2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

Today’s prompt, a Two-for-Tuesday prompt, comes from Sarah Bartlett.

Here are Sarah’s prompts:

  1. Write a gathering poem.
  2. Write a letting go poem.


Robert’s attempt a gathering and letting go poem:


One-by-one, the birds abandon their nests
to gather along power lines and tree branches
from which they launch into the sky. First,
in small groups, but then, they grow larger
and larger until, like a wave, they swell and
swirl before letting go for something new.


Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your prompts! Click here to learn more about Sarah.

Click here if you prefer sharing your poems on the WD Forum.


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131 thoughts on “2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

  1. AvatarIrisD

    Letting Go

    Nineteen inches and seven pounds, eight ounces
    They swaddled you in soft blue blanket and placed you in my arms.
    You were our second and six years younger than your brother.
    What a gift of joy you brought to our life.
    Full of giggles and so content to just be anywhere near big bro.
    We were making plans for starting savings accounts for both of you.
    One night when you were a little over five months,
    I checked on you while sleeping on vacation, and you were blue.
    I yelled and gave you mouth to mouth until paramedics came.
    They reached for you and I had to release you into their care.
    I never held you again, but I know who holds you now.
    My mother soon followed you to heaven and I am sure
    She sings the same songs to you she sang to me.

  2. AvatarMarjory MT


    How many times have I let-go,
    opened my hand, released the hold,
    let-go the make believe?

    Did I, long ago, say Good-bye
    and turn away to hid the lie?
    Let-go, useless to cleave.

    Trying hard to hold on to tight
    to what is not mine, is not right.
    Let-go what cannot mend.

    How many dreams were in the night
    that dispersed in the morning light?
    Let-go, my heart defend.

    Life is in today, not in past,
    Good-by should end what cannot last.
    Time to grow…

    Let-go the promise, let-go the dream
    Let-go what was not as it seem.

  3. AvatarKaren H. Phillips

    Day 20
    Prompt: Gather or let go

    Gather and Release

    Gather memories, some bitter, mostly sweet.
    Release grudges, bitter thoughts, harsh judgment.

    Gather friends, in all walks: work, neighbors, family, leisure.
    Release those who bring out the worst, who are hostile, who hurt.

    Gather skills, experiences, new ideas, books.
    Release the clutter of a lifetime, to bless another’s life.

    Gather praise, encouragement, joy, peace, and love.
    Release pain, harm, criticism.

    What you gather, what you release,
    define who you become.

  4. AvatarRJ Clarken

    Smallish Bits

    If sadness permeates the room
    don’t take the proffered cup of gloom.
    Instead just gather up your wits
    and find the good in smallish bits.

    Let go of what you cannot fix.
    Consider: karma’s little tricks
    just signify a loser quits,
    so find the good in smallish bits.

    The smallish bits equate to days
    which can make sorrow but a phase
    of life. It runs in starts and fits
    so find the good in smallish bits.

    Take inspiration from its seed.
    Then nurture it. It will succeed.
    Time’s short. Don’t waste it on obits
    and find the good in smallish bits.


  5. AvatarGlory

    Gone For Good
    (Day 20)

    How you lied
    broke my heart,
    never did play your part.

    How I grieved
    how I sighed,
    at your many hurtful lies.

    How you laughed
    at my woeful face
    turned away, showed no grace.

    And now I smile
    forget those lies,
    find new love, in another’s eyes

  6. AvatarYolee

    The Gathering and Letting Go

    It slips through the flap of my mind.
    Then the thought flickers in my heart.
    Both meet on the steps of the will.

    Clean closet.
    Break up with the ones that aren’t right.
    Let charity carry you in its case.

    Back and forth the hangers go, as if angels could not resist swinging.

  7. Avatarjared davidavich


    at the thunderous sound
    of pounding boots
    and scuffless shoes
    shuffling from cubicles
    and the factory floor
    to the doors
    between this world
    and the one that lies
    just outside
    beyond the fragments
    of thought and intent-
    when simple-minded masses
    pass each other
    without reason-
    collect your things
    forgetting not to leave
    your hopes behind
    as you walk away
    so they may guide
    your return journey
    in the morning

  8. AvatarJacqueline Hallenbeck

    Caught up!

    A prayer poem…

    Thanksgiving Feast

    Thank you, Lord, for this food we are about to eat.
    It looks delicious, from its head down to its feet.
    I’ll have a limb. Don’t worry, it’s got four
    and it won’t be using them no more.

    In gratitude

    The Turkeys

  9. Avatartaylor graham


    Beyond trailhead, the way’s cut
    into rock and soil layered with centuries
    of needle-fall, veined with roots,
    maybe bones. Wind
    gives leverage, and that uncanny
    sound of archival records,
    nostalgic as 1930s German jazz. The past’s
    grooved into granite
    for a storm to play: history beyond
    recorded memory, if you
    could unravel its riffs and chords,
    its gathering of elemental
    and its letting go.

  10. Avatarjanmoram

    Fallen Kings

    You gather the kings among us,
    before the wall, break bread
    before dawn –

    You gather the kings among us,
    gallant, insouciant, astride
    destriers –

    You gather them,
    dash against sun-soaked spears
    stitch pennants,
    into the bloodied sky

    bear the iron sword
    harvest a bitter spring
    fell friend and foe
    from hearth and home

    upon your shoulders
    heard in hushed voices

    you gather them among us

  11. Avatarfoodpoet

    November 20

    Gathering and Letting Go

    Shuttle free in the time of war
    Neith will weave blood and fire
    Letting go the hopes of peace
    The ancient one walks the night
    Gathering threads
    Shedding truths so that
    None can find their way
    Through weft and warp

    Shuttle free in the time of war
    Walk away from blood and fire
    Gather dream threads
    Binding truths so
    That we can find our way
    Through weft and warp
    To the other side of peace

  12. AvatarEleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    There’s something about the way
    summer smells like ripe peaches,
    sun-dappled and warm in wicker
    baskets beneath shade trees in an
    orderly orchard, and something
    about the way a crop of apples
    perfumes the autumn air with the
    scent of fine wine and the look
    of jewels, garnets and topazes and
    rubies, in piles and stacks—can
    you stack apples?—and something
    about the way snow glints in the
    bright, cold sunshine, gathered
    into rounded figures with branches
    for arms and a worn top hat from
    somebody’s closet, smelling like
    mothballs, and something about
    the way an armful of daffodils
    dances yellow-gold in a wrought
    white vase, that reminds me of you.

  13. Avatarjulie e.

    OKAY. here is the “kinder, gentler” rewrite of my CHOICES poem posted above somewhere, with my slip tucked nicely out of sight.


    You pull them back and let them go
    your weapons fly like little stones,
    the slingshot of a crazy child
    while me, I’m much more meek and mild.
    I’ll never understand, I s’pose,
    but that’s just how this marriage goes:
    I love to play ‘round with my words
    you love to play your Angry Birds.

  14. Avatarsonja j

    Taking in the Wash

    It is summer, and I am seven.
    My mother is still young. We
    are in the near field, the one
    kept mowed, behind the thick
    cape of spruces that buffers
    the north side of the house.

    All summer my mother hangs
    the wash outside to dry. She
    does this because we are poor,
    but I do not know this yet. I run
    between the lines where sweet
    bed sheets have begun to flap.
    I have never been in a sailboat,
    have not even read about it, so I
    pretend to be a Thracian princess
    in a temple of laundered air and

    My mother takes down the nimble
    clothes, and drops the pins for me
    to gather into the basket. I clip
    them onto my fingertips, my skinny
    arms, my nose. My mother lowers
    her arms to rest her tired shoulders,
    then looks west at the thunderheads
    building. She stretches her whole
    self, her full wingspan, to quickly fold
    the sheets, before the sky lets go.

  15. Avatarheiditoad

    Good NIght!

    I’m letting go of all of this, just for a brief brief spell
    I have to tarry off to bed, I don’t get up so well.
    And if I stay up any longer trying to compose
    I’ll be sitting at my desk trying not to doze!

  16. Avatarheiditoad

    Winters Last Breath

    The tree bends beneath my window under a gray blanket. Even after the snow, there is a leaf that is still clinging to its branch, holding on to its last bit of life, not wanting to let go.
    The branches move and the leaf stands still, as if by moving it would lose it’s will to remain.
    I wonder when that moment will be and if I’ll capture it; the moment it circles the ground before it comes to rest taking Winter’s last breath.

  17. AvatarRorybore

    I don’t know about y’all…but if I am going to do this challenge again…..I’m gonna need some babysitting provided! Goodness….how are y’all keeping up? I so close to bribing one of my kids to write me a poem…but sadly, only one is old enough to write yet.

    Fleeting Moment

    Eye to eye
    I just passed by
    The wind was just too strong.

    A kiss goodbye
    too late for why
    Shouldn’t have stayed so long.

    Blue meets blue
    two missing two
    So torn by this wrong.

    Beautiful smile
    please stay awhile
    No longer cherish the song.

    Let it go
    no need to show
    Love for one that’s gone.

    By and Bye
    Sea always meets sky
    And storms become the calm.

    1. Avatarheiditoad

      Good NIght!

      I’m letting go of all of this, just for a brief brief spell
      I have to tarry off to bed, I don’t get up so well.
      And if I stay up any longer trying to compose
      I’ll be sitting at my desk trying not to doze!

      1. Avatarsonja j

        I hear you Roxy! I don’t know how these speed demons get stuff posted so fast. My brain needs all day to come up with a response to the prompt, so I’m always posting super late. Glad to have a fellow night owl!

    2. Avatarjulie e.

      Rorybore: Ah, small children! That’s tough indeed! i can barely keep up with the challenges and i have no job, no little kids…so consider yourself amazing for turning out anything at all. 🙂

  18. Avatarheiditoad

    I gathered all your thoughts and stored them in a box so that one day when your mind got old, they would not be lost.
    But the box stored in the basement had succumb to terrible floods, the years they just kept rolling in erasing all they could.
    I tried to save your memories and tucked them clean away hoping that when years had past I’d pull them out someday.
    But age came rapidly and quick with a thunderous raging roar. If only I could have picked, which houses it ignore.

  19. Avatarrustydude

    Nov 20

    Gathering to Let Go

    We gather our thoughts
    To let go our distress

    We gather our love
    To let go our hate

    We gather our family
    To hold on to place

    We gather our past
    To let go our mess

    We gather our faith
    To let go our fate

    We gather our Savior
    To hold on to grace

  20. AvatarMarie Elena


    My once-upon-a-goal was to score tickets
    to take my dad to Columbus to spend a crisp autumn Saturday
    with about a-hundred-and-five-thousand Buckeye fans
    gathered at “The Shoe.”
    We would relish the drum cadence,
    as “The Best Damn Band in the Land” enters the stadium.
    I’d anticipate misty eyes
    as they perform Script Ohio to Robert Planquette’s
    Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse.
    Silly? Perhaps.
    But the misty eyes now come from the fact that
    I waited too long.

    1. AvatarMarie Elena

      Dad is still “with us,” but can no longer physically handle the walk, the steps, sitting so long in the stands, sitting so long period, etc. Why didn’t I make sure it happened some time in the last 30+ years? I have no answer.


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