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Robert Lee Brewer

"Raising Dough"

Early in the morning, the baker blames his irritability on his wife,
who snores through the night and faults her five grandchildren, who
run her ragged in the afternoons, though they observe that their
problems start at school with their teachers, who keep the children
confined to their desks and who blame a test-driven principal, who
acknowledges her stern manner is a result of her husband, who very
openly flirts with the town's only doctor, who would reject his advances
if not for her own husband, who is constantly on the road attempting
to sell more units for his boss, who blames his money-focused approach
to life on his shabby upbringing by his father, who often lost jobs
(and even a finger once in a car factory) while daydreaming about
becoming a great writer like his favorite poet, who chose composing
stanzas over spreadsheets and as a result found himself often worried
late into the evenings about how he would manage to pay his rent
while realizing he had absolutely no one left to blame save himself.

(179 words)
vivienne blake
Robert your chain of events poem is absolutely brilliant, going a long way to explain the mess the world is in now.

I'm doing Napowrimo, but don't know that I can manage more than one a day (I'm no Walt!) My first Napo poem is here: http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/15-years-ago-for-napowrimo-day-1/ to a different prompt.
(49 words)
Robert Lee Brewer
Thanks, Vivienne! Poeming is poeming to me, whether you use my prompt, someone else's, or even listen to your own muse. Happy Poetry Month!
(23 words)
Walt Wojtanik


It's where the heart is
and there's no place like it,
sanctuary is the place you thrive.
Glad to be alive and full of it.
There is comfort and it is safe,
to choose to use your muse
to expound its virtue.
It is just you and a couple hundred of your closest friends.
It's April, in the gathering of poetic hearts. Home, sweet home
and loving it.

(64 words)
Uma Gowrishankar

When looked up from here the sky appears a tainted grey,
why do people dry their clothes on the frame of vision

where a bird visits, a dragonfly leaves tracing paper dreams?
As a girl I asked several times why I was born where I was born

in the dust, noise and grime. Rivers soaked through cheap posters,
in chants of daily prayers, in brass pots kept as talisman;

over the years I learnt to grow ferns that carry mountain breeze
and every cloud bore rain as they passed over my house.
(85 words)
On the Brighton Express to London

I close my eyes,
and sit and listen
as the train speeds
to London. It's a
forty-minute one-way
conversation with
Stephen Fry telling
me his life story.
A voice like treacle,
smooth and slow drips
through my earbuds,
and as the train slows
for Merstham tunnel,
I scrutinise my
choice of Stephens.
Fry's butter smooth, or
Hawking's speedy jaunt
through starry space.
No doubt, I know,
my choice is right.
Hawking tweaks my need
to know but he's not
treacle to my ears.

(77 words)
Quite right, Walt. :)
Uma, that's a thought I'll carry through the day.

(11 words)
One day it will happen
My moment of silences quietly understood,
language working magic in people's eyes,
a standing ovation when I speak on stage,
a pictorial dictionary discussed every evening,
an urge to slurp at a delicacy that is words
some, stacked neatly like books in a shelf
others, oil drops on a non-stick pan-
touching, un-touching, loving, un-loving;
alive like a corpse, dead like a soul,
bright as a moon-lit night, dark as a door-shut day
butchering memories changing dawn to dusk
every image well seen only by binding letters
not the image itself; a movie that hallucinated
between my neurons called dream.
One day it will happen - a name on paper,
a clip or a beam on tv, now google search.
To shout my silences to those who can hear,
to prove one day it will happen, I'm here.
(124 words)
Marie Elena
Without you, it is very clear that I would simply not be here. I unashamedly profess my love for you, my G.P.S.
(21 words)
Marie Elena

Robert, that was an amazing start to our journey. Wow.

Good morning, Mr. Laureate, Sir!

Long out-of-town day ahead (THANK GOD for my GPS, or I would get nowhere in life), so I'll be back later to, hopefully, write for real. I'm excited!
(46 words)
Jerry Walraven
"In the cosmic sense"

The world spins in retrograde motion
on Fridays,
though time does not follow.
Clock faces melt like Dali paintings,
to deal with the paradox.
Time shrugs its shoulders and laughs
at our silly machinations.
How we can believe we have a chance
versus the eons.
Against particles of nothing
which have existed since time did not.
So we ask for an explanation,
in terms we can understand.
But Time smiles at the small dimple
in the fabric and knows
that a single stitch
can mend whatever hole
we try to tear.
And so it continues on.
(80 words)
Rachel Green
A Moment of Peace in the Tyrant's Garden

After the dog walking and kitchen cleaning;
the vacuuming (though not every day)
and the laundry,
I make a cup of tea and sit at the computer
to write a poem.

Sometimes I write to a prompt,
sometimes to a fixed form; a sonnet
or a villanelle but mostly I free write.

Poems of dogs, of England, the passing seasons;
poems about writing or the lack of it
poems relating memories and childhood
and poems in genre - horror or love
that are sometimes the same thing.

Today, though, I'll sit with my tea
and a little tray of sugar-free mints
and write about writing poetry.

Or perhaps I won't.

(100 words)
Walt Wojtanik


We don't make eye contact anymore.
I ask; you're FINE!
And all your venom is reserved for me,
it's mine. Something I said?
If your demeanor was any meaner
I'd be pushing up daisies instead.
Call me crazy, but you never
balk at talking until you I enter.
A text on my phone emotes more
than you stealing moments of silence
from my vacant stare. Are you still there?
What we have here...is a failure...

(66 words)
Daniel Paicopulos
The History of Love

There is nothing I would change
about my life, even if I could,
because it all brought me to you.

There is nothing I would build,
not from paper, stone or wood,
except that which created me and you.

There is nothing I could say,
even if I should,
that speaks louder than the me in you.

(51 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
A flick of the finger
A pop on the screen
Three years more ago
All burst forth to be seen
Too many to cite but
There in April they were
RB and WW and Marie Elena for sure
Barbara and Amy and Chev now in new name
Sharon, Linda and Sara both M and of course V
A word drenched street
Filled with the passion, poets and art
Soaked that April in sentiment musing the heart

Happy poetry month to all! Back later to write!
(72 words)
Walt Wojtanik

"but you never balk at talking until I enter the conversation."

Sorry gang, my stiff fingers fail me early and often.
This how the line should have read.

(25 words)
Beth Rodgers
Hi everyone! Great work so far! Looking forward to an awesome month of poetry!


Tears and sweat
Nestled in her pores
Revealed contentment
Sorely missed.

The sanctity of the moment
Forever lost
She gave up
Gave in
To the never underwhelming

Having lost everything
She would come to realize
Would be the existential catalyst
For learning so much more.

(48 words)
Penny Henderson

Truth telling--that's what got me here.
A dangerous tactic at best,
and this time, I fear, fatal.
Blinking out of this world into
his will be like sloughing winter
clothes that first warm day in April.
I see the door to perfect spring
opening now before me. Sorry--you must stay,
live with regret and hope to find
forgiveness. I pray it for you.
I, though, will walk out singing
the song I opened the show with.
Truth telling, that's what'll get me home.

(72 words)
Nancy Posey
Right Here

One week from now, the house will be reduced
to just us two, the third and last, headed South

not just for winter but for good, and now I know
how my own family must feel, eight hours away.

I was the one to leave, packing up our everything,
the kids, the dog, the stuffed Canada goose,

standing, mounted in the backseat, rocking
forward on that first long drive to our new home--

and home it is, wrapped in mountains, a view
that makes me marvel every morning, peeking

out the window as I dress to see reflections
of the sunrise, the sky violet behind the blue--

Grandfather, Table Rock, sometimes snow-capped,
wrapped in clouds. Back home, my other home,

Shoal Creek still feeds into the Tennessee, water
washing over the dam heads this way too, past

banks from which I waded, fished, threw bread
crumbs to the ducks, watching bream surface

for their share. For fifteen years I haven't wet
a hook, but still I find comfort in the Catawba,

traffic floating past my house, boaters, jet skis,
Fourth of July fireworks mirrored each year.

Now I'll know for sure that though I wave
at their passing, they won't be mine. Even

the siren's scream from the highway east
of here won't make me take a head count.

I'll know that just as we found our way here,
to home, they're finding their own way too.

Happy NPM everyone. My today to-do list:
write poem (check)
play April Fool's joke ( )
(227 words)
Brian Slusher


It wasn't through customs or by
slipping through a border fence.
It wasn't though careful analysis
or luck so dumb it didn't know the
Alphabet Song. Neither a red
cap nor blue shoes, a stripped
tamarack nor a blooming azalea.
The sea wasn't smooth, wasn't
fierce, as the air was not stagnant
or fragrant. There was no Voice
commanding out of the Firmament,
not even a whisper issuing from
the cleft of a dying man's lips.
But it was a desk in classroom plain
as prose, and a girl with a single
pencil that rolled by the senseless
law of gravity to bounce once,
twice and settle at the feet of
a boy who didn't know the time
of day but knew enough to pick
it up and hand it over with almost
a smile and that, my cherubs is
the way you get into an Epic of
the Heart, by bowing slowly and
looking up, and then letting it go.

(137 words)
Tilly Bud
Perhaps a little more than I ought to share about my parents.

No Such Thing As Free Love

What got me here: a
passionate woman; a man
in love; carelessness.

(25 words)
Jerry Walraven
Uma, MiskMask ("treacle to my ears"), Nancy and Daniel: Wonderful words this morning.

(12 words)
Mike Barzacchini
What Brought Me Here

I came on foot
actually, two feet,
damp and sore
in leaking shoes.

It may be the journey
that matters most,
but at this moment
I covet a seat by the fire.
(27 words)
Karen H. Phillips
What a rich beginning! Can't wait to get back to my laptop, after I breakfast out with hubby--one of our "off day" traditions. Hmmmm, there's a topic. Looking forward to our month together, Robert and company.
(35 words)
Thanks for the mention, Jerry.

A Half-Baked Poet

And so I learnt to bake,
no pennies saved for goodness sake,
but a need to know,
a need to knead,
a new hobby, to lobby
for renewed self,
to re-awake what age
nibbles away from
ones appearance,
a need for reinvention,
an intervention before
I'm blown away as a speck of dust
or mistaken as a rusty
well-used kitchen tool.

And so I bake, I'm a baking fool,
my pantry filled with rye and spelt,
multi-grain and minty-green
bags of premium white that lean
against favourite seasoned tins.
Yeasts quick, yeasts instant,
I beg fresh yeast off bakers
like children begging for money,
and yet it seemed funny
that my need to knead, to bake
my way into an new identity
led me straight into your
waiting arms. To write, words soar,
my thoughts rising, half-baked
what surprise I might today awake.

(122 words)
Michelle Hed
A Spark

Lost and wandering
in world of gray shades,
looking for a purpose,
a meaning -

Found a spark
in the gray shades
glowing yellow
and growing -

Like a water drop ripple
my world turned from
gray to colorful hues
as the spark grew -

Found a purpose,
an enjoyment
in all things,
no longer lost.

(44 words)
Walt Wojtanik


The tightroope; taunt and trecherous,
and me, no more pious than lecherous,
Never the bane of humanity
but this sanity rides the fence.
At the expense of sounding crazy,
my thoughts get hazy and I wander.
I wonder what lies ahead but feeling
dread instead. A fine unnatural balance,
wearing this valance like the shroud it is.
Darkness offers no recompense, and you plead
the only defense you can, insanity.
You were crazy not to have seen it.
Walking a fine line between help and hell.

(75 words)
Billie Miller - Rudebusch
What brought you to me?

what brought you to me?
is it my smile or the bees
that I comb for honey
it doesn't bring me a lot of money
but it's what got me to Texas
which isn't like Kansas
with it's twisters
And you lean into me and whisper
Honey it's not the money
That got me to you
It's that smile the one that goes on for a mile.
That's what brought me to you.

(73 words)
Gloria Bostic
The Gift - Senyru

Painted memories
Years of tears and ecstasy
Brought poet treasures

(10 words)
shann palmer
West Side Story

The piano bench
holds two:
he turns pages,
she takes the keys.
the very air hums,

"catch the moon, one handed catch"

Without touching, they collide.

A miracle of no import,
a spark for a fire not yet built,
the turn of a spindle-
it wobbles,
prepares to fall.

(43 words)
RJ Clarken
Wow! So many great poems! And so early in the day!

Here's one of my entries - a couplet sonnet.


How did I get to the age I am now?
What happened to the years, and how
did the past become the time-blurred past?
What I thought would last sure didn't last.
The jump from kid to 'a certain age'
occurred, and *still* the hormones rage.
Yet while I'd be the last to complain
it seems my plans were all in vain.
I thought I'd be both famous and rich.
I wish I could say, 'It was just a glitch.'
I'm middle aged and middle class.
My middle finger? It lacks the sass
it used to have. What now...advance?
No. Age can't be the last romance.

(111 words)
RJ Clarken
And here's a more upbeat one - an Ovillejo based on a conversation I overheard between my two eleven year olds:

Arriving at Epic

"Circular logic involves proving something with circular logic" ~Unknown

"I am epic!" he said.
"No cred,
dude. Like, how can that be?"
asked she.
"It's 'cause I said it's so,
he told her. "Epic! Yo!"
She shook her head and laughed.
The logic he could craft!
"You're 'epic fail' my bro."

(66 words)
Allu Alfred

Fears take root young.
Fears take shape unsung.
Fear of roaches, fear of matches,
Fear of dreary corners,
And ghostly encounters,
But nothing beats the cold jitters,
That erupt when faced with unyielding numbers.

Mother said "Numbers matter",
For they dominate every exchange hereafter.
Father said "Numbers hold power",
Shy away and be doomed slower.
Piled up peer pressure,
And divergent desire however,
Seal a steady decline into an eternal numerical stammer.

The curling eights and sticky fours pick on the ego,
As fumbling attempts to command'em falter, turning you a zero.
Under their unrelenting gaze,
Stuck in a confounding maze,
Your only solace
Is to rush back from the chocking world of numbers
And find comfort conceding your fears in words.

(101 words)
m j dills
The Weather Report's Been Amended

The weather report's been amended
And it's going to rain after all
Meaning a slight change of plans
Putting a different dollar amount on the day
I'll turn on my heel,
Which will face me in the other direction
To go where the day takes me
Bring bus tokens and passports
Make reservations on the moon
What gets me there
Will bring me home again

(58 words)
Michael Grove
The Journey

The journey started with a call.
A pillow for a softer fall,
Of feathers from an angels' wing.
Then heard the words for all to sing.

With broken fragments of a heart.
Out of the grave to act the part.
Straight from the wind, a voice is heard,
To understand and share the word.

As if a poem could change a day.
To read and seek and find the way.
A mood transformed onto a page.
By pen of fool and heart of sage.

With sandled foot on bended knee.
One eye opened up to see.
The other resting, prone to reason.
Fears not charge of war or treason.

A hot potato passed around.
Another metaphor is found.
No way to keep this all inside.
A sleeping giant cannot hide.
(111 words)
barbara young
'morning all


another soggy night and out the bathroom window,
I create the body of a small triceratops, lying
under the buds of the dogwood.
It is made out of light and its absence, rubble, and
color plates in the Encyclopedia Britannica, leather
and gloss and smelling chilly white in 1955.
a still rain.
if there were wind, I might remember an air carried
scrap, a tan plastic Kroger bag, as the following
volume's brilliant banners and flags
on the floor by the grandmother and grandfather
twin beds in their air conditioned summer majesty.

gloss pages, glass window, glass touch screen

if I were in my grandfather's cigar-scented hall corner,
with a spotlight of gooseneck lamp, I'd be sitting on bare feet,
almost standing for leverage, too short otherwise to reach
the staircase sweep of bone-yellow Underwood keys
but I would be writing, thinking of Triceratops.

(127 words)
Laurie Kolp

"All the world's a stage and all
the men and women merely players."

I stood in the pristine mezzanine
watching the show unaware, beware
I was the main star, vain gar
trying to manipulate, capitulate
life's unending tune, soon...*

*to read the rest of the poem, please visit my blog www.lkharris-kolp.blogspot.com(or click on my name below)

(48 words)
Jin Kaps
"One Bent Spoon"

It was easy to blame all my problems on you.
You had me wrapped around your finger,
so I had the power to point it
away from myself.

I lived according to what I thought I knew.
That I should be a little wary
of the skinny girls in tight skirts
and painted on smiles.

But those slick intentions were only sketched
out on flesh colored paper by my mind.
My own eyes made them dance,
made them come alive.

So when you finally were done with my games
and you turned your back on "us",
I fell apart.
And you got upset when someone else picked up my pieces.

Instead of me, it's you now eating
with the big bent spoon
out of that gallon bucket of ice cream,
hoping it'll heal something.

Instead of me, it's you now wondering what happened.
It's you who thinks about the bad times,
wishing they were better.
But they weren't.

Or maybe it's just me, drawing one bent spoon
in your sad, empty drawer
because I think it'll help me
get over you.

Ha. If you only knew.

(159 words)
Anders Bylund
From Point A to Point B

I always knew my destination:
No, a teacher!
Back to the library!
Ah, a webmaster,
or programmer.
Is it too late to go back to librarian?
Freelance writer?
Hobbyist poet?
Hey, my novel's finished!
And I'm still writing code.

... Nobody told me about Points C through Z.

(42 words)
Anders Bylund
April rocks, probably harder than Cleveland.

For what it's worth, my contribution search tool is back and hardly needed any maintenance at all this year. Three simple ways to get there:
* Click here.
* Click on my name below any comment I make here.
* Type the following in your address bar: http://gowrite.me/pad.pl

Hope it helps someone out there, and that the annual PAD challenge never dies. Robert, you're one of my personal heroes.
(69 words)
annie mcwilliams

late at night when i should be asleep
instead details swim, paddling back from the brink
of ruin, bearing down hard on middle age
life's wrong turns have brought me to my knees
eternal questions cannot be taught

all i have is a voice, what you have heard is true
choices can take everything away

not even born as promised, a premature life
knows there is misery enough in this world
no one exists alone

fair warnings long outgrown, i shut the door
to turn energies towards a file drawer, spring cleaning
sacrifice seems trivial
time always finds the hole, a silent appeal
confronts the years left---
stands at the foot of my bed each morning
ready to start over

(104 words)
Patricia A. Hawkenson
Swan Watch

My black mask
with emotions tucked
allows my signature
to elegantly script
a watery illusion
to flood the page.

I don't expect
anyone to know
if I've left behind
a glistening trail.

My solitary path
of dignity
may only be seen
by me.

But a bridge leads down
and in the quiet inlet
reeds and lilies
protect the swan.

(45 words)

The Act of Listening

She only heard
half of what's said,
one hand pressed hard
up the side of her head.

Her right ear was clear
to hear what her left ear
could not, as she wanted
not to hear what was
not really right

(35 words)
Katrelya Angus

"Early one morning, as the sun was shining"
I heard not a maiden singing, but a wise single mother
Teaching the ways of England to me, her only granddaughter.
A balloon from a neighbor's party sailed skywards -
"Look, Nan-Nan," I cried, "It's flying to England!"

Thirty years later, I found myself high in the air
Seeing for the first time, the waves lapping the cliffs-
"Welcome to England," said the Captain
As the green hills of the land I knew in stories
Became more real as they grew larger and larger;

London Bridge is standing firm, standing firm, standing firm.
London Bridge is standing firm-

The fair lady had at last come home to England:
The land of her grandmother's tales.

(110 words)
Julie Hayes

The road has been long
Many hills and valleys
Rivers and streams to cross
Winding my way
To get here, where I am

There have been many hats worn
As I traveled this path
Love and laughter
Tears and pain
To get here, where I am

I have felt heartache
Along this weary road
Much more than one
Should ever feel
To get here, where I am

I am now at a crossroads
Trying to choose
The right path to follow
To get there
Where I am going

(70 words)
Andrew Kreider


I arrived at the Middle School carrying
A three-foot-long model of the U.S.A.
Fashioned out of frosting and rice krispie treats,
With the Oregon Trail marked in green sprinkles.

At first this history project seemed absurd,
Sugar-coating every hill and valley.
But in the end, perhaps all of our attempts
To explain our origins leave us gasping:

Manifest destiny, guts and glory, luck.
We spend our lives reshaping the stories
We tell about how we got here, with frosting
To cover the cracks we aren't ready to show.

(76 words)
Next Stop

I am passing.
I am definitely passing.
I am on my way.

I am on my way.
I am definitely on my way, sitting,
in my car, in the train, in the bus, on the ferry.
I am going somewhere.

That's why I'm here.

(37 words)
Linda Voit
What got me here

I had walked the dog, fed him
and while he squatted
in the back yard
talked to the neighbor
about the aerator he rented
for the weekend and how

nice it was to feel spring.
I had pulled poetry books by
Deb Marquart and Sharon Olds
off the shelf in the family room
because I love to eat poems
with my breakfast. I had made

a bowl of Cheerios with
strawberries and skim milk
a cup of black coffee
two pieces of 9-grain bread, toasted
with a touch of butter. The dog
settled on my bare toes

while I ate. After ten Marquart poems
and three Olds poems, it struck me.
I jumped up, said Kingston!
It's April first! Time for poem-a-day!
He looked at me like I had beef
and we ran to the computer.

Linda Voit

Hi guys, If anyone can tell me how to get my name to appear as a link in this like most of you do, I sure would appreciate it.
(150 words)
Michele Brenton aka banana_the_p
Here today...

Another smiling face that tells me
I am not valued or important
and my suffering and the suffering of my
loved ones is something we
just have to deal with
alone, unhelped, disregarded.
That frankly if we went go off
to quietly end it all
it would probably be a relief
to all unconcerned
with our welfare
because none of us are children
and so we have no intrinsic value.

The poems we write
the songs composed
the books we produce
are nothing and will not be missed
by the smiling faces who seem to think
that people aged under eighteen
are the only people worth anything
that a strange transition
happens and across one second
a valuable child, a precious child
loses all worth and becomes an adult.

So here I am making a small noise
banging a small drum
and wondering why
everyone doesn't see
that we are all children
and always will be?

(130 words)
Elizabeth Johnson
Some great poems up already this morning! I have to admit, I'm kind of worried about getting through this month of poeming. My muse has not exactly been cooperative the past few months... any advice welcome! But for now, a simple shadorma re:what got me to Poetic Asides today.

PAD Challenge
summons an age old
love of words,
plying phrases to
sweep and swell like cresting waves
on paper.

(62 words)
Michele Brenton aka banana_the_p
That frankly if we went go off
to quietly end it all

should read

That frankly if we were to go off
and quietly end it all

Apologies will try and read more carefully before posting from now on :(
(36 words)
stephanie barbe hammer
bus to the train to the train to the bus
to walking to climbing up stairs
to sitting but not for long.
i complain about my continual trajectories but i need
to be moving. my grandparents fled castles
and cornfields. russia and norway. princes
and plumbers they were but they too
were always travelling -- my grandfathers
lay pipes for nordstroms and built cabins
in the cascades or else
or constructed costumes
for the opera. they ran up and down from poor
to rich to poor again. we are always running
and in my mind I am snipping lace or fitting
bathtub fixtures. both noble efforts. i sit
on the train to the bus to the train and think of them
and my words emigrate fastand continual across the diary pages.
(115 words)
Nikki Markle
"Taken by the River"

Skipping rocks and
Daydreaming from shore,
Miles upstream from
Where I should be;
Marooned by uncertainties,
Rapids and waterfalls.

A step into the shallows; the
Current pushes me back.

I let it.

Two steps.
I let it.

Three steps.

Will the water take me?

Nikki Markle

Here's to my 3rd go at Poem-A-Day!
(51 words)
Joy Cagil

At dawn, I woke up to birdsongs,
from strays that sang and flew away.
At midday, I lunched with witches
from my coven, as my children pulled
at my hem, children raised on Enfamil,
matchbox cars, and college beer,
children who were birds, too,
and they flew, singing their own songs.
Now, sandhill cranes cry, untamed, unterrified
of the golf balls sailing to my porch door,
and we sing our songs together,
synchronizing sorrows into harmony,
for I know, strangers that we are,
sandhill cranes will be extinct like me.

(82 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Linda, put your link into the "Home Page" box just above the comment box. It should highlight your name and become the link.

(22 words)
Cameron Mathews
Here's my first one:

Impetus and the Verbal Prod Cheers! And thanks for the fun challenge!
(14 words)
Nikki Markle
Andrew Kreider loved your "Frosting"...that last line is a gem!
(9 words)
Nikki Markle
Enjoyed "On the Brighton Express to London" Miskmask!
(7 words)
Thank you, Nikki, and I look forward to reading more of your work this month. Yours reminded me of my childhood, fishing mountain streams with my father. Nice memories.

(28 words)
Walt Wojtanik


Legs that wobble, an unsure footing
putting a boy steps behind the rest,
but he'd try his best to make a go of it,
one foot in front of the other.

Sometimes, he'd totter and fall,
and sit and wail to no awail.
But, with time he'd figure it out,
and find his way, step by step.

Finally, a stride more assured,
not so absurd to think that each footprint
is a journey attempted. Not exempted in heart
or mind he finds direction and purpose.

Occasionally, setbacks knock him off
track and back to square one. But
one foot paces forward, the other
leaves an imprint saying "I was here!"

Life's escapade, is more adventure than charade,
and after all is said and done, he is the one
left standing tall, above it all and humble
that it took a lifetime of stumbles to get here.

Words that boggle, a secure feeling
putting a man one step ahead of the rest.
His best foot forward earned his reward,
one word in front of the other brought him here.

No giant leap, keeping his wits about him
and as grateful for them as he is for their ability;
verbal agility that speaks from the heart,
starting one April morn and baby stepping each day to May.

(188 words)
Justin Evans
What Got Me Here


Love::Sex::Free Love::Infidelity::Fuckery


Insecurity::Paranoia::Hormones::Hippie Counterculture

Drugs::Divorce::Politics::1965 Ford Galaxie

Goodwill & Welfare::Monday Night Football

Bad Grades::Low Self Esteem::Bullies

War::Books::Fear::More Love


(Intentionally left blank)

* * *

(20 words)
de jackson


It was an ancient 1975 AMC Concord, her white horse, the
getaway car she would point straight out of Podunk, Nevada

once and for all. It was the tiny trail of terrible men she tossed
her heart at, when all they really wanted was her body. The

smell of Jack Daniels and weed and the roar of his anger and
the torn and tear-soaked pillows and the sound of the plead

-ing girl in the mirror (go.wehavetogo.) The forests of trees
she killed along the way bleeding rage to page and praying

for forgiveness and redemption and hope. It was the inexact sigh
-ence of leaving and the fragile art of loving where she landed.

(113 words)
Sheryl Kay Oder
Not in the plan

I wasn't planned--
at least not this year.
Life's events seem to whiz by
as my slowing mind and body
crawl to catch up.

Other Aprils have seen
words, phrases, and metaphors
crowd out weeds and taxes.
I can't afford to keep up
that "irresponsible" impulse.

Well, maybe today.
I'll be waiting with Mother
at the ophthalmologist's office.
I can write a poem then.
So why do I write now instead?

(64 words)
The Path of a Horse

"Look for the girl with a broken smile...
She will be loved." - Maroon 5

With a Spanish accent, brunette hair
with wavy locks of caramel hues,
and pale high cheekbones,
you are unbridled and tumultuous,
broken and flawed
without a stable, without a home.

Your muffled cries underneath the covers
tell me how you want to die,
that you are not perfect
like how everyone is
or how your family
wants you to be
no matter how much, how hard,
how long you tried.

Yet I take your hand and place
an iced glove to bring you back
from your tears, your pain,
your flashbacks I wish I could have
read from your medical chart...
and bring you
to this very moment
where we are here and safe
with the quiet, cold rumble
of the air conditioning through the vents,
where we can run across the grassy fields
of your photographs and artwork
of horses on your bulletin board and desk
and be free and graceful like them,
where we can find your stable, your home once again,
where we can find yourself,
rebuilding, renewing your spirit, body,
and mind if you first love yourself.

quiet morning--
an iris buds through
the other side of the gate
(181 words)
Khadija Anderson
What Got Me Here

was the wind
not just a little breeze
but the longest Santa Ana wind in history
it blew hot and vicious off the Mojave
for three weeks
and I arrived in the world
screaming with the hot wind

And my mother who was pregnant
at her wedding cried
when I was born
she wailed at the pain
and at being 18 with a baby

What got me here was pain
and the howling wind
blowing off the Mojave
into a world scorching and unfair
(74 words)

Not yet arrived but on my way.
"To where?", you ask. I cannot say
because it is a secret, so
no one but me is s'posed to know
the destination of the Plan.
"Why go?", you ask. Because I can -
the only answer I will give.
I choose to lead this life I live.

(49 words)
Joseph Harker

There's ships in my veins: though I suppose
you could say the same for most people around these parts.
We are full of DNA, and mostly water, and long,
long journeys.

In the archaeology of our houses, we've found
family Bibles and old photographs, we've handed down stories
like ill-fitting clothing. My grandfather's grandfather a German noble.
A long line of grandmothers to the Puritans, and the first
of many American winters, frozen so solid that tears would
turn to salt glass. Have we ever deserved all this
fine ancestry? What have we
done lately?

Blood is thicker than apocrypha, and the threads of souls
run deepest of all. I don't want to tell you about
lost countries on far-off continents, and how I have become
the sum of their equations. I'd rather speculate
that some aunt or uncle, Back Then, also felt different:
paisan stableboy catching tongues with another late at night,
Weimar torchsinger with painted nails and pierced ears.
I am not one to make claims about genetics:

but I can't deny the comfort of thinking
in the fleets that sail the histories of my family, there must've been
someone who felt this way, once upon a time, and to think
that the last of their particles is traveling my self,
peeking every so often through these,
my eyes.
(195 words)
de jackson
Andrew Kreider's "Frosting," especially that lingering last line.
Joseph Harker's "Bloodlines," especially "handed down stories/like ill-fitting clothing" and "tears would/turn to salt glass."
(23 words)
What Got Me Here
What got me here today?
Was it the mini rental car,
Or so much more?
Do I take the question into existentialism?
Do I question the paths I have taken,
The choices I have made?
Are those the things that have brought me to this place?
Was it the abuse caused by during childhood?
The neglect and harsh words, the physical pain?
Was it the divorce at such a young age?
Have I become who I wanted to be
Molded and shaped by all those things in my past
Or am I the woman I choose to be by my actions and decisions of now?
Do I have the strength to be me?
Or do I flounder and go down beneath the weight?
What brought me here today?
My past, my present, my hope of the future?
I am here, right now
That is all I know.
(133 words)
Tim Snodgrass
The Road to Inspiration

It's been a long and dusty road
That trail from April past
Days marked in daily toil
Steps in the passing shadows

Waiting, mouth dry, legs sore
For a sip.
Just one Sip
Of inspiration sweet
A sip.

Wait till Wednesday
Find it there
But Wednesday
Came and went

November rain will surely fall
But it didn't rain this year
Dreams like mirages
Dripping inspiration
Eyes filled, but mouth still dry

But the earth is round
All things return
To where they started from
Back to April that will be
To inspiration sweet

(73 words)
Linda, your name will show up as a link when you fill the line that says "HOME PAGE" on the comment form, below Name and E-mail.
(25 words)
Michael Grove
... my 2nd attempt...

On A Clock

What brought you to this place in time called April?
What brings you here and now is justly query.
To validate the ever moving mechanism.
It's not for empty hearts to pain or worry.

The baby boy came with and thru the eyepiece.
He rode here on the arms of the great clock.
The hour hand at first the infants' vessel.
Remained there thru the tick and then the tock.

At thirty seven candles took the great leap.
Vanished amidst the numerals of Rome.
Not to far gone to hang there in the circle.
And thus the minute hand became his home.

But after fifty bells the tower shaken.
No more the minute, much to slow it moves.
The thinnest hand is sweeping over faces.
Grab hold of it and see how life improves.

Now no more hands outreaching moving slower.
This time and place is second number one.
Don't blink or think because you will have missed me.
I'm here for now and soon I will be gone.

~ by Michael Grove
(162 words)
Kit Cooley
Happy April, all!


There was no trail, and so l blaze one,
no right word, and so I make one,
that life didn't fit, and thus I weave one,
no future in sight, and now I dream one.

(33 words)
Nancy Bell
The heart yearns for the home it has never known in this life
It is the April weather which raises memories of deep sorrow
In a long ago spring in a mud churned patch of earth and blood stained snow
I lost you as you fled from the carnage with your brothers in arms
So many brave souls flying on the raw winds of despair

The earthly forms you wore are bones beneath the grasses now
Your valiant souls still drift and hide in the sun bright air
Waiting for the call to battle to sound again
Eagerly anticipating the fierce enthralling taste of Freedom

Through the veil of centuries I see you as you were that April
The hero light brave and bright about you;
Eyes hawk fierce in your beloved face, old wounds not yet healed
How could we have known on the bright brave dawning
The fight was lost before it began

In my heart I know even if we had such foreknowledge
It would have mattered not,
I let you go to follow the path your heart and pride demanded
And I loved you all the more, though my heart was breaking

Down the years I search for you still,
I hear your voice in the sharp cry of the hawk
In the cadences of the thunder following the flash of sky fire
Gentle fingers of wind on my flesh your lips on my skin
Time and circumstance may part our physical manifestations

Hearts and spirits are joined outside the constraints of time
I search for you down the weary years since that April
The quest has brought me to this place and time
And to you

Nancy Bell 2011
(261 words)
Linda Voit
Thank you Barbara Young! Don't have web page so will put email in there, too and see if it links. Shout outs to Nancy Posey, Barbara Young, de Jackson - great stuff. Thanks for the thought-provoking "Frosting" Andrew Kreider and the waking of a memory of landing in England Katrelya Angus. And thanks to everyone else, too. I love April.

(59 words)
Daniel Paicopulos
a silly but kindly homage...feel free to add

Riding on the de train,
sliding through the grass of Snod,
humping along on the shoulders of Woj,
often a Markle-ous trip,
always a Good one,
sometimes putting the Hammer down,
giving my steed its Hed,
other times at take care speed,
eyes open for Banana peels,
through the Shire,
into the Grove,
occasionally dry,
otherwise Slusher,
buying Poseys for a Penny,
Pearls for some Green,
happy to be in our Brewery,
Bells ringing for our rhymes.

(68 words)
mallora rayner
2 legs, 4 legs, 6 legs, 8
it started with a simple date
a smile, a kiss, then too much action
domestic bliss...pure satisfaction...


(20 words)
Bill Kirk
What Got Me Here
by Bill Kirk

Certainly it's true,
Some goals and objectives
We reach by design.
You know---the planned ones,
For which we set our destinations,
Whether figurative or literal, ahead of time;
Then plot our path,
Pack our provisions,
And strike out,
Relatively secure in the knowledge
We will get there---
By our own two hands.

Other times, pure serendipity wins the prize
For getting us to where we are---
Landing us square in the middle of
Good fortune or not,
Where we are left
To take advantage of unanticipated
Targets of opportunity.
And quick thinking alone
Makes the outcome our own,
As if we are the ones responsible somehow
For being where we are,
For better or worse.

Yet, on occasion isn't it simply
The passage of time
That allows us simply to be where we are?
Mightn't such unplanned "while you wait" moments,
Be the sum of the what and the how of where we are---
Like the instant between breaths
When there is neither ebb nor flow?

During those times,
We sit in the midst of quiet or turbulence,
Doing nothing in particular
And certainly nothing of special value
Or personal advantage in mind.

Such circumstances of time and place
Neither sought nor pursued
Are gifts of a sort---wanted or not,
For which there is nothing to do
Beyond acknowledging the
Unexpected blessing of another moment
In the face of a hopefully unexpected,

Yet inevitable...


(201 words)
Marian Veverka
A Poem for the First Day in April

Here is the beautiful sun shining its brightest
And melting all the snow that fell yesterday in March.
And today the grass is still the same weary brown.
No brave blades have volunteered
To lead the lawn into springtime and the robins
Try to dig worms in earth frozen harder than strone.

The melting lanes and roads filled with potholes
The cars bump and jump like they were part of
An amusement park ride. How soon will it be
When all the parks are open and beaches, too?
And the tourists parade passing in front of our house -
Oh! I remember you drooling as the bikinis
Swayed on their way to the beach, music sounding
From little wires in their ears -

Now you are gone and all the parades continue without you.
Listen to the chorus of little frogs, singing over and over.
The garden empty - asking what happened to the gardener?
Do I explain that the gardener has gone to live in the earth?
Like every thing that today is alive and breathing
For what is the earth but a collection of dreams waiting
Ready to sprout their wings of impossible green.?

(182 words)
A rough and twining path
often trod by women
in this day and age.

2.3 kids spaced over several years.
Absent father judging her technique.

Desperate for some sort of life.
Choices forced by circumstance.

Working, striving, making a life
out of bits of this and that
and random talents
she never knew she had.

Maybe just the act of making
hard choices makes

Maybe it makes
(55 words)
"My Ride"

There it is,
the bicycle built for me,
fire engine red
with rail-thin tires
and a leather seat;
every spoke in place
and a holder for
my water bottle.
On it, I take daylong
trips up Lexington Rd
through Concord
to the pond, where I
float on the dark cold
water, soaking up muse
and sky, while the bike
you built only for me,
leans against a tree,
ready and waiting.

(60 words)
Laurie Kolp

Pearl~ I remember being here three years ago, too. Haven't missed one since...

(12 words)
Melissa Rossetti Folini
"What Got You Here"

No matter where you go,
there you are
and wherever you are
is a good place to start.
Trite but true.
Every step you've taken
thus far
has shaped and formed
your Worldly view.
Random thoughts or
calculated plots.
Schemes and dreams and plans
are all a part of
the journey that
brought you here
to where
you now stand.

Happy Poetry Month! - mrf
(54 words)
Mike Barzacchini

Susan's Journey

I woke up
and it did rain.
Then I waited
on the train.
The bus?
Well it too
was late.
But now
I'm here and
it is great
(20 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
I'm excited about this challenge, I'm also doing NaBloPoMo and the A-Z challenge.

Here's my poem:

The Hand of God

What brought me here on this vast earth
was the miracle of birth...

The hand of God brought me here
with a single tear...

He brought me here to this place
with the creation of grace...

(47 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Great 1st day poems everyone!
(4 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Great 1st day poems everyone!
(4 words)
Karen H. Phillips
Write a "what got you here" poem.

How the Ink Flowed from There to Here

My mother poured nursery rhymes into my head.
Dad spun zany modern fairy tales
and tucked me into bed.
I scribbled at the kitchen table,
turned pages of picture books,
wrote stories and verses to show teachers,
read of Boxcar Children and Captain Hook.
Climbed into the willow at my grandma's
to "play-like" with my brother and
fertilize imagination.
Waxed with purple prose, to the delight
of my sophomore English teacher.
A Shakespeare professor instructed me,
a poetry professor stimulated my view.
Then I turned toward a career of
teaching little children,
toward marriage, home, and family.

I never really forsook the literary life.
I slightly shelved it.
For some reason, I never thought of writing
as a way of life,
our children found their wings,
I sought mine,
and God lit the way home to the written word.

(130 words)
(0 words)
It's amazing to see so many great posts. I would love to comment on numerous ones, but can't possibly. Great job everyone.
Sheryl Kay, I look forward to what ever you are able to post. Hopefully it will be more than you think you will do!
Tim, I can relate to your poem. My best inspiration for poeming is this challenge, in spite of intentions to do much more!
Michael Grove, what a poignant poem. I hope to see more of yours.

Hopefully I'll get going on my own now, after reading so many interesting posts.


(93 words)
Taylor Graham

Too many red-light trips to town
in the shock-wagon. Held too close
in blackout-walls encased in white-fall.
Woodpile failing like the lift of axe.

But what town sells a lupine-quilt,
worships in pine-cathedral,
lights the dawn-lamp on an east ridge?

Here. This valley-island rising
from two-lane outskirts of a town, but
shaded by hawkhouse on a hill,
under dayspring and eye of the hawk.

(58 words)
Sue Fagalde Lick
How I Got Here

You would ask me that today.
I seem to be always on the road,
rain kicking up from the pavement
and slamming at the windows,
radio turned up hurtin' loud.
I'm counting the milepost markers,
passing log trucks and old people
hunched over their steering wheels
on a sightseeing cruise to the coast,
but I don't see sights. I just drive
seventy miles to the nursing home
where I watch him sleep in his diaper,
cry a bit, and drive seventy miles back
to sit here on this sofa petting the dog,
not sure I went anywhere at all.
(88 words)
Demsy Monticello

What got me here was a link,
On a computer that saves me some ink.

Quode to My Supervisor
My leg(s) carry my self,
I put one of them onto a shelf,
At night when I go home.

I joke over my loss,
But at work I'm still the boss,
This was a very short tome.

Quode = quick ode
(51 words)
Sheryl Kay Oder
Whoops. The first line should read, It wasn't planned. Yes, I was planned, by God and my parents.


(18 words)
Sheryl Kay Oder
Whoops. The first line should read, It wasn't planned. Yes, I was planned, by God and my parents.


(18 words)
April Fool

It's the color of bone, or tooth, but you know they call it cream,
as if that fragile, violated-white fluid is truly exalted. (Rising
doesn't equal exalted.) Head-on, in my rear view, it twinkles
its grill lights at me, like a whimsical ambulance impersonator.
I can't figure it out until I change lanes and see it slantwise,
one lane over: off-white hearse. It, too, changes lanes.

I can't see a procession behind it; it travels solo, maybe on its way
to pick up or drop off. Again, carefully signaling, I move
to the right. Again, it slides into my slipstream. No, no,
I don't believe in omens. Nor do I think, despite the date,
that someone has hired it to haunt me. My friends are kind
and poor. But I guess I think too much, like lean Cassius,

because at the District Line it shoots ahead of my musing Toyota,
heads down the fast lane, tall behind, chipper as a box truck.
I fell out with Sharon over foolish misunderstanding. Late March,
white buds naively birthing, Nathan called to say I'd better come
to the hospital if I wanted to see her one more time. Fearing
that it would hurt more than help, I stayed home. She was buried

on April Fool's Day, and I can't remember how long ago it was.
Might have been fourteen years. Might have been yesterday.
I don't remember the color of her hearse. Her eyes were green.

(223 words)
Patricia A. Hawkenson
I've Heard it 1500 Times

Stench reaches
my nose first
causing my head
to turn away
when window tossed slop
blacken sludge
oozes down
slippery street grates
turning my ankle
while shaking thought vomit
emits censored commentary

I admit I was the fool
but don't aim
your bitter words
at me.

I am skilled
in the trebuchet.

(40 words)
Justine Hemmestad
"What Got Me Here"

A simple truth got me here?
No, it was a blatant deception
That did the trick.
A double-punch of helplessness and betrayal.
Loving less and angered more.
The truth I seek has gone astray,
The deception I avoid lurks for me.
I've drawn it near and now I dare
To be free and stretch beyond.
To rein my life with truth to be,
Truth to share and truth to desire.
I be blessed yet not that I see.
To heal He gave a quest for me,
A holy mission to be free of my misery.
Though I trust not, I am trusted,
By God Himself in His great strength.
This pure trust He had in me,
Filled me and made me whole
No matter what the consequence.
There is no joy greater than
His call of Duty in His might -
But through eagerness all mine.
There would be no deception to yet unfold.
But here I am, weak and wounded,
And fallen to my knees.
Fault in a faultless quest,
Betrayed again I am, I hope
Not for humor.
Now, comes the enrichment in recovery
To breathe the lesson that seeps through the pain -
Though the tears that fall, all mine.

(188 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Hi Laurie... Yes, you and Claudsy, and Janet and so many others were there a community that just kept growing... if I ommitted you in first thing in the morning poem... just consider it an April Fool from an April Fool :)
(41 words)
Scott Martin
County Road 16

In six and one-half miles
I leave the county road only twice.
Once to navigate a suicidal hop on a connecting artery,
And again to wind side paths to work.
I traverse a quilt of asphalt patches left over from better-traveled roads,
The signs reciting aliases from competing cities;
McColl here, Eagle Creek there.

In the last miles, the road is a raised seam between
Farm land and the new century.
Mouldering remnants of rural life pump their sump wells
Toward houses picked from a catalog.

Each day, I wait for the blades of a windmill to come into view,
Newly raised on Mdewakanton land.
I hold my breath and wish on it like a child;
If it is spinning, fortune will smile on the hours to come.
If it is still, then I hope my calculus of magic was flawed from the start.
(134 words)
Kendall A. Bell
Exit 6

What tends to take me from any state
of dormancy to a level of hyperaware
is almost assuredly a girl,
and this one led me down a long,
tedious stretch of road to a town
I'd never heard of until she told me
she lived there.

It was large amounts of coffee and
hours worth of cd's crammed into the
glove compartment of a Ford Escort
that began to shake when it reached
70 miles an hour.

She led me around this county a few times
before we settled by the creek in a
town that lacks mailboxes and harrasses
you to cut your lawn or be fined.

That long, expensive strip of highway
left behind and rarely travelled again.

(106 words)
Sara Silva
Here is my PAD Day 1 Poem:

Graduation Day

Defining and redefining,
Blazing through forests of thick amazon,
I search to find the reason
For all that there is,
To be.
To become.
A speck of dust in a mountain side,
Questioning the compass,
My directions, where I came from.
Hastening momentum only to find I have been
Circling all along.

This trail the past has set
Motivates me to keep progressing,
Not knowing where I'm going
but hoping
In the end I will be,
Setting the path, pointing ahead
Marking my trail
For the next vanguard
To begin where I left off.
(81 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
How Did I Get Here

How did I get here
From where did I come
Was I somewhere before
Or just wispy flotsam?

Is all connected
a grand tapestry
woven of each singular
thread into living shimmered majesty

Or is it all random
Could I have been this or that
A bent willow weeping or a
Sleepy eyed cat?

Or perhaps I might never have
Come here at all
Remained stuck in neutral
In some cosmic stall

I have no idea how I got here
At all, although of course
The tale of the egg
and the swimmers was clear
its magic made no more sense
than flying storks or cabbage patch glory
I've a sneaky suspicion that only at the end of it all
Will I know the whole story

Until that day comes and I am in no hurry
I shall ponder and wonder, be open to all, and not worry

What got me here
Or even what here means to me
Open heart, open minded, relaxed I'll just try to be...
(150 words)
Laura Kayne
Getting Here

We got here individually,
And yet also together.
Two sides of the same coin,
Two minds in one,
Travelling from two points,
To be here, now, together.

Four years by the sea,
Six months as man and wife,
We walk a single path
Widened to fit us both.
Our future stretches ahead -
We face it hand in hand.
(48 words)
Michele Brenton/banana
Pam - just had to say your April Fool made me cry.
(11 words)
Karen H. Phillips
Today's phrases exquisite:
"a dragonfly leaves tracing paper dreams"
"treacle to my ears"
"Blinking out of this world into
his will be like sloughing winter
clothes that first warm day in April"
(26 words)
Buddah Moskowitz
"The Hottest Day of the Year"

Pat must've been one hot mama
as Dan put in her enough times
to get three sons out of the deal
within 38 months.

Conceived in December
I often wonder what song
was playing
when I was
humped into existence.
Was it
"Telstar" by the Tornadoes,
"Big Girls Don't Cry"
or maybe "Mashed Potato Time?"

As second-born,
I was supposed to be a girl,
so right out of the
I either
surprised or
take your pick.

I did make my Dad happy
on the day I was born:

it turned out to be
the hottest day of the year
and I made it possible
for my working class parents
to spend the day
in a nice air-conditioned

(105 words)
Lani Jo Leigh
It Took
forty years
thirty-six moves
four states
two coasts
one plain
eighteen roommates
four dogs
one cat
three children
two husbands
six others
this husband
2, 913 miles
to bring me
(17 words)
Judy Brassard
April 1, 2011
"What got you here"


Somewhere along the way a seed was planted and became a small nagging thought that kept pushing forward and refused to die.
Although strong at times it would weaken under stress of daily chores, the regular motions of living.
Time sharpened the edges and the thought became more difficult to keep quiet.
With age came determination and possibly a means to reality.
The door on many of life's chores began to close.
Cautiously, I slipped into a new challenge, allowing the seed to blossom and bloom to life.
Here I am, owner of my own antique shop.

(97 words)
Nikki Markle

One more year edging us closer to the brink of destruction as Christmas melted into New Year's Day and Janus did the whole look forward look backward thing and some people got the day off for MLK Monday. (I didn't...)

January bled into self-important February, all puffed up with too much commotion for a measly 28 days. We played along and wondered what the groundhog would see, bought our chocolate and flowers and put out on 14th, hell, we even squeezed in Candlemas somewhere along the way...

Nothing too special about March, the slacker, unless you count Johnny Appleseed Day (which no one above the age of 7 does.) St Patrick's day brought out the Irish in in all of us with green things, pinching, and generally widespread alcoholism and poor decision making...

And so we're up to April; a silly little month of fools, bunnies, eggs, and wanna-be poets brushing elbows with the truly talented (guilty...)

(154 words)
Cara Holman
why i write

would i be deemed crazy, if i said i write
because i hear voices in my head? well,
not voices, exactly. whispers. well, not
really whispers exactly either. words.
endless streams of words.
(30 words)

Foolish dreamer
fancy's child
glass half full
by hope beguiled

seeking, stalking,
strive to clasp
that which bides
beyond your grasp

blooms a posy
weak and sallow
from a field
left too long fallow

tendered promise
shouldn't ought
forcing flowers
leads to naught

(29 words)
Eternity Beckons Me

In youth my dreams were
a prestigous vocation.
This blueprint was soon
superimposed by predestination.
Aspirations mingled with
inspiration formed my destiny.
Self-agenda matured into
informed focus on eternity.
Impulse changed to guidance
of an orderly deity.
Not happenstance but holy
circumstance made my life poetry.

(40 words)
Nina B. Lanctot

Symbols on the page,
left to right move between
the left and the right brain,
and if they have scenes
more reckless than cymbals,
they crash on the light main
and turn on, and turn off,
and turn on again.

(40 words)
Nancy J

My Brother Before Me

Two, he told his wife,
only two and no more.
But, his firstborn son
never saw the light of day.
A sweet girl child
with dimpled cheeks
brought the light back to his eyes.
I was next in line, though not as sweet
nor as dimpled as she.
But, now there were two of us,
and there would be no more.
We were loved, my sister and I,
but the truth of it stuck.
I was really number three
and always knew that I came to be,
by the loss of my brother before me.

(86 words)
Bruce Niedt
A first draft:

Directions to 60

Start at Birth Canal Court.
Go a few yards and through the gates
straight on to Infancy Avenue.
After one mile, turn right at Toddler Terrace.
Proceed for another mile or so -
look out for riding toys - and take
the second left onto Preschool Pike.
Continue for three more miles,
past Sesame Street,
until the light at Elementary Boulevard.
Turn right and continue eight miles -
look for Three R's Ranch on the left -
then take the on-ramp to High School Highway.
Proceed north for four miles
to the Graduation tollbooth,
collect your diploma and merge
onto University Turnpike.
After another four miles, take the exit
for Career Way. Stop at the Real Life Center
and pick up a family. Continue on Career Way -
watch for potholes and construction,
reckless drivers and traffic jams.
After about forty miles, slow down
and take the second exit to Retirement Road.
After the stop sign, pull over.
Get out a picnic lunch. Relax.

(149 words)
Sara V
A Poetic Journey

I traveled on the words
Of Robert Louis Stevenson
My little shadow that went
In and out with me
Then Dr. Suess rhymed his way
Into my heart so I would
Read him in a box and with
A fox, I would read him here or
There, Hey! I would read him anywhere
If you need proof just ask my kids
Shel most likely topped them all
Inside your nose lives a sharp-toothed
Listen to the mustn'ts but remember
That anything is possible
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
So many smiles and giggles
In high school Robert Frost
Led me out of the woods
I clung to that road less traveled by
Mary Oliver showed up midlife
And thrilled me with her
Bird-word pictures the heron
Like a monk with his robes
Imprinted on my mind my
Poetic heart reaching for that beauty
If I could only write those words
And now three years of fellowship
In prose and poetry all over the globe
Inspired by a Man Whose Name's Not Bob
And in April the journey continues
(150 words)
MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick

transfer, held damply in her
hand, the snow melting
where her cap (nearly)
met her coat, her scarf
left where (behind), shed
like the skin of a snake,
useless as an escape tool,
however jauntily it was wrapped,
the pantone color the blue
of a Mediterranean summer
once seen in a postcard, the
demarcation of blue and
white wavering beneath her eyes

and her feet ache, now, in the
warmth of the bus, the slow
thawing an agony she distracts
herself from by repeating one
line, then the next, as
regular as the telephone
poles she passes, one, then
another, the marking points
of distance, as chatter
rises and falls the bus
creaks in protest, the
recirculation of exhaust, thick
and tarry, makes her

so many miles to go, on her way
to a new habitat
(112 words)
de jackson
Thank you, Linda Voit. :) I loved this line of yours: "because I like to eat poems/with my breakfast."
(18 words)
Nancy Posey
The nice thing about this site, for you first-timers, is the sense of community. I am here all year but April is special.
(22 words)
On the Wings of my Muse

if you should listen quietly enough
you just might hear them
whispering to me

most of the time they're hidden out of sight
no one can see them
too shocking they'd be

occassionally they come out to play
I call upon them
with a silent plea

just take but a moment and listen close
you just might hear them
inspireing me

my fingers flutter across the keyboard
in rhythm with them
souring high and free

for more on what inspired this poem check out the Original Post.

(76 words)
Lori Thatcher

His name sung
the wind that drives a vessel
or the ship itself
that carries you home.
Up into the woods
he carried me
shying at the leaf's flutter
the tree's shadow
I perched
hands tight as steel
swelling his fear
to equal my own.
Tense and taut
my hands, the reins
my feet in the stirrups
no place quiet.
One day I eased,
my certainty
fluid against him
and softened him too.
Thinking just now
that he is long buried
fresh tears
sweep my face.

(66 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Sevenling (The North Star)

The North Star is deceiving,
and I'm not believing my eyes;
they can play tricks on me.

There is no vehicle so far;
no boat, no plane, no car,
that can get me to where your heart is.

But, it does not matter. All roads lead to you.

(45 words)
de jackson


I always found the 'why'
question strange
because after all
we are all headed some
and every breath
is a crossing of sorts
and I assumed this
yearning to
species specific.

What I did wonder
Two gangly little
legs racing against
self doubt
and directional dyslexia
trying not to end up under a Buick
or on a cheap
Chinese buffet line.

Guided by
guardian angel
good fortune
strategic planning
or plain dumb luck,
deep down
we're all
just trying to get
to the other side
in one piece.

(86 words)
Marcia Gaye


What got me here
very nearly
might have killed me.

If the obituary reads
strangulation, it would be
by diesel fumes,
not manually.
(16 words)
~ Smiles

Feeling, a thought
found itself motionless
how to express

Dreams that made me,
inspirations, smile
that old man smiled
became me.

The Beauty and awe
snow dripping
immense pine boughs.
Reverential wonder.

Questions that
need no answer

~ Unpublished Works (c) Hannah Gosselin

(36 words)
Hannah Gosselin
April IS special Nancy!!

Fellowship indeed, Sara!

So good to see ALL familiar names and new names alike! Honored and excited to be sharing this poetic home. Thank you, Robert for the poems and prompts.

Happy writing
Warm smiles~
(37 words)
Journey to myself

came the baby's cry
at life's idyllic inception

peaceful days with ma and pa
in a big green rocking chair

Then came the black pall of cancer's sting
lonesome pain for a decade
robbed childhood's innocence

Teenhood's trials forged
strength of mind and will
and revealed a silver-lined future
with purple and gold came a new lease on life
and the true meeting of kindred spirits

Learn, learn, and learn some more
Philosophize, Romanticize, and Fantasize your dreams
tell you you can do and be
the real you

Armed with knowledge
Determined to never give in
Fail once,
Third time's the charm

If this doesn't work,
look to the river's comfort

but somehow it seems
the cosmic tourguide has a plan

that just leaves today

and this poem.
(104 words)
J. McNamara
Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust made it possible,
now it's time to be hospital
and go back, to where it all started.

Geography, stars, have been charted,
but Fairy Dust needs young hearted
to travel through this small round world.

(32 words)
Sara McNulty
What Got You Here poem

drank, bemoaned
divorce, and chose
self pity, welfare
state in lieu of work. She
did not raise child; she feigned help-
lessness, forced child to switch roles, and
drowned her in an onslaught of boozy
insults. Low esteem child grew into mom.

(38 words)
lizz huerta
What Got Us Here

the fetus told her twin
"fuck, if it's going to be all fists and screams
I'm heading back to the dock."
and she leaked out on to the vinyl of the North
bound bus, mopped away with newspapers
heralding man's first sojourn to the moon.

the sister dug her square toes into the membrane,
stubborn and humble even then.
In Tijuana they waited tables, bruised mother and inner fish,
swaying among the groping dog-betting gamblers
who ambled their avarice south, to get some.

He was a nine-fingered engineer visiting his
first wife in jail, a lady of the night
who'd sliced a John who'd stiffed her.
After their goodbye forever he
decided to hedge his bets with dogs
instead of women but

the light caught
the silver frames around his waitresses'
teeth as she delivered his bottled solace.
"I can give your child a name," he said,
enchanted, tracing his index stump over her.
"I have four more four days South," she
returned, pressing against the boneless tip.
"I have names for them all,
another language, a home."

the fish spun in her mama's bowl, pressing
her eye to cervix to see the man
who'd become captain of their lives,
the fisher who hooked them:
my father, uncle and aunts hauled up
into bewilderment, away from fists,
eventual joy.
(193 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan

In the moment,
On this stage,
Time is spent,
On Robert's page!

Why here?
Why now?
Let's be clear!
Magic . . . that's how!

Call it a whim,
Maybe a thought!
Poetic dreams took a swim,
This site caught!

Poetry is great fun,
Discovered as a child!
Written as quickly as a pun,
Often just as wild.

People have responded,
Laughed and cried with wonder,
Deepened a joy and bonded,
Amid at times a blunder!

One such gentleman, much older,
Would leave one on my desk,
I finally became much bolder,
Turning into his poetic guest!

We shared our amusing dabble,
For many, many years of cheer!
Perhaps it was just humorous babble,
Connection became so dear!

One of my children had a contest,
A tee-shirt design required a poem.
She wanted to be the best,
We crafted it together and won!
(Just so we could show 'em!)

Poetry keenly moves the heart,
In a simple way that's pure,
A gentle genuine art . . .

Promising to endure!

(133 words)
Kim King

To: Wait, Maria Elena, Nancy and all the other poets...What a glorious way to greet April's snowy morning!

Thanks again to Robert for sharing this forum.

Great poems and I'll soon be posting. Love to the "regulars" and welcome to the "newbies"
(39 words)
Caren E. Salas
The Thing I Most Love

When I was only a little girl
I loved to play and pretend
I took my mom's umbrella once
Convinced I could fly in the wind.

I made up silly songs to sing
And performed them in the dark
Imagining I was a famous star
Doing live concerts in the park.

Then I was at school one day
And my teacher stood up and said
Today's assignment is to write a poem!
My friends all groaned with dread.

I sat at my desk without a sound
Looked out the window and smiled
My #2 pencil twitched in my hand
And my imagination went wild.

Since then I've tried other things
Music, Drama, Ballet,
Paleontology (yes really) and Art
But I always had something to say.

So journals got filled and boxes got full
With sheets of the stuff I would write:
Essays and stories, poems and plays
As I scribbled them all day and night.

Years later it seems kind of funny to me
All my life what I'd never thought of
Was maybe I should be a writer because
Writing's the thing I most love.

(162 words)
Walt Wojtanik


In the present we stand, hand-in-hand for the cause of poetry.
Not quite sure what means to this end, but poets and friends
sharing in the hearth of majestic musings warm their hearts
for the start of April. Never at a loss for words
but sometimes a lot of effort goes unnoticed. The rhyme
stays within reason, for 'tis the season for all to write.

We would be well within our right
to seize the opportunity to delve into poetry,
giving proper respect to the relevant rhyme,
for what would sound more fitting between friends?
After all, we all craft with our own fine words
and hold the verse of others to our hearts.

For it is within the beating of said hearts
that we find the power in all that we write.
Poems flow from the manipulation of words,
and become the true essence of living poetry.
Inspiration expressed in the gathering of friends
all for the propagation of rapturous rhyme.

Not all find worth in the like sounding rhymes
preferring the freedom that liberates their hearts
in the form a verse that is as free. These, my friends,
are the choices that we as poets make. We are what we write.
It takes all kinds to write all forms of poetry,
but a true poet see the emotion woven into words.

Offer up your musings, for the communion of words
never ceases. Be they random or deliberate, rhymes
are the glue that holds together all our pieces. Poetry
is the literal music of our souls. It resides in every heartfelt
pang of passion and fashions itself into the right
moments of our lives as if they were comforting old friends.

What can we do to spread the scope of our beauty, friends?
Put the power of your opinion or your longing into words,
for it is within every woman and man's right
to give the world exactly what we glean from our rhymes.
Poetry is a pulse. It is the syncopation of a loving heart.
And the living that we do, becomes our lifelong poetry.

Give poetry a chance, friends.
Leaving your heart in every word.
You have the time to rhyme; and all night to write it.

(337 words)
Buddah Moskowitz
Congratulations to:

Tilly Bud, shann palmer, Heiberg, Linda Voit, Nikki Markle, Melissa Rossetti Folini, Lanijo Leigh, Nancy J.

You all wrote excellent* poems.


*Criteria for Excellent- "It spoke to me."
(26 words)
Margot Suydam
What got me here

Sitting alone by a tearful flame
made a choice, none to blame

but myself, the big story me
made me blind, just didn't see

that the thrill of stepping out,
shakes the rotten limb about,

sounds a crack through crust
reveals much more than just

hours of lukewarm romance under
brush: the vows man put asunder.

--Margot Suydam
(55 words)
Margot Suydam
Hi all, Happy Poetry Month! Thanks to Robert for keeping this going year to year. I look forward to the challenge of writing a poem a day and all the supportive comments by all participants.

(34 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Is it just me or the whole page is veered to the right side?
Just got home from work.
Be back with my piece in a little bit.
(27 words)
Deb Brunell
Becoming Me

Years of dreaming ~ making believe
Envisioning what the future would be
Years of chasing those dreams, but all wrong
Ended up sacrificing them for a love song
Years later that song was worn and outdated
And life all around seemed ill-fated
Started with the innermost recesses and worked outward
I took stock and toil over of my own accord

Years of study and self reflection
Led to making personal corrections
Years spent in near solitude
The changes I have made include
Loving thy self, opening my eyes
Setting the bar higher for the next guy
Deciding who I want to be
Making the decisions best for me

Years number 2 since my love I found
He exceeds the bar and together we are sound
Nourishing my dreams, feeding my soul
Now I have a place, I have found my role
Confident again to use words to express
The anger, sorrow and pain I oppressed
The years that have passed establish in me
The writer I hope for years to be
(151 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Yes Jacq, it's been doing it all day. Refreshing the page seems to fix it.

Loving the approach to the present portrayed here. Glad to see the sage works of Bruce Niedt, Nancy Posey, Taylor Graham. The return of the "lovelies": Marie, Hannah, Barbara YY, Nikki, Jacqueline, Kim King, Kimiko, JR Carnahan. There's the "lovely and talented" Moskowitz, the consistency of De Jackson, RJ Clarken, Sara Mc, PSC, Cara Holman, Jerry "Chev Shire" Walraven, Misk-Mask, Pearl, Michele (Banana)...

Thanks for the boost: Vivienne (you don't have to be Walt, your poetry speaks for itself), Marie (like I've never said that before), Misk (again).
(100 words)
Walt Wojtanik

And Joseph Harker. Using Buddha's criteria, I'll call yours excellent!

(9 words)
Terri Stewart (Cloaked Monk)
here i sit
listening to
"so now you know you got a 'G' "
music lessons
wondering exactly
how did i arrive
at this spot of
a too loud piano
sleepily drinking my
and typing worrying
over doing my

it is more than the
vehicle that travelled
the winding road
over the flooding

i remember warmth
of love one night
long ago as we
weathered another
storm and mourned
the loss of another
but in the loss
we created a moment
of joy that led to
an even bigger

so no matter how
many flooding rivers
i have to cross or
how much bad
i must hear

it is all counted joy.

(118 words)
Connie Lard
(LOVE reading your poems. A little hesitant to share anything, as you all seem so very good at this! Nevertheless, here goes!)

Art vs. Commerce

There was never a time
I didn't love words -
Both the reading
And the writing of them.

A quiet, bespectacled child,
I visited faraway places,
And met unusual people
Magically transported by books.

The road ahead seemed clear -
I would become a teacher,
Perhaps a writer or librarian,
Certainly something literary.

Then life took a different turn.
An unforeseen route unfolded.
Earning my living became paramount,
And books were left behind.

Commerce intruded on art,
Busyness almost consumed me.
Yet, whimsy lingered near,
Softly whispering in my soul.

At times now it seems my mentors -
Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson -
Are closely watching and waiting
Hoping for my return to their world.

The choice for now must be
Commerce before art.
But in my dreams it's always
Art before commerce.

(131 words)
Margaret Van Pelt


Lost within myself
wondering if I'll ever be free
searching, searching
what breathes inside of me

Memories haunt my past
memories cloud my future
I put my pen to the pad
and try to forget the bad

Margaret Van Pelt
(35 words)
de jackson
Thanks, Walt. And back atcha.
(4 words)
J. Martin

How You Got Here

The dad wants to divert, find shortcuts,
while the mom just wants to arrive safely.
The boy in the backseat draws them
in crayon, mostly scribbles, but round
heads, one with long hair, one without,
defines the two. The boy looks up, asks,

"How did I get here?"

The dad looks into the rearview mirror
from the driver's seat, braces the wheel
so not to swerve. So to keep composure.
The dad knows the question is for him,
as little boys often look to their dads
for expertise in the ways of being men.

The mom is quite interested in what
the dad will say to their little boy,
half relieved she's not on the hot seat,
half anxious as hell about what he'll say.

"How do you think you got here?"

The dad diverts, as dads often do,
hoping to delay the discomfort a bit.
The mom sighs, knowing the tactic well,
used on her during many awkward talks.

"Did you drive somewhere to get me?"

The dad ponders how easy it would be
to say Yes. Shortcuts. Maybe the boy
would forget the topic altogether when
they arrive at Yes where the discussion
ends. Not the safest route, the mom
thinks, but understands the dad's plight.

"Yes, son."

"Where, Dad?"

"We went to the top of a hill, at sunset.
Your mommy and I went there, and..."

The mom elbows the dad in the ribs
to shut him up. The little boy goes back
to draw pictures of questions he asks
in his mind, ones that make them squirm.

(227 words)
Kinga Sanford

Dream away dreamer as my head cracks open,
It's a bowl full of saltwater,
Fish the thoughts out before they spill
And unravel the tangled threads of my feelings.
My limbs are made of glass too,
I am the invisible woman, entirely breakable,
If they push me I will shatter to pieces.
My liquid soul was poured out into the ocean,
My thoughts swim away from me,
And I am empty.
I look into the mirror, the pills are floating inside me,
The cuts have been reduced to lines,
My blood runs clear and the old blood evaporated.
It is gone forever.

It's a lovely state;
Nothing hurts and nothing matters,
But my eyes are curious and thus,
Commit an act of treason allowing me to see,
I see Them sinking a tube into my madness
And they push down, push down,
But I don't want to fight it.
The faces are dancing around me
And I let them do their "heroic" dance...
They move around and poke some more
As my eyelids get heavy again,
And ever so slightly I can feel my stomach complying with Them.

Back to the hallways of my old friend the 7th floor,
Or was it the 4th?
My body expels dark sticky coal and just like that,
The dream is over.
Death is far away now, she cannot flirt with me anymore.
They won't let her near me.

(207 words)
Kim King
What Got Me Here

My father grabbed a fat one, pierced, then sewed
the wriggling worm into a squirming muddy knot.
He cast the line, reel whirring, into the pond--kerplunk--
and passed the rod. I reeled, red bobber bouncing,
circles spiraling and frogs belching from cattails. Dad
grinned as I patiently sat cross-legged, eyeing the ripples.

As a kid, I trudged through thistles, milkweed and Queen
Anne's Lace to reach the Erie Canal. I paddled a canoe,
skipped stones and waved wildly to tanned boat captains
whose murky wake lapped and splashed grassy banks,
dragonflies skirting the drops. Years later, I'd be sprawled
on that rocking deck, bikini-clad, waving back to shore.

The French city of Grenoble smelled like butter biscuits
and exhaust. Chic in four-inch heels, this Buffalo girl
tasted coffee, wine and French boys, shrugging off winter
in obligatory black. Hugo, Lamartine and Verlaine penned
milk glass words in a sea of clouds over the snowy Alps
to an American studying francais, poemes and la vie.

Now, I watch students pull up hoodies, hunch over phones
and yank up jeans as they funnel to the doors, a concert exit
from the cacophony of reading, math and physics
to jobs and practice. We teachers bundle papers, oversize
bags on both shoulders, slipping into plain costumes
of ordinary roadies lugging amps and guitars to the truck.

Chefs of words saute metaphors and images, stirring
rapidly in ink before adding spices and wine. They tweak
recipes while ovens preheat. Before dotting casseroles
with butter, they share tastes and ponder stanzas
of Billy, Ted and Wes. Exotic aromas awaken
latent urges to sample poetic dishes. I lick the spoon.

(249 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik

What got me here
is the question
the question I see
Floating above me as
clear as can be
As clear as can be
What got me here that
is the mark I must beat
But as I walk
quiet round halls in
soft slippered feet
I know not where I am
or when me I will meet

(46 words)
Robert Lee Brewer
Great start, everyone!
(2 words)
Kara Gallenberg
Home, oh so many places to call home
So glad to be born from my lovely mothers womb
Eighteen years spent in one place
With mom and dad to teach me morals and grace
Such a happy place always and forever
With the coming of age it became time to become clever
College was to start and had to move out on my own
Where I would need to find a new place to call home
It was hard at first to become acquainted
Just wanted to go back to my parents where I felt wanted
So it was on the weekends that I went to my home: Antigo, Wisconsin
in the country to run wild and be next to my kin
As time went on things became more clear to me
I started to make a new home right before my eyes, feeling comfortable and free
Learning about myself and my living structures
Was such an amazing experience to adjust to, no more fears
Becoming my own person with traveling an adventure
Soon I found myself in Florida to give that a whirl
Then it was back to Wisconsin again, my sanctuary place
where it was so comforting, this put a smile upon my face
Different cities to move from again and again
Never feeling quite like I did in central Wisconsin
Vegas was nice, but only lasted a short time
Saved up all my dollars and dimes
Packed up my car and drove back to my roots
To be at my place where I can feel at home with my boots
In the snow where it's cold with dreary forecasts
Though this is my home and it is here where I always am my best

(260 words)
S Whitaker

What's left of the house is a poison ring, each room clasped
and closed and ripe with the crime committed there.
Once the air hung about with bright sunshine.
Before the war, before father began to go deep in the bottle

and disappeared before anyone could gather his keys.
It was one of those things, his little escapades
and botched schemes. Something he did.
And at first a quirky jerk in a mad scientist coat,

all those maps of the nervous system
and the feathers from the messenger doves
he tried to raise in the back room.
And then his hands started to turn into another pair of hands

as he was talking, as he was reciting a lick of proof.
His secret hands urged and urged and urged,
and his brain turned upside down to breathe.
Do not open any of the doors, they are filled with ghosts

of the scenes there acted out. The smell of them like burned copper.
If you look at the small scratches on the floor
it looks like he tried to dig his way out, no doubt
bucking wild in his head and lost in some mad realm.
(182 words)
Robin Morris
A noble deed,
drew me out from garbage,
where my first gasping breaths
sucked in rancid sardine scent
but mother's milk was fine,
the space warm, the dark comforting,
and a muffled drone of traffic sounds
soothed us to sleep.

A box brought us then
to a house, loud and bright,
where feet approached without warning
and hands lifted me to terrifying heights
then put me back in the box.
They meant well.

I have adapted
to a life of proper baths,
regular meals, petting.

Yet sometimes, I remember
that great metal tunnel,
resonating with my siblings' purrs,
and I yowl
once, maybe twice.

(86 words)
Connie L. Peters

Stubbornly, I resisted ideas
molten underneath
tempting me to jot down
a few lines of poetry.
No way. Just fluff.
Only fiction merited my time.
But despite my resolve,
passion expressed itself
in rhyme, meter, word paintings.
When I recited, I saw the same joy,
zeal, sorrow I had experienced
evidenced in my listeners.
I was hooked. I am a poet.

(55 words)
Here...where I now call home
A change from the great known
I traveled to become
A soft blanket for him
As he becomes
My diamond in the rough

(22 words)
Genevieve Fitzgerald
Day 1: What got you here

I don't smoke, but... (almost in cascade form)

What brings me to platform numero dos
In dusty Irun
With a lit cigarette between fingers held awkwardly

Is the sight of the tobacco stand
As the air breaks squeal and doors open
Onto platform numero dos

After Raul, for he introduced himself with pressing leg against mine in the crowded car,
Smiled his gleaming gold-tooth assurance that there's really nothing to see
In dusty Irun

And the memory of Joanne, who travelled often alone,
Advising us at dinner one night about self-defense in Genoa
With a lit cigarette held at the ready

(94 words)
Jan Kuykendall

I rode the grey dog
from the Pacific to the Atlantic
Along the miles of highway,
expressway, freeway,
thruway, and interstate.
I passed small towns,
like jewels in the desert.
I watched the sun burnish
the western skies crimson and gold.
I saw cactus like thorny trees
stretching their arms
sentinels in the desert.
I saw giant grasshoppers
pumping black gold
from the bowels of the earth.
I saw the flat plains stretch
before me in endless miles.
We climbed mountains whose
peaks kissed the clouds.
I rode through the outskirts
of a city whose tall buildings
touched the moon.
We rode on,through towns
with houses whose bright, happy faces
were painted the colors of the sea.
At sunrise, I smelled salt in the air.
With waves breaking on the eastern shore
we were home, and, all I can say is,
I hope some day the dog takes me back again.

Jan Kuykendall
(137 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Robert, your poem is awesome!
Uma, lovely as ever.
Did not have a chance to read much else as I was short on time tonight.
Here goes my first attempt:

Brooklyn (how I got here)

It was around the time
when seasons changed shifts;
Summer relieved Spring, days grew longer;
Poets roamed the streets in search of inspiration;
Shel Silverstein was doing his thing
while a string of what ifs
pelted a kid in Canarsie.

(c) jh 4/1/11 10:03 pm. Jersey time

Happy Poet's Day, everyone!
Phew, I can now go and read some more.
(82 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Robert, your poem is awesome!
Uma, lovely as ever.
Did not have a chance to read much else as I was short on time tonight.
Here goes my first attempt:

Brooklyn (how I got here)

It was around the time
when seasons changed shifts;
Summer relieved Spring, days grew longer;
Poets roamed the streets in search of inspiration;
Shel Silverstein was doing his thing
while a string of what ifs
pelted a kid in Canarsie.

(c) jh 4/1/11 10:03 pm. Jersey time

Happy Poet's Day, everyone!
Phew, I can now go and read some more.
(82 words)
Kate Fernyhough

How I got here
By the power of my two legs
not fast from A to B
but allowing time for thinking
for noticing - the garden
with a cloud of cream flowers
open in the morning twisted shut
by afternoon, how I first saw
a double-barred finch flit
down to the footpath and up to the fence
I learned to look for them.
On windy mornings I long
to spread my arms out
dive into it like a wave
and ride the current.
I get to work knowing
I'm alive.
(74 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Oh, darn. I posted twice. Sorry, Robert.
Happy Poetry Month, everyone! =)
(10 words)
Almost looks like my name is part of the poem...gotta remember to put a space after my poem...
(17 words)
Linda Armstrong
From minute to minute
I move, like the destiny
of a dragonfly from
penetrated egg, through
wiggling nymph into the
blue summer sky, skimming
lakes of possible futures,
but moved, inexorably, by
ancient tides within
my blood; the multiple eyes,
the segmented soul, the
fragile, beating wings.
(35 words)
Linda Simoni-Wastila

what world is this
when in the parking lot
a man squeezes breakfast
from catsup packets
the girl squats
by Xerox boxes
she calls home
and you send back
your triple-slam
with eggs too runny?

Happy PAD 2011 everyone! Wonderful to read so many familiar names, and new folks, too. I 'wrote' this in my head walking to work, so it is a 'going to somewhere' kind of poem. Peace...
(63 words)
Darn! I missed Day One. Oh well, I'll start tomorrow. :-)
In the meantime, happy poeming, everyone! :-)
(16 words)
Mark Christopher
This Poet

Chained by fascination
in pages white and black

drinking alphabet,
devouring syllables

on trail of author

Thoughts spiraling
in clouds of unknown

I ventured out
found the warmth of sun
the taste of rain
the aromas of life ...
the feel of me

I became my own answer
with stroke of pen
and found the path
that discovered
this poet's soul

Mark Bohannan

(49 words)
Rob Halpin

From how I get there to what I do for work
with luck, these lines will elicit a smirk.
From the van to my cube, I got there by shoe,
stepping deftly around the nasty goose poo.
From my house to work, I cruised down the street,
avoiding poor drivers I'd love to see beat.
From college to here, the Web's been my job's turf.
Be safe on the Web, but please enjoy the surf.

From where I am now, we go back through the years
and see those who I love, laughed with, and shed tears.
From the instant we met, my soul sensed its twin
With my love by my side, there's no fight I can't win.
From before I could walk 'til I met my wife
my mom, dad and brother helped shape my life.
From post to post, home was where dad hung his hat
The world was my backyard, I'm an Army Brat!
(145 words)
Sara McNulty
What Got Me Here

to end life
failed, giving me pause
to consider a better way
to use the regift presented
me. I fought darkness,
and wrote into

(22 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
What Did Get Me Here?

Two teens in August
wrapped in the edge of the surf
Lancaster pounding
(14 words)
AC Leming


soaks paper.
words form.
thought transfers
despite the stutter
of my pen.

(8 words)
Deirdre Powell
Swollen city horizon
Shrinks in the distance.
Acrimonious tongues relax
As the open road unfolds.
Gentle breeze dances
Infusion of earthy fragrance
Mindless chitchat mingles
With Graceland playing.
A watcher of the world pass .


(26 words)
Sam Nielson

What You Got Here

I came here from
Denmark, Wales, England
Norway, Italy and
A few other countries.
From each place all eyes
Looked west.

Then I came from America,
To be precise, the U.S.
But I didn't stay long.
I still had western eyes.
I left the U.S. to the west,
Running ahead of it.

Then I stopped and
The U.S. caught up with me,
Adopted me. And still,
In the eye of time I look
West, to the west before
The U.S. But I am here.

This west seems new again,
Mine because I claim it
And I stay here.

(81 words)
Barbara Ehrentreu
First of all, Nancy Bell I loved your poem. Also Andrew Kreider, Joseph Harker, de Jackson, Janet and so many more including my now dear friend Pearl and not forgetting Walt, whose work always puts me in awe. Welcome to the new people as well. I thought every poem a little gem.

As I entered the site I knew I was home! I have missed the smooth transitions only poets have in their work and the kind welcomes found here. How I have longed to return, but my responsibilities have doubled and maybe tripled with my becoming an author. The messages, the blog posts, the promoting. All for one book coming out in September.:) But I have missed the joy of seeing these words and reading these pieces of everyone's heart. So I'm back for the month. Here is my poem:

I have returned

You could say I felt it as the day turned
The energy in the air charging it electric
In my mind the spark ignited and suddenly
my fingers longed to write the words so
long fenced in my brain
I had not really known
The longing until I saw the first poem
And the thrill and joy of poetry surrounded me in a
swirl of feelings as my mind realized the days had come
for these thoughts to spring forth upon the page.

I signaled prose to move over as poetry took a seat
We are the audience and the actors in this month and
here we are both the applauders and the applauded.
My friends are welcoming me back to the warmth
and comfort of a living room filled with poets lounging in
comfortable chairs conversing and sharing our thoughts
while sipping warm beverages
I am here, awash in the sea of poetry.

(284 words)
Ronda Levine
Everything Happens for a Reason

No matter how hard we try to erase them,
Our lives contain artifacts from those we come across
Over there? In that trashbag? It's one of his shirts
I somehow found in my laundry last month
In a box are small bits of proof
That my son's father actually existed
Books on my shelves include those
Borrowed four cities before
And toted around until now

No matter how hard we try to erase them,
There's always a photograph that will catch you off guard
It might not be at your home, but at a friend's
Something someone posts to Facebook
In a nostalgic moment

No matter how hard we try to erase them
The internal wounds of love lost long ago sit,
Festering, infected if we don't forgive and
Let it all go

No matter how hard we try to erase them
Memories churn in our heads
Whether we currently view them
and we realize
through connecting unrelated
artifacts, photographs, wounds, and memories:
Everything happens for a reason
(154 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan
Welcome back to all who have entered here before and all who have entered here now. So many outstanding poets and poetic friends of heart, art and expression! What a wonderful and positive this time is . . . to be here now! Onward and Up Word to us all!

Going to pick a few to highlight each day out of such a marvelous collection of talent! And on it goes!

Robert L Brewer

Raising Dough - Love the pun (got a "rise" out of it) and the weaving around "blame game" until the point of origin! Most amusing, Robert, and yet it took one right into the point of impact. Enjoyable, meaningful and delightful all at once! Thank you for yet another PAD . . . let the fun begin!

Jerry Walraven

In the Cosmic Sense - It was about time someone focused on such an in depth conundrum. Truly a good poem about the moments in time and what they amount to, which quite conceivably could end up meaning nothing in terms of time, that is! Going beyond time and space, this poem reached into the eternal perspective and gave a, well, more than a moment of thought! Nice job, Jerry!

Daniel Paicopulous

The History of Love - what a beautiful way to describe what the creation of love and how it brings things and people together! It is what brings us all here! It is that "here" where we all want to be, Daniel. Great job expressing this so well! Touching and tender!

Penny Henderson

Stephen - Way to tell the truth . . . on your way home with such a good poem on our opening day! A moving piece that took me right there and back in a heartbeat! Great imagery, Penny! Love the analogies related to spring, moving on and new beginnings. Enjoyed it!

Tilly Bud

No Such Thing as Free Love - ok, that was pretty clear! I loved the succinctness of your Haiku . . . who knew . . . the truth of you!! Gave me a chuckle and yet you, no doubt, are not alone. Still, a beginning made in heaven, as they say!

And yes . . . this is just the beginning! No fooling! :)

(364 words)
Benjamin Thomas
The Silver Fox and the Banana Seat

The Silver fox with the banana seat
would know no boundary, surmount defeat

A silver, gray and black and red
was my new bike with it's new tread

They said be strong, be valiant, to ride
But only to end up on my side

We won't give up without a fight
Our only hope is to stay upright

Tried again and again without success
Fell and scraped my knees, oh what a mess!

The two uncles began to wonder
Why I couldn't ride and fell like thunder

An uncle on the left and an uncle on the right
Stable for a moment then took flight

Some hope and cheers began to abound
But only to see me hit the ground

Two uncles left, went back inside
they knew that I would never ride

It was just me and the silver fox
Some dirt with pebbles and stick and rocks

Off to the station to fix my flat
On the banana seat I wish I sat

On the way back I tried once again
My broken riding began to mend

The first pedal was good and then the next
They flowed well together, they flowed like text

I sat like a king on my banana seat
exceeding all boundaries, accepting no defeat

I could not give up without a fight
We can ride all day we can stay upright

In the beginning I was on my side
But can you believe it?
I began to ride

(219 words)
John Pupo
To all those "peers"
from my horrible adolescent
years who made my skin crawl
with venerable phrases
"fag," "queer," and "wuss."

To my father who left
out the back door one day,
leaving my mother on the cold
yellow Congoleum floor,
contorted; tears flowing.

To the credit collection representative
who continuously called at
all sorts of "appropriate" hours.
Informing me that my payments
on my student loans were too miniscule.
Fifteen percent of what I currently made
isn't enough, I should get a third or fourth job.

To the nurse in the delivery room,
who decided that she just didn't have
enough time to wash thoroughly, causing
me to lose the first three layers of skin
five days into existence.

To the customers who berate
and belittle on a daily basis. Assuming
retail workers have no intelligence or skill,
while paying with their government
unemployment checks.

To my father again, who decided
to inform me that he had remarried
in a birthday card, three months later -
despite the twice weekly email forwards
of "outrageously" can't miss antics.

To myself, who throughout the mess,
refuses to sink to their level.

(159 words)
Linda Goin
What got me here...

...was some trouble
and time set aside
to wonder how high
the Ohio River might flow
past mansions, casinos,
river rats' headquarters
and quarries marked
by dead men.

I sit and whittle
time into periscopes
that look backward
to where that river begins.
Another culture thrives
on the other bank.
They eye same water,
they breathe the same air.
We could all bring chairs
and sit down by the river,
wave to each other
as garbage floats by.

What got me here...
...was some trouble.


Good to be back! Hello everyone. Pearl - <3!
(74 words)
Karen Legg
I haven't had time to read anything yet, but I'm so glad to be getting in on the first day - I promise to read and comment this weekend. Happy Poetry Month, everyone!

How'd I get here?

The real question is:
who paints a floor?
Who paints a floor anyway?

I just cleared the room
of everything: the tables, chairs,
the books and their cases, the lamps
and the light they spread.
The light but I couldn't
get rid of the dark left behind.

I really didn't like all that dark.

So I got out the white paint
and I got down on my knees
and I painted. Just painted. It
worked, it didn't take very long
at all, and very soon it all
looked much better, much
brighter. So I kept painting,
kept kneeling, and painting.

I got rid of almost all of that dark.

But there's this patch
I'm kneeling in
with my dirty feet and
filthy knees
and the white paint is wet.
And the door
is on the other side of the world.

(154 words)
Karen Legg
Oh, I just saw the time stamp on my post. Well, I made it on the first day by Arizona time, anyway.

(21 words)
Marie Elena

His shy glance drew me,
His integrity held me.
Grateful for my "here."

(10 words)
Katie Dixon
Taking your Eyes off the Road
I don't count the steps.
I don't measure the days.
I tried that once.
It doesn't work.

But I keep my eyes open and only
mostly focused I feel that I take in more
that way learning from what is behind
keeping an eye on what is ahead
and dipping my hands in the currents
of the scenes slipping by like a dog
with ear-blown ears, eyes, tongue, nose.

Faithfully the path appears,
ever two steps ahead of my own.
It is not always safe, predictable, or calm.
but it is solid and true.
It gets me where I'm going
and will follow me home.

(97 words)
TIm Snodgrass
So many great poems today, so I won't even try to break it done with one exception.

Daniel Paiccopulos - Your welcome back piece, which interweaved the names of this morning's poets with such wit, while staying right in step with the theme. Brilliant my friend.

Apart from that, it's great to see everyone in print once more. I notice you have all gone quiet on facebook. Clearly too busy writing poetry. Good to see everyone again and looking forward to the month.
(80 words)
How I Came to Post Late

So its sleepytime, but I haven't written my poem yet
Because I have been curled up with a novel for several hours
Because I was tired after my long day outside
Because I needed to look for a new lawn mower
Because the grass needed its first haircut
And I was tired of wrestling with my old mower
And I had to fill the empty gas can at the service station
And before that I had to add sand to my raised beds
Because this was the only day my son could help me
Because he had a day off from work
And I weeded some grass-choked flower beds
Because today was Spring's first sunny day
And because I can't get my brain working
Because, after all, its April Fools Day!

(122 words)
Marie Elena

Kim, thank you for the kind welcome. Great seeing you out here as well.

I'm already included in a poem? WOW! Thank you, Pearl! What a pleasant surprise!

So wonderful seeing many familiar names! I'm tempted to have a Romper Room moment, but am afraid I'd miss someone. ;) For those of you who don't know what I'm referring to, I'm just showing my age. Suffice it to say that it is good to be gathered together again. Happy poeming, all!

Oh! I do want say hello to Terri Stewart. Terri, I am Peg Faulmann's sister. Good to see you out here!

(98 words)
Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea
Led to this moment

Entire bottles of cabernet emptied
and lined along the formica top
of the dimly lit kitchen gave an
extra boost of bravado into the
deepened evening hours,
where loosened lips unfurled
innuendo and an honesty that led
to this 120 proof meeting of
stiffened pieces and sharp breaths
that I will not regret in the morning,
even after you've long returned to
the side of your tethering and
I've documented it right now.
(64 words)
de jackson
Daniel, I missed the "de train" nod the first time around, as well as the full significance of your poem. Love it. Thank you!
(23 words)
Julie Lovisa
On My Way

This meandering journey has been endless,
Consuming miles of life's nothingness and
Leaving callouses on my brain.
Never sure in which direction I'm heading;
Sometimes circling around the ashes of burning thoughts,
Sometimes rushing through billowing clouds of lofty dreams.
There was never any map.
No final destination.
Just these emerging words scattered along the path;
Full of confusion, yet
Making the most beautiful sense and
Taking me exactly where I want to go.
(65 words)
I am told I refused
to surrender the training wheels
of my bicycle, so my parents
took them off without telling me
and I went on my merry way.

And that is how it has gone, believing
I cannot do it, but because I simply must,
I am through. Alive yet.

Chasing myself around behind the decades
potholed and ruptured, unfathomable
from a child's perspective. Stubbornly
insisting on training wheels to steady me,
the lack of the habit of fingernail biting
my saving grace, because I can grip the edge.
(77 words)

What Got Me Here?

I, the great hard worker,
took the garbage to the dump.
I didn't need a man to do it for me.

Standard shift? Got it covered.
The truck only turns left?
I can figure it out.

I backed it right in--
unloaded the whole thing.
But I had to turn right to get out.

"The truck only turns left."
I maneuvered it for thirty minutes,
back and forth, over and over.

Yes, over!
I bought room
by driving over part of the pile...

I am now in the truck
on the ash heap,
four wheels suspended in air.
What got me here?

The preview spacing is way different from what I have typed. I hope this works! :-)

(101 words)
Connie L. Peters
I didn't get to read them all but these are some of my favorites: Rachel Green, Daniel Paicopulos, Nancy Posey, Mike Barzacchini, MJ Dills, Michael Grove, Anders Bylund, Andrew Kreider, Kit Cooley, Bruce Neidt
(33 words)
Laura Hohlwein

What You Got Here

is a fine mess.

The ghosts lift and dissipate
like Twombly marks above a sea we
forget to name
that cradled the moon and rocked its beauty sleepily
through to a calligraphied poem. Once.

The rooftops crack like vases
dropped from a delicate, startled hand.

The bracken gather and their study
is of semantics

of bone
the conjugation of bone

Under another starred sky a silhouette falls
from a balcony and then the report
marks what would be red on impact and

in the night is not is ink - jet black
in which no pen is dipped to write why

jets fly over and trail lines over the vast
curved, rolling, roiling bodies of sand

Inside our homes, personal histories
have gone up in the fires, dust-binned,
reluctantly painted over - fresh.
An acrid smell lingers.

Nothing is familiar and that is now home.
Though the lemons hang full on their boughs.

(131 words)
Marie Elena
Michele, I know what your poem is about, as I saw a FB post. I wanted to respond, but could not find the words. My heart and prayers are with you, hon.

Joseph: Bloodlines is smart and well penned ... your trademark.

Andrew: Frosting gives one pause. Well done.

Nancy Bell: Beautiful, touching...bravo.

Daniel: Brilliant and fun piece! Thank you! I guess there are TWO poems I was included in today. Very humbling, indeed.

Karen and Justine: So inspirational.

Nikki: I feel exactly the same way you do. Guilty over here as well.

Nancy J: Your piece is absolutely heartbreaking. (Good to see you out here!)

Sweet Hannah: Wonderment is well titled. SO glad you are back this year!

Connie Lard: Nicely done!

Kim; Excellent!

Sara McNulty: Wow.

Benjamin: Fun and well done!

Walt: Great stuff as always, but I especially enjoyed your piece on rhyming.

So many talented poets and wonderful pieces. I'd love to comment on them all. I vowed to myself to choose my top five, but it's just impossible. Good night, all, and thanks for a great first day.
(171 words)
Virginia Snowden VSBryant
What You Got Here

Wonderful sunshine dancing across the sky.
Happieness overflowing from family and friend.
Achievement beyond all that was expected.
Terrific pleasure, joy unimaginable.

Yearning to go farther,pushing longer and longer.
Optimism radianting from every word every written.
Unity between paper and pen, body and soul, mind and heart.

Grateful for all that stood by, strenght giving strenght to simple try.
Openness from those never expected, new found respect shared with wonderful blessing.
Time overcoming all obstacles, now flying higher than ever before.

Heart to continue what was started knowing my words and I can never be parted.
Eternity is what I will have
Reaching, reaching, and reaching some more.
Everlasting are the letters I spread across the page, neverending and always beginning.
What You Got Here, What I Got Here; my words, my song, my family, my friends, my strenght, and my courage all together build the writer that now stands today and forever.
(143 words)
de jackson
Laura Hohlwein: "What You Got Here." Wow. Too many stunning lines to mention. I want to read this one again and again. Will be looking for your name from here on out. Wonderful.
(32 words)
Wow, this is a really powerful prompt - there's so many great responses to it.

Walt, love this : There is no vehicle so far;
no boat, no plane, no car,
that can get me to where your heart is.

Jan, this struck me: We rode on,through towns
with houses whose bright, happy faces
were painted the colors of the sea.

de, I LOVED chickens: we're all
just trying to get
to the other side
in one piece.

There are so many more, but maybe I should go write, huh?

(79 words)
Dana A. Campbell
Homage to a Hot Biker Chick

It is the winding road which brings her home to me. I stand with others in the parking lot waiting for the roar of her approach as she turns the corner. Even though I cannot see her smile behind the gleam of her mirrored visor, I know it is there. She parks her purple and silver bike, removes her helmet and shakes out her hair. I know it is cliche (or maybe I've just watched too many movies), but every time I see her in her pink motorcycle jacket the scene plays in my head in slow motion. This hot biker chick walking towards me, butterfly adorned helmet in hand and she bends to kiss me as I rise towards her on tip-toes and her lips touch mine. And I know even though there's no applause or anything I know everyone in the parking lot is jealous of me, even my friends. When she rides off into the sunset I stand on the balcony and wave while she blows kisses and revs her engine. I turn and go inside, open a window, sit down in front of the computer and write until I hear the purr of her riding home.

(204 words)
Khara E. House
:Remembering the depth of soil:

Remember the solitary breath? Like rivers, coursing
through, through--making room for more things, and more things.
It began like stirring, like sifting grain,
threshing, watching the chaff arch high on breezes
painted purple and ochre, the wind you called
this is not enough.

You found me in the field.
Half-shaped and warm, dew and milk
bubbled on breaths not my own. Remember the touch of burlap
on my skin? The wrap, the carry, the shoveling love.
You told me I was yours, then, yours alone.

Now we are whirlwinds, whirligigs,
whipping posts for one or the other's missing hands.
We cannot touch,
no part reaching far enough to hold on, cling,
keep safe the drowning inch of buttery affections we once
shoveled out like coal. Remember the tear me down,
watching me unroot? Hoping to someday remember wings,
to learn to fly back to your red, red barn.
(150 words)
Remembrance lingers in shadows as the years have mounted
Like a display for all to ponder every year being counted
One particular image stands as a beginning learning to walk
Bookcases lining a wall down the hall filled with silent talk
Whispering as the steps went by in time getting heavier by age
Open me up for within the page and bounded cover words of sages
Forever meander in worlds far reaching only accessible by thought
For in imagination there is an eternity always waiting to be sought
(80 words)
Kimiko Martinez
Good to see some of you again. It's been awhile!

Starting Day 1 off late, but still before I go to bed.

I am not sure which
way I took
when the roads diverged

so long ago. They
split apart
and I just kept walking.

(40 words)
Haze - my poem for the first NaPoWriMo day.
(8 words)
Judy Roney
Got Me Here?

chance and hard turns
graces, bad luck, and blessings
working against the grain
death, life, tragedy, beauty
laughter, sobs, facing the fears
writing, painting, loving, giving
being loved, held, respected
contemplation and chance meetings.
sense of balance and nonsense
coasting and landing hard
pain, joy, passions, and grasps.

That's what got me here.
What will it take
to get me further still?
(51 words)
Our Darker Purpose:
Pride sews the seeds of disaster.
Nursed with pride, rashness, and folly,
Two twisted weeds grow and choke
Their leering father.

The daughters blind him with flattery.
He believes them and banishes the two
Who love him most, for they refuse
To puff up his already-inflated ego.
He cleaves his land in only two,

Humiliation follows his folly.
A regal king is gone, ousted, unwanted.
A stormy night busies his betrayed heart.
He cannot fathom it, and so he sinks
Deeper into his own mind, mad,
Then angry, then guilty, then ashamed.
This is how he got there.
(84 words)
Carole Katsantoness

Glass beads and poetry
make sense of a new
dance. Shape movement,
melodies tranquil
at last. Snatched
lightening bug words
wriggle through a pen.
shimmer--new novas
circle in my hand and
seeds of cottonwood
subtly descend, create
florescent bursts of
double meters and
passions blend.
Muses waft, tempt
a piqued-forgiving ear,
artistry blossoms, sparks
rhythm once again.

(42 words)
Robert & Walt & PKP - great kick offs to begin this poetic month! :-)

Only barely had time to scan through the names so far - and read a handful of poems - but it is SO nice to be again in the company of "a couple hundred of your closest friends". (Nice one, Walt!)

Also wanted to say, to Connie Lard (and all other new-to-PAD folks): Welcome! You'll fit in just fine! :-)

(73 words)
Penny Henderson
Great start, folks!
Connie Lard--welcome. Write on!

Janet--thank you.

(7 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Pam.... Your April Fool was beautiful and did, as I noticed Michele as well, make me cry. Achingly, universally lovely and familiar in deeply expressed humanity. Kudos and thank you!
(29 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
PSC thanks and I second all your sentiments.....Wonderful to be here, but feel a bit overwhelmed as to how to hug everyone on " the street" without seeming either like a manic lunatic or embracing some as I miss others!

Thank you Walt for your shout out...my goodness "sage indeed" ha, ha ...more like parsley.... Back for some reading HALLOOOOO TO ALL!!! Walt might need to crank up that band over in the park and have a parade of words.....poets attached!
(80 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Whoops began reading and noticed I was not a sage bhp a consistent...so I have no need to be a sprig of parsley after all...a sage would not skim....enjoy
(28 words)
Lori P

I'm here

I'm here. That's what counts.
Never mind the backtracking and wrong turns
Or the stops to hug old friends or shout at
New enemies. Dragging gifts and possessions
Scars and memories that leave tastes in my mouth-
Be they bad or good- I'm here. And I've seen what I've
Come to see. That's nice. Next.

(51 words)
Sheri Kuehnle
Somehow when I posted by poem yesterday, I posted it on March 23rd ??? No idea how *that* happened. Plus, I posted it around 9pm but it says it posted early this morning. So, how I got there yesterday is a mystery, no doubt brought on by or at least exacerbated by my migraine. Sorry everyone! I'll work on pulling it together and posting in the *right* place on the *right* day. The irony of "how I got here" and the complete mess I made of it is not lost on me!

The poems so far are amazing. This is my first year (obvious?) and I'm so excited and humbled to be surrounded by such talent.
How I Got Here
A storm front came in
Bringing me the gift of pain
Here then is haiku
(129 words)
J. D. Mackenzie
Like some familiar names here, I participated in NaPoWriMo through ReadWritePoem last year so I'm new to your blog this year. Robert, please clarify if you'd prefer a post of our poems here (which I'm doing today below) or a post that shows a link to our own blogs (doing that also, being thorough).

Looking forward to poeming with you all this month...


What got me here

She came to our town to read
so I picked her up at the airport
drove her everywhere
had cappuccino
squired her to the reading
she actually used the word squired
when she signed my copy of her book

That night she killed
that's why we chose her for this
after dinner with friends
and a lot of fine wine
she held forth on her life
how she knew early on
it was the only thing
she was called to do

It hadn't clicked at first
she spoke of the first anguished years
shoe boxes stuffed with nasty little letters
from vapid little editors who didn't get her
and when someone asked how she kept going
I will never forget when she said
she knew deep down
she was writing damn good poems

And this caused me to wonder
what manner of faith each of us brings
to believe the same things about each other
with or without stuffed shoe boxes

[From the prompt by Robert Lee Brewer to write a "what got you here" poem]

J. D. M.

(234 words)
de jackson
ina: thank you! : )
(4 words)
Julia, A Little Bit of All of It
Thoughts on 4

You started out smaller than I could see.
God knit you perfectly.
We saw your tiny heartbeat, white on the screen.
Then the day came. The doctor wanted to take you from me.
But she coudn't.
Only God could.
We saw you. Almost smaller than we could see.
But we saw, your eyes. Your hands. Your feet.
I'm sure I saw your smile.
We buried you under your tree.
It's blooming now for you to see.
If you were here, you'd be past 3.
Four years.
We celebrate you here, but one day we will celebrate you there,
(86 words)
Charles Robert Hice
pleese do not delete this comment once more time

i do not understood why u deleted my first entry

here is yesterdys comment ONCE MORE
April one.odt
April one
this is copy from facebook notes
charlax Poetry
April one foolishly advances
by Charles Robert Hice on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 10:01am
April one
if not for her own husband, who is constantly on the road attempting
to sell more units for his boss, who blames his money-focused approach
to life on his shabby upbringing by his father, who often lost jobs
(and even a finger once in a car factory) while daydreaming about
becoming a great writer like his favorite poet, who chose composing
stanzas over spreadsheets and as a result found himself often worried
late into the evenings about how he would manage to pay his rent
while realizing he had absolutely no one left to blame save himself.
late at night when i should be asleep
excerpted from Robert Brewers poem

CharlaX Poetry
Five Lines of Freedom
In the eye of the Clergy your husband will not save himself but wind up keeping you from going inn to Glory but shortly you will see the truth again
In the Laymens terms selling items for the living is not work but feeding frenzy needs the job the husband will be home to sleep to love you more then ever more
IN her own eye she wishes she could give the Father back the finger give the finger to the Father of the Man
From the passing stranger the point is the poem he wishes to write poetry he must be homeless to fulfill his destiny
from no viewpoint
in 100 April years God will stop these fears he will wipe away your tears for YOU my April fools who live inn loving Harmony

Anne McWilliams version

instead details swim, paddling back from the brink
of ruin, bearing down hard on middle age
life's wrong turns have brought me to my knees
eternal questions cannot be taught
all i have is a voice, what you have heard is true
choices can take everything away
not even born as promised, a premature life
knows there is misery enough in this world
no one exists alone
fair warnings long outgrown, i shut the door
to turn energies towards a file drawer, spring cleaning
no sacrifice seems trivial
time always finds the hole
a silent appeal confronts years left
stands at the foot of my bed each morning
ready to start over

the end of poems in America
Aprils Fools

(386 words)
Jerry Walraven
Thanks Walt. And thanks Janet for the very thoughtful comment.
(9 words)
Charles Robert Hice
CharlaX Poetry
Five Lines of Freedom
In the eye of the Clergy your husband will not save himself but wind up keeping you from going inn to Glory but shortly you will see the truth again
In the Laymens terms selling items for the living is not work but feeding frenzy needs the job the husband will be home to sleep to love you more then ever more
IN her own eye she wishes she could give the Father back the finger give the finger to the Father of the Man
From the passing stranger the point is the poem he wishes to write poetry he must be homeless to fulfill his destiny
from no viewpoint
in 100 April years God will stop these fears he will wipe away your tears for YOU my April fools who live inn loving Harmony

here is my entry for FRIDIY this is my POEM
(142 words)
Linda Armstrong

Like a curtain pulling back
for an anticipated performance,
first light creeps down from
the juniper-fringed rim of the
Colorado National Monument,
spilling into canyons where
eagles nest and bighorn sheep
rest in blue shadows. Subtle,
at first, as if in imagination,
it intensifies, like a rising
overture, until the full face
of the edge of centuries is
lit. From power lines along
the road, rows of birds watch,
(59 words)
Richard-Merlin Atwater
What Got YOU Here
(C) Richard-Merlin Atwater April 1, 2011

What got YOU here, my dear,
Two feet obviously, and a mind,
YOU had to think first, then cheer
Your peripatetic thoughts so kind

Towards Aristotle's itinerant moves
In philosophic configuration stance,
Which would carry you in set grooves,
Onward and upward until you dance

Into my presence here up on cloud nine,
With angel wings to guide your "bod"
And self disciplinary mind control, fine-
Tuned towards Atwaterian approval nod

Of acceptance into the new school of poetic
Thought, called "The Living Poets Society",
Which requires some writing ability: Platonic
Or otherwise, that adds substance and sobriety

To your words, whereby all will know that you
Have something of worth to say that won't waste
Time, and send us off into to some non-sensical
Debate about our 'after life fate' ex post haste.

So please translate and interpret to mundane me
All the Ojibway linguistics of your proverbial stuff
In plain ordinary Old Low German spelling bee
And remove all the rhapsodic dithyrambic elegiac stuff!

BUt, YOU may be georgic or bucolic.
Poet's Note:
Aristotle taught his philosophy to his students while walking
around as they followed him about, thus he espoused true
peripatetic thought. Plato espoused idealistic love like
the venue of Jesus (who came later in one sense of the word).
The Ojibway Indians spoke a dialect given to translation by
Longfellow in his poetic take in The Song of Hiawatha, while
The Atwaterian style of writing lends itself to "cloud nine' thoughts
of georgic and bucolic concern for "something worth saying" in
lyrical and idyllic aesthetic appreciation of the graceful flow of
artistic and beautiful language sometimes euphistic and imagerial
yet understandable to the intelligable common man who can read
a dictionary in consort with a Thesaurus (kind of dinosaur I think),
and encyclopedia. Does anyone have an Antonym finder I could borrow?

(280 words)
Iain D. Kemp
A Twist of Fate

A chance encounter on facebook
a coincidence in timing
old yearnings stirring once more
synapses firing bright
figures twitching to write
the poet springs to life
in the shell of the working stiff
gone are the pen and ink
the new age has dawned
technology abounds
the poet writes again
the first stanza complete
the first poem posted
and now in year four
it's time to do all over again


...there is a rumour going about but I'm afraid I am unable to either confirm or deny...
(74 words)
Mr. Walker
I Love Poetry More Than I Thought

I started writing poems in high school.
It was for a creative writing class,
not because I was some moon-eyed teenager
in love. I was a misfit then as now,
and my poems brought me a tenuous
acceptance from my peers.

Then, in junior college, I studied
literature intensively and took a poetry
writing class with George Barlow.
More acceptance. My writing ability
wasn't a fluke.

When I transferred to Cal, I applied
for a writing class with Thom Gunn.
I was rejected. Hurt, angry, I wrote
poems in solitude.

I entered the full-time working world,
not studying and reading poems. I wrote
when inspiration came to me.
There was the sestina I wrote
while manning the reception desk
from 5 to 6, when it was quieter.
At another job, on my lunch hour,
I used the tugboats I watched
working out on San Francisco Bay
as an extended metaphor.

And so it went for many years
until I began teaching. I used
ideas from Kenneth Koch and taught
poetry writing to my students.
And when the opportunity came,
I was ecstatic to have a published poet
from California Poets in the Schools
come teach my students to write poems.
I wrote poems too. And I named
my blog after a poem one of my students
wrote that was published in a CPITS anthology:
Sadly Waiting for Recess.

Then, I discovered NaNoWriMo and in 2009
I wrote a novel in thirty days.
Hungry for more, I wrote 30 poems
in 30 days the following April.
Then another novel in November.
And now it's April, time for this misfit
to write poetry again.

Acceptance from my peers
wasn't a fluke.
Poems in solitude
as an extended metaphor.
Sadly Waiting for Recess
to write poetry again.
(250 words)
Iain D. Kemp
...appears it is true - he is back!

Dear Moosehead
Damn your women are crazy!
Your mother is drunk and bitching my
ass like a plague of Braves fans on any
given game day and your sister just wants
me to buy her stuff. I don't even know what.
Just stuff! Crazy bitch! So I got the season tickets
courtesy of your cousin and her way of being
nice to athletes and we are ready to rock and roll
or at least play ball. Those Tigers ain't gonna
know what hit them. Speakin' about getting hit
I gotta get outta here before I do these harpies
some real damage. I'll pick you up at seven.
Get ready to holler. Schwing batter!!

Yours ready to howl
Ringo the Howler

(121 words)
Paula Wanken
Playing with Poetry

a stirring within
years of silence

a torrent of words
waiting to be written

i search
to find my voice
i explore
to find my style

for now, it is
with which i play

2011-04-01 10:55 p.m.
P. Wanken

written for Poetic Asides poem-a-day challenge
Day One: "how I got here"

(40 words)
Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Getting a late start...Love your poem Robert! Here's my contribution.

Starting Point

From streets crowded with humanity
Along beaches licked and tumbled by great ocean waves
Through forests green with ancient life
Beside Superior's haunting body
Back to the forest that once held the Old Man
Over to the coast, rock strewn, primordial
Into the valley, where words tumble down
the sides of mountains into the pages I write

(61 words)
Carole Egler
What Got Me Here?

I dunno. I never do.
Sometimes I think I do
But, I really don't.
I just got here reacting to
external prods and influences:
The buzz, the song, the morning
news, a crow's hoarse caw.a snippet
of verse, an overheard curse . . .
Everything makes me go.
Hopefully, to somewhere that
I want to be.

Carole E.

(52 words)
Carole Egler
I am back and I hope to keep it up!
I have been enjoying all my favorite writers (who are Poets)
I will be here reading a lot of my days away,
I can almost use this as another entry ha ha
My best to all you talented poets!

Carole E
(46 words)
Karen Jane
I know I'm a day late but I wanted to share!

How I Got Here

Quiet your rustling and lend me your ear
As I sing you the story of how I got here
I was born of yellow, blue, and brown
A tornado drove my seed in the ground
Not a drop of rain for forty days
A ball of fire set me ablaze
Grew up strong with the sideoats stems
Learned to bend and sway and wave like them
But a dandelion sprang up one day
And showed me I could fly away
So southward on the winds we roamed
In the fertile hills we found a home
A bouquet of every color and hue
I see reds and greens and violets too!
And here the seasons I will spend
Until I ride the winds again

(120 words)
What got me here

This tree, that tree,
branch to branch;

cultivating the heart when Narcissus flies
came around to eat its flower bud;

feet with a soul of their own;

Papa's advice, like canned goods
in the emergency pantry;

the gobbledygook my children speak;

shards of goodbyes entrenched
along my eardrums;

love's wagon moving on its own wheels
and not on synthetic fuel;

friends who did not blaze a single
trail, but like pebbles under the moon's
glance they broke shadows on the ground;

the rumor that "I do" whispered between
our bones before the ship's library
let our wedding formality in;

stepping stones masquerading as failure;

hellos, soft as the mint color of rain
on leaves in the Spring;

Mama's prayers that scurried between
shut windows to hitch a ride
on God's wind.

(123 words)
Marissa Coon Rose
"Moving Into Uttanasana"

It's more about the hips than the legs:
swing too fast, head-heart-belly down
and the motion will tear through the hamstrings
like fingers, and pull each muscle into a snarl.
To get here--fully fleshed out
in standing forward bend--release
the need to fight the strain. It's about
curving the hip bones
into the softness of your body, this way--
flower petals curling backwards
into their own stigmas come nightfall,
rivers receding to the depths
where the fishes live, and willow trees
drooping with the curve of the last
rain storm, curving with the way things are.
(86 words)
Jo Lightfoot


"What?" arrived around '03
when a key life mission appeared for me,
to which I've been (for the most part) true.

"What?" Oprah asked.
And I instantly knew.

"What one thing, if left undone, would you
most regret when your life was run?"

"Poetry!" then "What?" I said,
wondering how such a notion got in my head
and overtook my heart.

My poem-a-day mission, given its start,
grew clearer by the year.
Now I've arrived, an everyday poet--

"What?" is the what
what got me here.

(79 words)
Jo Lightfoot


"What?" arrived around '03
when a key life mission appeared for me,
to which I've been (for the most part) true.

"What?" Oprah asked.
And I instantly knew.

"What one thing, if left undone, would you
most regret when your life was run?"

"Poetry!" then "What?" I said,
wondering how such a notion got in my head
and overtook my heart.

My poem-a-day mission, given its start,
grew clearer by the year.
Now I've arrived, an everyday poet--

"What?" is the what
what got me here.

(79 words)
Laurie granieri
You kneel at her 100-year-old
feet, each arthritis toe containing
a century
red and fisted
beneath the puttied nylon nets.
You deliver the news into
her good ear,
heap each syllable
with generous helpings of
cheer and
scan her face,
all eyes and cheekbones this past month,
for signs of recognition.

You remind her of her life,
remind her to remember:
You remember the luncheonette
you visited with Aunt Mary every weekday
when you worked in town; you remember the corsage
you brought me the year Easter fell on my birthday.
Sometimes she rewards you with
an arch of her eyebrow.

She summons you.
You lean in,
take care not to disturb
the oxygen tube.
Her fingers, all diamond ring now,
glitter and grasp your arm.
You've gained a few pounds,
she gasps.
Don't get fat.

You've brought her
gas-station roses,
tight, red, strangled
by cellophane,
a vase from the cellar,
among the clatter of
canned peaches and
rusted garden rakes.

She calls you by your mother's name.
You do not correct her.

(142 words)
Jay Sizemore
What's left

When I'm gone what will become of my things?
This maze of plastic, metals, and fabrics,
I've built around my life like a test
for those to work through, maybe seeking
a chance to see who I really was.
Plaid, pearl buttoned shirts, guitars,
stacks of records and books,
some shoes, some boots,
a collection of films meant
to inspire the kind of nostalgia
someone should feel for lost youth
as much as they feel for lost love.

These things should burn
in the same fire as my flesh,
because neither were a true representation
of the man I came to be,
and unless you were there,
day in, day out, helping to build the maze
like the small hands constructing Floyd's wall,
you would have never met him
and don't deserve the chance
to confuse yourself.
(122 words)
Dare Gaither

Waking into Time
A first Step
Choices bring me Here

(8 words)
Nancy Posey
one more:

Paris at Night

looks just like Washington at night
and Myrtle Beach at night
and Cozumel at night,
but I'm compelled
to add to your collection,
those I always send
when we're apart,
not for the view
or taunt you with the sights
we cannot share,
but just to let you know
the sentiment as unchanging
as the night view wherever I am
and you are not:
Wish you were here.

(59 words)
Chuck Puckett
Endless Road

It is a road like any other
With beginning, ending, a middle
It's one way, and that's odd a little
To go back you must take another

I find myself in some vehicle
I find myself always departing
I find myself, it seems, by restarting.
This knowledge is no flood, but a trickle

It leads somehow here forever
Somehow always to this very second
As if this place has the power to beckon
As if this time were somehow clever

I make no sense of this constant action
I feel compelled to merely accept
Which I do, truly, completely-- except
There's no reason for this attraction

Why this continuous translation?
To here and now, this forever going?
What keeps the soul in transit from knowing
Its ultimate destination?

(c) 2011 Chuck Puckett

(112 words)
I'm Here

Letting myself grieve
the unexpected loss
of expected life and growth
of a bundled up dream;

Letting myself cry
like I've never cried before,
my body weeps and mourns
this uninvited void;

Letting myself feel
the sorrow and sadness
overwhelming despair
needing to fix the unfixable;

Letting myself see
how God shows His love,
wraps His arms all around me
through the embrace of a friend.

Letting myself heal
little by little everyday
gaging it by the pain
that I feel and has gone.

Letting myself be,
to grieve and to cry
to feel and to see
and to heal.

(77 words)
Gretchen Gersh Whitman
Robert- This is late due to an internet cable problem yesterday. Catching up today. Gretchen

PAD 2011- April 2, 2011
Prompt: what got you here

After the Long Winter

When snow recedes,
April tips his hat at bluebells & trips
on the dew of daffodils like a slow drunk.

Rain spills from a twig's new leaf to
the pink blush of a lotus lip. Tall green
fern-like fronds whip the still pond below.

Red ferile foxes forage on the hill, mad with
scents under the misty spring moon.

The world is forever changed like
the bleak second before a kiss.

Gretchen Gersh Whitman

(99 words)
Gretchen Gersh Whitman
Robert- Excuse repeat- spelling correction!

PAD 2011- April 2, 2011
Prompt: what got you here

After the Long Winter

When snow recedes,
April tips his hat at bluebells & trips
on the dew of daffodils like a slow drunk.

Rain spills from a twig's new leaf to
the pink blush of a lotus lip. Tall green
fern-like fronds whip the still pond below.

Red feral foxes forage on the hill, mad with
scents under the misty spring moon.

The world is forever changed like
the bleak second before a kiss.

Gretchen Gersh Whitman

(84 words)
Hannah Gosselin
Thank you Marie and Walt! It's inspiring to be poeming again and reading poems too!!

Warm smiles to you both,
(19 words)
Nancy Posey
Oops! Put my postcard here. I'll move it to day 2.
(10 words)
Hannah Gosselin
Just caught Gretchen on the tail of this thread! Beautiful. :)
(10 words)
Nancy Posey
one more:

Paris at Night

looks just like Washington at night
and Myrtle Beach at night
and Cozumel at night,
but I'm compelled
to add to your collection,
those I always send
when we're apart,
not for the scenery
or to taunt you with the sights
we cannot share,
but just to let you know
the sentiment as unchanging
as the night view wherever I am
and you are not:
Wish you were here.
(57 words)
Mariel Dumas
Leaving Cities Behind (An Ode to the future New Orleans)

From Argentina born
Sipping matte; the restless cadence
Depressive passionate city of Evita and Peron
Silence on a plane to Kennedy
New York, New York
A lonely island where tango beats exist still to black-beret wearing derelicts
In Argentina born
Buenos Aires on my heart still
A schizophrenic life; that of coming and going from a certain place
A mellowed out and slightly sad view; knowing that Argentina still
Cannot be seen from my Brooklyn door

Violins heard through New York City still;
Like sea urchins carrying my soul in their salty amorous mouths
A hole
In the Village; East
Sipping matte in Washington Square Park until I was too tired to weep
Hypocrites and beggar-thieves scratching at my door
Lovers and bygones beware
Took my soft flesh; made it harder
Harder than black ice
To navigate the subway
New York, I loved
Kinky and rare;
So softly and benignly; a ginger-based recipe for pure pleasure disaster
Of ruinous avenues and breathtakingly beautiful scenes
Hot dog stands, rock-a-billy boys and one-night stands with bands;
black cloves; artist-boyfriends, organic, post-traumatic pulse of eager blood
New York blood tastes sweet
Those who should have never been in it; ended up on it
The stuff that creeps through Manhattanites' veins
White and still like snow; muffled and quaint
Perverse-like twisted capillaries of a crucified saint
From Argentina still

Took N.Y. and placed it in a to-go bag
In South, "carry-out"
With Russian knapsack bought in St. Petersburg
Tied up my Docs too; an acoustic guitar from a boy I might have loved
Didn't wave good-bye
Though I tried
My tongue was still in my mouth; dry
No words for lovers that loved
For doctors or scenesters I once would have loved
I swear a lover I was;
O New York
In Manhattan and Willie-burg
More body than heart;
A lot of mind
But Still
From New York to DC
Sorry NY for my doubt
You took my breath away; too much
So softly in dreams; muffled air through plum curtains
In heavy vampire fantasies;
A New Yorker still

Traversed East Coast to a place
Called Alexandria; a blue-blooded name-place
Joined a choir and was left; what was left
Of a purple heart; a New York heart
Tasted your tears in mouth;
Waited by a black telephone
To never hear your voice again
Cleaned and cleaned and cleaned
No stains; powder of you left but almost gone
I polish surfaces no more but you took time
Tripped up down by the mall with a lover
New lover with a bigger heart and smarter brain
Than You; New Yorker
Against my shoulder learning the taste of South
Black skin, green eyes, without giving a fuck
What corner turned; too high on the boulevards of Presidents
Clinton would have laughed
To come across you again
In cars, riding in Metros against DC sky
Politicians taste like bitter candy
To me; a New Yorker-
Scheming to make a break
Walking on my way
Whistling my way to New Orleans
..."Because I'm walkin' to New Orleans"
One last song for the road
Promise to kiss your lips before I part
And you, dark thick beauty; with so much sense to
Make love to life
I shall write you an ode; an oath to me and you
To be strong;
We who suffer the same disease
And to you, the one who I seduced in a secluded U-Street downtown night
I will not leave your hometown without it
Fighting scars; black skin; dark eyes
For you I shall always carry a part
Of you; like carry out
A fine monument to an extraordinary event
That in any event did not end; yet
But on my way South
As Spring nears, I bear the scars to guide through light-starred roads
I'll breathe you in one last time or many times
Depending on the day or night
My dark Plutonius delight;
To kiss the night with suitcase nearby
But we have today; and DC is ours
A New Yorker Still
From Argentina born; still

(588 words)
Sarah Joyce Bryant
I Let You In

I let you in prepared
for you I pried open rusted
door pushed up clouded
window let fresh light inside
my dark cellar

you the tornado here gone
in the blink of my eyes
blinded by the aftermath I sit
where your winds carried my head
in tattered hands contemplating

the fall of tears releasing
raging screams or to lie
quietly and waste away
amongst the ruins you left
(58 words)
claudia clemente

what got me here?

as if you didn't
know? but
you do
very well;
it's jets.
jets and jets,
jets again
and days:
so,here i am,

here. gotten.

(22 words)
G. Smith
(c) 2011 - G. Smith

What got me here it's hard to say;
Some simple steps along the way;
A leap of faith from time to time;
A pause to rest and watch the day.

A woodland hike; an uphill climb;
A trudge through mud and dirt and grime;
A dance in rains with lover/friends,
A walk along a beach (sublime!).

A drive down Easy Street, and then,
Some rough roads found around the bend.
Crossing rivers, full from tears,
A slip, a trip, now and again.

Where roads diverged~ the choice unclear,
Right or left? Despite my fear
I took the turns that led me here;
I took the turns that led me here;

(102 words)
Sally Jadlow
What Got Me Here


Through daily journaling,
attention to detail,
and habitual observation,
poems spill onto the page,
through no fault of my own.

Now, after thirty-nine years,
the practice, a habit,
as essential as breath.

(27 words)
Sandra Robinson
Caprice, chance ,
a temporary part time gig
Not too stressful, come in and go home.
Friendship, sudden death,
Now I'm the very reluctant boss.

(21 words)
Got Here In Time To Be Me

Traveled south,
Veered East,
Followed directions
Took the low road
Craved the high road
Turned right
Swerved left
Did a u-turn in the middle of the road
Followed the crowd
Wanted to lead
Sailed away
Went with the flow
Rode the wave
Melted in the sun
Braved the cold
Mingled tears with raindrops
Walked a mile in another man's shoes
Ran away
Cruised the highway
Wore a seatbelt
Cranked up the music
Pushed the speed limit
Missed the exit
Discovered a shortcut
Against all odds
Got here
In time
To be me.

(70 words)
Maxie Steer

The swaying palm tree reminds me
his tweet is a melody of longing,
that sharp trill he barks at me
when I walk by his cage
a jealous squak matching the patter
of my bare feet over squeaky rented floors.

His seeds and water sure, newspaper changed,
wings clipped.

His envious green feathers slick and tropical
against his fast moving head nodding,
always nodding with vacant eyes at each day's passing.
Often he implores, racing from (fake) branch to (fake) branch
the reason for his being here,
grasping with beak and both feet,
demanding to be released
till my eye levels with his and in defiance,
he shrieks, turning away.

Then together we view the swaying palm tree
beyond our reach, distorted by cage bars
and slanted venetian blinds.
(113 words)
April Wright

Love in the Projects

Is free love
It's playing basketball until dark and staying out
Past curfew just to be with her.
It's watching Ms. Jasmine's five screaming kids
Just so you can buy a new dress for him to see you in.
It's holding hands in silence dreaming the same dream
Of leaving the projects together, making a better life
Fit for the child that you will have together one day.
It's like Marvin Gaye singing to a Miles Davis song
It all seems possible.

It's when being with her was like eating Moon Pies
All day. Sweet.
It's like when you laid down with him
On a cold December night
And decided to give him your most personal self
And you didn't care about anything but each other
You didn't care until
Baby girl was born
Holding that unbreakable love in her spirit
Anxious to tell the world of her mother and fathers story
Of loving each other in the projects.

(147 words)
Candace Martinez
Complacency Kept Me Here

Huddled and tense, here at my desk I write
On this cold and soggy Midwestern night
About circumstances that brought me here
During the fourth month of another year

Stuck in Michigan and wanting to leave
Out of work, needing a reprieve
My brain searches for opportunity
To live in a better community

Caffeine-induced sense of urgency
Sun and heat deprived emergency
Here I am, where I don't want to be
Who will come along and rescue me?

This very moment, to myself I vow
Not one more winter here, some how
An escape route I will find
And leave this awful place behind

Complacency has held me far too long
Lulling to sleep with its soothing song
I'll burst the cage open at its seams
And be true to once forgotten dreams

(116 words)
Melissa Hager
A day late and a dollar short! This is what got me here.


(15 words)
Catherine Lee
What Got Me Here

Tepid milk tested on mother's wrist,
I finally learned to make my own.
Don't smother me with fences
Linked in pink paper chains.

I am more than this body
Odd that feeds the future generation
I am less than the bleeding
Women who came before me.

~Catherine Lee
(42 words)
Lorna Wheeler
What Got Me Here

Named after a fling not a silly romantic novel like he once told me.
Mama, how did you do it?
How did you keep from torching the place?
From kicking him to the curb?
I met two more brothers just last spring
Seems dear old dad dipped his pen
in every old thing.
(50 words)
Tanja Cilia
What got you here?

Trains and boats and planes
Not transports of delight because
I sat in them till the cows came home.
And so did I, feeling antsy.
I had a reason; 'tis the season
For sun, sand, and clean sea...
I had an excuse; I had nothing to lose
Except rain, concrete, and murky river.
But the home where I lived
Is now someone else's house.

(57 words)
What Got Me Here

Effie and Leroy in Alabama
had a litter of six -
Gwen, Bill, Lorraine,
Helen, Robert, and last -
Betty. (Leroy also had a
whole other family on the
side but that's a different

Annie and Hugh in Louisiana
only had two -
a girl Annie Marie and
a boy Lonnie Lee. (Hugh
later got caught in a wreck
on the Red River Bridge with
a young pregnant girl in his
truck but that, too, is a
different story.)

So, Effie packed her babes just
after Betty was born in 1936
and ran away from Leroy,
the scoundrel, on a bus to
her brother in Louisiana,
working the rest of her
days at the Sears & Robuck -
manless and poor.

Annie and Hugh (a deacon by
the way at Sardis First Baptist
Church) ran a gas station and
restaurant in their small one
red-light town. Each spoiled
their favorite - Hugh, the girl
and Annie, the boy. Lonnie,
foolish, dropped out of school
at 16, found his way to the
army and spent a little time
on a tiny island in the Pacific
repairing radios. Betty, always
responsible, got her diploma.

So some mutual friend introduced
them - Betty and Lonnie -
and with a somewhat drunken
call from a telephone booth
one rainy evening, Lonnie
asked Betty to marry him.
57 turbulent years and three
kids later, surprised, they still
find themselves married,
playing Scrabble every day,
feeding the goats,
and weeding the garden.

Effie and Leroy begat Betty,
Annie and Hugh begat Lonnie,
Betty and Lonnie begat three -
Lonnie, Buriece, and me.

That's how I got here.

(248 words)
Kathy Albers
Has it been a long time from there to here?
In years? Yes. In life experiences? Oh hell yes
In tears? Certainly. In smiles? Too many to count.
I came to this place overcoming health issues and with a whole lot of luck.
It hasn't been a snail's journey, more like in the blinking of an eye.
And here I am.
While I care what others think of me, I am not bound by that.
Finally I like who I am,
and for that sing reason
the journey has been worth it.

(86 words)
You are Me

Understand me
You would take my thought
My words
And hold them in confidence.
You were my confidante.
And as I grew
to trust in this
my thoughts and words
being locked away
I understood that THIS
was good for me.
You were my release.
My way of letting go,
moving on.
But ith a greater understanding
of me and the experience.
Thank you for being with me
throughout my journey.
A young girls best friend,
a womans companion.
I called you Diary then,
Today I call you my Journal.

(70 words)
The Journey

We never had much
And loading up the old wagon
Only served to prove the point

We were heading west
Leaving gloom and debt
Traveling to the land of opportunity

We were part of the last wagon train
Going that way
Indians and weather were against us

We were jostled and bumped
Bruised and battered
Our insides turned to mush

We rode and we walked
We unloaded and threw out
Our meager possessions to lighten the load

We reached the end of the line
Dispirited, downcast miners clogged the streets
Vision and luck lost along the way

We never had much
Unloading the almost bare wagon
Only served to prove the point

(93 words)
Erinne Magee
it was on a friday
id heard those words
one last time
threw open my suitcase
and sold my stuff
one last time
felt my insides collapse
told myself just
one last time
questioned every moment
said let's try it
one last time
there were things he didnt
want to do just
one last time
he didnt look at us
not once not even
one last time
at times i still wonder
how we got here
one last time
when you're bound by blood, is
there such thing as
one last time?
(69 words)

Not so long ago, I dreamed of houses with picket fences
and children laughing and being in love.

I put my foot into the waters and with all my senses,
swam across to the land I had dreamed of.

But its face was not obvious and its form frightened me
Instead of beautiful landscapes, I found the deep pit of despair.

Everyone I trusted, had traveled a different sea
And upon this land, for me they did not care.

My hope did not dim for too long, when my own will
pushed me to reach for his hand and replace my gloom.

And so my love did find me, yet I somehow still
feel like I'm at sea, drifting to an early tomb.

For what I had lost can never be again
And what I gained feels more like a burden too heavy to bear.

So I sink into the the land of pain
and rest my head upon the bed of grief no one wants to share.

(The way this lines up here is not how it lines up on my blog...but the words are the same)
(171 words)
The story of me stands unheard
Under layer upon
Layer upon
Hurt and Pain
The traumas adding up
Making strong the shell of my
Like so many strata of rock
Each layer has a tale to tell.

(29 words)
Nancy Posey

How can she help him piece together
his broken heart? He's still her son,
a boy, too young to be a father,
but now she holds him when he cries
over the lost life, not his choice,
but half his. She knows he knows
she too had the choice, back then
when common sense might have led
to some other path, traveling lighter,
alone. He knows, maybe now more
than before that she gave him life,
not an easy one for either of them,
sure, but a life full of possibilities,
even some that leave a little ghost
living only inside of his heart.

(91 words)
Nancy Posey
Wrong day again. What's wrong with me! (Internet's been down and I've had to post through other methods!)

(17 words)
Mike Bayles
This Light

The light spread over the horizon
calling, is calling me.
I've got to see this light
and foresee the new day.
The many colors of dawn
appear as one,
white after dark night,
as day has begun.
A clarity I seek
after illumination
sublimates my dreams.
A gentle breeze whispers
a song of spring's refrain
while I answer its beckon call,
on a silent sojourn
while I drive toward the sun.

(For "What Got You Here")

(76 words)
M.A. Dobson
As an exercise once
I sketched them in charcoal
The result was pedestrian
So I added a rosebud
To the right toe
Its stem extending to the ankle
This effort too was unsuccessful
So I put on my shoes
And took a walk
(38 words)
Cresta McGowan
DWM's - Dead White Men

They read the story,
noting only the glory
of the DWM's - the dead white men
they read every year.

Where, in the tears
of their boredom galore
was a story of something
post 1924?

And I thought
as I listened
to them drone on and on
that maybe something was missing
from their selection of song.

That classics are classics
powerful, strong
but the weight of the world
doesn't carry them long.

Their generation is different
even though I disagree,
they have no connection
to The Old Man and the Sea.

And they don't want to see
no matter how hard I push
They just aren't ready,
for that kind of book.

Something must matter
more than what's in their text
so why not try more,
give the white men a rest.

And I sat at my Mac,
thinking that night,
when my first story hit me...
Maybe I'll write.
(122 words)

There is a coffee cup
Perfectly balanced
On the track of what got me here.

There is an apple
Stuck in my teeth
While waiting, waiting, waiting for you.

There is the gum I chew
To keep the hours cool
For the train that got stuck.
(41 words)
vanessa mayes

woke up blind.
with my toes i followed the the frosted cracks in the concrete,
sharpened edges tearing at my feet as i refused to give up
the curiosity of what could be.
what could i become?
numbness dancing on my toes--taking over my sanity; survival
was the on the tip of my mind, with it's hand i
pressed my face against a wall,
letting my hands analyze every inch,
and taking every ancient picture, every cryptic word for all that it was worth.
it became me.
with a young mind i let it define me, wrap it's stone around my heart and my exterior until i could feel the warmth amongst the frosted concrete,
immune against the cracks that caused me to bleed.
opened my eyes.
since, i've found an exit.
i've become more than i was told i'd ever be.

Vanessa Mayes

(128 words)
Juanita Lewison-Snyder
long lost sister
by juanita lewison-snyder

another sister,
how quaint
and i see you've even brought your own violins.
right, you say that now
but what about next month when rent's due
and you suddenly remember why you pursued this in the first place?
what happens when the realization sets in,
there are no gains here
only broken people, damaged goods
in place of any inheritance, social standing, or good old-fashion family genes.
this den of lions has disappointed me greatly over the years
as i'm sure you will too, so why should i even bother with you?
do us all a favor and crawl back to the termite infestation you came from
or else grow some wings and move on to start your own new colony
of backwater cons, this particular nest is full.
trust me, even if Dad were still among the living
he wouldn't care one iota more for you than he ever did the rest of us.
the road to Dad is fraught with peril and darkness you can't even imagine.
the only legacy here is survival of the fittest
and who gets to drink from the trough first.
lion or antelope, you decide
but understand, this family has a voracious appetite
and will chase you down like raptors at blood's first sight
so guard well 'gainst any sudden razor nicks
or better yet, opt out now while your limbs are still intact.
you've been warned, dear sister
so consider this my gift.
you might wanna rethink what got you here.

(c) 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

(230 words)
Dennis Wright

A Weekend Journey
(The Too Late Blues)

Taking a trip to the book fair,
then writing poem in pentameter.
Taking a stab at doing my taxes,
then listened to my team lose.

Driving north to Sam's Club.
Driving south to my home.
An hour or so paying bills,
Some work of last week grew.

Then up in the morning early,
thinking about sleeping in.
Then off to shop some more:
I wonder about someone I knew.

Walking my dog around the block.
Thinking the weather is warmer.
Back home he gets Front Line.
Gotta buy some for the cat too.

And then that work from Friday,
an hour or so and I am done.
I put it off 'til late 'cause,
I watch what Lucy and Desi do.

I sit down at my desk to write.
I sit down at my desk to write.
I should be sleeping in my bed.
I got the too late poetry blues.

(132 words)
Mariya Koleva
OMG, I'm so terribly late! Here it is.


What got you here?
I wish I knew.
It was just walking,
which turned to climbing
and then it was a sheer fall,
that may have been a flight
into this wintry cottage
of blooming peaches all around
where gold was falling to the ground
and turning into autumn leaves.

What got me here?
I wish I knew.

(c) 2011 Mariya Koleva
and on my blog, open for comments:
(63 words)
Lori Desrosiers
How I got here

Dad reciting Shakespeare and Keats
A Child's Garden of Verses, over and over
My Mother writing, reading, singing.
Nursery rhymes, clapping, jump rope songs.
Deciding at six I wanted to be a writer.
Listening to Phil Oakes, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger,
Judi Collins, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, The Doors,
The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin.
Learning guitar at camp, practicing for months.
Mom giving me a diary with a lock
My first poem published in the camp journal
My first story kept by the teacher.
Singing stories with the guitar while babysitting.
Finding my voice again, years later.

(88 words)
Lynn Burton
Lost and Found

I didn't like what I saw
beneath the quiet
whispering conscience
silenced by boredom
and reckless searching

Until I found my place
right here where I belong
and my heart
opened up
giving way to a richer

(30 words)
Daniel Ari

April 1 Prompt = What got you here

"Why I'm not ready"

April catches me between crises
creatively questioning
the efficacy of word pursuit
that I can't bill to a client

while my best old friend
goes under the knife--
his heart--and time dries up
in a rush to get outside
into this fickle spring sunshine.
I want my pulse to race.

Why bother
is the world question.
No time
is my best excuse

But without sense,
with only this plastic passion,
I grasp the pencil,
writing this even
as I give up on it

April Fools!
Here I am.

(78 words)
Daniel Ari
Attempt 2:

"What Got Me Here"

I found art for a step ladder, a pocket knife.
I put on poems to be my magic pants.
Choreography became my scuba suit. I took art
for a calendar, a torch, a compass, provisions,
no tool I ever knew for a place I never saw,
the thing needed for meeting the surprise ahead.

(53 words)
Amanda G.
Getting a bit of a late start, but a friend's awesome work inspired me to join the April PAD. Here's my first attempt.


I came here on a prefix
the first syllable of Superman's city
another way to be sexual
a sans-serif statement
of brutalist architecture
shooting through the sub-terrain
(43 words)
Commute 101

In the lull of humidity
in the lag of slow
commute the
turquoise house
catches the eye yanks
the mind away from
undone ideas and
the shared sweat
of too many
sardines pickled on
another commute home.
On a sweltering grey day
the splash of color
lasts for only
an idle line
scrawled in the
emptiness of an over
hot musless day.

(45 words)
Patti Williams
I think I arrived on a cloud of happy
Yet was filled with a wave of tears.

Bellying up to the bar, all smiles
And laughter, while quenching the
Thirst of a desperate survivor.

My skin thick and weathered
From the storms only
Covers a bit of the brokenness.

Heart still hopeful this time
When I leave, it will be to go home.

(54 words)
Kimberly Brock

It was just a thought
Cut it
Ringing then clanging
Cut it
Surely it wouldn't be right
It would look awful
Cut it
Fear of what others will think
Cut it
Creep in
Cut it
Then suddenly fear leaves
When determination leaps in
Cut it
And to the bathroom I go
Scissors in hand
And cut my hair
Not bad!

(45 words)
Earl Parsons
I'm late. I've been so busy looking for another job that I forgot it was April. Hope I can catch up.

The Journey

This place
So strange yet so familiar
Slightly different each day
Yet the same in many ways
This place
Where I now exist
Are things as they appear
And how did I get here
To this place

The journey
That got me to this place
Started on a hot August day
In a place so very far away
The journey
Took me 'round the world
To places far and near
And landed me right here
In this place

(81 words)
My cross

there were shapes and colours
unformed, ill

bubbles of emotion, fluid
that never quite
reached my lips

not in any cogent expression

i thought wrongly
that words failed me,
so i carved them on scraps
with ink

hoped the indelible balance,
between blotches and scratched

would make sense in moments
once i had shaped them

but failing words, threaded on time
i think i evolved
became coloured shapes,
an expression

realised that i am
ill defined, am human

but now i can at least tell you that,
can tell myself
to listen
to the scratching, the corrections

and my holy triumvirate is
write, rite and right

then there is only myself left

(c)DP April 2011
(88 words)
Jane Shlensky
The Horse I Rode In On

Silver has two speeds, being a plow horse.

Labor is mind-numbingly slow, with lots of snorts, tail flicks,
plods and stops, and turns
to look between blinders for what the hold-up can be as we prime tobacco,
carrying leaf upon sticky leaf to the sled
or set the rows parallel and somewhat straight for corn and beans,
plow bit cutting into warm earth. Silver's patience is curbed and strapped to a burden.

Fun is done at a gallop and bare-backed,
brooking no alterations to the ride across the farm, between two fields,
down a path through the woods, past the ancient uncle-carved oak,
to a clearing beside a highway, non-stop across the highway to the picnic tables,
a sharp turn around the tables going full tilt hanging onto the bridle and coarse mane hearts pounding breathing gasping, huffing back across the highway and again through the woods and fields to a short stop where we began,
now breathless, flushed, exhilarated, traumatized, and limb-whipped,
willing to do it all again.

I hunch over stacks of student papers, snorting and flicking
at run-ons, fragments, misspellings, comment on sticky comment
crowding the margins,
counting those papers remaining again and again,
calculating a time of completion.
My knees and feet kick involuntarily, my pen taps,
I whinny and I eat tiny carrots,
chomping at my bit,
longing to run full tilt and feel the wind,
always imagining myself a pretty filly
catching silver glints of sunlight,
head up and tail lifted,
racing across a green pasture.

Jane Shlensky
Sorry, all, this is my first post and I'm still getting the hang of it.
(268 words)
Jane Shlensky
A postcard poem

Lift and Swell

The salty water buoys me up, even half a mile from the shore, where I swim through pockets of warm and cool and then float and rest, watching the sun rise on schools of little painted fishes flickering below me and groups of tiny people collecting on the beach under red and blue umbrellas. Each day is warm and clear, blue and green, light and new, thinking of you.

(72 words)
Bernadette McComish

A wave brought me
to your heart of sand
and like a mirage the ocean
vanished. I wanted to crumble
the castle, its mote dug deep,
but I could not move. I was rooted
in the desert, cursed to stare
at windows that don't let light
through. You were no longer
the man with the tail of a fish.
And I was stuck, a lone flower
under the sun, waiting for the sea
to give me back my legs.

(71 words)
Jared Q
better late than never, i suppose.

Day 1: What got me here

small, indecisive nibbles
whittle down my

quick, like match heads flaring
they consume, then

stunned you bit so quick into the
weakness in this

faulted with river cracks,
overlapped like

I always knew my mapping:
blue was mortar, green was

constant grinding on myself
I'd find patterns as we'd

so I could be prepared
for any test of mind or

but what got me here was your eraser
seems you etch in

(69 words)
Sheila Deeth
We went from winter to summer, Oregon to Texas, and watched
While flowers strained against the lack of rain. We mourned the fact
That we'd not see that fabled blue; we'd come too soon
Or else the rain too late. Rushed for the plane, delayed by boom
Of Texas thunderstorms.

(45 words)
K Kerns
Test post (first time poster) and I have little to no knowledge of html, so bombs awaaaaaaaaaay...
(16 words)
K Kerns
PROMPT FOR APRIL 1 - What Got Me Here by K Kerns

Well, it wasn't my competitive Momma
Or the envious and older siblings
It wasn't the divorce of my parents
(in my tenth year)
Or her hurried second marriage

What got me here was not a stepdaddy nor his
"Use yer head for somepin besides a hat rack" attitude
It wasn't the perv who married my Sister
Or worrying about my Marine Brother
During the Vietnam War

What got me here wasn't leaving home at 16
It wasn't my first boyfriend
And it was not my first broken heart
Or that rape, or my failed marriage
... or my third child, a miscarriage

What got me here was that single yellow rose
Trellising itself up the fifty year old fence post
It was blue skies and powder puff clouds
It was the scent of a red rose and wild daisies
Daffodils in the Spring and laughter

What got me here were the smiles
Of my newborn babies
His pots and pans drum set
And her playing in my makeup
And the sheer innocence of Them

What got me here was breathing deep
And knowing that two wrongs
Don't make a right and that I get to
Pay forward the Good that comes to me
And I get to throw away the bad

What got me here is the truth
And the acceptance that
What others do unto me is on them
And what I do to others is on me
And everyone stands on their own merit

What got me here... was Me.

(234 words)
Lexi Flint
Unable to express my feelings
as a child
I turned to paper and pen
for in my journal
I was free to scream, fight and cry
I could create new worlds
or travel back to old ones
where maidens were fair
and knights rode in on white horses
to save me from the reality of pain
Silence was my safety net
writing my refuge
for in my mind
my innermost dreams, schemes, and story themes
play on the movie screen of my imagination.

(73 words)
Elizabeth Oakley

The mirror cast an image of distasteful reality
that, due to her injuries,
she became so lazy while
This item, needed for survival,
became her obsession,
a dirty secret,
indulged in late at night, but
not satisfying the void
that was her life.
It only brought her to the reality
that stared back at her today
and made her hate, with disgusted passion,
and made her want to thrash
at her flesh and pinch and scrunch
the rolls that had one day
appeared, upon her waking
from a three-year sleep.
(73 words)
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(240 words)
Salvatore Buttaci

Al is behind us
driving the U-Haul
in the teeming rain
and I say to Sharon
ten hours of this
what if we lose him
then when I look
in my rear-view mirror
he's not there
Sharon laughs
look she says
he's three cars
ahead of us
and we never catch up
till we reach Princeton
and now big brother's gone
waiting up there
for one more moving day
when I haul myself
down crystal streets
into his good company

(62 words)
Susan M. Bell
First off, I have to say I am so glad to be doing this again. I love the daily challenge and the deadline aspect of it. Thanks Robert.

Second, I am intimidated by all these great poems, as I always am. You guys rock.

Third, all the poems I post are rough drafts. I consider them works in progress so welcome any comments or suggestions anyone would like to give.

And here we go...

How did I get here?
Here where I am.
I sometimes shake my head,
not understanding,
not seeing
the path before me.
Behind me
the road is illuminated
by heartache,
It's hard to see the joy
among all that pain.

How did I get here?
It's a question I ask
every day.

(109 words)
Susan M. Bell
FYI: "And here we go..." is NOT the title of my poem. Looking at that, it almost appears that way, but it's not so. Most of my poems don't have titles.

(31 words)
Jolanta Laurinaitis
What got me here

What got me here?
A dip in unconsciousness
A tear in sanity
A loop to go around
A spring of hope

What got me here?
A reckoning to be reasoned with
A blast from the past
A string of unfortunate incidents
A wing of a prayer

What got me here?
A gift to share with many
A love so deep and perfunctory
A reason to be
Just me.

(56 words)
Joseph Beckman
2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 1
what got you here
Roads travelled.
Torrents growing
rowing, tossing to
and fro.
Hearts' beginings,
love's leanings, pushing
pulling groping singing.
Playgrounds playing,
but ground's undoing,
shaking quaking, breaking
young soul.
Torment starting,
torment growing chasms
widening and flowing
to no end.
Time growing,
Old clothing but
New beginning,
awakening, singing
love's leaning to and fro-ing.
Hope springing eternally
Eternally singing.
(c) April 1, 2011 Joseph Beckman
(52 words)
Wow - there has to be something auspicious about being the 300th poet on day 1, even if I'm not posting until Day 13 ...

How I Got Here

He hands me my gift
The high-tech phone
I've been lusting after

"It has GPS," he says,
"Now, you'll never
Get lost ..."

A sadness steals
Over me
From where
I know not

My love, who reads me
Better than he does
the stars

Takes the phone
Touches the screen
Hands it back

My eyes fill
My heart bursts
He knows me so well

On the screen
An actual, functioning

"It has both true
And magnetic north,"
He tells me.

I nod, knowing what's next
And I say it too,
"But I'll only ever need true."

(100 words)
How Did I Get Here

I wonder how I got to
where I am today, ask
myself if a simple key
could unlock secrets,
give me the veiled answer.
I think there is no one source.
I believe I arrived here from
every spark that preceded
this moment from infancy to
mere micro-seconds ago.
Most importantly, I am here,
the rest is up to me.
(58 words)
Amy T-P
How Did I Get Here?

With burgeoning belly and swollen breasts
Forgetting your name and which car to take to the mechanic
Lost in a town where I've lived most my life
Feeling everything and nothing at once
Wondering when the joy kicks in and euphoria begins
To overshadow the exhaustion
Waiting to connect to the stories
And embrace this new role of life.

(55 words)
Holly Matison
The Drive Home

The chair I sit in brings comfort
It reclines, swivels and rocks
It comforts me
Both cats purr
One keeping my legs warm
The other my neck
How did I get here?
A 13 hour drive home
Crammed in a car
With no leg room
Only a dirty sweatshirt to keep me warm
I missed my chair.


(51 words)
What Got You Here

It was the backstage flirting that led to this point,
trying to angle a weekend date
with the brown-haired minor character;
the rules of which dictated
a playful aside to Wild Bill
A flirt that led to a Friday night
that led to a week and a month
and a summer and housekeys

that led to a December night
twenty years later
watching your curtain.

April 1, 2011
(60 words)
Scott Mesrobian
Fool's Folly

As a child, the books were large and sturdy,
Able to withstand a young boy's way
Of reading with the force of backyard play.

In the first grade, a story the boy wrote
Brought words from a teacher who
Told him it was cute and drew a smile.

The teenager read the dog-eared paperbacks
Assigned in school as homework and read
Them quickly, the words racing from the page
Through his eyes and passing in and out of his head.

The classics were absent in college, giving way
To books of science and hard fact;

Years turned like the pages of unread novels
Until time came back to the beginning,
When the boy became a man and
where his words began on page one.

People told him he was a fool,
"The time has passed for such folly," they said.
But now is the time, he said, and I have words to say.

(135 words)
I am here

Six days and a rest - created
My mother being blessed - conceived
My life being stressed - deceived
My sins I confessed - believed
Gave God my best - perceived
He did the rest - relieved
Life came together like a poetry slam
with the good, bad and the ugly
I am that I am
Here I am

(54 words)
Rose Anna Hines
As a child, teenager and even college student
I dreaded writing.
It was tedious, an organization of others research.
I remember book reports, term papers...
"Give me the facts miss, only the facts."

I never remember writing anything just out of my imagination.
I don't remember making up stories
maybe when a child while playing; with toys.
Now this seems so odd, because I loved to read
stories, myths, novels of all sorts.

As a Physical Therapist I became involved as a teacher
in a full contact self defense program.
95% of the women in the program
were survivors of kidnapping, rape, abuse, molestation.....
women who had been stabbed, thrown over cliffs,
beaten, burned, as children locked for days in closets....
Sent by their psychologists
because their imprisonment
was etched in their bodies, their cells as well as their minds.

As the instructor, to inch these battered women encased in fear and isolation
away from their past, their voices were where we started.
"NO" was their first word.
At first their voices would be gossamer whispers.
Second was to find some thing for them to fight for,
usually it was to defend and protect their daughters
which often lead to them protecting their own inner little girls.

Writing became their voice
At first reading out loud to the group
their thoughts and feelings.
Since each member of the group wrote,
I felt I also should also write.
With their group ally-coaches and instructors
their voices became strong
resounding their power and victories.

In the last combat, each faced their worse nemesis,
their nightmare, the worse experience from their past.
It was simulated by the padded mugger,
but they were not alone,
all their classes voices and the instructor's voice
coached them through the re-inactment.
While their voices, their words, their committed bodies
exploded with rage, betrayal, injustice
and they knocked out the assailant.

NO LONGER, a picture of a punny, weak, helpless
victim imprinted in their mind.
But one of a warrior, a fighter, a champion,
now embossed over the old picture.
Writing, Words, support and action changed their lives
and mine because now more than twenty years later
I am still writing because words and thoughts
are energy which changes lives.
Rose Anna

This is one of the poems I wrote for women in the class
One who chooses when
and who to engage in battle while,
taking and keeping control

The warrior
protects their boundaries
stands their ground
guards those weaker
does not give up until the task is done

The warrior slays dragons and ogres
most often menacing demons
lurking in the shadow of yesterdays
dragons whose very breath burns
the flesh of dreams and self
ogres that still the heart
demons that suck the spirit out of the marrow
and freeze limbs

The weapons of these warriors however
are of A metal stronger than steel
It is an amalgamation of courage,
spirit, which
can match any sword

The warriors oath is
I will stand my ground
I will do what ever it takes
I will be true to myself
I will complete what I start
I will focus each blow
I will be in charge of my choices
I will honor and use my power wisely
I will smite those that steal laughter
I will battle those that violate bodies
I will slaughter those who shatter innocense
I will destroy those who ravage trust
I will demolish those who defile curious, open minds
even in myself

I will fight only as a last resort

(516 words)
de jackson
ChapLynn: Love your "I am here" piece. So simple, and powerful.
(10 words)
Michelle Guerra
Why a writer?
I write because when I was a little girl I used to play out my stories with my Barbie's.
I write because a teacher once told me I could be good at it.
I write because I once had a teacher that sent my poem in and it was published when I was only 15.
I write because an idea fills my mind, and I cannot sleep until I write it down.
I write because it is relaxing, as funny and crazy as it sounds.
I write because if I didn't write I would not know what else to do.
I write because I love the thrill of typing the end.
I write because I just cannot, not write.
By Michelle Guerra

(115 words)
Shannon Lockard
Day 1 4/1/2011 "what got you here"

She Liked My Poem

Just me,
I wrote for my poetry project in 6th grade.
A poem made up of few lines,
But all the guts and inerds from my soul.
I pored over ever word and syllable,
Scared to reveal the fears and resignations I had
About me, I was afraid to let anyone see.
But I turned in that poem,
Yearning for approval and acceptance,
And maybe for my teacher to tell me
What I had written was wrong.
Maybe I wasn't just me,
Maybe there was greatness somewhere
A greatness I could not see because I was eleven.
She didn't.
She confirmed my own fears
But, she did like my poem.

(105 words)
Penny Henderson
Can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate EARLY prompts. Thanks Robert
(12 words)
Walt Wojtanik


The sights are fine,
the weather's good,
I'd enjoy this journey
if I could. But, this
wind has taken away my smile,
I wish she'd just shut up a while.
Wish I were here.

(30 words)
Linda Goin
Dear Folks...

Scenery is upside down
with opposing hues.
Cognitive dissonance reigns.
(8 words)
Jerry Walraven
"And Raining"

"Gray," it said,
only one line long
and no matter how many times
I read it, that was all it said.
(18 words)
Walt Wojtanik


Atlanta burns bright.
Can't sleep a wink, but frankly,
I don't give a damn!

(12 words)
Marian Veverka
Message from Beyond

Dear lovely ones. Without your lively music, your friendly arguments, I am bored, bored, bored. How I miss that early evening scuffle about whose turn it is to do the dishes. And then all of you turning to me at once and demanding I buy a dishwasher. Goodness, girls! Wasn't a washer and dryer enough?
Here we do not eat, so there are no dishes. And no one wears clothes, so there is no
need to wash and dry. Some of us swim in the fountains, but the water is only up to our waists and that constant gurgle does get on one's nerves.
The harp players are all beginners. Have you ever heard discordant notes emanating from 100 harps? At one time? In different keys? It is enough to make me long for a good rap artist. Some of us sing to ourselves. I would try also, but I can't remember any lyrics. Of course there are no TV's so I will never know the ending to "The Young and the Restless." Everybody here is young.
We are all given the bodies we had when we were 30 years old. Unfortunately, when I was 30, my body sagged from bearing you girls. I would like to have something to drape about me, but that would only call attention. My bed-mate is a woman who was addicted to Little Debbie snack cakes. How she moans and cries for "Little Debbie". She, too, wants something to drape about her stomach.
As I will see all of you sooner or later, I shall only say that this place is not one that I
Would consider looking forward too. The angels are all snobs and have nothing to do with us. I tried to do my best and look what happened to me. I will send this with the
Next storm. The messenger angels have a strange fetish for snowball throwing.
Till we meet again. Me.

(318 words)
Nancy Posey

By the time you get this,
I'll be home.
Please ask me then
to tell you
what I know my fear
will have forestalled.
(18 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Good morning!
Great prompt Robert...

Greetings from Pinson

Dear folks,

Wish you were here in this little town.
I'm enjoying the Butterbean Festival
with music, rides and a silly clown.
The weather's superb.
Hope you enjoy my little blurb
about this wonderful place?
Well, closing for now,
gotta go stuff my face.

(41 words)
RJ Clarken
Hey Robert - great prompt!

NJ Postcard

Greetings from the Garden State.
We're really nice, so please don't hate.

(15 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Here I am
forever young dancing
on white sands forever
beneath wrinkling toes

(10 words)
Robert Lee Brewer
Thanks, Debra.

Here is my poem.

"From Blue Ridge With Love"

When we arrived, I worried
over the FOR SALE sign
in the adjacent lot. But
once the sun broke across
those mountain tops, I knew
we'd found somewhere special.

(31 words)
Robert Lee Brewer
Thanks, Debra.

Here is my poem.

"From Blue Ridge With Love"

When we arrived, I worried
over the FOR SALE sign
in the adjacent lot. But
once the sun broke across
those mountain tops, I knew
we'd found somewhere special.

(31 words)
Lori P


Living here, the only time I see swamps and alligators
Is when I'm showing tourists around
So stay away.

But then again, you also allow me
To pull out the gumbo pot and fry those crawfish
So laissez le bon temps roule
(36 words)
Brian Slusher


The garden here's a Lazarus convention, and the trees are slowly robing themselves in green finery. The grass is still divvied between lush and trash, but the squirrels, back from their unconscious vacation, seem to find each blade fascinating. The bikes lean impatiently, their out-flung handlebars waiting to embrace, to wing above the warming road.

(59 words)
Billie Miller - Rudebusch

I'll cut to the chase
Don't mean to be off base.
So forgive me for being so short
But me and my cohorts
Are on the clock
And I am here without a tick tock
To tell the truth
Without alarming Ruth
Wish I were here
On this sandy white beach
Wish I were not here
Eating this peach.

(48 words)
Forgive me
-in your system, I knew
beneath your happy mask
and painful household tasks
there was a grunting you
who wished my silent death,
no wobbling through your breath.
Mother, forgive me, I ask
for those 280 days I basked-
(32 words)
RJ Clarken
Postcard from My Daughter's Softball Game


Cold and windy here.
The field's muddy & gross
from all the rain lately.
What we do for our kids, y'know...
Brr...hard to write...
gloves on
and a blanket too
Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh!
She just knocked that ball outta the park!
You go, girl!
YES! That's my kid!
Man, what a great day!
Wish you were here.

(48 words)
Renee Cassese
in a chilled blue sky
lace white clouds
swirl like sonnets.
I sit at my desk,
try to capture images
into odes and villanelles.
(20 words)
Elizabeth Johnson
From Carolina, With Love

Windows frame the day:
impressionist blues and greens
with one sphere of gold-

a King Midas day
only missing one facet:
the light of your smile.

(23 words)
Don Lilley
Dear Dear,
The weather's fine, if you like ice.
If it's snow, this place is nice.
If it is sun, then asunder you roam.
Why in the hell do we call here home!
(28 words)
Jerry Walraven
"In Case of Emergency"

I keep words,
folded in my pocket,
which is a lie
but the truth
at the same time.
(16 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Marian: Awesome!

ol' buddy

couldn't handle the loss of you
so i purchased a ticket
hopped on a plane
which brought me here
to the middle of nowhere

but this place offers no solace

like a thug
i hide my shame underneath this hoodie

summer breeze caresses the spot
where you once used to be

wish you were hair

(c) jh 4/2/11

(52 words)
Michele Brenton/banana
Remember what it was like this time last year?
Well it's nothing like that.

A lightness in the air; weaving around the burbling
noises of invisible birds.
Skein spun vapour, white whisps snagged
in green-tinged branches.
There is so much song the twigs should be
bowed under the weight of feathered bodies,
yet are bare against blue,
and the brightness of the sun warms buds
which will soon be leaves
covering the branches so I can pretend the birds
are hidden beneath
but they'll probably be where they are right now
which is a mystery I cannot fathom.
their music is pretty so I'm not going to worry about it.

(97 words)
Tara Tyler
Ohio Spring Break Postcard

The wind is blowing
Should not be snowing!
This time of year
It should be clear!
My boys
Their brains
Are fried.
Video games out-going!

(20 words)
Daniel Paicopulos
Hey, From Palm Springs

I know you'll laugh
when I tell you it's
a cool morning, only 68.
I'm feeling pretty cool, too.
Haven't drunk the country club kool-aid.

(23 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

RJ: Yeah!!! NJ rocks! C=
Dheepikaa - very touching.
Love this prompt, Robert. :D
Brian, such imagery. Love it!
Off to New York City, to the Poets House, where I will try to come up with another piece.
Happy Poetry Month - Day 2. =0)
(40 words)
Dear Winter-
Having April now.
Spring decided
to join us
at the last minute.
We'll have to visit
again sometime!
K.I.T. Virginia
(15 words)
Smay, that is a beautiful poem you posted yesterday: "within the page and bounded cover words of sages Forever meander in worlds far reaching..."

RJ, I love the change of "weather" in your poem, it made me smile.

Good morning everyone. I guess I need to go write a post card!

Thanks Robert.
(50 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
On a memoir likened edge
Wind blowing cold stinging cheek up on the top
Please receive before I drop
(16 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Turquoise agate water shimmers in
Perfume air drifts on iguana emerald back
Blinking in the unreality of the here
Without you

(18 words)
de jackson

Greetings from the Coast

Ocean swells, casts its spell
and I wish you were
healed held here
bathed in moonlight and foamy wave
toes dug in tight
beneath this silver speckled sky.
But there is only Orion's salty kiss
and this:
I miss your ghost.

PS: Anya caught a rock crab yesterday. She has your eyes.

(55 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

dear baby,

i am writing to apologize
for not having you
uterus is useless, the doctor says
but in my dreams...

i hold you forever
tuck you in at night
read you some poems

i love you, baby

wish you'd been born

(jh) 4/2/11 10:50 am.

(36 words)
Beth Rodgers
Introspective sunlight
Warms the daffodils
In the alabaster vase
As I lounge in my wicker chair
Studiously composing.

(13 words)
Laura Kayne

I don't wish you were here.
If you were, this would be
Another time, another place,
Tinted in rose and summer sunshine.
School's finished and weeks stretch ahead,
Two young girls run through sand dunes,
Invent games and vie for attention,
High on summer and foreign lands.

(40 words)
Pam Winters
Saturday Morning in the Emptying House

Clouds of fur,
always brighter on the living beast,
now roll dully. So much to clean,
so much cast off
that once was beauty
that now is dirt.
I, too, will roll,
heedless of past or present worth,
until I'm together enough
to pick up the broom.

(43 words)
Katie Dixon
Dear Summer,
Wish you were here.
Spring is such a tease,
and I fall for his games every time.

But you, with your honey drawled,
Summer you I know to be true.
Do not be discouraged come August
When some curse your name
under the hot Georgia sky.

You are constant and honest.
You are summer. You are loved.

(50 words)
Pam Winters
A quick note to Jacqueline (this is not a poem--ha!): I love your poems, and I hope the trip to Poets House is a fruitful one. I went to a masterclass with Edward Hirsch there last winter and loved it. I hope you pick up a random book in the library and read something that moves you.
(56 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

A re-write:

dear baby,

i am writing to apologize
for not having you
uterus is useless, the doctor says
our home is empty and quiet without you
daddy's eyes tear up as much as
mine from missing you so

we love you, baby

wish you'd been born

(c) jh 4/2/11
(41 words)
Katrelya Angus

Beside the stream,
Beneath the spreading sycamores-
Dance to the fiddle and the psaltery
At Mary's on a sultry summer night.

(18 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Thanks, Pam. Re-wrote the last one. Was being too selfish and forgot my honey in the piece. I love your piece too. The entire piece is perfect but especially these lines:

so much cast off
that once was beauty
that now is dirt.

Awesome! C=
(41 words)
Patricia A. Hawkenson

I took your advice
and left that idiot.

Now I need you
to come and help me,
but don't push
the door marked "Pull."

It isn't working.


(20 words)
Anders Bylund
Greetings from Florida!
I wish it was colder,
the roaches smaller,
the storms not so savage.

But mostly I wish you were here
so none of that would matter.
(23 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Katie: Awesome!
I always thought Spring was a girl. =D
(9 words)
de jackson

Postcard from Upstairs

Cold up here, and quiet.
I know I said I couldn't take it anymore
but my toes miss yours
and I found my earplugs.
Come back to bed
and all will be forgiven.

(35 words)
vivienne blake
Here's what brought me here, because yesterday I posted a poem on the Napowrimo Day 1 prompt. You may get a postcard tomorrow!

What got me here?
Dogged determination, that's what:,
a rebellious spirit
and the ability to laugh when things go wrong.
A creaking gate lasts longest,
so they say.
Well, I've sure creaked my way through life
for seventy-three years.
I'm here for the duration.

(57 words)
"Remember to Feed The Cat!"

The sun is up and
so am I,
Dad is not.

They drink "Tequila
Sunrise" down here, and
I don't understand, how
they make it to the door
every day,
they make a lot of things.

Can't say Dad and I do.
It's quite relaxing, though.

Remember to water the flowers as well.

(47 words)
de jackson
Brian Slusher: Love it, especially "The garden here's a Lazarus convention."
Jacqueline: Loved both poems (and both versions of "baby." Heart wrenching and beautiful.
Anders: So simple, and poignant.
Patricia: LOVE the door visual.
(32 words)
Rob Halpin

Welcome to Hampton Roads!
We've got beaches galore
for swimming and surfing
and sunning. Need more?
Busch Gardens is a family
favorite and an award-
winning amusement park.
If that's not enough,
for the history buff,
we've got Jamestown,
Yorktown, and Fort Monroe,
or Colonial Williamsburg
where people "live" every
day as they did years ago
at the birth of our Nation.
You could pack a week full
and not see it all...
(62 words)
m j dills
Postcard Poem
Sorry I've taken so long to write

Sorry I've taken so long to write
I barely survived the horrible flight
Thank God for inventing Dramamine
And shots of Jack for in between

Glad you're not here in paradise
Where I'm afraid of drinks with ice
The bugs are as big as Cadillac's
I've a terrible sunburn on my back

There's a war going on in a country near
I suppose it won't be long 'til it's here
I'm sure I've been cheated several times
Why can't they just use dollars and dimes?

The language is something I don't read or speak
They may as well be all spouting Greek
Perhaps that's the actual tongue they're using
They seem to find my confusion amusing.

I hope you can read my miniscule scrawl
There's not enough space on this card for it all
I'll be home on Sunday at half past eight
Please pick me up and don't be late!

(139 words)
m j dills
Postcard Poem
Sorry I've taken so long to write

Sorry I've taken so long to write
I barely survived the horrible flight
Thank God for inventing Dramamine
And shots of Jack for in between

Glad you're not here in paradise
Where I'm afraid of drinks with ice
The bugs are as big as Cadillac's
I've a terrible sunburn on my back

There's a war going on in a country near
I suppose it won't be long 'til it's here
I'm sure I've been cheated several times
Why can't they just use dollars and dimes?

The language is something I don't read or speak
They may as well be all spouting Greek
Perhaps that's the actual tongue they're using
They seem to find my confusion amusing.

I hope you can read my miniscule scrawl
There's not enough space on this card for it all
I'll be home on Sunday at half past eight
Please pick me up and don't be late!

(139 words)
Karen H. Phillips
Haha, I always write small on postcards and thus cram in more words.
Fun idea, Robert!

Write a personal postcard poem.

A Postcard from Back Home

Dear Ma,
I know it's always bright and warm
where you are, but down here on earth
in North Georgia I think you'd be pleased
to know the robins again appear
to sing "Cheer, cheer!"
Yesterday I carried on a conversation
with a cardinal, mimicking his cries of
"purdy, purdy." Dogwood buds have finally
burst in a profusion of popcorn.
As my friend puts it,
"The woods are full of lace."
Missing you and eagerly anticipating reunion,
Your Granddaughter
(90 words)
John Pupo

Greetings from Rochester!

Still at home -
no time for vacation.
Trapped endlessly beneath
1/2 started projects, mental
gobbledygook, and a giant
hoard of low self esteem.
Spring is on its way!

(24 words)
Andrew Kreider

Two cards from me - one of them is true!

This blank card
Represents the state
Of my mind
After five hours
Sprawled in front of the TV
For the Final Four.

Here in Chicago
Street musicians drum buckets
Hucksters shill shell games
And a gold-painted dancer
Tells me it's my lucky day.

(41 words)
Karen H. Phillips
Jacqueline, so poignant. I've been there. Please feel free to contact me.
De, love it! So terse, so humorous, so packed with feeling.
Katie, although I'm a fall/spring gal, relate to your "Dear Summer." I live in Georgia!
(35 words)
de jackson
Karen: Thank you! (assume you're talking about the second one.) ; ) Loved the vivid visuals and sounds in yours.
(19 words)
Charles Robert Hice
April 2
April 2
Thee Final Postcard
Day two of postcard challenge without you
you deceived me
you told me we would work together
then you sent me the wrong poem to start off with
the thing is ruined now
so for so eye can see
its over now
we do not get the thing in hand
the poem you write will be your entry
this will be mine
what were you thinking of
collaboration must be between two people
carried out with love in mind
but you deceived me from the start
now this my portion is ruined from the
get go get gone do it over beginning wrong
signed in love to Nunny
(95 words)
Nancy J

a postcard poem

You laughed when I bought a rain barrel in February,
but, now, in this dull, dry spring, I water the azaleas
with last month's snow melt from the roof of my little
house and smile at my rare perfect timing. Hope your
own garden is greening up as well.

(47 words)
Jacqueline, I like both of your versions of "Dear Baby" too; they are precious tributes.
Katie, I love the lightheartedness of "Dear Summer".
de jackson, your "Postcard from Upstairs" is a hoot; "I found my earplugs. Come back to bed..."
Karen, I love your letter to your mother.
John, I hope spring brings better things. Glad you are sharing here.
Andrew, your last stanza is so colorful, and I love the alliteration of "Hucksters shill shell games".

Thanks, that's just a few of the many creative things shared here.
(84 words)
de jackson
Thanks, Diane. True story. :)
(4 words)
Justine Hemmestad
I find it here - mesmerizing,
I find it here - illuminating,
I find it here - transcending,
Am I at someplace, or am I in your heart?

(24 words)
Terri Stewart (Cloaked Monk)
a drizzy day cannot hide
the majesty of the mountain out
or the sunbreak among the trees
or the swelling of river banks

the majest of the mountain out
overshadows the ego of the big city
while the swelling of river banks
dances in worshipful attendance

overshadowing the ego of the big city
the sunbreak among the trees
dances in worshipful attendance
these things, a drizzly day cannot hide
~Seattle and Mt. Ranier
(63 words)
Nancy J

So many wonderful postcard poems. I've time to mention only a few.
Jerry W. - "and raining" says it all. It's perfect.
Walt - Loved your GWTW postcard.
Brian S. - I too love your Lazarus garden.
de - Greetings from the Coast is vivid and moving.
Jacqueline - your baby poem brought tears to my eyes (both versions).

(53 words)
Taylor Graham


I need that verse by Bobby Burns, the one
that wooed me. I need to borrow your hands
to hold things steady. I need your sunshine
through the glass, a moment of your time.
Your tramping song. Bullfrogs singing basso
by the pond. Bats from the eaves. Could I
borrow your compass to find willow thicket
at the cow-camp? Thirty-nine years and
counting. One more day. Sirius the dog star,
Polaris to lead you home. Your hand, your
voice. Everything I have that's borrowed.

(85 words)
Lori Thatcher

My Dear Localvore kids,

We went to the farmers market today
and I thought you'd just love to know
what your kind are eating down here:

Squash, beets and radishes, Brussels sprouts
Liver red lettuce and white leeks, stout
Cabbage, baby carrots and Chinese bok choy
Swiss chard and mustard and kale greens galore
Celery, green onions and fresh garlic too
Florida's bounty - local, and new.

What's growing up in Massachusetts now?
Can't imagine what you've been eating.
We'll be home as soon as the fiddleheads are ready.

Love, Mom

(79 words)
Karla Okala
The View from Here

An unrelenting sun bakes
wind-swept sand into extremes
of hunger and thirst.
Manna falls and I am blessed
into moving forward,
the story of my past obliterated
in the hope of a new dawn.
(30 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan


Lofty with clouds

Angelic really

Pink mist floating by

Bright and lovely sun, ever so warm and comforting

Picture perfect!

Oh, good, I see you are here with me . . .

All ready!

(30 words)
Mike Barzacchini

Three post card poems


all the
little battles
i survived
or retreated
from today
don't matter
because i know
tomorrow we'll
be together again



today, my son
did three things
before breakfast
that reminded
me of you --
you echo
in his smile



no matter
how long
it takes --
my tea pot
is filled, fresh
and warm
for when
you return

(46 words)
Iain D. Kemp
Brief yet to the point

Dear Asshole,
Life with you is unbearable
and considerably over-rated.
Your brother is kind
better in bed
and here in Mexico
with me.
The kids are at your mother's
your dinner's in the dog.

Sealed With A Piece Of Chewed Gum
your ex.


(37 words)
Karen H. Phillips
Thanks, De and Diane.

Yes, De, the "snoring" postcard! Haha, let's just say I've had a little experience with that phenomenon.

(19 words)
de jackson
Nancy J: Thank you! Loved your rain barrel, especially the last line.
(11 words)
de jackson
Iain! LOLOLOL, especially "your dinner's in the dog."
(7 words)
Nikki Markle

Nestled in bed,
side by side,
family of dolls,
waiting to be restacked.

(12 words)
Joseph Harker

(I settled for a flattering portrait of
the Jefferson Memorial, squatting amid
the flowering cherries that are
so white this year.)

(verso: Dear ______,)
Tucked in the maze of marble and brick is
this colonnade of magnolias. They cannot agree
when to bloom. Some of them have a thousand
purple paint-dipped thumbs, folded tight, and some
are talking all at once with blooms like stars
dipped in wax. But they are all shivering now,
as the sudden storm comes shuddering along,
turning the sidewalks to mirrors. All their petals
fall with the grace of indignant angels.

(if you peel up the stamp and touch it to
your lips, it will be like some memory of us,
in the middle of so many damn trees)
(107 words)
Tilly Bud
Postcard From My Roof

Mother shrieks at daughter,
'Be ladylike!'
Old lady on daily Bingo trek
stumbles over
delinquent pavement;
no-one heeds her screams.
Teenagers screech
past on stolen motorbikes:
no helmets. If brains
strike pavement,
will it matter?
I see my world and
weep at the
stench of
hope gone

(35 words)
Joseph Harker
RJ: NJ pride! Can we make this a bumper sticker?
Brian Slusher: "Lazarus convention" = downright brilliant
de Jackson: that is the sweetest thing I've read in a while. "My toes miss yours"... awww!
Taylor: every line of this one is its own species of gem... excellent!
(43 words)
de jackson
Joseph: Thank you! I am simply in love with this line: "They cannot agree when to bloom." And that postage stamp kiss? Wow, what a haunting visual.
(26 words)
Iain D. Kemp
Dear Moosehead,
Next time take the subway home you halfwit!
Like I need my friend being sick in my cab,
I have out-o'-towners and wall-street-wannabes
doing that all week. Man tho! That homer
to break the tie. When your head clears go
watch the re-run. Yeah! That's what I'm talkin'
about. What I am also talking about is how
your sister and your mother are back to making
my life a misery now that the ball season is here.
Anyway today we get to nail those no-good Tigers
one more time. Don't sleep late the game starts early.
Pick me up at four. Bring money for dogs and beer.

Yours back on the bleachers
Ringo the Howler

(110 words)
Rachel Z. Cornell
A Postcard from St. Joe's
I wasn't scheduled to arrive here
but the surgeon pointed me in this direction.
It will take a bit of getting used to
I'm not sure yet how to travel under
such strange and new condition.
(37 words)
Michael Grove
Mid Michigan in Early Spring

The snow has abandoned this place... for now.
Of this, the squirrels and I have rejoiced.
The cardinal and the finches gather here to feed.
But, the greens are still more brown.
Yet, there remains much hope.

by Michael Grove
(38 words)
Michael Grove
Dear Brother,

The shadows are shrinking each lengthening day.
It is still very cold but there is much sunshine.
It is somewhat pleasant although not completely satisfying.
Like a kiss on the cheek from our sister.
Love, Michael
(32 words)
Got a kick out of reading your pun with "hair" and tears came from reding "Baby." Thanks for sharing
(18 words)
Rachel Green

Postcard from the Litter-Strewn Woodlands of Chesterfield

The woods were shimmering green
in the drizzle this morning - the first
haze of green creeping over the branches
like a blushing girl in a silk kimono.

And spreading across the bank
a thousand tiny suns of Marsh Marigold.

(40 words)
Joy Cagil
Last News from Fukushima

The cloud's still here
after the second fire
in reactor no:4, and
the radiation's peaked,
but I'll go in, even if
they're saying no.
Someone has to do it.

(25 words)
Richard-Merlin Atwater
Postmark, Somewhere In Time
(C) Richard-Merlin Atwater April 2, 2011

I forgot to put the postage on this card
So I decided to deliver it myself today,
It was 47 years ago I bought it on a Hard
Days Night trip to somewhere in time, Hey:

Please forgive me for not sharing with you
The Beatles hit tune that led me to Candlestick Park
On that fateful day as a Day Tripper out of the blue
While singing Here Comes the Sun from out of the dark.

She Was Just Seventeen, and I was too, when I told her:
I Want To Hold Your Hand, and she said not now, but
Maybe Yesterday, her name was Michelle, and could purr
Like a Siamese cat on Norwegian Wood with a new cut

From Abbey Road while traversing Penny Lane down
Strawberry Fields Forever, on a Yellow Submarine
Launched from Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heartclub Band
As Elvis wrote on the back of this postcard: RETURN to SENDER!

Poet's Note:
12 hit tunes and 2 album names from history. I was an airman at TRAVIS AFB near San Francisco the year The Beatles came to Candlestick Park, and got to see Haight-Ashbery in the venue of Scott McKenzie who sang: "If You're Goin' To San Fancisco...be sure to wear some flowers in your hair". High School Class of 1964 memories with 1966 military reminiscence. Signed: A Babyboomer!

(216 words)
Karen Jane
My love,

Here I sit contentedly as I write this from our balcony. I'm watching the cats nibble the plants and the wrens play tag in the bushes. A gentle breeze is rustling the trees and the sky is a little hazy. The clouds are moving defiantly and too lazy to make way for the balmy afternoon that is surely on its way. My dearest love, I do believe this day could only reach perfection if your presence I could gain in this empty chair beside me.

Arrive home safely, Me
(88 words)
annie mcwilliams

i'm here in Columbus, Ohio

cruising a seed catalog
surfing the internet, inside
a warm middle-class home
where winter's lapping our heels
and licking at buds, anticipating a smell
of approaching thunderstorms
and sounds of blizzard winds
retreating on tiptoe---it's April 2nd---

we're moving headlong
into bright sunshine and firefly nights
thick hazy heat
when tomato plants hang laden and lurid
and a curse of zucchini
shows up everywhere---

but at exactly this moment, this cat,
this spoiled cat, who will not let me poem
who watches mice with one eye closed
and nips my fingers, and cuts me off
from typing, who doesn't wait, or care, or wander
says that I should scratch her chin
and soon we'll be taking a nap
resting up for any slow moving season
that rises up to meet us

(116 words)
Penny Henderson

Athens is more, and less, than I hoped.
The statues, buildings, and citizens
hold up their slick facades proudly.
Man-made gods glitter in the noon sun.
Tomorrow I'll speak in their forum
(don't fret--they'll listen to anyone)
about one they call the unknown god.
Since they left it open, I'll walk through.
(44 words)
Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Postcard from Somewhere

Did you forget already?
Temple bells singing
Prayer flags waving to hope.

(11 words)
Walt Wojtanik


! ! !
! ! !
! Dominic, ! !
! I was able to secure tickets ! !
! for the Buffalo Bisons home opener ! Mr. Dominic Randazzo !
! on Wednesday. Should be fun! The ! 17 West 63rd Street !
! Bisons ask the fans to feel free to bring ! New York, New York !
! their gloves. Scarves and parkas are ! !
! optional. See yoou then. Walt. ! !
! ! !
(43 words)
Paula Wanken
Dear Spring

it is hot too soon
deep in the heart of Texas ~
I wish you were here.

2011-04-02 12:25 p.m.
P. Wanken

written for Poetic Asides poem-a-day challenge
Day Two: postcard poem
(26 words)
Michelle Hed
Dear Husband (somewhere in Afghanistan)

The sky is blue
the sun is shining too.
The kids are at play,
looks to be a great day.
Come home safe, miss you.

(25 words)
Michelle Hed
Dear John

To chicken to tell you face to face,
My feelings for you crumbled like lace.
Can't stand your lying hide,
My love for you just died.
Hope you enjoy running the rat race!

(29 words)

Just in a silly rhyming mood, I guess, but here's my postcard poem:

Postcard from Paradise

The sea and sky are fair and blue.
The weather's warm and breezy too.
And yet, like cork - with no corkscrew,
I am wholly missing you.

I should be fine - without a care,
basking in this seaside air,
and yet, I only wish, I swear,
that you were here - or I was there.


(63 words)
Mike Patrick

It's hot today, the dogs won't leave the shade.
Lawn needs mowing, mower's broke, won't cut a single blade.
The wife's gone to visit the air conditioning at her mother's place.
Cussed me out before she left, said the farm is a disgrace.
Oops, got to go. Things are starting to look up.
The widow next door brought coffee--thought we might . . . share a cup.
(64 words)
TIm Snodgrass
The weathers fine,
the Sea is blue,
upon This vibrant globe.
Though the people
are a wee bit stange,
they always make you laugh.
I send my love
on a beam of light
from this the planet Earth

(31 words)
Jo Lightfoot


It's overcast, gray,
and foggy today...
nothing, to me, is clear.

That's all there seems
to be to say;
that's the view from here.

(18 words)
Marissa Coon Rose
"Marie Antoinette Sends Her Thoughts Your Way"

It's cold here.
I appreciate the blanket
you never sent, but
thought of sending.

I have recently remembered
the way that silk felt, if only
because the floor here is so
unlike it. I thought

it might interest you. Please
don't worry when my letters
cease, nothing--really, nothing--
is forever. At least there's that.
(55 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Throughly enjoyed everyone's "postcards" today!
(4 words)
Carl Jones
Here in Newcastle, England
The weather changes every hour
From Calm and sunny to dull and grey
But always with a shower

Although the weather fluctuates
The sites show you a good time
From the Angel of the North
To the river Tyne

To the rest of the World
From my little house outside the city
Wish you all were here
Although the weather is a pity

(55 words)
Margaret Van Pelt

My Beloved, Warm winds comfort me
as thoughts of you flow through the night,
keeping us near ~ yet far. If only you were here,
it would be paradise. I remain yours, always.

(30 words)
Tracy Davidson
I wish you were here
at the Grand Canyon with me
pushing you over

(13 words)
Jerry Walraven - Gray - indeed! I've been there.
PKP - That's where I want to be. ("...forever young dancing on white sands...")
Brian Slusher - Loved your unique viewpoint!
RJ - From a softball game -- another creative spin.

de - So simple, pretty & poignant - as always. (Greetings from the Coast) And, "Postcard from Upstairs"? Sweet!
mj dills - LOL

Taylor Graham - Loved "Wish You Were Here".
Mike Barzacchini - Your three offerings - all sadly sweet.

Iain D. Kemp - (message from the "ex") - Harsh - but humorous.
Joseph Harker - lovely description of the magnolias - and the "kiss" made me smile.

Michael Grove - You've described spring (in CT too) perfectly.
annie mcwilliams - Nicely done! Beautifully descriped! (and: "a curse of zucchini" - LOL)

Back later to read more....

(125 words)
Kerry duVent
Postcard #1

The geese call on their spring way home
I long to fly with them to you
Instead I do yoga, drink coffee and roam
The geese call on their spring way home
And I sit writing - working to finish this tome
Distracted by your Sky-Eyes so blue
The geese call on their spring way home
I long to fly with them to you

Postcard #2
Tea for One

Blankets of
Silver-grey spoon clouds
Fill the sky
I sip tea
And wander in dreams with you
It's there the sun laughs

(78 words)
Tracy Davidson
Wish you were here, the weather's divine,
food is delicious, so is the wine.
Got sunburnt Tuesday, stung quite a bit,
David got drenched in foul camel spit.
In spite of two showers he still really stinks,
but it was worth it to visit the Sphinx.

(45 words)
Judy Roney
Nottingham Drive, Tampa, Florida

Another postcard perfect Florida day here in Tampa.
The sun's a spotlight on the trees and shrubs, showing
off the new growth, new life green that emboldens
our senses and lightens our burdens if we take notice.

This time of year I have to go home and take a break
for there is so much to take in, so much to do. I want
to see and taste it all, not miss a single drop of life
that presence itself on Nottingham Drive and beyond.

(82 words)
TIm Snodgrass
Walt, I loved your clever take on Gone With The Wind.
De Jackson, what lovely imagery, and very poignant.
Jacqueline Hallenbeck, very touching.
Terri Stewart - I love the imagery, really felt transported by your poem.
Richard-Merlin Atwater - Amazing job interweaving those songs in to the theme.
Lain D. Kemp - What an outrageously irreverent trip. ROFL

(52 words)
Julie Lovisa
Dear Me:

I am

Somewhere out there...
Wish you were here.
(7 words)
Benjamin Thomas
Dear Robert,

Greetings from Ohio the weird wacky weather state
How are things over your way?
I haven't even been outside all day
You know, within my house there's a variation
But I'll try to use some imagination
There's a thunderstorm in my kitchen
Pots and pans, dirty dishes
Kids wailing in different pitches
In the living room there were strong showers
Those books have been on the floor for hours
But in my room there is a definite calm
Cloudy, no rain, pen in my palm
Well I have to go now Robert Lee Brewer
Please come to Ohio and take a tour
You must have a plethora of poetry to sort
I'd write more but it wouldn't be short

Off to my nap au'revoir

(109 words)
Laurie Kolp
The Rodeo's Star

Stiff cowboy dudes popping wrists back in place
Bleached blonde groupies lacking grace

Wearing skin tight jeans and clingy tees
They flock the livestock like irksome fleas

Horse-bucking, calf-roping, bull-riding for show
As the spectators laugh, my jaw drops below

The stands uncover peanut shells and spilt beer
I start to wonder why the hell I'm here

Until the lone clown jump-bumps with a car
Emblazoned amusement, I delight in the star

(66 words)
Julie Hayes

Just like the name implies, it's been breezy!
The sun is shining high and the air is warm.
Wish you were here to share
All of the beauty this land holds.

(29 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Well, apparently my archaic work computer tracks the spaces differently. My mistake for attempting my concrete postcard there.

I love the short and sweet of today's prompt. Great job on all, Guys and Gals.

Patricia Hawkenson, great to see your work again. And Anders, always grateful for your effort on behalf of the musing masses.

Warm fuzzies from Michelle Hed, PKP, Vivienne.

Joseph Harker, take two "** Awesomes!! **" out of petty cash. You're one of my absolute favorites (we're talking top three here) at Poetic Asides.

The de-Vine one: what can I say, I love your work as well!

Glad Iain brought the menagerie out to play! Great job Brother.

Heartening to see that even RLB can double clutch on the prompt. Gives him a "regular guy" quality. Hope you're enjoying the convention circuit Boss. We'll hold down the fort.

Karen H. and Debra Ann, thumbs up all around.

Hey Conductor, get the band warmed up, Pearl wants to hear a tune.

(154 words)
The Doctor
"Nowhere in Particular"

You could say I miss
the rolling hills,
evergoing skys.
meaningless words.
not here,
not now.
not in
(13 words)
Walt, why am I not in your band?
My poem is/my poems are not just not good enough?
Is that what you're saying?
It's been really lonely in here.

(25 words)
Jay Sizemore

If I lose my job, my home, my love,
you can find me downtown by the bars,
strumming my guitar like a blind man
searching for faces in the blackness,
case open on the pavement like a ribcage
without guts to enclose, hoping for
some loose change, some loose smiles,
to pay for the next round of forgetfulness.

(51 words)
Ronda Levine

Here I Am

Standing. Skies are clear.
Wish you were here.
Or not. I don't really know.
The creeks are filled -- snow's
melting - I guess the drought ends
soon. Did you notice the tree's bend?
Tomorrow it's supposed to rain--
I expect the sun to come out again.
(42 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Hey gang, play time. How about a little foray into what we'll call


Write a Haiku Postal Greeting. Make sure you mention the part of the world where it originates.


Spring has arrived here,
chance of snow, thirty percent.
Don't forget sunscreen.

(45 words)
de jackson
Muchas Gracias, Tim Snodgrass, PSC and Walt.
(6 words)
Walt Wojtanik


Your poetics beat the band,
no one here can deny it.
Put your work upon CD
and PA minions sure will buy it.

No poet is left behind,
and you are no exception.
Your was omission was my faux pas.
Please pardon my "imperception".

Okay, then-a boys, and a one-a and a two-a...

(45 words)
Dear Love,

I overstretched again doing yoga
like how the mix between a powder blue
and silver sky overstretches
a horizon I can only measure with my fingers...
only it has more flexibility than I do.
But I have long stopped and caught my breath,
staring outside the window from my study room:
a shuttlecock lies erect at an angle
pointing to the sunset through a hole
in the fence while its base fits snugly
in the grass like it had always belonged there,
except it's not even mine.

so much depends
a concrete boundary

even love
and longing...

I miss you. Wish you were here with me,

(90 words)
Walt Wojtanik


Your poetics beat the band,
no one here can deny it.
Put your work upon CD
and PA minions sure will buy it.

No poet is left behind,
and you are no exception.
Your omission was my faux pas.
Please pardon my "imperception".

(38 words)
Dare Gaither
Here Alone

Above rooftops
Clouds beckon
I look for you
Seeking Who
Not where

(10 words)
Walt, "play time" or not - please tell me: Do you allow other writers who don't belong to your American Christian community?
(21 words)
de jackson

postcard from henderson, nevada

restless lion's march
roaring breeze stalks budding trees
hides little lost lamb

(14 words)
de jackson

Dear Heiberg,
I enjoy your work and hope you stick around. Perhaps first, please stop briefly here: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/2011/03/23/BriefPostOnCommenting.aspx

a fellow poet

(20 words)
Sara McNulty
Postcard From New York City

Dear Grandma Sally Buck,

I'm a goddamn stud
cowboy in New York City,
after midnight, when
folks is just gettin' started
to party. I even made
me a friend, Ratso (his real
name is Rico. He coughs
somethin' terrible, and talks
all the time `bout goin' to Florida.

Hey to all,
Your Grandson,
Joe Buck

(47 words)
No, Walt. I didn't put it on CD. I got it published by Salt Publishing. And it is "Next Stop: Sejer Island" and it will be here in this month. So very much to Poetic Asides - still, I feel lonely in here.
Only this site got me published and that is why that I will give Robert Lee Brewer all my poems but not if it's too hard for me to see myself silenced. So please give me room.
(78 words)
Sharisse Kanet
Here we are
In Sandoval
The trees are tall
The rain is hard
And while I'd love
To tell you all
The water's fall
Has wrecked this card
(22 words)
Elizabeth Johnson

Banished yet again
to the quiet empty yard:
wish I were with you.

(13 words)
Tempeton's fury
Dear Mom,

I'm out of toilet paper
and kitty litter too.
and although my condo is not like
summer camp
all i wanna do is
veg and play with my friends.
can i cook smores in the microwave, btw?

(32 words)
Sitting here with words
Swirling round, all just looking
For a place to land.
(11 words)
I'm sure that cat is the one who lives at my house! Nice poem.
(13 words)
Greetings from Grieving!

The sun is shining warm hope on my skin.
Cutting back the brittle brown stems,
Dead leaves and choking weeds.
Underneath, new green pushes through
Claiming life and the sunshine.
Rebirth is waiting just around the bend
Barely out of sight, but I know that it's there
And it's waiting for me
To take the turn.
(49 words)
Connie Lard
Springtime in Alabama

My basset hound lies
Sunning on the driveway,
His long ears askew.
(11 words)
Well, thanks De and thands Walt.
I'm off because it's late here in DK.
Still I hope that you will help to make this site international. And I just saw Walt's poem saying "Heiberg" - I'll write one for you, too, Walt. Promise.
Please, be careful that we all feel welcome - because this is a great oppotunity for writers all around the world.
(60 words)
barbara young
Just a Note

spring break at home: there is no sand here,
or surf marking the heartbeat of the planet with foam,
but on the brick ledge of my neighbor's window
a squirrel is basking, windblown tail across his ears
(36 words)
To: Louisville

Rhubarb's up. Apricot's in blossom.
Will soon be hiding eggs in the greening grass.
April - a great time to travel West.
Sure miss that happy, 4-year old smile.
Bring sweet granddaughter to visit soon.
And wife. And yourself.

(34 words)
Last year someone explained how we could search for a particular author that we had missed or wanted to reread. Senior moment has forgotten. Would you please repost those directions?
(29 words)

No, Really

Wish you were here.
No, really.
I wish you were here.
Did something silly.
Stepped on a Cnidaria,
jellyfish to you,
can't walk and my shoe
won't fit so here I sit
in my room, a twit
who needs a stick to walk.
I wish you were here
for a nice long talk.
No, really.
I wish you were here.

(48 words)
de jackson
Gerry, I'm on a Mac, and here's how I know how to do it:
Go up to "Edit" at the top of your desktop screen. Go down and click on "Find," then click over in the menu on "Find" again. A little tiny window with a magnifying glass graphic will appear up in the righthand corner of your open PAD page. Type the poet's name (or your own) in the space, then click the arrows to see all matches. Hope this helps.
(81 words)
barbara young

Period of Adjustment

New cat in the house:
sweet at the shelter.
I may rue the day.
One in the hall. One
in the living room.
I may rue the day.
Swearing through the door.
Ladies: restraint, please.
I may rue the day.
(33 words)
Ioway Castaway

It's true.
It's really true!
Stalks are higher than my head
And the crap's deeper than my boots.
They say things like "You don't give a hoot!"
And I agreed with what they said.
That I knew.
That's why I hate you!
Guess I was bred
to be corn-fed.

(42 words)

Dear Beings,

I've traversed to a mystical place.
See the huge, deep-red trunks and
enormous pine cones? Trees here have
a presence; I can hear them breathing,
feel them collectively questioning
with a soft sigh: "Why do you poison
us so?"

Falcons swoop slowly in a meaningful way,
measuring wing beats to their next meal.
Oh, how I wish to observe "The Giants,"
from their perspective.

Majestic creatures, unaware of the human
consciousness, carelessness. Just being One
with the magic. Maybe someday we'll see...?

With Concern,
The Wonderer

Unpublished Work (c) Hannah Gosselin

(82 words)
Kim King

April in Hershey, PA

Couples walk labs on the bike path
which starts at Bullfrog Valley Pond
and winds through the burgeoning woods,
along a dappled stream and into the sunny
strip by the main road. Walkers wave,
keeping pace, moving strollers briskly
aside for joggers and whirring cyclists.

Parents chat on the sidelines of soccer
and baseball fields, hands in pockets,
muddied sneakers on sparse spongy grass.
They'll dine on upside down pizza at Fenicci's
or drive downtown, sniffing factory chocolate
wafting down Cocoa Avenue, illuminated
by lights of wrapped and unwrapped Kisses.

It's not tourist season, yet.

(84 words)
Walt Wojtanik


Congrats of your achievements. No one here doubts they are well deserved. But you confuse me with your diatribe. If anyone on here can point me to my "error", please do, and an apology will be posted post haste. In my humble eyes your attack is uncalled for. I've been supportive and encouraging on this blog, and have never rubbed my supposed "American Christian" values in anyone's face. All because I didn't single you out in my first pass through on this busy Saturday afternoon? If I'm not mistaken, you had a problem with me on the last PAD Challenge as well. And if I'm also not mistaken, I'm the Poet Laureate on this site until Robert announces the new recipient in June. My work speaks for itself as well. It's a pity. I do like your work, but I don't know which messenger you're trying to shoot here. Do indeed read : http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/2011/03/23/BriefPostOnCommenting.aspx as De has suggested, and remember Robert's other caveat for posting, have fun. Happy poeming!

(169 words)
Andrew Kreider
I've enjoyed the various "kisses" in today's amazing outpouring. Two examples: Joseph - your stamp-kissing memory, and Iain your outrageous kiss-off! I send a kiss to all you amazing poets - peace to all.
(33 words)
All aspects of the day are tightly wound
around dad's comfort and safety.
I fold his shirts as if it were the
first time, the inch by inch loss gnawing
at my heart. The day's brought bushtits,
a pair of flickers, a white-petalled butterfly,
robins at the birdbath and way more
blue sky than was called for. Wish he were here.
(53 words)
Jerry Walraven
Hope no one is offended but I borrowed some of the fine lines from today for this little ditty. It's been a nice gray Saturday to sit in and read poetry.

"This Found Postcard"

The sights are fine,
Scenery is upside down.
forever young dancing
in the adjacent lot. But
I'll cut to the chase
I know you'll laugh
but my toes miss yours
I'm here for the duration.

Walt,Linda Goin,PKP, Robert, Billie Miller, Daniel, De Jackson, Vivienne Blake

(69 words)
Kim King

And now my Hershey Kisses!
(4 words)
de jackson
Corrine: "way more blue sky than was called for" - Beautiful.
(10 words)
de jackson
: ) !
(3 words)

Postcard from the Past

Dear S and K,

I canoe the secrets of an unknown river with best friends.
Our conversation ripples out across the flow of green water
into the noisy silence of the woods.

We taste each other's worlds
with longing hearts and minds.
Our happy chatter blends with the songs
of katydids and crickets.

The slapping of faster water stills our conversation
with its noise and demand of effort.
A Blue Heron, red foxes and deer fill us with wonder
as they drift beyond our touch.

A still cove allows us rest.
Its warm closeness matches
our gentler, deeper conversation.

Do you remember?

Wish we were there!

(92 words)
Walt Wojtanik
Gerry, also click on Anders Bylund's name. He has graciously provided his magnificent search tool for PAD again this year. It is a great help.

(24 words)
rose er shepley
Yester snow, gray, and drear
Now 55, sun, and clear
Easy winds and lazy flutters
Remind me of other lovers

Gathered want, lust, and desire
A ring, a bed, I'm a liar
When the train delivers
My heart quick shivers

Won't you visit soon?

(37 words)
lizz huerta

Your dahlia sheets are lovely, as is the shape of your hair. I found
your splendor in my husband's phone and sent the picture to the
rest of your colleagues so they too could admire your blooms.
(Really, sex sister, do you always look so earnest while naked & wrong?)
I hope he was worth it.
-the Mrs.

(54 words)
Nancy Posey
Robert, I was glad you accidentally posted twice, since I just did the same--on the wrong day. Here's my other postcard (my virtual postage still under a buck):

one more:

Paris at Night

looks just like Washington at night
and Myrtle Beach at night
and Cozumel at night,
but I'm compelled
to add to your collection,
those I always send
when we're apart,
not for the scenery
or to taunt you with the sights
we cannot share,
but just to let you know
the sentiment as unchanging
as the night view wherever I am
and you are not:
Wish you were here.
(84 words)
Flood from a burst pipe
Water rains down
only indoors

Repairs for six weeks
drywall goes up
new paint smell

Finally new floors
cupboards look great
unpacking: yuck

(19 words)
Walt Wojtanik

And so there is no doubting, I am as proud of my Polish roots and I am of being an American. This IS an international site and has always been assumed as such. Iain, you're in Spain, right? Patricia and Sharon and Marian I believe are Canadian. Michele Breton (Banana) is British, the winner of the 2010 November Chapbook Challenge Uma Gowrishankar is from India and I know RJ Clarken is from New Jersey. That sounds international to me. And I'm sure our travelog posts folk from other corners of the world as well. I'll repeat, all are welcomed here.

As Gump would say, that's all I got to say about that!
(110 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Thanks Robert & Walt... great poems by the way!
(8 words)
Nancy Bell
Wish You Were Here
(for all the wise and wonderful horses I have ever ridden)

I stand on my little piece of heaven
Alberta blue sky above me
Holding hawks on the wind
The prairie hot and dry in my nostrils
While the liquid lilt of the meadow lark
Slides across the melody of rippling short grass
I'm holding your bridle, the saddle leaning on my thigh
Wish you were here

Nancy Bell 2011
(65 words)
Nicely said, Walt. And for the record, I am an American who's lived in the UK for 21 years. I'm married to a Dane (a Danish National). This IS, as you say, an international site and I've yet to see anyone being treated badly or without respect.

(46 words)
Linda Voit
Grandma Lamb Chop -

Hope this reaches you.
You'll be happy to hear
the days are getting longer
and warmer. Kev is cooking
chicken on the grill tonight.
I'll make soup with the scraps
and think of you, as always.
I like you and I love you,

P.S. Miss you!

(45 words)
de jackson
I'm from Vegas, baby. It doesn't get more international than here. ; )
(12 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Having a wonderful time.
Poets abound to spiel their rhyme.
Brilliant muse from across the globe'll
radiate on PA more than Chernobyl.
We're writing at will our poetic finery,
I'd pour all a drink, but I'd need a refinery.
We all miss your voice, it fills us with cheer,
but despite all that, I wish you were here.

(50 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan
Haiku Postcard chain . . . way to link us together, Walt! But then, you are just that way! :)


Foggy yet passing,
Beyond, there is a new view,
Blue hint miniscule!

(32 words)
Elizabeth Johnson
From the ICU:

Here I lay
rooted in bed, a
sprouting IV lines
and blooming with bandages:
ripe to leave.

(15 words)

Are There Postmen in Heaven?

Dear Dad.
I miss you.
I wish you were here
because I'm not ready
to join you where
you are now.

(20 words)
I'm in Canada, too!! And I have always felt welcome here... even though my participation is so sporadic.
(17 words)
Mariel Dumas
Baby, it hails outside
Listening to Snoop
Sipping tea; the day over
Soon the moon will rise above the streets
If your eyes could see this place
Beside me while angels sleep.

(26 words)
Melissa Rossetti Folini
Dear Robert,
It snowed here on a foolish day
then today it dawned quite balmy.
By 4:00 it poured and soaked us all
by 4:05 the sun was out.

Blinking in New England

-Melissa Rossetti Folini
(29 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Sporadic, but well loved, Corinne!

(4 words)
Sara McNulty
Postcard 2

Dear Auntie Em,

The land is green
as emeralds here. I wish
you could see
these strange folks,
good and bad witches,
scarecrows, tin men,
and lions who speak.
Small people have a paved
yellow road in their part
of town. They are called
Munchkins. Toto and I
are homesick, so we are off
to see a prominent wizard
to help get us back home.
Hope the weather
has improved.

Dorothy (and Toto, too)

(61 words)
I wish I could read this much every day!

Kudos to Rachel for "a thousand suns of Marsh Marigold"
Richard, I loved your combination of titles.
Karen for "My Love"
Annie, I too liked the "curse of zucchini" and I love "this cat".
PSC, no need to apologize for rhymes, I enjoyed them.
Walt, From Buffalo, NY was cute.
Dare, so few words but so strong: ""Here Alone....Seeking Who Not where"
Elizabeth, I laughed at your Puppy Postcard, poor thing!
Meg, so true in "Greetings from Grieving"
Barbara, good luck with your new cat! (Or is this all past now?)

I learn so much from all of you.

Gerry, I use de Jackson's method and also the search tool someone developed (Andy I believe). The search tool is at http://gowrite.me/pad.pl?writer=&day=&q=Full-text+search. A link for it is in yesterday's posts. Thank you Andy.)

I'm running out of time. I hope I can read more later.

Some people never or seldom get mentioned. That doesn't make them any less as writers. There is so much here it can't all be read, let alone commented on.

To everyone I couldn't mention, thank you as well. I only hope to encourage more of everyone's best!

This is my fourth year to be a part of PAD Challenge. (Last year I posted on a private blog.)Sometimes when it is all over I notice people whose poems I really connect with that never were commented on. I have seen them keep going anyway. I admire the poets who post even if they are never mentioned or highlighted in the comments.

I guess the best thing to do is to expect nothing and give as much as you can.

Unfortunately, after the first few days, my ability to encourage others drops off. I simply have too many family responsibilities to keep it up. So don't anyone quit. I still read all I can.

Also, a person does not have to have a particular creed for me to be able to learn from them and from their unique point of view.

I'm sorry that all doesn't fit on a postcard :-)

(335 words)
I see the blog tool is Anders. I meant to check that before posting. Sorry Anders. I love your tool.
(19 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Hi Heiburg

Welcome to " The Street"... there truly is room for you,
unless writing through a perfumed cloud
of poetic prettiness have missed an outrage
Our PL is not usually quiet about any issues
That might float down the PA street
And so revisit or dismiss the echo of offense
From so where sent

Write on...right and left on
Congratulations though I know you not
A beyond international site we be
I am writing from Utopia you see :)

(69 words)
"Greetings from sunny California", it said
But there were raindrops stains on its face
"The palm trees are swaying in the balmy coastal breeze"
I could see her shivering in the wind, as rain and air collided as they can
Only in the 'golden' state of California.
"I am having a great time, hope you are too!"
There was a smiley face, but I knew she missed me, she just couldn't say the words.
Not yet, so she sent me a postcard, with palms trees and sunset
And I knew she was sorry she had ever left.
(88 words)
Thanks, Walt...
Diane, I totally agree with no expectations and giving as much as you can... to me giving is the ultimate cure for feeling excluded. Count yourself in!!

Jerry, your found poem was absolutely inspired. Loved many here today, but also occupied with family responsibilities. I read with relish, though.
(48 words)
Postcard #1: Wishing You

dear lover,

I write this from my bed
where I continually dream of you
my heart aches to have you here
helping me to forget about the world
but really
can you live up to all I have dream?
for I have dreamed you many times over
molded you to suit my whims and fears
can you really hold a candle
to my heart's desires?
I fear the answers are no
and yet still I wish you were here.

With much love,

To see both sides of the postcard, check out the Original Post.

(82 words)

Thanks Corinne. I'm glad to see you back this year.
(9 words)
de jackson
Corinne: Mmmmmm. Poems with relish. Yum.
Have just noticed there's a whole lot of me on here today. Apologies to anyone who's sick o' me. It isn't often I have the better part of a day to read and write and comment. Like any good and proper poetic addict, I fell off the wagon head first. ; )
(57 words)
P.S. I have to keep a good attitude myself. I often post late, sometimes even a day or more late. Most people have quit reading for the day or have moved on to the next day by then! Therefore I hardly ever get comments. That's ok, but it's easy to feel left out. I understand that feeling, but I know no one intends it to be that way.

Sometimes I comment on things from previous days too, and wonder if anyone ever sees the notes I post. I hope so. :-)

Some people can spend all day keeping up with the posts. I understand they get a bit of camaraderie going. I can't do that very often, but I'm glad for whoever can.

How much attention you get doesn't have much to do with how well your poem is crafted or how much you can grow by participating. The attention is more a function of chance and of how much time you can be on the blog.

It's important to realize that and keep putting out your unique voice.

(175 words)
Nina B. Lanctot
County Road 23, Bristol, IN

The last of the woodpile
simmers in the stove.
The snowdrops
droop in the flower bed
hiding their green hearts.
Daffodils' tight buds
border the opening
between us
and the Nature Conservancy.
And the chorus frogs
downstream in the swamp
are still
too cold to sing.

When are you coming

Nina B. Lanctot
(48 words)
Patricia A. Hawkenson

Stop the spring deluge
of FB apps
asking for boards and nails
and chickens and ducks.

I have sold my farm
and voluntarily
admitted myself
into Farmville detox.

Ththththat's all, folks.


(22 words)
Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea

Getting settled in LA.
All of these boxtoxed,
hair extensioned girls
are prettier than me
and they all think they
can act and sing.
My pale skin and dark hair
are making me a target.
I left my cigarettes on
the bathroom sink.
Just leave them there.
I don't think I'll be out
here too long.

(43 words)
"Make Everyday Happy"
- and she does
with smiles and giggles.

Sending some your way
hope they find you
safe and well
on this happy day.
(19 words)
G. Smith
(A Cinquain)
(c) 2011 G. Smith
What a great place!
(That's what I should say, right?)
Wish you were here (more than you know).
Love; me

(23 words)
Sarah Joyce Bryant

It is scorching here
amongst the frozen
(5 words)
Genevieve Fitzgerald
Time in the Black Forest, Germany

At quarter past the bride curtsies
On the half hour her groom bows
Quarter of the brown wren churrs from his nest
Ten 'till the jay whistles too
The boy in the lederhosen
Chases the girl with the braids
Each hour on the hour from morning 'till night
He never catches her, Gustav behind the counter affirms
Forever one second behind

(57 words)
Kendall A. Bell
In the mountains of Virginia

I don't know what the hell
to do with myself now that
I'm out here.
I haven't seen a Starbucks.
There's trees everywhere.
How the hell am I going to
get a wi-fi signal?
Bored out of my mind.
And they call New Jersey
America's armpit?
Please come kidnap me
before I go insane.
(46 words)
susan sonnen
Postcard from the 5th Floor

I live in an uninspired
And very tired building
Which causes me to claw
At the walls, covered in a minimum
Of (and I'm genuine) twenty
Layers of white paint.

I am able to overcome
A lack of inspiration (it takes a lot of concentration),
But I am very tired,
Mired, even, on this 5th floor.

(51 words)
Jason Riedy
This prompt hit me the right way. It's a beautiful day here after a necessary solidly drenching week. I'm still not in a great mindset for creative writing, so...

At http://lovesgoodfood.com/jason/postcard/:
doors slam loudly within their frames
potential of tree heights sliding in air
cat lazes on a sewing machine 103 years old
103 turns with slams and seeds and winds and cats
and now a sprouted avocado
and now a stretching cat
and now a curious puppy
enjoying the warm blue sky
moving just enough no stills
capturing a moment grasp this

(81 words)
Linda H.
Message on a Postcard

Dear Mom,
I'm thinking of you and all the times
we watched those romance films
where the girl meets a handsome stranger
and they make love on the beach
with the waves crashing over them.
Remember how we always said
that doesn't happen anywhere on earth.
We were wrong. I am enjoying Malta.
(47 words)
J. McNamara
Arctic View

Creaks, cracks, bergs,
arctic winds blow,
and the northern
lights, illuminate,
more than they sky.
(11 words)
Marian Veverka
Enjoyed your poem, Jason. Simple lines, nice images, all fit together just right.
(12 words)
Kit Cooley
Postcard from the Panhandle

Wish you were here,
'though the sky is not clear,
and there's nothing but sleet and rain,
the weather is cruddy,
the chicken yard's muddy,
and feathers are drenched with rain,
under covers I'll hide,
until spring can decide,
whether to give us some sun with this rain.

(42 words)

Out my window,
I can see
past the houses
to the mountain
in Paterson.
Tomorrow I'll
meet you there.

(14 words)
Dana A. Campbell
From the Hospital Room

Mila is sleeping.
Surgery went well.
Through the window I can see a jacaranda tree in bloom.
The doctors say she will retain sensation.
I was holding her hand when she woke and she smiled at me and said, "I feel pretty."
I told her, "You have always been beautiful. Now you get to feel whole too."
I hope everything at home is going well.

Sort of a wishful thinking piece hope you enjoyed it.
(72 words)
Walt.... as a person from Buffalo, your spring poem made me LOL. Oh how true,and I never forget my sunscreen! :-)


It's cold here in the apartment
and my clothes are worn and thin
I never once thought
I'd be in the position that I'm in

The calls are numerous and persistent
all berating me for my "sin"
with the bills still piling up
I'm in my own debtor's prison

(61 words)
Walt.... as a person from Buffalo, your spring poem made me LOL. Oh how true,and I never forget my sunscreen! :-)


It's cold here in the apartment
and my clothes are worn and thin
I never once thought
I'd be in the position that I'm in

The calls are numerous and persistent
all berating me for my "sin"
with the bills still piling up
I'm in my own debtor's prison

(61 words)
I'm not sick of you, de!! Yours was one of the poems I noted yesterday. Keep 'em coming!
Diane, it's good to be back. I am really committed to seeing this one through the way I did the first year. Things are hectic but a lot more stable than they have been.
(50 words)
Linda H.
Walt, you are correct. This site is international. I am in Germany. This is my fourth year doing the challenge. I don't always post my material, but I feel welcome here. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to read and comment like earlier years.

I don't remember who wrote it but whoever did the found poem, I liked it.

Dana, I hope that wishful thinking pans out.

(65 words)
Elizabeth Johnson
De - keep 'em coming! I love reading your contributions!
Diane - thanks! Puppy is inside and happy now :)
Patricia- oh, so true. I'm joining you in detox.

(26 words)
Wish You Were Here:
Wretched weather wherever.
Hate it here. Hot, humid and horrid.
Terrible traffic -- too many tourists.
Everything's expensive except air.
Nothing notable, not in Nowhere.
(23 words)
Linda Armstrong

Like a curtain pulling back
for an anticipated performance,
first light creeps down from
the juniper-fringed rim of the
Colorado National Monument,
spilling into canyons where
eagles nest and bighorn sheep
rest in blue shadows. Subtle,
at first, as if in imagination,
it intensifies, like a rising
overture, until the full face
of the edge of centuries is
lit. From power lines along
the road, rows of birds watch,

(I posted this under day 1, duh!)

(65 words)
Cascades of blossoms on the redbud tree
Glad you could take spring break to ski
Joe is doing your chores on the farm
Wire if you need money, and keep warm

(27 words)
Caren E. Salas
Greetings from Califiornia

Greetings from California, but please allow me to whine,
'Cause this morning the temperature was below sixty nine!
Why, only last month, I was down at the shore,
Had my toes in the sand. It was about eighty four.
The water was chilly, but the waves were sa-weet!
My friends and I went out for ice cream to eat.
I don't mean to brag. Now, don't be all glum
But when you're tired of snow, you know where to come!


(75 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan
Oh, by the way . . .

Thanks for the mention, Walt, how "lovely" of you to mention my name. Always a joy to see you here too! You are such an inspiration to so many! And your humor . . . ah, yes!

Thanks to Barbara for the mention! Congratulations on your book! That is oh, so cool! You go, Girl! Keep us posted on how it goes for you.

Yeah, Tim S.! So good to see you back. Always a joy to read your thoughtful poems!

"Today's YEAH's" as a random selection:

Pearl Girl

You always dance with delight, whether on white sand beaches or on the written page or any stage! I enjoyed your poem, especially the "wrinkly toes." Such a joyful image to have and hold! Also enjoyed your two lines, "turquoise agate water" and "blinking in the unreality of now"! Beautiful, Pearl, beautiful!

RJ Clarkson

You hit quite the home run today with the postcard about your daughter's softball game. Fresh, with a clean delivery! Just as struck me as so genuine. Way to field another winner, RJ! It was a true parent's moment!

Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Your postcard to baby was both touching and real. It was moving in its gentle portrayal. Very sweet yet sad and an intimate read! Almost a prayer to the possible! Very nice, Jacqueline!

Sara McNulty

Loved the Auntie Em poem! No mention of the red slippers but I enjoyed the weather question. Very clever! It even sounds like Dorothy! No place like home, despite the reliance on the good wizard and his recommended direction. Good going, Dorothy, excuse me . . . Sara! [?]


Your comments about posting, being acknowledged and receiving encouragement were most sincerely written and positive. Yes, we all grow and share just being here. Like they say about life, just showing up is the biggest part. I thought you put it all so well, Diane.

Nice job, everyone . . . and on it flows!

(316 words)
Connie L. Peters
Dear Poets,
Wishing you were here in Southwest Colorado.
Together, we would word paint the beauty
of the snow-capped mountains glowing in the distance,
Mesa Verde looking regal, and more inviting
since the ice has melted off the narrow cliff-side roads,
the calm expanse of foothills and flatlands, sage brush, horses,
cows, elk, deer meandering about beneath a brilliant blue sky.
The rhythm of our words would sound out
the drums and chants of traditional Navajo dancers,
the lonely narrow-gauge train whistle,
the low flute-like call of a mourning dove,
the high-pitched squeal of a bull elk.
Our imagery would manifest the earthy smells of sage and cedar.
We'd word weave the feel of cool evenings, rocky foot paths,
and icy mountain water. We'd make our readers salivate
at the thought of Navajo fry bread and authentic enchiladas.
Yes, come play in this poet's playground.

(142 words)
Laurie Kolp

Dear Achates,

Hearts are smoking; it's not a peace pipe
Fettered fuses collide, ridicule and gripe.
May you be so kind as to lend me a book,
One offering wisdom with merely a look?



Dear Anonymous,

Among the books found on my shelf,
Robert's Rules of Order speaks for itself.
Something to live by out on the street,
Emily Post's Etiquette entices aesthete.
If esteem's what you want rather than libel,
Then take love's advice etched golden; The Bible.

Yours truly,

(69 words)
Lani Jo Leigh
Unplanned Absence

Picked up this card from Cafe du Monde on my way home from school

It's warm here, warmer than home, and rains most afternoons

If it's nice out, this weekend we'll have a BBQ at the Home

I sure do miss you, wish I could kiss you.

PS - today, for the first time, I felt the baby kick
(55 words)
Stephen S Whitaker
Postcard to the Samarai

for Robert and Jeff

Sushi. Soo she,
and a fresh hair cut,
so sheen and bright the wearer's age peels back
like a crab shell, and the body re-learns what it felt like to be free.
Even if for a moment,
that free fall joy of being new in the world
and loved, loved by the sun above.

P.S. Keep the soup coming, we like to hear your stories
(64 words)
Stephen S Whitaker
OOPS. Pesky misspellings

Postcard to the Samurai

for Robert and Jeff

Sushi. Soo she,
and a fresh hair cut,
so sheen and bright the wearer's age peels back
like a crab shell, and the body re-learns what it felt like to be free.
Even if for a moment,
that free fall joy of being new in the world
and loved, loved by the sun above.

P.S. Keep the soup coming, we like to hear your stories

(66 words)
Nikki Markle
Dear Mr. Woodpecker,
It's 6 am.
My house is metal.
You are a moron.
Feel free to get eaten by my cats.
Love, Nikki

(19 words)
Bruce Niedt
Postcard to the Ex

There's a bear in the back yard
and piranhas in the kitchen sink.

The kids are dressing like clowns
and the bank took back the TV.

The car lost a wheel and a door.
Someone painted our windows black.

Your favorite chair caught fire,
and last night during the storm,

a huge tree limb crashed
through the bedroom ceiling

and onto your side of our bed.
Wish you were here.

(61 words)
MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick
Greetings from...

Seems so long since I saw you
yet it was only yesterday. Arrived
safely, though so tired found it
hard to sleep. Bread so rough
but the air so fresh
and springwater so
cold. I miss you, still,
through all our goodbyes. Be
safe, be still, be mine,
ever, in haste to make the last post,

(48 words)
Mark Christopher
With the Cascades
sobbing away the white
of winter

"The Needle" blesses
the passing
as it points to heaven

(16 words)
My mind is blank and all I can think about...I really dislike being sick!!!... It consumes my body and my mind. But I am home...in the comfort of my couch...Love ya mom!!! Miss you already...

(34 words)
Busy day here. I can't write just one.

Outdoor Concert

Heat coming in waves
off her body
they carried her
to the edge of the crowd.
The rest of us surge forward
to take her place.

Jazz at Starbucks

He ordered his coffee with six shots.
The barista's brow flew up with mine
belying the calm
in our stoic expressions.

We all twitched with that first sip

(55 words)
J. Martin

Lake Rideau, Ontario

I'm watching little heads floating on the lake.
I not so sure there are arms and legs doggy-paddling,
The heads are screaming about the slimy seaweed.
"It feels like applesauce all around my toes."
I won't believe them until I see their bodies.
The mud-colored water and the pneumonia trees
Paint the scene so believable. I fish for signs of life:
A mudfish or pearl-spined trout. I need to believe
there is life where so much has been taken away,
If you don't receive a postcard
by the end of this week, please send the guard
to drag the lake my headless body.

(94 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Connie, sounds wonderful. Give me a play date for next week! ;)

And Caren book me for the day after that...

Linda A., day late or not, as Robert would say, "Poeming is poeming". Good work.

Linda H., Greetings in Germany. Welcome.

JRC, You know your words warm me always. Thanks.

Kyhaara, Loving the alliteration and the flow. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy, currently in or hail from Buffalo? Either way, glad to have a good neighbor from the City of same!

Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea, quite a moving piece. Love the honesty and observation. Very nice.

Kit's "Panhandle" a "Raining" beauty.

Susan, my thinking has always been, "You'll only find inspiration in the places you look". Seems to me you found some on the 5th floor.

Meg, I'll take my share of smiles and giggles, thank you.

PKP, Ihopia you're having fun in Utopia. And the band plays on...

Others of note: Genevieve - "Black Forest", Nina - "County Road 23, Bristol, IN", Arrvada - "Sunny California", rmp - "Wishing You", Sara Mc - "Dear Auntie Em", EJ - "Carolina", "Puppy" and "ICU", Marian - "From Beyond" is excellent, Billie Miller - Rudebusch - yours was a "Peach", Dheepikaa - "Forgive Me", Brian - "Just Spring", Nancy Bell - "Horse I have ever Ridden"

(199 words)
April Wright
Weather Man says...

Dissension is gone from here today
and the warmth of sunshine sets my heart anew
I have turned away from sadness
and I have set my eyes on you
and so far it's nothing but clear skies.
(35 words)
Walt Wojtanik

Laurie, Lani, Stephen - nice additions

Nikki, I do not condone "bird-ricide", but...if your cats are hungry...

Bruce - "Ex"-ceptional

MaryAnn Mc - Greetings

Carolyn - far be it from me to begrudge you more than one. I use the old potato chip tag line in reference to poetry, "Read all you want, we'll write more!"

J. Martin - "Lake Rideau, Ontario" strikes the heart.

(59 words)
Sally Jadlow
Postcard Poem


Welcome warm sunshine,
balmy Kansas breezes,
daffodils in bloom.
Wish you were here.

(10 words)
Sandra Robinson
Postcard from Spring

Pink blossoms seeking sun around the Tidal Basin
Finding only cold rain and scattering wind
Leaving the blossoms beaten and weeping.
(21 words)

Dear Gram,
Summer camp is wowsers!
The frog in my trousers
Counselors are so hot
Oops, I mean they are not.
Bye, bye.

(18 words)
Laurie Kolp
Thanks, Walt.

Everyone's off to a great start.

Nikki- I've loved yours today = )

(13 words)
Scott Martin
You've never seen this place.
And though I'm only sweeping the garage today,
I keep a broom handy for you.
The clouds have left us for a while.
Greg next door says they'll be back tomorrow.
I would prefer your company by far, by far.
(39 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Walt it is lovely here where all is always lovely

Janet ...Aw ..... Thank you so much... I admiring yours before I've even had a chance to do more than skim.

Jerry/ Gerard ... Enjoyed being one found ... Sweet poem

I would love to write a guest blog on the sense of community and related psychoanalytic dynamics that appear here at Poetic Asides most especially in the April Challenge ( both deeply positive and some negative). I think this sense of community is unique and quite fascinating.

I believe nikki was being self disparaging... Please stop you are a wonderful writer.

Just a special kudos to Walt our PL who I have watched grow from a talented writer into a consistently strong poet with a clear recognizable voice. It has been a pleasure to be witness to the blossoming.

To all others, De, RJ, MisMask, Rachel, oh. i' ll come up sit some better way of showing my gratitude and appreciation to all... Good night.

I must say that Jacqueline that unborn child is loved and honored forever in your heart and now memorialized in love for us all....a lucky child to have such a mother. Your lullaby will be with me tonight.

(198 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Whoops thanks PSC I'd dance with you and Janet and Jerry too any time !
Iain thanks for the laugh before bedtime....now with Jacquelibe's sweet lullaby, your smile, and the lush rush of sooo many images bathing my brain like a cool clear spring...I know dreams will be sweet... And De...keep thrum coming..
(51 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
De that should have been them...But the iPad correction to thrum works too...
(12 words)
Marcia Gaye
Next Year - Together

The water's fine
The beach is great
Rode the zip-line
Ate and ate
Wish you were here
but since you're not,
Still having fun
- in fact a ton -
But missing you a lot.

(29 words)
Postcard from Dreamland

Dear PJC,
Delightful here in Dreamland.
Slept twenty-four hours straight.
Plan to do the same tomorrow.
Sweet Dreams.

(15 words)
Postcard from Dreamland

Dear PJC,
Delightful here in Dreamland.
Slept twenty-four hours straight.
Plan to do the same tomorrow.
Sweet Dreams.

(15 words)
Walt.... Currently in, born and raised. Cool to meet a fellow neighbor. :-)

Awesome poems everyone. I look forward to reading more
(20 words)
Regarding searching for poets -

de jackson - I tried your method on my PC and was able to find what I wanted by clicking Edit and then Find on This Page. Thanks for the suggestion.

Walt - I clicked on Anders Byland's name and that worked, also. Thanks for helping us out, Anders.

Regarding commenting -
I, too, wish I had time to post more and comment on everyone. I think we all understand that various committments and time restraints hinder all of us. I am just thankful for the camaraderie here, and I appreciate so much the poems that all of you post. You make my day!
(104 words)
Tracie N.
Postcard Tanka

Spring may find its way
through winter's dismal-gray cold.
Flowers are painting
color on a brown canvas.
Opened windows welcome change.

(17 words)
Robin Morris
April 2: postcard

Postcard from almost spring

The bulbs have sprouted by Moonbeam's grave.
When they flower, white blossoms
will remind us of white fur.

I have doubts about the hydrangea,
which last year, eked out one blue flower
but spent this winter under snow.

Will keep you posted.

(42 words)
Marie Elena

November 5, 1955

Dear Marty,

Wish you were here.



November 12, 1985

Dear Marty,

Wish you were here.


(12 words)
AC Leming

Dogs mill & whine around
the bed, anxious for us
to get up so they can go out.
But we cuddle a little longer
& ignore the eight paws
pounding carpet, impatient
to run through new grass.

(28 words)
Marie Elena
Please forgive my lame contribution today. It's really not poetry at all. Hoping to go back to this prompt and write something for real. Also hoping to get time to read. Looooooooong day today. Happy writing, all! Good night!
(38 words)
Khadija Anderson
Hello From Home

I was walking circles in the yard following
the curve of lawn and I just went outside the
fence to walk triangles on the sidewalk today
I was talking to someone while walking lines
on the path that leads up to the door above
the door it says Esperanza Group Home I'm
telling someone you should see my stuff I
have it in my room and I am smiling
(63 words)
de jackson
Thank you, PKP, Elizabeth Johnson and Corinne.
(6 words)
Laurie granieri
You see that cliff in the distance,
the one I've circled in red marker?
That's me; that's where I am,
perched high above a sea more gray
than blue.
I have become bold enough to say "thank you"
and "good morning" to
the grim men hunched over chess boards
in the caffe.
The sky is so wide here, Dad,
as if it might choose to swallow us whole,
rock and sand, bungalow and tea cup.
I know I sound lonely, but don't worry:
Each day I learn a new word.
This morning: desire, desiderio.
Desidero che tu fossi qui: Wish you were here.

(90 words)
Michael Grove
A Slice of Heaven

I hope this message finds you well.
I'm fine, the kids are too.
The ducks are back and all the birds.
The geese have passed on thru.
The winds have warmed up just enough.
Brought spirit to the deer.
A slice of heaven in this place.
I wish that you were here.

by Michael Grove
(49 words)
Walt Wojtanik



I have come to America.
We are huddled here, masses
of peoples from many places.
Polish, German, Irish, Italian.
Swedish, Nordic, Austrian, Czech...
Slowly, we are processed to be free.
Men, women and children; both strong and infirm.
Some are detained; but I am lucky.
The lady of liberty says,
"Welcome to America, Jozef".
I am free.

Your son,

(50 words)
Armchair Vacation


Finances say no vacation for you
So vicarious travel plans are made
Lucious scents of linen and lemon meringue
Transport one to a sunshine land
Candlelight glows like fireflies in reflected glass
Multihued crocuses dream of a smiling tomorrow
When the urge to fly calls to you
Remember the journey of simply sitting still

(49 words)
Melissa Hager
I view the painted sandbox in all its glory
Bright carmine clouds illuminate the sky as the
Sun diminishes beyond the desert promontories
Urging me to pull off the beaten path.

True story! I nearly died for my art today on an Arizona highway trying to get a photo of these clouds. What a perfect prompt!

(51 words)
barbara young
[note on a postcard
found in a drawer
of a mom-and-pop
florida beach motel]

If everyone I've wished were here
were here
there wouldn't be any room for me
for me.
(23 words)
Sheri Kuehnle
The weather is great
Loving sunsets on the beach
That last until dawn
(10 words)
Sheri Kuehnle
Does Spring ever come here
I wonder aloud.
There's too much darn cold here
It should not be allowed.

Stormfronts and raining
Are hurting my head
I can't stand this weather
Can I go to bed?

That's my vacation here
In Central PA
I need roadmaps to sunshine
So we can go play.
(41 words)
mallora rayner
we barbequed outside tonight
with the peach trees blooming
and chives in full force

I could see lights from the ski hill
and feel the ocean rush in
our breath froze
but we didn't care

hello from bc

(30 words)
Gretchen Gersh Whitman

PAD 2011- April 2
Prompt: Postcard

Here & There

Dirty pots.
Ant explosion in kitchen.
Clogged toilet.

Goatsmilk bath under the stars.
Coconut oil massage.
Candlelight on the deck by the sea.
Wine & papaya.

Meet you on the tarmac.

Gretchen Gersh Whitman
(31 words)
Jan Kuykendall
I'm Just dropping you a line
to let you know we're all fine.
Alamogordo is grand
and we love all the white sand.
The only thing is, it's hotter than hell
Other than that, everything is swell.
Except the chili dad ate last night
was so damned hot, he gave us a fright.
But I think he's much better today
His eyesight is returning, so he'll be be okay.

(60 words)
Connie L. Peters
Didn't get to read them all but these are some of my favorites.

Caren E. Salas, Kit Cooley, Linda H., Sara McNulty, Elizabeth Johnson (from the ICU), Laurie Kolp, MJ Dills, Katie Dixon
(32 words)
Buddah Moskowitz
Postcard from The Prodigal Son

Dear older brother,

You were right. It wasn't as good
as I thought it was going to be.
Nothing ever is, I guess.

I've run out of money
and I'm living behind someone's barn.
I steal scraps from what they feed
their animals to eat.

Is Dad still mad at me?
Do you think I could come home?
Can you speak to him on my behalf? Please?

Remind him that
everyone makes mistakes.
I hope I see you again,

love, me

(80 words)
Chuck Puckett
Scenes From a Postcard

The exhibition goes on in the next room,
Which, upon opening the door,
Falls away into a great ravine whose
River cuts for eons without asking leave.
I would have sent a picture, but this scene
Is etched in some other mind,
One I no longer remember, or if I do,
It is dim and faint and the colors
Are not the same and my eyes
No longer see with the same eyes.
River runs, ravine swallows, earth dissolves.
Wish you were here. Wish here was here.

(c) 2011 Chuck Puckett

(81 words)
Catherine Lee
Sunrise on Tejas Pond

The porch light ripples on water like pulsing silver.
Morning symphonies crescendo around me,
I am the principal.

The wood ducks' haunting call a melancholy
Reminder of dawn's solitude.
Where is the sun?

Gray skies give way to cotton gauze
But I don't know where you are.
I think I'm having a moment.

Here comes Courtney in a blue canoe,
Paddling into plain view with neon orange oars,
A stark contrast to muted greens and browns.

Her laughter mingles with the cormorant's song
As she glides with ease over the porch light
To the water's edge.
(85 words)
Lorna Wheeler
Beloved dear pal who took her life, beginning a suicide note with platitudes and ending it with a complaint, the very thing that showed your beautiful humanity, the throb and ache of life still within you. How does one complain of mosquitoes one minute and then put a gun to her head the next?

Wish you were here.

(57 words)
Maxie Steer
(Click on over http://www.maxiesteer.com/2011/04/april-pad-2-three-dots-three-dashes.html for the formatted version)

...I hope this reaches you in high spirits and good health.

I made a mistake leaving you. Coming here was no escape.

I lack nothing, save for your company and an end
to my indulgences; nevertheless, I am having a smashing time...
(52 words)
Linda Voit
Just doing a little late night poetry grazing. Couldn't read all, but wanted to say Kudos to Elizabeth Johnson for coming up with a postcard from ICU, Jacqueline Hallenbeck for Ol' Buddy (it's been years but I know the feeling), Kim King for that little capture of Hershey. Enjoyed Mark Christopher's, especially the first stanza, and Gretchen Gersh Whitman's, too. Walt, nice note from Rhett! Appreciated the laughs Nikki Markle, Kendall Bell, Linda H and for the wicked laugh Bruce Niedt. Especially enjoyed Laurie Granieri's and Corinne's today. So many more, but need some sleep. :)

(95 words)
Laura Hohlwein
Postcard from Here

Hey - I keep thinking my stay here is almost over. Or mom's
But not yet. I don't know what we're doing with our days, really.
But we're fine. There has been a lot of rain. A lot of rain.
The creek we used to catch tadpoles in is up to its banks.
Out of room.
I miss you I
(56 words)
shann palmer
Wish You Were Here

I wear a bleeding heart on each sleeve
to double my chance of misery,
as a reed bends, always bends, I wrap
myself in each unkind dart you toss
assured the fault lies beneath my feet.
I'd weather any wind, believe you,
take your cruel jibes and jab them deeper,
inhale the shame you say you endure.

The sharp edges of affection wound,
only time reveals their softer truth.
(62 words)
Mr. Walker
Postcard a la Rondel

I'm wishing you were here.
I miss you when you're gone, you know.
It's only off to Grandma's you go,
but at home it seems more austere.

Without you, there's a little less cheer,
along with toilets that don't overflow.
I'm wishing you were here.
I miss you when you're gone, you know.

No worries about talk you'll overhear,
peace and quiet we'll have, although
I'm anticipating your return hello.
I can't wait for you to reappear.
I'm wishing you were here.
(72 words)
Candace Martinez
Aloha From the Beach,

I'm on the beach in a sunny place
Feeling the rays of warmth on my face
Digging my toes into the sand
Holding a cool drink in my hand
Thinking of you, my dear
Wishing that you were here

Candace Martinez

(37 words)
Khara E. House
Etched to you on aspen leaves

The breeze lisping through ponderosa pine whispers
this is home.
No reckoning the distance between
where I started and where I have come--
the territory is a region of stars and shadows,
too vast for hands to hold and feet to fathom.

All soft bends and arching towers,
deep in red clay,
earth where soul meets soil and roots,
aching to rise and meet the sun.

How Icarus must have felt,
reaching halfway home,
only to fall back into the womb.

(84 words)
vivienne blake
Postcard from Normandy, PAD 2, Napowrimo 3

Dear Aunty Swift
Arrived in the North
after long stormy flight.
Lodgings good
wide ledges high
in sheltered car port.
Lots of flies to eat -
only snag, a pesky cat.
Wish you were here
Love Martin

(34 words)
J. D. Mackenzie
Wish You Were...

You know our type.
We're on vacation and we always
write to you from paradise.

We don't vacation for its own sake,
that would be just a little too Zen
for the shallow, superficial likes of us.

No, we vacation for the sole purpose
of carefully crafting postcards
designed to make you suffer.

We're having an amazing time.

Our aging parents are fine so we don't worry
about them when we're away.
There is no recession with us.

We don't hesitate taking our kids out of school
because they're two years ahead of everything anyway.
Plus, they're earning extra school credit
for saving a rain forest and teaching Zumba to lepers.

The rate of exchange is so good that
everything costs half of what we planned.

Some of the Rolling Stones are here
with their families and staff,
really fun people when you get to know them.

It's seafood every night, and plenty of
boat drinks with little bamboo umbrellas.

The weather is here.
Wish you were beautiful.
Gratuitous air kisses,

* us *

(176 words)
Kimiko Martinez
A postcard from the recently dumped. Will try not to go to the cliche heartbroken place the rest of the month. Apologies in advance.

I took a different road,
and a different
method of transportation all together

but here I am again,
dirty and disappointed
from hitchhiking down love's highway.
(45 words)
Kimiko Martinez
Wish you were here

I thought about you
as I journeyed
and carried your smile
to the corners
of my world.
(15 words)
haiku love songs
here's the link to my post {photograph is part of post} ~


thanks. dani
(12 words)
Tracy Davidson
Wish you were here Mum
on this Mothering Sunday
back where you belong

(12 words)
Carl Jones
Be thankful

It has only been one full week
Since I arrived here in Japan
In these seven days
I have tried to do what I can

There are so many people without homes
Sleeping in sports halls and schools
No TV's or Internet
No Barbecues or swimming pools

Talking to the local people
They do not know when they can go home
The only comfort that they have
They know they are not alone

When I return in two weeks
The little things are what I will cherish
For Japan has shown me in just one blink
Everything you know can perish

(86 words)
Kate Fern

Greetings from Darwin

I have been turning over the veggie patch
half of it in fact, two square metres of dirt
riddled with roots from nearby palms
I could hardly get the shovel in.

A cloudy morning and the cyclone
that was flirting is still just a low
skirting the coast headed west.
I have spread the compost too
the other half still to do next weekend.

(57 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Khara's " fall back into the womb"
Elizabeth Johnson... ICU sprouting
Marian's angels and snowballs
Buddah's familial cliffhanger
Walt's Jozef
Bruce's delicious packed vibrant vitriol
Nikki's "moron" of a woodpecker
Gretchen's Tarmac
Sara M's Dorothy
Lorna's suicide on a post-card...wow
Dana...to wish's coming true lovely
Sharon feel better
Marie happy you are here
Constance...you've taken me there
Jay wonderful images
Ah....so many more....looking for RJ
Janet's Laguna haiku...missed that strand altogether ...too bad
Looking for the geese flying and distraction of blue eyes ...wonderful
Nancy P fear forestalled
Ah RJ yay for your NJ
Jerry gray one liner
Cannot find forgive the torn beaten blossoms image lingers

Just a few a know there are so many more postcards to be sent! Enjoy the day!

(102 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
BTW ... Walt might describe the band somehow for those who are feeling excluded either from playing or just understanding.... Just a thought, so a lovely image is not subject to misunderstanding.... :).
(32 words)
Elizabeth Johnson
Marie Elena - whatever it is, it made me laugh! That was just on tv the other day, and I could totally see him doing that.
Connie Peters, Linda Voit, Walt - thanks! :)

(32 words)
Elizabeth Johnson
And Pearl too, thanks for the mention :)

(7 words)
Michele Brenton/banana

"I'm still breathing."
No that won't do,
scrub it out start again.
"I wish you well."
That's no better,
much too sentimental.
Screw up the card
get another;
Gaze at the small cardboard square.
Wish I knew what words should be there.
Wish I could make myself think you'd care.

(39 words)
Hannah Gosselin
From the den of one poet:

Beautiful Sunday morning. Chill of early Spring held at bay by a wood fire. Inspiring poetic reading. Words and wonderings, lives and minds all throughout our green planet. Thank you to ALL. The highlight of my day. Sitting quietly absorbing poetry whilst sipping dandelion root tea.

Glad you are here...
(53 words)
Hannah Gosselin
banana, I know someone who I try to write to that I feel that way about. Like the inner monologue, very personal.

(22 words)
Nancy Posey
One night thing about the postcard prompt is that the poems tend to be smaller, so I can read more of them at a time (time stolen between life's other demands!) I do plan to get back and comment more this go 'round! For now, I'm enjoying everyone's take on the days' prompts.
(52 words)
Marie Elena

Hi, Boss.

Hey! Howz it goin'?

Woke up to another scorcher. It's a wonder I get any sleep here, what with the deafening snoring, lol! Another day of hiking planned. Wonder how far we'll get.

Don't mean to sound ungrateful, but, really ... manna? AGAIN?!

Have a holy one.

Aaron (on behalf of Moses, who, btw, has taken my role in this fiasco WAY too seriously. Insert eye-rolling emoticon.)

(66 words)
Marie Elena
Thanks, Elizabeth! I'm glad to see somebody got it! HA!

Right back at ya, Pearl!

Just posted another lame one, but that seems to be all I'm coming up with for this prompt. Can't wait to read the others and see what directions I could have taken it. I have an idea I'll be doing a log of head-smacking with my palm. ;)

Happy Sunday, all!
(62 words)
Carole Katsantoness
surely not
alone, life full
of trials,
aced school of hard
knocks, now to live
a while.

(11 words)
Gloria Bostic
Here in Pa the sky is gray
While you lie warming by the bay.
Nothing here but more cold air
Wish you were here..and I was there!
(23 words)
I'm a day late, but my response to this prompt can be found here.
(13 words)
Kathy Albers
Nat King Cole's "They Tried to Tell Us We're Too Young"
Playing on the CD.

Windows open with a breeze spreading savory smells (can't resist alliteration)

of pork chops, black eyed peas, boiled okra, Cajun rice.

The Judas Tree blooming out my kitchen window

creates a perfect trip tic in the three window panels above my sink.

Double red camellias blooming by my granite primitive bench,

not pink perfections, but satisfying.

The white azaleas about to pop open any day,

Just watered my daylilies and gave them a pep talk.

I can't say I'm happy, not quite yet;

But maybe I'm reaching contentment.

(91 words)
claudia clemente

always away:
close eyes,
hold breath,
let me finally
in place.
stay - if only
to send one
and receive one -
at least one -
message from home.

(27 words)
Margot Suydam
Boston Slyline
No camera, just this image
For you, the clouds are silver
Against the skyline glimmering
Golden dome rising and sinking
With the wind swimming upstream
River reflections of hidden sun
Behind city scapes I am lost
(30 words)
Robert Lee Brewer
Heiberg, I will say that Walt is probably the most welcoming poet on Poetic Asides. If you hang with him, you're in good company.

Also, I'd like to thank everyone who addressed their postcard poems to me. They're very much appreciated!

(39 words)
Cara Holman
Postcard from Home

I am here. You are there.
Today I dispatched a spider.
At 5:30 a.m. He was as big
as a quarter. Or so I am told.
I was half asleep. Yesterday
there were three spiders. The
day before, none. It was sunny
yesterday. Then it hailed. Hard.
Then sun again. Clouds, rain,
sun. Clouds, rain, sun. I see
where this is going. I hear it
is hot and sunny where you are.
I hope you are having fun. I am
here. You are there. I could
wish it otherwise.
(76 words)
Freeze pops
Mutiple flavors
Bubble gum, cotton candy, lemon lime.
The sun kissing my face
The buzz of bees
flying by every once in a while.
The sound of laughter
Children blowing bubbles.
A lawn mower
humming in the distance.
The scent of flowers in full bloom.
Happiness all around.
Summer on my back steps.
(42 words)
Wonderful challenge...here's my little offering:

Hi ya'll from Savannah in the Spring

Greedy pigeons, pink azaleas, white knobby knees.
Black socks and sandals stroll under moss drenched trees.
Beer in hand, orange trolly sticker on his chest,
"Which way to River Street?" his only request.

(39 words)
Erinne Magee
If only I could be
as still
as this water
I'd have more to
If i could just sit
and listen to the palms
but that's not me.
I'll always run far
(27 words)
Wish You Were Here

A fiery red ball
Rises over the lapping waves
White sugared sand
Squeaks beneath my feet
Welcoming me along my morning walk
To have to hold
Beauty in my hands
The Maker's perfection marred
Only by your absence

(33 words)
D. Gilson

Jimmy, it is snowing in Pittsburgh. I drove across my second favorite bridge this morning--the Andy Warhol, which spans the Allegheny and is painted yellow, the yellow of Heinz Yellow Mustard. I thought of you in Cleveland. And I wish it were summer, but instead it is April and snowing and you are in Cleveland wrapping fish downtown and reading biomedical ethics. I don't have to tell you why I thought of you on the bridge. When was it built? 1928? But I will tell you--if I drove north enough, and then west enough, I would be in Ohio, which is both next to Pennsylvania and where you live. I thought about this for two and a half hours. I did. Stopped the car--a white Jeep Cherokee, America!--in the middle of that bridge and thought about that space where two states fuse. But it was snowing and so cold and I was late for something. In those waters swirling below was something both dark and light. So how are you? Fierce Aquarius, is your Mercury rising? Enclosed is a kayak. Sail it east some time. I will meet you at the border.
(191 words)
Deirdre Powell

The words on paper
I wish you were here with me
Postman speedy send
(12 words)
In April, it feels like Autumn
with the trees bare and the little snow
that remains on the ground.
The sun wants to shout a happy "Hello!"
but the clouds refuse to let him in
and so we sit with blankets inside
and listen to the birds chirp,
wishing it was truly spring,
feeling as lonely as the barren trees
and as conflicted as the sun.
(56 words)
Thanks Jacqueline.
I read your poem and it felt like a response to mine.
(13 words)
Tracie N.
I posted last night but now I can't find it, so I'm reposting. Hope that is alright.
Postcard Tanka

Spring may find its way
through winter's dismal-gray cold.
Flowers are painting
color on a brown canvas.
Opened windows welcome change.

(33 words)
Tracie N.
Found it after reposting, realizing the timing is off on the posts. Sorry for any inconvenience. Thanks!
(16 words)
Virginia Snowden VSBryant
Greetings from Newark, New Jersey

Newark in Early Spring
Bright and Sunny,
The cold air finally going away,
What a pretty day today,
Wishing you were here with me to share.

(25 words)
Mike Bayles
Premier, Bettendorf

This small city rises
from the banks
of the Mississippi,
from the gambling boat
and convention center,
and a downtown, understated.
While on a journey, quiet and serene,
the city claims to offer comforts
and privilege to those who stay.
Well-paved roads
carry travelers uphill
through vistas
of small houses and mansions
and greenery of parks
along a winding creek.
But even in this town
people suffer their fates,
in spite of well-laid plans.

(Postcard Poem)

(77 words)
Katrin Talbot
Postcard Poem

I was here you were there
and then: I there you here

It used to be a duet, somewhere in between
operatic and folksingy, major key, lots of thirds

but you and your stamp, me and my views
and then: my stamp and your views
A glossy world, and one of dotted lines and boxes

I am here
put this in that box,
and in a few weeks, I am there,
in your box

Pick a side

(68 words)
Tanja Cilia
Postcard Poem

Home thoughts from abroad
Don't wish you were here
Hackneyed phrases
That mean nothing.
And everything.
The foresight of hindsight
Tells me
It is not better to have loved and lost
Than better not to have loved at all.

(31 words)
M.A. Dobson
Dear family
We are in the Deep South
Where the bones of the old plantations
Are covered in vines
We have only the letters to go by
And wisteria for a map
Bought this at a place called
The Hard Bargain
Such a throwback; postcards!
Dad, they sell Nibs here too
I bought the entire stock
You owe me big
Love, Q

(50 words)
Postcard Snapshot of Scenic Senoritas at Siesta

Puerto Vallerta idyllic this time of year. Sorry about your snowstorm, but we have to fight sunburn and hangovers. Yesterday we took a catmarand out to a reef to deep sea dive so we are resting poolside today. We walked to a restaurant along the beach before siesta. Last night we took a taxi to a famous restaurant and watched the sunset while we ate lobster and shrimp. Their desserts are divine, so we are joining a spa for the remaining weeks of our vacation.
If we spend all our pesos before we return, I will bring you some sand and shells for souvenirs.
Keep warm in the snow on way to work.
xxx ooo
Your Friend

(119 words)

Diane - Thanks for the kind words!

And your "P.S." is right on! Those of us who post late in the day may not get much feedback... but that's how it goes. I start out intending to read everything, but I usually run out of time and never actually get to the bottom. (I haven't read all of 4/2 yet, and 4/3 is already full... and it's almost 4/4! PLUS, there's Walt's interview.)

Maybe I'll start at the BOTTOM next time and read UP - to get a new perspective. ;-)

(90 words)
Barbara Ehrentreu
Pearl Girl, thank you, but I meant PKP. Now I will have to go back and read yours, because you must deserve a mention. Love your name. Thank you for the congratulations. When I have a cover I will let everyone know.:)

Will come back and read more, but mine is more of a letter than a postcard. Typical of how I write:)

My Home Now

A few steps from my door
I see the abandoned pool
Covered now, but soon it will
be filled with the sound of
raucous voices and the water
will lap at its sides
Beckoning me to lay on the
chaise lounge and sun myself
until the sun warms me forcing
my heated body into the cool of the

Behind the iron gate, is the path
following the shore and the sand
beach reserved for the egrets and
water birds who flock there each spring
and summer and the ducks and swans
who raise their young among the tall reeds
growing there too.

Last year I wandered over the boardwalk and
beheld a mother swan giving lessons to her
brood and the surprise blew away the feelings
for which I had walked to the shore
bringing peace to my mind and erasing the
source of distress for a few moments

This place is now my home with its twin
four story apartment buildings and small patios
where some go to smoke.
I love the freedom to walk outside any time
I wish, and at last the spring has arrived
Soon I will walk the paths to observe maybe
a rabbit or perhaps another mother swan.
The serendipity of such a moment leaves me

(256 words)
Sheryl Kay Oder
Inside, Outside

Inside the task lamp
illuminates the spreading
numbers on the papers while
I find more tax deductions.

Outside the pale sunlight
highlights the blue flowers
and soon-to-sprout tulips as
birds tweet in the background.

(30 words)
Cresta McGowan
Tornado Terrors

The night will bring them
to a tiny tip in Tennessee
Thunderous tornadoes
that tear, trip, total
the town and tourists
of the tended temperate temperature
until the talisman totes
a totally terrific thunder-free day.
(28 words)
Stephanie Barbe Hammer
weather is bad here.
i love bad weather.
i wish i lived here where it rains all the

time. it's foggy here and cloudy.
everyone has to take vitamin d.
everyone is so happy to see the

stranger that is me. i don't want to
ever come home. please send
and an extra umbrella.
(50 words)
Stephanie Barbe Hammer
weather is bad here.
i love bad weather.
i wish i lived here where it rains all the

time. it's foggy here and cloudy.
everyone has to take vitamin d.
everyone is so happy to see the

stranger that is me. i don't want to
ever come home. please send
and an extra umbrella.
(50 words)
tara s.
I am here at the MoMA
5 minutes before you.
I'm writing you a postcard
In case you never get here.
Many things may happen
In your path towards me.
A war may start,
A tornado, a tsunami.
You may not love me.
(39 words)
vanessa mayes
Remember when you said would always be there?
Where'd you go?

(9 words)
John Pupo
Diane - Just wanted to drop a thanks for the comment!
(10 words)
Juanita Lewison-Snyder
postcard from cb
by juanita lewison-snyder

you know i don't want another sister
but the fact remains, you still exist.
not sure how you expect me to react,
but if my anger is any indication
then we've a long road ahead of us.
i feel like a tired freightliner
in need of a long overhaul,
stripping gears every time
i hear mentioned your name.
can't wait, in a few hours
to be rid of your triples
and this postcard i wished
would get lost in the mail.

(c) 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

(76 words)
From the Past, Missing You

In the 70's-colored rectangle,
the brown haired girl hid her face
in the landscape of the upholstery
hiding her tears, her tiny frame
betraying her distress -
how you refused her request
and gave her what she didn't need;
your scribbled note on the back
showing your complete disregard.

(44 words)
Mariya Koleva
Oh, well, I'm terribly late in sharing this... Yet, here it is:

Hello from me.
From here.
From now.
I travelled well.
The place is great.
And sunshine is about
To spill all over my despondent brow.
No rain.
No more.
For now, at least.
Until the evening clouds
Believe that day is past
And storm the sunshine from around.
(46 words)
Postcard Poem

Postcard Poem

The dogwoods are in full bloom now.
It looks like someone opened
a can of creamy white paint,
dipped in a giant brush,
and just went crazy
dabbing and
dobbing and
flicking everything.

It's amazing.
Wish you were here.

(38 words)
Sam Nielson
Have been sort of incommunicado. So I am posting this late.

From A Postcard

Just landed here.
Do you see the x
I've marked?
Me-- or the hotel.
Me-- the x in a
City of x's, unknowns,
Variables, though
I am not that.
I still miss you.

(38 words)
Read and loved some of the poems posted here . And after that i finally got a hang of what I was supposed to write like! Here s my post -

"My Space"

A particular bird
coos me good night;
as silent sunlight
illuminates my world.
secluded among others
neither house nor home,
a personal space i call own.
(50 words)
Read and loved some of the poems posted here . And after that i finally got a hang of what I was supposed to write like! Here s my post -

"My Space"

A particular bird
coos me good night;
as silent sunlight
illuminates my world.
secluded among others
neither house nor home,
a personal space i call own.
(50 words)
Read and loved some of the poems posted here . And after that i finally got a hang of what I was supposed to write like! Here s my post -

"My Space"

A particular bird
coos me good night;
as silent sunlight
illuminates my world.
secluded among others
neither house nor home,
a personal space i call own.
(50 words)
Read and loved some of the poems posted here . And after that i finally got a hang of what I was supposed to write like! Here s my post -

"My Space"

A particular bird
coos me good night;
as silent sunlight
illuminates my world.
secluded among others
neither house nor home,
a personal space i call own.
(50 words)
Sorry for multiple comemtns .. Please delete the duplicates ..
(9 words)
Cameron Mathews
Here's my take, in which I reflect on getting a flat tire an hour into a five hour trip resulting in a two hour delay and excitement in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Welcome to Guthrie, Oklahoma

(32 words)
Lori Desrosiers
Out of my bag of dreams comes a blue car
hurtling along a highway blown by a hard
wet wind so strong other cars overturn.
Catapulted into the rail, I get out and run.
The path beside a river is littered with birds.
Now they are falling from the sky in droves
I run into a building. Students peer at me.
"Do you know there are birds falling outside?"
They just shrug and seem annoyed. I think
about radiation as I wake in a cold sweat.

(77 words)
Jessica Lafortune
Florida, Spring Break
The sand is lumpy; it sticks
in chunks immature,
imperfectly ground, orange
as the sun that is hidden,
the waves smacking rhythm
in the distance. The breaks come
sudden, all at once
soaking, earth-shattering,
hovering like ghosts. I do not
wish you were here
to witness this perversion,
the pull of this place.
In a few days I will unpack
the bags, the memories, scrape
flecks of shells from my chest,
the salt from my face--
in your arms, begin again.

(77 words)
Daniel Ari
"Wish you were silly"

We closed off Macdonald
and International today
so a couple hundred
of us could march:

People painted as butterflies,
a soccer team,
low riders,
The Guardian Angels,
small dog walkers,
the world's smallest symphony orchestra
(one guy intermittently striking a triangle),
balloon birds--
lot of animal people in fact--
chicken people, cow people, dragon people, cat people,
plus a dozen mustachioed ladies
and the biggest kaleidoscope in town.

outnumbered spectators
three to one.
The fifth annual Richmond Silly Parade
charmed the winos outside the liquor store,
split the police force into those of good humor
and those annoyed by the whole thing,
brought out the intern journalists
and freelance photographers,
was good for the kids,
and everyone,
made everyone smile,

wasn't political,
yet was,
ended at the taco truck for lunch.


(110 words)
alana sherman
I love postcards and have been sending and saving them for years. When I travel I send postcards to the people with whom I am travelling, often my husband. Sometimes I send them home just so I can keep the ones I especially like. Once I wrote a short story day by dayfor two weeks on postcards. Quite a challenge.

From the titles you can tell about the picture on the post card.

Mailed from the B.V.I.
"Capsized" c. 1895
A pleasant day on the water
turned upside down.

Well, what would a sailing trip
be if one of us didn't go overboard?
My "dunk" in the turquoise sea
under a bright sky, left us
both laughing. You can't be a sailor
if you can't take a joke. Here's
to more adventures in paradise.
You, me, the ocean...
it doesn't get better than this.


(134 words)
alana sherman
And, one more:

Mailed from Costa Rica
Dos Lapas Rojas (Two Scarlet Macaws)

Here we are, looking
at each other still.
Two rare birds--a pair
made for each other.
I am always happy to be perched
with you looking out at the world
even when it seems we are
on opposite sides. I love you
now and forever. No matter what
new plan you make,
you are stuck with me.

(59 words)
Amanda G.
Wow. So many amazing poems! I wish we could comment on comments. Any chance of that?


Cherry trees line the chilly streets.
Their pink blossoms frame marble monuments.
It looks just like the postcard,
but I didn't buy you one.
I was too jealous to share.
Here is a picture of my boobs.
(46 words)
not sure of this one so postcard 1

Clear sky on
postcard somewhere,
not here, a sunny
sky reveals puzzle
picture blue -
with no clouds,
white rocks shimmer in
heat by a ragged
ocean frozen in post card

(37 words)
postcard 2

Seeing the world through colored glass
Through a shattered kaleidoscope
Turning sand to mosaic and art
Through metal wind blown
Shards melt down to fuse
Colors of the rainbow

(24 words)
Lynn Burton
Postcard #1

Spring In Texas

We've traveled rough terrain
to get where we are now.
Time slips through our fingertips.
We hold on for another breath,
another moment,
riding out the storms.
Leaving clear, blue skies
as a reminder.

Postcard #2

The Storm

Woke up to a nasty storm early this morning.
As if it were only a dream,
the skies are blue
but the wind draws its long branches
around my quiet comfort
making the house
creak and pop.

Postcard #3

What Not To Wear

If you wear a skirt today,
hold onto it because
the wind is waiting
to whistle and howl
and send leaves clapping
against each other
in applause of the show.

(92 words)
Carole Egler
Day 2 Prompt: Postcard Poem

Postcard lost
I am not where I was;
I am not on my way;
I can only sigh and
keep on the soft and
foggy trail that confuses,
and worries me..
I am here on the way
to the place that is
where the fabric of my
imagination tells me
that I really might be.

Wish you were here.

Carole E.
(57 words)
Greetings from Madrid

I rented a bike and rode to Fuente de Galapagos,
the Royal Palace of El Pardo and other romantic places.
At this moment, it is as if angels poured
Pinot Noir and it spilled onto the sky
behind The Church of San Nicolas de los Servitas.
Steam from my sassafras tea is blooming.
It smells like root beer. Isn't that funny?
The tapas made of mussel croquette and gambas
wrapped in bacon make the trip to Madrid
worth the trouble it took to get here alone.
Something about Las Cuevas cafe has me saudade,
like I just missed someone. Who? I don't know
anyone here except for Alejandro.
Miss you.

(103 words)
Sara V
Playing catch-up

7 AM in the Conch Republic

The coconut palm
Caught the sun
With its fronds
Held it high
For my squinty eyes
To see
(18 words)
Patti Williams
If I sent you a postcard
Would it matter?
I'm not even sure
What I would say.
I may not even have
Your address,
Just the phone number
We've used to exchange
The best and worst
Kind of words.
If I thought sending
You a postcard would
Change the hurt
I would mail
A thousand today.
But I know not even a
Love letter a mile long
Would matter.
So instead, I quietly write a
Poem you will never read.
Crying over wounds
I forever own.

(66 words)
Earl Parsons
The Emerald Coast

When the sky is clear
And the waters calm
There is no white like the white
Of the sand on our beaches
And there is no green like the green
Of the water along our shore
You have to see it for yourself

(38 words)
Postcard from tomorrow

the whether (or not) is still ambivalent,
there are only half the sights worth seeing,
death and taxes are the only safe bets
and advice, abuse and sympathy
can be gotten toll-free (on easy, long term plans)
I'd wish you were there - but then again,
you already are

(c)DP April 2011
(47 words)
Bernadette McComish

Hawaiians walked this lava
path to Pele barefoot. Can you see me,
coffee in one hand, cell phone
in the other? I walked a mile
over black jagged rocks to squish
fine white sand, to pray under
coconut trees, to find a signal
to call you but there was none.

(47 words)
Amanda G.
I changed mine. It's even shorter now. Ah, well!


Cherry trees line the chilly streets.
Their pink blossoms frame marble monuments.
It looks just like the postcard
I didn't buy you.
Here is a picture of my boobs.

(32 words)
Kimberly Brock
Beautiful Day

Already I know the day will be beautiful.
The singing birds were my alarm clock
Before the alarm clock went off.
I smiled before it reached my lips,
Awakening to the day with
Promises of happiness and sunshine...
Until I realize it's Monday!
Wish I was off.

(41 words)
Jared Q
Missing you
Would've made this place

(4 words)
Sheila Deeth
Wish you were here. We'd share our happy hour -
More fun to eat than "happy-meals" -
We ate so well with you.

Wish you were here, not working hard again
But we'll enjoy a drink, perhaps
A snack, and think of you.

Wish you were here
Wish I were there again.

(44 words)
K Kerns

Shenandoah Sunrise by K Kerns

The Shenandoah Mountains
Rising from the mist
The ribbon road
Leading us on
The sunrise shining on our faces
Says home is as good a place as any
For a stacation ~

(37 words)
A Postcard From Heaven

Dear I have been sending you
A postcard ever since I have left,
I have kept most of the letters
Knowing it would never reach you
But this might be the last one since
You are coming here soon,
I can't wait to be reunited with you.
I love you and miss you,
I'll be there waiting near the white gate
As you walk over that cloud,
You will love it here.
Till we meet again.
Postcard from heaven with love.

(72 words)
de jackson

To Womb it May Concern

Hello, Mother. Hello, Father.
Greetings from Camp Broken Water.
Gettin' cramped here, so I'm splittin'
Hope you're ready;
you're about to be quite smitten.

(27 words)
Elizabeth Oakley

Fat camp. That's what
they call it here, but
I can't see myself getting
on the treadmill every
day and being encouraged
by a woman who has
never been fat in her
life. Please, send a care
package with Krispy Kremes.
Lettuce ain't cutting it.

(36 words)
Erinne Magee
Bernadette, I love it!
(3 words)
Salvatore Buttaci

so much for postcards everyday
so much for love words
those old trite promises again

you're in Wyoming with him
you and the children are safe

you said Trust me
What do you suppose
years from now

we will remember
what the words meant?

(39 words)
Lexi Flint
Is it spring yet?

Cold, rainy, and gray today
I look out my bedroom window
and see the earth
is slowly trying to awaken
pushing up through
the still frozen soil
its green gifts
of renewed life.

(30 words)
Susan M. Bell
The mountains are awakening
The flowers are blooming
Yet snow still flies

Wish you were here

(12 words)
Deb Brunell
1 ~ Wish you were here
Made it safe and sound
Saw some sights and grabbed a bite
The girls are having a blast

Going to sleep now
Busy day tomorrow
Glad this trip wont last

I miss you too much

2 ~ With love,

I've only just arrived
And though it's not for long
My heart is already aching
Being away from you is wrong

3 ~ Jersey Shore

The is sun is bright
as I relax on the sand
I won't stay long,
I'll burn instead of tan

I'm addicted to skee-ball
and funnel cake
And the sky ride down the boardwalk
is great

There's something missing here
There a certain "glam" on TV
Well if "reality" cant be trusted
I'll have to start watching Glee

(108 words)
Jane Shlensky
Whoa,I posted on the wrong day! Sorry.


Lift and Swell

The salty water buoys me up, even half a mile from the shore,
where I swim through pockets of warm and cool
and then float and rest, watching the sun rise
on schools of little painted fishes flickering below me
and groups of tiny people collecting on the beach
under red and blue umbrellas.
Each day is warm and clear,
blue and green,
light and new,
thinking of you.

(75 words)
Jolanta Laurinaitis
Post card to my past

Sitting in my dark raincloud
Torrential rain
Beating unmercifully
At my back
This is not what
I imagined it to be like

But here, the clouds have lifted
The warmth of life
Surrounds my wanting
I wish I could say
That I wish you were here
But I don't want you
To rain on my parade
(47 words)
Angie Bell
I have crossed the ocean
It is green and wild and fresh here
Today I saw myself in a shop window
I was smiling
Come visit
I have a quilt for you

(26 words)
Rob Halpin

one garden gnome-sized
eight and a half year old daughter
for three slightly larger
nine year old girls
for the night.
Net gain of two larger girls
equals larger amounts of food
consumed which results in a
need for more pizza and wings.
It's now 6:23PM. Gotta go.

The pizza waits for no man.
(44 words)
Joseph Beckman
2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 2
postcard poem where you are write now
Home now.
I am here now, finally
resting, home now, the
final testing.
The run's been good.
Its now understood,
love is the reason,
its my family,
the Season of my
Most Content.
(c) April 2, 2011 Joseph Beckman

(45 words)
Linda Simoni-Wastila
greetings from motel 6

I want to write wish you were here
but mama told me never lie so instead
I scribble with the cheap Bic the remote
feels good in my hand, the highway
traffic screams a lullabye, the sugar
glazeds at the front desk set my teeth
to ache, the drunk trunker banging
the walls next door reminds me of home,
and I don't have to wear make-up anymore.


Peace, Linda
(70 words)
Postcard poem

Thoughts on Depression

I want to stay in touch but
I don't wish you were here.
Here is a confusing place with
fog in an instant, then incredible
sunshine moments in between
lots of tomfoolery. Just when
you think you're okay, you're not.
Don't come here, stay where you are,

Lynne Nelsen

(48 words)
Rail Riders

Steel wheels
Sing lullabies
Rock drowsy travellers
Pull away from Penn Station
Cars darken as they pass through
Pre-dawn Manhattan
We are content to mosy
And fool ourselves
Into believing we are
Taking things slower
Hearkening back
To a saner age
We take the train

(35 words)
Holly Matison
Wish you were here

At sunset the pale colors of blue
Mix with a pastel hint of purple
And the softest shade of pink
As they reflect with the branches
Of budding trees
Over the pond at Grandpa Ron's
I miss you.


(39 words)
Scott Mesrobian
Sanibel Island

The warm air and blue waters welcomed us
To a beach built with seashells.
The dolphins and rays and gulls
Shared their home with the bright airy place
Where we stretched out under the sun
And felt our bodies relax out from under the weight
Of the world.
And there was baseball and hope and beauty.

(49 words)
Platonic Romance

No candlelight.
A quiet moonlit night
cheese, crackers and a cozy place to dine.
You with your handsome smile; held my hand for a country mile.
Not one minute of wasted time.
Me? I'm feeling fine
I had a wonderful time.

(36 words)
Rose Anna Hines
Today I'm in Hell
Just rocks to break
Reports to make
I better not make a mistake
or my paycheck they will take

(18 words)
Rose Anna Hines
This morning the sun is beginning to warm the moist loamy earth
I stand inches away from a pineapple sage
its delicate red horn-like flowers hanging down to momma earth
a green iridescent humming bird flitters from horn to horn
then turns and hovers for seconds
before my eyes looking right at me
Time stands still in this garden

(53 words)
G. Smith
(A Cinquain)
(c) 2011 G. Smith

What a great place!
(That's what I should say, right?)
Wish you were here (more than you know).
Love; me

(24 words)
Mich Rygiel
Postcard From Work

Greetings from the Department of Mental Health!
No one works here by accident.
(13 words)
With kids upstairs shrieking
And the dishes piled high,
Springtime was calling
So we said good-bye.

...now I wish you were here.

(17 words)
Robert Lee Brewer

"The scar above my right eye"

The one from when I was in a car accident
as a baby in my unsecured baby seat--
because many car owners removed their seat belts
completely or tucked them into the cracks where food
often slips--reminds me blood once covered my face
before I could say blood, reminds me my brother
dangled upside down screaming his head off, reminds
me my mother was going to kill my father,
but then, the doctor stitched my skin back together
and sent me home without obvious brain damage.

The scar whispers to me when I brush my teeth or
wash my hands, "Remember what I prevented, what
I could have taken away," and I can't help but
consider it: the moments caught alone with my
father when I'd rather be anywhere else, fights
with my brothers, breaking up with girlfriends, losing
my patience with my own children, feeling submerged
by a faceless wave of responsibility,
standing barefoot in the snow with my brothers to
see who was tougher, falling asleep on the couch
while watching college football with my infant sons,
floating across the earth with each new flame, and then,
my fingers touch the scar and I whisper, "Thank you."

(205 words)
shann palmer
No Strings

The lie to end all lies,
a war. The divorce:
division of property,
this and that, what was
a suspicious mumble
given cruel voice.

No one will win
except the lawyers,
the meddling politicians
worse than in-laws
finally vindicated
(they knew all along).

Lingering damage
is bitter draught,
it sours on the tongue.
Two houses half empty
two unmade beds,
sheets woven of nettles.
(51 words)
Jerry Walraven
"Maybe I Read Too Much Philip K. Dick"

For a brief moment, I was gone.
The sensation strong
as we walked through the park,
my big hand holding her little one.
Just as the path
split in two
it seemed so had my life.
Somehow, the path I chose
led me here,
among Oaks
and Sycamores,
with her little hand.
Somewhere else
she walked alone.
(50 words)
Linda Goin
I'm breaking the rules and reaching out to touch you, Robert...that poem is insane. Wow. Thanks.
(15 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Good Sunday morning!
Great prompt & poem Robert.
Shann, I enjoyed reading your poem.

Time Generates

Time generates questions...
where did it go?
is the past foretold?

I look at my lost years
I see nothing but tears

Time generates concerns...
what does the future hold?
how did my life unfold?

I see yesterday's fears
I look as death nears
(46 words)
Marie Elena
Wow, Robert. Wow.
(2 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Jerry, great poem!
(2 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
Jerry, great poem!
(2 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Good morning, PA!

Robert, that was awesome! I love this prompt.
Diane, Nancy, Gerry, Tim, De, Karen: Thank you so much.
I was in New York all afternoon and did not read your messages until now.
Tracy: your grand canyon postcard had me in stitches.
Walt: Concrete master. Love it!!!!
Off to church now.
Will write my piece right after.
I love you, guys!
Happy Poetry Month, day 3!

(61 words)
Billie Miller - Rudebusch
You without Me

You without me would be like Mickey without Minnie,
You would be like Batman without Robin,
or a Blue Jay without a song.

You without me
holding your hand with no wedding band
would not be in the band.

You without me
would be quite content playing computer games.
You would never know my name.

You without me
Much to my bemusement,
would still be living in your parent's basement.

You without me
would be
Quite pitiful!

(72 words)
The Doctor
"Simply Gone"

I was walking home,
I lost my footing and fell.
Bloody and hurt I went home.

I entered home said "Hello"
but all through the house was commotion.
yelling, screaming, crying.
why were they calling 9-1-1?

I yelled stop.
no one listened.
tears brimmed my eyes,
like a cloud ready to rain.
As I ran to the site where I fell.

I reached the site letting it all out.
as I saw my body,
having I parted.
lying amlessly along the street.

Gone I was.
But I was not ready.

(73 words)
Duckling Walks

`Since the I that exists is merely imputed there is nothing to cherish, nothing to cling to."

Lets face it, it's all an illusion
a good one
but still
once we're gone, we're gone
if not only I, but all the other I's were gone
the automatic lights would still switch on
one by one
they stuttered and went out

If only I were gone, having been here once, the world would continue
a small hiccup in space-time, a dip in the arrow's shaft,
a bubble in a ripple on a small pond
hidden in the willows

If I had never been though? ah then,

a duckling walking with cold black feet
across my sunwarmed belly would never have met me

If I never was

I never was
(112 words)
RJ Clarken
The 'Without Me' Verse

Without me, the world might say, "Aw! Fiddlesticks!"
Why? Because the world would have fewer limericks.

See, lots of poets pen poetry that's very literary - or else, very heart-wrenching emo.
Angsty, free verse poetry seems to be primo.

And, unlike us rhymsters, us humorous poetasters
whose works, by real poets, are considered major disasters

the heavy stuff weighs one down, when one should feel a bit lighter.
Without me (and rhapsodists like me) there'd be (heavy sigh) less witty writers.

Now maybe that's a good thing (at least, in someone's book?)
But as for me...I think there's a place in heaven for clever gobble-de-gook.

But, in all seriousness, at the risk of angering haters and cursifiers,
I think the world would be less well off - without me and other versifiers.

(123 words)
RJ Clarken
(By the way...the above poem was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.)

(10 words)
If not for me....

I am her best friend.
I help her weather her storms.
Bring sunshine on a not so bright day.
Send love and positive vibes her way
I am her mother.
My Baby Girl.
If not for me....

He is my first born.
I answer the whys and the why nots
To this day.
I guide.
I help him to refocus.
To remember
where his passion comes from.
That love is deeper than
If not for me...

"Noni I need a hug and kiss!"
Need -- so strong and
powerful a word.
I am their comfort.
I make the world right
on days it seems to them it could end.
I replace booboo tears
with smiles from within.
If not for me....

I am the favorite.
I've always believed this.
And if siblings read this
It is ok
I've said it outloud
throughout the years.
My spirit seems to
put life back into a room
Gone cold
with negativity and sadness.
My Moms smile
Just for me
Because I am.
If not for me...

I keep it Real
No hurt from me
Even in the midst of my own pain.

Mother, Noni, daughter,
Sister, friend,
Companion, lover,
Lady with a warm smile
If not for me...

(162 words)
Marie Elena
RJ: Amen, amen, and amen!!! And AMEN!!!!! =)
(7 words)
Linda Goin

Accidents with Butterflies

A concrete being, I wander.
I stomp on hearts, I create
hard work for romantics,
I kill expensive plants,
and I spout cliches
at inappropriate times
and from ludicrous spaces.

I move constantly. I leave
footprints embedded in grounds
that hold "do not disturb" signs.
I give gifts, like paintings
and poetry and handmade paper.
I hope those presents
are enough for forgiveness...

...because some people are likable
butterflies. If I touch them,
earthquakes shatter distant lands.
That brush leaves dust on my fingertips
that bears witness to rainbows
arced over aspens and ferns,
all transparent, all temporary.

Accidents with butterflies
are inevitable, given the solid
weight of my soul. But, this monolith
is fragile, too. I leave chips
scattered for future archaeologists,
to prove that, with my help,
substantial moments occurred.

(106 words)
RJ Clarken

At times, I feel invisible.
I know that seems quite risible
but when I feel a bit obscure
it soon becomes my mood du jour.
I speak. Is no one listening?
I hide the tears whose glistening
would only prove there was a trace
of me inside this downcast face.
It isn't often that this gloom
can cloak me in its veiled perfume.
With that, I shake that hidden cast,
and say, "I'm here. My doubt has passed."

(67 words)
Michelle Hed

I sat on the edge of the pool
contemplating the huge slide
at the other end.
After hours of watchful debate,
I decided to take the plunge
and go down the slide.
My big hang up was the fact
I couldn't swim (and I was told the slide
was off limits) but everyone that went down
seemed to pop right back up.
Seemed logical to my five year old
brain that I would also pop right back up.
I didn't.
Going down the slide was fun
but I didn't pop back up.
I could see the surface but
I couldn't reach it.
Then hands went around my
waist and pushed me up.

Rewind. What if those hands
never came?
My family shattered, missing a child.
My childhood friends would
never had known me, learned
from my law enforcement upbringing.
My high school friends,
some would have made the wrong
choices. Some wouldn't know
how to handle the death that came
their way, not having shared
the experience with me before.

My husband never married,
he never found his soul-mate in
My children were never born.
Laughter never filled my house.
Not one of my photographs,
paintings, or poems ever
touched anothers soul.

Fast-forward. Those hands
did push me to the surface,
the hands of an older boy.
I'm no saint and I've made
my share of mistakes,
but I truly believe every
person on this planet
has a purpose and each
person that we interact
with is touched in some
small way by that interaction.
I did not drown when I was five,
it was not my destiny.

(222 words)
Marian Veverka
The World Without Me

Would be a bit emptier
I brought 6 children into it
To join the human race.
(If I knew then what I know
now - this overcrowded planet
this vale of tears through which
we trudge day after day,,,
But who would we eliminate ?
That's not for us to say,,,

The children grew and one by
One they left our little home-
Three boys moved just down
The road my grandchildren
Were close, the girls were
Different, two of them moved
To the far-away west coast..

We've been through almost everything
They said when we were wed,,,Yet we
Managed ti stumble through the days
A grand daughter was given for us to raise
Another daughter giving in
To pain and bleak despair
The world too much for her to cope,
Another engagement broken, she had
Moved to Seattle, where lonely and
Ill, she rgave up hope.

We learned a new word a while ago
Autism is what has haunted me and what
I've passed on to my kids. They will raise
another generation, now praying for a cure.

I think my kids are wonderful.
Even the one that isn't here
My husband also passed away
I am grateful for the years
We spent together - all the laughter
All the tears.

(182 words)
Zeb, wonderful to see you here! Yeah! I love the phrase "a duckling walking with cold black feet across my sunwarmed belly would never have met me". It's one of those smile-generators. Youngest son just arrived; Happy Mother's Day, he says, followed by what's for dinner. It's my day off; he's in for a surprise.
(54 words)
Michelle Hed
Just taking the rare moment to read!
Jerry Walraven - love your poem
Zeb - beautiful
RJ - "smiles"
Marcelle - sweet
Linda Goin - Love it!!
Cheers everyone!
(23 words)
rj - you are a highlight every time i read stuff here because you are in fact fun and funny. your poem was right.
(23 words)
Tamara P
Empty bird cage with its rainbow bed
We finally opened the other window
And washed the curtains
Sun rushed in like an eager river
Two mosquitoes danced about by the door
The posters, drawings, photos, and little notes, were put in a box somewhere
And a young German painter shuffled his heavy backpacks into the room
And lay down on the bed
The square clock kept ticking.

(58 words)
RJ: I was rather struck by Invisible because it's one of those odd side effects of middle-age. One does suddenly because invisible. Very poignant.

Marian: That is so sad and so touching, yet there's an underling strength that's very apparent.

Michelle: Wow. Wow. Wow.

Linda: Accident with Butterflies is stunning. I loved " I spout cliches
at inappropriate times and from ludicrous spaces."

(58 words)
Joy Cagil

You flicker for a moment on a hillside
and lower your wings to view the story:
Questions with no answers, stings of scratches,
gory wounds, the cut through your belly,
kisses quickened by time, and the unending stampede.

Such cacophony, such pomp...
as if reading the words but not the text.
Can you, now, forgive them all and wonder
at what you left behind, knowing
you have changed nothing, yet arrived,
an Odysseus to handle oblivion?

(68 words)
de jackson
Robert: My favorite movie of all time, too. And your poem? WOW.
(11 words)
Beth Rodgers
Robert, I had to read your poem twice because it was just so amazingly written. It's A Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies too, so I love the way this prompt symbolizes the same themes. Here's mine:


I remember the holidays spent
With family now gone or moved away,
My parents' divorce at age five
When I wished time would have stood still
Years before.

If hurt and sorrow were neglected
Never part of my life
The good would never mean as much
Such as when my grandfather passed on,
Because if it weren't for the memories
Of time gone by
Where would I be?

It seems as though the world would keep
Turning despite my not being here
But would it mean as much
If I couldn't share the latest TV gossip
Or hold the Passover seders?
If I couldn't teach English and obsess
Over the worth of each and every lesson
For each and every student?

If I couldn't be a pack rat and hold on to
VHS movies, floppy disks, home videos
To share pieces of nostalgia with the future?

Without my having a purpose
A vision, a formidable knowledge of my own truth
As well as what it means to me, to others
To generations past, present, and future
Life might go on
Never knowing what it's missing, but
Is that what anyone really wants to believe?

(204 words)
Brian Slusher


Erase me from the equation
of life, unborn me and
my vanished line of
dominoes would not topple
this spring morning, nor
change the keenness of one
sparrow's flight. Sans witness
of my astigmatic senses, the
taped massacres would still
match-up frame for frame
and the critics wail the
the same obituaries for the
masses' love of poetry.
Yet despite how weightless
falls my shadow on the
scales of Being, I still would
like to think that if my paltry
cell had never split, that if
I'd never trod this flawed
paradise, that as you rose
from bed this burnished
dawn you would briefly
pause, trying to find a
word that had escaped you
as you slept, a word so
lovely it annoys a tear
from your brown eye,
and that lost grain of
utterance would ever
haunt your tongue's tip.

(115 words)
We Hoped Never To Forget

A musty box of photos
strewn across the floor,
images faded from rosy
flesh to gossamer tones of
anaemic antiquity. I've

forgotten where most
where taken but I seem
happy, seem content,
that smile seems
genuine enough but

I can't remember why
I smiled, who made me
smile. In time I'll be
forgotten like the emotions
behind these photos taken
on special days that

we hoped never to forget.

(63 words)
Patricia A. Hawkenson
Unseen Wonders

Light softens
the underside of leaves
while shadows go unnoticed
as they dance upon the wall.

Frosting swirls in even swags
but no one sees the lines
as puddle's oil slides daintily
over toes spread out in mud.

Ribbing lines converge
in fields shorn of their corn
while airy fluffs of bunny dust
chase lupines as they grow.

My soul has left to linger
where you might not
think to look.

But I am still creating
in dark secluded corners
with the unexpected colors
I've stolen from your world.

(71 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Nice prompt Robert and perhaps one of my favorite poems of yours as your submission tidy!

Not enough time to truly read and enjoy but RJ caught my eye and of course started this day finally going with an RJ grin!

(39 words)
Daniel Paicopulos
Will-o'-the wisp

It is said that,
sitting under the boddhi tree,
Siddahartha Gautama saw,
not hundreds of figs on the ground,
but thirty-thousand past lives.
The boddhi itself requires
three thousand years to form its shape,
and humans have but a moment
to find meaning, even when they look.

Had I missed this turn of the wheel,
what matter?
Someone else would have gone to war,
another might have written peace haikus,
many more could have done my work,
it is all simply chopping wood,
it is all no more than carrying water,
it is not mysterious,
the thing we call our life.

My scars are not real,
memories an illusion,
money in the bank as firm as dreams.
Divorces, poems, blood and tears
are no more our life
than silent films are Ken and Barbie.
If you can't stand the heat,
says the one with the heater,
but even he is an hallucination.

I think on nonexistence a moment.
Does the earth fall from my feet?
Must I reach for my balance?
No, I go on.
I go on.
I go.

(153 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
There without me

Far less words rushing
Unasked for into varied people's ears
Far more tears unshed in salted water coffers

Back later....
(19 words)
What an comtemplative thought - if we were not!
Everyone has a most imporessive idea of the subject. Thank you to everyone. I am glad we are!

If I Were Not

Mom and Dad late in years
Would not have had a bundle of tears,
For joy that is

I came along
After most hope had gone
But what if it had been the other way

No one to build a special room for
No one to teach to reach and soar
Just each other

In later years
Through a life of tears
No child had been born

To hold their love
Given from above
To share with one of their own

(96 words)

I'm tracking my ancestors this year;
one who sailed from Liverpool
to fight with the Union Army in
in the Battle of Port Hudson, one
who stitched aprons from feedsacks,
and one who studied sea worms
in the South Pacific. There was one
who ran a bank in Jersey City before
he went blind, and one who owned
slaves in Fairfield County. One hid
New Zealand soldiers from the Nazis
in Athens, and one saved her
brother's life. I know one was a surgeon,
another a potter and sailer, and one
solved a thousand crossword puzzles.
One ancestor was a judge in a
witch trial in Connecticut, and one
wandered away, never to be found.
I'm collecting photographs,
making diagrams, marking maps
and filling boxes with tracking
clues, the footsteps I'm following--
the prints I leave behind.

(123 words)
Laura Hohlwein

The World Without Me

The world without me, for those who loved me, will be full
of speaking things: a soft golden lining of the window sill, stretching, will say, brightening, "Stand up. You're alive. It is today."
and the window itself will say, "Look right through me.
Look right through. Open me. You. Breath."

The street, waking, will imply, without saying, "Love thy neighbor"
and the wisteria climbing and dripping sweet
purples into shared sky, will whisper,
"Lucky, lucky, lucky. Don't miss this."

(75 words)
Laurie Kolp
Sweet Emporium of Death

Might I die one night in May
when Candy Land heaven caves,
bubblegum rainbows hail pelts at me
and a tsunami of caramel waves?

If perchance I find myself
drowning in taffy quicksand
while staccato Red Hots titillate,
would you Snicker or lend me a hand?

The world you say would lack my sweet
tooth yellowed not now but later,
and I would miss boxed chocolates;
powdered sugar's reward is greater.

(63 words)
Joseph Harker

So much of my life comes down to
the Y chromosome.

My mother kept two names in her pocketbook
for each of us, one if we arrived as princes, and one if we
She never got to use the second set; genetics has
a sense of humor, and now there's
an uninterrupted row of brothers for Christmas morning.
Not that we were your typical princes: there was no
hunting, no macho sportsmanship.
We grew up on a diet of knowledge. We keep
our spectacles by our beds.

Once my mother found a photograph from when
she was in high school: anyone else might have thought that
I had put on a flowing wig, held myself a little differently, and
posed for the camera all those years ago.
Like looking into a mirror of things that aren't; like seeing
how things might have been. And maybe that way
it would've been easier to live all those moments:
learning needlepoint and piano and gracing the stage,
conversations about changes of a body wrapped in shame,
telling her about the boy I liked.

When my mother was my age, she had a house and a car,
she had my father and the firstborn of her princes.
And here I am, always alone with my dreams gathering dust.
It might have been simpler to have some feminine inheritance,
instead of all these tightlipped secrets,
the Y chromosome
turns on its axis and the sky comes tumbling down--
but still, I don't regret it. The word "daughter" just doesn't fit
in my mouth. I will take the hardships like
the square peg that I happened to be,

and thank genetics,
for that.

(244 words)
m j dills

While your brain and body were being baked
Twelve days deprived of oxygen
I touched and caressed you
Avoiding tubes and monitors
While you erased me
Gone: the day we met, the day we married,
The babies I lost and carried
Parties with shamrocks, elves and hearts plastered on windows
The tree decorated with crowds of neighbors and friends
Football games and trips on our boat
The gifts we gave and poems we wrote
Your world changed as did mine
You forgot seventeen years
And went on without me
As if I never existed
But I remember you

(82 words)
Tilly Bud
It Might Have Been A Wonderful Write

I am not here. Stop
reading this. I wrote no words;
they do not exist.
(18 words)
Joseph: I really enjoyed reading Jessica.

Choices That Change

The fruit of my loins
don't exist. My
children adopted me.
No flesh of my flesh,
no blood of my blood,

no similarity but love,
and a name that
most can't pronounce.
But they are mine,
more than any others
might claim because

it was my heart, empty,
that asked to be filled.
It was my soul, searching,
that willed me toward
what became my identity.

When I am no more, I
still shall be, as I
leave my impression on
this ancient family.

(77 words)
Mike Barzacchini


If not here, where?
Would I still hang around?
A whisper in the wind?

Morning sunbeam
through the
kitchen window?

Creaky floorboard
as the house settles
while you sleep?

If not here, how would
I remind you of someone
you had never met?

(36 words)
Linda Goin
Thanks, Michelle and MiskMask...I may have time to read today, too...YAY!

Billie M -- Oh, I love this one. I've rescued a few basement rats myself.

RJ -- LOL <3 <3 <3 I love you AND your limericks!

Michelle H. -- Great story. I'm glad you didn't drown as well.

Brian S: "...my vanished line of / dominoes would not topple / this spring morning..." took me away...

MiskMask -- You've taken me back to that box of tintypes again. One of these days, I'll write something about those, too. Thanks.

Daniel: "My scars are not real, / memories an illusion, / money in the bank as firm as dreams." Perfectly Zen. Or...not. ;)

(99 words)
Nikki Markle
"The Death of the U.S. Postal Service"

Stamps pile up
Unlicked, pen pals
Never penned,

Just Because
Cards not sent, Publisher's
Clearing House envelopes never
Sealed with fingers

Crossed, college brochures,
Magazines, clothing
Catalogs never mailed, a

Jewish Mailman never got a
Christmas Present, or
Gave one in return.

(47 words)
Lori Thatcher
If I was never here

He is the peak kindness
I leant the world
as if I could claim
his humanity
as my accomplishment
the world would be darker
even if it had to endure less
ghastly poetry

(30 words)
de jackson


on the couch
embracing someone
else or aching for a ghost.

hearts of my heart
dissolving into echoed nothing.

written in invisible ink
formed only of thrown thought
and evaporated tears.

(32 words)
Justine Hemmestad
Like Job, I'm searched out to and fro,
Hopes unquenched, and truth deferred,
Life without me, I do foresee,
My angel unreached, my peace unseen.
How can I escape this plan,
Of desolation and pain mirrored to me.
The suffocation of my life, smoldering of a flame,
And I will see the world go on beneath the bridge.
Wind, cold and lonely swirls and surrounds,
Previous dreams fly with the gusts,
Now, the truth of life without me I see.
In a flash my kids walk their paths,
Not with guidance and without a voice of reason,
To value they will fall, and their youth,
they will always seek.
My destiny dies with me, in a world without me,
My contributions go unopened, the ribbon left untied.
Kids without life at the start is a reversal of fate,
Their truth goes now forthward,
For my life is not mine, but it is theirs,
My fate is not mine but theirs to be had.

(143 words)
Nikki Markle
"An Unread Book by the Bed"

The little boy would say "Where's Mommy?" and
forget again until his milk cup was empty.

The man would say "Now who will find my socks? and
busy himself at work, never remembering to eat breakfast.

The baby girl would cry to be held, growing up being
told she looks just like her, but never really knowing.

The unread book would sit next to the bed, a slip of paper
chronicling where the adventure ended, keeping it's
Happily Ever After all to itself.

(85 words)
Nikki Markle
Beautiful piece, Laura Hohlwein!
(3 words)
D. Gilson
When I am born, My Mother Asks My Father to Sell His Motorcycle

When my father left
Vietnam for the air base
in Okinawa they cut out
the part of him that allows
live sperm to journey
down the canal of a woman.
But fifteen years later,
in a sleepy Missouri bedroom
painted mauve hydrangea,
wrapped and unwrapped
in blankets akin to neon
asparagus, my father
makes love to my mother.
Something sparks.
This is not a miracle,
not even a modest one,
and had something not
taken, if I had not erupted
from the raging fires
of their lust or their love
that night, my father could
trust in science and journey
on without me atop a Harley
with nothing but daughters,
my mother, and the gravity
that is having a son.

(106 words)
de jackson

21 grams
(a shadorma)

weight of soul
cannot contain the
height of hurt
depth of loss
sorrow measured in frozen
heartbeats, tearstained holes.

(20 words)
Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
No More

The fever soars to 107deg
The spirit flies over the bed

No more pain
No more poverty
No more possibility

Lingering between beats of heart
In the space between breaths

No more make believe
No more Irish eyes smiling
No more dancing by the sea

Just as fear grips the senses
When hope seems to have gone

No more children to chase
No more grandchildren to teach
No more hearts to touch with grace

Emerged in water, a new baptism
Fever breaks, spirit returns

No more wondering what's next
No more fear of a void
No more worrying about where the path leads.

(84 words)
What little I could give her

I watched her plant a garden
and then I grew and had my own
We tore apart the weeds and rocks
and soon it was beautifully grown.
If I had not been a breath
If I thought it not my style,
She would not have been delighted
to share with her daughter a smile.
(51 words)
de jackson
Linda Goin, Accidents with Butterflies is astounding.
(6 words)
Brian S - the whole poem caught in my throat.
(9 words)
M.A. Dobson
Dying is like being born
But the world entered is uncontained
It disperses everything
You find yourself unbound
Rippling the winter wheat
And astonishing
Those who meet you there
Your eyes green your hair
Verdant, uncharacteristically undone
For a split second
It's like you never left
You are breathless, breathlessness
(39 words)
Iain D. Kemp
Lost souls wander aimlessly
for a sign
a signal
hopeful disciples spread the word
spread the search
comb the Earth
reach to the stars
pray to sundry deities
plunge the oceans' depths
no stone unturned
disenchanted the search fades
whilst I (for 'tis Me!) wake in a stupor
shaking my head
rubbing my eyes
and feeling changed yet renewed
finally understanding that
Absinthe makes the old fart wander!

Good poeming people. Btw I will be writing to the prompt - I am reliable informed by a source close to the Bronx that Ringo will be writing about whatever the hell he wants!

Cheers all :-)


(88 words)
barbara young
Glass-clear Yellow Creek,
sparkling its way toward the Cumberland,
meets a rock and swirls around it
or the snag of a fallen tree
or the fat blue ankles of an eight-year-old girl
with her toes deep in rounded brown gravels
mysteriously cold in July. How far
does the turbulence extend?

Pick the rock up, clear the snag,
wade to the bank. Watch a school of minnows
flash in a turn when the sun between sycamore leaves
strikes the surface where there is no ripple.

(72 words)
Daniel Paicopulos
These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

A few thousand Beanie Babies,
A hundred empty Hellman's jars,
A box of tape cassettes (no player),
A pile of vinyl LP's (ditto),
A refrigerator full of magnets,
A notebook full of half-full phrases,
A shelf lined with once-read books,
A drawer jammed with hotel pens,
A matching one with little soaps,
A couple hundred cookbooks,
A filing cabinet of tax returns,
A DVR with unwatched films,
A bag of just-in-case emergency supplies,
A linen closet, forty years full,
A catalog of zen seeds,
A world without me?
I simply can not imagine.

(84 words)
Iain D. Kemp
Dear Moosehead,
Whoa! 10 - 6!! That's I'm what I wanna see!
That and a whole weekend of baseball.
I wanna see the stadium full, I wanna see
an endless supply of dogs and beer.
Without people like us even the glorious Yankees
would be nothing. So when you think about it
without me baseball would be pointless.
Without me you would have to keep the crazy women
in my life. Without me you would die of loneliness.
Pick me up at 5, I wanna see some brewskies
before the game.

Yours rejoicing in self-importance
Ringo the Howler

(88 words)
barbara young
RJ: I love Invisible. The rhyme is perfect for balance.
(9 words)
A World Without Me

Can I be so bold as to imagine
a world in which I never

I don't know that it matters as much
as some (like maybe, I) would
want to think.

I might have touched some folks in this lifetime,
but others would have done as well
as I, right?

There were some jobs held, people known and loved
things made: hopes, dreams, children. Pie.
But, so what?

The only ones I truly imagine
my absence would affect?

My kids.

(75 words)
Rachel Green
Holly and Jester

Sometimes I wonder what might have changed
had I not had two dogs depending on me
when I was at my lowest. Without those two
waiting for walks, for feeding,
for waiting in the bathroom while I had a bath
(and drinking the tea when I was asleep)
there'd be no-one to mourn the passing
of a lonely and depressed woman.

People would miss me now. Now I have friends,
fans; a small cult of people eager for more tales
of the infuriatingly magical town of Laverstone,
and Family. People who care about me
who'd mourn my passing for a little while.

Then there was nobody. A state burial
attended by a few colleagues
who'd come for the free buffet
and a sister who'd already lost me once.

They say your life is never really gone
until the ripples you set in motion fade,
but my life at that moment in 1999
was a still as a mill pond
but for two small dogs who loved me.

(148 words)
Debra Ann Gray- Elliott
As always excellent words flowing through here!
(6 words)
D. Gilson: such a lovely calidiscope of colours that you've described there. Brilliant and vivid.

Nikki: "The Death of the U.S. Postal Service" is a stunner. When I finished reading it, I just sat looking at my screen taking in everything you'd written.

Linda: Oh dear -- I'm an regergatating mental notes again? LOL!

Pearl: Thanks for the mention. :)

(57 words)
Ignore above; copied wrong one.

D. Gilson: such a lovely kaleidoscope of colours that you've described there. Brilliant and vivid.

Nikki: "The Death of the U.S. Postal Service" is a stunner. When I finished reading it, I just sat looking at my screen taking in everything you'd written.

Linda: Oh dear -- I'm an regurgitating mental notes again? LOL!

Pearl: Thanks for the mention. :)

(61 words)
Linda Armstrong
If I had never been born,
my father would have painted longer,
and might have been known
before he died, rather than after.
If I had never been born,
my husband might have married the dancer
who studied French at the Sorbonne.
But if I had never been born,
my daughter would not be the same,
and that one change could shift
the course of stars.
(62 words)
Kim King

These poems are all so good! Robert, great prompt and poem today. Really made me think. This forum is amazing and I am always humbled by the talent.

The Funeral

Teacher and former teacher viewings draw students and former students
to meet at the local funeral home, run by a graduate who married one.
and whose children attended the same school. They soulfully reminisce
about classes and principals, commenting on whatever-happened-to-him,
as they snake in line, pointing at photo collages and family mementos.

They introduce spouses, avoid looking toward the casket, and shake
hands of unknown relatives of the deceased. As they head to the door,
they nod, whispering plans to catch a drink at the bar across the street,
run by a classmate who married the cheerleader he dated in high school.

One former student, the one from the children's home, would not attend.
Lacking credits to reach tenth grade, he dropped out and moved south.
He remembers that teacher, who believed him, helped him to learn,
and brought him cookies. For a few years, he called her randomly to brag
that he was in college, "doin' real fine," thanks to her. When he hung up,
he smoked a joint and returned to the campus dining hall to wash dishes.

(196 words)
Nancy Posey

Never good at being alone, even
in her raw, new grief, she'd confessed
that someday down the road, she knew
she'd choose to love again,
and even our own ache at our loss,
his absence that left a void we could not fill,
seemed small in the face of hers,
so she took us by surprise
when that time came, when she chose
to keep living in a world without him,
not one of her choosing, but hers
nonetheless. Somewhere inside our minds,
we all entertained the idea of the space
we occupy suddenly empty, those we love
left along, allowed to choose survival,
no ancient pyre on which to throw
the rest of their lives without us,
the legacy we might leave--
that we might be replaceable
though unforgettable.

(112 words)
J Brennan
So, fellow writers... who's going to use today's prompt to create a self-indulgent suicide note. Hmmm...??
(15 words)
Nancy Posey
I want to leave some comments, but honestly don't even know where to start. They are funny and sad and beautiful and all of the above. Glad you are all in my world now!

(33 words)
Andrew Kreider


I was a dim star
Half-lit in the firmament
Graceful, reluctant.
Now earth-crashed, anonymous
I matter for the first time.

A truer matter
Not some pinprick projection
But bright with purpose.
For you, friend, I wish the same -
Don't say you would not be missed.

(36 words)

"Of Life"

The sea gently straightens out the sand among the stones.
It's one of these days.

There's no fish,
no creature
that makes
to the shore.

This is one of these days
where I didn't
had my legs
went upright
grasped the air
and looked you in your eyes
and said:

But there are other days!
Every day the sea will straighten out the coast.
And one of these days you'll see me there
make me
come ashore.

(63 words)
RJ, thank you for "invisible"
(4 words)
Nancy Posey

How can she help him piece together
his broken heart? He's still her son,
a boy, too young to be a father,
but now she holds him when he cries
over the lost life, not his choice,
but half his. She knows he knows
she too had the choice, back then
when common sense might have led
to some other path, traveling lighter,
alone. He knows, maybe now more
than before that she gave him life,
not an easy one for either of them,
sure, but a life full of possibilities,
even some that leave a little ghost
living only inside of his heart.

(91 words)
Uma Gowrishankar
Stars That Stick In Sooty Corners

The walls were darkened with soot,
she sat in the dark corner
cradling a small star in her heart,
sky poured blue in that small room
a world was born there - sunshine and all.

An angel I guess she was to create a world like that
but she rode a bicycle, raced every boy in her street,
hung out the day's washing carrying the smell of detergent,
her sari soft like a bird's down filled my nose
with smell of steamed cabbage.

When she lay there in the hospital,
in vain I searched the pile of clothes
stacked newspapers, behind shoe racks;
when she touched me, I rippled like silver pool:
her star from the mundane corner of existence.

(112 words)
Nikki Markle
Lovely imagery, Uma!
(2 words)
J. D. Mackenzie
Without This Me

A world without this me might welcome a that me
a substitute version accepted by all

His rigorous workouts and modeling tight briefs
would conjure up images slender and tall

Talent with numbers might make him a banker
if coupled with ethics you'd welcome his kind

If he could pass the bar you'd want to have his card
when you were injured or some other bind

Were he a diplomat, strong and courageous
he'd build a world that's more kind and diverse

If he had gotten some classical training
he'd be more likely to write better verse

For all the conjecture, I'd rather not think about
untimely leaving or false warning signs

A world without this me would go on revolving
the same as for anyone reading these lines

(thanks Robert for this fun springboard / prompt - it is a wonderful life)

(134 words)
Carolyn Mallory
Imagine the world

At a time of great anxiety
and sadness when the
world seemed unlivable
and the birth of my son
unexpectedly catapulted
my life force into a dark
and lonely plane of reference
it was easy to imagine
the world without
my weepy, frightened,
cheerless self.

But as the sun extended
its light into
the darkness,
and as the fragrance
of life engaged my senses,
a new and unfamiliar
me emerged, ready
to step timidly into the day,
and stake her claim
in a world that she
refused to leave.

thanks for the prompt!

Carolyn Mallory
(75 words)
Maxie Steer
Wow. A great prompt produces great poetry.

Some of my favorites:
"The scar above my right eye" - Robert Lee Brewer
"Maybe I read too much Phillip k. Dick" - Jerry Walraven
"The 'Without Me' Verse" - RJ Clarken
"Will-o'-the wisp" - Daniel Paicopulos
"Jessica" - Joseph Harker

What a joy is is to spend my day hitting the refresh button!

(53 words)
Walt Wojtanik


(0 words)
Brian Slusher
(5 words)

(4 words)
Maxie Steer

There's a reason you should not eat
until after the numbness wears off.
Your lip becomes like the unyielding
albumin of a cold hard boiled egg.

I know this as I search for recognition
in my Grandmother's face,
her mind chewing on relics and song lyrics,
mashing together a bolus of English and Spanish
as we feed her memory after lost memory.

The wounds on my lip after Monday's dental appointment
still smarts, regardless of the constant sweeps
with my tongue, keeping them moisturized.
She was dehydrated and lonely when last we were here,
but back then, she knew us.

Now I cling to my guitar hoping to strum free
something of significance from my twenty three years of life
but her curious eyes are an insult to me;
and as if peering at someone new she says,
"Look at this one, sticking her tongue out, licking her lip."

I hurry to explain but she is already disgusted,
recounting my action with a scowl, as if I was not there.
So I bit my lip, keeping the tears in the rim of my eyes,
knowing this is what if feels like to be pierced
by an mouth unaware.

(186 words)
Day 3 April P-A-D (Imagine the world without you) and NaPoWriMo (Use the titles of 3 books in your home in the poem) Challenges:

A single life lived quietly
Is barely one of note,
And yet perhaps a mark's been made
By time upon this earth

Taking the Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Fighting the war of abuse
Reaching a hand to the desperate who
Suffer the Weight of Silence.

While the Other Side of Me
Raised a Band of Brothers
Who grew and touched so many lives
Loving hearts forever.

I learned to Eat, Pray, Love and dream
Not always sure it mattered
Yet looking back at what I've done
The truth is now revealed

Of innocent victims cruelly defiled
No longer walking in pain,
And the greatest gift I gave the world,
Loving spirits born.

I can't imagine what life would be
Without these three fine men
So I won't give another backward thought
To what if I hadn't been.

G.K.Bostic - 4/3/11
(Book titles included: Way of the Peaceful Warrior, The Weight of Silence, Other Side of Me, Band of Brothers, and Eat, Pray, Love)
(163 words)
AC Leming

If I hadn't been here
to advise Sam to ice
his shoulder, tweaked
in defensive tactics
training, a soldier
would have been in pain
for the duration of his
hand-to-hand combat drills.

Little things like this
make me glad I survived
that 106 fever my mom
fought & feared would kill
my body or my mind
in the fall of 1974,

at the tail end
of another war
which left too many
damaged soldiers
lost & alone. I
wish I could help
more with a simple
answer over the phone,
patch hurts ice can't reach.

(66 words)
Walt, I love "WALTLESS"
(3 words)
Virginia Snowden VSBryant
The First Poem I Ever Written

Each line simple and sweet
Each word created to my heartbeat
What a feeling seeing your words on the printed page
Floating fly from such a magnitude of praise
Causing a chain reaction and now hundreds of poems fill my world
One for my mother, my sister, and my friends
Poems turn into short stories, novels and plays
Personally essays with something important to say
As I float in the air looking down on the world's page
How sad I am now to see I never was
No poems, no words, no stories to be told
No magic moments on the printed page or praises to be seen
Slowly a rise from a nightmare in a dream's disguise
Pull my notebook from the nightstand and smiled with ease
Whisper thank you for giving me something to say
Simply happiness in ever way
(133 words)
Linda Voit
The world without me

A university clinic, hours from home, walls of smooth
cream and cool green. Thirty-three, I sit

next to my husband, close to vinyl and white paper -
an exam table, its stirrup arms folded in

on themselves. A cream curve of track
suspends a curtain of calm, non-committal tones

waiting to be yanked around
a private moment. In an open white jacket, her name

and specialty embroidered in deep blue inches above
her heart, she is poised on a rolling stool.

She looks into my eyes and says some other words around
"percentage" and "survival" and "you".

An almost imperceptible catch
in my gut like the first flutter our daughter made just below it

four years earlier. I am aware something has changed
for all my time. I do not understand. I know I'll remember.

Sometime later I recognize it as the moment I begin
to know, without doubt or discomfort, our daughter, my husband,

brothers and sister, friends and everyone I know and don't know
will go on no matter what happens to me, that they could

and should and that it is wise to know this in my cells, to live
fully not in spite of this, not because of this, but in harmony with

this truth. Fifteen years later, I welcome the flutter, the catch
in moments less dramatic and no less deep.

(212 words)
Michele Brenton/banana
I'm confused now.

At least three people would be dead
unless somebody else
stepped in to fill
the gap and lived the life
I called mine.
In fact how do I know
that hasn't been?
How do I know
there wasn't a different me
that I am not someone else
who fits the space
fills the blanks
stops the gap?
The story is written
the arc is drawn
and like Miss Ellie
in Southfork
the part can be played by anyone born.

(65 words)
Laura Kayne
Without Me

In a world without me,
My sister would be an only child,
My parents spoiling her rotten.
She would have no one to play with,
No summers spent together,
No sharing, learning, growing
Of two sisters closer and closer.

In a world without me,
My husband might be single,
Finding his way alone,
No-one to lead him to this city on the coast.
No lazy mornings, warm smiles and kisses,
No building of a life together,
Of two halves making a whole.

In a world without me,
The Earth keeps turning,
People living their lives
Without me knowing,
Unable to participate
In the ups and down
Of the human race.

A world without me,
Is not this one.
(96 words)
claudia clemente
come time, tell me
about that still, empty
central point around which all hands move.
remember: your space is other,
do not inscribe me with its radius;
i am absent
even if you count
me in, i count myself out,
though my hands move restlessly
as purposelessly,
like the other day
in tiny tender circles
on the crown of the newest boy's head
as i leaned back, eyes closed,
lost in pleasure
while he whispered: "baby."

(72 words)
Taylor Graham

Wherever the night-vanished lamb
traveled, impossibly beyond
waking and the silence of her mother's
eyes enclosing daylight -

if I traveled there as on the owl's
wings, in its talons shaking
a woken world blind to its mystery,
missing the shape, voice

shadow that I was, and wasn't -
what shall I say of the lamb
in the splotched harlequin beauty
of her absence?

(55 words)
Marie Elena

A No Good Poem

No flapping jaws,
No dire faux pas,
No dreadful flaws,
No broken laws --
And all because
I never was.

Please, no applause.

(20 words)
Tanja Cilia
The World Without Me

Lock stock barrel
Hop skip jump
Higher further faster
For better or worse
World without end
I am here and now
And without me, life goes on;
But what good would that be to me?

(30 words)
Nancy J

If Not For Me . . .

who would have rescued the baby robin from the path
of the neighbor's lawn mower, then tormented the poor man
until he got a ladder and put the little bird back in its nest?
Who would have drawn a picture of Grandma that
made her laugh until tears ran down her cheeks?
And, tell me who would have cared enough to open the jars
and set all the lightening bugs free while the other kids
were discussing whether the lights would still glow if
they were pulled off the bugs?
Would the world be different without me?
Who knows?

(103 words)
Marie Elena

Chev: Forgive me, but I just can't call you Jerry! Very touching piece.

Linda Goin: Wow. One of your very finest works. Bravo.

Michelle Hed: Another wow. The story, and the message.

Linda V: love this line, "An almost imperceptible catch
in my gut like the first flutter our daughter made just below it"

More favorites: Brian Slusher, Patricia H., Joseph, De Jackson (21 grams), Rachel Green, Kim King (wow), Carolyn M., WALT!! TOO FUNNY!, and Maxie.

(71 words)
de jackson


He knows the names of his children, though he still
states with absolute conviction the ages of 8 and 9. He

can say all the states in alphabetical order, presidents
too (through Obama), and knows he had hash and scram

-bled this morning. His hands remember being an elect
-rician, the order the wires crossed, knowledge stored some

-where in gray matter for a rainy day. But by some random
synapse, some short in the circuit, she is gone. As if someone

has taken a pink school eraser to his brain and blown every
last rubbery gray dust trace of her away into the wind. 57

years of secrets, sorrows, tomorrows shared - now sheared or
seared away by this thing and she is scared. She stares into

blue eyes that no longer know her, no longer light up when she
smiles, and touches the contours of her own face as if to verify

her own existence. Holds his translucent hand, tracing the
roadmap of veins and hoping one will lead him back to her.

(172 words)
de jackson
Thank you, Marie. Loved your little rhyme here, and your Moses postcard yesterday. :)
(13 words)
Linda Voit
I must send kudos to Daniel Paicopulos, Zeb, de Jackson, Mike Barzacchini, D. Gilson, Nikke Markle (unread book), Rachel Green, M.A. Dobson, ann (ancestor poem)and Maxie Steer.

Also, thanks for the smiles - Tilly Bud, Marie Elana, lian D. Kemp (MIA), Walt (of Waltless), and Mallora

And my favorites so far today: Robert's, Laura Hohlwein, Linda Goin (butterflies),Brian Slusher, & Joseph Harker

Glad everyone is here in this world.
(66 words)
de jackson
Thank you, Linda Voit. I loved yours, especially: "in moments less dramatic and no less deep."

(15 words)
Sara McNulty
Day 3 - Imagine The World Without You

Eight animals would have no home
Best friends would be minus one
With all the love I could have shown
Eight animals would have no home
My sister would grow up alone
Sarcasm would forfeit a champion
Eight animals would have no home
Best friends would be minus one.

(48 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan

Would still have,

A simple beautiful continuous aliveness!

Buds buried in darkness growing,
Expanding summer water flowing,
Aging falling leaves slowing,
Early accumulation of winter snowing,
Fires warming and glowing,
Young love blushes showing,
Children's curiosity developing and knowing.

Those children I knew wouldn't have realized,
Specialness through my eyes,
Or the fun of my surprise,

When they touched my heart again and again,
With each unique hug and grin,

Anything that rocked my heart with love,
In expressive joy and gratitude,
Or the attitude which embraced,
Life on high, rich and full,

Would not have come alive,
If I had not been here!

Because whatever brought out that deep treasure,
Of life and all its magic,
Was the connection to life itself!
And as Einstein showed us,
Whatever is observed,
Changes due to our observation of it!

So, a world without me,
Would not have known itself,
Because in those moments, big and small,
Where there is the presence of pure love,
When that real connection happens . . .

Our being here truly changes the world.

(155 words)
Joseph Harker
Thanks to MiskMask, Maxie, and Marie Elena!

shann: a powerful interpretation of the theme
Brian Slusher, MiskMask, Patricia: hauntingly beautiful, all three
Daniel P: wonderful tribute to the big ol' wheel of dharma
Barbara: beautiful images that you brought to life here
de: "21 Grams". Jeepers. And "Disremembered", doubly so... excellent stuff
Nancy: "Protest" is fantastic, with that combination of losing someone and choosing not to lose oneself
Walt: "Waltless" is wonderfully Zen. Can you hear me one-hand-clapping? ;)
Taylor: astonishing, as always
(75 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan
Walt . . . you are clearly "outta sight" on this one! :) And I think we can all see that without you here on this site . . . there would be such a wide gap that no one but you could fill!

Hats off to us ALL belonging here!!

We all have a place to fill on this page or any stage or this world wouldn't be the same . . . by any other name!

Much Love to all!

(78 words)
Rachel Z. Cornell
No updates since Arpril 3rd
this member has gone inactive

(11 words)
Walt Wojtanik


"I'm sorry, Mrs. Wojtanik".
Words of comfort meant to heal,
only to steal the lasting memories
that now will never come.

"I'm so sorry". Words to stab at
the heart and rendered her broken.
Twice in four years, toxemia her venom;
a powerful poison to suck her soul

from within. A boy. Another Handsome boy.
He was to be named Walter Joseph,
a tribute to her husband's father, Walter,
and her own immigrant patriarch, Jozef.

Her first born; her first stillborn,
Joseph Walter's life ended before it began
as well. A living hell for young parents
of promise and love; she almost went with him.

But after two successful live births,
another would-be child held hope,
but no one could have imagined the private
pain would reoccur. It was two days shy of her

own birthday. She felt the emptiness.
She felt the loss. And she felt more.
In nine months of anticipation, she had a sense;
an immense feeling of wonder this boy

provided. Potential and promise.
Her heart ached so. Words could not describe it.
Words were taken from her. Or maybe,
she had given her words for her son to use.

A chance to express what she could not say;
he would have shared with the world. An orator?
No, a composer. A poet. Yes. She had a sense.
He would have given his heart in metered rhyme.

His life would have been a living poem.
A poem of love for the mother that bore him,
and the father that could have taught him the beauty
of the art in which he could have excelled.

Now, people will never know, or grow in the
warmth of his heartfelt hearth of words.
They could never miss what they never had,
but she always will. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Wojtanik"

"I'm so sorry".

(265 words)
lizz huerta

the world without

after god bites off one spear of their five-pointed star
a nuclear family will hobble, stunned at the leaking light.

Sundays he who loved me will forgo sleeping late or awaken to a
dog-shitted rug, the L tattoo over his heart screaming loss.

strawberries will be eaten by less appreciative mouths.

on a prairie some nights there will be no one for he who lost me
to call and laugh with eleven fingers deep into the bourbon.

two sisters will have only one option for maid-of-honor
and argue over naming rights for imagined daughters.

books about dragons will have one less reader reading in secret.

in Svalbard a man documenting the end of ice will wonder
what shifted to incur a wrath of silence from an old friend.

February will be a knife to the uterus for one.

the dog will miss the plaintive confessions, the salt licked
from a face, the belly he dreamt against, pilfered carrots.


(147 words)
What does it mean 'avoid touching each other' ?

I love the 'likeable butterflies' thank you Linda Goin
I'm confused now - absolutely Michele Brenton

and thank you Linda Volt, Michelle Hed and Miskmask - I'm new to this cascade of poets on the net - I feel very welcome
(49 words)
Julia Stüber
Back again and hello from Germany!
My little one keeps me from posting regularly (and even reading), but I am astonished by the beauty of the poems in this PAD!

Here is my attempt for the day:

just a little piece
in this huge jigsaw
nothing more
nothing less

my absence would leave
only a small gap
nothing more
nothing less

but the pieces around the gap
might fell incomplete
nothing more
nothing less
(59 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan

Without me,
No experience or expression of life,
Would have been known,
Through time,
On my end,
With this life I have known.

None of this beauty or these moments would have been in this life or this life for others.

In the beginning,

Mom and Dad would not have had me as their first daughter,
My brother wouldn't have had me as his early buddy,
My younger sisters wouldn't have known me as their big sister.

In the middle,

My husband wouldn't have known me as his wife,
My children wouldn't have had me as their mother,
My work as a teacher would not have happened.
Beautiful friends would not have known my friendship,
Joy in the written word and learning about life would not have occurred.

In the end,

I wouldn't have known gratitude for having lived a life I was glad to have had on so many levels . . . not measured through anyone else's self.

Right Now . . .

I would not know the joy of all of you poets as you express who you are through words, feelings and thoughts that you, only you know . . . now.

Now and always . . .

I wouldn't have known me and the glory of life . . .

Through my own heart!

(197 words)
Sally Jadlow


My parents childless,
my husband with another.
Four children, thirteen grandchildren
never to be.
Empty pages, unwritten.
Books left undone.
Neighbors, friends, uncomforted.
Students untaught.
A choir, minus a member.
One less unique voice
to speak the truth.

(30 words)
Sally Jadlow
Wow, Walt!
(1 words)
Michelle Hed
Miskmask, Linda Goin and Marie Elena - thanks for the comments today, much appreciated. :)
(14 words)
Sara McNulty
Imagine The World Without You - 2

What would be
missing without me?
My heart of
could not flow, reach out, and chance
to spark a new flame.

(23 words)
Rachel Z. Cornell
Tertiary relationships
Followers and friends
I have never met

How would they know if I slipped away?

No updates since April 3rd
No comments
No post
or blog
this account has gone inactive
This member has
(34 words)
World Without End

How bereft Grandmother Rosie
If my two sons were not to be
Their charm, laughter,fun and tears
Entertained her in her waning years

Grandfather would have no shadow
Learning to fish and walk in meadow
His trips to ocean to watch for whales
No listening to chatter of grandson's tales

So thankful that I came to be
For my offspring and for thee
God has a plan and purpose you see
Home with our family for eternity

(67 words)
Rob Halpin

If a giant number two went back
and erased me from the scene
of life, would I have been missed?
I never had a lot of friends
growing up -because we moved
a lot and I'm a bit introverted,
but as I got older my friendships
were much deeper and I've helped
a number of them through some rough
times. I've coached a lot of kids
in soccer and hopefully helped
instill some discipline, respect,
sense of fair play, and love for
The Beautiful Game. Moving forward,
I hope to be a source for enjoyment
and, potentially, inspiration and
escape from the mundane by authoring
stories that people will read and
pass on. All things pale, though,
when compared to my biggest role
in life: father. Had I not existed,
the world would be bereft of my
children who are gifted and open
and caring. Had I not existed,
the world would not have them,
and that would be a loss...
They are my legacy.
(142 words)
RJ Clarken
Some amazing stuff here, gang! I've been gone all day and just got back, so I'll read & post some comments in just a bit. (Only got to scan things earlier - and then there weren't so many posts!)
(39 words)
Margot Suydam
Head Turned

Only for a minute
She reached for talcum
powder or a safety pin
a young mother without
enough experience to know
that babies can wriggle
and roll in an instant
The gravity, the floor
could have taken me
And sent her back
to another lost world
a sacrfice breaking
her heart already
(43 words)
Marie Elena
"Sarcasm would forfeit a champion" This line made me giggle, Sara. =)

Thanks much, Linda and De!

Walt, Stillborn took my breath away.
(20 words)
Robert, amazing and gripping poem! :) There are always literal and figurative scars that mean a lot to each of us, if not at times, define us.
(26 words)

The World Without Me

There are (here and there, I suppose)
a (vast, I hope) number of
someones, grateful for
(a card, clipping, letter, laugh,
poem, story, giggle, gift)
something (serious or silly)
I said (or did, or gave).

But, elsewhere, there are
others (no doubt)
who worry their wounds (unforgotten),
unforgiving, carrying anger,
over words and deeds,
authored by me,
(both intentionally, and un-).

So, when my days are done,
there likely will be some who'll mourn,
and others who'll rejoice;
(though I confess to you: I am hoping for more
of the former and less of the latter).

Still, if you intend to tally a balance sheet
(polling pluses and marking minuses) to determine
whether the world is better off (or worse) without me,
I reckon (it's best that)
I may never know.

(126 words)
Gretchen Gersh Whitman
PAD 2011- April 3
Prompt: Imagine the world without you

Missing Piece

I used to worry
what would happen if
I were not around.

No one would ask,
"Do you want more gravy?"
after you say, "No,"
as generations have,
& pour it anyway.

Then I realized everyone
would carry on as usual.
The secret ingredient for
'mensch' was in the chicken soup.

Gretchen Gersh Whitman
(55 words)
MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick
Undomesticated Scenery

tipple-topple the silver pan-lids are
clashing cymbals clattering to
the floor, the
milk scorched into a honeycomb
adhering to the bottom of a
pot, while the
dustmice slowly grow, fat and grey,
and four, no, six loads
of laundry sit, obdurate, waiting to be done,
the nose, unwiped, went off
to school, the telephone
rings with news of the
latest accident, but she is
not here to hear it
(58 words)
Cara Holman
what if

if my mom
hadn't met my dad
i'd be the child
that they never had

or if they had kids
but stopped at three
my life as i know it
simply wouldn't be

so all in all
i just have to say
i'm glad they had me
and i'm here today
(40 words)
Angel Mother
(In Memory of my Beloved Mom)
I have a special angel
She's a messenger to me
Although she isn't by my side
Her spirit will always be
I know she's there to guide me
When I feel the most alone
When I doubt if I can really
Really do this on my own
I know that all it takes
Is to simply close my eyes
And ask my special angel
Because I know she's wise
She whispers softly to my heart
With words so sweet and true
The ones Mom used to say to me
I believe in you
I hope that when it's my time
To leave my life on Earth
My legacy is like my Mom's
So my children know their worth

(104 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

World Without Me

If there was no me...
What a catastrophe!!!
My poems wouldn't have been born,
they wouldn't have seen the sun.
There is a reason I came to be:
The world can use more poetry!

(c) jh 4/3/11

Walt: Waltless: Brilliant!

(34 words)
Jerry Walraven
Debra, Michelle, Maxie and Marie, thank you for the kind words.

Marie, you may always call me Chev and, honestly, I wonder if I should have switched.

Some of what touched me today:

Walt's Stillborn
Janet Rice Carnahan
De Jackson's Disremembered
Michele Brenton/banana I'm Confused now
Linda Voit
Maxie - "mashing together a bolus of English and Spanish" wonderful
Joseph Harker

And here's a quick one:

"For Marie's in the World"

Like the proverbial flap of a butterfly's wings
causing a storm on the other side of the world,
the small storm of kindness you started
had greater effect
than you will ever know
as I can call you friend
and not feel that it is a lie.
--Chev Shire
(102 words)
Stephen S Whitaker
When asked what would happen if I ceased to be

Dust would gather still in corners under beds,
someone would feed the children, they are to pesky
to be ignored, and cute, and rabbits would go on
fucking and grass would gather in thick islands.
The family car would grow fuzzy and sticky with refuse,
and without my balancing voice another would rise up
and take my place in the loft, to sing on either send
of my middle range. Someone would arrive to manage
the classroom, the bills, the chores, the stanzas,
and lines. The stars would go out when they go out,
and the ocean would still roll back cans
and bones, ribbons of grass. Lovers would kiss
under the dark, meetings would go on, and smokers
would continue to smoke, promising tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.
(123 words)
Laurie granieri
JERRY: To Be Opened Upon My Death

All the papers are in order, tucked into the gray metal box beneath our bed.
The key is hidden in my jewelry box, somewhere amid stray shirt buttons and earring backs, but it's there.

In about two years, you will want to make sure my sister gives Amy The Talk.
Knowing Amy, she'll have heard it all from Ashlee (have you seen her mom's neck tattoo? Never mind, I don't want to know), but I want to avoid misinformation. Amy needs to know that just because she's bleeding doesn't mean she's hurt. Make sure you give her my good diamond earrings and my Springsteen shirt once she turns 16; she'll appreciate that.

Don't forget about David. It's so easy to forget about David because he's so easy-going. David is getting so big--taller than me!--but in so many ways he's still just a baby. Don't expect him to take on all the cooking just because he will. And don't worry if he spends a lot of time playing basketball; that's just how he figures things out. Don't, under any circumstance, ask him how he "feels"; I've learned the hard way that he hates that. Well, you know that. He's you--inside and out.

Before I forget: Try to feed LuLu the good stuff; I worry about what they're putting into supermarket cat food these days, and the last thing you need is a huge vet bill because she's got a bowel obstruction. You've got enough cans to last you three months. Don't let LuLu bully you into feeding her a full can; she never finishes it anyway.

I think that's all. I canceled my gym membership, but check to be sure they don't keep charging the Visa.

Oh, and Jerry, don't miss me too much. I mean, miss me. Cry--cry buckets. But then think about my chubby toes and laugh. Because I loved you from our second date. I loved your long fingers, the square cut of your nails. I was always weak for a man with good hands, and honey, you've got 'em.

(341 words)
Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea
A mulligan

An empty bassinet sits
in a pink and yellow room.
Drawn curtains shield a figure
rocking away grief.

I wasn't ready for her.

This would make it easier now.
There would be no need to abandon
the blue collar life her husband
carved out with his blistered hands.
No reason to abandon her
after fifteen years.

She can finish her degree now.
She can try again years later
for a brighter child,
not shrouded by black fingernails and hair.

Breathe a sigh of relief, mother.

(70 words)
How does one stay in the present moment when
Now slides so easily under the door
Replaced with moments so large they must be
Real despite the supposed distance they might have traveled.

How can the one moment of Now compare to the
Relentless line of Nows waiting to take its turn

And what of moments lived when
Now is forgotten even as it occurs
Where do those moments go once their time is done

What is the point of being Here
If Then will not be remembered

(77 words)
Linda Goin
de, Marie, Linda V, Zeb -- thanks!

Zeb -- I could feel those feet on my belly. Ack! LOL! nice. I haven't read Michele Brenton.
MiskMask -- not a bad thing to re-remember! Tons of poetry about photographs, all different, all igniting different memories.
Joseph Harker -- good to see you again. As always, enamored of you and your poetry. Thanks.
My absolute favorite today is D. Gilson's "When I am born, My Mother Asks My Father to Sell His Motorcycle
But, de's "Disremembered," Linda V's "The world without me," Daniel Paicopulos' "These Are A Few of My Favorite Things" and Walt's "Waltless" are divine as well!

(101 words)
Karen Legg
Negative Space

In the vast field of orange poppies,
patches of green show through.
In the great blue of summer sky
the lack of cloud,
the blank page at the end of the book.

Look across mirrored evening waters
one thin line of darkness
mars the surface.
Listen to the giggle of girls in the schoolyard
imagine the giggle increased
by one voice.

(58 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

If I hadn't been born...

F_riends reassure me it was
E_thanol consumption that shortened your
L_ife, and yet, the guilt of my involvement
I_n your sudden demise interrupts my sleep.
P_roblem is, tears won't bring you back, and I have all
E_ternity to remind me.

(c) jh 4/3/11

(41 words)
Sheryl Kay Oder
This time I needed some ideas, and boy did you have some. Waltless describes the ideas in my head. Of course, he created a blank poem out of it all--such a wonderful idea!

RJ, get that tongue out of your cheek! This world would be so boring without such silly stuff. Brian S, I loved the pensiveness of your poem. JSP, such a great description of the hole that would have been in your parent's lives had your presence not been there to cheer them. Tilly, how clever. Laura, I loved those last two lines, : A world without me/is not this one. Marie Elena, funny.

If I get a halfway decent idea, I will be back. Otherwise consider this day Sheryless.

(120 words)
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Artists Paused

She was eighteen and would have started college
or slung her camera on her shoulder, her beret
on her head and traveled the world, smiling in
that bright white flash she had
He was nineteen and would have finished college or
walked from his parents' home and business, rolled canvas
under his arm, paints and black tee shirts in his duffle
he'd smoke in the perfect light of Paris or Tuscanny
scented with turpentine
She would pause one day in the darkroom
and he stop midstroke and smile in fleeting thought
of each other and the innocents they had been
before they journeyed, afar, alone, abroad
their passion ignited and alive in their work
Not their child

(109 words)
Karla Okala
Not crazy about this one, but at least I'm writing!

The Daughter

For years I tried to make him
want me to be part of his world,
but there was, at some point,
a test I failed that made him erase me
rather than try to fill me in.
Though he has always been there
the biggest memory I have is of his absence--
and silence without end.
(58 words)
Nancy J

Would the World Be Different Without Me?

Probably not,
and that is my shame,
greeting each dawn with a list of demands,
"Here's what I need from you today, World."
I should be waking up with a prayer of
thanks on my lips and a compassionate,
"How can I help?"
Maybe tomorrow.

(48 words)
Chuck Puckett
Being Not Here

Had my eyes shut tight
Had my ears plugged up
I was bound and gagged
I was nothing
Could not touch the world
Every door was shut
Every sense was dead
I was waiting
If there was someone outside
Didn't know it
Some reason to have cried
Didn't show it
Whether I lived or died
Didn't change the human tide
It just kept on flowing

Then a crack appeared
In the borderline
Just enough to see
I could get through
And so I slipped inside
And I viewed the world
And the word viewed me
Like a mirror
My fingerprint was clear
I could see it
I could taste and I could hear
I could feel it
I must have always lived and died
I can't retract the life that I'd
Just supposed that I'd denied
And the ceaseless human tide
Is filled with Being

(c) 2011 Chuck Puckett
(119 words)
Lani Jo Leigh
Without Me

Without me
gravity still keeps the earth
in orbit around the sun;
waves break on Oregon's shores.
Without me a million or more
wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti,
wars are lost in the name of god.

But you,

you would have drowned in the Arkansas River,
you would have never gone to Albuquerque,
you would not live and teach in Massachusetts,
you would not know your multiplication tables,
you would not have traveled to Ushuaia,
you would not have joined the Air Force,
you might have stopped drinking,
you might still be alive.

You would have gone to Alaska and
your seed would have fruited in less barren soil,
you would have been more lonely,
you would have looked elsewhere for answers,
you would have found someone else to blame,
you would have found another heart to break.

And you and you and you and you and you and you,
you would have taken a different unfamiliar form
freed from my identifying strands.

But without me wind still ripples grass on plains.
When lighting strikes it makes a sound.
(154 words)
Julie Hayes
I have often thought about this. Here's my post for today:

The Decision

The news is not good, dire in fact
And a decision has to be made
Is she really ready to become a mother
At such a young age?
The child was an accident, afterall
And the reason she had to get married.
Is this truly God's will or do I get to choose?

The decision has to be made very soon
Whether to save this unborn child or not.
The young mother is at a crossroads
And can't seem to make this decision easily.
The doctor explains that this new drug
Will stop her from losing this child.
The question is, does she really want it.

The decision is made to take the injection
And pray that God will see her through.
But what if that decision was not made?
My life would not exist as it does today.
Did the young mother make the right decision
That fateful day all those years ago?
I'd like to think so, because she is my mother.

(155 words)
Paula Wanken
would it have mattered?

"it's a girl"
said the messenger
to the dad
in the waiting room

not the boy they'd
been expecting

another daughter

not Kevin Paul
as they had planned

but what if I had been?

there would have been
one less daughter
one less sister
one less granddaughter
one less niece

would it have mattered?

2011-04-03 5:45 p.m.
P. Wanken


(44 words)
Anders Bylund
I Wasn't There

She dropped by today --
Just to touch base
Years gone by, old friends don't die --
But I wasn't there.

She thought of me today --
Just a fleeting muse
Searching for an inspiration, a familiar sensation --
But I wasn't there.

She forgot me today --
Just a lost connection
Nothing to see, move along, move along --
'Cause I was never there.
(55 words)
Genevieve Fitzgerald
You want to eat your art
To make as bread and butter
What consumes you

And since you eat what eats
At you, I model for a
World without me

(26 words)
Were I to surreptitiously yank my
single thread from the countless tapestries
I have woven myself and been woven into,
minute yet essential details would be
ripped away.

From a distance, the pattern
would seem exquisite, even perfect,
and as a collector you might spot it
in a gallery, pay the pittance
and greedily sneak it home.
But your heart would implode with dismay
to discover irreparable gaps, with no way
to determine what was, or might have been.

It is like that, each of us
the secret ingredient in every situation
and all situations arising thereof, our vacancy
indiscernable from afar, yet
more catastrophic with each closer step.
(91 words)
Cresta McGowan
Without Me, It Wouldn't be You

Standing, a boy, not yet a man
Olive drab dripping from his arms
in the rain, in the forest
in the cold.

What was that noise?
Brush bustling, breaking
slipping down the side of the ravine
knowing, but not knowing
where the bottom lies.

Stopped. Hard. Crack.
An ankle, snapped in the dark...
They will come for him,
pull him out of the test
to be all that he can be.

Surrender him to the wagon
pulled from the trenches of silence
so loud it's deafening
all for an enlisted enlistments.

No stripes of gold,
no air pushing him up, down
around the side of a greater goal
reaching only for what he needs
not what he wants.

Single, solitary, safe.
If not in body, but in mind and heart
knowing his life is what he owns
obligations to no one else,
sounds so sweet in the night.

Until the loneliness engulfs him,
pulling him under the emptiness
that does not hold her face, see her smile
hear the laugh of their child.
(146 words)
Kit Cooley
Some beautiful work here, folks. I had some difficulty with getting in the right mindset for the prompt, but this is what came out.

Who's There?

Sometimes when a certain slant of light
hits that big stone, and lights the moss,
a brilliant shade of green,
or when the breeze seems to linger,
a hand caressing a tired forehead,
and causing ripples on still water,
or birds take flight, voicing complaints,
disturbed by no one;

shucked of flesh and bone,
this spirit permeates
all and none.

(73 words)

Memorial Day,
I was the last of
those entrusted with
ancient traditions
and rites attendant
to preservation
of rich histories.
Last of the line's passed.
No one left to mourn.
Ancestors' graves bare.
Urns glutted with dry,
gray plant skeletons.
No geraniums.
No spikes, vinca vines.
No plaques, and no flags.
No one remembers.

(43 words)
de jackson
Thank you, Linda Goin. :)

Gracias to Jerry Walraven (Chev). I loved yours, especially the last line. I have a little girl and could picture it. Also, I'm a Philip K. Dick fan, too.

Thank you, Joseph Harker. I was waiting to say kudos for Jessica until I could choose a favorite line but have given up. All too good.
(59 words)
Sheryl Kay Oder
I Wonder

What if they had no friend
whose long, furry coat gave
her the nickname Bear Rug?

What if there were no daughter
to elicit a squeal as she grabbed
a nonexistent Mother from behind?

What if no one were there to
write silliness about a wedding
miscue or a grocery store mishap?

Who would help her now-not-hubby
to look carefully enough to
find something in the fridge?

Who would help her not-a-mother
watch her step, fix her tea, or
put drops in her eyes?

I wonder.
Don't you?

Sheryl Kay Oder

(83 words)
Marie Elena
More favorites from Willy, Kit, Anders, Laurie, PSC, Lisa, and Julie.

"Sheryless" makes me giggle. You're so cute!

Jacqueline: Tearing up. Bless your heart.

Chev: Thank you, my friend, though I'm at a loss to know what kindness you are referring to. You've intrigued and humbled me ... and made me smile.

(48 words)
Karma Boogie

It's said the farmer took a wife
and lived a long and happy life;
they had no kids, at any rate;
I guess it's time to celebrate.

The artist found a calmer muse,
who allowed his nightly booze.
He took her for cook, maid, and mate;
I guess it's time to celebrate.

Diabetics shouldn't drink;
He'd be buried now, I think,
if no one cared what he drank or ate,
hardly reason to celebrate.

Without my eggs, my DNA,
three special lives are willed away -
siblings who share a genius trait,
again we can't celebrate.

The ogre bachelor for twenty and five,
without love, would you be alive?
Together we have cheated Fate.
Now is the time to celebrate.

(101 words)
Sans Moi:
Sans moi, my brother would lack a sister.
My parents, a daughter,
My grandparents, a grandchild.
A cousin, a niece.

Sans moi, my teachers would miss a pupil,
One eager to learn,
One who asks question upon question
And brightens their day.

Sans moi, my town would be the same,
My province unchanged,
My country indifferent,
The world still revolving.

But those who would have known me
Would regret losing me,
But would they miss what they never had?

Sans moi.

(67 words)
Sandra Robinson
Here or not Here?

Raised in the "children should be seen but not heard era"
I often felt invisible, unnoticed, ethereal;
a sensitive, observant soul,with many whispered shouts.
Sneaking toward, then running from, the spotlight.
But I see some small needs and, very quietly,provide the saucer for the cup; the laughter that briefly cracks the pain,
the assist for the winning shot.
Armed with an open, easy smile and childlike trust in happiness.
The indispensible sidekick to heroine's rise.

(71 words)
Kendall A. Bell
Something of a life

Extract the snowstorm from the equation
and the entire conception would be
null and void.

Or switch the chromosomes and then
I would have been Laura Jean,
most likely not living in South Jersey,
and quite possibly not a poet.

Or maybe I would have ended up like
my sister Melanie:
a life not carried to term.

Instead, I stare at the pieces of my parents.

The red hair, edged with white.
The softly paling blue eyes.
The freckles that consume my shoulders.

Lie in darkness with eyes closed
and wonder what it is that has
kept you here.

(85 words)
Kendall A. Bell
Ms. LaBrea...dark and lovely. Am very glad you've decided to share this year. ;)
(13 words)
Sandra Robinson
I just posted at 8:20pm on April 3rd, but the time on the posts are reading Monday, April 4th?? Just wondering.
(20 words)
Michael Grove
MY 1st RESPONSE - dENY THE POSSIBILITY (Great Prompt 4 poems so far)

A Bump on the Head

A bump on the head
to wake the dead.
Their backs were turned around.
They couldn't see,
and didn't hear,
But still, the truth was found.

To dwell on the unlikely
is folly here, at best.
All things take place.
Don't torture me with test.

by Michael Grove

(54 words)
Michael Grove


Jake and I like baseball.
Have since we were pups.
But would he if I hadn't been?
Who'd yell, "Batter Up"?

The wind-up started, ball dropped.
The umpire called a balk.
So Jake did not know baseball.
Another took him for his walk.

Had the first pitch been thrown out?
Or, did he take the ball and go?
Jake never got a baseball.
He did not catch and could not throw.

No one pitched the winning game.
No one hit the long home run.
No one even stole a base.
No one lost and no one won.

By Michael Grove

(92 words)
Sarah Joyce Bryant

Energy floats in pristine crystal
sky, rests on soft succulent clouds,
waits on sparkling diamonds and
their black velvet playground.

Energy replicates rapidly
cell by cell floats through pure
warm ocean pulsating perfection
builds tidal waves of love

push, push, push



Energy solid flesh, bone,
blood, breathes freely, fresh
spring air rains white petals,
lies in cool soil, grounded.

Energy slows rapidly sinks
through rotted roots carried
by rushing river to surging sea
ascends toward pristine crystal sky.
(67 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

Sandra, it always does that, have no clue why. It is 8:42 pm. here in Jersey.

Thanks, Marie. C=

I wasn't there (a true story that didn't happen yesterday because I wasn't born) <=

Teen from
hell walks into Barnes
& Noble and cuts the cheese
Good thing I wasn't sitting on the floor
reading a book, or else, I would've been his target

(c) jh 4/3/11 8:43 pm.
(63 words)
Michael Grove

A Nut

A nut
on a thread
of the post
holding a gear
in a clock
on a shelf
in a room
of a mansion
at the end of the road
on a hill far away
can be replaced
by a nut.

BY Michael Grove

(46 words)
Katrelya Angus

Eowyn the valiant princess
Did not destroy the Ring of Power -
Nor did she ascend to any throne,
Yet she decapitated the Nazgul
And the Captain of the Nazgul
Because that was Tolkien's will.
Eowyn was, and did,
Exactly what Tolkien wanted for her.

A world without me is likewise,
For God created me,
Just as Tolkien created Eowyn-
May I be and do
Exactly what God wants for me.

(63 words)
Stephanie Barbe Hammer
octosyllabics on why it's not so bad to have me around

well it's quieter -- that's for sure.
better sighted, smaller nosed -- yup.
less agonized? nope -- i'm a drop
in the agony ocean. i
can't say i make the world better--
without me less hijinks, less french,
less german, less fairy-tales, most
certainly less coffee. no wine.
(52 words)
Robin Morris
April 3 "the world without me"

The pole that holds the bird feeder
would not have been stuck into the hillock
behind this house, nor the birdbath
bought and filled. So the jays
would have flown by,
far overhead, never squawking
about some paradise sprung up below.

When snowdrifts shortened the distance
to the feeder by a good two feet,
the squirrels learned it was possible
to achieve nourishing bliss.
They have not forgotten the lesson
though the snow has melted
and they leap, impossibly high, to devour.
This discovery of their potential
would not have been made,
a loss to squirrels everywhere.
Who says I don't matter.

(102 words)
Rebekah Ford
Light Preserver

In a world without me,
no one would have seen
the way the light struck
the petals of the mum
preserved in the picture
hanging above my bed.
(23 words)
Jo Lightfoot


I leave my body nightly
as a bookmark, then check out.

On my return, I always find it
moved to a further page.

This is a mystery;
read into it what you will.

(29 words)
Michael Grove

Bare Feet

The squirrel lived, the dog did not,
A brother then in hand.
No more birthday cake is served.
No footprints in the sand.

Aggressors find a target.
Newspapers get delivered.
An empty space unnoticed.
Arrows remain quivered.

The seven virtues written
By clearer voice unspoken.
This bread and cup of life
for all remained unbroken.

The boy, a man of thirty-three
Goes down at twelve, alas.
As no one else could dive as deep.
To drag from the abyss.

The students at the college.
Still learned the basic thought.
But missed the subtle nuances.
As in the way I taught.

The homes were built by someone else
Designed with different taste.
And less concern for energy.
And in much greater haste.

For clients seeking mortgages,
The loans would still have closed.
perhaps with higher interest rates,
and greater fees imposed.

And readers seeking poetry
Would handle things just fine.
Those shoes would still be filled with feet.
Just not a bare as mine.

by Michael Grove
(145 words)
RJ Clarken
Okay - first - thanks for the nice words, you guys! (Blush!)

Second - I got a chance to read some of the poems finally. (About 1/3 of the way down.) There will be more to say, but some favorites are:

Joseph H - Jessica, Zeb - Duckling Walks, Brian - Absence Makes the Heart, MiskMask - We Hoped to Never Forget, Laura H - The World Without Me, Nikki M - The Death of the US Postal Service, Tilly bud - It Might Have Been a Wonderful Write. Pearl, Laurie, Michelle, Marian, de, Marie Elena, Walt - you never disappoint!

Robert - this was a superb poem and a thoughtful, interesting prompt. Thanks.

I'll try to read through more after the kidlets go to be.

Thanks for the inspiration. There really is some amazing poetry here today.

(132 words)
Without me

Life goes on
Students still learn
Teachers still teach
Friends still laugh
Dogs still bark
Flowers still grow
But the world spins
with a little less sparkle
and a little less light
and the music of one voice
hangs forever in the void of the universe
(36 words)
Judy Roney
This Life

What if I hadn't been born?
My husband would have found
another wife, better or worse suited.
He would have done fine
because he is the person he is.

My children wouldn't have been born.
They would never fret, worry, or grieve.
They wouldn't have known existence,
it wouldn't hurt them not to be here.

My friends would tighten their circle
because I wouldn't be there, they wouldn't
feel an absence, their circle would feel
as complete and their friendships as strong.

I'd like to believe that while I'm here I make
a difference. That my husband believes
I'm am the love of his life and he can't imagine
his life without me. My daughters would
feel incomplete without me now no matter
how old they are when I leave this earth. My son
believed I was the best mom and no one loved
him like I did, He was right. When he died
he would not have a mother to grieve for him
the way I did, the way I have, the way I do.

My friends would be sad without me as I would
be without them. Our circle would be incomplete
with one of us gone, if I weren't there. No one
would take the place of me, or them. I'd like
to think they would smile when they thought of me
because I made them happy in some ways.

I like to believe that since I'm here, I make
a difference.That lives are better incrementally
and sometimes monumentally in family and friends.
I want to make some laugh from time to time,give
out gifts of smiles, a kind word, support or
acceptance to each person I come into contact
with. This life is short. I want to be diligent.
(268 words)
Richard-Merlin Atwater
The Man Who Never Existed
(C) Richard-Merlin Atwater April 3, 2011

Call him "The Shadow" or one from within "The Twilight Zone",
Or "The Whisperer", or the man who never gave his dog a bone,
Call him what you will, it really doesn't matter to little old me,
For as they say "Absence makes the heart... something never to be."

I'd say on October 6, 1946 Richard-Merlin Atwater was never born,
That little bouncing baby boy for Mom and Dad was nothing to forlorn,
Because he never came as planned, he's the man who never existed,
All those successes, all those problems, all the good and bads twisted

Into nothingness, no sibling rivalry with him among the other eleven,
He never made it down to earth, hence he must still be up in heaven!
Sitting on a lonely cloud, playing on a harp, wondering what Earthlings
Think about, since he is not around to challenge their strange flings

Into political debate, and religious philosophy, or poetic incongruity
On that thing called Poetic Asides, when lyrical bards try to be free
In their writing ability to provocate the Holy See and insinuation clues
About Protestant views, or why Muslims wear sandals instead of shoes.

Perhaps the Jews know why and when, and what for ever we were born,
But this little Mormon boy never existed, so his head was never shorn
At basic military training camp because he never had a head to shave,
And he never died in Vietnam because he had no body to put in the grave.

His military officer rank as "Major" was taken away I heard it truly said:
"You can't promote a guy to anything if he never lived to duly shed
Some light on truth, or happen stance opinion too, about ANYTHING",
Because he's the man who never existed, he never got to swing upon a swing

To meet that girl who never became his wife, since she never saw him at all,
And that little baby girl they had---she never was a doll, to them, never grew tall,
In fact, she was never born and you know why it couldn't be--because of 'birds and bees'
And all that fancy stuff we know about philosophically floating in the breeze of trees.

I heard it said by some that Richard-Merlin Atwater never composed a song, ever,
But I know for sure that such is NOT true because I heard from his harp so clever,
An angels tune from up above on one cloudy day as he wisped by the astronauts,
And began to sing and play a nice pop-rock song simply called ASTRO-ROCK!

They tried to make me believe that he, YES he, old Obi-wan himself never did--
Wave a magic wand, but "by Merlin's chin" I know it's true, you stupid fool, I bid
You know the truth about that very FACT, King Arthur told me so, so thus I KNOW.
A magic wand indeed he often waved it like the flag, you crazy hag, you old crow.

Don't tell me what Richard-Merlin Atwater didn't do, until you walk a mile in his shoe,
Oops, sorry, I apologize profusely in sincerity my dear, I'm the man who never existed too,
I KNOW that Richard-Merlin Atwater never did exist, except to do the Chubby Checker twist!
But how on earth can you find his shoes to KNOW, since he had no body, no spirit, get the gist?

Poet's Note: There really was a composer who composed ASTRO-ROCK (also the name title of the music CD album) available on www.3swanspublishers.com, along with 13 published books--but don't tell ANYBODY about it--because Richard-Merlin Atwater doesn't even exist at all. End of controversy! The band "Rich Atwater & the Astronauts" is now defunct (a little rain cloud did them in), so there is plans for a resurrection of a new solo artist later this year. DOes anyone wish to harmonize---with a ghost! I need a lady to do a duet with me on my song: "A Man And A Woman In Love", and my latest composition "Mystic Romance on the Nile" as a music video! But remember: I DON'T EXIST--so it's TOP SECRET

(655 words)
tara s.
The world with me or without me

I held a candle to life
And walked round and round:
A world that was never mine
I never held that joy in the sky
Never loved a man in all the wrong places
Never failed, day after day
To be anything more than I am
I held a candle to the world and found:
The world with me, or without me, to be the same.

(64 words)
Janet Rice Carnahan
Yes, Pearl Girl . . . We'll be dancing on the white sand . . . that we understand! Thanks for Haiku (bless you) comment! Love your work as always!

YEAH! Sweet Hannah is back. Life is good!

Sparkles to you, Marie Elena!

You know, Chev . . . I was really starting to like Jerry! Knowing you're one in the same works for me! Thank you for the acknowledgement today. By any other name, you are appreciated!


Cara Holman

Yes, "what if", indeed. I am glad you are here today too. Enjoyed your poem of how things wouldn't have been if they hadn't been. It makes for an interesting view of our life to consider what came before to make it what it is today. You did that in a heartbeat, with your upbeat poem. Thank Goodness for the heart beat! Makes being here ever so easier! Good job, Cara.


I think you expressed yourself so clearly and succinctly in your poem, "The World Without Me." It was an in depth portrayal of a profound thought that mirrored a great honesty. A very human set of questions about living, dying and the in between choices during a life! In the end, yes, how will we really know the impact we have had on those who spent our life with us and those whose lives we touched only briefly. Great poem, PSC! Nicely done!


In "World Without End" you make a great point about God's plan and purpose. Easy to forget the big picture and not realize there could be other reasons we are here. I love your title because of the reminder that the world doesn't end, whether we are here or not. The idea of being home with our "family for eternity" is a beautiful concept in terms of love and connection. Thanks for the reminders, Ideurmeyer.

Sally Jadlow

I am missing you already and you are already and still here! I loved your poem, "The World Without Me". It was moving, touching and poignantly true. Seeing you in all those places and roles, bringing through your own sense of Sally was like watching a movie of your life. Almost as if without you, all those places would have fallen down or not been. Given they supported so many others, that would have truly been a loss. Same with anything without your unique expression! Your voice of truth is very valued, Sally. Beautiful poem!

Kit Cooley

Your poem, "Who's There" had quite a presence. I love how you took still moments and brought them to life and highlighted them as you reflected the spirit in all of life. Remembering that spirit lives on in our life and without our life is life itself. Your poem brought that reality forward in a beautiful way, Kit. Great job!


Your poem today was "a cut above the rest" in terms of meaning and the reality of it. Scars do remind us of why we are here. Way to appreciate that some of our greatest lessons come in small packages, showing we have definitely lived. Most poignant and easy for us all to relate to, and dare I say, "face"!

Great prompt today! Thanks to all of you for all the unique perspectives. Marvelous!

(534 words)
Connie Lard
Without Me

Without me
There would be only the sound
Of one hand clapping.

Without me
There would be only you
(15 words)
Katie Dixon
As someone who encounters those who may consider the idea of a world without them a little too closely, I have written my poem to those who need to know they have a place in this world. I'm not really happy with it quite yet. Still some thinking, revising to go. But here's what I've got:

You watch yourself fade away,
Slowly being washed of any color,
edges becoming blurred.

Pop! and sizzle.
Like a firework, you
bring a surge of fearsome
energy into your being.
Only to watch yourself fall
and fade again.

You may not see us but we are
here behind you, propping you
up and out and around.

Your feet are making footprints.
Plant yourself firmly in them.
As waves crash upon the shore,
they will not fade away. Instead
they will deepen as you
hold your ground.

(125 words)
Katrin Talbot
Prompt: the world without me: April 3, 2011

If I weren't there,
sucking up chroma like a shop vac,
the world might have a slightly duller hue

There would be fewer threes and
more mantles with two candlesticks,
gardens with rows of eight

More peanut butter and honey would be
available to feed the undernourished
and Speedo(c) might have to apply for bankruptcy

And my twin sister would know a life without me

Would her hand ache, not holding mine?
Her heart sting with its solo beat?
Or would she have watched our word twin
dissolve in our ocean,
until she breathed only for herself
and the beach revealed her storyline in
a single strand of footprints?

(102 words)
Katrin Talbot
Prompt: the world without me: April 3, 2011

If I weren't there,
sucking up chroma like a shop vac,
the world might have a slightly duller hue

There would be fewer threes and
more mantles with two candlesticks,
gardens with rows of eight

More peanut butter and honey would be
available to feed the undernourished
and Speedo(c) might have to apply for bankruptcy

And my twin sister would know a life without me

Would her hand ache, not holding mine?
Her heart sting with its solo beat?
Or would she have watched our word twin
dissolve in our ocean,
until she breathed only for herself
and the beach revealed her storyline in
a single strand of footprints?

(102 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

I don't exist (not yet)

Life is short and I'M SO TALL, I do not fit in it
so I'm holding back on being born
until it gets larger and
makes some room
for me

(c) jh 4/3/11 9:30 pm.

(36 words)
J McNamara
A Place between, earth and heaven,
where weighty decisions are made,
with, book of life, within our grasp
to not loose, this final crusade.
(20 words)
Connie L. Peters
If I Never Existed

my dad would have gotten
more squirrels and rabbits
the hunting season of '58.
My mom, without a fourth child,
would have had more time to paint,
and when the surprise baby came
nine years later, instead of six, Mom
would have been even more surprised.
The Shannon family would have fit
around the kitchen table better.

My sisters would have fought less,
mowed more grass, had less fun,
and would have wondered why
no one in the family had brown eyes
like my mother. They would have
never known the thumping on the porch
was a beagle on a rocking chair
because they were too scared to go out.
And they would have missed laughing
at me being afraid of the "Muffler Dragon."

Four sisters would have one less life-long friend.
The littlest would have had no one to spy on
and no opportunity to steal a diary.
A guy or two's first kisses would be delayed,
there'd be 2,500 less poems written, and
at least two people would probably be dead
if I hadn't prayed. A Cheyenne man would
have been bored the summer of '77. But worst
of all Lori and Eli wouldn't exist which means
less laughter, intelligence, and TLC in the world.

(193 words)
Tracie N.

Moms & Daughters

Without her it's possible
I never would have been.
Without me, you might not exist;
women and our magical wombs.
Together, we form family --
mother and daughter,
daughter and grandmother.
Bonds of womanhood
never would have happened
had she not had her
and her had not had she.
I am part of her;
you are part of me.
Our circle never ends;
even if you should have a he,
we'll still all be connected
on the family tree.
(68 words)
de jackson
Robert, your poem reminds me of a favorite line from a GooGoo Dolls song (Name): "scars are souvenirs you never lose...the past is never far."
(24 words)
Katrin, I love your Speedo and peanut butter and honey observations! I started some calculations as to the impact on the feminine hygiene product vendors then got too depressed and gave it up!!! :)
(33 words)
Bruce Niedt
Wonderful Life

Yes, I liked that movie too,
even if I don't buy all that stuff
about bells ringing and angels' wings.
Nor, for that matter, can I subscribe
entirely to the idea that the world
would be a terrible place without me.
If you pulled me out of the picture
the hole I left in the universe would
just fill in, sucking up the void
like oatmeal or quicksand.
Some other kid would sit at my desk
at school; my wife would marry
some other guy, whom I hope
would treat her right, and maybe
she'd still have three kids.
Someone else would do my job
at least as well as me, offering years
of service with little real thanks.
It would still snow in winter,
got hot in summer. People would
be born; people would die. The earth
would still tilt and spin the same way
it always has, and the sun would still
be ninety-three million miles away.
The only thing for sure is that without me
you wouldn't be reading this poem.

(155 words)
Marie Elena
Michael Grove: I'm likin' your stuff. Great sense of rhythm and flow, creativity, timing ... the whole package. Welcome!

Amen, Katrelya.

Katrin: Your piece intrigues. Twins (which run in our family BIG TIME) are amazing. Beautiful words ... beautiful work.

Nice, Bruce. ;)

Thanks to RJ, and a big HEY THERE, HOWDY to Janet!!

Not to make anyone think I'm some sort of heartless alien, but ... Am I the only one in this vast universe who does not like It's a Wonderful Life? Don't throw tomatoes, please.

(83 words)
Nancy Bell
Without Me
This world without me would be:
Missing four beautiful little girls who are my granddaughters
Two good men, husbands and fathers who are my sons
Two special needs rescue dogs would be minus a safe home
The pretty mare I bought at auction in 1997
Would not have given birth to Emily, Colleen and Phil
Countless cats would have been homeless instead of fed and sheltered

However, the above being said and taken into consideration:
The sun would still rise in the east and set in the west
Moonlight would still be silver and sunlight gold
Orion would still stride across the heavens leading the hounds
Jupiter would still rule the southern winter sky
The Great Wheel turns while souls step on and off
It will do so forever

Nancy M Bell 2011
(120 words)
Trying to read it all and offer comments, but having a hard time keeping up. So much good stuff! With a nod to Diane - I am reading (& commenting) today from the bottom -- up! ;-)

Bruce Niedt - oatmeal or quicksand, indeed! But in the end (the last two lines) you are right! ;-)
Janet Rice Carnahan - Thank you for your too kind words! I'm smiling from ear to ear.
Jo Lightfoot - Interesting!

Corinne - a tapestry beautifully woven!
Karla Okala - it's better than you think - keep on writing.
Karen Legg - "...imagine the giggle increased by one voice" - I like this!

Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea - wow!
Walt - "Stillborn" is poignant. "Waltless" is perfect!
de jackson - "Disremembered" is heartbreaking.
Tanja Cilia - the last line says it all.
Marie Elena - too funny to NOT applaud. ;-) And thank you for the note!

Linda Voit - well captured.
Patricia A. Hawkenson - intriguing!
Brian Slusher - beautiful!
Linda Goin - amazing!
RJ Clarken - I bit my tongue - and cheek!

Jerry Walraven - Sweet. (Jerry/Chev?! I should have figured this out from your writing - always touches a chord with me. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"!) ;-)

Shann Palmer - Loved "No Strings" - Well done!

Whew! Made it - all the way to the top! Now it's off to watch the UCONN girls play basketball. Good night & keep writing!

(243 words)
Sharisse Kanet
The beginning of life
Is when
You realize you don't matter

If I had died
In that plane, on the mountain
What "I" would there be?

To whom does regret belong?
Or joy, or ambition
When there is no one to regret,
Feel joy, or chase dreams

To whom will it matter
Who is being left behind,
If there's no longer one who is leaving?

And if it doesn't matter
If there is nothing to know once gone
There is truly nothing to fear
Because once lost
There really was nothing

There is only
While we have it

(81 words)
TIm Snodgrass
Time is but a glimmer, And so I say adieu
To clear blue skies, And snowy gales,
Sunny days, and passing seaside waves.
The time we spent together, alchemical delight.
Goodbye to tears and laughter, and
the touch of soul on soul.

I'm not so full of ego that I think the world will end.
It went on long before me, and will go on again.
And if by chance a memory, shall bring
A smile to your face. Or a word that I have spoken
shall make the world a slightly better place.

Than, well than I shall be happy in the life
beyond the veil. Where the soul makes peace
with mystery, and the life it's left behind.
That if to you I do return, when next the sun does rise
I'll find this world a better place, In part because of me.

(130 words)
Plunge into Nonexistence

i watched the ripples on the surface
as i sank into nonexistence
concentric circles
spread far beyond my reach
fading into the distance
until they too were nonexistent
so mesmerized by this was i
i barely noticed the true picture
yes my reach was limited
immense waves did not gather
the world was not swallowed whole
by my enormous waves of existence
the loss of my touch was not felt
save for those ripples closest to me
though the smallest circles
their height was something to marvel at
within them they held those most touched
the impact my plunge
into nonexistence had on them
went beyond reason
and while they'll never know
a life different from theirs
one empty of me
i can see quite clearly to the surface
of what is and what was
the only true question as i sink further down
do i allow myself to be swept away
or do i fight for the world that should be?

(note: forgive my tardiness...thought it's still the 3rd of April in my neck of the woods)
(151 words)
Nina B. Lanctot
I am new at this and still trying to figure out how to savor the rich feast offered here. I think a month will be just about long enough to find out.

Today, we drove from Contantine, MI to Knoxville, TN from noon to 8 pm. Spring was exposing itself along the way. That gives the context for these meandering meditations on non-existence.

Around the world to places of my heart
with non-existent haikus.

Constantine, MI:

As the center of
the universe I dare not
wake non-existence.

Costa Rica:

Nunca vivo en
la sombra, bailando en
suenos silvestres.


Lotus flowers open.
I exist. I don't exist.
Lotus flowers open.


"Who was and is and
is to..." Wait! Incarnation
depends on return?


Forgotten, my song
is silenced. No wailing raised.
Living dead no more.

(note: In Congo the dead are called the "living dead" as long as they are actively remembered,their stories still told.)


I Kant think. I am
not. "To be or not to be?"
Was that the question?

(153 words)
Jason Riedy
I tried this with the Big Tent prompt about undressing, but it fell apart on me. Instead, I played with their phone call prompt... I'll let it sit there; it's not much. I need to dedicate more time to reading others' work for inspiration.
(43 words)
Katie Dixon
Wow. I am so glad all of you are in this world to share all of this great poetry. I wish I could tell each of you what I liked about your work, but I got a little overwhelmed just reading through it all. Here are some things that stuck:

Zeb - loved it.
Beth - As a fellow English teacher, I can definitely relate
MiskMask - "We hoped never to forget" really stuck with me.
Rachel Green - Thank you for sharing. I really liked it.
Jo - liked the night shift metaphor

Great poeming all!
(90 words)
G. Smith
(A Cinquain)
Blank and notebooks
Empty, still on the shelves.
Pens in other hands, and these words

(18 words)
Marie Elena
Thanks and warm smiles to you, PSC!

G. Smith: brilliant.
(8 words)
Catherine Lee
Your Wonderful Life (Without Me)

I supposed there could be someone else
Who was willing enough to warm your bed,
And laugh at your jokes.

I suppose there could be someone else
You could love and maybe respect.
A little.

If you thought true love is a myth,
If wholeness was an option like paper or plastic,
If you didn't love pulling my pony tail,
If being held while you tremble is optional,
If you didn't need to breathe the scent of my neck,
If the mother of your children was a revolving title,
If aching for a soul didn't matter much,
If the utter love of a woman was replaceable,
I suppose there could be someone else.

(103 words)
Kerry duVent
It's taken me all day to decide whether or not to post this. :)

"Getting Up"

Usually I get up in the morning but this time
I stay in bed and stare into my life that once was.
I think about the shouting and how sharp the stairs felt
against my ribs as he crashed me into them. I think
about how I forgot what tears were and what my eyes
really looked like when alive and smiling. I forgot
what no fear felt like and what it was like to exist.

No matter. It is only a ghost who lays here now.
I tried. I went homeless to leave him. I went without
food to leave him. I went without family and friends
and found a job that nearly took my soul to leave him.
My mother says I went without God when I left him.
For what? What has any of it meant? What purpose when
still, I am often without proper food or friends in trying to be me?

Oh, I know. I know. I see. I make people nervous because
I am not like them - I jump at unexpected noises and
awaken fighting my covers, cold and sweaty from mem'ries
unwished for. No, I'm not like them. Or, maybe it is because
I am like them. They know nightmares too, but are afraid to leave.
Why did I stay? Because I thought I would die if I didn't.
Why did I leave? Because I knew I would die if I didn't.

I lay here, in this bed, but only for a moment.
I could be a ghost. But... I'm not. I get up for those
who are like me; who want to exist and see and leave.
I get up because there is hope and there are those who
may still be afraid; whose eyes have gone out in mirrors.
I get up because he could not keep me down. If I
were not here would it matter? I think so. I hope so.

The sun is shining
and I smell coffee.
I know my love waits
and so I get up
not a ghost... but me.
Does my life matter?
Ask me when I'm dead.

(368 words)
Benjamin Thomas
Wow! All of you guys are awesome!
There are some really good poems by you.

(14 words)
Marcia Gaye

Within Me and Without Me

The world within me slips and slides
careens in neon
A metaphoric pinball machine
beyond euphoric
from pin to pylon.

The world without me bright to rise
flashing creative
bounded, tied
A philosophical conundrum
simply beyond

(30 words)
Marie Elena
Kerry: Wow. An amazing, well-penned, poignant, relevant piece. I hope to see more of your work out here.
(17 words)
Khadija Anderson


Palestinians are being squeezed to death
Fascism gains popularity in the US
Global warming is close to no turn around
Monsanto and Coke control all food
The Military Machine bulldozes the world
Women and children are raped and abused
Nuclear meltdown makes everything glow

(38 words)
Katie Dixon
Kerry, So grateful you decided to post. A moving and poignant piece.
(11 words)
Kerry, thank you for sharing.
(4 words)
Jacqueline Hallenbeck

A world without him

His mother claims she will outlive all her children.
I'm sorry, lady, but... I'm not having it.

(c) jh 4/3/11 11:18 pm.
(23 words)
When a Feather Splinters

And fades to gray.... breeze by breeze,
the sister or brother, the mother or father
bird does not remember their kin.
When tiny spiders pour out from their yarn-spun egg in hundreds,
they wave goodbye and parachute into the horizon
in gossamer threads but do not remember their past.
Yet when the world turns without me,
you attach my memory with each grain
of tears and say that I am your kin or your lover,
that I am not and cannot ever be your past.

But let me go, I would say.
I have lived my life, fulfilled my destiny,
and shared my love and kindness with words
and healed so many pained souls with my nitro-gloved hands
in hospitals, in starving and sick-ridden countries, through natural disasters.
Yet with these same hands, I had already asked for pardon
and peace if I had done or said anything hurtful to you.
But you must remember: Like all things, you too shall pass.

And as the world keeps spinning and sifting
like sand beneath our feet,
I will still be suspended like a ghostly figment of your mind
if you keep holding onto me.
Let me disperse into dandelion seeds so you can
move forward eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing, living
as if I never was or will be.
More baby sparrows will sing of apple blossoms growing,
more tiny spiders will knit dewdrop jeweled-sagging webs
in the morning, and more time will pass by
when I become a soft ache, a soothing caress
when you smell blends of wild berries and flower blossoms,
jasmine and bergamot in my clothes and in the laughter
shattering through these words like the sunlight
that balms your tears. It is then I shall wait for you
in dreams by heaven's gate.
(270 words)
de jackson
Beautiful, Kerry. If it's autobiographical, I can relate on a very small scale (past life; grateful for a God of Second Chances), and your raw open heart is much appreciated and dearly loved. If it's not, you've channeled the feeling flawlessly. Stunning writing, either way.
(44 words)
Mr. Walker
Without Me

There would be a slow decay
of the soul. Children would wake
and not want to play.

On faces, dread and dismay
would appear. The ground would quake
and buildings would tremble and sway.

Fire would sweep fields of hay.
Fish would abandon the lakes
for land on which they couldn't stay.

My absence, you wouldn't say,
for I'm such a lovable rake,
is a thing you'd wish for any day.
(60 words)
Marie, I don't like the movie either, much to my family's consternation. lol

Remember me

My mother hugging someone else
and telling her "I love you".
My father walking someone
else down the aisle.
Remember me.

My husband not knowing anymore
to seperate the whites from the darks.
Forgetting to turn off the bathroom light
or kissing another woman goodnight
Remember me.

My cat on another person's lap.
My muse whispering encouragement
in another poet's ear.
Is this world better off?
Remember me.

I do not know the answer,
as I ponder the meaning of this life.
My life as it stands in the rain,
splashing in the puddles of memories.
Remember me.

I am humbled.
I am valuable.
I am human.
I am alive.

Remember me.

(103 words)
Sheri Kuehnle
I have been wondering lately,
would the world be better without me?
My father says no ... today, but
what about all those years of fighting?
Dad, don't you remember
all the pain I caused you?
And my mom, gone now,
I hurt her so much.
And what of our marriage that
I have filled with pain and anger?
Wouldn't you all be better?

Would the world notice one less person?
One less person who hurts others,
one less person in pain?

And then I look at my children.
They are so beautiful,
my hold on this world, my loves
beyond all loves.
For them I choose to live.
I choose to not erase 44 years of mistakes,
because in them is my best, my love.
I gave them the best I had to give.
And look at them now.
They make every mistake worth making
and I want to be the best I can be.
To make a difference.
To live.
Because they live.
And without me, they would not.

For my two gifts to the world.
Because they are the best of me
and the world would be so much less
without them.

So I will embrace the pain
with the love.
I will accept the fights
for the making up.
Because I helped create.
I matter.

The world needs the whole package
to receive the gifts inside.
And someday my mirror will show me
in a different light.
I will see forgiveness.
Mistakes turned into lessons.
Pain necessary for growth.
Like everyone else, I am not perfect.

So I will live
to make the world a better place.
To make a difference.
To live and love.
Like everyone else.
My life is worth living
because I love.
And I have years to make things right,
to love enough and forgive enough,
and it will make me worth it.

(255 words)
Kerry, wow.
(1 words)
Benjamin Thomas
The world without me

The world without me what would it be?

One less mouth to feed for a poor single mother
One less son, grandson, little brother
One less cousin, colleague, best friend
One less employee, heartache, email to send
One less love
One less couple
One less husband
One less Father
One less voice
One less heartbeat
One less poem
One less breath
One less death
(53 words)
Scott Martin
It's already so
To many, I don't exist
I'll stay anyway
(8 words)
Barbara Ehrentreu
I'm getting here late again, but I read all the poems and there are too many to leave comments. Kerry, your poem moved me. I know someone who has gone through that and hope it isn't your own experience. de Jackson, yours was also great. I read a lot more, but can't remember now.

Robert, yours was so wonderful. Concentrating on the scar and building the poem from that was awesome!!

Here is mine:

Would you miss me?

If when you went to Joanne's house I hadn't been there
Would you have found another
Whose lips fit perfectly with yours?
Whose mind twisted in the same patterns?
Whose soul intertwined with yours and
Who considered you home no matter where we landed?

Would you have found another dreaming wanderer
A thin skinned crazy person who continued to
Feel you were the one way past the time another
Might have left to find a more sedate conformist?
What would have become of the unborn children?
Maybe they would have been happy born to another
success laying across their 2 piece suited lives.
Happiness etched across their faces.

What would the countless children have done
Without me?
How many would have trudged through school without
My help?
What about the ones who hovered on the edges of passing?
Would they have found the teacher who really cared like I did?
Or would they have lost out and fallen to the wayside?

How would your life have been without me?
Perhaps you would have found the woman who
Took care of your needs and then walked away leaving
You to enjoy your own company.
Maybe you would have stayed unmarried for the lack of a
Kindred soul - forty-six years nonexistent
For you would not have stayed with someone like that.

And what of the joy we shared? Would you have found this
With another? Or would you have gone through your life
Constantly searching and wondering why you hadn't found
The one?

(306 words)
Karen H. Phillips
Had it written pre-midnight, but couldn't pull up a Word document to save it. Had to email it to myself.

Write a poem describing the world without you (an "It's a Wonderful Life" poem).

World Minus Karen

No "honeymoon baby" born down the road from Graceland to a young medical student and his bride.
No toddler throwing a ball into her baby brother's bassinette
because Mommy and Daddy promised her a brother to play with.
No preschooler giving herself a haircut with kitchen shears while
seated on a metal garbage can.
No tree-scrambling, bike-riding, knee-scraped bookworm.
No middle schooler too shy to speak to others in the halls.
No high school chorus-singing, track team managing, yearbook staffer with a two-year steady boyfriend.
No college girl soaking up Shakespeare and poetry,
nearly sleeping through her "Novels" final, filling weekends with dates and sorority house cleanups and college football games.
No elementary ed Masters grad, then fresh-faced teacher,
smiling on students, enthused with learning while she teaches,
buying her very own Oldsmobile Cutlass.
No singlehood that wished and prayed for union sweet.
No marriage to a boyish face filled with
old-fashioned chivalry and strong gentleness,
gentle strength.
No children.
No joyful adoption days,
bringing home a boy, then a girl.
No Eric acting on the same stage as his mother.
No Emily crying over boyfriends and laughing over Gilmore Girls.
No empty nest, watered with a few tears,
then filled with marital delight of rediscovery,
feathered by the once dusty writing quill--
a laptop, really.
No grandchildren.
No left-behind laptop/flash drive filled with unpublished
works that make grandchildren wonder how Grandmother cluttered up
her computer with so many words.
No tears over a grave, for a life that hoped to leave
the example of lovingkindness,
the love of a Savior,
the promise of eternal life.

(268 words)
Connie L. Peters
Great prompt, Robert. I enjoyed all I have read. Here are some of my favorites.
Shann Palmer, Jerry Walraven, Marcelle, Michelle Hed, Brian Slusher, Laurie Kolp, MJ Dills, Nikki Markle, MB, Rachel Green, Nancy Posey, Waltless, Nancy J, Sally Jadlow,
(39 words)
John Pupo
Today's is a little late, but here it is still...

One of Many

Breezes deftly blow;
single blades of grass
firmly planted, rustle.

Slowly brushing up
against one another,
tickling, and taunting -

whispering secrets,
and playing one unending
game of telephone.

Groupings so large,
an equal moving team,
picking up the other's slack.

One blade missing
wouldn't change in
a giant sea of green -

until closer inspection.
Neighboring weeds approach,
sinking their foothold.

Until one day there
is no grass, just an eyesore -
an over-cropping of unrest.

(69 words)
Linda Goin
PSC in CT -- thanks!

This is the first day I've had time to really absorb some poetry here. Stunning work. We have a chapbook, just from today's pieces!
(27 words)
My World Without You

My world without you
has left me alone.

Alone to carry the weight of this loss.
Reminded each day by the ache in my heart
and the emptiness in my womb.

Alone to grieve the loss of your life
that I dreamed of and prayed for
and hoped that would be.

Alone to imagine your soft newborn skin,
your tiny fingers wrapped around mine,
what you'd look like, feel like, and be.

Alone to remember that you are still mine.
Though I never felt a kick and you never took a breath
You are my baby
And without you, I'm alone.
(90 words)
Julie Lovisa
Memory opened its massive maw and swallowed me whole;
sucked me whispering into the steaming darkness and
weaved its secrets through my soul.
Longing breathed its glowing golden glitter,
offering hope of light, though
I slowly turned my face away and drifted out of sight.
(43 words)
I love reading all your poems! I wish my little ones would let me just sit here and read all day! You all inspire me - thank you for sharing your words. And thank you Robert for such brilliant prompts.
(39 words)
Juanita Lewison-Snyder
a world without
by juanita lewison-snyder

oh what mess
i've left you with
my passing, long lost sister.

what dreadful life
spiteful strife
is visited now upon you

but you're the one
who insisted on
drinking from the original source.

now your bloodline's tainted
and you've all but fainted
from the lies, and the fumes, and the thirst.

this close to dyin'
when you dine with lions
out of love, out of greed, out of loyalty

took your life in hand
when you schemed and planned
then roamed the lion den out of spite.

better take care
cuz i'm no longer there
to save you from your little crown of thorns.

a pocket of regret
that you no longer get
perhaps this world's a little better off without us.

(c) 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

(107 words)
Marc Christopher
The Breeze Lost

Were it to have been
that breath never came
across lips lonely.
Had pulse never stuttered
the whisper of life
from where cliff dangle
plummeted eight visions high,
shattering the ivory smile.

What would have become
of the tender kiss
where palm to palm
found unity of discovery
between the births of three.

Existence would still find laughter
on tilted axis
of this pain ridden world
between the tears of denial
as each dew drop found warmth
upon the noon recline
of perfumed petals
lessened by the smiles
of two daughters and one son
from a breeze lost.

(79 words)
Kerry - yours is absolutely breath taking. amazing.
Marie Elena - A No Good Poem made me smile. thank you.
Walt - i feel for you and your wife. beautifully expressed.
Benjamin - i'm drawn to your as well.

and so many more!
(38 words)
Buddah Moskowitz
The World Without Me

The world without me
is a less painful place,
with fewer sharp words spoken
and it is certainly
less cluttered with
my literary children,
orphaned and unclaimed
in faded boxes in the closet.

It moves smoother
without my insistence
at gumming up the works
with my nagging questions
that seem argumentative.

There are fewer
home baked cookies
but more pieces of pizza
for everyone else.

There are fewer ideas
that could only come from
my mix of history,
heartache and

and the most beautiful woman
in the world
spends her life
with someone
who probably looks like a
better match
for her,

but isn't.

(87 words)
Benjamin Thomas
I know I said this before but you guys are awesome!
I'm enjoying this April PAD a lot more than expected!

I love all of you. You are making this month very special. This is not a mere competition this is just fun!
(41 words)
TIm Snodgrass
Some of my favorites today include:

Julie Lovisa
Sheri Kuehnle
Kerry Duvent (extremely touching, glad you shared)
Tara S.
Jo Lightfoot
Michael Grove (A Nut)
Walt (Waltless holds a lot of truth for those of us that know you, brilliance without words)
Daniel (Will'O The Wisp is an amazing and tought provoking poem)
Marie Elena (Your flight of whimsy made me smile)

(52 words)
Benjamin Thomas
John Pupo

Hi John, loved your poem. Great imagery and flow.

Meg yours was lovely as well. Deep, touching.
(17 words)
vivienne blake
There's No Future in it for Napowrimo day 4
Posted on April 4, 2011 by vivinfrance
I will go down fighting
for that which I hold most dear -
for home and hearth and family -
but when I have to go
I want to lie in idleness
beneath my favourite tree.
Let my biodegradable body
enrich the earth as compost.

I'm a day behind, every day, to give me time to think about the prompts. My poems are all on my blog: http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

The Napowrimo prompt for yesterday was to predict our own death without being morbid. Difficult. Not something I wanted to think about! I think the prompt setter must be young... This applies to the PAD prompts, too. A plea to be more cheerful soon, please?

(119 words)
Good morning, all, and great work from everyone! So many brilliant contributions. My sincere thanks for comments and encouragement from RJ, Joseph, Linda, Zeb, Pearl and Katie Dixon.

(27 words)
Lori P
Without Me

My brother would have been an only child
That's a scary thought.
Without me to help with his baths and tickle his toes
And sneak into his bedroom to tell him stories
He may not have been less clean, but may have had
Less laughter and imagination.
Without me to fight with and compete against,
He may have thought just a little bit less