2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

Believe it or not, we’re already a week deep in November. I’m still not sure where my poems are headed, though I definitely have a direction now and a compass.

For today’s prompt, write a simmer down poem. This could be a poem about cooking, about calming down, about taking it easy. You get to simmer down in your own way.


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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 Simmer Down poem:


Walt shrieked as the hatch flung open to reveal Barbara,
who said, “Calm down, calm down! It’s just me…and Eddie.”
As Barbara sat down, Eddie’s face popped in the opening
she vacated. “Nice scream,” laughed Eddie, who couldn’t

help himself, “Ahhh!” “Shut up,” snapped Walt, “at least I
don’t have some psychotic death wish.” “And I do,” smiled
Eddie as if he’d take pride in such a claim. “Not you,”
said Walt as he pointed at Marcus, “Him!” Barbara gasped,

“What do you mean?” Marcus shrugged, “I just thought we
should go check out the Carter house out by Witch’s Bend.”
Eddie jumped up and hit his head on the roof,”Holy smokes!

You ARE crazy. And I’m in.” “Wait, Eddie,” said Barbara,
“and Marcus. What the… Why?!?” Marcus looked them all
over and said, “Because I want to find Jesse Wilcox!”


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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116 thoughts on “2015 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

  1. PSC in CT

    November Nestling

    Mother Nature’s on a rampage tonight.
    Wind whips, rain pummels.
    Cymbals of thunder
    rattle the windows.
    Lightning strobes the sky
    and you and I
    nestle beneath the quilt,
    each of us with a book
    (and a flashlight – just in case)
    biding for her tantrum to subside.

  2. tobysgirl

    “Simmer down, Jenny”
    It was a refrain I heard a lot as I was growing up.
    I apparently had quite a temper,
    at least after five years of age, which is mainly when my memories start.
    I know I got mad fast and held a grudge.
    I don’t get as mad, as quickly,
    but a grudge-holder I am, and probably always will be.
    I think my temper was part of being a middle child.
    The forgotten one.
    Oh, I never heard the end of it –
    My older sister was brilliant and so popular!
    My little brother was so patient and good-natured.
    Jenny, why can’t you …
    Simmer down.

  3. RJ Clarken

    Kettle Bell

    The soup’s in kettle. Rapid boil.
    I’m sitting on a glowing coil.
    It’s time to let the flavors merge.
    Now, simmer down. I’m on the verge.
    A metaphor with bubbles, steam,
    and savory. That is my theme.
    A pinch of this. Must watch the surge.
    Now, simmer down. I’m on the verge.
    The recipe is simple but
    there’s nothing written down. Just what
    I guess, if Gramma had the urge.
    Now, simmer down. I’m on the verge.
    I wonder if I’ll get it right.
    Hope truth, like steam, will rise, ignite,
    regarding what should soon emerge.
    Now, simmer down. I’m on the verge.


  4. Alaina Dawson

    he wore his heart like little patches
    sewn on tight to wrinkled sleeves
    i wore my heart like bullet wounds
    tiny holes poked through my chest

    he used his heart like hot water on the stove
    bubbling over at the edges of the pot
    i used my heart like icicles on a roof
    holding on, but ready to fall at any moment

    so i guess we were both surprised
    since we had always been told that opposites attract
    but maybe we were just too different, like summer and winter
    because our opposites never made it past a simmer

  5. pipersfancy


    The scent of apples, still,
    long after a cast iron pot,
    washed, dried, then back
    into storage neatly by the
    camping gear, on shelving
    in the garage, has finished
    its work of simmering, fruit
    to butter completed, warm
    fragrance of cloves and
    cinnamon spice propose
    to a slice of toast, a taste
    joined in holy matrimony.
    —Christina Perry

  6. SarahLeaSales

    A Boston Yankee in Queen Hayden’s Court

    He wipes his smooth, pale brow with a white hankie,
    Mississippi mud caked on his loafers.
    The House of Carder stands on the grassy hill
    like a sentinel,
    keeping vigil over the town of Hayden, Louisiana.

    The hearty aroma of shrimp gumbo
    hangs in the air with the humidity—
    the humidity that’s like a hot towel
    wrapped around his beard.

    She would say it’s as hot as blue blazes,
    but he’d say it’s hotter than hell on Earth,
    and hell was in this here town of a few thousand souls,
    most of them saved.

    It is a long, long walk
    up this path through purgatory—
    the colonnade of Cypress trees and Spanish moss
    providing a green canopy, shielding him
    from the sun that beat down on him like a cruel taskmaster.

    There is a stillness here;
    everything moving in slow motion;
    it’s like he’s traveling forward through time,
    watching the past as he goes.

    It is at the end of this road
    that he sees her—
    the sun almost making her disappear—
    this golden Southern belle who rings true.

    Seeing him,
    she brings him from the darkness into the light,
    kissing him,
    rushing him into the heat of the kitchen,
    where a pot of grits is about to boil over.

    Her family comes out to see the Yankee oddity
    with the Northern accent—
    to give him a silver spoonful of Southern hospitality.

    Like a scene out of a Tennessee Williams’ play,
    there is bickering over grievances old and new,
    the barbs flying around him
    like bullets coated with maple surple;
    then, quick as a hound after a fox,
    everyone simmers down,
    and laugh like none of it mattered at all.

  7. Domino

    Simmer Down

    Cool it
    Go easy
    Cool off
    Take ten
    Step back
    Easy now
    Take a nap
    Hang loose
    Mellow out
    Calm down
    Wind down
    Settle down
    Don’t panic
    Take it easy
    Knock it off
    Don’t worry
    Count to ten
    Breathe easy
    Take a break
    Take time off
    It is what it is
    Cool your jets
    Simmer down
    Calm your tits
    Take your time
    Take a load off
    Patch things up
    Take a chill pill
    Put your feet up
    Control yourself
    Take the edge off
    Catch your breath
    This too shall pass
    Keep your shirt on
    Go take a time-out
    Take a deep breath
    What’s the big deal
    Give yourself credit
    Get a hold of yourself
    Slow down, girlfriend
    Don’t worry, be happy
    Time heals all wounds
    Keep calm and carry on
    It’s not always all about you
    Don’t get your panties in a bunch
    Not your circus, not your monkeys
    You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do
    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

  8. browdd22


    Don’t tell me to be what I know I am
    I don’t have issues
    I don’t have problems
    I don’t have things to sort out
    Simmer down?
    Why, I simmer down as often as I breathe
    Shooting breezes, you say I’m angry
    Simple tasks, you claim I’m restless
    Oh, now I see what you mean exactly
    I saw it in my reflection the whole week past
    I saw it in my eating
    I saw it in my drinking
    I noticed it in my thinking
    I guess calm is something I need to accept then

    1. ppfautsch24

      Simmering Thoughts
      She wakes each morning with a thought to pen;
      write it out, her thoughts within.
      Her heart simmers down as she writes to get her
      thoughts out and written down.
      A tear sheds as it comes to her each word that will convey how she feels and what she has to say.
      The joy simmers, bubbles up and she is at
      By Pamelap

  9. Beth Henary Watson

    It has stayed with you, that old spark
    Of justified indignation
    From your happy protester days.
    When we thought you should simmer down,
    You knew the U.S. would collapse
    If God forbid Kyoto passed,
    Congress boosted the debt ceiling,
    A Democrat won election.
    But we are all still here and you
    Still glow red at all the same times,
    When too much is given or spent.



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