2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

William Carlos Williams is known for coining the phrase, “No ideas but in things.” So it’s sort of appropriate that today’s prompt comes a day after the idea prompt.

For today’s prompt, write a thing poem. The poem can be explicitly about an item (I once published a poem about the anatomy of a pencil), or the poem can just involve a thing or two. You decide; it’s your poem thing anyway.


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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.

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Here’s my attempt at a Thing poem:


There’s a thing or two a person can do to see if they
are at risk from vampires. First, there’s the frequent
unexplained disappearances of people and animals.
Second, the increased screams in the dead of night.

If such things occur, beware the stranger (or friend)
who specifically asks permission to enter your house:
They could be a vampire. Instead of granting permission,
hold aloft a mirror to see if he or she casts a reflection.

If nothing shows, be sure to close every door and
window until the sun shines again. Then, my friend,
stock up on holy water, crosses, wooden stakes,
and your faith. It will be needed, along with garlic,

to vanquish the fangtastic new threat to your town,
which won’t be safe until you take the vampire down.


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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152 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

  1. seingraham


    Sumptuous as a Rubens figure
    you grace the top shelf
    standing stolidly to one side
    Your shape belies the fragility
    of the glass forming walls
    and top
    Beryl-shaded but so pale, one
    might be forgiven for thinking
    you are made of air

    But inside is where you house
    magic; at first glance, almost
    Then – a glance of light, a shaft,
    hits a curve of indigo, the round
    of amber abuts ebony, or something
    What are you holding green-glass
    super container?

    You could be the crystal decanter
    that keeps the genie safe
    or a fine cognac, or, or …
    You could be empty and you would
    still be stellar, but I’m so
    Grateful to see all the jewels
    filling the space within
    your loveliness
    Someone keeps telling me that
    they’re just marbles
    But I have different thoughts –
    glad to gaze upon your loveliest
    of lovelies.

  2. tobysgirl

    This Thing of Ours

    You know this thing?
    This thing of ours?
    How good it is and how if you say anything it’ll ruin it all?
    Don’t disappoint me baby.
    This is so good!
    You don’t want to wreck it and
    I can’t afford to lose the life I have.
    You have me,
    I’m yours whenever you want me,
    we just have to keep it quiet.
    She’ll never let me go, and don’t want to lose my kids.

    He said these things to me as
    he put his hands in my hair and
    kissed me and
    held me and
    loved me.

  3. Pattili

    there’s just something about an old house
    that beckons me toward it~
    even though it stands neglected
    with ivy up the walls and weeds and grass overgrown
    ~enticing me to take a peek into the windows;
    missing or grimy, cracked or intact….
    to look through those windows is to
    look into the heart and soul of the house…
    and I can’t help but wonder…
    what happened to cause it to fall into its disrepair?
    what were its joys and heartaches?
    who once loved this house and called it “home?”
    who once looked through these windows?
    what dreams did they have?
    what did they see?
    why did they leave?
    I can’t help but wonder…
    but I’ll never know

  4. pipersfancy


    coming apart at the seams, deliberately, stitch by stitch,
    undoing the precise needlework that kept us bound too
    many unhappy years, cutting every thread with delicate
    embroidery scissors, a crane’s beak opening, snipping,
    snip, snip, snip—took a great deal longer to accomplish
    than did falling together at the beginning

    did we expect to look back on fabric scraps, appliqués,
    deconstructed tapestries that served no higher purpose
    than hiding ugly holes sunk deeply in foundation walls,
    to find forgotten meaning in our joining? in lifeless art?

    in hind sight, there was nothing worthwhile to be saved,
    it would have been better to have used a seam ripper

    —Christina Perry

  5. browdd22


    This constitutes a thing
    A scattered smattering of mess
    Non-existent and existent
    Recorded in the annals of history and not at all documented
    It isn’t doomed to die and decompose
    It isn’t joyous and it isn’t downtrodden
    It isn’t genius and it isn’t moronic
    It isn’t visible but then, it always has been
    It’s readily available but it’s also far out of reach
    Wind feels in breezy fingertips
    Life grasps in photosynthesis
    Cycle of being and unbeing contains this at its centerpiece
    Nothing is everything you want to be and nothing you want to be also

  6. Sibella

    Eh, I’m not proud of this paradiddle, but at least I’m almost caught up.

    Things and Things

    wet sock
    flat on the inner
    barrel of the washer
    renegade footwarmer
    desiccated pathways
    ground into
    its sole

    wet bullet
    sharp on the inner
    barrel of the rifle
    renegade heartstopper
    desecrated holy
    ground into
    its soul

    fat wallet
    smooth on the outer
    surface of the leather
    ostentatious skinsong
    decimating ac-
    counts into
    this hole

    what harlot
    rough on the outer
    surface of the elbows
    charlatan lovegrabber
    estimating a
    value of

    Pamela Murray Winters

  7. Stuart Peacock

    Appetites of the Night

    We all have our things
    To make us weak at the knees,
    Those twisted little kinks
    That grant us sweet release.

    Some may find them strange
    And tut at our tawdry ways
    But we shall refuse to change
    For the bland and the blasé.

    Whether touching tattooed skin
    Or pleasingly-placed piercings,
    There are so many sweet sins
    That send our hearts racing.

    The feel of teeth on bare flesh,
    The thrill of touching leather,
    The weaving of wiry mesh,
    Or even the tickle of a feather.

    The thundery crack of a whip
    The cold touch of chains
    Things that take us on a trip
    To places between pleasure and pain.

    The darkness of the night
    With its wicked and wily ways
    Blurs what is wrong and right,
    Lifting the tedium of the day.

    Having a ‘thing’ for this or that
    Is what makes us truly human.

  8. PressOn


    When you work upon a car,
    it makes no difference who you are,
    the car, it seems, says, “Wunderbar,

    another fool who thinks he can
    repair a car or truck or van;
    I think I’ll tease him with my fan.”

    Perhaps you ought to get a horse.

  9. barbara_y

    Small Thing

    Three black birds
    in the tree tip
    far down the block–two are
    stubby, and plain. One
    with a sweeping train
    had been out all night.
    Who she met. What she
    did. Drama and
    deshabille. They would
    have been wearing masks.
    Black. Satin and plumes
    and satisfied one
    anothers desires. Then
    a sparrow flew
    from beneath her perch.
    The small things
    dotted i’s and crossed t’s
    brown bird
    stitches restore
    a ripped bodice.

  10. Misky

    The Thing About Ideas

    An idea is like
    breathing without thinking,
    that rise
    through spontaneous fog.
    Is that the meaning of ideas,
    a reflection,
    original thinking
    without thinking.
    Holding a cloud is such
    an easy thing to do
    when it’s an idea

    1. ppfautsch24

      Money “Thang”
      Money in hand; makes out like a bandit.
      Spent so vastly and quick. Mind made up
      On what to get.
      Labored so viciously from hour to hour.
      To relish the all mighty dollar.
      To feel it leave your hand; with shoes upon
      Your feet, good food to eat, and a bed to sleep.
      Why do we work so hard for these small
      Taste of pleasure?
      When in all honesty a good book, a glass of wine,
      And you being mine, is so worth the time spent.
      Than chasing the all mighty dollar and every last cent.
      By Pamelap

  11. Pat Walsh

    one little block
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    one little block
    sits all alone
    its knobby little hands
    aimlessly reaching out
    for another little block
    long since vanished

    that little boy
    cranky and careless
    took all the others
    when his mother
    insisted that he gather
    up his things

    the old man
    trying to remember
    what he was like
    as a child
    scoops up the block
    for next time

  12. MichelleMcEwen

    Alliteration, Adjectives

    I have a thing
    for purple panties
    & gorgeous gangsters
    & groovy groupies
    & heavy hip hop
    & the plump pulp of fresh
    fruit & the radiant rounding
    of a baby bump
    & black beauty & juicy
    & Puerto Rican poets
    & nuyorican niggas
    & cold colas
    & sunny springs
    & tangy things & luscious
    & alliterative adjectives.

  13. Valkyri

    Things Bleed

    You never know when it is going to attack you.
    It is a sly stalker, dangerous, brutal.
    Then the stress builds up, the pressure takes over, and things bleed.
    And you are never expecting it.
    You cannot prepare yourself for it in time.
    Depression cuts your soul with a machete.
    Depression stabs you in the gut with a dagger.
    It fights unfairly, and then laughs as you dwindle away to nothing.

  14. PKP


    I must confess and truly out loud sing
    that I have an instructed loathing for the blurry thing
    “Say what you mean and paint it with colors bright”
    “Let all know what precisely you have in your sight”
    “Describe in heft, and height and light just what you mean –
    less is indolent, self-indulgent, lazy, boring and just not right”
    Sooo unless you speak of Seussianic creatures in clear writ-rhyme
    dignify each and all of what and whom you speak or please don’t waste my time.

  15. PKP

    Here’s the thing…

    when it begins this way
    typically tortuously though
    words tumble like a small
    avalanche skittering to the
    river the thing that was here
    flows off in rapids’ rush to never there


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