2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

Today is a Tuesday–so “2 for Tuesday” prompt time. Here they are:

  1. Write a timely poem.
  2. Write a timeless poem.

*****

Write the Poem That Wins $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 Timely and/or Timeless poem:

“Deja Vu”

Feels like I’ve been here before,
written here before, seen you
before, and it’s awkward being

here again, writing here again,
seeing you again, and not knowing
if I’ve been here before, written

here before, seen you before,
and well, you know, or you don’t.

*****

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 no idea what he’s going to write each day, but he writes anyway, because that’s how he rolls.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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205 thoughts on “2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

  1. Yolee

    Timeless/Timely

    She walked into the auditorium
    wearing a black pencil skirt
    white button blouse and red pumps.

    “My name is Miss Marianna Santana. I’m
    running for the presidency of the United States
    of America. I covet your support.”

    A reporter’s first question: “So you’re not married?”

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” –Rabindranath Tagore

    time lapse
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    have you ever noticed how
    when the snow comes,
    everything suddenly gets really quiet?
    the sky darkens,
    the birds leave,
    the fountain ices over,
    the trees hold their breaths.
    we lie here flat on our backs,
    arms outstretched,
    completely still in the powder,
    our skin, our muscles,
    tendons and bones
    frozen as much to the stitch
    lining of our clothing as the
    invisible angel wing
    cocoons beneath us,
    melting.

    © 2014 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. taylor graham

    TO THE MOUNTAINS
    a Haibun

    Under storm clouds, there’s a wild place blooming larkspur, snowmelt into river where the stones hold all there is to say. Lava cliffs on granite. Centuries, today. Here’s the trail – footfall dust blown by wind; held in trust under storm clouds. Thunder Mountain’s wanderlust. Dogs are dancing, raven’s calling, scent of lodgepole, forest shadows falling.

    secret meadow,
    willows full of song,
    angels in the aspen

    Take their wings along. Look at the peaks! In my dreams I watch them rising, the sun climbing dawn-trails from the other side of night. From a concrete city I can see them – stony, standing in their light.

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      Wow, this is really beautiful, Taylor. Your command of imagery is superb. I can really see “the overall canvas” of which your words are painting. Well done!

  4. shethra77

    Here is one timeless poem.

    Richard

    Someone asked me why I
    should care about
    what anyone thinks
    of a man who died
    in 1485.
    How can he
    or his reputation
    matter now?

    How can I
    make them understand
    that truth
    for kings or peasants
    always matters
    be it 1485
    or 8514.

    Shethra Jones Hoopes

  5. shethra77

    Here is one timely poem.

    Being On Time

    To be there on the dot at 11:20 we have to get up at 8:00 because we need to make the coffee, I have to eat and he needs something besides the brew and we both have to take our pills of varying types and then of course I have also to tie his ponytail and put his socks on him not to mention my clothes on me.

    Once we have ourselves arranged it’s off to pick up his mom, who may or may not be walking well, or quickly, and who in any case is supposed to be there at 11:05 for an 11:20 appointment.

    No worries.

    Shethra Jones Hoopes

  6. PKP

    A BookBag Tale

    Just for today I shall keep my bookbag neat
    My notebook papers in the binder and my
    Pencils in the case that I got when I got my
    New school shoes – Just for today it will be
    An organized day – I will not be looking for
    Anything – all that I need will be just where
    It was left by me – in my meticulous perfect
    World where all is neat and organized – so
    Was her mantra each primary school morn
    As she set off with fine intentions until the
    Whirl of a leaf outside the rainswept school
    Window or a shower of snow or the sound of
    The marching band practicing outside drifted
    Her thoughts from perfection and she chewed
    Dreamily on the ends of her pencils and folded
    Papers with jotted notes of thoughts that fluttered
    Like swallows needing to perch so she could study
    And at days end – the bell rang too often – too soon
    For neatly stowing her belongings and stuffed quickly
    She ran into the future – through the years of whirling
    Leaves and snowflakes thoughts soaring as eagles and
    Pages fluttering – as she looks for that missing file among
    Hundreds – written – saved in some way that she one day
    She will neaten and organize as sweetly as a child’s bookbag
    Banging against her leg on the way to primary school.

    1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

      Wow…great read! I love when little P.O.V. stories are tucked within pieces like this. Makes it feel personal, like you were talking directly to me (the reader), letting me in on a little secret. Lots of great lines, and fantastic use of imagery. Kudos.

  7. taylor graham

    EAVESDROPPING TIMELESS VOICES
    a cento

    How silent comes the water round that bend,
    a league of labyrinthine darkness –
    the slow progress, the scant fare, the axe, rifle, saddle-bags

    with the moon-tints of purple and pearl
    when, young and beautiful,
    the moon has lost her memory.

    Blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree.
    He, the young man carbuncular, arrives
    but, ‘mid their drink and clatter, he would fly.

    That Youth’s sweet-scented manuscript should close
    and woo lone Quiet, in her silent walks –
    but not the master-knot of human fate.

    He is called Leviathan, and named for rolling.
    Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue,
    our hands, our hands must ebb away.

    (sources: Keats, Tennyson, Whitman, Poe, Yeats, Eliot, Ginsberg, Fitzgerald, Merwin)

  8. Hannah

    Timekeeper Tanka

    Here we won’t count time
    we won’t mark slipping minutes –
    tally these seconds,
    we’ll measure days in heartbeats
    and sleep when shadows grow long.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  9. deringer1

    TIMELESS

    Time alters all things; it alone is sure.
    It changes a stranger to a friend,
    and a lover to an enemy.
    It changes the earth in passing seasons,
    making naked branches out of leafy trees
    and frozen wastelands out of summer days.

    Time makes our hair white
    and our bones ache.
    It watches us come together
    and then tears us apart.
    Time grabs us at our birth
    and drags us to the grave.

    Time laughs at us, for it alone
    is timeless.

  10. Connie Peters

    Dancing Fairies

    Dancing fairies in the moonlight, dancing
    Whirling with the wind, ‘round and ‘round, whirling
    Twirling, tap-tapping, tippy-toed, twirling
    Shadows, dancing, whirling, twirling, shadows

    Dancing fairies in the moonlight, dancing
    Singing timeless silvery songs, singing
    Laughing, musical, tinkling-tune, laughing
    Whispers, dancing, singing, laughing, whispers

    Dancing fairies in the moonlight, dancing
    Wishing on starlight, whispering, wishing
    Swishing their long, wavy hair, swish-swishing
    Slippers, dancing, wishing, swishing slippers

    Dancing fairies in the moonlight, dancing
    Singing timeless, silvery songs, singing

  11. grcran

    (don’t have a title as yet, but this happened yesterday and is getting less timely all the time… so I’m posting it now)

    the catching happened only once that trip
    (though fishing happens on the sea or out)
    the polar vortex blowing every blip
    of radar, showing strength of storm so stout
    before the barometric pressure spike
    the bite was on for twenty minutes max
    they busted lines on rock and monster strike
    then one of them struck redfish gold, no pax
    vobiscum now, a timely setting hook
    this was no tug but surge extreme strong fish
    great battle almost lost it and it took
    finesse and luck avoidance of anguish
    huge drumming redfish in the boat, what fun!
    as gelid air arrives, at least there’s one

    by gpr crane

  12. De Jackson

    Seasonable Starlings

    Their murmur
    -ation comes just in time
    for our tum
    -bled hearts, our quiet stops
    and starts and preoccupation
    with the rain. Their strains
    of song are just right for this
    scattered, shattered moment,
    even when our own
    are wrong.

    .

  13. De Jackson

    Goodbye to Clocks Ticking

    And Mama’s sunflowers, sun
    dials that curve their shadow
    along the wrong corner. All
    this light and no one sees
    nor seizes the day.

    Tick tock.Tick tock.Tick
    -ed off at the clock. See, I’ve
    got this incessant need for
    tangibilities and you’ve got
    this timeless heart that just
    won’t stop.

    .

  14. Shennon

    Too tiny a town
    to be named on a map.
    This is where my grandmother
    still lives.
    As a child I
    spent a couple weeks
    in that old two-story house
    with no one but
    my grandparents for company.

    Grandpa spent from
    early dawn ’til
    past sundown
    in the large garage
    behind their house.
    Grandpa was the only mechanic in town,
    so everyone brought their cars to
    “Wagner Garage”.

    Soft-spoken,
    carrying a German name,
    yet a distinctly
    Mediterranean visage,
    my grandpa tinkered
    endless hours in his shop,
    in part, I believe,
    to spend some time
    away from grandma.

    Grandma had no time
    for nonsense.
    If she was not teaching
    me to make homemade
    lye soap,
    or to bake from scratch
    for church functions,
    she was shooing me
    out of the house –
    but only to play
    at the school playground
    across the gravel road.

    Never could I
    associate
    with any of the trampy
    neighborhood girls.
    And boys? Unheard of
    that I would speak to them…
    except maybe in passing…
    at church.
    So this left:
    swinging on swings – alone
    riding a bike on gravel roads – alone
    going for walks to the orchard – alone.

    The apple orchard
    and what lay beyond
    enticed me the most
    during my meanderings.
    Whether scented blossoms
    dripped their honey scent
    directly into the wind
    to sweeten the air,
    or apples hung heavily
    on young branches
    bending to the weight
    of their masters,
    or stark branches
    jutted proudly against
    frigid winter skies.

    Such a small orchard,
    just a block from
    my grandparents’ house,
    containing less than sixty trees.
    Directly beyond this orchard
    lay a canal – small and
    insignificant compared to most.
    This canal twisting
    its way through the land
    like a stream,
    led to
    the railroad bridge.

    Under this bridge,
    in capital letters,
    in black spray paint,
    was inscribed the
    timeless message:
    “DARREN LOVES JULIE”.
    For my grandma,
    this confirmed
    she was a tramp.
    As for Darren,
    I should only smile at him,
    but not speak,
    on Sundays,
    between Sunday school
    and church.

    Obeying grandma was
    non-negotiable.
    Yet I couldn’t help,
    wandering whenever I could,
    past that last apple tree,
    to the single-track bridge,
    where I’d lie in the grass
    to stare at those words,
    and wish someone would
    write them about me.

    –ShennonDoah

  15. taylor graham

    ABOUT TIME

    It’s Veteran’s Day. Offices closed. Parades with bands. Starbucks is giving out free coffee to the ones who served. When you came home, all those decades ago, nobody made much of it. On the long return, you realized you’d forgotten terms and formulas you studied so hard to memorize for your degree. Yours was the forgotten war, they said. No victory, just a truce. Some years of your life. Today
    you’re almost blind, your back aches. Nothing tastes as good as it used to. You walk with a cane. Into Starbucks. You flash your service card, and the girl smiles as big as a parade and hands you a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, hot. She thanks you. It tastes good. It makes you proud.

    silken colors float
    above the drums and bugles –
    great oaks drop their leaves

  16. BDP

    “First Snowfall”

    She looks to find the day she knows already,
    pulls up a chair, rests forearms on the sill,
    sleet dresses the farm in pinstripes, steady
    lines across her reflection, past it, still

    more, back to when the field oats ripen, bend
    in heat that spreads and hooks plants living, bows
    their heads to ready for their requiem.
    She stares toward time she’s seen before, a vow

    made during race to harvest as the soft
    strokes widen sun and shadows equally:
    she’ll live each moment. Dark fades fast at cost
    to anyone who watches it. She sees

    herself again, on that clear day she’s younger,
    fine summers, open dawns, now going homeward.

    –Barb Peters

  17. IrisD

    Redeeming Time

    Often time slips through your hand
    Like an hourglass full of sand
    Never to be recaptured again

    I believe in second-chances
    Time redeemed through twilight dances
    Divine regress to lost romances

    The allure of tomorrow transcends past
    Eternity is born and seasons don’t last
    Time is eclipsed as players are cast

    My thoughts I travel on my own
    Are seeds of memories I have sewn
    Ransoming time, no longer alone

  18. Pat Walsh

    Time of Day
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    My Mom used to say
    this was my Grandfather’s
    favorite time of day

    the sun slants low
    in the heartbreak sky
    to mark the passing of the day

    as an aroma of straw
    settles all around
    quiet at the approach of evening

    in the secret warmth
    of the late afternoon
    memories pass ethereal messages

    and all the small joys
    of the summers of my youth
    conspire to cloak my weary frame

    on days like these
    at this time of day
    past is present and present past

    and for a while
    tomorrow is just a word
    to be taken up again some other time

  19. shellcook

    Time Is Time

    Obsessed with clocks
    I see not the movement of the hands,
    themselves, masterpieces, of art,
    but the fragility of human ego.

    As movement forward,
    inevitably signals change,
    when change, is really, the safest of all the bets
    to hedge,

    and forward momentum
    never slows the ticking
    nor does it speed things up.
    Or does it?

    Like water down a drain,
    flowing faster toward the end of the flow
    or not.
    Time is time.

    We do the best with what we have during all of our time.
    It is only when we look back on it, that we see the true measure
    of minutes ticked away in dread or fear, hate or pain,
    and think, ‘That was such a waste of time.’

    11/11/14

  20. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 11
    Write a timely/timeless poem.

    Timeless Ritual

    First performed in a garden,
    unblemished flora and fauna,
    unblemished bride and groom,
    later blessed by wine from the Rabbi’s
    reluctant touch, at his mother’s request,
    the wedding ceremony hallows bond between
    man and woman,
    now too often blasphemed by
    adulterated
    impure
    pornography-viewing
    vow-breaking
    selfish pigs.
    Mining for diamonds,
    questing for rarest rose,
    we peer into Eden,
    as if a magical terrarium,
    where two join, and spend
    a lifetime laughing, weeping,
    striving and resting
    to become
    One.

  21. TeriBeth

    Timeless Sentinels

    Timeless sentinels of the forest,
    weather-beaten branches
    shading the generations.

    Majestic redwoods,
    steadfast and strong.
    Silent witnesses to our history,
    roots dug in deep.
    The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  22. James Von Hendy

    Caryatids

    Already their bones were more ancient
    Than any man knew before he took

    Hammer and chisel to stone to free them,
    Or perhaps, to imprison them again,

    This time in the dreams of his desire,
    Mother, wife, daughter, austere virgin

    Forever upholding his world, guardian
    Of doors, lifter of lintels, the weight

    Of comfort, safety, retreat, the world
    Beyond which he could seek refuge, hidden

    From the disastesr of his other makings,
    But even that, the work of his lifetime,

    The chipping away, was less than a breath
    To the maiden stones lost in the long thoughts

    Of eons, even their lost footing
    When they were cut from their mother’s marrow

    And carted from the mountains to the plains
    Still almost nothing, their eyes unseeing,

    Blank to all but the warmth of the sun,
    The lavishments of moonlight marbling their limbs,

    The slow decay of sand and rain less felt
    Than the beauty they knew of themselves

    When they dwelt in in the womb of the earth,
    Bones dark with love, unmarked, unsought, unseen.

    1. seingraham

      This is lovely…somewhat enigmatic…I read and re-read and was never quite certain who the sculptor was…human, metaphysical, god? I really like it…never have to fully understand something to enjoy it, and do appreciate unusual word choices e.g. “caryatids” and “lintels”. Nice.

  23. m_deane

    The line is long,
    It’s that time of year again.

    The young woman in
    front of me is sending a care
    package, her daughter clinging
    to her hand.

    Yesterday, a friend sent me
    a photo of the Tower of England,
    filled with red poppies.

  24. Sara McNulty

    A Timeless Poem

    Seasons of the year,
    four, all named,
    overlap,
    each one longer or shorter
    than in years gone by.

    Yet they continue
    to arrive
    every year,
    keeping their seasonal names
    timeless as weather.

    A Timely Poem

    It pains me to say
    that the same
    protests and
    slogans used
    in our fight of the sixties,
    are still relevant.

  25. Bhumphreys

    The fleeting glance of a crush
    The delicate touch of a lover
    The honored bond of man and pet
    The sincere devotion of a mother
    The childish eyes of innocence
    The tortured passion of alone
    The smothering cynicism of truth
    The harrowed echo of doubt
    The scalding acid of greed
    The contemptable regret of envy
    In this world,
    These things have found
    Themselves to be omnipresent;
    Reimagined by humans
    Throughout time

  26. dub

    Timing

    Please put your pencils down
    in a timely manner so the results

    will be valid. Please show up
    on time to your sister’s graduation

    so we don’t have to wait for you
    to take the family picture.

    Don’t forget the time-change
    next week, make sure you

    set the clock back. Of all the times
    you’ve done this to me

    this has to be the worst. He doesn’t
    have much time left, you

    should make your peace with him
    now. Don’t worry, we have

    all the time in the world.
    This is the last time

    I’m going to tell you
    to turn the heat down

    when you leave. Of course I will,
    if I can find the time.

  27. MichelleMcEwen

    Auntie E

    Nothing else seems to go
    with her shaved head

    except the fuchsia
    lipstick she wears

    day in
    and day out.

    She loves that Shiseido shade—

    painted the outside of her house
    the same color of her mouth.

    That’s Auntie E for you—

    eccentric

    but she’s classic, too.

    She loves anything made well—
    doesn’t mind spending

    thirty dollars
    on a tube of lipstick.

    When she found out her color
    was being discontinued,

    she stocked up.

    You should know,
    Auntie E hates change—

    will go to her grave

    with that bald head
    and fuchsia mouth.

  28. LaraEckener

    Timeless

    Your wildest dreams come in the deepest winter,
    snow smothering red leaves covering
    pink and white petals crushing
    browning grass into black dirt,
    the way it’s seeped into your skin,
    your heart, and your mind.
    The roar of winter’s wind against the tower walls
    becomes the roar of a beast in the wings of your theater.
    The flush of your skin,
    as blood fights to keep moving
    turning into fire from a twisted mouth, fanged
    with thorns, large enough to swallow you
    if you would just stay still.

    Running through the molasses
    of your memory you realize
    he’s too old for you.
    Too new to your life. As he presses
    his lips to yours with no happy result
    your mind works out the riddle
    of your easily turned head
    and your reluctant heart.

    (This poem got long, so I’ve truncated it in an attempt to not run on in the comments. The rest is here: http://momebie.livejournal.com/963269.html)

  29. Heather

    wrote 2 poems again, timely then timeless. again, fyi: this is to explore my WIP.

    Secret Wall

    A ritzy affair
    they chose their marks wisely
    guns drawn
    the jewelry up for auction
    and on each person
    taken as we all stood frozen.
    A bomb left in place
    of the heirloom diamond
    people frantically
    following out the elevators.
    The host incapacitated
    l knew both victim
    and villains
    and sought to save him.
    With no where to go
    smoke filling
    the luxury apartment
    l panicked
    until I saw the draft
    under the wall.
    Running my fingers,
    l hit a button
    and as the wall opened
    we escaped
    it closing before
    the bomb went off.

    Structure

    Frozen.
    The structure sits poised
    atop an ancient glacier
    menacingly magnificent
    more dangerous
    than the slow slide of ice
    as it migrates
    to the ocean.
    Superimposed on a
    liquid landscape
    concrete and steel
    coexist in a
    timeless structure
    the will outlast us all.

    ~also published at http://heatherbutton.com/2014/11/11/secret-wall-and-structure-poems/

  30. Meriadoc

    “Synchronics”

    Closer than both hands and feet
    This Spirit dwells in me
    Self winding, never finding
    fault in finding me
    in the hour of need or the hour of dread
    that never ever happens
    Your Clock stops in my head
    So that Timeless both and Timely
    more than a Mantra be
    All things I need are given
    ere I knew I had a need

  31. shellkaysm

    What’s Timeless Endures

    Endless canvas of sea, stars
    Chivalry raises the bar

    Spritz of Chanel, strand of pearls
    Bold red lips, diamonds for girls

    Classic languages and books
    Cowboys and the gangster-crooks

    Twain, Austen, Dickens, Plath, Poe
    Sawyer, Finn, and Caruso

    Rogers, Astaire, Lucille Ball
    Marilyn, Hepburn, Bacall

    Wine, classical crescendos
    letters, charms and mementos

    Peace symbols: olive branch, dove
    What’s most timeless endures: love

  32. shellkaysm

    Timely for Now

    The fashion-forward are clad
    in the latest hipster fad

    Tunes on the weekly top ten,
    Celebrity hairstyle trend

    Best sellers from New York Times,
    Tech toys cost a hundred dimes

    First run blockbuster movie,
    Lingo that’s current, groovy

    Modern art to fleeting dreams
    What’s timely’s now, or so seems

  33. Danielle Wong

    Glasses

    Metal framed and round
    gave way to
    thick black rectangles
    then rounded
    ovaled
    circled
    gave way to
    thick red squares
    blue, brown, purple,
    half moons
    just cover the eyes
    cover half the face
    yet it comes back
    thick black geek science framed
    classic 1950.

    ….
    Saved Again

    Eyes,
    one set,
    penetrate the shield
    that covers me,
    hides me.
    Eyes,
    one set,
    scream the words,
    the one string I need,
    the one string I yearn
    to hear,
    just
    as
    my foot
    starts
    to slip
    down
    the black hole
    of no return,
    that eternal
    void
    of
    nothingness.
    Words,
    one string,
    before I let slip
    before I let go.
    Words,
    one string,
    is all we ever need
    to hear
    before
    it’s
    too
    late.

  34. thunk2much

    Timey Wimey

    The Doctor left before he arrived
    In what could only be called a puff
    If you ask him how he did it
    He’ll tell you timey wimey stuff

    You must beware your assumptions
    To abstain from subjective thinking
    And if you’re hanging around the Doctor
    It’s best to avoid any blinking

    But you’ll be a forgotten hero
    Saving humans from now ‘til the end
    From monsters and terrible Christmases
    With your best wibbly wobbly friend

    ~ Liesl Dineen 2014

  35. tunesmiff

    TIMELESS AND TIMELY
    G. Smith (BMI)
    :-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:
    You are timeless,
    You are timely,
    You are always nearby;
    You are holy,
    You are gracious;
    You answer my cry.

    You are worthy,
    You are mighty,
    You hold me in Your Hand;
    You are awesome,
    You are loving,
    Lord, You understand.

    Timeless and timely,
    Forever and now;
    Holy and gracious,
    Before You I bow.
    Loving, forgiving,
    Worthy and strong;
    I desire Your presence;
    Your Glory is my song.

    You are timeless,
    You are timely,
    You reach out and save;
    You are holy,
    You are gracious,
    You rose from the grave.

    You are worthy,
    You are mighty,
    You know me, You care.
    You are awesome,
    You are loving,
    You will always be there.

    Timeless and timely,
    Forever and now;
    Holy and gracious,
    Before You I bow.
    Loving, forgiving,
    Worthy and strong;
    I desire Your presence;
    Your Glory is my song.

    I desire Your presence;
    Your Glory is my song.

  36. seingraham

    LIVING IN A PLACE TIMELESS

    Outside the family room window, winter is wailing,
    covering the landscape the way it does, with blankets
    of quartz-coloured flakes and ice.
    Arctic-scented wind whistles down the chimney, whining
    for a way in. but we’re ready to beat it back.
    Birch logs stacked and eager for the flame, are waiting
    in the fireplace grate.

    If you choose to live here in this place older than time,
    you accept that Summers are fleeting;
    Spring and Autumn, mere brackets of the concise warm one,
    Spring is also the muddy release from the grip of short dark
    days, and extended nights.
    Autumn, the most colourful season, the brilliant overture
    of kindness gentling us into the grip of our heritage—
    Winter—in Edmonton, it’s timeless.

    and

    TIMELY TELLS

    She can’t help wondering about them
    Her grandsons; they are so young
    So young in fact, she’s afraid they
    won’t remember her
    If much more of their lives escape
    without her in them

    She is bewildered to find herself in
    such a predicament
    Never in her wildest imaginings could
    she have foreseen this scenario
    That she would be a grandmother
    living in the same city
    as her grandchildren – three lovely
    boys, all under age five
    And be denied access to them

    To think the words, never mind
    write them down
    Makes her feel faint…is so outside
    the scope of anything she thinks
    of as normal
    She ponders her state of mind
    Perhaps she has gone crazy and
    just didn’t notice her brain
    falling out of her head

    No, no – that’s not it, unfortunately
    If anyone’s non compos mentis, it’s
    her daughter, the boys’ mother
    Maybe her brain’s been siphoned
    out during the night…
    For nothing else comes close to
    explaining to where her beautiful
    bright girl has disappeared

    As a last resort, she considers going
    to a therapist…or a fortune teller
    Decides on the latter…either way
    it’s going to be a crap-shoot,
    she knows
    Somehow, the latter seems a little
    more timely…she’s got her fingers
    crossed…hopes her heart’s up to
    the possibility of more risk.

    1. BDP

      Good poems! I identify with the winter one, the “quartz-coloured flakes” and “Arctic-scented wind.” The second poem is sad, but the last stanza is uplifting somehow.

  37. Nancy Posey

    Fall Back

    Time stands still in here—normal patterns,
    nocturnal, diurnal, mealtimes,
    even evening prayers—slip away,
    leaving us stuck inside this room,
    marking time by shift changes,
    nurses checking vitals,
    lab techs drawing blood.
    In no time, they blend together, despite
    my best efforts, recording names—
    first and last—of every nurse,
    every nurse’s aide, each young man
    arriving in the room to roll you down to x-ray,
    coming in at midnight, one a.m.
    to wheel you off for another MRI.
    The window blinds don’t keep out light,
    the walls don’t keep out sound,
    other patients through thin walls,
    choppers landing on the roof,
    and sleep comes in fragments at best,
    the deepest slumber disrupted
    by someone else coming in,
    flipping on the lights and only then apologizing,
    rote words only sometimes marked
    by warmth, sometimes not.
    So when we find ourselves both wide awake,
    jarred out of restless slumber
    by relentless, ranting, moaning,
    shouting, cursing from next door,
    we have to laugh when our night nurse
    Jin-mei comes in to check on us
    and tells us what must seem to her
    good news: Fall back! Today
    you gain an extra hour of sleep.

    * I keep forgetting how to embed the coding to make my indented lines appear. Try to imagine them if you can!

  38. Sasha A. Palmer

    We knew no clocks. We ruled the hours at will:
    We quickened them, or slowed them down…One day
    We broke them into moments – each would fill
    A lifetime to the brim. We did not pay
    Again the hours we’d borrowed, for we knew
    No clocks. No time. No space. But “me and you.”

  39. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    The Termites

    I blame it on the termites.
    I can hear them rustling at night.
    In the morning I can’t find my stuff.
    My thoughts, so coherent the evening before,
    lose all structure.
    Things I scribbled in my notebook
    during those dark hours
    turn to gibberish.
    Some letters are missing
    and I can’t read
    my handwriting.

  40. Kasey

    Where did we come from?
    Where are we going?
    Why are we here?

    I’m not sure if the answers will ever be clear.

    But the questions…
    The questions are timeless.

  41. still nights

    What is timeless in a woman?

    I believe it is her laughter
    her ability to find joy in everyday life
    and lighten those around her
    it won’t matter how many wrinkles show up around her eyes
    if they sparkle with joy

    Timelessness in a woman
    is in her words
    in their ability to bring comfort
    stop tears and soothe wounds

    It is her zest for life
    her wealth of knowledge that adds dimension
    and value to what she can contribute

    Timelessness is her dignity
    her ability to let hurts slide off her back
    like water off a duck
    shaking out her feathers
    and being light and easy

    A timeless woman
    shows compassion for weakness
    and keeps her gaze focused
    on what is good

  42. cbwentworth

    I. Timely

    Light winter flurries
    settle on summer’s last bloom
    Pink withers away

    II. Timeless

    First witness to time
    grains of sand; a velvet sky
    The stars do not lie

    III. Time*

    Birds sing at sunrise
    a breeze cools the midday heat
    The sun goes to sleep

    Owls call at moonrise
    darkness stills shivering air
    The moon fades to dust

    *I misread Prompt #1 as Time instead of Timely, so I wrote some extra haikus today!

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