2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Keep This (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Keep This a Secret,” “Keep This Letter,” “Keep This Moment,” or “Keep This Poem.”


Enter Your Poems for a Chance at $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.


Here’s my attempt at a Keep This Blank poem:

“Keep This Number”

And pull it out when you’re lonely
memorize it if you’re good
at losing things
like numbers
and slips of paper
so that you can pull it out
of the bank of your memory deposits
when the time is most opportune
which may be tomorrow
or the next day
or the next day
or the day after that
or some day in the far off future
a date perhaps that even matches
this number I’ve provided you with.


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 a few lucky numbers, though none have ever helped him win the lottery. So they’re lucky numbers, sure, but also kinda worthless in a monetary sense (or cents).

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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237 thoughts on “2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

  1. taylor graham


    What’s below the waves?
    A small boat rocks in memory.

    What man rows the boat?
    A woman rises from bed
    and folds the comforting quilt.

    A tepid morning,
    but the winds blow full of scents
    from across the sea.
    Are there worlds beyond breakers,
    beyond dawn? A boy’s
    father sleeps under the tide.

    In the market are
    beautiful fishes to buy,
    silver-scaled glistening.
    But the bottom fish,
    nobody knows their color.

    Have you heard the wind
    playing chanties in the nets
    those men are mending?
    Mer-maids comb their hair
    to catch the prayers lost at sea.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    “Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.” –Nicole Sobon

    keep this ritual
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    keep talking to her
    even long after the funeral,
    pretend she’s still there listening
    hanging on your every word
    shadowing your grief,
    for sometimes they don’t know
    that they’re gone.

    build her an altar of candles
    a sacred space to reflect and connect
    when the world seems cold and unkind.
    fill it with personal trinkets,
    family photos, lock of her hair
    give her something to covet and still hold onto.

    pour your heart out to her for months
    get out everything you wished you’d said, but hadn’t
    write her a requiem with the salt from your tears
    pull every stitch of clothing from her closet,
    sleep curled up amidst her scented dreams.

    do this and little by little
    the hurt will lessen
    do this and little by little
    perspective will be gained
    do this and one day you’ll be ready
    to unshackle one another and let her go.

    © 2014 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Michelle Hed

    Keep This Hidden

    “Keep this hidden”, he whispered.
    “What is…” “No! Don’t open it…
    just looking at it could cause you harm.”
    I was about to snicker
    when I saw the serious look
    on his small face.
    “Ok buddy. I’ll keep it safe.”
    The little guys sighed,
    whispered “thank you”
    and trotted off.

    I stood there
    debating on whether or not to peek…
    he was so serious…
    but curiosity won
    and I opened the box…
    I confess.
    I screamed like a girl,
    jumped and almost smashed that box
    as two paper snakes sprung right toward by face!
    When I finally calmed down
    I realized the sound of a little boy’s laughter
    was fading …away.

  4. Khara House

    Keep this between us

    Like a warm blanket—
    like a lucky penny pressed
    between our noses—
    like frosted palms to the windows
    of a lover’s breast.
    Let this keep you warm
    on the coldest winter night
    when shadows prickle your spine
    with lifelessness
    and the walls shrink
    to reveal your fathomless self.
    Keep it steady,
    with you always,
    in that worn denim pocket
    where fingers tickle flesh.
    As I carry you, carry me—
    sheltered in the place beyond
    what fingers can hold.

  5. drwasy

    Keep This Promise,
    or: After Finding Woven Shoelaces in My Son’s Room

    no matter what,
    keep this promise,
    only this one,
    and I swear—
    before the God you
    don’t believe In
    and the God I will forsake
    if this promise you break—
    I will keep you close
    however you appear
    even if not
    as my hopes
    and dreams, which are
    fantasies anyway;
    so, come as you are,
    bedraggled or clear
    sober of tweaked
    high as that God,
    and I’ll take you
    as you are,
    if you
    promise me.


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