2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

This challenge has been and will continue to be great, but I want to make everyone aware of a contest deadline that just around the corner for the Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. The deadline is May 4, and one grand prize winner will receive $5,000 in cash, an interview in Writer’s Digest magazine, one-on-one attention from four editors or agents, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference, and more. There are two poetry categories: one for rhyming poetry and one for non-rhyming poetry. Click here for details.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “My (blank), the (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “My Dentist, the Torture Expert,” “My Lunch, the Thing I Got Out of the Vending Machine,” “My Father, the Comedian,” or “My Life, the Punchline.”


national_poetry_monthGet the National Poetry Month Collection!

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a super poetic collection of poetry-related products with the National Poetry Month Collection!

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.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a My Blank, the Blank Poem:

“my poem, the draft”

not everything comes out finished
like an automobile or toothbrush
some things–like myself–need time

to mature like a diversified
investment portfolio or
on occasion a poem

i was born very sponge-like
sucking things up & releasing
what should never see the light of day

but–like this poem–people
kept me around hoping i would
develop into something better

so if this poem–like myself–feels
a little unfinished just wait
it may yet blossom anew


Megan Volpert

Megan Volpert

Today’s guest judge is…

Megan Volpert

Megan Volpert is the author of five books on communication & popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists. She has been teaching high school English in Atlanta for the better part of a decade & was 2014 Teacher of the Year.

She edited the American Library Association-honored anthology This assignment is so gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching.

Predictably, www.meganvolpert.com is her website.


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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781 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

  1. DeeJade_Barba

    Myself, the Bullied
    By: DeeJade Barba

    I was tall and gangly
    They’d look at me strangely
    While I stutter on every word
    Making mistakes I couldn’t afford

    Getting teased and ridiculed everyday
    From a group, their names I couldn’t even say
    Striking me bloodied with their words
    Straight to my heart like a sharpened sword

    Lunches and money will be stolen
    Talk back, get hit, face gets swollen
    Locked up and pushed around
    Measure my tears by the pound

    Always called the dork, the pork
    Sometimes the four-eyed stork
    Seeing my name completely sullied
    Started calling myself, the Bullied.

  2. waplef

    My First Love
    It’s who I am
    I can’t leave, even if I try
    I can, however, set it aside for awhile
    Pretend to manipulate my reality
    But like my shadow it follows me
    Applying pen to paper
    Creating expressions
    Controlling a flow entrenched in me

    It recognizes my every thought
    Even those I cannot share
    And in my sleep, it concocts a speech
    Communing with my spirit
    Pleads a case that’s convincing
    To every fiber of my being
    By morning, my fingers yearn to write the words
    That sing music to my soul
    With rhythms and rhymes
    Yes, I’m enchanted by its strokes.

    I’m mesmerized
    It’s every gesture; a portion of me
    My voice is trapped within the barriers of my being
    And without my first love
    I lack it seems.
    For I know it contains the power to propel me,
    To the utmost
    Or if ignored, destroy my very soul.

    I must comply
    No longer can I resist
    This reality upon me was bestowed
    So give me paper and pen
    Then let it flow like living water
    Upon my purified soul
    No longer can I disregard these words
    For this purpose
    I was beckon forth.

    Let it purge me and console me
    Shape the future
    That stretches out before me
    All I am, and all I ever long to be
    Is intensified
    Within the essence
    That is my words.

  3. marci426


    After years in this hibiscus paradise,
    I still catch myself calling it home:
    Northwest Indiana—
    Calumet Region—
    ‘da Region, as in ‘da Bears,
    appropriately, tucked as we were,
    thirty miles southeast of Chicago
    between Lake Calumet
    and the shores of Lake Michigan.

    The Harbor, with its nearby towns,
    was a noisy melting pot of
    Kowalskis and Perezes and O’Briens,
    the streets rich with multicolored
    languages and accents.
    We raised our families in the shadow
    of steel mills, where most of us worked,
    amid the fine black dust
    that settled on cars and clothes
    and never quite washed out—
    just as these memories will not erase—
    but the jobs paid well, and our fathers
    labored there, and our sons.

    On weekends, we packed
    picnic lunches, escaped the red
    blast furnaces, and set out for
    Route 20, where grey smokestacks
    intersected with sand dunes,
    the lakeshore a world away,
    with its tall grass and lupine,
    leading to the beach and
    endless blue.

    It’s been years
    since I’ve been back;
    a Floridian by choice,
    I have few regrets.
    Still, when I picture Indiana,
    what I miss most
    are the vibrant colors
    of the people and the seasons,
    the snow-glazed dunes
    gilded with sunrise,
    and on summer evenings,
    igniting the backyard lawn,
    a vast array of fireflies.

    –Marcia Jaron Morley

  4. Jane Shlensky

    My Heart, the Traitor

    A brain should lead and strategize,
    set eyes on twisted paths,
    roots and nettles, long drops,

    should move feet forward,
    pushing lungs to swell,
    stomachs to moan, tears

    to dry up in anger or loss.
    My brain damns you mostly
    but my heart, bloody vessel,

    is filled with you. My heart,
    minding itself alone, feels
    your weight, sorrows

    and sings, fears its folly
    but leaves a chamber unlocked
    to give you sanctuary.

  5. horselovernat

    My Dreams, the Adventure Machine

    Each day is fleeting,
    they all pass the same time.
    Wake up, work, come home,
    It’s a circadian rhyme.

    I live for the days
    because they lead into nights.
    Falling asleep always
    leads to great sights.

    One night I’m a traveler,
    traversing wide seas of blue,
    searching for Atlantis,
    or some landscape new.

    Last night I was a fairy
    who danced through the trees,
    sang folklore to oaks,
    and made friends with bees.

    Today won’t be fun,
    I have much to get done.
    But tonight life is endless,
    there’s no end to the fun.

    Natalie Gasper


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