2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

For today’s prompt, write a response poem. Respond to whatever helps you get your poem written, but my thought is that you should respond to one of your poems from earlier in this challenge. For instance, my example below responds to my Day 1 poem.


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Here’s my attempt at a Response Poem:


how i hoped you’d unlock
my secretive hair
but you never understood
the smile framed there


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 can’t believe tomorrow is the final day of this April’s challenge.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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140 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 29

  1. PSC in CT

    A Handwritten Note…
    (to the fellow in Starbucks
    fascinated by his phone)

    Look up!
    Look around.
    Not everything you need
    can be found
    on that itsy-bitsy screen
    (if you know what I mean.)

    You smiled at me once,
    (by chance, perhaps)
    then relapsed
    to your online
    browsing trance.

    It’s possible, maybe,
    (do you like to dance?)
    we have a latte to share.
    But we’ll never know
    if you just persist
    in that single-minded
    cell phone stare.

    So set aside that fandangle
    and talk to a human being.
    There’s more to life
    (and more to me)
    than you (and that cell)
    are seeing.

  2. BDP

    “The Start of Flying”

    I watched it grow from an egg, a bird with new feathers
    today in fumble-flight from the nest—hope? But soul,
    I don’t even want to go there, a lack of or too many words,
    much flapping, my trying to write what some say is our all.

    Sipping tea in the upstairs study, warmed by window sun, I heard
    a chirp, then saw the fledgling fall, the mom by now across the storm
    of cars on my road. I raced down to the door. Such a wee bird
    hopping to the other side, unable to lift up. I envisioned warm

    mush. When from the sidewalk a tween-size boy of the Land
    of Kid—hence, his bright idea—jumped to the street, parted sea
    with one hand upheld. Tiny robin and youngster in extremity
    against machine, and safe. No small wings. I clap, he bows to me.

    —B Peters

    Endwords from Emily Dickinson, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”

  3. bethwk

    There once was a girl
    who was so afraid of spiders
    that when a web of song,
    a web of prayer,
    came floating to her
    on a breeze, she ran
    as fast as she could
    in the other direction.

    There once was a girl
    who was so afraid of darkness
    that when a quiet veil
    of comforting shadows
    fell about her,
    she fell down in terror
    and hid her head
    until the staring sun
    came out again.

    There once was a girl
    who was so afraid of heights
    that when her friends
    sang bridges that led
    to safer meadows,
    she could not unfreeze
    her footsteps from the Earth
    to flee toward the havens.

    Whenever she ran from her fears,
    they always caught her.
    Whenever she froze in terror,
    she found herself engulfed.
    I would like to say she learned
    to reach her hands toward her friends
    and find her way home.


  4. MaggieIrene

    Orange Slices II
    …for JE who loves Bonobos

    There’s a bag or orange slices
    on my kitchen counter, talking to me,
    calling to me, urging me toward one
    more sugar high, for old times’ sake.
    I did not purchase that bag of candy.
    That’s what cutie friends are for.

  5. headintheclouds87

    The Human Way

    Don’t see days as a prison,
    Please don’t run away
    From the life you’ve made,
    There is another way…

    I know dates drive you crazy,
    The cruel and harsh deadlines
    And the dreaded, sinking feeling
    Of time slipping helplessly away…

    But this ‘forest’ you wish to escape to
    Where time finally stands still
    Is simply a fiction, a fantasy,
    That cannot ever come to fruition…

    We have to make the best of it here,
    Accept our often middling lot
    And just jolly well get on with it,
    With hope keeping us sane…

    You could share it with me,
    Get through it together,
    Comply to the dreary day-to-day
    While still sticking two fingers up to the world…

    That is what being human is,
    Nothing more, nothing less,
    The strength to grin and bear it
    Makes for an easier job of it…

    So stay here with me,
    We can silently rebel here,
    Mock the world in our minds
    For our precious remaining years.

  6. Linda Rhinehart Neas


    “I would love you here”
    was all you texted – but –
    between the lines lay
    something more –
    something that made me
    respond with, “On my way.”
    Never did I think that
    five hours later,
    I would be holding
    new life so close to my heart.

    Late in getting this written as I was called to Maine to be with my daughter as she birth her fifth child, my 11 grandchild. Dashiell Lawrence was the first of my grandbabies that waited for me to be born. What a blessings to be there! Six hours of driving yesterday (there and back) was well worth it!

    1. Cam Yee

      When my sister went into labor I sped the 3.5 hours to Indiana to be there when my first nephew was born. I remember looking in my rear view surprised that a car behind me was going even faster than I was before I realized it was an unmarked police car. I got the ticket and forced myself to slow down the rest of the way but still made it to see him being born. Amazing experience.

      Your poem caught me with its notion of subtext, especially when found in the typically few and unsophisticated words of a text. I felt your response in my heart and I am so glad that you made it!

  7. Matt

    Being a Response to Days 4 & 5

    Do us both a favor? step back, close your eyes,
    and take a couple of deep breaths. You need
    to hear what I have to say. You need
    to read what I have written. You need
    to accept that,
    what you’re doing to yourself,
    is what most people do to themselves.

    In this Age of Public Imagery
    we are determined to flagellate, to
    confuse want with need, to
    choke on the atmosphere of distraction, and to completely
    miss the point that
    time -could be- an illusion BUT
    time -could also be- our greatest commodity.
    In the end, you’re confusing a mirror with a window.
    Perfection is a myth: be happy that you’re alive.

  8. Janet Rice Carnahan


    words into hyper space
    hurling out into the unknown
    please return to this place
    current seeds small and unsown

    we need to capture your essence
    contain it and call it out
    expand your every sense
    until we have no doubt

    you get a chance to respond now
    give your own voice a lift
    contact us quick somehow
    we consider your thoughts a gift

    if you don’t let us know
    we cannot be certain of you
    we may just let you go
    and this poem, might have to do

    your time frame is ending
    there’s a closing of the gate
    the bottom line descending
    hurry, or you’ll be too late

    we’ll have to trust you’ll land soon
    wherever you must leave each word
    perhaps you’ll land on the moon
    to a tune we haven’t yet heard

  9. MichelleMcEwen

    & Just How Does the Sun Taste?

    it be like a nectarine

    it be like a tangerine

    it be just like a pomelo

    it be a little like a mango

    most times

    it be just like
    a cold

    orange soda.

    (This is a response to my day 23 “action” poem which was called Drinking)

  10. Asha1000

    Stephen Hawking Responds

    Q: Global Warming?

    SH: Earth becomes Venus
    482 Fahrenheit
    Embered fireball.

    Q: Artificial Intelligence?

    SH: Be very afraid
    Must find new planet and hope
    Nature Smarts win war.

    Q: Nuclear War?

    SH: Irrational sparks
    WMD’s end world
    Goodbye Solar Rose.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

    Today’s poem is a response to my Day 5 poem “Nature Smarts”.

    1. Asha1000

      Reposting. Indentations did not work previously.

      Stephen Hawking Responds

      Q: Global Warming?

      Earth becomes Venus
      482 Fahrenheit
      Embered fireball.

      Q: Artificial Intelligence?

      Be very afraid
      Must find new planet and hope
      Nature Smarts win war.

      Q: Nuclear War?

      Irrational sparks
      WMD’s end world
      Goodbye Solar Rose

      – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  11. MET

    The Traveler
    (This is in response to the poem Healing that I wrote on April 17, 2018)

    “I’m just a poor
    Wayfarin’ stranger” *

    My travels have not been far,
    Most would say,
    But I have journeyed
    The hearts of the lost ones
    A farther journey
    Than most will ever know.

    “A travelin’ thru
    This world of woe…” *

    Since the healer
    Touched my hand…
    He put me on a road
    Paved with stones
    Of heart break, and
    Sealed with tears of salt.

    “Yet there’s no sickness,
    Toil nor danger…” *

    My hands ache
    From years of struggle;
    My body is tired
    But I keep taking
    That one step farther
    Until I finally lay them down.

    “In that bright world
    To which I go…” *

    I hear I will
    Have a mansion
    A place to lay my head,
    When I am worthy
    To lay it down
    I will follow the healer’s call.

    “I’m goin’ there
    To see my father;
    I’m goin’ there
    No more to roam” *

    There is so many
    I long to see, but
    No one I will
    Rejoice more to see
    Than the Healer’s
    Nail scarred hands.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 29, 2018
    (*) traditional song

  12. De Jackson

    Reluctant Dragons

    We ask them for their wings
    and sacred songs –
    those things we covet with our
    embered hearts.

    We forget
    we’ve had them
              all along.

    (Still Making Deals with Dragons from day 10.)

  13. LCaramanna

    I Can’t Let Go

    Your tired feet carried you to the end of the earth where
    Marshmallow angels raised you up on ethereal wings,
    But it’s just so hard for me to let you go, Love.
    I park your truck in the garage,
    Keep your passport in the glove compartment,
    Money in your wallet, keys on the hook by the door.
    I chauffeur your dog through the drive-thru for donuts,
    Pay a landscaper extra to keep the lawn dandelion-free,
    Deposit funds in your secret savings account,
    Bet your favorite horses, check the results in the Daily News.
    Your t-shirts are piled on the closet floor,
    Your stress relief lotion in the bathroom cabinet,
    There’s a sunflower in the vase on the kitchen table,
    A watermelon in the ‘fridge,
    One supreme frozen pizza, two bags of chips,
    Just in case.

    You never liked marshmallow anyway –
    Unless it was swirled in chocolate ice cream.

    Lorraine Caramanna

    Response to my Day 17 Poem – Love’s Last Journey

  14. lsteadly

    Not What I Bargained For

    no, this isn’t what I bargained for
    chasing fog and fear from my wife’s eyes
    her injured mind dwells on far shores
    no, this isn’t what I bargained for
    but I vowed to stay forevermore
    and treasure days she can recognize
    no, this isn’t what I bargained for
    chasing fog and fear from my wife’s eyes

  15. Connie Peters

    Sorry if this posts twice.


    W e’re half way through the week. The
    E nd is just around the corner.
    D id I accomplish anything so far?
    N ow, I have two more days before the week
    E nd. My to-do list seems longer than what it was on
    S unday night. God, please orchestrate my
    D ays. Help me do what’s important
    A nd be about the purpose You have for me.
    Y ou are what really matters.


    S urvived this week, Lord, thank You. As
    U sual I didn’t get all of my to-dos done.
    N ow, as I look back on my week I
    D eclare that I have a fairly interesting life
    A lthough, it doesn’t feel like it at times. I’ll trust
    Y ou to carry me through another week.

  16. JoMae

    A Gift of Aging

    I love to catch glimpse of my dear grandmother
    peekiing from the smile of our great granddaughter
    playing in the kitchen

    A vantage point one cannot achieve except by




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