Before getting into this post, I want to say that the April PAD Challenge is not about competing as far as the quality of poetry is concerned. It's very simply a challenge to write one poem per day for the 30 days of April. If all goes well, you'll have 30 (or more) poems more on May 1 than you had on March 31.
Also, as part of the spirit of the challenge, it's assumed that the poems submitted for the April PAD Challenge are all either first or very early drafts of poems. So please don't worry yourself over who is or who is not highlighted each day and/or any other type of spotlighting of certain poets. Nothing done here should be done in a competitive way. Instead, everything should be cooperative. After all, we are (or, at least, we should be) a community of poets trying to help each other succeed.
That said, I want to congratulate Sara Diane Doyle for being named the 2008 Poet Laureate of Poetic Asides. There were many poets shortlisted for this honor, but after going through all the days' poems several times, it became apparent that Sara deserves this year's honor.
The honor is purely symbolic. Sara receives no compensation (sorry Sara) and is not expected to do anything specific (after all, she's not receiving any compensation). But my hope is that she will do her part, in whatever small way, to spread the poetic gospel--both online and off (no pressure intended, of course, Sara).
So anyway, please join me in congratulating Sara--and maybe next year one of you will be the next Poetic Asides Poet Laureate. In the meantime, I'm going to include a few of my favorite poems from Sara during the challenge.
The doorbell rings
just as the phone
starts to buzz
and the kids run
through the room,
voices shrieking on high.
The dog joins the chorus
and she shakes her head
as she watches the words
that were almost a poem
sail quietly out the window.
How My Memory Behaves
Like aged lovers, too many years together,
we bicker over the details.
I learned long ago you have your faults,
but joined as we are, I can't grudge them.
We take walks down that proverbial lane
and you dawdle, you lollygag,
you stop to smell a flower that looks familiar
but you won't tell me the name.
And when I call you to my side
with a question, sometimes
your eyes glint--impish elf!--
and you withhold. Other times,
not so proud, you pull
the answer from a dusty shelf.
But my favorite times are the ones
when you close your eyes, you know
you knew once upon a yesterday,
but can't for the life of you
recall when. Later, you'll wake me
from sleep, eager, smiling, to give
the answer to a forgotten question.
We will grow old together--
sit on the swing swaying forward
and back, back and forwards again,
laughing at how much we can't remember.
At three p.m. I push back
the silk eye mask that shelters
my delicate eyes from harsh daylight.
I've left my charge to wade
the early hours of the day
alone, unguided, uninspired.
After a quick tossle
of my auburn curls,
I start my daily stretching
routine--poke the fantasy
still ten chapters away from completion,
poke the short story idea
she still hasn't put to paper, poke
the poem, the one about the plum,
that she just can't figure out.
My workout complete, I lounge
on a velvet chaise and eat cold grapes
until she calls for my aide.
I sip wine as she pounds
her head and the keyboard--
a slave to my whims.
Forgive the laughter--
it bubbled up
from my toes
and spilled out
over my lips
and had nothing
to do with
your coming in.