2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

It’s funny how much difference one little letter can make in a poetry prompt. For instance, take day 9’s “(blank) of (blank)” prompt. What if we made just one small adjustment?

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) Of (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Gangster of Love,” “Lee of the Stone,” “Eclipse of the Moon,” and my personal favorite “Kicker of Elves.”

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Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Blank Of Blank Poem:

“Maker of Prompts”

They don’t always come
as easy as the poems–

just as building a trampoline
is more complicated than jumping–

and yet, there’s a satisfaction
in finding a point of discovery

that spreads in a multitude
of destinations yet to be written.

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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 loves writing poems, of course, but he also loves seeing what poets do with his prompts–often taking them in directions he never anticipated.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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152 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

  1. Brandi Noelle

    Traveler of Time

    If I could have any wish granted to me
    by bottled genie or the Lord Almighty,
    I should wish to be a traveler of time,
    to wander through history would be sublime

    To hear Paul Revere’s shouts break the silent night,
    or, witness the Orville brothers take first flight
    Watch as costumed patriots dump crates of tea
    into the Boston harbors of a night sea

    Oh! How awe-inspiring to see the trains
    of covered wagons stretching across the plains
    To hear of the bravery from those that fought
    for the American liberties they sought

    To hear the words of great presidents of past,
    Washington, Lincoln with legacies that last
    Witness Andrew Jackson settling the score
    against redcoat soldiers from a distant shore

    Feel the sadness of hearts across the nation
    as Kennedy fell to assassination
    Know the anguish as soldiers head off to war
    after attacks on Pearl Harbor rocked our core

    Why should I want to experience this pain?
    To know the importance of freedom we’ve gained
    History is excitement and lessons learned,
    a knowledge of independence that was earned

    The yarn of the past I long to unravel
    as I seek to experience time travel

  2. seingraham

    GRIEVING THE LIVING

    She tries not to do it, not to shed bitter tears
    over those she knows still draw breath
    but just not in her vicinity, near her person

    And usually, with what she perceives as strength
    she didn’t think she possessed until this occurred
    She is successful, able to pretend her life is perfect

    That these ones she loves as much as her own life
    and maybe more, have departed for good, no longer
    walk on the earth, amongst the living, might be seen

    by her again if she would just be patient, just believe
    that such a thing as a child of hers walking away
    could not be true, she would be rewarded, it would

    be over, this hell on earth – this terrible nightmare
    she kept waking to would not be the same as always,
    it would be done, and she could go back to her real life.

  3. Melanie

    Game of Thrones

    on a morning over breakfast bagels and
    and the smell of fresh ground coffee he reads
    the newspapers and smiles
    publicity is like heroin in his veins
    he’s on the front page

    she picks her way down the steps outside a
    conference hall. The named and the nameless
    would like her to slip up…again
    the smile on her lips doesn’t reach her eyes
    she’s not on the front page

    he stares at the sky tracing a plume of smoke
    if missiles could travel further by the sheer
    application of his will and desire
    his enemies would be destroyed one day
    he has the double spread

    they play their games soothing their supporters
    pandering to the money makers and movers
    pouring scorn on their opponents
    ignoring the voting public because
    it’s not an election year

    and they all sit on thrones that are shaking

  4. Shennon

    Heart of Stone

    Heart of stone
    Leave me alone
    Cease to beat
    Do not mistreat

    Or just belie
    the love that froze
    I’d rather die
    Than let it grow.

    –ShennonDoah

  5. RJ Clarken

    Toys of the 70s

    “I feel like a little boy who is constantly offered new toys.” ~Placido Domingo

    December is a time for ‘those’ lists:
    Holidays. Good girls. Good boys.
    On looking back, like an old 8-track,
    here’s a list of some seventies toys…

    …like, Magna Doodle, Rubik’s Cube and
    Simon, and also, Nerf Balls.
    Like an old 8-track, on looking back,
    Rock’Em Sock ‘Em Robots decked the halls.

    Evel Knievel Stunt Cycles were
    (like Weebles) in high demand.
    On looking back, like an old 8-track,
    Pong warmed the white winter wonderland.

    Mrs. Beasley (from Family Affair)
    was the doll in stocking’s sock.
    Like an old 8-track, on looking back,
    she was joined by that clever Pet Rock.

    And don’t forget the best thing: skateboards!
    Charley’s Angels loved those ‘rides’.
    On looking back, like an old 8-track,
    they were on everybody’s gift guides.

    Here’s just a few more: the Etch-A-Sketch,
    Barbie, Lego, Mastermind.
    Like an old 8-track, on looking back,
    most of those toys are now hard to find

    although Legos are still around, and
    that seems to be comforting.
    On looking back, like an old 8-track,
    these were the toys that Santa would bring.

    ###

  6. LCaramanna

    Time of Death

    I awoke to silence,
    startled,
    gripped by an expected fear.
    I held my breath and listened
    to silence,
    yet I was sure you had cried out to wake me.

    For a moment I lay in silence,
    my head on your chest.
    You did not rustle the sheets
    You did not whisper my name.
    You did not break the silence with the beat of your heart.

    It was cold in the darkness,
    lifeless
    in the silence
    shattered by my screams.
    The digital clock glowed
    12:17
    time of death.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  7. bmorrison9

    Proof of Life

    At my mother’s place,
    the last before hospice,
    you could tell where
    she spent her time.
    The table by the blue chair
    held tissues, inhaler,
    the current book, lip balm,
    cigarettes, a cup of water:
    everything within reach.

    Ten years she’s been gone
    and I still think, Oh,
    I should remember this
    to tell her, still think
    of her when I see
    the nest of things
    on the table by
    my rocking chair.

  8. Valkyri

    darkness of country

    the scent of old pine trees
    wafting on the calm
    of crystal clear air…
    shadow of a tire swing
    cast by the milkyway glow
    and sparks of meteors…
    the chirrup chirrup of
    singsong crickets tell
    the secret legends
    of country darkness…

    1. ingridbruck

      One of Nine

      One of too many
      One of nine in a crowd
      One of a chorus, an army, the faceless
      One of the scrawny kids
      One of food from boxes and cans
      One of hand-me-down clothes
      One of of pity party fame
      One of rush and hurry
      to grow up, to get out of the house
      One to marry and escape
      One in no rush to have children
      One of a too-large family

    2. ingridbruck

      One of Nine

      One of too many
      One of nine in a crowd
      One of a chorus, an army, the faceless
      One of the scrawny kids
      One of food from boxes and cans
      One of hand-me-down clothes
      One of of pity party fame
      One of rush and hurry
      to grow up, to get out of the house
      One to marry and escape
      One in no rush to have children
      One of a too-large family

  9. Walter J Wojtanik

    POEMS OF LOVE (OR NOT)

    The time has come,
    the last Tuesday in the challenge.
    In the melange of prompted verse
    we know the routine like Chapter and Verse.
    So gird you loins and get your popcorn
    ready. Love or Anti-Love is the ploy.
    Find your joy in a loving way.
    Or not!

  10. MET

    I did a different version.. of Bruce Niedt…. I played my favorite bit of jazz… from the 20s … Rhapsody in Blue… and wrote this poem…

    Love of Jazz

    The saxophone
    Slowly spills out notes
    Tumble from somewhere on high
    Warm and hot and sultry…
    Then the piano takes over
    You are on the streets of New York
    In an age when women were flashy,
    Men wore fedoras, and
    Cars were the new craze….
    Passing by the tall buildings
    The strings reach high,
    And the car speeds by, and
    People rush with a purpose…
    Then the horns speak
    A new language to each other…
    Take over, but the piano
    Sets a melody leading
    You fast uptown.
    There you are walking, almost skipping
    With ropes of pearls, fake eye lashes,
    And dangerously short skirts
    Batting your eyes… in flirtation
    In time with the music… then
    With purpose, you go your way…
    You stop, and the strings guide you
    To swing on a lamppost caressing the smooth coldness.
    There is romance in the music… there is possibility… there is desire…
    The music yearns with you, and
    Carries you away to a new stage
    When you did not notice it.
    There you end in a crescendo…

    It is why I love Rhapsody in Blue,
    And why I love jazz…
    Nothing gets under my skin
    As completely.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 27, 2017

    1. MET

      the opening instrument should be a clarinet… I had been listening to Boney James… when I decided to change and write it on an old classic piece… Rhapsody in Blue was written in 1924… when I used to could dance.. I often chose this piece to dance to after a hard day at work… helped me lose myself.

  11. MET

    Been dealing with this evening… someday I am going to put together all my poems I have written about rescue cats… I am a bit frustrated tonight… and I will read thru the poems tomorrow… Y’all are great… but I digress… here is the poem

    The Sorrow of Animal Rescue

    Eighteen cats abandoned
    In a house by owners
    Who left them there.
    Six have ended up at Animal control-
    Overcrowded from owners who surrender
    Their pets due to holidays,
    And can’t be bothered…
    After Christmas…
    A new puppy or kitten
    Can be found free
    On Craig’s list, but
    Those who go to homes
    Will be the lucky ones…
    For many free kittens or puppies
    Are bait for dog fighters or
    Food for their snakes.
    The fate of those cats
    Depends on those who
    Will work tirelessly
    Finding a foster or
    A rescue… if they don’t
    They will die.
    There is not much time for grief…
    For tomorrow there will be others
    Needing help somewhere.
    Why in Hades don’t the owners
    Get their animals neutered or spayed?

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 27, 2017

  12. lsteadly

    These Aches of Ours

    These aches of ours
    lie deep within the bone
    deeper than the marrow even
    buried inside the blood cells
    that collide and join
    then split and run
    to and from the heart
    and sink into the solar plexus —

    These aches with weight
    unmeasurable can still find
    a way to lift a heart, a breath, an arm,
    carry them through the yearning,
    in search of the me and
    the you of us

  13. De Jackson

    On Top of Spaghetti

    I lost my poor meatball,
    When somebody sneezed.
                    – old Scout song

    We have lost our ever
    -lovin’
                (meatballs)
                           (meanings)

    minds.

    You will find us here,
               tryin’
    to use our noodles,
    find some new way
           to say

              God bless you.

    ::

    1. MET

      love this and tune is from the song ON top of Old Smokey…
      which has some lovely lines in its own right…

      My favorite lines (IT IS A VERY LONG SONG)
      :So come all you young maidens
      and listen to me
      Don’t place your affections
      On a green willow tree

  14. Kiri

    PREMONITIONS OF CONVERSATIONS WE MIGHT HAVE SOMEDAY, LONG AFTER I AM BORN

    Someday I will tell you that I am scared
    
of skeletons and the dark and the floppy clown
    on the wall of my room, hanged by a loop in its neck.

    Someday I will tell you that some boys
    made fun of my glasses, my frizzed out hair
    and my high spelling grade.

    Someday I will tell you that I want to make art
    because something happens when you
    join ephemera and eternity.

    Someday I will tell you that I want to play guitar
    and grow my hair long and go on tour
    to get away from myself.

    Someday I will tell you that I can’t go back to school
    because of the beatings and the grief
    of some things I will tell you later on.

    Someday I will tell you that I am ready to go back to school
    having learned to love others a little more
    and that compassion is the most human thing.

    Someday I will tell you that I like a girl
    and she will give me my name and tell you what dog to get
    for the times when you will feel most alone.

    Someday I will tell you that I am sick
    and I don’t know what it is or why
    but my body burns and I am scared to die younger than 21.

    Someday I will tell you that I met a woman
    and I want to marry her because she makes me feel
    like I am not so strange to myself.

    Someday I will tell you that I am leaving home
    because I think I may be able to see the future
    better from a distance.

    Someday I will tell you that we are trying,
    spending all our money and patience
    but that it doesn’t look good for grandchildren.

    Someday I will tell you that she is leaving me
    for another woman and I will break
    and stop telling you things.

    Someday I will tell you that I am not safe alone
    anymore and that I need to come back home
    to escape the dark and self-harming.

    Someday I will tell you that I am too scared
    to tell you what I have been running from
    since I was young.

    Someday I will tell you that I am your daughter
    and always have been, but never had the words
    to know it is possible to live up to other than expectations.

    Someday I will tell you the name she gave me,
    and ask you to remember me as “she” when you
    tell stories or text the family to make plans.

    Someday I will tell you that my body is changing,
    that you will soon feel breasts pressed against you
    when we embrace, if you still will hold me close.

    Someday I will tell you that I am happier, and what saved me
    when dying seemed like the thing to do,
    was every time you told me, “I believe you.

  15. Kiri

    PREMONITIONS OF CONVERSATIONS WE MIGHT HAVE SOMEDAY, LONG AFTER I AM BORN

    Someday I will tell you that I am scared
    
of skeletons and the dark and the floppy clown
    on the wall of my room, hanged by a loop in its neck.

    Someday I will tell you that some boys
    made fun of my glasses, my frizzed out hair
    and my high spelling grade.

    Someday I will tell you that I want to make art
    because something happens when you
    join ephemera and eternity.

    Someday I will tell you that I want to play guitar
    and grow my hair long and go on tour
    to get away from myself.

    Someday I will tell you that I can’t go back to school
    because of the beatings and the grief
    of some things I will tell you later on.

    Someday I will tell you that I am ready to go back to school
    having learned to love others a little more
    and that compassion is the most human thing.

    Someday I will tell you that I like a girl
    and she will give me my name and tell you what dog to get
    for the times when you will feel most alone.

    Someday I will tell you that I am sick
    and I don’t know what it is or why
    but my body burns and I am scared to die younger than 21.

    Someday I will tell you that I met a woman
    and I want to marry her because she makes me feel
    like I am not so strange to myself.

    Someday I will tell you that I am leaving home
    because I think I may be able to see the future
    better from a distance.

    Someday I will tell you that we are trying,
    spending all our money and patience
    but that it doesn’t look good for grandchildren.

    Someday I will tell you that she is leaving me
    for another woman and I will break
    and stop telling you things.

    Someday I will tell you that I am not safe alone
    anymore and that I need to come back home
    to escape the dark and self-harming.

    Someday I will tell you that I am too scared
    to tell you what I have been running from
    since I was young.

    Someday I will tell you that I am your daughter
    and always have been, but never had the words
    to know it is possible to live up to other than expectations.

    Someday I will tell you the name she gave me,
    and ask you to remember me as “she” when you
    tell stories or text the family to make plans.

    Someday I will tell you that I have been an alien
    as far back as I can access memories
    of that time a boy abused me when I was six.


    Someday I will tell you that I believed I would die
    of AIDS from age eight to seventeen because early 90s
    health education in the South blamed it on gay men.

    Someday I will tell you that I am still scared of clowns
    while we change the strings on my guitar and wait
    for the paint to dry on my biggest canvas.

    Someday I will tell you that my body is changing,
    that you will soon feel breasts pressed against you
    when we embrace, if you still will hold me close.

    Someday I will tell you that I am happier, and what saved me
    when dying seemed like the thing to do,
    was every time you told me, “I believe you.

  16. Earl Parsons

    These Prompts of November

    These prompts of November
    Cause us to remember
    Things thought long lost
    In the vastness of our brains

    Like sorrows and pain
    Or walking in the rain
    Some happy smile thoughts
    But others, maybe not

    These prompts stir the mind
    And we struggle to find
    The right words to express
    And make sense of the mess

    So day after day we all
    Stir the brain to recall
    Memories worth telling
    Or we simply create one

    Some prompts stimulate
    While others emasculate
    They help us remember
    These prompts of November

  17. candy

    Sink or Swim

    this poem is floundering
    trading water without
    its floaties

    swimming for shore –
    up a creek without
    a (doggie) paddle

    down for the count
    until your heart throws
    it a lifeline

  18. Bruce Niedt

    Sometimes when I’m stuck i use one of my favorite prompts: Use your favorite mode of listening to music (iTunes, Spotify, a CD changer, your favorite radio station, etc.) and in a random or “shuffle” mode, write down the titles of the next five songs played. Use those titles in a poem.

    A Photograph of Us

    An old girlfriend from Amsterdam says hello,
    wants to friend him on Facebook.
    Remember that summer of 1976, she says,
    when we hitchhiked across Europe,
    slept under bridges, and once,
    that nighttime in the switching yard
    where we made love? I still have
    a photograph of us. He remembers
    like it was yesterday, but that was
    another life, another continent.
    To open up this avenue,
    he would have to dig up concrete,
    so he doesn’t accept the invitation.
    And so it goes.

    [My titles were Amsterdam Says (Bell X1), Photograph (Ringo Starr), So It Goes (Nick Lowe), Nighttime in the Switching Yard (Warren Zevon), and 1976 (The Baseball Project).]

    1. MET

      Once in college… our Creative writing teacher… a wonderful teacher…..called out words and we had to write a poem in class… and read it…sort like something Robert does… sometimes when I get stuck… I will tell FB friends to give me some words… and the first six from whomever I will write a poem on each word…

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