2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

It’s time for our third Two-for-Tuesday prompt. If you’re new to these challenges, you can pick either one prompt or the other. Or decide to do both. Your choice.

For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a construction poem. Construction paper, construction hats, and so on.
  2. Write a deconstruction poem. Opposite of construction poem.

Let’s do this!


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Here’s my attempt at a Construction and/or Deconstruction Poem:

“& on & on”

she builds a tower
& he knocks it down

because he built a tower
& she knocked it down

because she told a joke
& he didn’t laugh

because she failed to laugh
at his funny joke


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He has 5 kids who have all built block towers, knocked them down, and repeated.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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168 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

  1. Shennon

    A trash bin at the curb
    Is no obstruction
    The raccoon deftly mounts
    With arms in circumduction

    His intrusion causes
    Annoying ruction
    Piles of neatly bagged trash
    Lie in scattered deconstruction.


  2. LCaramanna


    construction on the highway
    put the brakes on existence in the fast lane
    forced a slow down detour
    along back country roads
    that meandered through memories
    of uncomplicated days
    when every journey simply
    brought me back home to
    the life I had built with you

    Lorraine Caramanna

    1. ingridbruck

      Happy Thanksgiving        A view through light and shadow. 
      by Michael Peck

      Construct / deconstruct

      Day 22

      Civilization isn’t civilized
      Just an intricate admixture
      of political and religious control
      they trade positions in different cultures
      they are the Gin and Tonics of power

      so we try to please them 
      each taking their percentage
      each applying a different 
      form of fear

      still we bow as if ingrained
      Too many generations bent 
      under the iron hand
      of someone else’s law

      no we did not participate
      we did not write the laws 
      that control us
      we are the other half 
      of the equation
      we obey ©

  3. Melanie

    Building a New Creation

    He builds His new creation
    Following in the family footsteps
    Much like His Father built the world
    With words

    He says, “Follow me”
    And the first citizens of His kingdom
    Leave nets and boats
    Tax booths and old allegiances

    He says, “Be quiet!”
    And robs the enemy of the voice
    That whispers and maligns
    Enslaving what should have been free

    He says, “I am willing”
    And holds a man with bleeding sores
    In a fierce grip
    Healing body and soul

    He says, “Take up your mat and walk”
    And all that would disable
    Disqualify from life as God intended
    Is left behind

    He says, “Stretch out your hand”
    And what was once twisted
    Unlocks and fingers reach out
    to heaven

    He says, “Be Still”
    And all things that rage
    Wind, wave and sky
    Is calm

    He says, “Child, wake up”
    And the shroud of death falls away
    Breath comes again and
    There is life

    He says, “You give them something to eat”
    And out of the small and almost overlooked
    With thanksgiving, he multiplies
    And satisfies all

    He says, “Father, forgive”
    When the light of the world seems extinguished
    And the Father’s back is turned and
    All things are broken

    He says, “It is finished”
    And brings to an end an old dictator
    Creation smiles and sings
    As a new world begins

  4. Walter J Wojtanik


    There’s a wedding soon and we’re excited,
    all the required functions are in place.
    A daughter bride, I find it hard to hide
    the pride I have for her. For sure she will
    grace the life of her fine young man.
    A lad of a Canadian clan and his tartan
    is true. We view him as a wonderful addition
    to our crew. By year’s end we will have
    made familial friends across the Provinces,
    from Quebec to Alberta, the Great Northwest
    Territories, our stories will compliment
    each other. New found sisters and brothers
    joined for a cause to much applause.
    We can’t wait. It’ll be great. And so it goes.
    The family grows.

  5. cobanionsmith

    As mom gets older,
    our family grows closer
    and still falls apart.

    Father laid bricks, a
    mason. His house of wood’s now

    Elderly, mother’s
    irresponsible, stubborn
    as a mad toddler.

    Who’s responsible
    for a life’s wreckage after
    old age has set in?

    An absence can grow
    tolerable, but crazy
    becomes it own thing.

    His ghost left, so she
    filled their house to bursting–
    a slow explosion.

    She sought salvation
    through salvaging things, but found
    her own destruction.

    Courtney O’Banion Smith

  6. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Fire in the Hole

    After months of laborious construction
    with delays caused by improper placement
    and faulty materials,
    the crowning charge is lit
    bringing away the last of the obstacles.
    After careful inspection,
    the certificate of completion is presented.
    With humble pride, the class constructs
    sentences and paragraphs from words
    that once were as strange and exotic to them
    as this land they now call home.

    Take it Apart

    look at the letters –
    each has a sound –
    put the sounds together,
    like music on a sheet –
    groups of letters form words,
    which when placed in order
    become the lyrics of your song.
    Take it apart –
    move things around –
    letters, sounds, words, phrases –
    create a new song for the story
    of life, dreams, experience –
    the story of you!

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Blue Print

    The Christmas gift of Lincoln logs
    was not the tree house he admired,
    but sometimes kids behave as hogs,
    expecting all that they desire.

    He used the logs to build a tower,
    a cabin with a porch, a fence.
    He built and built and in an hour,
    he’d learned a bit of building sense.

    His father watched him sort and plan
    and said, when he began to sing,
    “I think I’ve got a right-hand man
    to build a treehouse in the spring.”

  8. Jane Shlensky


    It was a simple lie he told,
    fiction not meant to hamper trust.
    time-buying lies are almost true,
    he reasoned; facts are manifold.
    “I’ll make that true”—that was the thrust—
    like magic, silver into gold.

    But then the simple lies conjoined
    and split like atoms in such haste,
    he lost his grip on truth and care.
    How skillfully, with faiths purloined,
    he built destruction, waded waste,
    constructing what was never there.

    Watching a house of lies collapse
    is fascinating, most agree,
    implosion centered at the core.
    Lies led to yet another lapse:
    abuse of lives he’d grown to see
    as conduits to give him more.

    There are no alternative facts;
    no magic mirrors make lies true
    for wealth and power, many bleed.
    And simple lies have great impacts
    on simple lives of me and you
    when we put trust in greed.

  9. MET

    IT takes a long time…

    My hollow has very old trees…
    Da told me once…
    As we hiked to the bottom
    That side across from the house
    Was last cut when he was ten
    Which makes that forest
    Ninety-two years old…
    Those trees are young compared
    To those that stand across from them…
    They were tall standing old trees
    When he was born.
    It has been forty years
    Since my father told me that tale, and
    He explained to me how
    Long it takes a forest
    To be made into a forest.
    It takes years
    For the trees to grow tall,
    And underbrush to stop
    Coming along…
    It takes a long time
    To grow a forest…
    I heard the bulldozers
    And the clear-cutters
    Working on a new forest
    That by the end of the week
    Will be no more.
    Tangled roots and limbs and trunks
    Will lay like carcasses
    Thrown away by hunters.
    Cars will pass the carnage;
    The people will not even notice…
    There will be a pasture and cows
    Pleasing to the eye, and
    That young forest will be forgotten.
    It takes a long time
    For a forest to be a forest.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 22, 2017

  10. De Jackson

    Please Pardon This Poem’s (Fairy) Dust

    ‘Cause I’m under construction everyone
    so you’ll have to mind the mess
    I’m under some construction
                                – No Doubt,

    She’s longing to be exquisite
    in her own bright skin, so she’s
    filling in between the lines with
    sprite, and sparkle.

    She’ll mortar her heart stones
    with hope, soap her windows
    with silence and the violet
    slant of sun.

    Petal her something soft, a
    loft in which to weave her words
    and wander among them,


  11. lsteadly

    Building a Man

    sometimes when we talk
    my stomach aches as if
    remembering the weight of you,
    reliving the shift your bones took
    under my ribs before you
    could even cry aloud

    my son, you are as old now
    as your father was when I
    first touched my hand to his
    heart, correlating the beat
    to mine, jibing his pulse

    and then you, the consequence
    of our hips and hearts in willing assemblage
    unprepared for your existence,
    our fear and wonder just as
    raw now as it was in the mere
    idea of you decades ago

  12. De Jackson

    Building Permits for a Fragile Castle

    And if a bird can speak, who once was a dinosaur,
    And a dog can dream; should it be implausible
    That a man might supervise
    The construction of light
                    – Projekct Two

    We’re gonna build it up-up-up,
    of our own hair, with a lair for
    our dragons at the top of the stair.

    We’re gonna shake it down-down-down,
    shingles of feathers and hope
    and the sounds of sun-stung songs.

    We’re gonna break it through-and-through,
    be sure that you can flee, and fly
    whenever you damn well want to.


  13. Kiri


    Wherever home will be, soon,
    there too will be my curved skin, my skeleton
    and intimacy, diplomacy, a vacancy
    left by belonging to anything.
    The segregation of prospect: a dwelling
carved out in relief from the negative space.

  14. MHR

    My poem on “construction”. But in reality it’s a deconstructed reality on the idea that all things are fragile-figure it out. I’m going to be working on this poem tomorrow so it will be all switched around, but wanted to at least get the rough draft out there. enjoy.

    Here’s an idea that everything is fragile and scrawled around:
    there’s a breeze in the trees that shakes our paper towns.
    in a moonlight daze with a written rain coming down-
    We built this town to surround ourselves with words.

    There’s a breeze in the trees that shake our paper towns,
    Every droplet is another dent, and every falling out is collateral damage,
    We built this town to surround ourselves with words,
    We’re delicate little beings struggling to find freedom.

    Every droplet is another dent, and every falling out is collateral damage,
    we set to work in mid September, just when all the lights were coming back on,
    We’re delicate little beings struggling to find freedom.
    Did you see that firefly getting away before it’s too late?

    We set to work in mid September, just when all the lights were coming back on,
    setting to work on shaky ground, there was nothing “concrete” about it
    Did you see that firefly getting away before it’s too late?
    I guess it didn’t see what was the end result of this landscape.

    Setting off to work on shaky ground, there was nothing “concrete” about it
    They boarded up their windows so they didn’t have to hear all the noise-
    I guess they didn’t see what was the end result of this landscape.
    Welcome to our mad paradise, pop: 1.5

    They boarded up their windows so they didn’t have to all the noise,
    And when I sanded off our initials, on the ceder wood tree:
    Welcome to my mad paradise, pop: 1.0.
    You can hear us in the silence, though, I do every single night.

    There was scattered rubbish, and now there’s paper villages everywhere:
    And when I sanded off our initials, on the ceder wood tree:
    there was no one else left, just me and the trees.
    You can hear us in the silence, though, I do every single night.

    There’s a breeze in the trees that shake my paper towns.

  15. Bruce Niedt

    Coming Soon

    The week the supermarket down the street closed,
    I shopped their going-out-of-business sale,
    getting everything from canned goods to CDs
    dirt cheap, as I walked the dingy cracked linoleum
    of a store that had seen better days.
    that was almost five years ago, and since then
    it lay dormant, home to entropy and empty shelves
    and who-knows-what kind of creatures,
    nature’s squatters glad that the humans moved out.
    But then this spring, activity: earth movers
    and dump trucks, dumpsters and tractor trailers
    as the storefront was gutted and totally remodeled
    to become a home decorating store. Today it’s ready
    for its grand opening, all gleaming blue-and-white,
    a newly-blacktopped parking lot and shiny new carts,
    and I wonder, How long will you be around?
    Five years from now, will you still be thriving,
    or will I find your rusted carts in a nearby field,
    weeds poking through the asphalt cracks,
    your dark, blank facade echoing the sounds
    of feral cats and blue jays, another monument
    to brick-and-mortar’s slow extinction?


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