2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

I don’t know why, but November always seems to move faster than every other month. Here we are on the 10th day of this challenge, and it feels like we just started.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) Trouble,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and write the poem. Possible titles include: “Big Trouble,” “Double Trouble,” and “That Guy Is Trouble.” I hope you don’t have too much trouble getting started.

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One Poem Will Win $1,000!

Writer’s Digest has extended the deadline to their Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards competition to November 21. As you may have guessed from the bold statement above, the winner will receive $1,000 cash!

The winning poem will also be published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. And the winning poet will receive a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market.

Even poets who don’t win can win, because there are prizes for 2nd through 25th place as well.

Click to learn more.

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Here’s my attempt at a Blank Trouble poem:

“Ultraman Trouble”

The problem is not Ultraman
or his various adversaries
or even the gratuitous destruction they create

rather
it’s the catchy theme song
that crashes around my brain

knocking loose the rhythms of my mind.

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He has listened to the Ultraman theme song more than a few times too many over the past year. He doesn’t advise it, but if you’re curious, you can listen to the theme song too–by clicking here.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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249 thoughts on “2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

  1. Yolee

    Big Trouble

    It comes, sometimes, on a Sunday at 3p under a two tone blue
    sky with seamless clouds that might as well be pulled wool.
    It comes for the truck driver on I-4 who may have seen road-kill
    like squirrels, stray dogs/cats, possums, raccoons and winged
    creatures. But did he ever imagine a black bearded man walking
    in front of his truck going 70 miles an hour ? It comes for drivers
    like my husband who just happened to look at the passenger
    side mirror and witnessed suicide. It comes like a thump
    to ears I first attributed to casual road noises. It comes
    in really small mirrors.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    knew you were trouble
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    fast cars, skull tatts
    handcuffs, six pack
    charmer, dark shades
    great lips, lock blades

    arrogance, jealous streak
    dominance, rebel freak
    manipulative, mysterious
    intrigue, indifference

    anti-social, insincere
    superficial, risk taker
    self-entitled, grandiose
    knew you were trouble from the first

    could tell by the way you smoked your cigarette,
    swirled your drink, copped an attitude
    ignored my texts, ignored my calls
    smoke and mirrors for the big fall

    you were super jealous, but free to flirt
    disrespectful, and like to hurt
    isolating, shallow, rude
    opportunistic, deceitful, crude

    a silver tongued Casanova
    with too much power who
    bragged and bullied then whispered
    “sorry” one too many times in the dark

    you’re the snake to my Eve
    wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing
    contradiction, beautiful wreck
    bad boy poet, heartbreaker

    beautiful wreck, heartbreaker

    © 2014 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. PKP

    Hand Trouble

    As a baby they said he was a good nurser
    Grabbing for the breast and latching on
    Looking up under fluttering eyelashes
    Sweetly – stroking with tiny velvet hands
    Years whirled women until crisp-crunched as
    Fallen autumn leaves under his shuffled
    Feet they said he was a lecherous guy with
    Glint in his eyes smiling at the nurses
    Gnarled hands with a lifetime of memory
    Grabbing still

  4. PKP

    Blank Trouble

    She blinked blankly
    No matter how many
    Times they explained
    In soft voices or shouted
    Explanations she could
    Not decipher the trouble
    Through the rosy hazy blur
    Of smooth sailing on loving seas

  5. shethra77

    Double Trouble

    Twins are trouble because
    there are two who need you
    to change all those diapers
    gracefully, to nurse each kid
    gratefully, to make
    one happy
    while you start anew with the next.
    Not likely.
    Twins mean no
    matter how hard you try,
    feedings, changings,
    washings, what-have-you,
    someone’s left over
    still depending on you.
    Someone cries, up you leap.
    They learn to creep, and
    take turns in their sleep
    bulldozing each other
    into
    the crib corner.
    Sweet sleep is a thing
    you do not know.
    Six weeks without and you
    aren’t sane, and grow
    hallucinatory.
    But—thank God!–you all survive.
    Now it’s a good story.

    Shethra Jones Hoopes

  6. hohlwein

    After Trouble

    I know how it is.
    Nothing is wrong

    Nothing is wrong.

    The sky fades to purple and to night
    and still nothing is wrong

    and still the blood waits

    for the sound of a shuffling step
    or a bump against the hallway
    or the feeling of the full bodies weight
    on the back of the hand there and the friend falls
    slump, bled out

    or the dying not yet dead
    lurching on in their limited living

    But nothing is wrong.

    You are decades past that.

    They are all dead now
    and cannot trouble you now.
    Until now
    After trouble

    this

    this waiting quiet
    that that cannot stop its waiting
    that cannot even yet
    cry itself to sleep
    for fear of the sound
    that might make
    in the dark.

  7. Michelle Hed

    Tricking Trouble

    Does trouble really come in two’s?
    Doorbell ring…no one’s there,
    nightly knocks…I’m in my underwear!
    Phone calls about running appliances,
    pizza orders…I’m not a rocket scientist,
    but even I know when the games afoot,
    so I covered my face in soot,
    and I sat behind the bushes there
    this time I am aware.

    You could hear them coming
    a block away,
    I readied myself
    it’s time to play.
    They ran up to ring the bell
    but their finger never touched
    as I gave a yell!
    Those kids they screamed
    and stumbled and tripped,
    they ran so fast
    it was hard being tight lipped.

    It was quiet after that night
    they never came back,
    they were cured of their tricks
    with that one… sneak attack.

  8. De Jackson

    The Inevitability of Breath Holding (Boy Trouble)

    The phone won’t ring,
    and she’s a princess in waiting
    (towerless, powerless,
    a stranger in her own skin).

    Should she just let
    the dragon in? Perhaps he has
    some fiery song worth holding on
    to in all this violent quiet.

    If she lets down her
    (gate, guard)
    hair,
    will there
    be another day, another way
    to climb this breeze
    -less braid of fear?

    Give her an ex
    -hale, a next step, something
    to take the edge off
    of this cobbled stair.
    She’s got a happily ever
    after to capture, and
    her own (s)word
    waiting.

    .

  9. Glory

    Big Trouble

    Trouble knocked on my door,
    and I let him in.
    I was young, I didn’t realise
    he would lead me to sin.

    I enjoyed every minute
    what more can I say.
    Only that he smiled, then left me,
    yes left, the following day.

  10. m_deane

    “No trouble, ma’am”, she says,
    as she takes my order, refills
    my cup. I am home again,

    Where dust coats the road
    and my truck, where three words
    are just as good as six, or eight.

    Down the road, my mother lies,
    silently waiting for that last black
    car. If she had offered me three words

    Would I have taken them?

  11. Connie Peters

    The Trouble with Lady Bugs
    Lily had a pet ladybug named Pearl.
    Wherever Lily went Pearl went, too.

    When Lily flew through the forest,
    Pearl flew by her side.

    Whenever Lily played hide and seek,
    Pearl hid with her.

    Whenever Lily went to sleep under a fern,
    Pearl cuddled on her pillow.

    But one day, Pearl lay on her back very still,
    with her little six feet up in the air.

    Lily shook Pearl, but Pearl didn’t move.
    “What’s wrong with Pearl?” Lily asked.

    “The trouble with ladybugs,” said Mama,
    “is that they don’t live as long as fairies.”

    “Pearl has died,” Mama told her.
    “I don’t think she’s dead,” Lily said.

    “Wake up, Pearl Wake up!” Lily shouted.
    But Pearl didn’t wake up.

    “It’s hard to believe it when someone dies,” Mama said.
    “Everyone who loses someone has that feeling.”

    “I didn’t want Pearl to die!”
    Lily yelled and stomped her feet.

    “Pearl died because that’s what they do, after awhile.
    It’s okay to be mad about bad situations,” said Mama.

    Suddenly, an awful thought popped into Lily’s head.
    “It’s my fault! I didn’t give her enough water!”

    “Don’t blame yourself,” said Mama.
    “Pear was getting old. It’s not your fault.”

    “We can get you another ladybug,” Mama said.
    “There are lots of ladybugs in the forest.”

    “I don’t want another ladybug,” Lily said.
    She began to cry. “I want Pearl!”

    “It’s good to cry, sometimes,” said Mama.
    “That’s part of losing someone you love, too.”

    They buried Pearl in the backyard.
    Lily’s whole family said kind words about Pearl.

    Lily cried for several days. She remembered
    all the things she and Pearl did together.

    One day, a teeny, tiny ladybug crawled across a leaf.
    It wandered this way and that. It looked sad.

    “Do you want to be my pet?” Lily asked.
    “I’ll take care of you and be your friend.”

    “I would like that very much,” said the ladybug.
    “What’s your name?” Lily asked.

    “I don’t have a name.”
    The ladybug was red with black spots.

    “I will call you Rose,” Lily said.
    “That’s a nice name,” said Rose.

    Lily would always miss Pearl.
    But she loved Rose very much.

  12. seingraham

    IT’S NO TROUBLE, NO REALLY

    Suppose the lake you visit empties itself of reflections
    Suppose the moon grows creamy and ragged
    Suppose the children on the school-bus are giggling out loud
    Suppose the cemetery stones lean into each other
    Suppose the roadways wind themselves back up into the hills
    Suppose you imagine the light in the sky is not real
    Suppose you begin to carry a basket of madness with you where-ever you go
    Suppose you forget where you’re going or where you’ve been, or why
    Suppose you find a wolf in the woods then realize he’s yours and follow him
    Suppose he’s lost as are you and you both wander deeper than ever
    Suppose you end up in a cave where it’s cozy, and you both settle in for a nap
    Suppose that’s all you remember, that’s all you know, that’s the finish…

  13. rlhodges

    What Gets Us into Trouble (A Fragment)
    So many things can get us into trouble…
    Knowing too little
    Knowing too much
    Taking life too seriously
    Viewing life too frivolously
    Not holding what we have
    Not letting go
    Exercising too much
    Exercising too little
    Not calling a friend
    Not sending a card
    Thinking too much
    Thinking too little
    Not changing our minds
    Being too fickle
    So many of these are quite avoidable…
    Setting our standards too low
    Overvaluing ourselves
    Undervaluing faith
    Overvaluing science
    Undervaluing morals
    Overvaluing freedom
    Not seeing the big picture
    Focusing on the immediate
    Believing what we want to hear
    Ignoring the evidence
    Longing for the trivial
    Discounting the priceless
    Not seizing the day
    Groping the night
    So many paradoxes inside my skull…
    Not being content
    Being satisfied with scraps
    Eating the heart out
    Shouting the lungs out
    Averting our eyes
    Not restraining our eyes
    Being alone
    Being part of the crowd
    Ignoring the sun
    Wearing old sunscreen
    Closing our minds
    Emptying our souls
    Chasing flattery
    Not caring what others think
    So much needless trouble seems inescapable…
    Loving yourself
    Despising yourself
    Expecting too much
    Giving too little
    No wonder our lives sometimes get so painful!

    RLH

  14. Sara McNulty

    Double Trouble

    When Charlotte’s twins ran down
    the hall, we all closed
    our doors. The two terrors
    raced through apartments
    breaking everything they could
    lay their hands on before
    poor Charlotte could corral
    them. Anything the twins found
    they could write with, became
    immediately displayed
    on all the walls. The day
    I remember best, was the one
    when the twosome got hold
    of a pair of scissors,
    and swiftly cut all the curtains
    in half. They did not hurt
    themselves, but poor Charlotte.
    I often wonder what sort
    of boys and men they grew
    into, and if they married,
    and had children just like
    themselves.

  15. shellcook

    Serious Trouble

    My little sister used to tell me about trouble.
    She had varying degrees of trouble,
    kind of like sins, in retrospect,
    but I always knew just how far to

    push that envelope.
    As the oldest, that was, of course, my job.
    I was the one who took the fall,
    who got knocked around, who paved the way.

    And that’s okay,
    because serious trouble back then
    was a helluva lot different
    than it is today.

    11/10/14

  16. Connie Inglis

    HE WAS TROUBLE

    Tender shoot of a child needing
    warmth and shelter and
    gentle care
    left
    to fight the elements
    alone.

    Wind whips and sleet stings
    without nurture and
    loving hands
    bent
    to find a crutch
    alone.

    Addictions replace healthy
    sustenance and hope and
    discovered love
    withers
    from pain and fear
    alone.

    “He was always trouble,” his
    estranged mother sneers
    in disgust, unstable,
    crippled,
    she too is lost
    alone.

    His life gnarled and knotted
    he fakes a carefree
    smile but at
    night
    he cries silently
    alone.

  17. Lori D. Laird

    Betrayed by Trouble

    It seems like only yesterday.
    Actually, seven years have gone by.
    Since that fateful day, a man
    taught a caterpillar to fly.

    On the phone he breathed
    the words in my ear.
    In a wave of terror
    I was driven by fear.
    Our first face-to-face meeting
    I wanted him to say he lied.
    In the deepest part of my heart,
    a little girl screamed and cried.

    One who’d been forgotten.
    Gotten lost deep inside.
    A victim of childhood abuse,
    she choose to give up and hide.
    In him, she so wanted to believe
    in the childhood fairy tale.
    On the wings of love,
    she wanted to let go and sail.

    He strutted out of his office
    in a green shirt and khaki pants.
    Her knees weakened.
    Her soul started a happy chant.
    He was charismatic and cocky.
    Just her ideal type.
    One the wings of love,
    She danced to an unheard fluter’s pipe.

    She gladly took the backseat.
    Didn’t need to be with him all the time.
    That was her downfall.
    The beginning of her crime.
    While she allowed him to push her aside
    others reaped the many benefits.
    One even made him choose.
    With her, he called it quits.

    She was heartbroken.
    Her spirit lost its soul.
    Without her split apart,
    she couldn’t be made whole.
    She bowed out gracefully.
    Bandaged the new scar.
    On the wings of despair,
    she misses him from afar.

    The little girl who had hid for so long
    learned from a very early age
    not to give into foolish notions.
    Or believe in some magically sage.
    Made up by dead authors.
    Like the brothers Grimm.
    And the soulless man proved
    he was no better then all the “thems.”

    With her surrender,
    unless you’re her kin,
    the little girl vowed
    to not love again.
    For her heart won’t mend.
    His name will be erased never.
    On the wings of despair,
    she’ll love him forever.

    There’s a lesson in this.
    That lost child lives in all of us.
    Expect we ignore it sometimes.
    And her name is Blind Trust.

  18. BDP

    “Lake Superior’s Trouble”

    Waves foam, fomenting snow, before raw cold creates
    the real deal. Pray to go down fast, don’t suffer long,
    ice blue so harsh that legend states an anchor’s best,

    a life preserver’s useless. Hope’s a featherweight
    out there? Let’s ask that of the Edmund Fitz’s men.
    We who live here speak, raconteurs, on their behest,

    they call to us, they’re sirens not winged but of shoals.
    At least say no fear up to seconds the ship broke—
    but, no. We’ve seen roughseas. Point light out, no beam shone
    for them, accept that truth, search for what they left, lives, goals
    when tenth of November spoke.

    –Barb Peters

  19. Mike

    SIR TROUBLE
    Sir Trouble,
    The Shabby Knight,
    armor rusted
    from sleeping
    in the rain
    after jousting
    ’til dawn with
    unfair maidens.

    He’ll never pull
    a sword from a stone
    but he can hoist
    the heaviest tankard

    And he’s braver
    than he looks,
    tougher too.

    Eager to
    slay any dragon,
    monster or demon,
    save his own.

  20. MichelleMcEwen

    Blue Trouble

    The trouble with blue
    is that it’s just too royal
    too navy, too baby
    to describe how I’ve been
    feeling lately

    which is low—

    l mean, like, I can’t catch a break:

    every man is somebody else’s
    every job is somebody else’s

    everybody else’s numbers
    are the winning numbers

    & my hair won’t do what I want it
    to do.

    Doesn’t seem right—
    blue between green
    and violet.

    Blue don’t quite
    fit with this riot
    inside of me

    don’t quite got
    what it takes
    to define me

    & my melancholy.

    Now black,
    black is where
    it’s at.

    I’m black

    not blue.

    I’m black.

  21. bxpoetlover

    Here Comes Trouble

    on two legs. Baby cousin at two years old.
    I kept my eyes on him relentlessly as his parents
    talked about movies and TV shows and the
    last election. I jumped up every time he
    got close to my curio cabinet and reached for
    the door handles. I’d lift him in the air, he’d
    squeal, and I’d set him down on my lap.

    He’d be still for a moment, then do that
    familiar squirm for freedom. I’d look at the clock,
    willing it to fast forward to their 8 o’clock
    departure. When the bell rang, I went to answer
    and there he was, my son, long limbed and handsome,
    surprising me.

    I thought you had to study for finals, I
    squealed, almost hopping into his arms.
    He grinned. I watched him set down his bag
    and head for the kitchen, lifting pot covers
    as he did as a child.

    He sat, listening to the grown-up banter
    interjecting vociferously when the topic
    got to the vulgarity of contemporary music.

    Just then, there was a crash. The two year old
    had knocked over my miniature globe that sat
    on one of my end tables. As all eyes were on him,
    tears formed and he began to wail.

    I scooped him up,
    and held him to my chest. It’s alright, I crooned.
    He nestled my neck and whimpered, his soft wooly
    hair brushing against my face.

    Just like my son.

  22. Pat Walsh

    Petal Trouble
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    steady steady always steady
    moving not fast but steady
    she moves silent
    through the suburban field

    she shows no sign of care
    steady steady always steady
    moving through stalks of green
    beneath the tiny red dome

    the pinpoint dots of black
    trail along the edge of magnolia
    steady steady always steady
    as she makes her way forward

    at the center of the flower
    steady steady always steady
    a whorl of spiky stalks
    momentarily impedes her progress

    a tiny pause, the briefest wait
    one minuscule grasp of pink
    as tender as the smallest sigh
    in all the green fields of day

    a reversal turned in place
    like the bounce of the breeze
    from day to night
    as the sunlight fades

    steady steady once again steady
    moving not fast but steady
    she shows no sign of care
    in the cool of the afternoon

  23. Khara House

    Truth is trouble

    And if sun comes
    How shall we greet him?
    ~Gwendolyn Brooks

    Trouble is sweet
    like your tongue is
    sweet. Like the roll of it
    against my sweat. Sweet
    is the honey as sweet is
    the bee. The sting of it
    is sweet. The coming to—
    the losing sleep—
    the honey soaked in
    tea is sweet. The
    stone morning coolness—
    the waking of
    the teeth is sweet. The snug
    unawareness …

    Trouble is hands. The
    finger in the dark—
    the hand that hangs
    above my head, heavily,
    is sweet. The over
    is sweet. And the
    eyes.

  24. dub

    The Trouble with Trouble

    It slithers inside, waiting
    to transform you, to lift you
    from sticky thoughts.

    A chameleon of chance,
    it changes without
    warning, daring

    to free the dark
    you want to shed
    like old skin.

  25. tunesmiff

    HEART TROUBLE
    G. Smith (BMI)
    ><
    Gave up smokin'
    Gave up drinkin'
    Took up runnin',
    What was I thinkin'?
    Heart trouble, trouble me no more.

    Quit eatin' red meat,
    Quit eatin' fried food,
    Start meditatin',
    To improve my stressed mood.
    Heart trouble, trouble me no more, no more.

    I didn't know my ticker,
    Was on the edge of broke,
    Until I heard the fateful words
    That hateful woman spoke.
    I tried my best to do the things,
    She wanted me to do;
    But I just couldn't walk away when
    She told me we were through.
    Oh heart troubles, trouble me no more, no more,
    Heart troubles, trouble me no more.

    No sittin' on the couch,
    No sleepin' in till noon;
    Start going' to the gym,
    Change my act real soon.
    Heart troubles, trouble me more.

    I didn't know my ticker,
    Was on the edge of broke,
    Until I heard the fateful words
    That hateful woman spoke.
    I tried my best to do the things,
    She wanted me to do;
    But I just couldn't walk away when
    She told me we were through.
    Oh heart troubles, trouble me no more, no more,
    Heart troubles, trouble me no more.

    Why wonder where you are?
    Why worry you'll come back?
    I don't know which is worse;
    This or a heart attack
    Heart troubles, trouble me no more, no more;
    Heart ttroubles, trouble me no more.

  26. Karen H. Phillips

    Day Ten
    Write a poem entitled _____ Trouble.

    Time Trouble

    Balancing, juggling everyday with the wedding
    tasks, I slog through quicksand of bills
    (some wedding, most not),
    browsing, scanning our agenda,
    categorized into headings:
    Dress
    Flowers
    Venue
    Wedding Party
    Photographer
    and on and on,
    fighting off worry, so I don’t
    succumb to the unfun sucking me
    down. Instead, I picture ending this
    day, to-do’s complete. I envision
    spring day they’ll say “I do,” surrounded
    by flaming azaleas and warm familial love.

  27. Tandac

    Big Tree Trouble

    Now that we have a really big house that we can
    Roller skate down in the basement, we need
    A really, really big Christmas tree, don’t we?

    We got the tree, but only one story fits in
    The other half is outside the door. We need
    To climb the tree to put the star on, don’t we?

    We’ve got big tree troubles. Maybe we should use
    The part that’s in the door. But that’s no good. We need
    To circle it around the room and decorate it sideways, don’t we?

    We thought we might just have to leave it in the door
    But I’m getting cold and we can’t use the door. We need
    To string that tree right around our house, don’t we?

    In the morning, our big tree troubles are solved. It
    Looks like it goes right through the ceiling. We need
    To run upstairs to put the star upon our tree, don’t we.

  28. Hazel_Mist

    Yearly Troubles

    The trouble with Autumn is that it
    is chilly.

    The trouble with Winter is that it
    comes next.

    The trouble with Spring is that it
    ends much too soon.

    The trouble with Summer is that it
    gives way like sand between fingers.

  29. Bruce Niedt

    Cure and Trouble

    (After Shakespeare’s Macbeth)

    When shall we three meet again –
    The latest TV drug campaign?…

    Bubble, bubble, cure and trouble,
    Side effects and warnings double.
    Here’s a pill you all should take –
    Careful, it might make you shake.
    If pressure of your blood is high,
    Don’t take this, it could make you die.
    This makes you feel good, that’s no joke,
    But it can also cause a stroke.
    This one’s made from digitalis –
    It could stop your heart with malice.
    For aches and pains, this is the answer,
    But also it can give you cancer.

    Bubble, bubble, legal trouble,
    Drug lawsuits filed on the double.
    This one caused paralysis,
    That one caused bright orange piss.
    This one made his sex life idle,
    That one made her suicidal.
    This one caused a nasty rash,
    That one turned their brains to hash.
    Bubble, bubble, worry double,
    Pharmaceuticals are trouble.
    Though complications are a bitch,
    They seem to make the layers rich.

    …By the bleeding of my gums,
    Something wicked this way comes.

  30. Bhumphreys

    Soil and Trouble

    The orange and white dellight
    Surrounds me with urge
    In the middle of the nursery
    She stands there glistening in dew
    I grasp the blue foil firmly
    And proceed to the checkout

    I arrive home with my mini Maple
    Setting it gently on the space
    Of its soon to be terra mansion
    Resting on the garnet slope
    I leave her there to gather my things

    I boomerang back with
    My implements of design
    And destruction
    Six inches by six inches
    That’s what the book said!
    I attempt my first stab
    With a modicum of success
    Another pass at digging
    And I have struck gold!
    I place the tiny trunk
    Into the created cavern
    Perfect.

    I let the tree go to see
    How it stands alone.
    My Pisa plant sinks slowly
    To a stationary 45 degrees.
    I stand her erect
    And pul the dirt to fill
    The base
    Remember the hill!
    I leave her to stand again
    A slight lean, but home
    Tied to bamboo,
    I water her and go inside for the night,

    With nightfall, a storm arises
    Torrential downpour
    I watch my little friend
    Sink to the Earth
    Weighted in drench
    I will rescue her tomorrow
    Place her long and tall.
    To protect her
    In the future.

  31. Consuelo Montenegro

    I’m Trouble

    When you call for clean shaven,
    I’m stubble.
    When you shouldn’t chew gum,
    I’m bubble.
    When you tell me a lie,
    I’m gullible.
    When you want me to see,
    I’m Hubble.
    When you want me to be mean,
    I’m lovable.
    When you want me to be clear,
    I mumble.
    When you want a strong pillar,
    I’m rubble.
    When you want me steady,
    I wobble.
    Any way you look at it,
    I’m trouble.

  32. Mark Danowsky

    More Bad Trouble

    For the 4th time in 2 years
    I am writing Bad Trouble

    It is all Fitzgerald’s fault—
    that Great American Novel business

    He had me return to Gatsby
    only to be tangled in phrases

    Bad trouble—
    the worst kind, right?

    No…bad trouble
    is unintentional trouble

    Trouble you see coming—
    nobody brings home bad trouble

  33. Heather

    Toil and Trouble

    My hard work paid off
    known in some circles
    for pulling off
    the impossible
    clients now pursue me.

    Dream projects
    built to exacting specifications
    l cannot contractually
    call my own.
    A personal portfolio
    programmed perfectly
    that only the client knows.

    Is it worth the effort
    the constrictive contractual
    clauses co-written
    to provide safety
    for myself
    and my clients,
    when I cannot share
    them with my peers?

    ~also located at http://heatherbutton.com/2014/11/10/toil-and-trouble-a-poem/

  34. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    Am I in Trouble Now?

    I am beginning to grow a tail.
    It hurts.
    When I touch that place, I can feel
    the stub, getting bigger and bigger.
    My arms are changing too.
    I try to convince myself that
    those are wings,
    but I know I am hoping in vain.
    My claws are sharp already.
    My hind legs will hold me no more.
    The pain is so strong.
    Soon it will all be over
    and I will finally know
    who I am.

  35. LaraEckener

    Present Trouble

    There’s fear of the swarm:
    uninvited guests at the wedding
    who gift the brides with screams
    as the birds pluck at their eyes
    and hair. Ruby red jewels,
    tendrils of rosed gold, to be woven
    into commemorative necklaces and dumped
    into the River of Letting Go.

    There’s also fear in the swarm:
    as small, fragile hearts pump blood
    cooling in terror to the tips
    of frantically beating wings.
    Suddenly attached to bass strings
    that tremble and reverberate
    as they pull the unsuspecting flock
    to do the work that keeps hands clean.

    It proves nothing of love
    to force the outcome.
    Nothing of the future, when
    fresh beginnings scab and scar.

  36. Meriadoc

    “Trouble in Paradise”

    Sometimes we see trouble
    where in fact there is none
    the lives of all our children
    lie in our hands as one.

    I’ve seen the problem inside myself
    I’ve seen the true trouble strike
    it was not in my husbands eye
    it was my mind where I held the dislike

    Never feeling good enough
    so it must be somebody at fault
    when the true fate of all of my children
    trembled, I knew this nonsense must halt

    I must look into the mirror
    and see that it was not my face
    but the bright eyes and heart of my Daughters
    that ever should always take place

    and precedence over my feelings
    these horses that will run amok
    if not taken firmly in hand
    My family must be my Rock

    So Solid as Stone the Foundation
    to take the deep thrust til we die
    for our children, our lives and our Happiness
    For this we must surely be wise.

    And not see trouble where none is
    Take a deep look in each other’s eyes
    and know that that is the ultimate
    the Claddaugh can be your great prize.

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