2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

After today, we’ll be 67% of the way through this challenge. Only 10 days to go!

For today’s prompt, write a task poem. The task can be some glorious duty, or it can be a seemingly small and insignificant job. Or the poem can take someone to task. It’s your task to figure it out and write it.

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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.

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Here’s my attempt at a Task Poem:

“poeming”

the words come easiest
when i’m working on some
thing completely different

like moving numbers in
spreadsheets or looking for
errors in an index

folding laundry & then
putting away laundry
or washing the dishes

but paying all the bills
that produces the most
poems & here we go

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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 writes poems even when he’s not writing poems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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372 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

  1. Jane Shlensky

    Housework

    Carefully, I dust your eyes,
    feeling your stare engage my own.
    I smear your smile; I smudge your chin;
    I smooth your face be-framed but gone.
    I clean your glass, I drink your health
    now in whatever place you’ve roamed.
    I light a candle, say a prayer
    for peace for spirits winging home.

  2. Jane Shlensky

    In the Doctor’s Waiting Room

    He eyes us, daring us to move,
    and tells the lady, “Make it quick.”
    He seems not to know we are sick,
    That’s why we’re here today, not school.

    “Nothing is all you have to do.
    Do you think you can handle that?”
    He asks. “Just Nothing,” we repeat.
    We don’t think that is possible.

    Involuntary actions swell,
    with hearts and lungs, bladders and such.
    We miss our mom a lot today.
    She has a light and cheery touch.

    He looks endangered, antsy, scared.
    He can get mean when he’s hemmed in.
    Nothing. Easy peasy. Sure.
    Let’s hope Doc will find him a cure.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Choices

    Destruction is the part they like the best,
    how ripping, tearing, breaking happens fast,
    how powerful they are, pounding to dust
    a wall that once a floor and roof could trust.

    They hate clearing the jagged mess they’ve made—
    the sweeping, shoveling, hauling, afraid
    of broken glass and nails, smoothing a space
    back to blank ground, a chalk board they’ve erased.

    But once packed earth is clear, their teacher tries
    to introduce new visions to new eyes,
    imagination, possibilities
    that they can build in this plots’ boundaries.

    Some draw a place where they might live or work;
    some draw palaces like Ottoman Turks;
    a couple put a bench and leave it stark;
    but one designs a green and lovely park.

    All teachers know the lesson’s in the task
    when students opt to do more than we ask,
    when we convince them building things that last
    is better than destruction, but not fast.

  4. mschied

    Poetic pickle

    Poem-a-day is here again
    the yearly test
    of creativity
    determination
    perseverance
    and pride
    but by day 20
    I feel there is
    nothing left
    inside
    I have turned my
    insides out
    tapped into
    tamped down thoughts
    my secret side
    the daily dilemmas
    and all those I
    love
    despise
    and embrace
    in torment
    all that is lefte
    I find
    is the poetry
    itself, infesting my
    mind, giving
    me one more task
    to rise to
    write
    to finally leave
    behind

  5. artifiswords

    A FIVE-PART TASK…GROAN

    Most people have never heard of
    Let alone seen balloons
    In a competitive event…
    So I’ll explain as best I can
    For the uninitiated…
    The point isn’t speed
    A balloon only moves
    As fast as the wind it’s in
    So the point of the competition
    Is accuracy…and flying skill
    Wind speed and direction vary
    At different altitudes…
    Usually, but not always
    Faster as the altitude increases
    At the highest levels of the sport
    Flight consists of flying tasks…
    With a target or goal at the end
    You have to prove you got there
    By leaving a marker dropped or thrown
    From the basket…no mean task
    The ultimate challenge at
    Major events can bring a
    Multitudinous selection of goals
    The one-armed Chinese paper hanger
    Has nothing on those who succeed
    Who’s on first and what’s on second
    Becomes clear as the final results are revealed
    And you just thought
    Balloons in flight were slow-moving
    Beautiful giants…am I right?

    © 2017 Robert Mihaly

    Posted to:
    https://artifiswordpresscom.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/a-five-part-task-groan/

  6. Laura T

    1.Write poem 1
    2. Feel guilty for not vacuuming
    3. Write poem 2
    4. Feel guilty for not washing car
    5. Write poem 3
    6. Feel guilty for not making bed
    7. Write poem 4
    8.Feel guilty for not doing laundry
    9. Write poem 5
    10. Feel guilty for not cleaning out closet
    11. Write poem 6
    12. Feel guilty for not mopping kitchen
    13. Write poem 7
    14. Feel guilty for not emptying dishwasher
    15. Write poem 8
    16. Feel guilty for not taking out trash
    17.Write poem 9
    18. Feel guilty for not dusting
    19.Write poem 10
    20 Find balance in my life by hiring a maid.

  7. RJ Clarken

    <b Attack and Makeup

    “If you are sad, add more lipstick and attack.” ~ Coco Chanel

    Add lipstick if you are feeling sad.
    Paint on color to aggress:
    Scarlet beats all blues; you choose your muse
    and then say goodbye to all that stress.

    Apply your bold tipped mascara wand.
    Brush on color to lash out:
    You choose your muse; brown/black beats all blues.
    In the blink of an eye? A knockout.

    The foundation is laid with these tools.
    Dab away for the onrush
    Bright hue beats all blues; you choose your muse
    with some lipstick, mascara and blush.

    ###

    1. RJ Clarken

      Sorry – HTML Fail. Once again:

      Attack and Makeup

      “If you are sad, add more lipstick and attack.” ~ Coco Chanel

      Add lipstick if you are feeling sad.
      Paint on color to aggress:
      Scarlet beats all blues; you choose your muse
      and then say goodbye to all that stress.

      Apply your bold tipped mascara wand.
      Brush on color to lash out:
      You choose your muse; brown/black beats all blues.
      In the blink of an eye? A knockout.

      The foundation is laid with these tools.
      Dab away for the onrush
      Bright hue beats all blues; you choose your muse
      with some lipstick, mascara and blush.

      ###

  8. BDP

    Sijo #20: Task—To Ruin Tulips

    In autumn, squirrel paws dig them up, scatter useless acorn bulbs.
    Spring’s worse. The beasts choke off the few that bloom (teeth nooses).
    Flowers fall limp on dewed ground: I mourn loss of oak strength.

  9. saymwaHolly

    Why I don’t iron

    Mother used to press
    everything
    with an electric iron and a
    terrifying Machine
    terrifyingly named
    a mangle known
    for its potential
    squashing flat
    and symmetrical scarring
    of small curious hands

  10. SharylAnn

    PRO-TASK-INATION

    Retirement is supposed
    to be a time of leisure
    reflection
    travel
    sleeping late
    no set schedule
    that well-earned
    time in life that
    holds me to set schedule

    Time to do as I please
    answering to no one
    Finally …
    My Own Boss

    Or so I thought …

    These days I need
    a calendar …
    a planner …
    reminders set on my computer …
    even deadlines …
    some self-imposed
    and some imposed by others

    All my life I have
    been the Queen of Procrastination
    the ultimate mañana attitude
    working better under pressure
    getting tasks finished at
    the last-minute …
    the final hour …

    I still do that
    Even today with
    deadlines …
    self-imposed
    and imposed by other

    I pace my tasks
    yet …
    still work under pressure
    getting projects completed
    just under the wire
    or …
    heaven forbid a day late

    Mostly …
    I am my own
    BOSS
    so I live in a
    constant state of
    Pro-TASK-ination

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

  11. Mariya Koleva

    A Picture of a Depressed Person

    The simplest task
    Will get me tired.
    The lightest load
    Seems hard to bear.
    And it’s the darkest night
    That only brings me rest.

    Tasks are overwhelming
    For the depressed.
    ***

  12. Domino

    Pie

    Prepare the crust carefully keeping
    the moisture to a minimum and
    as cold as possible. Next, sweeping
    up the crumbs and rolling out the dough
    between two sheets of waxed paper, I
    transfer without tearing it, although
    a bit of water mends the confection.
    Pricked with a thousand holes and then baked
    until golden, fragrant perfection.

    The filling will be lemon, fresh squeezed,
    cooked in a mystical blend of sweet
    and sour, the flavor carefully teased
    into yellow gel, pour in the shell
    and top with meringue until I’m pleased.
    Bake and brown the creamy white topping
    then chill, though it’s difficult to wait,
    but the golden white, brown, and yellow
    takes some time to reach its perfect state.

  13. DMK

    daily tasks check

    call from mother (check)
    mortifications (check)
    medication (check)
    prayer asked and given (check)
    PAD and catch up complete (working in progress)
    paid bills, pack and clean ( check,check)
    de-stress time (work in progress)
    would like fasts to be planned not chosen (check)
    contact with human friend (check)
    8 of 10 complete
    the rest on the way
    I love you….
    I am sorry…
    forgive me…
    thank you….
    good day !….amen !

    1. ppfautsch24

      Task of the Heart
      Roaming like fog over the moors,
      rises in the morn and sets in the dawn.
      A moving breeze penetrates; to start
      the task to slowly, but surely mend
      a broken heart.
      By Pamelap

  14. Valkyri

    catching up after moving…

    houskeeping

    it’s the least I
    can do for you
    to make this place
    (such as it is)
    a home for us
    apartment clean and neat
    a sweet smelling haven
    you work so hard
    so I don’t mind
    the daily silly chores
    happily without a grudge
    I trudge on through
    because you’re worth it

  15. Sara McNulty

    Packing

    Each day my task is the same,
    pack this wrap that, mark the box.
    There’s no way to make it a game.
    Each day my task is the same,
    Being ready to move is my aim.
    I feel like an overworked ox.
    Each day my task is the same,
    pack this, wrap that, mark the box.

  16. Anvanya

    TICKY-TACKY BOXES

    Come on along with me
    ’Cause I gotta job for you.
    See up there in the loft? Yep –
    All them bankers boxes has gotta
    Come down. And then you make sure –
    An I mean REAL sure –
    That ever’ piece of paper in ever’
    File is from the same year as
    Is writ on the front of the box.

    Got that? Sure, Ted can help you
    Drag ’em down, bein’ real careful.
    Put ’em on the big oak table and have at it.
    Nope – just you.

    You gotta question? Put the files in
    Order by date? What fer, girl? Ain’t
    Nobody ever gonna look at them once
    You done the job. Besides which, you
    Ain’t being paid to think. Just to check
    Dates. Got it?

  17. pamelaraw

    How to Do Laundry at Your New Apartment

    Go downstairs
    Read the sign above the washer–$3.50 per load
    Walk back upstairs
    Bemoan the number of quarters added to your life
    Find a laundromat with five stars and a money card
    Drag your bags there
    Watch the staff wash and fold other people’s clothes
    Calculate the cost to drop yours off
    Calculate what you spent versus the energy saved staying home
    Wait a few weeks until you run out of clean underwear
    Find the tin filled with change from the last unpacked box
    Do a happy dance
    Go downstairs again
    Discover the dryer takes six coins for 72 minutes–enough time for two loads
    Set your stopwatch and get started

  18. J.lynn Sheridan

    The Salt Lick

    When the time comes, he will probably
    sprinkle just enough pity and proverb
    upon our wounds to heal the breathing
    rift we choked with myth and fatal exposés.

    The antidote for allegory is not truth
    but more allegory.

    This is what he does—with flourish.

    One good deed deserves another
    and so we gather around the salt
    lick for another night of fable,
    poetry, and ballad to heal our souls.

  19. drwasy

    carving grapefruit

    in morning twilight
    is a task I can do
    with eyes closed

    when it is the only
    food you consume

    it feels a gift to
    slice the orb in half
    part the sections
    with the knife
    remove the seeds
    that erupt like stones
    after winter’s frost

    present your meal
    in a shallow bowl

    a sacrament.

  20. DanielAri

    “My running punchlist”

    String bone beads together.
    Examine every choice again.
    Re-choose ones that need more marrow (or less).
    Iterate.

    Frame photograph of footprint in sand in a shadow box.
    Tape securely and ship to Poughkeepsie.
    Send packages to Ubud, New York City, Tustin.
    Log progress.
    Wait.

    Call up cartoon snow leopard to arrange feedings.
    Reschedule animated polar bear.
    Advertise Tilt-O-Whirl.
    Pack extra clay in saddlebags for tomorrow’s journey.
    Gussy up.
    Debrief on first impression you think you made.

    Put away dishes.
    Take out accordion and practice the old songs.
    Get it in, even if just under the wire.

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