2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

For today’s prompt, pick a popular saying, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “May the Force Be With You,” “It’s a Bird; It’s a Plane; It’s Superman,” “Just Do It,” or “Break a Leg.” I hope you break many legs with this prompt–in a poetic sense.


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Here’s my attempt at a Popular Saying poem:

“Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire”

And lately, there’s been a lot of smoke
in the Southeast. I can see it in the air
and feel it in my lungs like pollen in spring.

It’s funny how nature has a way of
letting you know what’s going to come,
whether it’s a red dawn or evening,

whether it’s the coming blossoms,
the impending harvest, or the fires
that won’t stop without a good rain.


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.

He is encouraged by the air quality the past few days and is hoping for a good rain.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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89 thoughts on “2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    the snake oil peddler
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    he has the charms of a snake-oil peddler
    handsome, worldly and sharp.
    he flashes around Lamborghini’s
    and finds reasons to carp.

    his suit is knockoff perfect
    his confidence would sell tours.
    he sells government conspiracies
    he believes in miracle cures.

    he dabbles in stocks and commodities
    he runs a time shares ruse.
    the con could invoke scout’s honor
    and still take you for a cruise.

    he can manipulate your savings
    then hocus pocus it all away,
    With a smile and a firm handshake
    you’d never know that you’d been preyed.

    he romanticates rich widows
    and trolls for retirees
    he parasites poor dreamers
    with calculating ease.

    the man hobnobs with politicians
    and dines with royalty
    he holidays with socialites
    then bed their wives and nannies.

    he’s got the morals of a gator
    indifference of a flea
    the ethics of a Judas,
    the judgment of a bookie.

    a charlatan wrapped in gold dust
    his days are numbered last
    shenanigans has but a shelf life
    and his are coming fast.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. PSC in CT

    The Grass is Always Greener…

    We were broken before Brexit.
    Don’t believe it?
    Just ask the blacks, the Jews,
    the “you know whos”; all of those
    kikes, dykes, spicks, micks –

    It really stinks,
    don’t you think?
    what they say
    is true:
    you’re nobody
    ‘til somebody hates you.

  3. ToniBee3

    Good Morning, Sunshine!

    Good morning, Sunshine!
    You are beautiful today.
    You make the rays sway
    To the rhythm of your Saturday.

    Anteater! Mmm-hmmm…
    Tête-à-tête with the popinjay.
    Sip tea on the Golden Bay.
    Set sail ‘round the Milky Way.

    Come on, Honey Creeper!
    Swirl in your petticoat!
    Blackflip ‘round the heliotrope.
    Dare dance with an antelope… Nope!

    Oh, Lil’ Sweetheart!
    Dust off your spry caboose.
    Let loose like a loosey goose.
    Je veux danser avec vous!

    Hot dog it, Dreamer!
    Rolling on that tumbleweed,
    Look up cuz the sky is tweed.
    You’re what you’re supposed to be.

    Aww! Hay-yah!
    Just do-do-do-do-and-do,
    And do-do-do-do-do-you.

    Good morning, Sunshine!
    You are beautiful today.
    You make the rays sway
    To the rhythm of your Saturday.

  4. taylor graham

    an old Gold Rush town

    The saloon is built on top
    of the stump of the hangman’s tree
    but that’s beneath the floor.

    In the bookstore we read poems
    to a plastic skeleton
    sitting in an open mine-shaft.

    They blasted the town
    out of bedrock for its gold.
    Periwinkle binds the wounds.

    They say there’s a treasure
    hidden in the Zeiss house ruins
    but it’s just a geocache.

    Our friend the historian
    believes in science – and ghosts –
    since a long-dead girl spooked him.

    If the museum is haunted
    what are the words of the wind
    that blows through keyholes down Main?

  5. Shennon

    “Madame Bovary, C’est Moi”

    I’m shallow, insecure
    I prefer the monetary
    worth of a man, plus
    distinguished good looks and
    proper manners, to any
    penniless sot or rake on
    the street. Tangible goods,
    pleasing to the eye, catch my eye
    while entertaining my mind.
    No ordinary life will do for me.
    C’est moi, Madame Bovary.


  6. Beth Henary Watson

    Life Happens

    To me in my despair
    Over my latest failing,
    They said, “Life happens.”

    And again and again,
    Goals missed, dreams
    Drifted away — “Life happens,”
    They said.

    But wait, what if life
    Is nothing but what happens
    To me, and, by the way,
    Who is they?


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