2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) If (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Run If You’re Being Chased,” “Animals Are Cute If They’re Not Mine,” “I Am Ready To Eat If There’s Food Around,” and “Poem If You Need To.”

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Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works.

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Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Blank If Blank Poem:

“Don’t Mind If I Do”

Don’t mind if I do
sit alone with you

beneath this full moon
at the end of June

thinking of the spring
and a summer fling

but it won’t last all
the way until fall.

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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 apologizes for the late prompt this morning. Sometimes the poems come fast; sometimes they don’t.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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301 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

  1. seingraham

    WHAT IF I

    What if I could go back,
    start again, do it over…
    Would I be clever enough
    to say the right thing,
    notice the signs that it was
    all going south, that you were
    becoming enraged, getting
    ready to run – even if it was
    in-place, it was still away
    from us. We were as good
    as gone, weren’t we?

    What if I knew what I know
    now, would I be kinder,
    smarter, more intuitive?
    Would I hug you tighter?
    Make you feel more loved?
    As loved as you really are,
    instead of just how you felt?
    Would I make more of an effort
    to make you feel heard, not
    just listened to, but understood.

    What if you never felt threatened
    or crazy out-of-your-mind, so much
    so that you had to throw your family
    out of your life – forever – and ever?
    Do you think about that, I can’t help
    wondering, when dark eats the sky
    or, first thing in the morning before
    I come completely awake and then
    remember, you’re gone – you’re
    really and truly gone.

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Dogs, If It Ain’t Hurley!

    That’s what I said the minute his big head
    pushed through that flapper door.
    Gone two months, no trace,
    and then, Poof, here comes Hurley,
    looking hang-dogged and shaggy,
    like always, no excuses, no apologies.
    I wish he could tell me of his adventures
    over a beer, but that’s what I like about dogs.
    Every day is right now and home is home.
    Old Hurley! Good boy!

  3. AsWritten

    ON THE IF OF IT ALL by Ken Bentz

    The teedle-toddlers bide the waters,
    hoping for the truth of odd-ers.

    But beetle-coddlers hide their daughters
    knowing that their dreams are fodder

    for the modelers who love odd-ers
    when dreamers’ world’s grow broader.

    Oh – the hoddlers! Hoddling waters!
    don’t forget to feed their toddlers!

    Where are bottlers when the hoddlers
    need their help to cleanse the waters?

    Look far broader than your fodder
    if you hope to help your daughter.

  4. De Jackson

    And what if I whisper? Will the moon answer my call?

    What if I got it wrong
    And no poem or song
    Could put right what I got wrong
    – Cold Play

    Shhhhh.

    I didn’t ask you
    for answers.

    Just some quiet
    h     u    m,
    some
    thrum against
          my cheek
    that might be
       saying
    you’re
             staying.

    ::

  5. Walter J Wojtanik

    I’D BE A HUNTER GATHERER IF I WASN’T A COUPONING SHOPPER

    I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
    Otherwise I’d buy the stuff that I THINK is good.
    And it may just put me sick on the floor,
    I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
    But, she gave me a list and it’s “Buy this or
    else. So now I am better at gathering food.
    I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
    Otherwise I’d buy the stuff that I THINK is good.

  6. candy

    art gallery

    the moon doesn’t mind if the stars shine too
    it happily shares the sky
    with comet tails and
    milky way
    with asteroids and
    space junk
    with psychedelic northern lights
    together they paint
    a midnight masterpiece
    waiting for discovery –
    if we look up

  7. De Jackson

    Pondering the if of you, and smiling.

    There’s a moon out, see? And she’s
    a busy-body. In no time she’ll span
    this great vast sky and you and I

    will still be sitting here, and that’s
    okay by me. I’ve got ghosts, but
    you’ve held them all so carefully,

    so fully in quiet hands. If we could
    live a thousand years, I’d still want
    to kiss each star goodnight while

    holding yours and tumbling mine
    through all this salt and sea. If
    this is all there ever is: you, me,

    this moon, these hands, this breeze,
    I’ll breathe it all in and dangle my
    toes right here at the edge of the

    world and know that the if only
    are only a smudge and the
    difference of us, enough.

    ::

  8. Jezzie

    THEY WOULD IF SHE WOULD

    On my walk round my estate today
    we passed a house with two dogs at play.
    As soon as they knew my dog was there
    they both barked to warn us to beware.

    Out came a woman shouting words I can’t repeat.
    You could hear her the rest of the way down the street.
    “Shut the **** up!” “Shut the **** up!” again she cried.
    “They would if you would!” I would like to have replied.

  9. Eileen S

    I’d do it if I could

    I get asked to do things
    I’m not allowed to do.
    That can be very frustrating.
    Procedures must be followed
    and if they aren’t,
    I cannot circumvent them.
    Do it right the first time
    then I can do what
    I’m supposed to do.

  10. Kiri

    WHAT IF YOU REGRET IT

    You will be beaten in the street
    killed by bigoted fists
    for your breasts and dressed
    in your own blood
    in the gutter, a body
    unlike the one you were born with
    unlike the one I birthed you with
    unlike the one you imagine having
    you will be dead to me twice
    god damn, my son
    you’d kill yourself instead
    for that woman in your head
    god damn
    there’s no way 
I don’t bury you
    but to say goodbye
    get out
    get out
    get out
    get out
    goodbye.

    Transgender Awareness Week, typically observed the second week of November, is a one-week celebration leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence and raises awareness of the transgender community through education and advocacy activities. The purpose of Transgender Awareness Week is to educate about transgender and gender non-conforming people and the issues associated with their transition or identity.

    1. pipersfancy

      My oldest child who is nearly 21 is a transgender person. I wept for years—not because I could not accept the physical and emotional changes to the child I had given birth to, but out of fear that the world would never be accepting…
      I still worry. But—we all must have the right to live our lives as our authentic selves.

  11. Nancy Posey

    This one didn’t go where I thought it was going!

    Darned if I Do

    We tell our stories as if recounting ancient history,
    Rosie the Riveter, Gibson girls, or suffragettes.
    Spurred on by the “Me too” posts, our facades
    begin to crack, and I remember I still have tonsils,
    shriveled and rotten, because I didn’t trust the man
    who would have taken them out. This forward
    to my face, what might happen under anesthesia?
    And when I told you, you suddenly remembered
    that nice old man at the old hardware store
    who’d proven not so nice when he caught you
    alone between the bins of nails and the dog leashes.

    We actually laughed at our similar stories of jobs
    where we earned thousands less than men
    with the same degree and seniority or coaches
    with “families to support”–as if ours didn’t count.
    The seventies seem like yesterday, so why,
    did you simply pack your desk, holding back tears
    until you reached your car, when told “a man
    should be doing this job instead of you”?

    Someone deceived us into thinking liberation
    had something to do with bra burnings
    and smoking Virginia Slims, when we wanted
    most of all what we want now: respect
    for who we are and what we do, safety
    as we walk to our cars late at night. For now,
    we teach our daughters to be wary,
    holding keys between their fingers
    like brass knuckles, but we teach them,
    too, to scream bloody murder, to stand up
    to wrong, to write their own better stories.

  12. Earl Parsons

    I Would If I Could

    We’ve all heard the phrase
    “I would if I could”
    But truth be know
    Would we really

    I know if I said
    “I would if I could”
    You can bet that I would
    If I actually could

    For instance I would
    Make the world better
    Bring peace to all nations
    If I could

    I’d make myself younger
    And grow back my hair
    Invest in the future
    Like I should have

    I’d write my life’s story
    If it weren’t so boring
    But where would I start
    Good question

    I would if I could
    Go back and start over
    Do a few things differently
    But mostly not

    I can, however
    Be happy with my life
    Thank God for His blessings
    And move on

    © 2017 Earl Parsons

  13. MET

    How Would the Seasons Be, if They Were Women

    Spring woke up from a long sleep
    When the crocus one morning
    Brightly shined…
    Spring skipped and the daffodils
    Danced on the breeze….
    The rains fell and Spring
    Splashed down on us…
    The as the sun warmed
    Spring went to sleep again.

    Summer blew in on a storm
    From some vacation spot
    Along equator.
    She wore flowered hats,
    And when she fanned herself
    Because she sweat…
    A big storm blew in
    Tearing up leaves and
    Toppling trees…
    Then one day
    She headed back to that
    Tropical beach.

    Autumn caught a ride
    On the last storms that Summer sent.
    She was a flashy lady
    Who liked meteors to don the night,
    Glitter on black velvet,
    A flash and then it is gone.
    She painted the leaves of the forest…
    A little red, a little orange, a bit of rose,
    And gold to give it depth.
    She felt cold of Winter,
    A wind that would freeze her bones
    So as the leaves fell,
    She caught a ride on the artic express,
    And found Summer on the beach.

    Winter floated in her sleigh
    An icy delight with six
    White ice horses
    Whose breath frosted the windows.
    She cracked her whip, and
    Snow began to fall
    Trees became statues, and
    Houses became castles
    With white glistening sparkling roofs.
    She froze the pond, so her horses might
    Get a drink, and she could step on ice.
    She covered the night with dark blue satin
    And flung her diamonds to become stars.
    Then she waved her arms in the air,
    And the music was there
    For those who heard…
    The sound of crystal bells tinkling.
    She saw the crocus began to rise,
    Knew that Spring would soon awake,
    And retreated to her ice castle.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 9, 2017

  14. Walter J Wojtanik

    YOU’RE WELL ON YOUR WAY IF YOU FOSTER LOVE

    The walk of life.
    A rocky road full
    of potholes and pitfalls
    causing stumbles and pratfalls.

    Your destination is clear.
    You can’t see it from here,
    but at the end of that road
    lies the end of the road.

    Did you love?
    Fully; unconditionally?
    There is no price on love,
    but its value is infinite.

    Yet, we give love away freely.
    That is to say the more we dispatch,
    the more we receive, and do not believe
    the blessings you bestow on others

    do not flow back to you.
    It is true. Love is the compass
    of all journeys. If you foster love
    and give love, you’re well on your way.

    Love gives you direction.
    Follow it!

  15. taylor graham

    WHAT IF IT RAINS ON EARTH DAY?

    The planning
    meeting got cancelled
    because of
    rain. But this
    is the Arts in Nature Fest
    and Mother Earth thinks

    rain might do
    the Nature Land good.
    Her forest
    creatures will
    be at home, ponds opening
    their mouths to rain-song

    for rain is
    beautiful as bird-
    bone flute, as
    deer-skin drum.
    Weather pleases Mother Earth
    and in a drought, rain

    when it comes
    is welcome, cause to
    celebrate
    with a song,
    a verse. Bring along your rain
    poems, just in case.

  16. rlk67

    Cry if you are lonely.
    You need some golden heart.
    The world is lacking listeners.
    You feel a world apart.

    And right next door is someone else,
    Who thinks the same thoughts, too.
    But he thinks that YOU have it all.
    You’d never feel so blue.

    If all us lonely souls would be
    Together on a scale,
    We would, by far, outweigh the rest,
    Yet we never leave a trail.

    Alone we stay in silence.
    The world thinks we’re ok.
    So cry if you are lonely,
    You’ll find your friend one day.

  17. SarahLeaSales

    Here if Needed: An Auto-Bio of Feelings

    Quick to cry if sleep-deprived
    Pissy-pie if meal did not satisfy (i.e. vegetarian)

    Humble pied if corrected
    Fired up if rejected (not for dates, but publication)

    Feeling thin if wearing this
    Feeling fat if wearing that

    Hypertensive if working on malfunctioning machines
    Simply hyper if on the retail scene

    Gurgly if having eaten too fast
    Giggly if slightly gassed

  18. deringer1

    IF I RULED THE WORLD

    I would banish bombs and guns of war,
    I would listen to those with hearts of love
    and offer freedom to everyone.

    Each person would worship as they choose,
    no violence tolerated toward another.
    The poor would be helped with whatever they needed,

    with medical care for everyone.
    Everyone would contribute their share,
    the aged honored, not shunted aside.

    Alas, our world is far from ideal.
    Those who dream of better things despair
    while they wonder, does anybody care?

  19. MET

    IF the Tornado Had Not Come, the Trees Would Not Have Died….

    I took a walk after work,
    My head was filled with dark matter,
    And the forest and trees
    Vacuumed my brain clean…

    I stopped to view
    The double poplar trees
    By the gazebo, and
    Smiled…
    The twins stood
    Conjoined
    Gateway to the path below…
    There the old oak
    Had stood a century at least.
    Across the spring…
    A long needle pine
    Regarded the forest below.

    I walked to see the Rhododendron
    With a sea of lavender flowers
    Blowing in the breeze
    A hint I ignored.

    I felt renewed but looked back
    To take in the splendor of those flowers;
    An unwanted thought intruded,
    Sadness ingulfed me;
    The tears filled my heart
    Knowing somehow
    This was the last time
    I would see flowers
    Float upon that bush.

    Going into my home,
    The thoughts came with me.
    Windows revealed the wind gusting…
    The warning came…
    As I called for Sooth, my dog,
    Who did not come;
    Then grabbed Dezia,
    My obnoxious loved cat…
    I heard the train
    In the dark coming for my house…
    We huddled in the dark,
    And it was gone.

    I took my flashlight, and
    With Daniel, my nephew
    To see the carnage
    That had followed that twisting train.
    Before I stepped on my deck,
    I saw the trees which were gone,
    And in the dark,
    The light of my flashlight went past
    Where the twin poplars once stood.

    I climbed over a fallen tree to see
    If the rhododendron still in splendor stood.
    Tears caught in my eyes
    As there laying where the bush
    That lifted the cloud
    From my mind
    Was what had been a once
    Stately red oak tree.

    Ma said as we returned
    Broken hearted,
    “We survived,
    The Lord protected us.
    That is what matters.”

    We survived that was true.
    But the twin Poplars did not
    Nor did the century old oak
    Split by a giant sweetgum, but
    The Tall long needle pine
    Gazed down on the carnage.

    I climbed out that morning
    Over forty-one fallen trees.
    I walked the path of the storm,
    And found one hundred sixty-nine trees
    Down or badly damaged.

    Over the years more trees have fallen
    Whose roots were no longer an anchor.
    I have thought about the damage done
    And how long that damage lingers…
    When the winds of a tornado “comes calling”.

    I have thought about the words I have heard
    From the mouth of someone angry
    Sending twisting words…
    Into the mind of those in their way…
    And how that damage lingers,
    Their anchor broken, they fall.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 9, 2017

    1. MET

      by the way I found Sooth the next morning… her sister Tessa was in the house… and was never the same… every time there was a storm… she ate my house.

      1. MET

        I realized after I posted it that I forgot to say anything about Sooth… She was a good dog… loved her a lot…and Sooth came from the same book that Dezia’s name came from… the trilogy by Conrad Richter… Sooth lived about 10 years and Dezia lived to be 21….

  20. thunk2much

    I wonder if you know

    I wonder if you know
    how I was once whole,
    a mother through and through,
    certain I’d found that one thing
    I was good at, at last.

    I wonder if you know
    how close I’ve come to death,
    how much nothing I’ve become,
    now that I can barely call you mine
    and you won’t call at all.

  21. bartonsmock

    [loss if bordering on loss]

    the past disappears to haze the same childhood animal. touch carries non-fiction to belief. earth lands on earth and is somehow loved. there are dolls to skin and there are dolls contagious. any mirror is a fishbowl from hell. she was a good swimmer but was not eaten fast enough. lazily, I remain born.

  22. De Jackson

    what if this

    poe umm
    is a tell-tale heart,
    an unquiet start
    -led by nothing
    more than the
    ghost of something
                       less?

    what if she’s tested
    the waters and found
    them too salty, faulty
    in all their storms?

    what if this is the new
    normal? what if normal’s
    nothing new? what if,
    for all of her to-dos,
    there were no checks
        or marks, or
                     sparks?

    what if this poem
    were a still small
    sound? the founding
    of her heartbeat,
    the beat of wings,
    the bleat of pasture
    and past
                  yours.

    what if this
    (this poem, this heart,
    this song, this sound,
    this
    spark)

    never made it past
    its own dark
    ink?

    ::

  23. writinglife16

    WHAT IF I RAN

    What if I ran away?
    Escaped my present
    and returned to
    to my first love?
    It would be heaven
    and then the alarm rings and
    I remember why we didn’t last.

  24. headintheclouds87

    Say Something If You’re There

    Say something if you’re there,
    Don’t just float in the air
    Waiting for me to breathe
    Or to stand up and leave,
    Tiring of this silent game
    Where no one shoulders the blame.

    Say sorry even if you don’t mean it
    Just to lift this seething mist
    Of clouded hearts and minds
    And leave this bitterness behind.
    Speak the words that soothe and heal
    To slay the hate I hate to feel.

    Say something if you’re there,
    Shatter the silence we cannot bear
    Say something silly, make me laugh,
    Come back to me, my missing half
    And forget harsh and hurtful words,
    Say something, and let love be heard.

  25. Terry Jude Miller

    I Would Have Seen You
    If I Hadn’t Stooped to Help Damaged Daffodils

    fates and opportunity
    work together to remind us
    we are only human

    you would have told me
    about the man you married
    and your divorce

    then all the men
    who followed
    who were not me

    no spoken apologies
    from either side
    of the conversation

    because the time
    for that has long ago
    misted away into midnight

    as I watch place your packages
    in the trunk of your car
    I consider the near miss

    thanks to the universe
    for the fragile design
    of daffodils

  26. De Jackson

    New string, as suggested, Walt. Here is my response:

    Walk Slowly If You’re Feeling Lost

    Maybe a good map to chart the way
    will keep true north where it belongs.
    With birds in sight, breadcrumbs don’t stay,
    but maybe a good map to chart the way
    will guide us through this forest day
    as we sing our lost boy songs.
    Maybe a good map to chart the way
    will keep true north where it belongs.

    1. Walter J Wojtanik

      WIND TOSSED, NEVER LOST

      I will always keep true north where it belongs.
      No matter how the wind blows, this nose knows.
      Be they gusts extremely strong,
      I will always keep true north where it belongs.
      For you know this Caribou Corners boy longs
      for his home; the place of perpetual snows.
      I will always keep true north where it belongs.
      No matter how the wind blows, this nose knows.

      1. De Jackson

        I’ll Stop By, If You’re Baking Cookies

        No matter how the wind blows, this nose knows
        a chocolate chip delight when it is near.
        Even with doors and windows closed,
        no matter how the wind blows, this nose knows.
        The aroma hits, and I’m in the throes
        of a serious sugar craving right here.
        No matter how the wind blows, this nose knows
        a chocolate chip delight when it is near.

        1. Walter J Wojtanik

          I’LL EAT THEM IF I EVER GET OFF MY DIET

          A chocolate chip delight when it is near
          becomes a temptation I’d rather not meet.
          My stomach would be back out to here
          because of a chocolate chip delight when it is near.
          It’s the same effect as a six pack of beer,
          it touches my lips and goes right to my seat!
          A chocolate chip delight when it is near
          becomes a temptation I’d rather not meet.

          1. De Jackson

            I’ll Instantaneously Gain 10lbs If I Buy The Ben & Jerry’s

            It becomes a temptation I’d rather not meet,
            so I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
            Ice cream’s too much of a midnight treat,
            and becomes a temptation I’d rather not meet;
            too cool to pass up, too yum not to eat.
            Helloooo, Gorgeous, I’ll say, and then eat some more.
            It becomes a temptation I’d rather not meet,
            so I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.

          2. Walter J Wojtanik

            I’D BE A HUNTER GATHERER IF I WASN’T A COUPONING SHOPPER

            I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
            Otherwise I’d buy the stuff that I THINK is good.
            And it may just put me sick on the floor,
            I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
            But, she gave me a list and it’s “Buy this or
            else. So now I am better at gathering food.
            I have to use my willpower at the grocery store.
            Otherwise I’d buy the stuff that I THINK is good.

          3. De Jackson

            And If I Didn’t Have All These Kids,

            I’d buy the stuff that I thought was good,
            to fill my home with beautiful things.
            I really really think I should
            just buy the stuff I thought was good,
            but tyranny shall rule the wood
            and so I’ve got a clock that sings.
            I’d buy the stuff that I thought was good,
            to fill my home with beautiful things.

          4. Walter J Wojtanik

            I COULDN’T BE LUCKIER IF I HAD A HORSESHOE

            I’ve filled my home with beautiful things.
            My spouse and daughters grace my garden with bloom.
            They all have a music that totally sings,
            I’ve filled my home with beautiful things.
            And they all have treated me like a king,
            I’m the luckiest father and groom.
            I’ve filled my home with beautiful things.
            My spouse and daughters grace my garden with bloom.

          5. De Jackson

            It’s a Nice Place to Visit, and You Might Want to Live Here

            My spouse, son and daughter grace my garden with BOOM.
            Creative souls, all, and delighted to be.
            We feed ourselves words and art, and make room
            for my spouse, son and daughter to grace my garden with BOOM.
            Creativity abounds, and ideas, they zooooom
            and there at the center, is little ol’ me.
            My spouse, son and daughter grace my garden with BOOM.
            Creative souls, all, and delighted to be.

    1. Marie Elena

      WHOA! My hand flew to my chest with this. So stinkin’ creative and well done. Not a single word more than needed, and so full of emotion and wordplay … nothing at the expense of anything else. SUPER WELL DONE.

  27. Walter J Wojtanik

    I WOULD LOVE YOU FOREVER
    (IF YOU EVEN LOVED ME A LITTLE)

    I would love you forever if
    you even loved me a little,
    I would hold your heart by
    holding you a little.
    To complete me totally, you
    would need to trust your heart and stop
    pretending you have these loving
    feelings and just love me.

    There is no one who could care for you like I
    care for you; I always
    shall
    care. If I would ever stop
    giving you all my loving
    I would have dis-served you.
    I would not deserve you, even a little.
    I would love you much more by
    loving you more than a little.

    **Golden Shovel poem based on a line from “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda

  28. PowerUnit

    Nobody Talks Anymore

    Just call if you need anything
    has been replaced by text
    messages informing you of life.
    My girl texted me telling me
    they’ll be in Montreal for the weekend
    and to text them if
    you need anything
    and they’ll text you if there is a problem
    or if their cats need feeding
    if they decide to stay for a few days
    longer than anticipated, their new found freedom
    from talking and listening
    might be contagious, and they might
    stay an extra couple of days
    to see an extra concert.

    Do their bands actually play music
    or do they text it through their phone?
    Do they text their lyrics to worn out ears
    and lips lying prone?

    I miss her voice, but who am I
    to complain, I respond to my wife’s text
    questioning me if I want to eat out tonight
    with a text that says
    only if we can talk.

  29. RJ Clarken

    I might do this, if it were a cold day in hell

    “Pigs might fly, if they had wings.” ~Old Adage

    Here’s stuff that I will not ever do:
    Skydive, eat bugs, walk hot coals.
    I won’t, I declare! On this, I swear!
    Not even if my best friend cajoles.

    And forget cheating at cards. No way!
    Not even for lots of bucks.
    On this, I swear! I won’t, I declare!
    And I won’t date a werewolf. My crux.

    Let’s see what else. I do thus aver
    I won’t run naked outside.
    I won’t, I declare! On this, I swear!
    It’s so terribly undignified.

    To wit: pigs might fly if they had wings.
    But they don’t, so they don’t fly.
    And, I won’t, I declare! This, I swear!
    (Unless already done. Then…I lie.)

    ###

  30. Connie Peters

    Take the Road to Hana if you Dare

    Tourist info claimed majestic views,
    curves, twists and cliffs.
    So we dared take the Road to Hana Tour,
    but the driver made the shuttle crawl.
    Stopped a lot.
    Vegetation blocked views of the drops.
    We remembered mountain roads
    in Colorado and Arizona.
    Now, they will curl your hair.

  31. MET

    Nothing Worse Can Happen if I Don’t Say I have seen the Worst

    When I was a new caseworker,
    A seasoned worker said to me…
    Don’t ever say there is nothing worse, for
    Before the week had ended…
    One step lower on the stairs
    Of the worst things ever would happen…

    Green new worker…
    Didn’t believe it…
    I tempted the keeper of the worst ever stairs,
    And said I had a bad day…
    Nothing happened the next day,
    Or the next, but
    The next day made me a believer;
    I stumbled down those stairs
    Trying to stay upright.

    Every new worker made the same mistake, but
    We all learned…
    We never wanted to tempt
    The keeper of those worst ever stairs.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 9, 2017

  32. JanetRuth

    I Would Be Careful If I Was You…

    I would be careful if I was you
    and you should be careful if you was me
    Because we are always caught between
    What was and what still waits to be

    …and what still waits to be who knows?
    Then we should both be careful; why?
    Because we never know when love
    Or life insists upon ‘good-bye’

  33. annell

    If it had not happened

    if it had not happened
    if you had not moved in
    to the studio next door
    i would not known you

    if you had not come into the shop
    i would not have met you
    i would not have fallen in love

    if the phone had not rung that day
    if i had not answered
    would you still be alive

    if i had not been born
    on that rainy day in november
    where would i be today

    if we had not gone to the museum
    if we had not gone to the hospital
    what else might we have done that day

    i am here today
    because of what happened
    nothing to be changed
    if it had not happened

  34. JanetRuth

    Imagine If Faith Were Merely Luck…

    The Unknown; it could make us quake and shake in the shoes of new day
    The path we cannot see could blind us to what is right where we are
    And fear could keep us captive as we contemplate yon come-what-may
    If faith was nothing more than luck or chance or ‘wish upon a star’

    The Unknown could be like a stone around the neck; it would choke hope
    And keep our feet from dancing and our mouth from tasting laughter’s bliss
    The impact of its imminence could enslave us to its veiled scope
    And cause us to completely miss This, weighted with love’s present kiss

    The Unknown if we knew it would for all its gladness let grief rule
    In spite of blessing-vaults outpoured we would be bound to mope and mourn
    With gaze transfixed upon that Dreaded Place that renders Something cruel
    Without assurance that God IS, how cursed the day that we were born

    The Unknown is no secret to the Hand that aligns stepping stones
    His ways and thoughts beyond our grasp; His promises sealed and secure
    Then, though we do not know the content of life’s impending Unknowns
    If we believe His Word, obey Mercy’s commands we will endure

  35. Walter J Wojtanik

    WHAT IF I REALLY WERE SANTA CLAUS?

    If I really was Santa
    my phone would be ringing off the wall,
    everyone would call to tell me they’re nice
    and not think twice of disturbing me.
    My email would always be full
    and every fool with a scam would think
    I was an easy mark. People would park
    in my driveway and peek through the blinds
    to see if I’m checking my list,
    checking my list. And they’d probably
    shake a fist if they find they’re on
    the naughty list. Children would file
    in line to perch on my lap and I’d catch
    crap from the constabulary for being
    a scary dude, and that would be rude.
    (And so untrue). Folks would misconstrue
    my view of the Christmas season
    and give me unfounded reason
    for my obsolescence, and any presents
    with their name would be held in lieu
    of an apology. I’d have to live under
    an assumed name and blame
    the neighbor’s dog for the reindeer poop
    on the front lawn. What if I were really?
    But I do get jolly this time of year,
    belly out to here with a shake like jelly,
    my beard gets haggard and my swagger
    is more waddle than stagger. And I keep
    my little company of friends busy
    with a dizzying pace with toys strewn
    all over the place. Deadlines to reach,
    and headlines to avoid, and reindeer
    to feed, and breed, and train. And wrack
    my brain on what to give that obnoxious kid
    in 312. Every shelve would be brimming
    with boxes and all the trimmings and I’ll be skimming
    the sales ads for and last minute things.
    So you see, if I were really Santa Claus,
    I’d be the same guy I am because yes ma’am,
    I am Santa Claus!

  36. tripoet

    Don’t Stay Quiet IF Someone Bullies You

    he misinterprets my words
    won’t listen at all
    spins them back at me
    makes me feel small

    my words go underground
    my voice disappears
    in this state of silence,
    i’ve embraced my worst fears

    Or Will I?

  37. Eileen S

    I wear Winter Pajamas if the Temperature is Freezing

    I wear my winter pajamas if
    the temperature drops to freezing
    For I don’t want to try to sleep in bed,
    shivering and then wake up sneezing.
    I don’t want an infection in my lungs
    which causes uncomfortable wheezing.
    A nasty winter cold brings on a cough
    that hurts my chest and cuts off breathing.
    For that reason, I wear my winter pajamas
    if the temperature drops to freezing

  38. De Jackson

    Continuing Triolet Play with Walter from yesterday. 🙂

    Honk if You’re Listening

    This game of life is hard to bluff through;
    you’ll need a partner who knows the road.
    No matter what you say, or do,
    this game of life is hard to bluff through
    and detours and pain are nothing new.
    But friendship sure can lighten the load.
    This game of life is hard to bluff through;
    you’ll need a partner who knows the road.

    1. Walter J Wojtanik

      HONK, IF YOU LOVE TECHNOLOGY

      May you’ll need a partner who knows the road.
      Or just maybe a good map to chart the way,
      a partner sure would help to share the load,
      but you’ll need a partner who knows the road.
      And I guess a GPS would crack the travel code,
      since technology is so amazing today.
      May you’ll need a partner who knows the road.
      Or just maybe a good map to chart the way.

      1. Walter J Wojtanik

        I WOULD LOVE YOU FOREVER
        (IF YOU EVEN LOVED ME A LITTLE)

        I would love you forever if
        you even loved me a little,
        I would hold your heart by
        holding you a little.
        To complete me totally, you
        would need to trust your heart and stop
        pretending you have these loving
        feelings and just love me.

        There is no one who could care for you like I
        care for you; I always shall
        care. If I would ever stop
        giving you all my loving
        I would have dis-served you.
        I would not deserve you, even a little.
        I would love you much more by
        loving you more than a little.

         
        **Golden Shovel poem based on a line from “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda

    2. MET

      I am usually the friend who knows the road….
      Maps I learned to read before
      I wrote sentences…
      But remember…
      I don’t know my left from my right…
      and love the distraction of getting lost…

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