2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 7

Here we are: One week into the 2016 April PAD Challenge! I’m excited; how about you? It’s been a quick week, but I’m happy with some of what I’ve wrote so far. Hopefully, it’ll keep up throughout the month.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Urban (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Urban Cowboy,” “Urban Warfare,” “Urban Daydreams,” “Urban Living,” and so on.


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Here’s my attempt at an Urban Blank Poem:

“Urban Music”

not hip hop
nor hard rock
body stop

sirens &
car alarms

happy drunk
people or
fighting for

all to hear


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer has lived in the city, the suburbs, and even in rural areas. All have their upsides and downsides; all have their good folks and bad; all are places he loves to be. In the city, he loved listening to the night sounds, and he loved wandering around.

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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388 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 7

  1. BDP

    “Grey Squirrels, Urban Stockcars”

    We wait for tumble-crash, they play at four-leg-race,
    and yet the greys are firm in zooming: tree drag race!

    They grip tight corners, swing too wide, last ditch attempt
    to catch … skid, flip. A rodent NASCAR’s sight-gag pace.

    Accelerating on the branches, speed professionals—
    that’s why we laugh at head-plants and their rare clag face.

    They pop up, shimmy off, change gear, back at ’em, gun
    the engine, take the leader on, yeah, don’t flag, chase!

    They’ve grabby finger-paws and claws with hugging barbs,
    an oak’s their track, around go squirrels with a zigzag grace.

    –Barb Peters

  2. Linda Hatton

    Electrifying Urban Love Story

    The urban electrician loves her
    when the lights go on, the lights
    go out, under solar power, or in candle’s
    warm white. He has no clue and
    no cues that she’ll snuff out
    his Fahrenheit, turn his bright
    into dim, leave him
    in the dusk.

  3. Connie Biltz

    Urban Decay

    Spray paint graffiti, obscenities screaming,
    masquerading as art, takes the place of dreaming.
    Drunk or high, a man is weaving, stumbling
    down concrete sidewalks, cracked and crumbling.
    Boarded-up windows keep out the light.
    Shady characters, wheeling and dealing, creep about at night.
    Shattered beer bottles are tossed from cars
    from after-hours drinkers, kicked out of bars.
    Overgrown weeds crowd vacant lots.
    Nothing good flourishes here. Everything rots.

    Connie Biltz
    author of Rainbow Chaser

  4. Anvanya


    Upon Gently opening the box,
    Slight tang of powdered sugar to begin:
    City born and bred, trundled to Yucca Valley
    Or Lake Arrowhead, winter or summer I became
    The familiar of pine forests, frogs and
    Sizzling beach sands, swifties, ant lions
    And sidewinders.

    First Bite: Smooth against incisors.
    Meanwhile, back in the City our Aunt
    Transported us to the Philharmonic
    Saturday concerts, the cemetery and mausoleum –
    Arms full of stocks, lilies, and ferns for our
    Honored family graves.

    Second bite: Flavor of sweet almonds?
    Daddy drove the whole gang to San Marino’s
    Huntington Library or the L A Museum of
    History with its rose gardens and dioramas
    Elephants, tigers, Eskimos – Oh!
    On our list of favorites were the La Brea Tar Pits
    And Joshua Tree National Monument. Each
    Sparked my imagination endlessly.

    Third bite: Softly sweet textures on the tongue.
    My Dad knew his way to any place in
    Southern California…and could travel
    Via several different routes. I came to
    Appreciate the street names and numbers
    Of many neighborhoods, constructing
    My own mind map. (Eat your heart out, Thomas Guide.)

    Fourth bite: Nibbling daintily now, near the last.
    We walked to school, walked to church,
    Walked to the Food Giant, walked to Currie’s
    Ice Cream Parlor. Walked to the end of the line,
    Where buses swapped passengers with the trolleys.
    We walked for a swim to the Natatorium; the library
    Added a bus and extra shoe leather. The fabric store, the
    Jewish deli, all in walking distance:
    Two blocks or ten, it was all the same.

    Fifth bite: The Grand Finale of Sugar Haven.
    These days we visit the old homestead and every
    Street looks different. But their names are
    Unchanged, so my map still serves when
    Nostalgia beckons. And the Turkish Delight
    Will always be. …

  5. Anders Bylund

    Urban Hearts
    We met in the city
    By the railroad tracks
    Her lips felt gritty
    Grime on my slacks

    Let the morning light flicker
    Through iron gate bars
    Like smokestacks and liquor
    On these hearts of ours

  6. Jezzie


    Urban conurbation,
    full of traffic fumes.
    Rural reservation,
    full of wild flower blooms.

    Urban artic lorries
    pass us very fast
    along the highway,
    and I’m harassed.

    In rural fields and parks,
    where I just love to play,
    there is fresh air and grass
    and there I want to stay.

  7. James Brush


    we spent twenty bucks and two
    hours to see a movie that showed
    only things

    we already knew about
    urban blight dark corners
    love magic and the way

    popcorn smells after it’s
    been stepped on by
    two hundred shuffling feet

    black birds land
    on a chainlink fence rattling
    so faint it could be your failing

    the ambulances were so far away
    they couldn’t come in time

  8. Alaina Dawson

    Urban Lovers

    tangled in the sheets of this
    concrete jungle
    we don’t notice the cracks under our feet
    because we’re too busy looking at
    the cracks on our screen

    hands intertwined
    but only slightly
    while we post pictures of happier times
    one square for each memory

    when did being in love
    become a competition?

    when did being in love
    become a new kind of social media?

    when did being in love
    become just another formality?

  9. mexmiel

    Day 10

    Soldiers in show bravery.
    But who would volunteer
    to face their country’s enemies
    with the certainty of
    never coming back.
    Soldiers fight hoping to return
    from fields of battle
    to love and family.
    But people growing old
    show courage.
    For the aged, there is no going back,
    no return to youth from where they came.
    They must stand fast
    against an unbeatable foe,
    accept the wounding
    of their eyes and ears,
    corruption of their flesh,
    the heartaches and the gradual decay,
    all burdens of an enervated life.
    Courageously they wait their days.
    Patiently, like cats before a mouse hole,
    they watch their comrades fall,
    succumb to darkness.
    And like Bunyan’s Pilgrim,
    they enter the everlasting night alone.

  10. pamschwetz

    Urban Life

    Urban life is all I know
    I’m living in Chicago
    I lived here all my life
    never thought if I’d like
    another place
    in time and space
    I’ve traveled some but not to stay
    so home was never far away
    Hawaii seemed perfect for me
    laid back and casual so free
    I found out that’s where Californians go
    on their vacation so I was in trouble
    from listening to too many Beach Boys songs
    I thought California was where I belonged
    but it was too spread out for me
    not driving not practical you see
    I loved New York and the energy there
    nothing else could quite compare
    the price of living was sky high
    so I had to say good bye
    now I know why they sing that song
    Chicago is my kind of town

    2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 7
    By: Robert Lee Brewer | April 7, 2016
    Urban fill in the blank title
    By pamschwetz

    © 2016 pamschwetz (All rights reserved)

  11. mexmiel

    My Cave

    I want to retreat to my cave
    and let isolation cover me
    like a woolen coat
    to keep out the dampness.
    It is cold today
    barely 45 degrees.
    I walk to the pier
    to watch the waves
    rebuking the shore
    littered with lyria
    and refuse from parties.
    Last year fourteen people were killed
    and twenty-two seriously injured
    in a bombing in San Bernardino.
    Recently a bombing in Brussels
    killed 20 people and injured hundreds
    on television I saw pictures
    of their ravaged bodies
    lying in the street
    face-down on the cobblestones
    like my friend Jim Culloms
    who died in mid swing
    on the tennis court.
    We shared a love for writing
    and I still picture his ashes
    floating on the water
    of Lake Chapala.
    Each year my cave
    seems safer, more inviting
    Still I push into tomorrow
    my mind stuffed full,
    ideas jammed together
    in a small corner
    and I see the shadows
    on the wall of my cave
    and confuse them with reality.

  12. Azma

    Urban Art Lessons

    Befriend the geometry
    it brings out an enticing edge
    Avoid perfecting symmetry
    it is still called copying
    There is no rough draft
    the first is always a better art
    Your imagination is like no other
    so if they don’t get it, don’t bother.

    -Azma Sheikh

  13. Ency Peterson


    Tracking in the sewers
    City streets make no difference
    This hunter is at home
    in a bustling city or minuscule village

    They have no need
    of learning the ways of the wild
    or patterns of the tides
    Not when they can weave through a metropolis

    They’ve learned to track in the merchant’s home
    or through a thieves’guild’s den
    The urban ranger is no tracker of the wild
    they are the bounty hunter of the old days

  14. Flyermom

    (posted this yesterday in the wrong place)
    Day 7
    Urban Street

    it’s the beeping and
    the honking and the
    blaring of the taxis
    and the buses and the
    delivery trucks that
    swerve around the
    potholes they’ve created
    in my asphalt made by
    the repeated skidding and
    halting of their tires
    from constantly
    driving the same
    identical routes for
    years underneath
    the showy billboards
    and expensive marquees
    flashing and flickering
    their announcements
    and advertisements
    all through the night
    and even the day
    while the street lights
    blink red, then green,
    then yellow keeping
    time with the walk and
    don’t walk commands
    at my intersections
    where clippety-clappety,
    tippety-tappety shoes
    pound into my top-coat
    and wear away my sheen
    leaving my crosswalk
    stripes so faded one has
    to ask if they were even
    there to begin with.

  15. grcran

    Urban Wild

    Earth’s scourge. Urban child.
    Civilized once upon a
    Now gone Neverland.

    Scourge of the
    Earth. Urban
    Child. Civi
    Lized once up
    On a time.
    Cities now
    Teach dog eat
    Dog. New. Old.
    Terror. Man.

    gpr crane

  16. mexmiel

    Day 8 Doodle

    I look at the clock
    on my desk and it reminds me
    that time my has an end date.
    But what if each of us had a clock
    imbedded in the back of our head,
    counting our hours down to death.
    Everyone else could see
    how much life we had left.
    This man’s clock reads sixty years
    but that woman is not very old
    and her clock reads only three years.
    If I saw a friend pass me on the street
    and knew that two years from today she’d be dead,
    that she would not live to attend
    her ten-year-old daughter’s thirteenth birthday
    or hold the hand of her granddaughter
    Would I tell her
    to take that trip to Australia
    or begin to write the novel
    she will never finish?
    Would I tell her the style of her clothes
    or the job she has do not matter?
    Would I tell her to seek happiness,
    stay up all night laughing and drinking
    and smoking with friends?
    Or would I say nothing?

  17. drwasy


    Here in the city of Believe
    feet crunch on chicken bones.
    Up the metro stairs spare sunlight
    greets at the top &
    the sing-song of boosters
    hawking headphones five bucks
    sour of urine & emptied malts
    Konstant selling his roasted nuts.
    Blood spatters on the Market
    parking lot lead to the hospital
    So many black men with canes
    I wonder why sparrows
    scatter, chipping at an
    upchucked meal & Leo sets
    out his cosmetics & such.
    The postman didn’t raise the flag
    today & cherry blossoms flutter
    in the breeze just like in my ‘hood.


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