2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

Time for our second Two for Tuesday of the month! Pick one prompt or use both…your choice!

  1. Write a love poem. All you need is love.
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Or not.

Remember: There are many forms of love: romantic love, friend and family love, love of being alive, etc.

Also, here are some tips on how to write a love poem.


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.


Here’s my attempt at a Love and/or Anti-Love Poem:

“i won’t”

i won’t fall in love again
it’s far too much for me
i don’t need another fish
i don’t need another sea


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’s in love with his amazing wife (and poet) Tammy Foster Brewer. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

270 thoughts on “2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

  1. AvatarArielRose

    Day 9: Love/ Anti-love
    So many poems, stories, plays, and lifetimes
    All about the love of love – the search
    The find. The lost. Regained.
    Love of person, place, or time
    But love itself is not a thing
    To be had, but a verb to do.
    One loves, or many loves,
    Making, creating, building, enjoying
    Talking and laughing—love.

    The opposite of love, they say, is hate.
    But yet,
    Hate still connects
    To the hated, as love to the loved
    With a passion, caring what someone else says or thinks.
    Only love elevates. Hate corrodes.
    They are on the same plane.
    Orthogonal to both, a polar cold,
    Indifference. “I love you!” or “I hate you!” either way,
    “I don’t care.” Shrug and drift away,
    Unfeeling as an iceberg.

  2. AvatarLCaramanna

    60° and Sun

    Spring drove through town today
    in a flirty red sports car, top down,
    60° and sun
    in a sky
    Crayola crayon blue.
    Spring showed its panache today,
    cruised control up Main Street
    tunes on the radio rockin’ the block.
    Townsfolk tumbled from their houses,
    winter clothes tossed to the breeze,
    rakes, paint brushes, and garden tools waved in homage.
    Old and young lined to watch Spring parade
    with pomp and circumstance
    through town today,
    a hometown hero
    cherished by all
    who loved 60° and sun.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  3. Avatarannell

    A Love Poem…or Not

    I have known you long
    Loved you the same
    The egg fell from the shelf
    And broke apart

    Tried to fix it
    Without success
    All the King’s horses and all the king’s men
    Cannot put it right again

    One wonders how these things happen
    I think it is misunderstandings
    But if one chooses to misunderstand
    What is the answer?

    April 19, 2019

  4. AvatarAzma

    Where are the answers

    How do u describe
    a whiff of cool breeze
    brushing through a bead of sweat?
    How do u describe
    spotting a warm familiar face
    in a strange crowd?
    How do u describe
    resting your head on a pillow
    after a long day of fatigue?
    How do u describe

    Azma Sheikh

  5. AvatarQuillQueen

    Louisiana Love
    By Tiffany Brannan

    When I’m strolling by the water
    In Louisiana land,
    I am always filled with wonderment
    That makes my heart feel grand.

    There is something in the bayou
    That evokes a special charm.
    There is something in the climate,
    Damp in cool weather and warm.

    How I love to see the oak trees
    Which are draped with Spanish moss!
    The large cypress trees are graceful.
    Their knees break the water’s gloss.

    When I look up at the Southern sky,
    It arches like a dome.
    I come from California,
    But Louisiana feels like home.

    Native people there are genuine,
    Even if their pace is slow.
    Once they welcome you to their world,
    They are folks you want to know.

    From the chocolate-colored water
    To the cloudy skies above,
    There’s one thing I know for certain:
    Louisiana is my love.

  6. Avatarcristoferlentsch

    Love Is What Is Not

    Love is what is not is all
    googly eye take the fall
    take the pain take the joy
    wonder like a little boy
    love to have a fine girlfriend
    never fall in love again
    fuck love luck love love luck…

  7. AvatarBDP

    Imayo: “Perhaps a Bird’s Definition”

    Robin running across the lawn: watch yourself, slow worm!
    Food is not love, or is it? Don’t ask the eaten.
    Whatever, fill their stomachs—always mouths open.
    Sustenance your fluffs chirp for: each meal thrown up hot.

    * * * * *

    robin running across the lawn
    watch yourself, slow worm
    food is not love or is it
    don’t ask the eaten
    whatever, fill their stomachs
    always mouths open
    sustenance your fluffs chirp for
    each meal thrown up hot

    B Peters

  8. AvatarYolee

    Love Writes a Poem to His Groundkeeper

    Push me
    high on that swing.
    There’s a playground
    all around us.

    Love Writes a Poem to Indifference

    I suppose if you came over
    to get to know me,
    that would be the end of you.

  9. AvatarValkyri

    We’re told they do it “out of love…”

    They torture us, the weak, at least every other day.
    They check to see if our blood is still red.
    They check to see if we are still able to breathe.
    The instruments of our torture thunder and rumble…
    changing and varying in both use and purpose.
    Arms, hands, shoulders in agony in one moment,
    feet, calves, knees, thighs, the day after next…
    How many pounds of pressure can we handle?
    How fast can our hearts beat before they explode?
    We grit our teeth and grimace in silent agony,
    never giving those cruel the satisfaction of our shouts and moans.
    Our inquisitors have become all too familiar,
    each exacting his or her own favorite punishments
    on their guests, their pets, their toys…
    Oh, how the captors laugh at us captives¬
    grinning through our confines of misery and pain!
    And they give these medieval devices such pretty names
    so that we should like to become tender toward them¬
    but, alas! their trickery does not work on we, the tortured…
    we, who are ill of both body and heart!
    Are we expected to bend, to bow, to break?
    Are we to change our very beings according to their whims?
    There is so little time to recover, too,
    before they are on us again and again!
    They laugh, as we wither, in this dungeon called “a gym.”

    This tongue-in-cheek poem is dedicated to the excellent staff of
    The Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit of United Health Service’s
    Binghamton Hospital. Thank you for trying to help heal us,
    with love, with expertise, and with grace. You are truly appreciated.
    -Valeri Paxton-Steele

  10. Avatarskiiru


    Walking down that aisle to you, I was sure I knew
    how it all worked, how
    worked, its mysterious machinery a puzzle
    I’d already learned to solve.
    Not that you were a puzzle—no—I thought I had you, had
    all figured out. Thought it was like that old song
    to know him
    is to love him,
    thought that
    all I had to do was know you better so I could
    you better.
    That you would be a book and I your eager reader.
    I would quickly learn
    your story, your quirks, your
    motivation. I would read you
    again and again. You would be
    so familiar, so
    inviting, that I would long to
    lose myself in you.
    Your plot would be intricate—yes—full of jolts and intrigue—yes—
    but I would know you so well
    I could quote you by heart.
    I would be a scholar and my specialty you,
    I and I alone able to parse
    your particular symbolism:
    an expert in my field.

    But I got it
    all wrong. You
    are no static book, no
    constant plot, no
    single volume—no—
    you are a flurry of letters,
    a flood
    of new quirks, and
    I am forever relearning, re-

  11. AvatarHillariousJ

    Love off Broadway
    This is an ode to Romeo and
    Juliet, Antony and Cleo-
    patra, Othello and Dead-sdemona,
    those famous representatives of love.

    And to red roses, aloof and thorny,
    Saint Valentine, cold eternal diamonds,
    calorific chocolate, delightful
    symbols of true love.

    Yellowed pages and the populated
    regions of audio, video, cyberspace
    teem with tributes to those who
    have gone down in history together.

    But us? Undiscovered and unknown
    just off Broadway, we search for them,
    join in. Unlikely to make it to the page or stage,
    we settle ourselves in and watch.

    Holding hands over bed-bug ridden seats,
    delicious voyeurs in our own world
    we enter theirs regretting their shared fate,
    we, the lovers, who choose to live.

  12. AvatarTracy Davidson

    The Old Couple

    Our love has lasted sixty years,
    been full of all life’s ups and downs –
    from fun-filled laughs to grief and tears.
    Our love has lasted sixty years,
    from youthful teens to grey-haired dears,
    our faces etched with smiles, not frowns.
    Our love has lasted sixty years,
    been full of all life’s ups and downs.

  13. Avatarnansghosh

    Harry & Tom – Love & No Love !

    Harry Potter was all Love,
    Love of Lily helped him live,
    Love of Dumbledore made him believe,
    Love of Hermione made him strive,
    Love of Ron made him survive &
    Love of Ginny helped him thrive.
    Harry was indeed all about love !

    Tom Riddle was all No love!
    A child born of potion and not love,
    A mind full of ideas but no love,
    A heart full of desires but no love.
    A wizard who was the best in magic, Dark,
    Who had strength and brilliance that sparked,
    Terror & fear in every magical & muggle heart.
    Devoid of true love, he finally meets his end,
    Powerless against the love of Harry and his friends!

  14. AvatarRJ Clarken


    “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” ~ Albert Einstein

    It would be easy to place all the blame.
    Gravity; yet this old tale’s still the same.

    I would have fallen in love with you, ‘though
    something beyond my control would tiptoe

    ‘round until balance did overcome doubt.
    I can’t imagine my world now without

    you, my great love, my impossible dream.
    You are my poetry, backstory, theme.

    How do I celebrate gravity’s force?
    There is no blame. It is merely a source:

    power and influence holding some sway.
    But, at the risk of my sounding cliché

    I admit falling in love. I fell hard
    all because gravity played her love card.


  15. Avatarhmm.writer

    -for grayson-

    i want to ask this now,
    you said
    two drinks in and ten states away,
    because I won’t be able to later

    and I felt it in my stomach, the words you were about to say,
    felt them burrow deep into my gut and trash the place

    but I said,
    tell me

    you laughed
    alcohol slicking cautiously through your veins
    do you ever think you could tell me you love me

    and I couldn’t find
    the voice buried under all those miles to tell you
    how many times the thought had crossed my mind, how
    many of those last seconds before you hang up I have spent almost saying it

    you and I, we
    are not allowed to love, not really, you
    are not solid enough, those words will blow away
    on the wind and I
    am not brave enough not free enough, yes
    I say

    I think I could

    I miss you,
    you say

    but you will not miss me
    by the time it is midnight and you are buried
    in someone else

  16. AvatarP.A. Beyer

    A New Wave of Consciousness

    Love cannot be settled
    Over dinner, drinks, or time
    Vegas is a Spirit flight away
    Easy eights roll more often than railroad nines
    Workers night walk the boulevard
    In satin pants with sequined shine
    Lust is much more profitable, my man
    Love’s just a crummy five and dime
    Tell me I’m not full of s#!t
    Ease my overactive mind
    After all, what’s love got to do?
    Rewind the tape or pay the fine?
    Unfaithful souls will congregate
    Salvation comes to those who find
    Answers written in fortune cookies
    Pineapple fried rice only $7.99!
    Ask for extra soy sauce and always
    Request wasabi on the side
    Take a cue from Zuckerberg, baby!
    Act with grace with a smidge of contrite
    Go forth and continue the tomfoolery
    As if my words even mattered or rhymed
    I am a self inflicted love vigilante and
    New Order’s to blame (Dammit! when Ian Curtis died)

  17. Avatarclaudsy


    Rising emotion
    Matches body’s requirements,
    To end with downfall.


    Promises come first,
    Leaving judgment far behind,
    Assurances snare
    All thought, allowing hubris
    To mask deceit as truth’s light.

  18. Avatarseingraham


    In the twilit moments of our lives
    How is it we still burn for each other
    With flames scarlet and heat unceasing

    Is it the way your eyes hold mine,
    Unwavering, the way they always have
    That turns my yearning self molten

    Do you find yourself recalling the firsts
    as I do – that kiss on my parent’s porch?
    When I knew you were the one – that kiss
    that stole my breath and my heart

    Or when you laid me down in the farmer’s field
    at day’s end, at the lake, and taught me oh-so-many
    things – things that still make me blush to recall –
    I was certain you were experienced …

    You – who are honest to a fault, I was to learn –
    swore you were not, just exceptionally well-read
    and a patient and an excellent teacher
    and I, a “quick study”, as you put it,

    became the willing and lucky recipient
    of your knowledge; I forget when
    I admitted to becoming somewhat well-read myself.

    No wonder we love the song, “Remember When”
    We were each others’ firsts and decided that it did matter
    even if I did end up breaking your heart over and over again.

    Never quite able to allow myself to believe
    that what we had was forever – that you were
    the real deal; I ran from you, from us, all too often.

    You did me the honour of never falling out of love
    with me but allowing me to fall back in love
    with you every time I re-found my sanity

    It took me a long time to realize my luck
    my love, that the feeling I get from you
    is true and good and unlike any other.

    When you tell me no-one will ever love me
    as much or as well as you do – I do know
    it’s true – I regret that it has taken me
    so long to believe you, to trust you when

    you said not everyone I loved would
    walk away, would eventually leave me,
    that abandon was not a word you knew
    especially when it came to me.

    It took me decades to wrap my mind
    around that notion but I think I have
    it finally, accepted the fact of it – you love
    me, and I you, and a more fortunate couple
    we agree, we just don’t know …

    I’ve got it now; you were the first boy
    who said, “I love you” and meant it
    and you say it still, every single day.

  19. AvatarBill Kirk

    PAD Day #9:

    Tell Me Of Love
    By Bill Kirk

    To tell me of love,
    Must you send me a poet?

    Have poets somehow cornered the market
    On how to capture the essence of love,
    In words, as if definition and depth are
    Intrinsically part of one’s poetic becoming?

    If chasing love, falling in love, losing love
    And anguishing over its absence,
    Are prerequisite to being fully able to express love
    Must poets be the only ones to do it?

    Whether the poem is new or well-aged
    And the poet young or old,
    Love and its ways are not just known but,
    Far more than that, are deeply felt and understood.

    So, for all who have given or received love,
    From feeling its heat and its passions,
    To giving comfort in the midst of suffering,
    All lovers are poets with poems waiting to be shared….

  20. AvatarPearl Ketover Prilik

    Fear of falling

    There are those who fear
    the falling in love – as
    though love were an
    abyss of darkness from
    which exit was impossible
    a cavern where wandering
    souls circled imprisoned in
    their own ridiculous risk taking
    There are those – and there are
    those who realize that loving is
    not a fall – but a lightening –
    fortunate are those courageous,
    foolish, innocent, all – who risk
    their fall and find their capacity
    to fly.

  21. AvatarPearl Ketover Prilik

    What is this thing called love?

    there is a legend urban or some sort
    that Michelangelo claimed that in
    creating the David he simply chipped
    away all the marble that was not –
    So it is with love –
    when chunks and slivers of
    anxiety, hatred, discomfort,
    trepidation, and negativity,
    have fallen away – what stands
    shining – solid as marble,
    ephemeral as a single sun
    beam on a butterfly wing

  22. AvatarMari Weiss

    Just A Little Bit About Love

    I’m not all sweet and innocent
    and I’m certainly no Madonna;
    you don’t believe I know about love,
    but that’s just ’cause you don’t wanna.

    I know a little bit about it and I’m serious –
    I’m not even playing –
    I went around the block one time
    and it was with your dad just saying.

  23. Avatarpcm

    Whoa over Woe

    the warm glow of affection vs. the hostile slap across the face

    my country self-righteous zealotry

    dresses that swirl objectification of women by fashion

    wrestling a problem to its knees taking myself too seriously

    singing how I actually sound

    flowers, plants, green, green, green weeding, fertilizing, watering

    having exercised having to exercise

    listening to rain fall cozy in a rocker clammy clothes clinging to my body
    beneath a porch roof far from home

    bubble baths, hot showers, languidly revving ablutions from spa speed to Evel
    circling lotion over my face Knievel’s Harley-Davidson XR-750 engine

    popcorn kernel skins lodged between gum & molar

    poems that melt my heart poems that detail malfunctioning body parts, icky medical
    procedures, woe is me


    1. Avatarpcm

      corrected for wonky line-spacing:

      Whoa v. Woe

      the warm glow of affection//the hostile slap across the face

      my country//self-righteous zealotry

      dresses that swirl//objectification of women by fashion

      wrestling a problem to its knees//taking myself too seriously

      singing //how I actually sound

      flowers, plants, green, green, green//weeding, fertilizing, watering

      having exercised//having to exercise

      listening to rain fall from a cozy rocker beneath a porch roof//clammy clothes clinging to my body far from home

      bubble baths, hot showers, languidly circling lotion over my face//revving ablutions from spa speed to Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson XR-750 engine

      popcorn//kernel skins lodged between gum & molar

      poems that melt my heart//poems that detail malfunctioning body parts, icky medical procedures, woe is me

      ~ pcm

  24. AvatarBruce Niedt

    NaPoWriMo’s prompt today was to write a list poem, inspired by “The Pillow Book” by medieval Japanese writer
    Sei Shōnagon. I actually borrowed her style (at least as represented in the translation I read) for this prose poem. I also went a step further by using the word bank from this week’s Sunday Whirl blog – the words were: guns, lose, way, chime, room, order, smells, now, ring, want, chatter, fear.

    Things in Need of Love
    (after Sei Shōnagon)

    A broken wind chime. A robin with a broken wing. Drooping tulips. A stray dog who smells the air outside a steak house. A family of eight in a one-bedroom apartment.

    A man with an unwanted engagement ring. A house with peeling paint. A city with a burning river. A child sleeping under a mylar blanket in a cage. A man trying to sleep over a heating grate in the street, his teeth still chattering.

    A man who orders his seventh beer. A man who has long ago forgotten why he is so angry now. A woman in too much fear to leave her husband. A veteran who wants to stop having nightmares.

    An old woman who loses her way home. A school whose children were murdered by guns.
    A large country with a wedge driven into it.

  25. AvatarMari Weiss

    This is a two-fer two-fer — last Tuesday’s and today’s. I guess that makes it a four-fer. 🙂

    For Better, Only Worse

    You were my additive inverse.
    Together we were nothing,
    only worse.
    We were infinitely negative
    of zero multiplicative,
    only worse.
    An infinite loop
    stuck in reverse,
    only worse –
    much, much worse.
    And that was our curse,
    only worse.

    1. AvatarNick

      Gosh, how do you think of these lines’
      I liked “We were infinitely negative-of zero multiplicative’-
      not bad, “and that was our curse, only worse.”-Good ending for a fun poem.

  26. AvatarJoMae

    ~ Dear Heart ~
    two years past your death
    I’m like a shattered vase
    still finding where the
    scattered pieces fit

    ~ Living On ~

    some visit head stones
    some sleep with a lover’s
    soft garments left behind
    my comfort lies between
    the covers of my blog

    there I curl up blanketed
    with warm words revisiting
    verbal snapshots of our life
    and all it means, how true
    love’s strength sustains

    Beyond The Dying


  27. AvatarAustin Hill

    Maybe he loved me
    because I thought he did.
    Maybe he loved me
    because I whispered he did.

    Certainly I loved him
    because I knew I did.
    Certainly I loved him
    because I said I did.

    Perhaps this was part of our problem.

    © April 2019 Suzanne S. Austin-Hill


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