2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

Time to poem away! If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, be sure use the #aprpad hashtag. I mean, I guess you can use them really anywhere, right? Let’s have a fun month…starting now!

For today’s prompt, write a secret poem. This poem can reveal a secret, incorporate a secret activity, or involve any other secret interpretation. Poem written in code (acrostic, anyone?) or with double meanings.

Remember: These prompts are just springboards; you have the freedom to jump in any direction you want.

(Note: If you happen to run into any issues posting poems, please just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: April PAD Posting Problems.)

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Re-create Your Poetry!

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Secret Poem:

“& tell”

o lover
the moonlight reveals your smile
but not the intent behind
your fingers in your hair
your secretive hair

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). As much as he writes about it, he’s not the type to kiss and tell.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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458 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

  1. BDP

    “Secrets Change Seasons”

    In my youth, nothing more secretive than candy
    kept from four siblings, treats earned by me alone in chill or rain
    or snow of a smalltown Gate Night far from big cities.

    Sidewalks mapped my way, stitch by concrete stitch.
    Did the moon rise full? In memory, at least, often fuzzed blonde.
    Once, the sky seasoned me throughout the evening with a shaker

    of sleet. My last Halloween Mrs. Croteau said “Aren’t you
    too big for this?” I, though masked, tried not to sniff
    a confession: “Fifth grade, you’re my teacher!” Her hand

    hovered over my opened bag with one wee present, I standing
    shoulders back—more than any minute, ever—mind moving
    in escape down the drive, passing shorter All Souls

    coming up. Sweets were never my thing for breakfast
    or any meal, but they were mine: sticky this-and-that
    got stashed deep in the laundry-lump on my closet floor, days,

    weeks, ignored—I carried down my own dirty clothes. Strings
    of licorice come April broke old-brittle, a child’s malpractice,
    shrugging off popcorn balls and peanuts, indefensible case

    of squirreling away until winter’s icicle cornice
    melted. By spring most of my bounty had turned to trash.
    Teeth breakers of gum. Or musty tart pebbles, sleepers

    bursting with taste a bit off. Stale as compared to bees.
    Their sugary gift—fresh—now honeyed the former landscape
    of ghost-months: blossoms buzzing with untranslated discursive.

    —B Peters

    Endwords from Rick Barot’s “Inventory,” from his book Chord

  2. acele

    You are the secret I pretend to keep
    tucked away, my hurried feet
    retreat
    to your dusty lair
    where others openly seek
    your solace
    I depart swiftly
    a teetering scale on my finger tips
    on one side perches remorse
    and on the other,
    relief

    1. acele

      Sorry, did not intend to post ever so many times! Had trouble logging in the other day. Created new account. Then after posting got a message that my submission it was under review. Now that I scroll down below I see that it did go through!

  3. Sharon

    VEILED WHISPERS

    Giving, loving, laughter
    flip like a tarnished token
    when resentment and
    shattered trust are awoken.

    Secrets of silence,
    of words not spoken,
    lie in veiled whispers,
    promises broken.

    Choose, you ask, hungering for
    words best not spoken.
    Have you someone new?
    Am I a mere thought, a forgotten token?

    This secret passion for truth
    in your breast now awoken?
    Too late, too late!
    The present is withering; it’s broken.

  4. Ivy_Lane

    Sleep Secrets

    you still think
    my nights are
    dipped in sleep

    and silly dreams

    you’re right
    about the dreams

    it’s silly how
    he visits me
    in them still

    sillier how
    I don’t mind

  5. AC Leming

    It took me 5 days to write this…

    Broken Down

    Insidious, the words which stopper my throat,
    weigh down my chest,
    leave me immobile.
    Are you really leaving the house wearing that?
    Don’t slouch, it makes you look fatter.
    Damn, you are such a klutz.

    Those words spoken every damn day,
    with that slightly curled lip
    slice me down,
    tighten the box you built around me,
    nail me to the floor.

    I never sported the outer accoutrements;
    The black eye,
    The split lip,
    The broken ribs.
    Never punched
    by anything other than his words.

  6. PKP

    Secret Love

    My parents sang
    from song-sheets
    impossibly young
    voices together in
    the kitchen usually
    but one song was
    my mother’s alone
    …Once I had a
    secret love….” –
    her voice was
    quavery, wavy
    not shaky just
    perfectly off key
    I loved that song
    and never knew
    that it was I that
    was the secret ..

  7. julie e.

    STREAMS (for Virginia)

    Filaments of storylines
    smooth shuttle over under
    weaving streams of consciousness
    musings and reflections tumble
    fastest flow o’er river rocks
    catching gold and silver
    intertwining, racing thoughts
    draped us in her fabric
    till the weaver sought at last
    streaming silence,
    hush of water,
    secret stones
    in pockets.

  8. sincerescribe

    Secrets Acrostic

    Spoken in the shadows and the quiet
    Evading the sparks of an angry riot
    Close friends and family members cloak them
    Relishing their worth like the rarest gem
    Entertaining thoughts of good or ill
    Truths hidden fuels the rumor mill
    Select with caution their timed spill

  9. Michelle Hed

    Whisper’s Tune

    A whisper
    floated on silver wings
    caressing their cheeks
    like a gentle breeze
    but the words were lost,
    dropping like feathers along the way
    like a forgotten melody
    tickling the memory.

  10. Jonsey C.

    Where Secrets Hide

    One moment is all it takes.
    I’ve counted to 365, seven times.
    Now the moment is lost
    In the thousands.

    ‘One moment is all it takes.’
    My words litter the air with feigned hope.
    I step over the courage that lives on the floor
    And clothe myself in regret.

  11. Eleca

    You are the secret I pretend to keep
    tucked away. My hurried feet
    retreat
    to your dusty lair
    where others openly seek
    your solace.
    I depart swiftly
    a teetering scale on my finger tips.
    On one side perches remorse
    and on the other,
    relief

  12. Eleca

    You are the secret I pretend to keep
    tucked away. My hurried feet
    retreat
    to your dusty lair
    where others openly seek
    your solace.
    I depart swiftly
    a teetering scale on my finger tips
    on one side perches remorse
    and on the other,
    relief

  13. Amy

    Things Hidden Away

    Were it not for the rain,
    great sheets falling down,

    putting us to bed in this box
    with four walls, two windows

    to watch the weary weep of
    cloud-seep, our backs

    bent against the emptiness,
    curving spines etching lines

    like sibling branches of
    the same tree-

    were it not for the rain
    that darkens everything it

    touches, turning mid-afternoon
    into a depthless hour, to gloom

    with all its hard thoughts of
    snow cover and soon there is

    nothing but the exhaustion of
    the dying and the exhaustion of

    the living. Were it not for the rain,
    our grief would remain locked away.

  14. susanward

    Mine is a whispered secret
    hand to mouth
    mouth to ear
    eyes dart to me and then away
    lowering demurely

    as the teller delivers her news
    the listener’s eyes widen
    dart to me and then away.

    They
    never know what to say.

    Say his name: Rader, my son.
    Say it aloud; it doesn’t hurt me.
    I’m not concealing the truth.
    He lived. A life full of creativity and ideas
    Things imagined and then made real.
    He died. A death brought on by depression.
    Things imagined and then made real.
    Goodbye Despair.

    He didn’t understand
    it wasn’t possible to put an end to his pain—
    that it would just pass on to his mother, his father, his sister.
    The worst ever inheritance.

    Mine is a whispered secret
    but I want to shout it from the high places.
    He lived! Not long enough.

    Please, you don’t need to whisper. Don’t know what to say?
    No need for you to carry the weight of the conversation.
    Just ask me to tell you about him.
    It’s no secret.
    He lived.

  15. maggierg

    A Secret

    Bottle the formula,
    Throw it,
    Chuck it,
    As far as you can,
    Into the ocean of dreams,
    Of losses,
    Of loves,
    Of happiness.
    Let it float away.
    Let no one open it.
    It’s you.
    It’s your life
    Sailing into paradise.

  16. mayboy

    Track

    Secrets embraced
    End the cocoons veil
    Come to the tail.
    Rumors revealed
    Exquisite ability
    To the grave eternity.
    Shadows chase a mystery.

  17. Jezzie

    MY SECRET GARDEN

    I have a secret garden
    where I can hide away
    from my neighbours’ prying eyes
    to enjoy a summer’s day.

    It is a tranquil garden
    where I can sit in the shade
    while watching wild birds feeding
    beneath the bower I’ve made.

    I planned this leafy garden
    with raised borders round a pool
    to form a wildlife haven
    where I can sit in the cool.

    Within my hidden garden
    lush shade loving plants will grow
    and water will gently tinkle
    from the pond’s cascade below.

    The fairies in my garden,
    who’ll hardly make any sound,
    with some bees and butterflies
    will quite often flit around.

    I love my secret garden
    and I really cannot wait
    for summer to come along
    so I can sit out ’til late.

  18. mattmacd

    When we are young
    we are taught the meaning of words. But,
    what gets lost in the fire
    is that,
    all of the words that we are taught,
    have a life of their own.
    It’s a cruel magic trick that we fall for. One that,

    can only be seen for what it is
    through the telescope of hindsight.
    There are no secrets -only-
    information that isn’t
    ready to be shared.

  19. Rosangela C T

    Secreting Secrets

    Let ’em flow
    away
    keep sorrow
    at bay
    Perhaps one
    day
    you’ll see
    without delay
    all the magic things
    she may
    have created just to
    decorate her way.

    Look into her eyes,
    do you see lies?
    I only see whys.
    Perhaps little sadness
    that flies…
    away.

    What’s in the soul
    is what you pour
    in your bowl.
    Only what you let in
    will be within.
    She’s been a warrior
    for many moons
    Her secret is a bunch
    of balloons
    in the atmosphere,
    mere
    illusion,
    fabricated
    tear,
    released
    fear.

    Just look into her eyes.

    RCT

  20. claudia marie clemente

    *mueller’s sealed indictments*

    the baby stumbles out,
    howling — waving his arms–
    from the black hole at the end of the hall
    into a patch of spotlight shed
    from a streetlamp.

    i brush this computer from my lap
    and rush to bury his wet cheeks in my shoulder.
    but behind me, my laptop keeps on talking
    its half clam-cracked open mouth so full
    its voice has nowhere to stream but out.

    the darkness receives my baby back in bed;
    and i return to that holy moment
    of my day – that one time i can be alone
    with the news of the world,
    and search the sites for any lead toward hope.

    you know, i do not know the sound
    of robert mueller’s voice,
    it could sound like a conch-shell
    to my ear, or maybe silence.
    but he has a voice. he must. i have faith.

    it’s night already, easter morning long gone,
    chocolate bunny wrappers fill the bin,
    the sugar has settled and finally the children sleep;
    i settle into my favorite couch-angle
    and raise my eyes to the lit street.

    is that the baby again, or a cat two houses down?
    i place my hand on the screen, about to crank it
    shut, but leave its mouth open.
    the quiet returns, and i return my gaze to the white.
    page, click, and then… i see the white house:

    trump standing next to the easter bunny.
    so. let’s talk about easter, trump.
    when hope dies, and comes back to life,
    we are supposed to have been taught to believe
    the next time hope dies, all you have to do is wait.

    the baby cries, and finally i power down.
    but before i go, i need to pray to my god of the day:
    give us all (not just the children) our easters back.
    mr. mueller, you silent-secret-singer,
    you are my muse of patience.

    *claudia marie clemente*

  21. Linda Voit

    Late entry – could not get log in to work until I used a different browser. Hi Everyone! Happy April!

    to make happiness
    mix secret ingredients
    love and forgiveness

    Linda Voit

  22. cmariee

    I safeguard my memory
    But like a golden locket without a photograph, I’m empty.
    A time capsuled perspective begging for a counterpart.
    I long to hit reply and call out.
    It was always us.

    A secret wish
    Revealed in bitterly discarded emails.
    That I can no longer read. They, like you, are long gone.
    So, I think I weep their words instead.
    As I keep the building thoughts to myself and scream.
    Was it ever me?

    Class rings, emails, your AIM username, all obsolete.
    Replaced with all the I wish I would have saids
    Did you know, a star-crossed sunroof is a microphone sometimes?
    And in case your gazing down and hear me now,
    It was always you.

    No, you won’t find my confessions in an instagram.
    No secret regrets. No online remembrance.
    And of course, I’ve no wings to get to you.
    Still, it was always you.
    It was always you.
    My broken dream.

  23. cmariee

    I safeguard my memory
    But like a golden locket without a photograph, I’m empty.
    A time capsuled perspective begging for a counterpart.
    I long to hit reply and call out.
    It was always us.

    A secret wish
    Revealed in bitterly discarded emails.
    That I can no longer read. They, like you, are long gone.
    So, I think I weep their words instead.
    As I keep the building thoughts to myself and scream.
    Was it ever me?

    Class rings, emails, your AIM username, all obsolete.
    Replaced with all the I wish I would have saids
    Did you know, a star-crossed sunroof is a microphone sometimes?
    And in case your gazing down and hear me now,
    It was always you.

    No, you won’t find my confessions in an instagram.
    No secret regrets. No online remembrance.
    And of course, I’ve no wings to get to you.
    Still, it was always you.
    It was always you,
    My broken dream.

  24. Sara McNulty

    Secret Ingredient

    What made her chopped liver the best,
    did fried onions give it that zest?
    I remember the grinder she pressed
    cooked liver through with finesse.
    For many years I was clueless,
    and then one day she confessed
    after keeping it close to her vest,
    secret ingredient–seltzer. Who would have guessed?

    1. cello

      My mom had “secret” recipes. She would alter ones she found in cookbooks and make them her own. She never measured anything. A pinch of this or that. A good take on the poetry prompt.

  25. Pat Walsh

    Hi everyone! Happy Easter, Happy April, Happy Spring 🙂

    secret
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    tired, wondering
    thinking maybe what if
    she pondered
    whether she should
    nention the way his
    hair was all askew
    on one side

    sighing, he noticed
    how she twirled the pen
    with her fingers
    and decided not to
    tell her his biggest secret
    that he had nothing
    left to hide

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