2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

For today’s prompt, look to the news and write about something recently reported. It doesn’t have to be something today, but something in the past week or month would be ideal. There’s always good and bad things happening in the world, and poetry is a powerful way to document events.


Write a Poem 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 News poem:

“Bomb Cyclone”

When my boy started talking about a typhoon
in the Pacific, I thought what’s that got to do

with anything over here. I mean, we got autumn
myth season in full effect and a Southern sun

to keep us warm. But darn it, that super storm
flew straight at the arctic making winter born

of circumstance and soon we’ll claim back our
love of heaters, blankets, and hot cocoa to pour.


Like writing newsy poems?

There’s a unique publishing opportunity available with Rattle to write to the news for a chance at publication on their website every single week. It’s called Poets Respond and is dedicated to poeming up the news each week.

Learn more here.


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 baby brother who chases storms (tornadoes, ice storms, and hurricanes–o my!), but Robert’s perfectly happy staying indoors during inclement weather. Today’s prompt was inspired by the cold air mass headed toward the U.S. caused by Typhoon Nuri.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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202 thoughts on “2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

  1. Yolee

    Man Dies after Stepping in Front of a Semi-truck

    Before it became public news, it was shock
    that bearded Peter’s face as he repeated omg omg omg.
    We saw the light colored car on the right shoulder.
    We passed the semi-truck. Peter looked at the ride side
    mirror and witnessed a terrible wrong. I didn’t believe
    when he said a man just walked in front of
    the burgundy truck.
    “Did you hear a thud? Yes, I said.”

    Disbelief that a person chose to end his future with a crash
    did not immediately breach the thought that the man may
    have misjudged how close he’d been to oncoming traffic.
    My mind decided he was trying to get help. His car broke
    down. But the local news didn’t report it that way.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Wolf OR-7
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Young gray OR-7
    where are you off to in such a hurry,
    with your nose to the ground
    and fancy radio collar?
    Why would you leave your cozy den
    just to travel 3 years, 3 states, 1200+ miles
    braving busy roads, drought-stricken landscapes,
    and an armed nation filled with enough crazy folk
    who’d just as soon mistake you for a coyote
    and hang your pelt from a roadside fence somewheres?
    Is the search for a mate really that important?
    2 million wolves once roamed American soil, but
    fear and greed nearly wiped them clean off the map.
    Years later, even after a good run under the Endangered
    Species Act, they still number less than 5500.

    Like the Truman Show,
    the world is watching you, Mr. OR-7
    via radio collars and camera tree stands,
    newspapers and internet feeds,
    watching as you pitch and woo that small black she-wolf
    deep in the wilds of the Oregon Cascades
    among the huckleberry and salal.
    Serendipitous the sly missus twists the same bloodlines
    of Minam and Snake River packs as you, Mr. OR-7
    and shares your preferred tastes of wild game
    over domestic livestock, much to your credit.
    There is further celebration when you become
    the first wolf couple to set up den and produce pups
    on the OR/CA border in more than 80 years,
    prompting further speculation if your progeny will
    spread their wings further south, eventually.
    But for now we are content to watch you frolic
    with your young pups heading into autumn,
    and just rejoice in the fact you are here
    to stay.

    © 2014 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. De Jackson

    When a Daddy Sings Blackbird to His Dying Newborn Son

    you want to hold
             your heart in
    both hands and squeeze
         it shut.

    And when you realize
                his young wife
    just left this life, too, there’s no
         -thing to do
    but take your own broken
                wings and learn to fly,
    know we’re all only


  4. victoriahunter

    sorry fixed two typos.

    What Happened To the Baby

    On the news, the woman who killed her child,
    had a fat bottom, that was much too wide, to get around,
    capable of easily smothering, like our parents when we’re small,
    and no one heard the baby cry, not a sound, come from under the woman,
    and even if they did– they would still ask why.

    —- Victoria Hunter

  5. victoriahunter

    What Happened To the Baby

    On the news, the woman who killed her child,
    had a fat bottom, that was much too wide, to get around,
    capable of easily smothering, like parents when we we’re small,
    and no one heard the baby cry, not a sound, come from under the woman,
    and even if they did– they would still ask why.

    —- Victoria Hunter

  6. victoriahunter

    The Woods of Northern PA

    the woods,
    dark and misleading
    cloaking, something that’s quietly approaching
    like death,
    no wonder why, he didn’t see it coming.

    — Victoria Hunter

  7. Connie Inglis

    The Wall Came Down

    As ideology makes cold the war,
    And disillusionment strikes down all hope,
    With hammer, sickle, red—they lock the door,
    East not meets west, a wall it marks the scope.
    The height and length and breadth of broken cords,
    As Checkpoint Charlie blocks familial roads,
    With guns and dogs and soldier-towered lords,
    The wall it breaks our hearts, our minds, our souls.
    But time it chips and chisels at this wall,
    And leaders’ minds lose fear and tire of pain,
    So history’s voice shouts, the walls they fall,
    And eighteen years of dreams sing their refrain:
    An ode to joy—to future-freedom joy,
    For mothers, fathers, every girl and boy.

  8. Michelle Hed

    Never Before

    Something new,
    out of this world
    my brain is fried!

    They’re going to do it
    in three days’ time –
    land a probe
    on a comet – oh, sublime!

    What will they learn?
    What will they see?
    What will it mean
    for you and me?

  9. De Jackson

    Phases (This, Just In)

    The moon was just full,
    did you hear? Not super,
    or eclipsed, mind you.
    Just fat and sassy,
    a constant dot caught
    in all that inky black.
    She’s waning
    (gibbous), ribless,
    erased perhaps
    by stardust and lack
    of interest, since all
    howling of Hallow’s Eve
    is past. Maybe she’ll
    find some finality,
    or turn Orion’s belt into
    an ellipsis.


  10. Lori D. Laird

    My Refusal to Participate

    Four years ago today
    God took a blessing away.
    A baby born asleep.
    Oh how I still weep.
    A life snuffed from the beginning.
    A life ceased its meaning.
    My son being ripped and torn
    left me feeling so forlorn.
    How can this be?
    This can’t happen to him or me!

    But, alas, it did.
    For miraculous reasons God forbid
    the answers to our prayers.
    She lives with the Man upstairs.
    See the miracle lies in her death.
    She was perfect for not drawing a breath.
    Never will she know fear or wrong.
    She’s forever embrace by the angels’ songs.
    Up in the clouds so high
    our tiny rosebud has wings to fly.

    So forgive me if I don’t write something mundane.
    Today grief, once more, holds the reins.
    Even though it’s shrouded in joy
    I won’t give into the ridiculous ploy
    to write about repeated news.
    Not while my heart has the Zoie blues.

  11. Connie Peters

    “Large Flightless Bird Closes Indiana Highway.”
    (I changed it from a rhea to an ostrich since an ostrich is more familiar.”

    Ollie’s New Home

    One day, Winkle, Doodles and Noodles
    flew along a country road in a wooded valley
    where they met their Ostrich friend, Ollie.

    “Why are you out of your meadow?” asked Winkle.
    “It’s dangerous on the road with cars,” said Doodles.
    “Are you lost?” asked Noodles. “This is not your farm.”

    “I moved to a new farm,” said Ollie.
    “I had to leave my all my friends.
    I’m running away, back to my old home.”

    Just then sirens wailed. Police cars came.
    The fairies hitched a ride on Ollie’s broad back.
    Ollie ran very fast but a car blocked his way.

    He turned and ran, but another car zoomed up.
    Other cars with more Big People in them stopped, too.
    “Get him!” the police officers shouted.

    “There’s Farmer John my new owner,” said Ollie.
    “I must get away!” He ran like the wind.
    Police officers and farmers ran after him.

    Ollie ran this way and that.
    The farmers ran this way.
    The police ran that way.

    “I’m scared!” said Ollie.
    “Me too!” said Winkle, Noodles and Doodles
    who were hanging on to Ollie’s feathers for dear life!

    “There’s Farmer Bill my old owner!” Ollie cried.
    A kind-faced farmer approached and said,
    “Careful there, Ollie, it’s okay.”

    But Ollie ran and the fairies hung on!
    The farmer was tall and strong,
    He tackled Ollie, like a football player.

    “Ooomph,” said Ollie, laying on the ground.
    The fairies tumbled underneath some bushes.
    Ollie’s old owner put him in his own truck.

    The fairies flew in beside Ollie.
    “Now, I’ll go home!” Ollie said.
    “Maybe,” said Winkle.

    But the farmer didn’t take him to his old home.
    He took him to his new home.
    where a family of Big People waited.

    Ollie was sad. “I’ll never get home.”
    Winkles looked around at the beautiful meadow.
    “Your new home might not be so bad, Ollie.”

    “We had to move one time,” Doodles said.
    Noodles said, “We left all of our friends.
    “We left our pine tree and moved into a willow.”

    “At first we were sad,” said Doodles.
    “But there were a lot of good things about the new place.
    And we made good friends, too, like Winkle.”

    Other Ostriches from the farm came up to Ollie.
    “Why did you jump the fence?” asked one.
    “Don’t you know the road is dangerous?”

    “I miss my old home and friends,” said Ollie.
    “We’ll be your friends,” said one of the Ostriches.
    “We have a nice meadow to run in and lots to eat.”

    Just then children came to the fence.
    “We’re glad you came back,” said the little girl.
    “We missed you,” said the little boy.

    Ollie smiled up at his three fairy friends.
    “Thank you for helping me,” said Ollie.
    “I think I’ll learn to like it here.”

  12. IrisD

    Heart Healthy
    ( gogyohka)

    Stockholm study brings good news
    Chocoholics were right you know
    They knew indulgence was good for the heart
    Chocolate melts like silk in mouth
    And makes the heart smile with health

  13. Khara House

    Boko Haram

    In a war of ideals,
    human flesh is the cost.
    History written in blood—
    all we remember,
    names and faces
    fade into crisp white leaves
    we forage for fingers to touch.
    The aftermath of history
    is progress—
    we pay the price
    in the dreams of our children,
    spill them out like pennies
    in a fountain.
    Can you hear the children crying—
    how much would you pay for a dream?

  14. Mark Danowsky

    The New Potato

    Mr. Simple has a plan.
    Well he’s dead, but
    his company lives on.

    Mr. Simple’s company has a plan
    to bring us the New potato.
    It is somehow safer, they say.

    We do adore our safety.
    The New potato will also bruise less.
    How about that?

    Most importantly, fried
    the New potato will contain less
    acrylamide–whatever that is.

    Alls I know about acrylamide
    is they tell me it has potential
    to cause cancer. What else is new?

  15. Mark Danowsky

    Mid-Term Elections, 2014

    As an adult it’s my job
    to stay up until the polls close
    drink beer to yell at NPR
    NY Times Live Coverage
    again confused
    over half our country
    semi-silently disagrees
    with the other half
    because we think
    in binaries
    the whole country is made up
    of enemies—or so it would seem
    based on data
    but in reality, no
    we mostly get along
    so what is wrong?
    where are the real divides?

  16. Danielle Wong

    Is this an adventure?
    One of those things you have to do
    before it gets too late?
    before you get too old?
    before you lose your nerve?
    Or are things that bad
    at school and at home?
    Was this your only chance?
    Was this your only way
    to save yourself,
    to save the four younger ones?
    Two girls.
    Three boys.
    13, 14, 15, 16, 17,
    hiding out
    in cabins scattered
    about the 5500 islands
    that float in Reindeer.
    Are you waiting things out?
    Hoping you’ll all change
    or we will have forgotten?
    given up?
    Are you running away
    with new looks,
    new names,
    new identities?
    You’ll never be the same.
    Or were you taken
    forcibly at night?
    Forcibly at then end of the school day?
    Examples to be made of?
    Or dropped into the icy currents
    hungry for food?
    Arctic winds
    have entered the hearts
    of those mourning
    your invisibility.
    Arctic winds
    surround you.
    May they protect you
    from the harm
    you saw.

  17. thunk2much

    Current Events

    Ebola is the new black
    Plaguing the untouched
    Through the airwaves of fear
    Brought to you by Nestle

    Unplugged, we left town
    Passing a dog-walking woman
    With eyes too wide to see blue skies
    Hiding behind a blue surgical mask

    Later next to puffed-up birds
    We found sharks’ teeth and peace
    In the patterns of shells left behind
    By current events

    ~ Liesl Dineen 2014

  18. bluerabbit47


    Sometimes, the most feared
    happens. The heartless
    defeat the courageous.
    The greedy defeat the
    selfless. Cynicism swallows
    hope and the clock of
    progress runs backward
    for a time. Sometimes,
    the worst has to happen
    before people can see
    how long and arrogantly
    it has been approaching.
    Sometimes, the only thing
    to do is wait and sigh.

  19. ina

    This tiny thing


    Once this room was always full.
    Today there is only one:
    this tiny thing, just like a baby,
    but with gel where her skin should be.
    Once this room was full, and
    we wished someone harness her parent’s gaze
    so powerful that it could make
    a thousand unfurled lungs bloom and grow,
    send the babies home home.
    Now, this one tiny thing incubates in hope,
    blanketed by two pages of other news.
    She should be on top,
    because she is so fragile, so beautiful,
    and so nearly alone, one among the empty bassinets.


  20. Shennon

    A little blurb
    On the very last page
    Said that something happy
    Happened today.

    It wasn’t a headline
    Just a note in the back
    Some encouraging words
    Amidst all the black.

    An engagement occurred
    Between two elderly folks
    Who met in the garden
    Of their retirement home.

    Now Ruth Adele Warren
    Will wed Charles Oliver Bills
    Such happy news to read
    In a world marred by war and ills.


  21. BDP

    “Family Unemployed”

    The terrier-haired teen slashes crime scene
    tape over his bedroom door. His laid-off
    dad hunts for “want-ad worms,” his name for lean
    job pickings. His out-of-work mom, a cough

    turned sob, skims news headlines, wraps up heirlooms:
    Grandmother’s carnival-glass candy dish
    pillowed by snowstorm warnings, Great Aunt Lou’s
    Rosenthal plaque with whirling dervishes

    packed tight in terror rages, Dresden cups—
    her hands stop. Someone loved this little boy
    lured by perverts. She balls the paper, chucks
    it, rims the garbage can. Too much destroy

    out there, she lifts translucent china, so
    light, what’s fine sometimes is almost shadow.

    –Barb Peters

  22. Melissa Dione

    All Because A Boy

    And I want to tell her, my cousin, that
    I know how she feels because I’ve been
    there but she’d just laugh her child please
    laugh because she disagrees, believes
    I know nothing about loving and heartbreak.
    She’d say, like always, crying “What do you know
    about dating a man for fifteen years since
    you were fifteen and then have it just

    And I think of all the crazy things she did
    between those years—for love—like, at
    seventeen, kicking in the door of her boyfriend’s
    place and going after (with scissors) the girl
    she found there, like he belonged to her
    and only her. But she’s not the only one, far
    from being the only one. I hear about it all
    the time In the news. Just a few weeks ago
    five teenagers were shot over love all because a boy
    was rebuffed by a crush

  23. Xairos

    As Israeli police block Muslims from the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount:
    Found poem from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, NRSV

    dread and fear hurt destroy
    lion bear and wolf
    lied you lied
    child, my child

    my mountain my holy mountain
    house of prayer for all peoples
    they hurt they destroy
    my holy mountain

    you lied, whom did you dread did you fear
    that you did not remember me
    did not give me a thought?

    whoever, whoever,
    takes refuge in me
    shall inherit my mountain
    my holy mountain.

    Peace, peace, far, near,
    says the Lord;
    I will heal them.

    I will bring to my holy mountain,
    joyful in my house of prayer;
    not hurt or destroy
    delight in the fear of the Lord.

    Child, my little child shall lead them
    and I will heal them.
    Cow and bear shall graze.
    Peace, peace,
    to the far and the near, says the Lord.

    Refuge in me,
    inherit my holy mountain
    takes refuge in me.

    Spirit of the Lord,
    wisdom, understanding,
    knowledge and fear of the Lord
    rest on whoever
    takes refuge.

    They shall not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
    says the Lord,
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

    For thus says the high and lofty one
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
    I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit.

  24. Gwyvian

    The Rumor Wheel

    I came to hear the flotsam on a sea of silvered tongues, the
    news of the hour – as the acquaintances of witnesses spoke them—
    but a piece of me knows a frustrating truth to this charade:
    that perception, infinitely malleable by circumstance and belief,
    will only hear the truth it wants to hear, enthralled by the camaraderie
    of the tale-spinners who captivate senses and who seem so sincere;
    yet bereft of the truth of my eyes and the void without bias,
    I have come against my better judgment to the Rumor Wheel.

    I heard rumors trumpeted with morose gravity, laced with just a
    taste of angst: I drank deeply, and it took its place among the pomp
    and frill in the parade – colors flashing, smiles dashing and eyes so
    concerned in their expert flutter; they true masters at their art, I see, and
    I am enthralled by the cushion of distance: I know of pain not my own,
    but their sympathies are muted, so there is no guilt in following suit;
    yes, I play this game of turn and turnabout between distortion and truth—
    but I know these sources, trustworthy only in their ability to soothe.

    The truth is a dazzling gloss on lips that oft smile with avarice, their
    souls harlequins wearing checkers of contempt and ignorance: they
    are the victors of the battle to pen history to their gain – and yet
    all I see in the listening faces… is the conflict of faith in their oracle game—
    never realizing the world always ticks as we expect it, never imagining
    that they may not see the entire canvas while admiring a fleck of paint…
    and I see them study the stains with the reverence of uncertainty—
    just before a mere whisper collapses the deck of cards of all they believe.

    I came to hear the burbling river running the Rumor Wheel of my
    own choice, lacking the certainty of honesty, but filled with hope
    that the tale-spinners will give me all the pieces I need, and yet…
    I found the treacherous temptation to believe without question, I’ll admit:
    those rumors slipped in my mind and began to leak their poison—
    but I cannot fall for such an obvious charade: my truth is undiluted,
    the news of the hour – as I will explain – for I came here to become the
    only one willing to give you the truth of what happened, if you will listen…

    November 9, 2014

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  25. MeenaRose

    Nothing Better To Do
    By: Meena Rose

    than have history repeat itself
    let’s shift the blame
    from actor to alleged playwright
    we are so good at that

    the demonizing routine
    fear and righteousness
    tighten their tendrils
    and squeeze

    our breath catches
    heart skips a beat
    a momentary death
    resolving into a choice

    fear or courage
    anger or enthusiasm
    sadness or joy
    apathy or empathy

    don’t believe me?
    look for yourself
    ebola mania as it plays
    itself out on TV

    precaution overpowers science
    guilt by association
    is the name of this game
    have you been to Africa

    I hear them ask as though the
    whole continent is under quarantine
    vigilance is good
    not when it’s a blind routine

    yes, history has nothing better to do
    but repeat itself in a land
    where race is a loaded concern
    and feminism rises again like the phoenix


  26. icandootoo

    a triolet, naomi poe

    The voters want Republicans “in”
    but also want pot, more cash, and free choice.
    Guess that means everyone can claim a ‘win’…
    The voters want Republicans “in” –
    Republican platform gets chucked in the bin –
    Should Democrats cry, or should they rejoice?
    The voters want Republicans “in”
    but also want pot, more cash, and free choice.

  27. Pat Walsh

    by Patrick J. Walsh

    Dozing in front of the TV, I heard something
    about the Bahamas, just before I hit mute

    Sand like the hand of God
    cups my tired frame
    in a sweet beige horizon
    halfway between green and blue

    At rest, the dust of the day
    settles like fine linen
    on the ancient handmade table
    outside the beachfront cafe

    Then — something stirs; and waking without thinking
    I let the news loose again, and the story takes flesh

    A small plane crashed in the Bahamas
    earlier today killing all those on board

    A magnetic sounding pop follows a billowing flash
    and the screen goes blank, leaving me in darkness

    In the still of the early sunlight
    there is the smallest staccato hum
    like the incongruous cough
    of some far-off sea bird

    A tiny dot in the sky
    spans its fatal arc
    and makes no sound at all
    as it falls distant into the sea

    The room feels chilly as I turn on the lamp
    knowing as tired as I am, I will not sleep again tonight

  28. Walt Wojtanik


    Mama Kim had enough of him
    and tossed her rag doll like a javelin.
    Living on the edge is a hedged bet,
    you get what you deserve
    when you fail to draw the line!
    Fine! Dream on!
    But no more, no more,
    he’s moving out, no romance;
    the same old song and dance.
    No emotion is sweet when you make
    a mad dash for the Kar.
    What could have been love
    is now a permanent vacation;
    another last goodbye.
    We all fall down, crazy a it sounds,
    and people don’t want to miss a thing.
    Pandora’s Box unleashes some scary things;
    Old wedding rings, pony tails, and painted pink nails!
    Bruce Jenner seems shady.
    Dude looks like a lady!

    ***Not really news worthy, but seemed funny enough – HEADLINE: It’s All So Confusing (Bruce Jenner Still Wearing Wedding Ring (and ponytail) After Kris Jenner Split)

  29. Bruce Niedt

    This is one recent news item that I can’t stop thinking about, so I need to write about it.


    You said he disrespected you,
    your girlfriend’s three-year-old boy,
    so you beat and tortured him
    for days on end. You liked to vary
    your weapons of choice: a homemade whip,
    a curtain rod, a strip of aluminum.
    You slammed his head into the wall –
    the hole is still there. One day you beat him
    when he wouldn’t eat his breakfast,
    because his face was too swollen
    from your last beating. You strung him up
    by his heels and beat him again.
    You and his mother went out for pizza
    while he lay dying in his bed.
    When his battered body arrived
    in the ER, the nurses wept.

    Tonight I light a candle, with thousands
    of others, for him and so many children
    who are victims of a ruthless adult’s hand.
    But God help me from thinking
    what I wish upon you, lest I end up
    in the same place you will be.

    1. shellkaysm

      Scotty’s story has been plaguing me as well. I wholeheartedly feel your sentiment in the final lines. Your poem captures this disgraceful being, yet says to the now eternal little boy how much he is loved by all of us.

  30. jcmannone

    A Limerick

    After “Connecticut Girl, 7, Barred From School Over Ebola Fears: Family”
    By Pat Eaton-Robb, Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

    There once was a girl from Connecticut
    who went for a visit in West Africa
    when she returned to her school
    the local doctor did rule
    that she had to stay for home till it’s adequate

    Of her, all of the kids were afraid
    but it wasn’t because she had AIDS
    it was simply the thought
    that ebola she caught
    so she needed to stay far away

    But her father, p*ssed-off as can be,
    took them to court just to see
    that they were wrong and confused
    that she was fine, but abused
    and to sue for much money, his plea


  31. Sara McNulty

    The Blob

    Somebody disturbed the sleeping
    dragon, dared to wake him after
    many years. He shook
    his body, took a deep breath,
    and shot his fury upwards
    in red fire. The flames blew
    up from his lair, and poured
    hot liquid above ground
    on an island. People fled
    in fear their lives. Bubbly
    blobs, coated in black ash,
    like living things, spread
    across the land, wiping out
    homes, buildings, electrical
    wires. The dragon continues
    his rage, simmering at
    a slightly slower pace, yet
    they smell his poisonous breath.
    Somebody disturbed the sleeping dragon,
    better left in slumber.

  32. Mike

    divorces billionaire
    and the Trib
    wants us to care?
    Four pages of coverage!
    Are they joking?
    In a city where
    kids are like magnets
    for stray bullets?
    Where winter starts
    to descend on last
    year’s potholes?
    Where closing another
    neighborhood school
    is business as usual?
    I’m supposed to care
    if the prenup holds up?
    I’d summon more outrage
    maybe take to the streets
    holler and shake my fist,
    but the kids need supper
    and I have to catch the
    Blue Line in time to
    make my second job.

  33. m_deane

    In this ancient and war-worn country,
    Poems sink their sharp fangs deep into the hearts of women.
    Bitten, she had no choice but to write,
    The words burning hot and bright, like poison, through her blood.
    Beaten, bloodied, and refused a pen,
    She turned instead to cooking oil, but her words blaze still.

    (just read another interview of Eliza Griswold, and her book on Afghan landays)

  34. LaraEckener

    There are two news stories here. One from today (http://www.latimes.com/local/great-reads/la-me-c1-unclaimed-dead-20141109-story.html#page=1) and one from April (http://news.discovery.com/space/cherry-blossom-grown-from-space-seeds-a-little-weird-140411.htm).

    Like seeds,
    carefully folded into brown paper
    tied with greying yarn
    and stashed well away,
    the children wait.

    They bear out the hope
    of their curator, the hope
    of any seed ever to be
    pulled from a tight packet,
    the hope that someone will come
    to see them blossom.

    He takes meticulous note
    of his garden, and he waits.
    It will be a cold planting
    in a warm place. The shovels
    will have no trouble
    breaking the ground.
    When it’s all done the curator
    in his black jacket will mark off
    the names of the young.


    The names of those
    who blossomed too early
    and whose dormancy will be said
    to have been too late.

    But you are not the only seeds
    who have known true darkness.
    In Japan there is a cherry tree
    blooming early and strong,
    after having been sent up to orbit us
    in the cold darkness outside of what we know.

    Go freely, unclaimed seedlings.
    We commend you to the earth.
    And we wait, with eyes cast down,
    to see what will grow.

  35. sjmcken

    As recently reported in the news,
    raw strife and troubles rage across the sphere
    and suffering humans stand relief in queues
    yet no one speaks the looming issue here.
    Millenia we’ve lived the day’s foment,
    accepting as a fact of dawning’s light
    the chaos overlaid as ambient
    from men’s unending love affair with might.
    Untasked by nature with important work,
    their entertainments only go so far,
    then men upend the peace, unleash berserk,
    and swagger playing regent or hussar.
    Male culture needs a solemn overhaul;
    long past the need, their ethos does appall.

  36. grcran

    The good news is the joke doesn’t drag on and on (or maybe it just seems to…)

    On the African plains
    When considering
    Hunters on safari
    Or lions on the prowl…
    From the antelope point-of-view
    In terms of friends lost:
    No gnus is good news

    by gpr crane


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