2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

Whew! What a great first day! I didn’t read everything, but I did read a lot yesterday, and I enjoyed a lot of what I read. Plus, it’s great to see all the positive feedback from so many. Before today’s prompt, I just wanted to call your attention to a couple things. First, you can navigate the comments by clicking the Older Comments and Newer Comments links at the bottom of each page’s comments (you may need to click multiple times in some cases). That’s new, and I assume it’s to help page loading time. Second, I posted some tips for handling the April PAD Challenge; if you haven’t read them yet, click here.

For today’s prompt, write a secret poem. The poem itself could be a secret, or it could be about keeping secrets or, I suppose, not keeping them. Or maybe it’s about a top secret project, or the poem is a riddle with some sort of secret meaning. Or, well, I’ll let you figure out how best to poem secretively.


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Here’s my attempt at a Secret Poem:

“your secret”

speak in code
tell me stay
tell me go
& away
i will throw

the darkness
to the night
for that dress
fit just right
i confess

your secret
is not safe
if you set
me to stay
i will get


Today’s guest judge is…

Afaa Michael Weaver (photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)

Afaa Michael Weaver (photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)

Afaa Michael Weaver

Afaa Michael Weaver is the author of 14 collections of poetry, most recently City of Eternal Spring (University of Pittsburgh 2014), which completes his Plum Flower Trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, The Government of Nature, won the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award.

His other honors include 3 Pushcart prizes in poetry, an NEA (1985) and Pew (1998) fellowships, a Fulbright appointment (2002) and inclusion in the 2014 and 2015 Best American Poetry anthologies. Also a playwright, he received the PDI Award (1993). He teaches at Simmons College and in the Drew U. MFA program in Poetry.

His websites are plumflowertrilogy.org and afaaweaver.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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1,380 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

  1. Lyn S

    April Poetry Challenge 2016 Day 2 A Secret Poem

    DNA doesn’t lie

    You thought it was a secret, Mr. Benjamin Sedwick,
    Gentleman farmer in Calvert County, Maryland and slaveholder.
    Who could ever know? But I can tell you from 200 years later,
    My very white brother and a very black man he’s never met
    have the same Y chromosome and you tell me how that could
    have happened if you hadn’t taken his great-great-great-great-
    great grandmother to your bed.

    Lyn Sedwick

  2. ameyer15

    Keeping Secrets
    By Amber D. Meyer

    Whispered venom seeps into the blood.
    You can try to hold the waters back
    But watch out for the flood.
    You can’t build a dam strong enough for the attack.

    When Syllables penetrate every crack.
    The stronghold will give way
    As venous creeping cheapness pervades.
    Hold your poison or come what may.

  3. Asha1000

    A Riddle A Riddle A Ree

    I meditated the cloaked black hole
    at the center of our Milky Way
    feeding on our galaxy’s stars

    Heard the alien bird calls
    pierce the darkest nights
    then grow silent at dawn
    awed by our young scarlet sun

    And saw the Great Vagina
    of a scarred and eroded mountain
    welcome astronauts
    into her sacred reddened
    pulsating folds of rock

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  4. MadPoet

    Secret Beach

    Years ago when I was young,
    There was a private and secluded place.
    A place a young bride and her groom
    Could hide from the world.

    A clandestine beach of pure white sand
    With clear blue-green water
    Where they could sun and swim
    Or just make love under the blazing sun.

    Few knew of this pristine beach.
    Few bothered to dare the dirt road
    Even fewer braved the rickety bridge
    Leading to our perfect place.

    This secret place no longer exists
    Except in my memories.
    By now it holds a condo or housing tract
    But a young couple frolics there still.

  5. Denat

    Family Secret
    Now a whole generation has left earth
    a family secret is said to unfold
    lived with guilt and fear of consequences
    my sorrow because it was left untold

    the pain and anguish clearly understood
    society is so cruel we can see
    The anguish endured was not at all vane
    suffering endured protecting me.

    the secret is out and the pain remains
    for a new generation, to place blame
    the last to know is now hurt the most
    with love we may have conquered that shame

    with a heavy heart I cry all alone
    since you have been rested in pieces
    know that you were loved despite all your faults
    rest in comfort knowing disgrace ceases.

  6. Austin Hill

    Why You’re Gone

    Your secret’s safe with me,
    as safe as safe can be.

    Bags packed and ready to go,
    no one will ever know

    it was not your intent,
    when out the door you went,

    to stay away for years.

    One thing has dried my tears –
    I tell myself

    You’re just on a very long business trip.

    ©April 21 2015 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  7. Joyce

    Computer Code
    My computer has a secret code
    the letter p does not exist
    the secret code unexplainable
    without any letter
    Comprehension unavailable
    I pound on the P key
    to no avail
    My posts become osts
    and paragraphs aragrahs
    Luckily it’s only one letter
    but still my selling
    is challenfged.

  8. Susan

    A Twitter Erasure

    Ferguson unarmed
    Shot him 10 times
    Canfield Green
    Now that they’ve voted
    Mob reaction
    Outrage on social media.

    You could also use the word community.
    100 police cars
    Basically martial law.
    MURDERED, by the police
    I have no words.

    Black. Lives. Matter.
    We have to keep reminding mofos.
    The power of social media
    Hands Up
    But the law is never at fault.
    They used soap to clean blood from the street.
    Rose pedals in the spot
    Rest in Peace.

    Someone please remind me what year it is again?
    Police dogs snarl at a crowd of mourners
    Another vigil tonight
    QuickTrip…now burning
    DOJ to conduct an independent investigation
    Where IS Jay Nixon?

    Nov. 24, 2014
    Getting the masks ready…
    The Grand Jury decision
    The National Guard
    Police in riot gear
    Shots fired.
    Crowd runs.
    Rocks being hurled

    Tear gas over Ferguson
    Eyes burning
    Freedom and the first amendment
    This is America.
    Seasons Greetings!

    Police car on fire
    I don’t have words.
    Our city is burning.
    This is what they wanted?
    Walgreens on fire
    Beauty Town on fire.
    Little Caesars… in flames.
    Sounds of glass breaking.

    It’s bad.
    This is crazy…
    The police have brought in dogs
    Gas station on fire
    I didn’t see any National Guardsmen
    No firefighters in sight
    This is not ok.

    If you can’t say Amen, say ouch.
    White protards
    # Race together!
    A rallying cry.
    Here’s to less ignorance tomorrow.
    I Heart Ferguson.

  9. Thedeb

    my face
    I’m sure it was there
    just a moment or so ago.

    The mirror shows a different one.
    Smiling perfect lies.
    The truth a

  10. Poet Ariel

    Right to Life

    There is the deeply seated training –
    “Don’t talk about yourself”; “You’re not important” – that edict
    as a girl, just here to serve the other needs.

    It is a secret whisper that threatens to gag
    any attempt to connect with another;
    a bondage I swore to throw off years ago.

    It is a cruel cage – cold, unfeeling,
    made of mesh too small to wriggle fingers from;
    it was difficult to escape, to say to myself

    “I matter too! Just as much as you.” –
    if this made me a feminist – to see myself as a person
    not a thing – then I claimed my flesh.

    Now US trot out that metal again, place flowers
    inside that opened door of bars – “Be a lady”
    “Respect your man to get a man”

    A plying whisper to sleep again
    inside on hard raised bars that throws out spines
    using arms as pillows, shivering

    An insistent plea that man decide
    the times I emerge to serve, dutiful and silent,
    and when I will be locked inside, waiting

    For Congress cites man-written doctrine -mythology,
    religion, the history man recorded with a controlling eye –
    only Man’s needs matter; not woman, not child.

    For if there’s pain – it won’t be Man’s.
    and if there be comprise, if there be abuse,
    then Man will not be the one to suffer.

    Congress decrees society’s laws suffer Man –
    it is selfish if I consider my own self-interest,
    lawful to obsess on man’s selfishness.

    Do you catch my rebellious undertone;
    how unlikely I will capitulate my self without a word?
    Call me fanatical; a domestic terrorist

    Here is a secret- I would rather bomb homes
    than have them turned into isolated prisons,
    religious cells where innocents are condemned.

    April 2, 2015

    1. lavendertypeface

      Hey! Everyone is posting great stuff! Saw a poster in my library saying, “APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!” to which my snarky brain silently replied, “Of course it is! Hasn’t anyone seem Writer’s Digest recently?” And all of the creative comments to the prompt! Here is my attempt at the prompt. This acrostic poem’s focus is relevant to our “don’t bother me,” culture where no one has deep conversations, and personal beliefs are usually received hostilely, especially those of the Christian faith. This poem’s title is spelled out vertically along the poem. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed all of yours!

      Shhh, to a whisper,
      Everyone will hear
      Chat of what’s trivial
      Restrain what is dear
      Even your faith–
      That’s what’s they loath,
      Shh, it’s a secret,


  11. Maxine

    In the Morning Still Dark

    some inner essence pushes me
    from sleep, and dreams of living
    in a different time, a recent
    past unfinished–Monday
    perhaps–when a task was interrupted,
    and now this dream of clutter rolls
    unsympathetic in my brain.
    Articles from yesterday accumulate:
    laundry, handbags, tooth paste,
    shirts and pants, vague bundles
    that increase and overflow,
    a diabolical Goodwill bin. Further
    into the dream the stacks tumble
    from my arms while all the people
    surrounding me appear
    to manage their parcels, locate
    their transportation and move along.
    I beg the few faces I recognize
    to carry part of my confusion, but
    their dream visages move away
    and in the street I stand burdened.
    The horror forces me to the conscious
    world. I awake remembering as if
    I am still there.


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