2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

For today’s prompt, take a line from an earlier poem (preferably from this month) to begin your poem for today. For instance, I took the final few lines of my poem from day 12 to start my example poem below. So scan through your earlier stuff to figure out where to start today.

If you need to, try out Anders Bylund’s poem-a-day search tool to scan poems from earlier in the month. Click to continue.


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.


Here’s my attempt at an Earlier Line Poem:

“if we don’t speak, there will be so much left unsaid”

if we don’t speak, there will be so much left unsaid,
because i don’t understand love, that dance & kiss
following me through sleepless nights pulling the thread
of memory reflecting what the others miss,
or do they? do i cling to things others release?
a dance? a kiss? there is so much we’ve left untold,
& i wonder if you wander the past with ease
or if you try to revive a love that’s grown cold–
maybe it doesn’t matter. & then, maybe it does
even if it’s never resurrected, never
returned from the dead. ghosts, like excited bees, buzz
through time & space–a current that can’t be severed–
& here i buzz; i hover. we may recover
again, lover, but for now, our song is over.


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 knew he’d get around to writing a sonnet eventually this month.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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241 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

  1. Gigglette

    A line from my poem day#19
    If in the beginning she’d just cut that errant hanging thread

    If in the beginning she just cut that errant hanging thread,
    She wouldn’t be standing with only half of an unraveled top in the middle of the antique china shop.
    Thread wound tight around table legs, and shelves no longer up right,
    This had Surely turned into an awful night.
    She was ready to run home and throw the covers over her head,
    Buckle down to cry her eyes out in bed. But she’s standing here instead,
    In the middle of the antique china shop,
    trying to catch the cup and saucer just about to drop,
    Teetering precariouly in her broken shoe,
    So now what Was she supposed to do?

  2. G.P. Hyde

    Through the chasms of the tunnelled vaults
    Creeps Theseus brave. Behind, he spins the thread,
    A corded lifeline, guarantee of passage,
    His hope , his wish, his need to stand again
    Besides the dear sweet muse who sings to guide
    His safe return. He pauses, listens, hears
    An aria by Ariadne, her music drives
    His onward journey, battling with the beast.

  3. MargoL

    A parent’s hope

    I feel the betrayal, the wound
    is not inside my head but in
    my heart, ready to pound
    while nervously awaiting your arrival.

    How long has it been?
    At least six years, or perhaps nine?
    Anyway, since you were a teen.
    Mixed feelings stir deep inside of me,

    recollecting how we spent so many years apart,
    no longer as mother and son. Could it be
    finally a chance for a new start?
    As I blindly believe for a breakthrough

    and anticipate with a parent’s hope,
    while feelings remain confused and frayed,
    that my son will ultimately stop dope
    and that this time, it will work between me and you.

  4. Tom Hayes


    Wake to those amber shades preceding dawn,
    The light that heralds day and ends the night.
    Look back one time before the stars are gone.
    Then gaze ahead to greet new morn’s delight.

    Horizon’s rays break pink and pale blue.
    The rising sun is lifting night time’s veil.
    Its gleam giving the world a brighter hue
    Day’s brush now paints the scene in full detail.

    For I can see beyond this dawn display.
    See life both with my eyes and with my mind.
    Most everything is clear at start of day.
    I’m grateful for the meaning that I find.

    These blessings come when I witness sunrise.
    Insight that day’s first light brings to my eyes.

  5. LCaramanna

    One Summer Day

    On the lee side of Cherry Island
    largemouth bass lie lazy
    among the flat rock ridges
    at the bottom of Chaumont Bay.

    The sun shines diamonds
    on waveless water,
    and the wind,
    that uninvited guest,
    is hushed to a whisper
    by cherry trees
    on the lee side of Cherry Island.

    Beneath the waveless water
    on the lee side of Cherry Island,
    largemouth bass lie lazy,
    baited not
    by fishermen’s bottom bouncing jigs,
    content to evade
    fry and serve on a plate.

    Lorraine Caramanna
    ( One summer day on the lee side of Cherry Island – line taken from Dragonfly – day 13 poem)

  6. PSC in CT

    A Suicide Footnote

    He was never meant
    to weather summer’s fire
    her own heart’s desire,
    the perfect child, who
    upon his inadvertent passing
    left her feeling
    only wholly alone

    And she wouldn’t,
    couldn’t endure that pain,
    so devised an anguished plan
    guaranteed to succeed

    But, before she departed
    she gave me a gift
    (a bittersweet knelling):
    you and I, laughing –
    an old memory of hers,
    made mine
    with the telling

  7. deringer1


    When the world seems insane there’s refuge
    in a place where no one can go.
    There is music and singing,
    and books to comfort me.
    The future does not
    threaten. I am
    hidden in
    my own

  8. trishwrites

    We come humbled (Humboldt)
    In a half-lit sky
    Through the shadow of
    Darkness and despair
    A spirit crushed but never
    A heart
    Still beating

    A gift he wrote
    On a two by three
    With his name
    In Bold type
    Because he was taught
    To love one another

  9. pipersfancy

    Opening line from Day 4 poem, Case of Goodbyes:

    Traveling Abroad

    You’re going on a trip, searching
    for trinkets from far-away lands,

    places like India, or Morocco,
    that hold history like sweets on a dish,

    as if you might learn your own past
    from swallowing theirs when

    you return to this place of origin,
    and you will recognize it by the dust

    on the soles of your shoes,
    particulate evidence that you have

    found the cradle of your infancy.

      1. Jrentler

        aorry one more go then i have to let it go
        the original phrase was “sleep facing west” from an early draft of report poem but ill fiddle whiddle it into nothing.

        with my back to the west

        i sleep
        shouder blades
        ready beneath
        wings & sheets

  10. Matt

    “When the words wouldn’t
    stop”, that was
    when he was young.

    Like all young men, he was just as generic.

    Always having
    something to say,
    acting like he knew better than everyone else,
    always thinking
    that he was going to make something
    of himself or change the world…

    Now that he is older,
    he’d like to think
    that he knows better even if
    he knows that, now, he’s just
    a different type of generic.

    He’ll think about those
    sepia-toned days sometimes and wonder
    what it would be like if
    he remained that full of himself, that
    vacant of humility.

    It can be a gruesome thing to subject yourself to,

    trying to figure out
    what type of grown boy
    you could’ve been.

    There’s enough of those all ready polluting the world.

    But sometimes he needed the reminder to be grateful
    for what he has and
    who he turned out to be.

  11. Linda Voit


    It is not that I do not cry.
    I do, but not so much anymore
    for my big brother.
    I do it for You Tube
    birth announcement
    compilations or stubbing
    my toe or onions
    so I know I can stop.

    Linda Voit

  12. Jane Shlensky

    (from day 5: Intelligent Parts

    Something besides his ears can hear
    (for Bill Preston)

    Old Birder, walking in the woods,
    what do you see? Some flash
    of red or blue, some lift of wing
    or bounce of bough that draws
    you in and lets your eyes
    become your ears?

    I walk along with you,
    my whole mind attuned
    to sound, the twit and chirr
    of wilderness vibrating
    like harp’s breath,
    thundering a pulse.

    Even now, sweet poet,
    you help me hear,
    strengthen my senses
    and remind me that there
    are many ways to see
    and hear, many organs
    seasoned to sense,
    the most important
    of which is the heart.

  13. Jane Shlensky

    (from Day 4, Casements)

    Each window is a pain

    of dark neglect
    when there’s no light,
    no view but hazy moon,
    no friendly face to see.
    Each pane rattles
    as thunder sounds
    or when great logs
    tumble down
    toward the river,
    an avalanche
    of rumbling.
    She walks from window
    to window harboring hope
    for a new angle
    on an old thing, for animals
    prowling the night—
    raccoons or jack rabbits,
    moose or elk—to break
    winter’s white monotony
    its icicle fangs hanging
    from the heavy roof.
    Too dark and cold outside
    for smiles—she must wait
    for spring to thaw
    her grimace, let dogwoods
    and laurel blooms push up
    the corners of her mouth,
    let the red fox and kits
    splash color on the last
    patches of snow.

    1. Fanny Pad

      I really like Jane’s poems
      talking of suitcases, each day, each thought is like a window into a different world.
      On Tuesday we get two. I go to Lings wood then for a short walk with friends followed by coffee.
      Sometimes we hear a woodpecker but can’t see it
      Hearing is the last sense to go.
      Back home in the afternoon I try to pack a suitcase for my sea side holiday but the cat has got inside it and my clothes are all askew.
      I must unthread it all before I can go on.

    2. Cam Yee

      I particularly loved the last half of this poem when the female presence enters the scene. some of my favorite lines: “…harboring hope for a new angle on an old thing”; “icicle fangs hanging”, and the red fox and kits on white snow image. A very evocative take on the desire/need for Spring

  14. Cam Yee

    After Curfew

    You hear a dog bark in the night-drunk dark,
    and her fingers, quick as silver, ripple
    through the ribbons in her hair,
    and the buttons on her shirt.

    The quivering wings of diminutive moths
    inspire a jangled and nebulous anxiety as they fly too close
    to the pool of porch light. You take off your dark glasses
    the better to see the night,
    and the way her face shines through the shadows.

  15. serenevannoy

    I am melodramatic in my middle age,
    but quietly, not revealed by my pacifistic
    outer shell.
    Those who see me, day to day,
    like to tell me I match my name,
    and keep them calm,
    and am a good person to come to
    in a crisis.

    Life lends itself to my particular kind
    of quiet waiting,
    because crisis, when it passes, is past,
    and everything that is hard will someday fade
    into ease and memory, liquid or fogged over,
    until you can’t recall
    what you were upset about.

    So I wait and I don’t get my blood pressure up
    and I find a band-aid, a splint, a priest.
    I do what needs doing.

    Inside my head, though,
    things don’t resolve.
    Inside my head,
    there are crashes (cars and markets),
    aneurysms, and the solid knowledge
    that everything is not okay,
    and never will be again.

  16. Bruce Niedt

    Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a “rebel” poem. As far as Robert’s prompt is concerned, I took it even further: I compiled a list of the last line from each of the 22 poems I’ve written so far this month, and then created a new poem from as many of them as possible. I made some minor changes in wording, but they are identical or very similar to the original lines. Only the last line of this poem is new, and the title is derived from parts of two other lines. So I used, in some way, 19 of the 22 last lines for a new poem. Check my blog to find out how I got to this, and I invite you to try it too – it was kind of fun!

    The Old Fart Flips the Bird

    You may be destroyed below
    while the loom is still running.

    After they plow your stump under,
    you, who have nothing left in the tank,
    will soon be bare in the end.

    You should have taken better care of yourself,
    and maybe you feel guilty, but you’re smiling too.

    If they want to interpret your dreams,
    jump out of them when they do.

    Drift over the middle stripe in the road
    into whatever utopia you’ve imagined,

    but know some words just sound like babble
    over the telephone.

    Tell them, please save your laments-
    I’m not done climbing yet.

    They may look like tears
    but you love their flavor
    and the last laugh is the ultimate joke.

  17. CMcGowan

    Beginning lines from day 14:

    He outshines the stars
    and melts his mama’s heart
    Tonight, when he takes the stage.

    Bends the strings and sings

    a melody of music

    spanning time and decades

    and memories.

    Memories of days gone

    by, for me, for him

    for generations of men

    that have turned to music

    to walk the line and

    it’s alright, because here

    comes the sun, shining bright,

    but not as bright as him,

    because he outshines the stars.

  18. Asha1000

    The Bride

    When I taste the green that etches my
    teeth, I remember the young woman who ate green plums.

    I was a little girl. I wondered
    if her teeth were on edge, if the pain caused her wet eyes.

    She was brought to us by the young man
    from the other street who introduced her as his bride.

    Her belly was huge on her thin frame.
    From behind, she looked like one of us playing with dolls.

    Months later she brought this crying thing,
    wriggling, a mosquito larva in the tadpole pond.

    The young bride had eaten unripe fruit
    and now she only played with a real dolly baby.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  19. bethwk

    This spiritwind, this holy breeze blows through
    the hollow places of my spine,
    the hallowed spaces of my bones,
    through the stones of heart and kidney,
    through the separated ribs,
    through each molecule of blood like stars,
    sparkling through the hallways
    of the body, blowing down the strands
    of DNA, of memory, of life force.

    The Beloved blows through
    with a shriving wind,
    clearing the pathways
    clogged by the debris
    of addiction and twisted truths,
    of laziness and wasted moments,
    to free the caged, starving soul.


  20. candy

    The wind catches a loose thread

    The wind catches a loose thread
    Of conversation
    Tumbles it together with
    A snatch of hummed melody
    The wisp of a secret
    A bit of laughter floating by
    And then begins to whistle

  21. MET

    The Waterlilies were lovely….

    There floating on the water
    Were these delicate flowers
    Translucent in their loveliness
    Creme pink delicate and fetching…
    Their reflection in dark green
    Was a waxy paler green
    With hints of pinkish blue.
    Mesmerized by them, and
    The Orange and white goldfish…
    I thought a moment
    To disturb their quiet
    By wiggling my toes
    In the warm waters
    In the summer pond.
    Instead I sat on the bank, and
    Leaned back
    Soaking up the sun, and
    Thought on these delicate flowers.
    The waterlilies were lovely
    Quite fetching in cream pink.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 20, 2018

    From “The Fairies ride on Dragonflies” from April 13, 2018

  22. lsteadly

    As I Am Not Yet Finished

    as I am not yet finished
    do not close the door

    to that light, the corridor
    faces outside my reach

    I will get there eventually
    given time, you claim that
    you are mine but who are we
    really but our own and how deep

    do you really want to go
    into that dark

    can you stand
    beside me while I decide
    which window to open
    before the silence comes

  23. Sara McNulty

    Low Priced House

    Did someone die in there? Please tell me.
    It’s not like I believe in ghosts.
    What kind of house are you trying to sell me,
    does it come with its own invisible hosts?

    Will they resent me?
    break dishes,
    or moan
    after midnight?

    This reasonable price has me suspicious
    that strange events indeed occurred.
    I ask that you be honest with me.
    Did someone die in there? Please tell me.

  24. Smruti

    She is the hidden child in you and me

    She is the hidden child
    in you and me

    Who laughs and giggles
    with all her heart
    in little plays

    Who finds wonder
    in each
    little moments

    Who wants to
    run and jump
    on a pleasant day

    Who wants to cry it out
    and then let it go
    that easily

    Who finds joy
    in yummy treats

    Who is happy
    to sing a song

    She is the hidden child
    loves life

  25. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Under a deep blue starless sky,
    Everything pauses for one heartbeat more.
    Nothing exists beyond you and I;
    Under a deep blue starless sky.
    You are the answer to my questions, “Why;”
    And yours is the only heart I adore.
    Under a deep blue starless sky.
    Everything pauses for one heartbeat more.

    (Lines from Cicada Haiku 413, 4/13,
    & Funny How Certain Things Come To Mind, 4/16)

  26. pcm

    one more thing before I sleep

    one more thing before I sleep
    bring your cheek here close to mine
    that I may feel you breathing
    and know that daylight shall appear
    embraced by love we’re keeping
    soft and tender are your eyes
    your lips in silence speaking
    the heart knows more than words can tell
    your hands rest warm beseeching
    one more thing before we sleep
    and dawn the stars releasing

    ~ pcm

    One more thing before I sleep/ verse taken from “Temptation,” poem of April 18th, 2018

  27. MET

    consider this one a freebie… inspired by the prompt…but again sort of a cheat…
    I know this was supposed to be about a poem in this month but when Robert pick a line for a poem that I wrote the first time in 1998… it is one that will not let me let go of it… I think I am closer but not there yet… this is the poem about the struggle and the first line in this poem is the first line in Night Music.. if anyone wants to read the poem this about make a comment thank- you…

    Hot Molasses- A Hot Mess

    Hot molasses, sweet and dark
    Had poured over me
    As jazz music one night…
    And I wrote a poem….
    Twenty years ago
    On the sidewalk
    Waiting for a teenage girl
    Who was a runner…
    The only way I could see her
    Face to face was to run
    A few steps with her…
    I had a ragged notebook
    I wrote the first line
    Starting with the music and
    Then the Molasses, but later
    Reversed them…that I kept.
    I have revised and un-revised
    And put away only to pull out again.
    I have sent it off to contests, but
    It gets good comments, but
    Never chosen.
    Frustrating I can’t seem to get it right.
    I know one day… the words
    Will fall into place, and
    All this struggle will be worth it…
    Until that time Night Music will be
    My never-ending hot mess.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 20, 2018

    1. MET

      please ignore missed words and comments in the above comment… I am tired and sometimes… when I read things thru the look normal…I read so fast… I need to slow down

  28. Nick

    The Room

    I am the palm of your hand,
    the life line that parallels the heart.

    I am the women hanging from the 15th St
    Bridge-able to see inside a room as the

    Sun sets in Chicago, or San Fran or maybe
    The Gateway Arch.

    I am the snake that deceived only because
    he was running for office. All this from a

    dream that was as real as a dream. I left early
    because I hand not assumed a human form yet,

    had not begun to be sewn back together yet,
    had not written that poem in that room,

    the sunlight finding me as you opened the curtains in
    the morning. I was the warm water you brought us

    – was awake in the dream the whole time
    as though we were the same.

  29. SarahLeaSales

    When Art Lost its Tangibility: 1000 Years in the Future

    With every year that passed,
    the world became more senseless.
    Crayons disappeared,
    markers faded,
    colored pencils became dull.
    There was no more paint,
    no more sculpture.
    created by the computers
    or their programmers–
    was piped in everywhere,
    scattering the thoughts of the populace
    as in the world of Harrison Bergeron.

    There was a uniformity to everything–
    a measure of control in a chaotic world
    that sought to make everything smaller,

    For they said the earth had run out of room
    for art that took up actual space.
    Through computer applications,
    a New Art for a New Era was created
    by the creators–
    as virtual space was infinite space.
    Thus the tactile processes of creating art
    was lost,
    and craft stores had gone the way of
    small businesses.
    Photographers and graphic designers became
    the modern artists.

    And so, when batteries died and
    the electricity went out,
    the art went with it.
    And this art that had lost its smell
    was but a memory
    that no description
    could ever do justice,
    for human recall was the height
    of fallibility.

    And when the power grid shut down,
    a group of bored children came upon an old schoolhouse
    that had not been touched by urban decay,
    but by rural depression, isolation, and apathy.
    It was in a cobwebby closet that they found
    the pencils and the crayons,
    yet they knew not what to do with them.

    But then one remembered a film from long ago–
    saved from the Ban and Burn 100 years before–
    where fingers weren’t the tools,
    but rather, held the tools.
    It was then that human hands reclaimed the functionality
    that had once created beauty
    (even as the artists of the New Era could only capture
    and rearrange it)–
    the kind of art that was as messy
    as it was beautiful.

    And when the power returned forty years later
    following The Rebuilding,
    the world glowed with screens once more,
    but it had become alive again through a New Renaissance.

  30. Misky


    She drowned
    in a floral-scent bath,
    and we all went into nondisclosure.
    People drowned
    in the ocean all the time,
    sink like stone thrones
    in pools, but if you drowned
    in a bathtub, everyone’s
    full of questions that
    they won’t ask.
    They think pills or
    booze or both.
    It was both in her case.

    And I don’t know more about her
    except that she drowned in her bath.

  31. mapoet

    What demands such concentration?

    What demands such concentration
    that the seagull walks with its head
    down, eyes focused on the ground?
    It makes its morning check of the
    inventory–what the tide brought in
    and what it washed away.
    The bird scours the shoreline and
    steps past polished stones and
    shattered shells. When it stops,
    it picks up the remnants it likes best–
    the ones it can digest.

    By Michelle Pond

  32. Bill Kirk

    To Bee Or Not?
    By Bill Kirk

    Forever frozen in time,
    A single bee—sealed in amber—
    Leaves scant yet incontrovertible evidence
    Of the existence of a fragile life form
    That far preceded our own
    Occupation of the earth.
    Who are we to say what may still remain
    Long after our stay is done?
    Will the evidence of our species’ presence here
    Be any more significant than that of any other?
    What legacy of our earthy colonization
    Will be left behind?

    Will our buildings, roads and monuments;
    Tell a tale of benevolent dominion
    With sufficient clarity
    To adequately defend the history
    Of our brief sojourn here?
    Through chance or happenstance
    Will our surviving sign posts and reference points
    Fondly accuse us of a hospitable habitation
    Or convict us of a hostile takeover,
    Having only come, seen and conquered?

    And what of the life forms
    That will succeed us?
    What creatures will remain
    To assume command?
    Or are humans the only beings
    In need of preeminence and predominance?
    Is such insecurity our Achilles Heel
    That will at some point
    Unceremoniously end our stay?
    Will one or a randomly selected few of us
    Be locked for posterity in an amber sarcophagus?

    And might the long-suffering bee still be around
    To find the remains of our days?

  33. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Afternoon Nap

    All four boys are sleeping,
    not a one sounding a peep,
    What an afternoon treat!

    Rafa & Brady, cat napping,
    curled up together, as one, on my bed…zzz

    Cooper, our spaniel, sprawled
    out on the floor, he looks kinda dead…zzz

    The ex-spouse, in his jeans,
    yikes, he’s face down on the couch…zzz

    You might ask, why I’m here, that’s another poem…

    Today, I treasure this precious time,
    to write this little rhyme,
    and capture this moment, my life line.

    * this has nothing to do with the prompt, just came to me as I looked around, peace and tranquility, ahhh…

  34. De Jackson

    I am this (and all) poem(s).

    I am Orion’s belt, loosed.
    The lightning in your eyes.

    I am the plums.
    (Forgive me.)

    I am all thumbs,
    and nonesuch things
    hitchhiking on dragon kite strings.

    I am your heart,
    carried in mine.

    I am the snowy woods
    and the summer’s day
    and the red, red rose.

    Or maybe I am just
    (so much depends)
    red wheelbarrow
    that carries you home.

    First lines are borrowed from yesterday’s poem.


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