Day 4 Highlights

Publish date:

Day 4's prompt was to write a thankful and/or tribute poem. While I've been digging reading all these poems each night, this prompt was surprisingly heartwarming. There's a lot of love and thankfulness spilling out of y'all. For real.

Thankful poems were written for mothers, fathers, teachers, wives, husbands, pets, home, and so much more. Among the unique topics were TiVo, and Wartooth (which I'm guessing is a motorcycle?). Now, here's the thing: No matter who (or what) you wrote that thankful poem for, I hope you will take the time to share it with him or her (or it). Even the people writing thankful poems for corporations or celebrities, send them to corporate HQ or the fan club--you would not believe what a difference it makes to someone's life to hear they're appreciated. That said, so many of you have really made my 2008 something special through your kind and appreciative words about this challenge. Thank you so much!

And with that, let's roll out the thankful poems that especially caught my eye.


Power Switch

Right now, most of all,

I am happy to look

at the black of my TV screen---

its shadow of inactivity

in sharp contrast to the world at large.

No Pokemon, no Yo Gabba Gabba,

no Oprah and all her asphyxiated

sister-girlfriends screaming over free gifts.

No Whitehouse press releases

or news from Iraq. Just quiet.

Somewhere a great tragedy or crime

is happening,or some kids show

is trying to teach my child to read.

Without a doubt, someone is talking

about American idol or Top Model.

But here there is silence. The light

of mid-morning warms my room,

and the noise of the world outside

goes unanswered from within these walls

and I can at last sit and think for myself.

Justin Evans |evjustinAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


For Julie: A woman of the stage

You are the thunder clap

in a shushed theatre

hot pink lip stick

in the grey of winter

bending and pulling

b o u n d a r i e s

until they snap back

to let other voices in.

Shannon Rayne |shanpidAT NOSPAMshaw dot ca


A Lighter Look at Friendship

You were my friend, even when you stole a fork.

You've been my friend – though we've never been to New York.

We've called in sick – played hooky from work,

Even made friends with a 7-11 clerk.

Stayed up late – our minds corrupt,

Drank cocktails from giant paper cups.

Saw some bands, stayed out much too late,

Drank in bars that weren't so great.

You slept on the floor instead of your bed.

Sorry I ate your pizza bread.

Melanie |melanie0971AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


The Collective Pulse of This Blog

These posts, each one of them

All of you in your

Yearning and earnestness

It’s like mainlining your dreams

Such rawness and vulnerability.

Graced I am, and awestruck

To have stumbled upon this crowd,

Such hearts!

Thank you for beating within earshot

So valiantly, so true.

Corinne |c dot dixonAT NOSPAMtelus dot net



I found $150

tucked between pages

846 & 7 of the

Norton Anthology of


Poetry. I’m a

satisfied customer of

the First Bank of Eavan Boland.

Matthew Falk |mdfalkAT NOSPAMsvsu dot edu


Seven ways to be grateful for chocolate chips


Among the cooling cookies

the chocolate chips sit liquid hot.

semi-sweet bombs ready to explode

on your tongue.


After the dentist's drill,

A chocolate chip sits melting

Alone in the corner of my mouth.


The mouse nibbles at the corner

of a yellow plastic bag

of chocolate chips

shoved in the back of the cupboard.

Rodent ecstacy.


She rode past the suburbs

in the back seat of a minivan

Once, fear pierced her

as her mother glanced in the rearview mirror

and saw the shadow of chocolate chips

smeared across her lips.


I was of three minds

Like three kids

Fighting over a chocolate chip cookie


The chocolate chip rolled across the floor

A small part of the mess.


It was evening all afternoon

It was foggy.

And the fog would never lift.

A chocolate chip cookie sat waiting

in the tupperware.

Nina Berry


Despite the gifts I was given--

a diary covered in mocha and gold,

and a set of stationery from Japan

I set my face in the crook of my arm

and wept.

Summer and its promise of freedom

lay outside the door.

I could not rejoice, for

at eight years old, I knew

no one would ever

have books

or the love

for my poems


and essays

like Mrs. Pine.

Carla Cherry |cmcmagiconeAT NOSPAMgmail dot com



It was by chance that we met.

If I hadn’t been so tired

I wouldn’t have stopped

on my way home,

but the bar was quaint

and the night was rainy

and only a cat was lonely for me.

If there had been a table

I wouldn’t have sat at the bar,

but every table was taken,

and I was taken with the cute smile

of the fellow sitting on the end stool

so I went and sat down beside him.

If I hadn’t been tired of chardonnay

I wouldn’t have ordered a Chevis and soda

and if the new bartender hadn’t run out

of Chevis he wouldn’t have motioned

for the regular bartender.

If the regular bartender

hadn’t asked me where I was from

we never would have found out

that we both hailed from Virginia.

If he hadn’t thought I was cute

he would never have asked me

for my phone number

and if we hadn’t gone

to the same college I never

would have given it to him.

But he had and I did and

that was how it started.

Thank Heavens for chance.

Linda Brown |llbrownAT NOSPAMembarqmail dot com


Cardinals (For Mom)

You loved cardinals.

They stood out for you,

not in huge flocks like the grey birds

that swarmed your backyard feeder,

but one or two.

The male, easy to spot

the female, with subdued color a little more elusive.

You loved cardinals.

They predicted the snow;

at least that's what you noticed every year.

Announcing a storm bringing white

that made them easier to see

venturing out of the holly tree.

Leaving the nest you know was there but never saw.

You loved cardinals.

You surrounded yourself with them.

My son counted 136 in your house;

photos, models, light-catchers, plush.

We all knew you loved them

and buying a gift was easy

as you found a new place to display number 137.

You loved cardinals.

Every spotting was mentally noted,

shared with me on the phone.

Now, we see them occasionally and think of you.

We watch our feeder now,

hoping to spot one before the snow

and catch that red reward of memory.

John Mucha |je dot muchaAT NOSPAMgmail dot com




am ever



this poem








Lori Jackson |ljacksonAT NOSPAMtcsdk12 dot org


Thankful today

My car started

after only

three tries.

The eggs didn't break

on the way home

from the market.

When I called,

you answered

on the first ring.

I found my

Jon Dee Graham CDs

under the couch.

The neighbor's dog

did his business

in someone else's yard.

I got a letter

in the mail

from my mom.

The moon rose early

in a clear-blue sky

and I noticed.

Mike Barzacchini |mjbarzAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


The Throne

You spend your hours

tucked away in a space

no one will call by name—

the john, the powder room,

the water closet—there you sit,

never complaining

about the lot given to you.

Sparkling white outside holds

swirling blue water,

covered by a wood-grain lid.

Always there when nature calls.

I think of your counterparts

around the world—holes

in the ground, the backside

of bushes. No porcelain thrones

in the African desert,

only imitations at the ruins

in Peru.

I’m so very glad you are here—

I flush you just to hear the sound.

Sara Diane Doyle |saras dot sojournsAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


Burning Questions

Her eyes stare straight ahead

focused on the red light

at the crosswalk,


And I wonder if she notices

the people around her?

Watching, wondering,

their faces

twisted with curiosity,

crippled by shock.

Or has she crossed this road

enough times before

that she makes them

instantly disappear,

like paper in fire?

Is it any easier today

than yesterday?

Or does it make her see red,

like the burnt skin of her face?

The light changes,

and as we pass

I think of my own scars,

deep and dark,

but hidden inside.

Linda Hofke |LNSHOFKEAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


Thankful poem

We pulled the car in-the baby clapping in the backseat

Like a mad cymbal-crashing monkey, creepy

As hell from a one-week road trip. Really

All of us were giddy with whizzing miles

Smearing Winter to Spring and back again-

Dripping luggage, pillows, half-eaten muckamuck

Into the kitchen where the cat was singing.

It was definitely a song, though not a flattering one-

Today at least, meow is a four letter word-but

It made the baby giggle and run up and down

After her, saying “home” “home” home”-

A word I’ve never heard from him before.

Hope Greene |hopeAT NOSPAMhopegreene dot com


Five Reasons to Write Flash Fiction: Understanding the Literary Love Child of the Short Story and Poetry

In this article, award-winning author Nancy Stohlman breaks down the difference between flash fiction, prose poetry, and short stories and explains what keeps readers on the hook.


The “Secret Sauce” Necessary to Succeed at a 30-Day Writing Challenge

In this article, author and writing coach Nina Amir lays out her top tips to master your mindset and complete a 30-day writing challenge.


Crashing Into New Worlds: Writing About the Unfamiliar

Award-winning crime author Stephanie Kane explains how she builds characters unlike herself and navigates their worlds to create vivid and realistic stories.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Without a Trace

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave without a trace.


Vintage WD: The Truth about True Crime

In this article from July 2000, true crime novelist and former New York Times correspondent Lisa Beth Pulitzer shares with us some key insights for breaking into the true crime genre.


New Agent Alert: Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Evoking Emotion in Fiction: Seven Pragmatic Ways to Make Readers Give a Damn

Evoking emotion on the page begins with the man or woman at the keyboard. Dustin Grinnell serves up seven straightforward tactics for writing tear-jerking stories that make your readers empathize with your characters.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 546

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a spooky poem.


Learn Better World-Building Strategies Through World of Warcraft and the New Shadowlands Expansion

WD editor and fantasy writer Moriah Richard shares five unique ways in which writers can use World of Warcraft to better build their worlds—without playing the game.