2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

There’s no right or wrong way to attack the November challenge, but I have to admit that I like to take chances during this particular challenge. For instance, the poems I’ve been writing so far this month are a little more narrative and wordy than I typically write. But that’s okay! I’ll have December and beyond to play around with them. I hope you’re able to take some chances this month too!

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Once Upon a (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “Once Upon a Time,” “Once Upon a Pedestal,” or “Once Upon a Diet.” As usual, have fun with it.


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.


Here’s my attempt at a Once Upon a Blank poem:

“Once Upon a Friendship”

After dinner, Marcus wandered out to the old clubhouse
in the back yard. When he was younger, this is where
he’d hang out all the time with his friends Walt and

Jesse. In fact, they were the three amigos, three
musketeers, and the holy trinity times three thousand
and three. Whatever happened to us, Marcus wondered,

how did we splinter? Of course, Walt was still a friend–
a best friend!–but Jesse slipped away with his clothes
that were better, his jokes that were meaner, and his age:

He was older than Marcus and Walt, and he made sure
they always knew it. Still, Marcus thought, he could be
fun and brave. That’s why the girls loved him…because

he wasn’t shy or afraid to take risks. Just then, Marcus
remembered something–something to change his life.


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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221 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

  1. PSC in CT

    Once Upon a Winter’s Eve

    was a summer girl
    a brown-haired, blue-eyed
    chaser of fireflies.
    She spent August evenings
    watching the boys play baseball
    under the lights;
    sported shorts, sneakers
    and red cardigan sweaters;
    savored banana splits
    and fresh picked tomatoes.
    She loved sharing ice cream
    (so long as it was yours…
    and she never
    She was a warm-hearted,
    hot-headed summer girl,
    but it’s winter now
    and summer’s just
    a sweet memory.

  2. KarenAWK1

    Once Upon a Day
    by Karen Koger

    Once upon a day
    when life held dreams
    snuggled within a heart
    filled with hope
    she sang sweet melodies
    of change as she
    plunged into a sea of
    ready to accept
    her rightful place
    at a desk that consumed
    more than just her
    time demanding
    to a corporate land unwilling
    to allow her dreams
    to interfere with
    the daily grind of
    work once enticing
    before reality consumed
    her into a mere existence
    of work no play
    tucked away for another time
    her dreams
    once upon a day
    too long ago
    within a heart of gold

  3. Cynthia Page

    Still Dreaming

    Once, upon a high hill,
    a man stood before all,
    his dreams naked to the world.
    Now hill and man are gone,
    but his dreams live on in all of us.

    Once, upon a principle
    a nation stood proud before all
    with dreams of equality,
    its path to prosperity laid bare.
    Now pride and dreams have faded,
    equality betrayed by prosperity.

    Once, during a time of strife,
    a group of men spoke; they said
    people must share their burdens
    so that all could be lifted higher.
    Pride and jealousy betrayed us,
    and yet, we struggle on with hope
    of equality everlasting.

  4. fayina

    Once Upon a Lime

    impossibly, vibrantly green
    like a warning
    like an irresponsible fashion statement
    tangy like the best summer,
    the best ever fish tacos
    simmering in spotlight
    boldly crashing the coolest parties

    forever out-of-place
    un-needed ingredient
    alone in the metal basket

  5. RJ Clarken

    Cold Bright-Hued Orchard

    Once upon an autumn’s windswept
    orchard, one leaf fell, and I stepped,
    approaching near this sign of fall.
    Then one more cold leaf joined the haul.
    The first was purple, ‘two’ was red.
    Next, one brown leaf fell on my head.
    It fluttered down, I do recall.
    Then one more cold leaf joined the haul.
    Even as these leaves fell down, they
    showed their colors and banished grey
    November skies with dismal pall.
    Then one more cold leaf joined the haul.
    As each hued leaf fell off the tree,
    I pondered: soon they’ll be debris
    to be raked up. Yet, this is fall.
    Then one more cold leaf joined the haul.


  6. tobysgirl

    Once Upon A Daydream

    There once was a girl that dreamed simple dreams
    or so she thought…
    Of a single story home,
    with a white picket fence,
    a dog in the yard and
    a cat at the hearth.
    Of a man, coming home from work,
    hot and sweaty or in a suit,
    it didn’t matter.
    She, in an apron, holding a platter of food,
    waiting for a kiss and a hug and a simple “I love you”.
    And then later, an amazing night making love under the stars in the back yard,
    a willow tree the only privacy allowed.

  7. parsonparson

    Once upon a barstool
    I sat at day’s end.
    Weary, poor posture.
    On the staff I could depend
    To pour heavy handed
    To turn on the game
    To not ask questions
    To remember my name.
    Once upon a barstool
    I was somebody,
    But then again
    I was nobody.
    A tab, a tip,
    A greet, a seat,
    A shadow, a tone,
    An eves dropper, alone.

  8. browdd22

    Once Upon A Night

    Once upon a night
    Dark, twisting, weary, bleary-eyed sky
    Clouds warp, moon hisses, light flickers
    Feelings fade, searing tender eyes morph
    Waning, drifting, shifting

  9. HypatiaKant

    Imagine what could be
    accomplished if we
    had both hands free.
    Instead we
    have at least
    one hand covering our
    imperfections, our sins,
    covering our tracks,
    our past, covering
    our pain, our bruises.
    Or we may have one hand
    in another’s affairs,
    confusing what’s ours or theirs,
    or holding on to the past,
    grasping at what won’t last.
    Once upon a time,
    as an innocent child
    there was nothing to hide.
    So we dug into life
    with joy, with curiosity,
    with both hands free.

    By Kimberly Murray

  10. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    I am trying to catch up, but it is not easy.

    Once upon a River Bank

    The sun was low
    on the sky
    when I met him.
    The voices of workmen
    got weaker and weaker
    in the distance.
    A few beer bottles left
    as a reminder.
    He was handsome
    and tall.
    I don’t need you to keep me company, I said.
    I’ve got those snakes over there, I said.
    He planted himself on my banks.
    He was here to stay.

  11. shellcook

    Once Upon a Higher Rung

    Once upon the highest rung,
    the world offers a different view,
    of fountains flowing on
    manicured lawns, you have
    maps dotted with places, you long to see
    as you pass through this world with ease.

    The economy turns,
    moves a bit out of sync.
    Things have less worth
    and times become more lean.
    Business drops off
    Like a rock as it sinks,
    as I pull in my oars
    My heart skipping beats.

    Empty out everything
    nailed down or not.
    Put it out there and wait.
    Waiting, that’s the hardest,
    of the things I must relearn.
    For a short little while
    on the top of the hill,
    I had the time if my life.

    Was it worth it?
    I don’t know yet, as I am
    caught in the fog of fear again,
    which can certainly break a soul.
    I see you with your entourage
    and wish I didn’t know
    what it’s like to lose,
    you are just like me.


  12. mlr

    Once Upon An Epiphany
    I saw through layers with clarity
    Enchanting sound poured from every beak and speaker
    I wrapped myself in gossamer air
    and twirled
    fine and free
    A heady fragrance of healing wafted about…soothing
    I wept…I was so changed
    I looked around frantically for a bag to hold it
    And in that instance fear swept it away
    If I am quiet and joyful I can hear it calling me to return…

  13. bethwk

    Once upon a time, Child,
    when you were caught in the fog–
    remember how it held you, how it
    caught at your arms and legs like brambles,
    until you saw the rose bush
    beside the path in the woods–

    remember how the roses
    dropped their tender petals on the ground,
    how the center swelled
    into those ripe red berries,
    a little sharp, a little sweet,
    and fed you, healed you–

    remember how the bees
    swarmed around you,
    how you cried out in fear,
    how the sun broke through the buzzing cloud
    and all was golden,
    all was sweetness–

    remember how you heard the howling
    off in the distance and closing in,
    how the beast emerged from the wood,
    all teeth and claw,
    how you quelled the urge to run,
    how you looked it in the eye
    and said, “What is your name?”

    I remember now,
    how you walked that day
    out of the mists,
    a rose in your hair
    and honey dripping
    from your fingers.

  14. Walt Wojtanik


    It had started quite simply,
    my time had come at last,
    Dad had gotten quite old,
    he didn’t move that fast.

    And I had trained for this moment,
    I’ve studied his movements for years.
    To take over the reigns as Santa Claus,
    had been one of my greatest fears.

    Will I an idea what naughty is?
    And will I recognize nice?
    Will I be able to land on the roofs?
    When I do, could I slip on the ice?

    I don’t want to let the old guy down,
    he took pride in the charge he was given.
    And he carried it out to the best of his skills
    I’ll recall it as long as I’m living.

    The reindeer, they all know me well,
    I tended their stables and fed them,
    it was my first chore as it had been his,
    he charted their courses and led them.

    The Elfin folks, the all know me well too,
    and I’ve known them since I was their size,
    they’ve always treated me as one of their own,
    I was always just one of the guys.

    The toy shop and factory are a grand undertaking,
    they runs 365 days a year,
    and the cookie mill and the treats that they’re baking
    fills me up clear out to here!

    And again there’s that little thing ‘bout “The List”,
    reading it just once is a hassle,
    And it can sure fill dozens of rooms,
    (Thank goodness I live in this castle!)

    But currently, I am unattached,
    I mean I am currently single.
    A woman just like mother would be quite a catch,
    A girl that could make my bells jingle.

    There’s the matter of this red velvet suit,
    it seems so outdated and old,
    the fur lined collar is really a beaut,
    it’s ancient, but keeps out the cold.

    Dad has fully retired, and Mother’s still wired,
    and I’m left to take up the reigns.
    For on that wind swept night, I’ll prepare for my flight,
    this first one will etch on my brain.

    So, I am Santa Claus, like my father before,
    and his father before him, that’s right!
    I’m feeling so proud and I’ll shout it out loud,
    “Merry Christmas to all! And to all, a good night!”

  15. Terri Lee

    Once upon a Feed Sack

    Momma told me a story about a an ol’ cotton feed sack,
    shaped simply into a rectangle or square, chain stitched
    together from top to bottom, and how it carried commodities,
    from factory to town. At first the bags were simply logoed

    and white until the manufacturers got wise and turned
    the blase’ bags colorful and bright, an attempt at maintaining some loyalty.
    They were everywhere—a popular item holding sugar, flour, corn,
    and more. Momma said, during the war, a time of rations and frugality,

    country folk wasted not a thing. Momma said, it was reality—
    times were tough and those feed sacks kept everyone clothed
    and not running around in the buff.
    And now you know, with the help of a sewing machine,

    the ol’ cotton feed sack morphed into underwear and high fashion dresses—
    a little ol’ feed sack became the queen of duality.

  16. Pat Walsh

    Once Upon a Fibber
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    once upon a Fibber
    the McGees
    got a gift of which
    they could not
    figure out the use

    it was the kind of story
    where every interaction
    fails to find a solution
    but makes you laugh
    all the same

    and thinking back now
    I can’t help but
    marvel at how often
    life is sometimes like
    an old radio show

  17. De Jackson

    Once Upon an Indigo-Inked Sky

    , she scratched her name in stars,
    scars, the farthest stretches
    of a stumbled sun. Give her an
    ivory pen, a quiet den, a new place
                                           to begin.


  18. DanielR

    Morning haze hung in the air
    like thick mucous
    unsettling a thought as it was
    I coughed and the cold burnt my lungs
    I traveled two thousand miles by plane
    bus and now on two heavy feet
    heard the flap of wings nearby
    but couldn’t see the bird, felt it instead
    someone I passed on the way up
    said the mist would clear by noon
    if I waited.
    Waiting…now there’s a painful proposition
    forty-seven years of waiting
    empty pockets and a lonely heart
    not worth waiting for.
    I find my way to the rocky part
    where the layers of limestone blend,
    my fingers trace the history of man
    and I, myself, am on that stone
    invisible, too brief to see
    nobody cares that I’m waiting.

    Daniel Roessler

  19. Cindy

    Once upon a life of fear

    Unbearable Fear

    Oh God
    Help Me
    Hide them
    Where! Where!
    No place is safe
    Under the bed
    No! No!
    Their too scared
    The shadows!
    The shadows!
    Are under the bed
    Run! Run, hide
    In the closet
    Hide them under the clothes
    Quiet! Quiet!
    Do not make a sound
    Thump! Thump!
    Crash ka-boom!
    Safe for now
    He is out cold
    Dead drunk again
    -Cynthia Heppe

  20. Sibella

    From the White Fairy Book

    Once upon a time
    our people spread over the universe.
    There we were, in all of the books,

    our Dicks and Sallys. We owned
    the movies, too. We didn’t even have
    to default. Then came

    International Night at the PTA,
    and we had no idea what casserole
    to bring. We realized that we

    were canvas, were onionskin, were
    the brown plastic spooled into cassettes.
    We also realized we weren’t

    white, exactly. Nor were we the color
    of the crayon called “Flesh,” or the wicked
    unbreathing pantyhose “Nude.” Some of us

    liked the taste of those unmarked dishes at the party.
    Some of us began to use the whole box of crayons
    in our children’s stories. But some of us

    couldn’t live in a world that never told us
    what was special about ourselves, even as
    we ignored the pervasive shiny unspecialness

    we’d had for decades. The Last of the Mohicans
    realized he was made up by a white man
    and vanished in a puff of smoke. The next-to-last

    rose from her grave at our pale ruckus
    and couldn’t decide whether to cry or laugh.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  21. Yolee

    Once Upon a Belief,

    she evaded love
    the way she avoided a box
    of sugar cookies, pretending like a little
    taste did not appeal insanely to the mouth
    or the sum of them to deeper attachments.

    One crispy morning, she drank cafe-con-leche
    and read the ingredients off the back of a box
    her younger sister must have left on the island:
    butter, eggs, sugar, salt, flour and vanilla.

    Each with their own persuasion
    came together. Alone, and on their best day
    neither could be quite delectable.

  22. Stuart Peacock

    Once Upon a River

    Once upon a river
    The fireflies appeared,
    Flying and frolicking
    Above the rippling blue,
    Their light a warming sign
    In the dead of night.

    They show the way
    To a weary traveller,
    Tired and thirsty
    From his long journey,
    Though they are not aware
    Of his pain and plight.

    For theirs is a simple existence,
    Dancing and flashing their flare
    Without a worry or a care.
    Yet they still warm and comfort
    Those weary of the darkness
    Or who have got lost along the way.

    The traveller stands there in awe,
    Soaking in their warming glow
    And feeling the life-force,
    Those strange mystic powers
    That the deep forest hides,
    Burning within the fireflies.

  23. Michelle Hed

    Once Upon a Death

    It felt like
    the sky leaked tears
    as the wind whipped my cheeks
    and all the color in the world disappeared.

    When in reality
    the sky was blue
    and the sun was flagrant in its shine
    and the colors peaked between the blacks.

    But my soul
    was barren,
    my thoughts in despair,
    while my fragmented heart
    refused to quit working
    on a beautiful, gut-wrenching day.

  24. Gracefilled

    Once Upon A ……..

    Once upon a distant shore
    a mermaid came a swimming
    she spied a gentle man alone
    and thought she’d have some fun
    She cast her spell
    and wove her charms
    to see if he could swim
    and when she had him in her arms 
    she slowly let him go
    and saw that float he could not do
    She watched him as he sank 
    Beneath the foamy waves he went
    and down she dove to bring him back
    to gasping breaths of air
    he bellowed once and startled her
    and so she dropped him cold
    and down he went to his watery grave
    for anger was not her goal

  25. barbara_y

    Don’t think this formatting thing will work, but here goes

    Once Upon A Bottle

    A woman was, before, a girl
    behind a wall of thick
    distorted glass. No
    one touched her. Whichever
    way she turned was a wall.
    In time she grew
    around the bottle. It’s a fact.

  26. derrdevil

    The Knight Of Anhedonia
    By Derryn Raymond

    Once upon a time
    In a land not far away
    There was a kind of fairytale
    That got twisted the wrong way

    Where princes act like paupers
    And beggars rather choose
    This set the sombre theme
    That feasted on abuse

    The story had the raw ingredients:
    From the knight in shining armour,
    To the charming prince, and his trophy princess
    Whom neither would let any harm her

    On the most perilous of quests
    That she had set the naïve knight upon
    He cracked the skull of an ogre
    Yet was deceived by wicked scorn

    Yes, locked she was in the castle tower
    As she played the damsel in dismay
    She had asked the knight to slay her dragons
    But in the prince’s chamber did she lay

    On that dismal day behind his back he felt
    The chilled wind blow so true
    An epiphany! The fair maiden was no princess
    But the Ice Queen herself in cool blue

    And when the damsel unveiled her cold heart
    The knight’s integrity showed no honour
    Since his villain was her hero
    In this twisted tale of fabled horror

    Let me, however, remind you
    Of that you may have forgot
    The knight may be second to the thrown
    But the heart of a King lies in Prince Charming not

    Alas, still, the Ice Queen and her terrene prince
    Closed this gloomy tale in disaster
    They doomed the knight in the dungeon of Anhedonia
    But lived unhappily ever after

  27. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    That small town in south Texas,
    Couldn’t hold both of our dreams.
    You went east, I headed west,
    We let the dust settle on the rest;
    But it wasn’t quite as easy as it seemed, as it seemed.
    No, nothing’s quite as easy as it seems.

    Too many highways ran between us,
    Too many bridges burned, burned, burned.
    Too many miles wrapped around our hearts,
    Not enough lessons learned, lessons learned;
    Not enough lessons learned.

    Once upon a country road,
    Underneath the cottonwood trees,
    I came full circle just to find her;
    She came full circle, back to me.

    Those big cities on the coasts,
    Didn’t care about our plans;
    Their shiny sights, neon lights,
    Dark and cold and lonely nights,
    Left us standing there with empty hands, empty hands;
    Empty hearts and souls and empty hands.

    But too many highways ran between us,
    Too many bridges burned, burned, burned.
    Too many miles wrapped around our hearts,
    Not enough lessons learned,lessons learned;
    Not enough lessons learned.

    Once upon a country road,
    Underneath the cottonwood trees,
    I came full circle just to find her;
    She came full circle, back to me.

    Truck ran out of gas,
    Coasted to the shoulder;
    Had to get back home,
    All I wanted was to hold her.
    Headlights on the hill,
    Maybe help is on the way.
    When I saw her smiling face,
    There was nothing I could say.

    Once upon a country road,
    Underneath the cottonwood trees,
    I came full circle just to find her;
    She came full circle, back to me.

  28. carolecole66

    Once Upon a Time

    Fairy tales held no charm for me. I never
    caught my breath in fear of ogres
    beneath the bridge, or screamed at giants
    whose steps shook the earth. I wished
    for no fairy god mother or a pumpkin chariot,
    refused to believe in fathers who sacrificed
    their daughters to evil whims of dark
    stepmothers. No witches rode my nights,
    no dragons wheezed beneath my bed.
    In the world I knew, the ugly duckling
    stayed ugly and grew up to be a duck.
    The wan, blonde princess-to-be uttered
    inanities as she wept her martyr tears
    and swept the hearth. And all night long,
    fatuous Prince Charming farted in his sleep.

  29. pipersfancy


    Once upon a mossy stump of green
    she sat in wonderment of life, pristine
    and freshly borne of clay, creation’s womb,
    which seeds all nature in abundant bloom.

    Once within a hidden forest glen,
    a snowy perch concealed a winter wren—
    sang sweet cantatas praising Mother Earth
    ‘till she began to sway and dance in mirth.

    Once upon a marble, green and blue,
    a miracle of life was born, and grew.
    Her heartbeat soon reverberated deep
    awakening all spirits from their sleep.

    Throughout the ages, Nature’s law defeats
    the shame of man while Mother Earth Drum beats.
    —Christina Perry

  30. Connie Peters

    Not a Fairy Tale

    Once upon a time
    a girl kissed her boyfriend
    goodbye in Pennsylvania,
    boarded a plane for the first time
    and flew to Wyoming to visit
    her sister for the summer.

    She looked up churches
    in the yellow pages and found
    one with a youth pastor.
    It must have youth.
    So she went to First Baptist.
    A guest choir sang that night.

    As the music played, she noticed
    one long-haired dude in the audience
    clapping along with enthusiasm.
    He was the only one,
    in the hundreds of people
    who clapped.

    They worked in children’s ministry
    and fell in love over the summer.
    When she went back to Pennsylvania,
    she dreamed of her two loves side by side.
    She chose the Wyomingite.
    She broke up with her boyfriend.

    She dated the westerner
    long distance two years,
    until they finally got married.
    And they lived
    happily ever after.
    Well, close enough.

  31. Kendall A. Bell

    Once upon a dead end street

    Colored chalk outlined cement blocks
    in the sunshine of April. Forsythias
    were a wall of yellow that led to
    the borders of sanctuary, an imagined
    fortress from would be enemies – those
    who sent you on a foot race after school.
    Slow rides around the cul-de-sac alone,
    the spring breeze blowing back wavy hair –
    you’d pick up speed, the wind sounded like
    buckled sheet metal against your eardrums,
    a slight tilt of handlebars made you gasp,
    drew you to a slow stop along the curb,
    always afraid to take the slightest step
    away from the comfort of childhood, the
    agreeing voices of imaginary friends, those
    who never let you down, never disappeared.

  32. De Jackson

    Once Upon a Suitcase, a Shattered Vase, and a Soundtrack

    She’s packed.

    Alanis is playing fast and loose
                    with her angry heart,
    and the car won’t quite start but the
    tank is full and she’s a fool for a fat moon
    and some scattered stars, the slap

    of asphalt under tires that just might
    know the way to freedom. There’s a black
    sky rising, reprising the dark rhythms of
    her own unmapped heart. She’s back

    to humming out loud
    and welcoming broken
    things: scattered yellow lines
                   and scars that sing.


  33. Poet Ariel


    One Upon A Wineglass
    Or Wine and Writers

    The six glasses sat beckoning
    and it’s been a long day.

    The steward slid the half pour in,
    Subtle yellow Sauvignon Blanc standing in a round.

    Hard edges of the 2015 Villa Maria was my morning;
    a Grecian shanghai across the seas, unfinished, uninvited.

    2014 Peter Yealands, an alternative bus; it got me there with two minutes to spare.

    2014 Infamous Goose, a mid-priced bouquet;
    Pleasant flavor offset by technical glitches in the email.

    2015 Kim Crawford, an audacious fruity intention;
    a well-crafted giggle to dispell afternoon’s gloom.

    2013 St Clair – this would be walking out the door;
    bright fruit notes, a smooth finish

    2014 Greywacke – closing the day with gourmet;
    crème brulee and unhindered words.

    Nov 4, 2015

  34. Poet Ariel

    One Upon A Wineglass
    or “Wine and Writers”

    The six glasses sat beckoning
    and it’s been a long day.

    The steward slid the half pour in,
    Subtle yellow Sauvignon Blanc standing in a round.

    Hard edges of the 2015 Villa Maria was my morning;
    a Grecian shanghai across the seas, unfinished, uninvited.

    2014 Peter Yealands, an alternative bus; it got me there with two minutes to spare.

    2014 Infamous Goose, a mid-priced bouquet;
    Pleasant flavor offset by technical glitches in the email.

    2015 Kim Crawford, an audacious fruity intention; a well-crafted giggle to dispell afternoon’s gloom.

    2013 St Clair – this would be walking out the door;
    bright fruit notes, a smooth finish

    2014 Greywacke – closing the day with gourmet;
    crème brulee and unhindered words.

    Nov 4, 2015

  35. Sara McNulty

    Once Upon a Couch

    Once upon a couch, all cozy
    I fell into a vivid dream
    where life appeared to be all rosy.
    Once upon a couch, all cozy
    where my mind does tend to mosey,
    I was a mermaid swimming upstream.
    Once upon a couch, all cozy
    I fell into a vivid dream.

  36. lsteadly

    Once Upon a Rooftop

    The three of you, my princes and king
    with your shovels glinting like scepters as you toss
    weighty snow from the roof down into the yard
    a task meant for rulers keen on beating
    the next storm

    Your throws send snow arcing over my head
    wet chunks barely miss me
    as I clear a path to the woodshed
    our laughter catches in the damp air
    and you declare how perfect
    this snow molds in your hands

    I join you up there just to take in the view
    and see how far my snowballs will fly
    how tall we all are standing here on our peak
    at once lords of our acre
    then mere specks under
    the cirrus smeared sky

  37. Valkyri

    once upon a pale horse

    doom came at once upon a pale horse
    ooze-green glowing color of infection
    the pallor of a corpse the rider had
    cantering before me on dusty battered ground
    looking up at this ferocious vision of death
    moonglow shadowed the visage of his grinning skull
    silently I plead for the sparing of my life
    encircling vultures hovering draw near
    furiously attacking all of my evil from within
    the fierce joyless heart granting momentary reprieve
    from all previous sins and obsessions severe
    the horseman Death released my soul to rest
    my ashen carcass now vulgar carrion

  38. Alaina Dawson

    Once Upon a Day Like Any Other

    quickly passed the stage of flirtatious side glances
    two hands gripped tight on the wheel
    eyes glanced up at stoplights
    tired, waiting for green

    toxically passed the infatuation stage
    keys softly dropped on the counter
    tv quietly babbling on
    blips of evening news two hours too late

    tentatively passed the stages of puppy love
    a sweater thrown over the arm of the couch
    a blue cotton blend
    none like one i’ve ever seen

    didn’t quite make it to the honey moon stage
    light rings of moisture pierce the wooden table
    not one wine glass in the sink
    two, there were two

    in lieu of setting the final stage
    on a day like any other
    you let me in on your dirty little secret
    spelt out with her nails across our headboard

      1. ppfautsch24

        Once Upon a Dance
        Once upon a dance filled with romance.
        You asked for my hand and my name.
        Lights shine upon the dance floor.
        Took my breathe by surprise.
        In your eyes adore.
        Love’s sweeping sway.
        Hearts at play.
        Once upon
        A time…
        By Pamelap

  39. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    You called me your hero,
    Your knight in shining armor.
    You were my sweet princess;
    Made me feel less like a farmer.

    Our small place;
    Was a castle all our own;
    Till I came in last night,
    And found myself alone.

    Once upon a fairy tale,
    Once upon a memory;
    Once upon a yesterday,
    You belonged to me.

    Once upon a fairy tale,
    Once upon a broken heart,
    Once upon a shattered dream,
    Our world fell apart;
    Our world fell apart.

    Our happily ever after,
    Turned to tears
    And hollow laughter

    Once upon a fairy tale,
    Once upon a memory;
    Once upon a yesterday,
    You belonged to me.

    Once upon a fairy tale,
    Once upon a broken heart,
    Once upon a shattered dream,
    Our world fell apart;
    Our world fell apart.

  40. Tim Snodgrass

    Thrice Upon a TIme

    Once upon a time
    I was happy
    Love and laughter filled my days
    Yet always wanting something more

    Once upon a time
    I was sad
    Hungry, afraid, and alone
    Longing for what I once had

    Once upon a time
    I cursed my lot in life
    And cast the blame
    upon a faceless God

    Thrice upon a time
    I suffered needlessly
    always looking, seeing not
    what was in front of me

    Once upon a time
    I lived my life
    in once upon time

    I’m Aidan Bryce
    I’ve paid the price

  41. SarahLeaSales

    Once Upon The Starry Night

    In Christina’s World many moons ago,
    there lived a girl by the name of Mona Lisa.
    Mona Lisa was born of The Kiss,
    in a pond of Water Lilies—
    a pure birth—
    and so much was made of her being the Goddess
    in the Flesh.

    Mona Lisa possessed the Persistence of Memory—
    time was made fluid.
    Through her marriage to Father Time,
    she became Mother Earth,
    birthing a biological clock that never stopped ticking.

    Three Musicians came from the West
    in that period
    since The Creation of Adam
    proclaiming another Savior,
    but Mona Lisa,
    waged a war on men.

    Through man-made climate change,
    through wars and rumors of wars,
    she turned her world into a ruin,
    for there were no more men to provide
    for the women—
    there were only vessels,
    but no seed to plant in them.

    Father Time,
    seeing the rapid decay,
    sent her away;
    for Time took its time,
    allowing the natural order of things.

    Father Time turned her into a rapidly aging man,
    so that her days would not be long upon the Earth,
    and she was exiled to Golgotha
    for her crimes against humanity.

    And twas at The Last Supper,
    that Mona Lisa knew He was the One—
    that no power on Earth came to any
    but through Him.
    He had allowed her to carry out His work,
    for wicked had been her people,
    but now she had to pay as Judas.

    There were The Three Crosses—
    one for Him,
    one for another,
    one for her.
    She was that other robber,
    for she’d robbed others of breath.

    But in His infinite mercy,
    God chose to use her once again,
    and turned her into the moon—
    the moon that glowed,
    rather than the sun that burned.
    She was known from then on
    as The Girl with the Pearl Earring—
    a nameless being—
    for eternity.

    She is the demon that has control over the waters,
    and when her anger is kindled,
    there is a tidal wave of environmental calamity—
    causing a form of mass baptism.

    However, from then on,
    Nature itself—
    no superpower in Heaven or on Earth—
    would ever control the weather,
    for the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

  42. hohlwein

    Once Upon

    my table
    was a book
    I have since forgotten

    and in that book
    some writing,
    a phrase without break or comma,
    that turned
    like on a lathe

    and carved
    into my mind
    – a shape, an echo, a landscape
    treasured into sympathetic sleep
    and into waking
    – not alone



    a phrase I recognized
    as not my own
    but from a soul

    I’d never meet

    the writer
    might be dead now
    might be heavy and drinking milk
    might be shopping or recovering
    or ash
    might be petting a loyal dog

    and wondering
    if her life of turning words
    – of punctuating
    her own way
    had meaning

  43. candy

    Once Upon a Sunbeam

    fluffy dust motes floating by
    i closed my eyes to wonder why

    i do not see them in the night
    although i try with all my might

    where do they go when sun goes down
    to rest somewhere or into town

    they bounce and float on sunny days
    then disappear when days turn gray

    i’ll set a trap, that’s what i’ll do
    put on a glove covered with glue

    but they’re more clever than i thought
    a bunch of cat fur’s all i caught

  44. Domino

    Krampus Nacht

    Once upon a winter day,
    Krampus starts to wake.
    He smiles to think of naughty kids
    that he must find and take.

    Mean and selfish, just plain bad,,
    theives and liars small.
    He will take them far away
    and dine upon them all.

    Finding them is never hard
    because he always hears
    cries and fear of victims,
    their sorrow and their tears.

    So off he goes across the land
    seeking in his rage.
    Juvenile offenders all
    to put into his cage.

    Minor crimes won’t work for him,
    only evil draws his eye
    He finds it abominable,
    and so they have to die.

    So, you children, far and near,
    what I’ve said is true.
    If you do not mend your ways,
    Krampus comes for you!



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