2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 14

For today’s prompt, write a report poem. I know, I know: Writing a report sounds about as far away from poetry as flying is to a penguin, but many poems report on a moment or an instance or a scene. In your poem (or poems) today, report on something big and important or small and inconsequential (or small and important–or, well, you get the idea).

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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 Report Poem:

“another evening”

the husband & wife liked to fight
but only when it didn’t matter
neither (or both!) were ever right
but the proud couple liked to fight
raising their voices in the night
in a ceaseless song of chatter
the husband & wife liked to fight
though it never seemed to matter

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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). He is happy to report he’s written two triolets this month now.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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216 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 14

  1. Yolee

    The Good Night

    “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ― C.S. Lewis

    I was five years young with an older brother and two younger sisters when doctors
    detected a tumor in mama’s womb. One evening she heard a soft tap on the front door
    of our small apartment in the city. Mama tried to get Papa to wake up.
    He was in subterranean slumber. Again she heard the almost invisible knock
    and pulled herself out of bed to see about the person behind the door at an hour
    when even a nightingale turns to silence like a key in a deadbolt.
    She saw a nebulous figure among a bright light and heard:
    “It is Jesus. I’ve come to heal you.”
    Was it a dream?

    Later she was examined by her oncologist whom verified the tumor vanished!
    She went on to have four more children.
    A big miracle knocked on our lives
    and carried away mama’s small tumor.

  2. Brian Slusher

    PROGRESS REPORT

    As of 1500, the hole
    has reached an estimated
    eight feet, and tapers
    from about a four foot
    circumference to
    two feet at each hip.

    It’s getting harder
    To sling the dirt
    Out beyond the verge
    Without much of it
    Slapping me back
    In the face, but I
    Was taught persistence,
    A work ethic: I’ll get
    The job done.

    Sometimes people
    Come to the lip
    And offer a hand,
    Shout confused
    Admonishments,
    But usually they
    Just inadvertently
    knock clods onto
    my head, which only
    increases my burden.

    It’s my hole, I explain.
    Get your own.

  3. MargoL

    Be of good report (inspired from Philippians 4:8)

    Today it is scarce
    it seems,
    to find dignity, honour, respect
    or a good name.
    All of these are synonyms of
    to be of good report.

    So ‘’whatsoever things are true,
    whatsoever things are honest,
    whatsoever things are just’’ or even lovely,
    may we never cease to
    think about these things.

  4. Margot Suydam

    Reporting a Dream

    Sunday’s society ladies march
    to church on Madison, matching

    in mink hat and coat. Fur-lined 
    pews creak, unfurl them to lunch:

    At wobbly tables at Schraffts,’
    they chew on white-bread toasts,

    sip their gin in teacups as grand
    children roam around wild on ice

    cream piled up in sumptuous treats
    their mothers will never get there

    on time but arrive on point in ballet
    slippers, issuing flurries of thanks

    while swishing back vagrant strands 
    of black hair they no longer tie tight.

    As they flit about like seagulls, singing
    down the gaping mouth of a shark,

    we float by safe in our rowboats still
    feeling the grace of their perfume swell.

  5. LCaramanna

    Book Report

    It’s due tomorrow,
    I saw the reminder
    written on the whiteboard.
    I lamented.
    Oh, why hadn’t I read a book?
    I could have made time,
    curled up in a chair,
    sprawled out in bed,
    gone to the library,

    well, no – not the library.

    I could have listened
    to an audio book,
    some famous actor
    would have read to me.
    I have no excuse,
    just the lure of video games
    to blame for my procrastination.
    Now the book report
    is due tomorrow.
    Will my teacher know
    I read the synopsis online?
    Probably,
    but I hope not.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  6. Earl Parsons

    The Correct Report

    The report reported that
    The report reported earlier
    Was incorrectly reported

    The corrected report
    Reported correctly that which
    Was incorrectly reported previously
    But was now reported correctly

    A follow-up report was issued
    To report that a second report
    That corrected the first report
    Had been reported as a
    Correction to the report

  7. Michelle Hed

    April 14th Forecast

    The weathermen seem to have given up
    for Spring seemed to have lost her way
    and Old Man Winter was determine to stay.

    So when the Blizzard Warning came across the wires
    the weathermen just turned their screens to white
    and quietly slipped away.

  8. headintheclouds87

    Damage Report

    Patience – slipping…
    Fake smile – fading…
    Teeth – crunching and clenching…
    Blood – slowly boiling
    Eyes – crossed, raging…
    Fists – into balls, forming…
    My high-pitched ‘polite voice’ – cracking…
    Sound of their voice – excruciating
    Temper – by a thread, hanging…
    Their irritating habits – multiplying…
    When they can’t see I’m pissed off – mystifying…
    That I have such murderous rage within me – terrifying…
    That they’re still talking – infuriating…
    Discovering new depths of human stupidity – admittedly, illuminating…
    Urge to kill – rising…
    And so I finally stand up –
    Screaming…
    Shouting…
    Pouting…
    Ranting…
    Raving…
    Complaining…
    Not-so-calmly explaining…
    Until they are lost for words,
    My own words – evidently, stupefying
    As I finish realying
    Just why they were incorrect
    To irritate and enrage me to this degree.
    Their silence – gratifying…
    My urge to kill – now slowly fading…
    Fake smile – returning…
    Silencing imbeciles – immensely satisfying…
    Whether rage really is the appropriate adult response –
    Needs clarifying…

  9. Glory

    Always You

    You don’t exist
    you are what dreams
    are made of

    you are the stranger
    I see on every street

    you are the picture
    I carry in my heart

    you no longer exist
    not you, the you
    I once knew

  10. sincerescribe

    Report Acrostic

    Really? Now, whose report will you believe?
    Ever considered the Lord’s to receive?
    People offer a dismal opinion;
    Only God, however, has dominion.
    Recognize His power to heal–deliver.
    Testify of Him as a life-giver.

  11. serenevannoy

    Eek, this is the first one I’ve missed. I got so busy yesterday that I forgot to do this. Here’s my poem for yesterday, and I’ll head over to today’s next.

    My report

    Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary folks, others,
    I have come to you today to report
    on the state of the union

    between love and grief
    once separate, miles across glistening waters,
    erstwhile strangers to each other

    I am sad to convey
    the dissolution of the ties
    that no longer bind

    Note here, in my PowerPoint slide,
    the slide from wealth to poverty
    of feeling, the downturn in productivity

    of promises. And here, this dip in the chart,
    this is where we believe things took a dive,
    where tomorrows pulled away,

    and the options for
    future productivity
    tanked

  12. drwasy

    Saturday

    1. Morning
    Coffee outside with dog & laptop
    Not too far a pileated tapped for bugs
    Wrote 2 poems—lament & insect
    Breeze smelled of summer
    I did not want to leave

    2. Mid-Morning
    Yoga studio packed
    A new guy, our only guy
    10 salutations, balance poses
    Mind too wired to meditate

    3. Noon
    Too nice to grocery shop

    4. Afternoon
    Drove son & his girlfriend & daughter downtown
    Daughter & son in snit over movies about gay people
    Dropped daughter off at boyfriend’s house
    Brunched outside at American visionary art museum
    Son happy with burger
    Son unhappy with the ‘crappy’ art
    Coffee on top of Federal Hill—wedding, dogs, & kids on swings
    I daydreamed about perfect children, perfect life

    5. Evening
    Rose wine on deck with dog & laptop
    Not too far the chirrups of spring peepers
    Wrote 2 poems—food & report
    Breeze smelled of rain
    I did not want to leave

  13. Nancy Posey

    Weather Report

    After the last last song, no one rushes
    to pack up the instruments. Jeanette
    puts off packing the bass, knowing
    she’ll have to lug it through the clover
    back up the hill to the car. Someone
    talks to Wash Tub John and finds
    that along with the Kavanaugh,
    he brought his bass too, eager to play.

    Soon songs break out across the room,
    a distance from the stage. Clean up
    postponed, a call and response begins:
    Do you know this one? How about this?
    The songs just won’t stop, not until
    everyone’s phones start pinging
    with warnings of a storm’s approach.

    Looking out we see the clouds roiling,
    lighting playing Catch Me Now across
    the Northern Georgia sky. Louisa
    barks the orders: Get the hell out now.
    This many cars parked in the grass
    could spell trouble. We might be stuck
    until the summer’s draught. The walk
    from the song barn to the road lights up
    with phones like fireflies in the field
    as we rush to the cars, slide mandolins
    and guitars into our trunks and race
    toward the our hotel rooms, driving
    straight into a wall of wind and rain.

  14. Jrentler

    the blow before dawn

    the assignment
    to correspend
    with future
    self mailed

    the eight grader you
    demanded an agent
    ear pierced
    & dyed hair
    (preferrably blue)
    lots of explanation marx
    (noted perhaps the self harm an expected clutch)

    what would i say?
    a return to sender
    still dancing the blue
    before dawn
    nose candy
    & shots like roses
    tossed back

    undies and hbo shoots
    tell him
    tiger blood
    flowz up
    stream
    one hand
    in front
    of the other
    tails

    dreamz be
    more than media
    schemes

    & your
    clouds await

  15. Matt

    In the Middle of the Street

    Mundane would be one way to put it. Status quo. Business as usual.

    One child works ahead
    the other drags feet and smells roses
    as a matter of principal
    The last, but the first
    follows the herd finding nourishment in
    acceptance/that/for

    all intensive purposes

    translates to malignant acceptance when
    viewed from afar.

    I opt for ambiguous seclusion.
    I breathe,
    therefore I exist.
    Listening
    I hear the movement of the house,
    pubescent voices on the wind through a closed window,
    the sound of blood
    pulsing through my ears, and
    the yawning void
    caused by your absence.

    I can’t change the facts.
    Life fades
    like a FaceTime call with poor reception.

    I can only change position
    maintain momentum
    and
    hope for a clear day with a good signal.

  16. PKP

    Report

    She sat at her desk
    thinking of a boy and
    last period’s pop quiz
    out the window sun –
    back to that boy – the
    way his hair curled at
    his neck – she almost
    reached to touch it,this
    boy in the seat in front –
    a bang, screams, shouts
    blood streaming into his
    hair – stunned the sound
    took shape – a report like
    no other –
    gunfire

  17. Nick

    ER Report

    0200
    Pt c/o loneliness
    Hx Long Distance runner

    Treatment:
    Rest
    Charge battery-now only 38%
    Sleep and read a page turner
    CAll friend
    Call mom
    Drink plenty of water
    Enjoy life
    Keep running
    Ok to Pray
    Ok to ask for hep
    Sleep well
    Dream a lot
    Follow up: follow your dreams

  18. Cam Yee

    Spring Cleaning (Inventory of Accomplishments)

    Floors are all mopped,
    decks are well-slopped,
    carpets vacuumed,
    front and back room,
    desk decluttered,
    roof re-guttered,
    baseboards scrubbed,
    and rugs are drubbed,
    grout is whitened,
    metals brightened,
    papers filed,
    and books re-piled,
    laundry folded,
    fridge de-molded,
    beds are made and,
    bugs are raided,
    lamps are lint-rolled,
    bases brushed gold,
    toilets blued,
    all Joints re-glued,
    ceiling’s dusted,
    bath de-musted,
    counters polished,
    dirt abolished.
    So, so tired.
    Maid is hired.

  19. Asha1000

    Death Notice

    It is with great regret
    we inform you that Peace died
    last night after a protracted
    illness. She was predeceased
    by her parents,
    The Negotiators,
    her sister, Harmony,
    and her brother, GoodWill.
    There are no surviving children
    and no other family can be found.
    A memorial will be held
    at a later date to be
    announced. In keeping with
    her request, please wear purple
    and bring your own copy
    of the lyrics
    to Prince’s “Purple Rain”.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  20. Austin Hill

    Glad to Report

    Every day they struggle
    totally focused,
    desperate to change
    the way he walks…with confidence
    the way he talks…with his hands
    the way he dresses…with great deliberation
    the way he wears his hair…short.

    I thought he’d joined their struggle,
    totally distracted,
    desperate to change
    the way he walks…with confidence
    the way he talks…with his hands
    the way he dresses…with great deliberation
    the way he wears his hair…short.

    But while they spent their time bullying;
    He spent time his time studying.

    His stellar Progress Report confirms that he’s been
    totally focused
    desperate to maintain
    the way he walks…with confidence
    the way he talks…with his hands
    the way he dresses…with great deliberation
    the way he wears his hair…short.

    (Well, maybe he’ll find the patience to let his hair grow. But never will he dye it blue.)

    © April 2018 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  21. lsteadly

    IChecking In

    We take turns, my two brothers
    and I checking in on our father
    whether he made it out

    side or to the store to get ready
    for this next storm coming by
    cloud or confrontation with mother

    we always fear the latter, remembering
    how his hands fly
    up to block her voice how she stops

    us feeling guilty for the miles
    we put between them, my brothers
    and I grateful that distance does
    not keep the three of us apart

  22. bethwk

    The Report

    I. On the Attack
    The attack (sorry) strike was surgical.
    So surgical, in fact, that we can bomb your country
    and take out your appendix in one swift, um, surgery.

    II. On Yellow
    This morning, I planted one hundred daffodils.
    The forsythia is on fire with yellow blooms.
    I have a feeling that next spring, I am going to need more yellow.

    III. On the President’s Lawyer
    The president’s lawyer. . .what? Wait.
    Didn’t you hear us say that the strikes were surgical?
    Refer to point I, above.

    IV. On the Poetic Use of Dreams
    Last night,
    I dreamed that the Universe
    held this whole trembling galaxy in her arms
    and sang, “Everything is going to be fine.”
    (Yes, that was last night’s real dream.
    I did not make it up for this poem.)

    V. On Casualties of the Attack
    It was a strike.
    We say “collateral damage.”
    In a surgical strike,
    there is technically
    no collateral damage.

    VI. On Deadnettle
    The stubbly golden cornfields
    are purple with deadnettle
    When my nursling baby
    tested high for lead,
    I drank a witch’s tea
    of deadnettle to draw
    the poison from his tiny body.

    VII. On Collateral Damage
    One man’s collateral damage
    is a woman’s child.
    One man’s collateral damage
    is a woman’s lover.
    One man’s collateral damage
    is a woman’s father.

    VIII. On Safety
    I have no fear of the airplanes
    that fly low over the hollow.
    I worry about active shooters
    in my children’s schools,
    fire, broken bones, and bullies.
    A woman in Syria
    worries about the dictator,
    about the rebel forces,
    about the U.S., and France,
    and Britain. A woman in Syria
    worries that her beloveds
    may become collateral damage.
    She worries that the strike
    will be an attack,
    and that it will not be surgical.

    (www.farmpoem.wordpress.com)

  23. Bruce Niedt

    NaPoWriMo’s prompt today: write a poem based on entries in a “dream dictionary”, which purports to interpret symbolism in dreams. The actual assignment was to write entries for the following dream “symbols”: teacup, hammer, seagull, ballet slipper, shark, wobbly table, dentist, and rowboat.

    Spectral Analysis

    I. Report from Dreamland

    Last night I sat down with my teacup on a wobbly table.
    I invited my dentist to tea, and he brought a hammer
    in case I needed him to smash the china.
    I put on ballet slippers before we both went fishing
    in my leaky rowboat. In the middle of the lake,
    a seagull crapped on my head
    and a shark took a bite out of my oar.

    II. Interpretation from the Dream Dictionary

    The teacup is an obvious symbol of hospitality.
    You invite the dentist because you like him
    as a person, but the china represents your teeth,
    and the dentist’s hammer, his tools.
    It’s time to get a new dentist.

    The wobbly table represents either your fear
    of the decline in your physical condition,
    or a hatred of assembling Ikea furniture.

    The ballet slippers stand for your need
    to feel more agile on your feet, or at least
    a secret desire to walk en pointe.

    As far as the seagull dumping on your head,
    well, you can figure that one out pretty easily yourself,
    although it could just signify the wish for a new hat.

    Sharks always represent the same thing,
    without exception. Swimming towards one
    means you will need a lawyer.
    Trying to escape one means a lawyer will sue you.
    And shark bites, obviously, are legal fees.

    The leaky rowboat is, of course, the Ship of State,
    but rowing it to the middle of a lake could mean
    you want to escape all the wackos
    who want to interpret your dreams.

  24. Janet Rice Carnahan

    THE WONDER OF ENDLESS REPORTING

    When I babysit my grandson
    I take pictures of everything we do
    My daughter is kept up to date
    How busy we are
    What he eats
    When he goes to sleep
    And how much fun we’re having
    I do text reporting
    She won’t miss a thing
    My grandson doesn’t like to stop
    To have his picture taken
    I have become quick and creative
    To get him to smile
    Keeping up my ongoing texting time
    The joy of it is tremendous
    My daughter feels like she is there
    I love looking back at our day
    My grandson giggles at all the pictures of him
    While we recall our time
    Teaching him sequencing
    It is extra work
    Its is making a busier time even busier
    Yet the wonder of it all
    Is worth every picture, each smile
    And every single
    Moment to moment report
    Capturing the speed of a flashing by
    Story of a young child
    Fully immersed in play
    All I need at the end of the day
    One last picture of me
    Sound asleep
    Deep in the joy
    A great time spent
    With this precious boy

  25. P.A. Beyer

    The real box score

    6-4-3
    Sometimes
    double play
    Life
    to end
    Throws you
    the inning
    Curveballs
    no runs
    To swing at
    no hits
    Sometimes
    no errors
    You miss
    none left
    But sometimes
    and we go
    You go deep
    into extra innings

    And then it’s gone

  26. Smruti

    Wars

    Report on wars
    We hate them
    We fear them
    Bombs
    Nuclear wars
    Trade wars
    Chemical wars
    No end to the violence
    Life is precious
    Can we reconcile
    Let’s not disturb
    the harmony
    Lets maintain
    the universal balance
    of humanity
    in our thoughts, speech and action

  27. grcran

    the Indian intrepid reporter
    had learned how to play the recorder
    it wasn’t the flute
    the cobras found cute
    but it helped to restore law and order

  28. cobanionsmith

    Conservation Efforts

    While she waits for the processional to arrive,
    they ask how she knows the deceased.
    “Uncle.” She points to a headstone.
    “My grandparents. He’ll be buried next
    to his daddy. Their oldest son,
    my daddy, was buried almost
    nine years ago to the day,” she points
    north, “at Cross Cemetery near
    my mama’s family. Only one son’s left now.”

    ***

    For the first time, a bumblebee has been placed on the endangered species list…If all bumblebees disappeared it is highly likely that we would feel the ripples of their loss.

    ***

    As if blind, a mostly black bumble bee
    buzzes her face. She flinches, fans her hand
    as she leans away. She can’t remember
    the last time she’s seen one in the suburbs.

    ***

    “Everything in nature is connected as a result of millions of years of evolution,” Bolt added. “Take away a bee and what happens to the flowers that depend on them, or the birds that eat the seeds from those flowers, the raptors that eat those seed-eating birds, and the fish that rely on stands of pollinated plants to filter ground water?”

    ***

    As a girl, they buzzed her mama’s cascading wisteria
    that twisted along the barbed wire fence
    at the edge of the yard. The grape soda-smelling
    purple blossoms vibrated with fuzzy pollinators,
    their song constant as they kissed the buds
    and sucked nectar until they flitted on to pastures
    of red Indian paint brushes, fiery starbursts
    of Indian blankets, jaunty Mexican hats,
    maroon winecups, misnamed spotted beebalm,
    bluebonnets, and pink evening primroses
    whose yellow pollen dusted the tip
    of her nose making her giggle
    whenever she sniffed their sweet scent.

    She watches the bumblebee fly on
    tracking its rumbling buzz over the same
    wildflowers among headstones with surnames
    she recognizes and past the cross
    made of blue delphinium standing
    behind her grandparent’s grave.

    ***
    Unfortunately, the rusty-patched bumblebee’s dramatic decline is only the tip of the iceberg for the loss of North American bumblebee species. One out of every four species of bumblebee on the continent is at risk of extinction.

    ***

    A funeral attendant closes the casket
    and drapes a Texas flag over its length
    centering the star over the lid. The last son
    sits in the first folding metal chair
    in the last row under the green canopy.
    He shushes his four-year-old grandson
    standing between his knees as Loretta Lynne’s
    twangy rendition of the Old Rugged Cross plays
    on the portable radio from a concrete Roman pillar
    spray-painted gold. The wind picks up,
    and a black and white American flag
    with a blue line just below the stars
    flaps in time to the music.

    ***
    “The Trump administration reversed course and listed the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species just in the nick of time,“ said Rebecca Riley, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Federal protections may be the only thing standing between the bumblebee and extinction,” she said.

    ***

    After the service, the cousins talk awkwardly,
    remember the cold snap two years ago
    on the gray day of Grandma’s funeral.
    With tight smiles and wet eyes, they apologize,
    promise to visit soon under better circumstances
    and stay in touch. The cousin, whose name she keeps
    forgetting, holds the four-year-old’s newborn sister;
    the baby’s silver-glittered headband and tiny bow
    shine in the spring sun.

    ***

    What’s good news, she said, is that the actions taken to protect the rusty patched bumblebee should also help protect other species. Butterflies and birds will also be helped.

    ***

    Her last living uncle stands, the tallest person
    present. She reaches up and wraps her arms
    around his bullish neck. “Thanks for coming,”
    he says over her shoulder. She looks
    at the faded blue sky. “It’s good to see you again.”

    Courtney O’Banion Smith
    @cobanionsmith

    Portions of this poem were quoted from the following two online articles from USA Today:

    What if all bumblebees went extinct? We’d be in ‘a world of trouble’

    Trump relents: Bumblebee to be listed as endangered species

  29. JoMae

    Weather Report:

    Mid April and I long to be out on
    the porch with my coffee but
    at 33º and an ice storm
    on the way, I’ll have
    to wait. Just too

    Cold!

    JoMae
    4/14/18
    #aprpad

  30. Pat Walsh

    the report
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    I’ve got nothing to report
    she said
    but the exhausted glint
    of her eyes
    and the languid shift
    of her form
    on the hard chair

    made clear all she had
    been through
    in the short time she
    had been gone
    and all that was likely
    still in store
    for the rest of us

  31. cobanionsmith

    This poem is a combination of today’s prompt, report; yesterday’s prompt, insects, and the prompt I missed for day 8, family.

    Conservation Efforts

    While she waits for the processional to arrive,
    they ask how she knows the deceased.
    “Uncle.” She points to a headstone.
    “My grandparents. He’ll be buried next
    to his daddy. Their oldest son,
    my daddy, was buried almost
    nine years ago to the day,” she points
    north, “at Cross Cemetery near
    my mama’s family. Only one son’s left now.”

    ***

    For the first time, a bumblebee has been placed on the endangered species list…If all bumblebees disappeared it is highly likely that we would feel the ripples of their loss.

    ***

    As if blind, a mostly black bumble bee
    buzzes her face. She flinches, fans her hand
    as she leans away. She can’t remember
    the last time she’s seen one in the suburbs.

    ***

    “Everything in nature is connected as a result of millions of years of evolution,” Bolt added. “Take away a bee and what happens to the flowers that depend on them, or the birds that eat the seeds from those flowers, the raptors that eat those seed-eating birds, and the fish that rely on stands of pollinated plants to filter ground water?”

    ***

    As a girl, they buzzed her mama’s cascading wisteria
    that twisted along the barbed wire fence
    at the edge of the yard. The grape soda-smelling
    purple blossoms vibrated with fuzzy pollinators,
    their song constant as they kissed the buds
    and sucked nectar until they flitted on to pastures
    of red Indian paint brushes, fiery starbursts
    of Indian blankets, jaunty Mexican hats,
    maroon winecups, misnamed spotted beebalm,
    bluebonnets, and pink evening primroses
    whose yellow pollen dusted the tip
    of her nose making her giggle
    whenever she sniffed their sweet scent.

    She watches the bumblebee fly on
    tracking its rumbling buzz over the same
    wildflowers among headstones with surnames
    she recognizes and past the cross
    made of blue delphinium standing
    behind her grandparent’s grave.

    ***
    Unfortunately, the rusty-patched bumblebee’s dramatic decline is only the tip of the iceberg for the loss of North American bumblebee species. One out of every four species of bumblebee on the continent is at risk of extinction.

    ***

    A funeral attendant closes the casket
    and drapes a Texas flag over its length
    centering the star over the lid. The last son
    sits in the first folding metal chair
    in the last row under the green canopy.
    He shushes his four-year-old grandson
    standing between his knees as Loretta Lynne’s
    twangy rendition of the Old Rugged Cross plays
    on the portable radio from a concrete Roman pillar
    spray-painted gold. The wind picks up,
    and a black and white American flag
    with a blue line just below the stars
    flaps in time to the music.

    ***
    “The Trump administration reversed course and listed the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species just in the nick of time,” said Rebecca Riley, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Federal protections may be the only thing standing between the bumblebee and extinction,” she said.

    ***

    After the service, the cousins talk awkwardly,
    remember the cold snap two years ago
    on the gray day of Grandma’s funeral.
    With tight smiles and wet eyes, they apologize,
    promise to visit soon under better circumstances
    and stay in touch. The cousin, whose name she keeps
    forgetting, holds the four-year-old’s newborn sister;
    the baby’s silver-glittered headband and tiny bow
    shine in the spring sun.

    ***

    What’s good news, she said, is that the actions taken to protect the rusty patched bumblebee should also help protect other species. Butterflies and birds will also be helped.

    ***

    Her last living uncle stands, the tallest person
    present. She reaches up and wraps her arms
    around his bullish neck. “Thanks for coming,”
    he says over her shoulder. She looks
    at the faded blue sky. “It’s good to see you again.”

    Courtney O’Banion Smith
    @cobanionsmith

    Portions of this poem were quoted from the following two online articles:

    What if all bumblebees went extinct? We’d be in ‘a world of trouble’
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/03/24/what-if-all-bumblebees-went-extinct-wed-world-trouble/99582888/

    Trump relents: Bumblebee to be listed as endangered species
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/03/21/trump-relents-bumblebee-listed-endangered-species/99454416/

  32. Linda Voit

    Police Blotter

    Thursday, 9:55 pm – An unidentified
    young poem was picked up and cited
    for indecent exposure and taken in
    for questioning after neighbors reported hearing
    what sounded like human suffering
    in the alley between 3rd and 4th Streets.
    The suspect appeared unapologetic and
    even belligerent and refused to answer
    questions. At booking, the suspect
    appeared to enjoy being fingerprinted
    and entering the solitary cell. Police are baffled.
    A hearing has been set for Tuesday
    morning. The public defender’s office
    will take the case.

    Linda Voit

  33. MET

    Official Weather Report

    The raincrow called
    Out to me as I took a walk
    Telling me it would rain
    In three days.
    The moon has a halo
    Around it tonight.
    Rain is coming…
    The raincrow
    Is always right.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 14, 2018

    The Raincrow is actually the Yellow billed Cuckoo.

  34. PowerUnit

    Nothing adds up
    Not the way it should
    They have their excuses
    Why discrepancies are not abuses
    They hope you’ll understand
    Why they couldn’t play by the book
    That in the end it’s all good

    But you have your mandate
    You want to be able to look in a mirror
    And you need to sleep at night

    The amunition you’ve discovered
    Is enough to win the fight
    There’s no way you can cut it short
    You’ve got to write your full report

  35. pcm

    Truth in Reporting

    Who is most qualified
    To report on our lives
    —the way we lived before we died?

    Parental praise all flaws denies
    Our friends own interests are oft surmised
    In eulogies filled with cheer
    Of how we pleased them, leant an ear

    But there is a lady replete with knowledge
    Though I doubt she went to college
    She lives amongst the dumpsters

    Perhaps more than anyone we have known
    She knows us from our rubbish that interrupts her
    As our bags of trash appose her home

    She probes each bulge that doth appear
    With careful rigor distills what is dear
    And though she feigns not to recall

    Her name, the day nor even the year
    She knows more about us than we reveal
    In our high and mighty protocol.

    ~ pcm
    @pcmoffatt

    1. pcm

      (with edits, sorry)

      Truth in Reporting

      Who is most qualified
      To report on our lives
      —the way we lived before we died?

      Parental praise all flaws denies
      Our friends’ own interests are oft surmised
      In eulogies filled with cheer
      Of how we pleased them, leant an ear

      But there is a lady replete with knowledge
      Though I doubt she went to college
      She lives by the dumpster

      Perhaps more than anyone we have known
      She knows us from our rubbish that interrupts her
      As our bags of trash appose her home

      She probes each bulge that doth appear
      With careful rigor distills what is dear
      And though she feigns not to recall

      Her name, the day nor even the year
      She knows more about us than we reveal
      In our high and mighty protocol.
      ~ pcm
      @pcmoffatt

  36. thunk2much

    Morning Report

    Remember
    how last night
    after those
    vodka drinks
    you made
    with the
    blood oranges
    we left
    the hatches
    unbattened
    so to speak
    and tumbled
    into bed?
    I regret
    to inform you
    that the dogs
    broke the dishes
    we left out
    and opened
    the fridge
    we left ajar
    so there’s
    no bacon
    or eggs
    to fill
    your stomach
    and calm
    your head
    while I tell you
    about what
    they did
    to the bathroom.

  37. tunesmiff

    REPORT
    G. Smith
    :-:-:-:-:-:-:-:
    Another day has come and gone,
    All present and accounted for.
    The sun will rise before too long.
    Another day has come and gone;
    Bank the fire for the dawn;
    Close the windows, lock the door.
    Another day has come and gone;
    All present and accounted for.

  38. phoenixfeather

    MEETING MINUTES: THE HUMAN SITUATION

    LOCATION: HEAVEN
    DATE: SOON AFTER EVERYTHING BEGAN
    TIME: IRRELEVANT

    IN ATTENDANCE:

    GOD, LOOKING RATHER DISHEVELLED. THE ARCHANGELS MICHAEL, GABRIEL, AND RAPHAEL. (NOTABLY NOT IN ATTENDANCE: THE SERPENT, BANISHED BELOW. ALSO NOT IN ATTENDANCE: THE NEPHILIM, UP TO WHO KNOWS WHAT ON EARTH)

    NOTES TAKEN BY: METATRON

    TRANSCRIPT:

    GOD: I’LL COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY IT. I THINK I’VE MADE A BIG MISTAKE.

    MICHAEL: HOW SO, YOUR HOLINESS?

    GABRIEL: IF YOU MEAN THE REDECORATION, WELL, IT’S NOT SO BAD. A BIT GARISH, MAYBE, ALL THOSE GOLD THRONES AND FLUFFY CLOUDS, BUT DON’T WORRY, WE’LL ALL GET USED TO IT SOON EN-

    GOD: NOT THAT! NO, THIS IS MUCH BIGGER, FAR VASTER AND MORE MOMENTUAL THAN MERE INTERIOR DESIGN!. IT IS COSMIC, CATACLYSMIC. IT CONCERNS THE FATE OF THE VERY EARTH, NAY, THE VERY UNIVERSE ITSELF!

    [A PAUSE]

    GOD: WAIT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN? YOU DON’T LIKE HOW I FIXED IT UP IN HERE? WHY DIDN’T YOU /SAY/ SO? IS THERE NOTHING I CAN DO RIGHT? (HE LETS OUT AN INDISTIGUISHABLE WAIL OF ANGUISH)

    (ANOTHER MOMENT OF SILENCE. MICHAEL , GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL GLANCE AT ONE ANOTHER. MICHAEL WHISPERS SOMETHING ANGRILY AT GABRIEL, TOO QUIET TO HEAR)

    GABRIEL: NO, NO, MY LORD, DON’T WORRY, IT’S REALLY NOT /THAT/ BAD-

    MICHAEL: FORGIVE GABRIEL. HE WAS SIMPLY MAKING A TASTELESS JOKE. WE ALL /LOVE/ WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO THE PLACE.

    GOD: REALLY?

    THE THREE ARCHANGELS: REALLY.

    (HE GLANCES AT ME. I NOD.)

    GOD: NO. (A SIGH) IT’S THE HUMANS. THEY’VE GONE AND MUCKED UP AGAIN.

    RAPHAEL: WELL, MY LORD, WITH THE UTMOST REPSECT, WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN? IT’S INEVITABLE WHEN YOU GRANT STUPID BEINGS LIKE THAT FREE WILL AND ALL THAT JAZZ.

    GOD: I’D BE CAREFUL IF I WERE YOU. WE WOULDN’T BE IN THIS MESS IF IT WEREN’T FOR THAT SLITHERING BROTHER OF YOURS. ANGELS, TOO, IT SEEMS, HAVE PERHAPS BEEN GIVEN TOO MUCH LICENSE.

    RAPHAEL: YES, YES, OF COURSE MY LORD. FORGIVE ME.

    GOD: NOT TO MENTION, THE NEPHILLIM, THE ACCURSED FALLEN ANGELS, THOSE WRETCHED BEING WHO HAVE UP AND ABONDONED ME TO GO AND….YOU KNOW… (GOD SPLUTTERS.) WITH HUMANS. AGAINST MY EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS!

    GABRIEL: MAYBE NOT SO EXPLICIT IF YOU CAN’T BRING YOURSELF TO SAY THE WORD, MY LORD. ANYWAY, THIS WOULDN’T BE ABOUT THAT FRUIT AGAIN, WOULD IT? I’D SAY ADAM AND EVE HAVE BEEN PUNISHED ENOUGH FOR THAT.

    MICHAEL: OF COURSE, THAT WHOLE DEBACLE WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IF IT WEREN’T FOR /SOMEBDOY/.

    GABRIEL: LIKE IT’S MY FAULT THAT BLASTED LUCIFER GOT OUT OF HIS CAGE!

    RAPHAEL: TO BE FAIR, YOU WERE THE ONE GUARDIGNG IT.

    GABRIEL: YES, AND HE’S A SNAKE. HE CAN SLITHER RIGHT OUT OF ANY SHACKLE YOU PUT HIM IN!

    GOD: (WITH RAISED VOICE) /ENOUGH/. GABRIEL HAS BEEN PARDONED, AND YOU’LL ALL DO WELL TO REMEMBER THAT. NO, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FRUIT. WELL IT IS. BUT NOT DIRECTLY. IT’S ALL OF THEM. MURDERING, STEALING, LUSTING, SPITTING AT EACH OTHER WITH BARBED TONGUES AND CLAWING WITH GREEDY HANDS. THERE’S NOT A DECENT ONE OUT THERE. WELL, I’M FED UP. I’VE HAD AN IDEA. A RATHER GOOD ONE, IF YOU ASK ME. HOPEFULLY THIS WILL TURN OUT BETTER THAN SOME OF THE OTHERS I’VE HAD. I’M TIRED OF THE LOT OF THEM. NO MORE HUMANS. FROM NOW ON, IT’LL JUST BE ME, AND YOU LOT, IN HEAVEN. WE’LL GET SOME PEACE AT LAST.

    RAPHAEL: AND WHAT OF THE ANIMALS, MY LORD?

    GOD: THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO TOO. A SHAME, BUT IT CAN’T BE HELPED. HUMANKIND SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE.

    GABRIEL: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ACHIEVE THIS PLAN OF YOURS, MY LORD?

    GOD: A FLOOD, A GREAT ONE. FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS. IT WILL CONSUME THE EARTH AND RISE TO THE HEAVENS, CLEANSING ALL IN ITS PATH. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING. IT SOUNDS CRUEL, BUT TRUST ME, IF THERE WAS BUT ONE GOOD HUMAN I WOULD SPARE HIM. BUT NO, THERE ALL ROTTEN TO THE CORE.

    MICHAE: (HE CLEARS HIS THROAT) WELL. THAT’S NOT ENTIRELY RIGHT, MY LORD. DURING MY ANNUAL CENSUS OF ALL HUMANITY, I FOUND-

    GOD: I NEVER ASKED YOU TO DO THAT.

    MICHAEL: NO, WELL, I THOUGHT OF IT MYSELF, SEE? (HE WAVES A CLIPBOARD IN GODS FACE)

    GOD: GO ON.

    MICHAEL: WHAT I FOUND WAS, WELL. THERE’S ONE GUY WHO’S NOT HALF BAD. HIS FAMILY’S PRETTY NICE TOO.

    GOD: AND WHAT IS HIS NAME?

    MICHAEL: NOAH, MY LORD. A FARMER BY TRADE.

    GOD: YES, WELL, MOST OF THEM ARE THESE DAYS. OKAY, I’LL TALK TO HIM. MAYBE I’LL SPARE HIM THE PUNISHMENT. I HOPE YOU’RE RIGHT, MICHAEL. I HOPE IT MORE THAN I’VE EVER HOPED ANYTHING. MEETING AJOURNED.

    END TRANSCRIPT

  39. taylor graham

    ROADSIDE REPORT

    Yellow caution tape – strung between USPS
    mailbox pedestal and a T-post with red reflector
    salvaged from somewhere else – warning
    of a creeping seep among wild grasses exposed
    five days ago by weed-eating the side of our
    little dirt lane. Released, the seep creeps wetly
    down the traveled edge; reminder of the rainy
    winter that eroded roads, opened sudden sink-
    holes, caused springs to spring out of unexpected
    places. Where we pick up our mail, someone
    has strung yellow caution tape. What’s up?
    what’s down there? What news? In my mail-
    box, the local paper and slick oversize postcards
    advertising dentists. That yellow tape, guarding
    disturbed, still-seeping soil. It reads:
    CAUTION – INSPECTOR BURIED BELOW.
    A seep could bury us all.

  40. Jane Shlensky

    Golf Report

    I must report
    today in sport
    young men cavort
    with drivers

    across the green
    the heat obscene
    they squint and preen
    (such strivers)

    putt below par
    so sure they are
    each one by far
    survivors

    but one will win
    then who will spin
    their stories? ten
    advisors

  41. SarahLeaSales

    Starr Reporter

    Starr was a crackerjack ink slinger
    for The Scoop at Pence State College,
    covering events such as the Modern Mime show,
    put on by the ASL Lousy Poets Club
    (a small group),
    archery intramurals on Valentine’s Day,
    (where Professor Kewpid was the target),
    & The Great Brown-Bagged Fake n’ Bake Swap
    from extra credit-hungry culinary students.

    She treated her articles like she treated people–
    making what the world deemed unimportant feel important,
    for she’d been taught that genuine class
    was neither in the threads of her clothes
    nor in the strands of her DNA,
    but in how she treated others.

  42. Jane Shlensky

    Preparation

    the warning siren blasts
    after the funnel cloud
    is on the ground
    and moving

    Hindsight

    He lied about his age,
    joined the Marines,
    reported to Parris Island,
    learned more about weakness
    and strength than he thought,
    was shipped to VietNam,
    came home wounded,
    changed forever.

    “I just couldn’t wait
    to grow up,” he said.
    “Didn’t believe in death.
    Stupid. Just plain stupid.”

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