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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 30

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Write a "calling it a day" poem. Some people might call this "Miller time," others may refer to it as "closing time."  Just remember: Don't call it a day until you put it in a poem.
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MY EFFORT
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suicide footnote


dearest lover
by the time you receive
this note
sweet joy will be over
yet i thought you
might wonder why
this happiness
has to die
so i sat and wrote
this suicide note
but who would have thought
us
coming to an end
after all we've been
to each other
not us
not never
our love was once
forever
and life without you
dearest lover
what would i do
so i hope you
understand my pledge
to live without
your love
i'd rather be dead

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 29

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Two-for-Tuesday prompt: 1- Write a realism poem. A poem that is rooted in the real world. Or...2- Write a magical poem. A poem that incorporates magical or fantastical elements. Or write like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and do both!
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MY EFFORT
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the stuff of mind



hovering between worlds
dreaming
not sleep
not quite woke
putting the car in gear
starting out slowly
down the yellow brick
interstate speeding on
the curves
pumping the brakes
car careening wildly
narrowly missing an oak
middle of the highway
doors fly open
body falling
slipping into the
darkness of my room
screaming out loud
tangled in a blanket
on the floor
honey you okay

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 28

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Write a settled poem. Settled can be a good, relaxing thing: settled can be an accepting something that wasn't your first choice thing; settled can be coming to a stop; settled can be pioneers in a strange land; and so on. With only three days left, don't settle for less than your best.
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MY EFFORT
===============

tirade


i'm with you
because i want to
because i chose to
but i stand confused
i thought
you wanted me too
until you confessed
i wasn't your first choice
i'm not who you thought
i was
but love is what
it is
does what it does
to a man or woman
or is it different with you
and me because it's not
me you want
yet i want you
you were always my
first choice even though
you not who i thought
you were either

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 27

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Write a monster poem. There are the usual suspects: zombies, vampires, werewolves, and mummies. But monsters can take any form and terrorize a variety of victims. So have fun playing around with this one, because we've only got a few days of April left.
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MY EFFORT
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power off


so amazing
are our human bodies with
built-in electromagnetic
fields regulating how
we perform on
one level but amazingly
vulnerable on the next level
where our precious life
is being sucked out by
those Jekyll and Hyde
electronic devices we love so much
emitting radiation frequencies
that are constantly
sapping our energy
endangering our well being
yet we can't live
or die
without them

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 26

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Write a water poem. Life depends upon water, so there are any number of ways to write this prompt. A few thoughts that jump to mind include pollution, rising water levels, hurricanes, fracking, and more.
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MY EFFORT
===============
we are not alone


tucked somewhere deep
within the galaxy
a planet exists
much like our earth
a distant cousin
maybe an evil twin 
discovered orbiting 
a red sphere 
looking
much like our sun
spiraling in the zone of
inhabitable stars where
rivers are bound
to flow


Friday, April 25, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 25

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Write a "last straw" poem. Everyone encounters situations in which they decide they're not going to take it anymore (whatever "it" happens to be). It could be a loud noise, an abusive partner, someone taking the Pop Tart but not throwing the box away, or whatever. Write about the moment, the aftermath, or take an unexpected path to your poem.
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MY EFFORT
=================


get over it



the woman i love
just said good-bye
that woman just said
bye-bye
the woman i love
just told me good-bye
i was just about
ready to die


but a sweet-honey voice said
you better hang around
a sweet voice said
hang around
this sweet sweet voice said
you better hang around
can't make good love
in the ground











Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 24

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For today's prompt, take the phrase "Tell It to the (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem. Possible titles include: "Tell it to the Hand," "Tell it to the Judge," "Tell it to the Six-Foot Bunny Rabbit," and so on.
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MY EFFORT
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TELL IT TO THE BROKEN HEART

Looking at those pictures
From years ago
Makes me want
My girl back
With me the
Way it used to be
When days were easy
And love was brand new
When you
My heart was
In one place
When my mind was
At peace
With the world
And this time
I promise not
To love so hard



HAPPY POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY

DREAMS
by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 23

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Write a location poem. Location could be physical--like the laundromat, a public park, a glacier, flying saucer, etc. Or location could be emotional, psychological, metaphysical, or some other kind of word that ends in -al. Or surprise everyone!
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MY EFFORT
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WHOSE WHO


Where do you go
When you sleep
When you dream
At night
Where does that inner
Self live and exist during
That time
Yet always gets back
To you
To wake you up to
Resume your outer
Life
And where are you
While this is going on
You sleep in one world
And awake in another
But whose who and
Who is the real you
The one whose asleep
Or the one whose
Out in the inner world
 




Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 22

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Two-For-Tuesday Prompt: Write one, write the other, and/or write both!
1-Write an optimistic poem. The glass is half full.
2-Write a pessimistic poem. The glass is half empty.
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MY EFFORT
===============
GIANT STEPS

At first I was sure
I could do it
I was positive
I told myself
I can do this
Walk in Papa's
Boots
While living back then
As a farmer was
Sweat and blood on
The roots
Could it be that hard
Today
I asked myself
Rising before
Dawn feeding and tending
Livestock
Watching crops grow
From a seed in the dirt
Harvesting vast acres
Of produce from sunup to
Sundown
Then it dawned on me
Even
With today's technology
With modern machinery
And time-saving devices
I knew those boots were
Still big
I wasn't
So positive
Anymore



Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 21

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 Write a "back to basics" poem. For me back to the basics means jumping to the fundamentals. Maybe it's me re-learning (or practicing) fundamentals-like running or writing-but it could also be a child learning how to tie his shoestrings, which can be a unique experience for both the child and the adult trying to give instructions and advice. Back to basics could also be re-setting a state of mind or getting back into a routine. In a way, spring is a season that gets back to the basics.
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MY EFFORT
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RETURN TO LIFE AS USUAL


Last winter will not
Be soon forgotten
Record snow fall
Across the nation
Each week a new storm
Outdoing the last
Winter straying into
The next season staying
Past it's normal time
Leaving no chance for
Ice to melt
Leaving frozen mounds covering
The ground like
Relics from an ancient
Civilization paying tribute to
A long forgotten way of life
But this life is still here
Still thriving
Still driving to work
Happier now that things
Are getting back to the
Real next season
Spring taking us where
It's warm
Where we can survive
On the surface again





Sunday, April 20, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 20

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Write a family poem...You don't have to restrict yourself to your own family. There are any number of human families, of course, but also animals, insects, and other organisms. Plus there are "families" of other types as well. As usual, feel free to bend the prompt to your favor.
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MY EFFORT
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BLOODLINE


Even though relatives say so
I say no
I don't see the resemblance
Myself
Between the two of us men
Especially when it comes
To looking out
For our children
I take care of mine
Do my best for them
While he left his
In this world
To fend for themselves
Alone without him
No support
No protection
No love
But you look so
Much like your Daddy
Relatives say
Must have spit you out
They say
And I say no
We not even related
In that way



Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 19

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For today's prompt, pick a color, make the color the title of your poem. and then, write your poem. You can make your poem black, white, red, purple, turquoise, puce, or whatever your heart desires. And the subject of your poem can cover any topic-as long as you've plugged a color into the title. Let's do this!
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MY EFFORT
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BLUE IS
THE COLOR OF LOVE


Ancient African woman
Whose name remains unknown
Is Burial #009
We will never know
Her life and culture
Determined in excavation
By burial dress
Waist beads around her hips
Beads of cowric shells
Of glass
And amber shades
Of black and white and
Blue beads on her wrists
Symbols of wealth and power
Of royalty
Blue beads to show
She was loved
And respected
And so
Had been buried
With care





Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE:DAY 18

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Write a weather poem. A weather poem can be a POEM about a hurricane or tornado; it can be a POEM about the weather person; it can be a POEM about forgetting  an umbrella on a rainy day. It can be big; it can be small; etc.
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MY EFFORT
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GRANDMA'S BONES

Grandma was uncanny
Eyes in the back of
Her head
Caught us red-handed
Smoking in the barn loft
Nose to the wind
Could smell an egg-sucking
Snake in the hen house
Ten feet away
Head to the cloudy sky
Could spot a storm
A mile off
Knee pain mild with rain
Elbow joint severe thunder
With high winds
And with a fog-horn voice
Sounded the alarm
To workers in the
Cotton field to
Bring it all in

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 17

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Write a pop culture poem. I guess I broke out the Bon Jovi a day early, eh? But hey, write a poem about Bon Jovi or Van Halen; write a poem about the Kardashians (or don't-and say you did); write a poem about a popular SNL skit; write a poem about Dr. Who or Dowmtown Abbey; write a poem about any kind of popular culture thing-a-ma-bob you wish.
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MY EFFORT
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EYEWITNESS NEWS


By birth baby boomers
Eyewitness to all the news
Here from the start of
Hula hoops and Duncan
Yo Yo's got things going
Remember
Alvin and the Chipmunks
The Lone Ranger and Tonto
Had their own fan club
And it all went through us
Boomers who revolutionized the
Way the world thought
About itself sexually
Turned everything inside
Out upside down under
The  microscope
Always probing examining
Weeding out
Making room for
Soul Train and You Tube videos
Going viral
Ain't nobody got time for that
Always collecting ideas
Experimenting
Declaring along the way
Everything must change



THIS JUST IN:

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For Chicago residents and those in the vicinity, celebrate NATIONAL POETRY MONTH with a reading by poet, scholar and activist SONIA SANCHEZ, author of more than 20 books and a pioneer of the Black Arts Movement.

                           DATE: SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014 @2PM

For full details click on the following link poetryfoundation.org then click Programs & Initiatives, then Foundation Events

                  GET OUT AND SUPPORT A LIVING ICON!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 16

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For today's prompt, write an elegy. An elegy doesn't have specific formal rules. Rather, it's a poem for someone who has died. In fact, elegies are defined as "love poems for the dead" in John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary. Of course, we're all poets here, which means everything can be bent. So yes, it's perfectly fine if you take this another direction-for instance, I once wrote an elegy for card catalogs. Have at it!
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MY EFFORT
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FOR THE BOOM-BOXES
(that not hear)


Old school circa 1975
Huge boom-boxes
Ruled the world
Perched precariously
On strong shoulders
They blasted away
A mobile party
Crowds followed behind
This urban pied piper
Mesmerized by the sound
Which is  now between the
Ears of listeners in a private world
Of ipod playlists and MP3
Players that fit in a shirt pocket
Where no boom-box could
Ever go
And so they moved on
To that great pawn shop
In the sky
Collecting dust on a shelf
Behind cassette tape players
And stereo speakers
Unplugged forever



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE : DAY 15

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TWO-FOR-TUESDAY PROMPT:    1-Write a love poem. Love, it's such a big 4-letter word that can mean so much to so many for a variety of interpretations. Friendly love, sexual love, dorky love, all-encompassing love, jealous love, anxious love, love beaten with a baseball bat, hot love, big love, blues love, greeting card love, forgiving love, greedy love, love in a music video, and so on and so forth.
2-Write an anti-love poem. Well, kinda like love, but take it back the other way.
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MY EFFORT
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UNFULFILLED

Four walls closing in on
An empty wedding bed
Tonight of all nights
Where love once lived
Bitterness now resides
Steeped within infidelity
Hunger like a cancerous
Growth eating at the
Heart of a devastated man
Inhaling the hurt of
Unfulfilled love through
A cigarette filter
Exhaling it's relief
Blowing wispy smoke
Circles into the air


Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 14

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For today's prompt, take the phrase "If I Were (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles might include: "If I Were President," "If I Were Smarter," "If I Were a Little More Sensitive," or "If I Were Born on April 14." If I were you, I'd get poeming about now.
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MY EFFORT
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IF I WERE YOU


First thing I'd do
If I were you
I'd back up off me
Say we are through
You made it clear
There's someone new
Someone else
Who loves you true
Who loves you much
More than I do
At least you think so
Anyway
But it's okay
I tried my best
I even agreed
To take the test
Of  time
Which I failed
I tried though
I didn't just ask
The Lord
I begged
I didn't just pray
I fell on my knees
Lord please
Make this woman mine
And my prayers
Went unanswered
I guess it's a sign
So If I were you
First thing I'd do
Would be to leave me
Far behind

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 13

[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
Write an animal poem. Pick a specific animal or write about your animal spirit. Maybe you'll get tricky and write about mustangs (meaning the car) or jaguars (meaning the American football team). Maybe you'll do an acrostic, or even go crazy and write a sestina (cricket).
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MY EFFORT
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

SURVIVAL


Full moon hanging
Low in the sky
Glaring down
Guiding the way
Wolf-pack
On the run
Foraging for flesh
Alpha leading the hunt
Watching
Lurking
For blood
On edge
Howling at the moon
Glaring through the glen
Watching
For enemies
Lurking in the dark
Living out
His destiny
Keeping the pack safe
To live free
To run
To hunt again

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 12


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Write a city poem. The poem can take place in a city, can remember the city in a general sense), be an ode to a specific city, or well, you should know the drill by now. City poem: Write it!
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MY EFFORT
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n.y.c.


They call it NEW
York city
And that's the pity
Because at best
IT shares a striking resemblance
With the OLD
Dodge city
Of the wild wild west
For though times
Have changed a lot
Thugs and outlaws
Have not
So living in NEW
York city
Can likely get
You shot


Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 11

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For today's prompt, make a statement the title of your poem and either respond to or expand upon the title. Some example titles might include: "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy;" "Guns Don't Kill People I Do;"  "This Is Your Brain on Drugs;" "Smile for the Camera," and "Be Kind Rewind." Of course, there's an incredible number of possible titles; pick one and start poeming.
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=======================
DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY
is easier said than done
for a troubled mind is restless
constantly seeking solace
searching for some sign
that everything will be okay
in the day of disaster
destruction or disease
so when there is nothing else
you yourself can do
when things are out of your hands
let go
let the flow of life
bear the burden
smile in fate's frantic face
for the end result
cannot be changed
smile like it's
your birthday be happy
and your  mind will smile
and be happy too

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 10

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Write a future poem. The future might mean robots and computer chips. The future might mean apocalyptic catastrophes. The future might mean peace and understanding. The future might mean 1,000 years into the future; it might mean tomorrow (or next month).

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MY EFFORT
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MOMENT TO MOMENT


Live in the moment where
All time is relative
Is of no consequence
To anything
Does not matter
For anyone
Because time past
Has gone
What time is to come
Has not
And in reality
No time exists
Except
This moment

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 9

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Write a shelter poem. Shelter might be a structure like a house, apartment, or hotel. Shelter cold be a tent or cardboard box. Shelter could be an umbrella, overpass, cave, or car. Shelter could be a state of mind, part of a money laundering scheme, or any number of interpretations.
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MY EFFORT
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TOGETHER AGAIN

You give so freely
Love so deeply
Feelings so visibly
Displayed on your
Sleeve you could not
Know why could not
See how
Your heart
So vulnerable
Should be shattered
Like glass into
Jigsaw shaped
Shards that I
Delicately put back
Together with bloody
Fingers I shielded them
From future damage
In the most sacred
Dwelling place of my soul

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 8

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Two for Tuesday prompt. 1-Write a violent poem. Could be person on person violence, person on animal, animal on animal, nature on person/animal/nature, and so on (insects, erosion, cosmos, etc.)

2-Write a peaceful poem. I suppose this might be the opposite of a violent poem. But perhaps not.
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MY EFFORT
============================

THE QUIET STORM


Nature's fury unleashed
Knows no bounds
Treats all life the same
Does not respect
Person place or thing
But in the aftermath
When the clouds pass through
A rainbow of peace appears
In the sky

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 7

==============================================================Write a self-portrait poem. Pretty straightforward, right? That doesn't mean there's not a lot of room for creativity. Just look at artists and their self-portraits; there's a lot of differences in the self-portraits of Kahlo, Schiele, Dali, Van Gogh, and others--and not just because the artists look different themselves.
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=================MY EFFORT
=============================
JUST THE WAY I AM


I am the poet as artist
Viewing myself as is
Without bright watercolors
Splashed on a canvas background
Without oils or pastels on my
Palette to choose from but
Equipped with only
My iphone pointed straight
Ahead poised
To capture my face my
Mirrored image smiling
Beneath a stoic expression
Head down grimacing
With a fixed gaze
A portrait of myself
Taken by myself
Looking elsewhere

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 6

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Write a night poem. Vampires and werewolves? Cool. Clubbing and saloons? You got it. Lovers together alone? Right. Ex-lovers alone on their own? Sure thing. You figure out your night poem--and yes, (k)night poems are fine too.

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MY EFFORT
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MIRROR  IMAGE


Living on the edge
Somewhere between
Day and the darkness of
Night
Lives the shadow
A faint image
Of ourselves moving
In and out of existence
Leading and following
By example
Always close by
Now you see it
Now you don't
A reflection of light that
Knows all of our
Secrets

Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 5

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Write a discovery poem. The narrator could discover an object, a person, an animal, a dishonorable deed, or any number of things. Poets can focus on the discovery, examine the aftermath, or even just mention it in passing.
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THIS IS MY EFFORT:
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ONE IN A MILLION


Even beneath rubble
Scuffed and covered with
Grassy mildew
A treasure stood out
Sparkling
Like a shooting star
Skimming across the
Night sky
I caught sight of
What others did not
A precious stone shining
Through the dark
And like a true explorer
Staked my claim
To you
My fair lady
Look what I found
A diamond in the rough

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 4


Take the phrase "Since (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem. Possible titles include, "Since the last time I smoked," "Since you said please," and Since when."

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THIS IS MY EFFORT
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SINCE YOU GROWN NOW

Raise your child up

To stay in a child's

Place

Out of grown folk's

Business

Out of grown folk's

Face

Since you

Grown  now yourself

Make it happen overnight

Because a child

Out of place

Is not cute right?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 3


Write a message poem. Messages can be delivered in a variety of ways: postcard, e-mail, text message, letter in a bottle, smoke signals, secret codes, jumbotron proposals, etc. Also, messages themselves can be simple, complicated, nice mean, happy, sad, and so on. Get at it!

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THIS IS MY EFFORT:
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PRESSURE COOKER


Late last August
Sticky dog days
Walking around town
Mind in a haze
Lethargy peaking
Fog on the brain
Message center breakdown
Heart under strain
Mayday Mayday
Message translate
Emergency assistance
Before it's too late
All is not well
Time to press send
Silent killer lurking
Trying to defend
Blood pressure rising
Pumping heart rate
Check into hospital
Before it's too late
Stroke impending
Time to press send
Your life maybe headed
To a deadly end

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 2


For today's prompt write a voyage poem...a voyage can happen in a variety of ways--even on foot, or psychologically. Heck, the process of writing a poem is a sort of voyage all its own. Happy poeming?

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THIS IS MY EFFORT:

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THE PATH BACK


While traveling

Life's rugged road

You fell from heaven

Into my path

Leading this heart on a

Journey

Soaring on the delicate

Wings of love

Upwards we traveled

Higher and closer we came

To the clouds above when

Without warning

Without provocation

It seemed

We spiraled downward where

You released me

And dropped this heart

Back down to earth

Back down to life's

Rugged road looking

For the way home





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE: DAY 1

"Two-for-Tuesday" prompt: You can write to both, or try to mix them together in one poem.

1-Write a beginning poem. Today is the beginning of this challenge. It's also the beginning of April. But there are so many other beginnings: Beginning of a relationship, beginning of school, beginning of the rest of your life, and so on. Pick a beginning to write about.

2-Write an ending poem. Often, though not always, beginnings come as the result of an ending. Sometimes endings are cause for disappointment, heartbreak, or numbness. Other times, endings are celebrated. Capture an ending today.

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THIS IS MY EFFORT: Posted at 7:03 pm e.s.t.


MATERIAL MATTERS


In theory

The universe began big

With a bang

A mass of celestial

Objects hurtling through space

The final frontier

That cosmic micro-wave

Heating up

Radiating

Always expanding

Speeding towards

A collision course

With itself