2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

Way to go, everyone! I know it’s impossible to comment on everyone’s poem during this challenge, but remember that a few kind words here and there can help your fellow poets keep at it during this final week or so of the challenge. Keep at poeming!

For today’s prompt, write a nature poem. For many poets, the first thing that may pop to mind includes birds, trees, waterfalls, rivers, and such. But there’s also human nature, nature vs. nurture, and other things natural, including natural selection and being a “natural” at something. Let your nature take it where it will today.


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Here’s my attempt at a Nature Poem:

“nature strikes back”

it began near the end of winter
high & low pressure systems setting
off a series of mighty migraines

& then i was attacked by pollen
yellow coating every surface &
my throat & triggering my migraines

soon it will be the mosquitoes &
bees & a small strand of poison ivy
don’t tell me that nature can’t fight back


Today’s guest judge is…

Justin Marks

Justin Marks

Justin Marks

Justin Marks’ books are You’re Going to Miss Me When You’re Bored (Barrelhouse Books) and A Million in Prizes (New Issues).

His latest chapbook is We Used to Have Parties (Dikembe Press).

He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and lives in Queens, NY with his wife and their twin son and daughter.

Learn more at JustinMarks.net.


Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

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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.

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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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914 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

  1. waplef


    Have you looked at the earth today?
    Seen God’s wonders all in array
    Did you smell the midday breeze?
    As its fragrance fill the leaves
    Or hear flowing water sing it’s song
    Like earth’s musician anointed one
    Have you looked at the earth today?
    And long for the moment to delay
    Did you stop and take a breath
    And let life’s beauty do the rest
    See the sunset wave goodbye
    As the moonlight seize its flight
    Have you looked at the earth today?
    Or did you simply walk away?

  2. lawrencek


    Anguished branches curl downward every freeze. Giants howl. Icy jabberwockies kick. Lazy monsters needle ogres provokingly. Quiet, raw snowfall trembles underfoot. Vocalizing winter’s ‘xtreme yodel. Zeus.

  3. lawrencek



  4. lawrencek



  5. lawrencek


    Animated blossoms can-can. Daffodils elope. Forget-me-nots giggle hinting innocence. Jonquils kiss leggy, mauve narcissus. Ogling pansies quizzically riddle stuffy toadstools. Uninhibited violets wink excitedly, “Yes!” Zen.

  6. lawrencek

    Fowl Play

    Angry albumen
    binds broken,
    crackly, cartons of
    dozens of doubting,
    egotistical eggs.
    Frothy, feathered
    golden geese, hillbilly hens
    irritate incubators.
    Kiwis knock-knock
    lucky leghorns,
    marry mixing,
    nursery novices,
    ovulating omelets.
    Prissy, plucked,
    quaint quails,
    roust roosters,
    scrambling sleepyheads.
    Tender tapping
    underfoot, uprooted
    velvet vineyards, where
    wronged wrens
    expelled XL
    young yolks.
    Zip zygotes!

  7. lawrencek

    As the Garden Turns

    Androgynous anemone anonymously asked artsy amaryllis to an amorous aster even as the azaleas admonish.
    Bright, bluebell bellowed, boasting to be the boogeying beau to the beautiful belle of the ball as bashful begonias
    Clung to the catlike green-climbers. Concurrently, comely Camelia capriciously cartwheel over coquettish clover.
    Disgusted by the display, doubting delphinium dramatically demonstrates his desire for the dish, Daisy.
    Evoking easy, edelweiss to bat every eyelash and emotionally exclaim “elope me!” to edgy echinacea.
    Freewheeling freesia friends fickle foxglove in a foxy flurry of feminine guile.
    Gregarious, gladiolas get to gate-keeping to guard their guest–the gorgeous, Gerbera Daisy.
    However humbled by their heavenly haven, hyacinth hovers and Hibiscus plays hide-and-seek with Heather.
    Insistent, irresponsible, and invasive, Irish moss inches inward while
    Jingly, jangly Johnny-jump-ups jack-knife jerky Jacob’s ladder, jealous over Jasmine.
    Kicky Kiwi’s kin knows knotweed is not her kind and no knight, and kingly Kafir Lily just another kook,
    Leaving loquacious Lady’s Slipper looking for lovely Lilac’s lavender locks to love.
    Mysteriously, mimosa mashes over margarine-hued marigold, while mushy, manic mums emotes.
    Never noticing Nannyberry’s noticeable nosegay or the nimble night-footing of the deadly nightshade, left only naughty
    Oleander to over-share. Obnoxiously he’s overheard ordering Obedient Plant to officiate over the onion peel.
    Persnickety primrose pickets the preponderance of pubescent petunias, pansies, and poppies pouring out of the pub and into her precious pathway.
    Quintuplets, Queen of the Prairie, quarrel with the quirky, Quince quads and question the band of Queen’s crape myrtle.
    Restrained, responsible, reticulated rhododendron and Rosemary rehashed their rationale for romancing rosebushes, regardless of thorns.
    Saffron-scented Sweet William softened step-sisters Sage and Snowdrop with silly songs of seduction.
    Tiger Lily tailgated with the thistles like a teenager, tousling her tortured tresses.
    Underneath a leafy umbrella, undressed and unadorned, Ugly Fruit seemed unencumbered, and unpretentious in her urge to unwrap her intentions.
    Visionary, Virginia bluebell wore a voluminous velvet veil and violet vest, vetting the violent Viburnum.
    Waning yet wistful, the wallflowers worked the watusi, and waffled over waltzing with the widowed willows.
    X-ing the x walkway and the x-ed marked floor, Xena the xenia openly xoxo-ed.
    Yonder in the young-grass yard, yellow yarrow yelled yippee!
    Zipping voices would zig zag among the shady zone, carried by a zephry.

    Eventually as Zues rose to his throne in the stars, the zinnias drifted off in audible zz z-s .

  8. lawrencek

    Dawn Triumphant.

    Ardent analysts
    blankly blanket
    compromising, comely,
    dawn’s divine,
    emerging, expressive
    face. False
    gossip glimmers,
    hiding haute,
    incalculable insensitivity.
    Jovial jesters
    keep Kiplingesque,
    languishing, lustrous
    moonbeams mingling,
    neutralizing negativity,
    obfuscating objectors.
    Picayune, pedantic,
    quizzing, quells
    ravenous ranting.
    Satiated, superlatives
    twinkle tranquilizers
    ultimately unveiling
    vaulting, vivacious,
    wily, wonderful,
    X-factors. Exuberant
    Yellow yoke,
    zealously zoned.

  9. lawrencek

    Nap Time

    Gypsy moths
    non sequiturs
    Queen Anee’s Lace.
    vinca vine.

  10. lawrencek



  11. Jane Shlensky

    Naturally Twisted

    Wisteria and grape vines braid themselves
    around an ancient oak, send feelers
    climbing, groping in air for a grip.

    Rainforest figs and Bodhi trees
    drop runners as new trunks interlocking.
    Each surface hosts orchids and bromeliads,

    their thirsty throats open to insect eggs,
    squiggles of newts, and floating seeds,
    life cycles circling their red gullets.

    Ivy, hibiscus, myrtle, and moss
    burrow into craggy bark
    and twist root structures into earth.

    Mangroves belt the equator making
    homes for earth’s creatures, Edens
    naturally twisted to save our lives.

    But we are of a different nature,
    craving concrete and steel
    to shut out global warming.

  12. horselovernat

    The Quiet Song of Earth
    A flower is a simple thing
    With its roots and stems, and petals and leaves.
    A beautiful sight for all to behold
    But how many can truly see?
    This gentle flower may be hiding great secrets,
    Those delicate petals there to share with all a story.
    Or perhaps they simply desire to make us laugh
    Best lean in close to hear their soft-whispered words.

    Just think of all the flowers that lay at peace within the forest,
    Surely none has time to hear to them all.
    Instead, one might listen to the trees.
    Far greater are they in number; their stories longer
    They have more to share.
    Flowers share only simple beauty, whereas trees share a lifetime
    The life of a flower is but a blink of time in the eyes of a tree.
    To imagine the change they have seen!
    Centuries back their wide reach spans,
    Remembering a time when nature was harmonious with man;
    Wanting for those days to come once more.

    These trees share desire, but also know grief
    For the loss of their brothers,
    Joy at the start of each sun kissed day.
    To those who listen with an open mind they bring comfort,
    As sitting in a tree; to feel its strong, sturdy boughs that have survived violent storms,
    Ever graceful as they dance in the wind,
    Is to know the true meaning of comfort.
    Understanding this, one can share in the knowledge of the trees
    That standing alone does not a lonely heart make, and that
    While all may exist separately our roots forever connect.

    Smiling at this newfound understanding,
    This man sitting in the tree turns
    Able to see the forest in a new light.
    As he looks, he spies an old man in the distance
    Resting upon a cliff, deep in meditation.
    Smugly the man thinks his knowledge greater
    For what could a rock teach?

    But this old man is wise.
    He spent his life listening to the stories of the flowers and the trees,
    Feeling in his heart as though something was askew.
    Thinking that in viewing the forest as a whole he would find his answer
    He climbed a cliff, and closed his eyes,
    And heard the wind.

    The wind has the most difficult job,
    Carrying the songs of all to make a sonorous melody.
    He whispers gently through the forest, quietly passing through the flowers,
    Bringing their sweet stories to life.
    He rustles the leaves of the trees as they dance playfully in his silken grasp.
    If one listens closely the wind carries an intricate song
    That sends shivers down humanity’s spine.
    For in this melody the wind holds the truth,
    Showing the eternal beauty in nature.

    As the old man resting upon the cliff
    Listens intently to the story within the wind,
    He hears the flowers and the trees;
    The harmony of the gurgling streams and babbling brooks
    And feels the power of the mountains behind him.

    Those ancient giants who move for none and have lived through all,
    Said to be home to Father Time,
    Because the passage of time means little to them
    As they stand guard for all eternity.
    Mountains create the most breath-taking sights;
    Purple hued in the winter and capped with gleaming snow.
    When the moon leaves the starry night sky,
    The mountains will dance with the rising sun,
    Throwing shadows and bright rays of color as far as the eye can see.
    The wind is the child of these powerful guardians,
    Forever whistling around their feet;
    Helping eagles to soar through majestic skies.

    One eagle comes to rest upon the cliff
    To share nature’s secrets
    With the old man Father Time.
    Releasing a cry, his mighty wings outspread,
    The great sun bursts forth
    As all the forest begins to wake.

    The meadowlark begins to chirp in time
    With the echoes of deer bounding through the trees,
    Floating as if carried by the whispers upon the wind.
    This is real and true.
    Nothing exists in the world that can best
    The unending symphony of nature’s beauty,
    Of the earth’s pure spirit.

    Natalie Gasper

  13. dextrousdigits

    What Can Compare to the Majesty of
    Sedona’s crimson sandstone arms reaching to God
    streams bubble across rocks
    beating to earth’s rhythm
    romance, enchantment of full moon
    thunder and lightning echo, “wake up”
    delight of clouds changing shape
    prayers formed by grace-full rock stacking
    a sip of pure water from a waterfall

  14. JMKnott

    My roommates just came home with
    a dwarf hamster for their daughter.
    In an expensive cage full of all manner
    of hamster accoutrements. The obligatory
    wheel, multiple stories, a loft for when it
    needs a change of pace, and a big plastic
    ball it can roll around on the floor while inside,
    as if at the beach.

    It’s perhaps important to note their daughter
    is a sociopath. No, really. When I caught her
    naming frogs out of my frog pond and then
    slamming them against the wall like a baseball
    pitcher and giggling at how they burst, I told
    her parents and they said “I know. It’s worse than
    you think.”

    It’s perhaps also important to note I have a
    wire-haired rat terrier who is so relentless he’ll
    go without sleep for days to make a kill. Just last
    week they saw him dig a hole in my kitchen wall
    like a prisoner at Alcatraz to get to a nest of baby mice.
    He dragged their little warm pink bodies out and had
    a party, killing some on the spot and taking others up on
    the living room couch to play with while he watched
    Animal Planet.

    I wonder if he’d enjoy that yuppie little dwarf hamster
    with his high rise condo and premium diet?

    The girl held him out to me for an introduction like
    she was holding a candy bar, and I stroked his luxurious
    fur and felt his blood warmth and sensed his terror. He’s
    no fool.

    So now, we wait. I have a feeling he’ll run to the
    terrier the instant he sees him just to get it over. I hope
    so, for his sake. Otherwise his death will be long and
    slow and painful, like the marriage of his new owners.

    Cordula Koenig once wrote: “If Mother Nature, the ultimate
    teacher, never forgives her children’s shortcomings, why
    should I be more lenient towards my imperfect friends?”

    I can’t answer that. But I will whisper the news to my frog
    pond and perhaps the hamster’s suffering will buy precious
    time for them to hop towards freedom.

  15. LDeAngelis

    “Spring Cleaning”

    Out the window I see brown trees laced with thick powder
    set against the white birches.
    I wish that I could
    reach out with a feather brush
    and dust each branch.
    Rake all the snow
    into separate bags
    like in Fall
    and leave them for the garbage man to tow away.
    Polish the yard and the pathways till they shine with dirt
    and the streets are lined with grass,
    in exchange for the lumps of darkening snow.

    But I must be content
    here in this huddle hole,
    sipping hot tea with my eyes to the fogged glass.
    All while
    awaiting spring cleaning.

  16. JocyMedina

    Grow a love

    Ive migrated like the wildebeest
    muddy from the mating show
    Tired of the hounding feasts
    lost in lands of savage love

    I gotta grow a love to go with me,
    One that knows when I’m in need.

    Forbidden fruits have all gone sour
    Sour grapes turning sweet
    Fields and fields of Pink Floyd flowers
    Turning beauties into beasts.

    I gotta grow a love to go with me,
    One that knows when I’m in need.

    I have cleared up my schedule
    ‘till the day I lose my teeth
    Looking for the kind of pleasure
    That’d lay the stars under my feet

    Spring is throwing a big party
    Everyone in nature is going to it
    Im gotta make myself a nice attire
    and grow a love to go with me.

    I’ve got all the right ingredients
    For the perfect recipe
    A love that’s there if I am not looking
    A love that looks when I’m in need.

    I’ve got enough to breed a coward
    But I’ll grow a love to grow old with.

    By Jocy Medina

  17. mapoet

    Coffee Break

    By nature,
    a procrastinator,
    I awoke early
    to finish writing
    my last paper
    in high school.
    The typewriter had
    made a few clicks
    when I heard my
    Mother’s footsteps.
    Steeled to receive
    a scolding, I was
    offered a cup of coffee.
    “You don’t like it
    when I do this.”
    She shrugged.
    “You get good grades.”
    I went back to work,
    sipped the warm liquid
    and smiled.

    By Michelle Pond

  18. MarieJason


    It’s unnatural, they say,
    About how a hummingbird
    And bumblebee are able
    To fly – but that’s essentially
    Their nature, despite the mystery.

  19. Khara House

    A natural disaster

    The river had it coming, spilling over love handles
    by the light of a harvest moon. Slipping through

    the city like a secret—seeded
    in another body that swallows it whole

    at the delta, the fall off at city limits where
    the last tree falls away to freeway. How

    in the dark it roared its way to freedom
    only to rise when the rains fell too heavy

    for all its rumble—big talk—and who
    could hold it back from consequence.

    It ate all the world—too full
    of itself to know its own sin.

  20. Angie5804

    Roll down the Window

    It’s a roll down the window day
    Even trapped in my car,
    I can have the wind in my hair
    I smell the green and smile
    From the parking garage I look down on the treetops
    In the midst of downtown architecture
    With a spring in my step
    I breathe the springtime
    It won’t last long
    Summer will soon roll in with a gust and a rattle
    But, for now, I breathe the springtime


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