2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

Tomorrow is the final day of the challenge! How did we get here? One day at a time; I know, I know.

For today’s prompt, write a haphazard poem. The poem itself could be haphazardly put together, I suppose. But it could also be about a haphazard situation. Or whatever haphazard thing you can bend the poem into.

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Poet's Market 2016

Poet’s Market 2016

Publish Your Poetry!

The 2016 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, includes hundreds of poetry markets, including listings for poetry publications, publishers, contests, and more! With names, contact information, and submission tips, poets can find the right markets for their poetry and achieve more publication success than ever before.

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.

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Here’s my attempt at a Haphazard Poem:

“organization”

half the time i write
about whatever
pops into my
head without
another thought
zipping from one
adjective to the next
regardless of any
designed meaning

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer has enjoyed writing poems this month, not only on this blog but in his notebooks too. These poem-a-day months always seem to produce more than the 30 poems that make it on the blog. Plus, he’s been reading a lot of poetry this time around, including Barton Smock’s first traditionally published collection, Ocean Vuong’s debut collection, and more.

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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202 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

  1. simplymarian

    Now He is Six
    Haphazard clamor up
    school stairs
    Backpack unzipped
    papers threatening to jump out
    Jacket unzipped and sliding
    Off his shoulders
    Twisting through and around his legs.

    He’s a windmill of movement
    On his way to a first grade classroom
    Unprepared for his chaos
    Unready for his energy,
    his passion and meltdowns
    Unable to avoid
    The rowdiness
    The ruckus inherent
    In the label of autism
    walks in front of Elijah.

  2. Ency Peterson

    HAPHAZARD WRITING

    For most
    planning takes precedence
    For me however
    it’s just too much

    Too take things away
    and when i wish
    this is my plan
    for every event

    i write as i wish
    i play, eat or work
    it’s makes no difference
    it just seems right

    so take your outlines
    calendars and lists
    and burn them in bonfire
    of failed plot bunnies and trysts

    i’ll write as i see fit and
    enjoy the results
    if someone else likes them, great
    if not that’s not why i write anyway

  3. pipersfancy

    Doublespeak

    The last American president
    went and came
    came and went
    and none we knew could circumvent
    how things unfolded next

    The last executive authority
    intended
    sole priority
    preserve a small minority
    of interests none elect

    (although, we pay the bills)

    God grant us solid platitudes
    upon which build
    new attitudes
    controlling growing multitudes
    expressions of contempt

    Sound reasons, (though, much less sincere)
    expunging past
    with rallied zeal
    pass law for others to adhere
    then have a cup of tea

  4. LCaramanna

    Mishmash – – Meatballs!!

    Rose mishmashed the meat,
    a mixture of beef, veal, and pork,
    with her bare hands,
    cracked a few eggs on the side of the bowl,
    tossed in some breadcrumbs,
    garlic, pepper, parsley –
    a pinch of this, a dash of that –
    heaped on an immeasurable amount of grated cheese.
    Rose formed the mishmash into
    the best meatballs
    in the world
    served on top of spaghetti and homemade gravy
    every Sunday afternoon.
    Though I follow the recipe,
    my meatballs never have quite
    enough haphazard in the mishmash.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  5. Jezzie

    CHAOS

    It is chaos in our yard today
    with umpteen wood pigeons who are out
    for some haphazard hanky panky.
    They are flap, flap, flapping all about.

    A collared dove sits alone nearby
    all day long. I think it’s lost its mate.
    Maybe it wants to join the party
    or is it just staying to spectate?

    Sometimes other little birds fly in,
    they’re all out looking for their lunch,
    but very soon fly away again
    being frightened by the rowdy bunch.

    So why am I not allowed to bark
    to scare those pesky pigeons away?
    I’m really only having a lark,
    it’s just a fun game I like to play.

  6. Jezzie

    HAPPILY HAPHAZARD

    It’s one of those days again
    when nothing much gets done
    and I aimlessly wander
    from one web page to another,
    write a poem, update my blog,
    clean up after my dog,
    get the vac out all ready
    to start cleaning, as I do daily,
    stop for a cup of coffee …
    and so it goes on and on all day
    every day, until six pm,
    when it’s dog walk time,
    and I put the vac back.

    My mother would have had a fit
    had she been here to see it.
    She was totally organised,
    life compartmentalised,
    everything categorised,
    neatly piled or filed undefiled.
    She was never distracted
    by facebook, emails, internet,
    idiotic ideas, words to write
    that might never be read
    in all honesty
    by anyone other than me.
    Yet, was she happy?

  7. PKP

    Haphazard

    there was a word
    that was just too vile
    for polite conversation
    certainly never to be
    exercised by well-bred
    little girls – with smooth
    hair and ironed skirts
    who kept neat note-
    books and pencils
    sharpened – who
    did assignments
    each day, chores
    each evening –
    practiced scales
    on piano key
    board and put
    away their sheet
    music- there was
    a words so vile
    that it could
    infect the entire
    echo-system of
    existence – never
    to be repeated
    certainly never
    to be enacted…

  8. b_kelli

    Haphazard

    Without a plan I’ve come to understand
    it doesn’t matter anyway.
    One might wish it, want it, work for it
    but life moves any which way.
    Planning’s not without purpose
    intentions are good.
    Yet it will all be nothing
    like you thought it would.
    Randomness creates
    magnificent mess.
    Big pictures
    require coloring
    outside the lines.

  9. Catherine Conley

    Haphazard

    Anytime he didn’t understand her,
    He called her haphazard.
    Her kind of organization baffled him
    And so, he tried to fix it,
    Fix her, with gifts of file cabinets and desk accessories,
    Drawer organizers and shoe racks.
    But she was stifled in his rigid boundaries and,
    Could not think, could not write,
    So she threw away the sock separators and in boxes,
    Painted stars on her fingers
    And let the creativity flow out of her.

    Catherine Conley
    https://crcreateaday.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/pad-29-haphazard/

  10. Bruce Niedt

    Haphazard

    I cling to the belief that the haphazard and the hopscotch,
    the creature that sips among many flowers,
    may actually come up with something….
    – Brad Leithauser

    We could talk about
    monkeys and typewriters,
    but that’s so shopworn.

    We could watch ants
    on a hot summer sidewalk,
    an organized swarm.

    The butterfly flitters
    at random, or so it seems –
    he has favorites.

    Nature’s not random,
    it progresses by numbers,
    said Fibonacci.

    Golden Ratio
    in the chambered nautilus,
    the sunflower’s eye.

    Pandemonium
    is not as manifest
    as we once thought.

    There is a design,
    a dance around the center,
    that makes us wonder.

  11. dextrousdigits

    The day started with robust coffee
    in my favorite no handle mug

    each sip warmed me until
    I accidentally knocked over the milk carton

    no towels were handy
    truly a hazard
    so
    I invited the dog and cats to join me
    as they licked the floor
    I sipped my coffee.

    This year with each prompt I would like to attempt an acrostic poem
    Hazzy thinking
    Absent minded, jumping here there a human
    Pin ball machine
    Hardly ever hitting the target
    Allowing distractions to lead actions
    Zero goal direction
    amble where ever the impulse leads
    Roaming where eyes or sounds direct to
    Dead end over and over.

  12. seingraham

    WHY DO I WRITE?

    Nervously sipping wine, blue lipstick and a cigarette hanging out of your mouth
    Be an animal, writing in restaurants, or the writing studio
    Be a tourist in your own town, write anyplace; every Monday

    More about Mondays – use loneliness – but don’t use writing to get love
    Be specific; don’t tell, but show, the ordinary and the extraordinary
    Make statements and answer questions; use the action sentence

    First thoughts – whatever’s in front of you – original detail
    Go further – find a large field to wander in – a sensation of space
    No hindrances – a new moment – tap the water table – use big concentration.

    Writing is a communal act – talk is the exercise ground – a story circle
    Writing marathons – spontaneous writing booths -trust yourself
    Claim your writing – be the Samurai, or, the Goody-Two-Shoes nature

    Mind, pen and paper – composting artistic stability – obsessions – listening
    What are your deep dreams? Living twice? Man eats car? A meal you love?
    One plus one equals a Mercedes-Benz? Fighting Tofu? Don’t marry the fly?

    The power of detail and syntax; writing is practice but, is not a McDonald’s hamburger
    Engendering compassion, a little sweet – doubt is torture. We are not the poem.
    A big topic: going home. Epilogue: I don’t want to die.

    My haphazard poem is also a found poem created using one of Greg Santos’s constraints – Table of Contents poem – I used Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” TOC – it was an excellent choice.

  13. tunesmiff

    The site was down through my network (s) yesterday, but better late than never – at least I hope it’s better ~
    🙂

    HALF DONE (IS JUST BEGUN)
    G.Smith
    ===#===
    “Half done is just begun,”
    A phrase I often heard
    Pop use when I hurried.
    “Half done is just begun,”
    A phrase I often heard,
    Zipping through boring tasks;
    A phrase I often heard
    Repeating like a loop,
    Damning my carelessness.

    1. tunesmiff

      (~ A”hexasyllabic” acrostic, playing with the French triolet/villanelle structure of repeated lines as refrain(s) – for what it’s worth ~ )

  14. artifiswords

    TRUTH AND/OR DARE

    Oh, God…
    Between you & me
    Just wondering…
    In a world
    Coming unglued
    Haphazardly
    Why wait for
    The end of a life
    Misspent ruining
    The lives of others
    On a whim?
    Could you step up
    The day of judgement
    Spare the innocent
    From tons of torment?
    Oh…BTW…I lied
    Everybody can read this…
    Now waiting for
    The lightning bolt…

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    Posted also to:
    https://artifiswordpresscom.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/truth-andor-dare/

  15. RJ Clarken

    Haphazard Tropes

    “Poetry contains nothing haphazard.” ~ William Empson

    A word is penned. We agonize
    about the word. Revise, revise.
    No word is ever slapdash. Hope
    must spring eternal, scope to trope.

    So, carefully we chose our terms.
    The metrics, rhythms, verse. Confirms
    the allegory with its slope
    must spring eternal, scope to trope.

    And if this rule we did transgress,
    we’d then correct us, nonetheless.
    Each poet hazards this to cope.
    We spring eternal, scope to trope.

    But when we lastly say, “It’s done,”
    we go back where we’d first begun
    to thoughts scratched on an envelope.
    This springs eternal, scope to trope.

    ###

  16. MikeGill

    I tried and tried to get the web site to come up–at work and at home–no luck yesterday. I think I was cursed for managing to get all the poems for the month in.

    Oh, well, here is my haphazard poem–a day late.

    The Grocery

    I remember in my younger days
    being a bagger
    in the local grocery store.
    We were shown how to pack a bag
    to keep the groceries safe and
    whole—to use the fewest bags
    but make sure the could be carried.

    I think they teach them now
    to use as many bags as possible—
    no more than three items per bag—
    to just put things in as they come
    down the conveyer—whether or
    not they belong together.
    If I bring my own bags,
    anything goes.
    I’ve found raspberries below
    cans of peaches—bread
    smashed into the top of a bag—
    a whole bag given over to two
    bags of chips.

    I really should start
    running the pimply teen off
    and packing by bags myself
    —at least then I know they are
    done right.

  17. Julieann

    As the Wind Blows

    I’m willy-nilly
    I flit, I flutter
    First this way and that
    I could make a butterfly shudder

    My life’s haphazard
    No seeming rhyme or reason
    There’s music in the air
    Depending upon the season

    I’m like a stack of loose-leaf papers
    Sitting in front of a widow
    The breeze blows through
    Tossing me to and fro

    To be still, I don’t know how
    I sing, I hop, I flit around
    Rarely coming to rest
    Rarely resting on the ground

    I’d like to be like others
    Driven by only one star
    But then the fun I’d miss
    I’d never really go that far

    As the wind blows
    Here, there, everywhere
    So goes my life
    I live it with a flair

  18. Anthony94

    In the Herb Garden

    The cold front comes in
    wind still icy with two
    day old hail. Today I dig
    to plant sage although
    I won’t bundle it to burn
    in the corners of the house
    I know people that do and
    they haven’t lost a cat
    to a hawk again. I mud it
    in rather haphazardly,
    don’t break apart the
    clump of three. Line up
    the little rocks into a
    tiny border that the
    weeds should respect.
    After all, this is sage.

  19. Monique

    The Logic of a Dream

    Dreams are always of the weird
    haphazard images
    combining imagination and memory,
    where ghosts of the past play a starring role
    but they aren’t what they seem to be.
    Every dream plays out a lesson
    or figures out a problem
    except when you wake up
    the memory of the dream fades quickly
    Little images stick around,
    but while dreams make sense as they are happening
    they become strange upon our awakening.

  20. pamschwetz

    Speaking of Haphazard
    Well, speaking of haphazard
    couldn’t reach your site
    was getting really frazzled
    not knowing what to write
    I finally asked a poet friend
    if she could kindly send
    the poetry prompt for today
    so got it in a roundabout way
    haphazardly from me to you
    what is this poet to do
    phew!
    Pam Schwetz 4/29/16 #aprpad #NaPoMo #poetry prompt 29

  21. Connie Peters

    Haphazard

    H it or miss, not giving it a thought
    A rbitrary not caring what you ought
    P roving that slapdash can do it
    H ow messy can see you through it
    A nd a jumbled heap can be inspiring.
    Z ones of chaos can get those synapses firing.
    A careless effort here and there
    R andom thoughts beyond compare. A
    D isorganized desk shows a creative mind.
    An organized creative is hard to find.

  22. haljohnsonbooks

    Site was down for me yesterday, so I just wrote a poem, and, by chance, it was haphazard.

    The City Midway through Our Slow Apocalypse

    This, too, is important. The titanic wreck
    Buoyed up on a tide of my own incompetence.
    It was icebergs, you said, because you always blame the Jews;
    And, ashamed, I took the pass. The autumn nights
    Along the river lacked that misty picturesque
    I took for meaning. Like car alarms. Three in the morning. Two
    On the autumn night.

    I hanged myself before the Lord,
    I hanged myself for virtue,
    I hanged myself and told myself
    This isn’t going to hurt you…

    Behind the clickety curtain, the foreign chefs
    Rinse, like a raccoon, the tea leaves
    But never their hands, the kicking girl told me,
    Once again kicking in a booth on a school night, waiting
    For her mother’s shift to end, another tragedy
    I may cash in on if I’m clever. So sad, so near my room.
    Another party. Everyone’s eyes.

    I hanged myself with blessings and
    I hanged myself with curses,
    I hanged myself like Carradine
    And scandalized the nurses…

    Everything sought has the appearance of shadows,
    If shadow implies weight. Wraiths, mirages, cast
    None. The tyranny from a stoop proclaiming
    Long life a trump, a final trump. His war
    Memories. As though the morning
    Was not the clearest, as though my first
    Step was not the last right one.

    I hanged myself for nine long nights,
    I hanged myself for wisdom,
    I hanged myself before the girls
    Who’d giggle when I kissed them…

    Already nostalgic for the day before
    Yesterday, with its exotic hair and hats,
    The idiots who are not me slit
    Their eyes as we pass. I, willing goodwill
    Upon all life — fireflies, elms, etc. —
    Admit exceptions. Wet streets but no
    Rain. Day for night.

    They hanged me for a mountebank,
    They hanged me for a traitor,
    They hanged me for a libertine,
    And chronic masturbator,

    They hanged me for a Jacobite,
    They hanged me for a failure,
    They put the rope around my neck.
    I sighed, This seems familiar…

    The desperate hope that every
    Meaningless step is
    (Unwilling middle watch
    Shaking shaking
    B-b-b-babbling
    Slightly misspoken)
    Bleeding home.

    The entire month of poems prompted from this site can be found here

  23. elishevasmom

    I don’t know why, but I could access this site yesterday for love nor money, as the saying goes. I even had a friend from Florida try, to be sure it wasn’t my internet carrier. I did, however write my poem–about said situation.

    Crashcade

    The day before the grand finale
    I was up early for the daily prompt.
    I kept getting that annoying message.
    “This site can’t be reached”.

    There really hadn’t been problems all month,
    but oh this was such a problem!
    And all of this
    the day before the grand finale.

    He usually posted it by 6 a.m.
    being it was National Poetry Month
    and this was part of the 30/30 PAD.
    I was up early for the daily prompt.

    It didn’t matter by which browser,
    or from which different device.
    But even coming back later, and later,
    I kept getting that annoying message.

    I hope things are fixed by tomorrow.
    I can find my own prompt,
    but there’s one thing I don’t want to find,
    “This site can’t be reached”.

    Copyright © Ellen Evans – 2016
    day 300 of 365
    4.29.16
    PAD 4.16 – WD website crashed

  24. Sharon

    SCREWED UP

    What to do, what to say,
    if in fact, I had my way.
    Life’s a mess!
    Can you guess?
    No easy day
    comes to stay,
    life’s bitch
    and that’s my pitch!

    SCREWED DOWN

    When life kicks you in the butt,
    don’t look down, look up!
    Bad surprises come there is no doubt,
    but go ahead and give a shout!
    With Him you are safe and sound,
    His love for you does abound.

  25. Tom Hayes

    I guess I was one of the unlucky lock-outs yesterday. Sorry that I missed the fun.

    UNHAPPY HAZARD

    Un
    natural Hazards
    everywhere – Take care
    earth Shaken
    awaken
    to The reality
    that man is making
    Beware be aware
    of
    upside-down and side-Ways
    changes
    summer blizzards And alligator lizards
    no
    rain in sight, toNight
    or ever
    but for some it rains
    and rains forever
    unpredictable, haphazard
    and so Deniably deniable.

    –Tom Hayes

  26. mitchsteve

    The Composure of Chaos

    Before I fall softly backwards
    into one of the daily volcanoes,
    or the knitted cathedral of
    sleeping next to you,

    I remember how I stood
    and watched a cat,
    eating – or attempting to –
    a sudden bee.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Haphazardly… in love
      Admitting the hurt is part of the healing.
      Not the part that is the most appealing.
      But, sometimes the most revealing.
      As time passes quickly when you are not
      watching and waiting, haphazardly in love.
      By Pamelap

  27. MaggieIrene

    Creeping Charlie

    creepy
    weed
    purple
    passionate
    blooms
    crawl
    abound
    all over the danged place like he had been invited for criminy’s sake on and on and on across his chosen horizon
    uninvited
    lawns
    victimized
    meadows
    invaded
    cemeteries
    even
    only soul
    on earth
    to get in
    alive
    creepy.

  28. ely the eel

    Haphazard

    Roses are not black,
    and my name is not Jack.
    This is all so very silly,
    poems all gone, willy-nilly.
    Website lost, helter-skelter,
    writers seeking safer shelter,
    moaning with abandon,
    poesy suddenly just random.
    So we’ll simply have to word play,
    hit-or-miss, any old way.
    Yes, I know, it’s only static,
    accidental, just erratic,
    failed postings, only fecklessness,
    slipshod writing, utter recklessness.
    Please allow it simply stated,
    It was unpremeditated.

  29. LoriP

    It looks like a lot of people are having trouble getting on writer’s digest website. Is there anything you can do, Robert, or anywhere else I can report it. My mom can’t get on and she says her computer is telling her the website is not responding.

  30. Austin Hill

    This poem contains the first lines of the poems I submitted to PAD 1-12.

    042916
    Haphazardly

    The next time I paint,

    EXplore –

    In the concrete jungle there was one particular building,
    A fool’s paradise.

    Ωaily
    The number of time zones a cell phone signal traverses
    S ke-DA-dle
    With my permission…

    My funny bone is very short;

    Day 1 – “I never said she stole my money.”

    I stood in the darkened doorway;

    “You can run but you can’t hide.”

    © April 2016 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  31. LoriP

    Insert Title Here

    This is my attempt to the poem
    using Google voice recognition software
    all the while my cat is tearing up with plastic paper bag and my brother is looking at me with an incredulous expression
    I’m not very good at dictating homes apparently I don’t know when to start and stop or how to tell Google that I wanted to change the line so I keep on talking and thinking like a poet when Google is thinking like an editor

  32. taylor graham

    YOU ON FACEBOOK

    An Etruscan horse in blue-bronze stippled metal
    surviving the first 70 years of childhood.

    Did you sleep a little better last night?

    Out of the Egyptian lion’s jaws, a wide-eyed mouth.
    A frizzy-haired angel trumpets to small birds.

    You’ve lived on poetry, image, and song.
    Are the meds working at last?

    Death the bone-king shrinks from the Light.
    A girl canters her bay horse bareback across Mongolia.

  33. Sara McNulty

    Misplaced

    Here lies Pete,
    and there lies Pete.
    Hit-and-miss in life,
    he got buried twice.

    Here lies Ann,
    crushed by cans.
    A random shopper,
    her stockpiles dropped her.

    Here lies old man Gleason,
    They said he was shot for treason
    he lost his platoon
    while he stared at the moon.

    Here lies Mr. Fry
    He forgot
    he couldn’t fly.

    Here lies Phil
    non-payment of bill
    He lost his money,
    mob said, not funny.

  34. Charley

    The Legend of Hap Hazard

    Hap Hazard was a cowboy who lived outside Fargo.
    Fell asleep on his horse, ended up in Key Largo.
    Met a lady gambler who was a bit of dangerous cargo.
    Dirk Bentley, who was descended from gentry,
    Seduced Hazard’s lady; a salacious breaking and entry.
    Hap was working a nightshift as a marina sentry.

    Dirk met his metaphorical Waterloo
    when he encountered the dukes of Hazard –
    “Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up!”

    (Guess I’m getting punchy….)

    Hap took his horse and his lady north by northwest.
    You probably know how Hazard’s legend ends.
    If not, you can probably guess.

  35. Charley

    Looks Like a Train Wreck – Smells Like a Train Wreck
    (A Cinquain Expressing Pain)

    My life
    this week has been
    a roller coaster ride
    screaming downhill hands-up terror.
    Breathe deep.

  36. pcm

    Random Musings

    Spirituality:
    A terminal, pre-existing condition.

    Theory of Relativity:
    Freedom of the press exists for those who own one.

    Middle-Aged Man Getting Into a Sports Car:
    “I’m going to strap my car to my a** and leave now.”

    Results of Lifelong Psychoanalysis:
    If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother….

    The Devil is in the Details:
    …or your father (see above).

    Truth in Advertising:
    Do the math. Over 50 is no longer middle age, it’s vintage.

    Love Does Not Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry:
    It means paying attention with your whole heart.

  37. mschied

    Beginning with the End in Mind

    The finish line:
    A. Poem
    but how to get there
    together
    separate roads
    diverge in a yellow wood
    and I take the
    one that sparks
    the fire, the tiger burning bright
    in a dream
    the birds, a robin, a raving
    poetic epiphany
    wading in the stream
    of consciousness
    with the editor’s red pen
    like a red wheelbarrow
    ready to roll over
    the evocative words
    of non-imagery
    imagining myself
    in the poem
    playing a game of hide and seek
    with mr. strunk and mr. white
    punctuated by random word suggestions
    from anthropomorphized spiders
    wrapping it all up
    i consider the kaddisth
    the tolling bell
    the final epitaph
    for my poetic finally
    then, like the icing
    on flora’s magicless cake
    i dab a dollop of a title
    on top of my lyrical
    jabberwocky
    and pronounce it finished
    if somewhat
    higgledy-piggledy
    in hindsight

  38. taylor graham

    HAPHAZARD AS CRAZYQUILT

    Those quilt squares painted on barns
    and roadhouses, scattered along county two-lanes

    that twist with the shrug of hillsides,
    tuck into hollows, climb against creek-flow

    to ridgetop orchards, vineyards
    with views to the higher mountains –

    this patchwork land of town and field,
    woodland verging higher to forest,

    you might say haphazard as a crazyquilt pattern
    vibrant blue of lake and green of cedar,

    spring poppy gold and red of rooster,
    lavender of distance and time remembered.

    A child sleeps under the comfort
    of hand-sewn quilts pieced from family history.

    I’m following a trail of quilt squares, barn
    to barn, our land’s long story.

  39. SarahLeaSales

    Life with Griff

    Dollars into dimes,
    fast food made slow,
    pots and pans instead of
    plates and bowls.
    That was life with Griff.

    Random lunchbox items—
    Almond Joys and Handi-Snacks—
    and dinner often burned,
    which even the dogs spurned.
    That was life with Griff.

    Mixing flat Coke with fresh,
    the creator of the 10-second rule,
    showing up at school in high-water shorts
    and black knee-socks, all out of sorts.
    That was life with Griff.

    Matching sheets, an unnecessity,
    clocks that didn’t synchronize
    were not a problem for him,
    for time was often improvised.
    That was life with Griff.

    Flipping out when a car got behind him,
    taking the road not meant to be taken,
    but always managing to “recover his fumble”,
    with Mom hollering, “Hells bells, Griff Graff!”
    That was life with Griff.

    Trips to the Wag to do number two,
    when the toilets were on the blink,
    throwing whites in with darks,
    all coming out motley, wrinkly,
    and somewhat less stinky.
    That was life with Griff.

    The endless making us guess,
    making everything a test,
    the telling of a joke,
    only to forget the punchline,
    leaving us all in a poke.
    That was life with Griff.

    Mopping without first a-sweeping,
    CPAP mask while a-sleeping,
    every scrap of junk-mail a-keeping,
    and long trips to the loo
    with a binder or two.
    That was life with Griff.

  40. Jo

    I Found Irony at Walgreen’s

    I ran into
    an old
    lover
    the other
    day while
    I was
    standing
    in the
    diarrhea
    aisle of
    our local
    Walgreen’s.

    Life
    can be
    haphazard
    that
    way.

    We stood
    there, among
    the Pepto,
    the Immodium
    and the
    ever popular
    Kaopectate
    chatting
    about us
    both having
    the stomach
    flu and
    avoiding
    our shared
    past.

    As I
    walked
    away,
    I laughed
    at the
    irony of
    running
    into him
    in a place
    where
    I was
    looking
    to remedy
    a sickness
    when
    neither
    one of us
    put that
    much effort
    into fixing
    the sickness
    between
    us when
    we could
    have really
    used a
    remedy.

  41. _Kirk_

    I combined the haphazard prompt (which I really took to heart, I think, ha!) and the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem about things you remember.
    This is really long…and again, strong language warning. This is all a true account.

    Still, it Moves

    I remember:
    it was the night before the night
    he stood in her door by nightstand light
    and spoke into the bedroom floor,
    “Mother, I want you to know that I believe.”

    I remember:
    They said you had no reservations.
    That you stepped sure of yourself
    into the storm of shimmering silver brain-stars
    scattered on the blackened field of narrowing vision
    and painted confidently your mask
    in powdery white and blue pallor.
    Your final face.
    They said it was quick, the transformation, the travel
    that you knew what you were doing, where you were going,
    and that you had no reservations.

    I remember:
    There was a moment
    when the gurney would not quite fit
    through the doorway
    at the bottom of the narrow stairs
    and in stuttering, time-stopped motion, slowly
    they lifted and tilted to an angle
    such that the smooth sheet fell
    and the body’s face rolled
    toward me, standing, watching, in the kitchen
    and I looked upon him, vacant
    as they pushed and the body shuddered
    only then did I breathe,
    “fuck” and choked,
    fixed into the dead eyes
    of his corpse.

    I remember:
    They made him pale and peaceful, put-together and serene
    A face of his not often, or maybe ever seen
    He was costumed in clothes he would have hated
    Looking neat and well, we all paraded past him
    Saying niceties in spite of truth and moving on

    for the benefit of the strangers, oblivious and unbriefed
    as to why we gathered hushed and griefed
    who would never know how his life had faded
    because he looked neat as we all paraded past him
    and the purple corded bruises on his throat were gone.

    I remember:
    She asked me once, just once
    if I thought he was in heaven or in hell.
    I said, “I can’t believe that God would sleep well
    with damning an already tortured soul.”
    She reminded me that there isn’t much
    that causes God a restless night,
    being perfect in all and always in control.
    I nodded, of course, and agreed, like Galileo,
    but still I did not believe.

    —–

  42. Genevieve

    Hap, Hap Hazardly

    Hap, hap
    hazardly
    The rain
    Comes down
    In sheets.
    Should we
    Go out today?
    It would be
    Quite a feat.
    .
    Hap, hap
    Hazardly
    Decisions
    Made all day.
    What final
    Process
    Keeps us all
    Moving along,
    Breathing?

    Hap, hap
    hazardly
    Life seems
    To our limited
    Minds and dreams.
    Thankful God knows
    What’s happening.
    Glad it’s not
    All up to me.

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