2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

If you were to use one word to describe your April this year, what would it be? For me, I’d probably select whirlwind. I always come into the month expecting it to last forever, but it rushes by faster than I can imagine–and I’ve been through a few now. Anyway, play along or not–thought it might be fun to see how everyone’s April is unraveling.

For today’s prompt, write a moment poem. The moment can be a big moment or small moment; it can be a good moment or horrible moment; it can affect thousands or matter to just one person. Some moments happen in crowded rooms; some happen in the most quiet of spaces. Find yours and write a poem.


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Here’s my attempt at a Moment Poem:

“good night, sleep tight”

these whispers in the evening
caught beneath cotton sheets
with something to say & a need

to connect as the crickets chirped
symphonies to fireflies
evaporating into the stars

our dreams & who we loved
what we wanted & who
riled us up the most we

never once worried it would end
or that when it did
we would one day miss it


Today’s guest judge is…

Matt Rasmussen

Matt Rasmussen

Matt Rasmussen

Matt Rasmussen’s poetry has been published in Gulf Coast, Cimarron Review, H_NGM_N, Water~Stone Review, New York Quarterly, Paper Darts, and at Poets.org.

He’s received awards, grants, and residencies from The Bush Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, The Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN, and The Corporation of Yaddo. He is a 2014 Pushcart Prize winner, a former Peace Corps Volunteer, and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College.

His first book of poems, Black Aperture, was a finalist for the National Book Award, won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award, and was published in 2013 by LSU Press.

Learn more at MattRasmussen.net.


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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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982 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 24

  1. summersetsun

    Is It Real

    Minuscule, mementos
    Moving, remembering, reminiscing
    Materializing and ebbing before us, uncreated and never ending
    Inclining, involuting, inflating
    Imponderable, interminable

    (Masked metaphysical message with for you to find)

  2. Walt Wojtanik


    Stealing pieces of every moment
    held in fleeting patience; lost
    in a discipline most sublime.
    The time for tears will fly
    in the face of the heroic.
    Prophets gazing; Grazing
    the limits of their visions.

    (c) Walter J. Wojtanik

  3. bxpoetlover

    In The Moment

    Emerged from the subway.
    No bus.
    Saw somebody coming out of a cab
    on the corner.
    Roof light was lit!

    Ran over.
    Bent down to his open window.
    Smiled, was about to speak my destination.

    He yelled,
    “Where are you going?
    There is a lot of traffic,”.
    gesturing at the usual line of cars ahead.

    A tingle in my spine.
    Heat on my neck.

    For a moment, I wondered
    if he would have yelled
    had I been carrying a briefcase
    instead of a purse
    or was other
    than black.

    I looked at him
    Stood tall. Said,
    “Never mind.”

    Walked back to the bus stop. Wondered.
    Maybe English is not his first language, hence
    the yelling.
    But courtesy is universal–
    everyone understands a smile.

    After I disembarked from the bus,
    huffed and puffed up the stairs.

    Was marked 10 minutes late, but
    signed my name in my most beautiful script.

  4. mcumber


    In hush and still of early morning half-light
    a deer at the edge of the wood steps forward,
    places one foot gingerly on the road.
    As my car rounds the bend, she lifts her hoof,
    pauses, steps back to vanish in one swift,
    liquid move, her haunch a tan flash.
    Through the thin strip of trees I can just see

    the outline of machines, giant clawed beasts,
    mantis-shaped, predatory. They cluster
    at the foot of a gravel mountain made
    ready to annihilate the velvet floor of pine needles
    where the deer moves now, silent and unseen.
    Cover and sustenance diminish. Maybe she was
    she was deserting, this morning, at dawn.

    1. mcumber

      whoops, got a little argle-bargle there at the end. repost:


      In hush and still of early morning half-light
      a deer at the edge of the wood steps forward,
      places one foot gingerly on the road.
      As my car rounds the bend, she lifts her hoof,
      pauses, steps back to vanish in one swift,
      liquid move, her haunch a tan flash.
      Through the thin strip of trees I can just see

      the outline of machines, giant clawed beasts,
      mantis-shaped, predatory. They cluster
      at the foot of a gravel mountain made
      ready to annihilate the velvet floor of pine needles
      where the deer moves now, silent and unseen.
      Cover and sustenance diminish. Maybe she’s
      deserting, this morning, at dawn.

  5. donaldillich


    My father wouldn’t let me go.
    He crushed me to his body,
    as if I was a long lost animal
    he’d had as a child. Or like
    a son who’d returned from
    the Underworld, to become
    once again his child, as if
    disease and accident no longer
    had dominion in this world.
    The scholarship offer, adrift
    on the table, showed I was good
    at something, that the curses
    he’d thrown against me time
    after time weren’t as true
    as we’d believed. I wanted
    to escape, almost fearing
    my lungs would be squeezed
    so hard I’d lose all oxygen,
    become a mannequin of myself
    my father would have to cart
    away. Finally, he put me
    back on the ground, as if lowering
    a piece of building meant for
    construction. I felt both glad
    and embarrassed. His emotion
    always made me ashamed
    for him, as if he couldn’t keep
    it in, as if he wasn’t in control.
    But I was glad for once
    he wasn’t angry. That my life
    wasn’t smashed by his insults,
    which threatened to bury me
    under language that smothered
    my body. I sat down in a chair,
    and listened to him cry and spout
    out the honors I had earned.

  6. Vince Gotera

    Combining the NaPoWriMo.net parody prompt with the PAD prompt for a moment poem. Revising Dickinson’s “Wild nights – Wild nights!” (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173343).

    Mild moments – Mild moments!

                    —with apologies to
                      Emily Dickinson

    Mild moments – Mild moments!
    Were I eating mushroom soup
    Mild moments would be
    A whoop.

    Mushrooms – in cream –
    Could play the part –
    Of poor man’s Alfredo –
    And later a f— . . . Fiddle!

    So boil up some Pasta –
    Ah – Fetuccine!
    Might I but mushroom – tonight –
    In thee!

    by Vince Gotera


  7. GregRobin Smith


    The beauty of a moment
    when clarity captures the mind
    reaches back through confusion
    and wrights the weathervanes
    to point in true directions.

    Understanding now
    can help correct
    the cacophony
    of the past.

    (c) 2015 GregRobin Smith

  8. DanielR


    She never craved silence more
    than when her phone played its dirge
    that December night ten years ago.
    She knew before she answered
    mother’s intuition
    her lungs sucking in cement breaths
    through a crimped drinking straw.
    They told her it was instant
    semi-trucks are immovable
    and while she had failed physics
    she had to face it—head-on.
    His image blinded her
    she saw him more clearly then
    than she ever had, how he looked
    more like his Dad, than she ever realized.
    She became a big game hunter
    stalking the words,
    the last ones they ever shared,
    but they escaped and left her empty
    like goodbyes always do.

    Daniel Roessler

  9. rachii

    Little moments

    Little moments that pass me by
    I remember than the big ones that stay
    Those long walks along the river
    Those moments when I just wondered the whole day
    Little moments of me in the sand
    With Lana singing sad songs
    This moment so little and replacable
    Yet this is the moment where I belonged
    Little moments in the groccery store
    With mom ,so chill and at peace
    A moment so common and mainly a bore
    But this is moment where mom was at ease
    Little moments of young lovers
    Kissing under the stairway
    So reckless and a moment easily forgotten
    This are the moments that showed me a different way
    Little moments of me in my home
    Lazy weekends and brutual school chores
    Late night finals panick
    These are the moments that heal my current sores
    Little moments in the european sun
    Secret parties and just being alone
    Little moments with innocent souls
    These are moments that are so present yet so gone
    -Rahel Hadish

  10. Thedeb

    A moment

    golden light.
    And you appeared
    wrapped and bound
    by our bond.

    hair and golden brows.
    Your eyes reached through
    my soul and owned my heart
    in a moment.

  11. cbaustin71

    A Moment

    For a moment,
    one of those
    everlasting moments,
    when the world seems
    turned inside-out
    and everything moves
    in slow motion;

    A sickly, sweet smell
    and opaque fog
    occupy the senses.
    I sit paralyzed
    and dumbfounded.

    My wife’s voice-
    a bugle call-
    tickles my brain.
    Shaking my head
    to complete the reveille,
    I chase escape.
    Once out, with feet
    on solid ground,
    I peel back
    crunched metal.

    My wife and son spill
    from the wreckage, seeking
    safe harbor on the
    hot, hard pavement.

  12. Tracy Davidson

    April 1912

    We stop at a safe enough distance
    to avoid being sucked under,
    our attention fixed on the white hull
    vanishing before our eyes.
    The cold air cuts through my thin jacket.
    I shiver, as much through shock and fear as cold.

    There was no warning, a sudden lurch
    that nearly knocked me off my feet.
    “What did we hit? A ship?” “No, an iceberg.”
    Panic followed the call to lifeboats, as all
    headed for the open deck, crew
    doing all they could to calm and reassure.

    But I saw the fear behind their eyes.
    While being jostled from all sides,
    I counted lifeboats down the starboard flank.
    There weren’t enough.
    “Women and children first,” was the cry.
    I knew they meant women and children only.

    My eyes turned to the men standing behind
    the heaving mass of wives and offspring.
    One called to his tearful son: “See you soon.”
    He knew he wouldn’t. I could tell from the stiff
    way he stood, his set jaw which tried to smile
    but failed, his shaking shoulders suppressing sobs.

    I turned away, not bearing to watch any more.
    Mother, already in a lifeboat, waved,
    relief on her face as I was lifted up and seated.
    We were slowly lowered down, inch by inch.
    As we moved away we saw the damage,
    gasped at the bow almost touching the water.

    And now, we watch, grim-faced and silent
    as the beautiful ship that was our home
    for a while, slips slowly beneath the surface.
    Even when it’s gone, we continue to stare
    at the empty space left behind as we pray
    for the poor souls headed down into the deep.

  13. barton smock

    -themes for reunion-

    the lost baby
    for a moment
    is doom’s

    I don’t think I can be kind anymore.

    alone time
    is patience
    as melodrama. the second coming

    of my father’s belief
    is a memory
    that talks to itself
    while saying
    don’t make of me
    a habit.

    dear godless koan,
    my wheelchair has an ashtray.

  14. PeanuttyO

    A Moment

    Do you have a moment?
    I wanted to say today
    how amazing you are
    and how grateful I am
    that you are you
    and part of my life

    That is all, you can go back
    to your day, being awesome
    I just wanted a moment
    to be sure to say out loud
    thank you for being you

  15. lucydbrown

    One day you’re going to be surrounded by people
    And their chatter will be white noise
    An in-between
    not here nor there
    You will feel like a fleeting breeze
    Don’t forget to take up room
    Don’t forget to use up all the oxygen
    The moment is for you
    Every moment
    in your whole life

    For you.

  16. Undrtakr

    Exalted Love

    I thought I knew what love was,
    I felt it strongly before
    Not knowing I was capable,
    Of feeling so much more

    For nine months you were carried,
    By the woman of my dreams
    It nearly tore my heart out,
    Listening to her screams

    For twenty seven hours, she laboured
    Trying to deliver you
    Ragged, spent and exhausted,
    Now in a moment she was through

    A moment I have called it,
    When it was really so much more
    You were both safe in front of me,
    My enervation, sent me to the floor

    Consumed by elation and relief,
    I never felt more alive
    Passing through the valley of death,
    My wife and son have survived

    An inexpressible sensation,
    Fell upon me from above
    For within that single moment,
    I first experienced God’s love

    1. Kjean

      This is so wonderfully heart-wrenching, filled with suspense, and so unique because one doesn’t often hear the father’s side of birth… So well-done!

  17. Marie Elena


    There came a change
    When you and I
    Dared become amourus

    There came a change –
    The momentous occasion
    When we became
    And, wed, became

    There came a change
    When one became
    A headstone,
    And one became

    © Marie Elena Good

  18. Bruce Niedt

    Empty Chair

    Sometimes I wonder what he would be doing today –
    would he be working on his doctorate
    or expecting his first child, driving a semi
    or digging for fossils? He liked trucks and dinosaurs.

    The gate to the field is etched with the moment
    it happened, 9:02, when that coward
    parked a rented van in front of the building
    and blew it up, tearing off the whole façade,
    ripping into offices and my son’s day care center.

    In the field, one-hundred and sixty-eight stone chairs,
    Including nineteen smaller ones,
    arrayed in the pattern of where each victim fell.
    That one has my child’s name. Twenty years ago,
    a single flash took them all away, a heinous crime,
    eclipsed only six years later.

    I’m not a devout man, but I hope there is a Heaven
    where he still plays with his little friends,
    because it would also mean
    that McVeigh burns in Hell.

    1. Maggie

      I’m sitting here with my fingers hovering over keys…all I have is prayers, Bruce…prayers for you and yours…well done with these words…well done. <3

  19. JanetRuth

    Moment-matters Because Moments Matter

    All we have is the fitting together
    Of tick and tock, then these become
    When all is joined of moment-measure
    Life’s total sum

    Awesome,gossamer invitations
    Spill from skeins somewhere aloft
    To living’s touch-taste celebrations
    Subtle and soft

    …and in this breath-by-breath allowance
    Wrought in modest moment-mold
    Chance, opportunity and choices
    Unfold, then fold

    In looking back sometimes we wonder
    At Past’s vast, quiet quantum
    Shaped with nothing but moments and what
    We did with them

  20. Keith Welch

    the moment has passed

    time has no movement
    but momentum, its
    stillness momentous

    a cusp of the next

    a monument in now

    mounting in life

    maturing, breaking
    over us, a mountain
    of potential being.

  21. Kjean

    One moment in time…

    Can one’s life be
    whittled into just
    one sharp
    pencil point of time?
    But when I think of
    the moments
    that have warmed my heart most,
    ignited my spirit,
    pushed my imagination
    beyond what stood before me
    into a universe that
    has yet to be described,
    Only one
    person comes to mind:

    -Karlajean Becvar

  22. kelly letky

    the light in the corner of existence

    i remember the day you died or
    to be more accurate, chose to leave,
    or to be more accurate still, i remember
    when i found out what you’d done

    i wasn’t there
    but i’ve never stopped seeing it
    the violence of your last moment
    and the lifetime left
    what we could have done

    the first time i understood
    that life is precious
    was also the first time
    i understood
    the hole that grows with living

    one shovelful each day
    until we’ve formed the mountain
    we must climb
    to jump back in

    and i wonder if
    on the way down
    we think of


    -Kelly Letky

    1. Kjean

      Kelly, this is so thought-provoking… I especially loved these lines:

      one shovelful each day
      until we’ve formed the mountain
      we must climb
      to jump back in

      and i wonder if
      on the way down
      we think of


  23. mariahewilson

    The Moment Before The World Wakes Up

    In the stillness of the morning
    before the birds start to sing
    when the cats are still in bed
    and her children still asleep
    when it’s only her and a cup
    of coffee, sometimes tea
    her hair tussled from sleep
    she smiles, stretches,
    in the stillness of the morning
    she is the most like herself.

  24. ReathaThomasOakley

    That magic moment

    in your basement
    ours knees barely
    touching as we sat
    sorting, tossing, deciding
    what should stay and
    what should go

    I was hot and tired
    and dusty wanted nothing
    more than a long cool
    shower and maybe a
    long neck beer when

    suddenly without
    warning or preamble
    you looked at me and said,
    Reatha, will you wed me?
    How could I not reply,

  25. TheBlueGnu


    In that split second, I knew
    Fight, flight or die!
    Adrenalin infused mayhem.
    Panic buttons.
    An overload of heartbeats.
    Broken soul.
    Pathetic –
    like a frail, injured bird with broken wing
    no longer had the will to rise.
    Take off denied.
    The off switch, feathers, ripped from sockets.
    Confused and strangled by tears.
    The corner, my salvation.
    Choking to death on disbelief.
    Stuttered breathing.
    Bruised. Bewildered.
    Blinded by love, twisted.
    He towered over me.
    I shriveled in his shadow.
    Leopard crawled to the door
    He watched ….
    believing I would return.
    He was dead wrong!

    by Kim Watermeyer

  26. lsteadly


    In a moment I will
    know it the moment you say it
    the best moment of my life
    determined by the moment of truth
    chosen at just the right moment
    all of these just fleeting moments
    strung together moment to moment
    one no more momentous than the other
    save for the moment
    we have all been waiting for
    a moment
    gathered from the momentum of all moments
    before it
    that moment
    a memento of moments
    that led me to you

    1. Kjean

      Your repeated use of the word “moment” is so incredibly done that it doesn’t become redundant but emphasized just like you would want in a poem like this. Bravo!

  27. Kyusu

    Early retirement

    The thought of it
    grew like a leaf this spring
    like the curve
    of a green stem reaching
    towards the window
    of the office that frames
    a square of blue sky.

    Alison Williams

  28. writtenbymandy

    “Awkward Moment”

    Serenity is where I sit
    My children dressed and ready for school
    With fifteen minutes to spare
    They play quietly in the corner
    Such a rare, peaceful moment
    I decide to paint my fingernails
    A lovely shade of mauve
    I never give myself beauty or personal attention
    I admire my work
    My nails look so pretty
    Then a feeling hits me
    A sudden bubble bursts
    An erupting is forming within me
    Literally, I need to shit!
    My nails are still wet, damn it!
    How can I do this without smudging them?
    I call my oldest daughter over
    Can you please unbutton my pants for me?
    She can’t get the zipper
    I’m crossing my legs
    Holding it in
    I yell at her, hurry up, faster!
    She is getting anxious
    I’m getting frustrated and have to go
    Finally I move her hands and do it myself
    I unbutton and unzip
    I run to the bathroom
    I take care of business
    At peace again
    I look down at my nails
    Smudged mauve
    The new color of the day.

    A true story by: Mandy B. Fernandez

  29. writinglife16


    I met you and
    in that second,
    I knew you
    Would lead me to ruin.
    Take me down
    a dirt road
    in a city full of
    paved streets.
    I should have been scared.
    Should have run the other way,
    But the exhilaration
    was intoxicating.
    Twenty years later,
    We’re still discovering
    Dirt roads.

  30. mschied


    A spasm of hilarity
    caused by an unexpected word
    “I crock, you crock, we all crock”
    What a crock of
    mac and cheese?
    no food poisoning for me
    but the crock of
    sending rivulets of humor
    coursing down my cheeks
    and the security of my seat
    becomes suspicious
    as hiccups of hilarity
    threaten to throw me to the floor
    how much more of a
    can I stand
    why not a jug
    a platter
    a ladle
    or even a crocodile
    nothing as funny
    as a
    of nothing

  31. Linda Voit

    Morning After Rain

    For the ten minute ride, we talk about schedules
    and due dates until, as I turn the wheel
    toward your high school, your face alights
    and you absently reach over to touch
    my right arm and say, “Oh, look at the reflections
    of the sky in the parking lot.”

    The moments we know our children will be OK –
    so fleeting and so unforgettable.

    Linda Voit

    1. Maggie

      LV, Dorothy F. penned these ‘moments of clarity while living in the question’. Beautifully written, friend. For me, it’s the reach, the touch of the right arm…sharing…the rest of what need not be said aloud… <3

  32. zwrite1

    Leaving the Hospital

    In a long gown and matching robe,
    my hair brushed, gleaming,
    just a touch of makeup,
    I’m beautiful in that moment
    and a woman.
    I have birthed a child and he is perfect.

    I wait for my husband
    to install the car seat
    into the old Fairlane Ford we have inherited
    from my grandparents.
    His hands are shaking with nervousness
    and the lack of alcohol in his system at that time of day.
    One of the orderlies helps him
    and I laugh, that an engineer is outdone by a child’s car seat.
    Looking into the most dear face
    sleeping in my arms,
    wearing a sailor suit in baby blue and white,
    everything has changed.

    This moment separates everything that happened before
    from the rest of my life.
    Today and forevermore, I am a mother.
    Remembering my mother’s words, and understanding them for the first time
    not as a warning, but a blessing,
    “Once you have a child, your life is never your own.”

    1. PressOn

      I can’t relate personally, but the awe comes through just the same. I especially love the aptness of “an engineer is outdone by a child’s car sea.”

  33. mohinipuranik

    Those Simple Moments
    that simple moment
    your simple joke
    my laughter
    that simple chat
    those simple questions
    and those cute answers
    two strangers
    and one simple moment
    made us friends – soul mates

    every moment with you
    just a simple moment with you
    you made it so special for me
    those simple moments
    are most special moments

    those silly fights,
    and those anxious moments
    your witty remarks
    and those simple smiles
    special memories of my life
    those simple moments
    are most special moments

    those simple discussions
    and sweet arguments
    without ego battle
    those simple moments with you
    are so special moments for me
    those simple moments
    are most special moments

    writing those simple moments,
    those special memories
    am smiling again…
    those simple moments
    those precious moments with you

    – © Mohini Puranik

  34. Walt Wojtanik


    She stands
    heart full of fire.
    Consumed by her soul’s desire,
    for she knows steps she has taken
    could be so mistaken.

    She walks.
    Passions inflamed.
    She wants his muse to notice.
    Sharing the desire to dance
    if they just took the chance.

    She basks
    in the sun’s warmth.
    She stops, feeling its embrace
    like his arms over the miles.
    She stands there and smiles.

    She knows
    passions can burn.
    She wants to feel all she can,
    no promise or demand, just heat;
    an all-consuming love.

    She sighs.
    She wants this more
    than anything else she knows.
    He continues to grow on her,
    touching every moment.

    She steps,
    moving closer;
    feeling alive with passion,
    his words entice her to want more;
    lead her to their dance floor.

    She feels
    alive and well
    desired. Fired by him
    who writes love as he writes his heart,
    letting this moment start.

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

    1. Kjean

      The passion drives the entire poem from beginning to end! I especially love these lines, Walt:
      “like his arms over the miles.”
      “Fired by him
      who writes love as he writes his heart,
      letting this moment start.”

      Well done!

  35. Misky

    Caught on a Swirl

    I was hanging clothes out on the line —
    it reminded me
    that everything is a swirl.
    of motion.
    in motion.
    wind catching cherry blossoms,
    scattering them like my
    disorderly thoughts,
    and I was caught in that moment
    as colours were fleeing petals, greens
    nodding agreement to swooning
    blue skies and skipping clouds,
    and then that moment
    was gone.
    and all settled still
    as idle bones again.


    (c) 2015 by M Braendeholm

  36. James Stack


    Our joint occasions were limited,
    oh, and joyous when shared.

    You responded as did I –
    for a long moment in time.

    We were only just acquaintances,
    no, no more than casual friends.

    Your mind mingled within mine –
    for a long moment in time.

    Together as if by accident we connected,
    lo, pushed together by chance.

    Our bodies melded –
    for a long moment in time.

  37. ReathaThomasOakley

    One moment

    That last hot dry summer
    in Montana we drove
    out past the Rocker Six
    its grass baked almost brown.
    On the hardpan road
    long branches stretched
    from ditch to ditch
    but no trees grew
    along Rosebud Creek Road.
    The branches moved
    changed to rattlesnakes.
    That fall we moved
    to a greener place
    when the rain came
    sat on the front porch with our sons
    welcoming the cool and wet.
    I looked into your face
    searching for a smile
    and in that moment I knew
    what I feared was true
    the snakes had followed us there.

    1. Kjean

      It is heart-stopping! I expected a tidy, sweet ending and then this! WOW! You did an awesome job and such lovely word choices—I especial liked “its grass baked almost brown.” and “along Rosebud Creek Road. The branches moved changed to rattlesnakes.”

      Rosebud Creek Road reminded me of the Rosebud Reservation which I know is not in Montana, but your words and descriptions leading up to that line, just made me think of it…

  38. leatherdykeuk


    The smell of camphor.
    Keep calm.
    you can do this

    the creak of wood
    a floorboard?
    Straining ears
    opening my mouth to silence my breathing
    heart hammering
    is that audible?
    Wood against my back
    my feet.
    Knees drawn up pressing my chest
    fur brushing my cheek
    fingertips touching smooth wood
    encounter a burr
    focus on that
    picture it
    visualise it

    a knot
    a whorl of pine against the grain
    prickles where cells have twisted,
    broken under the sander,
    bubbles of varnish
    dried like specks of amber.
    Another creak.
    Hold your breath
    don’t make a sound

    heart thudding
    oxygen starvation
    prickles of wood against my finger


  39. Jo


    The word
    changes its
    on the nights
    I can’t sleep.

    When I first
    get into bed,
    each moment
    in time chases
    after the one
    before it,
    like butterflies
    in playful
    pursuit of
    each other.

    for sleep, I
    shut off
    the light
    and then
    elongate in
    making my own
    fearful and
    myself the
    that haunted
    me as
    a child
    still lingers
    to do

    Jo Aylard

  40. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    At the Turn of a Dime

    Pacific blue held them as the day at sea
    began like so many others.
    Each man had duties to preform,
    each holding tomorrow dreams within.
    In a flash of airborne light, their reverie
    cracked, like their ship as bombs and planes
    came raining down upon them.

    My Dad, the greatest hero of my life,
    stood at his station when the commanding officer,
    a young man, barely old enough for war,
    ordered him to help put out a fire at the bow.
    Snapping to in rote military fashion,
    Dad ran down the deck to the fire hose.
    As he turned to douse hell’s fury on the deck,
    a kamikaze slammed like an errant meteor
    full force into the destroyer steel of his station.
    From the bow, he turned to see the crumpled iron;
    where he had stood moments before lay
    torn open as if the ship were made of paper.

    Deep pacific blue held him safe that day,
    returning him to land and those he loved.
    But Neptune took the commanding officer,
    a young man, barely old enough for war.

    1. Pepe Batbon

      wow! powerful historic stuff! There are remnants of the land battles from WWII all over the island where I live. The air battle here was called the Marianas Turkey Shoot. The Enola Gay took off from this island.

  41. Pepe Batbon


    though we have had just a few April showers
    it’s time to get in that old car and drive
    off in search of some spring wildflowers
    at all elevations they seem to thrive
    Mt. Charleston morphs into ice crystal
    Calico Springs rocks live up to their name
    Death Valley pavement hot as a pistol
    as wildflowers play their slow bloom game
    strong winds blow dust all across the valley
    bees bumble in a patch of new clover
    tumbleweeds rest in a nearby alley
    as April springtime slowly takes over
    last night listening to a Chinese lute
    darkness revealed Orion’s belt and suit

      1. Pepe Batbon

        a sonnet on it, the northern Mojave desert, gorgeous wildflowers in spring, tremendous star gazing at night. Thanks for the positive comments.

  42. Jezzie


    I’ve special moments in my day:
    when you pick up my ball to play,
    when you come down during the night
    just as it’s starting to get light,
    when you give me a tickle-tum,
    when I hear your car coming home,
    when I hear your key in the door,
    or when we have a shake-a-paw,
    when you get my collar and lead,
    when you fill my bowl for my feed,
    when you say “Right, it must be time…”
    These all are the moments that I’m
    always waiting for, when I’m sure
    I’ll be likely to receive your
    rare undivided attention
    (getting treats goes without mention).

    Not so special is when you shout
    to tell me to “get down” or “go out”,
    “no” “don’t bite” or “leave next door’s cat”.
    But for you I will accept that.
    If I don’t always toe the line
    ANY of your attention’s fine.
    I’ll accept that you are busy
    and cannot spend all day with me.
    Understand when I’m around you
    moments that I don’t like are few.
    Whenever you’re near I am glad,
    whenever you’re gone I am sad.

    Another Doggy Ditty using my theme “Almost Human” Read more at https://jezabelmyschka.wordpress.com/

      1. Jezzie

        Wow! That is praise indeed! Thank you. I actually produce hardcover photo album books from my rhymes with appropriate photographs, mostly for presents for my family and friends but they are too expensive to sell on the open market. “Almost Human” will be my 70th birthday present to myself, as well as some copies for my children and a couple of close friends. It will contain all this April’s poems and photos of my new young dog. All due to Robert’s prompts, so a big thank you to Robert.

  43. Ravyne

    One Perfect Moment

    I minded my camera
    cleaned the lens
    and zoomed in

    I scanned the park
    searched for a clean shot
    focused on children playing

    Their tiny bodies moved
    and dodged, a game of catch
    nothing new for my camera

    Next a picnic
    mother laid out sandwiches
    father eased back on his palms

    a nice scene
    but too esthetic
    I craved something more

    a glow caught my eye
    a twinkle of color
    movement on a bench

    You tilted your head
    and the sun bathed you
    with glints of gold

    auburn hair danced
    against pale cheekbones
    slid across ruby lips

    And I knew in an instance
    in that one perfect moment
    I had to capture you

    ~Lori Carlson~

  44. Arash


    by Arash E.

    Moments are butterflies.
    They die kept in a jar.

    Moments: fleet of sinking lifeboats.
    We’re frogs that leap across the lily pads.

    Moments are the floating footballs.
    Catch one. Breathe, and then run!

    Moments are lonely buds.
    Caress them so they blossom.

    Moments are closing rooms.
    Stretch out your arms and be.

    Moments, this verse, this word.
    See it, feel it, it’s gone.

  45. Cynthia Page

    A Beggar’s Song

    A pittance of your pity;
    a poem for your moment.
    If you’ll give me a listen,
    I promise to be dear.

    I’ve lost my way home,
    and I’ve lost my last dime.
    Though sun shines hither,
    in dark days I wither. I go.

    Food sustains me.
    No dignity drains me.
    Remember me and
    render me to God
    when I’m gone.

    It’s late in the year; oh dear,
    it’s late in my life – over
    sixty odd years since
    Mama gave up her covers

    to protect her most dear,
    and now I’m here, yes, here
    where she started my life. Here
    in the streets of a city

    without pity, or the time
    of day for poor ones
    like me. We’re forgotten –
    forgotten by time and you.

    Food sustains me.
    No dignity drains me.
    Remember me and
    render me to God
    when I’m gone.

    Please give me a listen
    So I can beg one more time
    for the pity of this city, for,
    without food and dignity, I die.

    by Cynthia Page
    April 24, 2015


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