2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

I’ve been writing narrative poems this month. It just so happens that Poetic Asides regulars Jane Shlensky and Nancy Posey are assembling an anthology of narrative poems with a February 20, 2016. If you write narrative poems, you may want to have a look at submitting your work. Click here for the submission guidelines.

For today’s prompt, write a festive poem. It doesn’t matter the occasion, and the festivities can just be the backdrop for the poem. Remember that even a sinister story like Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” happened during a carnival time. So no matter the mood, write with festivities in mind.


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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 Festive poem:

“Trick or Treat”

Of course, Halloween took on a more sinister mood
in the days after Wilcox went missing. Of course,
parents shadowed their children closer than ever.
Walt could feel it as he ran outside and down the street
to the old clubhouse. Marcus texted for Walt to meet
him immediately, no questions asked–as if he had any.

“Trick or treat; smell my feet; give me something good
to eat.” He heard the song that he once sang, but there
seemed to be a somber silence for tonight’s festivities
as if a ghoul might strike out of the shadows at the first
crack of a smile. Walt ran harder and was out of breath
when he reached the clubhouse to do the secret knock.

Marcus threw open the hatch and said, “Get up here;
I know it’ll sound crazy, but I just had a wild idea.”


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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242 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

  1. lsteadly

    The Lawn Party

    I’m not sure which crow gave the signal
    to get their party started, but those black barons
    of the high branches were ready for action
    when I stepped onto the porch for a closer look

    One took an apple from the tree swooping
    none too delicately before dropping
    his prize in the lawn
    a bemused buddy waddled over
    head cocked this way and that
    until he decided he’d give it a swat with his beak

    A third streaked down, landing next to the first
    feathers all ruffled and ready to play
    a strange sort of soccer , fruit toss and tag
    and the singing, yes, singing, I hear it still
    festive trills mixed with cackles reaching skyward with glee

  2. Dana Cariola

    The Awakening

    Winter’s icy hand releases it hold over all beasts and all men
    Vanishing into a whisper until it’s voice could not be heard.

    Life force beating stronger, as this frozen world, renews
    Cascading waters sweep the land. Replacing old for new.

  3. Beth Henary Watson

    She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury.”
    Guy de Maupassant, “The Necklace”

    “Modern Mathilde”

    All night she felt famous
    In that Rent the Runway
    Chiffon, black, fabulous,
    Costume jewels sparkling
    In ever-dimming light,
    Attuned to the cameras
    Like the carpet was red.
    She felt even younger
    With each trip to the bar
    And, true, more beautiful,
    A princess for the night
    At somebody’s wedding.

    — See more at BethHenaryWatson.com

  4. pipersfancy

    Not sure if this counts as a “festival”, however, it is inspired by the upcoming observance of Remembrance Day, November 11.

    Cheeri-cheeri-ay! Cheeri-cheeri-oh!

    The Lord giveth and He taketh back
    though, it never was His desire
    to send young men off to war to die
    weighted down in the muck and mire.

    Those brave lads marched to the pipe and drum
    leaving hearth and hearts behind,
    and though fears may numb
    over hills they come
    facing perils of hell—resigned.

    The birds take to wing with “cheeri-oh”
    as they soar high above the fight,
    and the cannons with relentless roar
    killing all who come into sight.

    Cheeri-cheeri-ay! Cheeri-cheeri-oh!
    Men will fall and the winds shall blow,
    over wearied, bloodied,
    battle grounds
    where the souls of the young men go.

    Say not soft things as soft men have said
    for ‘twas easy to fall and die.
    And a better man has gone before
    yet, still others in dirt shall lie.

    When you see the millions of mouth-less dead
    in your dreams as battalions go,
    do not praise the dead,
    mourning each gashed head,
    for the dead cannot see tears flow.

    The birds take to wing with “cheeri-oh”
    as they soar high above the fight,
    and the cannons with relentless roar
    killing all who come into sight.

    Cheeri-cheeri-ay! Cheeri-cheeri-oh!
    Men will fall and the winds shall blow,
    over wearied, bloodied,
    battle grounds
    where the souls of the young men go.

  5. Nancy Posey


    We’re way overdue for a shindig.
    Time to push back the furniture,
    clear the floor, break out the fiddle,
    the mandolin, guitar. Get down
    to our stocking feet and cut a rug
    on the cornmeal dusted floor.

    We need no special occasion.
    Any excuse will do. It needn’t
    cost a cent—no need for rented
    tents on the lawn, ice sculptures,
    string quartets, or fancy duds.

    Just come as you are, we’ll tell
    all our friends. We’ll dance
    until our feet hurt, sing
    until we’re hoarse, and eat
    until we pop. We won’t stop
    until the rooster crows, then
    we’ll all rest up for next time.

  6. charmuse


    She’s turning 21.
    Give her a virgin margarita
    that will keep her on her feet.
    She has her own jazz
    and syncopation
    which keeps her off the streets
    of being eighteen,
    a wasted land.

    She has asked the bartender
    of the tree of life
    for a mix of wonder,
    and a straw to sip it up
    daily, to taste
    the flavor of beginnings,
    to revel in the unpossessed
    nature of her sapling strength.

    – Charise Hoge

  7. Walt Wojtanik


    He celebrates her spirit,
    a comforting hand to reassure.
    He knows it’s her. That was her style.
    It reminds him of her smile
    that would grace her face
    and his whenever she wielded
    its power. It shielded his heart
    from the pain of her absence.

    Her life was a festival.
    Her lilting voice was the calliope
    that called him to her.
    Joy was her prize, the excitement
    In her eyes was expressive
    and contagious. Her outrageous
    embrace was a sanctuary
    with nary an escape warranted.
    She had haunted his dreams.

    She brings happiness,
    a sweet caress for a heart so true.
    If it was you she favored
    you would be savored.
    You would be blessed,
    mildly obsessed by her.
    Always possessed by her!
    She was reason enough to celebrate.

  8. Marie Therese Knepper


    Can the heart celebrate ache?
    Will the mind rejoice in defeat?
    United in broken bonds
    Preoccupied with imperfection.

    Joy goes in retrospect forward
    tripping over delights fallen
    the brethren who clandestine meet
    bottom-feeding from fresh graves

  9. De Jackson

    This Poem is all Silk, and Sow

    This poem gots a perfect bow, shiny
    silver and slivered just right into curls.

    Girl’s put on her best iambic dress, her most
    sure-footed shoes, her moody blues and

    ebony-kerned sway. She’s got a way of
    standing up proud, and primped and tall.

    But underneath it all?

                 (Oh, yes.)

    This poem is just
    a festive, flustered, fetid


  10. cbwentworth

    pumpkin glow fades
    first flurries fly
    Christmas lights shine

    the smell of pine
    fills the house
    snow-covered ground

    first cold day
    wrapped in blankets
    hot cup of tea

    half-price costumes
    next to wreaths
    and stockings

  11. elishevasmom

    Watermelon Day

    As the family story goes,
    the July I was born was
    one of the hottest in
    recent memory.
    Hot enough that
    for the most part,
    all my mom could keep down
    was watermelon.
    Since I wasn’t born
    until about three-quarters
    the way through the month,
    that made for a lot
    of watermelon.

    As the story continues,
    I was a bit late in talking,
    (and have been making up for it
    ever since.)

    Mix that all up in a bowl,
    and you end up with
    my childhood family moniker:
    Yellin’ Ellen the Watermelon—
    and made my birthday
    Watermelon Day!

    Copyright © Ellen Evans – 2015
    day 126 of 365
    day 5 PAD 11/15 a festivity poem

  12. Bushkill

    Day 5:
    write a festive poem

    Colors dance upon the wind
    As trees, their leaves,

    Children play and pets pounce
    In piles of brightly
    Fallen gaiety

    Until the call for dinner
    Rings and smells of pies

    Then children and adults both
    Will join in festive

    For turkey, beans, and cran’ sauce
    With taters and gravy

    And afterwards, a game or two
    And conversations with friends both old,

    ‘Till festive’s end and
    Ways doth part with waves and

    Until next year.

  13. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    After empty pages are filled with lines and dots –
    After thoughts have been painted skillfully –
    After voices, once still, find the language to say
    what lies deep within their hearts and minds –
    After 30 days are spent honing the written word-
    they celebrate with a circle of poets –
    from youngsters to white-headed elders –
    The verses are read and, like fireworks,
    explode in the minds of those who listen,
    bringing oohs and ahs that punctuate
    the final lines, which illustrate each poets
    dreams, hopes and desires.

  14. Jane Shlensky

    Mood Music

    He watches as she styles her hair,
    applies makeup and jewelry,
    selects a swishy, swirly skirt,
    rings on her toes and fingers,
    strappy heels that click on tile
    (he hasn’t seen those in a while).
    She hums along to the radio,
    as if she’s singing her own song.

    She piques his interest.
    What party’s on this dismal day?
    Is there somebody else
    who sees she’s pretty
    as a winging bird?
    But she just smiles
    and shakes her head,
    and says, “I’m feeling festive.”

  15. Jane Shlensky

    Sandwich Day

    The crowd amassed on Sandwich Day
    when Subway gave one ‘wich away
    when one is purchased. Who can say
    what causes folks to stay and stay
    in lines, in cars, in churning gyre
    to get a meal bereft of fire,
    a meal they could have made by now
    had they gone home. I wonder how
    many of these who gathered there
    had marked their calendars to share
    festivities with those who care
    for Sandwich Day, and sandwich fare?

    “I love parades!” one shopper cried,
    all smiles until the man beside
    him pointed out, “There is no band
    and no movement; we only stand
    and wait for what I’ve come to doubt
    will ever happen this time out!”
    Not just his words, but more his tone
    caused others wedged in line to groan
    and might have sparked miffed fisticuff
    had there been will or room enough.

    1. JanetRuth

      I am laughing out loud. My daughter attended this ‘festival’ on Tues. She said the line was so long some students stood in it for most of their lunch hour to get the sub. The teacher was understanding and let them eat it in class. Thank-you for expressing so well what i have often thought. We could make two for one in no time for less than the ‘deal’:)

  16. Domino

    Introverted Festival

    Door locked, porch light off.
    Kitchen light on dim.
    My baby waiting on the couch
    for a nice canoodle.
    Cocoa and cookies on a side table.

    Press play, movie begins.
    Blanket is cozy and warm.
    A cat leaps cautiously
    to the side, and finds a nesting spot.

    Party for two.
    Life has never been so good.

  17. deringer1


    Every day is celebrated somewhere.
    Somewhere there is dancing, and
    there is feasting and rejoicing.
    If today I am not at the party,
    that’s alright, for you are always dancing
    in my mind and singing in my heart.
    I feast upon the rich food of words
    and all the wisdom you have shared with me.
    I rejoice!
    I am glad!
    I sing!

  18. uvr

    I don’t know how mama put up with it
    The shouting in a drunken stupor
    the blows from angry hands
    I was too young to understand
    but I knew something was different
    and not in a good way
    I saw the tears in her eyes
    the bruises on her arms
    and I remember how winced
    when I held her tight

    I learnt to stay out of his way
    and as I grew I slammed the door
    to keep the ugliness out
    He never struck me
    but I still bear the scars

    The day he finally left
    is etched in my mind
    our hearts were lighter
    a happy breeze blew the fear away
    and for the first time in years
    Mama’s smile was brighter
    than all the lights on Christmas

  19. Kendall A. Bell

    Bring on the festivities

    It is now one hundred wishes posted
    on a Facebook timeline, words strewn
    across a screen with little sincerity.
    Fragments of memory can recall balloons
    and long departed relatives, pizza parties
    with best friends who vanished into self
    absorbed cliques years later, a yearly
    tradition of Baskin Robbins cakes made
    with peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.
    Now, it is uncomfortable silence in an
    empty house in November, a cup of coffee
    nearly gone and cooling below lukewarm.
    Now, it is wonderment that I am still able
    to exhale while people I graduated high
    school with breathe only in two by two
    pictures in a yearbook. I will never accept
    these dying pieces each year, these newly
    minted aches that grow like the stale sentiment
    I am left to embrace in the absence of bodies.

    1. shethra77

      This reminds me of going to my husband’s high school reunion, and finding out that three quarters of the people he’d hoped to see had died in the intervening five years.

  20. DanielR

    The room spins after four glasses of wine
    cabernet sauvignon I think
    blushing bride
    so why are the grooms cheeks red?
    “I do” is now “I’ve done it”
    spectators enjoying the free-for-all
    no honeymoon sex tonight
    sleep it off
    she tripped and he caught her just before
    the floor kissed her cheek goodnight
    and I wished them a lifetime of happiness.

    Daniel Roessler

  21. Lyn S

    Time’s awasting or Leap of faith

    It’s not always Robert’s fault, I have learned
    (Those squirrels are crazy fast racing up and down branches
    high in the oak tree)
    But now is the time for me to write something
    (One pushing the other to higher and more daring
    leaps and cross branch transfers)
    And there is no prompt I can find online.
    (Finally the one in front takes a leap to another tree
    With a running start through tiny end branches)
    I’m sure this is not the prompt and this is not Tuesday
    (And he makes it over a three foot gap onto other tiny branches)
    So there isn’t a choice, but still, I say it’s my birthday
    (Leaving the other one chattering and teetering at the branch he left)
    And it really is so the day will be busy getting ready for the dinner
    (And he chitters a few seconds more and then backs up)
    I’m making tonight, and work, shopping, etc. so this is it
    (And takes the same running leap, grabbing those same tiny branches,
    and swinging like an undersized bell ringer in triumph)
    And time’s awasting.

    Lyn Sedwick

    (WOW, the poem STILL works with the prompt–luck was a lady tonight!)

  22. Connie Peters


    Where did this disability come from?
    Not being able to celebrate.
    Birthdays. I got used to no presents.
    I buy what I want and sign your name.
    When I open it I say,
    “Just what I wanted, how did you know?”
    The same for Christmas.
    And when you look at the gifts I buy you,
    with indifference, I try to not let it bother me.
    Valentine’s Day. Not.
    Easter. Your enthusiasm rustles
    like wind in a bush.
    But no bunnies, chocolates, or egg hunts.
    Independence Day. Yawn.
    Halloween. No go.
    Thanksgiving. You munch while I cook
    and when the feast is set
    you’re not hungry.
    New Year’s Eve.
    You go to bed at ten
    while I stay up till midnight
    putting together a jigsaw puzzle
    telling myself, “Happy New Year!”
    December 28th 1981
    and April 10th 1985.
    You had trouble hiding the celebration
    pouring from your eyes.
    You fairly vibrated with excitement
    at the birth of our children.
    Why are you afraid to rejoice in the good things?
    Yes, we’re waiting for heaven,
    but it’s okay to enjoy a little bit of it on earth.
    I think when we delight in God’s gifts
    like children opening presents at Christmas time,
    He smiles.
    You have many strength, talents, and abilities.
    Celebrating isn’t one of them.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      I like the plain talk of this, Connie. I know a little bit of this attitude myself and get weary of convincing others to have fun. You just keep celebrating, girl.

  23. taylor graham


    Here is my harvest in a droughty year:
    1 zucchini tough as a giant’s fist;
    1 small tomato spared by hungry deer;
    3 bell peppers which a night’s frost has kissed;

    and mint – escaped from its
    bed, sending out runners under every
    planted row, as if its roots
    went deep enough to tap an aquifer – lavish

    green, bursting unasked out of hard-baked earth.
    Three weeks to go until the festive day.
    I rub my hands in mint, its fresh-and-sweet –
    here is my harvest in a droughty year.

  24. Nancy J

    Let’s Celebrate!

    Those who truly love to party know
    every day’s a special day. Yes, each
    week and month and season gives
    us ample reason to make merry.
    Designations, proclamations, new
    additions every year. It’s easy to lose
    track. Has this happened to any of you?

    Did you fail to look up a word
    on National Dictionary Day?
    Did you blow off
    National Catfish Week entirely?
    Did you eat cereal every day
    of National Hot Breakfast Month?
    I understand. It happens.

    So, you missed a party or two this year.
    There’s plenty more to celebrate,
    and no time to waste. We should really
    start preparing for tomorrow –
    Marooned Without A Compass Day.

    But, if the pressure of daily partying is just
    too much, take a break, relax, you have all of
    November to celebrate Fun With Fondue Month.
    Just remember what makes November 5th so special . . .
    Today is National Doughnut Day!

    1. Jane Shlensky

      I like! When I taught in China, we had an international dorm with 21 nations of people to make up excuses for partying–some actual holidays and some, um, my uncle’s first wife’s birthday kind of thing. No matter. We went with it.

  25. Sibella

    I finally got started on this challenge with day 5 (and a real stretching of the prompt to fit my needs). Now to try and play catch-up with the first four days!

    The Beauties Among Us

    Every year, I forget that this happens
    until it happens: an afternoon of gray-green
    and rain-dulled gold, with mist shimmering
    over Broadwater Creek like breath on a cold porch.
    No birds can be seen this day. Birds, their sheen and
    flutter and quick heads, are too often seen as festive
    Like us, they’re just living their lives; like the beauties
    among us, they tire of the eyes and paeans. So
    they bunch in the trees, I imagine, where I hear
    the occasional whistle or chatter
    behind the green wall.

    Pamela Murray Winters

  26. Earl Parsons

    Family Reunions

    Growing up I never really understood why
    Our annual family reunion was such a big deal
    Christmas was the excuse, but the gifts the gold
    Warm hugs and wet kisses from the elders were
    Just a means to an end to the toys, toys, toys
    And the occasional ugly sweater or funny socks

    But as the early years passed I started to notice
    Not everyone returned year after year
    Some said the weather and some were sick
    But others were either too old or had passed on
    As I grew into manhood, the crowd had thinned to
    The point that we had no more Christmas reunions

    Then I flew off into the wild blue yonder
    Twenty years I’d travel in a uniform of blue
    A family formed around me during that journey
    A mishmash of love, laughter, joy and tears
    They made Christmas so wonderfully special
    Back then they were all I would ever need

    The years were great, but the time passed so fast
    Before I knew it they were leaving the nest
    To college, to the Air Force, and off to new lives
    Our Christmas reunions seemed to always miss one
    Or two like last year; the adjustment is difficult
    Now I long for them all ‘round the table with me

    But they’re spread out so far following dreams and jobs
    Life has bitten my soul with the truth of reality
    My longing to gather with those I love most
    Sometimes causes me sorrow and leaves misty eyes
    Still I know in my heart that the day will soon come
    When they all realize that it’s time to visit home

    Or gather together the whole family here or there
    The place doesn’t matter as long has it happens
    As long as warm hugs and wet kisses are included
    Just seeing them all in one place will suffice
    Just seeing them all will bless my soul to no end
    For I understand now why reunions are crucial

    © 2015 Earl Parsons

  27. ReathaThomasOakley

    Fish Friday Festival on Grenada

    Along the streets that branch
    from the road that meanders past
    the Chinese-built cricket stadium,
    past the home of Kirani James’
    uncle’s house where he sits on his porch,
    acknowledging all with a regal wave,

    on those narrow streets
    unpaved and gently arching toward
    the lush green mountains
    men and women set up tables,
    grills, steel bands, and beer filled coolers,
    ready for fish Friday on Grenada.

    Hungry folks, sipping rum, are waiting
    for the snapping sound of hot oil
    greeting cod and haddock
    tossed into cauldrons burned black
    from generations of frying fish on
    Fridays on Grenada.

  28. Jolly2

    by John Yeo

    “I don’t feel like it, I don’t want to go,
    Can’t we make an excuse?
    You don’t really like them at all.
    They are total snobs, just showing off
    By throwing money around.
    Don’t be a silly fool!

    The’re a family that never mixes,
    Why should we pretend?
    Just because it’s Christmas.
    Let them enjoy their luxurious party
    With food and presents in plenty,
    Gifts and fine wine by the glass.

    Perhaps we should show our faces,
    Even though it will be a chore.
    We deserve to share the festival
    Perhaps we will get some presents
    To take back home with us.
    It really is Christmas after all.

    I suppose we will have to take
    A bottle of red and white wine.
    Climb in the taxi, mind your dress,
    Hello! How are you all? Cheers!
    Happy Christmas! Lovely to see you!
    It has been such a very long time!”

    Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

  29. MichelleMcEwen

    Thanksgiving with Jimi

    I was going on three months
    pregnant when I invited Jimi
    to thanksgiving with my folks.
    This was before he was that Jimi.
    He had just started on the guitar
    two years before at 15. Now,
    here we were, both 17, at my folks’
    He would enlist in the army two years
    later, but for now he was mine
    and I was kind of his.
    His hair wasn’t so wild then.
    Mama said, after he left: “That boy,
    I don’t like his fingers. Too long—-
    stranglin’ fingers” and daddy said:
    “He talk too much bout that guitar”
    and mama said: “He didn’t even
    touch my sweet potato pie” and
    daddy said: “He sure ate up my cranberry
    sauce” and my babysister said:
    “He’s gonna git famous and leave you
    and that baby.”
    “What baby?” mama and daddy said.

      1. MichelleMcEwen

        Yes, I saw it! Thx. That’s what made me try to write a narrative poem for today’s prompt. Narrative poems are my fav and used to be the only way I wrote for years.

  30. Stuart Peacock

    Carn(iv)al Desires

    Nothing calls out to us quite like
    The exotic allure of the carnival,
    Where colour and music combine
    Into a wild, sensory fusion
    Of immoderation and indulgence
    Where clothes are often cast aside.

    The dreary rags of everyday
    Are defiantly disposed of in favour
    Of gaudy thongs and sequins,
    Sparkling in this shameless show of flesh,
    As dancers display their ‘outfits’
    That leave precious little to imagination.

    Alas, this grand festival of the night
    Must inevitably reach its end.
    After the parade of pukey residue
    And the wanton, untoward displays
    Become the migraines of the morning
    And a detritus of decadence to clear.

  31. Valkyri

    beltaine rites

    may day rituals
    sunny field fair
    in grotto deep
    daisy-chained maidens
    dig the hole
    lusty young men
    chop the pole
    pretty girls laugh
    as boys advance
    to plunge the
    maypole deep inside
    colored streamers sway
    up and down
    around and around
    gold for hope
    violet for wishes
    green for life
    oranges blues pinks
    rainbow’s swirling dance
    beltaine cakes fate
    king and queen
    pledge their troth
    ceremony’s grace abides
    god and goddess
    invoking ancient hearts
    joined as one
    handfasted in love
    lads and lassies
    bodies merge entwined
    many a babe
    holy born flesh
    next new year
    life’s wheel turns

    1. shethra77

      Excellent description! and a holiday most people will not be talking about celebrating.
      I especially liked seeing the swirl of the dance:
      “colored streamers sway
      up and down
      around and around
      gold for hope
      violet for wishes
      green for life”.

  32. IrisD

    Independence Day

    Fireworks, homemade ice cream and watermelon
    are ways we celebrate Independence Day.
    Meat grilled outdoors with potato salad
    and baked beans add to the picnic.
    Friends and family share the day, but then
    one year we celebrated independence early.
    He left and we no longer were shackled to his anger and lies.
    We celebrated indoors with junk food and classic movies with friends.
    Freedom came that year on that bittersweet day. It is
    better to live alone than with a contentious person.

  33. JanetRuth

    Autumn Aria

    Autumn is a tree undressed
    Russet-dripping thoroughfare
    Tart and sweetness coalesced
    In the presses of the air

    Autumn is an apple squeezed
    Amber acquiescence soft-snared
    In a cup, like memories
    Vintage nectar, sipped and shared

    Autumn is laughter revered
    As we sense earth’s raw decline
    In moment-ranks commandeered
    By Authority divine

    Autumn is a gold-rush quelled
    Bronze and brittle lullaby
    Summer’s sylvan sally felled
    ‘neath the sickle of the sky

    Autumn; nature lingering
    Like a mother over child
    Kissed and tucked to bed ‘til spring
    Still, Her tender tears run wild

    © Janet Martin

  34. Jean Kay


    Christmas decorations
    have started to appear,
    reminding us it won’t be long
    ‘til that special time of year.

    A time for family gatherings
    and visits with good friends.
    Retail stores are well stocked
    with all the latest trends.

    It’s carol singing time again,
    choirs are rehearsing now.
    Craft fairs, concerts, baking…
    we fit it all in somehow.

    For me, the most important part
    is to give love and receive.
    It’s the only way to have peace on earth
    which is possible – I believe.

  35. writinglife16


    On the first Thanksgiving
    They put her in her room.
    She was sleeping that day.
    No need to feed her they said.

    On the second Thanksgiving
    She was still in her room.
    She was still sleeping.
    So no need to feed her they said.

    On the third Thanksgiving
    She was in a smaller room.
    But she was awake.
    Her eyes wide open.
    They said they would feed her.

    On the fourth Thanksgiving
    That smaller room was empty.
    She had died.
    In her sleep.
    They said they were grieving.

    On that last Thanksgiving
    The police visited her rooms.
    Where she was isolated.
    And starved.
    They were read their rights.

  36. Al

    “Dream World?”
    If people did only what’s good,
    because evil is nevermore,
    it would create a festive mood
    and we’d rejoice for evermore.

    Could that be a reality,
    in such a disunited world,
    that’s lacking in humility?
    Or is my hope in a dream-world?

  37. PressOn


    I scan the overcrowded room
    where poinsettias still are in full bloom;
    the tree is lit, yet hung with gloom:

    for smiles have changed to grimaced leers
    and blessings now are slosh-filled cheers
    enhanced by wines and gins and beers.

    Christmastime is really over.

  38. Anthony94

    When I was Twelve

    Festivities were like foreign currency, almost fun for the moment,
    but soon to be tucked away, out of sight, forgotten, dusty,
    to be distrusted like memory and the smells of strange foods.

    Once, he brought a brace of geese home from his friend’s
    hunting trip, a slab of good venison on the side. Feathers
    flew from the washtub and she cried a lot at having to

    pluck them although he’d already field dressed both before
    he brought them to the house. She wanted to save the bloody
    down for pillows, but it smelled too strong so she pushed

    it all into an old pillowcase clothespinned shut. Kept saying how
    the birds would be too greasy, it’s what she’d heard, so she stuffed
    them with apples and prunes, yellow goose grease floating

    along the platter’s edges, breasts still studded with pinfeathers
    when they came out of the oven in late afternoon. There was
    a pot of pinto beans, too, and maybe cornbread, acorn squash

    halves coated in brown sugar. But it was animosity we ate,
    choked it down beside my father’s pride in providing for that
    Thanksgiving and her pain at being reduced to eat someone else’s
    harvest. We mumbled through grace, simply ate. Nothing left to say.

  39. annell

    Stick Bug

    i hang on the wall      next to the door      you might not know by looking

    i am celebrating     i am here again this year      a stick bug i am

    you can watch me for hours      and may not see a thing      i am a tawny brown

    i celebrate my existence      i am a stick bug      just hanging around

    November 5, 2015

  40. Sally Jadlow

    Festive Poem


    Father lived to almost seventy-three
    before he left this world for the next.
    So it’s time to pause and reflect,
    for I am the age he was then.
    Am I ready to begin
    to ascend
    Heaven’s stairs?

  41. Pattili

    Step Right Up!!!

    Many days I find myself a Ringmaster
    in my own 3 Ring Circus
    surrounded by a bevy of Clowns-
    who provide laughter and amusement
    usually for their own enjoyment~
    although some even try and call the shots
    (until they are escorted out of the ring)
    Then there are the animals…
    both wild and tame-
    with a thin line dividing the two-
    sometimes hard to tell which is which…
    It takes years of training
    to make sure I am not eaten alive
    and even then there is no guarantee!
    Jumping through hoops
    is part of my shtick-
    as well as daring balancing acts
    (usually without a safety net)
    and juggling feats
    not intended for the faint of heart
    leaving me winded and breathless –
    my head spinning-
    as I command (or attempt to) Center Ring-
    playing to a tough crowd
    with 5 shows daily
    185 days a year (closed on weekends and holidays)
    in The Greatest Show on Earth…