Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 9

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) or (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles could be: “This or
that,” “Dogs or cats,” “Go my way or the highway,” “To poem or not to poem,” etc.

Waking, or Asleep?

We walk through the day
Moving, doing, and speaking.
But--are we alive?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 8

Here are the options for today’s “Two for Tuesday” prompt:

  1. Write a paranormal poem. In case you’re unsure, click here for a thorough definition of the term “paranormal.”
  2. Write a normal poem. I’m not sure what a normal poem is, but if you do (and you want to write one), go for it!

The Norm, Reworked

He arrived, quietly,
Not a hair out of place,
Suit neatly brushed,
Tie in a firm knot,
Face pasty,
Voice quiet.

He sat down at his desk
And began to push papers,
Speaking to no one.

He took out a small
Plastic badge
And pinned it to his lapel.
It said,
"Hi. I'm Norm."

We worked together
For many years.
He spoke seldom,
Never complained,
Took what he was given.

Management thought him
The perfect employee,
No trouble whatsoever.

Then, almost overnight,
Things changed.
He started
To work out.

He began to get stronger,
He developed a tan,
His hair got mussed.
He arrived at work,
Somewhat disheveled.

He began to speak up.
He disagreed with management.
He went on strike.

He bulked up,
Became stronger,
More vociferous,
Somewhat difficult.

He got his muscles
Really ripped,
Abs beyond belief,
So that we began
To think of him
As "AB Norm..."

He's a lot stronger now.
He's harder to work with.
He's outside the Norm
He used to be.
He's difficult.

I think of him as "Al"
Al he can be...
He's AB Norm Al...

And I like him better.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 7

For today’s prompt, write a “what won’t wait” poem. Only you know what won’t wait. Maybe it’s falling in love or work–or death (one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems is about this topic). Something else that won’t wait is today’s prompt.

Now, Right Now

We put it off--
"Later", we say...
After this,
Or that,
Or the other thing...

We simply believe
It will wait
Until we are finished
Doing what
Is more important.

There's housework,
Careers, children,
Not to mention
School, marriage,
And other necessities.

So, now, I declare it.
It won't wait any longer.
Yes, I am talking to YOU.
The time is NOW---
Right NOW.

It won't wait.
Don't put it off
One more instant.
That other stuff
Is all minutiae.

When will you begin
To do what is important?
To do what needs to be done
Right NOW...
When will you start---to LIVE?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 6

For today’s prompt, write an addict poem. There are lots of possible addictions out there–some of them serious and some of them not so much. For instance, there are times when I think I’m addicted to work and pop (“pop” is what we call soda or cola in Ohio, where I was raised). Anyway, I realize today’s prompt might stir up some skeletons for some folks. For instance, I doubt I would’ve ever written my poem today without this prompt to prompt me.

A Positive Addiction

An addiction is something
That drives you, that owns you...
The more you have of
Whatever it is
To which you are addicted,
The more you want...

Until, finally, after many
Days, months, years, of indulging
You, or someone close to you
That you cannot
Be without whatever it is--

And then it begins,
The loving, perhaps stern,
Totally focused
(And often misguided)
Attempts at "intervention",
Weaning you from the drug.

And so--I need to tell you,
I am a hard-core addict.
Intervention won't help.
Many before you have tried
But they, and I, know that
I will simply relapse.

I need it. I can't possibly
Live, or function, without it.
No matter how many
Placebo substitutes
You offer me
They won't work.

Forget about it.
I simply maintain
My right to live my life
As I see fit.
Leave me to the "crack"
Because I am a junkie.

Intelligent writing,
Intelligible prose.
Correct grammar and usage.
Correct use of the apostrophe.
Spelling "by the book"...
(That would be the "dictionary")

Despite herculean efforts
Of those who love me
To wean me onto "l33t"
And away from my affair
With the English language.
I am addicted to it all.

I am not going to change.
I will not stop using
The language and the lexicon
As I was taught in the dark ages.
I'm a hopeless case.
Leave me alone, 'k?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 5

For today’s prompt, write a broken poem. The poem can be specifically about something breaking or just include something (or someone for that matter) that’s broken. Get as creative as you want about interpreting what’s broken: cars, hearts, toys, spirits, codes, etc. Heck, I guess–unless we’re writing prose poems–we’ll automatically be breaking lines.

Brokedown, Bah!

We didn't get our tv show last night,
Because the snow piled up upon the dish.
I drove home in it, sleeting sideways, white
And winter-like as anyone could wish.

I went inside to comfort, warmth, and peace,
And sat to eat my dinner, watch my show,
But all night long the onslaught did not cease,
And Dish Network won't work when there is snow.

And Sanctuary, one of our all time
Beloved favorites--what a show to miss!
And they don't stream it either, so now I'm
Frustrated with our network--Bah! Boo! Hiss!

What irony! The electronic age,
And we're still stalled in life by winter's rage!

Friday, November 4, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 4

For today’s prompt, write a poem about finding something unexpected. Maybe it’s a note from a friend or a bag filled with money (or guns). Maybe it’s finding a lover with someone who’s not you. Or finding a secluded place to sit in the middle of the forest and think.

Finding Equilibrium

Keeping my balance
Has never been something
I do with aplomb.

I usually find that
I need to be ranting
Before I am calm.

But sometimes a feeling
Of deep reassurance
Is found unawares

Whenever I look at
My dear wife's endurance
And see how she cares

For the raddled, guilt-ridden
And sometimes erratic
Impetuous part of me...

She's my center of peace,
She's the calm, but ecstatic
Delight in the heart of me.

And so, I muddle on
And when I'm on the brink of
The dive to oblivion

I see how she loves me,
And suddenly think of
The love, hers, I'm living on.

It never has failed me,
And I know I'll never
Have reason to doubt it.

She's my still point, my balance.
From now 'til forever
I can't move without it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 3

For today’s prompt, I want you to take the phrase “Sort of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Example titles could be: “Sort of cool,” “Sort of strange,” “Sort of not into getting out of bed in the morning,” or whatever! It should be sort of fun to read all the poems today!

Sort Of Silly....?

Putting on a pointed hat
And a cloak--whassup with that?

Flying on a hand-made broom
(Though I never leave the room!)

Waving wands, and singing spells
Using cards for psychic "tells",

Watching phases of the moon
And predicting what comes soon,

Working in close harmony
With a flow of energy...

Some folks wonder, "What's she thinking--
Or, more likely, what's she DRINKING?

To produce this weirdo itch?
Does she think that she's a witch?"

All I have to say is, "Gee,
Watch, and learn. Then--you tell me!"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 2

For today’s prompt, use an epigraph to kickstart your poem. That is, use a quotation. You can use a favorite of your own, or if you’re having trouble thinking of one, I’ve provided a few below. To format an epigraph poem, a poet places the quotation between the title and the body of the poem, while also giving credit to the source of
the quotation.

Needing It Back

Quotation: From Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, whose birthday is today: "America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration."

I've lost it--we all have.
That amazing thing we cherished
But didn't know enough
To hold on to--

That feeling of privilege,
That knowledge of rightness,
That starry-eyed gaze
Into spacious skies.

Fields of amber grain
Aren't feeding our homeless,
And our purple mountain majesties
Are blocking immigrants.

I remember singing it,
I remember feeling it,
That brotherhood
From sea to shining sea...

But it's gone now.
We have protestors
Being tear-gassed
And homes foreclosed for one dollar.

We have the 99 per cent
Losing hope, losing health,
Losing jobs, losing everything...
We want it all back.

I want to love my country.
I want to trust my government.
I want to once again live
In America the Beautiful.

Listen to Mr. Harding.
Not heroics, but healing;
Not nostrums, but normalcy;
Not revolution, but restoration.

I am the one per cent.
I am lonely, scared kitteh...
Plz, I can haz America back?
K thx bye...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 1

It's "Two-Fer Tuesday", so the prompt is for TWO poems, and you write one, or the other, or both. Here it is:

So here are today’s prompts:

  • Write a procrastination poem, or as I like to call it a “I’ll get to it tomorrow” poem. Or…
  • Write a proactive poem, or the old “I’ll get to it today” poem.

Here's mine: (and I think it is both kinds)

The Write Way

My day begins now--I woke late, of course--
For Samhain has the way of doing that....
I missed a phone call, but the phone was off,
So no surprises. And I see the cat

Has spilled the water bowl again. So I
Will take a paper towel, mop it up
And then refill it. Everyday routine,
As well as making coffee, looking up

My morning e-mail, Facebook, and the small
Routine of morning ritual. So, fine,
I am awake now. Normal day--NO, WAIT...
This day is DIFFERENT! New routines define

The traffic of my hours. Sit back down
And open up the laptop once again.
Postpone the planned-for housework for a while,
Because I have to raise my keyboard-pen

And WRITE! It's Chapbook Challenge time, right NOW....
And NaNoWriMo's reared its quiet soul
Reminding me "2000 words a day...."
And I will do it...That's just how I roll,

A writer, sure, but blocked with much to do,
And many things to which I give my heart,
So, yes, I write, infrequently, and I
Procrastinate--'til something makes me START!

And so, today, I'm writing, happily.
Enthusiasm sometimes will belie
Procrastination--yes, I know, I don't
Write often....But I wrote this, didn't I?