2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 8

I hope the poems are coming easy for you this month. I know from experience that some days are easier than others and that if I just show up I never know what will happen: good or bad.

For today’s prompt, write a doodle poem. In my mind, I’m thinking of how I like to doodle when I’m talking on the phone or sitting in a meeting. I used to doodle in my classes when I was younger. So for a poem, I’m thinking this could start off as something small that stays small or builds to epic proportions. Doodle around a bit today. If needed, start by describing something close at hand or within your current field of vision.


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Here’s my attempt at a Doodle Poem:

“I Don’t Know Why I Draw Birds”

But I do. And random skylines
that make little sense. Trees,

of course, without leaves
branching off into various

directions. Faceless people
and people with faces. Fish

swimming in the sky. Hills
covered in fire. Buildings

crumbling. Suns, moons,
and a hundred stars. But

always, somewhere, a bird.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is not really an artist, but he loves doodling and is constantly amazed by the art created by his children. When he was younger, he loved making baskets with materials found in nature, in addition to batik.

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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395 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 8

  1. _Kirk_


    I think I am rehearsing what I would say to her, myself,
    if she were me, at 6 or 11
    artlessness lost in too-late grace.
    The paper maps the cracks and damage
    traced in graphite language and fluid black,
    memorized ephemerally in pulp and pigment.
    Worn again at 17, 21, 27, and 29, now all the time
    this recited disguise of tender skin,
    my young man’s heart, protected,
    tucked beneath the curve of her breast.

  2. hohlwein


    It starts with his name
    one letter on top of the next
    quickly illegible
    the capitals popping out
    from the dark splotch
    like legs
    that become a hat
    or a set of wings
    or just more legs
    if I’m feeling obsessive

    It’s just a habit
    telling the paper
    what echoes in the heart
    sometimes it might be numbers
    numbers large enough to equal

    sometimes a confession
    looping or etched
    a cry into vast terrain of the paper’s surface
    of how lonesome
    how lonesome
    how frustrated with the frustrated self

    quickly illegible
    sprouting leaves or tendrils
    or wheels
    going somewhere
    as some world launches around it
    fitting to the doodle’s dimension, its being

    in this way I can forget
    to attend to what
    I should attend to

    and I worry instead
    about where this millipede or galaxy
    this dark spot of need
    is going, what it might find
    for lunch
    what it might want to feel
    more at home.

  3. annell

    Show Me Your Doodle

    doodle     drawn without thinking    doodler

    one who doodles    a quick sketch    rough draft

    not ready for prime time     for the artist alone     the artist takes paper

    and drawing tool    and draws     without thought of finished work

    a doodle is often   &bsp;a preparatory sketch    silent poetry/without words

    the artist might doodle with pencil    crayon    pen and ink

    charcoal drawing    scribe     scribble

    scribble-scrabble    scrawl     scratch

    daub     doodle    watercolor drawing

    a preparatory drawing    silent poetry     elephants do it

    monkeys do it    sometimes birds do it    everybody does it

    while thinking of something else    genuine    authentic

    often best when artist has left the room     pure     lines are expressive

    no longer self conscious      honest      closest to the way the artist thinks

    part of the visual language     true  &bsp; today the doodle may be the art

    like a finger print     unique    his alone

    April 8, 2016

  4. kglass75

    I Hate Doodling

    I hate the way I doodle.
    Because I want it to be brilliant,
    a work of art.
    But it’s not.
    It’s a mess of grass, trees, “m” birds, and a
    rectangular house with a door and
    two windows, complete with a chimney
    and smoke.
    Occasionally, I break out with a rendition of an
    oak tree beside my stock house.
    But still.
    It’s the same, over and over,
    and I hate it.

  5. grcran

    Doodling Around

    He did a dabble doodle
    and it fiddle faddled right
    or left. He left it dangling
    as it jingle jangled round
    or square. He squared four corners
    of an ordinary urn. And
    learned to use his
    noodle doodle doo.

    gpr crane

    1. ppfautsch24

      My mind doodles rimmed circles in my head.
      Tracing bubbles and thoughts, no words that have rhyme or reason; just freedom.
      Of unconnected and philosophical dreaming.
      My thoughts circle around the rim of a
      glass of crisp white wine.
      As my thoughts become crystal clear and sublime.
      By Pamelap

  6. drwasy


    That first eye
    drawn in gel ink
    fine tip black.
    Lid at half-mast
    spot of white in pupil
    reflects glint of glasses
    overhead incandescence
    ennui with damned
    conference call
    with damned boss
    so-called colleagues
    so-called wife
    two, four, twelve
    eyes populate
    white space &
    they stare back
    & somehow
    you feel less lonely

  7. carollilly

    (Robert & all poets who might read this. My husband took a turn for the worse, so I cut short my doodling & wrote this…)

    Doodle Me This
    By Carolyn Lilly


    The promise of my Savior
    I live on today.
    There is a tomorrow.

  8. Azma

    I Just Can’t

    I’m not a doodle person,
    never comes naturally to me
    thoughts brewing in my mind
    don’t translate easy
    Many a times I’ve found myself
    desperately holding a paper and pen
    “It shouldn’t be tough to improvise
    I’ll get there if I just begin”
    But then I try too hard
    and irk over uneven petals
    I’m not a doodle person.
    That settles.

    -Azma Sheikh

  9. Ency Peterson


    I sit bored as I wait
    Can’t help myself
    On the blank page before me
    I take a pencil and mark

    The lines take a life of their own
    the swirls expand to create
    a picture of their own
    A masterpiece from a doodle

    I can’t stop the connections
    I can’t remove the pencil
    I don’t remember why
    I was so bored before

  10. pcm

    To Be or To Dew

    Lithesome glowed the morning dew
    on pine bough, grass and shed
    its glimmer, she never knew
    as she snuggled in her bed
    beneath covers that she drew
    glory high above her head
    outside dogs barked, birds flew
    in sunshine arose in red
    while apiece she slept anew
    to dream of love instead.

  11. mjdills

    Downtown Doodle

    Waiting for bus,
    Vapers everywhere, pipes with agendas
    and vampires, too
    ghostly people, commuters
    H&M big posters in the sky
    hoist muscled men into air, swing, back, forth
    on leads with giant hooks, keep them from
    falling on
    Comic conners,
    Conning comics
    Convention in town
    all weekend
    Costumed Spiderman, woman, child
    Men in utilikilts
    stovepipe hats
    Faeries, Highlanders
    Admen, messengers
    Barristers and baristas
    Buddhists selling peace for dollars
    Ice green tiny convertible jockeys with
    Swaying supersized semi
    No scratches, just honkhonkhonkhonkhonkhonk
    Cowboys, flower ladies and
    one man with a bible and
    a BIG message
    Starbucks cup rolls into the gutter
    Caught by breeze caused by
    My bus
    Free way

  12. shellkaysm


    No rhyme to the swirls and loops
    No reason to the starbursts
    And yet a pattern always emerges
    A moment’s visit
    Inside a mind’s erratic rhythm
    Connections amidst the disconnect

  13. pamschwetz

    That Notepad

    I doodled lots as a kid
    when I was on the phone
    took that note pad yes I did
    and made it all my own

    I liked to draw Snoopy
    and rainbows with clouds
    a beagle named Barney
    looked just like he sounds

    I’d draw weird shapes
    in the corner of a page
    and expand in weird ways
    man I miss those daze

    Pam Schwetz

  14. pipersfancy


    Doodles was a Rabbit
    your Doodle Bunny
    or simply Doodles—
    beloved stuffie with
    soft brown ears and
    thread-bare coat
    snuggled warmly beneath
    your chin each night.

    Do you remember
    when you were three
    and Doodles grew teeth?

    Doodles bit me!
    you cried
    tumbling clumsily
    down the flight of stairs
    and into my arms
    that frosty winter night.

    And sure enough
    Doodles was stuck tight
    to your index finger
    as if she were biting.

    But of course
    Doodles was a gentle
    soul (just like you)
    and it wasn’t in her
    nature to bite anyone
    or anything
    other than
    an imaginary carrot
    or a real piece
    of carrot cake
    which both of your
    always enjoyed
    on your birthdays—
    yours on May 24
    and hers on April 1.

    You always
    made it quite clear—
    Doodles was a girl
    and you, a boy.
    It seems fair to say
    that Doodles was
    your first true love…

    but I digress.

    Here we are
    still needing
    to resolve the issue
    of Doodles
    biting you because

    Well, there she was
    stuck to your finger
    with you in tears
    and I
    sleepy from a
    too-long day
    preparing for a
    too-short night

    both of us

    You and I sat
    on the couch and
    I spoke to Doodles
    asking her
    why in the world
    she was biting
    your finger.

    Being a rabbit
    she said nothing
    but pointed
    to the ribbon
    around her neck
    and in the small space
    between neck and ribbon
    a small finger—yours—
    had been stuck
    and twisted
    and twisted some more
    until that finger
    had become hopelessly
    tangled and caught
    snared in a bunny’s
    orange ribbon.

    Out came the
    embroidery scissors.

    No Mommy! No!
    you pleaded
    Don’t cut Doodles’
    head off!

    Just the ribbon
    I said
    and your finger
    was purple
    but free.

    And then
    we three
    Doodles and you
    and I
    headed to beds
    for a good night’s

  15. Valkyri

    “Doodle” was a game we played
    when I was very small:
    mommy or I would draw a scribble,
    and the next turn used it all.
    We would have to create a picture
    the other player could see-
    and even when I made a snake
    mommy said the winner was me!

  16. Robert Stanhope

    Doodle A Damsel
    By Robert Stanhope

    Doodling my darling,
    A damsel I desire,
    Destined to be my wife.

    Round eyes and lush lips,
    Flowing locks and childbearing hips,
    She’s the one for me.

    We’ll marry in a church,
    On a hilltop in the countryside,
    Surrounded by family.

    A ring on her slender hand,
    A bouquet as delicate as her skin,
    Tossed in the wind.

    Doodling my darling,
    A damsel I admire,
    One day a dream come true.

    (c) 2016 Robert Stanhope

  17. Alpha1


    If only I knew Bianca better

    This boring seminar not easy
    Staying focused

    If only about her
    The what
    The why is he looking
    At me
    Talking at me like
    I’m a Yankee doodle
    Dandy fool or
    The same thing
    Yes sir
    Oh yes
    I’m not from around here
    And this seminar
    Is boring

    Not easy staying focused
    My attention is occupied
    On Bianca

  18. MichelleMcEwen

    A Doodlin’ Poem

    I find myself
    doodling you

    in indigo
    & blue

    I’m missing you.

    I always start
    with the lips

    & sometimes
    that’s it.

  19. maxie409

    Zen Garden

    In new-age bookstores
    they sell little boxes containing
    a tray, a small bag of sand, a tiny rake.
    The object is to pour the sand into the tray
    and use the rake to swirl and doodle,
    make creative patterns.
    A calming meditation.

    My tray is deep and wide.
    I lift the sand, shift the sand,
    swoop and twirl, swirl and doodle,
    make creative patterns, meditate.
    And then my cat pees
    in his Zen garden.

  20. P.A. Beyer

    Weekly Check-ins

    Downward trends
    Operational efficiency
    Organizational charts
    Detailed sales report
    Lessons in management
    Exit strategies
    Sales forecasts
    Asset management
    Real estate investments
    Fraudulent practices
    Universal principles
    New product launches

    These are the muse
    of a doodler

  21. cbwentworth

    waiting for a friend
    doodling napkin

    sketching birds
    wings tucked and outstretched
    the pencil scrapes

    I must look sad
    the barista drew a smile
    by my name

    little pink hearts
    trickle down the margin
    bored in math

  22. Pat Walsh

    doodle words
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    sometimes when i was bored
    back when i thought
    i was too smart to listen
    to someone else’s lecture
    i used to draw words
    on my notebooks

    looking at the big letters
    wavy and round and riddled
    with weird swiss cheese
    gaps and gashes
    people probably thought
    i was crazy

    the words were just words
    back then when i drew them
    randomly from the boredom
    that i thought i needed
    to show everyone else
    how cool i was

    melted and moldy and squished
    they were more doodles
    than real words
    that cluttered my pages
    whenever my attention
    began to wander

    and if you could see them now
    you could probably point out
    the exact moment
    when i finally began to listen
    to words drawn more carefully
    than my own

  23. Thedeb

    Caged words come to pass
    only in the darkness of night,
    and behind closed eyelids.
    For where is bravado
    in the daytime?
    Surely it is hidden,
    buried deep ,
    beneath fears of rejection and failure.

  24. Jacqueline Hellandback


    i’m gonna doodle me sexy
    skinny, chesty, tall and hot
    all the things that I am not

    i’m gonna doodle me brave
    i was born with no cojones
    i’m a girl (no pantalones)

    i’m gonna doodle me rich
    lotto player / lotto winner
    friends with brad and angelina

    i’m gonna doodle me healthy
    no more vertigo! i can run!
    i can spin ’round! so much fun!

    i’m gonna me doodle me grateful
    click delete on some of the above
    i can breathe – that is enough

  25. Melahlah

    What shall I doodle?
    I don’t know

    Shall I doodle a flower?
    Shall I doodle a face?
    Shall I doodle a horsey
    In a horsey race?

    Maybe a banana,
    Maybe a squirrel,
    Maybe a kitty
    and a little girl

    I love to doodle,
    How about you?

  26. stargypsy

    Doodle Dreams

    All my life I have wanted to be able to
    take pen in hand a draw things … anything
    I envy the experienced doodlers who can
    draw anything at will while sitting in class
    a meeting, talking on the phone, or just
    for the hell of it whenever they choose

    I doodle … kind of …
    I can draw a 3-D box
    A star without lifting my pen
    Hearts … who can’t
    But nothing cute like a
    buzzing bee or a flower
    waiting for the bee

    Adult coloring books
    have saved my life…
    Someone did the amazing
    doodles and I get to
    color them in to my
    heart’s delight …

    So for all of you amazing
    doodlers out there …
    I tip my hat and look
    over your shoulder in
    that boring meeting to
    live vicariously through
    the pen in your hand …

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

  27. Julieann

    Machine Doodling

    You doodle feathers
    And scrolls, Celtic knots
    Dogs and cats
    Houses and leaves
    You can doodle anything
    With a pen or pencil
    On a scrap of paper

    I doodle feathers
    And scrolls, Celtic knots
    Dogs and cats
    Houses and leaves
    I can doodle anything
    With a sewing machine
    On fabric

    I am a quilter

  28. skanet

    This one needs work, but I need sleep. Perfection’s not the point of this challenge anyway!


    The first step is to find a word
    A word that means something
    More than words
    Then the word must breath, exhale.
    It spills itself, like ink on fabric
    Expanding until the color is recognizable
    As a feeling, building
    It bleeds onto my heart.
    See if I can give it a home
    Allow it to subsume and supplant
    To fill in, to take the helm
    It rides me and I submit.
    I let go
    And this doodle becomes fully itself
    Driving us, as one
    To a resolution.

  29. Nancy Posey

    I drew a little inspiration from a college friend who was caught drawing faces on candy corn in a large lecture class. He eventually sold his cartoon series to Disney.


    Where in the world is this kind of foolishness
    going to take you? the professor demanded.
    Startled, he had looked up from his notebook,
    margins full where his restless hand moved
    as his mind engaged. His alphabet reached
    far beyond the twenty-six letters fettering
    most note takers. Photosynthesis grew
    roots and limbs and rays of sunshine. Pi,
    that mysterious, untamable number, crept
    around the page, slipping onto the back
    to continue its mischief. He remembered
    the scenes, the shapes, as simple penciled
    black and grey on white bloomed in color
    inside his brain. Ideas grew arms and legs,
    acting out the scenes from history. Nothing
    escaped him if he captured in on the page.

    Years later, looking up from his drawing
    table where houses, temples, schools
    began, he wishes for a second chance
    to answer the man who failed to see
    beyond his own chalkboard: Everywhere!

  30. amaranthe


    The tulips cupping the secrets
    of the faeries all night
    contain these dark gauzy footsteps
    for three weeks.
    Three weeks is a long time
    to hold discarded woes
    and pretend it doesn’t hurt.
    The winter was kinder underground
    until spring came and bade the
    baby bulbs to grow and sprout vibrant
    cups to capture all the airy life.

  31. Friend

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
    everyone you go—unfortunately
    it is Easter, and the snow covers the fresh buds.
    Scary—the wheat may die—what kind of season
    is this?

  32. Catherine Conley

    Reading instructions: Start at “It” in the center, and spiral yourself out.


    its it
    own hand then
    thing busy your But
    which while keep to.
    distracts you way tion
    you listen a atten-
    from to as should
    the some- starts really
    matter one It. you
    at drone on about things

    Catherine Conley

  33. Angie5804

    In my time machine
    I go back to the middle ages
    To be a scribe making illuminated manuscripts
    I spend hours doodling
    With lots of vines and leaves and flowers
    Letters with curlicues
    Margins filled with mountains and sunsets
    Palm trees and tornadoes
    Sprinkled with geometrics
    Layered in vibrant colors
    At the end of the day
    I put away my inks
    And head for the tavern
    A good day’s work done

  34. LCaramanna

    No Wonder She Doodled

    Science book pages
    adorned with beautiful flowers
    pencil sketched
    in between the lines
    as a lesson about mealworms,
    dried-up never to morph into darkling beetles mealworms,
    No wonder in science
    the book cover
    was adorned with
    of a child who daydreamed
    artful flowers
    in living colors.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  35. WildThing

    Doodling Adrift

    Monotone voice
    Droning hypnotically
    No window stuffy
    Mind seeks escape
    Inky swirls begin

    Slowly at first
    Without pattern
    Then with thought
    Design takes form
    Switching colors

    Simple becomes I
    ntricate lines
    Repeating themselves
    A zig here
    Then a zag

    Drunken lines
    Circles pirouette
    Now a concert
    Of shape and lines
    Alive and full

    Bell rings back
    Chairs scrape
    Art becomes
    Just a bookmark

    Wild Thing ©2016
    This poem can be seen with it’s photo at https://wildthing404.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/doodling-adrift/

  36. mapoet

    The Shape of Things

    Shapes help me
    shape my thoughts.
    Triangles make points.
    Squares even things out.
    Rectangles present the
    long and short of topics.
    Circles take me ’round
    and ’round until an
    octagon makes us stop.

    By Michelle Pond

  37. Friend

    “Buy me my freedom, Please,” he said
    every day, though presumably in French.
    He was no mistreated, and what would become of him
    if he went back to his old village, but still,
    that simplified dignified request,
    moved the hearts of the hardened aviators,
    and they bought him free, and even
    gave him a small collection
    so he would not start in the world naked–but he,
    unable to bear the lightness of freedom,
    gave away the gift money
    to be tied to other humans.
    This is from Wind, Sand, and Stars–I will need to check the details if I ever do more with it. I need to re-read that book anyway.

  38. artifiswords


    This artist
    Doesn’t doodle
    And he rarely draws
    He never kept
    A sketchbook
    A journal seems
    Ideas shuttle
    Through his mind
    Waking him as
    Now at times…
    Breaking with
    Tradition not
    A problem
    Nor going
    The flow
    It’s the process…

    When untidy
    Scraps of paper
    Flutter from
    His pockets
    His thoughts
    Will be seen
    By others’ eyes…
    You’ll be
    In the know…
    Or you wait
    To see his
    (He hopes)
    His fully formed
    Ideas revealed
    I don’t doodle, but…
    When I must, I draw
    In my mind

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    Posted also to:

  39. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    oddles of doodles:
    piddling puddles and poodles,
    cats and bats and rats and gnats,
    houses and mouses and mooses and gooses;
    cars, and stars, and hours of flowers,

  40. deringer1


    An old man who lived near the bay
    claimed he never knew quite what to say.
    ‘Stead of “How Do You Do?”
    he’d say, “Doodle Do?”
    And whistle as he walked away.

  41. Tom Hayes


    My brain is likely linear,
    summing numbers in columns,
    lining words up in rows.
    I prefer straight line solutions
    with no convolutions.
    Doodling is exercise,
    like yoga for my brain,
    stretching right angles
    into curves
    without giving it a strain.
    Making marks with no measure,
    meandering lines,
    apparently meaningless,
    nurtures my other side.
    I might even do
    a curly cue –
    Just for Balance !

    — by Tom Hayes ©2016

  42. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Old Doodle was a friend of mine,
    He lived just over the hill;
    He’s been gone for nine years now,
    But his house is up there still.
    He ran the flower shop in town,
    Till his old lady wore him down,
    There never was a kinder man around,
    Than Doodle, Doodle McGill.

    Old Doodle did the daily grind,
    Six days every week;
    Weddings, proms, and Mother’s Days,
    Each bouquet unique.
    Arrangements for the hospital,
    Sprays for every funeral,
    Didn’t matter, big or little,
    That was Doodle, Doodle McGill.

    One day Doodle opened up,
    It was his last day at the store,
    His wife came in with both barrels blaming;
    He won’t be opening any more.

    Old Doodle’s downstate doing time,
    Life without parole;
    A model prisoner since day one,
    Not one day in the hole.
    Teaching cons the ins and outs
    What arranging flowers is all about,
    There never was a single doubt,
    It was Doodle, Doodle McGill;
    Old Doodle, Doodle, McGill.

  43. Linda Voit


    They live in the margins
    and speak in visions.
    They may be less understood
    but they are not less important
    than the nearby letters gathered
    carefully between the lines
    leaning rigidly to the right.

    Linda Voit

  44. MiMiOHearn

    My New Doodle Pad

    This afternoon I bought a new pad and
    thought I would doodle a poem. But
    what the hell is doodle a poem? Does
    that mean I write it upside down,
    sideways, or in some ancient writing?
    Doodle means “absentminded”.

    I was in the present. So, I wrote this poem,
    drew a flower,initials, a grocery list, and my
    agenda for Saturday. Grateful
    for my new doddle pad. I will keep it
    in the car for red lights.

  45. KatesBookshelf

    Robert, amazing poem this morning. And thank goodness for it because I wasn’t even sure where to start had you not had yours typed up.

    A doodley poem
    A doodle starts between those moments
    when my pen doesn’t write words
    a swooping line arching up, back down
    a thought on the very verge
    but then the lines are not letters wound
    tight in stories, now swooping back up
    down and forth, a seam of lines
    out come the pearls so close up
    little drops of caviar so aligned
    a poke leaf or two, not a poem
    but a symphony of swirls and drops
    No thought, no rules, only gems
    of black lines impatient stops.


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