2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

I don’t know if I need to point this out, but I will anyway. Please give the guest judges some loving each day. As with everyone else involved with this challenge, they’ve graciously volunteered their talent and–more importantly–their writing time to contribute to this project. Please check out their work and, if you like what you read, buy their books.

For today’s prompt, write a confession poem. For some poets, this may come naturally–confessing feelings, actions, and/or intentions. For others, it may be hard to get personal. That’s OK; take on another persona and write a “confession” for that person, animal, inanimate object, whatever.

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2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Get your poetry published!

Writing poetry is one thing; getting it published is something else. Take advantage of the best print resource for publishing your poetry today with the 2015 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer.

This annual reference includes new articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry, explanations of poetic forms, poet interviews, new poems, and hundreds of listings for book and chapbook publishers, print and online publications, contests and awards, and so much more–all for poets!

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Confession Poem:

“forever”

you are always a poet
others may not know it

but you should–& you could

change the world with your words
even if it’s just mine

or your own–don’t discount

the importance of reaching
within yourself to discover

all that’s there–i declare

you are always a poet
you are always a poet

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Today’s guest judge is…

Terri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of four collections of poetry, including In the Palms of Angels, winner of a Nautilus Book Award and other prizes, and A Lake of Light and Clouds (both from Press 53). Among her many honors and awards are the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and the Poetry for their Freedom Award.

Erickson’s work has appeared in the 2013 Poet’s Market, The Writer’s Almanac, American Life in Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, The Christian Science Monitor, North Carolina Literary Review, Verse Daily, and many others.

For more information, visit her website www.TerriKirbyErickson.com.

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Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

Poem Your Heart Out again!

The prompts from last year’s challenge along with the winning poem from each day ended up in an inspired little anthology titled Poem Your Heart Out. It was part prompt book, part poetry anthology, and part workbook, because each day includes a few pages for you to make your own contributions.

Anyway, the anthology worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year, and you can take advantage of a 20% discount from Words Dance by pre-ordering before May 1, 2015.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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831 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

  1. mmarie

    (In addition to the daily challenge, I’ll be using an all-encompassing theme of “self-acceptance” to link all my poems together this month)

    Day 13 – Confession

    In My Defense
    by M. Marie

    It was an accident.

    My feet were moving
    before
    my reasonable thoughts
    could catch up
    to them.

    Her face
    had thrown my thoughts
    into
    a tailspin.

    Before I knew it,
    I had set
    my stride to
    mirror
    hers…
    and unthinkingly
    set my path to
    align
    with hers.

    When she turned
    unexpectedly –
    when her eyes
    pinned me in place –
    I was caught.

    I froze:
    open-mouthed,
    lost for words,
    and caught reaching my hand
    – far, far too obviously! Oh –
    into that
    forbidden
    cookie jar.

    Shit!

    As her painted lips parted,
    my mind
    provided
    a frightening
    b o m b a r d m e n t
    of words accusations:

    Stalker
    Pervert

    Freak

    Alarmed,
    and embarrassed,
    I opened my mouth
    to intercept
    her accusations,
    intending to
    shield myself
    behind
    A WALL
    of excuses and alibis
    – or at the very least, apologies! –

    but instead

    I blurted out
    the worst thing
    I could have
    said.

    The truth
    spilled out in the
    crisp air between us.

    “I couldn’t stop looking at you.”

    ~*~

    (Tomorrow’s poem will be part 2!)

  2. JMKnott

    “Paranormal Confession”

    I investigate ghosts as a hobby.
    More accurately, I find out what’s
    really causing the bumps and thumps
    and orbs instead. I am a skeptic, and
    I have no problem taking my gadgets into
    someone’s creepy basement or attic and
    showing them that the sound is coming from
    that leaky old heat vent and not the Raggedy
    Ann doll with a missing eye that came from a
    haunted yard sale.

    That said, I’m still quite haunted by the ghosts
    of my past mistakes.

  3. Martina Dansereau

    CONFESSIONS FROM WITHIN THE WHIRLWIND OF MENTAL ILLNESS

    I.
    Depression has tried to be my best friend
    for five years. He has crumpled himself into the cracks
    of every moment and slipped into my shadow,
    tapping his fingers along my spine and stealing
    whatever colour he can find in the world, a stalker
    who swings between persuasion and threats.
    “Come on, darling, you know you want to give in.”
    “If you refuse, I’ll make you a ghost. I’ll turn your
    bones to dust and force them down your throat.”

    II.
    I like to hang myself whenever Loneliness
    drops by. Ghosts make better company than him,
    so I put a noose made of scarves around my neck
    and flirt with Death like baby, you’re my everything.
    If anyone asks, I pretend the bruises on my throat
    are hickies, stained onto my skin from the sweet lips
    of Self-destruction. I willingly fall into its arms
    and whisper, “Hold me tighter. Don’t let me go.
    You are all I have left now.”

    III.
    Dissociation becomes my mother.
    She envelopes me with the comfort of lilac-scented
    sheets fresh from the dryer, all softness and warmth
    and lullabies, and I let myself sleep while she keeps
    everyone else away with an ice-tipped spear.
    But one day I wake up vomiting and she says,
    “I took fifteen Advil tablets while you were gone.”
    I tell the toilet bowl that she betrayed me, but maybe
    she just knew all along what I really wanted.

    IV.
    Post-Traumatic Stress doesn’t come by very often,
    but when they do, it is with a bang. Bang. Bang.
    The gun goes off and they throw at me a haemorrhage
    of memories of that voice and those eyes and the swords
    he pushed down my throat and his hands in my hair.
    My pillow swallows my screams the way he smothered
    them and I cry until I am heaving dry and still he does not
    leave me. In the nightmares, his hands are soaked
    in red from the pieces of me he murdered.

    V.
    I have a new roommate. Her name is Anxiety
    or possibly Psychosis; no one seems to know for sure,
    or even want to know at all. She is She Who Must
    Not Be Named, she whose name is a bramble stuck
    in my mouth. With her she brings the demons who
    fold themselves into the walls to watch me day and night.
    Their voices are glass splinters embedding my mind—
    nothing is real no one is real kill yourself kill yourself
    or we’ll kill you
    —my thoughts bleed into puddles.

    VI.
    I stopped taking my meds today. Shhh, don’t tell.
    You see, my psychiatrist is trying to poison me.
    My power hums like electricity streaking through
    my veins and he wants to take it away from me,
    drain me, bleed me, hurt me. I was a god until I got
    lost. My mother is starting to get worried.
    I am fine. I am fine. I am fine. I am fine. But you
    might want to check on Sanity. I haven’t
    seen her in a while.

  4. AmyA

    A Confession

    Fiction is truer than truth.
    Poetry is condensed fiction,
    And truth:
    A double shot.
    Now the hard part:
    It’s all true.

    Every word.

    Amy Appleton

  5. Alemonlot

    An Homage to Encounter

    Is it strange to see a bluebird in the blueberry bush?
    That’s my confession after an afternoon bottle of wine.

    I think I should wear these lace gloves to every funeral.
    They’re like a song that brings you home.

    Then I see your ghost suddenly.
    My mouth tasting like burning celery.

    It is a bright somewhere between yellow and green.
    In that golden moment, I think about what Milosz said

    about the importance of the gesture of a dead man:
    I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

  6. Khara House

    First Kiss

    My first kiss was a fish kiss
    suffocating on a winter dock,
    so much water so close
    to save it from what’s to come.
    His heavy breath and tongue
    remind me of looking into the black
    pearled eyes of fish heads
    on grandmom’s kitchen table.
    I remember feeling breathless,
    a sickening empathy
    for all that remains of tender
    flaking flesh. The mouth puckers,
    the tongue rides an ivory shore
    where all desire writhes
    in wasted anticipation
    and slowly dies.

  7. MadPoet

    Among But Not Of

    Never made to feel welcome or wanted when visiting my father’s family.
    Among but not of.

    Alone and in the way when gathering with my mother’s family.
    Among but not of.

    Elementary school in classroom and playground taunted, teased and bullied.
    Among but not of.

    Junior High and High schoolmates snubbed, ignored and disregarded me.
    Among but not of.

    Co-workers, bosses and customers looked at but did not see me in the workplace.
    Among but not of.

    I finally accept always being on the outside looking in.
    Among but not of.

  8. Kaylast

    Love Confession

    I confess
    when we first met
    I thought you were boring
    but then you made me laugh
    So that I never stopped
    That’s the real reason
    we’re getting married.

  9. waplef

    Confession (I Confess)

    Thank you, for meeting me here
    This place has always brought, a peace from my despair
    I love the way, the river flows, towards the open stream
    As the water skip, against the pebbles, it plays a soothing melody
    The trees out here are like towers, in a city
    It’s like protective armors, covering all over me
    I can hear the leaves talking, as they rustle through the wind
    It’s as if I heard them say, “Welcome to the king”

    I am sure, you are aware, of all my inner pain
    And I am grateful, you were willing, to meet with me again
    For today, my heart is heavy, and I am bursting with disgrace
    But your presence here, it cloaks me, like soft satin, it embrace
    Still I need to verbally speak, about the raging storm within me
    And confess about this battle, which refuses to set me free
    How my soul long to do right, and bring glory to your name
    But every day the imperfect me, display my faults in shame

    Wish I could see, the features, of your face
    But it glows against the sunlight and reflects, God’s saving grace
    Your garment is the whitest white, my eyes have ever seen
    Oh yes. Now, I fully understand… how in you, I’ve been redeem
    I could feel the presence of your perfect love transcending
    Removing shackles from my pathway, I am totally transforming
    Like an eagle, my spirit takes flight and my burdens are all erase
    I must confess, I am truly blessed, for I am living in your grace

  10. Bartholomew Barker

    The CEO’s Testimony

    I confess,
    I bent the rules
    and occasionally broke
    them, when profit
    outweighed punishment.

    Those people,
    my so-called victims,
    had no business
    signing documents
    they didn’t understand.
    If they can’t get an MBA
    like honest folk,
    they shouldn’t be applying
    for a mortgage.

    I beg you,
    my very own legislators,
    slap my wrist,
    issue your fines
    but do so quickly.
    Wednesday taxes are due
    and I want a bigger deduction.

  11. JayGee2711

    The Rules of Mothers and Daughters

    What are the rules of mothers and daughters?
    Maybe I should have memorized them
    When you were baking cookies after school
    While I did my homework at the table

    Maybe I should have memorized them
    But I tried not to hear you when you cried
    While I did my homework at the table
    I liked to think of ways to make you smile

    But I tried not to hear you when you cried
    I brought you gifts of foxtail and clover
    I liked to think of ways to make you smile
    You always thought I was the perfect child

    I brought you gifts of foxtail and clover
    Me wishing our life was a TV show
    You always thought I was the perfect child
    Popeye so strong, Olive Oyl so pretty

    Me wishing our life was a TV show
    All you wanted was to be remembered
    Popeye so strong, Olive Oyl so pretty
    I was always seeking independence

    All you wanted was to be remembered
    I must confess I didn’t want to know
    I was always seeking independence
    I should have noticed you were growing old

    I must confess I didn’t want to know
    What are the rules of mothers and daughters?
    I should have noticed you were growing old
    When you were baking cookies after school.

    Julie Germain

  12. horselovernat

    A Social Life Confession

    I need new friends
    she said
    one day while looking
    out the window,
    studying the impersonal,
    cold rain drops
    as they pitter-patter
    onto sidewalks
    and heads full of
    dreams and
    pompous accusations.

    Maybe the full moon
    turns people into
    vipers,
    spitting poison
    onto those nearest them.
    They, too weak
    to run away,
    sit and take it,
    feel the venom
    slip
    and slide
    through their
    veins of thought.

    Isn’t it funny,
    she says,
    how it’s during
    the gray
    of a chilled November day
    that a black and white
    world
    becomes chock full
    of red.
    Not that it stays,
    for it gets washed away
    in the fading light
    of the sun
    called the
    moon.

    Natalie Gasper

  13. LeighSpencer

    Circumstantial

    I don’t know what the truth is
    anymore

    Guilt creeps in

    Rearranging facts, dates, and details
    never in my favor

    Mind before body
    long, long before

    That I remember

    A smile, an inside joke
    a chance meeting
    where chances were taken

    How long before
    it no longer matters
    when?

    Leaving that unanswered
    for another and yet another moment

    The new question –

    Would I do it again?

    Guilt gathers

    half-truths and whispers, building a solid case
    always against me

    Save your late nights
    Your scrutiny for detail
    Your shaved, moisturized legs

    Scrambling to assemble
    and justify the evidence

    I testify it is
    useless

    Because, if there is a this time,

    I will confess

  14. JocyMedina

    Confessions of a heart in search for magic

    I have pinned dolls,
    Thrown white flowers in the bath
    I have prayed to every single saint
    But the magic was inside.

    Looking for delight I went outside
    I craved a high, only to know, it’s not about the hill
    I look for special, just to find, special lives within

    I have to say,
    I went down faster than I could enjoy the thrill
    It was not love out there, it was the devil in all things.

    Then someone rolled the dice, and saw me frown
    Time started turning off a switch, against my will
    I guessed my luck had faded in my throne
    when someone played, and life sent me the bill.

    I must confess,
    there was magic in all things,
    But little did I know…
    If it doesn’t love you, it could kill.

    By Jocy Medina

  15. Lucretia_BezBawni_Amstell

    Confessional

    priests have always made me nervous
    I’m a shitty liar
    if there’s any decent purpose
    to my life it’s fire
    burning bridges, burning slowly
    truth that needs no bleaching
    what is burning on the surface
    doesn’t make me holy
    truth is something to aspire
    born of no teaching
    if you ever feel like preaching
    I’m the perfect choir
    ________________
    by Lucretia Amstell

  16. Delaina Miller

    Admission

    No longer a secret,
    the photos on my computer.
    So plump, so slender,
    sometimes obscure
    others bold in full sight
    the ivory skin that changes
    at different horizontal heights
    you may even think I’m a fool
    to be so taken
    with such a heavenly body
    I can only touch with a camera lens.
    Now your intimate photos
    of flowers will be next to my moons.

  17. Anya Padyam

    A wallflower is what I see
    When I think of me
    In my childish mind,
    There isn’t another way to be

    Blend in, I was told
    A lesson reinforced
    Never to stand out,
    Moderation was enforced.

    Now, leading my own
    I don’t snap out of it
    Living in hesitancy
    I scarcely subsist

  18. lawrencek

    CONFESSIONS

    Absolution
    before
    consummation
    dishes
    Ecclesiastical
    fodder.
    God
    humors
    ingrates,
    judges
    know-it-alls.
    Lustful
    manipulations
    negate
    offertories.
    Purgatory
    quotas
    reach
    sinful
    towers
    until
    vespers
    wail,
    experiencing
    Yahweh’s
    zoo.

  19. Bonniejean Alford

    WITHOUT A KISS
    a poem by bonniejean alford

    I fell in love with you.
    Yes, it I know to be true.
    And the way it died truly is sad.
    It only was because you treated me so bad.
    I wanted never to be alone,
    But once my love was shown,
    You away ran from me,
    So that you couldn’t see
    Just how much my love was deep;
    And that it’s something always I’ll keep.
    Now never you’ll know
    That I did love you so;
    And breaking is my heart,
    Because always we’ve been apart.
    And I suppose that this
    Is how it will be: Without a Kiss!

  20. Bonniejean Alford

    An unexpected moment
    a poem by bonniejean alford

    I began
    yester morning
    with no intention
    of meeting someone new.
    I expected
    a day like
    any other.
    But an unexpected moment
    changed my day’s intent;
    chills down my spine;
    butterflies in my stomach.
    A new feeling,
    forgotten,
    but never really known.
    Something real
    but self doubt still remains,
    but not near as strong
    as it once was felt.
    Reality,
    blending with dreams.
    Happiness,
    a possible horizon.
    Tomorrow awaits a smile.
    Simply from
    an unexpected moment.

  21. Diane Laboda

    Dashboard Confessions
    by Diane M. Laboda

    It couldn’t have come out of my mouth, no,
    I was driving and paying attention to the road
    wasn’t I?
    But I heard the words

    and they were mine only smaller.
    They told of times I wasn’t myself,
    and more myself than I have ever been.
    They told secrets, they feigned lies.

    They slipped between the cracks of
    propriety and decency and the hard-shell
    chocolate mask that protects
    the persona I want others to see.

    And then out of her mouth came secrets,
    deeply buried and worn threadbare
    with the wringing of hands
    and nit-picking of guilt.

    Words hung heavy in the air
    descending on the dashboard like frost,
    explanations were useless
    but photo-image residue lingered.

    One spoke of children she couldn’t have,
    the other spoke of men she couldn’t love—
    both sat singly in the distressed leather
    of age and ghost-fog of memories
    and trust.

  22. Diane Laboda

    A Murder of Crows
    by Diane M. Laboda

    What do I fear
    from the murder of crows—
    too much knowing, too many long pauses
    between the bruised sky and my bed?

    They fill the space with my breath,
    tortured and shallow, hardly worth
    remembering, but full of tragic notes
    laid open with pain.

    Their prompting makes me weep
    in my dreams, thrash about
    after ghosts on the ceiling that look
    a lot like my father.

    When they take flight
    they rob me of all sense, I no longer know
    how far I have to fall
    before I land in their claws.

    Once shaken off I wake in a sweat,
    shivering, though it’s not cold,
    muddled and hoping that daybreak
    will cleanse the blood from my wrists.

  23. Diane Laboda

    Steam
    by Diane M. Laboda

    I steamed his letter open, the one
    that came in today’s post, the one
    that smelled of jasmine and honey,
    the one I did not send.

    The flap of the envelope
    curled into a snarl, baiting me
    to read, choking me with
    my own intent.

    The curling words made it hard
    to read every one, so I read
    between the lines and saw
    the plot laid bare there.

    I saw amid the steam soaked
    letters a flame igniting, one
    which I could not put out, one
    whose embers would not die.

    I steamed his letter open, the one
    that would make him follow,
    make me obsolete, make me
    dissolve into mist.

  24. seingraham

    CONFESSING TO JUST LIVING MY LIFE

    “It is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission”
    There is some debate about to whom this quote
    should be attributed and I confess, I know not
    who said this, but it is a homily to which I apply
    my own life, believing one’s days too short
    to be skulking around, looking to please all,
    having to seek someone else’s okay before I do
    anything…If I should learn down the road
    that I’ve done something that offends you,
    I will apologize, I will.
    But I confess – I really do think it’s unlikely.
    I don’t go out of my way to do things
    that upset people, I don’t. I imagine, I am,
    like most people, just trying to live my life
    the best I can – getting along to get along,
    you know?

  25. fayina

    Confession

    Some days
    I decide to pretend
    we never met
    you never existed
    the sky, gray and damp with
    possibility,
    never blanketed us
    never covered such
    failed lovers

    Fae Spurrier

  26. azkbc

    I Confess

    You all have me
    wrapped around
    your little fingers.
    All six of you.

    I confess
    that your wishes
    are my commands,
    although Hunter
    and Daniel
    are definitely babblers
    and your world view
    is limited to clean diapers
    and blocks. K-Nex
    and books have done
    just fine for Connor
    and Peter. I bought a super bike,
    purple, just last week
    for Tony
    and made a special afghan
    in purple and forest green
    for Mersedees.

    Do you know that
    purple is my favorite color, too?

    But all of you –
    don’t tell your parents.
    Let’s keep this our little secret.

  27. MarieJason

    AT THE CONFESSIONAL

    The robed impostor wanted to believe
    His newly donned profession. He needed
    The miracle just as much as the folks
    Seated behind the screen. The sins he
    Listened to earlier got to his funny bone
    While others sounded like great grapevine
    Material. But he weighed and measured
    Each, absolving them as best he could
    In placebo effect speech that he doled
    Out from his real world experience, for
    He had no sacerdotal training. He only
    Held the Bible as a prop to feed his
    Current cover as he waits for Mission’s
    completion. Still, he puts in small
    Prayers each morning to the statues
    Around, hoping they’ll grant him
    Release. He aint’ no angel, but he’s
    Not a hardline viper disciple, so he
    Hopes for a new grant on life as
    He performs small deeds of goodness
    That statues around the chapel take
    Note of in reverential, tranquil secrecy.

  28. lyngralee

    I’ve killed you
    Uncountable times
    In my mind.

    Sometimes quick. painless.
    Sometimes so very slowly
    And overly peppered with
    Torture and tears.

    Haven’t you killed me, too?
    At least once?
    Maybe you don’t love me
    Enough.

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