2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

Somehow we’re only 5 days from the finish line! Let’s keep poeming strong through the end of this week.

For today’s prompt, write an exercise poem. The poem could be about a specific exercise, or it could just incorporate exercising into the poem. Or it could be dedicated to a piece of exercise equipment–so an ode to an elliptical machine or those hand grippers or something. Of course, not every exercise is physical; there are military exercises, mental exercises, and so on.


Poet's Market 2016

Poet’s Market 2016

Publish Your Poetry!

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In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at an Exercise Poem:

“healthy heart”

a question followed by “circle yes
or no” on a folded piece of paper
was an exercise tween to teenagers
across the nation used to attempt
to sway a heart their way but i
always felt awkward relying on
only those two options so i often
wrote poems about smiles &
hair & the way my heart would
beat stronger than a healthy heart


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer did get started on the poetry track in an attempt to woo a girl. To this day, his favorite poems are the ones that incorporate romance; it’s just the way he prefers to write. Hence, the reason he always includes a Love/Anti-Love poem prompt in each challenge. Speaking of which, tomorrow’s the final two-for-Tuesday prompt.

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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337 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

  1. cbwentworth

    I. morning exercise

    rising early
    a walk in the woods
    soaring with birds

    II. exercise in patience

    seedlings sprout
    patiently waiting
    for peas

    III. exercise in self-control

    one last cookie
    trying hard
    to leave it for you

    IV. exercise in futility

    the garden grows
    clear of weeds
    until tomorrow

  2. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Gunnery Sergeant Thixton was my best friend in the world,
    He told me so each morning at five o’clock;
    Out of the rack and out in the yard;
    That ground was as hard as a rock.

    Push-ups till he was tired,
    Hands wet from the dew;
    Then off to run the seawall,
    At least a mile or two.

    P. T., P. T.,
    Look what you’ve done to me,
    P. T., P. T.,
    You’ll never set me free.

    He had us run cross country,
    Through sand and longleaf pines,
    Tread water for an hour or so,
    In flight suit and parachute lines.

    But it was five o’clock each morning,
    Where each day got its start,
    That wakes me now these long years past,
    With a racing in my heart.

    P. T., P. T.,
    Look what you’ve done to me,
    P. T., P. T,
    Won’t you ever set me free?

    It wasn’t about running an Olympic race,
    Or boxing for the heavy weight crown;
    It was all about getting out alive,
    If ever we went down.

    It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t bad,
    And I’d do it all over again
    And while he wasn’t trying to break me,
    He wasn’t really my best friend.

    P. T., P. T.,
    Look what you’ve done to me;
    P. T., P. T.,
    You’ll never set me free.

  3. Summerspoet

    The Petty Wild

    Can you hear the labored breath?
    The chipmunk’s lungs, tiny pockets
    filling and refilling with air…
    There on the toppled birch, he pants
    after zigging through the yard,

    weaving through the lily bed
    and under the golden forsythia
    that reaches above the rail fence
    to read the wind as a blind man
    slides his finger tips across a sheet of braille.

    Then the tired creature looped
    around the bird bath’s stem,
    bounded above a regiment of stone
    that barred an advance of tulips
    and the burning blooms of marigolds.

    After which, he followed the garden hose’s twirl,
    circling under the oak’s stout limbs,
    its crooked fingers, finally to rest
    there on the fallen birch,
    white bark as white as bone,

    all to impress the chimney swift,
    that, with bladed wings,
    soars above the rooftops
    as quick as arrows,
    mocking the chipmunk’s jealous feet.

    S. Thomas Summers

  4. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    John Muir walked wherever he went,
    He could’ve ridden a horse;
    He noted every tree branch bent;
    John Muir walked wherever he went.
    He studied the falls and where the waters were sent,
    Taking notes the whole time, of course.
    John Muir walked wherever he went;
    He could’ve ridden a horse.

  5. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Hey, Dumb Bell
    Yea, Stretch
    Thought you’d gone to hell
    No, I went to sketch

    Can I give you a lift
    Take this lever and push up
    You turned out to be quite a gift
    When you’re sitting up

    I’ve had to really balance
    Taking one step at a time
    Have you met Matt per chance
    Nice guy, just lacks some spine

    Having trouble at home of late
    Relax, it will all work out
    How much longer do I have to weight
    Breathe in and out, never doubt

    Life can get heavy on either end
    Weigh us all down to the floor
    Put your back in it, be flexible and bend
    Soon, you’ll stand for more

    How do I get up and running
    Step up and take my place
    I want my results to be stunning
    A healthy glow upon my face

    I hate to send you spinning
    Or become too repetitive
    I just want to see you winning
    Gain strength and help you live!

    I appreciate all the encouragement
    It sounds like awfully big talk
    Too much time on this we’ve spent
    Maybe all I needed was a walk

    Dumb Bell, you’ve been good to me
    Yea, Stretch, good to see you, even if it’s raining
    I am motivated to get healthy
    Can we meet soon for more training

    Yes, just jog my mind when
    Twisting around to meet you where you are
    We’ll won’t let anyone muscle in between us then
    Or instead we’ll just meet in a bar!

  6. LoriP

    Range of Motion

    getting a baby
    to move in all the ways
    that prevents contractures,
    muscle atrophy, and constipation,
    teaches his brain
    coordinatton of underutilized
    motor neurons,
    and promotes healthy circulation;
    involves a lot of
    itsy bitsy spider
    and if your happy and you know it
    clap your hands

  7. MichelleMcEwen

    How To Get Over It

    wake up
    at 5 a.m.

    drink some hot water
    with lemon

    do some yoga &/or


    then go
    for a run

    come home
    & take a shower

    with fancy soap

    when you are done
    stay naked

    & air dry

    then overdo
    the perfume

    now go to work
    if you have a job

    flirt with your work
    husband by the photocopier

    drink some hot tea
    on your lunch break

    back home
    order take out

    & blast beyonce
    ’til it comes

    watch some TV
    wash your face

    do some sit-ups
    before bedtime

    do try not to dream
    about him

  8. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    It happens every morning,
    On my way out the door,
    I say I’ll see you this evening,
    Like I did the day before.
    Maybe she’ll say something,
    But most times she won’t.
    I want to ask why she doesn’t;
    But every day I don’t.

    At lunch I call to say hello,
    Ask her how how day is going.
    She’ll say fine, and wonder why,
    I feel like I should know, and
    She hangs up, cutting me off,
    And I look at the phone in my hand;
    Was it something I said? Or didn’t say?
    I don’t understand.

    But I,
    Exercise restraint,
    Mind my words and bite my tongue,
    Exercise a little self control,
    Not like I did when I was young.
    Yeah, I learned a long time ago,
    You can’t unsay some words;
    You can’t say others often enough,
    But you know which ones get heard.

    I let her know I’m done with work,
    And I’m about to head on home;
    Do I need to stop along the way,
    She simply answers, “No.”
    After dinner before she heads to bed,
    She asks why we don’t talk;
    And I’m left a little speechless,
    I’m left a bit in shock.

    But I,
    Exercise restraint,
    Mind my words and bite my tongue,
    Exercise a little self control,
    Not like I did when I was young.
    Yeah, I learned a long time ago,
    You can’t unsay some words;
    You can’t say others often enough,
    But you know which ones get heard.

    Yeah, I learned a long time ago,
    You can’t unsay some words;
    And you can say others often enough;
    But you know which ones get heard.

  9. artifiswords


    Reaching the age
    Of majority & consent
    It happened long past…
    But as I look back
    I wonder what it
    Really meant…

    In the Age of Aquarius
    Was love free & easy?
    It seems like hype
    Should I feel gypped…
    With love more
    Open now…by far?

    The rite of passage
    Meant different things…
    For some the right
    To exercise the vote…but
    Even that’s debatable…
    Look where we are now

    We live now in an age
    Where so-called patriots
    Wrapped in the flag
    Seek to deny those who
    See things differently…
    Their rights trump all?

    Any way you slice it…
    That’s just wrong…right?
    Where are MY rights?

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    Posted also to:

  10. LCaramanna

    Conflict Resolution

    Exercise is soul music
    that rocks my heart
    into good vibrations
    until frustration
    runs in salty rivulets
    of tension
    down the back of my neck.

    Exercise is conflict resolution
    that burns anger,
    lifts weight off my shoulders,
    and refreshes my being
    as a bottle of spring water
    quenches my thirst

    when exercise works out my conflicts.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  11. lsteadly

    Weekend Warrior

    What happened to those days
    when I thought nothing
    of donning my hikers, a sweatshirt
    running up the mountain trail
    at the crack of dawn
    no yawns allowed
    as I plowed up and over boulders,
    pine roots, frosty air nipping
    my shoulders reaching tall
    eyes for the sunrise
    all before a full day’s work

    If I try that same game now
    I am lucky to fly
    out the door before
    the weekend runs out
    pulled under too often by
    chores so hard to ignore

    But when I make my escape
    it is my soul which sings
    praises the wings tucked within
    these arthritic knees
    soars until I find my way back
    down the mountain

  12. PowerUnit

    Pillars of Society

    Sturdy, as the piles that hold the pier
    the container ships dock and bump
    Nixon square, offering basket holey
    my eyes search for hope in my lone workout room
    not hide in full halls, were the outreach works my pockets
    the power-poles guard by wracked body, my racked mind
    the only four pillars I trust, with weight on my chest
    I wish the pillars of society were as reliable, were as strong
    I wish I could revive them with simple protein drinks
    and a designed exercise program
    but I’m afraid he’s too lazy to care, anymore

  13. Beth Henary Watson


    It’s painful, tedious to stretch
    For anything worth having,
    Though knowing in advance
    About the sweat and the failures
    Inevitable, understanding
    The rites of heat necessary
    For passage, envisioning the end
    Helps that worst of sufferings,
    Waiting, seem more bearable,
    An exercise in patience.

  14. Jane Shlensky


    Exercise is a buzz kill that drones on
    about busywork and bother. It talks
    calories and toning muscles and conjures
    workbooks created for learners who
    reject memorization as rote. Let’s face it,
    we rendered some words dirty the second
    fun is replaced with responsibility.

    Let’s not call what we do exercise. Call
    it what it is and put the play back in it:
    swimming, running, playing instruments,
    singing, cooking, eating, dancing, dusting,
    feeding pets, lawn care. OK, that’s work,
    but we can find the fun in it, can’t we?

    When you don your shorts and runners
    and take to the streets or wooded lanes,
    call it running. To call it “exercise”
    diminishes the slap of feet on pavement,
    the glint of sunlight on dew, the happy
    sighting of deer and early birds,
    the awareness of muscle, blood, and bone,
    the gratitude for breath, the brain clear
    for fresh thoughts, every heartbeat a poem.

    When you sit to play piano, the miracle
    of note-hammer-string, run some scales
    for the hell of it, like racing upstairs two
    steps at once, and tumbling back down
    like puppies romping. Piano exercises
    take joy to the wood shed and makes
    it select its own switch. What do I do
    for exercise? I quibble. It’s a lot of fun.

  15. SarahLeaSales


    running when my daughter is quiet,
    to see what she is doing
    running when she is making noise,
    to see what she is undoing
    running to catch up with her
    as she runs toward something
    running to catch my husband
    before he leaves for work,
    to tell him something I’d forgotten
    running to bring in my summer read
    before it storms and soaks the pages
    running to get the cookies out of oven
    before they burn, cycling out as dog puckies
    running to make it to the store before it closes,
    running to keep up with all my daily demands,
    never running for running’s sake;
    and I have to ask myself,
    am I running my life,
    or is my life running me?


  16. Jane Shlensky


    We were taught to swear allegiance,
    hand over heart, to sing the national
    anthem, even the high part, about
    bombs bursting before they hit
    their mark, good for a show but little
    more and to salute the flag, old glory,
    even if she was brand spanking new
    and sealed in plastic in September.

    We were taught about states as dear
    as stars, and stripes and the symbolism
    of the three colors, the capitals of
    every state, its shape and location.
    We declared Independence and
    fought a war or two with our parents
    before considering a Constitution
    as solution. Then our teacher looked
    at us, her eyes shining and reported
    that we had rights and laws, and that
    it was ok to take our rights out for
    a little exercise now and again as
    long as we didn’t break the laws.

    We nodded, interested to see how
    engaged she was with the idea. Then
    she looked pensive and added that
    we should not confuse rights with
    privileges, but that both were hand-
    maidens to law. We break or keep
    laws, we enjoy privileges, and we
    exercise rights. After that, I stopped
    listening, confused by how tricky
    it is to be an American citizen.

  17. Catherine Conley

    Exercise Your Right

    Like the cardio and crunches we know we should do,
    So many of us don’t do it.
    And soon only the real fanatics control the machines
    While the neophytes and lapsed participants
    Are embarrassed and ashamed to enter,
    Thinking they don’t know enough
    About what needs their attention,
    Thinking that what they do doesn’t really matter,
    Thinking that they’ll get there next time, and
    As a nation we grow flabby
    And distended
    Til the radicals think the only solution
    Is to cut away the excess,
    Minimize choice,
    And ostracized the weak.
    Don’t let that happen:

    Catherine Conley

  18. Connie Peters


    Although I want to exercise
    I find it so tiring
    It’s so important to keep fit
    But it’s uninspiring

    If I could move a little more
    Progressively each day
    I might not end up like Tinman
    That rusted by the way

  19. Yolee


    A dark haired guy in midnight blue shorts
    runs in the water at Siesta Key until he disappears.
    The pretty red-head on the dock lifts dumbbells
    over her head as seagulls sail thru the sky.

    The diligent workout on every
    page of the flowery novel on my lap
    made my mind go into
    the downward facing dog.

  20. Pat Walsh

    exercising with friends
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    when we can no longer
    walk together in the park
    covering all the old ground
    in conversation

    we will sit out on the porch
    in the cool of the afternoon
    our thoughts running back
    to the road

  21. trishwrites

    First Run on Spring Trails

    Pine needle pathway
    Sweet smell of leftover rain
    Footfalls on carpet
    Misty veil
    o’er the valley
    Sun lounging

    Over here a tree sways in the breeze
    Over there arrowheads spread

    In the shaded canopy
    filtered light becomes shadow
    becomes morn

    Here is where she will spill sorrow
    Craft words to page
    Worry the wound
    No one to judge
    Unless she counts the whispering of leaves
    and their wingmen

    Alone but never lonely
    The only sound
    her breathing

  22. Nancy Posey

    Aerobics Class Survival Stories

    In those years we forgave Jane Fonda
    for her youthful misstep in ‘Nam.
    We donned leotards with matching
    leg warmers and headbands.
    We went for the burn,
    chose gain with pain.

    In those years we hoped for forgiveness
    from the Beatles,
    from Sweet Baby James
    as we moved in that constant
    of eight
    to Sheena Easton
    Michael Jackson
    and Prince.

    An extra hour and a few bucks to spare
    meant time under the bright lights
    of the tanning beds,
    certain we didn’t need our ovaries anymore.

    We had our own variation
    on circadian rhythm,
    beginning with a warm up,
    a stretch,
    ending with a cool down,
    working mental math
    to calculate
    how many hours
    how many 45’s we must spin
    to offset the Fuzzy Navel
    on the way home,
    giving up the bathroom scales
    for Lent.

  23. Asha1000

    Exercise Drill

    Get moving, save your heart.
    Lose the weight of middle
    age. Skip and Zumba down the hill.
    Exercise the ligament
    that weakens ankle on treadmill.

    What if I’d learnt sky diving
    in my early adult years?
    Would I be free falling
    instead of flailing in this drill?

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  24. MikeGill

    Spiritual Exercise

    The sound of clicking glass
    Behind me kept me in line
    As a child in church.
    I could feel the warm breath
    Of whispered prayers on my neck
    And wondered often if the old ladies
    Even followed the service
    Or were they making their own
    Church, having their own time with God.

    In school we learned the prayers
    And repeated them rote—no real
    Knowledge of why we should
    Or what the purpose was.
    Just cold, glass beads sliding
    Between fingers, waiting for it to end.

    Now, years and years later,
    I have simple small wood beads
    On plain brown twine that slide
    Between my fingers—each one
    Glossed to a high sheen
    With use.
    I understand the quiet calm
    Repetition of the rosary can bring.

  25. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Yoga Exercise

    Twice a week I go and bend my spine
    contort my bones, my muscles stretching
    concentrating first on natural breathing
    then a breath that’s called “complete”
    sucking in the belly button
    forcing all
    before inhaling deeply, deeply
    filling bottom space in lungs
    exhaling and repeating
    exhaling and repeating
    moving next to hissing
    Ujjayi breath before
    committing to stay
    with one during
    day’s practice
    if I forget
    focusing once more on the breath.

    When I started, I could not
    kneel down or get back up, but
    now I can slowly easily do both and
    even hoist myself from hands and knees to mountain position.
    What I like best in this yoga exercise
    is yoga nidra: lying full length, flat
    on my back, letting anything

    that enters my mind float by, not focusing on it, simply letting it drift, drift . . . .

  26. Arash


    by Arash

    An exercise
    In disgraceful pleasure

    Horizontal calculus
    Integrating the area that pulsates
    Beneath folds of sensitive skin

    Myriad sweat drops that march
    To the sound of heartbeat drums
    And sultry gusts of breath

    The hoarse-voiced commander
    Again and again shouts orders:
    Pleasure! Pleasure! Pleasure!

    Aidos looked away from her body
    Her teary eyes had just glimmered
    In the blood-soaked cracked mirror

  27. Jo Lightfoot


    “Hold on! Hold on! Control yourself
    (and lower your voice; you’re not on stage).
    Just settle down. You surely have
    a far better choice than rant-and-rage.
    Why must you fume and get crosswise?
    You’re harming our trust. I’m so surprised.”

    “But I’m excused! My doc advised
    that, daily, I MUST get exercised.”

  28. hohlwein

    It is much better
    – by the time one’s mind wastes away –
    at around noon or so

    to have run with a sandbag for a bit
    or inverted one’s body into the letter V
    until it cries out, in Victory, Vanquished

    to lift one’s weight (through addition)
    over one’s head, over and over

    over one’s mind that will be so much clearer afterwords
    Clear and sharp and alive!

    At least until noon or so.

  29. PSC in CT

    Poetry? (K)not Me!

    Some days poetry calls
    for astonishing mental gymnastics
    but when you’re not graceful
    or the least bit elastic
    there’s every possibility
    it’s an exercise in futility.

    Sometimes it feels like a workout,
    athletic and weighty – intense;
    sometimes a marathon,
    sometimes a sprint –
    at other times, more like
    extreme self defense.

    There are times when I’m
    twisted and tangled in words,
    in inklings and meanings
    I’m tied up a lot.
    The fact is
    (it’s simple, and easy to see)
    at times, I’m a poet
    at times, iam(b)

  30. Walter J Wojtanik


    A verdant meadow deep,
    a path through peaceful fields.
    It yields a multitude of good memories
    and glimpses of a fine Master Plan.
    And I come to stand knee high
    in wild flowers and foliage.
    Near the wooded shade I invade
    this moment reserved and preserved.
    Skies open to the unseen heavens,
    a warm wind whips through to soothe
    and cajole my stroll onward.
    Silence is the golden essence of truth,
    and all that is whispered in my ear
    is clear and pointed, not disjointed.
    Alive and strengthened in
    the essence of Pure Love.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  31. mswunion1976

    In Futility

    Making a child fall asleep (without drugging them)
    Making a child stop crying (without bribing them)
    Expecting a child not to imitate your worst behavior
    Having a teenager think you are the cool parent (you are never the cool parent).

    Thinking men will do tasks if they love you
    Mind reading (you and them)
    Hurrying a woman’s toilette. Ok, hurrying a woman.
    Changing someone (or their opinion)
    Expecting honest feedback from a man on your clothing choice (yes, those pants make you look fat)

    Buying lottery tickets (yeah, yeah, that someone is never going to be you)
    Logging on to buy Springsteen tickets
    Trying to sound like Adele in the shower (however, it is possible in the car)
    Arguing politics (see “Changing someone”)
    Arguing religion (duh)
    Putting on your turn signal so someone will let you into traffic (NJ, PA, etc. you know who you are)

    Attempting to write high quality poetry
    Every day
    For thirty days.

    (Thanks, Robert. My wall needed that head-shaped dent).

  32. Rohini


    ” To dance like nobody’s watching”
    ( courtesy quote by William . W. Purvey)

    A glass of warm lemon water
    First thing in morning
    a bit of sugar,
    little bit of stretching
    and It’s time to begin
    the exercise routine
    what I love most
    is aerobic dancing
    it takes care of
    my mood, my fat
    and my wonderful heart
    so on goes blaring loud
    the song of Shakira’s
    waka-waka or
    (music of ‘ZUMBA’)
    there’s nothing to beat
    the rhythmic dancing of
    Zumba class in the gym
    with graceful moves
    and charming swings
    magic of hopping and
    coordinated turning
    to dance invigoratingly
    “as if no one’s watching”
    exercising the party-way,
    how entertaining!
    what an an ideal start
    to one more day!
    ” to live like it’s heaven on earth” way

  33. Joseph Hesch


    In my life, for every push up
    I counted, there always appeared
    a more than equal,
    and quite opposite, push down.
    One that choked me face-down
    into the dust to dust.
    Despite this Sisyphian
    I never envied those guys
    who always managed to “fail up.”

    I hoped the physics, meta- or vanilla,
    would catch up to them before they
    crested their gift-wrapped Olympus.
    I finally realized fighting
    their anti-gravitational serendipity,
    waiting for that margin call on
    their karma banks, I’d end up waiting
    until my next push up was face-up
    and six feet under.

    And, as far as I know, shoving two meters
    of cemetery up up and away’s
    a feat never quite scientifically proven.
    But to disprove the anecdotal
    during these days of political science,
    where never the twain shall meet,
    would prove an exercise so futile
    even Houdini’d throw up his
    steel-cuffed hands and admit defeat.
    Don’t bother the recount.

  34. simplymarian

    An Exercise

    For seventeen dollars
    ninety five cents
    a workbook
    of heart and soul
    calisthenics promises me
    a lighter load to bear
    fresh water to cleanse away
    his sins, his shame

    Workbook therapy
    promises release
    lies to my face- an
    Exercise in futility.

    1. Arash

      I can’t quite put my thoughts into words but want to say that your juxtaposition of money and exercise and spirituality which creates a kind of an absurd situation, shows the struggles of human desire. Or something like that. Nice.

  35. De Jackson

    S t r e t c h i n g toward the sun.

    …forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward…
    – Philippians 3:13

    Some days, the only way
    to exorcise your demons
    is to sway in a furious
    breeze. Just ask the trees.

    They’ve been doing this
    tai chi thing, this soothing
    soul swing, since the dawn

    of time. Even the moon knows
    when to open herself up, a
    golden blossom, and when to

    curl herself in, a quiet crescent
    sliver in a shiver of lowlight sky.


  36. MiMiOHearn

    Pacific Northwest Field Exercise

    How do terrorists think?
    Not like we do.
    But I can think like one now.
    The exercise planned was not
    Had to be so many miles off
    the coast to protect the
    Had to have total awareness
    of sea turtle nests.
    Had to protect a certain
    I was exhausted before
    leading the men on
    the exercise.
    But our precious environment
    and all that share it come

  37. Angie5804


    All those excursions we took before I left
    come back to me now in photographs
    we walked the downtown streets
    to bookstores and cafes
    laughing at inside jokes from our youth
    You were so witty
    We scoured antique stores for handkerchiefs
    and old jewelry and hidden treasures
    and since you could no longer exercise, you traded
    your Zumba CDs for my glass chickens
    And now I’m miles away and you are gone,
    but I still look for handkerchiefs
    that I know you would like

  38. seamuscorleone


    Only 30 minutes a day
    To get ripped like them!

    Just don’t eat dairy,
    And only drink non-alcoholic
    And avoid carbs like
    Traffic accidents.

    You’ll be sweating at the end
    Of half an hour,
    Your glutes will ache
    And your legs feel like rubber.

    Isn’t working out great!

    Going to the gym is for chumps;
    You can do all this work at home
    With just your body and gravity
    And a yoga mat
    And barbells or resistance bands
    And a pull up bar.

    Aging is for idiots!

    Who needs to grow old when you
    Can just follow this simple plan to
    Work out for just 30 minutes a day
    Plus only eat healthy foods for the rest of your life!

    It is entirely possible,
    If you follow this plan devoutly,
    That you will never die.

    So here we go!

    Just one more set of reps and
    You can enjoy a delicious wheat
    Meal replacement shake for breakfast.


    1. seamuscorleone

      Thanks for the kind words! This was a fun poem to write and I may have been a little bitter about my current eating and exercise regime when doing so

  39. Tom Hayes


    They travel in groups
    with spandex on tight,
    in colors so bright,
    like some neon light.
    Graphic designs
    across the butt,
    who knows what.
    From helmets to shoes,
    to gloves and shades,
    they all are earning
    stylish grades.
    Looks like a rolling
    fashion show,
    and under it all
    there’s cardio.

    — by Tom Hayes 2016

  40. Tom Hayes


    We exercise our rights
    to wash away
    the stains of bigotry.
    Marks on the soul,
    passed down
    like generational gifts.
    Cleansing hearts,
    the task is like
    draining the sea,
    an exercise
    in futility.
    Yet each mind changed,
    a victory,
    and so, we try.

    — by Tom Hayes 2016

  41. De Jackson



    Ya gotta hold your breath,
    he says. But I don’t want to, don’t trust
    these fragile gills, this staggered will.
    I only know of lung, and tongue, and time.
    Nonsense, he says, like this.
    I dive.

    Don’t think about the miles,
    she says. And I don’t, but the burning
    legs and bursting lungs won’t silence,
    heartbeat-hammered battered chest swells.
    Just keep moving, she says.
    I run.

    Gravity is relative,
    he says. But the law-abiding citizen
    in me is screaming at the top of
    her lungs, memories of falling etched
    in both stone and bone.
    Just let go, he says.
    I fly.


  42. writinglife16

    On Exercise

    On Day One, I got up.
    I worked out.
    Push ups, Sit ups, Jumping Jacks.

    On Day Two, I got up.
    I sat down.
    In the sauna, in the whirlpool.

    On Day Three, I rested
    and reassessed.

  43. Connie Peters

    Accidental Snobbery

    “I saw you at the pool,”
    my friend said. “I waved
    but you mustn’t have seen me.”
    I wonder how many other friends I snub.

    I don’t see anyone at the pool.
    Just pink or brown blurs
    with bright colors
    or slimming black toward the center.

    I don’t wear glasses at the pool.

  44. dextrousdigits

    Some days I have a little battle inside
    one part of me whispers passionately,
    “sit down write a few lines
    exercise you mind and imagination”
    another voice shouts
    “no, no, no, its your body that
    needs to stretch, dance, whirl & twirl”

  45. leatherdykeuk

    Krav Maga

    Thirty seconds
    never sounds a long time
    until you’re approaching exhaustion
    then thirty seconds feels like an hour
    with every muscle screaming
    begging for rest, for relief.

    It seems easy at first
    thirty seconds of shin kicks
    ten seconds of rest
    thirty seconds of knee strikes
    elbow strikes
    front kicks
    hammer fists
    side kicks
    palm strikes
    groin kicks
    open palms
    thirty seconds
    thirty seconds
    thirty seconds.

    Six minutes
    doesn’t sound like much exercise
    but quite often it’s the length of a street fight
    when survival on the line
    and the next thirty seconds
    means life or death.

  46. Danielle Robinson

    Ashanti’s Drum

    A Nubian queen loans me her steps.
    I borrow her drummer boy’s
    boom here,
    his boom there,
    and another tick, tick boom, boom.
    They know I own bona fide
    rhythm in my motherland hips.
    So, I pay my roots.

    Pa rum pum pum pum
    rum pum pum….
    Hips stir like Earth………
    Pa rum pum pum pum
    rum pum pum….
    They free water.…..

    Pa rum pum pum pum
    rum pum pum….
    Arms reach for God…..
    Pa rum pum pum pum
    Rum pum pum….
    They gather to worship….

    Pa rum pum pum pum
    rum pum pum….
    Feet, lead me not alone…
    Pa rum pum pum pum
    rum pum pum….
    They yield and return..…

    Pa rum pum pum pum
    Rum pum pum….
    Ancestors on call…..
    Pa rum pum pum pum
    Rum pum pum….
    I honor, I honor….

    Pa rum pum pum pum
    rum pum pum….
    I honor, I praise
    with the life in my hips.

    Danielle C. Robinson

  47. taylor graham


    This day we set aside to honor what we love –
    is it just an exercise in form, words, dates
    on the calendar, years accomplished? My dog
    has reached his 14th year. The Earth blushes
    sunrise for her 47th official annual holiday.
    We’ll lay to rest a friend of countless searches
    for the missing. What does this tell me
    of the amber glint in a brown eye, or green
    fields disappearing in haze to rise breathlessly
    as crystal mountain, April snow under a thunder
    sky? Today I’ll walk out my door at dawn
    alone, remembering morning without number,
    open handed to first light of each new earth-
    day. So much to do in the garden of praise.


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