2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

Today and tomorrow are the final days of this challenge. We’ve got this!

For today’s prompt, write a response poem. The poem can be a response to anything–a piece of news, some art, a famous (or not so famous) quotation, or whatever. However, I thought it might be a cool opportunity to respond to a poem that you’ve written this month. If both poems work, it could make an interesting dynamic to have two (or more) poems that interact with each other.


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Here’s my attempt at a Response Poem:

“if you say”

something i have to take it
at face value whether or

not meanings are hidden
beneath the surface are

beyond me & if you
disguise your intentions

prepare for me to fall
for them & don’t wonder



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 decided to respond to his Day 2 poem.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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144 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

  1. Shennon


    A blunt, abrasive
    bite of fruitcake
    clogs my throat,
    which constricts in response.
    I chug, then choke
    on a gulp of eggnog.
    Chunks of cherries
    cloaked in egg yolks
    and bathed in bourbon
    escape my airway.
    As I begin to breathe,
    I’m reminded why
    I abhor holiday gatherings.


    Cherries, cranberries,
    candied citron.
    Brown sugar, butter,
    dried mango and rum.
    Molasses, pecans
    and ground cinnamon.
    Each bite of fruitcake
    a delight on the tongue.

    Each creamy sip
    with just a nip
    of nutmeg
    slides down my throat.
    Heavy cream
    mixed in a bourbon dream
    the spicy blend lingers
    as I slip off my coat.
    The room I appraise
    My glass I raise
    My eyes are ablaze
    I love the holidays!


  2. Connie Peters


    Canal drained after 200 years.
    Remarkable items uncovered.
    I hate misleading headlines.
    It was a 200 year-old-canal
    drained after only fifteen years.
    All they found was beer bottles,
    bicycles and an old toilet.
    Remarkable? Not very.

  3. Brandi Noelle

    Response to Day 1’s poem with the prompt, “New Day”

    View From the Bright Side

    Stop wallowing in your sorrow
    dwelling on your despair
    Your life is full of beautiful things
    an abundance of people who truly care
    A wonderful husband sharing your journey
    as both best friend and love
    A delightful daughter with a shining light
    that you could not be more proud of
    You are surrounded by family who bring
    both laughter and joy, have you forgot?
    Others wish for such love and affection
    Remember there are some who have not

    Day 1 Original Poem

    Tomorrow Is A New Day

    Another day, another failure
    I feel broken beyond repair
    The gloom of depression settles
    I’m swallowed up by my despair
    I cry, I pray, I wonder
    Will this pain never cease?
    Is the throbbing ache of my heart forever
    My soul to never be at peace?
    I’m not alone, I’m loved, I’m comforted
    It is this that holds the demons at bay
    I will rise up from the ashes to fight again
    Tomorrow is a new day

  4. LCaramanna

    Someday Quarters

    Her dad saved quarters in coffee cans
    for years.
    They added up,
    into a mountain of silver coins.
    Her dad said the coffee can quarters
    were saved for her wedding dress,
    If she chose a dress
    that didn’t cost too much,
    she could spend the rest of the quarters
    on something else,
    That’s what her dad said.
    With his words on her mind
    and his love in her heart,
    she chose the perfect dress
    with just the right glitter, lace, shimmer, silk, swirl
    and price.
    She saved the rest of the quarters
    for something else,
    just like her dad said,
    because she knew he would be pleased.

    Lorraine Caramanna

    1. LCaramanna

      Response to Day 26: my “shine” poem

      The Bridal Salon

      White dresses,
      each more beautiful than the first,
      waited in silent anticipation
      suspended on velvet hangers
      for consideration.

      White dresses,
      each more beautiful than the first,
      appeared with style, elegance, and grace
      as the bride-to-be
      considered the possibilities
      with critical reflections in the mirror.

      One dress spoke to her in whispers
      of perfection in
      just the right glitter,
      just the right lace,
      just the right shimmer, silk, and swirl
      for a walk down the aisle
      and a twirl on the dance floor
      on a wedding day.
      Tears of joy
      added to her shine
      as she said yes to the perfect dress.

      Lorraine Caramanna

    2. ingridbruck

      “Here is day 29 a response poem. I look forwarding seeing your poems. I still would like to continue writing a poem a day and I think we could be open to leting others join in the fun excersize. We could take turns writing the poem prompt poem or go first one in creates the stimulus for the rest of us. Are you both in on this idea? Michael

      response prompt
      Nov 29, 2017


      I felt my heart serge
      at seeing the beatings
      the anger taking a form
      the focus of their fury
      the recipient’s of the pain
      eyes full of fear and confusion
      not knowing how to escape
      the misdirected hate
      of those who could not see
      they were projecting 
      what they disliked about themselves
      upon a difference, they could see ©

      Michael” Peck

  5. rmpWritings

    Observer of Beautiful Forms
    (in response to “No Wonder I Avoid Looking into Mirrors – Day 3’s prompt, triangle poem)
    by rmp

    there are times
    when the image in the mirror
    is unavoidable

    I take pause in those moments
    allow a quiet to pass through me
    & take in the form staring back at me

    “beautiful” tears at the corners
    of my eyes
    in such a brief & fleeting moment
    as the kaleidoscope of emotions
    still for but a second
    & I remember why I hope

  6. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    Care teams form by those who hold Liberty’s lamp high.
    Needs considered, they call to the community
    for aid and support, gathering resources like squirrels
    gathering acorns for a long, cold winter.
    Clothes appropriate for the season, shelter and healthcare
    first on the list of needs to be met, when those fleeing
    lives none of us can imagine, arrive from camps
    an ocean away. Like rescued creatures returning to the wild,
    the families timidly enter the bright lights of freedom,
    surrounded by those who bring hope wrapped in a jacket
    for mom and dad, tucked into a teddy for the children.
    Slowly, language is conquered and dreams, once more,
    have the sweet taste of honey on a summers day.
    As months pass, acclimation to this new life, this new world
    are met with simple joys, tiny successes.
    It takes a village!

  7. cobanionsmith

    Cereal Day, a Dodoitsu

    Is it cereal day? If
    yes, celebration ensues.
    Mom’s just happy they’re fed and
    out the door in time.

    Response to:

    Egg Day

    School days mean cereal, but
    if it’s an egg day, he states
    his order: fluffy clouds with
    cheese. Coming right up.

    Courtney O’Banion Smith

  8. Pat Walsh

    by Patrick J. Walsh
    [in response to my poem “unlucky,” from 11/11/17]

    inside and warm
    you see the carnage
    of wrecked lives
    from a safe distance

    irked at not knowing
    the details of their ends
    as if knowing would
    make any difference

    you mourn when the
    corpse belongs to one
    you know even when
    you know in your heart

    that every one deserves
    the same response
    of loss and longing
    for one more chance

    The original poem:

    by Patrick J. Walsh

    the lights flashing out on the
    highway made it difficult to
    focus on the conversation
    at dinner

    in the car on the way home
    the report on the radio
    was maddeningly brief
    and vague

    he thought of the EMTs
    unlucky enough to have to
    be out there on such a
    cold night

    and the next day when
    he read the names
    it seemed like years had
    already passed

  9. MichelleMcEwen

    Diddly Nonet

    I don’t have nothing against daddies—
    I love mine. Just seems like sometimes
    some of them can’t do diddly
    squat in the kitchen like
    dishes, like flipping
    pancakes on time.
    They sure can
    chow down

    (This poem is in response to my “Movers of Mountains” poem from day 27’s “_____ of _____” prompt).

    1. MET

      big smile… my father was a great cook… but he could not boil water without messing the entire kitchen up.. but it has been 30 years since I have had a really over the top good biscuit…

  10. Valkyri

    I will try posting this omitting part of the second last name. You would think the name of a Pulitzer Prize winning author would be ok? SO touchy! First word, pulls ear, sounds like, HEX! Whew!

    The Suicides (for Sylvia Plath and Anne S**ton)

    I love the unloveable, and revel in its blueness.
    I love you, you know…
    I love you even though we never met.
    I never heard your voices, but your ink bleeds beams.

    God, you were both such beautiful women!
    You wrote as though you had gold in your pencils,
    your typewriters, your thoughts, your souls…
    My response to your writing is visceral.

    My response to your deaths is visceral.
    You are my White Queen and my Red Queen.
    I am your little Alice, lost in your fancy,
    running to catch up, tripping and forever falling…

    No one will taste your new words on their tongues,
    rolling them around like honey and cinnamon.
    There is no cache of secret notebooks,
    unpublished, unfamed, undiscovered, unread…

    Was the kitchen floor cold on your knees?
    You breathed in the oven, and then you didn’t.
    Who knew someone so unique as you
    could do something so cliché, so mundane?

    And, you, sitting in that garage,
    that last vodka burning its final hole…
    breathing in, turning pinker and pinker….
    The confessional traded its stained glass for chrome.

    The accolades and prizes were not enough.
    The honesty, and hope, were not enough.
    I am smitten, and sorrowed, and I shelter in you.
    I have never heard your voices, but your ink bleeds beams.

  11. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    I said, “Good morning”
    Asked, “How’d you sleep?”
    You poured your coffee,
    Without a peep.
    I went through the motions
    Of getting ready,
    Your quietness
    Remained rock steady.
    I said, “I love ya,”
    As I hit the door;
    Your first two words:
    “Me, too,” once more.

    I called around lunch,
    Just to say, “Hi;”
    And when you hung up,
    There was no, “Goodbye.”
    I texted when I was
    Done for the day,
    “Do I need to get anything,
    Along the way?”
    It took a minute,
    But your one word, “No,”
    Straight to the point,
    I knew where I should go.

    And we don’t seem to talk much any more,
    You tell me I don’t ever say a thing;
    But I feel I’m speaking to the walls and floor,
    For all the answers my questions bring.

    I asked you how
    Your day had gone,
    One word again,
    And that was, “Long.”
    You checked things
    On your handheld phone,
    You might as well,
    Have been alone.
    Finally you simply said,
    “Good night,”
    Headed to bed,
    Turned out the light.

    And we don’t seem to talk much any more,
    You tell me I don’t ever say a thing;
    But I feel I’m speaking to the walls and floor,
    For all the answers my questions bring.

  12. Valkyri

    I am not able to post my day 29 contribution… Can anyone give me a list of the banned words? I didn’t swear once, I promise. Can you send it to valeripaxtonsteele at good ole’ gmail! Thanks!

  13. MHR

    Reaction to my own emotions.

    i scream i cry i laugh
    i destroy i burn i weep for you
    i watch i observe i see
    myself fighting against everything
    you do i lunge i hit i kick
    i land on top of your body
    i regret i hate
    myself for falling for a dream
    i saw, i had, i lost.

  14. Jane Shlensky

    Pavlov and Pooch

    If you feed me good chow,
    do I not salivate?
    If you shout,
    do I not wince and cower?
    You know I hate loud noises.
    Use your goodboy voice,
    and I will be.
    Threaten and bully,
    and I become wolf.
    I am not a physiologist.
    I am not a psychologist.
    But I know that if I salivate
    when I see your white coat,
    you will give me food.

  15. MET

    In Response to the Night

    I have written many words
    To you, and still

    You are solid
    When it is winter
    When my breath
    Is frozen as I
    And hurts
    As I

    In the summer
    I am caught up in my senses
    In a steamy sultry southern garden
    Filled with passion and jazz,
    Storms of desire that
    Wreak havoc
    Only seen in daylight.

    I have walked many a mile
    In the dead of night
    Clearing tangled weary worries
    That only in the darkest hours
    With stars that glide
    Like skaters on invisible Ice
    Float above me
    Seem to clear.

    There is the moon
    That hangs like a cradle when it wanes
    With the dark blue coverlet
    Dropping down to the earth
    Or when the moon waxes
    Until it glows with the sun’s light
    Huge as a Hunter’s Moon or
    Twice as the Blue Moon

    Then sitting on my hill
    Waiting for the stars to dance…
    Meteors they are called, but to me they dance…
    I know that somewhere within me
    Still one day
    I will write the right words
    Describing you in perfection.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 29, 2017

  16. Jane Shlensky

    Simple Responses in Elementary School

    The daily ritual back then
    was start with a devotion—
    pledge of allegiance and
    an upbeat thought for the day,
    followed by a prayer for those
    in need within our community.

    That day, Mrs. Clingman made the call,
    “Does we know of anyone sick
    in our community?” I was six, old enough
    to know better, but the word sick
    resonated in me. I quickly raised my hand.

    “My mama is sick,” I say.
    “My goodness, Jani, what’s wrong with your Mama?”
    I hesitate, something not quite clear.
    “I don’t know what’s wrong, but just this morning,
    she said she was sick of my Daddy.”

  17. Terry Jude Miller


    The Dissolution of Thursday

    a day of the week
    is missing
    it slipped
    from time’s coin purse
    spilled on the ground
    then rolled into the sea
    though it’s gone
    I can remember it
    quite clearly
    the way it shone
    with weekend anticipation
    its road signs
    pointing to together-times
    until the iteration
    that ruined it
    blasted it with black paint
    and ochre
    a phone call–
    he’s gone
    the floor
    that couldn’t keep me
    from falling
    but then I saw it
    rolling on its serrated side
    out into the sea

    The Resurrection of Thursday

    I am returning
    from the sea
    where grief
    sent me

    a man’s desperation
    the axis on which
    I revolved

    but time never holds
    back, its minutes
    slip the grasp of death

    infinity impervious
    to the tears of a brother

  18. Jane Shlensky

    this is a response to my preface poem


    Not so much left to say, m’dears—
    caput, finito, over, done,
    completely almost finished,
    more or less,
    an index or a supplement,
    a summary, a winding down,
    outcome, solution,
    perhaps an unraveling,
    but since there may be
    endless ends,
    let’s say this is
    an epilogue,
    a final word,
    a denouement,
    just one more word

  19. Bruce Niedt

    I recently heard someone refer to the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as “that Christmas date-rape song”. A little harsh, perhaps, but maybe not in the interesting times we live in now. So this is a timely song parody – a response, or maybe a sequel, to that song:

    Baby, You Told Your Side

    I’ve just had my say (Baby, you told your side)
    So put him away (Baby, you told your side)
    He always has been (What kind of trouble I’m in)
    Not very nice (Oh, babe, you’re just as cold as ice)

    He came onto me in a hurry (Baby, why should you worry?)
    And pinned me right to the floor (I thought you were asking for more)
    So that’s when I tried to scurry (For me, the details are blurry)
    He made me have a half a drink more (For the record, I didn’t pour)

    It’s then I did think (I’m not so bad, I swear)
    Hey, what’s in my drink? (I’m not a cad, so there)
    Well, I sure know now (It dropped in, I don’t know how)
    He knew darned well (She drank too much, and then she fell)

    I kept saying no, no, no (I thought she said, get closer)
    I had to get away and I tried (What’s the sense in hurting my pride?)
    I’ve just had my say (Baby, you sold out)
    Ah, but I’ve (you’ve) told my (your) side.

    I’m safe in my home (I’m getting the freeze-out here)
    And I picked up the phone (They think I’m a sleaze out here)
    I’ve taken my stand (I’m hated through this land)
    Now do you see? (How could you do this thing to me?)

    My lawyer will call tomorrow (Think of my lifelong sorrow)
    And plenty will be implied (I wish I caught pneumonia and died)
    I’ve just had my say (The truth has been rolled out)
    Ah, but I’ve (you’ve) told my (your) side.

  20. Earl Parsons

    Wrong Response

    The police stopped me late one night
    And asked if I knew the reason
    “Why yes,” I wisely responded
    “I’ve a dozen Krispee Kremes!”
    He laughed as he wrote the ticket

    My boss called me into his office
    Said, “I heard you said I was mean!”
    “Why, no, boss, I’d never do that!
    Junkyard dogs are very gentle.”
    Is there anyone out there hiring?

    The customs agent eyeballed me
    “You have anything to claim, sir?”
    “Why, yes. I found some deals
    From the man with the trench coat.”
    I’ll be released in five years.


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