2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “The Poets,” “The Good Guys,” “The Bad Guys,” “The Last Thing She Said,” and so on.


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 The Blank Poem:

“the end”

there is only one end
& i have yet
to find it


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 content with continuing on and on without end.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


Find more poetic posts here:

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

571 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    the promise
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    though she remembers him not, he still feeds her
    her mouth taking in each spoonful like a baby bird
    her hair, the color of moonlight, long and unkempt
    her hands, mottled and crippled, too boney
    to honor wearing the antique rings anymore,
    but that’s ok, he remembers for them both.

    a time of polka dot dresses
    and fields of daylilies, orange and gold
    wicker baskets and worn quilts
    ferry rides over salted open water
    the call of pacific Loons to one another
    chianti breath words of Byron, Shelley, Dickinson, and Keats
    tussling their hair, leaving star-crossed lovers
    a final arc across a dim-lit sky
    while gravity gently tugs and applauds.

    though she remembers him not, he still feeds her
    to honor the vow, sixty two years and counting.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. BDP

    Sijo #30: The Returning

    I’d like to think that’s what will happen: pines grow more plentiful.
    New branches reach up, out—spiral around their dappled wind.
    Letting your ashes fly, settle, feels as if you’ve come close again.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    The Winding Road Home

    I couldn’t wait to hit the road,
    see rear-view mirrored home grow small,
    wind combing hair and lifting dreams,
    horizons rising in my eyes.
    I’d had enough of difficult,
    of farms and dirt, of sweat and death.
    Enough of cows and chicken shit,
    enough of things you can’t forget.
    Sun rose and set across a field,
    tobacco endless as God’s breath.
    It didn’t help that nicotine
    was sure to cause somebody’s death,
    and somehow I would know my part
    in universal misery.

    It would be years before I’d stay
    at home beyond a Sunday lunch,
    a gathering of kin and kind,
    a holiday, reunion-like.
    But sickness calls us home at last,
    to do our part to ease a load,
    to watch as parents weaken, lost
    as lambs clouded in wilderness.
    By then the fields are overrun
    with weeds and new growth cedar trees;
    the cows are sold, the chickens gone,
    and barns and sheds begun to lean.
    It’s then that I remember green
    as smooth as skin, the vineyards full,
    the orchard Eden’s open door,
    gardens and flowers everywhere.
    It’s then that I remember me
    as strong as I would ever be,
    so brown and muscled, capable
    of what must be done, good or ill.

    Mama begs that we take her home
    while she sits where she’s always been.
    And so I know home in the bones
    of memories, in plots of ground,
    in seasons passing green and gold,
    the fecund smell of rain on dust.
    “Let’s close our eyes and think of home,”
    I tell my Mama, “like a game.”
    She smiles so sadly. In our heads
    are places conjured out of need,
    are joys that freed us from the hurt,
    are strengths and weaknesses reweighed,
    are homes that won’t see light of day.

    But that’s ok for now. The trees
    have grown along a winding road,
    familiar still, that leads us home,
    a stand of pears, the apples ripe,
    a collie dog, a hound, a calf,
    voices of those we love and fight,
    defend and argue with, our folks.
    That lives in us, recoils, renews,
    twists into odes and elegies,
    returns us to the youths we were
    eager to leave and see the world.

  4. headintheclouds87

    The Sweet Release

    A silent wave of contentment
    Washes over this tight, tense body
    Releasing it from its torture
    Formed entirely of needless insecurity
    That threatened to consume all thought
    Until the decisive day then came
    When a soul so lost and adrift
    Escaped from an invented storm
    And saw the true sky once again.

  5. Shennon

    The Last Line of Her Novel

    The first three books in her series
    Always ended with a quest.
    Surely the fourth and final one
    Would end different from the rest.

    – Then I went to look for food.
    -“It’s time to find Arana’s twin sister.”
    -“Let’s go.”
    -(Mystery Phrase)

    She knew she’d find the perfect phrase
    To make her last book the best.


  6. Linda Hatton

    The Pleasure Garden

    Undetected fairy wings
    under my footsteps
    and an itty-bitty
    cracked crystal ball
    my future,
    but I’m too busy
              getting by
    to notice.

    Mossy dreadlocks
    in the trees above me
    while flying ants
    the grounds,
    me in lotus pose,
    hold me captive
    for rainbow
    shield bugs
              to cleanse
    my chakras.

    off in the distance,
    a brownish-grey
    mourning dove
    my name,
    begs me
    to stay, set
    an example,
    gather debris,
    plant seeds, help
    the thicket,
    teach all futures
    to love and hold


  7. Margot Suydam

    The Orchard

    Translucent willowing lace bare
    against a single screened window,
    empty vase perched on the sill.

    A room singed in apricot, wall
    trimmed ripe yellow like bananas
    aging in hot kitchen air, softening

    soon to black from brown. This is
    I recall again and again. Your complex
    sweet could taste slightly of rot good

    to cause a slight gag, a twisting
    away. Yet, still I digest the ripened
    words aimed to maim the unprotected.

    A dancer, I spin and spill, still
    to your guitar I strum and hawk
    and when you seed me, I blossom,

    bake in shades, and apply you slick
    to parted lips. An orchard inflamed,
    I let you circle and stake. Your stem,

    tall and lanky, staples me while
    embers prance in gray debris,
    orange glows up my skirt.

    And so now, I implore: Mix me
    again in your willowing yellow,
    singed apricot, and ripe lace.

  8. ReathaThomasOakley

    The empty place

    in my heart wasn’t filled
    with words this month,

    too much of the other,
    journeys, obligations, life,
    crowded in, demanded
    space until there was no
    room left, except for a
    tiny corner labeled,
    Next Year.

    1. trishwrites

      Aww Reatha – how I missed your beautiful words this month – you’ve always been such an inspiration to me- but I know how life can interfere at times – and look forward to reading more from you

  9. lily black

    The Purple Sage
    The sage was blooming
    So I thought of rain
    And you
    If you see these flowers
    You said
    You’ll see rain
    It’s true
    When I see those flowers
    It rains
    From my eyes
    Which will never see you

  10. saymwaHolly

    The Ritz: an erasure http://www.ritzparis.com/en-GB

    The powerful
    opt for the absolute
    sweeping over the place.
    Reborn, you, to the Light,
    restored, intimate.
    Most linger in secret alcoves
    or shade—

    Thank you, Robert, and thanks to all you lovely poets for sharing your creativity, poignancy and humor.

  11. Tracy Davidson

    The Candles

    A new day, a new telegram.
    Mother lights another candle,
    prays for another fallen lamb.
    A new day, a new telegram.
    Now three sons lost for Uncle Sam,
    more heartache for her to handle.
    A new day, a new telegram…
    mother lights another candle.

  12. drwasy

    Robert, thank you for another fabulous month of poeming! And all, thank you for your poems and kind words–as always, such a joy this month. Keep calm and poem on! Peace…

  13. drwasy

    The last poem she writes

    In April is often her worst.
    Not because the rhyme
    or meter don’t work
    (they don’t),
    or because the content
    Is dull (it is),
    but because by month’s
    end she is depleted,
    exhausted from poeming
    her daily poem, and because
    sadness overwhelms—she’s
    reached the end that
    seemed interminable
    when she started.

  14. SharylAnn

    The Last Poem …

    The last day
    Wraps it all
    into a tidy package
    No bows…
    No ribbons…
    The final day
    The Last Poem …

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

  15. MET

    an old one….

    Before I am an old woman…

    Before I am an old woman,
    I will grow my hair white,
    One long braid down the center of my back.
    Warm days, I will wash it and let the wind
    Blow it dry.
    I will wear hats-
    Wanton winter hats
    Black, red and brown
    With nets, feathers and velvet ribbons
    Whimsical summer hats
    Straw hats of tan and white
    With huge silk flowers, silk scarves and satin ribbons.
    On hot days I will take them off
    And fan myself cool.
    I will walk through my woods barefoot,
    Wade in my springs.
    I will disappear for hours just to be alone.
    I will feed wild birds and deer
    And hunt hunters,
    To remind them to leave my wild creatures alone.
    I can hear the talk about the crazy lady
    Living in the woods.
    They will tell their children,
    And there will be no telling what they will say.
    Maybe, they will tell tales of me running naked
    Through the woods on moonlit nights;
    Like they told on one woman long past
    Who rode like Lady Godiva through the neighborhood,
    When my parents were newly wed.
    Her stories may just get mixed up with mine.
    I will drive my nieces and nephews crazy,
    By telling them I am going off for a while.
    They will wonder where I ‘ve gone,
    Calling each other and none will know where I am.
    They will say what shall we do with Aunty May,
    Just think what she will be like when she is old.
    I will just smile,.
    Because I am here to remind them
    That we just can’t all be the same.
    Some of us were never meant to grow old gracefully.
    Before I am an old woman,
    I will grow my hair white,
    And wear one long braid down my back.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    February 3, 1997, Revised December 31, 2007

  16. Marie Elena


    1. serenevannoy’s The Reckoning is a difficult read. A heartbreaking life story, poetically penned so effectively that I feel it is one of the best of the challenge.
    2. PCMs The Dinner Date is very well written. It’s engaging, and has a surprisingly heart-tugging ending.
    3. Linda Voit’s The Window is a charming, humorous, visual gem.
    4. April_H’s The Blank busts the prompt wide open in just 6 words. Another best of the whole challenge, IMHO. A total WOW.
    5. De Jackson’s The Way We Spill is just so gorgeously, playfully, wonderfully De.

  17. Marie Elena

    I thought I was done for the month, but I can’t sleep, so one more:


    I know impish Izzy who swallowed a dime
    But I don’t know why she swallowed the dime.
    Perhaps I’ll rhyme.

    I know impish Izzy who swallowed banana
    that tasted so sweet and that came from Cabana.
    She swallowed banana to push down the dime.
    But I don’t know why she swallowed the dime.
    Perhaps I’ll rhyme.

    I know impish Izzy is waiting to poop.
    And each time she does, Momma’s needing to “snoop.”
    She swallowed banana that came from Cabana.
    She swallowed banana to push down the dime
    But I don’t know why she swallowed the dime.
    Perhaps I’ll rhyme.

    I know a sweet Momma who thinks this all stinks.
    Whose sweet little Izzy is full of high jinx
    And while she’s high jinxing, she’s waiting to poop
    And each time she does, Momma’s needing to snoop.
    She swallowed banana that came from Cabana.
    She swallowed banana to push down the dime
    But I don’t know why she swallowed the dime.
    Perhaps I’ll rhyme.

    I know impish Izzy, who gives us a run
    For proverbial money. She’s playful, that one.
    Her sweet little Momma just thinks this all stinks,
    While Izzy is impish and full of high jinx
    And while she’s high jinxing, she’s waiting to poop
    And each time she does, Momma’s needing to snoop.
    She swallowed banana that came from Cabana.
    She swallowed banana to push down the dime
    But I don’t know why she swallowed the dime.
    Perhaps I’ll rhyme.

    Our Izzy is loaded with life and fun sass.
    And as for the dime? Well, this too shall pass.

    (And you ALL knew THAT was coming! 😀 )

    My silly poem was inspired (unfortunately) by my 3-year-old little grand daughter, who swallowed a dime last night. Thank God she didn’t choke, and it didn’t lodge and block her airway. But now we wait. And snoop the poop. 😉

    Inspired also, of course by:
    by Rose Bonne and Alan Mills

  18. Danielle Robinson

    The Poem for Tomorrow

    it’ll stumble out of my mind
    trip over its own analogies
    search in me while i see through
    the colors behind every lyrical meaning
    they may stick like glue to my tongue
    just for me to whisper them
    the paper, their second home,
    may have enough room for confusion
    and unrecognizable scribbles
    of thoughtful thoughts that
    may get crumbled, tossed out
    just for my heart to find more words
    that I’ve should have said before

    Danielle C. Robinson

  19. Danielle Robinson

    The Renewal

    My delicate fingers
    added selfish jewels to my crown.
    My eyes held onto the sight of hidden glory.
    My nose sniffed a new rose of desire.
    My lips grew chap just to peel the taste of yours away.
    I let my hair kiss my shoulders without my neck turning
    back the hands of time for a quickie in “you”, “us”, and “we”.
    I kidnapped my heart—
    Tortured her boiling blood and tricked
    her half of lifetime beats to live louder in love for me.
    My chest bounced free and scored rebounds
    from the lace that carry their black beauty.
    I arched my back with pleasure for pride
    and power, to ride my curves like a knight.
    I loaned my hands a ride to live free from my waist
    to my hips before they skinny dipped in the river
    between my mountain thighs.
    I let my legs shake loose of your demons
    for my own angels to rest on my God’s forgiven skin.

    The Poem for Tomorrow

    it’ll stumble out of my mind
    trip over its own analogies
    search in me while i see through
    the colors behind every lyrical meaning
    they may stick like glue to my tongue
    just for me to whisper them
    the paper, their second home,
    may have enough room for confusion
    and unrecognizable scribbles
    of thoughtful thoughts that
    may get crumbled, tossed out
    just for my heart to find more words
    that I’ve should have said before

    – Danielle C. Robinson

  20. Alphabet Architect

    The Baby I Can’t Forget

    Children darting,
    Running, shouting,
    Hanging onto me.
    There in the dirt
    He sits –
    Naked baby,
    Filthy naked baby –
    Arms reaching,
    Eyes locked on mine.
    Shaking off others
    I stoop, pull him to
    My chest –white blouse
    A tiny black hand
    Grips my neck;
    Head finds my
    Shoulder, All of him
    Melts into me as
    Eyes close.
    A full hour passes –
    An hour of whispered
    I love yous.
    Tears course down
    My cheeks,
    Tears for tomorrows
    When no one is here
    To cradle him,
    For the others
    Lying about in the dirt
    Flies pestering them.
    I cry out to God who
    I came here to serve.
    Can’t help asking,
    “How can this be?
    Where’s the justice?
    Why do you allow it?”
    The child wakes,
    Coos, touches my face,
    Reaches for
    The dirt. A kiss
    Goodbye and then
    I am washing up
    For a dinner
    I cannot eat.
    Later, much later I read:
    “Whatever you did for
    The least of these
    You did for me.”

      1. Alphabet Architect

        I first experienced this eight years ago and have returned six more times. These babies and children now have a nursery, diapers, clothing, clean water, health care, and enough adults to care for them. Praise God! Sponsorship is a beautiful thing! Of course more like them still exist all across Africa and other third world locales.

  21. 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) 10 of 10 in one day.

    The Commitment

    Keeping a promise to myself
    Is the hardest one to keep.
    Priorities often have to be shifted
    Away from myself
    Some times I make the choice
    Some times the choice is made for me
    I’m an adult, I understand
    That circumstances change the plan.
    A part of me must be checked,
    Trained from an early age,
    To step aside and be quiet
    Give up what’s important to me
    Because someone else wanted
    What is important to them.
    Those times I have to push past
    My inner self and remember
    To allow myself to be the priority when
    The commitment is to me

  22. De Jackson

    Amazing Poet Friends,

    Anybody who loved this whole Constant Poeming thing, please know that Robert has an awesome prompt right here at Poetic Asides every Wednesday, and another poem-every-day-until-you-drop challenge in November.

    And if you’d like to fill in a couple of other days of the week, too, please join some of us over at dVerse, where there’s a prompt every Monday (that’s tomorrow, by the way) and Tuesday, and every-other Thursday. 🙂

    Happy Poeming! Don’t lose your momentum. You ALL rock.

  23. Sara McNulty

    The End Of April

    This poem disses,
    dismisses, rainy weather.
    See your silver
    and raise you
    golden sunshine.
    Dry your puddles
    of muddled earth
    water, let diamonds
    glint on sunny
    sidewalks. This poem offers
    a heart to poetry. If not
    for you, blue moods might
    have drowned me in rain water,
    and tears of frustration.
    This poem wishes
    all poets freedom
    to write whatever
    they please, and to always
    stay dry. Bye-bye.

  24. Walter J Wojtanik

    Glad to have crossed the finish line, but still sad we lost our poetic friend Andrea Heiberg during this challenge. I dedicated this month of poems to her honor and memory. Thank you Andrea for your support and friendship. You inspired me!

  25. hohlwein

    The Trauma

    The first skin that covers the gaping hole
    – the first time you find you are still alive-
    shows you
    the contours
    of the rest of your life
    the hard, odd shape of your hope
    of your endurance
    and your endurance to be.

  26. Michelle Hed

    The end

    is here
    it’s time to go,
    the ink is dried
    the paper’s full.

    Pat yourself
    on the back,
    you wrote a few
    you wrote a stack.

    We’ll meet again
    on this street next year
    or even next week
    if you’re near.

    Good luck to you
    throughout the year,
    get more ink
    never let your paper be clear!

  27. cobanionsmith

    The Last Word

    The sad poet wiped her wet eyes
    since April’s last night was so nigh.
    She wrote one last time–
    a poem with rhyme;
    its last word was simply “goodbye.”

    Courtney O’Banion Smith

  28. DanielAri

    “The Frog Farts”

    Five hundred identical glass jars housing five hundred various substances
    stand on a shelf at eye-height that runs around all sides of the dank lab,
    which admits little daylight and no express permission to enter, yet the boy
    desperate to impress his new neighbor, who just moved in, a girl
    with a lithe body and friendly face brings her in from the side door and
    stealthily takes the folding stepladder from its place beside the tall equipment rack.
    He sets it near the shelf and they climb up together to see the labels
    he’s come to prize for their mystery: Dendritic Dust, Denizens of Karn,
    Dissipating Powder, Dog Oil (Chinese), Donovan’s Answer, Dung of Aphid.
    Their voices blend in whisper with a harmonics that thrills him to the heel
    and nearly takes away his footing. Dung of Isopod, Dung of Lineworm,
    Dung of Mordred, Dung of Spittlebug, Earwig Pincer (Powdered), Eel Eggs…
    They climb down to move the stepladder, and her shoe lands so hard,
    the sound bounces his heart into his skull with sudden apprehension.
    He looks at the door they came in that leads to the yard, still ajar, and
    the door that leads to the house, still solidly shut. They climb again.
    Elephantine Mitochondria, Emu Oil, Emulsified Soil (Black), Ent Cider,
    Euphonic Particles (Sickle), Everywhere And Nowhere, Fatima Non Ultima,
    Fenugreek Seed, Frog Farts. They fall, feet already spinning to the door
    in the force of their explosive laughter, and run outside, over the fence
    and into the forest. Later that afternoon, she tells him secrets she knows.

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh my word this is so entertaining! And “Their voices blend in whisper with a harmonics that thrills him to the heel
      and nearly takes away his footing” was nearly my undoing. 😀 And the end? Love it.

  29. pamelaraw

    The Last April Poem

    At the beginning,
    the trees were puny
    and bare.
    A few stems
    had pushed
    past the thaw.
    I was still 44.
    One day, the tulips
    lifted their heads.
    The next day,
    their faces fell
    wide open.
    Except I’m sure
    there were more
    days between
    those days I noticed.
    People ran and rolled
    through the streets
    as other people cheered.
    I do remember that.
    I don’t know how
    I got to the end.
    I’m tired
    of forgetting.

  30. Tom Hayes

    The Birth of a Poem

    Pondering a dry spell,
    I wonder how poems are born.
    Words and ideas mix and mingle
    seeking a fit in rhythm and rhyme.
    Does the muse finally sound a signal?
    How does a poem know that it’s time?

    For me, the process proceeds
    from concept through phrasing to style.
    Searching for words to convey a truth
    or an image to make someone smile.
    Viewing the world through an open mind
    making love and life all seem worthwhile.

    Frost chose his road most eloquently,
    and Poe loved Annabelle by the sea.
    From pen to page did these flow free?
    Walt Whitman mourned his Captain’s dead,
    and Burns’ love was pure rose red.
    How did their verse escape their head?

    Studying this, it seems perfectly clear
    The process is actually the problem here.
    Don’t block the joy, use words from your heart
    Verse is not science, its essence is art.
    For a poem to truly be all that it’s worth
    The poet must yield to labor less birth.

  31. De Jackson

    For each and every one of you who wrote this month, commented this month, spilled your heart this month…THANK YOU.

    The Way We Spill

    We fill
    ourselves with ink and sighs,
    pull parchment from the nearest tree.

    Clack keys.

    here’s my heart.
    Can you read it?

    Hold it softly. It tears.
    It’s salty and sometimes
    it swears. It’s got cracks.
    See the light?

    We fight
    in black and white.
    Press quill to page and words
    to heart. Start somewhere. End
    someplace we’ve never been.

    We hold
    it all out with shaking
    hand; hope someone under
    -stands up for what our stories say.

    We play
    with words. With lines. With space.
    We kern-dance and we lead
    ourselves to wandered wonder.

    We gather
    and we read. Feed off of each other’s
    feast of phrase. Drink in reverence,

    Call ourselves poets.
    Know it’s true.


  32. De Jackson

    The Only Thing We Have to Fear

    is this dark sky. The way
    it folds us, holds us down,
    spills us loose like shattered

    is our own dark hearts. The fray
    of their edges that say we cannot
    stay. The roots that know we
    cannot go.

    1. Marie Elena

      I believe I will need to read this over and over and over again. It holds so much, said so completely, so poetically, so beautifully strikes the heart of so MUCH of what matters. You amaze me, lady.

  33. Monique

    The Masks

    Beneath his sleazy, inconsiderate demeanor
    Is a man who laughs cynically at the world.
    Beneath her sweet expression and charm
    Is a girl who was taught to be seen, not heard.
    Beneath his preppy shirt and boyish smile
    Is a boy who never had a mother’s love

    Every villain wears a mask
    Even if nobody ever sees them
    Evil is never born, but it’s created
    It’s the product of a broken world.
    What separates heroes from villains?
    The reason why they wear their masks.

    1. MET

      this is sadly so true… every truly evil person I have met has appeared to be totally opposite until the mask comes down and then usually you find out they have done something totally evil…


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.