2020 April PAD Challenge: Day 1 Highlights

Here are some poems that "popped" for Robert Lee Brewer from Day 1 of the 2020 April Poem-A-Day Challenge.
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Here are some poems that "popped" for Robert Lee Brewer from Day 1 of the 2020 April Poem-A-Day Challenge.

Having trouble finding today's prompt? Click here for Day 4's prompt.

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I haven't done this in a while, but I wanted to share some poems that "popped" for me from Day 1 of the challenge (write a new world poem). I don't know if I'll be able to do this for every day in the challenge, because I'm in the same headspace and dealing with the same world as everyone else. So we'll take this one day at a time.

These poems are not ranked in any order and their inclusion is not meant to exclude others—I just wanted to highlight a few that spoke to me that are hidden in a wave of comments.

Also, if your poem is highlighted and you'd like your byline changed to your real name, please just send me an email at rbrewer@aimmedia.com with the name of your poem and preferred byline.

Re-create Your Poetry!

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Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

Click to continue.

Day 1 Poems That "Popped" for Me:

New World, Post Pandemic, by Shaindel Beers

Let the deer think of us the way we think of them
with their wasting disease. The way we mourn the rhinos,
the elephants, the koalas after the bushfires. It is sad,

but not too sad, because it is not us, after all.
Let whatever comes after ponder us the way
we ponder the Neanderthals, the Denisovans,

grasping any link as a novelty, party small talk,
comparing fractions of DNA strands. Let the wolves
have Yellowstone; the bison, all of Nebraska.

The sand hill cranes can fly over fly over land,
safe from plane engines. Let the coyote take over
the hen house, let Whiskers scratch loose her belled collar,

let Rufus outrun his invisible fence. Give it all back.
We’re not needed. We had a good run—the way
we think of the dinosaurs, the giant sloth, the way

we wonder how something improbable as a terror bird
could have existed. Sure, the finches will miss
their feeders. They'll find real thistles soon enough—

*****

Chinese Lessons, by Joseph Harker

The first words are not so much like music
as flight— soaring to the top of a syllable,

floating awhile, before diving downward
into the next. Still, you press on.

There are whole months of vocabulary
refusing to stick. Punctuating them—

the moments when your mind tips over
its axis, and suddenly the sentence fits

together, the verbs and nouns symmetric
and perfect as flowers, meanings shifting

through their tints. But not too far.
It’s not so much like getting lost as a visit

unannounced, entering a neighbor's house
to find all the tables already set.

*****

Self Evident, by P.A. Beyer

That smile –
A two bit decoy

That smile –
A silent assault

That smile –
Intent wasn't necessary

That smile –
Destroyer of worlds

You delivered blankets
and smiled

*****

A Touch of Love, by Joseph Hesch

It's always been my secret,
now others must learn its ways.
Start using words like "egret,"
in conversation on the page.

I began this a decade back,
while I sat alone and lonely.
Imagination an empty sack,
I thought of you and said, "If only…"

Pulled apart by distance and time,
I couldn't feel you if I tried.
So I called to you, not in rhyme,
but poetically I kind of lied.

Made-up stories, observations
of a somewhat intimate nature,
took the place of conversations,
all in my own nomenclature.

My words became more than my own,
since they touched others in some way.
But now it seems I'm not alone,
since we all have to keep away.

I suggest if you crave a touch,
and social distancing won't let you,
write an ode, sonnet or some such
and see how close that’ll get you.

We're in a new world, living apart,
wearing the mask and rubber glove.
But if you wish to reach a heart,
a poem can be a touch of love.

*****

This Tree Says We're Together, Strong, by De Jackson

We are just standing here
peeling bark from umber

trunk, showing her age
and waiting on proof. You

tell me this breeze shall
pass, this voice unlashed

against all this ridiculous
blue sky that defies the

ragged edges of this new
-world truth: we are one

and some old things are
done and some others are

changing, rearranging them
-selves into a new language

we can perhaps all speak.
We seek now only clasping

hands and the grace to stand
shoulder to shoulder again,

heart to heart again, soul to
soul again, ready to sing.

*****

NEW DISCOVERY, OLD WORLD, by Taylor Graham

Tap your poem
on a singing-stone
under the summit sky,
hear it ring from a boulder
far, far down the canyon….

*****

"A sickness from wounded bats," by Kayla Harris

A sickness from wounded bats
crawls into our lungs
to sing goodnight.
Fast cars and shipping trucks
fill the air with clouded muck
in-breath and sight.

We heard the mother's call
only when she took our lives.
Grandma and uncle won't be here
to hear the cries.
The years that sounded
in the earth's destruction
only makes headlines
in the million's affliction.

Grand tsunami's and water pollution
rains acid onto the days of new revolution.
Sickness has swept the nation
from our infliction
to the land
we are but it's patient.

*****

a Collom lune, by viewfromnowhen

This new world
resembles one we had lost
without even knowing.

*****

New World, by jnolting

I follow the rules
of the new world,
shelter in place

stay inside the lines,
inside the white walls
of my apartment.

I distance myself,
stand six feet away
from the cracked mirror

watch the person
staring back at me,
wearing the startled look

of a new immigrant
stepping for the first time
into a foreign land,

one filled with empty streets,
ghosts drifting across
the fog-shrouded fields,

people hidden behind walls
pulling back curtains with
hands cracked and bleeding.

*****

New World, by Carole Cole

You can blame me all you want but
those men who came for me held the key
that locked your voice. My people
so long left alone in innocence did not
recognize the difference between subject
and object, no words in our language:
Subjugation, objectification—concepts
tense and sharp like a double bladed ax
to carve out your heart.
I lay with them and they dressed me
in silver and gold they dug from beneath
our homes. I sang them to sleep night
after night, then searched their clothes
for any key that could free us, for any
words that we might use. They had taken
them all. Blame me now but I watched you
stand abject with your flimsy knives
and offer them your throats.

*****

"on an asphalt sea," by therealcie

on an asphalt sea my son and I ride
as long as the weather is on our side
we make a journey to retrieve
items from a place that we must leave
on an asphalt sea

as the earth turned, so did the tide
fortune has not been on my side
I search for reasons to believe
on an asphalt sea

some days I do not mind the ride
other days I wish to escape inside
over the years there have been reasons to grieve
I examine the dreams that my mind may conceive
on an asphalt sea

*****

New Vs. Ancient, by Sara McNulty

New does not always mean better.
Ancient buildings remain standing.
Craftsmanship builds sturdy structures.
New does not always mean better.
Cheap materials, bribed inspector
destroys integrity while expanding.
New does not always mean better.
Ancient buildings remain standing.

(By the way, the poem above is a triolet. Learn how to write one here.)

*****

The Distance Between Us, by James Von Hendy

Love has always been a closing of distances.
Today is no different. Though we are apart
and cross to the empty side of the street
the distance between us, stranger
and neighbor, has never been so
intimate, distance so near, so shared.

We queue in the parking lot, the first
hour ours, wary behind our masks—those
who wear them and those who don't—in careful
observance, the sacredness of space
a measured intimacy, near and shared.

*****

"circle of friends," by jennfel

circle of friends
each of us wonders
who will make it

*****

How To Live In A New World, by bellestarr12

This new world looks an awful lot like the old one,
Same desk. Same coffee cup.
Same dog asleep across the room.

Same car sitting in the driveway
but today it's not going anywhere.
No popping down to the store
for ice cream or a bottle of wine.

Everything's the same, and nothing.
Let's drive across town to see the kids. No.
Let's invite John and Nancy to dinner. No.
How about a movie?
There's a good one at the Loft.
No. The theaters are closed.
Let's stream something.

Let's not be afraid.
No. Be afraid. Be careful.
Sew a mask in a brave color.
Wear your gloves.
Be careful what you touch.

Take the dog for a walk.
Greet your neighbors from a safe distance.
And watch the wind.
Eventually, it will change.

*****

New World Blues, by Michele Cable

I miss the old world
and its parties, parades, and pinatas,
bistros, ball games, and Broadway shows.

I miss the old world
with its gloveless hands, uncovered faces,
concerts, shoe shopping, chili cook-offs.

I crave "did-you-see-that-catch?" chatter
during office coffee breaks,
Popcorn smell at the movies, art museum treks.

I yearn to hug my dad again,
my sons, and my baby granddaughter.
These video chats are getting old, and speaking of old

who is that woman in the mirror?
How did I get so much gray?
You are making me look old, New World. Please cut it out.

The new world has its own batch of words,
Super-spreader, flatten-the-curve, Dr. Fauci.
My boss called today with another "F" word: He said I'm now on Furlough.

I miss the old world.

*****

This Old World, by Candace

I will not be needing a new world for
I have not finished with the old one.

It fits me well, like an old pair of shoes –
worn in but not worn out.

Its 'soul' is a little thin and there
are some cracks forming along the edges,

but that can all be mended. There are still
many miles left in this old world, many hopes

and dreams, many adventures waiting,
many kisses in the moonlight to exchange.

I will not be needing a new world
I have not finished with the old one

*****

"What happens," by Connie L. Peters

What happens
If newness wears off
And we wait
And we wait
And still no toilet paper
And still yards apart?

*****

Alone, by Karen Wilson

Shelter in place,
a still space. My
home base quiets,
alone, yet spring's
sun sets, beckoning.

*****

Star of Hope, by KZ

Look up at the stars tonight.
Pick out the one shining most bright.
Just know that I'll be looking up too.
Together we will all make it through.
Tomorrow the sun will shine and the skies
will once again be blue.
A Star of Hope I promise to you.