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.”

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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

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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.

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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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781 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

  1. torigw

    My Forsythia, The Blaze

    There are mornings I wake up coruscated by flowers.
    Forsythia can bloom in a day.
    Bushes shaped like fire: reaching.

    I put up with the bare branches
    for two weeks of temporary intensity,
    presuming petals tied on like ribbon.

    The yellow gets under my skin.
    I see yellow when I close my eyes.
    Yellow marks the way home.

    I am immersed in the psychology of
    yellow. I can’t help my biologic reaction,
    the virtuosity of yellow on display.

    1. StephanieMiller

      Thanks, it reminded me of when I lived in the South many years ago. We had cardinals that lived in our forsythia hedge. It was a colorful spectacle.

    2. Molly Wong

      Wonderful! Years ago my four year old looked out the window of our stopped car in front of a forsythia hedge and said “mama, it’s so LOUD on my eyes!” I think I’ll go cut some of ours tomorrow and force bloom that yellow blaze.

  2. bxpoetlover

    My black boots, the last time I wore them

    Knew he was from out of town–
    hadn’t seen him before

    He looked cool in his tweed cap. I asked him to dance.
    “Sure,”.

    I smiled. Said, “Take it easy on me, now.”
    He smiled. Replied, teasingly,
    No.
    Took my hands.

    Gently guided me through the basic
    the stroll
    box right
    roll out, roll back
    with his masculine, gentle touch.
    I was gliding across the floor
    in my black low-heeled boots

    Had just shimmied through the extended right
    in front of him
    eliciting his smile and a “Yeah,”
    when I left something crack in my left heel.

    The nails in it had come loose, but
    had to finish that song out so
    I could ask his name
    before limping back to my seat.

    I have forgotten it, already
    but he’s from North Carolina
    like my daddy’s family.
    Hope he comes back soon.

    At least they lasted through the dance.
    Those black low-heeled boots
    gave my long legs just the right lift
    through dinner dates and dance classes on chilly nights.

    My next pair will have a kitten heel and open toes.

  3. kmmallegro

    my garden—the wildest

    place. intention was
    otherwise, a rainbow

    of miracle-grown green-
    house plants, arrayed

    with purpose by the fence
    keeping rabbits

    out. there were even
    brand-name apple trees.

    first poison

    ivy snaked up shining
    through the herbs, then

    brambles pierced petunias in
    their prime. the groundhog hole
    grew faster than tomatoes, deeper

    than my booted leg and after the rash

    came i began to stay away—perhaps it was
    the sun that cursed untoughened skin, or maybe poison

    oak which i could never identify. the rainbow faded, mostly
    brown and wild green and after the basil went to flower its flavor
    was no longer what you’d want to dehydrate on neat white trays. the

    mower circled round the fence like stevens’ jar but could not squeeze through the narrow gate and so the intended-then-untended place grew so thistley so wild so infused with failure won by weeds sown by a terrifyingly unknown order i could not go there any more

    -Kris Miller, 4/20/15

    1. shethra77

      “Intended-then-untended” I love. I think this is wonderful, not least of all the way in which your poem begins to slip and grow beyond the bounds of your original margins.

  4. mcumber

    My Dog the Diviner

    He’s baby enough to bark for the joy of making noise, but his
    jowls are getting rubbery. Alsatian tail and ruff grow in,
    coarse and shot with black. His canines are new, the pristine
    white of bleached bone. Muscles ripple in his thighs but he
    remains befuddled by a bee.
    His forehead wrinkles at the slightest displeasure
    and any shout is an alarm. When we call him off
    catching a frog in his mouth he hides his head in shame,
    forgets, digs up a tomato plant. To do this hour:
    bite the cats’ tails, consume a rubber sole, investigate
    the taste of toilet water.
    But in the small hours
    when dark visions swirl just behind my eyelids, reaching
    inky tentacles deep into my brain…when doom rumbles
    audible in the ear – earthquakes or bombs, errant moons
    hurtling through space on a collision-course track – when
    feverish half-sleep imparts its warnings of reckoning,
    fate and chance and all our certain ends, he is ancient
    and wise, the soul of a seer creeping from bed’s end
    to align at my side, stretched long for maximum contact.
    He licks my arm, rests his nose on my shoulder,
    waits for the barrage to stop, for the flames to go out.

  5. annell

    My Sorrow

    like an old pair of jeans     easy to slip into      once in & zipped

    it is like being in a dark room      familiar yet uncomfortable

    the night couples with other nights      no real difference     like a long lonely journey

    nothing to distract my mind      as it travels the rails      memories flood back

    everything sharp      nothing fuzzy      you slip your hand into mine

    we hold on      not knowing what to expect     our tears collect on the bed

    you tell me through tears      you want to go home      i stumble in response

    i spoke with your then      & and i continue to talk with you      i wonder

    where are you      can you hear me      it this the way it is supposed to be

    April 20, 2015

  6. SestinaNia

    I’ll be back later to post a poem, but I had to say, Robert, that poem is fantastic! I especially love this line: i was born very sponge-like. Lovely! Thanks for a great start to the morning 🙂

    ~ Sara

  7. Malen

    My Love The Fool

    Love lost time on me
    For I’m the flower that just won’t grow
    I’m the stitching finger without the thimble
    I’m the knife that has gone dull

    Love forget me
    Hear again my plea
    For I am the bucket with the hole
    I am the sharpening stone that broken
    I am the pen emptied of ink

    Love please turn your head
    I’m far too buried in regret
    I’ve lost all accomplishment
    I can’t even remember embarrassment
    I am nothing but disgrace

    Incase you have forgotten
    Love has no face
    No place to judge
    And it forgives mistakes.
    Love stays
    Even if you
    Keep pushing it away.
    Love is a complete fool
    Perhaps more so than you.

  8. ReathaThomasOakley

    My back, the enemy

    When, I wonder,
    did it start to fall apart?

    I always thought
    it would be pesky knees

    that brought me
    down to hug the ground

    to hobble and
    start to hold grocery cart

    handles
    tight to keep me upright.

    Now I have
    hard metal and a card

    to get me safely
    to planes and basketball games.

    Though it
    served me well for a spell

    I never
    want back that original back.

  9. Molly Wong

    My son, the Ninja.

    He slipped stealthily into my womb
    during the twilight days of my fertility.

    My (denial) diagnosis of ulcer
    disproved by the shadowy
    blink of an ultrasound.
    Conducting already,
    his steady rhythmic whoosh
    changed the tempo of our times.

    My newborn ninja wields
    the power of magnetism.
    Drawing us back along the radii
    of individual pursuits to home.

    His cry is his katana,
    cutting through the chaos
    to claim his time and space
    in our home and in our hearts.

  10. tunesmiff

    MY QUESTIONS, THE ANSWER (Triolet)
    G. Smith
    ————-
    Am I the man I claim to be?
    I ask each morning of the mirror.
    Who is the man that others see?
    Am I the man I claim to be?
    The fact that Jesus died for me,
    Makes my efforts so much clearer.
    Am I the man I claim to be?
    I ask each morning of the mirror.

  11. Kyarochan

    My bed, the battlefield
    By Caroline Hutchinson

    The voice in the sky is silent,
    but us old timers smell the scent
    of a war a-brewin’.

    Them and us don’t see eye to eye,
    and they been fixin’ to teach us
    a lesson for a while now.

    So we’re digging deep under
    warm, fuzzy cover, burrowing
    beyond reach of the troops

    of wakey-wakey, rise and shine,
    of chores to do, places to be,
    of adulthood – their terms.

    https://carolinehutchinson.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/my-bed-the-battlefield/

  12. PSC in CT

    My Heart, the Traitor

    My head and gut agree
    on the path that’s right for me.
    “It’s as clear as clear can be”,
    their whispers say.
    But my heart’s a different matter
    shouting out a louder chatter,
    so I listen to the latter
    anyway.

    PSC/2015

  13. Marie Elena

    A re-post to fix my errors. I’ll try to be more careful.

    MY BODY, MY DECISION

    You made your bed, now lie in it.”

    We said “I do.”
    I did,
    You didn’t.

    Prostitutes,
    Lies …

    “My body, my decision”

    (sn)hookered,
    I walked.

    Your bed.
    Your lie.

    Marie Elena Good

  14. JanetRuth

    My Little Place of Wonder, My Life

    On Earth’s space of Time I have been ordained a little place
    of wonder at what passes and wondering what is next
    In this pretext of largeness is the smallness I embrace
    My life; my little place among The Many often vexed
    as I, by unpredictability adeptly clothed
    In Ordinary Everyday; who knows what will occur
    Before the light of day is snuffed; its offering betrothed
    to What-Has-Been; life-changing footfalls soon a still-life blur
    On Bygone’s panorama and nobody is immune
    To that which, looking back is like a surreal pantomime
    Yet I am dearly grateful for each faded afternoon
    …my little place of wonder in the Big Twinkle of Time

    1. Marie Elena

      Now here is something strange. I’ve noticed most using My blank, The blank, so I rechecked the prompt and …. sure enough. But I for some reason read it as My blank, My blank. And I see you made the same mistake. At least I am in great company!

  15. Keith Welch

    My Gallbladder, the Enemy

    Alas, gallbladder!
    Once you were the apple of my eye
    purring like an engine smoothly oiled
    but now I fear your pistons are awry
    and day by day your reputation’s soiled

    For many years you served me without gripe
    Through storm and earthquake you did pump your bile
    you did your part while food was old or ripe
    made no complaint when Thai food proved a trial

    Tiny organ, quadrant upper right
    the time has come for you to shed your stones
    recently you’re feeling rather tight
    and your constant prodding won’t leave me alone

    Hail and farewell you squidgy goo-sack!
    I promise not to miss you when you’re gone
    Of all the organs I might feel the lack
    You are not among that noble throng.

  16. josephdaniel

    My Jaw, the Pain

    I believe pain emits an energy
    best described as the toxic kind,
    and emits a light not visible
    to the naked eye, creating pain shadows.
    But I’m no doctor or scientist.

    Pain shadows me wherever I go.
    Never leaving my side,
    it causes me to react to
    every waking moment of my day;
    each moment ruled by pain.

    Prevention is not in the cards;
    not for TMJ. It’s a Pearl Harbour
    attack on the body. Blindsided by pain,
    I remain determined to make the most
    of every day; to try and found a way
    to make pain shadows fade.

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh, I feel you! I have the same diagnosis but, thankfully, my pain has greatly diminished through the years. Once-upon-a-decade, they talked about surgery. So thankful to have dodged that bullet! I sure hope yours diminishes as well. Take care!

  17. DanielR

    MY COUSIN, THE HOARDER

    Roaches scurry across stained beige carpet
    the stench of unclean seeping from grimy walls
    shallow breaths my only filter
    Cousin Becky in a torn recliner, oblivious
    playing peek-a-boo between boxes of junk
    her treasures worth nothing but misery
    cat purrs emanate from somewhere
    and somehow clear a trail to my ears
    Aunt Martha would just die
    if she were still alive
    the others stopped visiting long ago
    weary of the burden…something moves
    behind the heavy, dark drapes
    her gray cat emerges, chewing on a mouse
    she remains oblivious
    “See you next week, Becky.”

    Daniel Roessler

  18. GregRobin Smith

    My Sweet Need – Music is the Answer.

    We hear the grind in engines that we run.
    The need of oil
    The want of smooth parts for rough portions
    The end of squawking doors’ complaints
    The quiet wish of a child in fuss…

    So much of all disquiet
    is but a cry for just one thing –
    A melody – of mine, or others, that seeks to speak.
    That I find – and hear – and draw within.

    May my melodies be that for others.
    More than my hearing – that is my wanting


    (c) 2015 GregRobin Smith

  19. Gwyvian

    My words, the unseen

    Lucid dreams are fluent on my thoughts,
    waking nightmares grip my soul—
    what words could describe the unknowable,
    the mysteries of our truths that could
    capture the depth of all I do not yet know;
    all I say is what I felt, the unseen flowing
    like a tapestry of visions in my heart,
    imploring to be heard in the winter of need—
    all of it remains an unspeakable realm of
    simile smiling so viciously: to my tongue
    it is all a jest, it is only the rest of me
    that protests…

    April 20, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  20. LaurelD

    “My Anxiety, the Troublesome Tagalong”

    “Mental illness” is a scary phrase
    A stigma that dogs me now
    Throughout my days
    A companion I wish I could disavow.

    Niggling fear in the back of my mind
    Becomes a fast drumming heartbeat
    My breathing feels confined
    Numbness steals my hands and feet.

    Anxiety was huge and I felt small
    Even novels, movies, and driving
    Left me curled in a ball
    And barely surviving.

    My wet grip on the life raft kept slipping
    Over and over again, I sank in anxiety waves
    Losing sight of the raft, cold and dripping
    Feeling anything but brave.

  21. mohinipuranik

    My Poem, The Light

    when the thought clouds
    become overwhelming
    my poem showers
    the rain drops of solace

    when I feel completely
    alone and lost
    my poem comes as my best friend
    sharing all the secrets

    when tears just don’t want
    to leave me,
    my poem showers
    blessings of Krishna

    when the heartache becomes
    just difficult to bear silently
    my poem comes
    to heal my wounds

    when the torn mask of the fake people
    leaves a new scar on my mind
    my poem becomes
    my healer hugging me
    when the hatred, torture, and injustice
    choke my breathing
    my poem becomes the oxygen
    to save my life

    when silence of agony
    kills my voice and my tears
    my poem becomes my voice
    expressing the deep pain

    when spiritual doubts
    make me restless
    my poem becomes the Sadguru,
    guides me with all the answers

    when the path of Sadhana
    seems to be lost in the dark
    my poem becomes my lighthouse
    and the light of Gyana
    bringing the self-realization of Advaita

    when the self-realization
    comes from the heart
    my poem flows like a river
    dancing happily
    with the bliss of the light

    PS: Gyana means the supreme spiritual knowledge and Advaita is the philosophy of oneness.

    – (C) Mohini Puranik

    1. Pepe Batbon

      FOLLOW YOUR BLISS SATCHITANANDA
      ( Joseph Campbell advised seekers,“Follow your bliss”)

      trying to follow looking for that ‘sacred space’
      hoping to find my very own ‘bliss station’
      stumbling away from the rowdy rat race
      not even knowing when I’m in the situation

      in ancient Sanskrit “SAT” means being
      “ CHIT ” refers to total consciousness
      how do we relate to what we are seeing
      when do we go beyond making a guess

      “ANANDA” is Sanskrit for bliss or rapture
      what bliss is I’m uncertain still not sure
      I kiss any ideas that I’m able to capture
      so my sacred space and bliss station will endure

      Rilke tells us to “ live with the question”
      I stumble along slowly seeking the direction

      thought you might enjoy this recent sonnet of mine. Pepe Batbon( which means ‘Joe Beard’ in Chamorro.

  22. Gwyvian

    My sorrowful harp, the soul-matter’s heart

    We chime cool thoughts,
    somewhere escaped from
    burdened body and soul;
    we chime the hours lost,
    the matter unravelling—
    and my fingertips sparkle
    with the dust of suffering,
    coating me like a skin—
    it is my anchor, my doorway
    back, to the place where my harp
    weeps no more; only the silence of
    crushing truth greets me, and
    the matter of our dalliance crumbles…
    once I heard music, but now I am locked
    in a body that bleeds away, and where
    my soul-matter just stops caring,
    until my refusal is heard and I no longer
    must merely ignore the pain;
    but for now, for a moment
    or two, stolen between the
    bouts of a storm’s parries,
    I listen to the cool chimes
    of my wistful harp taking
    me from duels to a peace:
    untroubled mind tapering,
    heart nestled so snugly—
    where the heart of a soul
    is given only stars that are
    sparkling…

    April 20, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  23. Connie Peters

    My Schedule, the Mission Impossible

    I can hear the music in the background,
    the da-daaa-da with the flute trill,
    as I get up and turn on my computer.
    Only a few little slots left for the day-
    I fill them in four times over.
    This is my mission if I wish to accept it.
    It I botch it up, no one will take responsibility.
    May my laptop not self-destruct in 15 seconds.

  24. rachii

    My mother,The fighter

    A figther without swords and weapons
    The strength of the soul overcomes bullets
    Beauty and grace , a figther from the heavens
    Protecting this little navie girl and I’ll bet
    She loves me tough and kind
    She cares even when I am careless
    All the tears that made us blind
    Hold on mother, we were never faithless
    Careful my girl she says
    Your heart is fragile and pink
    People come fast and even faster do they go away
    Hold on Daughter, we are more faithful than you think
    -Rahel Hadish

  25. kelly letky

    my silence, the map of me

    we both wear time on our face, proud of place
    and days spent wandering
    through little more than transparent
    pages

    nothing is smooth these days, sandpaper tongue
    and hollowed out heel,
    creaking bones in a cold-frame

    of continuous growth

    and gathered

    seed

    brittle remnants poking out from all
    the wrong places and the crinkle crackle
    of your presence

    keeps me rooted in this place
    of tender spring and brutal winter
    as together we weather

    broken shovel

    and harvested

    need

    -Kelly Letky

      1. GregRobin Smith

        KM – exactly the same feeling for me. Poetry can be so many things to different readers but Kelly’s poem title hit me the same as you. Then the rest – spare as a garden before planting, but then, the words take root, and grow. Well done, Kelly 🙂
        I started this month’s exercise as another way for me to produce writing, but am finding at least as much enjoyment from reading other’s works. And learning much along the way. Cheers, GregRobin.

    1. Pepe Batbon

      superb Kelly! poetic, lovely, meaningful. I have a hard time with serious stuff as you may see in my contribution for today. Could we call this conscientious cartography clarified?

    2. PressOn

      Utterly transcendent. The dying sounds in two stanzas (gathered / seed; harvested / need) are mesmerizing, creating deep emotion. This is masterful, in my opinion.

  26. PKP

    My Kaitlin, the raped-murdered-four-year-character

    She came on the edge of April
    in the corner of the living room
    near the front door and window
    blonde tousled curls, dimpled
    hands held over her silent giggle-
    she had those china blue eyes
    of baby-dolls and fairytales –
    in the corner of the living room
    in a pale yellow sundress softly
    thin with play -short on plump
    sun-blushed-thighs -she loved
    peanut butter sandwiches cut
    in perfect triangles – running in
    the green field barefoot in cool
    grass toward the forest – though
    she was told not to-She was simply
    Kaitlin – She was four. Murder-raped
    and left – for parents to find –
    for me to know – alive –
    in the corner of the living room –
    She asked nothing of me –
    I’ve given her nothing much in return –
    an armful of poems-two unclear novels
    She asks nothing- expects everything –
    -her sundress, still pretty, her curls still
    tousled – so close
    I can count each crescent moon of
    each pink fingernail – all these years
    later -new grass, sunshine and earth
    floating on the edge of April -holding
    My Kaitlin, my would be character –
    living – raped and murdered child,
    who left me with herself-
    her story already written
    in the ungraspable
    air

  27. Jaye Words

    This is really two of us doing the planter garden.

    My Planter Garden

    My planter garden, the pride of my spring,
    Has “sprung” itself forth, it’s doing its thing.
    I started with romaine, cabbage and kale,
    And cherry tomatoes, two plants to a pail.
    I have two big tomatoes in two big pots.
    Also sweet peppers, I hope I have lots.
    The spinach and beets are sprouted and growing.
    Strawberry plants in jars won’t need any hoeing.
    Since I drink lots of salad I prepare by blending,
    My garden will give me a very happy ending.

  28. Kimmy Sophia

    My Mom the Bird Lady

    People brought fledglings to my mom,
    the adhoc wildlife queen.
    Makiing nests of kleenex
    she warmed them in her hands,
    and in their pleading throats
    fed them canned dog food with a straw.
    Junior Jones the robin
    Charlie Brown the grackle
    Pip Squeak the red squirrel,
    some rallied
    and some did not.
    Myth breaker:
    “It is not true
    if they’re touched by a human,
    their mother will reject them.”
    Advisor:
    “Leave it there, it’s mother is watching.”
    A fan of Rachel Carson,
    vigil keeper, protector.
    weeper, defender.
    Nod to Will Rogers:
    She never met an animal
    she didn’t like.
    (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

  29. Jamillah Muhaymin

    My Awesome Grandson

    Whenever I go to visit my grandson
    he’s the first to meet me ready for fun.
    He spurts a hello with grandma’s here!!
    A big hug and kiss that brings me a tear.

    He’s exciting and loves to tell me great stories
    about his days and weeks from my last visit.
    Grandma! Guess what!? He begins his quest
    before I’ve even had the chance to rest.

    Out comes the new toy that he loves the best
    or maybe it’s the second or third one from all the mess
    Another mad dash to the toy box and
    out comes this and that, even an old vest.

    But that’s my grandson, he’s mighty awesome.
    Dust flying in the air from one thing to the next
    as he digs for more it cause me to cough,
    but that’s my grandson, he’s mighty awesome.

    Quite ingenious at eight years old.
    His passion for welcoming, I am sold.
    Haven’t put my purse down or closed the door,
    he sores around the house to gather more.

    That’s my grandson neither tire nor bore.

  30. Gwyvian

    My burden, the ache

    When it is there, everything narrows
    my cares and woes blend into one, a fervent
    wish, a single thought:
    if only the bleeding would stop…
    I wander from moment to moment hoping
    to forget that one day, it could come again:
    what matter to me now, all those worries,
    if only the pain would relinquish its hold—
    if only, if only anyone had known…
    I always knew something was wrong,
    but now all that matters are cuts,
    those tiny cracks in my deepest places—
    my burden has become the ache,
    sometimes blessedly forgotten, but
    to forget is a mistake; the blood will come,
    if only it did not…
    if only someone had thought to check,
    had asked the right questions and then perhaps
    my world wouldn’t revolve
    on the head of this sharp pin:
    if only the ache went away,
    if only I could stop feeling so betrayed, if
    only the fear would stop bleeding me away…

    April 20, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

    1. Gwyvian

      Sorry – some lines went missing in copy-paste translation.

      My burden, the ache

      When it is there, everything narrows
      my cares and woes blend into one, a fervent
      wish, a single thought:
      if only the bleeding would stop…
      I wander from moment to moment hoping
      to forget that one day, it could come again:
      what matter to me now, all those worries,
      if only the pain would relinquish its hold—
      if only, if only anyone had known…
      I always knew something was wrong,
      but now all that matters are the cuts,
      those tiny cracks in my deepest places—
      they hurt so much…
      my burden has become the ache,
      sometimes blessedly forgotten, but
      to forget is a mistake; the blood will come,
      if only it did not…
      if only someone had thought to check,
      had asked the right questions and then perhaps
      my world wouldn’t revolve
      on the head of this sharp pin:
      if only the ache went away,
      if only I could stop feeling so betrayed, if
      only the fear would stop bleeding me away…

      April 20, 2015

      By: Lucy K. Melocco

  31. whalefungus

    My Friend, The Road

    It is best
    When by myself.
    Shoes slap the pavement
    In a rhythm,
    My own cadence.

    The country ones wind
    Like gray snakes,
    Slither between grassy seas.

    I love the loneliness,
    No others for a mask,
    I am myself.

    A farmer passes,
    Gives a two-finger salute
    From the steering wheel.
    I give a smile,
    All I can afford.

  32. jessicatherese

    You tell me what to do and I do it,
    you tell me
    to spray paint with cheap
    aerosol cans, you demand
    that I wipe my mouth clean
    and my hand reaches to scrape
    the gold off. Secretly I dream of
    taking control, of flagging down
    police cars like they were taxis,
    of telling you to shut the fuck up
    for once. I have loved you but
    it has never made me weak.

  33. Pedro Poitevin

    My brother, the deaf

    My brother never heard a word I said:
    certainly not the night our father died,
    when straining to console him as I dried
    my tears, I fumbled for the words instead.
    It wasn’t like those nights when we broke bread
    while both our overtired parents tried
    to sleep upstairs, and when I took dull pride
    in how I spoke, and in the way he read

    my lips. His eyes, receding from that place
    from where they used to scan my busy days,
    went searching for the tight and slender thread—
    our father’s life—that wound through our embrace.
    I know that in the shadows of my face
    my brother read the words I never said.

  34. Valkyri

    My insanity, the poem

    I tip my hat to insanity!
    (Because of it, I can now love me.)
    Were it not the fact that I’m insane
    of myself I would be most ashamed.
    I have quite a bit of apathy
    about the way others see me.
    Since I am nuts I can’t complain-
    else to me they show a great disdain.
    My faults I readily admit.
    Into a niche I do not fit.
    This reality I hardly contain.
    (Of course, it’s only in my brain.)
    Dreams and nightmares in my bed,
    and just as many in my head.
    On scores of men I must lay blame.
    (before them all I was very sane)
    I have to get my feelings out-
    ink of sadness, rage, and doubt.
    I am a poet, enough now said?
    (For if I weren’t, I’d be dead.)

  35. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    My Tea, the Nectar of Life

    He brings the steaming cup of life to my desk
    where lesson plan struggles are taking me
    down for the count.
    The aroma fills olfactory glands, triggering
    a release of chemicals that race like
    thoroughbreds through my brain.
    Raising the cup to my lips,
    a magic blend of leaves picked in lands
    distant and exotic – the Assam and Ceylon blend
    waits to take me into the home stretch –
    One sip and the race is won!

  36. writtenbymandy

    My Notebook, the Igniter

    My pen against the paper,
    The device that fuels the spark.
    I always begin here first.

    My notepad is more romantic,
    Than any phone, laptop or screen.
    I see my words emerge into print.

    The cross-out’s are better than deletion,
    They show the marks of my struggles.
    There is no erasing my mistakes.

    The ideas flow freely and quickly,
    They feel more alive in my notebook.
    Letters have character and lines come to life.

    I could never abandon my paper,
    It has stuck by since age ten
    When I wrote my first poem for my school to see.

    By: Mandy B. Fernandez

  37. Pepe Batbon

    MY DIAPERS, THE DITTY BAG

    well it’s down the road with a heavy load in my diapers dear
    more baby swipes and constant gripes to clean up my arrears
    it won’t be long till I sing that song of cowboys out on the range
    then you’ll know that my backside was powdered with a change
    oh there’s plastic Huggies available now for horse and man and cow
    fast and quick to cover up your buns no need to show you how
    in the old days we used cotton ones held together with a diaper pin
    you only needed one to get the job done unless diapering a twin
    when on a horse you’ll bounce of course and likewise on a bike
    after a while you’ll find the style of diaper riding that you like
    if you don’t know when you start to go just use common sense
    admit the fact that you’ve been plagued with adult incontinence

      1. Pepe Batbon

        It is to the tune of an old Irish ditty that I don’t remember the name of but it brought to my mind the ‘Ditty Bag”. Oy vay its meer! I also like cowboy songs…

  38. sppeac1987

    My Brother, the Torturer

    Oh, he tried and tested me so,
    Jabbing away at each button,
    Picking at every peculiarity
    Presented by his beloved brother.

    He crafted many a character
    From my gawky mannerisms,
    Giving me a vault of voices
    That I didn’t know I had.

    He’d set my patience ablaze,
    A short fuse, frayed and worn
    From this war of the siblings
    One brother a boiler fit to burst.

    Our mother, the tired mediator,
    And a fed up, frazzled father,
    The only ones able to arrest
    The boundless battle of brothers.

    But the war would still rage on
    Until age appeased us both.

  39. TheBlueGnu

    BLUE GNU – THE NOMAD

    My passport to pleasure
    Pages of stories and memories
    Stamps of approval
    On roads less traveled
    Highways to nowhere
    Countries, cities, suburbs, farms, remote
    Open spaces, wide horizons
    Natural phenomena
    Culture vulture, culture shocks
    Camera opportunities, picture perfect
    Photobooks
    New boundaries, border controls
    Open doors, open minds, open hearts
    International relationships
    Foreign friends
    Language barriers
    Hand signs, gestures
    Lost … and lost in translation
    Found … and found myself
    Rites of passage
    Trains, planes and automobiles
    Take in, take out
    Feed my soul
    Volunteer
    Learn a skill
    Shoot a tequila
    Live without limits
    Collection of experiences
    Write a blog
    Bags packed
    Dream destination
    Migrate or stagnate.

    by Kim Watermeyer

      1. TheBlueGnu

        Oh Linda – that’s lovely.
        Completely out the blue, a friend sent me a lovely post today:
        ‘Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.’
        I only found it after I had submitted my poem.

        She knows me well. PS … you may borrow it too.

  40. Minibusy

    My Brother, the Over Achiever

    Chase your rainbow, pin it down,
    and beat it to submission.
    “gather ye rosebuds”, bunch them up,
    and sell them for commission.
    Catch your twinkling shining star,
    then hire who designed it.
    There must be profit in its glow,
    you simply have to find it.

    Lead your horse to water
    and force that nag to drink.
    There is no time to pause, reflect.
    You don’t take time to blink.
    No moonlit walks, no sunset scenes,
    no pennies in the fountains.
    No wishing wells, no moving words…
    you’re busy moving mountains.

    But here’s my simple question.
    Consider it with care.
    When you’ve won this race you’re running
    will you find fulfillment there?
    When you’ve opted your last options,
    and traded your last trade,
    Will you finally be happy as
    you lie there in your grave?

    As your friends and family mourn you,
    Here is all they’ll have to say,
    “Here lies a prime example…
    Personality Type “A”.

    Please keep this jingle in your pocket,
    and peruse it every day.
    Take time to smell the coffee,
    instead of making hay.
    You can “bottom line” your life away.
    and never take a break.
    We just hope you realize someday soon
    You’ve made a big mistake.

    You’re the master of the rat race,
    and assuredly you’ll win it,
    leaving those you love behind you…
    Could you just sit still a minute?
    There’s just one resolution
    as far as I can see,
    resist the urge to be type “A”,
    and settle for a “B”.

    Sharon Anderson

  41. Doakley

    My Cat The Bandit

    The cat must be pampered, really spoiled rotten,
    a bed on the lanai and her food is store boughten,
    aside set your snack,
    and when you get back,
    by the cat, your snack will have been gotten.

  42. Misky

    My Morning: the Quiet of Light

    You’re gone into town for the day,
    and the house seems quiet as light.
    The dog’s stretched asleep on the floor,

    managing a small allotment of sun
    that she’s claimed as her own.
    And the house seems as quiet

    as empty cupboards. My head’s
    swelling with thoughts of summer
    to come, trembling berries gripping

    to vines, and sweet fish pressed
    between racks and fried over fire,
    and my boys, I always think of them,

    who left home years ago, and I’m
    sitting here left in your silence, where
    I’d usually hear your newspaper

    turn, a shuffled page into place,
    a coffee cup set down on the table
    a bit harder than it should, but

    you’re in town for the day, leaving
    me alone in your silence, and I feel
    oddly compelled to be quiet as light.

    +

    (c) 2015 by Misky Braendeholm

  43. Lady Grayish

    My (Brother), the (Perpetual Enigma)

    My brother is a study in opposites
    Big and tall and gruff and old
    Until he opens his mouth
    Revealing that he is a snark-master
    And younger than he seems.

    Offered responsibility
    Bears it well
    But doesn’t care for it.
    He’d rather play video games,
    Unless today he feels like
    Bossing everyone around.

    He’s sarcastic,
    But the teacher’s pet
    Because he listened and did what he was told.
    Except that sometimes he would say things
    And people would laugh
    And if he wasn’t such a

    Smarter than me,
    But he doesn’t believe it.
    I keep telling him,
    “I’m just better at tests and
    Doing the things people want me to.”
    He’s good at going sideways
    And backwards and roundabout.
    Getting to the solution his own way.
    Stubborning out the hard things.
    I took English because I liked it.
    He takes Calculus because it’s a challenge.

    Some days I understand him.
    He understands me.
    The world is at peace.

    And some days he just
    Makes
    No
    Sense.

  44. PeanuttyO

    I had some fun with this today, and used it to talk about my favorite TV show. A little silly, but fun!

    My Obsession, The Following

    Charismatic and calm
    The antagonist is played
    A talented actor
    draws you in and helps you see
    Where obsession can take hold
    and control the mind of the weak

    Full of fight and smarts
    Passion and heart
    The hero is played
    by a talented actor
    only six degrees
    from anyone
    tied forever with Joe

    I watch with heart pounding
    surprised gasps and eyes wide
    Tension in my back
    Until the final haunting song
    wraps up the episode
    Leaving me drained
    Hungry for more

    I follow my obsession
    My obsession, The Following
    Because I’m just a Poe girl
    Just a Poe girl, from a Poe family
    Nevermore, evermore

    (c) PeanuttyO http://www.peanutsnuts.com

  45. Alfred Booth

    Chronology bustles in my head. Clear visions from the top of the staircase two nights before Christmas when daddy left the house with a suitcase. Skip the first stepfather who tried so hard to butch me up with a nickname I hated more than him. The piano, in that wonderful room with windows on three sides, my sanctuary, my sanity, my love, my life, my everything. Lessons with Mrs B every Tuesday and Friday morning for an hour before school. Sanity and love. The only woman I loved. Dearly. The evening in October of my fifteenth year. Mother and second stepfather (she taught me to hate him too). We three sit on the powder blue velvet sofa. Dear, you’re gay aren’t you? Yeah. (Duh I didn’t say. I was a tall skinny queen.) Why the need for this mise au point? That year I started a poetry journal. Fantasizing about another life where love played an important role. First music contest the next year. Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Young Talent. I trashed a fellow pianist within earshot of one of the judges. Disqualified immediately. Mrs B told me later that had I kept my mouth shut I would have won. I still call a spade a spade. Especially caked with dirt. On a hip small town campus, wasted a scholarship at an important Conservatory spending more time discovering if love could come my way than learning about Gregorian Chant. Sung in the choir, adored the camaraderie. Two years later in a State University I met my first lover splashing almost naked in one of Kansas City’s Plaza fountains. It was a Monday at three a.m. He was the father I never had. Not a good way to start off a relationship, although we were both willing to role play for five years. Daddy and I remained estranged all of my life. Hepatitis A cured me of budding alcoholism when I was 26 during my second year abroad. Next month I’ll be 60. I’m still looking for a vice that won’t kill me. Gave up sex years ago. I have played on some of the best pianos in the world. Life has taught me the art of being dissatisfied. I spend a lot of time peering out of windows. I imagine that’s what prison is like.

    my life in simple badinage
    [2015.20.4…b]

  46. Jezzie

    MY ANTAGONISTS THE PIGEONS

    Two ugly pigeons
    just waddle around
    in our back garden,
    not making much sound.
    They’re fat and lazy
    and stay here all day
    picking up anything
    Mum throws their way.

    They can’t reach feeders,
    they are much too fat,
    they’re just a target
    for our next door’s cat.
    They sleep in the tree
    that’s over my run.
    I’m disgusted at
    the mess that they’ve done.

    Now and then some more
    fly in here to play,
    they tarry a while
    but soon fly away.
    I bark at them loud
    but they show no fear,
    and Mum says leave them
    because they live here.

    I’m fed up with them
    strutting round the place
    as if they own it.
    I run and give chase.
    They always escape.
    It’s not very fair
    that I can’t fly too.
    Then they’d get a scare!

    This is a slight modification to one of my earlier poems “Percy the wood pigeon” which I wrote in my previous Doggie Ditties chapbook. Read more at https://jezabelmyschka.wordpress.com/

  47. Roxanna Watrous

    My Battle, the Bulge

    So stealthily the enemy snuck into position,
    that I have found myself encircled
    by this, my opposition!

    Multiplying minions stand steadfast in my view,
    but glory comes from challenge.
    They will fall before I’m through!

    Groans within my ranks beg me to surrender.
    Slender hope keeps me afloat,
    of beating my offender.

    So I trumpet my resolve over bulging battlegrounds.
    I’ve declared a war against my foe
    my body’s extra pounds!

    I will beat them down with carrot sticks,
    dodge Ding-Dongs of disaster,
    run them flat with treadmill tanks,
    and stomp them out with my Stairmaster.

    A grin of satisfaction forms
    while launching my attack.
    I’ve seen their first few soldiers fall
    I’m pushing their lines back!

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