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.


Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

Poem Your Heart Out again!

The prompts from last year’s challenge along with the winning poem from each day ended up in an inspired little anthology titled Poem Your Heart Out. It was part prompt book, part poetry anthology, and part workbook, because each day includes a few pages for you to make your own contributions.

Anyway, the anthology worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year, and you can take advantage of a 20% discount from Words Dance by pre-ordering before May 1, 2015.

Click to continue.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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773 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. bellestarr12


    George Sand referred to her body as a marble envelope.
    Let’s extend that to the mind, but make it glass,
    equally cold, hard, rigid, but transparent.
    We need to be able to see out.
    Of course it’s more breakable than marble.
    We watch life, and are watched, through windows anyway.
    We just don’t always know they are there.

  2. candy

    Zany Moonbeam

    A zany moonbeam pushed
    Aside the curtains and
    Climbed over the window-
    Sill in noiseless grace, nudging
    Aside the gnarled fingers of
    Darkness that clutched
    My bedroom

  3. writinglife16


    Truth will out
    one day.
    Traffic stopped.
    Cameras came out
    We watched as two massive
    turkeys crossed the road
    and entered the woods.
    Did we witness a stroll or
    a return to nature?

    **This just happened. It was incredible.

  4. Kim King

    38 Words Invented by Shakespeare


    The gloomy green-eyed count is noiseless. Gnarled
    hands work in lustrous moonbeams, hide the bumps
    with beached whale blankets, frugal choices bought
    on sale. Now dawn, the wind elbows the night
    with gusts that rant at worthless windows. Next,
    he puts the label on his luggage, leaves
    the bedroom, hurries by a bloodstained fixture
    where he hobnobbed last night half undressed
    from zany party scuffles. Tired from puking,
    drugged, excitement dwindling, caked with mud,
    he passes sleeping mountaineers and flees––
    a jaded bandit, into radiance,
    arousing naked barefaced girls who blush.


  5. b_kelli

    Equivocal Loneliness

    I need peace. Moments of quiet lonely tranquil time weaved in between this hectic life of mine.
    I need love. The kind that plants
    the tiny kiss under layers of thoughtfulness.
    I need sun. Grass under bare feet, wind in tangled hair, wild and without care.
    I need to be lonely. To wish for more even when I’ve been watered daily.

    – Kelli Schmidt-Bultena

  6. Valkyri

    Why is it that there is still a stigma toward mental illness? Is anyone really mentally well? Don’t each of us, as human beings, have some issues of the psyche to overcome? I am not only discontent within my own small space of world, I am wearily discontent that people are still judgmental and afraid of those who are mentally ill.

    by Valeri Paxton-Steele

    I am ill.
    I take a pill.
    I have some fears.
    I shed some tears.
    I am sick.
    You say “Ick.”
    I don’t care
    If you stare.
    You are right.
    I am a fright.
    I want to die,
    to say good bye.
    Who am I
    but one who cries?
    I am blue,
    it is true.
    Still I do try,
    you can’t deny.
    To be clear,
    Don’t sit too near.
    I sometimes feel too crushed
    and smushed.
    I’m not lazy.
    I am just crazy.
    What makes you think
    you’re in the pink?
    To drown I wish
    Or noose go swish
    I wish me dead.
    It’s in my head.
    Always has been
    since I was ten.
    If I go out,
    I do pout
    So away from home
    I do not roam.
    What makes you think
    you don’t need a shrink?
    Who are you
    to say what’s true?
    Do not be amused.
    I was abused.
    I am not well
    as you can tell.
    In my life
    There has been strife.
    Sad and mad
    humble and glad,
    To a counselor I do go
    She’s the one who runs my show.
    It’s not a trick-
    my mind does stick.
    Little sanity remains-
    (There’s a bit to still maintain.)
    I am nuts,
    But I’ve got guts.
    I wrote a book!
    Anyone can look:
    Shadowstyx by Valkyri
    is the book about me.
    About mental illness I do care
    and shout about it I do dare.

  7. DanielR


    Empty rooms are sharp knives
    plunged into my soul
    in the deserted hours of night
    I listen for the voice I seek
    to stop the bleeding
    but it is far too remote
    wrapping me in a blanket of abandonment
    suffocating me like a plastic bag over my head
    and when I stop fighting it, giving in to not breathing
    there is a twisted solace in the comfort of familiar
    the echoing of my friend

    Daniel Roessler

  8. torigw


    The way you take corners
    is dauntless, the jaunty way
    you run for the cone, flex a
    flexible knee, wave
    you’re ready, hand loose
    in the air, catching sun,
    birdwing. The tensity is
    superlative, everything
    you have behind that kick,
    that leg lift, that collapsible
    minute. You stretch, following
    the ball’s slow arc with a
    determined eye, get back
    in the game. Yes, bring that.

  9. fayina


    Your eyes refuse to be pools,
    decline to house crocodiles
    or glide gracefully into recollections.

    But once we were “two coffees,
    milk without sugar,
    sugar without milk.”

    I don’t rely on memories
    but that day your head rested on my shoulder
    while the bus slid us into a wasteland.

    You try on smiles in the hotel lobby
    while I become old silver,
    quiet and darkened.

    I, the blistered sky,
    refuse to show the stars
    and lie motionless, muted.

    Like an aging conqueror,
    you keep track of the cities.
    I become them.

    Once you said tell me a story;
    well my eyes want the wind and the dust.
    They ask for it.

    Fae Spurrier

  10. DanielR


    My left foot is in cement
    anchored to a thousand years
    and you are tossing coins
    in an abandoned wishing well.
    I used to believe in two answers
    to every question
    only one being right
    but I have learned that the straight line between
    has many curves
    with the remedy mostly gray in tone.
    Shouting expletives and swatting baseball bats
    won’t improve my demeanor
    and it makes you a beast of limited potential.
    The softest voice is the one that roars with reason
    and penetrates the walls of the canyon divide
    sparking a fire that moves us forward
    in pursuit of majestic compromise.

    Daniel Roessler

  11. Ravyne

    Premeditated Critic

    Once, I caught you acting out
    the argument we would have
    you played my role so fluently
    I could have played yours too, you know

    We are nearly alike, you and I
    two vines with one root
    I climb trellises that wrap my shoots
    You slither the ground to strangle

    You don’t even wait for all the evidence
    before your incessant nag nag nag begins
    You are Xanthippe dousing my head
    with the contents of your chamber pot

    Your premeditated criticism
    severs any love that once flourished

    ~Lori Carlson~

  12. Kimmy Sophia

    Multitudinous Fray

    Sparrows are brawling in the holly bush,
    a multitudinous fray
    of noise and flapping,
    A beak fight in the birdie saloon!
    Birdies of the evening flirt from branchy lounges,
    while the birdy fellers duke it out,
    scuffling and swaggering,
    pecking everything in sight.
    A generous birdtender
    calms the throng,
    as gloomy passions dwindle:
    “A round of seeds for everyone!,” he chirped,
    “All’s well that ends well.”
    (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

  13. IrmaH


    The master
    had his way with stories
    made the words he needed
    to tell his tales
    in lustrous language.

    (The Shakespearean word is “lustrous”)

  14. Pepe Batbon


    who’s that laughing so loud out on the lawn
    the wedding party is over groom gushing
    his exhausted bride now stifling a yawn
    during her vows she seemed to be blushing
    can’t forget the last time he was in this church
    the white tuxedo he wore was a rental
    the bride bolted and left his friend in the lurch
    what she did was not coincidental
    off in the old pickup truck they both rode
    him soon barfing like a puking mule
    when he learned how much money they owed
    and felt he’d been played for a fooking fool
    sour apples will soon pucker your lips
    and a new moon doesn’t need an eclipse

  15. MaryVaan


    She came to me in a dream
    Laughing and cooing dancing
    With abandon she disappeared
    Many times but I always sensed her there

    She came to say something
    Take me in her arms and cradle me
    Cooing and smiling at the infant I’ve become
    Making up for lost time she said

    Her eyes looked happy
    Her face framed by chestnut curls
    Her neck unremitting
    Impossibly long and lovely

    Her neck a beautiful golden trunk
    Unbranched and by dream magic
    Deep gashes formed around its girth
    I could sense there was harm done

    She left abruptly trunk to mother and off again
    A shawl wrapped around her lovely shoulders
    Laughing eyes color of slate and her neck
    Harmed bruised purple-stained still beautiful still cooing

    (The 30 poems this month together will tell a story)

    1. Kjean

      I love this stanza:
      Her neck a beautiful golden trunk
      Unbranched and by dream magic
      Deep gashes formed around its girth
      I could sense there was harm done

      Lovely yet unstinting words and images…

  16. gzman02

    The Blushing Bandit

    I knew the blushing bandit
    Since the beginning of freshman year
    We had met through mutual friends
    And were roommates of two

    He wasn’t particularly attractive
    Or witty or smart or charming
    He was just the kind of guy
    Where what you get is what you see

    I wasn’t so sure how long we knew
    Each other or were friends
    But we found a place by the river
    Where no one else every went

    We went there often
    Sometimes with a beer
    And talked about life
    And secret desires

    I told him my secret
    He said it wasn’t a big deal
    He leaned in and kissed me
    For that I wasn’t prepared

    This was the first real time
    I had ever been with someone
    As an adult not a kid
    My head swam

    I couldn’t stop talking after
    Amazing, incredible, natural
    Flowed from my mouth
    My blushing bandit turned redder and redder

    It was our one and only time
    Though we stayed friends after
    I changed that day
    And found a peace

    Of mind that would only last
    For a brief moment in time
    My blushing bandit took something from me
    But gave me so much more

  17. PressOn


    The bakers start their day at four,
    creating pastries for the store
    while chattering behind the door.

    They patter through relaxing natter,
    kneading their subcutaneous batter
    about subjects that hardly matter.

    Small cookies amuse small minds.

    William Preston

  18. Joseph Harker

    Mea culpa: I twisted the prompt a little bit, and went with a Shakespeare-coined phrase instead of an individual word. There’s a bunch at http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/phrases-sayings-shakespeare.html if anyone cares to risk the wrath of the prompt gods and do the same.

    Charmed Life

    It’s like when the boy you secretly love
    walks away from the car crash without
    a scratch, so his cross-country runner
    dreams don’t end up dashed, which would,
    by consequence, mean your parasitic ones
    could yet come true if you confess them
    now, with Fortune still in the room, like
    you really believe luck breeds anything but
    hope, like the difference between what
    you want and what you can get is merely
    rubbed-off odds, one careful swerve away.

  19. Kjean

    WhenI put you on the spot
    (that darn spot anyway)
    and asked, “Do you love me?”
    Your grey eyes grew hazy
    and you squeezed your face
    like you had just sucked a lemon
    or ate cooked spinach
    (which really never gave
    Popeye the strength for anything)
    And I wanted to swallow those words
    right back down my throat–
    into my stomach–
    to be processed as refuse.
    But I didn’t…
    I couldn’t
    because there they were
    in their stark nakedness
    bared to all the world of
    you and your heart
    beating, fast? Slow?
    Wishing you could get
    away from me as
    obsequiously as possible?
    Dauntless or dumbfounded,
    I stood there waiting,
    my eyes lasering yours.
    your lips tried to form words
    with which you couldn’t have
    besmirched me any more
    than you already add.
    And then, just as I
    backed away,
    tears blurring my vision,
    you took my hand and
    placed it over
    your heart saying,
    “Stay with me,
    (Then you threw up.)

  20. Hannah

    I LOVE your poem, Robert!! Thank you for the fun challenge. 🙂

    April PAD Day 26 – poem entitled with a word or two invented by William Shakespeare

    One lovers and for my hubby and I – it’s our anniversary today! ♥


    Submerged in Moonbeams

    Pull curtains aside
    bedroom’s bathed in pools of blue
    all’s glazed in consuming light
    sheets bloom as Georgia O’ Keeffe canvas
    plumeria and moonlit magnolia petals
    pink and white rise and fall…
    breath of night sighs
    wholly – pure joy.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2015

  21. Minibusy


    Ah, night, cruel night, your perfidy dismays,
    the moon has turned its face against my plea.

    Thick shadows mock my vision as I gaze
    upon the void that is eternity;
    upon the brooding darkness of my days.

    Denied, I cloak myself in misery.
    Rebuffed, I seek the error of my ways.
    Uncertain in my own mortality;
    unmanned, I suffer from a deep malaise.

    Chagrined in soul by her harsh apathy,
    I curse the feeling that my heart betrays,
    and doubt my will, plagued by uncertainty.

    Can I not find some solace here, some peace?
    Ah, night, cruel night, when will my sorrow cease?

    Sharon Anderson

  22. bxpoetlover

    Cold Blooded:
    Why I Hung Up Last Night and Blocked Your Number

    Had I known the connection between the iris and the frontal lobe, I would have:
    invited you on a midnight walk,
    pointed at the North Star,
    asked you to focus,
    sat you down on a rock,
    tilted your head back,
    stood over you with a flashlight,
    studied your pupils.

    I suspect
    I would have found more contraction furrows
    than crypts
    in thy frugal eyeballs.

  23. PeanuttyO

    Premeditated Puking

    Be ready by nine
    I’ll pick you up at eight
    We are going to party
    Man, we will have fun

    We will get there by ten
    Leave by nine
    Beer with a vodka shot
    Keep ’em flowing
    We’ll keep drinking

    By one I am a dancing machine
    I quit dancing at twelve
    Got moves like Jagger
    Partying like a rockstar

    I’ll be sick later
    probably by three
    I’ll be sick all day tomorrow
    at least until two

    It’s okay though
    sometimes a night of
    premeditated puking
    is just what you need

  24. John Bauer

    Lustrous Elbow
    John Bauer

    The dawn accuses you–my barefaced blushing bride.
    Don’t be frugal with lonely loins. In yonder bedroom you hide?
    My love for you is vaulting and monumental —
    Witness dauntless organ metamorphized majestic and not circumstantial.
    In his excitement, itself ungnarled and discontent, premeditated you’d undress.
    Green-eyed lady, I bet you’re submerged under blanket, torturing him, noiseless.
    Aroused, lustrous elbow you eyeball swaggers not to be obscene—
    He panders to dwindle inside you, our courtship not disheartened– a much-flawed dream!

  25. kelly letky

    the daunting dwindle of compromise
    {a game of shakespeare}

    you say age cannot wither her, sir

    but i say what a piece of work is man all filled up

    with woe is me and heart on your sleeve and

    a rose by any other name when what you mean is

    love is blind or bag and baggage but i carry you

    to the corner of frailty, thy name is woman all

    green eyed monster and fight fire with fire

    (really, i have green eyes)

    and lay you down under the greenwood tree knowing

    for certain that all the world’s a stage

    and the milk of human kindness will save you when

    the game is up and thereby hangs a tale

    of more fool you though

    this is the short and the long of it

    and the course of true love never did run smooth

    but all’s well that ends well and we both know

    there’s method in my madness


    Et tu, Brute i say, Et tu?*


    -Kelly Letky
    *(I decided to have some fun and take this one a bit further, using Shakespeare phrases all the way through…I don’t know how to show italics here, but the version on my blog at: http://www.mrsmediocrity.com/2015/04/26/the-daunting-dwindle-of-compromise-a-game-of-shakespeare/ points out all the phrases in that way.)

  26. Kyarochan

    This remorseless whirligig
    By Caroline Hutchinson

    (I got a bit carried away.)

    A noiseless, lustrous plaything,
    I bewitch dauntless young-eyed,
    yet innocent of fear.

    In blushing adolescence,
    men swagger, play at courtship,
    life’s savagery unreal.

    I’ll bite thee by the gnarled ear;
    deafening ceaseless spinning
    a monumental fixture.

    “And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” – Twelfth Night


  27. writtenbymandy

    Title: An Obscene Modern Shakespeare Scene

    Last night the crew met up at midnight
    Discussed zany stories until the morning’s light

    This hob knob they shared turned into a rant
    After too many spirits, voices began to pant

    Egos were jaded; men were soon puking
    Twas obscene to witness these former friends duking

    This deafening scuffle was laughable to all the passersby
    Such flawed addition of drink that caused two men to die.

    (Shakespeare invented words used:
    zany, hob knob, rant, jaded, puking, obscene, deafening, scuffle, laughable, flawed)

    By: Mandy B. Fernandez

  28. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Nimble-footed Moonbeam

    Lightly, you skip between thick forest giants,
    landing without wobble on the watery stage.
    Flitting over both rippling tide and pasture,
    you flirt with souls too assailable to resist
    your noiseless signal to fancy and frolic.

  29. Gwyvian

    Lonely mimic

    My sweet ideal is stolen,
    for so many carve their paths with ease—
    so certain their stride, so filled with pride,
    and I feel so ill at ease… I had dreamed
    of those roads long before, yet
    always hesitated to step—
    now I see them striding in originality,
    and I merely stand in regret; such
    is the fate of a lonely mimic
    who never quite catches the chance,
    the skirt of opportunity swishing out of sight
    on a lady who dances into different arms and
    leaves me bereft and barefaced,
    running after everyone else…

    April 26, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  30. Cynthia Page

    Dauntless Admiration

    Your glances aroused this excitement,
    and dreams of your lustrous smile grant me
    grace scarcely known by this worthless
    servant of your love, though I’m blushing
    at my own audacity for such boldness.
    Dare I swagger before the green-eyed gaze
    of envious swains? Accuse me of pandering
    to the radiance of your flawless skin,
    and the soft caress of your tranquil voice,
    yet I’ll not be disheartened until
    your regard for me dwindles to naught.
    Then this unfortunate will descend into
    cold-blooded savagery from your loss.

    by Cynthia Page
    April 26, 2015

  31. mohinipuranik

    Lonely! I Love To Be Lonely
    lonely! i love to be lonely
    lonely! i wanna be lonely

    lonely! it isn’t bad to be lonely
    lonely! i wanna spend time with ‘me’

    lonely! i love to be lonely,
    lonely! i wanna discover my poetry

    lonely! i wanna read my heart
    lonely! i wanna be lonely

    lonely! i love to be lonely,
    lonely! i want to focus on my work

    lonely! i want to teach, guide myself
    lonely! i wanna assess myself

    lonely! why is it thought so bad?
    lonely! i love to be lonely….

    lonely! i love to be lonely
    lonely! i wanna read books

    lonely! i wanna fall in love with the nature
    lonely! i wanna travel the world

    lonely! i wanna learn the colors of sky
    lonely! i love to be lonely

    lonely! i love to drive on highway
    lonely! i wanna count those flowers on hills

    lonely! i love to be lonely
    lonely! i wanna create crafts

    lonely! i wanna be lonely
    lonely! i wanna realize myself

    lonely! i wanna count the stars
    lonely! i wanna ride with the waves of sea

    lonely! i love to be lonely
    lonely! i wanna write insanely

    lonely! i wanna be lonely
    lonely! i wanna create a new world of poetry

    lonely! i wanna sing lonely
    lonely! wanna compose the tunes of love

    lonely! i wanna be lonely
    lonely! i love to be lonely

    – © Mohini Puranik

  32. Gwyvian


    Our tongues are tied with fury,
    words mere sighs behind tight lips—
    I see your anger towards me and
    wonder at the secrets you’ve kept on
    me; yet your fingers may not dabble
    more than what I have seen: perhaps
    our foils will meet on equal footing,
    for should I be besmirched, so
    shall thee, too, be…

    April 26, 2015

    By: Lucy K. Melocco

  33. Jezzie


    I lie here jaded, accused.
    You say it was I who abused
    the blanket in my bedroom?
    This is character assassination!
    You only have circumstantial
    evidence surely? But I cannot tell
    you a monumental barefaced lie.
    I will have to admit it was actually I.

    Don’t just stand there in amazement.
    I was feeling lonely and discontent
    and then suddenly I started puking.
    I couldn’t face your rebuking,
    and so at dawn, in my defence,
    I tried to destroy the evidence.

    I’ll bet you’ll never be able to forgive me
    for my remorseless, premeditated savagery.
    Please don’t rant at me or torture me.

    Please don’t eyeball me like that.
    I’m a worthless hound I know but
    it’s an addiction to chewing I’ve got.
    Can we compromise or negotiate?

    I’ll go without treats for a maybe a week?
    I’ll grovel at your feet, if only you’d speak
    kindly to me again. Please be generous
    I beg you. I feel so gloomy when I arouse
    your anger. I’m ashamed, blushing in disgrace.
    Please don’t send me back to my birthplace.

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

  34. Jaye Words

    I heard a young woman tell her obstetrician felt big, fat, and clumsy. He told her no. He told her she was magnificent in pregnancy. I loved that phrase. Yesterday, I saw my granddaughter holding her daughter, who is not quite four. The mom, due in less than two weeks, admits to being 5 feet 13 inches tall, and so reminded me of this phrase. She is beautiful.


    The young woman,
    with a tall woman’s frame,
    Not Junoesque, slim overall,
    Holds her small daughter on her lap.
    She sits with her child to one side,
    Accommodating. She is majestic,
    She is magnificent in her pregnancy.

  35. zwrite1

    Jaded Moonbeam

    a moonbeam falls without irony upon devotion and betrayal
    illuminating both the cruel and the caring in hushed hues
    lighting paths equally for treachery and romantic interludes
    she is witness to everything that happens under cover of darkness
    when wearied by hew own luminosity, she withdraws for a time
    and rests, leaving the night to it’s own devices
    before peeping again from under the blanket of stars.

  36. Roxanna Watrous

    Ha. This was fun. I looked at the list of Shakespeare words and shoved as many as possible into my poem. It kind of felt like using a magnetic poetry set.


    Bare-faced gossip mimic.
    You’ve got a problem
    and I’m in it.
    I stand accused,
    disabused of the notion
    that you give a damn.
    Hob-knob mountaineer
    listen here,
    things are about to get real.

    The gossip you spoke
    is a gust of dust that you blow
    of your discontent.

    You pander impediments
    to courtships that do contend
    for exposure to see.

    So let’s not pretend
    you’re not the green-eyed critic
    besmirching me.

    If it happens again,
    you should know
    my reply will be deafening.
    If you think that your the one cold-blooded,
    hold your ears.
    My character assassination will ring.

  37. Misky


    I dread those days
    when my thoughts
    are ravenous for attention.
    They are an ambush,
    the sun striking down night’s rest
    to unleash all those dread
    whispered secrets and inner debate.

    And on those iron-cold days,
    I steady a glare at the mirror,
    and ask my troubled mind
    if these worries shall be real
    and shall I be their slave –
    and slowly that inner hunger
    dwindles, returning my mind in full.


    (c) 2015 by M Braendeholm

  38. Feshrat

    Fariha Eshrat

    Today the breeze is heavy
    with our silent cries,
    ringing in the stillness of the night
    Are the echoes of our homes,
    our dreams,
    our families,
    falling apart.

    Sad is a pre-schooler word, it
    Belittles the pain that rips apart
    all the expectations you had of the future,
    It belittles the hunger
    for pay back
    throbbing in your veins.

    The stars don’t twinkle out here
    Where they witness innumerable tears,
    Where childless mothers and motherless children wander lost
    Praying for a freedom their land craves.

    Every sunrise is a beginning,
    maybe mercy will plea
    for a true beginning for us


  39. Arash

    In a whimsical mood, let me just say whatever comes to my mind about elbows:


    by Arash E.

    Elbow, a lovely word to say:
    Tongue to palate, at first,
    lips then are left open,
    rounded, ready to kiss.
    Elbow, it spells
    the shape of “V” or “L”,
    velvety soft letters in “love.”
    Sensitive, soft, to touch,
    waves of pleasure that felt
    when it’s gently caressed.
    Broken jaws can result
    with an elbow hit to the face
    in hockey games sometimes.
    Tennis elbow sounds kind of cool.
    Carrying heavy English books,
    I got Shakespeare Elbow.
    Using the same letters,
    could say “bowel,” “below.”
    Reminds me of the elbow pipes
    in the cramped and dirty washroom downstairs,
    which needs some elbow grease,
    as if there’s any elbow room down there.
    Our poems, like the elbow fixed
    on the desk and beneath the head,
    carry the weight of million minds
    reflecting on the words that Shakespeare said.

  40. EeLas6678

    “Breaking Free from the Addiction of Rumination”

    It’s easy to get stuck in the stuckness,
    Telling and re-telling, rumination goes unnoticed if you are in the same circle.
    I traveled to many circles,
    Some create difference, but still,
    so many hold on,
    Circumstance itself an addiction.

    I’m getting over this,
    I’ll get through that,
    Take time to process,
    But be aware when the miles reach excess,
    Obsessed with making wrongs right and life being fair.

    Maybe it’s the comfort,
    Always have a place to fit
    in a broken world.
    With this comfort comes idleness,
    Blankets of fear keep you warm for a while, but sooner or later
    Create static,
    A breeding ground for shock.

    When you finally wake up, don’t go back to sleep in your old bed,
    At least get some new sheets,
    Blank pages with new stories to tell.

    You make it,
    You made it,
    Cool linen on bare skin.

    -Emily Lasinsky

  41. Jo


    I want to
    wear my
    heart on my
    and not hide
    behind the
    myth that
    says “I’m

    I don’t want
    to smile
    when I’m
    sad or
    lie when
    the truth
    us both
    we need
    to know.

    Instead of
    ‘i love you’
    (what does that
    really mean
    let us
    tell each other
    “I bareface
    you” and
    that will
    be the
    we use
    to bare
    our naked
    to each

    That’s when
    our lives
    will really

    Jo Aylard

  42. donaldillich

    Gloomy Gossip at the End of the World

    The Peterson boys were eaten by the Antichrist,
    but no one seems to mind. They were swallowed
    whole by each mouth of the dragon, but for all
    people care it could be Christmas at church.
    Sigh. And Annette Rodgers has been inviting
    succubae into her hot tub, so they can do the nasty,
    and I can see from my backyard, but all anyone
    can care about listening to is the resistance leader,
    Simon Lee, who has armed about everyone in town.
    I think this is going to be the end of the world,
    with the four horsemen passing by, one of them
    creating dissension with the large McCoy clan,
    the fathers and sons splitting open their eyes
    with skewers, another one giving Ebola to the book
    club, which has switched to reading Revelations.
    If Death landed on my driveway I wouldn’t be
    surprised, though I’d try to shoo it with a broom.
    No sense having it there scaring everyone breathless.
    I’m left to converse with my cat, who’s not such
    a good listener. She will sit there through the fire
    raining outside on the earth, and the moaning
    of the dead returning to judgment, but if she sees
    a pretty feather blowing in the air, she’s gone.
    Sigh. I guess it’ll be up to me to tell the tales
    that have so far gone unexpressed. I’ll sit back
    in my easy chair, record my words in the computer.
    After the triumph of good over evil, they’re going
    to want to hear how it all went down. And I’ll
    have the stories. I’ll recall how we lived and died.

  43. mzanemcclellan


    Be not so hasty to judge me,
    my reputation to besmirch.
    Though found outside of your canon,
    perhaps frowned upon by your church.

    To paraphrase the noble Bard,
    more exists in heaven and hell,
    than are dreamt of by the prophets.
    Salvation found in living well.

    Don’t quote to me holy scriptures.
    Show me your light by example.
    I choose a path spiritual,
    any wisdom found I sample.

    I will not disdain your beliefs,
    just ask that you respect others,
    and love the earth’s inhabitants,
    As if they’re sisters and brothers.

    M. Zane McClellan

    1. Marie Elena

      Ha! Way to start us out! Yours is the only one I have time to read this morning until I make it back here later today to write and then read. If all of them are as creative and entertaining as yours, this will be a fun evening for me! 🙂


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