April PAD Challenge: Day 8

If you haven’t done so yet, I just wanted to mention that you can sign up for a free monthly newsletter from Poet’s Market (edited by yours truly) by going to www.poetsmarket.com and entering your e-mail address in the little field provided for e-mail updates. It’s a good way to keep up with what’s going on in Poet’s Market, as well as this blog, and it’s free!


Also, I’m going to be interviewed tonight at 8 p.m. (Pacific) on J.P. Dancing Bear’s “Out of Our Minds” poetry program on KKUP Cupertino. We’ll be talking poetry and discussing the April PAD Challenge.


For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem about either a specific routine or routines in general. Maybe something related to taking out the trash each week or washing the dishes every night–or something more bizarre (yet still a routine).

Here’s my attempt for the day:


Each morning, I wake up and weigh myself,
thinking that a prompt and poem won’t come
today. I look at the books on my shelf,
but my brain still feels permanently numb

thinking that a prompt and poem won’t come.
I search for poetic forms to assume,
but my brain still feels permanently numb.
It comes down to triolet or pantoum–

this search for poetic forms to assume.
Both offer rhymes and some repetition:
It comes down to triolet or pantoum.
I choose without hope or expectation.

Both offer rhymes and some repetition.
Today, I look at the books on my shelf
and choose without hope or expectation–
each morning, waking up to weigh myself.


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960 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 8

  1. nickbutterfield123@gmail.com

    Spring Rain

    They will come,
    Cyclones from Syria
    Cyclones the world promises.

    Spring rains that turn to flood,
    are unexpected.

    I dreamt I lost my passport,
    I awoke and found I didn’t need one.

    The Earth spins precisely
    from a magnetic pull, invisible,

    and children die from a war we make,
    then we panic, protest, and cry

    From what is no longer invisible, was
    once a Spring rain-

    were once soft drops that fell freely
    in puddles of hope.

  2. JL Smither

    Each Morning

    The dog gets up at 7:30, no matter what
    type of night we had before, wanting
    breakfast. His toenails click click click click
    on the wood floor as he paces around
    the bed, looking into our faces to see who
    is more awake and which one will get up,
    put on slippers, trudge downstairs
    next to his whipping tail, step into the light
    of the dining room and, blinded,
    bump into him, trip, and then unlock
    the back door so he can lope and hop
    triumphantly through the yard as if to say,
    Yes! Another morning! Another breakfast!
    Another robin and squirrel to chase!
    Another day I’m loved!
    while whichever one of us gave up
    our warm spot in bed thinks mostly
    about returning to it as soon as possible.

  3. yolanda davis-overstreet

    Day 8


    Routine of prayers
    Is the pace
    That set my days
    Pray, pray, pray
    Be thankful for all that comes your way
    Head up, always pushing forward
    To what is good
    With sprinkles of love
    Block all those thoughts
    That take you away
    From the reason you wake up
    And Pray

  4. Bernadette McComish


    She wonders why he loves the city’s scent.

    He says exhaust
    from buses is his favorite,
    or the inside of a taxi.

    She always holds her breath.

    She has nightmares about where the stench comes from,
    the sewer, the garbage, the armpits of a man
    outside a club.

    They disagree about the subway too.

    He likes to look for abandoned stops
    shrouded in shadow,
    she prefers to scan the car
    for potential ass grabbers.

    She tells him she loves islands.
    He says he hates sand.

    She says she loves the sea smell,
    that it reminds her of . He nods,
    no, says it’s more like a humid day in central park.

    Don’t you love sunsets, she asks.

    Yes, I do love the way the clouds bellies glow
    when the sun sinks below .

    Me too.

  5. K.E. Ogden

    K.E. Ogden
    April 8, 2009
    Prompt: Routines


    And clock, then the cat licking
    my face; and padding to the kitchen,
    then the water hissing; and toast or
    a frozen waffle, then the silent, browned
    living room; and brushing my teeth, then
    rinsing; and washing my face, then lipstick
    or blush; and earrings, the heart-shaped
    opals glimmering, then a skirt spilling
    above the knees; and outside, spring comes
    late in the afternoon, so winter on the walk
    to the car; and driving in the half-light, blinking
    on headlights, then stars sling back into space;
    and as the car edges the overpass, then the city,
    sparkling beneath the sunrise; and freedom,
    then free.

  6. LindaTK

    Day 8:
    Morning Routine (Free Verse)

    Freshly brewed coffee
    Black, not too strong
    A shiny, clean mug
    A graham cracker
    The left cushion on the couch
    Morning news and weather – HD
    A yawn, a stretch
    Sit down and sip
    Another day

  7. Lissa

    You notice the escalator when it stops.

    It’s awkward in stillness
    when the escalator stops.

    The swish and clack
    that daily float you up and down.

    It gives you pause,
    this stop,
    steps too long to stride.

    And when you do remember
    your own locomotion,
    you don’t look down.

    The runner too harsh to look at.
    A metal moire.

    Hand sticky-skidding across
    the rail you thought smooth.

    The disrhythmic
    hollow fall of your feet
    the ball-and-socket
    of your hips.

    The final unnerving detachment
    defies inertia.

  8. Linda H.

    The Routine

    She believes in routine,
    always brushes her teeth before
    showering in the morning,
    always has two cups of coffee in
    the morning–one with her bowl of
    oatmeal and a banana, the other
    while she reads the local paper before
    heading to the office.

    She believes in routine,
    always pays her bills on Monday,
    attends pilates class on Tuesday,
    visits the laundrymat on Wednesday and
    irons on Thursday. Friday night is
    "girls-night-out" though they usually
    stay in and order Chinese food, do their
    nails, swap coupons, and discuss
    the latest gossip.

    On Sunday she phones her mother
    before going to church to mentally
    confess her sins, the sins of
    Saturday when he comes to town.
    They enjoy a meal, catch a show or
    spend a day at the stadium before heading
    back to her place, behind closed doors,
    where she believe in anything but
    routine, anything that feels good, that
    makes her moan before he sets off on
    his journey home to his wife.

    Alone, she secretly says her
    Hail Marys as an act of self-exorcism,
    promises it’s the last time,
    no more, never again.
    She goes about the week
    following a routine, hoping to keep
    her mind off him, avoid temptation.
    But when he follows his routine of
    calling Saturday morning, offering a bit
    of forbidden fruit, the remembrance of
    the sweet taste takes over,
    possesses her, a pawn to the devil who
    makes her cry out Oh my God.


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