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    2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

    Categories: November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2013, Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    Today marks three weeks! That’s pretty special, if you ask me. So let’s take our poeming to another level today (whatever that means). Also, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned on here that my book, Solving the World’s Problems, was reviewed recently by Wild Goose Poetry Review. Whether I have or not, click here to read the review.

    For today’s prompt, write a secret message poem. Maybe it’s a coded message, a message in a bottle, sign language, foreign language, etc. Confession time: I’m often (though not always) hiding messages in my poems, and nothing rocks my world more than when readers catch them.

    Here’s my attempt at a Secret Message poem:

    “Big Country”

    When you look at me
    and say the words,

    no one understands
    you except me;

    no men at work, not
    tonight. As our

    children dream, we sing
    ourselves asleep.

    *****

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    *****

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and a person who writes as much for his wife as for himself. Also, he’s sure everyone wants to hear “In a Big Country,” by Big Country, right? Or how about “Down Under,” by Men At Work? Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and married to the amazing poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five tiny poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

    *****

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    207 Responses to 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 21

    1. JRSimmang says:

      DARLING, I LOVE YOU

      My palms
      and forehead
      share
      the
      thrushing
      perspiration
      upon the uttering
      of the phrase:
      “I’m not angry.”

      The doghouse
      stays warm
      in the summer.

      -JR Simmang

    2. bjzeimer says:

      MESSAGE TO EARTH DWELLERS

      From the north to the south
      and from the east to the west—
      the climate that is needed
      for lush gardens and forests to grow
      is being destroyed
      by contaminating the atmosphere.

      Carbon pollution from power plants,
      emissions from automobiles,
      and greenhouse gasses are affecting
      the weather. Derichoes, bow echoes,
      and landfalling hurricanes—
      ten miles wide—at the frontlines.

    3. Glory says:

      WAKING OR MAYBE DREAMING

      Waking from my sleep
      Or was I in a dream
      that caught at my head
      bringing old memories,
      sweet yet sour across the years
      as I woke to the sound
      of music,
      or was it your voice I heard?

    4. hohlwein says:

      For today’s prompt, write a secret message poem. Maybe it’s a coded message, a message in a bottle, sign language, foreign language, etc. Confession time: I’m often (though not always) hiding messages in my poems, and nothing rocks my world more than when readers catch them.

      Yellow Paper
      I don’t think it was a suicide note.
      I’m willing to.
      I could.
      The dance was with death, throughout.

      But the note:
      My dear and faithful friend
      ….. Did it have an ‘s’
      – ‘friends’?
      Or not?
      You’d think I’d remember.

      It could make all the difference.

      In nothing.

      Anyway.
      She had started such letters, hundreds of times
      as she had said, as I do, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”
      I love you. I love you. I love you to the wind
      or to someone or just to say it, to repeat it in the dark
      for hours, for decades. Why do we do that?

      Anyway.
      There was nothing after. Line after parallel waiting line
      Season after season. No other utterance.
      Was there a secret message there?

      One way or another, she knew she was loved
      Would never not be loved. Maybe that is the
      secret message I should consider, learn.
      Finally, believe.

      And the hours, next, that passed over the paper,
      The slant, very first, slant light of fall.
      did not illuminate invisible ink
      or the passage of a frail hand, and its telling,
      did not indicate, in any way, that love would be enough.

      Only that there is this world
      and, one way or another,
      sooner or later,
      we must leave it.

    5. Yolee says:

      After All These Years

      I still don’t want to know all your secrets.

      Let them stream in
      like stay-cation days when
      without plan, moments become
      unexpected memories
      with built-in shelves.

      Let the wheelbarrow
      work part-time;
      illusion needs work.

      I want to blow your heart
      on rainy weekdays when plain
      warm milk isn’t the only cup
      on the kitchen table.

      I want to watch your expression
      welcome the stranger guest
      at our party.

      And at the end of our lives,
      let there be one last mystery
      floating between our souls.

    6. deringer1 says:

      SECRET MESSAGE

      There’s a message that I’ve sent to you
      about how much I care.
      And tho’ I never wrote it down
      it’s out there in the air.

      I sent it many, countless times
      but only in my head,
      for things I wanted most to say
      were things I never said.

      You never told me that you cared,
      you never spoke of love,
      and when you left and turned your back
      you shed me like a glove.

      My heart was sick for a little while,
      suffering from its wound.
      It bled awhile but now it’s dead
      and buried in the ground.

    7. Day 21
      Prompt: Write a secret message poem.

      Secret

      Undercurrent and subtext,
      mystery probably never to be unraveled,
      why she left on Saturday,
      when she was supposed to stay till Tuesday.

      Was it texts she discovered,
      borrowing a phone,
      or words misconstrued in a spoken conversation?
      Or did things just not go to suit her?

      Perhaps we’ll never know.
      Nothing is the same, and I’m out of sorts, and I’m not
      being cryptic.

    8. Jezzie says:

      Invitation to the Ball

      Come to the local dance
      and you will be sure to
      see a good time, believe
      me. You will learn perchance
      some more before it is
      time for us all to leave.

    9. (Second attempt)

      Secret Messages

      We wrote them in lemon juice
      on white paper.
      The juice faded quickly
      to invisible. We children knew —

      When you received
      a blank sheet of paper,
      it was a secret message
      from one of the gang.

      To read it, you had to
      iron it — yes, like laundry.
      The heat made the letters appear,
      turning them rusty brown.

      But it all depended on
      having a wooden pen
      with a steel nib — as we did —
      to dip in the lemon juice.

      What do kids do now
      when pens like that
      are never seen?
      Now they use computers.

      Now, to make
      a secret message
      hit Select All
      and turn the text white.

      The recipient has to know.
      They re-select,
      turn it back to black,
      read it. Perhaps reply.

      But that’s the problem
      with secret messages.
      Sooner or later you do have to
      read them. And if you can …

      In my day you burnt the paper,
      or chewed it up in little bits
      and swallowed it. You can’t do
      things like that to a computer.

    10. seingraham says:

      IN THE ARCANE GARDEN

      In the quietude that is yours
      now,
      Here in this place of deathful
      artifice
      I come to lay bare the secrets
      of my soul…
      Those, I seem unable to share
      with anyone still breathing

      Does it give you some modicum
      of pleasure to realize
      That even from beyond the abyss…
      for didn’t we both conclude
      death’s outcome, especially
      for those who rushed to the
      dance prematurely would be that?

      A chasm of unfathomable depths…
      Knowing you as well as I did,
      or at least thought I did
      I cannot imagine you deriving joy
      from causing others pain

      My main secret is the same
      as always and as time slides by
      at an ever increasingly fast pace…
      I feel more inclined than ever
      to be clandestine about this
      You are probably omniscient now —
      at least that’s how I imagine you,
      crossed over

      So, it will come as no surprise
      that I am still furious with you for dying
      And, as you know, not just for dying
      but for taking your own life
      I know, eight years plus, and still my anger
      and regret burns as hot as ever

      Most of my secrets seem to surround
      death; yours, as stated
      My brother’s…so many things left unsaid,
      so much left unresolved
      Now my Mother’s…not even gone a year…
      But, when I think about her…
      And the issues left flapping between us…
      some of which I wasn’t even aware
      Until she had ceased to exist corporeally,
      There is a fine red mist…carnelian
      in hue, that floods my brain-pan, makes it
      difficult to think or see for a bit

      What else? I’m sure there is more
      But I grow weary of your columbarium
      There are more ghosts here than just yours
      And all clamoring for some something;
      The very thought is as wearying as death

    11. Missy McEwen says:

      This prompt gave me trouble
      Found poem from dream moods. I hate it :)

      Rocket Ship to Africa
      While Eating Honeycomb

      To see a rocket
      in your dream means
      your plans, ideas will soon be
      taking off in a big
      way. You are
      experiencing a higher
      level of awareness.
      All your hard work
      is paying off
      or you feel that
      things are going too fast.
      If a rocket is taking off,
      then it is symbolic
      of male sexuality. Africa Reflects
      your desire
      to return to your roots,
      to learn more about your
      heritage. To dream
      of a honeycomb
      means you are trying
      to hold on
      to the sweetness
      and the pleasures
      in your life. It is symbolic
      of your desire
      for love and affection.

    12. MichelleMcEwen says:

      Name All Vivid

      I like to anagram
      your name

      whenever
      we’re apart—

      to feel
      closer to you

      to find
      hidden messages

      in the
      rearranging.

      (fyi: the title is an anagram; I love how it kind of matches)

    13. bjzeimer says:

      SECRET MESSAGE

      You stay in your room all day
      with the door closed
      and when I knock you sleepily
      answer that you’re asleep.
      Then when I come back a little
      while later, you’re already
      dressed and ready to leave.
      A car pulls up in front of
      the house and you run out
      the door that has been
      closed all day to me.

    14. bjholmes says:

      Secret Code

      I think it’s a secret
      or maybe a magic code
      this thing they call math
      my head wants to explode.

      I think I get addition
      of adding 2 +2
      and what is so difficult
      about the subtracting I must do?

      Multiplying and dividing
      are simple by compare
      to variables and FOILing
      how do I even compare?

      Quadrants and formulas
      prisms and angles
      why do they speak
      so my brains only tangle?

      Theres’ area and perimeter
      not too hard to believe
      but Pythagorean Therom,
      how is a + b = c?

      One of the following is average
      mean, median, or mode
      but how do I figure
      if I don’t know the code?

      So many secrets lay
      in Math’s learning path
      I’m doomed to repeat it
      under the secret codes wrath!

    15. RJ Clarken says:

      Essentials

      “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

      I
      am but
      a secret –
      I may be invisible to the eye,
      but not to the heart. I’m cryptic, but not
      a cipher.
      I am
      love.

      ###

    16. RJ Clarken says:

      A Secret Told in Tears

      “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” ~Antoine de Saint Exupery

      One
      small tear
      is my way
      of speaking volumes in a secret way.
      But, do you understand my message, or
      are more tears
      on the
      way?

      ###

    17. Tracy Davidson says:

      Uncommitted

      He says he’ll call me
      but he never does.

      He says it’s not me –
      I’m lovely – it’s him.

      He says another
      time, another place

      he could have loved me,
      but now’s the wrong time

      and here’s the wrong place.
      I get the message.

    18. Lori P says:

      Confession

      My only last night ruined
      by basketball and doorbells
      still hopes of prospectless Facebook
      though looking in the wrong place
      can still make me cry
      through insisting that it’s not true
      an even forty, younger now
      and worse, real
      who could have thought that my own
      was better

      • gl86 says:

        I find this incredibly intriguing and evocative, though I unfortunately can’t quite figure it out. It’s strange how something can speak to you even if you can’t get to the heart of the subject.

    19. shann says:

      American Housewife Haiku # 21

      Talk to each other,
      use whatever means you must.
      Start with the weather.

    20. Rosemarie Keenan says:

      CAPITAL IDEA

      I love you more than ever I loved life.
      Too much, to hear my mother speak of it.
      So much that should you take me for your wife
      Oh, how I’d strive to put up with your shit.
      Vacuum your couch of peanuts and the like
      Echo your homophobic, racist rants
      Remind myself that some fish need a bike
      Signal to strangers that you wear the pants.
      Who wouldn’t want to hitch her star to you
      Ever and a day with no vacation?
      Even though when our first date was through, you
      Told me not to rise above my station.
      I won’t believe my mom. Who cares if I
      Empty my head and live with such a guy?

    21. My hidden meaning poem is an acrostic titled “Love Poetry” posted on my blog http://leonaslines.com/2013/11/21/love-poetry-acrostic/

    22. BezBawni says:

      Go Figure

      “Aw, well. That’s it, enough of you!
      Shove your excuses up your lazy pants.
      Right, say it! No, on second thought,
      you know, just go – you make my hamster sick.
      Three years I’ve spent – three precious year! -
      on you, pathetic, selfish… Oh, you know,
      even curse words appear too good to waste
      Wait, don’t come any closer or I’ll scream.
      Or, better, I will dial 911,
      I’m doing it right now. See? That’s right,
      go on and put your hands up,
      roll your eyes. Please, help yourself
      to my shoehorn. And take your staff!
      Or rather, I will mail you all your junk!
      Leave, don’t forget to slam the door
      just as you would, and don’t you dare call,
      I’ll swich my phone off, I’m doing it
      right now!.. There!..”

      He left. She pushed her tears back;
      lied down with her phone in her hands;
      she switched it on and stared at it
      for hours, awating him to call.

    23. Secret Message

      He trained
      His eye
      Upon her
      Entry

      She turned
      Her head
      Resonated
      With
      encrypted smile

    24. rosross says:

      Secret message

      The dream in staggered haunting
      reveals the image set,
      repeats the message yet again,
      of something lost … but what?
      It comes to taunt and teach me
      of memory now tossed;
      of time tied to forgetting
      a pain of ancient cost.
      Remembering is tangled
      and broken through the nights,
      of something which has happened,
      yet hides in shadowed fright.
      This loss is ever lingering,
      a trailing through the years
      of something dark and awful,
      in shroud of unshed tears.
      It’s lost, it has no presence
      in real words, or thought or form
      and yet it wraps my world of dreams
      in torn, tormented cause.

    25. De Jackson says:

      Beyond Bottles

      Open it to ocean,
      etch it in the sand.
      Whisper to the pillow,
      trace it on your hand.

      Spill it into starlight
      breathe it on the breeze.
      Put this horizon on hold,
      and leave a message for me.

      .

    26. Broofee says:

      No secrets

      The biggest challenge so far
      Is the fact I have to
      Write a secret message poem.

      There are no secret messages
      In what I write
      It’s either love or hate

      Laugh, cry, scream
      Or shout.
      The poem is a pure
      Emotion
      Put on a piece of paper
      Or a computer screen.

      Emotions are better not to be
      Hidden
      Or so the psychologists say.

      There are no secret messages in
      My poems.
      If I think you’re a bastard
      I’ll just say it straight
      If I love you
      I’ll shout it out.
      I’ll be cynical
      But it won’t be hidden
      How I feel will come out
      As forward as it can.
      You’re gonna have to
      Look for secret messages
      Some place else.

    27. bxpoetlover says:

      Secret Messages

      Do you like me or so-and-so?
      Check yes or no, we’d write,
      or take a survey over which boys or girls
      were cutest or funniest or best-dressed,
      draw flawless hearts over
      the lowercase i’s and j’s
      and then
      fold them into perfect squares
      and pass them around
      under our teachers’ watchful or
      indifferent eyes.

    28. Treasure Hunt

      The first clue:
      something blue
      I have hidden.
      I will limit your scope
      to your own backyard,
      so that you will not
      have to walk too far
      to find it. At least
      you can eliminate
      that state where
      the heat can be brutal,
      but everyone says
      it is dry. I had no
      reservations about
      where I placed it.
      If you discover
      my hidden spot,
      you can make
      the item into something
      else. Myself, well,
      I would split it in two.
      Let me know how you do.

    29. LeAnneM says:

      Blood in His Eyes

      The poet’s women tortured him
      Tied him to chairs
      Made him walk on briars

      Yet he loved them
      Missed them

      Wrote songs about them
      And what they did

    30. Beautiful creatures,
      city of ashes
      Fallen crescendo,
      divergent passion
      Evernight hourglass
      wither clockwork angel
      Hush, hush mockingjay
      twilight finale

    31. Cin5456 says:

      Reposted to separate from another poem.

      Unwelcome Guests

      Sorrow and Misery dropped by.
      Their housewarming gifts –
      memories abandoned
      and forgotten. They bask in the
      admiration of my first guests.
      Their names are
      Distrust, Suspicion,
      and my old nemesis – Deceit.
      Those three arrived soon after
      I moved in. In fact, they
      announced their intention to stay.

      My cold-hearted guests
      who bear unwanted gifts
      snuck in on the sly .
      Looking around, I wonder
      how I missed the signs.
      Bars on the windows,
      alarms on doorknobs;
      what other surprise gifts
      will they bring?

      It’s odd how brutish Deceit
      can wear a brassy smile.
      Since his arrival, he’s become careless,
      considerate demeanor eroded,
      civilized veneer thinned,
      excuses less imaginative;
      his delivery lacks the old energy.
      Deceit’s conceited smile twisted
      into an unabashed sneer.
      Older now, my tolerance
      for lies is diminished.

      Distrust has taken over the house.
      His sharp nails once put pinholes
      in my thin skin; now, he joyfully
      sinks large thorny claws in deep.

      Suspicion has grown louder, more demanding.
      A mere timid toddler when I first met him,
      Now, he’s more like a bold rock star.
      It was he who introduced me to Regret.

      Before now, Sorrow and Misery
      only visited to witness my tears.
      Once, Misery went wild in the house.
      He was still a scrawny thing then,
      raw and mischievous, but I still
      bear small scars from the fright.
      Misery matured, became cunning,
      and now colludes with Deceit.
      Together they’re a formidable team.

      Sorrow is still a bit scruffy,
      but she’s a scrapper. She’s
      sometimes rude and selfish, but quiet.
      She’s showing signs of becoming Petulant
      if she gains a measure of confidence.

      I should have seen these guests coming
      as soon as Suspicion snuck in. Since he
      was the first I noticed, the others were
      sure to follow. If only I had acted then,
      I could have kept Anger at bay
      and discovered Deceit’s secret.

    32. bethwk says:

      You know what I mean. You
      are waiting for the answer, but
      a different question wants asking. The
      gift of the moment is the task you set,
      The answer will come at the moment the
      Universe deems you ready. This
      has its requirements: patience, a heart
      given the urge to open, and a mind tuned
      to curiosity. You may discover the question
      itself is the answer you seek.

    33. elishevasmom says:

      Decoded
      (A View of Alzheimer’s)

      The disease has a
      ravenous appetite—
      daily requiring more
      and more brain code—
      actually, not brain
      code. More like brain
      message decoder.
      Without the decoder,
      the brain slowly gets
      pulled down into the
      quicksand of not only
      why to do—but after
      that, how to do as well.

      Ellen Knight 11.21.13
      write a “secret message” poem, PAD 11.13

    34. elishevasmom says:

      The Difference

      Each and every
      one of us comes
      into this world
      with our unique
      collection of
      talents and gifts,
      fears and flaws.

      Each and every
      one of us comes
      into this world
      with our own
      precisely coded
      key, fitting only
      one lock in the

      entire universe—
      as each lock only
      opens to a single,
      a specific key.
      Don’t wait for
      someone else to be
      you. No one else can.

      Ellen Knight 11.21.13
      write a “secret message” poem, PAD 11.13

    35. An extension, perhaps, of my earlier poem:

      To the Woman in the Sports Bar,
      After the Game

      The way you smile,
      the way you toss
      your hair back,

      the way you bring
      your drink to your lips,
      you have more signals
      than a third-base coach.

      If I should round the bases,
      would you hold me to a triple,
      or would you wave me home?

    36. Julieann says:

      Messages in Poem

      #1
      Secrets are fun to share
      Especially the juicy ones that
      Create a sense of mystery
      Regardless of what is involved
      Exacting time to craft a sneaky
      Truth in the telling
      Surprise – it is already known

      #2
      I received your note last week
      Lovely words of longing
      Only you and I would understand
      Veritable fountains of truth
      Expressed in hinted recollections
      You and I first shared
      On that date so long ago
      Uniting us as one

    37. Hannah says:

      I’m going to just paste a link…please feel free to stop in if you like.

      I wish I had more time to read.

      Tomorrow.

      http://wordrustling.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/any-given-day/

      :)’s to all!

    38. S.O.S.

      I never sent
      the letters I wrote you
      turns out that

      the scribbled words
      were really more for me
      than for you

    39. Secret Message

      Let this poem, going
      on down the page,
      veering not, show
      everything that matters.

      If it had a
      spine,

      a straight edge, all
      links would support
      lucid or veiled explanations.

      Is not such a
      secret message found

      at the beginnings of
      linear explorations, and (partly) one
      long sideways excursion?

    40. Margie Fuston says:

      The Love Letters

      I found them
      in a twenty-five cent copy
      of Anna Karenina
      from some yard sale
      or bookstore,
      I really can’t remember.
      A thin white envelope
      tucked between Tolstoy’s words,
      full of notes built
      from cut and paste clichés:
      I love you like the moon
      loves the sun.
      Our love is made
      to last,
      runs deeper
      than any ocean,
      makes me soar
      with eagles.
      Always signed:
      Your Soulmate.

      So unoriginal.

      And yet,
      some nights,
      when I can’t sleep
      beside my snoring husband,
      I pull them out,
      read until my eyes hurt,
      as if they hold some secret
      I can’t understand.

    41. Mywordwall says:

      BIRDS OF PREY

      Vultures
      swoop down
      feeding
      on carrion
      like them
      feasting
      upon the misfortune
      of countrymen
      to glorify
      their name.

    42. cholder says:

      If this looks familiar, Day 9 Poem didn’t seem complete. This prompt allowed me to complete it!

      The Other Side

      On the other side iniquity lurks
      Sequestered in shadow
      A perversion of immaculacy
      Cloaked in virtuosity
      Morsels of concession melt on serpent tongue
      Savored in cloistered sanctuary
      Sanguine arrogance ascends superior sovereignty
      Malevolent rapture fueled by wretched anguish
      Mollifies the viper
      Shackled souls pray for divine intercession
      Indemnity granted.

    43. DWong says:

      Do You Hear Me?

      I wish I could tell you
      don’t, but I can’t
      fit the right or wrong words
      in conversation.
      I’m worried about you,
      not me. I have
      accepted your ideas.
      I understand that you
      hate not knowing
      my life outside of my
      job, but you’ve built walls
      I can’t climb and
      want to tear down by hand
      to see where we
      quit being together.

    44. barbara_y says:

      When the windows have been closed
      it isn’t easy to remember to breathe. Safe in the night,
      nothing scented or clicking unexpectedly
      to catch a hypnogogic ear. Warm is dark;
      ease, a muffler. And Agreeability–
      rules house and bones. It is the presence
      in the walls, a living thing, its breathing, loud and full
      sonorous. The snoring in the ducts is civilizedly
      canceling cold and freeing night of terrors.
      Outside (how thick is a pane of glass) remains, though.
      Material as comfort. Sharp as a pain.
      Imagine the window open. And hold it,
      night and everything ever in winter,
      gelid in your lungs, the world, now: breathe.

    45. Linda Goin says:

      My Father’s Dad, a Man Who Needs a Picture

      I remember you as a blank wall,
      and I want to hang a picture on you.
      A picture of you sitting in the kitchen, smoking,
      with brown mules on your feet.
      Your wife knocks your feet off the table,
      and you laugh and cough.

      I don’t remember hugging you,
      but one time you nudged my Barbie Doll car
      with your foot under that table, where
      I hid from adults. How many pairs
      of brown mules did you go through?
      Did you ever shuffle a hole through the toes?

      I remember you shuffled a dance in that kitchen,
      and your wife yelled at you to stop! dancing!
      It was a strange dance, and I wondered
      if you learned it from your father, and if he
      learned it from his father, or
      did you make it up just to make me laugh?

      I’d never seen your feet move so fast.

      I remember how you died, but I wasn’t there.
      I heard how your feet turned black,
      how your legs turned black, how everyone waited
      for this blackness to reach your heart, because
      that’s when it would be over. It took a long time;
      still, I never made it.

      I didn’t want to lift that sheet.

      They couldn’t cut, because you were too fragile.
      They couldn’t cut, because you were too brittle.
      They couldn’t cut, and I’m glad you died
      with your feet on, because those old dogs barked.
      They snarled, they growled, they kept danger at bay.
      A strange protection, a perfect picture.

    46. DanielAri says:

      DA

      ˙(ǝɯɐןq oʇ ʇou ɯ’ı ɥƃnoɥʇ) ɹǝuuıʍ ǝɥʇ ǝɯ
      pǝɯɐu ‘pɹɐoqǝɹoɔs ǝɥʇ ɟɟo ʇnɥs ‘ʇuǝɯdınbǝ

      ƃuıןןǝddɐɹ ǝɥʇ ןןɐ pǝʇɐɔsıɟuoɔ
      ‘ǝɯɐs ǝɥʇ ʇsnɾ sʇɹɐp ǝɥʇ pǝʇɔǝןןoɔ ʇsoɥ
      pǝɔɐɟ-pǝɹ ɹno ˙ǝɔɐɹƃ ɥʇıʍ ʇnq ʎןɥsıdǝǝɥs
      ǝɯɐƃ ǝɥʇ pǝʇıǝɟɹoɟ puɐ uʍop ǝɯɐɔ ‘ƃɐɾ
      ǝןdɹnd dǝǝp sıɥ ʞooɥs ǝɥ ˙snoıʌqo

      ʎןƃuıʇןnsuı ǝq oʇ ”ʎʞs pǝɹnoןoɔ
      -ǝƃuɐɹo“ puɐ ”noʎ uo ןןǝds ɐ ʇnd ı“
      ƃuıʇɐןnɔןɐɔ ‘pǝɥsnƃ ı ”’snıuǝƃ sı
      ’ʇɐoɔ ʍoןןǝʎ’“ ˙uʍop ɯıɥ ʞןɐʇ oʇ pɐɥ ı
      ˙ƃuıʎɐןd uǝǝq ʇsnɾ p’ǝʍ ɥƃnoɥʇ—ɹǝƃuɐp ןɐǝɹ

      uı ǝɹǝʍ ǝʍ ˙uoıʇıʇǝdɯoɔ ǝɥʇ ɟo
      ƃuıʞ ɟןǝsɯıɥ pǝɹɐןɔǝp ‘ɔıʇʇɐ ǝɥʇ uo
      ǝuıןosɐƃ pǝɥsɐןds ǝɥ ˙ǝɯoɥ s’ןıɥd uɹnq oʇ
      ƃuıuǝʇɐǝɹɥʇ ‘ʎzɐɹɔ ʎןןɐǝɹ ǝuoƃ pɐɥ
      suıʞʍɐɥ ʎɐɾ ’uıɯɐǝɹɔs ʇɥƃıu ʇsɐן pǝɯɐǝɹp ı

      sǝɔǝıd ǝɯɐƃ

    47. Dream

      I once dreamed my neighbor asked to use my bathroom. Of course I said yes, with a pleasant smile. But as she closed the bathroom door, my smile fell, for I knew she would discover my hair curlers right there where I always stored them … in the toilet. When she came out, she didn’t say a word about the curlers. She simply smiled, thanked me, and left. I checked the toilet. The curlers were right where I had left them. At this point, I did not know what to do. Does that mean she kindly removed them before … you know … and then returned them after flushing? Or perhaps she did not actually even … you know. OR maybe she was not as nice a person as I believed, and she … you know … all over them, and didn’t flush.

      I woke up, appalled by this dream. What deep meaning lurked behind such a conjuring of my psyche? I looked it up in my dream interpretation book. Of course, I had to put two different situations together, as (believe it or not) there was nothing there specifically addressing the storage of hair curlers in one’s toilet. The result was amazing. Per the curlers: I was having a secret affair of the heart. An emotional affair – not a physical one. This emotional affair made me feel lovely and wanted, without commitment. Per the toilet: In the depths of my soul, I feared this affair would be exposed, then pass away.

      This was more than I could bear. I felt stripped of my privacy – betrayed by my own subconscious. I knew without a doubt this interpretation was accurate and revealing.

      That, or I was going to have a crappy hair day…

    48. -abstract qualities-

      above me many characters frequent my father. they shake him firmly and I pretend their hands are crumbling into my mouth. I don’t know where I’ve lived but know I’ve been moved numerous times. in the movies that have been on seemingly since my birth there is one I miss. in it, a room service cart is toppled by two men going for a gun. moments later a shirtless woman rights the cart and the righting wakes me to how prone I am to having a body. when we are alone, father reads by flashlight underneath the somewhere of me. I wonder with my feet if his feet are cold. I tried early on to go to heaven but couldn’t convince a single language that I wasn’t already there. when a woman looks like my mother, I spy on hell.

    49. priyajane says:

      My Secret Tree

      I stumbled on a secret tree
      It stands alone, waiting for me
      And buried treasures from my heart
      Have come alive in all its parts
      I see my dreams sway with the breeze
      Or sometimes limp with weather’s freeze
      But they are there, of that I’m sure
      Waiting for the sun to hear
      I whisper in its ear at times
      You won’t believe the things, it chimes!
      So find yourself a secret tree
      The one that spreads its arms for thee
      You’ll find a friend that whispers rhymes
      The ones that help you make the climb—–

    50. PKP says:

      Haiku for you

      This puffed frosted breath
      whispered November madness
      snowflakes fall perhaps?

    51. Clae says:

      Notes

      Secret messages
      Hidden under a binder
      Written just for you

    52. Domino says:

      Code

      I wrote a note with lemon juice
      with a handy piece of stick
      and left it by your window
      hoping it would do the trick.

      I wrote a note in hieroglyphs
      in a ponderous cube of stone
      and put it on the side table
      beside your mobile phone.

      I wrote a note in numbers, next
      I thought you would have the key
      when you opened up a letter sent
      with it inside to you from me.

      I wrote a note in sky letters,
      with a sky-writing plane
      I waited til I thought that it
      would not be done in vain.

      I wrote some notes in languages
      I hoped that you could read.
      I wanted just to guarantee
      you’d get my thoughts with speed.

      But all those methods petered out
      and now I’m almost through.
      Perhaps it’s time I simply said
      My darling, I love you.

    53. PressOn says:

      Navigatum
      jubet
      vicissim.

    54. Tricky Dicky

      Let me just
      say this
      about that

    55. writinglife16 says:

      Madre, te amo.

      That’s all I could say.
      When she asked me to leave that day.
      Madre, te amo.
      I knew she was hurt.
      Her heart broke in two, but
      I was his son.
      I loved him too.
      Madre, te amo.
      He was the love of your life.
      You were his wife.
      Why ask me to leave?
      Madre, te amo.

    56. Look into her eyes
      You would never ever guess
      The secrets within

    57. Cin5456 says:

      Unwelcome Guests

      Sorrow and Misery dropped by.
      Their housewarming gifts –
      memories abandoned
      and forgotten. They bask in the
      admiration of my first guests.
      Their names are
      Distrust, Suspicion,
      and my old nemesis – Deceit.
      Those three arrived soon after
      I moved in. In fact, they
      announced their intention to stay.

      My cold-hearted guests
      who bear unwanted gifts
      snuck in on the sly .
      Looking around, I wonder
      how I missed the signs.
      Bars on the windows,
      alarms on doorknobs;
      what other surprise gifts
      will they bring?

      It’s odd how brutish Deceit
      can wear a brassy smile.
      Since his arrival, he’s become careless,
      considerate demeanor eroded,
      civilized veneer thinned,
      excuses less imaginative;
      his delivery lacks the old energy.
      Deceit’s conceited smile twisted
      into an unabashed sneer.
      Older now, my tolerance
      for lies is diminished.

      Distrust has taken over the house.
      His sharp nails once put pinholes
      in my thin skin; now, he joyfully
      sinks large thorny claws in deep.

      Suspicion has grown louder, more demanding.
      A mere timid toddler when I first met him,
      Now, he’s more like a bold rock star.
      It was he who introduced me to Regret.

      Before now, Sorrow and Misery
      only visited to witness my tears.
      Once, Misery went wild in the house.
      He was still a scrawny thing then,
      raw and mischievous, but I still
      bear small scars from the fright.
      Misery matured, became cunning,
      and now colludes with Deceit.
      Together they’re a formidable team.

      Sorrow is still a bit scruffy,
      but she’s a scrapper. She’s
      sometimes rude and selfish, but quiet.
      She’s showing signs of becoming Petulant
      if she gains a measure of confidence.

      I should have seen these guests coming
      as soon as Suspicion snuck in. Since he
      was the first I noticed, the others were
      sure to follow. If only I had acted then,
      I could have kept Anger at bay
      and discovered Deceit’s secret.

      • writinglife16 says:

        Just great. Got a chuckle out of “Sorrow is a bit scruffy, but she’s a scrapper.” I feel like I know these individuals. Misery and Deceit do make a dangerous team.

      • Linda Goin says:

        My Father’s Dad, a Man Who Needs a Picture

        I remember you as a blank wall,
        and I want to hang a picture on you.
        A picture of you sitting in the kitchen, smoking,
        with brown mules on your feet.
        Your wife knocks your feet off the table,
        and you laugh and cough.

        I don’t remember hugging you,
        but one time you nudged my Barbie Doll car
        with your foot under that table, where
        I hid from adults. How many pairs
        of brown mules did you go through?
        Did you ever shuffle a hole through the toes?

        I remember you shuffled a dance in that kitchen,
        and your wife yelled at you to stop! dancing!
        It was a strange dance, and I wondered
        if you learned it from your father, and if he
        learned it from his father, or
        did you make it up just to make me laugh?

        I’d never seen your feet move so fast.

        I remember how you died, but I wasn’t there.
        I heard how your feet turned black,
        how your legs turned black, how everyone waited
        for this blackness to reach your heart, because
        that’s when it would be over. It took a long time;
        still, I never made it.

        I didn’t want to lift that sheet.

        They couldn’t cut, because you were too fragile.
        They couldn’t cut, because you were too brittle.
        They couldn’t cut, and I’m glad you died
        with your feet on, because those old dogs barked.
        They snarled, they growled, they kept danger at bay.
        A strange protection, a perfect picture.

      • Linda Goin says:

        I don’t know how that happened, how my poem got lodged under your poem. Sorry about that! I love your piece! Very creative, clever. I know them all, as they’ve been here, too. Brilliant.

    58. Wearing Silly Caps

      Jesting Eases Souls
      Unexpected Silliness
      Intentional Stupidity
      Thoughtful Humor
      Every Absurdity Necessary
      Sends Worries Ever Running

    59. Suspect and Plan (double acrostic)
      (fiction)

      I
      S ee who you are now. The data
      A rtistically hidden in your text may seem
      A mazingly like drivel from a simpleton’s mind filled with fog,
      C areless ramblings, but they were too
      G raphic, too organized. I
      R ealized none too soon,
      O ver a long time, really, that this was all a big
      V icious set up from a wounded heart,
      E rroneously implicating me. I’m so
      S orry that you feel that way, but I will be much better
      O ff without you.
      N ow, this has stopped being fun.

    60. PONDERED MESSAGES WHISPERED

      In dreams our nights take comfort and rest easily
      while hours of knowing nothing overtake whispered sighs.
      In that, I appreciate more such opportunities,
      invitations never linger. Over virtually everything,
      words insert themselves happily,
      pondering and understanding, leaving a mark,
      when answers never known enlighten nightly!

      • Loving your theme this month, and admiring your work. You’ll most certainly end up with a fabulous chapbook at month’s end!

        • Not the “theme” I started to write. But it has gravitated for me to the center of all good works… the heart lifts these to a higher purpose. Every one writes love poems, no nothing novel in my words… maybe just a different slant. No matter. Where ever I start, they come from the heart! Won’t win me a challenge or get published and with these… that’s OK! Embrace the message and be touched by it. That’s my reward all ways. Thanks Marie.

    61. Jane Shlensky says:

      Riddle Me This

      She traces his scars
      with her fingers
      lightly, not wanting
      to awaken knots of hurt.
      “What happened here?”
      she asks, “And here?
      And here?” His life laid
      out beneath her hands,
      no way to turn away
      so she won’t see
      some stretch
      of puckered flesh,
      some slice straight
      as a zipper and
      crease her brow.

      She knows the stories
      scars can tell, her grandpa’s
      friends glad to bare a spot
      and talk of war,
      to tell of surgeries,
      of what they lost.
      But he just pets her hair,
      his eyes a mysterious
      and sad and takes her hand.
      He won’t recite his hurts.
      They must be bad, she thinks.

      He lets her touch the
      network of pain that is
      his life, lets her fill in
      a story she can love,
      rewrite the plot to suit
      her goals, fashion a moral,
      one message shouting
      “Steer clear,” the other
      whispering, “Heal him
      the best you can.”
      He lies like a crown
      of thorns, aching
      with hope.

    62. Dare says:

      Codetalkers

      Unbreakable
      The Code, the Men
      Ancient Wisdom
      Obscure and Reveals

    63. Whispers

      She loves people
      each and every day
      but she loves him more
      than love words say.

      She looks for the good
      in all they do,
      most people are just like you.

      She walks the path
      that all lovers take
      always yearning in their wake
      for long days that never end
      and loving that your always her friend.

      If the formatting holds, I spell the first names of husband and daughters in each stanza.

    64. Poetry
      is a secret message
      and I have no damn idea
      what it means
      Only a belief
      that such a thing as poetry
      can exist
      And faith
      that such a thing
      can come from
      inside of me
      one small part
      of a world
      greater than
      we’ll ever know

    65. TLE
      (transient luminous event)

      My puppy sleeps, I watch TV. Red sprites
      dance ionic on the screen so she wakes,
      her eyes aflame. Signals? Energy lights
      our space, leap-falling like snow-crystal flakes.

      She gives me her look: “Human, don’t you know?
      Tonight the whole ionosphere’s aglow
      and so am I. And so are you – or could be.”
      She sniffs the air. There’s so much I don’t see.

    66. PressOn says:

      THE SKULKER

      She keeps to the ground
      and shuffles around
      the tree
      then hops to a mound
      but makes not a sound
      of glee.
      Now, will she expound
      some secret profound
      to me?

    67. FOR SAMUEL FINLEY BREESE MORSE

      | ”” ‘ ‘|’ ‘ ~ ||| |’ |’|’ ‘ ~ ‘|| ‘| ”’ ~ ‘| ~ || ‘| |’ ~ |’ ‘| || ‘ |” ~ ”’ ‘| || ~ || ||| ‘|’ ”’ ‘ ||”|| ~ ‘|| ”” ||| ~ |” ‘ ”’| ‘ ‘|” ||| ‘||’ ‘ |” ||”|| ~ ”|’ ||| ‘|’ ~ |”’ ‘ | | ‘ ‘|’ ~ ||| ‘|’ ~ ‘|| ||| ‘|’ ”’ ‘ ||”|| ~ ‘| ~ |’ ‘ ‘|| ~ ‘|| ‘| |’|| ~ | ||| ~ ‘|| ‘|’ ” | ‘ ||”|| ~ ”” ” |” ” |’ ||’ ~ ‘|| ||| ‘|’ |” ”’ ~ ” |’ ~ ‘||’ ‘|” ‘| ” |’ ~ ”’ ” ||’ ”” | ||”|| ~ |”’ ”| | ~ ” | ¿ ”’ ~ |’ ||| | ~ ‘| ~ ||’ ‘|’ ‘ ‘| | ~ ‘|| ‘| |’|| ~ | ||| ~ ‘|’ ‘ ‘| |” ~ ”’| ‘ ‘|’ ”’ ‘ ‘|’|'| ~ ~ ¿ ~ ”’ ”| ”’ ‘| |’ ~ ”’ |’|’ ”” ||| ‘ ”|’ ”|’ ” ‘ ‘|” |” ~

      Hint: http://paul-lockett.co.uk/morse.html

    68. MLundstedt says:

      “Directions to Fitzgerald’s”

      Stop a yellow bullet with your bare hand.
      Fire it again, and ride it through this land.
      Journey up the hill, natives call the mount.
      Pass the obelisk and the sparkling fount.
      Near the hub, where the weary will arrive,
      The minutes left for you are under five.
      Turn to face the way of pale, fading light.
      Look for Park and find tender is the night.

    69. Autumn window
      leaves its message
      scrawled at night
      frost on glass
      tracing
      patterns
      while we sleep
      first ray of
      light
      reflecting ice
      such beauty
      melting
      as we waken
      from this dream
      so terrible and fragile

    70. Explication

      I read and then reread your words,
      parse the meaning of every utterance,
      probe for some metaphorical meaning,
      some lover’s message hidden there
      in plain view, as clear, once discovered,
      as those messages in Shakespeare’s sonnets,
      so obvious once laid bare by our professors.

      Your reticence becomes my dissertation,
      your tacit love documented in end notes.
      I listen for every nuance, seek connotation
      beyond the literal, seek ambiguity
      where I desire it. Your heart, my text,
      my puzzle to unravel. The answer key
      in the back of the book, our future.

    71. I’m re-posting this one from earlier in the month only becase it fits the theme perfectly. I’ll post something new later.

      Tanka: Signals

      pitcher peers home for
      fingers flicking between knees –
      the catcher’s signals

      on the postgame subway home
      a guy and girl exchange looks

    72. annell says:

      In the Month of October

      Alone on the seashore

      I look down the beach

      One direction

      Then the other

      The sky grey

      Overcast

      Gulls screams as

      They dive toward the water

      The tide has come in

      I fold the paper into

      The shape of a crane

      Tuck the paper

      Into a bottle

      I imagine it’s long journey

      It will see fish

      And all manner of sea creatures

      It will keep the message

      Safe through storms

      At journey’s end

      When least expected

      You will

      Find it

    73. This Poem Will Self-Destruct

      it Could be
      lemon juice
      you need
      or
      being November
      perhAps you need heat.
      but today
      aLl of these bits
      are colLected
      in a bag
      to be rifled through
      at any moMent
      of leisurE.
      Protection,
      made Legal
      for
      whEn
      blAme
      must be
      aScribEd.

    74. AIRMAIL

      I whispered -
      an ocean away-
      to la luna bella
      hoping that you -
      standing on another shore -
      would hear the message
      only meant
      for the ears of
      mi querido amigo

    75. gl86 says:

      LUNCHBOX LETTERS

      Mom’s
      lunchbox letters,
      tucked between sandwich and
      thermos, made my kindergarten
      heart smile

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