2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

I know we’re writing poetry this month, but I thought you might want to check out this new podcast for writers that I’m doing with Brian A. Klems. In our first two episodes, we’ve talked with C. Hope Clark about funds writers can find to help their careers and Carol Topp, CPA, about taxes and business structures for writers. In other words, it’s been a lot of good, helpful stuff. Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, write a distance poem. As a runner, I automatically think of running when I think distance. But hey, there’s long distance relationships. Or why not get beyond geographic distance and consider distance in terms of time or emotional distance. Or some other interpretation.


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Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Distance Poem:

“The Fool”

Distance may make the heart grow fonder
or forgetful. Distance may be measured
in miles or light years or heart beats. Distance,

for me, is another way to arrange the phrase
“It’s Dance!” I dance, you dance, we cover
the distance of the dance floor, and still

have no idea what’s in store for the future
distances we might cover together or apart
or who knows what fires we might start

and then realize we’re still locked to the wall
wondering if the other will cross the hall
to unlock the distance between our sighs.

I, over here, patiently theorize.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer loves April, because whether the poems are easy or hard, he’s still doing it: still poeming, creating fresh drafts that he’ll be able to mess around with in May and beyond. He loves April, because poetry.

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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378 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

  1. PKP

    At a distance

    A wise man once said that
    life is just something we do
    to avoid looking into the abyss
    I looked into your new born
    eyes so many years ago and
    knew with solid certainty
    suddenly – that this was not
    true – knew that I had been
    seeing life from a distance
    until you burst from the
    rolling in my belly to being
    Knew each day that I woke
    and you unfolded a living
    origami brilliant and vivid
    that the abyss was a far
    off sliver and that you the
    manifestation of life was
    so very much more than
    simply a distraction –
    you, my center, motivation,
    inspiration, delight and
    joy, lit life stretching into
    an endless horizon that
    would span my eventual
    fall into any chasm – and
    yet now, you have changed
    places with the abyss – you
    at a distance and it gray –
    yawping and yawning –
    with serpent sharp teeth
    ever widening – as I walk
    the narrow edges –

  2. seamuscorleone

    Going the Distance

    He’s going the distance, he’s going for speed
    She’s all alone, all alone in her time of need.
    -Cake, Going the Distance

    Balance is an easy concept
    That is hard to achieve.

    To succeed in anything you have to commit to it;
    Time, money, energy, thought.

    This is true in racing and relationships.

    Too much time spent racing means
    Not as much time left for relationships.

    So we are left with a choice;
    Do we try to achieve greatness in something
    We are passionate about,
    Or do we try to achieve greatness in someone
    We are passionate about.

    We can’t have both;
    Not fully.

    That’s where the balance comes in.

    A little give, a little take.
    Too much give or too much take
    And the whole thing topples over.

    Now that I am alone
    I feel the pressure to achieve
    Great things, things I did not have the time
    For when I was giving my time to

    But now that I have the time
    I seem to have lost the will.

    Sometimes the tension
    Required to maintain balance
    Is also the tension
    That propels us forward,
    And without it we are
    Spinning plates
    Without sticks to keep us
    From crashing to the floor.

  3. Connie Biltz


    He felt it as soon as he came into the room.
    It was thick and heavy in the air.
    She kept silent as he entered.
    Pretending it didn’t matter.
    Pretending she didn’t care.
    She turned away from him.
    She kept her focus on her book.
    Her indignant silence shut him out.
    She refused him the courtesy of even a look.
    “I’m sorry, my dear. I wasn’t thinking,”
    he mumbled as he crossed the room to her side.
    Slowly she met his gaze. She was relieved by his apology,
    and with one kiss amends were made,
    ending their great divide.

    Connie Biltz
    author of Rainbow Chaser

  4. Anvanya

    From A Distance

    Once you learn to ditch the drama
    You can live more peacefully on
    The Planet and in your own Skin.
    For the sake of your Soul,
    Take a step back, have a seat, relax.

    You give yourself permission
    To leave behind the evil doings
    Of men and women in pain.
    Those who must control others;
    Those who believe that money is power;
    Those so drunk on money and power
    That there will never be enough
    Of either in their lives.

    You are free to have a media-free day
    Or month or year. Sing the old songs,
    The loving ones of your youth.
    Beware: which songs live in your Mind?
    Read the old books, the brave ones of the centuries.
    Beware: which books live on your Shelves?
    Tell the old stories, or the new ones,
    Of overcoming Life’s exigencies.
    Beware: which stories live in your Heart?

    Go walkabout in the neighborhood
    Gaze deeply into the petals of a rose
    Or hibiscus, the swirls of a fir cone.
    Rest quietly on your porch and watch
    For the birds who love your trees.
    Bless your ears with their songs.

  5. Thedeb

    By Debbie Cerrito

    Off in the distance,
    or so it is said,
    is a place of great beauty
    and wonder, not dread.

    So vast the horizon,
    as yet I can’t see,
    the people I’ve loved,
    there waiting for me.

    Faith is a charm,
    a talisman of right.
    So I follow the spirit,
    through every dark night.

  6. Anders Bylund


    Gamma ray waves
    Glucose molecule
    One red blood cell
    From your skin to mine, spooning
    Arm’s reach
    Times Square to Central Park
    Big Apple to Sugar Mountain
    To the Moon and back
    One light hour away
    Where’s Jupiter?
    Still a long way to the next star
    One hundred light years
    Across the Milky Way
    Halfway through our Supercluster
    The universe as we know it

    …but the best bits
    Are all right here.

  7. Jezzie


    Three thousand odd miles
    is not far these days
    with Facebook and Skype
    communication ways.

    I’ve a Facebook page
    and a doggy blog.
    I hear auntie talk
    from on Mum’s laptop.

    My doggy dad’s Mum
    “likes” my doggy pics
    and stories about
    my mischievous tricks.

    I’ve lots of new friends
    I have never met
    I guess I’m lucky
    I’m a “techno pet”.

  8. BDP

    “Lipstick On the Looking Glass” (Distance)

    She wrote in Brunette’s Crimson: oranges, Bayer, whole milk, bread.
    I shopped for her, for words surrounded by a rim: milk, bread.

    The grocers kept a bill, one-hundred rising, two-, then more.
    Sometimes they asked for partial payment, “if you can”: milk, bread.

    Our breakfast table slanted in the mirror—grade school, high school—
    the head chair, best. I mostly ate there on my own: milk, bread.

    One day, she blotted lips on paper, me behind her, brush to hair:
    a new mill job. I, one inch taller, status changed, reformed: milk, bread.

    Her paycheck paid down debt. I jogged up back steps, home from college,
    saw she left a kiss for me, at last not strangers, friends. Milk, bread.

    —Barb Peters

  9. LCaramanna

    Finish Line
    We went the distance, until death we have parted,
    Alone, I grieve for you, broken hearted,
    Without you I exist only half, not whole,
    Grief consumes me to the depths of my soul.
    We went the distance, our love tried and true,
    Alone, my broken heart aches for you.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  10. Funkomatic


    We both approach Broad and 41st
    Blueshifting to wait for the red shift
    When the unexpected perigee
    Of a young woman running eclipses
    The thoughts of the other man
    I see the shadow pass across his face
    Disturbing the tranquil sea of his eyes
    In the analemma of her ponytail
    Each yeah is another step away.

  11. Genevieve


    Distant marriages
    All gone by,
    Will this marriage
    Go the distance
    Or will I cry?
    What does it look like
    To hang on
    For a lifetime?
    Have I seen it?
    Two old people
    Holding hands?
    I long to know,
    Will we grow old

  12. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Lake’s Edge

    a straight line
    it rules the horizon
    from this distance, immobile
    dark as the stroke of a charcoal stick
    above an eye or pressed against paper to sketch

    the edge imprecise
    scarcely distinct from sky
    a powdery smudge hovering
    above a verge of amorphous green
    like the tenuous touch of a watercolor brush

  13. LoriP

    Pediatric Hospice Nurse

    I’m in this for the long run
    Even if he lives
    Past the few weeks they’ve said
    Into the eighteen years you’ve hoped for
    I’ll be here making every day
    Better for him
    Than the one before

  14. Yolee


    A trip to McDonalds, the blue park
    and a ½ hour in your apartment didn’t close
    the cavity between you the girls.

    They wanted papa to
    encourage, build and support
    all those lemonade stands.

    They boarded up those wishes and moved out of that zone.

  15. Lindy™

    The Spiel

    Emotionally spaced out
    The distance between you and crazy
    is not wide enough to keep hell’s demons
    from gnawing at the whole
    Your soul
    so guarded and locked away
    not so safe, you say
    losing grounded every day
    Just want to look at the sky
    take a chance
    maybe fly
    To do so means you’ll have to try
    To do so means you’ll have to cry
    You’ve got to rub the demons out
    The scars are what it’s all about
    Time and distance
    for instance

    but you say it’s not far enough
    and I say what?

    So spaced out
    Me and I

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  17. Ency Peterson

    Varieties of Distance

    They say distance makes the heart fonder
    yet they contradict with
    long-distance relationships won’t work

    For distance between cities I’ve noticed
    While several use miles and kilometers
    Even more go by time

    Distance works in length of songs, books, movies, too
    But nothing is nearly as long
    as the distance of a life

    Nothing is as short either
    For some life is ended at the start
    Gone before they truly live

    Others go beyond the distance of their life
    Known generations later
    For distance is just a measurement

  18. LizMac


    I stood on Point A
    Looked to Point B
    And imagined.

    I turned three times
    On the spot
    And thought of progress.

    Only to find
    On the final return
    Point B had disappeared.

  19. deborahbgkelly

    Distance: A Blessing or a Curse?

    Sometimes she felt a shell of herself
    Distance from who she was in one way
    Yet connected in another

    She had the audacity to call herself a singer, writer, artist and dancer
    While she’d had success in all, she sometimes felt like she was a faker
    There were times that she only felt like a creative artist and felt like she fell down in other important roles
    Then, there were times where her identity was all about how she served in the home
    And all the creative stuff was just an aside

    Yet, she knew that all sides were important
    She also knew that she could not be one without the other
    But, each part felt like a distant shadow of its counterpart
    Distance is an interesting thing
    Some distance is necessary
    Sometime though, distance is nothing but a hindrance
    A denial of one’s whole being

  20. shellcook

    The Distance From Here To There

    Could be a thousand miles
    or a thousand seconds
    and still it is too far.

    I cannot see you,
    matters not one width,
    or even a million.

    You are always too far from me.
    Ive found a thousand ways
    to bring you back,

    one more dramatic than the next.
    When I remember,
    you are a stranger to me.

    Every breath i take
    reminds me to be closer to you
    until you are next to me.

    Strangers on a similar path,
    looking for answers, you might know,
    to help bridge the distance
    between you and me.

  21. Melahlah

    The breath of this life is the distance between us.
    Mere time is the road I walk taking me closer to you.
    Every second fully lived, every breath, is an act of trust,
    Faith in the One we walk beside and cling to,
    He, holding my hand on one side of life and yours on the other.
    He connects us, completes us, loves us forever.
    You in your new, infinite reality.
    Me in my temporary mortality.

  22. pipersfancy

    -Christina Perry, April 4, 2016

    “Go forth,” our god commanded. So, as infants
    not yet weaned (before an understanding of the
    world’s existence past caves where we’d been

    born emerged) our thoughts were formed entirely
    on hindered expectations of a physical reality:
    These things I see and touch and taste—these

    things are Truths. I cannot understand your point
    of view; it strays from how I see the world, disturbs
    my inner peace—how shall we remain? Distant.

    Eyes stretching forward in search of familiarity,
    but there are no recognizable landmarks in this
    tempered empire we now hesitantly call, “home.”

    Stillness. We might recall this time, stretched
    forward in our eager anticipation—not fear—of
    introductions between now clashing cultures.

    Too eagerly, we plucked out eyes of dissonant
    belief, replaced them with our own, until we all
    stood blinded in the rapture—alone to wander.

    We have come to know ourselves as monsters,
    incapable of silent ministry, enamoured of a god
    too reticent to intervene on our behalf. Distant.

    History becomes the chart by which all distance
    spent by slowly moving caravans adrift on sandy
    seas (despite each plotted course) is measured.

  23. lizshine74

    I or he or you–

    past or present–

    narrative voice or scene–

    the span of time–

    that’s the distance,

    and the difference

    between thought and feeling.

  24. Azma

    Snipping Through Life

    The distance
    from you to me
    is amusingly the same as
    the distance
    between two blades
    of a scissor
    The more we close in,
    the more it cuts.

    -Azma Sheikh

  25. Michelle Hed

    Reaching Out

    At any length
    you were aloof;
    You could outstrip
    my emotions
    with your space
    and you outdistanced
    my strides
    at every turn.
    Until your endurance
    finally sent me
    in a direction
    I never thought
    to travel..

  26. carolecole66

    Storm Promise

    In the distance, the Gulf waters
    shadow with threat. What swims there
    and what lurks in the clouds that obscure
    the far shore? Nothing is calm today
    and my spirit lifts in the dark noon sky
    hoping for a vision, hoping the revelation
    will be straight from God’s lips.

  27. shellcook

    The Distance From Here To There

    Could be a thousand miles
    or a thousand seconds
    and still it is too far.

    The lesson of the fact,
    I cannot see you,
    matters not one width,
    or even a million.

    You are always too far from me.
    Ive found a thousand ways
    to bring you back,

    one more dramatic than the next.
    When I remember,
    you are a stranger to me.

    Every breath i take
    reminds me to be closer to you
    until you are next to me.

    Strangers on a similar path,
    looking for answers, you might know,
    to help bridge the distance
    between you and me.

    April 3, 2016

  28. drwasy


    The sheet never looked whiter,
    wider than the first morning
    I woke alone. The cold bed
    the cold air and you
    curled away from me
    an apostrophe
    of smooth olive
    betrayal staining your
    fingertips, your lips.


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