2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For today’s prompt, write a visitor poem. The poem could be about being a visitor to somewhere new. Or the poem could be about hosting a visitor. Write about an expected visitor or someone who shows up by surprise.


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Here’s my attempt at a Visitor poem:

“Welcome to the Horseshoe”

People say, “O-H!”
People say, “I-O!”
People keep cheering
for the Ohio

State Buckeyes facing
Michigan today!
It’s time to root on
the scarlet and gray!

From opening kick
to game-winning drive,
keep that Wolverine
losing streak alive!


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 will be cheering for The Ohio State Buckeyes today.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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57 thoughts on “2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Someone has been visiting my orchard
    late at night, just beyond the chain link,
    dozens of cores and half eaten apples
    strewn about the grass like tripped mousetraps,
    if only the spiders would talk.

    A deer?
    An elk?
    A lovesick pair of raccoons or possums?
    Perhaps a bear with an axe to grind?
    My luck, just neighborhood kids with agendas.

    My orchard is a beautiful place
    with soft lush grass to roll in during summers,
    carpets of pink and white flowers to showcase spring,
    enticing green and red fruit in the fall in which
    to snack on, and strong limbs to sit and gaze
    at the moon when days shorten and give way
    to the cold bite of long winter nights.

    Who could resist such temptations?

    If I weren’t stuck in this house with bird bones
    and arthritis, I too might push on the screen door
    with my walker as if they were antlers and
    join you among the greens for a night of
    apple rousing under this canopy of stars.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. PSC in CT

    We’ll Leave the Light On

    name them family,
    neighbors and friends; some
    maybe strangers seeking refuge
    from war torn neighborhoods,
    bombed out hospital buildings,
    but others call them uglier names,
    threaten to toss them back
    (like fish too small to keep).
    Why share our bounty
    with huddled yearning,
    wretched refuse?
    Why not just
    the lamp?

  3. ToniBee3

    Ms. Hulk

    mind goes black,
    flesh turns green.

    she erupts
    when the bullies
    put their hands
    on her offspring.

    puts her hands
    on them.

    hulk smash!

    transform back.

    the end.

  4. Pat Walsh

    The Visitor
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    the light from the burning logs danced across
    the features of all of us gathered around the fire

    like the flickering images of an old silent movie
    showing scenes of great drama and joyful pranks

    in the fading chill of the early morning
    the group of us all felt a little better
    sitting in the camp chairs in our heavy coats
    drinking hot coffee in the quiet hours

    the sounds of the fire falling and rising brought
    the quiet soundscape of snow and trees to life

    like the echo of the small waves lapping the
    sides of the boats in the lake in summer time

    all of us had our thoughts focused on him
    thinking of all the times we’d had together
    when the first faint crackling sounds
    gathered somewhere out beyond the circle

    the scent of the smoke from the fire hung on
    the last lingering trails of the long night

    like the sweet smell of bread baking in the
    kitchen of the old cabin back in happier times

    the instant we heard the sound we all turned
    toward each other as though we had just
    woke from a dream but then it went silent
    leaving us all to wonder…

  5. Michelle Hed

    Guardian Angels

    He hasn’t been around
    for a while
    or maybe I’ve just lost
    my touch
    but I use to feel his presence
    and I figured
    he was just checking in,
    meeting his
    but I like to think
    he’s still present
    where life
    takes them next.

  6. grcran

    never give up

    post-falling apart we endure
    endeavor to find safe & sure
    hey you! you got heart!
    go make a new start
    or the rest of your life will be blur

    gpr crane

  7. De Jackson

    moon voyage

    we long to press our footprints in
    -to her milky skin, see once and for
    all if she truly is made of stone,

    reflecting light that’s not her own.
    we long to build ourselves a tiny
    cottage there, a place to escape to

    when the binds of home won’t do
    and we need a quiet place to write
    new songs. we long to swallow her

    whole, make a wish to follow her
    far across this deep bright sky.
    we won’t stay long. we know

    she’s got a thousand miles to go,
    pulled and pooled by time and tide.
    we just want to know her, now.


  8. Jane Shlensky

    Practical Distinctions

    Coal dust paints gray Granny’s two room hut, up on blocks like a broken car, tar paper covering the front, an iron stove sending ash into the air. No running water here, no telephone or electricity, her outhouse at the back, also on stilts. Gaynell stops by to speak but will not sit. She cannot stay to eat Granny’s potatoes and beans, fresh cornbread almost done. She stands at the door eyeing her blue Cadillac sitting sleekly near, the cream interior pristine. “It ain’t a visit unless you sit,” Gran tells her, winking for my smile. “Put yer feet up! Dip some snuff a while!” Gaynell’s darting eyes take in the grays, the stains of not having, the possibility that she might touch something if she moves. Her face is arranged to make Gran ashamed. She cannot stay, she says again, just stopped by to say hello, to be nice. Now just we two sit to eat, parsing distinctions of good and nice. Gran’s poor but savvy. “Nice folks make you welcome in their house,” she says. “Good people make you welcome in your own.”

  9. Jane Shlensky


    “I’m just a visitor,” he says.
    “One day I will be gone,” he says.

    They laugh at him, old sojourner,
    who’s in for ten, just finished four.
    Some say it’s murder brought him here.
    Some say armed robbery, assault,
    or beating up his family,
    or cooking meth or selling drugs,
    but nothing they think seems to fit,
    rumors aplenty when facts are few.

    “I am a poor wayfaring stranger,” he sings,
    his voice vacant as an armchair.
    He hears an answering tenor drone,
    “I’m goin’ there to see…” and smiles.

    “I won’t be staying long,” he says.
    “You see I don’t belong,” he says.
    “No need to know my name.
    I came to tell you, have a little faith.
    I came to say, we’re only passing through.”

    “I am just goin’ over Jordan.
    I am just goin’ over home.”

  10. Bushkill

    There and Gone

    I knew you in an instant.
    The flash of recognition
    Etched itself across my face.
    Then you disappeared and, try
    As I might, your image fled
    From me. Straining with constant
    Effort has left me pensive
    In your absence. I must move
    On oh dear, forgotten thought.

  11. DMK

    I am a visitor here
    by Dawn Kvernenes

    I am a visitor here
    there might be other visitors here too
    but you can not see any there
    might be invisable fool

    I might be nuts with voices in my head that I can not see
    or old family tapes
    or the committe
    might be the emotional _____

    I did not have that diagnoisis ever
    too old for suddenonset
    for you truth is 100% never
    it might be the visitor not paying any kind of rent

    stop asking me to say your crazy is true
    giving me a half century of blame
    all so you can look good to your crew
    responcibilty to the all see; you with lying game

    blame it on the visitor; the invisable one
    after reconciliation, have the priest bless you with holy water and then the oil
    do not blame it on the too honest one
    me I became a vistor and was hurt by people I thought were loyal
    loyal to the invisable visitor

  12. shellkaysm

    The Visitor

    (Magic 9)

    Through the peephole, peering out,
    I wonder what I’m missing.
    I have no grandiose doubt
    safety comes at its own price.
    To step off the beaten route,
    I’d need a stronger armor,
    and a shaken dose of clout.
    The one I’m dually dissing,
    the visitor, my girl scout

  13. Nancy Posey

    Visitors Back at Home

    Going home for the holidays
    when nothing feels like home,
    we drive down old streets now widened,
    go on and on like the aged
    about what used to be where.

    Directions past where the old
    Sears store used to stand,
    turn where the state crews
    cut down the big oak
    that gave Big Oak community
    its name, remind us
    nothing stays the same.

    We run into our old grocery store
    for something to contribute
    to the meal without cooking
    and find everything in its place,
    only the prices changed,
    searching faces for familiar ones,
    avoiding our own reflections
    in the mirrored glass.

    After three nights in a strange bed,
    visitors in our own hometown,
    we long to return to the place
    where the pillows fit our heads,
    where we know just where
    to find the aspirin, the wine.

    How long must Mary have stayed
    in that stable, wishing for a crib,
    clean sheets, her own cook fire,
    a neighbor’s house to borrow
    an egg, a cup of sugar, any excuse
    to ask for help. How do I know
    if this baby’s had enough to eat?

  14. Valkyri

    the visitor

    after midnight an apparition
    in my pitch black room
    at the foot of the bed
    during the full dead hours
    between dusk and dawn

    shaggy grey of form
    but delicately through
    misty eyes I recognize
    the red flannel coat
    of my grandpa “Timber”

    unnatural, this visitor
    out of misbegotten time
    alive so very long ago
    now grinning at me

    as if this shade knows
    the child I carry
    as if they have already met
    in some beyond place
    and all is well

    suddenly, without warning
    she is in his arms
    cradled delicately
    a five pound bundle

    he calls this child
    his “little sack of sugar”
    they dissapate from view
    into vapored nothingness
    sugar and timber
    both beloved wandering souls

    the future and the past
    together for a moment
    on the cusp of a dream
    during the deadening hours
    betwixt dusk and dawn

  15. Sara McNulty

    Noises Move Right

    Noises like bells
    Noises on roof
    Roof tapping
    Roof of reindeers
    Reindeers and sleigh
    Reindeers, twelve
    Twelve prancers
    Twelve, one singing
    Singing jolly Santa
    Singing carols
    Carols in tune
    Carols on eve
    Eve of Christmas
    Eve’s garden
    Garden under snow
    Garden gleaming
    Gleaming gold
    Gleaming under light
    Light of moon
    Lights on house
    House beautiful
    House is home
    Home and hearth
    Home alone
    Alone in thoughts
    Alone in kitchen
    Kitchen smells sweet
    Kitchen table
    Table has legs
    Table is wood
    Wood in fireplace
    Wood is cherry
    Cherry on top
    Cherry pie
    Pie for dessert
    Pie plates
    Plates piled high
    Plates are square
    Square boxes
    Square of fabric
    Fabric is leather
    Fabric wears well
    Well water
    Do have some
    Do it right
    Right on time
    Right hand shakes
    Right, not left.

  16. uvr

    A flutter of wings
    The bird swoops in to
    land on my balcony
    one foot lifted
    beak open wide
    Unblinking eyes
    stare at me
    I freeze
    not moving
    a muscle
    lest it flies scared
    from my home
    It takes a step
    then another
    seeking crumbs
    to comfort its hunger
    Bare as bones
    the stone floor
    is coldly unyielding
    It pins me
    with a fierce gaze
    that notes my failure
    Chastised I blink
    and in a flurry
    it flies
    to a kinder space

  17. Ber


    Broken bottles
    falling petals
    sheets of
    toughened metal

    Whispers that glide
    shadows stand still
    is their only will

    Echoes of daily events
    challenging times

    Hollow is his voice
    no sound
    to fill the space
    disbelief in
    the chase

    Vinyl’s of old
    walls of mould
    stories never existing
    to be told

  18. bethwk

    Blessing for the Visitor
    by Beth Weaver-Kreider

    May you who wander, who sojourn, who travel,
    may you who make your way to our door
    find rest for your tired feet and weary heart,
    food to fill your bellies and to nourish your minds,
    and company to bring you cheer and inspiration.

    May you find comfort for your sorrows,
    belonging to ease your loneliness,
    and laughter to bring you alive.

    And when your feet find themselves again upon the road,
    may they remember the way back to our door.

  19. Connie Peters

    A Century

    We’re planning a visit
    to Texas to celebrate
    my father-in-law’s 100th birthday.
    Just think of what he has gone through since 1916.
    The Great Depression, serving in WWII
    Raising a family. He’s married to wife #4.
    One hundred years of technology,
    from the pop-up toaster to the iphone.
    I can hardly imagine living that long.
    I have 42 years to go.
    Forty-two years ago I was 16,
    just learning to drive.
    That was about a couple hundred thousand miles ago.
    What’s the world going to look like in 2058?
    Maybe I’ll have to get my pilot’s license
    to drive my flying car.

  20. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Lights out at ten o’clock,
    But it ain’t quiet on this block,
    And falling asleep still takes a while;
    Three years in on a ten year bid,
    For something that they said I did,
    But there’s still one thing that makes me smile.

    It’s the high point of the week,
    When I get to speak
    To you face to face,
    In this lonesome place;
    I know it’s hard on you,
    And you’re in prison, too;
    But I feel free,
    When you come see me;
    I’m free,
    When you come see me.

    Every night when those cell doors slam,
    It’s hard not having nightmares of the man;
    The days in here aren’t a whole lot better,
    I’m a number, not a name,
    But I don’t always feel the same,
    On those days I get one of your letters;

    And it’s the high point of the week,
    When I get to speak
    To you face to face,
    In this lonesome place;
    I know it’s hard on you,
    And you’re in prison, too;
    But I feel free,
    When you come see me;
    I’m free,
    When you come see me.

  21. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Sometimes a visitor enters our space
    Just for the moment
    In much the same way
    Their presence a gift

    My husband was sharing something
    As we stood at the elevator
    He had no idea
    A quiet woman walked up behind us
    I knew she was there
    Liking her already
    Stepping in for our ride
    She twinkled at me
    I immediately said I liked her hat
    It became obvious
    We didn’t speak the same language
    Yet in those few seconds
    I knew we understood each other
    We simply pointed at our hair
    Our hats
    And giggled
    By the end
    We walked out
    After becoming best friends
    For about 45 seconds
    She was the perfect visitor
    Bringing in a pure moment of play
    Even as she walked away
    We continued enjoying the connection
    Sweet affection
    A short vist
    I will remember
    For a long time

  22. barbara_y

    Amahl and the Night Visitors

    It was the fifties.

    I guess in northern cities, and maybe
    along the coast where people had come
    from all over milkmen sang arias
    to their glass quarts and welders knew Giselle and Dido
    as well as they knew Flo, Annie, and Dot.

    Not where I grew up.

    And that may be why I don’t remember
    more about Amahl than his name
    and that he arrived every year before Christmas,
    a black and white migrant song,

    here and healed and gone.

  23. annell

    You Came as a Visitor

    you came as a visitor     as we all are    to my world

    a beautiful boy    a joy to hold    straight and tall

    a child to all    didn’t stay long    i should have known

    you would always be a visitor &nbps;  found nowhere to call home     you were my son

    the only one    the child i loved     an alien to be sure

    came from another world     perhaps another planet     had your own thoughts

    you came to me     heard my call    and there you were

    for a little while    blue eyes like the clear blue sky     blond hair

    like the setting sun    a joy to see    you made your own way

    far from me     and all who loved you    found your own place

    remained a visitor    all of your life    a visitor who heard my call

    November 26, 2016

  24. Jolly2

    by John Yeo

    There will be a moment of excitement,
    When the visitor finally arrives.
    We have awaited this astral event,
    The omens have been here throughout our lives.
    A shining star form is approaching us;
    A journey lasting many centuries;
    Relentless, exciting and glorious,
    Through an endless path of wild stormy skies.
    Freely, through seas of ice, darkness and light,
    Of turbulence and fiery icy fields.
    Bringing extra dimension and insight
    That the beginning and ending reveals.
    A poetical magical moment
    A comet blazes in our firmament.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

  25. Pwriter10

    I CHERISH by DeAndre Oolong

    I cherish the times I never had,
    the words I never said, the great friends
    I never met. I cherish the sad
    messages I wish I didn’t send.

    I cherish the visits never made,
    the promises I kept, though no one
    knows. I cherish the years of sweat paid
    as homage to the bright-blistered sun.

    I cherish the lies, clouded in smiles,
    the dreams we seek but know we’ll never
    see. I cherish you, our life-shared miles,
    our hopeful vision of ‘forever.’

  26. Anthony94

    First Meeting

    I’ve barely set down the long box
    of colorful scarves, soft and lumpy
    in their striped ridges, when her
    arthritic fingers reach out, stroking
    like she might’ve once caressed
    a child. She is the kind of old that
    comes from being aged by the
    street, living out of cars, coming
    to this pantry. Flyaway hair that
    could’ve been blond, her coat
    pulled haphazardly across her
    listing body. I glance up from her
    fingers weaving their own patterns
    on top of mine, to meet startling blue
    eyes sparkling with this infusion of new,
    as her fingers, flying now down the rows
    of crochet compete with her fluting voice:
    Oh when do we get them, and what do
    we have to do? I want to let her pick one,
    but there are rules and endless points
    of distribution and I am not in charge
    so cannot answer. I take her with me,
    her face, that voice, so at odds with
    the person in front of me, those dancing
    fingers loving what I’ve made, and she
    becomes a purpose for my hours, a
    chimera above the spill of scarf, when
    in the warmth of my room, I cast yarns
    and chain them into reasons to continue.

  27. taylor graham


    Of the wild plum tree, I’ve seen the red heart.
    November guest in a citron-yellow
    kimono, dancing on the hill, apart
    but for breeze, dancing above willow –

    dreaming of pucker-
    sweet fruit in June, crimson globes
    for the birds and me, enough
    until they’re gone.

    Of course earth will accept her seeds, her robes
    let fall. Then where will the wild birds gather?
    Even leafless, her wood’s grained with mellow.
    Of the wild plum tree, I’ve seen the red heart.

  28. deringer1


    He arrived one day when we weren’t expecting him.
    We knew he had been to many homes before,
    moving in without an invitation,
    becoming more intrusive every day.
    He certainly wasn’t welcome and we tried
    every trick to keep him from remaining.
    There were many times we thought of murder
    but he knew what we were thinking and he laughed.
    So on he stayed, his presence ominous
    as we became more worried and distressed.
    He began to take the flavor from the food
    so that he could claim the very flesh off bones
    and leave naught but a skeleton behind.

    Then finally he packed his bags and left,
    taking with him the life he’d come to claim.

  29. grcran


    it came from outer space it wanted meat
    a meet-and-greet some factoids for its book
    it drank a single malt we served it neat
    it then respected humans all it took
    its mother studied earth long years ago
    gave pointers for the pyramids & such
    fuel for the mothership was running low
    returning home she gave it mother’s touch
    it grew up incomplete an unknown lack
    decided earthlings might be ready now
    the scotch had aged well it brought one case back
    and left the planet better off somehow

    gpr crane

  30. carolemt87

    Go Blue!

    Back in the days of Bo and Woody
    great rivals of the past
    on that given Saturday when
    the blue and gold visited Columbus Ohio
    my family in Canton touring the Hall of Fame
    in an old album rests a photo
    of my two younger brothers
    in front of the life size Heisman trophy

    The game that day broadcast
    over the speakers, the Buckeyes
    no match for the Wolverines
    through Canton’s grit strewn streets
    I remember my father yelling
    “Hail to the Victors Valiant” out the car window,
    me in the backseat, smiling
    and more than a little concerned
    we wouldn’t make it back
    to Michigan alive

    Carol Carpenter (go Blue!)

  31. taylor graham


    Did you mean to stop here
    on your way up the mountain? Old friends
    waiting at the top, watching grandkids
    snowboarding two feet of fresh
    powder on the slopes; Thanksgiving leftovers.
    Freeway’s moving like river-rush
    reversed, flowing unchecked uphill – until
    an amber circle blazes
    as sun sets in your rearview; turns red.
    Brakelights. Stop-
    light on the freeway? This is
    Placerville. Built in a gold-rush canyon,
    the highway splits the town,
    the town breaks the freeway. And all
    alongside, they’re lighting Christmas trees
    mounted on the right-of-way fence,
    red-blue-amber lights and green; tinsel.
    One tree’s in pink for the survivors.
    For the town’s pre-schoolers – the Starry
    Eyed – a galaxy of homemade
    stars. From one stop-light to the next,
    you have time
    to let the communal flicker and glow
    of colors set your day
    as night falls. At last, the third
    signal turns green, you’re back to your
    rush up the mountain,
    Christmas lights
    flickering at the back of your eye.

  32. terri9869

    RI Here I Come

    Weeks of planning
    Tickets bought

    Pack my bags for a
    trip so near

    Off to the airport
    my dog and me

    Once thru security
    we should be free
    except plane is late

    Then, we’re at our
    somewhere I never thought
    Of returning to

    We land in Boston
    expected to be in

    Here we scramble
    for a ride

    Our ride takes us
    to our destination my

    She so graciously opened
    her home to us

    I came to finish legal work
    What should had taken
    a couple of months
    still keeps me here
    on her coach

    With nothing but
    legal time on my hands
    I see this home
    state of mine
    thru different eyes

    Copyright © TMC 2016

  33. PowerUnit


    The arm’s gone flimsy. Not enough X’s and not enough O’s.
    The surgeon come to say it can’t be saved.
    No lines stepped on, no signals crossed.
    His pen is full of wild geese with long necks, and wild
    instincts need refining. Mechanics need retooling.
    Can’t leave them alone for too long before it all goes to hell.
    No second chances for this lot.

    A shoulder is tapped and a hat is tipped.
    An open hand extended, and the ball passed on,
    until the next visit.

  34. Jezzie


    I’ve not see hide nor hair
    of my friends for weeks
    so I wonder if they care.
    To me their absence speaks.

    I have called them all
    to invite them for a party
    to say to them “Farewell,
    I am going to Newquay.”

    How many friends will come
    all the way to visit me
    when I move to my new home
    in Cornwall by the sea?

    Will they expect some
    seaside holidays for free
    or will they just come
    to see my dog and me?


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