2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

New day, new city. We’ve made it to Austin–just in time to write a new poem.

For today’s prompt, write a poem about a sound. The poem could be about a small sound, a loud sound, a happy sound, or a creepy sound. And yes, music sounds count as well.


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Here’s my attempt at a Poem About a Sound:

“pulling to a stop”


pulling to a stop
because of hail
clunk clunk clunking

on the car’s hood
& windshield
i can’t help but

worry about what
the car behind
me will do &

wonder if the storm
has any surprise
twisters waiting

to strike out


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 has driven through hail a few times, and it’s always loud and scary.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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565 thoughts on “2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

  1. AllSwoons

    “Laughter Should Always Be Reckless Abandonment”

    Little girls start changing their laugh as they get older.
    Their rhythm changes…
    The stories, joys, tickles, and merriment do not change;
    they do.
    Their laughter becomes about chagrin, apology, and cordiality.
    It becomes a nervous laughter.

    It stops coming from a place of pure abandonment anymore;
    it comes from a place of
    abandoning their pure abandonment.
    They forget how to laugh from the bellies of their being.

    All laughter is supervised by the brain.
    (Oh, what a foe it becomes to the friend, over time,
    when the two live side by side in the apartment of your head!)
    It is sad when all of the stories, joys, tickles, and merriment
    start to listen to generation, tutelage, and culture.
    It is sad when laughter becomes about acceptance.

    Laughter should always be contagious.
    It should never be about acceptance, apology, or cordiality.
    Life is not a laugh track on a TV show,
    prompted by an audience’s approval or final blow.
    Laughter is about that rib-tickling, unable to breathe, authentic belly laughing
    that comes from an unstoppable and unappeasable place.

    Laughter is the universal human vocabulary.

    You can say it all without saying anything but chuckling,
    sniggering, giggling, guffawing, chortling, and twittering away,
    without even thinking about anything unless it’s funny.

    There are no fancy words when something tickles your fancy.
    (You have to learn to ignore that dry roommate
    in the apartment in your head.
    Let them go to bed
    while you stay up and party.)

    If I had any advice for little girls,
    it would be to never grow up.
    There is nothing more contagious than a child’s laughter,
    and this is an infection that should always be infectious.
    This is a condition that we should never try to cure.

    There should be no such thing as nervous laughter.

    We little girls have no place for that here
    where everything is short
    and pure abandonment should always be reckless.

    Don’t change your laugh for anyone or anything.

    —Heather Angelika Dooley
    © 2015

  2. LCaramanna


    Your laughter
    is the only sound
    I long to hear.
    Your words spoken
    in despair, anger,
    empathy, encouragement,
    praise, guidance,
    motivation, congratulation,
    echo from mountains of memories,
    but your laughter
    is the only sound
    I long to hear.

  3. RJ Clarken

    Night Songs

    “There is no competition of sounds between a nightingale and a violin.” ~ Dejan Stojanovic

    and violin. I inhale
    the sweetness of harmony:
    You impossibly dovetail.

    and nightingale. Both akin
    to that sweet arioso:
    sing, maestoso, begin.


  4. BDP

    Sijo #6: Loons

    We wait for them and know they’re back by dawnlit tremolo—
    their sound combines “love you” coming from years ago and near.
    I seek to catch those words again: I’ll sit on the dock, Father.

  5. stepstep


    There’s an aura floating in the air
    Fine tuned, a sound as smooth as silk
    When it glides across your body
    It delivers a sound of the finest tune.

    My ear, fine tuned and trained
    To recognize each note of precision
    Will enjoy the height of perfection
    When it delivers each tested tune.

    Each note can stand alone
    Although intertwined it brings out
    Silk mixed with satin
    True harmony
    Le Saxophone.


  6. serenevannoy

    Catching up on the few that I’ve missed.


    I live for it,
    the lilt at the end,
    the tonic lift,
    when the music rises,
    and your voice catches,
    crafting what would be a sob,
    if you were talking,
    and not singing life
    into me.

  7. _Kirk_


    Thin, and dripping black, I am painting
    waveforms in sine languages,
    playing out the rhythms of my sex.
It’s best to talk about it in harmonics:
    I give her this curve because it is musical;
    because it is the curve that I want.

    Brush strokes cut her, boost her parametrically
    in hard canvas skritches, integral, multiples sequenced
    wet signals dry and pitch in/out,

    a chorus of transpositions, waves standing
    in ovation until we are resonant, she and I
    and ringing true.

  8. mayboy

    A visit

    “Knock, knock,”
    on my door.
    “Who is it?”
    “A visitor just
    the neighbor’s boy?”
    The key is stuck,
    unexpected blow.
    Listen to the owl
    from the trees below.

  9. bookworm0341

    “Sound Savvy”

    Sounds can just make noise
    klunk, bam, screech, bing, rat-a-tat
    a nuisance to the ears.

    Patterns of sound make music.
    rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat, rolllllllllll, rat-a-tat
    it is all about perspective.

  10. fayina

    Elevator Music

    As much as I’ll make
    the regular disparaging remarks
    in a group as we suffer up
    or down to tortured strains
    I find a brief appreciation
    when I’m rising
    or falling alone
    in time to my own private orchestra

  11. DMK

    the Selah
    the pause
    the deafening quiet
    the cold winds before
    the sound before the clap
    the sounding of the horn
    metal, shell or rams horn
    announcing the beginning
    of another battle
    expectations of winning
    of a life with out the battles
    of yesterday coming once more

  12. XinaDarling

    The Sounds of Silence

    You used to
    choose your words
    taking so
    long to talk
    I thought you’d
    to answer.
    And now I
    wait, hoping
    you’ll take your
    time choosing
    your words so
    they can come
    out clearly
    so I can
    Sometimes you
    just won’t try,
    me with your
    silence that’s
    just too loud.

  13. kathyk671

    Night Song

    It begins
    With a single piano.
    A melody she knows by heart.

    Then percussion
    Steps in
    Tapping a heartbeat.

    Enter the guitars,
    Riding high on
    Their powerful chords.

    And then…
    His voice
    Changes everything.

    The lyrics
    Speak to her,
    Probing her secrets.

    Drum, guitar, piano
    Come together in crescendo,
    He promises her the world.

    Her heart soaring,
    She falls in love
    A little more each time.

    The piano reclaims
    The spotlight,
    As the dream fades out.

    In the quiet
    She smiles.

    For though he
    Isn’t there,
    She feels him.

    And he sings her
    To sleep
    Every night.

  14. James Von Hendy


    is a sound without a name,
    never the same,
    but always, when it descends,

    a tented sheet wafting down.
    The air is still.
    Even the ticking clock is muffled,

    and my breath is a whisper
    half asleep.
    A crow flies overhead, the rustle

    of its feathers as it wheels, faint.
    A blue heron
    motionless, stands sentinel. The mind,

    too, is slow, the shush of atoms
    in the ear
    a nearness that needs no name.

  15. lily black

    It Sounds like Freedom

    The sounds of resistance quietly moving across continents
    calling out the ones who want life to go back in time
    instead of forward
    the sound of change no longer jangles of hope
    coins don’t work here anymore
    we are senseless
    the sounds of resistance are quiet no longer
    singing old songs written by weavers and union members
    arms high signs held up
    for the world to see
    That the sound of resistance ain’t quiet no more.

  16. SharylAnn


    From the time I moved into my
    very first place and on my own
    I have heard a chime

    I came to think of
    that faint sound as
    my welcome to the
    new home each time
    I moved

    Always the same
    sweet soft faint chime
    It greets me at various times
    Sometimes the very
    first day moving in
    Sometimes a few
    days later when
    I least expect it
    when coming home

    My welcome home chime
    Always makes me
    smile …
    And …
    Lets me know

    I am HOME …

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

  17. maxie409

    April brought us news
    of your death.
    A cousins voice on the phone
    saying the words
    we didn’t want to hear.
    Months of trying to understand followed
    months of trying to accept the unacceptable.
    Months that could not erase years of habit.
    On August 14th, as usual,
    I dialed your number and sang
    Happy Birthday to You, drowning
    out the sound of the mechanical voice
    informing me that the number
    I had dialed was no longer in service.

  18. Laura T

    We are attending to the passing of my mother-in-love this week. So I am writing from the droves of death. My internet blinks out in the middle of words. Thank you, to whoever made sure this text box keeps work.My poem:

    Death Is Not Quiet

    Even after the monitors are all shut off
    There is the constant drip, drip, drip
    Of the saline ride the dilantin is hitching
    To fill your brain with the high of your life
    Far away conversations confuse you
    Without you hearing aids, all conversation is muffled
    I dropped something, you didn’t wake up
    But later you asked the nurse what it was
    She didn’t know, I didn’t offer the information
    Nurse, aid, social worker, doctor, rinse, repeat
    Doctor after doctor confused by your alrightness with death, life is what they do, they seem unaware there is another viable option
    Phone calls from far away people, saying goodbye
    A wail from down the hall, mixes with laugher across the ward
    You sigh, slurp water, go back to snoring
    Wake up, suddenly wanting to brush your teeth and have some coffee, like it is any other day,
    Then you fall back to sleep
    And the I.V. drips, drips, drips

  19. Linda Hatton

    She Laughs No More

    Restless child
    murmurs sleep,
    grasping sheets
    for something
    to hang onto—
    comfort, peace.

    Screeches fill
    the midnight sky,
    abduct innocence,
    pillage dreams
    rumbling underneath
    imaginary safety
    of shuttered

    Tiny fingers
    from the futile
    of adult guidance—
    none found
    in her world
    as she takes
    her final

    in the distance,
    a church bell
    and clangs,
    the only sound
    in the rubble.

    1. Linda Hatton


      She Laughs No More

      Restless child
      murmurs sleep,
      grasping sheets
      for something
      to hang onto—
      comfort, peace.

      Screeches fill
      the midnight sky,
      abduct innocence,
      pillage dreams
      rumbling underneath
      imaginary safety
      of shuttered

      Tiny fingers
      from the futile
      of adult guidance—
      none left
      in her world
      as she takes
      her final

      in the distance,
      a church bell
      and clangs,
      the only sound
      in the rubble.

  20. Jannelee


    The smell of my morning coffee
    The ticking of the clock on the wall
    The sound of my heart beating
    waiting for his call
    The pungent smell of the orange I had for breakfast
    The words I keep repeating
    He will call, he will call
    The sound of the trash truck out in the street
    and the drip of the faucet keeps time with the beat
    of my heart that is racing and waiting
    for his call, his call
    I’m pacing and watching the clock on the wall
    Counting the minutes, the ticking
    The ticking of the clock on the wall
    he will call, he will call
    My heart beats like a drum
    drowning out the the ticking of the clock on the wall
    He will call, he will call
    I can stand it no longer, I call him at home
    I hear her voice, frantically I hang up the phone
    And my heart keeps repeating
    I should have known, I should have known

  21. kimberleetm

    Her Keep

    You can always tell by her cry
    when a cat carries prey in her maw.
    It’s only a toy, nothing live
    and squirming against the certainty
    of fanged play gone lethal.

    A housecat can’t be bothered
    to eat what she catches, better and more
    awaits her, served up on a plate.
    You smile and coo, entertained
    by her winsome charade of slaughter.

  22. headintheclouds87

    Song of the Forest

    I crave that stillness and peace
    After chaos has ceased
    And once again, I can breathe.
    When I can hear bird-song in the trees,
    Their calls floating in the breeze,
    That is when my mind rests in ease
    After my ears find the sweet release
    Of a sanctuary of calm within the leaves.

  23. Domino

    Dancing on the Roof

    Rainy drizzle, storm gains speed
    Beats complex patterns on the roof
    Clouds burst asunder, freely bleed
    Rainy drizzle, storm gains speed
    The child hears fairies dancing, freed
    Laughs to hear every foot, each hoof
    Rainy drizzle, storm gains speed
    A dancing pattern on the roof

  24. drwasy

    Elegy for My Father
    (April 6, 1938 – December 4, 2009)

    On the sandbars
    north of Ocracoke
    there isn’t sound
    so much as music:
    the roar of waves,
    the whistle of wind
    through sea oats,
    the muted keens
    of terns and gulls
    as they tumble
    through air.
    A gentle hum,
    the backbone
    to the melody
    of your fishing line
    singing over water.

  25. eloise1484


    My son sees ghosts in the trees.
    They invite him to climb,
    tattered foggy arms
    He climbs, scraping knuckles,
    moving relentlessly
    towards those waving wisps.
    A voice calls,
    “Come, come”;
    my voice unheard.
    The mockingbirds go silent,
    wind still,
    pine needles scentless
    in the hush.
    A rush of sound
    only he can hear
    draws him to the last
    thin branch—
    head tipped, listening,
    the wind answers.

  26. Janet Rice Carnahan


    the peace after the wind stops
    deep sleep of a child who cried
    couple’s shy smile afterwards
    once the rain stops
    and the rainbow comes

    once all the geese start to fly
    when the fan has cooled the night
    silence speaks

  27. Tom Hayes


    Seasoned wood now dry and mellow.
    Her guitar,
    in cherry tones, streaked with yellow.

    It’s what my sister left to me.
    No surprise,
    I could not play my legacy.

    Fingers fumbling on a string,
    my challenge-
    wake this guitar and make it sing.

    Sound out a G and then a D,
    drop down through,
    a bluesy riff ending at E.

    Now, as I finger this guitar,
    I feel her.
    She’s listening from somewhere, not far.

    For all I know, she’s here strumming.
    Next to me,
    her quiet voice gently humming

    Her fingers dancing on the frets.
    Listen close,
    my memory hears one last duet.

  28. pcm

    Fearless Dreams

    Once the moon has risen
    my pen put down to rest
    the wee hours choose then to beckon
    and would my slumber wrest

    torn and tattered does it slip
    from my shoulders to the ground
    gossamer frail my dreams
    surrender my body without a gown

    as peaceful tread my feet
    beneath distant stars above
    I hum a tune now obsolete
    and wonder about love

    my little dog with me meanders
    along dark streets that run in quiet still
    no sparrow chirps nor squirrel sets scamper
    no moonlit glow lights daffodil

    as in nocturnal trance I roam
    wrapped safe in bleary shroud
    death’s sweet silence settles home
    familiar yearning restless doubt

    one night through calm pierced moaning
    unearthly shrill and clear
    it rose to heights exploring
    how close to death we all draw near

    quick arose a fulsome chorus
    of shrieks and yaps and howls
    up my spine they flew from forest
    dense as thunder came their growls

    my little dog smiled and pranced
    ignored coyote danger thoroughly
    I quickened to home for by chance
    I remembered I needed to arise early

  29. briehuling

    McKenzie River Love Lullaby

    I’m here to set the record straight:

    Just out the window
    between the throaty frogs
    and the muddled light of a blue moon
    the river is my mom
    Not like my mom, but
    actually her—suddenly alive!
    in waders
    and too deep water
    laughing and ruling
    the waterworld
    salmon servants on her line

    Everything is a symbol
    of something I’ve avoided
    for as long as I could
    I feel comfortable
    in my sagging skin
    here inside the familiar story
    of everyone I’ve ever loved
    genie(ing) into a Konakee

    The bourbon is warm
    and my giggle is hers
    and eventually it’ll be summer again.


  30. Alphabet Architect

    Can You Hear Me Now?

    Giggles, shrieks, pattering feet,
    Piano pieces, drumming,
    Slamming door, steady roar,
    Refrigerator humming,
    Songs, tunes, silly cartoons
    All form my favorite sound –
    The sound that livens up these rooms
    When grandkids are around.


  31. Danielle Robinson

    Over Your Own Beats

    Over your own beats,
    I want to mic check you-
    Out rap your battles—
    click clack,
    push your heart back:
    make it thump one time,
    thump two times.
    Clap back at your spoken
    and unspoken words
    Let all my onomatopoeias
    murder your subliminal messages.
    Without humming them subliminally
    or sending the whoop, whoop
    to save you from your “lost boy” cry.

    I want to snap you out of
    your classically rhythm and blues,
    Jingle poetry off my tongue
    onto yours and splash you stanzas,
    from the click between my thighs.
    I want to doo-wop that thang with you.
    Like BOOM! Ta-da!
    Pop up and double blare you
    to toot my horn as
    I scratch words without a pen.
    Rock and roll your world as
    I pluck you until you plunk me punk
    Or until you discover your acoustic soul—
    I want to add ad-libs until you realize,
    your beats ain’t oomph
    without all my jazz.

    —Danielle C. Robinson

  32. Linda Voit


    Somehow, she picks up
    the frequency of a catch
    in my throat from the next
    state over and calls
    at just the right moment
    to help me
    release it.

    Linda Voit

    1. ppfautsch24

      Summer Breeze
      A breezy wisp of waited love,
      a sigh heard behind a wistful smile.
      Summer with its whoosh of life,
      will flutter in on butterfly winds.
      By Pamelap

  33. Jane Shlensky


    Thunder at dawn, wind gusts
    through new leaves,
    riffles the pond where waves slap
    and suckle the shore.
    Hard day for birds to navigate.
    Limbs dip and bow;
    dead branches fall with a thump.
    Wrens huddle along deck rails
    and compete for song
    for after all, the sun has come out,
    the sky is blue,
    and the feeder is full.

  34. Josh in WV

    In the Choir

    I have learned to use my voice just wrong
    To live in the crack between one note and the next
    And to watch the choir cock their heads like dogs
    To let the sound drain from their ears

    And I have learned to use my voice just wrong
    Folding sweet and seamless into place
    Vowel for vowel and shape for shape
    A dissonance dissolved for the choir’s sake

  35. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Everybody knows about Nashville,
    New York and L.A.;
    St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee,
    If you wanna hear the music play;

    Austin and Seattle,
    Each has their own unique vibe,
    But you can’t beat the music that came up,
    Interstate Seventy-five.

    Macon time,
    Macon time,
    Brothers and sisters,
    Macon time.

    Macon time,
    Macon time,
    Little Martha,
    Macon time.

    A midnight riding rambling man,
    Tied to a whipping post;
    Remembering Elizabeth Reid,
    The one they loved the most.

    Paired up drummers, two guitars,
    A mighty Hammond B-3;
    Two nights up in NYC,
    Live at Fillmore East.

    Chuck Leavell, Wet Willie,
    Derek and the Dominos;
    Always ready to come back home,
    Motorcycles took their toll,

    Macon time,
    Macon time,
    Eat a peach, boys,
    Macon time.

    Macon time,
    Macon time,
    Brothers and sisters
    Macon time.

    Yeah, everybody knows about Nashville,
    New York and L.A.;
    St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee,
    If you wanna hear the music play;

    Austin and Seattle,
    Each has their own unique vibe,
    But you can’t beat the music that came up,
    Interstate Seventy-five.

  36. samisal

    “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Live) -Dead and Company”

    Who were we then, when everyone was making tie-dye and spending their last pay check to drive to California to see the Grateful Dead?

    We, of course, were tucked into the folds of our mothers’ bodies
    Waiting to become students and give each other tattoos in dorm rooms

    It is funny how music comes full circle as we grow to love, to radiate wakefulness and we listen to the sounds we heard through the womb as our fathers turned the radio on

    Who are we now, when everyone has short hair and spends the weekend pressed together in the backseat of our cars?

    We listen to the radio and wish that our parents were around to sing along the way they did before we were born

  37. Sara McNulty

    Ssh Ding!

    Ssh ding! Ssh ding! What
    is that constant noise
    that destroys my peace?

    Ssh ding! Ssh ding! How
    can I eradicate a sound
    bound to drive me crazy.

    Ssh ding! Ssh ding! I pose
    this question, knowing
    there is no cure for tinnitus.

  38. EllaT


    I made the decision one of my first nights
    in the manicured plush of suburbia
    that wind chimes must surely
    be the passive aggression of people fleeing
    the flurry of a city
    as I lay in my privilege of memory foam and room sized closets
    lumberjacks dined in my neighbor’s back yard
    the metal on metal clank of a mess hall
    kept me staring at the textured ceiling
    wishing instead for heavy footfalls on wood floor through a shared wall

    as nights became fortnights became a year
    the tidy streets and sun filled parks
    no longer felt foreign
    those banging dishes that hung outside my window
    now my snowstorm lullaby

    I may buy one myself
    with a gentle reverberating hum
    I play with them in garden stores listening for the right
    tender tinny tinkle
    Have I assimilated
    or is what I’m looking for an outlet
    for my passive aggression?


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