2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 28

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) Wave,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Tidal Wave,” “Next Wave,” “Friendly Wave,” “Heat Wave,” and/or “Sound Wave.”


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 a Blank Wave Poem:

“A Final Wave”

she watched him leave the house
& stomp toward the car
tripping over his feet once
before turning around to give a final wave
which she didn’t return
or even consider


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 waves bye to the title poems today.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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222 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 28

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    sneaker wave
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    i am
    lost at sea without you,
    but suck it up long enough
    to pen an epic poem in hopes
    of winning you back.

    for days
    i agonize over the right words
    to cluster around your heart
    like barnacles clinging for
    mortal life,
    then more days still
    to search for just the right
    colored bottle in which to
    cradle this angst and humility
    upon hopeful toss into the surf,
    my oceanic bridal bouquet.

    but obviously
    evil mermaids conspire with
    fickle moon tides and bad ley lines
    as not a moment later
    a warning shot across my bow
    as bottle volleys back
    into my skiff as if to say,
    “take back this swill
    not fit for man or beast,
    even the starfish laugh at
    its poetic topography,
    litter elsewhere
    young street urchin.”

    © 2018 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. mayboy

    Fly on the waves of wind
    spread like the wave of
    the drop in the water
    feel the breeze of love
    caught in the moment
    keep and share it, the
    most precious treasure
    of your heartbeat.

  3. BDP

    “Riding the Outdoor Wave”

    School closed for summer, our cheers blew and geysered over us.
    And thus transformed, we northland bards compared—

    not an unknown you—but ourselves to the sky. The psyche discovers
    feeling without words, no need to make a poetical case

    over the change from winter gray. Three months, a lifetime
    of action: back-forth to parents’ houses, or some days to nowhere—

    let the river do the movement. We threw stones into rapids’ darkness
    with sunlight bubbling the streaming surface and not once

    stopped to consider the meaning of it all. Warmth implored
    heft wiffle bats, play tag or slap down Crazy Eights on sidewalks. The gulf

    between dawn/sunset, spring/fall shrunk too fast. Mention a TV hero
    and that’s who we were. Or we tried out new names. Thawed Water

    heated our swimming hole well into December, and Lovely Light,
    she of the flowing aurora dress—our dreams never disappeared to nothing.

    —B Peters

    Endwords from Seamus Heaney, “The Spoonbait”

  4. headintheclouds87

    The New Wave

    I step into a familiar sea
    The water roaring softly,
    A calming song, calling to me,
    But there is something different today,
    A change in the bracing air
    As well as the chilling ripples
    That cascade over my body,
    A new wave has come now,
    Refreshing a waning spirit
    And reclaiming fading energy.
    It washes now over me,
    With fierce will and intent,
    Whether the change is in the tide
    Or simply in state of mind,
    I have still found precious peace
    In the tranquil aura of the sea.

  5. MaggieIrene

    Daddy’s Hands Didn’t Wave

    hi or bye—not his style; he’d say,
    See ya in the funny papers! with a nod
    of his head, and you might or might not
    get a warm smile; depended on what
    jabber had just transpired. Or …
    he could tell me to hush with one
    terse flail of a stern right hand,
    which pretty much did the trick
    for number nine of twelve,
    each and every time.

  6. Janet Rice Carnahan


    and it always waves back
    not always friendly
    not always constant
    not always in my direction
    yet just give it a minute
    and it responds
    almost as if
    the surf has been waiting
    just for your attentive confirmation
    your acknowledgement
    your remembrance
    your childhood delight
    your awareness
    that it never stopped
    calling you back
    to the ocean’s endless
    motion and movement
    sands that last
    beyond time
    and tide
    that some say
    waits for no one
    yet throughout time
    waves lovingly
    to us all

  7. MargoL

    Ride the waves

    Life often comes in waves,
    a duo of the good and bad,
    happy and sad.
    Things get better,
    than they get worse.
    Yet we learn through change,
    even though sometimes it may seem strange,
    But riding the waves of life is
    as Forrest Gum said:
    ‘’My mom always said life was like
    a box of chocolates. You never
    know what you’re gonna get’’.

  8. Gigglette

    Judgemental Wave

    They watched in anticipation and intrepidation for the signal of that judging wave.
    Each piece was brought before him and he didn’t have to move an inch,
    Treated as if he was Pampered royalty.
    After the artwork was placed before him he hopped about from side-to-side changing his sight of perspective.
    As he hopped
    he placed his feet down with the gait of a prancing horse,
    Leaning forwards and backwards while mentally critiquing each piece.
    Watching was like viewing a mesmerizing dance.
    Our breaths held collectively waiting for our destiny.
    Hands on hips before the final signal his decision was unknown until that defining wave,
    Either to the left with a pointed finger and an arching swing of
    “Over there” to join the few accepted pieces
    The dreaded swing upwards with a backwards flip of the hand over his head,
    Immediately followed by the Swift down words dismissive wave to the right
    “Take it away I don’t want to look at it anymore “.
    An accepted pointed wave or arrogant flippant dismissive,
    Your artwork has now been judged.

  9. carolemt87

    One-finger wave

    I can admit this much,
    that I am a transplant
    from Michigan
    who never waved
    avoiding response.

    Then Nebraska took me by surprise
    and before long, I developed
    that particular pattern
    of behavior while driving.

    With my left hand atop of the steering wheel
    and as a car passed by, I’d wave
    but not my whole hand,
    instead my index finger
    just once sweeps left to right
    like a reverse windshield wiper,
    that neighborly wave
    unfamiliar became unconscious routine,
    because as the poet Don Welch noted
    “the one finger wave is
    the state flag of Nebraska.”

  10. trishwrites

    Ocean wave

    The world’s got a secret we’re not meant
    to know
    The sun’s broken through
    She’s dancing a dosey-doe
    You’re standing with our girls
    water to your knees
    skipping stones
    And my heart trips and stalls

    Poised at the water’s edge
    Sun sends back my reflection
    of wonder
    Mother Nature’s been busy creating
    this day
    carving it from sun wash
    molding it in glaciered hope
    She’s been waiting
    For you

  11. PowerUnit

    For Wayne

    They blamed it on a rogue wave,
    not on tempers,
    not on the hotness of betrayal
    the mind’s other realities
    lulled on a calm sea,
    not a cloud, no hints
    of a southwest wind,
    a whale feeding, leaping,
    rippling the glass,
    the more you watch it
    the sneakier it gets,
    the more impossible it seems
    that he was washed overboard
    by the waves,
    of hands never again to be cleaned
    by deep blue water.

  12. Matt

    The Longest Wave

    I remember the first time
    that you had left us.
    You were reasonably frightened.

    I’m staring out into the backyard watching
    the ginkgo tree sway and wave at me
    thinking about that morning.
    It’s like I’m trying to
    piece together a strangers past
    on photograph’s alone. Context?
    like smoke in a jar.

    I sat with you the entire time. I
    kept you occupied
    tried to keep your mind off of your looming circumstances.
    Some switches won’t stay off.

    You don’t know this, but
    after you left, I
    hung around.
    I needed to see you off completely.
    As your plane backed onto the runway,
    before it left my sight,
    I waved.

  13. Austin Hill

    Isaiah’s Wave

    Five little fingers
    curl in tandem
    One day a wave will come,
    disturbing the air, and
    releasing the pain of goodbye.

    © April 2018 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill

  14. Asha1000

    Sine Wave Rainbows

    Standing on the edge of this ocean
    of words crafted into poems,
    I am in awe.

    Some poems tumbled me with their force fields
    tidal waves crashing into the hills

    Others echoed sinusoidally
    tender nonet tenors

    Poems made music
    ripples on Basho’s old pond
    silent frog sat still

    There were thiose poems that sang
    love songs to God
    acoustics channeling Gibran

    While others vibrated
    with rhythms of blues
    reflected pulses
    in harmonic motion

    Roundelays and sonnets
    rectified through rhyming diodes
    radiated across space

    There were poems that whispered
    seashell waves of gentle summer days

    And poems that fluttered
    diaphanous wings
    Zephyrus and Chloris
    in the garden of flowers

    Soon we shall disperse
    like white light through a prism
    but our poems will continue
    oscillating like sine wave rainbows.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

      1. tripoet

        This is not only a poem but a tool for learning poetry. I am excited to re-read and learn the terms that you have shared in your “beautiful” mind. Thank you.

  15. MET

    Photos from Lake Huron

    There I am
    Dressed in a blue t-shirt
    And panties
    Where Ma had cut the elastic.
    Hair many shades of brown
    Hanging down my back…
    Running as fast as
    My sturdy two-year-old legs
    Could carry me into the waves
    Of dark blue
    On the shores of Lake Huron.
    My three older brothers watching me
    Run as the little warrior I was
    Afraid of nothing ahead of me.
    Ma, I know stood
    Firmly on the shore
    Not wanting me
    To face the danger, But
    Da had the camera, and
    Wanted the photo
    Of me being who
    I was- a warrior born.
    He understood me
    Even then.
    There would be
    Another photo
    That day…
    Of me playing on the edge
    Pulling my drawers up
    From where Ma cut the elastic.
    Half of my buttocks showing…
    Me studying more than playing
    The world around me
    With my little hand reaching back
    Grabbing the dam(n) things
    To keep them from falling.
    It was idyllic that summer
    We spent living on Lake Huron
    I can tell from the photos.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 28, 2018

  16. Linda Voit

    The Beauty Queen Wave

    You do not need to be a beauty queen
    to wave like one. Simply raise your elbow
    slightly above your waist, and keeping
    your elbow relatively stationary,
    let your forearm sway back and forth
    while you make an 8 in the air
    with your gently cupped hand. It helps
    to think of yourself in long white gloves
    smoothly turning your upper body left
    then right then left again alternating hands
    at once to wave and at once to steady yourself
    on the lowered cover of a red convertible
    slowly making its way down Main Street
    behind the high school marching band.

    Linda Voit

  17. pcm

    Wave Yields Wave Yields Wave

    Moonlight on Chesapeake Bay
    On deck I watch the horizon rise and fall
    Captain at the rudder in an oilskin sou’wester
    like Emile Renouf’s Helping Hand
    big burly men will themselves to sleep
    below deck through waves of nausea

    Sun sparkles break blue off the coast of Mazatlán
    I charge into the Pacific puzzled when others pause
    a wall of water rises two stories high
    I spin into it breathing like a fish thinking
    “This is what it feels like to die”
    big burly surfers pull me up for air
    I sputter and gag my way back to earth

    Waves of nausea follow pregnant me
    down halls of institution yellow brick
    a hospital basement in Chapel Hill where I type
    detailed medical dictations of developmental delays
    and disabilities due to genetics and metabolism
    listen through walls to autistic children thump
    and holler their will into the void
    as my baby grows healthy and strong

    Frigid calm crashes over me in a wave
    My then husband threatens to kill me
    the locked door between us bulges at the hinges
    as he pounds against it then stops and I hear metal chafe metal
    as he unbolts the grate to grab his weapon so I bolt
    past him to grab the stroller with crying child
    skitter to the VA Hospital grounds in Tuscaloosa
    push prayers until fatigue, night and peace lap the shore

    Near Menlo Park I tuck into dosa with coconut chutney
    that settles the new wave of pregnancy nausea
    with a man who will never hit me and my young son loves him
    we are a kooky family of whoops and hollers
    beachcombing laughter with cornball jokes and songs

    A wave of urgency surges over me at Thanksgiving
    in Chapel Hill I leave friends and our sons at Hoot Owl Lane
    to resume hospice vigil for their father
    monitor the wave of cold as it advances
    shutting down his body our home in a slow unstoppable tide

    Unfurling spiritual sails I navigate last rites the passage
    of days and nights unmoored no shoreline on the horizon of sorrow
    Near Chiang Mai the lychee orchards invite me to cry
    I oblige daily for months of hours as dingo dogs yap, birds sing
    flowers drink my tears until I can walk
    through waves of sorrow without drowning

    Night sky red or blue or black yields not warning
    but a peaceful wave of anticipation and delight
    perhaps more frightening as I want to stay
    beneath this mysterious water
    breathing this strange new air
    without prayer nor hope for rescue

    ~ pcm

  18. Jane Shlensky

    Big-knuckled Waves

    Even before horizon stretches black,
    even before storm clouds obscure the moon,
    big-knuckled waves come churning in and back,
    bounding the beach what seems to be too soon,

    for lightning is still hours away,
    and thunder mumbles yonder and beyond
    out on the sound are sailboats still at play,
    the water barely choppy on the bay.

    Surfers are drawn to larger pre-storm waves
    like moths to flame, like bats to deepest night,
    and beach folks learn to see how surf behaves
    before they hunker down or take to flight.

    We watch the waves rise up surly and crest.
    Big-knuckled waves will roar and beat their chest.

  19. bethwk

    Ride the Wave

    If you watch closely
    as it approaches
    you can begin to feel
    the energy enter your body
    before the water
    even takes shape.

    Enter the sound and the color
    before the matter engages you.

    And suddenly you are part of it,
    caught in the song of it,
    bound in the curve and the crash
    and the pull of the wave.


  20. LCaramanna

    Forsythia Wave

    Those seductive sirens sing out my name,
    wave to me come-hither
    from the other side of the fence.
    They’ve been drinking again,
    I smell sunshine on their breath.
    Look at those provocative forsythia wave,
    flirt with the breeze,
    in a sensuous seasonal dance.
    Promiscuous nymphs
    dress in a blaze of yellow fire,
    intentionally ignite a passion for spring.

    From the other side of the fence
    forsythia pour me a glass of sunshine,
    wink and wave an invitation.

    Why should I resist a spring fling?

    1. MET

      I like this… I learned to sing Erie canal as a child… but then later I read River Horse and was introduced to a much different lady… she was feisty

  21. Sara McNulty

    Crashing Wave

    Looking out at the water, I
    enjoy great sense of peace and love
    when a wave rolling mid-ocean

    crashes, and forms lace hem of ocean.
    Sometimes with eyes closed, listening, I
    hear gulls, scent salt in my place of love.

    Midday sea darkens–indigo love
    –yet sun still reflects off ocean,
    so lotioned and hydrated am I.

    I love ocean.

    1. Tom Hayes

      Correction… lost count on Tri-Cube syllables

      The Royal Wave

      side to side
      from the wrist.

      Regal wave
      just to those
      on the list.

      Leads one to
      question why
      queens exist.

  22. Bill Kirk

    Sneaker Waves, Hidden Currents!
    By Bill Kirk

    It was a beautiful day at the beach
    On the west coast of Africa,
    A few miles outside Nouakchott, Mauritania.
    Bright sun and not a cloud in the sky.
    One of those spots he had read about
    And developers could only dream about.
    A virtually deserted stretch of sand
    With no one to been seen for literally miles,
    Save, of course, a mother and her two children
    Building sand castles just there
    A hundred meters or so to the south of him.

    The waves were modest but surfable.
    The just-visible surface of a sandbar
    Created an almost invisible barrier
    For larger waves to begin their break
    A little too far out for casual swimmers,
    Crossing the sandbar, the waves barely reconstituted
    Before finally lapping at the shoreline;
    It was the best of both worlds, really—
    Plenty of action for stronger swimmers
    While the relatively sheltered shallows
    Seemed perfect for splashers and waders.
    The sandbar was definitely worth investigating
    On this afternoon on the west coast of Africa.

    At the sandbar, the water was ankle deep.
    He was tempted to swim beyond
    But in only a few steps he found a steep drop-off—
    A tell-tale sign that riptides and undertows
    Might well be lurking
    Below the surface of the deep water.
    As he turned around to go back,
    That’s when he saw the kids coming toward him.

    They had waded out toward the sandbar which,
    In the space of less than five minutes
    Was now deeper by over a foot.
    The “splash zone” had also deepened.
    And although the boy and his sister
    Had made it to the sandbar,
    He knew they would now be unable to touch bottom
    On their way back to the beach.

    To anyone else, it was the picture of fun,
    Playing on a sandbar without a care.
    In reality, danger was manifest, surrounding the three.
    Trying to stay calm, he took the children by the hand
    And began wading back toward the shore.
    Yet, in only a few meters,
    With the water deepening by the minute,
    The kids were bouncing instead of wading.
    Fortunately, they didn’t feel his growing panic
    In the fun of the moment.

    Then, although not far from the water’s edge.
    A wave struck them from behind
    Just as the continuing, unseen sideways current
    Cut their feet and legs from under them.
    While he struggled to regain his footing,
    Both kids scrambled up his arms for a better hold.
    But their relief was illusory.
    The strength of the sideways current
    Was steady and unrelenting—
    Unlike a wave, it was a subsurface river
    Running perpendicular to the incoming waves.

    He had no choice but to hold a child
    In each of his arms while trying to stay afloat.
    Remaining vertical was out of the question.
    His only option was to try to ride the surface
    While avoiding dangling his legs
    In the path of the crossways flow below.
    Both kids gripped his neck
    To keep their heads above water.

    “Hold on, but not too tight,” he growled!
    With a deep breath, he lowered his head
    And kicked with both feet to propel them all forward.
    After a long, panicky 30 seconds,
    One foot barely found sand.
    Digging in and pushing off again and again,
    His belly finally scraped bottom.
    Breathless, he planted both kids
    In the warm, shallow water on the west coast of Africa.
    And the little boy squealed,
    “That was so much fun! Can we do it again?”

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh my! This could have been in yesterday’s “story” prompt as well. Fiction, this? Or your own true experience? You had me captured from the beginning. Thankful for the happy (and comical!) ending.

      1. Bill Kirk

        Thanks for the kind words, Marie. Yes, I was the one on the sandbar. I had made a trip to Nouakchott in the mid-’80s for one overnight stay and meetings with the State Department chief and a Mauritanian warlord there. I had some time to spare in the afternoon so the chief’s wife and kids took me out to the beach, kind of spur of the moment. It was really quite spectacular and a stellar day until the cross current started flowing out of the blue. Had the kids and I delayed getting off the sandbar any longer, we would have been over our heads in minutes with no way to get back to the beach. It all happened pretty quickly but fortunately turned out well.

  23. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    Her momma and me,
    We can’t get along;
    She’s always right,
    And I’m always wrong.
    From the first light of day,
    Through long endless nights;
    The smallest of things,
    Become the biggest of fights.

    The day finally comes,
    I go out to our car;
    Her mom thinks I’m heading,
    Down to the bar.
    So she climbs in beside me,
    She can’t take any more,
    Then I look back and see,
    Our girl in the door.

    And Amber waves,
    And Amber tries,
    Not to cry,
    And Amber knows,
    That she doesn’t know why;
    And Amber,

    A few hours later,
    We’re back in our drive;
    We’ve started working,
    On fixing our lives.
    It won’t be easy,
    And no matter how hard;
    When I look up and see our girl,
    There in our yard.

    And Amber waves,
    It’s the sweetest thing that I know;
    She’s so glad, and,
    Her happiness shows,
    When Amber waves,


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