2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

Every day brings joy and pain, at least that’s what my Facebook feed would have me believe. Every day, I see stories of people helping each other and harming each other. Every day, I see surprises that improve lives and surprises that completely shatter lives. Every day, babies are born, people die, and some fall in love. I hope your days in April have been improved by this challenge–or at least, that they’ve been more bearable.

For today’s prompt, take a word or two invented by William Shakespeare, make it the title of your poem, and write your poem. Click here for a link to some words coined by Shakespeare, who was baptized on this date in 1564. If the link doesn’t work, here are a few: advertising, bloodstained, critic, dwindle, eyeball, hobnob, luggage, radiance, and zany. He invented more than 1,700!


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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.

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Here’s my attempt at a Word-Invented by Shakespeare Poem:

“cold-blooded moonbeam”

slanting across the sea
& the lovers hidden in the trees
whispering into the breeze

cold-blooded moonbeam
may you tempt the hearts
& stretch the seams

of every lover everywhere
who ever threw away their cares
to reach for something that might be there

& if the lover plays the fool
so much more the worth for you
because it means the pain is true

cold-blooded moonbeam


Today’s guest judge is…

Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator, and actor, author of Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry), Pinnacle Book Award & Reader’s Favorite Award winner; The Astonished Universe (Red Hen Press); Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry), Ce que nous portons (Editions du Cygne), her translation of Dorianne Laux; and Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press), her translation of Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac.

She holds a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College & LMU, received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucia, and co-edits Dublin Poetry Review, Levure Litteraire, and Fulcrum.

Learn more at HeleneCardona.com.


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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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773 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. gloryia


    footsteps sound
    and as I turn
    they stop, but echo
    still in the dark, dank, air
    of alleyways that hide the
    night, keep it close, until the dawn
    creeps in to distil the fear of strangers

  2. hannahmarie


    Tell me,
    moon man.
    Have these
    lonely fixtures
    forever been
    handled with such
    torturous swagger –
    barefaced and bloodstained?
    What premeditated savagery
    sells blushing moonbeams
    with less remorse?
    Moon man, will you at least
    promise them dawn?

  3. stepstep


    To sit alone part of each day
    To find time for total solidarity
    Is difficult, yet necessary
    To experience tranquil moments.

    Shut your eyes
    Clear your head and envision
    Total peace, total clarity
    By blocking out all chaos.

    Tranquil moments bring serenity
    They quiet the mind to create
    A state of
    Perfect harmony.


  4. Scott Jacobson

    The dawn came on fast,
    running the world over without 
    caring who he woke up.
    The colors streaming behind
    the eyelids. The Intruders running
    out of the house carrying
    televisions, post cards,
    and love poems. Victims
    waking up next to their
    character flaws. A dreamer
    falls out of bed and into
    the arms of a reality
    that doesn’t care that his
    heart was broken yesterday.

  5. KatieHolmes2

    To Be Or Not To Be

    ‘To be or not to be’
    isn’t that the question of old?
    To lend him a hand of mine
    If I may be so bold.
    How do I know if he is the one,
    the way my story should be told?

    To be or not to be
    The great
    saying of old.

    -Katie Lynn-

  6. horselovernat

    Generous Besmirch Bandit

    Oh you blasphemous fiend,
    you’ve done it again.
    Just when I had you
    in my rearview mirror,
    you snuck about
    to blindside me again.

    It irks me that you only
    come after me, and that
    you find it funny to wait
    until my moment of
    greatest happiness before
    dropping by for dinner.

    Your methods, however,
    I cannot fault, and even
    wish I could master myself.
    You use the wind as
    your ride, and stop on by
    in between people’s ears.

    You spread rumors about
    imagined incompetence,
    and use terms like no record,
    lives at home, irresponsible,
    when all the while the very
    opposite is true.

    But alas, people shall always
    fall prey to your temptations
    and in doing so, deny happiness
    to those otherwise deserving,
    all for the menial and overrated
    perceived value of being rich.

    You generous besmirch bandit,
    how dare you come thieving
    and plotting and scheming
    with the goal of intervening
    to keep me from buying my horse,
    all for the love of the money game.

    Natalie Gasper

  7. seingraham


    She tries to make tranquil her mind
    as noiseless, she dresses in the dark.
    Feeling unreal, she lowers herself
    from her bedroom window,
    wants nothing to impede her escape
    from home this day.

    The horizon barely blushing hints
    at dawn as she joins
    the jaded crowd gathering
    in the square.
    So many comments gust about her,
    as critics speak of the accused:
    how worthless, flawed —
    No! She knows she must ignore them
    or she will begin to rant.

    She has come to witness his death.
    No matter how obscene she finds
    the savagery of his assassination
    (certainly her view of this end).
    It was the promise she made her
    champion – that she would be
    there, and so she would.

    This poem is constructed using many words coined by Shakespeare – among them: tranquil, noiseless, unreal, lower, impede, blushing, hint, dawn, jaded, gust, critic, worthless, flawed, rant, assassination, savagery, champion, accused, and obscene.

  8. shellcook

    Bloodstained Moonbeams

    Careless words, though finely wrought,
    upon my lips feel hard and hot.
    Judgement rendered, sharply drawn,
    to throw like spears in light of dawn.
    No impartial judge am I,
    as words of deafening anger fall.

    My kingdom, yours,
    for more kindly words.
    Forgetting old foundations laid,
    I break through rock and slash away,
    when careful words would help me more,
    to unmake the bloodstained moonbeam on the floor,

    to find the burning at my core,
    to bar the fire and lock the door,
    I turn in search, on wounded knee,
    to ask forgiveness of thee and me.
    And pray the damage done, does not seep
    into the cracks in the floor.


  9. mmarie

    Bonus Poem (I found it too hard to choose just one word)

    by M. Marie

    I am quite
    to accept,
    to give in,
    to concede.

    I’ve been told
    I put too
    little value
    on my own desires,
    or perhaps too
    much value on yours?

    I’m more than
    to be agreeable.
    Conflict is a
    I have
    no desire
    to conquer,
    and there’s a

    to be found
    in submission.

    in this matter-
    with your frown
    weighing down
    my words,
    and your
    weakening my resolve,
    I am resolved to

    Pick your battles,
    the proverbs caution,
    and I’m overdue
    for a fight.
    I’ve been
    and fair

    in my dealings
    until now,
    we all have
    We all have
    lines we will not cross.

    Take care
    where you move
    your troops today,
    and be selective
    in who you share
    your battleplans,
    for there will
    be war
    if you overstep.

    In this,
    I will accept

  10. LDeAngelis


    On Monday,
    he borrowed a canoe.

    On Tuesday,
    he bought a paddle.

    On Wednesday,
    he found its match.

    On Thursday,
    he searched for a life vest.

    On Friday,
    he stocked up on bottled water.

    On Saturday,
    he readied the roof rack.

    On Sunday,

    I tipped the canoe and sent all his best laid plans into the water, foot over face, and kissed his curled lip as all our possessions drifted away.
    He’s as orderly as the tides and I’m as unpredictable as the current. But somehow, we stay afloat.

    (Him, and his life vests)

  11. laurie kolp

    Mimicking Lackluster

    Cold-blooded, addiction
    swaggers countless champions
    and lowers them to savagery.
    Dauntless bandits, they
    blanket green-eyed torture.
    Gnarled, impartial gossip—
    undress the lonely dawn
    a deafening critic.

  12. SFagan12

    Fixtures, Gossip

    When women speak in stalls, their voices
    bounce across the tile like tennis balls,
    neon orange, gold. “She’s driving me crazy,”
    one says, ripping toilet paper from its roll,
    “I know what you mean,” the other flushes hard.
    Water whirpools down. They snap and zip,
    their voices volley back and forth,
    echoes gather in the folds
    of paper towels. Their vowels rise and spill
    in sinks, circling the silver drains.
    Even in here they keep connecting,
    even in this private space,
    words reach out to other words.
    Lights wink and flicker
    in the mirrors. “What did you say?”
    It hardly matters; sometimes the voice,
    the human voice is the only thing!
    Even latched doors cannot—
    Even the sound of water hitting water cannot—
    even the absurdity of conversation here cannot—
    faucets on full flow, hand dryers
    whine. Still the women chat away, hands
    soapy, under water, sound waves
    washing out the door.
    They lean in, check the mirror,
    tell each other,
    “I know you’re here.
    I know you’re here.”

  13. tobysgirl

    Ode to Your Eyeball

    Your eyeball makes me self-conscious –
    As it strays to the left or right I completely ignore
    your other eye, not sure where I ever made eye contact with others
    when their eyes were not
    wandering to and fro.
    Please don’t think I am distracted – I am very interested in
    what you have to say,
    just please hold that eyeball still!

    –Jennifer McCann


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