2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Call Me (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem. Possible titles include: “Call Me Al,” “Call Me Crazy,” “Call Me Batman,” “Call Me at 3 O’clock in the Morning,” etc.


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Here’s my attempt at a Call Me Blank poem:

“Call Me Names”

Call me names
if that’s what
you want to do,

but leave the sticks
and the stones
all alone;

I promise
I’ll pick up
the telephone

if you need
a verbal
punching bag;

they are words;
they’re absurd;
and they’ll never

ever hurt me.


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 may write a brave poem about words never hurting him, but he admits words can cut as deep (or deeper) than a knife at times. Play nice today and every day.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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166 thoughts on “2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

  1. Pwriter10

    CALL ME A SHADOW by DeAndre Oolong

    My mask is only
    half as black as

    My skin is pure
    like a shot of
    peppermint schnapps.

    I dance like
    the rain prays
    for me.

  2. PowerUnit

    Call me, when you’re free
    We can chat, and pretend
    We’re old friends
    Catching up on, lost times
    Times on the mend
    No walks on the beach, for us
    No bitters in the pub
    Just a cup of coffee
    And a warm muffin
    We can be intimate
    But we cannot be close
    We can share our dreams
    But not our secrets
    We can agree, to disagree
    On the pedigree of our lives
    We will not jeopardize
    This thing we call friendship
    So call me when you’re, feeling down
    For you know too
    I will feel alone
    As kindreds always do
    Call me, I’ll be around

  3. headintheclouds87

    Call me at 3am

    Call me at 3 in the morning,
    Tell me it’ll all be okay
    As I lay wide-eyed worrying
    Over words from another life
    Said to faces lost to time,
    Or over crises yet to come
    That could be mere creations
    Of a sleep-deprived mind.

    Call me at 3 in the morning,
    As I pointlessly toss and turn over
    Whether I made the right call
    In that quick snap decision
    Of nearly a decade ago,
    Or if I could have fought more
    To keep the crumbling status quo
    From falling right under my feet.

    Call me at 3 in the morning,
    When I wonder the point of it all
    And whether it’s even worth
    All these sick and tired tears.
    But when I hear your soothing voice
    The world makes sense again,
    And your words soon drown out
    My demons for another day.

  4. Pat Walsh

    Call Me In
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    call me In to dinner
    when the days get short
    I’d like to be home
    before the winter wind

    call me in to shore
    when the waves get rough
    I’d like to be on land
    before the storm begins

    call me in to the circle
    when you all begin to sing
    I’d like to be in the chorus
    before the sun arrives

    call me in to sit beside you
    when the hour seems near
    I’d like to hear you laugh again
    before you have to go

  5. taylor graham


    down-swale it joins a creek that pools with light filtered through trees –
    that twitter-call of small birds glad to greet a chill November dawn.
    Last night’s moon was dim, one hazy eye that disappeared in dark.

  6. Connie Peters

    Call Me We Say

    I often see her in the store
    We two were once close friends before
    It really wouldn’t be a chore
    Call me, we say

    We’d sing together in the choir
    Of time with her I wouldn’t tire
    To keep in touch is our desire
    Call me, we say

    But we are both such busy bees
    The days fly by with greatest ease
    One day, a moment we will seize
    Call me, we say

  7. Connie Peters

    Call Me Because I Probably Won’t Call You

    When you call,
    I’ll drop everything.
    I’ll be so happy to hear your voice.
    I procrastinate on making phone calls.
    Always have
    Always will
    So call me when you get the chance.

  8. lsteadly

    Call Me Sad

    mad, battered and plain
    ‘ole shattered by insane events
    this fighting makes no sense
    nor this talk of a fence between
    us and them who so lean
    on hope, how can anyone cope
    or take a deep breath, nope,
    too hard, my heart broken in shards
    but hopefully not marred
    too deep so I could start to heal
    if only they’d all feel
    they didn’t have to steal to get
    what they wanted to set
    aright , so now let’s let it all
    come together, not fall,
    work as one, heed the call and fight
    for all our precious rights
    and save the whales and light the way
    for our children today

    I just wanted to send out a group message that this was a difficult day for me and to read all of the entries today has uplifted me and given me much comfort. I have truly been moved by the entries here, not just today, but especially so, and thank everyone for sharing their work. Peace to all –

  9. Connie Peters

    Call Me Crazy but My Stove is Barking

    My stove vent
    winds up in our yard
    just cross the fence
    from where my neighbor
    leaves her dogs out.

    I know when her dogs
    are excited about something,
    see another dog,
    or want back in,
    because my stove starts barking.

  10. Sara McNulty

    Call Me A Cab

    Call me a cab, she demanded,
    I know you’ve been less than candid.
    Bet you did not use protection.
    Hope she was worth the attention.

    Do not plague me with any more lies,
    I was blind but now I have wised
    up. Your things are packed for collection.
    Hope she was worth the attention.

    In future I’ll be less trusting
    First lesson is readjusting
    to more than your one dimension.
    Hope she was worth the attention.

  11. bethwk

    Call Me
    by Beth Weaver-Kreider

    You can call me Raging Heart,
    Heart of Tiger, Heart of Flame.
    You can call me Crushing Fury.
    Just don’t forget my other name.

    You can call me Quivering Spirit,
    Cowering Critter, Anxious Mouse.
    You can call me Wild-Eyed Worry.
    Just find the doorway to my house.

    You can call me Grieving Moonchild,
    Weeping Willow, Wailing Place.
    You can call me Wounded Creature.
    Just remember how to see my face.

  12. Beth Henary Watson

    Don’t call me

    I’ve been there, done that–
    The committees, the campaigning, the hours–
    And it filled me with life
    Until I was empty;
    Then it started to suck,
    Hollow me out ‘til
    Nothing but skin remained,
    Certainly no brain,
    Much less fire,
    Before I simply said,
    “Don’t call me for a while.”

  13. MichelleMcEwen

    Call Me Again

    Call me again
    tell me what my skin
    tastes like again

    Call me again
    tell me to jump
    on the next train again

    Call me again
    tell me why I should’ve stayed
    in Pittsburgh again

    Call me again
    remind me I’m fly again

    Call me again
    remind me I’m alive again

    Call me again
    tell me I taste like
    tangerines again

  14. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Call me if you ever feel alone,
    I’m always just as close as your telephone
    Tell me things you thin I should’ve known;
    Call me if you ever feel alone.

    Call me if you’re ever feeling blue,
    You know I’ll always be around for you;
    Even if right now you don’t believe it’s true,
    Call me if you’re ever feeling blue.

    Call me always, call me;
    Call me, always, call me;
    Call me always, call me;
    Call me, call me, always.

    Call me if you ever need an ear,
    I’ll always have a shoulder for your tears,
    No matter where you are, know that I’ll be here;
    Call me if you ever need an ear.

  15. grcran

    call me painter

    top-coated black with gray
    then blunderbussed the red
    since artists don’t deceive
    call me painter instead
    obliterated rainbow
    this red’s expensive though
    cost millions all their self-respect
    looks great in neon glow
    why wonder why we do this
    we cover up the wood
    the dry rot and the termites
    for your own house’s good

    gpr crane

  16. madeline40

    Call Me Sad

    There is no other way
    to put the great feeling
    of disbelief, puzzlement,
    resentment, and antipathy
    I feel today.
    Hillary lost the election
    to the racist misogynist
    and narcissist Donald Trump.
    I’m sad for myself, Hillary,
    and all of my country.
    I’m so sad it feels like mourning.
    In the Jewish tradition
    We sit Shiva after a loved one’s funeral.
    I’m sitting Shiva for Hillary today.
    We’ll see if I can move on tomorrow.

  17. Jane Shlensky

    Call Me Down the Birds

    Call me down the birds
    buffeted by wind
    between these rocky cliffs,
    condors and hawks,
    vultures and osprey.

    Wings spread, kiting stringless,
    let them soar, exploring angles
    of the unseen, upflow and drop.
    Let them ride waves
    of November chill, feathers riffling.

    Let lake lure them below
    among swans and coots,
    ducks and grebes paddling
    belly deep in sky
    laid out pristine on ground.

    All feathered, all beaked,
    calling in many bird languages,
    let them recognize their common
    needs, their nesting feeding
    seeking need to be, and let me see.

  18. SarahLeaSales

    Call Me When

    Call me in four years when
    maybe we can be friends again;
    or better yet, call me in eight,
    when the Presidential deck,
    rather than being reshuffled,
    has been replaced,
    for how strong is the animosity that
    transmits like static electricity
    amongst the winners,
    the losers, the lost,
    and those who remain
    in half-mast shock.

  19. Kasey

    Call Me Collect

    He’s ready to get his life back on track.
    How many times have I heard that before?
    Still, he’s getting out, and he needs a ride-
    why else would my brother call me collect?
    “Sis, front me some money. I’ll pay you back.”
    I do. Pretty sure he’ll use it to score.
    After some Oxy will he still decide
    he’s ready to get is his life back on track.
    He knows how badly I want to connect
    with him, and he uses that how he can.
    “Things will be different this time, Sis, I swear.”
    How many times have I heard that before?
    Soon old patterns of behavior emerge.
    His gaze is hollow and he’s looking thin.
    The whole time we’re driving, he cannot sit
    still. He’s getting out, and he needs a ride
    when he’s done checking in with probation.
    I called ahead to suggest a drug test.
    When I answer the phone, I know he’s in jail.
    Why else would my brother call me collect?

  20. Jane Shlensky

    Call Me Empty

    I know I run on fumes,
    gutting out the hills,
    slogging burning blind.

    I know to give this time,
    to rest in emptiness
    breathing cleansing breaths.

    And I know who I am,
    what kind of human
    I still strive to be.

    I will be strong and able.
    kind and hopeful. I will help
    where I can those most in need of help.

    I will write and teach,
    sing and play music,
    cook and share,

    and when I see injustice,
    I will speak up
    and try and try and try

    to make a positive difference,
    to laugh and find joy,
    to mirror the world I want to see.

    I will love longer, no matter what,
    and pray God’s healing
    will fill me up.

  21. Nancy Posey

    Call Me

    Call me, each message begins,
    the time urgent, the details cryptic.

    Perhaps someone has died
    or the house, in flames,
    one of the children
    in some crisis
    requiring our presence
    or our prayers.

    Most often, it’s nothing–
    to me at least–
    I’ve learned to read
    the loneliness in the lines,
    the need for reassurance
    that I am near,
    that I will be home soon.

    1. LadyBug5162

      Call Me Sunshine

      I Love…

      I smile to brighten your day

      Call me Sunshine

  22. Julieann

    Call Me Cynical

    We ask for change
    We look for change
    We vote for change
    And then – one day
    We score the change

    Excitement rises
    Expectation soars
    I look about
    I take stock
    And begin to wonder
    Could anything really
    Ever change?

  23. carolecole

    The Inauguration of Andrew Jackson
    or Call Me Dumbstruck

    Backwoods barbarians, ungovernable
    rabble, they rushed into the White House
    sending bowls of orange punch crashing
    to the floor, flooding the carpets; dirty
    work boots on delicate French upholstery—
    who cared? The rabble has won, their voices
    finally heard, the East Coast elites hold hankies
    to their noses while Sam Patch ascends the steps
    in all his glowing whiteness and defecates
    delicately on the foyer rug.

  24. Walter J Wojtanik


    Things have been frantic,
    and I’m sick of this feeling
    that have me reeling and stealing
    precious moments of joy.

    I’m frustrated and have hated
    being so tightly wound.
    I’ve found that life can be cruel
    and as a rule, rather vengeful.

    I’m resentful (and know it will do me no good)
    even if it could, it wouldn’t feel right.
    I might disappear and steer my ship
    into any safe harbor to which I can tether.

    Whether things will correct themselves or not,
    I’ve got to see things through. It is true
    that moments in life define us and find us
    searching for our purpose. It could be worse

    but before I contemplate our fate,
    I need to put on a strong front. I want
    to be able to regain control; become sedate.
    Before it’s too late, calm me!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  25. deringer1


    Let me speak of all the things I love—
    a simple cup of coffee with a friend,
    a letter someone’s taken time to write,
    brilliant sunsets in the western sky,
    and puppies. A hot shower when my back is achy,
    a soft warm bed at end of day, and brownies.
    Daughters and sons, nephews, nieces, and cousins,
    special friends who are there just when you need them,
    music loud and music soft, jazz,
    gospel, classical, oldies, country, and crosswords.
    books of history, novels, poetry,
    and finally I have learned to love myself.

  26. terri9869


    When you passed
    there was no time
    for the goodbyes
    or I love you!

    Today I wish
    you’d had called me
    one last time

    As your voice
    gets harder
    to remember

    If I could
    hear those soothing words
    I love you
    one last time

    Copyright © TMC 2016

  27. De Jackson

    Call Me Home {with this One Last Whisper}

    wandering half
    late for dinner,
    son of a birch
    tree. Root. Leaves.

    Call me daughter,

    Moon, stars,
         sky. Sea.

    And all things
    in between.


  28. tripoet

    You can call me Anything but…

    With nine children mama was forced to spend
    considerable time in the kitchen
    and papa worked hard to put food
    on our plates. So because of all that working
    they often could’t keep each of our names
    straight. But we didn’t care.
    So long as they didn’t make us thinner,
    they could call us anything they liked,
    just not “late for dinner”.

  29. Walter J Wojtanik


    This night has gone on too long,
    and I’ve got to find my way
    to the place where my face
    is familiar. I think I’ve had too much
    to drink and I stink like a Clydesdale.
    I’d drive myself home, but that ship
    has set sale. I’m fine until I exhale.
    So, if you trip over me as I lay on the slab,
    do me a favor and call me a cab!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  30. PressOn


    as I
    have described you;
    to coin a phrase, I am
    irrevocably mad about
    you, too.

    NB: apologies to Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, but thanks to Adelaide Crapsey

  31. Jolly2

    by John Yeo

    Call me again, just say hello. I promise to never hang up the phone;
    It’s so good to have someone to talk to, I get lonely here on my own.
    I spoke to someone this morning we had such a lovely long chat
    He wanted to sell me something nice, I asked for more details on that.
    I explained my situation clearly, so nice to have a friendly ear,
    He asked for my bank details in such a nice helpful way.
    I asked him if he was married and how things were with him.
    He finally got exasperated and rudely slammed down the phone.

    You say my computer needs a new service plan!
    Tell me more sounds interesting, so nice to have a chat.
    What is your name and where do you live? I would love to meet.
    You would like to have my bank details to start the plan?
    Great to hear a friendly voice. Give me your bank details first!”

    “Hello! Yes, Double Glazing? That sounds so interesting .
    I wold love to hear more about that, you have such a friendly voice.
    Call me again, just say hello. I promise to never hang up the phone;
    It’s so good to have someone to talk to, I get lonely here on my own.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

  32. Walter J Wojtanik


    “Can you call me?”, she said.
    “Hey, what’s up?”, I said.
    “This pain in my head.”, she said.
    “Bad again?”, I said.
    “I wish I were dead.”, she said.
    “A bit dramatic?”, I said.

    I was an asshole, she said.
    And I’d dread ever letting
    My frustration step on hers.
    “I feel helpless; hopeless”, I said.
    “I know, I know”, she said.
    “Did you take your meds?” I said.

    “Yes. I’m still in bed.” she said.
    “Well good, try to sleep” I said.
    “If I can keep my eyes closed”, she said.
    “Want me to come home?”, I said.
    “No, you need to work”, she said.
    And again I dread the thoughts in my head.

    I said I was sorry she felt so bad.
    I said she’s the best thing I ever had,
    I apologized for being a cad.
    I said I hope you’re not mad.
    She said she felt a little sad.
    I said, “Don’t worry. Call me!”

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  33. taylor graham


    or sky when layers of cirrus, cumulus,
    contrails contend as weather
    or a sign – a cross that might give
    direction, or the way light finds
    a path through, touching a spot of earth.
    Call me dust or fire that rises
    as if spontaneous and then dies.
    Last night the moon was a hazy disk
    in dark heavens, no bigger than
    my fingernail. And then it was gone.
    My windowglass might shatter
    in dead stars as the moon moves ever
    farther from our planet.
    Does it mean to slip away?
    Next month it has a new name.

  34. Anthony94

    Call Me Then

    Call me when the geese part
    the sky, their hundred Vs of
    angles and planes a fine tracery
    against the cirrus floating past.

    Almost too high to hear, be
    still and tune into their voices
    urging the other ever onward
    behind chevron’s leader.

    Send your spirit upward and
    fasten onto whichever has the
    steadiest wingbeat, wave your
    arms in unison until your feet

    have left the ground and you
    catch them, then, somewhere
    over the Flint Hills. Join seamlessly,
    and honking softly, fly home.

  35. JanetRuth

    Call Me Friend

    In the end our needs are much the same
    We are all more than our given name

    Bread and butter are never quite enough
    To fill heart-hollows; we all need love

    “Love one another” life’s utter command
    Love is the one universal demand

    No one is everything unto one’s own
    We walk much better together; not alone

    Give a hand; give a smile, give words of cheer
    Take time to listen, nay, take time to hear

    Life-long contentment, the ages will prove
    Is found, not in clink of coin, but in those we love

    We, creatures of common and kindred design
    I’d like to be your friend; will you be mine?

  36. DMK

    she called me preacher
    by Dawn Kvernenes

    she called me preacher only one allowed to
    came from another place where that is not a disgrace
    was a badge of respect Ms. Perl explained it to me

    “not yelling, spitting or with that fake holy ghost dance, look at me when I am talking to you
    this is important for you to hear nothing but respect here .” She had a smile and a tear on her face
    ‘its like rabbi when Yeshua walked by the people shouted at him don’t you see

    rabbi, rabbi, or like rabboni and stuff meaning teacher and that’s what you are not just what you do”
    colorful explanation not covered in lace
    went to her crowded funeral just like she described I’ll have to see her in eternity

    didn’t know her on her European celebrity tour knew something when she called the restroom a loo
    struck down dead on the spot by a drunk driver after a karaoke singing performance
    Jasper’s held her final soliloquy

  37. Jezzie


    Call me a time machine so I can go back again
    but with all the knowledge I have now in my brain.
    I’d like to return to a specific date,
    like when I moved in here in ‘eighty eight.

    Would I do things differently? Probably not,
    but at least I could get a second shot
    at all those special years I’ve had
    in this home with my memories, both happy and sad.

    Now I’m moving on, quite unexpected,
    leaving behind most things I’ve collected.
    Some have been shredded, some given away,
    some taken to be recycled, not much will stay.

    Over the years I’ve owned cats, birds and dogs,
    rabbits, chickens, fish, chipmunks and frogs.
    A lifetime of hoarded stuff may have gone for ever
    but will I forget my pets? Probably never.

  38. Walter J Wojtanik


    My alias precedes me,
    even if my history doesn’t.
    A Nantucket sailor on a whaler?
    Not absurd though it sounds as if I’ve been around;
    from classroom to classless seafarer, dare I
    step away sight unseen from the Merchant Marine?
    A man obsessed and depressed in Manhattan,
    following death as she follows me.
    Ahab’s Pequod offers refuge in this centrifuge
    chasing the great white; following death as she follows me.
    Narrator, philosopher, sometimes poet. You know it
    isn’t easy when you’re among only men adrift at sea.
    Let me introduce myself. I am Ishmael. Call me.

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    1. tripoet

      I like this very much. Did you know that Melville at first killed everyone off. Ismael is needed to be the narrator. Your work always brings “mind” to “heart”.

  39. uvr

    Call Me And Tell Me Again It Was Nonsense

    A few beers too many and truths,
    like foam from the bottle,
    spilled out through your gaze
    I read them in your fingers
    caressing my nape
    recognised it in the warmth of your hand
    resting on my waist
    felt it in your sensual touch
    on my leg through the silk of my dress

    I hoped you sensed my desire
    in the soft kiss I planted
    on your stubble-free cheek
    and glimpsed the honesty in my eyes

    It was the first time I faced it myself

    We parted late in the night
    on an unspoken promise
    I hoped would look
    as bright in the light of day

    But you called it nonsense

    Just tell me that again,
    and I will watch the fizz
    seep out of my dreams
    convince myself
    nonsense was all it ever was

  40. Bushkill

    Call Me Anytime

    Call me when the creek waters rise
    And leave you awash in muck and mire.

    Call me when your car battery won’t go
    I’ll be there, mate. I’ll help you bro.

    When you’re barn raising
    Don’t be crazy,
    Don’t act the fool.
    Call me.
    I’ll bring friends,
    I’ll bring beer,
    I’ll bring tools.

    When you’re feeling low and life’s got you down
    Give a shout, I’ll come around.

    When your kid’s getting married
    And life’s crazy and heading towards mess,
    Call me, buddy, I’ll help ease your stress.

    And when nothing at all is spinning in your world,
    But a setting sun and burgers on the grill.
    When you’ve pushed back the maelstrom and have nothing to do.
    Call me, ‘cuz I like those moments too.

    1. Bushkill

      I am humbled by such accolade. I tried a rhyming motif today and had a lot of fun with it. I did come up with several endings.

      Alternate last line:
      Call me, and I’ll raise a glass with you, too.

      the above being, perhaps, my favorite since it speaks of an action like the rest of the stanzas. Thank you for all of your comments.

  41. DMK

    call me your beloved too
    by Dawn Kvernenes

    why didn’t you call me your beloved too
    don’t run away not even say we are through
    I thought you were mine
    thought we were just fine
    didn’t you let people steal from me
    when you got violent I set you free
    said you were trying
    left me crying, all the lying
    don’t think about you the way I did before
    doing things I abhor, there is the door!

  42. DMK

    why didn’t you call me your beloved too
    by Dawn Kvernenes

    why didn’t you call me your beloved too
    don’t run away not even say we are through
    I thought you were mine
    thought we were just fine
    didn’t you let people steal from me
    when you got violent I set you free
    said you were trying
    left me crying, all the lying
    don’t think about you the way i did before
    doing things i abhor, there is the door!