2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

The April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge is designed to help poets do one thing and one thing only: Write more poems! The process of revision may go on for weeks, months, and years later, but this challenge is all about getting that first draft. Please poem along with us–either in the comments below or silently at home.

For today’s prompt, write a broke poem. The poem could be about a broken record, broken relationship, or someone who is just flat broke (no money).

Here’s my attempt at a broke poem:

“he tells me no”

he tells me no way to tell you
what you’d like to hear it’s all true
the other girl her hands & mouth

knowing when confessions head south
i throw him out & search for glue
this broken heart purple & blue

wanting to ask what can i do
feeling that small twinkle of doubt
he tells me no

there’s no way to prepare this stew
that does not involve crying too
over the loss the need to pout

he is a jerk with a nice mouth
but when i want him to stay true
he tells me no


Workshop Your Poetry!

Writing poetry is exciting, but the hard work of poeming is working through the revision process. The best way to work through this process is to workshop the poems with other poets, and that can be done with the Writer’s Digest 6-week course, Advanced Poetry Writing.


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Want some more poeming fun? Check out these previous Poetic Asides posts:

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322 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

  1. stepstep


    She was such a perfect soul
    Made from a perfect mold
    Until he took her heart
    Tore it all apart.

    Her spirit, now, he broke
    Treated it like a joke
    She never wanted it to be more
    Than a swinging, open door.

    He holds the key
    But refuses to see
    How beautiful the relationship
    Until he made the slip.


  2. Nadienne

    Paris P. Ogilvie

    what does it matter
    if the world’s in shambles
    if our lives are shambles

    so long as we have
    wine, cigars, chocolate,
    shade on these hot sands

    we can see a mare of fresh
    water just past the horizon
    and this desert becomes a beach

  3. tunesmiff


    There ain’t no Super Glue,
    That can fix the things that you
    Did to this heart of mine,
    When you up and said good-bye.

    There ain’t no paint and patch,
    No way to fill or match,
    Or cover the scrapes and scars,
    You left on my heart.

    No, there ain’t no Bond-o;
    The cracks will always show.
    If I try to hide ‘em all,
    Face the bent and dented side to the wall

    I’ll still be the Tin Man from Oz,
    I know I’ve got a heart because,
    I can feel it breaking,
    Always aching,

    To see your ruby shoes,
    Next to my cowboy boots,

  4. bookworm0341

    “The Ponderings of a Ponderer”

    In halves
    In two
    like me
    without you.

    Split apart
    like a Lois Lane
    without her Clark

    Yet, Superman always
    finds Lois Lane
    so they’re back to two,
    or is it three?

    Now for the more important question,
    Doesn’t that make you feel
    without me?

  5. Catherine Lee


    She bends at the waste
    to pick up shards, small
    bits of color scattered
    like forgotten ashes
    of the dead resurrected
    into tesserae. She sees
    where each broken edge
    should join another to
    make something new.

  6. Eleanore D. Trupkiewicz


    I knew you wouldn’t know how
    to fix what was really wrong—
    admit it, you’ve never been good
    at owning up to your shortcomings,
    and she stopped taking time to
    listen when you wanted to talk, for
    once, as rare as that was, and spent
    more of her time in other places,
    other rooms, maybe other sets
    of arms—probably—because she
    knew what you refused to admit:
    that there wasn’t anything to fix.

  7. THEGingerSass

    “Broken Words”

    Broken signals death;
    irreparable defined.
    But you may find tape
    or adhesive of some sort;
    Give your life another chance.

  8. foodpoet

    the first broke was okay but did some deeper thinking and came up with a “poetry breakup poem”

    In the Carnival of Desire

    We dream dance
    our troubles away
    drift in a daze
    Waiting reality reef

    Knowing that dreams are untruth
    in the carnival of desire
    emotions break free
    we are open even catty
    and we walk away

    We are stone faced
    angry at departure, but
    in the carnival of desire,
    we confront if only in
    the inner recess of once closed minds.

    Logic has no place for breakups,
    emotions raw burning
    cold and festering brew
    up and out of once sealed lips
    in the carnival of desire
    this tent has closed.

    Poetry must be shared
    lived breathed,
    But it will not be ignored.
    It will be closed to your vain heart
    and poets will depart
    the carnival of desire.

  9. lionmother

    It’s Broken

    The thread that held me
    to my girlhood is thinning
    and soon it will break completely

    Sure I still see the smooth face
    of a young girl in the mirror, but
    now it has lines and cheeks no
    longer plump as a peach

    My body sags too
    and suddenly I am looking
    at a caricature of what I used to be
    The firm and taut child body no longer
    is mine replaced by a stranger

    In the distance
    I see the girl I was and the
    thin line that holds me to my
    former self as it stretches
    tighter each year

    Some will say my thread is
    still strong and I am still that
    young girl, but inside I know that
    soon I will be left on the other side
    of age

    Soon I will be old with hair no longer colored
    to hide its true essence
    and an acceptance of the me of today –
    who is holding the girl inside as a keepsake.

  10. vjohnso1

    My troubled mind I’m so confused
    My thoughts are more scattered than the evening news
    Brain is overloaded with information I knew
    Emotions frazzled with the things I wish I didn’t do
    My heart is trembling from left to right
    Only God knows my worries so together we’ll fight

    Taking each step one day at a time
    Taking the time to know that I’m fine
    Screaming inside as I see the signs
    Fear and rejection pose a fine line
    Move it along there’s nothing else to see
    Just a broken spirit and little old me.

  11. vsbryant1


    Before I knew you, life was uncertain
    The road that laid ahead way sad and broken
    Remembering the moment when our eyes first met
    Knowing nothing would ever be the same , while watching you walk away
    Over and over I tried to fight what was there
    Every excuse, every line, every reason to say goodbye
    Keeping you near, while keeping you distance
    The thought of you haunts me endless, plaguing my mind
    Eventually I gave in to the best thing that could ever be
    Happiness wrapped its arms around and held on to me
    Never again will I deny what my heart yearns to have inside
    Never again will I be broken, never again

  12. hcfbutton


    we dance in circles you and i
    starting tenderly even shy
    and i can’t help but wonder why

    we push each other to our best
    supporting each other in our rest
    but things tighten around our chest

    we see only what we want to see
    arguing our opinions blatantly
    not letting the other person be

    we ignore each other’s pain
    feeling the other is to blame
    until we cannot hide our shame

    we cautiously seek each other out
    expressing our personal doubt
    understanding what we are about

    we dance in circles you and i
    starting tenderly even shy
    and i can’t help but wonder why

    also published on hcfitzpatrick.com

  13. Carl

    Brain Broke

    Not as broke as I was
    in the early days. Broke
    is what we use for a bank
    account or a car, but for me,
    broke was my brain.

    There are days, nothing
    but broke, and when I’m
    broke all the way, I cry
    hard, and the blubbery
    actions help relieve me.

  14. HandHeldWriter



    Always running.

    That’s his life.

    A cycle of violent nights.

    Relying on the weakness of others to survive.

    He spends his days in the darkness and
    the shadows busying his eternity.

    They said, “…let no man divide,”
    divided they are…
    “…until death do us part,”
    death divided them and not by man.

    She spends her days being outside in the
    world keeping her mind busy.

    Relying on her very own strength to survive.

    A cycle of sleepless nights.

    That’s her life.

    Always wondering.



  15. deringer1


    My refrigerator won’t freeze
    and a doorknob came off in my hand.
    A lightbulb just went out and
    I smashed an antique wine glass.

    My car door clicker doesn’t click,
    the computer just went dark.
    The washing machine is overflowing
    and the disposal’s stopped up.

    My lover has broken my heart,
    so I’m trying to write this poem
    but the lead in my pencil has snapped off.
    Tell me….what ain’t broke ?!

  16. Linda Voit

    Rhyme Time Love Story

    She broke
    her spoke
    and a bloke
    stopped to help.
    Frog croaked
    spilled his Coke
    shirt got soaked
    so he removed it.
    Hot like smoke
    no joke
    preacher spoke
    and now they’re married.

  17. Karen

    Broken, we try to fix each other’s cracks,
    the ones we caused to suffer, pasting
    homemade remedies on still bleeding
    wounds, with broken smiles and pain-filled
    eyes that readily acknowledge
    the hopelessness of our sad efforts,
    forlorn slivers of small talk caught
    beneath the thin layers of skin on
    broken hands, already red with infection,
    still trying to piece together the shattered glass
    that had once protected our love.

  18. clarior

    Say we break for lunch
    It’s noon almost, high time we get up out of bed
    but we’ve not that much out to be getting.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    The day’s getting on. We should get something done
    but we’ve nothing useful needing doing.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    I’m out of cigarettes, smoked your last one last night
    but we’ve no good reason to be smoking.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    Between sky’s blue and the river’s black we should float,
    but we’ve nowhere in mind to go drifting.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    Where’re those bills we got in yesterday’s mail? Beh
    but we’ve no spare cash to be paying.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    Some internet’s always good for blowing some time
    but we’ve no web sites worth the surfing.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    There was this poem I was really wanting to work through
    but we’ve no unused words waiting the writing.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.
    I say we reschedule everything the whole rest of the day
    until things get in sync with their timing.
    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I say we break for lunch.

  19. Glory


    Was it yesterday you broke my heart?
    You turned away, without a sigh,
    Didn’t wait to say goodbye
    Didn’t notice all my tears
    Never thought about my fear
    My fear of losing you.
    When yesterday you broke my heart.

  20. PuffofSmokePoems

    Broken Home

    I let everything in our house
    Stay broken for you.

    I left everything
    In our house
    For you

    Now that you’re gone,
    Like springtime arrives this year,
    Broken latches,
    Broken railings,
    Broken chairs,
    Are cured.
    I fix them
    Make dinner
    Make a poem
    Make a home.

  21. PKP

    PKP says:
    April 13, 2013 at 7:43 am
    Hi to all – if am in error and have simply somehow missed this wonderful poet before -apologies to her and regrets for me! In either case – DO NOT MISS this beautiful blog and terrific writing. BRAVO!

    : http://natasa-summerblues.blogspot.com/2013/04/day-12-cracks-in-wall.html

    NATASA BOZIC GROJIC – WOW Beautiful site and two wonderful and linked poems. Welcome (?!) I believe you are new to PAD (?!) wonderful writing Bravo!

  22. drwasy


    These days
    it seems everything
    is cracked somehow,
    an eggshell chipped
    lightly against glass
    a petal torn from a daisy.
    I see nothing
    whole only parts
    ripped the fatal flaw
    apparent in everything:
    this world, this home,
    you, and I.
    Is nothing sacred
    or whole?

  23. LouiseBilborough


    framed by mountains
    combed lines of vines
    trellised and heavy with grapes
    rich and bursting

    terra rossa and sandy loam
    warm nights
    and harsh days

    sweet earth and leather
    pepper and spice
    the psyche stained
    with purple-red juice

  24. Jezzie

    You bustled into my life at the start
    and immediately I lost my heart.
    Your deep brown eyes I could never resist,
    and I was simply longing to be kissed.
    As time wore on my love grew deep,
    and I would watch you fast asleep.
    I’d be slumberless, counting sheep,
    worrying my long night away.
    Years later I began to weep,
    knowing that I could never keep
    you, my love, from going astray.
    Our life would always be that way,
    until finally, resignedly, I’d say
    “On your bike, you’ve had your day!”
    knowing as these words were spoken,
    my loving heart had been broken.

  25. Rosemary Nissen-Wade


    Oh for a break in the weather!
    Rain is the new normal.
    At least the marigolds
    are thriving in the wet,
    and the leaves of the weeds
    are large and glossy.

    Where have you gone,
    getting away before this rain began?
    To leave in Spring was damn graceful,
    right at the start of the gentle season
    before monsoons and heat.
    Time to break up, you said.

    But you said it kindly, knowing
    what I refused to admit.
    Now, seven months later and more,
    I rage at time going past,
    afraid that at last it will break
    the threads that stretch between us.

    My friend said of a neighbour
    the other day, ‘Her husband
    has been dead nine years.’
    And I wonder about that.
    How does one break from the past
    enough to go on living?

    I think my mother was only half alive
    all those years after my stepfather’s death.
    I don’t want that for me,
    and yet I don’t want to forget you.
    Not that I can. Memories break out
    like ghosts all over the house.

    This poem is inconclusive.
    There is no resolution yet.
    I am taking a little break
    from ghosts and weeping
    to sit in my garden and write,
    during a small stop in the rainy weather.

    1. PKP

      Rosemary -an exquisite sparkle of respite in this hard journey – a human question that expands from the practical to the mystical and in so doing describes perfectly the pathos and beauty of the human experience as symbolized here by you taking that well needed break in the rain amid mystic marigolds in bloom. If this were not poetry but simply one heart crying out – it would be poetry – you have captured a prismic interlude – all facets shining with light – plaintively, powerfully, empowered and vulnerable, the budded parts of self reconfiguring – opening at the brink of bloomimg -exquisite writing on a topic at once profoundly personal and connected to each and all. Wonderful on all levels.

  26. dextrousdigits

    The day was chilly, overcast,
    it seemed appropriate it was cold
    Every part of me was cold
    There seemed no warmth.

    She had been to communion so many times
    had heard those sacred words each time
    “he broke bread and gave it to them say this is my body
    which is broken for you”.

    But today, it became personal
    The grave had been dug,
    the coffin had been lowered,
    she just couldn’t toss dirt down.
    It was final, and she knew it would never end

    She walked over and picked three flowers.
    Instead of dirt, Rose began to
    to toss rose petals slowly,
    one at a time onto the coffin.

    She had whispered the words
    that poured from some deep well inside her.
    “These are pieces ripped from my heart today.
    They have been given freely
    as you are precious to me
    and these pieces have already been committed to you
    while your were alive.

    Now your memories will fill these pieces
    with gratitude that I knew you and
    that I had an opportunity to give you
    some pieces of me”.

    In that moment brokenness was not sadness and pain,
    but an umbilical highway to our connected lives
    which made me more alive despite the sadness
    and filled me with awe and appreciation.

  27. P.A. Beyer

    Before we moved in different directions

    Before we moved in different directions
    Remember those nights on the high school rooftop
    Orion’s gaze deliberately clouding our senses
    Knowing that freedom comes with sudden starts and stops
    Each rub on the rosary followed by at least two “God blesses”
    Naively believing forever was our permanent backdrop

  28. carolecole66

    A Very Small Tree

    The first time I fell that day
    the left crutch became a roller skate
    and I went down, helpless
    like a tree felled in a forest
    crashing against the underbrush,
    in this case, the bedside table.
    All around me, the detritus
    of the lame and bed bound—lamp,
    clock, coffee cup—went flying, and I
    lay on the floor, purple flowers
    blooming on my arms and legs,
    feeling like pulp at the lumber mill
    only not as useful and not nearly so

  29. Julieann

    Broken Dreams

    Broken dreams litter life
    Like broken beads in the street
    Dreams of Alaska with wild Caribou
    Or of a Key West sunset
    Dreams of family and friends
    Or of growing old with one’s true love

    Sometimes our dreams are torn
    From our heart and hands like
    A necklace is ripped from our neck
    Other dreams slowly roll away
    As do beads from a carefully preserved
    Necklace breaks and scatters with age

    Despair or a sense of death often
    Follows broken dreams robbing life
    Of beauty and joy and excitement
    Likewise broken dreams cultivates
    Appreciation of promises kept, of goals achieved,
    And the hope of the future

  30. julie e.


    My fences
    in dire need of repair,
    leaving boundaries
    (poor protection
    at best)
    So these days,
    by vegetable
    by medi-
    cation (and therapy)
    I strive to
    firmly set my posts
    and boards
    so I may walk long
    the earth on which
    fences stand.

  31. kali.kristine





  32. Deri

    And So All Good Things Must End

    We sat under
    a broken sky,
    marveling at the
    charred wreckage
    of our crumbled
    roof top.

    We talked of
    now nevers,
    waiting for the end.

    We remembered
    that first apartment,
    the broken futon,
    spilled candle wax
    like blue blood splatters
    on egg-shell white.
    Eating crossed legged
    on our mismatched plates.

    I thought about
    our first fight,
    and wondered if
    you knew how
    close our end was
    even then, in that
    white-hot beginning
    when our sky
    began to burn.

    Rocket-fueled, our words
    are beyond recalling,
    the missiles aimed for
    the place where
    all our possibilities lie.

    None of it was meant to be
    and we neither of us
    mourned for what
    we have done,
    as we sat,
    under a broken sky.

  33. Sara McNulty

    Under An Oak

    I’m broke
    No joke
    Can’t afford a single smoke

    I woke
    Some bloke
    said my license was revoked

    No cloak
    Got soaked
    At least let me have a toke

    She spoke
    He poked
    They both thought I must have croaked

    I’m broke
    No joke

    Poetic Asides
    April Challenge – Day 12
    Write a broke poem

  34. julie e.


    Their family broke the other year
    now I, the house, am waiting
    the dust lies lank, a beggar’s coat,
    over scattered left-behinds

    their family broke the other year
    and each one moved away
    and left what was–or might have been–
    a home, now dull and silent

    their family broke the other year
    and I, the house, am waiting
    for voices, footsteps once again
    to let me give them shelter.


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