2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

Quick comment on comments: I don’t know that this will fix all problems related to commenting, but multiple poets have confirmed that some specific words seem to be keeping their poems from posting. Once they removed the words, the poems posted. Voila! So I looked into it, and there is a banned words/symbols list–to help block common spam language like profane words and specific drug names, but also words like “nude,” “sex,” “loan,” “debt,” and “thx.” Also, some weird symbols and the term “url.” If that helps anyone, great. If not, please let me know at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com.

For today’s prompt, write a guilty poem. The poem can be written from the perspective of someone who is (or feels) guilty, or it can be about someone (or something) else that’s guilty. But guilty of what? Cheating on a test? Or a spouse? Or a diet? Only you know, and only your poem can reveal the truth.


Recreating_Poetry_Revise_PoemsRe-create Your Poetry!

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Guilty Poem:

“i imagine sometimes”

i imagine sometimes
what it would be like

to hold you close to me
& bring you near my lips

before biting into your
chocolate marshmallow

ice cream goodness


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He’s guilty of enjoying the occasional ice cream cone. His favorite ice cream is a seasonal flavor offered by Young’s Dairy (outside of Yellow Springs, Ohio): Chocolate marshmallow. Mmmmm…

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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383 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

  1. mschied

    I didn’t mean to

    You should hate me
    right now
    but we have never

    You should despise
    my very existence
    but you may not
    even know of it

    I am the enemy
    of your happiness
    basking in your
    blissful ignorance

    I am the covetor
    of your domesticity
    I will delight in
    your wretchedness

    I didn’t ask for this
    but neither did you
    Both of us victims
    of love’s cruel hand

  2. lily black

    Do not waste your moments
    Make a change
    If you were unkind
    Make a change
    If you were blind
    Make a change
    If you did it
    Let it go

  3. pcm

    the guilty truth about the utility of bathing suits

    wearing a bathing suit
    one is expected to dive
    into bone chilling water
    smile through purple lips
    then declare how fine
    is the sea—the suit but
    a pretence of protection
    from the shivery depths

    in sunnier climes the suit
    assumes full regalia
    so one may sit or lie
    on display without a parasol
    tan the hide butterscotch brown
    or strawberry marmalade
    while the edge of the suit
    remains snug should a stray hermit crab
    or a roaming lobster
    sneak solace beneath the elastic
    edge of the thigh or advance
    toward the forbidden groin

    in either case—both cold and hot—
    the suit presses sand granules
    into creases of skin where they itch
    like the dickens and raise the question:

    ital>Why wear a suit at all?<\ital

  4. BDP

    Sijo #12: Guilty

    At ten, you snoozed in sun on Strawberry Hill: part of the homestead.
    Your dad and young you planted northern pine on the plateau and slopes.
    Retired, you napped in your home, there: only cawing crows felt guilty.

  5. RJ Clarken

    Pleading Not-Guilty

    “I definitely don’t plead guilty to being a heartthrob.” ~ Bruno Mars

    I’m just an ordinary guy.
    Some think I’m hot. I don’t know why.
    I play and sing and entertain.
    I am just me. I plead mundane.

    I’m fortunate to have the chops
    to churn out hits. Some give me props
    for being cute. I say, “How come?”
    I am just me. I plead humdrum.

    Celebrity’s a fickle thing.
    One day you’re champagne, lotsa bling.
    Next day? Forgotten. True has-been.
    I am just me. I plead routine.

    So thank you to the ones who feel
    I’m so heartthrob, but what’s the deal?
    I do not get hyperbole.
    I am just me. I plead just me.


  6. Mariya Koleva

    Oh, it seems I got in a muddle and lost my poetic pace. He is my belated guilty poem. It’s a shadorma.
    My guilt is
    In the way I smile –
    I endure,
    Just getting by, not caring,
    Wading through nightmare.

  7. ToniBee3

    honey buns


    in a box
    sticky there
    all in a glaze
    with that
    je ne sais quoi
    that calls my name
    sweet talks me
    takes me places
    gets me high
    then like
    kill my curves
    i wish to preserve

    …are to blame

  8. Laura T

    I did it
    I lost track of days
    Seven days waiting on death
    The poetry got written,
    But I didn’t have work.
    Now I am helping to clean up
    The remains of a life
    And go to work,
    But the poetry isn’t getting written
    If I go to work
    And write poetry
    Will I not have time to remember you?
    There must be time to remember you
    Guilt of letting someone down
    Keeps me from adding things to life
    For fear of not having time
    Like the dog chasing it’s own tail
    There is no satisfaction
    Only frustration
    As the world goes round
    And round, and round

  9. Jane Shlensky

    Big G

    My grandmother was gifted at instilling guilt,
    her voice choked with faux tears, her posture
    stooped, weighted with conjured sorrow.
    “Go!” she whimpered. “Don’t worry about me,
    left behind. I’m old and slow. It will be no loss
    if, when you return from your fun, I’m dead.”
    Then the gentle shudder. Overkill but masterful.
    We felt no guilt. Only annoyance and hurry.

    My mother was more effective because she meant
    what she said. “Go! Have fun! I’m fine at home
    and you can tell me about it later.” Something
    so selfless made us feel guilty to go and leave her.
    Better to invite friends, bring fun home to share,
    as she scoffed and pushed us out the door.
    “Don’t be ridiculous! Go have fun! That’s an order.”

  10. _Kirk_

    The Black Wall

    I lay alone on the needless bed in bluish light
    straining through the navy blackout drapes,
    twisting histories in my mind to a favorable opinion
    of self-destruction, fearful, thrilling, to go back to that pre-teen place
    of bluish twilight skin, cold on a summer night
    cross-legged on the roof outside my room
    craving the loss of eternity, the experience of un-birth
    and nothing to do with aware.

    1. ppfautsch24

      I will admit, admonish myself for how you have gotten under my skin.
      I know I should let go of your text and Snapchat only conversations; though they leave me transfixed and brazen.
      But, my guilty night dreams captivate me in sensual wrappings and liquid trappings of the guilty pleasures we could share.
      By Pamelap

  11. DaveIst


    Words embossed in gilt
    The cover and the contents one.
    The coffee cup decked out in gilt
    Exults dull clay to treasure.
    My worldly wealth tied up in gilts
    A future hope secure.
    But this is not the guilt
    That gnaws our hearts at night.
    It’s often though, we gilt our life
    To hide the guilt within.
    Our spoken words are gold
    Our inside thoughts are stone.
    A golden neckless can’t conceal
    The inner tarnished clay.
    We give when DEC appeals on telly
    But still our wealth accrues.
    While underneath the outward show,
    We know what lies inside.
    This is the guilt that gnaws our hearts
    Destroying peace within.
    The good news is our feeble gilt
    Is not the final word.
    The Perfect One gives us His gilt
    To cover o’er our guilt.

  12. maxie409

    Because I Didn’t Write Yesterday

    Yes I am guilty.
    I admit it.
    I’m guilty.
    I didn’t do it.
    I’m guilty.
    Guilty of the sin of omission.
    I didn’t do it.
    I said no,
    I can’t, I won’t,
    I don’t know how.
    I said I would
    and I didn’t.
    All I can say now is sorry,
    not sorry.

  13. drwasy


    I admit–I am guilty.
    Not of cheating
    or gambling or
    injecting happiness
    into my old veins.
    Not of abuse
    or neglect or fraud
    or tax evasion.
    My guilt stems
    from harboring desires
    others know about
    but you do not,
    desires that border
    on lies of omission—
    perhaps commission—
    which if I implement
    will pain and anger you
    but will be my
    ticket to my life.

  14. Missy

    he did it

    still can’t
    believe he did it.

    heard his name
    on the news
    & everything.

    still can’t
    believe he did it.

    saw his face
    in the papers
    & everything.

    still can’t
    believe he did it—-

    shoot those
    young girls
    on the front porch

    like that. he was
    young, too. what
    couldn’t he get over?

    to kill a lover
    & her friend.
    to kill the mother

    of his son. to change
    the course of
    his life like that.

  15. briehuling

    Poem for Spring

    Maybe I overdid it
    when I said goodbye forever
    for the seventh time.
    Since then everything seems flimsy
    and waterlogged- so far away
    from summertime.

    Spring’s not coming through
    like it said it would–
    this double rainbow delight
    looks less like a portal to paradise
    and more like a flip-flop
    sandal I’ll never have weather to wear.

    My front lawn is happy, dressed in dandelions
    those mini periwinkle bells, ringing.
    Every time the windsock rustles
    it’s the mailman delivering love letters
    to the previous renter
    who blew away in a steamy dream.

    The new neighbor just gazes
    out the window day after day
    watching, waiting for the moment
    I will completely break–
    streak through the street
    prism waterfall unicorn heart on blast.

    Brie Huling

  16. Amy Miller


    Yes, I should have finished
    what you needed me to do
    and I took a half an hour
    to watch old Celtics talking
    (heart heart, KayGee, Paul Pierce)
    and a herd of horses—pintos
    and drafts streaming down
    some grassy road in Europe
    and my God the clouds—
    the window could hardly
    contain them. Then
    I made cocoa. Yes, the future
    calls urgent on its little blinking
    line and yes, I admit, I sent
    it all to voicemail. But the hawks
    rode down the valley on their giant
    coils of air and the snow
    wrote a poem on the mountain.

  17. Dini

    Not Guilty

    Two government officials declared Him “not guilty”
    and sent Him off to the crowd
    who said “guilty,” thought He wanted to be a king
    but He was only guilty of showing God’s grace.
    Instead, I am the one truly guilty
    for all my offences and wrongdoings
    yet He has declared me “not guilty”
    so His love and mercy I embrace.

  18. Domino


    So, sad and full of fear,
    she opened the basement door at last
    to discover what the terrifying secret was
    that she’d kept from herself all this time.
    And of all the fears she’d had,
    all the terrors she’d imagined,
    it wasn’t at all what she’d expected.

    She was in her father’s house,
    held tightly by him,
    her brother at her side.
    But her mother was there too,
    and she’d sent a policeman
    to take them away.

    The girl remembered, then,
    what had happened,
    the painful thing she’d locked away
    from herself.

    How tragic it still felt,
    the tears on all faces.
    The implacable officer,
    pulling her away from her father.
    Moments later in the car,
    she tried to unwind the window,
    tapping at it, tears flowing,
    “I’ll never see you again.”

    And she was right.

  19. Austin Hill

    PAD #12

    3:33 AM
    year after year
    thirty-eight times

    She calls
    I answer

    birthday greetings
    float on familiar musical notes

    The thirty-ninth time

    She calls
    I don’t answer

    birthday greetings fall flat
    familiar musical notes
    left on an answering machine

    She waits
    I call… the next day

    Predictive, her anger
    Far-seeing, her disappointment

    Her words prophetic,
    “This could be my last call.”

    The fortieth time

    She didn’t call
    I didn’t have to answer

    She died the month before
    I have no excuse.

    © April 2017 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  20. SharylAnn


    I love food
    Most especially
    I love desserts
    In particular
    I love chocolate
    ALL chocolate …
    Chocolate anything

    As my taste changed
    over the years
    I developed a deeper
    appreciation of different
    types of chocolate
    I consider my guiltiest
    pleasure Dark Chocolate
    in particular Dark Chocolate
    with caramel and sea salt
    And …
    Dark Chocolate with a
    hidden layer of cayenne
    chili jelly in the center

    What a total and complete
    Delight to my taste buds …

    Copyright © 2017 Sharyl
    Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
    As Ever, Sharyl

  21. Alphabet Architect

    Come Guilty, Leave Free

    Come guilty one,
    Look on the Guiltless.
    Come to the cross;
    He’s calling to you.
    Love drew you here,
    Not condemnation.
    Look at him now
    Wounded and worn
    Because of love…

    Why would a king
    Step down from Heaven;
    Take on the weight
    Of your guilt and mine?
    Humble beyond
    All comprehension;
    Eager to serve;
    Willing to die
    Because of love…

    Lay down your load;
    No need to carry
    Pain and regret
    For your past crimes.
    Jesus redeemed
    Every transgression;
    Traded his life
    For yours and mine
    Because of love…

  22. Earl Parsons

    Guilty Pleasures

    An occasional lemon pie
    A hot cross bun with my coffee
    A Milky Way or Kit Kat
    Or think cut maple bacon

    A stack of blueberry pancakes
    With whipped cream and syrup
    Or a bowl of Captain Crunch
    At ten o’clock at night

    Guilty pleasures take the cake
    The German Chocolate cake that is
    With an ice cold glass of whole milk
    And a nap in the Lazy-Boy

  23. Danielle Robinson

    I’m guilt for writing two. LOL

    Guilt Trip

    For the first sixty-seven days,
    of knowing you,
    I birthed comfort in your words.
    I believed in your soul.
    I craved your faith.
    I dreamed of evermore.

    For the next six hundred
    and sixty three days,
    there were endeavors
    and a consent to reinvent love
    the way we thought it should be:
    peaceful lips without broken tongues
    and incalculable affairs.

    Beyond reasonable doubt,
    in the suit of loving me,
    you proved that your
    moment of false-hearted
    was not made to ride or die for.

    Guilty Pleasures

    I want you like how I want you.
    I need you like how the rainbow stretch with every hue.
    I need you like how love needs itself.
    I need you like vitamins essential to health.
    I need you like how lovers need love to not fade.
    I need you like how a summer’s day need shade.
    I need you like how my mind needs my body, heart, and soul.
    I need you like the nutrients from my grandmother’s casserole.
    I need you like how my lungs breathe air.
    I need you in the times of hope and in despair
    I need you like the stars of the night and the sun of the day.
    I need you like the stairway to heaven’s gateway.
    I need you like flowers need rain.
    I need you like how joy alleviates pain.
    I need you like how children need parental.
    I need you like lyrics dancing in the atmosphere of instrumentals.
    I need you like hearts in need of beats.
    I need your eyes when mine are weak.
    I need you like a daily scripture
    Because without you, I can’t paint a picture.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  24. bonniej59

    Swept Away

    It’s a continuous stage of grief,
    a river that floods all,
    submerging every dock, every
    chance to put in for a moment
    and rest.

    For each loss of a beloved
    human or four-legged,
    through death or choice,

    of a political cause,
    my action shriveled
    through fear or lethargy,

    I’m capsized by memory of
    petty gripes vented,
    words I didn’t say, months I didn’t call,
    visits not made, walks we didn’t take,
    balls unthrown, behavior I didn’t praise,
    rifts unmended,
    love I didn’t show,

    swamped by protests unattended, letters unwritten, voice for peace and justice leashed,

    not reaching out or
    trying hard enough,

    my decision that went this way
    instead of that,

    the heartache that trailed in my wake.

    This river widens, picks up momentum,

    empties into an oil-drenched ocean,
    undefended climate hosting
    tsunami waves that
    shove me under,

    steal breath away.

  25. Michelle Hed

    The Baggage We Can’t Seem to Loose

    a facet of our lives
    comes with a bag of guilt,
    a bag so heavy
    we can’t remove it.

    We’re weighed down
    by our own minds
    need to relive, replay,
    rewind and relook
    at it on repeat.

    Until finally,
    we need to redeem,
    forgive, forget
    or move on
    and leave that bag unclaimed.

  26. Nancy Posey


    Every Sunday on the drive home from church,
    he heard the orders: Go straight to your room.
    Without complaint, aware of his infractions—
    squirming, sassing, rolling beneath the pews
    from front to back on a dare, sticking gum
    in his sister’s hair—he went without protest,
    more goat than lamb to the slaughter.

    This paying of dues, his meek acceptance
    of the scolding, sometimes a few whacks
    from Father’s belt, seemed a small price
    to pay for Sunday dinner Mother set out
    on the table, the buttered rolls, ham,
    potato salad, a bounty—and even more
    when the preacher and his wife visited.

    No wonder one Sunday, his deportment
    flawless, they’d looked around for him
    before the preacher offered the blessing,
    only to find him, blameless, yet waiting
    in his room for his weekly punishment.

  27. nickbutterfield123@gmail.com

    Yep, I am guilty of writing for an audience
    How guilty then? Would an instant replay in which the baseball struck enough near the foul line that the powder rose temporarily, the call was given

    How about Hades? Why did Jesus have to go after being nailed on a cross the Romans used? Those with him also on a cross had no need of a referee, they thought only of mercy, this before the imperfect became aware of what it was to be right with God.

    So righteous that an audience would not be needed, only grace could save us, us that could not erase the imperfect, the guilty, the foul ball, us sheep that could use some direction.

  28. DMK

    Pastors Guilty Pleasure

    pastors guilty pleasure
    no treasure
    cards, chips, chair with dealer set up
    drink in a cup
    on internet can play for free
    faces can’t see
    sitting silently less guilty
    cards other than ace are good
    smooth and old worn chips made of wood
    no treasure, drink in a cup, faces can’t see

  29. Marie Elena


    1. michaelharty’s “About Reparation” relates to today, is powerful, and even in the solemn truth it holds hope. Well done.
    2. Jerry Walraven’s “first, cleanse with turpentine.” I tend to probably overuse the term “poetic” when describing the pieces that really appeal to me. But my WORD, this man is poetic, and this piece is one of his finest examples. Just WOWs me.
    3. DanielAri’s “House of Jack’s Guilt” is simply a creative and flawless take. Man-oh-man!
    4. Maria Grace’s “Domine Non Sum Dignus” is a gift of word love and understanding to our Lord. BEAUTIFUL.
    5. De Jackson’s “Doing Time” is gorgeously poetic (there’s that word again, but geez!). What this woman can do with words. My goodness!
    6. Linda Hatton’s “I need someone new in my life” is full of everyday commonality, written not-at-all common. Wonderful.
    7. MET’s “Guilt and Forgiveness” has me in tears.
    8. MET’s “the guilt of another I wear” also has me in tears. Wow …
    9. Everything Walt Wojtanik today. WOW.
    10. Everything De Jackson today. My goodness, you amaze me.

  30. cari.resnick07

    No Place For Guilt

    Guilt is not the place for me
    Christ shed his blood so I could be free

    I will never be perfect, I sin all the time
    without Jesus I’m covered in grime

    By the spirit I’m called to live
    and what I’ve got, I’m called to give

    What I give will never compare to what He gave
    Confessed I’m a sinner and by His grace I was saved

    Even though I am saved, in my life I still sin
    But if I live a life of guilt, then the devil wins

    Day to day, I must take up my cross and give up the guilty shame
    And at every turn I can call out His name

    You save, You heal, You answer prayers, perform miracles, it’s your living word, all true
    Thank you Jesus, king of kings, I want to live my life for you

    Guilt is not the place for me
    Christ shed His blood so I could be free

    Guilt is not the place for me
    Christ shed his blood so I could be free

  31. Ivy_Lane

    “White-Knuckled Shame”

    She carried it with her,

    tucked safe,
    & close enough
    to reach

    & check

    (yep, it was still there).

    I suppose
    she could have

    emptied her pockets,
    shaken out the dusty bits.

    It’s just, she’d held it
    so long already.

    Her palms had
    taken its shape.

  32. LiveItUp

    Day 12 April Poem-A-Day

    The challenge is to write a poem about “guilty.”

    We tend to think “sad and bad” when we consider guilt.

    I took a different tact.

    Poetic Inditement**

    “Will the defendant please rise.”

    “As demonstrated by the title of this poem,
    You are charged with making ‘a play on words.'”

    “In addition, you are charged with using abstractions, sarcasm, subordinate clauses, interrogatives, and
    Demonstrative pronouns…
    Marginal prepositions and predicative positions,


    Indirect objects, incomplete sentences, intransitive verbs,
    Independent clauses, split infinitives,

    Power structures, gerund phrases, conjunctions,
    And active voices.”

    “Further, you are charged with being in superlative states, using possessive forms,
    Being in favor of pluperfect present participial phrases, and
    Simple prepositions.

    And finally,
    You are charged with
    Conjugating in a subjunctive mood!”

    “How do you plead?”

    “Guilty,” Your Honor. “Guilty as charged.”

    ** Poets should resist the urge to “explain” their poems, but the gist of this poem hinges on knowing the difference between indite and indict. Since indite is somewhat archaic in usage, you may not be familiar.

    Indite: to compose or write, as a poem.
    –Random House Dictionary

  33. Ivy_Lane

    “Unsettled Saturday”

    Keep moving, impressing, doing, perfecting
    This world’s no place for slowing down
    Tragic newspaper clippings I’ve been collecting
    Keep moving, impressing, doing, perfecting
    Young orphans and victims need protecting
    Isn’t there a pledge drive somewhere in town?
    Keep moving, impressing, doing, perfecting
    This world’s no place for slowing down

  34. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Who didn’t put the cap on the toothpaste?
    Who squeezed it from the middle of the tube?
    Who put the ice tray back in the freezer,
    With only one cube? Only one cube?

    Who left the car parked out in the driveway,
    With the gas gauge resting on “E”?
    Whose phone rang in church on Sunday?
    We all know that would be me, be me,
    We all know that would be me.

    Guilty, as charged,
    Guilty as sin;
    I’m guilty, it’s easy to see;
    I admit, I confess,
    It’s my own little mess,
    I’m guilty as guilty can be.

    Who didn’t put the seat down last night?
    Who left the dirty glass in the sink?
    Who didn’t call on his way home from work?
    Who do you think? Who do you think?

    Who left one cookie alone in the jar?
    Who washed the whites with a red?
    Who left a swallow of milk in the fridge?
    Who didn’t make up the bed, the bed?
    Who didn’t make up the bed?

    Guilty, as charged,
    Guilty as sin;
    I’m guilty, it’s easy to see;
    I admit, I confess,
    It’s my own little mess,
    I’m guilty as guilty can be.
    I’m guilty as guilty can be.

  35. LCaramanna

    She looked me straight in the eyes,
    without remorse,
    without regret,
    self assured,
    confident in an air of disrespect,
    as if she truly believed
    the words
    that tumbled from her lips
    with reckless abandon,
    that proclaimed her innocence.
    I returned her gaze,
    by her impudence,
    she was guilty.
    Her imminent punishment
    would no doubt
    make her wish
    she had told the truth.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  36. michaelharty

    About Reparation

    I knew the shameful litany
    of my people’s crimes against yours:
    the big ones, with bombs and ropes
    and twisted laws; and the thousand
    little signals, stay apart, your place
    is below. I never knew a Klansman
    or a crooked sheriff, but I felt the weight
    of their actions on my shoulders.

    What could I offer you to balance
    the pain we have inflicted? I found
    no answer, but you showed me
    another way: it was what you offered me.
    You sat beside me, told me of your life:
    your worries about your little sister.
    Your son’s gold medal. How you make
    a favorite salad dressing. How you dream
    of flying lessons. You gave me
    a chance to see
    that you were not a symbol.
    You were a man.

  37. pamelaraw

    Mea Culpa

    If this were someone else, you’d say,
    Mistakes happen.
    This error will be forgotten.
    Probably already has been.

    But you’ve banished yourself to the basement of your mind
    where you watch the replays on reel-to-reel to pinpoint
    that one wrong move. But it’s never just one, is it?
    See, there you go again with those self-inflicted verdicts
    as if you can never be rehabilitated from your own failings.

    You violated no laws or code of ethics.
    You’ve only fallen short
    of your own high standards.

    Maybe you’ll show yourself a little mercy
    and offer one last meal.


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