2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

I have to admit: I was more than a little worried about yesterday’s poem. But it looks like most people survived it. In fact, there were some incredibly tight pieces that emerged yesterday. Let’s keep it rolling today.

For today’s prompt, write an authority poem. Maybe you are an authority on something or know someone who is (or who thinks he or she is). Maybe you respect authority, or maybe not so much. Maybe you are on the run from the authorities, in which case I can only say good luck, but this blog probably isn’t the best hiding place–especially with so many folks poeming away.


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This super-sized kit includes 4 e-books, 3 paperback books, 7 tutorials, and much more! In fact, this kit covers everything from prompts to poetic forms and from revising poems to getting them published.

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Here’s my attempt at an Authority Poem:

“star wars authority”

i’m no star wars authority but
i can spot a wampa & rancor
in a crowded convention center

so of course i have complicated
feelings when it comes to george lucas
i mean on one hand he created

the greatest space trilogy ever
but on the other hand he somehow
succumbed to the very same dark side

his characters always fought against
perhaps knowing & then forgetting
the extreme power of the dark side

like that scene with princess leia &
grand moff tarkin & he says he won’t
blow up alderaan if she reveals

the location of the rebel base
& when she does he has the death star
blow her home planet up anyway

it is kind of exactly like that


Today’s guest judge is…

Dorianne Laux (photo by John Campbell)

Dorianne Laux (photo by John Campbell)

Dorianne Laux

Dorianne Laux is the author of five collections, including The Book of Men (winner of The Paterson Prize), Facts About the Moon (winner of The Oregon Book Award), Awake, What We Carry (finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award), and Smoke, as well as two fine small press editions: Superman: The Chapbook and Dark Charms, both from Red Dragonfly Press.

Laux is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Among her awards are two Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Learn more at DorianneLaux.net.


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.


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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775 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

  1. josephdaniel

    I’m No Authority

    I’m no authority on music
    but I do have a stake in it all
    It puts the bounce in my booty
    When I’m shaking it down the hall
    Everyone has an opinion
    For what it’s worth,
    I think I’ll express mine
    Time to drop the needle down
    and let it all unwind

    The Rolling Stones live in concert
    are simply the best that you’ll see
    No one plays rockin’ piano
    like the one and only Jerry Lee
    Elvis is truly an idol
    Songs of the South
    are what set me free
    The Beatles, no one can compare to
    for the rest of eternity
    I vividly remember
    my John Denver concert
    It brings back special memories
    I’m forever lost in in the land of nostalgia
    and that’s perfectly fine with me

  2. Shaziane

    They gave it to him

    Said he was set for it
    Because he had waited
    Said he would be perfect
    Because he knew the value
    Of money
    Said his knowledge
    Was the authority
    On running a country

    I said
    You should dread him
    His dismissive tone
    Of comrades, of people
    Whose ideas are not his own

    They elected him
    Stood in lines before sunrise
    Before the doors opened
    Before the gates swung
    They stood for him
    They dirtied their hands for him
    So that he could give them
    Their penance, their due

    They gave him the authority

    To break their backs
    They though he’d wash them
    But he hasn’t
    To strip them of their rights
    They thought he would empower them
    But he hasn’t
    To double their debts
    They thought he’d remove them
    But he hasn’t

    Backs broken
    Rights removed
    Debts doubled
    And still they believe
    In his authority

    And still
    He brings armies from abroad
    This is to build
    Our economy

    And the people wait
    Ignorant of the dilemma
    Ignorant of the coming war
    Ignorant that they are leaving

    They gave it to him
    The youngest, the most valiant
    They said

    When I rise to leave
    I pray my authority to
    Is still my own
    Pray with me too

    (C) Shaziane 2015

  3. uvr

    The look on your face
    gave you away
    The way you rearranged
    the cutlery
    just a touch askew

    Then like a deluge
    the apologies flowed
    in your rush to rid yourself
    of the guilt
    almost twisting your tongue
    into knots of regret —
    “I’m sorry”
    “you deserve better”
    “you’ll find someone
    who will love you
    the way you should be loved”
    “forgive me”
    “forget me” —

    I listened in silence
    until you pleaded
    “say something”
    And I said,
    “You don’t have the authority
    to tell me what to do”

  4. Connie Peters

    Just Say the Word

    The Centurion asked Jesus
    to heal his servant, saying,
    “I, too, am a man of authority.
    I say to my servants,
    ‘Go here,’ and they go.
    ‘Do this’ and they do it.
    Just say the word,
    and my servant will be healed.”

    Jesus marveled at the man’s faith
    and healed the servant
    by just saying the word.
    Just say the word, Lord,
    I put my trust in You.
    Just say the word, Lord,
    You will see me through.
    Just say the word, Lord.

  5. kmmallegro

    Head of Surgery

    The power we vested in your
    manicured hands:
    to save.

    My mother’s emptied
    breasts hung
    like apologies.

    Jaunty, so assured of self,
    you took a quick look
    at your precision-clean
    your decision:
    she is healed.

    Did you not wonder
    why there were no
    in the clean magazined room?
    There was just the sound of her
    infected body
    to retch.

    I think
    that if you’d scrubbed
    your knives
    as devoutly
    as your name
    you might have seen her there.
    Had you not missed
    the swish
    of Hippocrates’ robe
    in terror
    might not have seen
    the blades of the MedEvac helicopter
    taking her away in chaos
    three days later.

    In the end
    cancer proved
    not nearly so deadly
    as the arrogance
    you’d earned
    by degrees.

    -Kris Miller, 4/19/15

  6. Summerspoet


    Sloggerhumps are smelly creatures,
    chubby, sloppy, lazy, and mean.
    They sprawl in swamps and bogs
    and quags, sucking frog eggs
    through hollow reeds, dangling

    small fish from their ears.
    With skin as bumpy as tree bark
    yet as slick as oil or soap,
    they slide and slip in the shallows
    munching on swamp weed,

    snakes and dragonflies.
    While they enjoy the taste
    of human flesh, they care not
    for human bones, so when
    a man thing steps to close

    they spit gobs of bog and phlegm,
    sloshing unlucky travellers
    with a sticky, stinky splat.
    Like leprechauns, however,
    they do hide a bit of treasure,

    but not near rainbows
    in black metal pots. Sloggerhumps
    stuff their bellybuttons with bits
    of wealth and one can filch
    each richly morsel if one dares

    to venture close, close enough
    to sway the beast with a sweetly
    whispered lullaby, sway it into sleep,
    that is, for what can’t be swiped
    from the naval of a snoring Sloggerhump.

    S. Thomas Summers

  7. hannahmarie

    Absolute Monarchy

    I never granted you permission to rule
    over me; to reign folded velvet
    majesty down around my shoulders,
    brushing soft, but bruising as the ancient
    brick used to build this tower where I’m held.
    Each jewel in your crown was seized without warrant
    from the glint in my eyes. I bow deep
    to your self appointed sovereignty;
    kissing your feet, breathing in your same air-
    it reeks of cowardice and impending revolution.
    My king.

  8. PeanuttyO

    Your Authority

    Dearly beloved
    We are gathered
    here, today
    to witness this thing
    called life

    Life breathed into you
    marking time with
    heartbeats and moments
    Life that shapes
    your existence
    with memories
    both good and bad

    The good raise you
    and the bad destroy
    your will you trust
    The bad tower over
    the good casting
    dark shadows
    on your life

    By the power vested
    to me, arm chair prophet
    to you, the star
    I grant you the authority
    to let go, to breathe
    to live and love

    I grant you the authority
    to not allow your past
    to interfere with your future
    The authority to love all
    who accept you for you
    The authority to turn away
    from those who tear you down

    You have the authority
    to live, to be you
    to love and be loved

    You take my breath away
    because authority
    is beautiful
    on you

  9. writinglife16


    We gathered together.
    to write thank-you cards to those
    who had consoled you after
    your daughter’s death.
    As we gathered together
    and organized an assembly
    line to do the cards,
    we got started.
    Card boxes opened.
    Envelopes addressed.
    Stamps put on.
    Things were moving along.
    Then you yelled at us to stop.
    Said we needed to have a plan.
    And you were going to be in charge.
    A pause and then
    the assembly line started
    humming again.
    As we gathered together,
    we got the cards done.
    And you were still in charge.

  10. kelly letky

    miss millicent’s guide to being yellow

    sip sunshine on sundays and wednesdays

    marry the sky twice every morning

    root for misty maudlin rain

    while kissing thunder behind brooding cumulus

    dance only with cobalt blue butterflies

    (they will always complement your dress)

    allow the wind to be your daily stylist

    stand tall in the presence of cold shoulders

    practice the art of being dormant

    scream with joy when the sun promises to hold you

    become best friends with everyone named green

    (they will all attend your wedding)

    sell all your white dreams and buried memories

    whisper grace to the stars that burn your name

    -Kelly Letky

    1. Linda Voit

      I hope you don’t mind that I plan to say that I “allow wind to be (my) daily stylist” when explaining my hair. Great line among many others. Lovely!

  11. Monique

    It’s About Power

    It’s not about truth
    It’s about image.
    It’s not about details
    It’s about ideas
    It’s not about morals
    It’s about “being okay”
    Being in politics isn’t about right
    And it’s not about wrong
    It’s about power.

  12. PKP


    Standing now side by side in this new way
    she with head still stubbly shorn an infant
    owl blinking -he with skin hanging from his
    hulking frame – their skeletal fingers inter-
    twined – no marriage this would have been
    allowed before -but before was buried under
    boots –burned in acrid ash rising repeatedly –
    again, again, again, surreally insanely – still –
    until the gates opened and they tumbled out –
    here to clean water – a wash – a meal – to this
    street on this morning – unbearded rabbi thinly
    singing sweet remembered words -in this cobbled
    crumbled side-street, their ark – the spread of sky –
    a white sheet thrown from a window by unseen hands –
    they inhale in still breathless wonder-stretch their toes
    in shoes – she feels his heart beating in her finger-tips and
    when the word ‘authority’ is intoned – she turns from flashes
    of storm boots and snarls of shepherd dogs, rattle-cattle cars
    and forever unspeakable violation and rewrites authority now
    here – with each breathed breath –belly bulge- stretching against
    her thin clean dress –the banish atrocity of authority begun – no hint
    of stumble in stalwart reclamation of self and future – beyond
    the cool morning of crumbled streets the shine of hot sun spills
    as honey on their heads – spills on shoulders straightened- these
    children of a promised land –standing together sacred remembrance
    of all that was – stirring in innocence to be born – legacies of light –re-
    writing authority in the sparkling sand of time to be – seal this, their vow –
    from crumbling street – there and then, here and now – wherever – forever –
    in clear voice
    they do

  13. mariahewilson

    I’m No Authority

    I’ve written a million failed poems.
    Crumpled drafts, filled waste-baskets,
    murdered pretty thoughts
    trying to express them.
    I’ve ventured to dark places
    no nice person would be seen.
    Yet still they ask, teach me.
    Teach me to write a poem.
    They pretend I’m an expert
    but I have written
    a million failed poems.

  14. DanielR


    Your video doesn’t tell the story of what happened and what didn’t
    it captures a headline that sells ad space on a website and ratings on TV.
    My lips touched my wife’s last night and caressed my daughter’s hair
    before I left for work—maybe for a final time
    because every time I dress in blues and holster my gun I risk everything.
    I once was admired and appreciated, respected as an authority figure
    thought of as someone you’d like your kid to be
    but now it seems everyone has an opinion on how I’m doing my job wrong
    though none of them have strolled the beat or been part of the chaos in the street.
    My father taught me never to judge others unless I walked a mile in their shoes
    and I believe it was Jesus who said, “Let those without sin cast the first stone”
    seems there are a lot of self-righteous saints these days who have all the answers
    problem is they don’t seem to understand the questions.
    But don’t worry, I’ll be here when your call comes in at three a.m.
    an intruder in your home or your fifteen-year-old is nowhere to be found
    and I’ll do my job the best I can because that’s all I know to do
    praying that I’m never forced into a split-second decision
    that makes me a spectacle for critics and second-guessers.

    Daniel Roessler

    1. Amaria

      Love your poem. Despite what is shown in the media there are good cops out there who do a job very few of us could ever do. Unfortunately, the few who do things that are not honorable make it hard on everyone else. That is what I try to portray in my own poem today.

  15. Ravyne

    The Waning of Authority
    (senryu series)

    I know things you don’t
    hold dominion over life
    I am a mother

    thrice birthed from my womb
    these yougins will know respect
    I am their mother

    highly educated
    their roots will run deep with me
    I am still mother

    children of their own
    they have only time for them
    no longer mother

    I know things you don’t
    no one listens to me now
    I, just grandmother

    ~Lori Carlson~

  16. Linda Voit

    The Quality of a Poem

    Even the U.S. Poet Laureate
    is not the authority
    on the quality of a poem.
    There is no poem queen
    or pope to make a definitive call,
    and don’t look to the academics
    of poetry to agree. The beauty
    and nemesis of poetry
    is that its quality
    is defined in the narrow
    moment of a Sunday afternoon
    when a reader, lying
    on a couch in the warm sun,
    finishes the last word and feels
    her breath catch as the poem,
    now tighter in her hand, drops
    to her lap.

    Linda Voit

  17. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    He Came Wanting

    Softly woven
    in discarded
    string and grass,
    he hides
    his hungry babies,
    and I hear him
    chattering angrily
    through the glass,
    yet I have no time,
    no stale bread
    to toss his way.

    My thoughts
    are tied
    to her clinic,
    those time gorging
    IV drips,
    and no amount
    of banging
    my head
    against the glass
    can coax cancer
    from her veins
    and hand her
    that small cracker,
    that extra day,
    that God refused
    to give.

    1. writinglife16

      You have expressed the sadness and frustration of this situation eloquently. Having lived through it and never able at write about it(yet?), I admire this.

  18. annell

    Faded Memories

    my world seems askew      the flowers have fallen from the pot

    hard edged moments too real      to forget

    nightmares are never sanguinary…      just sad

    i reach for your furry absence      you are but a memory

    i am pulled into your cage of sorrow      my legs are not steady

    often i am a guest      in an unhappy guesthouse

    while the color behind the color is crimson      the color of my heart

    my world is often blue      no longer bright

    faded into memories of      you

    April 18, 2015

    Note: I am an authority in the nature of loss and grief. Life has chosen to instruct me in the nature of a broken heart. No more than another perhaps, as we all suffer loss. It is just that the losses I have suffered have been particularly grievous, and they have been my own.

    1. Linda Voit

      You’ve captured so many of the moments of grief. I particularly like “my legs are not steady” as I recall that odd and unexpected feeling in particular.

  19. josephdaniel

    The Ultimate Authority

    There is only One
    who is above the rest
    For you and I
    Life’s a test

    (I felt inspired after just listening to Man of God by Neil Diamond)

        1. josephdaniel

          Thanks Marie. I admire your work very much. I remember you from the early days of this challenge (but can’t remember the handle I used at that time:)

    1. Marie Elena

      Wish I could figure out how to format my poems out here. Some do a lovely job. I’d like to use italics and bold and spacing for a better look and impact. I’ve tried using the codes in the past, but with no success.

    2. Ravyne

      this is brilliant, Marie Elena… when using the tags, you have to remember to close them with a slash for instance if you open a tag using the less than/greater than signs, like b for bold, you have to close it at the end of the bolded word with a /b, again using the less than/greater than signs. The same goes for i for italics. I hope that makes sense. As for spacing, I still haven’t figured that out.

  20. Kyusu

    How to submit your claim to authority

    is a quality
    that authors have.

    To apply for your authority
    fill in any blank page
    with words.

    Which words you choose,
    their order, and where the lines break,
    is entirely up to you.

    There is no need
    to tick any boxes or keep
    within the margins.

    Claim your authority
    in this way, simply by the act
    of writing.

    Alison Williams

  21. sppeac1987

    The Air of Authority

    An authority hangs in the air
    Dictating how we should act,
    Telling us what rags to wear,
    We signed its spectral contract.

    It encases us in sensible skin,
    Perhaps a tasteful tattoo or two
    It may permit, if it speak no sin
    Or breathe any dreaded taboo.

    It weighs down us, the worry
    That we may break its laws,
    It does so fire us into a flurry
    Without any corporeal cause.

    Unusual utterances tutted at,
    All oddness is overpowered
    By those with the thinking hats
    The worst kind of coward.

    We may still yet break free,
    Crush the calm and collected
    And voice our own decree
    ‘Go against what is expected’.

    Passion is but the only poison
    That can fell this cruel beast.
    Once engulfed in emotion,
    Its hold over us is ceased.

  22. Kimmy Sophia


    My father could be scary,
    but I trusted him.
    I was conditioned —
    trained compliance.
    Later with you
    I was devoted,
    I trusted,
    I believed,
    I was miserable.
    There’s a lot of power
    in “God-given authority”
    to the heart of a believer.
    So much booga booga.
    Fear and trembling.
    Guilt and worry.
    You abused your authority
    now everything is crumbling.
    Your road to good intentions
    was paved with hell.
    I kept the baby.
    I dumped your bathwater.
    (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

  23. Misky

    Time with Comfy Cushions

    Being ill is a delightful way
    to capture idle time –
    catch up reading,
    maybe watch a movie,
    and if not for the fact
    of suffering ill, sickness
    could be half there to fun.
    But I know so little
    of being ill, as I am
    an authority on convalescence.


    (c) by Misky Braendeholm

  24. Pedro Poitevin

    guilty until proven dead

    After a line in Danez Smith’s
    alternate names for black boys

    A black man was gunned down because he fled.
    (The lone star sparkled red and blue today.)
    His name was guilty until proven dead.

    Inflections matter on Fox News. They spread
    the checkered item but they angle gray:
    “A black man was gunned down because he fled.

    A streak of white hair on the talking head
    distracts me from his blather. Won’t he say
    this man was guilty until proven dead?

    The handcuffs came on promptly as he bled.
    (The links and double locks are here to stay.)
    A black man was gunned down because he fled

    the cop who’d later find a way to shed
    a gun next to his body to convey
    this man was guilty until proven dead.

    As long as we keep feeding her the thread,
    Blind Justice will continue to crochet.
    A black man was gunned down because he fled.
    His name was guilty until proven dead.

    1. Marie Elena

      De Miller Jackson pointed me in your direction, to read “Three Gone.” I checked it out via the search tool. Quite impressive! I’ve committed to senryu this month, but my real love is writing sonnets. They just take me a good long time to write.

      This piece also is very well done. Hoping to catch more of you here.

      1. Pedro Poitevin

        Thank you, Marie Elena, and thank you, De Miller Jackson, too. Yesterday’s prompt was my favorite (I’m a fan of Christian Bök), so I put special effort into it. I put all my effort on the other sonnet with palindromic rhymes, though (one called “Two letters rebel”), and after posting it on Twitter discovered that Bök himself retweeted it, so I’m already happy about having joined this challenge! I’m enjoying reading other poets. (If I don’t comment more, it’s because I have a three-month old at home.)

        I have a habit, it seems, of not copying my poems correctly into the board: this time around, the italics on the sixth line should have started with “because” not “down.” Oh well…

        Thank you also to the others here who have commented on my poem. It’s a wonderful space, this board: so much encouragement. Humbled and happy to be a part of it,


  25. josephdaniel

    King of the Hill

    Their stature
    in the neighbourhood
    was undeniable
    They were simply better
    than the rest
    They were the authority
    on half-baked
    delusions of grandeur
    No one bothered
    to keep up with them
    We only just stopped
    and stared
    and waited for their empire
    to crumble
    They were the Joneses
    after all
    The upper crust…

    until the foreclosure notice

    1. Linda Voit

      Indeed! Reminded me of the movie “The Joneses” which is based on the idea that a company actually paid people to be “families” in affluent neighborhoods to get others to purchase products.

  26. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Meddling Minion

    As soon as jargon springs forth,
    these tiny people become expert!
    “Me do,” their favorite phrase,
    until, frustrated, they throw a fit.

    At five, they jive with the best,
    telling tall tales by the swings,
    captivating young and old
    with their sudden knowing of all.

    In teen time, their expertise
    is rapidly on the rise.
    Nothing is beyond their purview!
    Wizards of unfounded wisdom, all!

  27. roelf


    When authority loose control
    a Majority overwelhm a minority
    Due to breed and and greed
    a Country gets ruined complete

    When authority loose control
    Thugs and thieves take over
    Create a rainbow nation
    To please the worlds insight

    When authority loose control
    They loose the wealth of a strong country
    To be waisted to zero by greed
    On supercars and boose galore

    When authority loose control
    Farmers gets murdered for their land
    Shops get looted for their supplys
    Foreigners gets burnt alive

    When authority loose control
    Freedom of expression is removed
    News papers television and radio is controlled
    Murder,rape, corruption is the order of the day

    When authority loose control
    The country and its minority suffers the most
    Presidents and ministers are above the law
    They live in superwealth and riches

    When authority loose control
    Majority wipes out minority
    All loose out in the end
    Only GOD that can defend.

  28. Undrtakr

    I’m No Authority

    They call me the Authority
    Because I’ve published a few
    How does that qualify me
    To be the best at what we do

    There’s so many that are greater
    They’re just on realized
    Their authority isn’t honoured
    As they haven’t been publicized.

  29. Margot Suydam


    What I know

    No longer mere comfort
    sleepers still tucked in

    under their blankets

    suckling on dreams
    of their mothers

    Warm peat bog smells
    have gone silent

    the kitchen rattles
    hearth and kettle fume

    Gray steals the red
    of the dawn

    rips through blue hue

    Hope charred on a stick
    a tumor I can’t remove

    I wrench my neck

    as if I could hear
    someone listening.

  30. Melissa Hager

    “What I Know”

    What I know is Jesus Christ is my savior.
    I must say this first and He has nothing
    to smile about. I know someone else’s sin
    is not my own; the last thing God wants me
    to do is His job to discern someone’s behavior.

    I know a glass of wine winds the day
    down perfectly; a cup of joe revs morning
    to get the day up and running. I know
    it is good to get lost for it is the journey-
    not necessarily the destination – I seek.

    I know literacy in any form gives a person
    the chance to be smart, empathetic,
    entertained. Reading gives me many lives
    to live. Writing, however, gives that little
    voice inside my head, life.

    What I know is my future involves
    a screen, but a TV will suck life out
    of my brain cells. I must think outside
    the box, out of the wallet. Money
    will never write a poem, a novel, or a song.

    I know in a relationship united we will stand,
    divided we will fall. Marriage is not led
    by either side; we became one the day
    we said “I do.” Children are our future –
    if we survive the teenage years to have one.

    I know I came from dust, and unto dust
    I will return. Some days are delightful;
    some an exercise in futility. But as the bard
    Brodsky once said, “There is no embrace
    in this world that won’t finally unclasp.”

  31. PressOn


    When you make a mistake with the boss
    that results in a failure or loss,
    it is sure as the slide
    of the oncoming tide
    that the boss will be bossily cross.

    William Preston

  32. Gwyvian

    Dreamer’s encounter

    She speaks with authority, silver in her hair
    when she speaks of the moonlit masterpiece
    woven in the air: her voice is a soothing mist
    and her touch is a gentle kiss, but what more
    can a spirit be than an authority on dreams?

    April 19, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  33. Gwyvian

    Revolution control

    Something terrible wafts in the air: a revolution
    with meaning or merely an excuse for violence?
    hearts exacting their price from one another,
    perhaps an illness spread among the people; for
    the cadence is wrong, the justice is fraught
    the crowd decides wrong from right, and
    loses sight of all they’ve fought for; into the fray
    comes the mind behind the cogs: the true blood
    of renewal to pay the cost, and he is named savior,
    a modern warrior – revolution it is! we have
    a leader…

    he come to exact justice,
    and in his grasp is vengeance;
    for whoever is righteous,
    he accepts repentance…

    The air is thick with writhing feeling, anger
    and hatred seeping forth: our savior wonders
    at the fervor of the crowd, but just then
    something happens that they never meant: what
    have the authorities caused us? blood on our hands
    because they oppress us, they’ve forced our action;
    yet seeing the innocent slain in haste, he says we
    cannot allow such things in our midst: cull
    the wrongdoers, bring them to justice! and we obey;
    for our savior has come to free us of chains,
    our shackles ring loud – but then it happened again…

    he comes to be our guidance,
    a blazing flame of radiance;
    he has the answers,
    he is our defiance!

    The savior is in turmoil, the land is sewn
    with the seeds of chaos, there is no structure
    to what he has wrought – only uncontrolled thought;
    the good men and women lie low, while the rest
    follow heedlessly, sometimes they are cruel, or
    punish needlessly: the savior needs control,
    the savior must have force – thus is the new order
    born to bring light again unto the unholy—
    but ravaged by the pangs of hunger, stricken
    from disease: the people only want deliverance,
    and no longer the repentance he offers…

    order must be had, structure
    and control; authority
    propagates in the swamp of
    misguided souls…

    Revolution rattles its cage feebly, wondering
    where all the sense fled to; people demanding
    freedom and reign, while destroying the
    foundations of flourishing – we are free,
    we are hungry and desperate to leave; we grieve
    for all we’ve lost, but seethe as angry beasts still—
    there is no amount of blood that sates our appetite,
    no amount of justification to tell us what’s right;
    the authority of all must die, lest we be enslaved—
    down with the savior! for we have been

    April 19, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  34. Pedro Poitevin

    Deus Absconditus

    He’s lying at the margins of the lines
    that vividly contain what isn’t there,
    nor anywhere beyond what he confines
    within that frame of frames designed to snare
    us into thinking that he’s everywhere:
    in every symbol and in every sign
    within each word and line. His blankest stare
    would not dissuade believers, who resign
    themselves to doubting yet cannot renounce
    their wishful confidence in the design.
    He’s at the margins, where the few pronounce
    him dead or claim his work is in decline.
    He doesn’t seem to mind. He has a quaint
    and enigmatic habit of restraint.

  35. mzanemcclellan

    “By the Authority Vested”

    Who grants
    Vested in thee?
    what cannot be
    given back,
    if mistakenly,
    standing on
    moral ground,
    unarmed, dead bodies
    strewn around.
    Granted power,
    the right.
    Constitutional, Unionized,
    Legal, pharmaceutical
    from public
    We become
    society, inured is
    by so much violence,
    it’s hard to
    keep facts straight.
    Another one?
    Botched executions
    by the state.
    International conflicts
    at alarming rate.
    Global expansion
    allowing for
    of our

    M. Zane McClellan

  36. Fabelhaft


    Stop me from
    shaking hands
    with chaos,
    Catch me
    before I cloak
    myself from the
    Burn my prints
    and I’ll make new
    Gun down my friends
    and they’ll be
    my enemies,
    Protect your virtue
    and you’ll fall
    to doom,
    Trick me into a trap,
    You’ll trip into
    Sneak your way
    into the lair,
    be greeted with
    bones and crosses,
    No superhero can
    save this Gotham,
    No money can
    buy you lives,
    Its just you and
    the savior
    of mankind.

    Katyayni Ganesan

  37. Fabelhaft


    They tell me to
    zip-line from
    levels of my life,
    They make me jump
    from the cliffs of trouble,
    They turn the time
    when I sneak around,
    They pat me on the back
    when I overcome those fears,
    They don’t make me learn
    just ‘trial and error’,
    They scold me when I fail
    to override boring rules,
    They smile in appreciation
    after I win the race of deadlines,
    They force me to face
    and fight dilemmas,
    They shake me awake
    from deaf dreams,
    But let me sleep
    when I dream of dreams,
    They are my authority,
    My authority is

    Katyayni Ganesan

  38. donaldillich

    Architect of Knowledge
    by Donald Illich

    The expert suspends his knowledge
    over your question and waits to see
    if it falls down. He assembles bridges
    in the air, answering what is Bolivia’s
    top agricultural crop, naming the first
    ten presidents, knowing the pop band
    that performed “Safety Dance”; each
    shakes a little but manages to stay up.
    Everyone applauds, and the expert
    tests himself again and again, so he
    knows he can build a span over any flood
    that someone offers him, so no one
    drowns. In fact, they are enlightened,
    and feel like they’re experts themselves.
    Then comes the challenge he hoped for,
    being chosen to participate on Jeopardy.
    He practices buzzing, sees his opponents
    as ringing explosives around his bridges,
    trying to knock them down before
    they’re finished. On the show he crosses
    huge oceans, devises interstellar Golden
    Gates, watches them increase, score.
    He is confident in Final Jeopardy,
    betting all his points on the topic, “Famous
    Bridges.” He smiles at the audience,
    smug that he can answer it. “This was
    the very first steel suspension bridge.”
    He starts to write Brooklyn, but then doubts
    arise. Wasn’t there one over Niagara, too?
    Or maybe the Ohio River? Was the answer
    too simple? Or was it completely a trick?
    When he goes with Ohio, he feels like it’s
    not made strong enough, that it’s snapping.
    Quickly, the others guess wrong, and he tries
    to grin, but feels sickly, as if he had the plague.
    “What is Brooklyn?” Trebek says. Suddenly
    the expert feels like the dumbest man
    on earth. He couldn’t design a bridge
    for anyone. The last one collapsed, left
    him drowning, with no one to pick him up.
    He shakes the hands of other contestants,
    imagines the life jacket that won’t come,
    the Coast Guard that is busy elsewhere.

  39. uvr

    Mom, I need 100 bucks today
    But I gave you some just yesterday
    I spent it all, I don’t know how
    Well, I can’t give you any more just now

    Mom, you always say you don’t have any
    I’ve told you before it’s hard to earn money
    What’s my teacher going to say?
    You’ll just have to wait till pay day

    Mom, my teacher will be very annoyed
    Maybe he will melt if you cried
    Should I just ask for some from dad
    You never talk to him, he’s going to be mad

    Mom, I’ve got to go, I’m getting late
    I’ll give it to you at a later date
    I don’t think my teacher’s going to wait
    Can you ask him for a rebate?

    Mom, I also need a new iPad
    What’s the matter with the one you had?
    It’s become very old and slow
    You think it’s a bit like me, I know

    God, Mom, you’re impossible
    I know you think I’m horrible
    Well, you said that, not me
    Bye, and I love you too, honey

    Uma Venkatraman

  40. Roxanna Watrous

    Parental Authority

    Your words turned air to dust
    but, if you must
    drive your points through me sweetly.
    Though it’s unjust
    to stab with future I can’t see.

    Then you said,

    “Survival has its cost.
    Your talent isn’t lost,
    but strapped behind in the back seat.
    Career is boss
    so let it steer
    and success is up the street.”

    “But,” I said

    “Please don’t pour me in your mold
    to form a cog in the machine
    spinning in one place
    to power someone else’s dream”

    “I’ll cast my own part–
    star in my careen
    driven by fire
    to burn curtains of your scene.”

    “Through smoke you’ll finally see
    the vision in me
    that I need to create
    like you need to breath.”

    You took a moment to adjust
    then shook the dust
    to cloud the future I could see.
    But, if you must,
    speak until I can’t breath.

  41. Caitix


    Show me your authority
    Show me
    I’m not going anywhere with you, man
    Show me the paper in your hand
    Show me

    Sir, I don’t think you understand
    I’ll read your rights to you once again
    You must submit to what I demand
    I am authority

    If you please, I pay your wage
    I’ve been cooperative at every stage
    I’m not drunk, just middle age
    So, show me

    I’ll make this as easy as I can
    If you can’t agree, step in the van
    I’m arresting you, take you downtown
    I’ll have my buddies all around
    We are Authority

  42. Jo

    Broken Brain

    The seizures
    three days
    after I was

    The white coated
    and prodding
    my tiny,
    baby body,
    decided I had
    organic brain
    damage and
    that my future
    was not very

    even with all
    their fancy
    and wise brains,
    they were

    I didn’t have
    brain damage,
    I actually had
    a very wise

    It already knew
    at three
    days old
    that my
    I was dead
    and so
    I tried
    to seize
    and die,
    to begin life
    a different
    a different
    a different

    It didn’t work
    but no one
    can tell
    me that
    it wasn’t

    Jo Aylard

  43. Pepe Batbon


    the nuns spoke with authority
    the Huns killed with authority
    my grandfather used to say,
    “the authorities won’t stand for it.”
    pity the man, pity the child, pity the witty
    and pity the wild who go up against
    some despot, some dogma, old authority
    winding up locked behind a chain link fence
    authorities moved in, authorities spoke
    minorities were moved out, it ain’t no joke
    men in authority beat them and sent to jail
    innocent protestors who were offered no bail
    how did these officials speak with such authority
    they stood on the shoulders of a moral majority

    ( This is one of my ‘seven minute sonnets’ I read the prompt, sit down
    and write it out non stop with no deletions, corrections, or changes during that time. This one seemed to work. Enjoy my unauthorized version.)

  44. Jezzie


    “Hm. Hm. Just listen!
    I’m in charge, not you!
    I say what you do.
    Now come! You come!”

    But, Mum, no, no.
    I don’t want to go.
    That way’s no fun.
    I’m staying here,
    sat on my bum.

    “You will do as I say.
    We are going this way!
    Now come! You come!”

    No! I’m refusing to shift.
    I’m not going to lift
    my butt
    from this spot.
    I want to go back
    down that track.

    “You cant!
    I don’t care what you want,
    Now come! You come!”

    I don’t like it there
    the traffic scares
    me. I want to stay
    in the park where
    I feel safe. That way!

    “Stop trying to break free!
    You’re safe with me.
    Now come! You come!”

    No, no! You can’t make me!
    Oh, you’ve got a treat. Okay.
    as you’ve put it that way,
    I’ll come. I’ll come.

    Another Doggy Ditty using my theme “Almost Human” which I hope to be able to use throughout this April PAD. Read more at https://jezabelmyschka.wordpress.com/


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