2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

Here we are again: the end of another challenge. Thank you so much for showing up and poeming along with me. It’s always a great deal of fun.

For today’s prompt, write a closing time poem. Or another way of coming at this prompt is to write a poem in which something is coming to an end–like this month’s poetry challenge. Could be the end of a concert, an era, or whatever else must come to a close.

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Here’s my attempt at a Closing Time Poem:

“after hours”

as she finishes her shift
by clearing the tables
& wiping them down
methodically moving
chairs into their places
for tomorrow she thinks
about asking off for
Memorial Day & trading
shifts for next Thursday
& then she hears a hand
knock on the locked door
of the diner & she turns
before putting her hand
to her chest as he stands
there pleading to come in

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He had fun writing to a loose theme this month and trying to fit it to each day’s prompt.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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385 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 30

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    bookstore haiku
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    goodbye last bookstore
    will miss thy brick and mortar
    remember to read

    © 2018 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Sara McNulty

    Robert, Thank you for this exciting challenge. The prompts were wonderful. This is my 9th year of participation, and I hope there will be many more to come.

    Poets, It has been a pleasure and honor to be in your company.

  3. BDP

    I’ve been days behind everyone this month, with little hope of catching up. Congratulations to all who posted and completed the PAD. Thank you, Robert, for hosting this site. You are a delight to read, both in your poetry and by your encouragement. Further, the talent in this blog spellbinds me. Wonderful inspiration.

    Barb Peters

    * * *

    “Since I Agree: Feeling is First”

    Best to start a twister’s tale by first
    scouting signs of impending destruction, attention
    to a shelf cloud, sudden squall. Or perhaps little things
    scattered in a warming afternoon breeze you
    enjoy: two leaves spinning, both a fool
    for the other. Can you believe their world

    soon will be upside down? Love approves—
    hasn’t it done so, time immemorial?—fate
    tossed through a storm’s lack of wisdom,
    but also calmed by a bloom so gentle you cry.
    Thus proving relationships are more than
    the twining seen: each one also a prediction that says

    we won’t end, but we might, depending. Then,
    when you believe that threat, swoop it in your arms.
    Own the subsequent future, make every paragraph

    a part of stability, and whirlwinds parenthesis.

    Endwords from Edwin Estlin Cummings, “since feeling is first”

  4. PSC in CT

    Moonflowers and Morning Glories

    All manner of wise & wonder-
    ful flowers people this planet,
    many of whom will open up,
    then shut themselves down,
    some to simply wither and
    wane, while others wax
    again and again

    Each adheres to its own
    unique tenure, carefully timing
    its blossoming and decline,
    abiding by some secret, specific
    plan of rhythm and rhyme
    to synchronize
    its blooming times

    Some will blossom
    and frolic in the morning sun
    collapsing as evening settles in;
    others soiree the night away,
    folding up at first light of day.

    How do they know
    when to unfurl their petals?
    How do they know
    when it’s time to close?

    Is there some shaman,
    a conjurer of enchantment,
    some magical sorcerer
    waving his wand
    like a maestro’s baton?

    Or some master supervisor,
    a timekeeper who schedules
    and manages these mystical
    mechanics with calendars,
    dockets and timetables?

    Might such timely rhythms be
    controlled by their own internal
    clockworks, or does (perhaps)
    some supernatural bartender
    offer up a last call?

    At present, I can only
    ponder and suppose,
    but one day, mayhap,
    I’ll be reborn
    a morning glory
    or a moonflower
    so I might know.

  5. tunesmiff

    All (beginning wit Robert, of course);
    Thank you for your creativity all through each day~ that in itself was very encouraging to me in my traipsing through month.
    I’d also like to thank all who read my responses, and to those who commented ~ this, my ninth April PAD (I think), was a bit tougher given the hectic schedule I’ve been wrestling, but it also served to give me a respite as I noodled and nudged my way to a satisfying (usually) draft piece.
    And I found so many of y’all’s works to be such interesting and unique takes, and regret not having time to comment on all that caught that only special place good and heartfelt words can.
    Happy May~ and happy editing.
    George “Tunesmiff” Smith

  6. Bill Kirk

    I have no idea why it might be, but I recall seeing something about May 1 being included in this year’s challenge. It may have been to catch any entries that crossed the midnight barrier due to time zone differences. If true, my apologies for adding another post today.

    Why Do We Do What We Do…?
    By Bill Kirk

    What has made poetry what it happens to be?
    Is it the longing for lasting expression
    Of all matters manifest in our humanity?
    Or perhaps the discovery of some thing
    Or feeling or essence simply not yet captured in word?

    And what of its form and structure?
    Is the mastery of poetic construction a skill
    To be judged and celebrated with any lesser acclaim
    Than a singer or orator? And consider the
    Precision a painter parlays with his palette.

    Instead, might it be an endless search for meaning,
    By tapping the heartfelt emotion of an unsettled soul?
    On the other hand, if poets are thus afflicted,
    What of the readers left wondering what the poet
    Meant to convey by his choice of arcane adverbials?

    And what is its purpose, that poetry thing?
    Is it to tell a story? Create a mood?
    Touch the heart through a certain sentiment?
    Or simply turn a clever phrase that satisfies
    A longing and lust for linguistic languor?

    Far too often but, alas, not often enough,
    Might we find ourselves drawn into the vortex
    Of creative camaraderie in search of poetic license—
    As card-carrying members of the Pact of Poesy,
    Only to struggle in vain to pass muster.

    And, yet, might even the weaker the attempt
    Evermore evince the purity of the motive?
    Is the core of our call only to try?
    Here’s to the personal journey of every poet among us!
    May jointly our banners of ebullient banter long wave!

  7. madeline40

    Closed

    It’s almost closing time
    for my age group.
    Some members have already died –
    suddenly, after a long illness,
    accidentally. It doesn’t matter.
    They were loved
    and now very much missed.
    Others are so sick
    or so disabled they are at risk
    of falling and failing on the floor.
    I think healing thoughts for them
    though I know my thoughts probably
    won’t help.
    One friend is in such pain
    he thinks about closing the door himself.
    I pray that he doesn’t.
    How did it get to this?
    How did our years go by this fast
    leaving us to a finite future
    with a closed sign at the end?

  8. Tracy Davidson

    Closing Time

    the couple hold hands
    across the table
    seemingly oblivious
    to the waiting staff
    putting chairs on tables
    and tapping their watches

    they stare intently
    into each other’s eyes
    speaking without words
    until the lights are dimmed
    by the manager
    anxious to get home

    embarrassed faces
    they let go of each other
    with reluctance
    on the pavement outside
    they go separate ways
    to their spouses

  9. Matt

    before you close
    your eyes
    your mind
    begins to drift
    – the chores conquered
    – the words written
    – the adventures had and the miles logged

    it all comes rushing
    by
    as you begin
    to float
    downstream.

  10. mayboy

    The everlasting dance

    We are amazed by
    each other praise
    of the phrase, words
    & thoughts, placed
    in the infinity dance.

    Turn them on the
    floor as a ballerina
    spins on tiptoes
    for the everlasting
    audience amused.

  11. Bill Kirk

    Closings
    By Bill Kirk

    The opening and closing
    Of human endeavors,
    In all their beginnings and endings,
    Seems almost naturally to follow
    Nature’s cycles in their windings and wendings.

    Of course, they can appear to be
    So emotionally laden, at least,
    In large measure because
    They tend to be such intimate
    And intricate parts of ourselves—

    Let’s face it. We own them
    And, perhaps far too often,
    We allow them to become who we are—
    Our very identity defined by
    What it is we do.

    Consider all the various closings
    We endure or witness.
    Some are highs. But many are
    A last hurrah—perhaps for the night
    Or the year or maybe a career.

    Wasn’t the Grand Opening, well,
    Simply grand? But how did the
    Everything Must Go Sale feel?
    Last call at the bar before closing
    Always seems a bit anti-climactic.
    We’ve maxed out the fun meter.
    The party’s over. Oh, and did I mention,
    The promotion went to someone else.

    Even when retirement is the culmination
    Of a life’s work, replete with accolades,
    Might it feel a bit less than the next big thing?
    Perhaps closings just take
    An extra dose of getting used to….

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