2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

We’ve officially made it to the half-way point of this challenge, which means two things: 1. I’ve got Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” song playing in my head; and 2. I should share the link to the poem finder tool for this blog (click to continue). Just use the Writer drop down to find your name and search for poems posted on the site so far (can also cross reference by year/day).

For today’s prompt, write a “one time” poem. This poem could be about a once in a lifetime experience. Or it could be about something a person wants to try just one time (good or bad). Or take it where you will–as always.


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 One Time Poem:


there are times when i tell myself
i can have another sip of soda

just one more time but no
one can leads to a 12-pack

& then i’m back to chugging
2 liters like water

because it becomes water
because i’m an addict

so no more soda
not one more time

not ever


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 a recovering soda-holic; 4 months strong, one day at a time.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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339 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

  1. Jane Shlensky


    Old Joe carried that boa ‘round for years
    draped all around his shoulders
    his neck looped in its muscles, fleshy, cool,
    its head testing the air along his arm,
    a curious hungry gaze. Clara, he called her.
    Old Snaky Joe could make the children scream
    although he and the snake were so serene
    that we crept close and quiet, formed a line
    and he would sit festooned in snake
    and let us run our hands along serpent,
    smooth muscle, cool as satin glinting
    in sunlight, its tongue flicking, playful.
    He taught the word “constrictor”
    by slowly squeezing our forearms
    in his big hands until it almost hurt.
    “It’s like a hug gone wrong,” he said,
    making me think of Grandma’s overdone,
    hugging too tight, unwilling to let go.

    Just once we watched the snake devour
    a mouse, swallowing it whole, resting
    in its food coma, digesting in its kennel cage,
    Joe petting Clara’s head touching the lump
    of mouse edging along her length.
    “Imagine being hugged to death,”
    the old man said, his gentle smile
    more frightening than I can say.

  2. mschied

    The Promise

    Just this once I will let down my guard
    Just this once love will prevail
    Just this once I will take a chance
    Just this once my courage will not fail

    Just this once I will give my heart
    Just this once my secrets will see the light
    Just this once I will trust another
    Just this once I won’t give up without a fight

    Just this once I took a chance
    Just this once the die was cast
    Just this once you let me down
    Just this once will be the last

  3. lily black

    That One Time At The River

    Swimming at the river
    invigorates the noodle in me
    We laughed and took photos
    My hair wet and slicked back
    Yours newly cut and cute
    We were happy one time
    Memories float by
    like the current of that river
    Reminding me of us.

  4. Laura T

    (because life and death happen, and you think you’re keeping up, but it turns out you’ve lost a week, so now you write a lot to finish, hopefully strong, but finish, because something has to feel complete, when you don’t) 2 of 10 in one day.

    Beginning/End/Middle: repeat

    One time I’d like to,
    But just one time,
    I think one time is enough
    One time is often too much,
    Still, I’d like to, one time,
    Because one time could be enough

  5. BDP

    Sijo #15: One Time

    I arrive to weep my eyes clean of allergies, each day, one time.
    Pine pollen ages your best chair although I locked the windows shut.
    Lost one, your home’s trying to be a grainy photo—I’ll keep it clear.

  6. artifiswords


    I heard them talking…
    Of getting up to altitude
    Then stepping into air
    Seconds or moments
    Of free fall…then
    With the pull of the ripcord
    Floating gently to earth…
    But what if nothing happens,
    If the chute doesn’t deploy?
    You can feel your body flatten
    Against this earthly coil…
    I’m not afraid of such heights
    2 miles up in a balloon was
    Strange…not frightening
    But I won’t jump out of
    A perfectly good plane,
    Not in this lifetime

    © 2017 Robert Mihaly

    Posted to:

  7. hohlwein

    One Time

    We stood on our rooftop
    at 51st and 11

    We probably had a picnic for our birthdays
    that was lovely

    And keeping us company, bobbing on the tar sheets near us,
    was the giant heart shaped balloon

    deflated from Valentine’s Day
    a couple of days earlier

    As we were leaving
    we let the heart go with some wishes attached

    thinking it might sink down, defeated,
    into the traffic of 11th avenue

    But it lifted. drifted up
    and just before the first line of high clouds

    Filled out suddenly into a giant, full
    red, radiant, heart dancing, alive over New York City.

    We were delighted.
    Love lived!

  8. Michelle Murrish

    Remember that one time
    I laughed so hard I peed my pants
    And my friend sat in a puddle so it looked
    Like we both just fell down?
    Or that time
    The cat was poisoned, by an awful neighbor
    And I stayed home from school
    To cry and hold him one last time?
    Or that time
    I threw my arms wide and spun
    And spun and spun
    So much, that I was sick for three days?
    Or that time
    When I met the love of my life
    And I married him
    A short six months later?
    Or that time
    I failed to carry yet another pregnancy
    And couldn’t get off the bathroom floor
    Because I was so broken?
    Or that time
    I sent my daughter off for her first day of school
    Watching her smile and laugh and run
    And tears fell for the life she was beginning?
    Remember that one time?
    I do

  9. Linda Hatton

    Haste Makes Waste

    Although I can’t say
    I recognize
    most of my fellow
    power walkers,
    I can imagine
    most of those
    who make
    waste in their haste
    around here.

    They are
    someone who eats Pez candy,
    someone who shops at Big 5,
    someone who throws away
          homework, and
    someone who doesn’t mind contributing
    to nature’s demise.

    They are
    someone who drinks just half
          a McCafe,
    someone who keeps no receipts,
    someone who uses no coupons,
    and someone who buys
          extra treats
    to leave for wildlife
    on the street.

    I declare this,
    just one time,
    I’d rather meet
    and greet
    those draggletails
    than feast
    my eyes
    on their
    and food-

  10. Shennon

    Just one time
    She tasted fruit
    Exquisite and forbidden

    Just one time
    God said to come
    But they remained well hidden

    Just one time
    Eve blamed the snake
    Excuses were unbidden

    Just one time
    Paradise lost
    Banned to live among midden.


  11. Catherine Conley

    One Tme

    Just this one time, I wish
    I wish they would listen.
    But like the sound of a wife’s voice
    To a husband’s ear,
    The teacher’s voice floats over and around
    The students in their seats,
    And they cannot hear that
    Which can fly them to new frontiers.
    But perhaps, just perhaps,
    This One Time,
    Someone has heard
    Someone has listened
    And that someone will soar.


  12. Rolf Erickson

    Once Upon

    We tell our story
    again and again
    to whomever happens
    to conveniently
    cross our path.

    The same story
    with little wiggles
    in the pronounciation
    or the pronouns
    or punchline.

    So who needs
    to hear our story
    the most other than
    ourself ourself
    oddly enough.

    We speak and
    we hear and
    then take some pleasure
    in that speaking
    in that hearing.

    But if we could
    tell our same story
    one and only one time
    and then be done
    a door would open.

  13. Karen

    Friends sitting in a circle
    enjoying a sunny day
    Great Blue Heron over head
    passes us by
    then turns and comes back

    flies a circle above us
    recognition dawning bright
    he sees me

  14. mayboy

    One time

    it goes with time,
    it begins with a dot,
    from the left to the right
    and upside down,
    curves included,
    force in ink deluded.
    It ends with a touch,
    an attachment
    of untouched.

  15. Stephanie H.

    One at a Time

    At one time
    She knew the stars
    Had a plan
    A predestined stamp
    Of tomorrows aligned

    At one time
    She grew dreams
    In her head
    Of years up ahead
    And lives intertwined

    At one time
    She forgot
    All the things
    That were said
    And did this instead
    Never looking behind

  16. Imelda


    It was the dead of winter, a Buffalo kind of December
    Yet it must as well have been summer in your little kitchen
    The stove was still warm with the dinner you prepared
    But our feelings for each other were much warmer
    The formica table was laid out for a dinner for two
    And we were all dressed in our finery as though we were dining at the Ritz

    I no longer remember our meal
    Was it sushi
    Or some Italian dish?
    All I know was I was mighty impressed
    You could cook while I could only offer to do the dishes

    I remember the feel of your hands
    I was getting used to how they felt laced with mine
    Your eyes were a calm blue behind your glasses
    And they wore a smile I believed was just for me

    How far had we come from our first conversation –
    Happening when my night was your daytime
    I was caught up with the moment I thought would never happen
    I did not realize our dinner was done
    Next thing I knew
    you were on your knee taking my hand
    while your eyes held me rooted on my spot
    and you asked –
    would I marry you

    I knew it would happen
    Still, my heart almost jumped out of my chest
    I could only say –
    “Thank you”

    But that was just enough.

  17. Margot Suydam

    No Longer Here

    I’ve climbed fourteen-hundred
    foot mountains, scaling Colorado
    walls of slipping rock without fear.

    Hand-over-hand on dusty paths
    where no one walks, I can travel
    on despite the ring of painful

    arms. Guarding the bald peak
    like a hawk, I have screeched
    at the wind, occupied wild places

    where insanity runs rampant.
    Putting fear to rest, I’ve observed
    up close those lost in their secrets

    no idea that their faces are dirty
    their clothes stained. Amidst taut
    dangerous thoughts, I have listened.

    Now I do the small things that make
    up this life: I cart out the garbage
    in the dark, climb up on a chair

    to put nails in the wall for pictures.
    I fix the plumbing problem flooding
    the kitchen. You’re no longer here.

  18. ToniBee3

    One Time

    One time you called me “Bill”
    when I’ve been “Ann” all of your life…
    then I was “Billy” again then “Annie” then “who are you?”…

    Then one time you panicked
    when you thought you forgot to pick up Billy from school…
    but Billy hadn’t been in school for decades…

    Then there were those times
    when you sideswiped a few cars and trash cans…
    and we had to take your keys… I’m sorry, my dear…

    Then that other time you frustrated yourself
    when you couldn’t find your spectacles…
    I found them in the icebox beside the milk…

    One morning a neighbor found you outside in your housecoat and bare feet
    when temperatures were frigid…
    you came to live with me…

    Another time you thought I was a stranger trying to harm you
    when you suddenly bit my arm and screamed…
    you were frightened and I was frightened…

    Then it was that one special time… on a Thursday…
    when we talked all day about family and food and history…
    and we laughed and then we cried…

    That one time…

  19. SharylAnn


    I saw them
    many times
    harnessed to huge wings
    running off the edge
    of a Texas plateau
    taking the risk
    of flying …

    My dream…
    My desire…
    Is to just
    once feel the
    rush of air
    over my face
    as those wings
    lift me and free
    my soul in flying

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

  20. saymwaHolly

    Just once…

    I wish I could just once
    submit my poem
    without awaiting moderation
    that never comes. No—I lied—
    I wish to do it every day
    this month sans moderation.

    Moderation never was my thing.
    No wonder my words still
    languish in limbo, my voice silenced
    awaiting moderation.
    So I’ve changed my identity,
    donned a disguise.

    Will it work? I don’t know.
    May as well await Godot.

  21. Valkyri

    try everything once
    (and twice if you like it)

    how do we know
    what our boundaries and limits are
    our likes and dislikes
    if we never venture past
    the cusp of the unknown
    do not limit yourself
    to the comfortable stagnation
    test yourself everyday
    to try one new thing
    delve into the unknown places
    shed light on the cobwebs
    and clear them away
    until you can see clearly
    the expanse of who you really are
    and what you are made of

  22. Danielle Robinson

    Once in a Blue Moon

    Can we:

    cease the propaganda,
    abort mental slavery,
    act like humans and
    redefine humanity,
    end the war on religion
    terrorism, s_ _ism, and racism,
    end black on black crimes,
    discontinue reality
    shows to show reality,
    stop selling ourselves,
    stop powdering noses
    and injecting veins to kill pain,
    put down the guns
    to raise our fist to resist,
    not cook crack in
    crockpots and call it a come up–
    when its really a set-up,
    stop mothering and fathering
    children just to abandon them,
    keep the babies in school,
    stop getting high and turning up
    with the babies and thinking its cool,
    save the babies from
    being violated and abused,
    mute the radio of nonsense
    for words of substance,
    interrupt false news for
    nothing but the whole truth,
    and use social media without
    a hash tag and name for justice?

    For once in a blue moon,
    can we stop the world?
    Can we shake it up,
    to wake it up
    or is it too soon?

    Daniellr C. Robinson

  23. drwasy


    Once you threw a salad bowl against a tree
    with such force it shattered into many pieces.
    For months I found shards of heirloom tomatoes

    printed on clay among the periwinkle growing
    in the birch’s roots. Each time my fingers found a piece
    of porcelain I wondered why you threw that bowl—

    was it our disagreement about where to spend Easter
    or was it because I said no when you told me I could
    not bring the children to my mother’s house or was

    the bowl lost to the earth because you finally felt
    a flicker of frustration after getting your way all
    these years? I can’t remember why you flung that bowl

    but I do remember how the arugula arced slow-motion
    in the waning sunlight and the thump against the trunk
    and the silence that came after.

  24. Jezzie


    For just once in my retirement
    I’d like to be able to say
    I have made the very best use
    I possibly can of my day

    Once I used to feel satisfied
    that my day at work was done well
    now I seem to wander around
    doing just whatever I will

    Once I used to work very hard
    and spend less of my time at play
    now my life is always playtime
    motivation has gone away

  25. Domino

    One Time

    Once, when fireworks blazing in the night sky,
    and they dimmed the stars with their phosphorescence,
    lying on a blanket on the long summer grass,
    the smell of clover and Shasta daisies
    permeating the warm air,
    I felt the earth moving beneath me,
    felt the massiveness of the world
    and the infinity of the stars
    and the smallness of
    my life.

    1. ppfautsch24

      One Time
      I just wanted to kiss you just one time.
      School girl crush
      Teenage angst and
      Cougar lust; just wanted to one time.
      I must.
      By Pamelap

  26. pcm

    Once yet again

    young worlds
    observe birth
    and death
    with exuberance:

    first breath
    full of promise—
    a new creature
    to welcome
    with abandon

    elation eager
    as fledgling
    chicks gawping
    beaks wide

    whilst tears.
    last breath—
    a new fossil
    swirls oddlong
    until Tuesdays
    then intersects
    the moon.

    If we banned
    first and last
    from the lexicon,
    could we stop
    the compression
    of these days?