Temptation

For today’s prompt, write a temptation poem. Nearly everyone is tempted by something: fame, glory, money, chocolate. Today is the perfect day to give in to the temptation to write about your (or “a friend’s”) temptation. Also, I totally understand the temptation to write about The Temptations today.

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Temptation

Turning on the television is too easy.
It should require a crank like early automobiles
instead of pressing a simple button
from the comfort of my couch.

Any given day there’s a marathon
of something mildly entertaining
or I can make my own on-demand
and just slip into a procrastination.

I’ve got a full bag of chips
and some dip that’s nearing expiration.
This wine’s not going to drink itself.
I’ve written enough poems this month.

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Bees

Image prompt courtesy Suzanne Olivante.

For experienced April PAD Challengers, today’s prompt will seem familiar. In fact, I kind of tipped my hand yesterday with my example poem of what today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt would be.

For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a love poem.
  2. Write an anti-love poem.

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Bees

Beloved bees
Beautiful bugs
Bustling builders
Black and blond
Bumble beasts
Blossom to bouquet
Burdened bullets
Back to base
Barbed berserkers
Buzzy buzzy buzzy
Bees!

 

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Teacher’s Pet

For today’s prompt, write a favorite poem. Maybe that sounds a bit silly, but what I mean is to write a poem about something that’s your favorite. A favorite teacher. Favorite movie. Favorite ice cream flavor. I don’t know, because I have my own list of favorites. Only you can do you…and your favorites. Who knows? Maybe this will end up being your favorite prompt this month.

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Teacher’s Pet

I went to the morning status meeting
a Senior Software Developer
and left a schoolboy dreading lunch.

Called out by my project manager
for being the only one on the team
to respond to her request for estimates,

I was thrown back to elementary school,
“Why can’t you be more like Bartholomew?”
my teacher would ask the bullies,

guaranteeing a treacherous recess
of indian burns and noogies
or a tortuous walk home.

At least now I work remote
so my aggrieved teammates
won’t beat me up. Probably.

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The Wall

The image came from Suzanne Olivante and the prompt from Robert Lee Brewer.

For today’s prompt, write a metaphor poem. That is, write a poem built around a metaphor. Remember: Metaphors actually take on another object (like “I am a Tree” or “I am a Rock“). This is not to be confused with similes, which are like metaphors (for instance, “I am like a tree” or “I am like a rock”), but not quite. Dig? If so, then you are a shovel or spade or bulldozer. Now poem the heck out of metaphors today.

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The Wall
(metaphor stolen from Roger Waters)

Is there anybody out there?
With my ear pressed to the cold,
I can almost hear laughter
or crying, screams, angry
protests, fists in the air,
I imagine.

I’m old enough to remember
when the walls weren’t as high
back when computers were too big
for our pockets and music
came on vinyl instead of streams.

It would be easy to give up hope
but I’m pretty sure that tapping
is some sort of code, a sign of life
so I’ll keep scribbling these poems
on paper, fold them into airplanes
and fly them over my wall.

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I wasn’t afraid of snakes…

My apologies for not posting a poem yesterday. A confluence of unfortunately events left me insufficient time. I owe you one. Here’s yesterday’s prompt.

For today’s prompt, pick an insect (any insect), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Praying Mantis,” “Ants,” and “Grasshoppers.” I’ll even except other creepy crawlies, like spiders, slugs, and leeches (shiver). Sorry in advance if this prompt gives you the heebie-jeebies; feel free to use insect repellent in your verse.

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I wasn’t afraid of snakes, until then.

I was walking along a tourist jungle trail, surrounded by shades of green, humid air making sweat redundant. I touched the trunk of an ancient tree, larger than my car, rumpled bark flaking under my hand, furry vines trying to pull it down.

Something rustled in the vast canopy. One of the branches was moving, telltale geometric markings gliding slowly, the way branches don’t. It seemed the tree was more snake than wood, coiled and draped among the leaves.

Eyes wide, heart thumping, paralyzed, do I return the way I came or continue onwards? Which direction gets me out fastest? The decision was made when something large enough to hug a man to death, languidly fell onto the trail, first it’s midsection, then the tail and finally the head as if in slow motion.

I don’t think I screamed but there were sounds, like waking from a nightmare. I ran the other way as it sauntered into the underbrush.

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Lament for a Quiet Life

For today’s prompt, write a lament poem. Maybe you lament a relationship or a missed opportunity. Or maybe it’s that doughnut (maybe speaking from personal experience). Whatever it is, today is the day to let it all out–in poem form, of course.

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Lament for a Quiet Life

Why can’t I have a nice quiet day
with no status meetings,
no last minute requirements,
no emergency texts from the wife?

Why can’t I have a nice quiet year
with no deaths in the family,
no divorces among friends,
no suspiciously suicidal accidents?

Why can’t I have a nice quiet life
with no wars, no depressions,
no illegitimate presidents,
no criminal CEOs?

Why can’t I have a nice quiet time
without all this strife?
Because if I did I’d become bored
and lament my formerly exciting life.

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No Lifeguard

Another poem from a prompt combo. The image is from Suzanne Olivante.

For today’s prompt, write a warning poem. Warnings can be found everywhere: on the labels of medicine, in the speeches of leaders, and in the advice of parents. Even stories and poems have been known to harbor warnings.

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No Lifeguard

We forgot our gills
when we left the sea
and are forever excluded
from its riches.
Not the treasure chests
of Davey Jones locker
but the beauty of sunlight
rippling along sand
and the myriad creatures
who live in warmth
with muted sounds
like a womb.

They post warning
signs at the beach.
The riptide is now deadly
instead of thrilling fun.
Imagine all the lives
that would be saved
if they defended
us from the ocean
like a castle
with thick walls
topped by razor wire
and a moat.

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Let’s Make A Deal

For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

Write a deal poem.
Write a no deal poem.

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Let’s Make A Deal

When Monty poses his problem
you should always switch doors.
It’s counter-intuitive
but the math proves
you’re more likely to win
a Brand New CAR!

If the received wisdom
could be so wrong
maybe two birds in a bush
are worth more than the one
in your hand.

Perhaps discretion
is not the better
part of valor.

And if I shouldn’t look
before I leap,
I’ll have another slice
of blueberry pie
and find someone who sells
lottery tickets.

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Battle with Time

Credit Suzanne Olivante for the image prompt.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Battle (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: “Battle Tested,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “Battle of the Bands,” and “Battle of the Bulge.”

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Battle with Time

The tombstones remind me of clocks
ticking so slowly the hands seem fixed.
This cemetery has lost its battle
with the forest and time.

The stone wall was breached by fallen trees.
Crape myrtle advanced along the ground
while the oaks dropped bombs of acorns
and snuck roots behind enemy lines.

I am fighting a war of attrition
and losing. I will be forgotten,
all engravings worn away
by the relentless wind and rain

but walking through overgrown graveyards
in the woods is always time well spent.

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Elmer Tolley, 1864-1928

For today’s prompt, write a family poem. Good, bad, big, small, adopted, imaginary, nonexistent–everyone has to deal with family (even if that involves running from it or chasing it down). I have a feeling today’s prompt is going to stir up some really good poems.

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Elmer Tolley, 1864-1928

Trying to reassemble a life
from a hundred fifty years away,
I know for sure his name was Elmer
and he thought his father
was William Tolley but I can’t
find a man by that name
in the county or state
and his mother married
another before he could walk.

Why did he live with his grandmother,
who bore his mother out of wedlock,
instead of with his new family
of step brothers and sisters?

I’ve learned from genealogy
that there are some questions
whose answers have been lost.
Some births happen less than nine
months from the wedding,
some fathers unidentified
and some sons unclaimed.

 

(Note the image above is of William Lloyd and Elizabeth Powers Lloyd, his mother.)

 

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