2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

Publish date:

Personal note: I had the prompts for this challenge figured out about a month before we started this challenge. We're 17 days into the challenge now, and I think I'm finally figuring out my theme for the month--for my own poems. We'll see what I come up with during the final 13 days, but I may finally know what I'm trying to do. Or not.

The point I'm trying to make is that I've been contacted by quite a few poets who haven't figured out a theme for their poems. I've let them know one-by-one that a theme is optional for this challenge. After all, I created the prompts, and I'm just now "maybe" striking upon a theme.

The main goals of this challenge are to poem and to have fun. If you're doing those two things, then you're having a successful challenge.


For today's prompt, take the phrase "Tell me why (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles could include: "Tell me why 1+1=2," "Tell me why I'm wrong," "Tell me why my hand always gets stuck in the Pringle's container," etc. Get silly; get serious; get poeming!

Here's my attempt:

"Tell me why we get lost"

Even the dead know when to quit trying,
so my father waits for the world to end,
because this life is all about dying.

My father believes, so he's not lying:
He speaks of orbs, the messages they send.
Even the dead know when to quit trying;

they know when living's too death defying.
I can't see them, but I hear the sirens,
because this life is all about dying.

I used to care; there used to be crying,
but after a while he's hard to defend--
even the dead know when to quit trying.

What father's selling, I won't be buying.
His mind is buried in its own coffin,
because this life is all about dying.

Brother worries, but I'm only sighing,
"What will father do if the world won't end?"
Even the dead know when to quit trying,
because this life is all about dying.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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