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.


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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. promo6ix

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  2. grcran

    Whittle with Care

    When trees exercise in the wind.
    Move e-ver-y branch. Deep tree bend.
    Fat leaves flutter fast
    As breezes spring past.
    Roots digging. Trunks hefting. Fruits pend.

    gpr crane

  3. grcran

    Exercise in Mutility

    New planet discovered. Beware.
    They’ve exorcised exercise there.
    They fiddle with phones.
    Eat hot buttered scones.
    Too loud their bling music does blare.
    Remotely they finger the dials.
    Fly airways. Boat oceans. Drive isles.
    Can’t swim flap or walk.
    The movement’s all talk.
    That’s exercise planet-earth style.

    gpr crane

    1. nickbutterfield123@gmail.com

      I think I liked every word
      especially “hot buttered scones
      Boat oceans… can’t swim flap or walk
      all talk..excercise planet-earth style,’
      Really great

  4. seingraham

    (not necessarily Irish …)

    She wonders about the fever to split it
    —the atom
    And all that came after, that which
    doesn’t bear remembering
    And that which does

    What do they do when they gather like
    tribes – she wonders if there’s a collective
    noun for them: atoms
    She knows if they’re small enough—
    sub-atomic for instance—a group of
    them is called a miniscule
    So much power amassed—the collective
    energy of which—well, the moniker
    does not seem fitting.

    She discovers that if atoms are grouped
    differently from that which forms their
    original element,
    they become an allotrope; hence the
    ability for many elements to exist in more
    than one physical form
    All because their atoms or groups of same
    can be rearranged.
    Carbon is one such element—appearing
    as a soft, black substance—graphite
    Diamond is another—very hard and

    She is surprised by how drawn she
    is to these allotropes.
    Science is not her strong-suit.
    But there is something poetic about
    this arranging and rearranging of atoms
    This smallest particle that cannot be
    reduced, but can, it seems, be reorganized
    ad infinitum.

    *an exercise in writing poetry about science: I know, lame.

  5. deborahbgkelly

    An Unusual Workout

    There are some physical components to this workout
    Some mental ones, too
    But, mostly, it’s a spiritual workout
    In Four Worlds

    The Four Worlds theme
    Is ascribed to the aspects of our souls
    And the gentle humming of breath
    Creating Spaciousness

  6. Ency Peterson


    enveloping so much
    from drills to runs to writing
    each has its own type

    The military uses exercise
    to help get the recruits in shape
    Known as drills or just trying to be killed

    There are writing exercises
    like following prompts
    or mapping out a story

    Exercising rights
    is another concept
    that has come under fire

  7. lily black

    Dual Situps

    We pressed our feet together
    holding hands laughing
    like toddlers on swings
    leaning back and back to the floor
    You held onto me
    Then pulled me up and up
    while you fell back and back
    into the new green shag
    carpet in the basement
    where the Cubs played
    every afternoon on
    that network from Chicago.
    We pressed our feet together and held on tight.
    Then we let go
    and floated away from
    each other forever.

  8. RJ Clarken

    Early-Morning Walk

    “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    Let’s exercise our right to stroll.
    Let’s show the world our self-control.
    Let’s take a walk. Let’s see move our feet.
    Let’s march. Let’s find our perfect beat.

    We spy a frog, a daffodil,
    a blade of grass, a small anthill.
    Let’s wander off our normal street.
    Let’s hike. Let’s find our perfect beat.

    For we are movement; we are legs
    with arms akimbo. Weaves and segues.
    Let’s breathe fresh air (and then we’ll eat.)
    Let’s stride. Let’s find our perfect beat.

    In early-morning solitude
    let’s celebrate. Show gratitude.
    The start-of-day will be complete.
    Let’s dance. We’ve found our perfect beat.


  9. Michelle Hed

    The Body in the Glass

    I wasn’t skinny
    but I wasn’t fat.
    Or was I?

    It happened
    one day while running errands
    I met her,
    my reflection
    on the glass of the store door.

    She was shorter than I
    and her profile was pleasing
    but when she turned
    dead on,
    she was wide.

    For a while I thought,
    the glass was distorted,
    the reflection skewed
    or it was the clothes I wore
    or whatever excuse
    I came up with
    to feel better.

    But one day,
    I didn’t like meeting her anymore.
    She was always around,
    waiting for me by the door.
    I decided I didn’t want to see her

    I joined a gym,
    I met with a nutritionist
    and I got fit.
    I don’t see that other gal anymore.
    Now when I run errands
    I just see me,
    and I smile.

  10. Genevieve

    I’m behind here at the end of the month, but I won’t quit now.

    As a teenager
    Exercise was
    Forced upon me
    In forms
    I did not like.

    Mother would
    Eat a cookie
    Then force herself
    To exercise
    Late into the night.

    The change of life
    Is here to stay
    Along with 15 pounds.
    Mother’s cold,blue eyes
    Pierce with disapproving.

  11. Sharon


    Words upon a page
    tickle the imagination.
    Creativity reaches readers
    in unknown ways.
    The writer sits and ponders,
    selecting each word with care.
    Will it elicit laughter or tears,
    thoughtful discourse, action?
    No one knows, only the reader.
    Writing is an exercise,
    which bears results,
    when it is read by another,
    who will be changed somehow
    by the words on the page.

  12. lionmother

    Don’t Think About Exercise

    Like anything else exercise when thought about too much
    becomes a chore you push to the side
    like washing the dishes — if you think too much
    the pile will appear to be a mountain too high to climb
    but climb you must and you roll up your sleeves and begin
    to wash one plate or one pan after another
    and you don’t dare think of exercise for it will stay
    just a thought if you don’t begin the routine
    where you find your clothes and put them on
    then the task becomes doable and you stop thinking
    your mind is on auto drive as you gather the things
    you will need, your IPad, water, remember to put on
    your sneakers and you are ready
    not thinking you walk down the hall, convenient, and
    find your machine, the one you always use
    familiar and comforting, like a well worn easy chair
    your legs pump up and down as you get into the
    rhythm of the workout and you don’t think about
    what your body is doing, because it is automatic
    up and down your legs go and your arms go back
    and forth holding the handles and pushing your
    body to move faster and faster or going against
    the pressure of increased tension or height
    not really thinking as your body absorbs the
    activity and you move in a practiced motion
    up and down your legs go and back and forth
    your arms go as you move and move
    ignoring the wetness on your face and pushing
    your body to its outer limits
    until the machine ends and you realize
    you have spent almost an hour exercising
    how much fun to fool your brain.
    copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

  13. Domino

    On Exercising the Right to Say Goodbye

    You hold on so tightly to things that you call yours
    Fussing day and nightly, and locking all your doors.
    Spotlights shining brightly protect your safes and drawers
    you’re saying, so politely, that this is mine, not yours.

    Once you were so sprightly and fun to be around.
    You loved me just slightly more than your house and grounds.
    But now you hold so tightly to your pennies and your pounds
    I feel almost unsightly next to golden gleam surround.

    So I say politely, yet firmly, to be heard
    You don’t treat me rightly though it may sound absurd,
    and though I say it tritely, “Goodbye” would be the word.
    Please don’t take it lightly, I remain undeterred.

    Farewell, my love, goodbye, my darling dear.
    I’ll hold the thought of your younger self near.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Exercise in love…
      To love me
      Through my angst
      You wait for me still
      With acceptance and real
      Patience and understanding
      An exercise in loving me
      Meeting me halfway of where I am
      By Pamelap

  14. PKP

    Morning Exercise

    it begin before
    eyes open the
    lifting, pressing,
    push, of pain
    away from the
    day that has not
    cannot will not
    begin until eyes
    can open in the
    sun and break
    the darkness of
    the estranged

  15. PKP

    InViolated Love

    they say that mother love
    is inviolate love – bonds
    impossible to break –
    suspect before a creature
    rolls in waves within you
    and burst from loins in
    blood and ecstasy –
    suspect this inviolate
    business until its cry
    brings mystic milk from
    your breast – until you
    stab it with a safety pin
    and you feel the pain
    shiver in your spine
    suspect until it rides
    a two wheeler and you
    scream in joy watching
    from a window – at
    a graduation – a first
    ride in a car – first
    love – walk down an
    aisle beaming -suspect
    until it throws its tiny
    arms around you – huge
    muscled behaired arms
    around you – until each
    breath you take remains
    taken for both – suspect
    this inviolate love – even
    when this creature from
    within inexplicably machetes
    the cord connected to
    your entrails and pulls
    hard and

  16. shellcook


    The exercise of dreaming
    brings demons into light.

    Those i fear and
    those i cannot fight.

    I only hope for mercy
    in the darkness of the night.


  17. stargypsy

    Exercise Your Rights

    For years we fought…
    Lost our dignity…
    But we never ever

    Voting is a Right
    not a privilege
    and it is still being
    again being taken
    from people
    right and left
    state by state

    Stand up for your
    Vote …
    Exercise your ability
    to make change
    through choices
    Women Decide …

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


  18. drwasy


    It is only here
    in the warm quiet
    of the pool that I move
    without the weight
    of years and memories
    and losses to pull me
    to my depths.
    It is only here
    that I dance
    with no one or thing
    to witness or judge
    or participate,
    where I lose
    the day and night
    and all in between,
    where I forget
    you and me.

  19. briehuling

    Day 25

    toasted coconut, dang, I love you

    the fiber from the husk
    of the coconut is used
    in ropes, mats, brushes
    sacks, and even caulking for boats!
    Sail on, nut!

    You can’t rush perfection.
    It takes eleven to twelve months
    for the coconut to mature.
    But it’s worth the wait,
    our little coconut crazies.

    found poem, Trader Joe’s Cookie Thins

    Brie Huling

  20. pcm

    Exorcising Patience

    Sometimes I feel like Dorothy Parker and say that I love having exercised
    but only if I didn’t have to exercise my patience.

    When patience is called for, I like to close my eyes and say
    Abracadabra, please and thank you and when I open my eyes

    find a circus pony wearing jingling bells and a soft pink feather headdress
    clip clopping in pirouettes around children giggling and clapping their hands

    while bluebirds swoop through sunbeams and dandelions sway in time
    so whatever needed patience refashions itself as a gladsome thing.

  21. mjdills

    It was an accident he said
    Clearly unintended
    It started out as just a game
    But that’s not how it ended.

    A summer morning, on a day,
    That should have been for fun
    Was turned completely upside down
    When Billy found a gun.

    The closet was a perfect hiding place
    Nate didn’t make a sound
    Breathing barely, standing still
    He doubted he’d be found.

    It turned out to be Nancy’s fault
    Coming in from walking
    She thought it odd with kids at home
    There was no noise or talking.

    She crept in on catlike feet
    And snuck around a corner
    There no one in this game
    Assigned to yell or warn her

    There are two views presented here
    That cause dividing fights
    One is the man who claims
    He’s exercising his rights

    The other side has a loss
    Of no comparing sorrow
    To have a son or daughter
    Who won’t wake up tomorrow.

  22. angieinspired

    Tip of the Day

    I push play on the VCR,
    forgetting I’m muscle-confused.
    My left hamstring, becomes hysterical,
    thinks it’s an old dog, &plays dead, while
    here it is, Spring, my window of opportunity
    to chase after that bone. Yet, I think nothing
    of freedom, or bones for that matter, as I just do
    the best reverse lying tricep extension I can,
    all the while repeating “Don’t hit your head,
    Don’t hit your head,” which happens to be the tip
    of the day I highly recommend. Well, there’s that juicy
    kibble &bit, besides the obvious one– keep pushing play.

  23. b_kelli

    The Belly Dancer
    By Kelli Schmidt-Bultena

    Her zills were still
    as she concentrated
    on moving her hips.
    Harder than it looks.
    Her mind counts,
    her body moves.
    An exercise
    more than muscle.
    Letting go.
    Moving to a beat
    that only hips hear.
    Find the music.
    Feel the movement.
    Think less.
    One does not learn
    to belly dance,
    one becomes a dancer.
    To walk is to shimmy.

  24. Julieann

    Exercise in Futility

    I exercise my rights
    Make all the right moves
    Work over and above
    Prescribed tasks
    All to climb the ladder
    Of success
    And never get off the mat

  25. Anvanya

    Perennial Cold Feet

    My feet have been cold since childhood.
    Daytime is no problem, as shoes and
    Socks provide lots of warmth. But bedtime’s
    Highly problematical: cold tootsies beget
    Frequent awakenings. Bleah.

    Most nights, summer included, it’s
    One pair of socks and one pair of
    Fuzzy slip-ons that keep the toes and
    Articulated parts at least not

    Happens I wrote a poem about a planet
    Where the heat for cooking and
    Warming resides in fire-stones.
    Last week it occurred to me that,
    As the physicist says, the mind
    Does not know the difference between
    Exterior reality and interior reality.

    At bedtime I imagined that I was resting
    On the ground in a forest camp, with
    My feet stretched out toward the
    Fire stones – which provided lots
    Of warmth for the baby toes.
    It worked. I slept for six hours
    In a row (a personal best) and
    Had reasonably happy feet upon

    Imagine, create, enjoy, repeat.

  26. Marilyn Cavicchia

    Where the Water Is Now Gone

    This is where we did our exercises
    before we died anyway.
    To live better, we did them daily,
    some of us in gray sweatsuits,
    some of us in middy blouses
    if it was long enough ago
    and we were female
    (as some of us were).
    We played tennis or we rowed
    in covered gymnasiums,
    or we swam in natatoriums
    where the water is now
    gone, even the place for it
    bricked over, filled in.
    We can’t imagine it, our water
    gone. But we know this is so,
    as well as the things we lifted,
    the steps we ran, our efforts,
    our breaths, numbered after all.

  27. Sara McNulty

    Ode To My Strength And Balance Instructor

    You warm us up, get blood flowing
    with energy and a smile.
    Men and women of varied ages–post
    surgery, partially disabled, and those
    in good health–all benefit from
    an hour of non-stop motion,
    and encouragement. Concentration
    on all parts of the body
    is a roborant for everyone
    who participates. An array
    of equipment is on hand
    to use in conjunction with our workout.
    Exercises are varied, humor is embraced,
    and we try not to begrudge you
    vacation time.

  28. mapoet


    Choose your path.
    Paved or natural,
    straight or winding,
    flat or steep.
    Welcome to walkers,
    bikers, runners, riders.
    Consider where it leads
    and what trails behind.

    By Michelle Pond

  29. C. Kess

    “oh kettlebell”

    oh kettlebell
    oh kettlebell
    oh how you help me burn fat

    oh kettlebell
    oh kettlebell
    I love how you strengthen my back

    what a heavy pod and handle
    i can not swing wearing sandles

    oh kettlebell
    oh kettlebell
    you will not make me too jacked

  30. KatesBookshelf

    Running – Said on a Epithet

    My feet hit the pavement with a slap
    the rubber of my shoes absorbing impact
    a hint of pain vibrating up to my knees
    Running. Said on an epithet
    It’s the agony that makes me cringe
    the pain radiation from my shoulders out
    and down to my calves that makes me
    cringe and resist the exercise.
    The endorphin’s buzz isn’t always enough.
    Running, said on a sigh, now that’s
    what makes me pull on my shoes
    once or twice a week in the summer.
    Knowing I’ll be in shape if I keep it up.
    Running; is a casual thing for me.
    Or jogging since I only run a ten minute mile
    on a good week, or month, or never.
    I love running the track field. Around
    around, around till I hit three miles.
    That magic three makes me dance and explode
    in pure happiness as I pass my wall.
    That stupid wall around one and a half to
    two miles, and a flushed face, and a
    wheezing set of lungs and the promise
    of a damn good cup of coffee at home.
    But three is my number, my goal, my
    challenge and delight and reward.
    Summer is coming and the running is
    nagging me like a child tugging my skirts.
    I’ve yet to acknowledge it other than
    a passing glance, or a taste of guilt.

  31. KatesBookshelf

    Exercising Book Restraint

    It’s an exercise in restraint to book shop
    at my library when the new rotation
    fills up the shelves in flashy covers
    and my fingers itch to pull them down,
    stuff them in my bag, greedy-like
    then whipping out my library card
    like it’s a platinum credit card
    with no limit and endless funds.
    Sadly my card is usually maxed out
    at twenty items which is never enough.
    New covers and new stories are my bling
    my guilty pleasure, my food of living
    Exercising restraint takes all the fun
    out of library book shopping.

  32. Austin Hill

    Real Exercise

    I have an app that counts my steps
    and charts them on a graph.
    And on most days the line is flat
    but when it spikes, I laugh.

    Once and while I find myself
    in a grocery store.
    And on occasion in a gym,
    even then the graph doesn’t soar!

    Chasing grands 9, 6, 4 and 2 –
    its visual boredom attacks.
    But nothing spikes it like a grand tour
    through some clothing racks!

    © April 2016 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  33. Thedeb

    Exercise in Futility
    By Debbie Cerrito

    The monster returns
    night after night
    to steal my slumber
    And try as I might

    I cannot sleep
    I stay awake
    A long cool drink
    my thirst might slake

    Heat rises slowly
    crawling up
    from toes to head
    I grab my cup

    My mouth is still dry
    The sheets are wet
    There’s no relief
    I sweat and sweat

    I know the monster
    has a name
    It’s menopause
    and it’s to blame.


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