2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

[Update: I want to thank everyone for the concern in the comments below. Without getting into specifics, I just want to let you know that I am okay and to again thank you for the concern. It does mean a lot.]

I apologize for the late prompt; I got some unexpected news this morning. However, experienced PAD poets probably already knew what today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt would be.

For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a love poem. All you need is love.
  2. Write an anti-love poem. What’s love got to do with it?

Let’s do this!


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Here’s my attempt at a Love and/or Anti-Love Poem:

“when love isn’t enough”

when love isn’t enough
& you’re hiding from the world
under blankets & pillows
while the lonely planet spins
& lonely people work
where you feel you can’t go on

i admit i don’t know how
to help you or why the world
is so different for each of us
who wander it searching
for what we often don’t find
& i know you may not care

but i love you


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He wishes he could give the whole world a hug sometimes.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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177 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

    1. ingridbruck

      Here’s my love and anti-love poem for day 28. I look forward to reading yours.
      Michael Peck

      Write a love poem. All you need is love.
      Write an anti-love poem. What’s love got to do with it?
      Show original message

      The nest

      I loved her when she walked into my life
      I enjoyed watching her
      as she began to pile sticks in the corner
      making a nest
      I had to admit I didn’t know what was going to live
      in the little nest in the corner
      we had just met
      I didn’t really know everything about her
      how many birthmarks she had
      what she liked to do most
      I knew what I wanted to do most

      I loved her when she walked out of my life
      taking a box of old albums
      a cheap stereo
      the backseat of her car stuffed with clothes
      she wanted a relationship
      she wanted a family

      I visit the bedroom that we shared often
      looking at what’s missing
      empty spaces where she had her things
      the nearly empty closet where I keep my clothes
      the room feels empty now
      but not so pressing, expectant
      I wonder where she is now
      and who she’s building her nest with ©”

  1. bmorrison9

    Hope all turns out ok, Robert.


    I learned this the hard way,
    Miss Independence,
    frantic finally,
    sure this stone
    in my chest
    would never be flesh.
    fondness, affection
    are all very well, but when
    would spring thaw send
    terrible torrents
    down my rocky bed?

    Then I chose
    to get up first,
    light the stove,
    and start the coffee.
    I chose
    to follow his footsteps
    through forest duff
    and detritus. I even
    chose to forgive
    the nights he never
    came home, the bills
    he never paid.

    It’s not the remarkable
    rush of feeling,
    but the hard things,
    the everyday things,
    that you make yourself do.

  2. Melanie

    love is like Spandex, don’t you think?
    every time ii stretches
    and spans the gap between
    what feels to be impossible and
    what turns out to be achievable
    but can it tear? I hear you ask
    if love becomes tired and dry,
    rigid and inflexible, it snaps
    keep love warm and soft
    with laughter and shared tears

  3. cobanionsmith

    Thanks you for the update, Robert. Thoughts and prayers.


    I never loved my body, and then I did
    briefly. Transformed myself, but nothing stays
    as it should. Constantly teased as a kid,
    I never loved my body, and then I did.
    Hated the scale, the pounds, the food I hid,
    and exercise, but since suffering pays…
    I never loved my body, and, then, I did.
    Briefly transformed myself, but nothing stays.

    Courtney O’Banion Smith

  4. MET

    The love of ordinary smells

    The clouds heavy with snow
    Carry a heavy scent of the coming storm…
    After the rain the air has been cleansed, and
    I drink in that smell
    That reminds of playing in mud puddles
    Giggling and splashing
    Loving the wet and the mud.
    Baking bread in the oven,
    Coffee percolating on the stove, and
    Cheese toasted.
    A baby just washed
    Smells of innocence.
    I love the smell of an apple
    Just picked from the tree…
    Even before it is tasted
    The smell speaks of tartness
    And sweetness dripping in crispness.
    Roses blooming in a garden, and
    Gardenia there at night…
    The air is heavy with that scent
    And with honeysuckle and
    Heat heavy sultry steamy nights…
    The sea shore in the morning
    After the tide has come in, and
    Mountains in winter
    The air so cold it hurts, but
    Clean and pure…
    A reminder of something lost.
    Clothes which still carry the scent
    Of someone who is gone, and
    A cup of tea freshly brewed
    For it reminds me of times
    Shared with friends.
    It is usually a whiff of lightness
    Filled with memories, and
    Love of ordinary moments
    In an ordinary life.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 29, 2017

  5. Bruce Niedt

    I. Love Poem

    Oh darling, you drive me so mad.
    I can’t live without you.
    Anything is possible when you’re around,
    my muse and inspiration. Fly away
    with me, love, and happiness will follow.
    If you depart, I don’t know what I would do
    by myself. Is anything better than us?

    II. Love Poem, Re-punctuated

    Oh darling, you drive me so mad,
    I can’t live. Without you,
    anything is possible. When you’re around,
    my muse and inspiration fly away.
    With me, love and happiness will follow
    if you depart. I don’t know. What I would do
    by myself is anything better than us.

  6. LCaramanna


    in moonlight we waLked the beach, you and i
    barefoot in sand still warm frOm the summer sun
    your Voice in harmony with the melody of the sea
    whisperEd come back to my place
    your arm Around my shoulder
    pulled me close and i Felt my pulse quicken
    it was not the First time you seduced me
    it had become an old hAbit of ours
    a touch, a kiss, a passion rIse
    you and i could not deny the attRaction that perpetrated
    this LOVE AFFAIR of ours

    Lorraine Caramanna

  7. Nancy Posey

    Instead of Writing a Love Poem the Poet Takes a Day Off

    By tomorrow, I’ll be ready to love you again,
    to fall back into our call and response
    I love you
    I love you too
    I love you more.

    Maybe tomorrow I’ll say, You’re welcome,
    whether I mean it or not
    when you thank me
    for doing those little tasks
    you meant to do
    but didn’t.

    In a day or two, I’ll pucker up
    first for a kiss when you leave
    the house
    or I do,
    I’ll brush your arm
    when I pass your chair.

    But today I’m tired
    and mad
    and don’t want to love
    Just let me have a day.

    1. ingridbruck

      All You Need Is Love

      A lot of love is packed
      in a little girl named Wrenna.
      Her mouth tilts up, but more,
      she radiates a face cracking smile.
      Her happiness is contagious,
      She smiles at her papa and mama,
      they return her one with such joy,
      I can’t see through my tears.

      Little bird greets the world with a ready smile,
      She’s friendly child and trusts people,
      kindness is all she’s ever known.
      She’s noisy and vocal, as hard to miss
      as a boom box on high volume playing,
      “All You Need Is Love.”

      From the back yard, she waves to everyone,
      her chipper “Hell-Yo” and “Hi”
      enters open car windows.
      People driving down the alley
      respond to Wrenna’s warm welcome,
      they put a foot on the brake and stop.
      My son says that’s how
      he’s gotten to know all the neighbors,
      even those he might wish he didn’t.

      It’s the same in every store.
      Her friendliness draws people.
      Grocery cashiers all know their noisy baby,
      they leave their registers, come visit,
      she chatters in baby talk and smiles.
      When my granddaughter’s around, there’s love,
      she’s a dose of sunlight shining in rain.

  8. De Jackson

    The Stories We Tell Ourselves, In Order {To Stay}

    Love bites,
    love bleeds.
    – Def Leppard

    We say
    we might flee. That these
    bleak skies are too much.
    That we might touch peace
    again if only we leave.

    We say
    we might be better apart.
    That the stilted start and
    unquiet center are signs;
    that no one rewinds.

    We say
    we might see the ocean,
    might touch the sand and
    feel the surf change us,
    rearrange us.

    We play
    games of paper, scissors,
    rock of ages on tiny stages
    for our own sanity,
    our vanity.

    We slay
    dragons. Visions. Songs.
    Belong only to the sea. Wish
    for new veins, warm days,
    brighter teeth.


  9. MHR

    Controversial poetry subject for sure… enjoy. Written in Villanelle without rhyming scheme.

    They stare at me like I’m wrong,
    and the choices I make should be re-thought-
    But when I’m all alone, I don’t rethink.

    I respect your decision & choices-
    Am I monster, that I not get the same?
    They stare at me like I’M Wrong.

    They say, “I want to bring in truth to your life
    because I truly love you.”
    But when I’m all alone, I don’t rethink.

    Relationships between male-female-trans-queer-are they not human?
    Met in harmony with tears of joy and acceptance, is that not love?
    They stare at me.. like I’m wrong?

    Thrown on the dirt…blood in the sky, scrambling away-
    you call it “what needs to be done in the name of God.”
    But when I’m all alone, I don’t rethink.

    I do, I guess. I do.
    In the controversy of it all… I wonder, but it’s rooted down: love.
    Strength. Courage. Beauty. They stare at me like I’m wrong,
    But when I’m all alone, I don’t rethink. Do you?

  10. Jane Shlensky


    He loves the dead limbs raking the sky,
    the brokenness of pine trunks stabbing
    clouds, reflecting in the water. “So natural,”
    he says. I know everything dies, each
    in its turn. I know death is part of life.
    And now I understand now why
    the hollow trunk of our lives is so brittle.

  11. Jane Shlensky

    A Walk

    The lady on the trail along the lake
    is talking aloud, as if she has a companion,
    but she is alone, walking determinedly.
    “Dear God, give me a true spouse,
    or none at all,” she says. “How long
    must he ignore me and break my heart?
    How long? I’m begging you.”

    I wish I could evaporate, not interrupt
    her prayer. I wish I didn’t understand.
    I wish I didn’t care about her plight,
    and mine. I wish ahead, our paths
    would diverge, so I could find a way
    back to a time when love was sure
    and easily defined. I speed up
    and pass her as she whispers to the sky,
    “How long?” I find it hard to breathe
    just now, as my footsteps’ rhythm rasps
    repeatedly her question with no answer
    in sight—how long how long how long how.

    1. bmorrison9

      Powerful! Teaching at a retirement community taught me about the loneliness of widows and I immediately saw your “lady” that way. But it equally applies to some middle-aged men I know. The rhythm of the last line . . . whew!

  12. rmpWritings

    Waiting on Love
    by rmp

    my heart is a flower.
    everyday I pick a petal
    as “I hate me” rolls off my tongue;
    day after day
    • pluck • pluck • pluck •
    waiting for the moment
    when the only petals left
    speak of love.

  13. Jane Shlensky

    Animal Love

    The calves nuzzle against me like puppies,
    edging one another away, possessive
    of chin scratches and fingers to suckle.
    Babies of every species are curious of love,
    brave of attention, every footfall planted
    in a willingness for goodwill, for affection.
    This brindled calf is suspicious, shy,
    backing three steps from my reaching hand,
    but eager to bump me when my back is turned.
    She snorts happily, like cow laughter.
    The person who says animals don’t feel love
    has not risked nearness to them for long.

    I close the gate, the cows licking their calves,
    perfect parental love. The cat comes with me
    meowing for a cuddle. Already the chickens
    come from the barnyard to cluck hello.
    In the south pasture, deer are grazing
    with Jerseys, companionable in their brown coats.
    Trust, then. Trust and love are surely conjoined
    for all of us who breathe. Do these two mean peace?

  14. grcran

    the cook of love

    we went fishing today and
    you fixed fish vera cruz
    while i was in the shower
    your hair and my hair mingled
    on the shower drain
    i put the hair in the compost, but still
    i think we’re in love

    gpr crane

  15. MET

    Love is a risk…
    Every mother who is
    Sitting by a hospital bed
    With a sick child,
    Helpless with hope
    But strong in the waiting.
    News from the professionals
    Often shreds her heart…
    While grasping for words
    To hang her hope on
    While sitting by a hospital bed
    With a sick child
    The mother knows
    Love is a risk, but
    One worth taking.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 28, 2017

      1. MET

        I never had children of my own but I specialized with medically fragile foster children… and spent many a day in a hospital with a very ill child… along with foster parents and parents… it is that blind hope

  16. SarahLeaSales

    She Loved Him, She Loved Them Not

    She did not love those he loved,
    but she loved the little person their love created.
    She would have loved those that created him,
    had they lived long enough to witness
    the vow that cemented their love,
    though her SILS and BIL,
    with whom she’d never fit in,
    were a disappointment.
    And yet, it was so easy to forgive them
    for not being the married-into family she’d hoped for–
    so long as they kept their distance.
    If only they would respect her right to be left alone,
    for it was one of the most sacred rights
    of humankind.


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