2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

Great start to the November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge yesterday. If you missed the prompt, you can get it here. Themes are not a requirement for this challenge, but they can make it fun. Sometimes, I come in with one in mind; other times, it just kind of evolves. This year’s is starting to evolve, and I hope it continues throughout the month. Happy poeming!

For today’s prompt, write a surrender poem. A person can surrender to the authorities or a mob, but people can also surrender to a feeling or to music. Or leftover Halloween candy (at least, “my friend” has had that problem). I hope you surrender to your poetic impulse.


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Here’s my attempt at a Surrender poem:


Before midnight, the news broke that Hank McGee
was wanted in connection with the missing teen.

Just after midnight, McGee surrendered himself
without any fuss, though he didn’t understand why

they singled him out. Of course, it was pretty obvious
after the press conference with the chief:

McGee was the local pot hook up that Wilcox used,
and it was known by more than a few that he’d

run up a bit of a debt as well–to the point that McGee
told associates he wanted to even up by taking

his wheels or his girl. Or both. Beyond that,
Crazy Joe saw them racing on Witch’s Bend

the night Wilcox went missing. “We have a motive,”
said the chief. “Now, we just need the guy and his car.”


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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321 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

  1. taylor graham

    photo by Kassandra & Trace Allen

    If you dream of rivers
    every breath becomes a canoe
    every ripple speaks of rocks below
    the surface polishing stone
    that sings in the flow.
    The moon is forever in your eye
    tall trees for a portal
    waters passing by.
    You’ll never come back to the old
    the same you were before
    you set out dreaming
    rivers that never flow back.

  2. PSC in CT

    fall days
    leaves tumble
    and take to the sky
    (& poetic prompts pile up)
    settling one on top of the next
    stacking leaf upon leaf upon leaf (piling
    prompt upon prompt upon yet another prompt)
    until there’s no catching up and no end in sight and
    I’m thinking that all I can do is give in, but I’m still not

  3. Cynthia Page


    Never, not ever, in all our history.
    This nation does not surrender.
    We fight through our fright,
    our grief, and our confusion.

    Our president made it clear:
    not here, not with our resolve,
    not with our hearts set ablaze.
    The next phase was revenge.

    We did not question
    our leader’s invention,
    his plan of action.
    We gave him carte blanche.

    We let him launch a war
    of uncertain scope. The door
    was opened, and out we poured out
    our men, our war machines.

    No less could we do.
    We could not lose
    our pride, our resolve.
    Our integrity
    we surrendered.

  4. Bruce Niedt

    This one’s a bit dark for me, but it was partly inspired by the “Wordle” word bank from the Sunday Whirl blog. I used all twelve of this week’s words (weeping, dusty, blue, word, bleeding, veins, body, vessel, fire, search, name, stone), which seemed to lend themselves well to a “downer” subject.

    All weeping has subsided,
    and the earth is dusty again.
    Today is so dry that the sky
    is uninterrupted blue.

    What word can describe
    when the bleeding of veins
    will stop, when the body ceases
    to be a vessel, when the fire
    fades from the eyes?

    You have surrendered
    to a country that swallowed you
    into the soil, a country whose borders
    I approached but never crossed.
    But today I am trespassing,
    and I search for your name on a stone.

  5. browdd22


    Surrendered to the feeling of the misery
    The misery of silence
    Or the mystery of it
    No wind whistling
    No pin dropping
    No sound emerging from the depths of nothing
    Just nothing itself
    Facing the lone corner of a three-walled room
    And it aches

  6. KarenAWK1

    Surrendered Self
    by Karen Koger

    I often wonder how
    better I’d have been
    if I surrendered to self
    all that is me
    at an early age
    when impressionable
    beliefs led me astray
    to follow in the shadows
    of those who claimed
    to know best
    how my life should be
    shaped and molded
    to suit their control
    How much better
    I’d be now if I’d only
    surrendered to me

  7. bethwk

    How do you know,

    when the River has told you
    the stories of the ancestors,

    that you will remember the tale
    to tell to the wind,
    after the snow has fallen,
    after the grey fog has settled
    deep into the valleys,

    that you will remember the cadence
    when the the small animals gather
    to listen to you sing the River’s song,

    that you will recall the bright watery threads
    that weave through every story the River has told
    since the beginning of time,
    since the dawn of remembering?

  8. mlr

    you were bright
    you were funny
    you were magnificent and bold
    you were
    charisma embodied
    capable of anything
    you were tortured
    you were obscene
    you were ridiculous and rude
    you were
    proving your failure
    The only way I could save myself was to surrender.

  9. kattra

    someone carrying a white flag cannot be fired upon, nor can they open fire.
    so you keep your mouth shut, and i’ll put the sheet over my head.
    let’s make this less like a siege and more like a haunting.

    when you wake up in the night and call out who’s there,
    i’ll pretend it’s just the wind, rattle my chains a little louder.
    you’ll pretend you don’t have the key, and that you slept just fine.

    if you want a surrender, it isn’t for you to collect.
    maybe Medusa wasn’t a monster before she opened her eyes, but
    when she gave in to her true power, it was men who turned to stone.

    and if you think i’m being dramatic, remember:
    god sent a bolt of lightning to break the tower of babel
    rather than let man invade heaven.

    that’s what all conquests come down to.
    you are not allowed to breach these walls.
    i called a ceasefire only to burn down this bridge.


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