2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

Four weeks in and only three days left. Boy, time flies!

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) News,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Good News,” “Bad News,” “Daily News,” and “Old News.”


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Here’s my attempt at a Blank News poem:

“No News Is Good News”

Whether it’s the weather or politics
or the kid down the street, no news

should be good news, right? Only
the news is usually happening

well before it is reported–so breaking
news (of the bad variety) doesn’t

really happen when it seems to
happen. Rather, it’s already happened,

and the news isn’t a good or bad
thing really but an opportunity to do

better or a chance to remember
that things continue to happen.


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 pays attention to the news, sure, but it rarely ever has a direct impact on his life–outside of having something (or someone) to talk about.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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109 thoughts on “2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

  1. seingraham


    We were on our way out of town
    when it came on the radio
    A little girl was missing:
    the vehicle being described
    as seen in the neighbourhood where
    she disappeared…
    Well, it matched the one we were driving
    out of the city.

    What the hell—
    Sure there’s lots of ’88 GMC, navy Vandura’s.
    But how many of them have three round white rust spots
    on the sliding door.
    Plus a diagonal slash on the driver’s door.

    I slowed and pulled over to the shoulder.
    Both of us stared into the dim interior, calling softly,
    “Punky? Hey Punky?”
    We crossed our fingers, she either wasn’t there, or if she was,
    she’d be just fine.

    *This is based on a true story: six year old Punky Gustavason was the subject of Edmonton’s largest manhunt when she was snatched in 1992; she was raped and smothered, left for dead two days later – she died before she was found.

    Our van was one of the ones investigated because it fit the description…we were out of town when the child was taken, but it was still creepy. Her killer was not caught until 2000, and it took until 2005, with DNA evidence to convict him.

  2. bluerabbit47

    Dreaded News

    We couldn’t ask
    We didn’t know them
    that well, but well
    enough to be worried
    when we heard
    about hospice.
    Some, we knew,
    outlasted those
    who had been told,
    yet we looked
    for announcements
    in public places,
    checking for news
    we didn’t want.
    If we had not looked,
    as least for us,
    for a while, it would
    not have been true.
    Our friend would still
    be there, and we would still
    be thinking, we should
    get together soon.

  3. Domino

    Yesterday’s News

    The shocking headlines,
    exposés, scandalous photos,
    the accused and victims,
    the wronged and the vindicated,
    sportsball scores,
    lonely heart columns,
    advice and lost pets
    and used cars and couches
    and pets for sale.
    All this will be lining
    tomorrow’s bird cages.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  4. shethra77

    New News

    It’s a lot like the old news
    but less real, somehow
    what with the crazy wild
    amounts of white space
    wasting paper around
    each story, and
    actually paid for to run
    on the front page.
    At least it’s under
    the fold. Oh—no fold online.
    For hundreds of years
    we had all the News fit and
    unfit to print, and now we have
    become readers of
    the internet. So must needs
    we read that, not this 3D
    wood pulp construction which scarcely
    achieved color, and only recently got itself
    environmentally friendly with
    vegetable inks.
    Newspapers people can hold in their hands
    are rushing the way of dinosaurs, dodos,
    passenger pigeons.
    Online there is speculation about the latest
    TV show, or some zombie apocalypse
    caused by vaccinations or LSD that’s
    not LSD but actually worse,
    or maybe aliens came
    to zombify us all.
    That’s what people want to read.
    With moving pictures
    sent in by readers/viewers from their
    Iphones, tablets, notebooks, cameras
    and slapped up on YouTube.
    Counting space for headlines is so
    five seconds ago. We don’t need
    no stinking layouts.
    There’s a program for that.
    Good luck with your spelling and grammer
    ‘cause there’s only one editor
    And that’s what
    spell-checkers are for.
    The new news is that old news,
    that newspaper is
    no more.

    Shethra Jones Hoopes

  5. jenaedwards50

    Since I started with my online business I earn $42 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.

    === >> ­w­w­w.M­o­n­e­y­k­i­n.c­o­m­

  6. Danielle Wong

    Best News

    When you’ve tried
    and tried
    to make it all clear,
    to make it all simple,
    only to receive
    sideway looks of confusion
    looping you back before
    your first step,
    you question your own
    sanity and decisions
    until someone comes and gives you
    sideways looks of confusion
    asking why you don’t join
    their like-mindedness,
    their similar approaches.
    You stand for a moment,
    look at what surrounds you.
    You look at the newcomers,
    listen to their words,
    watch their movements.
    Are you sure you want me?
    you ask.
    Their smiles are all you need.
    To be with them
    is the best news
    you’ve had in years.

  7. Bhumphreys

    Breaking News

    I don’t know how to tell you
    But, she is gone.
    Physically, not yet
    You still share a house.
    Mentally; more of the same
    Enough to get by,
    But nothing more than
    is necessary.
    Your souls never quite gelled,
    Even though your lives
    Became the same.
    She has left you at the
    Bus station of solace.
    No scheduled stops;
    No forwarding address.

  8. shellcook

    Old News

    Old news,
    the news someone forgot to tell you.
    Old news, left unspoken,
    has the power to scar your soul
    in ways that other news cannot.

    I forgot this was of value to you.
    I forgot you were waiting to hear.
    I forgot you didn’t know.
    I forgot you cared.
    I forgot.
    I forgot you.

    It doesn’t take much effort to remember,
    write it down.
    It doesn’t take much effort to forget to remember,
    write it down.

    Old news is not urgent,
    but it is wrapped up in emotion,
    and that gives it power.
    We know this,
    but we forget we have this power,
    to make others feel so small.

    Make someone’s day.
    Give them some news.
    Any old news will do.


  9. IrisD

    No News is Good News

    No news is good news
    is my unreasonable hope
    I search the mailbox once again
    coveting a line from you
    Months have transpired
    no return epistle have I receieved
    But surely there is justification
    why the box remains empty
    Daily I still make the trek
    peering into its empty depth
    My tenacious optimism replies
    Someday, someday, someday…

  10. Doakley

    Wyoming Weather News

    Good morning Wyoming,
    this morning a chance of rain,
    freezing later today,
    now won’t that be a pain?
    The high temperature today
    will be 44 degrees at noon
    rapidly falling temps will
    make it 2 degrees real soon.
    The wind will be
    far more than a breeze
    with wind chill values
    of minus 15 degrees.
    Stay inside while
    the coffee brews
    because now you know
    the latest news!

  11. MichelleMcEwen

    Bad News

    Mama says
    he’s bad news
    you can tell it
    by the kind of shoes
    he wears
    that he cares
    more about
    looking good
    than he cares
    about you.

    What he
    got to look nice
    for all the time,
    she says, unless
    he’s always trying
    to impress
    somebody else.

  12. TeriBeth

    Unwelcomed News

    No news is good news,
    he told himself as the days passed by.
    Some things you just don’t need to know, he thought,
    like learning if you’re going to die.

    His wife of fifty-two years had pestered him to take the test.
    The coughing had gotten pretty bad, it was true.
    He kept the appointment she had made for him,
    although it was the last thing he wanted to do.

    He reflected on his life and his family,
    bargained a little with his god
    about his faith and mortality.

    When the call came that next morning,
    he had thought he was prepared for the worst.
    Still, his life flashed before his eyes with little warning,
    Doctor gave him the news, a message cold and rehearsed.

    The countdown had begun in the blink of an eye.
    With a lump in his gut,
    He watched his wife try hard not to cry.

  13. De Jackson

    Have you heard the news?

    We’re all dying. There’s no de
    -nying it. Everything’s event
    -ual, Love, but especially death
    and taxes, and taxes are some
    -what negotiable. But when
    good old Mr. Death knocks
    on your back door, you reap
    what you sew. Grim, I know. So
    what? We all gotta buy the farm
    someday. Good folks, flowers, fools.
    It’s only a matter of time.


  14. Jolly2

    by John Yeo

    Fed up with the daily flood of horror that masquerades as news
    I was determined to live a solitary life, a detox of the daily blues.
    I locked myself in a cabin, deep in a remote pine forest
    No electricity or communication to carry a negative process.

    I closed the door, picked up my pen, then I began to write.
    My mind drifted over many things in the silent evening light.
    I put another log on the fire as I wrote by the flames of the firelight.
    An owl hooted quite close by hunting in the depths of the night.

    Silence closed in as the embers of the fire burned low
    The moon was bright with a cold white shadowy glow.
    A million beautiful twinkling stars filled the forest skies,
    Adding magic to the moment of my solitary sleepy demise.

    With my concentration on my imagination, the present faded into the past.
    Realisation quickly dawned, the facts somehow hard to grasp,
    Our ancestors had no instant news or a worldwide nosey net.
    I am a child of today, my dependant withdrawal symptoms set..

    The future is here, the bad news is clear, I could never live without it.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reserved

  15. Xairos

    Eavesdropped News

    So one day the FBI stopped by,
    casually asking about our son,
    where he was, his travels, who his friends are.

    “You,” my husband explained,
    “should know all that — you’re the FBI.”

    And the next time we used our phone,
    it had grown a mildly fuzzy, buzzish tone,
    like a bottle of soda being opened
    or a petulant beehive,
    maybe just a soft snap-crackling like someone
    who couldn’t resist popping his knuckles
    or flicking her fingernails.
    We always said “Hello!”
    But no one answered, of course.

    And, of course, we were never certain
    if they were really there or our phone
    suddenly needed a visit from Ghost-busters.
    But we know sometimes being too
    enthusiastic about those nasty words:
    equality, freedom, justice, and
    (ewww!) love —
    as in, taking Jesus at his word —
    can mean you are surveilled discretely,
    eavesdropped on, detained, suspected,
    considered Unamerican and dangerous.
    Your private word scavenged,
    eavesdropper’s news.

    Even to write this in an email, as I am,
    worries me: will digital radar ears,
    flapping, hoping to hear me drop some bomb-
    to lead them to another visa to block,
    another family to visit,
    scoop up my words,
    vacuum in my contact list?

    (“Signing out now —

  16. Tandac

    Novel news

    Two words
    Nestled in our hearts
    We love, we sweat
    We learn, we write
    News for a novel
    We care, we hope
    We report, we consume
    Novel makes worthy news
    News from new
    Novel from news
    Novel took one road
    News took another
    But each arrived at
    The same place
    And is written
    In a novel

  17. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 28
    Write a ——— News poem.

    Nuptial News

    Another payment’s due,
    after initial deposit on wedding venue,
    a month after cake deposit,
    along with design deposit,
    following deposit for florist and

    In further news:
    invitations must be ordered,
    bridesmaids’ luncheon scheduled,
    mother of the bride’s dress selected,
    tuxes picked out.

    Good news:
    we have only one daughter.

  18. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    No news is no news –
    Ain’t nothing good about it.
    No news is no news –
    Ain’t nothing good about it.
    They say there’s a cure for these blues,
    But I’m beginning to doubt it.

    I haven’t heard a word from you
    In seven days;
    I haven’t heard a word from you
    In seven days;
    I guess this means you’ll never,
    Change your evil ways.

    I fell for you, Baby,
    I fell head over heels;
    I fell hard for you, Baby;
    I fell head over heels;
    But you won’t tell me nothing;
    Do you know how that feels?

    Are you on love with me, Woman?
    Or are you just stringing me along?
    Are you in love with me , Woman?
    Or are you just stringing me along?
    Just tell me one way or the other,
    And let me move along.

    No news is no news –
    Ain’t nothing good about it.
    No news is no news –
    Ain’t nothing good about it.
    They say there’s a cure for these blues,
    But I’m beginning to doubt it.


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