2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

For today’s prompt, write a description poem. Pick someone or something to describe. Get in depth, or just brush along the surface.


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Here’s my attempt at a Description poem:


So simple really:
One arm attached
to another,

and they cut
when they come


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

As a Cub Scout leader and Sunday school teacher (and, well, a father), he spends a lot of time with the essentials of arts & crafts: paper, tape, crayons, glue, and scissors.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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101 thoughts on “2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

  1. Jane Shlensky

    On Bass Lake

    The dabblers turn their butts up
    to bright sky, their webbed feet
    still paddling air, as they forage
    in the shallows among water lilies.

    Fat swans, their black masks
    like goggles, their necks curved into
    question marks, glower imperiously
    at the lesser feathered.

    Handsome pairs of mallards, the missus
    in her brown tweed coat, the drake sporting
    his green cap and string tie, tuck their beaks
    into their prosperous breasts.

    Mud ducks, coots, and teals cluster in teams
    sporting splashes of color like jerseys, all
    floating like feathered ice burgs, upright, then
    upside down, searching in the mud for truth.

  2. Jane Shlensky

    November Morning

    Gusts of cold wind slap my ears and face,
    listing cedars and spruces on the hillside,
    rocking porch swings and welcome signs.

    Power poles stand frozen, arms angling
    along a road dropped like a ribbon
    through these mountains, where

    among the naked gray tree trunks,
    birch limbs wave like girls in white dresses
    in spring or like flags of surrender in winter.

  3. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Moonlight through curtains caresses your face,
    Washes the pillow where you rest your head,
    And holds you in its blue-silver brace.
    Moonlight through curtains caresses your face
    And traces the shadows cast by the lace
    Framing the window beside you in bed.
    Moonlight through curtains caresses your face;
    Washes the pillow where you rest your head.

  4. uvr

    A Performance

    Silks swish
    heels click
    voices murmur

    Sounds settle

    Lights dim
    a hush falls
    pure notes swell
    into the silence
    rise and fall

    The heart soars
    the body thrills
    as the bow
    caresses strings
    evoking emotions
    resonating in the soul

    The hall fills
    with dulcet strains
    ascending to a
    pinnacle of perfection

    Then all falls quiet
    before applause
    collides with the rafters

    And the music
    continues to play

  5. RJ Clarken

    A Secret Chord

    “It goes like this/the fourth, the fifth/the minor fall, the major lift/the baffled king composing Hallelujah.” ~Leonard Cohen

    I wonder if it’s really true:
    a secret chord in grey or blue,
    or maybe just another shade of tune
    to croon when it is played.

    They say that it’s in Major C.
    Perhaps that is the master key,
    but I’m no expert in this field. It shows
    through prose. It’s been revealed.

    We’re orchestrated. Intervals
    of devils, angels, lush earfuls.
    Where faith plays unexpected notes, then whim’s
    the hymn with no end-quotes.

    It’s cold. It’s broken. Let’s describe
    a hallelujah diatribe.
    And that is why the power of the song’s
    so strong while there’s still love.


  6. DMK

    Jon Warren Veteran

    you left the trip to the holy land
    enlisted fought lead
    emailed with those back home
    I was one of those
    fear, fire, attack
    some of your friends didn’t come back
    your tour up flew back home to a place not congruent any more
    welcome home flashbacks of your experiences in war came
    your pretty face didn’t save you from post trauma
    found yourself some help called to speak in the capital house
    now you’re a national speaker still leading and a voice
    for our wounded warriors
    could not be prouder of you
    Jon Warren Veteran
    flag salute

  7. DMK

    Bar alley out back
    by Dawn Kvernenes

    he not knowing quite who I am or was still
    was still in that situation he was my friend
    my friend asked if he could borrow a cigarette
    a cigarette laced it with powder asked if I wanted a toke
    I politely said no to this bar’s buddy
    this bar’s buddy said, ‘are you sure’ I said, ‘no go ahead’
    ahead he went I shouldn’t be doing this I know
    I know then nodded at he as he smoked the blow
    smoked the blow I said. ‘I do not care if you want to take that stuff’
    that stuff, this, that is not right, you are my friend you should care
    care i should he was right “Do not take it it is bad for you” I said
    I said and after he smoked ‘thanks’ said he
    he made colorful metaphoric language
    of what he wanted to do with me later
    later found out I am a pastor
    “I am in trouble big trouble aren’t I”said he
    he probably won’t offer again he went back in he did
    did let him know he was still my friend
    my friend ” I am not going to do those things
    those things that lead to end even if your my friend’

  8. lsteadly


    yesterday your hint of breath
    hardly roused the rusting leaves,
    lulling us to lazy stays
    and meanderings

    then today, your howls
    shove through the window panes,
    warning us that winter
    wants to break in

    tomorrow you will tell us
    untold tales of gales and zephyrs,
    what or where we cannot know
    for certain

    how fickle your flight plan
    as you traverse the earth,
    in one place a twister
    another the doldrums
    your presence always noted
    even when you are not

  9. bethwk

    Ginger Tom
    by Beth Weaver-Kreider

    Golden in golden light,
    he shines among the leaves
    (golden like the autumn sun itself
    slanting through sycamore),
    he wades through layers
    of leaves in the yard.

  10. writinglife16


    My father
    went to Korea
    A country boy
    who did not like boats.
    When reminiscing
    he seemed more outraged
    about the two long trips
    on water
    than the bullets that had been
    fired at him.

  11. taylor graham


    Along the dry creek, cottonwoods turn gold
    where the freeway’s forgotten there are trees.
    Here, new grass is pushing green through the old
    dead stubble. A horse is grazing at her ease.
    I came this way escaping out of town –
    three-way stops, one-way streets, the angry horns –
    a place I think a quiet soul might drown.
    I parked my car and walked beside the thorns
    of berry bramble with its wizened fruit.
    I missed its sweetness and the purple stain
    to prove that August pleasure can be mute
    as waiting for a breeze or first fall rain.
    I parked my car and may forget it’s there
    beyond a leaning fence, a placid mare.

  12. SarahLeaSales


    Her face and figure were such
    that they blended into the backdrop
    of the Deep South like white-lily camouflage,
    but when she spoke her mind,
    she found her way into the crawl space
    of their hearts.
    Like a thorn,
    she would prick those hearts,
    this Queen of the least of these,
    placing them in a waking sleep—
    unlike that of Princess Aurora’s—
    her words echoing
    in their chambers.

  13. terri9869

    Bi-polar Express

    Welcome aboard
    the Bi-polar Express.
    Where we are in
    constant movement.
    You’ll see the famous
    hearts pounding
    on the right.
    There they go again,
    bugs crawling across
    the tracks.
    Did you see the
    thoughts running laps
    next to the waterfall
    of tears.
    Sign coming… no
    Interest bear right.
    Downhill too
    I’m Sorry Way.
    Next stop
    Frustrated Rd and
    Agitation Circle.
    Sign on left says
    bear, left for
    Fatigue way.
    End of line
    Suicide Lane.

    Copyright © TMC 2016

  14. DMK

    insanity speaks violence
    by Dawn Kvernenes

    denial, blaming, minimization and dehumanizing speech
    Insanity speaks
    raging violent fugue state
    advise from your friendly clowns
    go out drink or use wear your gown
    insanity speaks never listens
    what harm could it do?
    it is not a problem.
    an epitaph written by you
    insanity speaks violence
    it is everyone one else has a problem
    they lie about you its a mistake
    bumping me with your chest in hall
    there is no one for me to call
    blocking the pass; the door to safety
    seems to escape me
    I try not to listen or take the bate
    those voices you hear are full of hate
    I can not relate or answer them
    I do not speak demon
    insanity speaking in your head
    people around you are soul dead
    yet, those voices you listen to faithfully
    insanity speaks very loudly
    it is not my dragon to kill or tame
    stop it with all the blame
    it is your denial game
    slay your dragon who is eating your children
    it is not your friend
    just as I said
    insanity speaks loudly
    until everyone is dead

  15. Valkyri


    The heavy scent of saltwashed air
    is stirring in the swirling mists…
    around my ankles is the feeling
    that a cool October breeze is on the way.
    An unseen crow caws to find its mate in the fog:
    his highwire perch is lost in this thickness…
    The cold grey Atlantic makes me feel small
    as the waves crash against the time-hewn boulders…
    The world of yellow granite and steel grey is gone for now.
    It is a mercy to be so invisible.

  16. Misky

    The Soggy Black

    I’ve closed the door on autumn; frost touched
    everything with its soggy black last night.
    The central heating is back on, its stuttering
    pilot light is an oracle’s flame, and

    the radiators argue and curse and creak
    with winter music, give birth to galloping
    noises in my restless sleep. There’s no
    gentle night music coming from our furnace.

    And the plumber still doesn’t know why it’s
    so noisy. It’s not like your hot belly coal
    burning beast that crowded the dusty basement,
    a rumbling harmony that coaxes you to sleep.

    As a kid, I was afraid of its bulk, its
    fiery hell and apocalyptic reach, those
    outstretched arms up and into floor vents
    upstairs. An odd child, I was, so fearful

    of that furnace. So long ago that time
    deafens such fright, those memories are
    a shapeless hat now, shapeless and
    fluid as my dahlias weakened from frost.

  17. deringer1

    they are so blue today
    hiding behind storm clouds
    and crying
    while in the valley by
    the river
    there is singing and rejoicing
    for the blessing of a cool day
    as we stand in the rain
    faces upturned
    while the blue hills pout
    and want the sun to
    make them pink again

  18. deringer1

    not so very old, but hair of white,
    thinly framing a furrowed face,
    strong of mouth, bright blue of eye,
    her walk said, “I am strong”.
    always working with
    brown, calloused hands,
    put me first

  19. madeline40

    It reeks of phony:
    The long blond hair
    Brushed across his head
    And down to his neck.
    How can a seventy-year-old guy
    Have corn-colored hair?
    Maybe just to go with
    His orange complexion.
    Only a toupee could
    Behave like that.

  20. Jolly2

    by John Yeo

    A tiny spark of dormancy waits for revival,
    Encased in a fuzzy cloud of mundanity.
    When time and the mixture of conditions allow
    Growth begins from within the uncertainty.
    A creation of beauty is coming slowly together.

    The beauty and the perils that await the entity,
    As a fragile life becomes stronger with time.
    The magical moment when a muddle of words
    Takes a solid shape in a rough draft outline.
    A creation shaped slowly with poetical guidance.

    Words encased with fine vibrancy, line by line.
    Ringing through the portals of the poets mind.
    The entity that grew from a shapeless design.
    A thing of beauty with strength and fluidity
    Produced and nurtured from a tiny seedling.
    A vision; then the growth of beauty in words.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

  21. headintheclouds87

    (I chose to describe the strange cat ornament that sits on my desk – one of those weird knick-knacks that I don’t recall from where or when I came to possess it, but that I have formed quite an attachment to! – pictured here:
    https://scribblingsofstu.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/the-knick-knack-cat.png?w=656 )

    Knick-Knack Cat

    With its beady, crooked eyes
    It sits and judges at my desk
    Willing me to write more,
    My totem of motivation,
    My muse in trinket form;
    My little red knick-knack cat.

    It’s a feline of bizarre colour,
    Pale-red fur with little white dots
    And sporadic patches of yellow and black,
    With back arched and ready to pounce
    In a position likely defying physics
    Or at the least, very uncomfortable.

    I cannot recall where I obtained it
    Or indeed even exactly when,
    But it is my constant companion,
    The impromptu mascot of my desk
    Which always finds its way there
    Each and every time I move home.

  22. taylor graham

    Sept. 13 opening ceremonies

    It’s the voice of metal chipped
    out of bedrock
    and foundry alloyed.
    It rings silent music as crowds of nations
    wildly dance under its tower,
    waving flags and gold-
    pans and the clanging brassy bands
    march heads-down under, past it,
    and beyond.
    There will be a champion
    but the bell was raised to clangor, to call
    midnight alarm.
    Four-square steel, windmill construction
    tall enough so the crowning bell
    would tower over all the buildings around,
    so Main Street wouldn’t muffle
    its peal
    that meant the town was burning down.
    Chief was Wonderly,
    the Foundry carried it out.
    Horse trough and drinking fountain
    rested under square shade cast at noon
    by the tower’s cap –
    umbrella for the bell. Schoolgirls
    met after classes, gossip safe under the bell.
    In an old photo, ladies with parasols
    and hoop-skirts cluster around at the bell’s
    first ringing. Those bright,
    wide skirts. Life so very flammable.

  23. PowerUnit

    My Mug

    My morning maw of motivation maintenance
    A fire-hardened rock
    A liquid lover that sips on life
    A great handle, on the trends
    It is essential, to my well-being
    It is vital, to my happiness
    I toast of tastefulness, I boast
    Of wastefulness
    A Saturday morning reading club, I host
    My own internal parties
    I get more out of it than I pour in
    And it gets more out of me than I bleed out
    Shakes me awake, yet grounds me
    With its fragile weight

  24. Michelle Hed

    What Am I?

    Sitting there, looking so pretty…
    but to really see the depths of its beauty
    you would need a microscope.

    Each one is a piece of jeweled art…
    with lines and circles
    intersecting to make amazing shapes.

    You can touch them…
    I suppose you can smell and hear them
    but some might argue that you cannot.

    You can eat them…
    and thousands of people do
    every year.

    What am I?

  25. Walter J Wojtanik


    Stand up and bow my incandescent friend,
    your job is important and it never ends.
    When you carry a load you provide illumination,
    saving us all from a darkness infestation.
    You did well in school, your reasons were right,
    you needn’t have studied, you were always so bright.
    You light up my kitchen and my Christmas tree,
    my landscape and cellar, I’m glad I can see.
    My toes and shins thank you, I have no more bruises
    you stay on the job (long as there are fuses.)
    I need you around for all that is viewed,
    but, for you to work you have to get screwed!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  26. ReathaThomasOakley


    Molly and James, born two weeks apart,
    boon companions, playmates, keepers
    of each other’s secrets these last ten years,
    but, this summer past we noticed
    a change is taking place.
    James looks about the same as nine,
    handsome boy with tousled hair and
    that big mischievous grin.
    Molly’s hair is long and sleek,
    tiny gold stars adorn each ear lobe,
    her plaid shirt is carefully
    tucked into her jeans just so.
    We took them, and an older cousin,
    to the high school play, Seven Brides
    for Seven Brothers kept Molly mesmerized,
    while James made paper planes from
    the torn apart program. I can hardly wait
    to see what year eleven holds.

  27. Anthony94

    28 July, 2012

    He is short enough to stare into
    my eyes, sandy hair sparse, flannel
    shirt secured by suspenders. I am
    grabbing a few things at the Walmart, racing
    aisles without a cart, when I meet him
    at the end of the detergent aisle:
    Am I bothering you? he barks,

    his voice almost lost to gutturals,
    unintelligible accents my brain refuses
    to translate. Still clutching my items,
    I assure him he’s not. Catch his next
    sentence clearly:
    You don’t seem very happy.

    A raw statement of incontrovertible fact.

    I edge to the right, smiling, chattering
    gasping at the truth: I’m fine, I say. We’re fine,
    It’s all good. But his next line won’t be
    put to rest:
    In the morning, when you get up
    don’t forget to put on your wings!

    He vanished then, in the glut of Saturday morning
    shoppers, and though I knew he was
    surely there,
    he wasn’t.

  28. Walter J Wojtanik


    She calls it crazy,
    a vision of her condition.
    Seeing things in a view
    slightly askew, but always
    true to her heart.
    Filled with a passion
    for words erotic, suggestive,
    elastic and caressing,
    professing all that lives within.
    My sin is the grin I wear
    when I dare to exchange my crazy
    with hers.I am not afraid to say.
    Words play and explore and it is sure,
    one girl’s crazy is another boy’s awe!
    Maybe that’s my flaw. But she knows,
    I’m crazy too!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  29. Bushkill

    Saline Surprise

    Shimmering and sparkling
    In the light of a noonday sun
    You travel with majesty.

    No different at night,
    With moon beams of light
    To set your motion a-glow.

    Some big, some small
    All have the power
    To overwhelm us all.

    I wave to you,
    Sometimes gentle giants,
    As you wash ashore.

  30. Walter J Wojtanik


    Your stay has been completed,
    you have competed with your muse
    and used every word to your advantage.
    You had managed to reach deep within,
    within yourself and within all of us.
    Your voice laced with gravel and I
    would marvel at your wisdom, your heart.
    Every poetic lyric spoke to me
    poked my sensibilities with the ability
    to express what truly lived within my chest.
    Here are tears from Suzanne and I.
    We cry for our loss, not for your prize.
    You are the (wise) man, everybody knows.
    It’s a cold and lonely Halleluja!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    Leonard Cohen – 1934-2016

  31. JanetRuth

    Awful, Awful Cost of War (for both sons and daughters)

    Beneath your ribs
    Pulses the heart
    Of a boy, a brother,
    A mother’s son (or daughter)
    But, instead of
    A baseball bat
    They are teaching you
    How to hold a gun
    And on your cheek,
    Your smooth, young cheek
    Instead of a kiss
    From a sweetheart dear
    You are about
    To taste firsthand
    The awful gall
    Of mud-and-blood tear
    And many of you
    Will never see
    The Freedom
    You are fighting for
    Your youthful vim and
    The awful, awful
    Cost of war

  32. Walter J Wojtanik


    A trusting soul
    softer and shapely
    in any shape
    different in demeanor,
    with a heart full of love.
    She is gentle, serener,
    nurturing, most caring,
    hopeful and compassionate,
    warm, teaching healer,
    reaching feeler
    ego stroker, rib poker,
    friend and companion,
    mother and playmate, explorer,
    inspirational, perpetual
    poetic foil, combatant,
    mostly her own woman,
    an offering, arousing
    blessed gift from God,
    an improvement on any man.
    Improving me for sure.
    Whoever she is, I need her!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  33. Pwriter10

    MICKEY MOUSE by DeAndre Oolong

    Sometimes the simplest drawings
    depict a culture.

    Anyone with a pen and scraps
    can recreate him.

    Every child can recognize
    his shadow.

    Sometimes, we even
    vote for him
    for president.

  34. Jezzie


    Turquoise seas below azure skies,
    from foaming white waves surfers rise,
    surf rolls out onto golden sands,
    cool ice cream cornets in kid’s hands.

    Squawking seagulls menacingly
    swarm as we stroll around the quay
    casually, watching fishing ships
    eating a pasty or fish and chips.

    Grey craggy rocks still stand up proud,
    as stormy waves crash, fierce and loud,
    howling gales, blown from squally seas,
    whip up the sands, bend windswept trees.

    Cool babbling brooks that run through bowers
    in lush green gardens, full of flowers
    of yellow, blue, red, mauve or peach,
    turn into streams trickling down the beach.

    Peace and quiet where no-one goes,
    narrow lanes with wildflower hedgerows,
    cliff top walks with breeze in your hair,
    clotted cream teas in the fresh air.

    Salty sea smells, seashells, wood smoke,
    air that blows away fumes that choke,
    happy folk, laughing children too,
    delights of Cornwall, in my view.

  35. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    gracefully elegant in tattered clothes
    sitting cloaked in silent warmth
    hands wrapped around the teacup
    eyes focused on the past
    not observing life spinning round
    memory occupies reality now
    happy days when children snuggled close
    voiceless companions in a land unbalance
    by the sudden death of neurons

  36. PressOn


    Wear was ever lurking there
    in wrinkles, carved by reaching years,
    that showed the residue of care:
    a knobby hand brushing grey hair;
    perhaps a hint of sometime tears.

    But nonetheless her youthful eyes
    were free of guile, and all the while
    she held in readiness a prize
    that utterly transformed her guise:
    the small explosion of her smile.