2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

Today is the final day of the 2019 April PAD Challenge, but come back tomorrow for the first Wednesday Poetry Prompt of May and stay for Poetic Form Fridays, the next WD Poetic Form Challenge, and so much more!

It’s time for our fifth (and final) Two for Tuesday prompt of the month! Pick one prompt or use both…your choice!

  1. Write a stop poem.
  2. Write a don’t stop poem.

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Poem Your Days Away!

Online poetry prompts are great! But where can you get your poem fix when you unplug? The answer is the Smash Poetry Journal, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This book collects 125 poetry prompts from the Poetic Asides blog, gives poets plenty of room to write poems, and a lot of other great poetic information. Perfectly sized to carry in a backpack or purse, you can jot down ideas for poems as you’re waiting in line for a morning coffee or take it to the park for a breezy afternoon writing session (or on a bus, at a laundromat, or about anywhere else you can imagine–except under water, unless you’re in a submarine or a giant breathable plastic bubble).

Anyway, it’s great for prompting poems, and you should order a copy today. (Maybe order an extra one as a gift for a friend.)

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Stop and/or Don’t Stop Poem:

“yield”

i just want to stop thinking about you
but these thoughts only make me long stronger
as if trying to cut my feelings short
instead causes a crush to crush longer

so maybe it’s true the best strategy
is to quit trying to even resist
& maybe my thoughts should just think of you
until they naturally cease & desist

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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 can’t believe another April has come to an end. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

351 thoughts on “2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

  1. AvatarBarb Hall

    The following 2 xejels are submitted for consideration.

    A Ring of Stars
    By Barbara Hall

    A ring of stars and field of stripes
    Flies proudly for those men with gripes
    Who march with Washington to pipes.

    They fought the British men who sing
    Of loyalty owed to a king
    Who rules far lands with signet rings,
    And covets gold and gems and likes.

    That flag still flies for free men now
    And means they’ll not to despots bow,
    But show the unjust world just how
    The good can overcome the pikes.

    The Contest
    By Barbara Hall

    The point of a contest is just
    To challenge those who can, or must,
    To write their heart in words and trust

    The judges hear the song they sing.
    The feeling rises up and rings
    A harmony on eagles’ wings
    Or dissonance to cause a fuss.

    The writer points a mighty pen
    At some lovely thought or fen
    Of hatred, black as every sin.
    Still it’s the prize for which he lusts.

  2. AvatarBill Kirk

    PAD Day 30:

    The Oft Times Unyielding Essence Of Stop
    By Bill Kirk

    Stop is such a rich, clear and
    Definitive word, is it not?
    And, yet, it is one so often
    Misinterpreted, unheard or unheeded.
    It can be a plea, a command,
    A warning, an order, a tease or simply an end;
    Or even a place where someone waits
    For someone else to stop.

    Sometimes, stopping some particular thing
    May be a mutually understood preferred option
    Due to its more costly consequences—
    Stop before you hit the wall,
    Stop before you strip the threads,
    Stop the water before the sink overflows
    Or, strangely,
    UNstop the drain
    For precisely the same reason….

    At times, a stop is clearly an end point
    Or barrier beyond which something
    Cannot or should not proceed—
    A physically enforced stop, like a gate,
    A fence, an impassable gap, an electric charge—
    Or even deadly force that awaits one
    Who might press his or her luck a bit to far.

    At other times stopping is a far simpler
    And yet equally daunting proposition.
    Consider how difficult it is to interrupt the progress
    Of the coffee stir that seems to have no end.
    Is it the unbroken circling of the spoon
    As it chases the invisible particles
    In the orbiting colloidal suspension
    Which seals our fate—stakes our claim—
    To the hint of OCD on the end of our spoon?

    But when does “STOP” really mean stop?
    There’s the preferred stop, wishing some
    Unwanted thing to end—a sound, action, condition.
    Or, the playful stop—maybe just a little bit more—
    There’s the requested stop,
    The implored stop,
    The planned or controlled stop
    To reassess future conditions or actions,
    And the, by now, mostly passé Western Union “STOP.”

    There’s the intentional stop—and its opposite:
    The failure to stop, with all its consequences.
    And who could forget, the ever popular rolling stop—
    Really more of a yield, right?
    I mean, why bother to stop if there’s not a cop?

    Oh, but wait for it—what about
    The legally enforceable stop,
    With a sign or ordinance and other such thing,
    Like officially using a specific word
    As a necessary prerequisite before the intention
    Can be considered legally binding—
    Where, in its absence, continuation
    Is often assumed to be permitted.
    It’s amazing what it takes to get our attention….

    And let’s not forget the trading of
    One stop disregarded by choice or error
    For another inevitable stop:
    You may fail to stop before the edge of the cliff
    But you will stop with finality when gravity
    Has exacted its toll and collected its fare.

    Interpreted more benevolently,
    A safety stop might be viewed
    As a broad concept, idea or goal,
    To be followed or obeyed as a measure
    To prevent a condition far worse than
    The inconvenience currently being suffered.
    One might reasonably ask, for example,
    If the urgency to turn the corner
    Or cross the intersection is so great
    That adding four or five seconds
    To a trip to work, school or store
    Would justify risking not making it at all.
    Indeed, one wonders about such things at times.

    And what of the purely discretionary stop—
    Ending something where continuation is
    Of no consequence to the doer or to anyone else?
    Stop drying your hair, painting the wall
    Or watching the third re-run on TV.

    There is the orderly, incremental, gradual stop
    That eventually reaches its end point nonetheless,
    Sometimes via a slowing down or a cooling off.
    Using a familiar analogy, there’s the
    Stop-gap measure meant to stop the bleeding
    In a real or figurative kind of way.

    There is the normative stop based on
    Generally accepted norms and expectations.
    I mean, anyone would stop short of
    Public shaming someone because, normally,
    Such behavior is simply not good form, right?

    Then, there is the sufficiency stop when
    A specific action has reached its sufficient end—
    Stop digging, stop tightening, stop watering;
    And then there are those occasions
    Occasionally experienced by us all
    When enough is simply and finally enough—
    Strong letter follows!

    What of the medically determined conclusion
    To stop all life-saving actions or treatments.
    When life is left to run its course
    Or when our Time Of Death is upon us?
    We will all get there, you know?
    The final, unequivocal stop.

    Someone hoping for a change may try
    To put a stop to something that offends,
    Injures or even endangers themselves or
    Others less able to mount a viable resistance.
    Isn’t stopping false imprisonment
    Or poverty
    Or hunger
    Or disease
    Or misuse of advantage over others
    A noble cause?

    Or what of honoring the personal boundaries
    Of others by heeding a stop to wait
    For permission to be granted to continue—
    When a whispered “don’t stop” turns to STOP.
    When the unwritten contract has been terminated
    And instantaneous decisions must be made
    To restore and preserve those very boundaries.

    Just stop already.
    Or at least do your best to try….

  3. AvatarBDP

    Imayo: “Start/Stop/Go”

    He lurches on stout bowlegs: a cowboy mallard.
    Falls toward grandma, hugs her calf: can’t make a mule walk.
    She unfolds a small stroller: baby loon on mom.
    Have soft blankie, will travel: that human’s happy.

    * * * * *

    he lurches on stout bowlegs
    a cowboy mallard
    falls toward grandma, hugs her calf
    can’t make a mule walk
    she unfolds a small stroller
    baby loon on mom
    have soft blankie, will travel
    that human’s happy

    B Peters

    Thank you, Robert. I enjoyed waking in the morning, reading your poems and receiving your challenges. Your website and your April and November PADs continue to help me explore poetry and myself as a writer. I love reading other participating poets and learning from them. Your Poetic Asides blog is invaluable!

  4. AvatarSara McNulty

    Robert, Thank you for providing all our wonderful prompts, not just for April and November, but always. You put a lot of energy into this site, and I so appreciate it. Yours was the first site I ever posted a poem on.

  5. Avatarrebwood

    Stop Believing

    Negative news fills the airwaves,
    darkening the doorways of my mind.
    I listen and believe the end is near
    for the earth and all of humankind.

    Have we lost our moral compass
    that guides us between right and wrong?
    Have we discarded our parents’ teachings
    that all of us can belong?

    Then daybreak comes, just like yesterday,
    The sun rises and the Earth is still turning.
    People still hope and pray and love,
    and keep the fires of justice burning.

    So instead of accepting the hype on the wire,
    I stop believing and go outside.
    I listen to the hymns of nature’s choir
    and know that humanity is still alive.

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