2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 14

One more time, because I don’t have anything new to say today: If you haven’t yet, check out the new and improved National Poetry Month Collection, a super-loaded (and heavily discounted) bundle of poetry products. Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, write a time out poem. There are moments in my life that I wish I could take a time out. For instance, it would’ve been nice earlier this year when I had pneumonia, but life and work keeps chugging along. But there’s always a chance to take time outs in poetry if you dare. So dare to write a time out poem (or two) today.


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Here’s my attempt at a Time Out Poem:


The night was nice, and we had a sitter,
so we escaped for time out on the town
and lost ourselves in attempts to get down
only to learn we should have been fitter.
After all this time, our moves weren’t pretty,
and the next morning revealed our muscles
filled with aches and pains. Plus, we felt subtle
urges to retreat fast from the city…

…and never look back. Next time, we’ll send kids
instead. And if they enjoy it, so much
the better, because we know we never
want to return to the land of our ids.
For though there are moments we’d like to touch,
our minds forget how to keep a fever.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer isn’t ready to call himself old yet, but he’s definitely not the spring chicken his children are. He’s nearing the outer boundaries of a place called the middle ages, which is actually not too bad. Sure, he has a few extra aches and pains, some white hair appearing here and there, and middle-aged related injury earlier this week. Wait a second, you can find him in a corner reciting “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T.S. Eliot.

Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he gets to do a million things to help writers find more success with their writing (including this blog). He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53).

Connect with him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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312 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 14

  1. BDP

    “Out Time”

    I’ve had enough with ceding my backyard to nests
    that others build, woods stolen “by the yard” for nests.

    I need a break from stale things—open windows just
    won’t do. I’ll drag my bed into the cedar forest.

    Five hundred thread count duff and mattress violets,
    a soft thoughts pillow: nothing enters hard as stress.

    Once sun spreads wide, I’ll grab a swing of willow buds
    (but won’t push off). My home, I’m boss, the birds are guests.

    Crows hop on barbs, have parkour wings, declare turf theirs.
    Ah, heck: I push, pump legs, the neighbor garden’s next.

    –Barb Peters

  2. PKP

    the greatest lie

    lay in the whispers
    we speak to our-
    selves – “cannot”
    and “impossible” –
    yet when cat-
    astrophe pounces
    time suddenly
    stops and we
    step out…

  3. seingraham


    You squat at the end of the hall
    Red-faced, trying to look angry
    But tears streak your chubby face
    Bely another, sadder tale.

    Time-out is better than spanking
    But does it work? I’m not convinced
    I ask you if you’re ready to say you’re sorry

    You stick your chin out; your eyes flash defiance
    But suddenly you nod, run toward me
    Sobbing, “sorry, sorry, sorry”

    Arms wide, I am ready to hug you to my heart
    You trot right by me and crush our collie
    I can hear your muffled voice against his fur

    “I sorry, Georgie – I sorry, sorry, sorry …”
    Your sobs slowly subside as you and the dog
    Slide in a heap to the floor, both of you sleeping

    Tears blurring my own vision
    I sit sipping coffee considering you
    and our forgiving dog – you are sorry
    the time-out did work – how about that.

  4. Connie Biltz

    Time out

    It’s been a long day.
    Junior has broken every rule.
    Mommy has put him in time out.
    He’s sitting in the corner on a stool.
    She steps back to survey the mess.
    Crayon marks on the wall in red, green, and blue.
    Toys are thrown in every direction around the room.
    Mommy whimpers a little. She needs a time out too.

    Connie Biltz
    author of Rainbow Chaser

  5. deborahbgkelly

    Put Me in Time Out, Please!

    I long for the space to take a time out
    I do my best to create it for myself
    But, the tasks set before me never cease
    The obligations I feel must be met
    Linger yet
    Put me in time out, please!

  6. pipersfancy

    Prairie Cathedral

    Along horizon’s distant thread appear
    cathedrals built on endless, prairie skies.
    The spires, ascending heavy atmosphere
    with moisture-laden charges, energize

    as cattle low concern. Cows nudge their calves
    toward the barn before approaching rains—
    their steady movement quickens. Rutted paths,
    worn smooth from many hooves that cross these plains

    in search of food and shelter, now run slick
    with mud. The floodgates burst and open wide
    to slake the thirst of fields below, soon quick
    with seedling crops, the farmer’s earnest pride.

    Then, drop by drop, the storm depletes its strength—
    cathedrals fall and dissipate at length .

  7. Friend

    Reaching across the book signing table
    with real pleasure, “Anne,
    you look just like you did . . .”
    Looking past the gray hair, he sees
    the undergraduate, enthralled with books, and I
    for an instant, see the black-haired assistant prof
    rushing to class
    with this tie often flipped up to his shoulder
    eager to share the words
    that shine for him.

  8. mschied

    Woman out of time

    The clock chimes
    to shadows
    on the slick
    city streets

    Scurrying along
    like a mouse
    the gutter

    Wrong hair
    wrong dress
    wrong face
    in distress

    at the edge
    of the streetlamps

    a precipice

    one step
    into the black


  9. Ency Peterson


    I need a break
    from deadlines and try-outs
    from work and even fun

    Yes, I need a time-out
    before the stress buries me
    and I somehow destroy my own world

  10. shellkaysm

    Daily Dare

    Take time out daily to just dare,
    those are the moments worthwhile.
    Pain, failures aren’t meant denial,
    yet they pale, fleeting to the rare.

    So dream, explore, be sparked to care,
    even walk that extra mile.
    Take time out daily to just dare,
    those are the moments worthwhile.

    Following paths, no cross to bare,
    strips lessons learned from their trial.
    Growth comes from self-reconcile,
    leaves behind strength, pride worth the share.
    Take time out daily to just dare.

  11. Michelle Hed

    She Needed a Time Out

    It started
    when she wouldn’t share
    and it all went downhill from there.
    She became crabby
    (probably from the guilt of not sharing)
    and then rude.
    She became mouthy
    and he eyed that bar of soap
    with a thoughtful look.
    Until she finally
    broke down in tears
    (when the guilt became too much)
    and he realized she needed a break.
    She needed a time out
    from the day to day stress of life,
    so he booked them a vacation.
    His wife needed a break.

  12. Tom Hayes


    so I took
    some time out
    from the list .
    I couldn’t resist
    ignoring those things
    to be done daily.
    the list that
    follows me,
    swallows me,
    wherever I go
    it continues to grow.
    it’s endless, no doubt.
    so I took
    some time out,
    just for me
    to be.

    — by Tom Hayes 2016

  13. Austin Hill

    one day late – OUT of TIME

    I blew it! I blew it!
    I didn’t take time out to do it!

    I forgot all about it;
    I didn’t think a thing concerning it.

    So here I present it,
    Time out, a poem regarding it.

    © April 2016 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  14. Anvanya

    Slip-sliding Away

    “Wake up! Margie, wake up.”
    Two hands grasp mine,
    The voice is urgent – “Come back!
    Wake up.”

    Wait: what is the last thing I recall?
    Feeling really happy as I was being
    Rolled toward the surgery suite.
    Yes, but aware enough to say to the
    OR Nurse, “Please turn on my CD.”
    Well, the theory is that you will hear,
    Even under the anesthesia,
    Anything said in the OR whilst
    Being cut and glued and pasted.
    I opted for classical music and hoped
    For the best.

    Another voice is heard: “How’s she doing?
    Coming around?” “Yes.”
    “Margie? You are in Recovery now.”

    Oh? Excision is complete, then. Whew –
    That seemed like no time at all.
    Where was I before now; why was
    Everything so black? No light?

    “Margie, you stopped breathing,
    So we gave you NARCAN. Can you
    Take a deep breath for me?”

    I can see above the lights on the ceiling,
    To my side the gurney safety rails.
    Sure, I can do that. I suck in lots of air.
    “Good girl!”

    Both nurses sigh and return to
    Recovery Room routine, satisfied that
    I am breathing on my own once more.

    As I take more breaths, my head begins to
    Clear and I wonder: Were they supposed to
    Tell me I stopped breathing? For how long???

  15. Thedeb

    Time out
    By Debbie Cerrito

    The hands on the clock
    point to a number.
    Six? Nine? Twelve?
    It matters not.
    Time cannot be measured.
    A moment lasts an hour.
    An hour passes in seconds.
    The years have flown on
    the wings of time.
    and gone.

  16. carollilly

    Recess = Timeout
    Carolyn Lilly

    Recess used to be a
    time out for kids,
    a time out from class.
    What happened to recess,
    a time out to play
    for kids who need it?
    They will grow up & be
    adults screaming
    “I need a break!”

  17. Elizabeth C


    When the cymbals all crash
    and my new clothes clash,
    and I’m fresh out of cash
    and develop a rash,

    then there’s nothing to do
    but go to the zoo
    where the kangaroo
    and her joey too

    bound around so whizzily
    they make me reel dizzily
    while my soda pops fizzily
    till I run off to Rizzoli

    where I purchase some poetry
    that means so much more to me
    than any old show to see
    or avant-garde gallery.

    If I’m lucky the poems I read
    calm me like potent mead,
    reminding me that I need
    to plant my own poem’s seed.

    So I head to my quiet den
    to roost like a laying hen,
    and answer my urgent yen
    with the help of my trusty pen.

    And I write this for you, my dear,
    in hopes that you won’t jeer
    for that’s my deepest fear
    whenever stress draws near.

  18. Domino

    Time Out: Single Mother

    Up so early in the morning,
    must hurry, wake the kids for school.
    Exercise? Don’t have a minute.
    Rush through breakfast as a rule.

    Just put your shoes on, mommy’s late,
    and where’s that thing I have to sign?
    Load the car with kids and neighbors
    Why did I think carpooling’s fine?

    Once the kids are all unloaded,
    drive to work through rush hour traffic.
    Get to work and try to focus
    on important demographics.

    Lunch time comes too soon to stop, so
    eating at my desk suffices
    Playing catchup all day long is
    not enough, more sacrifices.

    Working late, and worried, always
    about the trouble kids can be.
    What’d the sitter cook for dinner?
    How can I parent absentee?

    Home at last, but it’s not over.
    Homework is never really done.
    Dishes, laundry, bedtime stories,
    Kiss them, sleeping, one-by-one.

    This is not the life envisioned
    when I was a younger lass.
    On the brink of self-destruction,
    pour the whiskey in the glass.

    Weeping silently all evening
    Just how do I escape this trap?
    How to be a better mother,
    stop the struggle, stop the crap.

    What is needed next, I figure,
    may be a slower, calmer pace.
    Life is short, it should be happy,
    not just an endless hectic race.

    With my new resolve unfurling,
    I know that I must quit my job.
    I type out my resignation.
    Feeling better, I start to sob.

    Life shouldn’t be such a struggle.
    rushing, wishing for more time.
    Making choices for survival,
    being happy is not a crime.

  19. stargypsy


    In life there are times
    we need to find

    Not really lost …
    But things need
    to be adjusted…
    to be refreshed…
    to be renewed…

    Like most people
    I am connected to
    something nearly
    Perhaps …

    To step back and
    reflect …
    Take a fresh look
    at life … mine
    pulling the plug
    is the best solution …

    Copyright © 2016 Annie Original Poetry
    Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
    As Ever, Annie

  20. Julieann


    Sitting in a corner
    Writing lines of
    “I will not ______________”
    A hundred jillion times
    Is not what I’d call fun!

    Mom said, “Go play outside,
    Have some fun”
    So what if
    The dog got out
    When I rode my
    Bike through the gate
    Then the ball went through
    The window
    And now Mom’s upset
    Because I tracked in mud!

    It just isn’t fair
    I did just what Mom said
    So why am I busted?
    “Time out!” is no fun

  21. Sharon


    When I was a kid,
    time went on forever.
    Christmas never came,
    summer never came,
    school would never end.
    And then time passed,
    and all I wanted
    was for everything to last
    just a little bit longer
    so I could savor the moments,
    treasure the days,
    embrace the joy.
    Live forever? Not me,
    there’s something
    on the other side I want to see.
    Oh, I’m glad for the gift of every day,
    whether it’s a laugh or getting into the fray.
    Life is what I make it,
    I can give or I can fake it.
    In the end I will be out of here.
    Time out of time, the gift of life
    so sublime, into the Light I will go,
    my time this side of heaven ‘tis done,
    into His Light I will run.

  22. Robert Stanhope

    Excuse Me
    By Robert Stanhope

    Excuse me for my absence,
    my retreat to peace.

    I need a break, not from you,
    From the busy, the rat race.

    Excuse me, it’s time for me,
    my retreat to my soul.

    I need a break, not from life,
    From all of life, except me.

    Excuse me, I need to focus,
    my retreat to clarity.

    I need a time out, a breather,
    From the clutter, the decisions.

    Excuse me, I’m not leaving,
    my journey home begins.

    (c)2016 Robert Stanhope

  23. Tracy Davidson


    he calls a time out
    says he needs some space to breathe
    to think about things
    he never asks what I need
    I need to call the locksmith

  24. RJ Clarken

    What Did I Do?

    “Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did.” ~Taylor Swift

    I think it’s time I took my place
    right in the corner. No disgrace.
    Instead, I need some down time for
    some sorting out, and much restore.

    What did I do? Well, way too much
    since I am such an easy touch.
    Want to relax. Forget the chore.
    I’m sorting out; I need restore.

    See, I’ll be back in just a sec.
    ‘Til then, you’ll get a nice rain check.
    My little corner calls; therefore
    I’m answering; I need restore.

    Another minute. Now…just breathe
    until no more emotion-seethe.
    Okay…I’m ready for some more.
    I sorted stuff; got some restore.


  25. drwasy


    When I sent you to
    the corner, your room,
    to the mountain wilds
    it was not to banish
    but to heal though
    times I wonder
    who gained the most
    respite, you or I.
    Yet, when I find
    bravery to gaze
    on your face
    the miles & minutes
    etch our distance,
    I wonder whether
    these pauses lasted
    long enough.

  26. lionmother

    Time Out

    I would like to take a time out from aging
    see my face in the mirror as I was at twenty-five
    eyes not underlined with circles
    and pains coming and going like guests
    at first it is fun to add on years to your age
    at twenty you always want to be older
    if only I could be twenty-nine and then
    you hit a wall and thirty hops in
    then you find forty is a hurdle you can’t jump
    the years skip by as you frolic in the frenzy
    of mature recognition – the fun forties
    ending in the fifties and moving gently
    into the sixties and suddenly there is
    the milestone you never thought you
    would reach and you want a time out
    enough you say
    I understand and want to stop now
    but there is no time out from aging
    only the acceptance that you must
    befriend the clock and make it your BFF
    for though your outside may show the
    wear and tear of the years
    inside you are and always be the blithe
    twenty-five year old who swallowed life
    and spit out the pits
    copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

  27. briehuling

    Day 14

    time out

    lets take a brief
    pause here
    dad has the dead
    mole by the legs
    in the sideyard
    and all you can hear
    in the woods
    are the echoes
    of the goddammits
    a tree branch fell
    on the for sale sign
    and mom is a ghost
    with an armful of lilacs
    waiting patiently in the garden.

    Brie Huling

  28. P.A. Beyer

    Time out

    There’s a point
    in the universe
    when we exist
    and infinite points
    when we don’t
    so laugh when
    the tub overflows
    hit the snooze
    alarm every now
    and then and
    don’t sweat tomorrow
    or fret too
    much about today
    it was bound
    to happen somewhere
    and to someone
    along the way

  29. WildThing

    Time Out

    Politicians arguing
    Bills to pay
    Time out needed

    Grabbing camera
    Out the door
    Tires squealing
    Music loud

    Nature beckons
    Rock … river … field
    Wildlife scamper
    Tall ancient trees

    Universal energy
    Flowing from them
    Soothing to the soul
    Inner peace found

    In solitude hearing
    Ancient voices
    Telling stories of
    Hardship … survival

    Earth giving strength
    Through bare feet
    Soft breeze
    Stimulating thought

    Fire of the sun
    Providing natural energy
    Calm flow of water
    Stilling ruffled emotions

    At day’s end
    Center balanced
    Returning home
    Time out over

    Wild Thing ©2016
    This poem can be seen with its accompanying photo at: https://wildthing404.wordpress.com/

  30. C. Kess

    freeze tag

    I can’t be it.

    gimme time out so I can
    run home
    bust through the door
    and run upstairs

    mama’s dying on her bed
    and i need to take her
    to the safety zone
    so we can run around free

    how much time do i have left?
    no, lemme stay out
    unless we can freeze the
    whole world

    i can’t be it
    i can’t stop this game

  31. nickbutterfield123@gmail.com


    time out
    was sitting
    on a stool
    in a corner.
    Now, time out
    is time in
    a bath tub,
    on a Yoga mat,
    or under a
    starlit sky
    inside the
    Milky Way,
    and when your
    brush lightly
    against the nape
    of my neck, I hide
    in your corners
    and creases and
    streeeetch like
    a Yogi cat
    under our quilts
    where only

  32. Marilyn Cavicchia

    Time Out

    Hey, friends, I need a time out from all this
    scar tissue in my left calf, and now in my right,
    a headache at the base of my skull, and all my other
    ailments. I want to go back to when things were
    simple and babies loved me as baseballs bounced
    over summer fields while I thought that I knew
    everything, or at least one thing really well, or two.

  33. Sara McNulty

    Time Out

    My mind opted to take time out,
    inanity spun round and round.
    In lieu of screaming like a lout,
    My mind opted to take time out.
    It seemed to be the sanest route.
    I’m hoping to regain lost ground.
    My mind opted to take time out,
    inanity spun round and round.

  34. MichelleMcEwen


    My parents didn’t believe
    in time-outs. No

    corner time for me
    and my sisters—

    mama and daddy
    must’ve known

    we would’ve just

    our way through it.

    Instead, daddy’s belt
    is what we got

    when we got
    out of hand

    though sometimes
    we got mama’s hand

    upside our heads.


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