2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

I’ve had a few people ask if it’s OK to play catch up on prompts, and yes, it’s totally great. In fact, today is an optimal day to play catch up.

For today’s prompt, write a what nobody knows poem. It’s easy to write a poem about what everybody already knows, though it may be difficult to write an interesting poem about such things. Still, use today’s prompt to explore things people may not know–secret stories, locations, and so on.


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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 What Nobody Knows Poem:

“deja vu”

the dishwasher was a metaphor
illuminated by a cold-blooded moonbeam
quantifying truths & dares

call it love or a code or ohio
these words broken like dishes
broken like dishwashers

you are always a poet
seeking to shine a light
on the world that matters to you

this broken metaphor
shifting with scientific emotion
i am the moment you forget

but somehow know you miss.


Today’s guest judge is…

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy is the author of 17 novels, including Gone to Soldiers, Braided Lives, The Longings of Women, and Woman on the Edge of Time; 19 volumes of poetry, including Made in Detroit, The Hunger Moon and The Moon Is Always Female, and a critically acclaimed memoir, Sleeping with Cats.

Born in center city Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan, the recipient of four honorary doctorates, she has been a key player in some of the major progressive battles of our time, including the anti-Vietnam war and the women’s movement, and more recently an active participant in the resistance to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Learn more at MargePiercy.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.

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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. This has been one of the most exciting Aprils he can remember.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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774 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

  1. Sarah

    Mama’s Secrets

    Sometimes, I just want to
    crawl into bed with
    a novel.

    I cry surrounded by
    soap and tile and
    forgotten magazines.

    I think you’re prettier
    than everyone else.

    I worry you’ll forget
    to become independent
    while I’m holding you up.

    I fight every day, with
    swords and sharp umbrellas,
    to not be selfish.

    I’m inside of myself but
    outside I see what I could
    be if I just let go.

    I can’t imagine another,
    so full of what I offer,
    so ready to absorb it
    all in the light of yesterday’s
    moon, and you as a person
    who can walk alone.

    Sarah Ghoshal

  2. Kyusu

    Do you know?

    What is it
    that will come into your life one day
    and carry you away?

    Will it loudly interrupt you
    in the middle of a sentence
    or creep up so slowly
    you’re not even sure
    when you first noticed it?

    How will you deal with it
    when you can no longer claim
    an easy cynicism
    but have to admit
    to the existence of wonders?

    Can you imagine
    how you’d feel if, after all, it left you
    high and dry?

    Alison Williams

  3. Undrtakr


    I wonder if I know,
    what nobody else knows
    Am I capable of knowing?

    But how will I know,
    if I know what I know
    What if somebody else knows?

    I want to know,
    what nobody else knows
    Is there a way to know?

  4. Joseph Harker

    An Improvisation

    I’m listening to Terry Riley’s In C at four
    in the morning, nobody prowling the night’s
    shores but me and the dishwashers
    next door, maybe a lone tabby or two,
    and since it’s the year’s first best warm night
    I’ve got the window and the volume up
    as small melodic shapes are born and dance
    and die candle-flame easy, completely
    unpredictable— which of course is the point
    of this piece that is never played the same way
    twice, every note on the page a flipped coin
    filled with urgency, you hear heads and tails
    in the drummer drumming, the marimba player
    marimbing, this music that is discovered
    not constructed— and how do they know,
    I wonder, when to begin and when to end,
    perhaps it’s all done blindfolded and they must
    rely on the thrum of blood in their fingers
    eardrums and livers to know, yes— now—
    now the flautist will percolate in, now
    the grizzled guitarist adds a ribbon of harmony
    because the time is right— like how music
    left to chance is best at the most sleepless
    hours, nothing to hold your attention but
    your own body, feel it all tighten violin-fashion
    anticipating that perfect collaboration of notes,
    diminished seventh, minor fifth— something
    about perfect chords is made more precious
    by this element of surprise that gets in,
    tugs on nameless parts, the rest of you
    marionetted along, maybe because we too are
    improvisations in a way, perfectly formed parts
    placed in chaotic order, but who can say—
    not me, not anyone, except we know what
    we need which is to feel it and to sing.

  5. annell

    No One Knows

    no one knows what I feel inside      i may look ok      on the outside

    but that isn’t true      i am covered with sorrow      like a bead encrusted dress

    i am trying to accept      your death      as something that might have happened any day

    people die      everyday      they are always coming and going

    but the truth is      your death      has crumbled the foundation beneath my feet

    turned my spine to jelly      yet… i continue      i get up in the morning

    i continue my work      one day becomes another      i check and i am still here

    often my eyes are wet with tears      my heart is broken    like a porcelain cup

    dropped to the kitchen floor      i try not to hesitate      for fear my own sorrow

    will catch with me and overtake me      still i look at the sky      forever blue

    the mountains are the same      everything looks the same      one cannot see the void

    of your absence      it is not something you can see     only feel

    April 29, 2015

  6. Rie Sheridan Rose

    What No One Knows

    Sometime between childhood
    And adult considerations,
    A little piece of my soul
    Went missing.

    It wandered away,
    Holding hands
    With a part of yours.

    I don’t know
    About yours…
    But mine never
    Came home.

    I’m sure it has been
    Having grand

    Whispered conversations
    In the dark.
    Laughter in the rain.

    Sometimes checking in
    At night,
    In dreams.
    Saying hello, long distance.

    I haven’t missed it
    Too badly.
    Learned to live
    Without its counsel.

    Still envious of its freedom
    As it stays with you
    When I could not.

  7. De Jackson

    cutting off your hair (and other unconventional uses for a sword)

    nobody knows she feels small
    in the wee hours of the morning,
    watching the moon fade
    in this world of magic mirrors and
    tower cages and identities tied
    to golden tresses

    nobody asked her if she wants
    to marry a prince or be a gleeful
    pauper or feel the dirt between
    her unslippered toes.

    nobody knows she dreams
    of dragons, armor,
    distant shores and un
    -furled sails, a place where
    nobody endlessly calls
    her name.

                                   nobody’s seen her

                                                     since tuesday.


  8. Minibusy

    What I Don’t Know

    Write what you know, they say,
    but who would care how I set my table,
    or fold my laundry, or stuff a turkey?
    I’d much rather write about what
    I don’t know, like why my screen door squeaks
    even though I’ve oiled it ’til it bleeds,
    or why the mailman always leaves a package
    when its pouring rain and I’m not home,
    or why the neighborhood dogs
    think my lawn is their playground.

    I don’t understand quantum physics,
    but string theory fascinates me.
    I don’t know how to play an instrument,
    but music enthralls me.
    I don’t know what causes rainbows,
    but I’ll blow bubbles into the air for hours
    just to watch children chase them across the grass.

    I know how to crochet a scarf,
    but not how to spin a web.
    I know how to create a cat’s cradle,
    but not how to build a nest.
    I know how to light a sparkler,
    but I don’t know why fireflies glow…

    and wouldn’t I love to know.

    Sharon Anderson

  9. whalefungus

    Shambleman’s Confession

    You don’t know
    What I go through
    Or the guilt
    I feel.
    I was arrogant,
    Took her for granted,
    Sliced her soul
    To eat like
    Ripe cantaloupe.

    Is my daily stance,
    Sometimes a scarecrow
    Catatonic in a field,
    Sometimes the manic hobo.

    She is the phantom
    Of my desire,
    My only wish
    To tell her
    I’m sorry
    And then to die.

  10. pipersfancy

    This is my tribute to an… unusual… and relatively obscure jazz musician by the name of Rufus Harley.

    Scotch with SOUL

    Rufus Harley? Now, there was one cool cat!
    He was the MAN with the music!
    Women, when seeing that cocked hat
    take stage would swoon as though sick,
    and when he played, ahhh! The sounds he made!
    That black-jazz-man extraordinaire…
    no one could deny those sounds swayed
    like a kilt at a Scottish fair!

    Hold on now…! What did you just say?
    ‘bout a black-jazz-man and kilts a-sway?

    Well, of jazz musicians, there’s all type.
    Rufus marched to a different beat;
    he played the Great Highland Bagpipe!
    Picked up his first set on the street
    after scouring New York’s pawn shops.
    Learning to play – a self-taught feat.
    Though, neighbours often called the cops
    he kept on skirling in his suite,
    and when they showed, his words were true,
    “Officer, you jiving me, man?
    Now, do I LOOK Scottish to you?”
    (Pipes were shoved behind the divan.)

    He played ‘em loud! He played ‘em strong!
    That Afro-wearing Scots Wha Hae,
    to Clan MacLeod he did belong!
    (Though, unorthodox style of play)
    it didn’t take him long – he learns
    to play the blues, some funk and jazz
    in tribute, ‘course, to Robert Burns,
    he hit those grace notes with pizzazz!

    Twas such a shame he had to die
    and go where all good Scots before him went…
    to a Celtic ceilidh in the sky
    while we, left back here, sing his lament.

    * a little note on Rufus Harley. By the age of 22, Harley was already quite an accomplished jazz musician, having studied jazz guitar, saxophone, oboe, flute, clarinet and trumpet under the guidance of several prominent Philadelphia jazz musicians. He was so moved upon seeing the funeral procession of JFK in November of ’63, led by pipers, that he immediately decided to acquire and learn to play that instrument. It quickly became his primary instrument, and he performed live concerts and recorded several albums, playing his own compositions and arrangements, on the pipes. The title of my poem, ‘Scotch with Soul’, is borrowed from one of Harley’s albums.

    ‘unorthodox style of play’ – contrary to the technique used in playing, Harley played the pipes with the bag under his right arm (rather than the left) which gave him an unusual appearance when he played.

    ‘to Clan McLeod he did belong’ – following a televised appearance he made, an American family of Scottish descent sent him a gift of a kilt, made in their own family tartan. Harley proudly wore that kilt thereafter for every performance he made, until his death in 2006.

    1. Pepe Batbon

      Wow! Whoah! and more Wow!
      Thank you so much for the Rufus Harley tribute. My brother brought home his vinyl with the JFK tribute on it. I fell in love with the first few notes. Then never heard much from or about Mr. Harley. It may have been in liner notes but I recall he worked as a janitor. Surprised to learn he lived till recently.

      1. pipersfancy

        What kind comments – thank you! I’m glad this piece resonated with you! By the way – he and his wife had 16 children during their long marriage. Although several have followed in their father’s footsteps to become professional musicians, non (as of yet) have picked up the pipes!

  11. Michelle Hed


    and I walked
    this crumbled land
    no footprints in the sand

    dried to the bone
    isolated and alone

    we couldn’t stop
    the global tide
    it was nightmarish ride

    we didn’t do our duty
    not to city, state or country
    but to be the earth’s sentry

    no more politics
    no more war
    there’s nothing left to fight for

    and I walked
    this crumbled land
    no footprints in the sand


  12. candy

    The Other Side of the Moon

    The moon’s soft glow makes
    Us turn our faces skyward
    And smile as if a dear friend

    Just entered the room
    But I have seen the other
    Side that she keeps hidden

    She is the doyenne of the night
    Jealous of the sun, envious of
    The adoration humans lavish

    Upon this showy star
    She rejoices in the power she
    Exerts on the earthly waters

    The melancholy feelings she
    Evokes, the howling sounds
    Released by those she torments

    She invited man and beast to
    Tread upon her shores where they
    Left muddy footprints and

    Trash and she is resentful
    Once the focus of all mankind
    Their fickle nature has turned

    To lesser bodies, Mars, Venus
    And even, briefly, lowly Pluto
    And her anger simmers

    Still she hides all this, her dark side,
    From humanity and they
    Look skyward and smile

  13. Pedro Poitevin

    What you don’t know

    “He gave invited talks at MIT,
    Lyon and Cambridge.” The obituary
    remarks on what is strictly necessary—
    the robes and hoods of the academy—
    to justify itself. You pity it
    and hold the newspaper a little tighter.
    You trace the gloomy spectrum of the writer
    through shades, from blade of dusk to morning slit.
    You pour yourself another cup of tea.
    The faces of a sugar cube you hold
    begin to blush with tenuous memory
    of lies you once rehearsed but never told.
    You remember these lines. Were they for me?
    You let it drop: the tea is getting cold.

  14. DanielR


    Moss droops low
    like old man testicles
    skimming the water
    dark bayou
    under cypress cover
    rolls Billy over the side
    always was dead weight
    creates waves of attention
    cottonmouth writhes away
    preferring solitude
    gator glides toward the commotion
    she hums Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”
    to the deep groan of the Evinrude
    thinking about Jambalaya for dinner.

    Daniel Roessler

  15. Jo

    Wish I Knew

    Nobody knows
    or at least
    it seems
    that way
    to me.

    knows the
    colour of
    the taste
    of wonder
    or the
    sound the
    soul makes
    at the
    of death.

    It’s odd
    to me
    that I know
    the things
    I know,
    Bruce Jenner
    feels he is a
    Ryan Reynolds
    has a daughter
    named James
    and Jack Ely,
    the fellow
    that sang the
    “Louie Louie” song
    just died.

    I wish
    I knew
    and that
    I didn’t
    what I
    do know.

    Jo Aylard

  16. summersetsun

    Know Thyself

    Your true self may never be known,
    With your psyche submerged within your whole.
    The impenetrable unconscious, your Rosetta Stone,
    With the hidden hieroglyphics upon your soul.

  17. Walt Wojtanik


    Sometimes I have a hard time knowing the me nobody knows.
    It goes to show you, that I too am still learning as I go.
    But, here’s a peek at that of which I am aware.

    I’m losing my hair. Not a full recession,
    just a gradual retreat. Drawn back to the 48th parallel.
    I have a hell of a lot of ball caps to hide ground zero.

    I don’t consider myself a heroic poet.
    I know it for a fact. I just act on instinct
    (and write some stinkers now and then, but again who doesn’t?

    I have half a dozen siblings and a whole slew
    of poemic brothers and sisters who act more like family
    then family. But that’s ok. They will come around eventually.

    I am fascinated by trains. Throwbacks to a bygone era,
    I dream of steam and would weasel myself aboard a diesel
    if I had the chance. Even dance on Soul Train if my left feet allowed it.

    I know where the family “skeleton” are hidden and have had
    too many people riddled with cancer slip from my grip
    to answer any call to arms with any charm whatsoever.

    It’s been said I have a clever view of life and it comes through
    in my writing, in spite of some residual memory loss, a cost
    of another’s inebriate assault (yet, keeping me this side of a ground vault!)

    I prefer dogs to cats. That’s not a slight on my feline friends,
    but the debate ends when my eyes well and nose stuffs and I get enough
    dander that it takes hostages and demands a handsome ransom.

    I cook, I clean, I run the washing machine, I paint,
    I sew, I grow my own. I’ve grown quite comfortable in my abilities,
    although my agility has taken a major hit of late and it’s taxing,

    but I’m relaxing more and getting time to write my rhyme and socialize.
    The “prize” is a new slew of 7-to-twelve Poems-a-Day before April-goes-away,
    and a hope I can stay above ground until November comes back around.

    But, the me nobody knows remains a mystery. My history has been written.
    I have been smitten by poetry and I see this affair going on for a while.
    I’ll just rhyme and smile while you stay under my spell and wonder, “Just what IS he up to?”

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

  18. JanetRuth

    But Nobody Knows…

    Nobody knows
    though, I suppose they suppose
    what perhaps ebbs and flows
    in thought’s half-closed cell
    because our finger-tips
    can drop hints and lips
    are a door through which slips
    what word-shadows will tell

    …but nobody knows
    as past casts highs and lows
    in love-loss-longing throes
    to those walled worlds within
    which what-when-where-why
    may soft-silver our sigh
    with the ruins that lie
    beneath our skin

  19. Jaye Words

    Nobody Knows

    Nobody knows what a dog is chasing,
    When he runs and whines in his sleep.
    Nobody knows what a cat is thinking,
    When with staring eyes he looks deep.
    And nobody knows just how far I will go,
    When I have a promise to keep,
    For I have found it is more than a task,
    When I have a promise to keep.

  20. Clae

    Pain Much Greater Than Yours

    nobody knows
    how you feel
    you exclaim
    through your tears
    but everyone knows
    what nobody knows
    because you tell
    everyone here
    how you feel
    every day


  21. Keith Welch

    Nobody Knows

    Why do babies count their toes?
    and who knows where the Red Fern grows?
    and why’d your uncle steal your nose?
    the answer is: nobody knows

    Who knows why the West wind blows?
    and why Caesar had a Roman Nose?
    and why did Shakespeare wear those hose?
    I’m not surprised nobody knows

    Who put the thorns upon the rose?
    and why did TV cancel your shows?
    and why DID Petruchio tame the shrew?
    I’d be surprised if anyone knew.

    1. Pepe Batbon

      Petruchio tamed and canceled the big shew
      Ed Sullivan had cash and told him to
      Thorns ripped Will’s warm knit sox
      Caesar’s tissue came out of a box
      he blew it on his uncle’s clothes
      we knew when it was stolen back
      the red fern was pretty as a rose
      and babies try each and every finger
      nobody knows why memories linger

  22. Kjean

    About me
    most people wouldn’t guess
    that I hate to be in front of crowds
    and don’t necessarily want to impress

    About me
    most don’t know
    that I would rather stay home
    than be out with company and go, go, go

    About me most
    couldn’t care
    that I dread public speaking
    and am obsessed with how I fare

    About me
    exists the irony
    of being a teacher, an author,
    a dog show competitor
    someone who typically
    loves to be among crowds,
    accomplished in this life’s
    whirlwind of tangibility…
    But most only see
    the superficiality
    of who I really am…

  23. kelly letky

    no one knows what lies ’round the bend

    but you can’t stand still with a photo
    in one hand
    holding claim to borrowed memory
    even a dead crow
    dreams of color
    and everything buried will
    to the catacomb
    of temporary
    -Kelly Letky

  24. josephdaniel

    I Just Don’t Know

    I don’t know
    if you’re going to show or not

    I don’t know
    how long I’ll wait

    I do know
    I can’t count on you

    It’s not the first time
    you’ve been late

    I don’t know
    what’s come over you

    My mind keeps
    playing tricks

    I can look at the clock
    and try to figure it out

    but I don’t know
    what makes you tick

  25. Margot Suydam

    Reviewing What Nobody Knows About Us

    I was a child who stood
    rigid on bustling corners
    and waited, who craned

    her neck out of windows
    stories above quiet evening
    sidewalks, keeping watch

    for mothers to return safe
    from taking the dogs out
    strolling around the block

    in the looming dark, all so
    I could sleep and not dream
    of loosing my way down black

    hallways, testing doors for rooms
    where a fireplace sparked light.
    What I know is that you were

    a child who followed the ripple
    of your mother’s hem, skirted
    around her legs then away

    on the tips of your toes only
    to return safe within her reach.
    You spoke little about night terrors:

    It’s only that l have us framed
    those photos of us remain here
    still as babies, side by side.

  26. PressOn


    Along the road the old man drove
    across the land, through field and grove;

    the road was long but all the while
    he hummed a tune and wore a smile

    because the course was not a race
    but held instead a calming grace

    that proffered hours of touring pleasure
    through autumn bursting in full measure.

    From dawn to dusk he travelled far,
    just one small man in one small car

    who looked ahead to evening coming;
    to driving at night with the tires thrumming;

    to feeling at one with the car and road;
    to freeing the burden of life’s long load.

    Most questioned why he loved to drive.
    His answer was, to remain alive

    to the thrill of peering around the bend;
    to a new beginning for every end.

    William Preston

    1. Pepe Batbon

      been there many times
      thanks for the memories
      not many roads here
      still find that thrill
      peering round the bend
      its not an end
      now I watch the changing seas

  27. ReathaThomasOakley

    Nobody knows

    When I walk into a room
    along a crowded street
    or sit alone in a church
    nobody knows about
    the metal rods and cages
    holding my spine straight
    holding me together
    so I can walk
    so I can sit
    and wonder about
    those around me
    wonder what holds
    them together.

    1. LizMac

      That’s quite a poem, and a reminder that there is so much we don’t know and see when we casually encounter someone – on a poetry forum or passing in the street. Thank you for sharing this.

    2. JanetRuth

      I often wonder those things too! I have a sister-in-law with many rods pinning her pieces in place, but I’m sure she would say its the prayers of the people that have held her together through hard, painful years. Her grace shines like a beacon to those of us who might otherwise dash by:) thank-you for this poem I really like it.

  28. Marie Elena

    And How Was Your Morning?

    It’s been weeks,
    so we meet at McDonald’s at 5:30 a.m.
    for a hot breakfast,
    only we are greeted by a locked door, and a sign:
    “sorry for the inconvenience,”
    so we spend ten minutes of precious time
    searching another location
    while others this morning are
    searching rubble
    for dead loved ones in Nepal.

    © Marie Elena Good

  29. donaldillich


    Mom sat in the car watching the woods,
    peering over lawns, looking by houses.
    She turned off the radio, shushing me
    to complete silence, as if she was a sub
    running underwater through enemy territory.
    I know what we were supposed to see,
    a spot of black, a furry tail, sharp ears.
    Mostly I stared toward the beginning
    of the underbrush, to a thick Florida forest
    where even cougars or gators could exist.
    I wanted to make something out in the darkness,
    a wild beast that could rampage toward us,
    or a cottonmouth slithering out of weeds.
    Sometimes she’d get out, knock on doors,
    have five minute conversations with people
    who’d shake their heads, cause Mom to return
    with a scowl on her face, as if a torturer
    had squirted lemon continuously in her mouth.
    After about twenty minutes by our old house,
    she’d start the car, heave a sigh, and roar
    toward Eglin Air Force Base’s gates.
    “I will never forgive your father for not looking
    for him. So we were moving. We needed
    to spare time. He was part of the family.”
    I get a vision of Ike, his black coat, white fangs,
    packing up for his escape, a hobo’s bag
    attached to a stick thrown over his shoulder.
    He waits until we’re occupied with a box,
    sweating and gripping it, then takes his leave,
    avoiding our legs, speeding past our notice.
    Maybe a family adopted him, a coyote
    seized his body. He wasn’t a cat to my Mom.
    They practically had conversations, where
    each understood each other perfectly.
    But nobody knows what happened to him.
    We can stand vigil as much as we like.
    He’s become a ghost, his color turning white,
    hovering over the places he once existed,
    emptying memory, filling it with could’ve been’s.

  30. Misky

    Don’t Know

    I don’t know why a bald man’s head shines,
    why some stars fall and
    why some hearts break
    Don’t know why cream’s skimmed from milk,
    why shrill voices sound sharp and
    why love’s voice is dulcet
    Don’t know why some words sound frothy
    why first impressions count and
    how can a nose go out of joint
    Don’t know why people ask me questions
    why they think I’m a voice
    of reason because
    I’m quite reasonably not.


    © 2015 M Braendeholm

  31. lionetravail

    Try A Little Tenderness
    By David M. Hoenig

    No one knows
    just what makes you tick,
    nor can you
    know them true.
    But empathy trumps knowledge
    once you’ve walked their mile.

      1. lionetravail

        Thank you, Robert. Every day I see more and more evidence that people give less and less thought to others, and so many of the ills of the world stem from an inability to feel what another does and hence act with compassion. If we only thought that way more often, the world would be a kinder, gentler place than it is.

  32. mohinipuranik

    Truth – Do You Want To Know It?

    truth do we know it?
    do we really know it?
    what is truth?
    what is the truth behind the truth?

    what nobody knows
    an unseen face
    an unheard voice
    behind the suppressed truth
    what is truth?
    and what is the truth behind the truth?

    truth isn’t that what is seen
    truth isn’t ‘only’ that what is
    seen, told or heard

    what nobody knows
    truth has many faces
    not just the one that we want to see

    what shines isn’t always the bright truth
    darker side is hidden
    the darker side which we hate to see

    truth is the light
    the light thrown on the dark
    or the dark thrown on the light
    truth is black and dark
    and the dark made lighter
    or the bright made darker sometimes
    that’s all is truth for us
    but what we don’t understand
    it’s just our belief about the truth
    what we love to forget
    is the truth behind the truth

    truth is what is convenient
    what is convenient is loved
    what is inconvenient is hated
    that’s the real truth
    behind our ‘honestly’ convenient truths

    truth is pleasant
    if it’s convenient
    truth isn’t the truth
    when it’s unpleasant

    truth is not really the truth
    truth is just a choice
    what’s true for me
    isn’t true for others

    truth doesn’t change
    it’s present always
    even if it’s hidden
    even if nobody wants to know it

    truth isn’t opinions and beliefs
    truth is something more
    that we need to understand

    truth isn’t all that
    what is told to us
    truth for us is what we understand
    from what we hear being
    highly opinionated or indifferent
    about the facts

    truth isn’t
    satisfaction, that what satisfies us
    truth isn’t
    satisfaction or dissatisfaction
    justice or injustice
    hope or no hope at all
    trust or distrust

    nobody tells the truth
    the complete truth
    truth is a quest
    we have to find it our own

    truth isn’t just words
    words have meanings
    and meanings have shades
    shades are subtle
    truth is something more than words and shades

    what we want to know
    isn’t really the absolute truth
    our quest should be the truth
    not what we want know,
    not what we want to read,
    not what we want to see,
    not what we want to hear

    the truth is powerful
    when it’s known
    truth is powerless
    when it’s hidden
    we have to search it

    truth is a quest
    what realization comes to you
    that is the truth
    complete truth for you

    – © Mohini Puranik

  33. Lady Grayish

    Nobody knows what to do
    When you’ve got the flu
    Do I run? Do I hide?
    Do I give soup and say I tried?
    Is it better to give sympathy,
    Or to give solidarity?

    Do I wait it out, pretend I’m fine?
    Drink wine?

    Perhaps when my brain is scrambled
    There’s less chance of emotions being trampled.

    On bad days I can’t move.
    On better I can prove
    The odd scientific theory because
    Sometimes things make more sense when life is on pause.

    There are things to do and comfort to offer,
    Complaining talk to block with a stopper.
    Getting the flu is annoying, sure,
    But it’s not a hard disease to find a cure.
    But how to react when the first symptom shows?
    Nobody knows.

  34. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Veiled and Shrouded

    No one saw –
    how could eyes see
    that which was marked
    by years of degradation?

    No one knew –
    how could the mind
    conceive the raw pain
    of not being enough?

    No one heard –
    how could ears hear
    the tormented cries
    stifled late at night?

    Sometimes, even the brightest light
    isn’t strong enough to reveal
    the open sores of a tortured soul.

  35. Ravyne

    These Secrets

    Nobody knows
    the depths of my soul
    how far down it takes
    to rid the horrors

    Nobody knows
    the struggles I keep
    or the lengths I will go
    to bleed out this pain

    Nobody knows
    the shame I bear
    how these rattling bones
    lead only to despair

    These secrets I hold
    are for me alone
    if anyone knew
    death would come too soon

    ~Lori Carlson~

    1. lionetravail

      I think of this type of thing a lot- when I see patients, I learn these things to some extent, but when I see people out on the street, at a restaurant, at a movie… we don’t know what’s going on with them: what pills in their cabinet at home, what appointments or surgery they have scheduled, what they’ve already survived. Thanks for this; it resonates powerfully for me, especially considering the relative dearth of empathy extant in the world.

  36. comeasyoucami

    /Nobody knows: the girl at the bar/

    I am 60% water but my tongue is dry like the vodka it kisses
    And I am not fine
    Like the boys&girls I keep around just to pass time.

    I must say I am good at faking chemistry, apparently,
    But it doesn’t take much for me to get tired of it.

    And you can tell from my heels
    – They are worn out too
    And my smile is a smirk
    All I need to impress you
    Other than my short dress
    And undivided attention
    – All you need to feel special.

    But as soon as I accomplish my little mission
    Empty again, emptier than,
    – Before
    I go back to drink more.

    I have a hole to fill in my chest
    It leaks love!
    I try to plaster it with lust
    But it slowly reeks of the smell of the lonely hearts.

    Reaching the end of the evening
    No one wants to get near me
    And if you see me surrounded by people awake
    No one’s left standing when it’s time to sleep
    – No wonder they call it *falling* asleep
    And from my heels the fall is quite steep.

    /Camilla Dalerci/

    1. Marie Elena

      Wow. I wish I could convey the emotions welling up in me right now. Your opening line is so well penned and draws me in, all seeming to capture the essence of my own dearly loved daughter. Bless your heart.

  37. PeanuttyO

    This Day

    This day is hard
    one that breaks my spirit
    Only I know how much

    Year after year
    Day after day
    This day is sorrowful
    The day I lost you
    your smile, your hugs
    your words

    Everyone knows I miss you
    not everyone knows this day
    how my world darkened
    This day is never easy

    It creeps up on my mind
    Crashes into my heart
    Destroys my smile
    This day over and over
    plays in my mind
    Live, in color
    like it was yesterday

    This day sucks
    This day hurts
    This day makes me cry
    tears quiet and loud
    This day I think of you

    Everyday I think of you

    But on this day
    I mourn you
    On this day
    I ache for you

    Nobody but you and I
    know my prayer today
    Please, on this day
    during this night
    when I lay my head
    down to sleep
    just this once

    This day come to me
    Comfort me, let me know
    you are near
    So maybe it will be easier
    on this day
    next year

  38. Jezzie


    I know something known by nobody else.
    I feel, hear, see with my sixth sense.
    I know fairies that wander out at night.
    I watch them dance around in the moonlight.
    I see them swinging from off our lamp post,
    riding on moonbeams sprinkling fairy dust
    and spinning down on dandelion cotton
    I see them scattering cherry blossom.

    I see the ghosts of your two dogs as well.
    I feel their presence, and can sniff their smell.
    I see them sometimes, then they disappear,
    and at night when you’re fast asleep I hear
    them calling you. So I bark to wake you.
    You just think that I’m trying to make you
    come downstairs to give me some attention.
    You cannot see into this dimension.

    But they are still here with you all the time.
    They sent me here from the Rainbow Bridge. I’m
    here ’til you can be united again,
    your guardian White Angel sent from Heaven.

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

  39. leatherdykeuk

    False Assumptions

    The last time I saw Richard
    he was drinking alone in the corner of a bar
    where the shadows did more to accentuate his loneliness
    than to conceal his presence.
    I didn’t say hello.
    Despite our years of friendship
    and the opportunities we’d given each other
    the alliances we’d made
    – working together, sharing a flat –
    my friendship with his wife ended ours.
    I didn’t say hello.
    The last time I spoke to Richard
    he accused me of having an affair
    but despite the truth he sought,
    I was not his wife’s lover, though I knew who was.
    A woman’s confidence is something to cherish
    and the blame Richard assigned me
    was from the cloak of my silence than my denial.
    I didn’t say hello.
    She used me as an excuse: Rachel needs to talk
    when it was actually an excuse to see him
    (I don’t recall his name, though I can remember
    his Carling breath, the stink of his sweat
    overpowering the Lynx deodorant, the nasal drop
    when he flashed a yellow-toothed smile all right?)
    and often I was sixty miles away
    and knew nothing of the supposed conversation.
    I didn’t say hello.
    And when she left him, finally,
    abandoning their Walsall flat and the snaggle of modems
    and laptop cables for the discomfort of
    a damp bedsit in Wednesfield,
    he thought it was my fault
    because my house stood empty, too.
    I didn’t say hello.

  40. Jezzie


    I know something known by nobody else.
    I feel, hear, see with my sixth sense.
    I watch fairies that wander out at night.
    I see them dance around in the moonlight.
    I see them swinging from off our lamp post,
    riding on moonbeams sprinkling fairy dust
    and spinning down on dandelion cotton
    I see them scattering cherry blossom.

    I see the ghosts of your two dogs as well.
    I feel their presence, and can sniff their smell.
    I see them sometimes, then they disappear,
    and at night when you’re fast asleep I hear
    them calling you. So I bark to wake you.
    You just think that I’m trying to make you
    come downstairs to give me some attention.
    You cannot see into this dimension.

    But they are still here with you all the time.
    They sent me here from the Rainbow Bridge. I’m
    here ’til you can be united again,
    your guardian White Angel sent from Heaven.

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

  41. TheBlueGnu

    With love and inspiration from my favourite Dr Seuss!


    I know a man who has a bike
    He likes to ride his bike at night
    At night he likes to fly a kite
    On his bike, oh what a sight
    On his bike with his kite
    In the middle of the night

    The night is dark, the night is right
    For this ole man to fly his kite
    The moon is white, the stars are bright
    Watch this ole man fly his kite
    On his bike, he’s kite’s in flight
    In the middle of the night

    The night is done, it nearly light
    He packs away his bike and kite
    His bike and kite are out of sight
    Out of sight, now that’s alright
    Who will see his flight tonight …
    In the middle of the night?

    by Kim Watermeyer

    1. Sarah Metzler

      I freaking love your poem! Amazing image. So fresh! I have a feeling that this ole man on his bike is going to fly his kite all the way through my day! So delightful!

  42. Arash

    Greetings to Marge Piercy.

    Who would know?

    by Arash E.

    On the dash of a
    rear loader garbage truck, a
    used baby mitten.

    note: I once heard about a garbageman that because of some serious injury that happened to him while at work, he had various health problems, including not able to have a child with his wife, which was devastating to him. I thought this kind of thing can go in different directions and nobody will know how this man will deal with this pain (or how anybody deals with pain that disrupts their lives, not even them). This haiku formed while I was thinking about that.

  43. mzanemcclellan

    “The Fire That Time”

    We were playing in the meadow one day,
    my friend and I in this wide open lot.
    Playing with matches in dry summer grass,
    Just me and my friend, whose name I forgot.

    It was windy that day on Knollwood Drive.
    We needed a windbreak to get things lit.
    So, the Billboard wasn’t the best choice, but …
    I was just seven, but screamed, “Holy shit!”

    I ran to the house to fetch some water,
    “Jack and Jill” playing loudly in my head.
    I asked my sister, Hmmm, do you smell smoke?”
    If she suspected I knew I was dead.

    From there to Knollwood Beach the smoke was seen.
    quite the commotion in small Old Saybrook.
    Fire contained, and no one was hurt, thank God.
    They lined us up with my suspicious look.

    With the riot act and a stern warning,
    they let us all go scott free of this mess.
    I never told a soul, nor my sister.
    This is one heck of a way to confess.

    M. Zane McClellan

    1. Pepe Batbon

      well you did
      long enough hid
      you were a normal kid

      I caused a small oil spill while working on oil rigs, in the Gulf of Mexico, but the quantity was not large enough to notify the Coast Guard… around 45 years ago

  44. Pepe Batbon


    most people don’t know these things
    and most of them could care less
    nevertheless I’m about to confess
    of more or less than cosmic strings
    quantum theory used to scare hell out of me
    now string theory is on my welcome mat
    the multiverse and more is where I’m at
    only one in HS and college to send letters
    to friends in Viet Nam and protest napalm
    took cigars and molasses cookies with me
    on the first freight train I hopped and a
    book of prayers by Thomas Merton
    didn’t eat meat for about two years
    hurt my knees shifting too many gears


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