2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

For today’s prompt, write a strange poem. What is strange to one person may be completely normal to another and vice versa. So get strange, which may be normal, or be normal, which may be strange.


Recreating_Poetry_Revise_PoemsRe-create Your Poetry!

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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.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Strange poem:


Marcus knocked at Clara’s door, not sure what he’d be
in store to receive. He had always believed that she
would end up with him someday, but now his mission
was not to ask for a date: He hoped that his vision
of finding Jesse was not too little, too late. And it was
possible Clara might hold the key. Maybe Marcus
would find in her words a way to find Jesse, but
he had no idea where to look or how to ask what.

When Clara’s mother answered his knock and said
Clara was unable to speak because she was weak
and, in fact, it was almost as if Clara were near dead,
Marcus stood there gawking, unsure and quite meek:
For it occurred to him, her state was not at all strange,
though if he knew the reason, his mind would’ve changed.


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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115 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

  1. PSC in CT

    Bread Crumbs

    It’s a strange world
    she inhabits these days –
    uncertain, unsteady.
    She’s skittish, fluctuating
    between lucid and addlepated,
    doubtful of the seemingly
    solid ground
    that sometimes crumbles
    from beneath her feet
    without warning.
    by sometimes strangers,
    she frequently loses people,
    misplaces names and faces, but
    somehow, she’s always managed
    to find her way back
    so far.

  2. pipersfancy

    Mind Games

    how I think of you as though I knew you
    but I guess in a way I did know you, we
    all did, just not in a physical sort of way

    how I remember that night, lying in bed
    overhearing the late night news blaring
    down the hall from a living room tv set

    how I sat bolt upright in bed when your
    name was mentioned, how I crept out
    into the hallway hoping I had misheard

    how my father sat reading his newspaper
    and my mother sipping her cup of hot tea
    both of them unconcerned with New York

    how I returned to bed to weep long hours
    into the night, until my eyes were wrung
    dry, my pillow salty damp with emotions

    how I played every one of your albums the
    next afternoon after school and wished for
    a reunion that could never take place now

    how, after 35 years, I still pretend you’re not gone

  3. tobysgirl

    Strange New Office

    There’s no radio.
    No one sings from someone else’s comment.
    There are no holiday decorations!
    When I hum Christmas carols, there isn’t another voice
    to join me with lyrics.

    All of this is so strange to me, even after five years.

    We once ended others’ sentences
    with “That’s what she said”
    from The Office,
    then we’d all crack up.
    Bursting into song at a staff meeting wasn’t weird;
    it was showing enthusiasm for one’s work.
    Dressing up as a cow to promote housing was applauded.

    It’s so strange leaving one job for another.
    It’s a culture shock that keeps on shocking.
    It’s like looking in a mirror.
    Both sides see something stranger than what they know.

  4. seingraham


    In the sky a band of gray like nothing I’ve never seen
    Clouds, no, one cloud – maybe – but it looked more like paint
    As if some giantess had stomped across the city
    With a palette-knife laden heavy with slate oil-paint
    And just took a swipe and laid a swath from one side of the sky
    to the other; one huge, thick, wide, stripe across the pale dawn sky

    I meant to keep an eye on it, try and see how it dispersed
    But it was too early for me to be out of my basket, I still
    needed to be slung from a branch for a bit — no, no, more
    than a bit … it was really premature, at least for me – I needed
    to be back in my basket for a good long time, and the more
    I got fixated on that, the more I stopped wondering about
    the stripe of grey decorating the sky …

    By the time I thought to look at it again … gone!
    Of course, it was … Lucky for me, I had taken a photo of it
    earlier, or I wouldn’t have believed my own recall
    It’s not that good at the best of times, but in the morning?
    Forget it, just nevermind.
    So when I finally rolled out of my basket for good and all
    And swung down off the branch where I live mostly
    All I needed to do was find my damned camera

    Easier said than done, of course – maybe you’ve gathered,
    I’m a tiny bit scatter-minded, not stupid, just forget-abled
    But since I’ve taken to living more native on the advice
    of some naturalized friends, I’ve been doing way better
    Better than what you might ask? I don’t know … just better
    I guess – well, I’m glad I got that cleared up.

  5. SarahLeaSales

    I am a Strange One (A Self-Portrait in Writing)

    I turn my clock backwards
    before I go to sleep.
    I am a strange one.

    I don’t like to sleep on pillows,
    but rather between two of them.
    I am a strange one.

    I set my clock ahead five minutes,
    for 7:00 a.m. is too close to 6:59.
    I am a strange one.

    I am studying to work in the healthcare profession,
    but the sight of blood makes me faint.
    I am a strange one.

    I love to read crime thrillers,
    but I love to write children’s nursery rhymes.
    I am a strange one.

    I read the dictionary for fun,
    Hemingway for school.
    I am a strange one.

    I am a maximumist when it comes to books,
    a minimalist when it comes to DVDs.
    I am a strange one.

    I love foreign films with subtitles,
    but close captioning drives me crazy.
    I am a strange one.

    I love and appreciate fine art,
    but have a hologram of a tree hanging in my house.
    I am a strange one.

    I watch Fox and read the HuffPost.
    I love the Shopaholic series, but am a fan of Dave Ramsey.
    I am a strange one.

    I have seven Rubbermaid Tupperware containers,
    and seven Rubbermaid lids.
    I am a strange one.

    I like Coca Cola from Mexico,
    but I would never drink the water there.
    I am a strange one.

    I don’t love to cook,
    but I love to watch cooking shows.
    I am a strange one.

    I’d much rather “meet my meat”
    than cook it.
    I am a strange one.

    I buy a new fruit or vegetable first,
    then try to figure out what to do with it later.
    I am a strange one.

    I love most everything fried,
    but I prefer my fries baked.
    I am a strange one.

    I don’t like bananas,
    but I love banana cream pie.
    I am a strange one.

    I love the beach and water aerobics,
    but I never learned to swim.
    I am a strange one.

    My dream vacation is in Iceland,
    but I hate the cold.
    I am a strange one.

    I love cat jokes,
    but will probably never have a cat.
    I am a strange one.

    I like to make bars of soap,
    but I prefer to use body wash.
    I am a strange one.

    I am a night owl,
    but I hate when it gets dark early.
    I am a strange one.

    I hate cold weather,
    but I love to be able to wear nylons and sweaters.
    I am a strange one.

    I like to wear socks inside the house,
    but not outside the house (with shoes).
    I am a strange one.

    I find brassieres uncomfortable,
    but not bikini tops.
    I am a strange one.

    I prefer skirts and mittens
    over pants and gloves,
    because I like my parts to touch.

    I don’t like beards,
    but I like a man who can grow one.
    I am a strange one.

    I like a man who wears cologne,
    but I don’t wear perfume.
    I am a strange one.

    I don’t mind loading washers and dishwashers,
    but I hate emptying them.
    I am a strange one.

    I love shopping for clothes,
    but I hate trying them on.
    I am a strange one.

    I live in the Deep South,
    but I don’t say y’all.
    I am a strange one.

    I don’t have a single tattoo or piercing,
    yet I love chandelier earrings.
    I am a strange one.

    I am an introvert,
    but I wait tables for a living.
    I am a strange one.

    My truths may be strange,
    but they are not stranger than fiction.
    We are all contradictory,
    and, at times, just a little bit OCD,
    in our own way.

    But at least I don’t go to a seafood restaurant
    and order a hamburger.

  6. Jane Shlensky

    For Want of a Question

    At His command, Lazarus stood and walked,
    reeking of death, composed of everything
    beyond. He rose possessor of knowledge
    all humans seek, philosophies make bold
    to claim with no one to attest the facts.
    And no one asked him of this afterlife,
    no rabbi tested his theology
    debating realms where souls are judged and housed.

    So few are brought back from death, I suppose,
    that these who wept and prayed were thunderstruck,
    dazzled by resurrection, fact or whimsy,
    no single doubting soul sought surety
    of heavens, hells, and purgatory states,
    honey-milked streams and white-hot infernos,
    divine judgments, repositories for
    so many souls undone by living life.

    Perhaps his stench steered them away from close
    questioning; perhaps he had no memory
    of death except for an exchange of light.
    But they—bystanders, weary disciples—
    damn their reticence to simply ask
    the question of the ages. Could they not
    articulate what humans need to know?
    Only the strange unknown holds onto power,
    when our request is simple: Sir, what’s next?

  7. Domino

    I never forget his eyes.
    Other details morph with time,
    the beard, the twinkling grin,
    the strong hands,
    until I see someone whose beard
    or grin
    or hands
    remind me of his.

    But his eyes
    I never forget.

  8. Connie Peters


    What you think normal
    I think strange
    You like things the way they are
    I like change

    You like to stay put
    I like my travels
    One stays calm
    While the other unravels

    You work away
    While I stay home
    You get things hopping
    While I write a poem

  9. PKP

    All of it strange

    Strange to feel the wet earth
    squishing between bare toes
    to breathe air into inflating
    lungs through wet lips –
    Strange to taste the salt
    in the air – smell the scent
    of pine trees, mulch a –
    dropped bouquet – strange
    to see the loved one crying
    hear soft sobs-a shimmered
    shining stone engraved with
    my name –

  10. lsteadly

    Strange News


    1. ppfautsch24

      Strange Thoughts
      With your eyes wide closed
      you proceed to what you think of me.
      People will act upon what they perceive
      about me.
      Not getting to know me; to have a true thought
      of what they think of me and of who I am to be.
      Strange thoughts and thinking it seems to me.
      By Pamelap


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