2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

Quick note on commenting: I’ve been receiving reports of comments not taking, but today appears to be worse than normal. Always feel free to contact me at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com to report this stuff. Our tech team will try to figure it out, but in the meantime, one possible “workaround” suggested by Marie Elena Good is to reply to another post. I know it’s not ideal, but if you’re one of the poets having problems, this might help in the short term.

Today is our first Tuesday of the month. If this is your first poem-a-day rodeo, then I have a special treat for you today, because I do Two-for-Tuesday prompts for these challenges. You can write to one prompt; write to the other; or try to do both. Totally up to you.

Here are the two prompts for today:

  • Write a beginning poem. And, of course, when something begins, it often signals something else ending. Soooo, the other prompt is to…
  • Write an ending poem. Poem about something ending.

*****

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*****

Here’s my attempt at a Beginning and/or Ending Poem:

“crushing”

when the day ends
the night begins

to take the shape
of a love letter

that begins & ends
without a name

where desire begins
reason ends

up becoming
an obstacle

between one heart
beat & the next

love song makes it
begin again

*****

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 always been a teenager at heart.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

*****

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504 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

  1. LCaramanna

    My House at the End of the Road

    Turn right on Main Street,
    left on Country Lane,
    bear right at the fork in the road.
    Down the road less traveled,
    be mindful of butterflies, wildflowers,
    and sunshine sparkle in your eyes.
    Follow birdsong harmony
    to my house at the end of the road.

    Park your car in the driveway,
    step up onto the front porch,
    pet the dog with the wagging tail.
    My front door is open wide,
    your invitation to come inside,
    drink from a goblet
    of friendship and hospitality in
    my house at the end of the road.

  2. BDP

    Sijo #4: Beginning, Ending

    You showered and shaved then cooked us old-fashioned oatmeal.
    We tots hid toast crusts around our bowls, away from your eyes—ha!
    Still in your old age: a table for one, hot cereal, gold bread.

  3. montespoet

    BEGINNING

    Beginning is like duct tape.
    It stays where it’s put,
    its mission secure,
    steadfast,
    binds the now to future.

    Even if pulled,
    its residue remains,
    changes the terrain forever.
    Always leaves a mark.

    Barbara Montes

    ENDING

    Ending is like masking tape.
    Pliable and pleasant,
    it’s easily moved.
    Sticks, sticks, sticks,
    til it gets a little tired.

    No one expected much.
    If it weren’t attached
    to duct tape on the other end,
    it would have blown away long ago.

    Now its edges are loose.
    Rained-on and dried,
    it’s gotten stiff,
    lies atop the destiny,
    not really holding on.

    Barbara Montes

  4. Ency Peterson

    Growing Up

    Once upon a time
    our worst worry was
    the time for bed
    or taking a much-hated bath

    we screamed for a scrape
    and cried when we lost
    our favorite book bear or toy
    we laughed much easier though

    we made fools of ourselves and
    relied on each other
    but then we realized
    things change

    we grew into worries
    having to meet expectations
    and forced to forget
    our most prized dreams

    now we go about
    worries creasing our faces
    the time for constant play
    has completely ended

    there are responsibilities
    new trials to face
    scheduling time for fun
    childhood has ended; welcome to being an adult

  5. mayboy

    THE BEGINNING OF THE END

    It starts someday, somewhere,
    it grows as fast as it can,
    it spreads its volume everywhere,
    from the soil to the rocks of Universe.

    Like the invasive plant outgrows
    the artifacts of past, offering you
    it’s seed to bloom or poison
    the inhale of your breath.

    When the eternal shadow covers
    fields and meadows, no sunshine
    warms up the growing petal,
    except for the seed under the saddle.

  6. fayina

    Last Night at the Universe

    And yet
    I find
    It to be
    of some
    comfort
    to imagine
    each star
    slowly
    extinguishing
    against
    the black
    velvet background
    we all
    grew up with

  7. kathyk671

    Oops…posted the previous day’s by mistake. Here’s the beginning\ending poem:

    Beginning/Ending

    The beginning…
    Stolen moments,
    Whispered secrets.
    A passionate,
    Unwavering,
    Longing,
    Unaware
    That one day
    It would
    Fall apart,
    One harsh word
    After another
    Until it led to
    The ending.

  8. kathyk671

    “Food of Love”

    Day’s end.
    They come together
    As they always do,
    To renew a nightly ritual.

    Sunlight
    From the kitchen window
    Casts a golden glow.
    The rhythmic dance begins.

    Knives chop,
    A skillet sizzles,
    Sweet aromas rise and
    Feed their anticipation.

    They stir and taste,
    And talk about the day,
    Sharing stories while
    Dinner bubbles away.

    At the table
    They eat the meal
    So lovingly prepared
    By their own hands.

    They talk
    And laugh.
    They break bread
    And sip wine.

    Having their fill,
    Enjoying each other.
    Indulging in
    The food of love.

  9. Laura T

    Beginning of the End

    Life alerted us that you were leaving
    We dropped calls and appointments and all
    the balls that seemed so important
    To surround you with light to guide your way
    It is so hard to be a beckon of peace with furrowed brows and deep, creased frowns
    We cannot seem to keep the light on long enough for you to find the path to the light
    So you come back to us,
    Like a child running back from the doors of a new school, you know it is a good place, but you’re scared. We hold your hand, comfort you, and watch as you take tiny steps to the door. It’s hard holding the door for you, but we know it’s best
    Do we smile to shine artificial light on your path
    To peace

    1. deboarha

      I could feel the pain, love and strength. It made me remember mom and dad and how we were around mom when she passed. And how dad wanted to go be with her.

  10. Jannelee

    MY BEST FRIEND

    She lay all day in her little bed
    I pushed in the needle to give her fluids
    And coaxed her to eat
    but she was too weak
    She laid down her little head with a sigh
    and looked at me with her soft brown eyes
    I stroked her long, warm fur
    and whispered tender love words
    in her silken ears

    Along about noon
    She whimpered and looked for me
    I lay down beside her
    and stroked her long, warm fur
    as the light in her eyes faded away
    She lay so still
    but I just couldn’t stand to leave her
    so I stroked her long, warm fur
    and whispered tender love words
    in her silken ears

  11. Joseph Hesch

    Nothing Lasted Forever

    Everything that’s
    a thing had a beginning.
    They never had one,
    never were one, yet
    they had something,
    just never That thing.
    She had no idea
    they never had
    That, never considered
    their’s more than
    a friendly, innocuous
    (some)thing,
    a pleasant, nonspecific
    relationship in which
    she’d touch him
    when they’d laughingly
    converse in that
    innocuously pleasant
    and warmly playful
    way people do who might
    be beginning one of
    Those things. When he
    accepted nothing like
    That ever began, he
    figured at least he’d
    never have to suffer
    through the pain of
    one of Those endings.
    But he still does.

  12. bookworm0341

    Commencing Spring (A Haiku)

    Open the windows
    Allow the sunshine inside
    Spring has just begun

    Summer Ends (Haiku)

    Turn the heater up
    Pull the curtains shut real tight
    Summer has ended

  13. drwasy

    cusp

    in the beginning
    there was me
    & you
    which equaled us
    a Mobius strip
    of life & love
    & now
    there is the space
    between breaths
    the golden moment
    between the end
    of a note
    & applause

  14. cobanionsmith

    Beginning + Ending, Haikus

    You are the end-all
    be-all. Alpha, Omega,
    ever was, will be.

    The infinite space
    between zero and one, real,
    we cannot calculate,

    cannot measure You.
    Comprehension elusive,
    try our failing words:

    mere sparks cast shadows
    of Your magnificence, yet
    You reward trying.

    Courtney O’Banion Smith
    @cobanionsmith

  15. Judebug

    The Last Goodbye…an ending
    The whirling whine of an ambulance rushing to the scene
    a disjointed body, a boy, just sixteen
    unable to move in his prison of steel, trapped between the seat
    and the steering wheel,
    called to his mother in his time of need, as help pressed on
    at full speed.
    Mother at home, oblivious to his cry, not knowing today her son would die.
    A telephone call, she heard someone say, drunk driver, DOA
    No No she exclaimed and began to cry, I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye.
    Money! Money! He had asked for more, she yelled No as he went out the door.
    How could she have known, how could she tell…her angry NO would be her farewell..Judebug

  16. some_russian_chick

    Sweet words taste like rain
    Warming my heart like thunder
    So here’s to the storm

    Cruel words like acid
    Your heart burns before it breaks
    Bored holes in my chest

  17. kimberleetm

    The Crazy Cat Lady in the Morning Kitchen

    Six dishes out
    of the emptied dishwasher.
    Six plops of stinky
    brown mush smushed
    into silver shine.
    Six spoons a-mixing
    in hip meds, belly pills
    while I sing to them,
    paraphrasing Cash.
    If I didn’t sing, I’d hurl
    six dishes, six messes,
    slinging kitty hash like it’s trash
    and not a morning-whiskered delight

    but I haven’t done it yet.

    Kimberlee Thompson

  18. pamelaraw

    Moving

    It begins and ends with boxes—
    some stuffed and taped, others
    flattened and stacked in a corner.
    An empty cupboard or two,
    a growing sense of accomplishment,
    a gnawing sense of dread.
    Either way, you don’t know if the best
    will be left behind or is yet to come.

  19. taylor graham

    END OR BEGINNING?

    This place has welcomed so many humans taking possession and passing on. Farmhouse walls permeable as rock. Winter collects in the cellar, seeps up into kitchen, bedrooms; the damp dries on curtains at a spring window. A gift, the ghost touching your shoulder lightly by that open pane. Spirit passing through walls. And now, strangers from far away listening to a tale of sadness from this lakeside stone.

    in need of healing,
    rock breaks in your hands, spirit
    passing on – to you?

  20. MET

    Lovely…. and some things cut us to our souls…and though many do not view the sorrows of those we do not know…. your poems says that you do… bless you.

  21. eloise1484

    Descent

    She thought she had
    thought of everything,
    but she forgot to
    warn the girl about the seeds.
    “They’ll be plump,”
    she should have warned.
    “They’ll be juicy,”
    she should have said.
    The girl learned this on
    her own, found
    the seeds red and ripe
    and the juice ran
    and ran.
    And then she was a
    girl no more.
    Now the wife of
    dark man in a
    dark hole in
    the ground

    with plenty of rocks
    for company.

  22. DanielAri

    “In the world, moving”

    We enter the world already moving.
    Woods are grown seeds fallen from other woods,
    and this auspicious day of beginning
    is just yesterday’s baby step forward.

    Someone bolted up a brass plaque one time.
    I noticed it today on the building
    where I work, though you have passed from this life
    sight unseen. We exit this world moving

    into the same elements that made you
    and I. It’s wrong to call things start or end.
    They’re just vague events thrown by continue,
    brass plaques bolted up at the bends in time.

    Would we sacrifice ceremony if,
    while we live, we could also give up grief?

  23. briehuling

    the end.

    On the day the world ends,
    my body will be wrapped
    in love letters from everyone
    I have ever seen.

    the sun
    the moon
    all the dripping honeybees
    their tiny little limbs
    waggling, the grand dance
    to the golden bedchamber—

    Meanwhile I bob, just barely above
    the water– a pimento
    in a mini olive preserver
    the last martini tango of the night.

    El fin
    Das ende
    Fine
    Finem

    We never thought
    it would go down like this.
    The smell of dirt on cabbage–
    a ladybody lifelover
    buried just beneath the surface,
    now a flower
    they could not name or change.

    By Brie Huling

  24. Marie Elena

    MY TEN FAVORITES FOR TODAY, OF THOSE I READ:

    1. Walt Wojtanik’s Terminal. Walt begins and ends with the title word in a totally unforced and brilliant manner. The meat consists of one outstanding line after another. Man-oh-man this man!
    2. Trishwrites’ untitled “they came for new beginnings” … oh my … just beautifully, poetically spilled pain. And if only writing were healing. *sigh*
    3. De Jackson’s “the a to z of it” is BRILLIANT. Poetically stunning, and how in the world did you ever manage it??? Oh for such talent …
    4. Linda Hatton’s “Private Last Rites” brought me to tears in few words. Wow.
    5. Ivy_Lane’s “she laughs, because it could be the end” is so unique. The cadence and phrasing carry me along, and how could one not fall in love with “she blew a kiss to the rain and saluted the storm
    then boarded the grumbling plane.” Right?
    6. nickbutterfield123@gmail.com’s Happy Birthday is simply a beautifully expressed thought of what is obviously endearing love. Wonderful.
    7. Imelda’s “Perspective” is indeed a lesson in perspective. A poetically perfect lesson in perspective.
    8. Shaindel Beers’ “Beginnings,” like Trishwrites and like my own, is about Syria’s atrocities. This is a gripping poem that totally hits it out of the park. And again, if only writing were healing.
    9. tunesmiff’s Dusk to Dawn reminds me of why I love short-form poetry. The cadence is perfect, and so much is said in so few words. This one paints a picture and warms my heart with it.
    10. ToniBee3’s Thirteen Thorns in My Thorax is as different as anything I’ve ever read. Love this unique expression and voice. The line “extinguished the blames” especially got to me.

  25. seingraham

    GOING THE DISTANCE WHEN IT’S NO LONGER AN OPTION

    She remembers the start of each of one
    The way hope seemed to be born anew and how exhilarating it felt
    Completely unexpected – this new lease on life
    Granted through the birth of grandsons
    Who would have thought?

    She joked about being willing to throw herself under a bus for them
    But it was true—
    She knew she was in it for the long haul
    No matter what
    There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for those boys

    It was with stunned disbelief when they were yanked away
    abruptly, and without explanation
    She tried to find out why – did everything she could think to do
    to get her daughter to speak with her,
    to tell her what was wrong
    But it mattered not

    Her daughter severed all ties as if they had never existed
    Took legal steps to ensure the dissolution was total
    She couldn’t believe it, but she had to accept it
    The family she loved was over, finished.
    It was the end.

    She went into shock.
    Time lost all meaning.
    She went into denial.
    She began to mourn.
    She knew not how to live.
    She put one foot in front of the other.
    One word after another word
    Kept on writing
    It was all she could think to do.

  26. Alphabet Architect

    Beginners Angst

    Beginning is the thing
    That gets in the way
    Of accomplishing much;
    Because, of course, a thing
    to be done must first be begun.
    And beginning a thing requires
    Thinking, goal setting,
    Strategic planning –if you want
    The thing to succeed, that is;
    And why begin something
    You don’t expect to succeed?
    Risk and re-prioritizing –both are
    Required for good beginnings.
    “Finish well!” they say.
    But before you finish
    (Let alone finish well),
    You must begin. And therein
    Lies the problem.

  27. pipersfancy

    End Times

    It’s all about to end

    come crashing down

    like some forgotten juggernaut brought back to life
    to lurch and push its way across the desert sands that once held back
    the frothing thoughts of things I’d rather leave behind

    Before
    when time kept perfect watch and stopped reality’s advance upon
    the stone sarcophagus I built to hide myself in before I died
    not realizing there was no place I could go to leave this bitter life behind

    They say time heals all wounds—but it’s a lie
    I learned to drown within the watery-oneness of my mother’s womb
    her stone around my neck, so tightly, tightly, that
    even things I’ve done right in life have gone wrong

    If silence speaks volumes
    I’ve been screaming my whole life

    Christina Perry

  28. Maria Grace

    The In Between Time

    Winter is passing
    And burning away
    Snow lingers only
    Where shadows lay.

    In the bright morning
    I mourn for the loss
    Of needle ice
    And white hoarfrost.

    But the smell of Spring
    And Blackbirds’ call;
    The tiny greeness,
    Impossibly small

    The willows budding
    And snow-melt rills
    Soothe my winter-heart:
    There is beauty still.

    1. MET

      yes there is beauty still…. part that made me stop and be envious… “In the bring morning….I mourn for the loss … of needle ice… and white hoarfrost.” just lovely for having lived in the mountains I saw the needle ice from my childhood…

      1. Maria Grace

        Oh, thank you! I live in the mountains too, and needle ice has always delighted me. Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons, and I am not made for hot weather, so I always have mixed feelings about spring.

  29. pipersfancy

    December 8, 1980

    Strange—
    how I think of you now as though I knew you then,
    but I guess in a way I did know you, we
    all did, just not in a personal sort of way

    Strange—
    how I remember that night, lying in my bed
    overhearing the late night news playing
    at the end of a hall on a living room television set

    Strange—
    how I sat bolt upright in bed when I heard your name
    mentioned, how I crept out into the hallway hoping
    I had misheard because it was too terrible to be true

    Strange—
    how my father sat reading his newspaper
    and my mother on the divan, sipping her cup of hot tea,
    neither of them concerned at all with New York

    Strange—
    how I returned to bed to weep long hours
    into the night, until my eyes were wrung
    dry and my pillow salty damp with spent emotions

    Strange—
    how I played my entire collection of albums the next
    afternoon until father shouted, “Enough with the hippy
    crap” so I turned off my record player and wept for
    a reunion that could never take place

    Christina Perry

  30. Linda Hatton

    Private Last Rites for Her Firstborn

    Just past ten, wide-awake as the moon,
    fingers, long as tongs, reach inside
    the plastic storage bin,
    retrieving bits of the cherished life
    she watched sink down
    into the ground earlier that day.

    She cranks the pin, observes the fragile
    porcelain ballerina spin to “Claire de Lune.”

  31. Imelda

    CYCLES

    CYCLE

    Sun painting colors
    brightest when saying goodbye
    welcoming the stars

    stars twinkling afar
    inspiring constellations
    fading with the night

    night dissipating
    certain of the breaking dawn
    ends with beginning

  32. The Denster

    We seek our independence
    For anything that would
    Make us dependent.

    We claw and naw our way to the top
    Ever trying, ever striving
    But, eventually it all comes to a stop.

    Except for once.
    Once the end was truly
    The beginning.

  33. Marie Elena

    SYRIA (Sonnet for the Severed Souls)

    The images. The videos. The news.
    The view from here is simply that – a view.
    For I can just ignore it if I choose –
    Not take in what I’ll wish I never knew.

    But you? You watch your babies breathe their last
    while hospitals are bombed before your eyes,
    and lifeless neighbors’ bodies are amassed.
    You plead for help to long-obscure allies.

    I want to send for you, and beg you come –
    To sing soft lullabies to sooth your sleep.
    But see, you are a fearsome threat to some.
    That takes me to my knees to heave and weep.

    While dead and dying lie within your reach,
    Your wails are hushed by those whom you beseech.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2017

  34. mswunion1976

    Ending Poem

    Erg (Rowing Machine) Racing

    Our bodies are sweaty
    Our faces are glowing
    We’re getting a workout
    But we’d rather be rowing

    So to ease the pain
    Of these hard repetitions
    The coaches devised
    Some erg competitions

    Watch your speed, set your pace
    Don’t overextend
    To win the whole race
    Save some for the end

    As the timer ticked down
    I could hear her loud cheer
    Finish it dammit
    Leave it all here

    I use those words often
    She’s kind of my hero
    When you do something, do it
    All the way to the zero.

  35. serenevannoy

    Just Begin

    It’s starting again
    that inkling I get
    that this is the time

    to start again. We met,
    we met, and I turned
    away. I wish I could
    shake myself,
    wish I could

    begin again
    my calf, my ankle
    turn the right direction
    that is not away.

    This time,
    I swear,
    I swear.

    This time.

  36. grcran

    begin and then

    the dance begins do-wacka-dos converge
    they merge dig in perspire then they resurge
    go gliding twirling waltz up to the sky
    keep dancing swirl a grin a star-crossed sigh
    no one can know what footsteps may portend
    cavort as though the music might not end
    one can’t explain the starting of the dance
    but rest assured it isn’t happenstance

    gpr crane

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