief History

    by Roderick Bates

    We settled this valley with axes and ploughs and hoes.
    Later we settled arguments with fists and knives and lawsuits.
    Now, as our children stare at new horizons we tell them to settle down.
    This may not be the promised land, but we have learned to settle.

  180. break_of_day

    forced to honor
    shut inside with
    the community
    which may wander
    no more
    though the call of
    the place
    is in the
    in the
    in the way of life
    that inspires
    legends and
    built from isolation and
    mystery and

  181. SuziBwritin

    #28 SETTLED

    Like a big bag of potatoes
    the weight of my body
    has settled into lumps and bumps
    that should never be there

    My brain has settled into a rhythm
    satisfied that I wake up every morning still
    and gratified when the steam from
    my first cup of coffee hits my nose

    I read that the job of typist is extinct
    so, no worries that my arthritic hands
    will never type 100 words per minute again
    and being basically unemployable
    is a settlement I can live with

    What I won’t settle for though
    is a chair instead of a dance floor
    someone hired to clean my house
    silent musical instruments accusing me
    that I skipped practice
    and the lack of a voice to put things right!

  182. cobanionsmith

    (A found poem composed today of words from a page of “Everything That Rise Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor)

    yet “life” entered
    the world–disenchanted with
    irony in spite of
    a third-rate
    dominated by
    a large
    foolish prejudice
    Most miraculous instead of
    complete objec-
    tivity dominated
    a woman lurched forward
    escaped falling
    righted herself
    to watch
    injustice in daily operation.
    prodded insistently
    into his ribs
    she whispered.
    The woman had
    risen sat down
    further back in the bus.

    (c) Courtney O’Banion Smith

    See the picture of the poem at my Tumblr blog:

  183. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Determined to rake up
    Autumn’s annual shake down
    Of multicolored leaves, he picked up
    His favorite tool
    Began working feverishly to his task

    Twelve bags later, with both kids in tow,
    He came inside thirsty
    Exhausted and happy
    One more
    Late October job completed

    Washing his hands
    With rough and gritted soap
    A loud, “Oh, My God, No”!
    Heard by the kitchen sink

    Assuming he might have cut himself
    I raced to his side to see him
    Staring at his left hand
    “In my focus to get it done,
    I somehow lost my wedding ring”.

    Walking all around the yard yielded nothing
    Four of us finding
    Just odd remains
    Of all things outdoors
    Some of which just need
    A garbage bag and quickly

    Getting ready for bed,
    Still no ring in hand
    An idea blew in through the window
    After hearing the evening news
    Strong winds were expected
    Late in the night

    “Ok, let’s go dump out all twelve bags,
    Right now, put them all out on the cement.
    Trust it all to the wind.”

    “Why would we do that”? He asked

    “The ring is heavier than the leaves
    We will find it on the cement
    In the morning!” came my answer

    Heading out in the dark
    We emptied all the bags of leaves
    On the concrete

    In the morning
    After the wind had come and gone
    Settling everything back down in its path
    Sitting central on the outdoor patio
    Golden in the sun was his wedding ring
    In the heavy breeze,
    The leaves created a circle,
    A creative display to the beauty
    Of what appeared before us
    All it needed was a dark blue pillow
    As if prepared for a magnificent delivery

    We rejoiced
    Found great relief
    Brought the kids into our hugs
    Until we remembered
    As glorious as the moment was
    There were leaves to gather once again

    Yet looking around the yard
    We saw the wind had taken
    Most of them away with it
    Leaving us with a two treasured gifts
    A golden ring
    Among carefully designed leaves
    Now encircling our mutual, along with nature . . .

    Ring of love!

  184. Domino

    Sentiment vs. Reality

    Sentimental, really,
    to pack up every last toy,
    every last card of a
    forgotten game,
    pogs and wizard wands
    and school papers and
    awards for fine

    But it is not for me
    to decide which of these
    relics of childhood
    are important and
    which are dross.

    And I will not weep
    because, the boy
    has a car now.
    Is in the army
    defending his country.
    Is living his life.
    Has moved on
    as he should.

    And so I will use this room
    to sew and create
    new beauty and make
    friends happy.

    All will be well.
    And so, now,
    that’s settled.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  185. James Von Hendy


    That rainy day in February when we stepped
    Into that strange house and looked out
    Across the valley, we knew we were home.

    Of course we weren’t. The empty rooms still spoke
    Of other lives and dreams, and so much lay
    Before us, a map of uncertainty

    Framed in wood and glass and hung on desire,
    The tenuous hook of ourselves laid bare
    And offered up as if a sacrifice

    To strangers who only counted coin,
    A foreign language of counter-offer,
    Escrow, inspection, title, deed, and key.

    And yesterday? When we looked out across
    The familiar valley and spoke, it was
    About the tenacious hooks of home.

    We spoke about your mother, my father,
    Stairs, infirmity, uncertainty
    And loss. You said you couldn’t call this house home

    Without me were I to go before you
    [As I almost surely will]. I’ve thought that,
    Too, when you’ve been gone a day. We rattle

    Through empty, unfamiliar rooms, the house
    Gone strange again, just a frame, the scaffold
    For the home we’ve long settled in our hearts.

    1. TomNeal

      We spoke about your mother, my father,
      Stairs, infirmity, uncertainty
      And loss. You said you couldn’t call this house home

      This leaves me with feelings of melancholy. You have found/created an objective correlative.
      Well done.

  186. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Deep breaths in and out
    Allowing thoughts to release
    Calms us down throughout

    The ease of a breeze
    Across the faces of time
    Invites us to smile

    Feeling gratitude
    In our heart for all our life
    Settles us in joy

    Walks in deep forests
    Connects us back to our earth
    Our soul is refreshed

    Barefoot on a beach
    Allows the stress to let go
    All senses renewed

  187. barbara_y

    Settled Poem

    Settled in on this rainstorm morning
    while the bulbs occasionally pause, mull over
    going dim, and lightning brightens. Drops
    hit the windowglass like pebbles.
    Come out. Come out, come out.

    Once I would have. Once I did
    excursion with the lightning, and splashed, too.
    In flash puddles like a child would
    not. Feeling deliciously old, settled in my ways,
    I breakfast, comfortable with coffee and cherry pie.

    A large woman. Very short.
    Two smaller women
    have settled in her hips and thighs.
    They knead bread, paper her skin
    with tiny dry notes, intended for other pioneers.

    Other women of my bottom proportion
    must possess enormous bosoms.
    The dress will not settle on my shoulders,
    but slides, as if my wide flesh-colored bra strap
    might want to coyly flirt with my iPhone.

    There are no affordable pretty yurt covers.
    All available fabrics are pilling synthetics, harsh
    and itchy. Their colors turn me purple,
    and so time and again I settle for black cotton
    that fades irregularly. I, clad in motley black, am
    settling this rainstorm morning.

    1. SuziBwritin

      Whoa I get it! Brilliant stuff…flesh colored bra strap indeed…yurt covers. You are genius, Barbara. Captured in your song – this day with its rain made poems write themselves :)

  188. Lindy™

    Almost Yesterday

    Sirens in the outfield,
    storms are coming near –
    spawning off tornados
    and rustling up some fear.

    Wind and hail behind us,
    rain a silent ghost;
    the clouds are dark and ominous
    as for hours, no riposte.

    For today the dust has settled
    and fear has gone away,
    grace and debris reminders
    of an almost yesterday.

  189. LeeAnne Ellyett


    I have settled in life,
    ten years served,
    as so many have,
    the good with the bad,
    gone through the change,
    but something feels strange,

    My heart and soul un-settled,

    Change is in the air,
    with every breath of care,
    discovering things new,
    challenges to chew,
    time for me to be free,
    time to be honest with me.

  190. DCR1986

    Living in Black

    Power on.
    Click. Click. Click.
    Black escape through
    blank sheets to record
    emotions with right and left.
    In other chapters, the state of
    Literature politely welcome the
    boldness of Black in text again with
    the imagery of all. As it tip-toe through
    the City of Letters, it run and tell what the
    writer heard, seen, touched, felt, and tasted before.
    In spaces, syllables divide out sounds while Black
    wake-up in Times Roman to scribble down new
    thoughts in the corners of mind. To cross out
    old feelings, Black substitute emptiness with
    true heart to soul lyrics. Occasionally sitting
    in rhyme, Black continue to fold over in
    rhythm secured with it’s own
    signature and prose.
    Click. Click. Click.
    Words settled in.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  191. Monique

    Being Alone
    There are days that I hate being alone
    I find boredom in the silence
    And I long for excitement

    There are days that I crave the solitude
    To be away from the noise
    To be one with quiet

    There are days that I feel nostalgic for my me-time
    When I can dance like nobody’s watching
    Because nobody is

    And then there are days that the silence settles me
    Where the quietness becomes a friend
    And I relish in my solitude

  192. utsabfly

    Palatable Incriments

    Settling into reality
    From afar off
    Distantly connecting to what is

    A faint longing to resist
    Knowing the impossibility
    Avoidance painfully eclipsed

    Settling in stages
    Palatable increments
    Are where my efforts can lie

    But merging into acceptance
    Is the only option
    For my heart and peace to unify

    ©E.D. Allee
    April, 2014

  193. carolemt87

    Soul Food

    At the end of the day
    I crumble into my favorite place
    settling in crook of your shoulder
    one hand nestled in the hollow of your chest
    under the weight of your long arm
    with your soft breath
    in my auburn hair and
    tender voice in my ear
    in this place where
    we end the day quietly
    our skin warming until
    we blend together
    and our souls can
    start to feed.

    Carol J Carpenter

  194. Mark Conroy

    “How Could It Be Just Me”

    There’s no denying
    I became this way
    Then light opened my eyes

    Everyone taught me
    The good and the bad
    Even when it was not true

    I knew from the start
    I was who you made me
    So please open your arms

    A prayer I can say and stay
    I can still take off running
    Look out for myself

    But I can’t be alone
    No matter how hard I try
    I want to be loved forever

    Can I come home to someone
    Who knows I’m still there
    So how could it be—just me

    Mark Conroy

  195. creilley


    Not a significant individual in the crowd,
    But hey,
    This is where we have ended,
    Just in time to hear the ragged
    Last breath of civilization.
    Might as well spend it in truth.

    I almost miss the regret,
    The naked dismay,
    The easy and frank cries
    On the street
    That come from the deadliest
    And most alive of climates.

    Of what wonders were we capable
    When we did things for the joy,
    Felt safe in our own beds,
    Trusted in right to make might,
    And honored our father and mother?
    Been so long,
    Might as well ask –
    What mythology fits your view?

    Are we survivors,
    Or predators,
    Masters of our domain,
    Or pawns on the board?
    Can I be a bit of both?
    Or neither?

    Hold me as it grows colder
    For I find I’ve no taste for solitude.
    If you remember me,
    Then I will never quite
    Be gone.

  196. lionetravail

    “Fimbulwinter’s Snow”
    by David M. Hoenig

    The snow will fall and settle back
    onto the ground in cul de sac
    where I might live, in other life.
    Balanced on the edge of knife,
    under a bubbled sky of black.

    Anxiety like heart attack
    grips me, imagining the whack
    which adds environmental strife.
    But snow will fall and settle back

    to cover streets and cover lack
    of human’s future brought to wrack
    and ruin. If the weather’s rife
    with climate change, the estranged wife
    denied in snow globe’s science-track;
    well, snow will fall and settle back.

  197. dextrousdigits


    I settled down in the rocking lounger
    outside by the Koi pond,
    with the song of birds, floating through the air.
    The warmth of the sun’s rays,
    gentle cat paws massaging the tension out of
    over worked and under acknowledged muscles.
    Wisps of air whispered,
    “Relax, it’s a beautiful day to set aside
    your work body, while this you can
    drift calm oceans, where ideas swim”

  198. tjholt

    Mother-load of Precious Ore

    I’m not sure I know that person
    gawking at me. He looks familiar.
    Why a strange face, as if he’s seeing a ghost,
    a sudden apparition through the bathroom mirror?

    He must roam in midnight hours
    to hide that face of wrinkled lines,
    radiating as if the eyes were suns
    and the lines its rays.

    Maybe he’s in my medicine cabinet
    looking. He does need Just For Men.
    I won’t disturb him if he is.
    His mousy gray hair needs attention.

    Look at that wattle of loose skin
    hanging beneath his neck.
    Is he related to the turkey family?
    Does he gobble too?

    Under a full moon’s light,
    he follows me to the bedroom mirror.
    There his eyes talk.
    They say, perfection elusive.

    You can’t chose who you love, or who loves you.
    Settle into bed, dream dreams,
    not of fool’s gold, what ifs, if only
    dream of the mother-load, precious ore of your life.

  199. msings

    Think I’ll go to the park, watch the children playing
    —Steely Dan, Any World (That I’m Welcome To)

    From the craggy bluffs of adult’s triumph,
    with hands on their hips, they survey their world,
    a world with children, but not of children,
    they mock each other’s disguises and charge
    each other’s wheels to workers in China,
    complain about limited mobility.

    He’s going to be the king of old grouches,
    stare for the sake of staring, shake his cane,
    bark at innocents dawdling in his path,
    forget his visions from before his soul’s
    eyeholes were black, before his windows were
    painted shut with the latest shade of white.

    She looks great in red, leans heavy on the
    pedal, her eyes inked black with a dealt deck,
    a lost game of 52 pickup coming
    out of a coma in the driver’s seat,
    in a city where magic is a word
    buried in a dead-end dictionary.

    I’m not going to go, I’ve been places
    already, have no kids to hold my hand
    waving a white hankie over warm seas.
    In another world they weren’t all playground
    bullies anyway and squeezing one more
    out was no cause to clip a new cigar.

    You can have your dreams back, they cost too much.
    I only need enough for a few blades
    to razor through the slumlord window seals,
    fling ‘em wide open and let the songbirds
    sing one more original tune before
    my only waiting welcome takes me home.

  200. Stephanie Geckle


    For me: fear.
    It was fear of the 
    monstrous, gargantuan,
    tiny grain of sand that could – 
    that might – disrupt my angle of 
    repose. It’s unsettling. Like the time 
    we packed up and headed for Arkansas 
    and ended up hunkered down in the coat closet 
    with the sirens howling through the wind till the funnel 
    swept past. Or that moment in the carpool line and a song 
    came on that triggered memories of my past. My old life. The one 
    with castles, knights, and dragons. I thought I had put them to rest but they 
    just kept piling up. But I’m tired now and I’d like to rest. Now I pray for sand. I haven’t dreamt in years.

  201. taylor graham


    “So sad” – but in younger days
    you had a notion to fix anything. “Sad”
    was a different language. You’d find the lost
    and train the wild. Now you’re
    in your armchair watching a documentary
    on shelter dogs.
    Our own young bitch is restless
    to run the fence, bark at dogs across the way,
    or whatever her eight or nine senses
    tell her.
    The end of today. What hides
    between holes in the dark
    and the stars. She hits the front door
    with her chest as if to bust it
    down. “Crazy dog!” You’re wondering why
    we brought her home, this bitch
    no one else wanted. Too smart, too hard.
    She’s me in a dog-suit
    and brown eyes – amber, lit by a live flame.
    Just stay in your armchair,
    keep watching that sad program.
    I’ll walk the dog, see what she wants
    to show me.

    1. SuziBwritin

      omigod i loved this…”me in a dog-suit” I love it! I wonder if my rat terriers who want to bite all the world are me in a dog-suit. That would be just too terrible!

  202. Michele Brenton


    You sat across a table
    not meeting our eyes.
    I gazed at you both long and hard
    but you never looked up.
    Your lawyer spoke for you both
    and while he did I think I detected
    discomfort in your partner’s stance
    but nothing of the sort in yours,
    you were radiating fury at being caught out.

    Then you went into your room
    and we stayed in ours
    and the mediator took turns
    with us and you
    and after so much air was expelled
    you finally agreed to do the right thing
    but you had to be forced into it
    and it came grudgingly
    I wonder if you had a pounding
    headache like I had?
    I hope so.

    Because what you did was
    destroy our lives
    by lying for money
    and leaving us to cope
    with the mess you escaped
    so that by the time you
    were made to put things right
    we were exhausted
    and though we tried
    to rise again
    our wings weren’t strong
    and we fell and fell
    and years on we’re still
    struggling to break away
    from the consequences
    you caused and what did it
    profit you to gain that gold
    at the cost of your soul?
    Gold that didn’t even stay with you
    when the truth of what you did
    came out.

    The lawyers called it settled
    but I often wonder
    when you lie down at night
    and close the eyes
    that couldn’t look in mine,
    do you feel settled?

    Michele Brenton 28th April 2014

  203. lionetravail

    “The Eagle Landed, Then Settled (For Past Glory)”
    by David M. Hoenig

    When I had grown to about three,
    my father put me on his knee
    to watch the U.S. test its mettle
    and finally he let me settle

    into his lap. He and my mom
    watched the landing with aplomb,
    as high-tech, foil-wrapped tea kettle
    found its way to lunar settle.

    Armstrong’s ‘step’ was ‘leap’ for me
    into Tranquility’s dry Sea.
    Brought home again in NASA’s metal,
    we saw Apollo once more settle

    into a sea; Pacific, then.
    Another giant leap for men.
    But since, the dream began to nettle-
    we stopped exploring: now we’ve settled

    for past success, in lieu of goals
    which would instill pride in our souls.
    And though the nation’s in fine fettle,
    we weep, with no more worlds to settle.

  204. Connie Peters

    Something to Remember

    Turmoil, upheaval, unrest—
    such is life.
    Even in the daily grind,
    uncertainties abound.
    Like ducks
    headed for a waterfall,
    I must remember
    I can fly,
    on the wings
    of faith and prayer.

  205. Elizabeth Koch

    A Bit of Family History

    Out of Malmo
    Across the Atlantic
    The name of Polson
    too common, they changed it

    East Coast
    Then on to the Mid-west
    Chicago, the fire
    to leave would be best

    Lindgren, the new last name
    settled down, contentedly
    3 miles from Lindgren
    unrelated, ironically

    Polson as a surname
    again I’ve never heard
    If you have, please tell them
    Maybe we’re related, send word

  206. Walt Wojtanik


    The natives are restless,
    and your “fortress” is a mess.
    Long hauls have a heavy price to pay
    and it gets a bit scary on the open prairie.
    Water is scarce and the buzzards
    bide their time. It’s no crime getting the spoils
    when the victor vultures toil high in the desert sky.

    The dust kicks up and the wind drives hard
    piercing like needles, buffeting cheeks and eyes,
    dry and burning and yearning for a soft bed
    and a place where prayers seem less fruitless.
    Hopeless was good for romantics, but not for survival;
    your arrival pivots on your staying alive.

    So, you strive to not become a part of the landscape,
    and your escape can only be to reach your destination.
    Campfire crackles and coyote howls fill the night,
    moonlight, your only security. The surety of you
    finding gold is less likely than not dying old in a warm bed.
    You dread the alternatives. But if you learned one thing,

    it is to bring the wagons full circle. A new life
    will give you a purpose; a chance to dance beneath the stars
    knowing this growing land is all right for settling.
    “Go West”, Greeley said. Go West for a young man’s destiny
    is manifest. The rest is up to his wile and cunning.
    There is no running away. There’s only heading to. Wagons Ho!

  207. dixonlm2

    Settling Down
    After moving from town to town,
    By George, I’ve finally settled down.

    Seeing things are pretty much the same,
    I decided to come in out of the rain.

    But none of the motion was in vain,
    All experience is coupled with pain.

    Stories, tales and poems were spawned,
    That’s the fruit! The awakening of a new dawn.


  208. Liliuokalani

    Failure to Thrive

    A brown-headed cowbird uses her beak
    to nudge host eggs,
    topple them off twig edges,
    drop host yolks to dirt
    then plug the depressions,
    like a nurse inserts a tube
    a steady drip
    snout to the gut
    delivering the daily bread:
    hunger is like suicide,
    wait 15 minutes
    and the feeling will pass.

  209. Nancy Posey

    Things Settle

    For the young and perky,
    gravity is no more
    than a scientific principle,
    not an adversary.

    I suppose I knew this
    long ago, but today
    as we sat in folding chairs
    at the community college,
    waiting for our turn
    at the Bloodmobile,
    a young girl piped up,
    “I have to give blood today
    because tonight
    I’m getting my first tattoo.”

    Without missing a beat,
    an older woman,
    a student herself,
    old enough, in fact,
    to be that girl’s mama,
    said, “Oh honey,
    I work at the rest home—“
    Pinching her fingers together,
    holding them below her breasts
    almost to her waist, she added,
    “Them roses’ll shrivel up.”

    **I enjoyed a workshop on sestinas Sandra presented in Hickory when she was Writer in Residence at Lenoir Rhyne University.

  210. Connie Peters


    R esolute and with a tilt of the chin
    E ndlessly dogged, thus digging hills in
    S tubborn, won’t take no, settled, bullheaded,
    O penly adamant, dream embedded
    L aughs at antagonism, determined
    V erve and vigor, refuses to rescind
    E xact and precise and will not turn back

  211. Walt Wojtanik


    Your footing is precarious
    as you are furiously spinning your wheels.
    It feels as if your motor runs a mile
    a minute, but your actions require more traction.
    A good foundation is the basis for
    a well-structured life. It can be rife with
    pot holes and pit falls, all detrimental
    to any forward progress. You digress
    into a rut of your own creation, and any
    elation will have to wait for you to stand firm.
    The more you squirm, the more
    the quicksand will devour you.
    Keeping your wits about you will keep
    others from losing theirs. Your foothold
    will be something to behold.
    The days of your life will be nothing
    like sands through an hour glass.
    Your feet will have found solid ground.

  212. elledoubleyoo

    Settled Down

    who have tromped through the tree-thick jungles
    of Thailand, New Zealand and Brazil,
    whose grooves of Teva shoes still hold grains of sand
    from some South Pacific island I can’t remember,
    whose smile is broadest in the photos where you carry
    giggling Indian children on your broad back,

    who have stood on the soil of six continents
    and proclaim the entire earth to be your home,

    lie next to me in this suburban bed; the house
    settles in its nightly grumble and groan of wood

    but I imagine it to be the repressed, compressed
    complaint –or plea– of your slumbering, nomadic soul.

    1. elledoubleyoo

      Oops, line breaks broke! here we go:

      Settled Down

      who have tromped through the tree-thick jungles
      of Thailand, New Zealand and Brazil,

      whose grooves of Teva shoes still hold grains of sand
      from some South Pacific island I can’t remember,

      whose smile is broadest in the photos where you carry
      giggling Indian children on your broad back,

      who have stood on the soil of six continents
      and proclaim the entire earth to be your home,

      lie next to me in this suburban bed; the house
      settles in its nightly grumble and groan of wood

      but I imagine it to be the repressed, compressed
      complaint –or plea– of your slumbering, nomadic soul.

  213. Walt Wojtanik


    Undisciplined & unsure is no cure for dreams
    left to fester. Your quest to be happy
    hinges on what you will do to achieve
    that state. Waiting for the right moment is more work
    than you’ll allow. You get mired in the red tape, tired
    when you should be wired to take flight.

    Taking just what’s handed you with nothing demanded of you is giving up the fight
    for spontaneity, relinquishing your dreams
    for the same old-same old existence, tired
    of testing your resolve to dissolve the norm, happy
    to cash in your chips without putting in the work;
    more of what is required to achieve.

    Don’t let yourself be deceived.
    Even the Wright Brothers came crashing down trying to attain flight.
    A new perspective and more hard work
    puts you light years closer to your dreams.
    Falling asleep at the controls won’t make you happy.
    Ever tried, ever failed. Never failed? Never tried!

    Life offers no guarantees, but it is true that if you do not try
    you won’t come close to achieving,
    leaving you sullen; less than happy.
    Your free-fall will be short lived when you spread your wings and fly.
    Realities are nothing more than dreams
    that are fed by ambition and a lot of hard work.

    Do not allow yourself to be afraid of hard work.
    Sure, it will leave you muscle-sore and mentally tired,
    but all you desire will have more worth; the dreams
    you dream will be rewarded. Your achievements
    will be recognized and celebrated, it will lighten
    your load. You will explode with happiness.

    If you must settle, be it for an unsettled life. Be happy.
    Let your options provide every opportunity for your work
    to do great things. Your wingspan is just right for the flight
    of your life. Get it in gear and keep moving; you’ll never grow tired
    You will be amazed by what your desire can achieve.
    Wake up to a new reality and live your dreams.

    You will not be happy to sleep through your dreams.
    Decide to work hard to achieve. It seems
    you will never get tired once you’re in flight!

  214. ASperryConnors

    Settle becomes peacefully
    Settle says to… set until…
    It is not flustered
    Because it is resolved
    Wounds on the mend
    Bridging differences
    Settle is to inhabit
    To remain put
    Set up a house
    Set the table
    Set a plate
    And relax
    Stay alight
    and never settle

  215. Mama Zen


    The schoolhouse is full of crows
    and carnivores and small, smokeless fires.
    Lunch is a midday lynching.
    Recess is a roughshod run,
    harsh as gravel on bare knees,
    and I’m in the principal’s office
    trying to remember that I’m an adult.

    My daughter slipped her cage, I’m told,
    and stretched her fine, strong legs.
    Someone tried to steal her candy, I’m told,
    and she unsheathed her claws,
    still soft at the quick, but sharp
    enough to scratch.
    This is simply not the way a young lady acts.
    She must learn to simper and whimper.
    She must learn to swallow her growl.
    She must learn to settle.

    The principal settles back in her chair,
    and I stare at her. I stare at the shifting
    camouflage she wears. I stare at the get-along snare
    just waiting there for well-trained girls.
    I’ve felt its bite before on my own ankles,
    and I’d rather teach my daughter how to chew off her own leg.

    Kelli Simpson

  216. ASperryConnors


    He settled on a question
    I settled for his eyes
    We settled on the porchswing
    Between beautiful and lies

    I settled on his dark hair
    He settled on my hips
    We settled on each other
    When we magnetized our lips

    I settled on the complex
    He settled on the plains
    We settled in the downy quilt
    Of sunny days and rains

    We settled at a table
    Then settled on a child
    Settle sex, height and color
    Choosing meek, strong or wild

    Now settled on the time scale
    We settled up our plan
    We settle both our parents
    When we chose a marching band

    Let’s settle down honey
    Let’s settle on one knee
    And simply say we settled at
    One becoming three

  217. Daniel Paicopulos


    Almost a year into our latest house,
    the one we call our forever home,
    the toes-up place,
    last stop before the old folks dome.
    Yesterday, I heard a guy at Home Depot,
    talking about the bargain he got,
    a house for sale for too much, too long,
    and he said he picked it up for a song.
    They wanted three hundred, you see,
    he stole it for two fifty-three.
    We have something like that,
    (well, not really,)
    since they asked for the moon and the stars,
    and we said okay, then tossed in the sun (so far).
    It’s fine, we say, because here we’re staying,
    forever and a day, (at least so I’m praying).
    Remodeling is always pricier than planned,
    but, not to worry, you see it’s all good,
    we’d only waste that money on frivolous stuff,
    you know, like clothing and food.

  218. Gwyvian

    The bench

    I settled on my bench, staring up
    but not seeing the stars anymore, for that
    great blur that fogs my vision—
    I settled here, and a tiny monster hope
    roiled in me that someone might notice—
    but they didn’t, because I am camouflaged
    a feature of the concrete
    I am a secret that no one speaks about,
    and eyes slide right over me; I settled
    on a doorstep, wishing time would speed up
    so the cold seeping into me would finally
    grow numb – but there is always
    an agonizing precision about the weather—
    it’s the only constant thing I expect, apart
    from never collecting enough dignity to have
    to suffer long from a dented self-respect; I
    settled on the beech once, but of course, I was
    chased off to hide somewhere else:
    I was inconvenient
    but sometimes camouflage has advantages—
    my meanderings are often unobtrusive and
    undisturbed – I just wish my thoughts didn’t
    stalk me like malicious predators—
    but those who do see me? most of the time
    I’d rather not be seen at all, if that
    is the type of attention I get – I know I’m
    lucky to be alive sometimes… and,
    sometimes I laugh, because it’s utter
    nonsense; then things became a little bit
    desperate, when once I saw an old friend
    walking by me, as I was sitting there
    on my bench – and his eyes slid over me,
    but without that dignity, and with that
    small monster hope, I approached him—
    he looked at me then, without seeing,
    muttered something indistinct
    and I was left alone again,
    feeling spent…
    so, I just settled back onto my bench.

    April 28, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  219. CristinaMRNorcross

    We Hold the Golden Bowl

    Alignment of bones,
    muscles, thoughts –
    meridians of energy connect
    like blue lines for rivers on a map.
    Life force flows –
    it settles
    but never dies.

    White threads beam
    from fingertips.
    I am you
    and you are me –
    a synchronicity
    of time and geography.
    We drink the same drink.
    We lift fork to mouth
    with equal movements –
    hand and elbow
    bring luxury to lips.

    Experience spins on an axis,
    making merry-go-round stops.
    Ride the horse.
    Hold the reins.
    Catch the brass ring –
    then give it away
    to the next rider –
    the next dreamer.

    I knock on your door –
    hands holding a golden bowl
    of rich, ripe fruit.
    Here –
    take one.
    New fruit will appear
    at the bottom.
    Pick the choicest one.
    Do not settle.

    Cristina M. R. Norcross
    Copyright 2014

  220. KatNalley

    An Elegy to Myself Upon Moving

    I know my own dirt.
    Where there’s loam and root.
    Where cicadas tunnel and snakes
    burrow in leaf piles. Where robins
    peck, listening to the worm’s
    underground chorus. I know how
    one bad seed becomes evasive.
    How the impenetrable red clay —
    with an expert’s help — can be tilled
    and softened. How the spider
    lilies and red cannas — once stalks
    with no blossoms — can rise
    alongside tomato vines
    and purple lavender shoots. But now,

    I must adjust. Must learn
    where others before me discarded
    broken glass, bottle tops, the random
    wrench. Must discover where gas
    and power lines surge; must call
    before digging. Perhaps this time
    I’ll plant perennials. Perhaps I
    will love where I live and live
    where I love, and this time stay
    grounded, permanent.

    1. Linda Goin

      I love that first line, and I can relate, after digging up my entire front yard to eliminate the grass. Your reference to the worm’s “underground chorus” tickled me…my father used to raise worms, and the noise they made in a confined space was deafening considering they don’t have voices. It’s a constant rustling that doesn’t mimic leaves. I’m sorry you have to re-learn the land, but I hope it becomes an adventure for you.

  221. candy

    Resting Places

    I wanted to sit
    in my favorite chair
    but found that the cat
    was already there

    He was sound asleep
    curled up in a ball
    and he didn’t; respond
    to my gentle call

    A paw was pulled up
    to cover his nose
    the tip of his tail
    was tucked under his toes

    He might have been dreaming
    about chasing mice
    ‘cause I saw his long whiskers
    twitch once or twice

    Should I wake him up
    make him sit on the floor?
    I don’t have the heart
    to disturb him, therefore

    I’ll just sit on the couch
    put my feet up there
    so the cat can have
    my favorite chair

  222. Gwyvian

    Assassin’s lament

    Born of a serpent’s egg, your eyes peer expressionlessly
    over steepled fingers withholding thoughts, the vines twisting
    around your wrist tight, to keep the fortunes of your palms
    bloodless pale – and as you rise and leap to take me, your
    airborne grace is a touch of sorrowful majesty: memories of a dew
    fallen from high mist, corrupted into a lethal kiss delivered with
    a whisper of fulfillment that lurks inside your hollow stare, as time
    slows to a trickle before it stops – my breath labored in your arms—
    eyes inconsolable depths that are cold gemstones set into a mask – yet,
    thawed for a second into regret for me: it bleeds your stark beauty into
    a dark ink pouring over my words to obscure their meaning—
    you should have been a blossom of virtue, not a thorn to protect
    the disingenuous flock beseeching you to bring them to a safety they
    spurned till only my blood shed would grant it; your dark art is
    an exquisite tapestry of utmost silence reverently settled over
    the likes of me, who stir the choking dust – and no weight clings
    to a ledge long crumbled: your heart has been sold from the start
    by those who loathe you, demand your loyalty and command my end;
    your heart is echoed now only in the lyre’s haunting plucks of lament—
    for the irony of a grace of purity befallen only unto my assassin.

    April 28, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  223. shellaysm

    (a cascade poem)

    Come and settle on in
    Now settle yourself down
    but Never settle for or be
    the consolation prize

    Accept and offer smiles
    Feel, believe you belong
    Find your place; be yourself
    Come and settle on in

    Breathe in, breathe out; just breathe
    Calm the innermost doubts
    which threaten to break you
    Now settle yourself down

    Accept scars as lessons
    both those earned and given
    Forgive those unworthy
    but Never settle for or be

    Through life’s path you’ll collect
    many dreams, fears, tokens
    No good deed earns less than
    the consolation prize

    Michele K. Smith

  224. writinglife16

    “Love doesn’t settle”

    He asked her why she
    didn’t love him anymore.
    She told him.

    My heart left me.
    It sent a change of address
    notice ‘cause it got tired of
    getting hurt and bruised.

    It wasn’t going to accept
    crumbs from you anymore.
    It said you called weekly and
    wrote monthly.

    It felt it deserved the best.
    And you weren’t it.
    Once it picked up and moved,
    love couldn’t live in me.
    My heart wasn’t going to settle

    He backed away.
    He didn’t know if she was
    right or just crazy.

  225. pomodoro


    I look across the room and find you,
    head held high,
    learning what it means to hesitate,
    to move your feet the way a mason scores stone.

    With tentative steps you move in the line of direction,
    a touchstone between the joy and the fuss.
    Now your hand settles on mine.
    I whisper, we’re in this together.

    The tango buttons on us like an old sweater.
    A miracle,
    though some might call it common
    as a table covered in white linen.

  226. Jacqueline Casey

    “Settling In or Life in Alabama”

    We settled on the hard, red clay in back,
    a dusty game of Jacks set our hearts free
    but near mid-morning, we are hungry birds
    mouth-gaping at the side door of her store.
    We shuffle dirty, bare feet; outstretched hands:
    Six little beggars, waiting for Grandma.
    We hankered for an Orange Crush, Moon Pie.

    Her checkered oil cloth table later swelled;
    the steaming smell of hand-grown butter-beans.
    Her cornfield lay in back near railroad track.
    Fried chicken was a staple from her hens
    who clucked and pecked, roamed free without a pen.

    I marvel how they must have fed us all.
    The Social blanket not established then.
    Security was yet unknown to them;
    the option was to work or else you starved.

    Late afternoon, we ran half-mile of road
    to meet the city bus brought Grandad home.
    And so, we loyal soldiers marching free
    we settled in behind him, happily.

    (Day 28, April PAD, Writer’s Digest Prompt: write a “settled” poem

  227. Linda Goin

    You can tell a woman’s age
    if you cut her elbows in half
    and count the rings.

    Last night I consumed copious calories.
    Dark chocolate with berries.
    The berries were blue.
    I was in bed.
    The chocolate left tracks
    in my book and on my blanket.

    I am a lousy liar.
    Just look at my elbows, and you’ll see
    numerous rings, like ripples.
    Just look at my verbs, and you’ll see
    I’m not in ongoing action, simultaneous action,
    or future action. Few of my verbs end in I.N.G.
    and I still buy Forever Stamps. In fifty years,
    no one will know what I mean by forever
    or stamps, because language ages.

    I work too hard at changing my tense.
    Work is an intransitive verb, because
    work doesn’t take objects like elbows
    and twist them into something like knees,
    which age quickly as well.

    Tonight I will eat more chocolate with berries.
    The berries are rasp. I will be in bed.
    If I eat enough chocolate, the calories
    will counter chaos.

    Past perfect tense work like this:
    I had never seen such beautiful elbows.
    Simple present tense work like this:
    I eat chocolate.
    Present perfect continuous tense works like this:
    I have not been counting rings or calories.
    Future perfect continuous tense work like this:
    I will have been settling for less.

    Next, I will write about calculating,
    balanced by future continuous sensing.

      1. Linda Goin

        Thanks, Ellen…although now I want to lose those last two lines. *sigh* This poem-in-an-hour routine is starting to fry my brain, but I’m grateful for all the rough drafts! =D

    1. k_weber

      I applaud your playful and thoughtful musings on language while playfully and thoughtfully writing poems that use such exciting language. the chocolate tracks in your book and blanket? terrific. “the berries are rasp…” you’ve twisted my uncut elbows to make my ears ring with a melodic play-on-words. I am dizzy in your world here. And I will pass on the Dramamine and let your poetic boat keep rocking me!

      1. Linda Goin

        Thank you, Kelli. I’m going to miss your poems and comments, too. We need to stay in touch somehow! Oh — I take melatonin. Works wonders.

        1. k_weber

          I have sent you an invite in linkedin as I am on a Facebook break :)

          And it occurred to me I have barely referenced my first name on here. It’s Kristi. You got the K and the I right which mostly no one does :P Love love love this poem! You words are just decadent!

          1. Linda Goin

            Good heavens. I knew it was Kristi, and that’s what I thought I typed. Just an old lady, and that’s what I’m going to blame it on. =) — good on the LInkedIn invite…will look for it! Look forward to staying in touch with you, because you’re excellent for my ego! xoxo

  228. candy


    They all though she
    was the life of the party
    friendly, helpful, kind
    (she was a poser)
    They all thought she
    was witty, intelligent, worldly
    (she was a poser)
    They all thought she
    had all the answers
    (she was a poser)
    They all thought she
    was an extrovert
    (she was not)
    Settle into the pose

  229. Connie Peters

    Hot Air Balloons

    Hot air balloons stretched out aground
    Excited people gather ‘round
    The trucks, the fans, the gondolas
    The early-morning beelike buzz
    Designs and colors do astound

    They’re blown with air till full and round
    Then stand up tall with glory crowned
    And folks board with exuberance
    Hot air balloons

    Then off they go with dragon sound
    They gently float up heaven bound
    And ride wind like a feather does
    Their journey peaceful as a dove
    Then softly settle on the ground
    Hot air balloons

  230. Laurie G


    I have been casting about 30, 35 years for the words to describe the settling
    that occurs each night in my mother’s house
    at the top of the stairs
    in the ceiling,
    a beam groaning, clicking into place,
    a natural alarm reminding us it’s time to be done with this day.

    Each night, around 11 o’ clock, the same sound, for 44 years now,
    no matter what battles have been waged that day
    inside its walls, outside its walls,
    no matter if we are turning in with tightened stomachs,
    counting the days till pay day or swelling with hope.

    I assume this happened all the years I was gone—
    college, Italy, Philadelphia, the brief, strained marriage across town—
    and now I’m gone once again, it’s just my mother and the cat
    with the clicking.

    Perhaps this clicking sound is a flaw in the engineering.
    Or perhaps the body of the house knows,
    like a reflex, like a mother’s instinct,
    that its inhabitants require a return to the senses,
    a gentle reminder,
    at about 11 o’ clock each night, to settle.

  231. AleathiaD

    On the Plains of Existence

    I am a settler
    instead of a pioneer,
    and I am the gold miner
    already staking claim to dreams
    most likely to be unfulfilled in my lifetime.

    I settled in love
    for more than 16 years;
    settled for every story given to me
    by those who were supposed to have
    my best interest at heart.

    I settled for never
    being good enough, strong enough,
    pretty enough, wise enough, brave enough,
    talented enough, or dedicated enough to make
    it on my own in the world.

    I settled for believing
    whatever I was told; taking it all
    at face value and never understanding
    the difference between malice and good faith
    until my heart and head were bleeding in my hands.

    I have come up
    from the trenches.

    I drive my own
    destiny in my own car.

    I am
    a pioneer
    at last.

    Aleathia Drehmer 2014
    April 28 Settle

  232. break_of_day

    it is best for everyone
    to go it alone,
    you think;
    protect them,
    keep them safe from your secrets
    and the demons
    who have followed you home.

    but then,
    in the moment of revelation,
    when you learn
    you are not alone, that
    your secret has been guessed
    for a long time now,
    you stop
    in your tracks,

    like a gasp of the entire body
    breath knocked out
    weight lifted
    emotion filling up the cracks
    in your surface.
    you belong

    your secrets are known,
    you are known
    and held tightly.
    and being held here,
    in the city
    the family
    to which you belong,
    is good.

  233. lina


    After the earthquake, the cave
    was the only safe place.
    The house was gone.
    Half the island was dead.
    We took the boat
    to the cliff at the edge
    of the harbor,
    climbed the white rock
    and crawled into the mountain
    like everyone else.
    We didn’t know then
    about the aftershocks
    or that nothing is ever
    settled, but just keeps falling.

  234. elishevasmom

    Once the Dust Settled (a nonet)

    She had moved so many times, it was
    easy to see why “Dust in the
    Wind” was her favorite song.
    It was only when her
    own great flood washed her
    away that she
    came to

    Ellen Evans

  235. kldsanders

    Here’s one more.


    Bricks missing from a wall.
    Rvs wrapped around signs.
    Lost pets shivering.
    A house leveled
    for the third time.
    A shampoo bottle
    the only recognizable object in
    a pile of sticks
    that were once walls.
    Devastation in the dark
    reveals desolation in the dawn.

    -Karen Sanders

  236. Kimmy Sophia

    A lifelong sojourn,
    and no place feels like home.
    I have a premise;
    a town, a job, family, friends,
    like pitching a new TV show.
    Weddings, births, funerals,
    the normal stuff
    conspicuously absent
    like evasive maneuvers.
    This is our furniture,
    our stuff,
    my soul is not settled.
    Where is my home?

    1. Linda Goin

      Hey Kimmy — poignant. I remember feeling that way and I used Carlos Casteneda’s story about the rock (forget which volume) to test each new place to see if it “felt” right (without doing the peyote!). Very unsettling feeling, and you said it well.

  237. CLShaffer

    Inspection of My Young Parents’ House by C. Lynn Shaffer

    With the naked eye
    you can see the usual wear

    but here behind the shrubs
    you’ve got your foundation issues.

    See the crack that looks like a staircase
    going nowhere? Looking up

    you’ll see the roof sags a bit—
    someone thought with shingles

    the more the better
    but now the ceiling won’t hold.

    Take a marble from the child
    you didn’t mean to have

    and watch it roll across the oak floor,
    a dead ringer that nothing’s even.

    Here’s another crack in the drywall—
    see how it’s wide at the top then dwindles?

    Sure sign something’s pulling away
    while the other half won’t budge.

    The doors won’t close, the windows
    have been hermetically sealed. One good thing,

    though it’ll eat you from the inside out,
    the leaded paint’s good in the event of fallout.

  238. kldsanders

    This is for my fellow Arkansans who were affected by last night’s tornado. It missed my town by just a few miles. I got the inspiration for this from a picture on Twitter this morning that a man found in his front yard.

    The Picture
    He found the picture in
    his front yard
    of a man and his
    best friend.
    He has no idea
    Who they are
    or where they are from.
    He prays they are alive.
    He hopes that they are together.

    -Karen Sanders

  239. kelly letky


    wind calm and storm weary
    home calls north and a red sun sinks
    in the corner of never there

    your patience lifts you higher
    than the slow measured progress
    of orion’s glitter-faced swordbelt

    the original darkness-slayer
    cold hard viking laid to rest
    in a calloused monument of sky

    you sleep through rumble snore
    and bright bear claw
    goddess chair and perfect cross

    as i tat patterns on a ceiling
    bright with current
    dancing dream and forgotten


    ~Kelly Letky

  240. DanielR

    The sun’s fury settles on the summer day
    as restless feet wander burning sidewalks
    and not even green tree umbrellas keep
    beams of light from piercing my blue eyes
    waves of heat penetrate my exposed flesh
    until it stings and blisters, glowing apple red
    but relief comes at the horizon’s melting
    when golden sky settles into night’s embrace

    Daniel Roessler

  241. TomNeal

    To the City of London
    (The Romans have departed,
    but you are here.)

    On the water’s still surface, an image
    Of towering glass overhead reflected
    By a reflecting pool of due respect
    To material things, an homage
    To girders and glass and gold, peonage
    And monuments that glitter, the effects
    Of blind hubris, displayed for the elect
    And plebes, a reminder of patronage
    And its permanent place in temporal
    Affairs of the money and men displayed
    On water where the wind and the rain reign:
    The breeze blows; the building ephemeral
    Rocks and rocks again, ready to fall, betrayed
    By a more sovereign and settled thing.

    1. Linda Goin

      I am going to miss your poetry when this month has ended. I don’t believe I know anyone else who could use “peonage” AND “plebes” in a poem and get by with it these days. Luscious repetition with “rain reign” and “Rocks and rocks [again].” You are a class act.

      1. TomNeal

        I will miss you, your poetry, and your feedback.

        ‘Rocks and rocks again” is a faint allusion to the stolen boat episode in Wordsworth’s The Prelude (1805 version). It was W’s LIBOR moment.

        ‘I struck, and struck again,’ Bk 1, 320.

          1. TomNeal

            I do, but I am also fortunate to have the Bodleian nearby. If the Bod doesn’t have a book, I probably don’t need it.

    2. k_weber

      I love that I can traverse these lines and each stands out alone but also there is a turn that spins the last word and sends it lingering along with the next line… i love how just when i think a moment or image in a poem is finished, it keeps going with ripe language. love words like “hubris” and “homage” and “sovereign” and “peonage” and “girders” here; they sound like a dream. the play of “rain” and “reign” is excited and i like that you were not hesitant to put then right next to each other and give the reader a double-take. another grand work from you and it has been a real delight seeing your poems here this month!

  242. Michelle Hed

    Earth’s Bad Day

    Earth’s tresses are disheveled
    by the blowing wind,
    falling into an unsettled disarray
    as the cold rain showers
    form new ponds on the bald spots
    on earth’s head –
    leaving the earth shivering
    and crying new rivulets of tears
    as the mighty wind berates her ears
    and slaps her face;
    she stiffens her spine
    and settles into a pattern
    of endurance…
    over time.

    1. elishevasmom

      Michelle, I love this. Early last winter, I was working on a poem about the sinister nature of ice on a sidewalk, and I stopped, second-guessing myself about always seeing the dark side of nature. It is wonderful to see how you have done this with such clarity.

  243. acele

    I’m in my grandma’s house. It is a reflection of the house formed from bits of my memory of that place, glued together with the stuff of dreams.

    It is bright, warm, reflective of a
    simple, peaceful light – slightly cluttered but not messy. There is that brick patterned linoleum in the floor, I think.

    I am settling in there. I find some plastic Christmas candles and check if the bulbs still work. I set one in the window above the sink. Another goes on a small side table. I remember Grandma used to keep African violets here under a grow light. I set the candle and find nativity figures there waiting for their stable. I’m content to add just these few touches before Christmas arrives. I am taking my time, unpacking small treasures. I picture myself raking the yard when Spring comes and feel a sense fulfillment in the very plot that this place sits upon.

    Two angels appear, one earthly, one heavenly. They help me set a candle in a new window that faces the front yard. I wake up.

    I stay still for a long time trying to hold on the that feeling. How to describe it? Coming home, settling in, at peace.

    My waking self knows that house burned down many years ago when lightening struck it, and that my grandma passed away when I was in middle school. I hold on to the dream a little bit longer.

  244. grcran

    Catching the Bus to Probate

    Tomorrow’s the court date, awaited long
    months. Good firm judge I met just two years past.
    Another spouse had died. This probate bites.
    Well. Settled it may be, before this bus
    continues bringing me wherever I’m
    bound now. The settling will proceed as per
    smart legalese permits, then kindly judge
    will look me in the eye, decide the truth,
    and sign the forms. “She’s more,” I want to scream,
    “so much more than these papers.” Unsettled,
    I’ll leave the courthouse, run, to catch the bus.

    by gpr crane

    1. TomNeal

      Your poem reminds me of an aphorism that I rate:

      Words don’t mean. People mean.

      It is distressing to see anyone we love reduced to forms and other papers.

      Well done.

  245. Phil Boiarski


    No one sees the grave
    in gravity, but it shows
    on us all. We are shorter
    now than we
    claimed we were
    just yesterday.

    Our skin is thinner, too and
    drier, and we do not
    fit in it as we once did.

    In time, it gets
    so every step is a slap
    or a punch and each joint
    grinds against its brother.

    He can’t do things for himself now
    and each thing I do for him, I know
    he feels her fierce resentment
    for his rising up against her.

    So I have managed to forgive him,
    or what is left of him, the giant who
    towered over me, now huddled
    in his blanket, cold on a warm day
    and rocking back and forth
    in her weighing him down.

  246. aphotic soul

    by Paul Ryan

    So with this poem I bid you adieu, it is time I let go of all that I’ve been through,
    For tomorrow starts a new day, a change in the most drastic of ways,
    In an attempt to find some way to renew,
    The effervescent change I must pursue,
    And with this I say, I will miss the great Morro Bay,
    The family, coworkers, and friends, but I feel this place mirrors a dead end,
    So as my memories pend, with these words I so delicately send,
    My farewells and goodbyes, the tears I hid in my eyes,
    Along with my hesitant sighs, but this path I simply cannot deny,
    I’ve searched for so long a silent escape,
    A dreary long drive always has been my fate,
    The first time I simply chose the wrong gate,
    And my arrival is simply just a little late,
    Tomorrow starts a new road, but for tonight I sit and bode,
    What will it all bring to me? New sights to see?
    Or a new side of the family tree, I don’t know what it will be,
    I’ve been lost in a layered frost for such a long time,
    But now it is time to follow the signs,
    Even if it starts with a somberly saddened rhyme,
    I leave when the clock ticks nine,
    So adieu, adieu, I will miss the memories that I have been through,
    But it is time at last, that I start anew.

  247. GarrinJost

    Don’t Go-
    Keep Yourself Guessing
    Sit down in a puddle of it-

    Sense won’t reach out and grab you,
    Neither will the truth, unless you mock it a bit
    So go into town, ask the barber
    how you’d look with something new,
    he won’t be able to tell you,
    but that won’t stop him.

    Don’t stop for a heartbeat
    The clock arms won’t-
    The only way out is through
    and the water might be murky forever.

    So jangle some change in
    honor of noise
    Keep your hair up for
    heaven’s sake
    Move with the rhythm
    that rhythm’s making
    Spend your last dollar
    on stickers and gum

    In the end,
    it won’t make any more sense
    than it did at the beginning
    but the mud will remember
    the boots stuck deep.

    So sit down,
    eat with it.
    Call it your brother
    until your blood looks the same.

    Sense won’t grow you a grapevine
    and won’t sit down and drink of the wine
    So don’t be surprised when sense doesn’t make it
    to the party you’ve planned in your head.

  248. RuthieShev

    Just Call Me Cinderella

    Feeling a bit like the new Cinderella
    I sat down with a good cup of tea
    When in came my own prince charming fella
    Looking with love straight at me
    There was no ball with elegant dancing
    No one was fancily dressed
    But there was plenty of love and romancing
    This princess knows she is blessed.

  249. Sasha A. Palmer

    Happy Monday everyone. 28 prompts, 28 haiku. Almost there.

    beyond the welkin
    a sleepy angel awakes
    off to work wings brushed

    the commute is quick
    one giant leap for mankind
    for angel one step

    the task is simple
    persuade men to be happy
    that’s what angels do

    since the creation
    happiness has been men’s foe
    men prefer ruin

    men long for passion
    harmony unsettles them
    men would rather burn

    men inhale cities
    drink beneath the rural moon
    on the airplane wings

    ever amateur
    created in God’s image
    hopelessly human

    torment their lovers
    dance themselves to destruction
    ever lonely men

    finding no refuge
    men cry when they see the Pope
    vagabond pilgrims

    empires rise and fall
    look back foresee the future
    humans do not change

    men bend their beliefs
    divide sex and sentiment
    still believe in love

    strolls through central park
    wild quarrels starting over
    beautiful and damned

    men battle their beasts
    walk along the precipice
    all the sad young men

    if i were God i
    dancers and storytellers
    always reasoning

    love is all there is
    still men crave bitter in sweet
    never satisfied

    men beat on borne back
    ceaselessly into the past
    silent tombstones speak

    lost generation
    paradigmatic writings
    jazz age any age

    winter dreams wear off
    the prickly dust of late spring
    freshness of lilacs

    pink floating dresses
    pink babies in pink bonnets
    it all starts anew

    a tight fellowship
    flappers and philosophers
    a curious case

    men tamper with faith
    yet at the end of the day
    all want to come home

    men want to repent
    quit the Godless dirty games
    men want to be loved

    life crackles like ice
    on this side of paradise
    faith is difficult

    tell it to the One
    He advocates for all men
    He knows about faith

    when everything fails
    when Babylon walls crumple
    He will raise you up

    when your soul is dry
    when you walk in wilderness
    He will quench your thirst

    when the evil strikes
    amidst your Armageddon
    He will stand by you

    put your trust in Him
    you have found peace search no more
    He will not fail you

  250. JanetRuth

    Settling Matters…

    Sun settles twixt shadows
    Dew settles on grass
    Thought settles on matters
    That soon too shall pass

    Want settles on nothing
    Dust settles on sod
    Where rain settles dust
    Hope settles on God

    Love settles on others
    Lust settles on Self
    Time settles in pages
    On history’s shelf

    Sea settles twixt shorelines
    Hen settles on brood
    Trust settles on something
    Not yet understood

    Kiss settles on lips, love
    Hearts settle on chance
    Alone we will hunger
    Together we dance

    © Janet Martin

  251. Quaker

    When Quakers sit and go into silence,
    they call it “settling in”. You have to find
    a comfortable spot to sit for an hour
    and try to not move. You must relax
    your heart and body, slow breathing
    until it is almost nothing. You must let
    the muscles become less tense
    until your body is almost fluid.
    This is true for all silent meditation.

    During this time, you do not let wander
    within the maze of your mind. Instead
    you do the impossible and relax, focused
    on the silence itself, until you hear a voice.
    Not everyone entering the door of silence
    hears that voice. Some never hear anything.

    The few that hears a voice, do not hear it often.
    When they hear that voice, they question:
    Is this from Ego? Or is this from God?

    Sometimes, when you hear that voice,
    you hold it for a while like it was a leaf or
    feather, studying the voice, like you could see it.
    It is a curious thing. You do not want to believe,
    or trust it. However, there is something saying,
    share. You must speak out of the silence
    into the silence. This message is not for you.
    This message is for someone else who needs it.

    So you let it go with the same trust,
    Noah had in the dove that it will find
    the place where it can bring peace to someone.

    Sometimes you do not know it found the intended.
    However, other times a person will thank you
    and tell you how your message reached them deeply,
    like a bucket had descended a well
    and brought forth relief.

  252. jakkels

    Rock rat

    The power came off and we coasted along 

    As smooth as a gull on the wing 

    The horison was dark with stars above 

    And the ship was as silent as a tomb 

    There in the night a pinpoint of light 

    An island of life in the wastes 

    Laughter of friends and something to drink 

    To celebrate a full cargo hold 

    With a clang and a jolt the small ship docs 

    And we troop down the passenger ramp 

    The commons is full of the other ore men 

    As we push to the bar for a drink 

    We got a full load as our asteroid was rich 

    And it earns us two days of rest   

    But I’m a ore chewing man so its back to the can 

    An asteroid rat’s life is hard. 

    They say the terraform on Mars is almost complete 

    One day I’ll buy a habitat there.

  253. fd0728

    Morning Beauty

    She walked past me, tussled hair shining in the morning gloom,
    Her lithe figure glided across the room, trailed by purple silken wings,
    She stopped by the closet, a perfectly shaped silhouette against the light,
    My eyes fixated upon the view, inhaling the sweet morning spring scent.
    Smooth, long and curvy legs stood firm, creamy skin peeked out of the white towel,
    Large drops, slowly moved down her freckled shoulders, stopping at the towel’s edge.
    My breath stopped as the towel fell, eyes turned as pink lace slid upwards,
    Fabric tugged at the seams by her sinewy fingers, as her curves tightly fitted it.
    Such a glorious sight to behold, my eyes were indeed glued upon her figure,
    And as I shook my head to shake myself out of the wondrous stupor,
    I silently worded to myself, “this has to be heaven on earth”.
    But alas, daily routine beckoned my sweet muse, dreary tasks to be finished,
    So all I was left with, was the fleeting memory of a magnificent morning beauty,
    And a troubling deep angst, only remedied by the next time my eyes fell upon her.

  254. JanetRuth

    Beneath the Leaning Sky…

    When morning strikes her match
    Beneath the leaning sky
    It seems to me we almost catch
    A twinkle in God’s eye
    For Goodness is not cupped
    In midnight’s yearning deep
    And where dusk’s settled verdicts supped
    Now virgin hours leap

    Beneath the leaning sky
    Where morning’s yesterday
    Delighted and bereaved our sighs
    Grace kindly lights our way
    And from God’s vaulted thought
    Beyond mortal mind-grasp
    He sweeps our yesterday to naught
    And settles it as Past

    It seems to me we catch
    A glimpse of paradise
    As Mercy unfetters a latch
    In dungeon-darkened skies
    The dust of practice runs
    Has settled; on Time’s shore
    Pardon bestows another dawn
    Like none ever before

    A twinkle in God’s eye
    Hope’s hallelujah spills
    From ebony to gilt reply
    Across celestial rills
    Benevolence delights
    The air as midnight-chains
    Dissolve; God settles Mercy’s sights
    Where time and hope remains

    © Janet Martin

    1. ASperryConnors

      You are on a roll today. Love both poems. I Love ‘When morning strikes her match’,’ Mercy unfetters a latch’, ‘The dust of practice runs’….all unique and wonderful images.

  255. Gwyvian

    Dusty revolt

    I thought often about the secrets in the attic,
    wondering what was kept from me there;
    each time I would glance at the stares, they
    always found me something to do: all
    diversions, from which my curiosity flourished:
    I found that palpable anxiety nourishing, and my
    fantasies slowly evolved into a consuming puzzle
    that drove me to distraction—
    so, one evening when the mansion was silent,
    and whoever wasn’t abed was out, my companions
    flickering shadows and my guide my loud breath—
    I crept up the stairs with a white candle, an ascent
    that loomed with pictures of dark secrets and my heart
    was fluttering with a frantic, violent crescendo before
    I was even halfway up that endless staircase…
    …and disappointment blanketed my heart at first,
    a dampening that twisted my mouth – simple boxes,
    coated with centuries’ worth of dust it seemed—
    but in the flickering light as I took a step inside,
    that dust began to swirl… my eyes fell on a doll’s face
    staring with mournful eyes, then a sculpture with a chip
    scarring the nameless bust, uncaring; a painting of
    a lotus pond that crept silent glances at me—
    the dust was arousing in the giddily dancing flame,
    lore resurrected with grandeur, each item in its
    proper place – but before I could grasp the moment,
    the vision faded, and the dust settled over me,
    a relic to join the boxes within a timeless vortex,
    a cosmos reaching inside my mind—
    confusion stranded bits of my thoughts on islands
    that had no bridge between them, and I was the dust—
    I was in a box that was as wide as infinity compressed,
    and I settled with the rest: a shimmer for a ray of sun,
    a stir beneath a footstep – insignificant with
    creation itself bursting from my existence… and I knew
    the dust had revolted, its protecting blanket a monotone
    service that keeps eyes from prying to the vital core,
    a doll that holds a malevolent passion kept secret in
    times where she sat atop a piano in a lonely apartment,
    a sculpted portrait that keeps raw memory alive, carved into
    a stone that outlived both his heritage and his progenies alike,
    a painting that still had the transfixing power of swallowing
    the emotions of all who gave it a careless glance—
    it was a pirate’s gift, given to a lover who spurned him,
    and now… the dust crept through my veins, changing
    me into something as ancient and as permeable as they,
    I know the whispers they keep silent in front of the incurious,
    their final uprising a stir just before their soundless death:
    existence only meaningful as soon as they are swept away,
    forgotten gatekeepers to things that ever remain
    hidden at the back of the attic,
    where the dust settles.

    April 28, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  256. dhaivid3

    Poem title: To settle the agbero

    “Settle me! Settle me!” the young agbero cried
    Hysteria and pure anger flashing in his red eyes.
    “I wish these people would just be off”, the poor bus driver thought.
    “They take all that we work for, all our daily bread”.
    “Settle me, Oga! Now, now!” the agbero pressed him.
    “I don’t have really have anything” the driver shouted.
    Trying to raise his voice above the din around them.
    “I’ll settle you another time. I just started today
    Please let me go a few rounds first, get some money for myself.
    I’ll work really hard and then pay you at end of day.”
    “Settle me oh, or else”, the agbero threatened.
    He had his hand on the side mirror, threatening to pull. They both knew what would happen if he did not settle.
    “This country is a country of slaves”, the driver thought, shaking his head sadly, his eyes filling with tears.
    He leaned across and with shaking hands handed over his daily bread.

    (agbero loosely translated to mean tout in Nigeria – more information on them available online)

  257. Kathy


    When Apathy replaces Abuse,
    When Books replace Burden,
    When Compassion replaces Choler,
    When Dreams replace Depression,
    When Empathy replaces Envy.
    When Fun replaces Files,
    When Gifts replace Guns,
    When Happiness replaces Hesitation,
    When Imagination replaces Inaction,
    When Jokes replace Jerks,
    When Kin replaces Kill,
    When Live replaces Life,
    When Music replaces Mobiles,
    When Nice replaces Neglect,
    When Offer replaces Oppress,
    When Patron replaces Pride,
    When Quiet replaces Quarrels,
    When Reliance replaces Rejections,
    When Sleep replaces Stress,
    When Tea replaces Tears,
    When Understanding replaces Upsets,
    When Values replace Vendetta,
    When Workout replaces Work,
    When Xenodochial replaces Xenophobia
    When Yippee! replaces Yikes!
    When Zero becomes Zillion hearts
    beating together as one,
    Then will our souls sigh in


  258. Jerry Walraven

    “What is this settled you speak of?”

    Sunshine runs barefoot
    through my back yard,
    dancing through the too long grass.
    Bliss encapsulated
    in the glass jar of a moment.
    Though moments pass
    and children age
    life, seen from a distance,
    moves like the Earth
    through the cosmos–
    always in a different spot
    but, somehow, seen
    as the same.

    1. dhaivid3

      I really like this. Especially the end.

      “life, seen from a distance,
      moves like the Earth
      through the cosmos–
      always in a different spot
      but, somehow, seen
      as the same.”

  259. dsborden

    Coming to Terms
    by D. S. Borden

    How did I survive?
    full of holes
    but not dead
    I stick my fingers
    all the way through the bloodless tunnels in my body
    wiggle the tips
    “hello” I smile
    you say “that isn’t a funny trick”
    I say “really?
    a man full of holes
    walking around
    not dead
    isn’t funny?”
    “No” you say
    “So would you rather it were a tragedy?”

  260. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    She had signed on the dotted line
    believing the best of everything –
    Why should she think otherwise?
    There were no addictions lingering
    behind bottles hidden or pills popped.
    There were no psychotic episodes
    of rage or unbridled fear to cause concern.
    Yet, just weeks after the ring was slipped on,
    that miniature manacle chaining her heart
    and soul to another, she realized –
    something was wrong here.
    What it was, she couldn’t put a name to,
    but this was not what she had bargained for at all.
    For years, she strove to fulfill her end
    of a fluidic contract with small print so fine
    even an ant with binoculars couldn’t comprehend
    the demands for perfection expected.
    Finally, standing at the kitchen sink,
    hands wet and soapy from cleaning up
    another meal half-eaten and wholly unappreciated,
    the manacle fell from her finger –
    a clue –
    that she didn’t have to settle for being
    indentured – never quite being enough –
    or, struggling endlessly to do things right.
    She could, if she simply walked away,
    be free to release her phenomenal self.

    Epilogue: The dishes were left stewing
    in the dirty water.

    1. Espen Stenersrod

      The way you twist it with these lines here
      Yet, just weeks after the ring was slipped on,
      that miniature manacle chaining her heart
      and soul to another, she realized –
      something was wrong here.

      Is brilliant

      You managed to follow through in an extremely good way

      thank you for the read Linda

  261. Espen Stenersrod


    In the center of a rectangular room
    To assemble everything around him
    The walls reflect each other
    Giving him a perfect glimpse
    Of how the room projects itself

    In peace symmetrically
    His thoughts wander
    Inside of the premise
    Carrier of himself

    He starts to tear down the room
    distancing himself away
    From both physical and mental
    Those that bore him through
    Those that kept him on his toes
    Those that have strangled him
    Those that grew his wings
    They all need to go

    He dismantling the walls
    With perfection
    Every fibre of the wallpaper
    Every splinter in the wood
    Every fragment in the concrete
    Piece by piece
    He moves them away from
    The specter of himself

    He breaths in the colour of white
    As nothing is left around him
    He is now in this moment
    The power of everything

    He is…

  262. dianemdavis

    Waiting in Queue

    If they ever change the name of our city
    I’d vote for Queue,
    because that’s all we ever do.
    We stand in line and pass bricks,
    wait for rations and food,
    and water
    and medicine.
    We wait for everything. And everyone
    is in a hurry to do it.

    1. dhaivid3

      Oh goodness. Touching.

      “We wait for everything. And everyone
      is in a hurry to do it.”

      This is excellent as it manages to elicit such emotion in the reader.