2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

After today’s poem, we’ll be 20% of the way through this challenge. Let’s do this!

For today’s prompt, write a praise poem. Praise a person; praise a deity; praise your favorite food. If you ask me, there’s not enough praise to go around in this world; let’s fix that today–with this poem. Praise someone or something, even if it’s just your morning coffee.


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Here’s my attempt at a Praise Poem:


even though i don’t have the patience
to suck you down to the stick & even
though that means i end up chewing
your hard candy that gets stuck on my
teeth & even though your refined sugar
is so bad for me in so many ways i can’t
help but praise you for being there when
all i need is a void to fill & a sweet tooth to


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 has a definite sweet tooth that is equally happy downing a bag of bite-size Kit Kats as devouring a share-size bag of Skittles–or Sweet Tarts or Peanut M&Ms or about anything else with sugar. He simultaneously wants to praise and curse all things sweet.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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313 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

  1. thunk2much

    In praise of sunny days
    the scent of lavender
    growing leggy in the field

    Accolades for coffee cups
    containing notes of chocolate
    brimming with elixir

    Glory to the voices
    lifted in sorrow or in song
    telling us their truths

    Applause for opened doors
    small simple kindnesses
    and noticing each other

  2. JRSimmang


    Did your hands shake like mine
    that last time you stood alongside me?
    You didn’t notice I looked back,
    but I did,
    my fear and anxiety
    smothered by the wind against my face
    and the blood in my veins.

    I fell,
    like we all do,
    and tiptoppled into the hard pavement
    of acknowledgment,
    but I’m not sure I understood it until now.

    Now, she’s old enough for skinned knees
    and bruised elbows,
    and laughing off the pain of adding years,

    and when she looks back at me,
    and I wave,
    my hands will shake like yours
    because you’ve taught me
    how to be powerful

    in so few words.

    -JR Simmang

  3. candy

    As A Child …..

    I was not raised with lavish praise
    Obeying rules was not an event
    and being rude was not a phase
    I was not raised with lavish praise
    but curiosity always
    received the highest compliment
    I was not raised with lavish praise
    Obeying rules was not an event

    ~~ here is my attempt at a triolet 😉

  4. De Jackson

    In Praise of Talons, and Tinder

    I could set this song on fire, send it up in smoke
                                                                 – Nickelback

    There’s a dragon underneath my skin. She’s
    beginning to simmer something that just might

    mean something if I let it (but I rarely let it.) In
    its simmer, in its silence, it is violence and vim

    and whim and wonder. Plunder. I have plunged
    it too deep, and left it shallow. Sallow. I have

    swallowed its embers and allowed them to burn
    my throat too long. Odd, how we have clawed

    our way through this throng of clouds, only to
    call them other. Only to smother the syllables

    we ask of ourselves. Today, I will fan these wings;
    span this sky with my bold bright breath, and fly

    somewhere where a sigh might be a starter, and
    the moon might be a little farther than she seems.


  5. Linowen

    November 6:


    My husband, who celebrates his
    birthday today by working
    on a Bible study, is worthy of

    He’s the same man who prepares and
    cooks his mother’s homemade
    country-fried steak recipe, complete
    with gravy, for us all.

    He takes out the trash and mows
    the lawn, cleans the gutters and
    fills the fuel tanks every time.

    He juggles the bank-book,
    pays the bills, reads the fine print,
    and uses coupons.

    He cheers his team, compares
    scores, coaches the coaches, and
    throws to the grandkids.

    His dirty clothes are in the
    hamper. He puts them there, washes,
    and throws in the towels, too.

    Don’t ask him to tell a joke.
    He won’t have one.
    Don’t ask him to be a party
    animal. That won’t happen.

    Ask him for help. Ask him for
    wisdom. Ask him for guidance.
    You’ll get the best.

    No, you can’t have him.
    He’s mine. He’s ours.
    Here’s high praise for this man
    who shows his care for people,
    family, pets,
    and poets.

  6. MET

    Don’t Underestimate the Praise of the Grinch
    (for Walt)

    November comes and the Angel tree
    Is set in a local mall
    For children in foster care or
    With Child Protective Services….
    All the forms had to be filled out…
    Forty-two is a lot of Children, and then
    The gifts must be delivered…

    Thanksgiving is a week away and then the stories
    And the investigates for the fund for Christmas have begun.

    I am disheveled and worn out and think how many more days…
    I can tell you there is not enough and many more than twelve…
    The parents of the three year old placed last
    January just have to see their baby.
    I hold my tongue, and say
    Come in for a talk…
    They only have time for a visit.
    After hanging up my phone…
    I bang my head on my desk…

    Then the presents from the angel tree arrive…
    Some people bought little…
    Some brought a lot…
    Each present is inspected so that
    No pervert’s gift gets thru, and
    Due to moldy clothes once given…
    The word “new” had to be added
    To the Angel tree instructions…

    Two weeks before Christmas
    Between visits in homes and
    Visits with parents…
    I wrapped packages that I swore
    Grew by the hour…
    How many did I wrap…
    Maybe fifty… closer to one hundred…
    I prayed they all came by the end of next week…

    Three weeks before Christmas…
    All those thousands of gifts that filling my office
    Had to be delivered, and by now
    Coffee no longer worked…
    I arranged trips across my state…
    My car packed with presents
    For wonderful children…
    The only part I loved was delivering those millions
    Of boxes…but there was always one or two who
    Did not get their angel tree gifts…
    Without saying a thing…I bought the gifts
    Wrapped them and added them to my near exploding office….

    But three days before my vacation…
    A woman smiled and said sorry this bike was late, and
    All these wonderful gifts….
    One I had bought the week before…
    I smiled my most ungrinch like smile, and
    Thanked her for the wonderful gifts she brought…
    I called the foster mother…it was two hours away….
    She cannot meet me halfway…
    I really did understand…
    So early the day before my governor’s gift of Christmas eve
    To be off… I drove to deliver those gifts,
    And enjoyed the day of quiet outside my office.

    But since I was on call for all those children…
    There were times I met foster parents at hospitals
    On Christmas day…

    I so understand the Grinch…
    A person can only do so much, and
    I never was a miracle worker.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 6, 2017

      1. MET

        Thank you and it did release a lot of frustration I have carried over the years… I remember one year a worker came back from lunch and said it was just Halloween and there is Christmas decorations and we all groaned…

      1. MET

        I was ready to go a third round… and we will… but this year I have something to look forward to and that is my great nephew coming home after a semester in Europe and he promised to bring me a rock and story… And I am very excited about that one…. and I do my own Christmas cards each… need to get them to the printer later in the week… or first of the next…I have wrote the lines and painted the picture… and now to write the story and I have done it this year 40 years … though at first it was not painted nor taken to the printer and there was not a story… it has grown over the years…

          1. MET

            there is a man at our church who is a professional santa and he is one of the most gentle men I have ever met…I like to hear his stories…. He and his wife are just wonderful people…

  7. Heather

    in search of praise

    A work in progress
    partially formed.
    hesitation sets in
    when you ask
    “can I see it?”
    Do I dare reveal
    my incomplete
    heart and soul?
    You could rip me apart,
    Ruin me forever
    in my futile
    search for praise.

    ~ side note, I haven’t posted all my poems in the challenge here, but they are up on my website, along with this one.

  8. rlk67

    Nov. the Sixth

    Oh, the floods we will clean.
    The diapers we change,
    Not pleasant to mention,
    The idea sounds so strange.

    For those with small children,
    and unlimited gripes,
    Let’s praise even odd things,
    like flushable wipes!

    (Don’t mean to be funny,
    Let’s focus and smile!
    Most of our whining
    is just juvenile.)

  9. Daniel Paicopulos

    Thinking Back

    In the weave of eternity,
    with the work before us,
    short-term judgements don’t
    seem to matter much,
    not the praise, nor the blame,
    not the credits, nor the sins,
    self-imposed or outer-given.
    Most of my awards have long been tossed,
    every plaque, every trophy,
    all the ribbons, certificates and letters.
    In the end, just stuff, and
    the stories and smiling lies about them are better.
    But then, there’s that plastic Club Med medal
    with the red, white and blue lanyard
    that was given for finding buried wine bottles
    off the sandy shore of Martinique –
    that one lives on.
    And the disability rating letter,
    the V.A.’s judgement call – that one
    will stay awhile, at least for my forever.
    Once or twice, I got a Beautiful Bloom,
    truly treasured,
    kept in cyberspace.
    Then there are the Purple Hearts,
    once headed for a protest toss
    over the White House fence, but no.
    Those are about things and people,
    some still kicking, others, well,
    others valued fondly in my heart.

  10. annell


    in pRaise of my mother a tiny woMan from a large irish family

    who came to texas in 1848 there were three brOthers

    one settled new York and two came to texas they owned a woolen mill

    in their home counTry ireLand my grEat grandFather

    farmed cotTon i was told he had 50 slaves

    the sins of the father are ours to keep it was not unusual

    it happened in those days he married a gerMan girl whose father was a doctor

    they eloped on their horses there was no minister in their county they had eleven children

    they were religious people and then there was my mother the baby

    of her family her closest sibling was 17 years older

    when i was little my mother sewed my clothes hers was a tiny stitch

    she lived the life of her time married

    her life was home and family… and the church she was kind and nurturing

    when i came home from school mother was always there a wonderful cook

    loved poetry she died at 96 a life cut short

    by my meaSure i miss her everyDay how often i have gOne to the phOne

    only to remember my mother is no longer here i write in praise of my mother

    November 6, 2017

  11. MichelleMcEwen

    Thank Heaven for You

    & you

    & you

    & you

    & you

    & you

    & you

    inner peace
    & you

    & you

  12. Nurit Israeli


    “What you remember is saved… What you come to remember becomes yourself… “
    ~ W. S. Merwin

    It’s their golden wedding anniversary.
    On the old record player, Sinatra sings
    Our Love Is Here to Stay,
    and she hums along, swaying yet again
    to the tunes of their first dance,
    holding onto the memories,
    embracing his photo:

    Together we’re going a long long way.
    Our love is here. To stay.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  13. Nurit Israeli


    “What you remember is saved… What you come to remember becomes yourself… “
    ~ W. S. Merwin

    It’s their golden wedding anniversary.
    On the old record player, Sinatra sings
    Our Love Is Here to Stay,
    and she hums along, swaying yet again
    to the tunes of their first dance,
    holding onto the memories,
    embracing his photo:

    Together we’re going a long long way.
    Our love is here. To stay.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  14. Nurit Israeli


    “What you remember is saved… What you come to remember becomes yourself… “
    ~ W. S. Merwin

    It’s their golden wedding anniversary.
    On the old record player, Sinatra sings
    Our Love Is Here to Stay,
    and she hums along, swaying yet again
    to the tunes of their first dance,
    holding onto the memories,
    embracing his photo:

    Together we’re going a long long way.
    Our love is here. To stay.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  15. Nurit Israeli


    “What you remember is saved… What you come to remember becomes yourself… “
    ~ W. S. Merwin

    It’s their golden wedding anniversary.
    On the old record player, Sinatra sings
    Our Love Is Here to Stay,
    and she hums along, swaying yet again
    to the tunes of their first dance,
    holding onto the memories,
    embracing his photo:

    Together we’re going a long long way.
    Our love is here. To stay.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  16. Walter J Wojtanik


    It is late and patiently she waits.
    She knows I had planned on going out
    as I do every year. And it is right here
    that she waits. Her eyes still
    twinkle brightly after all this time
    and I’m sure her smile will anticipate me,
    when I’m done with my globe trotting.
    It’s not any suspicion that keeps her there
    planted by the hearth; where else on earth
    would she rather be? It keeps her as warm
    as a big cozy hug, toasting her frigid toes
    and melting her heart for my return.
    The yule logs burn, and I yearn for my traveling
    to cease, and desist this yearly all night party.
    That North Pole girl is hearty; she loves the cold
    and this Jolly Old Man, doing all she can
    to keep me committed to this Christmas game.
    She’s my wishful missus; she calls me Mr. “C”.
    But to me, she forever gives my heart great pause.
    And it’s all because I am Santa Claus.

    **Lastly, a reworking of an oldie, but goodie!

  17. MET

    Walt’s poem on Christmas led to this one….

    In Praise of the Grinch!

    The wicked broken hearted Green Grinch
    Who stole Christmas!
    How mean he was!
    But I sort of get him…
    After listening to people
    Needing rent money and heat…
    Those I got…
    But those who knew there
    Would be a brighter Christmas fund
    To help them out, and each year
    They fell behind in rent…
    Just to get their rent paid…
    The ones who asked for expensive toys
    Or fur coats or the biggest television
    Reminded me of Janis Joplin’s song
    About wanting a colored TV.
    I would find as I got closer
    To Christmas… the greener I became….
    My hair would spike from being pulled out, and
    Doing the stories plus our regular work
    Left us frazzled, cross-eyed and drained.
    On January first, we had survived again, but
    Too tired to celebrate, and
    The green color would drain from my face;
    I was no longer the grinch
    Who every day hoped I could steal Christmas that year, while
    Plotting how I could do it the next year…
    I never could…

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 6, 2017

  18. Walter J Wojtanik


    Do they self-destruct as soon as you speak with them?
    No, they remain strong and loving for that is how they are created,
    and in any crown they would be the brightest gem!
    They do not self-destruct as soon as you speak with them?
    For she is as fair and as true as they will come,
    women are the fairest of persuasion, they are by far.
    Do they self-destruct as soon as you speak with them?
    No, they remain strong and loving, for that is how they are created.

    1. De Jackson

      Praising Dog

      Strong and loving, that’s how they’re created.
      Loyal to a fault, and darn cute, too.
      Their devotion’s never complicated;
      strong and loving, that’s how they’re created.
      Better than people, it could be debated –
      they’ll sooth your soul and chew your shoe.
      Strong and loving, that’s how they’re created.
      Loyal to a fault, and darn cute, too.

      1. Walter J Wojtanik


        She said I’m loyal to a fault, and darn cute, too.
        I am flattered by such hearty praise.
        But, I only wish that it was true,
        De said I’m loyal to a fault, and darn cute, too.
        But, I’m really not much to ballyhoo,
        I don’t know why she’s amazed!
        She said I’m loyal to a fault, and darn cute, too.
        I am flattered by such hearty praise!

        (And I think she’s a real “dish” too!)

        1. De Jackson

          Woj You Be Mine?

          I’m flattered by such hearty praise,
          from one so loyal to a “Walt.”
          I’m grinning far and wide, for days,
          so flattered by such hearty praise
          from one who so rocks triolets
          as if he’s pulled them from a vault.
          I’m flattered by such hearty praise,
          especially from one so loyal to a “Walt.”

          1. Walter J Wojtanik

            I’D BE DE-LIGHTED!

            Just my specialty, from one so loyal to a “Walt.”
            When my words fail me, I infuse my muse with De.
            So, I guess we both take equal share in the fault,
            but it’s just my specialty, from one so loyal to a “Walt.”
            Would I stop wordplay with De? I’ll never halt,
            I’m enthralled with her, and she with me.
            Just my specialty, from one so loyal to a “Walt.”
            When my words fail me, I infuse my muse with De.

          2. De Jackson

            In praise of loose leaves

            When my words fail me, I infuse my muse with tea.
            Chai will do, with notebooks on the side.
            In both hands I hold the cup, sip whole-heartedly;
            when my words fail me, I infuse my muse with tea.
            There’s no place that I’d ever rather be
            than right here, mugged and mused, up for the ride.
            When my words fail me, I infuse my muse with tea.
            Chai will do, with notebooks on the side.

          3. Walter J Wojtanik


            Tai Chi will do, with notebooks on the side.
            A full body work out, heart, mind and spirit.
            It helps to get me fully untied,
            Tai Chi will do, with notebooks on the side.
            Of course, letting poetry be my guide,
            and infuse my muse with tea as I hear it.
            Tai Chi will do, with notebooks on the side.
            A full body work out, heart, mind and spirit.

          4. De Jackson

            In Praise of Yoga {sort of}

            A full body work out, heart, mind and spirit,
            those poses make me never want to stop.
            Center yourself, and you’ll be right near it,
            a full body work out, heart, mind and spirit.
            It’s got lots of “downward dogs” to endear it –
            except my head likes to be on top.
            A full body workout, heart, mind and spirit,
            those poses make me never want to stop.

          5. Walter J Wojtanik


            Those poses make me never want to stop,
            I live a model life in Jellystone.
            I love the sound of flash bulbs when they pop,
            those poses make me never want to stop.
            Ranger Smith and Yogi run the shop,
            while my runway walk I smartly hone,
            Those poses make me never want to stop,
            I live a model life in Jellystone.

          6. De Jackson

            Here Thar Be Bears

            I live a model life in Jellystone.
            Oh, there’s quite plenty here to do.
            I wander, grumble, growl and roam
            and live a model life in Jellystone.
            I call these wondrous woods my home;
            I bare my soul and poop here, too.
            I live a model life in Jellystone.
            Oh, there’s quite plenty here to do.

  19. De Jackson

    In Praise of Phrase

    This poem is the syllables
    of my hot-mess heart,
    the spilling of my song.

    She aches
    for Lake
    and salt
    and sand
    and sunrise
    and a full fat moon.

    This poem tip-toes
    on her un
    -ambic feet,
    dangles part
    -iciples, kerns
    and culls her own
    alphabetic alchemy.

    She likes words
    that go bump
    in the night.

    This poem is
    the palming of psalms,
    the quiet streams
    that lead, the still
    waters that heal.

    And when she’s feeling
    whole, she knows
    the cobbled word stone
    way to do it all again.


  20. MET

    Now I did longer than I meant it to be a poem using said folksongs…. now here is the trick… when I read one of these songs…in a poem… I sing the song part….which when I break the lines apart… can be hard to remember the tune when you pick it up again…

    In Praise of Forgotten Folksingers

    My Dulcimer lays neglected, but
    There was a time… if I traveled
    It traveled with me…
    I sung old folksongs…the ones forgotten
    Except for a few of us troubadours…

    But think about the lines they gave us
    These anonymous folksingers of days of old…

    “Down in the Valley, the valley so low….
    Hang your head over, hear the wind blow…”*

    I know that valley, been there more than once,
    When some man had broken my heart, and
    That wind cuts like a cold knife
    In a starless night.
    There is a sadness in the words
    You feel them more than hear them…
    No wonder an opera
    Was based on this song.

    Then there is the one that makes you smile
    So silly your eyes dance…
    For you know it is a play-party song…

    “Chickens crowing on sourwood mountain…
    Hey di-ding-dang-diddle-ally-day.

    So many handsome men I can’t count them.
    Hey di-ding-dang-diddle-ally-day.
    My true love lives up the hollow
    Hey di-ding-dang-diddle-ally-day.
    I won’t come, and he won’t follow
    Hey di-ding-dang-diddle-ally day.”*

    I can feel my feet wanting to stomp
    In a rollicking dance across the floor.
    Now, just which unsuspecting man
    Do I grab to do-se-do around the room?

    Then there are the lost loves
    That brought us lines
    The story of broken love

    “There’s a little rosewood casket,
    Sitting on a marble stand
    With a packet of old love letters
    Written in my true loves hand.”*

    The song of death, not because of the word casket,
    For casket used to mean a box, but
    Because the word marble is cold
    And often used as a tombstone…
    The words are broken words…
    Words of loss and grief and defeat.
    The person is letting go, and
    When we have been down…
    Those words speak to our heart
    For we understand defeat.

    I love the songs of murder and death
    Like the one about Tom Dooley and
    Frankie and Johnny…
    But then there is the sad ballad of a man
    Who owned a pencil factory,
    Where a young girl was killed.
    He was a Jew and was falsely accused
    For being different in the south.
    He was lynched by a mob
    In the night for daylight would be too bright,
    Who did not know it was not him, but
    Another who killed her that day.
    My mother sang that song.
    I wish I had written the name down
    All I remember is their names…
    Mary Fagin and Leo Franks….

    As looked at my abandoned dulcimer,
    I hear the notes of many songs,
    And all the miles we traveled;
    How I remember the words
    Written by folksingers who
    Lived a much different life than me.
    I remembered the day I stopped playing her…
    The harmonica player was no more…
    We often played at night those songs
    I remember now, and the day
    Well it was
    The day my father’s casket
    Was buried in the ground.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 6, 2017
    “* traditional songs… Down in the Valley, Sourwood Mountain and Rosewood Casket”

      1. MET

        thanks and I grew up in East Tennessee… where folk dances were called folk games since the Baptist would not allow their kids to dance… and I still sing… I think I need to buy a new Dulcimer to start playing again…

  21. Walter J Wojtanik


    There is a certain charm to them,
    their merriment is a way of life;
    never victims of trouble or strife.
    They invented glee, and it has affected me
    in ways I never bother to question!
    It is an expression of joy that we all
    once held when we were young girls and boys.
    Some kept on believing, but it can be deceiving.
    We carry a small spark of what these wee souls
    profess daily, gaily going about their work.
    It puts a smirk on my face and their pace
    is invigorating. We have been waiting
    for this moment to come back together,
    these blessed wee souls of the North Pole
    and I, a champion for their cause.
    They are most deserving of high praise
    especially from me. I am Santa Claus.

  22. Walter J Wojtanik


    Since I was a kid, I’d sit there waiting,
    anticipating the day they would start
    to play Christmas music. A sound
    that is close to my heart because
    it is filled with so much spirit,
    and so am I whene’er I hear it.

    I never had to endear it
    to my heart. It was well worth the wait
    to catch a purge of that holiday spirit
    as the first jingling tingling would start.
    I guess my position may be a cause
    of my loving that seasonal sound.

    But it seems they begin playing those sounds
    well before the goblins find their rest. It
    is not how I remember it. December rocked because
    I knew I wouldn’t have much of a wait
    to stay up late and travel. My trek would start
    in my heart the second that music filled my spirit.

    I never found a reason to fear it.
    I come alive in all those sounds
    of Jingle Bells, and Reindeer snorts and when children’s laughter starts,
    my jolly soul takes control and it
    spreads like a ripple in an unfrozen pond and I can’t wait
    for my time to find meaning in earnest. Because

    I love this season. Just because.
    I long for Frank or Bing to sing it.
    It would bring me to a new level as the date
    approaches. My sacred chore, I have found,
    is a tradition in every sense. And certainly it
    makes me more jolly, smelling of holly as I start

    to reaffirm the goodness of life. Mrs. “C” will start
    a fire in the hearth, and she will pause
    as she cranks the Victrola. She does not quit
    until I’m full of it, that Christmas spirit
    alive in every merry sound.
    There’s no time for debating, very little time for waiting,

    My glad heart would always start waiting
    for those jolly sounds. That is where I take my pause because
    I am Santa Claus and I embrace the spirit when I hear it. Christmas music.

    1. MET

      I love your joy for Christmas… I wish I had that …but all the years of DSS human services and since losing my immediate family… Christmas is just a day to survive…. but I do love your Joy and hope nothing ever robs you of that joy…. and by the way I am the Grinch…

      1. Walter J Wojtanik

        My joy stems from losing my mother on Christmas Eve in 1986 (my eldest daughter’s first celebration), and my father four days shy of the 20th Anniversary of her passing. If I didn’t immerse my self in the spirit, my two daughters would not have known the joy. Every year for thirty-one, I have donned the red suit to place the gifts under the tree just in case they spied Santa. I am Santa Claus. I believe we are ALL Santa Claus. My oldest has been married and out of the house for the last four. My youngest weds days after Dec. 25. I believe I will still wear the mantle under the mantle. We make our joy. Even through our adversity. This will perpetually be my gift.

        1. MHR

          I love the poem and your explanation about it, Walter. Christmas can be a beautiful time and sometimes you have to make your own joy or help others find theirs. 😉

  23. Connie Peters

    In Praise of Hawaii

    Lush vegetation, banyan and palms
    Rugged mountains, we ooh and we ahh
    Inviting beaches, we relax on a whim
    Sparkling waters, we go in for a swim
    Colorful fish darting about
    Various sands, without a doubt
    Balmy fresh air, so nice in the fall
    Exotic dishes, we’d like to eat all
    Expressive dancers feeling the joy
    Warm smiles, they often employ
    Welcoming hosts, eager to please
    Aloha spirit, feeling at ease

  24. Valkyri

    Mr. What’s-His-Name…
    You read Beowulf out loud
    to the 8th grade English class
    in its original Old English tongue.
    You foamed and frothed
    as you paced to the vibrant alliterations
    and your face turned red
    with those gutteral war sounds.
    Sweat dripped from your wavy black hair.
    Your blue eyes, like an actor, played from
    page to pupil and back to page…
    Your passion for literature,
    for languages, for the excitement
    you can achieve from reading
    inspired me to excel at my life-long love.
    Today I write with the same passion
    with which you read to us back then.
    I cherished that class, and that teacher.
    You will never know the profound
    impact you made on one little life,
    so very many years ago.
    I never told you how important you are –
    how you still are, on this old, grey day of mine.
    Although I don’t remember your name,
    I will always remember your lessons.

  25. Eileen S


    I visited the cemetery to pay my respects to a loved one.
    I regretted that I did not visit before the autumn rain
    penetrated the soggy ground.

    I knelt at the grave, soiling my khaki pants.
    I thought that I should look presentable,
    my Sunday best. I admired the well-kept grounds
    as I thought of the angel in heaven who never
    cared about neat clothes. I felt a warm breeze
    and heard some chirping birds.

    As I got up, I noticed a brilliant rainbow
    in beautiful pastel shades. The rainbow
    seemed to me as a gift from my creator
    telling me to reflect on the life lessons
    taught by the one who passed.

    I also saw the rainbow as encouragement
    for making the trip to the cemetery
    that I had been avoiding.

    I praised my creator for making this beautiful rainbow.
    as I looked down at my dirty khakis
    which didn’t look so bad.

  26. JanetRuth

    To He Who Fills The Rill…
    To He who fills rill, firth and fount with silver madrigal
    Who probes the nucleus of seed soon heaped in harvest hymn
    Who orchestrates the quartet of winter-spring-summer-fall
    And breaks the bud that bleeds a lake of leaf-song from its limb

    …who tunes tree-tress with zephyr-sigh and dusky lullabies
    The choir He conducts is flawless in its harmony
    Where assonance and dissonance captivates ears and eyes
    Of onlookers dumbfounded by this Maestro’s majesty

    To He who keeps kind order where chaos and carnage rage
    He turns the page; a music-sheet of mercy mediates
    Grace lights the wick, ignites the quick of new day to earth’s stage
    While we wage wars of what and why, He never deviates

    To He whose love will never fail though we wail; this world’s woe
    Would be far more than we could bear without the word of God
    The Overcomer of this World is greater than the foe
    Thus He, Hope’s Holy Deity we extol and applaud

  27. headintheclouds87

    The Map of the Sky

    Those lost in darkest night
    Seek guidance from the sky
    Using fiery lights to find home
    Or discover a road yet roamed,
    Waiting for some silent reply,
    Answers to fall to the ground
    From a being in endless space
    Likely seeing the lost as tiny dots,
    All alike, no distinct face
    And confused by our constant praise;
    Yet still we watch the stars above
    Yearning for what we cannot touch,
    Watching with only our own eyes
    That know little, but thirst for much.

  28. Kiri


    O, filtered content, pure
    and censored, protecter
    of the fragile poet
    whose words are passports
    to worlds and you
    are the travel ban
keeper of freedom’s gate

    you lexical patriot

    of the politically redacted

    blackout poetry
    may you let no light shine through.

    O, filtered content, power
    over the extinction of the endangered,
    invasive species plotting
    entropy of decency
    by their stanza’d thoughts
the best words in the best order
    and you are the New Word Order

    eliminating the brazen thinker
with your Ministry of Minimal Vocabulary

    Constabulary enforcement
    of the easy and casual mind.

  29. barbara_y

    Chain of Praise

    Praise the books
    for without them there would be no
    back of the book with answers.

    Praise the answers
    for without them questions
    would pile like snow, blocking doors
    and windows; and we would have to
    tunnel through them
    endlessly like moles.

    Praise the moles
    for they aerate the soil
    in a macro sort of way
    as well as providing,
    for bored and incarcerated
    dogs, sniffing and digging

    Praise amusement
    for without it the dour
    and the grim would have nothing
    to look down upon, dice
    would tumble to no purpose,
    and inflatable pool toys would bob
    in great floating reefs of sadness.

    Praise sadness
    for it is the small sister of sorrow.
    Praise sorrow
    for it is the younger sister of grief.
    Praise grief
    for it teaches the soul its size
    and its hollow amplifies joy.

  30. PowerUnit

    I used to be lauded
    for playing by the rules
    Now I am reviled
    for writing like a fool

    They used to cheer and clap
    at my sporting success
    Now in my retirement trap
    they couldn’t care any less

    Someday very soon
    when I land back on my feet
    They’ll taste the silver spoon
    of words that never miss a beat

  31. Anthony94

    Let it Warm

    This morning is sun
    and the glider rocks
    in a whirl of early snow
    birds come to pick the
    bones of skeletal sunflowers

    Praise then, like a new
    psalmist, mouth agape
    and fingers trembling
    in the face of this light
    creeping under, into

    between each frosted blade
    of grass, each ice crystal
    etched onto the birdbath’s
    water. Praise too, shadows
    lurking beyond these pale

    rays, the squirrel believing
    himself safe from the hawk
    because he sees no swooping
    shadow as he gorges on last
    pecans lost in the furze.

    Lift up your heart even if
    you must grasp with both hands
    leverage it toward this bounty
    slip from the chill shade and
    while the glider rocks, let it warm.

  32. MET

    This is an experiment of sorts… I have used folk songs when they are traditional… in my poems but I have been thinking of trying it with some Psalms… and I chose Psalms 34: 1-4 because I learned to sing it when I was in college and it is my favorite… partially due to the back story…Being it is my first try at doing this with a Psalms… and I may redo this later but this my start….

    In Praise of Divine Madness (when needed)
    (to Psalms 34:1)

    “I will bless the Lord at all times;
    His Praise shall continually be in my mouth.”*

    David to save his neck feigned madness.
    I praise the Lord for such inventive escapes…
    How David must have laughed
    When he was safely away…
    Not because of his deception, but
    From relief… he had survived.
    He may have jumped high and shouted.

    “My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    The humble will hear and rejoice”*

    I can see David bouncing down the stairs,
    Grabbing random strangers and
    Saying rejoice with me;
    There he was dancing in the street
    Shouting, “Praise the Lord.”
    The men of education shaking their heads
    This is a madman.

    “O Magnify the Lord with me, and
    Let us exalt His name together.”*

    He called out to those who would hear…
    And maybe a few would shout
    Along with this madman.
    Maybe he was a prophet;
    Weren’t the prophets all a bit mad?
    Of course, that is divine madness.
    Maybe David is divinely mad.

    “I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
    And delivered me from all of my fears.”*

    Then in the silence of his room,
    David fell on his knees ….
    For he had been delivered from death.

    I love this story of David’s escape.
    I understand the reason for feigned madness, but
    As I sing the words, I feel the comfort, and
    How I wanted to shout it across the city
    To strangers, to friends, to foes
    I was afraid:
    I am now delivered.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 6, 2017
    “* Psalms 34:1-4”

    1. MET

      In my frustration due to the inability to get the last “*” not to go to bullet… I forgot to put the Bible translation I used…”The New American Standard Bible.” my favorite translation since it and the King James Bible use word for word translation while the others use phrase to phrase… I am on the way to wearing out a second copy…

      1. MET

        thanks…right now I am studying the book of Esther… to do Lent writings on it…. I was a Religion major with emphasis on the Bible and a second major in Behavioral Science…..and third in shooting pool (unofficial) but I try to keep doing intense studies to keep my skills alive…. and it does inspire me to see things differently…and when I started out… the poem in my mind was different..but the back story grabbed me…so that is what I chose…

  33. taylor graham


    Moon surprised me before dawn.
    It’s morning. I listen for the soft falling call
    of owl from near distance. She knows each
    by name but, for now, not summoning.

    It’s morning, still too dark to see except faint
    contours under moon. I let sound and touch,
    smell and taste take over, and another sense
    I couldn’t name. I doesn’t feel like rain.

    It’s morning. No breeze from valley or higher
    hills. Just still air that knows the bedrock mortar
    and hydraulic monitor of our past, river
    that flows beyond sight and hearing.

    It’s morning. The skunk has crossed the road
    with her perpendicular white center-line
    raised high. Apples and grapes are ripening
    to a haze of distance, woodland and forest.

    It’s morning. The first snow has fallen
    on the Crystal Range. We call it “termination
    dust,” the touch of winter. Now, a thinnest
    rind of daylight limns Stone Mountain.

    It’s morning. Time to get to work –
    my task of seeing, telling, wondering,
    and praise.

  34. Nancy Posey

    A Poem for Marilyn
    (b. November 6, 2017
    7:38 a.m.)

    Not an hour old
    and we already love you,
    sight unseen. That single photo
    of your tiny footprints
    and the pink card noting
    date and time and weight
    provide the evidence we need—
    you’re here and healthy.
    Now your mother rests,
    as your daddy is adjusting
    to the changes he anticipated,
    now that he has felt
    the precious weight
    of your warmth in his arms.

    You change our lives
    by simply being born
    into our family, teaching us
    the mathematical wonder
    that love knows no limits,
    the mystery that tears
    can flow as freely
    in joy as in sorrow.

    Rest easy now, sweet girl,
    close against your mother’s side,
    your eyes adjusting
    to the light, the sounds
    without the muffled
    waters where you grew.

  35. tripoet

    In Praise of the Poets Who Post On This Site

    It’s like being a little kid again
    when I knew mom had snuck
    a special treat
    into my school lunch that day,
    and I could hardly wait for lunch.

    It’s like having a secret
    Santa and it’s not even
    Thanksgiving yet. Each
    Morning I wake, anticipating
    the puzzle of the new prompt.

    It’s like having a Circle of friends
    who are a bit like God. I can’t
    see them in front of me
    but somehow they’ve become
    my people.

    It’s the joy that comes when creating
    a new poem in the same space
    with others. Shy words find strength.
    Hidden thoughts become surefooted.
    We multiply and add to one another.

    It’s wishing this process never has to end,
    that November might tag along with every
    other month, calling out more daily poetry
    prompts for nurturing poets-in-arms.
    RLB listens. That’s when April shows up.

  36. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)

    The sun comes up,
    A brand new dawn;
    And I’ll praise You for it,
    My whole life long.

    The birds rejoice,
    In wonderful song;
    And I’ll praise You for it,
    My whole life long.

    Everything You do for me,
    Is sometimes not so clear to see,
    But I know, I know, where I belong,
    And I’ll praise You for it,
    My whole life long.

    In my weakness,
    You make me strong,
    And I’ll praise You for it,
    My whole life long.

    You welcomed me in,
    You forgave my wrong,
    And I’ll praise You for it,
    My whole life long.

    I give You the glory,
    For the blessings in my life;
    For comfort in the sadness,
    For certainty in the strife;

    Lord, everything You do for me,
    Is sometimes not so clear to see,
    But I know, I know, where I belong,
    And I’ll praise You for it,
    My whole life long.

  37. dittman


    My God, Uncle, you are heavy.
    My arms strain downwards with the weight of flesh,
    formaldehyde, teak and brass.
    My shiny black shoes sink into grainy tan mud
    and, for you, this march is all wrong.
    You would have found a way to change this over-priced box
    into a chariot, rigging a belching
    Briggs and Stratton two stroke engine to the back,
    making this dirty walk easier.
    Motoring yourself into the rude, wet, earthen hole
    where my father stands, shuddering
    as the first thrown clods of earth tattoo you
    upon our already thickening skin.

  38. Pat Walsh

    by Patrick J, Walsh

    praise the night
    its cold limbs of streets
    littered with the footsteps
    of long ago addicts
    slaving their lonely way
    into the woods

    praise the dark
    at the edge of the road
    where the sky watched
    helpless drunkards
    careen off by themselves
    in interminable decline

    praise the portals
    heavy with the dust
    of endings
    the memories they hold
    free the world to reclaim
    what once had been lost

  39. Terry Jude Miller

    In Praise of Tiny Hours
    by Terry Jude Miller

    you are the new born time
    the smallest of day’s beginning
    slipping surreptitiously into existence
    after the old day breaks away

    you are swaddled in newness
    and search for your mother’s breast
    but she swapped her life for yours
    then dissipated into moon mist
    the last bits of her
    aggregated into dew

    enjoy the coming sunlight
    the rain
    the wind
    the snow

    they’ve been waiting patiently
    for your princely arrival

    and me
    I’ve come to sit with you
    brought my burlap sacks of grief
    set them on the floor next to your crib
    these burdens I’ve come to give you
    instead of frankincense or myrrh

  40. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    You Did It!

    After endless hours of listening,
    the gobbly-gook spoken by strangers
    has suddenly become clear.
    Syllable by syllable,
    word by word,
    sentence by sentence,
    you have come to understand
    this crazy language
    with roots in almost every
    other vernacular.
    You stand proudly before the class
    reading the poem
    written in steps so high
    you stumbled often,
    but tenaciously driven,
    you finally mastered
    the lingua franca of pilgrims pride.
    Soon, hand covering heart,
    you will pledge allegiance
    to this new land
    articulating each lexeme
    with gratitude and joy.

  41. Jezzie


    My patient neighbour
    who creeps quietly about
    so my sensitive dog won’t bark

    My lovely daughter
    who comes here to help me out
    and takes my dog for a walk

    Her handy brother
    whose strength I can’t do without,
    and thanks to him my things work

    My late dear mother
    whom I take after, no doubt,
    and to whom I still daily talk

  42. Walter J Wojtanik


    A shadowed silhouette that walks softly,
    a mirage in my night. Right before my eyes
    you appear, standing in profile and who dispatches
    denial and plants a smile where sadness had lingered.
    With the touch of bent fingers on the soft spot
    of my heart, I start to feel your energy, alive
    with the light you bring. And my heart sings,
    songs of a well-worn love. Because, you dance
    in the heaven above and with a smattering of stars,
    you bless me along with cool breezes that seize
    our shared comfort and allows it to prosper.
    You saunter in the night, and stir my tide,
    a side of me others very rarely see.
    You are quite a sight in this dreary night.
    And you make me delight in what your heart reveals,
    I praise the evening that you appeared in my sky!
    The moon in my night. The breath to my sigh.
    You are the moonlight!


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