2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

Wow! Some how, some way, we’re two thirds of the way through this month already.

For today’s prompt, write a dark poem. Cave poems, poems at night, and no electricity poems–these are all appropriate for today’s prompt. Of course, dark has several other connotations as well. An underdog is often known as a dark horse, a villain may have a dark heart, and Batman is known as the Dark Knight. Heck, when I was little, I thought Darth Vader was Dark Vader.

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Poem Your Days Away!

Online poetry prompts are great! But where can you get your poem fix when you unplug? The answer is the Smash Poetry Journal, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This book collects 125 poetry prompts from the Poetic Asides blog, gives poets plenty of room to write poems, and a lot of other great poetic information. Perfectly sized to carry in a backpack or purse, you can jot down ideas for poems as you’re waiting in line for a morning coffee or take it to the park for a breezy afternoon writing session (or on a bus, at a laundromat, or about anywhere else you can imagine–except under water, unless you’re in a submarine or a giant breathable plastic bubble).

Anyway, it’s great for prompting poems, and you should order a copy today. (Maybe order an extra one as a gift for a friend.)

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Dark Poem:

“taking pictures of a black hole”

i admit there are times i’m afraid of the dark
because of all the games my brain plays in the park
of my mind processing possible outcomes so
i fell i’m possessing an incredible ghost

or perhaps the spirit may be possessing me
& i’m the dark vessel through which the spirit sees
just as scientists can see the unseeable
i often fear i could be the unbeable

so if i tremble when i’m alone in the night
imagine a black hole consuming all the light
& know our heavenly bodies are made to end
by dissolving in space like a note never sent

& silence like darkness never ceases to breed
more feelings of longing & an unending need

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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 enjoyed writing a sonnet today; find more poetic forms here. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

219 thoughts on “2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

  1. AvatarHillariousJ

    In the Dark

    The captain dimmed the cabin lights
    And jets catapulted us into the night,
    so many pilgrims, so many dreams.
    Sharing air and anticipation, and spare
    space of the capsule, which rocketed
    each toward individual success or failure,
    satisfaction or disappointment.
    We had no way of knowing what we’d find
    in the bright light of touchdown.

  2. AvatarPSC in CT

    Stygian Sky

    When the welkin
    is at its blackest,
    (sans even the
    slightest intrusion
    of light pollution)
    it extends
    a most superb backdrop,
    tendering the grandest
    ebony canopy,
    a vault ideally suited
    for star gazing
    (and also perfect
    for the blissful
    enjoyment
    of heavenly bodies)

  3. AvatarYolee

    Husband

    Didn’t we name every shade of light that gave birth
    to our terrain? Rain in our field made fair and unjust
    things wet and difficult to sort. But we were also stalks
    bobbing with growth, hanging on to what came for us.

    The children sought spices stored in dark caves.
    In the rush to save them from messy things
    we kicked a few sticks where hoped camped
    amidst prayers. The tent never caved.

    Scratches of early love yellowed.
    At times the right to be right embellished
    on the cotton of his & hers had been washed
    many times. We could not reclaim the lost colors.

    O, but there are prisms angled at the transparencies
    of the heart. We sang songs that will never
    quiver along the voice of another pair.

    Silence wasn’t always charmed in platinum. From time
    to time it was an ally polishing misunderstanding
    jammed in trenches, yet scissors cannot cut us
    out of the love that blinds. It straight up can’t.

    There was that season we dressed in coveralls
    coding the fear we feared would escape
    to maul the arms that rocked our spirits.

    O, but the sound of our combined laughter,
    achingly out of tune- scars with ends
    that dwindle into our souls
    to remind us that ashes ride the winds.
    But we have soles to walk each other home
    to where cynosure is reserved for our fusion.

  4. AvatarYolee

    Husband

    Didn’t we name every shade of light that gave birth
    to our terrain? Rain in our field made fair and unjust
    things wet and difficult to sort. But we were also
    stalks bobbing with growth.

    The children sought spices stored in dark caves.
    In the rush to save them from messy things
    we kicked a few sticks where hoped camped
    amidst prayers. The tent never folded.

    At times, the right to be right embellished on the cotton
    of his & hers had been washed so many times,
    we could not reclaim the lost colors. O, but there
    were prisms angled at the transparencies of the heart.

    Silence wasn’t always charmed in platinum. From time
    to time it was an ally polishing misunderstanding
    jammed in trenches.

    There was that season when we dressed in coveralls
    coding the fear we feared would escape.

    We also have the sound of combined laughter
    achingly out of tune- scars with ends
    that dwindle into our souls
    to remind us that ashes ride the winds,
    we have soles to walk each other home
    to where cynosure is reserved for our fusion.

  5. AvatarBill Kirk

    PAD Day 20:

    Lux et Lex
    By Bill Kirk

    I have seen the darkness of the night,
    Long after the light of day has faded
    Into a deep and shadowless umber;
    Before its battle with the sun has begun;
    When clouds converge, blocking all light
    From moon and stars.

    I have been in the midst of
    The profoundest darkness underground
    Where, with eyes wide open,
    No light is detectible to illuminate
    Even the most proximate
    Of forms and features.

    And I have witnessed and heard of
    The darkest days of human suffering
    Dispensed by misguided hands far and near;
    Seen basic needs of life beyond reach and
    Watched sickness and starvation and death
    Reign supreme and unyielding.

    Yet, the deepest of physical darkness
    Pales in comparison to the absence of light
    That comes from the casual acceptance
    Of ignorance and the disregard of truth
    That shields us from understanding.

    Only when enough persons of good will
    Become sufficiently offended and share
    A willingness, guided by law,
    To take right action in concert with others,
    Will darkness yield to the light of knowledge.

  6. AvatarDe Jackson

    Litebrite

    We never knew what we were looking at until
    the colors filled in, neon bright against all that

    black. Rooster, rainbow, turtle, clown, king –
    the only thing we knew was these tiny spiky sparks

    could create a whole world, and
    ward off the dark.

    ::

  7. AvatarValkyri

    eighteen demons

    the walls of his studio felt like sand in my hands
    like sand hardened with elmer’s white glue
    his underground cavern wound around and around
    labyrinthine wendings and windings all curves
    and narrow, too, were the serpentine paths

    lit with rotted candles not too close together
    the darkness and cool quiet a sickly ochre shade
    my hand always on one wall to find my way back
    lest there live a minotaur at the centre
    the fright and fear lifting each hair to a prickle

    there came a cathedral if one could call it that
    of charcoal and clotted blood on the walls
    splatches and splotches in frenzied motion
    the flicker of firelight making them dance
    seeming to make them move and laugh

    oh! what hell have these demons come from?
    a trick of the eye or the restless mind?
    from his mind, the artist, or from mine own, the beholder?
    the splotches meld and reform! see their wings flutter!
    they leap like gargoyles from the wall, all fangs and claws

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