The April PAD challenge ends today

I feel so accomplished. I finished Robert Lee Brewer’s April 2016 poem-a-day (PAD) challenge 30 days of prompts from the Poetic Asides editor at Writer’s Digest. Robert’s prompts are a little out there but always a challenge, meant to find the quirkiness in my brain. Here are a few of my favorite ones this month, with my poem responses.

6. Write an ekphrastic poem. An ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired by art. You can pick your own favorite piece of art if you wish. Or you can use one of the examples below:


Frieda Kahlo

How could I not write about Frieda Kahlo?
That little dark-haired woman
With eyebrows that kiss at the center of her forehead
Just above her nose,
And a mustache hint on her upper lips.
Here she lies prone on sand and shells,
A vessel to promote life,
The roots and leaves growing wildly
From her open chest.
I’ve also seen her with a necklace of thorns
The blood seeping slowly down her neck.

16. Write a poem about (or at) a food establishment. You could pick on a chain like Taco Bell or McDonald’s, sure, but maybe there’s a local favoriteor some special dive. Heck, maybe that place where you took your first date or got your first job. Have fun with it, and if you need to do a little research, go out for something to eat.

My Favorite Dive

Years ago when our small beach town
Had no social life
We had three restaurants downtown:
The Kettle a 24-hour coffee shop
Open everyday but Christmas,
The Bay Nineties a steak and potatoes
Dark place where I met
A new lover for lunch
The first time. I can still
See him sitting in the back,
Waiting at a white-clothed table
For me to walk in.
And Stuffy’s, a lunch counter
That had the best tuna sandwiches
And French fries around.
The Kettle is still here
And a life-saver after the theater
When all the other places
Close down for the night.
The Bay Nineties left years ago, and
two or three other much better establishments took its spot.
Stuffy’s, also gone, is the place I miss the most.
I’d sit at the counter
And watch the owner stand in the window
And make those fries.
She’d take the bag out of the freezer,
put a large handful in the deep fryer
and add a lot of salt.
I can still taste that crisp outer bite
And the fleshy pulp inside.

The Kettle

25. Write an exercise poem. The poem could be about a specific exercise, or it could just incorporate exercising into the poem. Or it could be dedicated to a piece of exercise equipment so an ode to an elliptical machine or those hand grippers or something. Of course, not every exercise is physical; there are military exercises, mental exercises, and so on.

Training on the Strand

I’m a walking fool right now
Training for a 16-mile suicide prevention walk
On May 21. My goal is to walk about nine
Miles a day until the big event,
But some days like last Saturday
I hardly walked at all.
I’m looking forward to the end
Of this regime
It’s more exercise than
any 75-year old should have to do.
Please take me to have my head examined
If I pledge to walk again next year.
I’m tired. I need a big long rest.

26. For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt (Robert always has a prompt about love/not love in his challenges):

  • Write a love poem. Or¦
  • Write an anti-love poem.

I’m All for Love

How could anyone be anti-love?
Sure I don’t love some things,
Like those Republicans running
for president this year.
But that doesn’t mean I’m anti-love
Life is about loving myself and others
It’s the only way to get through it alive.


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