2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

Time for another Two-for-Tuesday prompt.

Here are your options:

  1. Take the phrase “Ode to a (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.
  2. Take the phrase “(blank) is for the Birds,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

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Recreating_Poetry_Revise_PoemsRe-create Your Poetry!

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at an Ode to a Blank and/or Blank is for the Birds poem:

“Ode to a Complaint, or Missing is for the Birds”

-from Jesse Wilcox

This is getting a little ridiculous: lost, not found
by an entire town. Here I am, right under your
nose with a single rose held aloft for a toast
to my new master’s plan, the hypnotic hand

of a foreign man. He found me at night in my
favorite haunt, himself looking fragile, frail,
and unfailingly gaunt. Sure, I was startled,
but he looked in need of help, so I offered

my hand and then emitted a yelp as he faster
than fast took hold with great strength and
flashed me teeth unusual in length before
sinking them in to the skin at my wrist

and he offered me life with an eternal kiss.
Now I am lost, but I’m lost in such bliss.

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

This is his eighth year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. He can’t wait to see what everyone creates this month–not only on a day-by-day basis, but when the chapbooks start arriving in December and January. Fun, fun, fun.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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139 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

  1. PSC in CT

    Ode to Earthbound Travel (or Flying is for the birds)

    Oh, let me travel, near or far,
    by van or bus or truck or car
    with roomy seats and tires round
    where my feet are never
    too far from the ground.

    I can move as I choose –
    at a fast or slow pace,
    yet my luggage and I
    wind up in the same place.
    And if my gas tank
    should run dry
    still I won’t be concerned
    I might fall from the sky.

    Trust me, traveler.
    Heed my words.
    Flying is totally for the birds.

  2. Sibella

    Ode to a Pickle

    First you were a sweetmeat
    hidden in a burger, a little treat.
    Then I met the grownup you
    and grew up. Such a twist
    of flavors, but mostly salt
    and sour—your kind define
    the word—and a braver green
    than that limp sliver. (Sorry.) At
    the Savage Market, I bought you
    from a jar the size of a church,
    you exotic, you chosen, you
    non-Baptist, soaking in pale
    secret things which might have
    been fishes for all I youngly knew.
    I’ve seen you since in plastic
    pouches thick enough to stop
    pregnancy but not a steak knife.
    In this century, you ride hard and solo
    in your sac, your juices supposedly
    not a thing for candy-loving kids,
    but a taste I was born to.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  3. Mike Bayles

    Ode to a Dandelion

    oh dandelion,
    what a delight you bring
    to a child’s eyes
    you wear
    the golden face of the sun
    when you bloom
    and what joy you bring
    to a child
    you are a flower
    he brings
    to his mother
    who’s baking cookies
    in the kitchen
    but soon
    oh dandelion
    the sorrow you bring
    when you turn to seed
    and wind strips
    your ghstly stem clean
    to wither
    before the child’s eyes
    oh dandelion
    the questions you bring


    Sky is for the Birds

    sky is for the birds
    clear blue sea of eternity
    of wind song
    for the birds
    a melody
    clouds are for the birds
    cotton puffed
    shapes of imagination
    heaven is home for the birds
    in wondrous gaze of a child

  4. Mike Bayles

    Ode to a Dandelion

    oh dandelion,
    what a delight you bring
    to a child’s eyes
    you wear
    the golden face of the sun
    when you bloom
    and what joy you bring
    to a child
    you are a flower
    he brings
    to his mother
    who’s baking cookies
    in the kitchen
    but soon
    oh dandelion
    the sorrow you bring
    when you turn to seed
    and wind strips
    your ghstly stem clean
    to wither
    before the child’s eyes
    oh dandelion
    the questions you bring

    Sky is for the Birds

    sky is for the birds
    clear blue sea of eternity
    of wind song
    for the birds
    a melody
    clouds are for the bird
    cotton puffed
    shapes of imagination
    heaven is home for the birds
    in wondrous gaze of a child

  5. seingraham

    ODE TO THE YOUNGLINGS

    Again, again –
    In the envelope
    that was sleep
    I awakened to the cries
    of the baby

    And was out of bed
    and stumbling
    to the nursery
    Before I realized;
    I am way past motherhood
    A Grandma actually

    Huddled and chilled
    in my nightgown,
    I crouch on the stairs
    in our house
    that never knew babies
    And wonder what these
    dreams are about

    They’re not dreams even –
    Just the crying
    And then I’m awake
    and think I hear my daughter
    I don’t even know which one

    During the day, it’s not like
    they’ve been on my mind;
    although since the night crying
    I’ve dug out photos and
    have been going through them

    Trying to remember what might
    have sparked these episodes
    All I see are these memories
    that I want to hold tight
    against my bruised heart

    And I cry, mostly for happy
    but not getting any closer
    to whatever is waking
    me every night

    Maybe it doesn’t matter;
    maybe the whole reason
    is to get me to look
    at the photos,
    to remember how
    much I loved
    being a mother
    Maybe.

  6. Yolee

    Stilettos are for the Birds

    Let the feathery kind strap
    on the ankle time bombs.
    3, or, on a good day, 4 inches
    of patent leather or museum
    worthy footwear get me to
    where I’m going just fine.
    Just fine.

  7. SarahLeaSales

    Ode to (Dark) Chocolate

    The chocolatiest of all the chocolate—
    great with lots of nuts or
    a little bit of heat;
    a slightly bitter companion to
    sweet berries.
    Like coffee,
    from a little bean
    sprouts something wonderful
    for the palate and mind.
    Dark is best,
    for it takes so much less to satisfy.

  8. grcran

    Politics Is for the Birds

    Oh Partisan Politician this anti-ode’s for you
    Shuffle your feet mincemeat your words
    Help red folks before blue
    Then blue trumps red. Absurd.
    Moneys dictate the status quo
    The glow of billions taxed to us
    By windfall prophets. Feel the blow
    Bite. Blow. Unum e pluribus
    Stalemates secure your jobs for now
    While milk remains in the olde cash cow
    When new election comes around
    Your lips will flap with no true sound
    You’ll beat your dead horse in the ground
    But will we run you out of town?
    This anti-ode’s for you

    by gpr crane

  9. Pat Walsh

    Ode To A Flying Squirrel, or Storing Nuts is for the Birds
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    Rocky could fly
    but he often walked
    just so he could
    be closer to Bullwinkle

    in pretty much
    every episode he could
    have just flown around
    staying out of trouble

    but he always
    kept that rather obvious
    fact hidden beneath his
    little blue aviator’s cap

    Rocky clearly felt
    it’s better to be
    friends with a nut
    than to be alone

  10. Shennon

    Ode to a Bottle of Wine

    What was so special
    about that urn?
    It was Grecian and bold,
    but surely did not earn

    the reverence I hold
    for this bottle of wine.
    It will take away my stress.
    It may make me feel inclined

    to laugh a little more,
    to shout a little less.
    This brew works magic
    whenever I gain access.

    Though other wines cost more
    This one holds my intrigue.
    Besides, with my budget,
    they are out of my league.

    Its contours temp me,
    but now I must rid
    myself of this cork.
    Oh, Heaven forbid

    that I can’t find a corkscrew!
    I’ll have to make due
    with a common butter knife
    I’ll push that cork right through.

    Now pieces of cork
    float ’round in my wine.
    Instead of Sauvignon Blanc,
    I’ll consume Sauvignon Pine.

    –ShennonDoah

  11. Sara McNulty

    Ode To A Book

    Escape into another’s life,
    perhaps a setting on foreign shores
    or in another century
    where speech and dress are unfamiliar

    to the times in which we live.
    A mystery might get juices flowing
    in your brain, then you can follow clues.
    A romance or adventure may suit you.

    Enjoy a book on nature’s glories.
    Curl up in either chair or bed,
    and open up a brand new world.
    At times it is difficult to stop,

    like when you cannot wait to see
    what happens at a story’s end.
    You might, like me, feel torn because
    the book is one you can’t let go.

    If you close a book to watch TV,
    you will find it is mostly for the birds.

  12. lsteadly

    Ode to a Field Mouse

    To the field mouse whose nest I disturbed
    from its perch in the woodshed
    that soft cozy mound of dry moss, pilfered lint,
    gathered and arranged so carefully with
    wood chips and threads from things tossed
    away sadly your shelter is lost
    by my careless hand so eager to pull
    logs hauled, cut and stacked meticulously
    to heat my own house
    when what I’ve just done has undone
    you, my poor mouse, and my heart
    hurts from the wind blowing bitter

    winter is for the birds

  13. Kendall A. Bell

    Ode to a songbird

    It feels like an embrace when you push
    the words from your mouth, when the notes
    flutter from your throat and fill my ears
    with relief. I can imagine the tenderness
    in your tone as a nuzzle into the side of
    my neck, as the first brush of Minnesota
    snow in November falling delicately over
    shoulders, getting caught in your dark
    eyelashes, an echo, crescendo. Your voice
    has become my reverie, the brightest star
    on a crisp evening. The blush of your
    raised cheeks, the sight of immeasurable
    happiness. Here, in the quiet of evening,
    you are my starstruck fiction.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Ode to a dance
      The dance of us
      We are learning
      To swirl and sway
      To the music of our
      Nights and days.
      The dance of us
      We are learning
      To listen to the
      Music that plays
      A sweet song.
      We find the rhythm
      Hands are embracing
      Love is deserved
      Melody can be heard
      Take my hand and
      Lead me there.
      The dance of us
      We are learning
      The steps to move
      In time; while dancing in place.
      By Pamelap

  14. Alaina Dawson

    -ode to a babel-

    there were so many things i didn’t notice

    until noticing them was the only thing i could do

    when you were around the tv was always talking

    the radio was always singing

    the neighbors always knocking, telling you to keep it down, please

    and you were always yelling about something, about this and that

    about me

    when you were around there was never a noiseless moment

    and once you were gone the quiet pierced me in all directions

    and it wasn’t until now that i noticed the faucet dripping

    or the sound of the fan shaking when its on its highest speed

    or how the shower hisses when you leave the hot water running too long

    and i think i will keep noticing these things until i can no longer hear my thoughts

    because i am terrified of what silence really sounds like

  15. Nancy Posey

    Ode to Billie Joe

    is playing on the kitchen radio the first time I hear it
    as we sit down to dinner at the Pearl Street House.
    Y’all remember to wipe your feet.

    What kind of crazy song is that? Daddy asks
    to no one in particular. Even then, we know
    about rhetorical questions and foregone conclusions.
    Pass the biscuits, please.

    The six of us around the meager spread,
    as Daddy asks blessing, we kids keep
    one eye open ready to pounce on the biscuits,
    the bowl of fried okra at Amen.
    Child, what’s happened to your appetite?

    They never play any good songs on the radio
    anymore, Daddy tells Mama, hoping to get a rise
    out of us. Like Andy Williams. Dinah Shore.
    I risk rolling my eyes, thinking of everything
    I’d like to throw off a bridge myself someday.
    Seems like nothing ever comes to no good. . . .

  16. penneyknightly

    Ode to a Lost Minute or Missing is for the Lucky

    Time travel is such a singleness, a stillness
    entangled and entrapped. We have rules
    for this sort, you cannot just get out.

    In the back of your car I lose my mind,
    senses and snarled, entwined in escape,
    how it all goes in rushes, but is slow,
    waltzes in the afterglow, I arrange my breath.

    You were eager and hungry. I lashed myself in haste,
    we drove through every dark forest. The clock on overkill.
    Running ahead, I lose my sentence.

    Gorged in hate, bitter bile on the backseat.
    I lost more than the moment, a piece of history hinged
    on that rapture, raped in full. You tossed back, so lucky.
    I wish it didn’t hurt me. I wish I did not remember.

    I wish forgiveness
    and minutes meant more.

  17. ReathaThomasOakley

    Ode to Walt’s poetry art

    No time it seems to comment on all the poems
    I’ve read today, even spent hours away from my
    iPad while non-creative endeavors took center
    stage, now, as this evening is heading to it’s end,
    I took time for one more look and found Walt’s bird
    and tree, and have a last thought for this day’s prompt.
    Thank you, Walt, for sharing and inspiring, even
    though I’m insanely jealous because I can’t do that!

    1. Walt Wojtanik

      ODE TO OAKLEY

      I will not accept insane or jealous,
      fellas like me get nervous on high pedestals.
      I’d rather you felt admirable and inspired,
      for your work is outstanding on its own.
      Sometimes my words get overblown,
      but my “pictures” speak the words I seek
      and are keeping me dipped in brevity.
      No levity or sarcasm, just keeping the chasm
      between poets bridged in the various medium
      we choose. Do not lose sight of our goal.
      Your words are art, as my words become art.
      Our destinations are the same!

  18. tunesmiff

    LOVE IS FOR THE BIRDS
    G. Smith (BMI)
    ———————
    Not long ago,
    Well, that’s how it seems,
    I met a woman,
    From out of my dreams.
    Soft hazel eyes,
    And long auburn hair;
    I tried my best,
    To show how much I cared.
    I loved that woman;
    Did she ever love me?
    Love,
    Is for the birds,
    And the bees.
    Love,
    Is for the birds,
    And the bees.

    Not too much later,
    It wasn’t long enough,
    She met some
    Rodeo clown who was tough,
    She climbed in his saddle,
    And they rode away;
    She never asked if I
    Thought she should stay.
    I loved that woman,
    Plain she didn’t love me.
    And love,
    Is for the birds,
    And the bees.
    Yes love,
    Is for the birds,
    And the bees.

    Love,
    Is for the birds,
    And the bees;
    If you
    Love something,
    You should set it free.
    If it doesn’t come back
    It was not
    Meant to be;
    Love,
    Is for the birds
    And the bees.

    First thing this morning,
    Or maybe last night,
    I realized
    I was still wound too tight.
    I have to let go,
    I don’t know if I can;
    Even though it’s clear,
    She’d rather be with that man.
    I loved that woman,
    She never loved me.
    Love,
    Is for the birds,
    And the bees.
    Love
    Is for the birds.

  19. elishevasmom

    Ode to a Pencil

    When I write
    it must be with a pencil.
    I know writers who do

    their best work right into
    the computer, and others
    prefer to use a lucky pen.

    I used to be one of the
    latter. I liked the feel of
    my favorite pen. The words

    just flowed onto the page.
    Now as I have aged, my
    OCD has gotten stronger.

    I am more particular about
    how legible my handwriting
    would be to someone else,

    even though they all hold
    the status of rough draft,
    and nobody but I will ever

    read them. Also, in days of
    yore, I could cross out a few
    words, or direct a phrase

    further up the page with an
    arrow. Today, not so much.
    which brings me to my final

    reason for my preference
    for pencils. They are why
    God made erasers!

    Copyright © Ellen Evans – 2015
    day 138 of 365
    11.17.15
    day 17 PAD 11.15 an “Ode to a _______” poem

  20. cbwentworth

    I. Ode to Lost Feathers

    roadside grass
    traps feathers lost
    to blue jays and crows

    II. Ode to Winter Trees

    snow dusted
    branches weave
    icy lace

    III. Waiting for the Birds

    feeder hung
    filled with seeds
    the birds will come

    IV. Listening for the Birds

    hard to spot
    the whip-poor-will chants
    a pleading song

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