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    2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

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

    Today is the final “Two for Tuesday” prompt of November. Let’s make the most of it. Here are the prompts:

    1. Take the phrase “Free (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “Free Bird,” “Freedom Isn’t Free,” “Free Offer,” etc.
    2. Take the phrase “(blank) Free,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Example titles might include: “Fat Free,” “Stone Free,” “How to Be Free,” etc.

    Here’s my attempt at a Free Blank and/or Blank Free poem:


    “We’re at war, and we’re not giving up.”
    -Chad Coffin

    Every evening, they skitter ashore,
    invade the mudflats in search of soft shells.

    The entire army of green crabs hunkers
    in the channels by day and wait for night.

    As big as my thumb, the crabs come–claws out–
    for their yummy clams. We have to fight back

    with our crab traps, and clammers can jam
    them into buckets–turn crabs into green

    profits (for instance, lobster bait, pet food,
    or food additives). If nothing else, we

    can compost the little green devils, send
    them back to wherever they all belong.


    Learn the fundamentals of poetry. Click here for more information.


    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, and he’s been enjoying the process of researching his poems a little before composition. For instance, this prompt forced him to look up cities with the word “free” in them. Then, he looked up the local news stories to finally arrive on the attack of the green crabs (click here to read the story). He loves that the person claiming to be at war with the crabs has the last name of “Coffin.” Robert is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and can be followed on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


    Check out a couple more poetic posts here:

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    145 Responses to 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

    1. seingraham says:


      You weren’t even that–
      bundle of fearfulness
      ready to bolt
      at the slightest sound
      Abandoned at a groomer’s
      for heaven’s sake
      Who does that?

      But we’d just buried a
      beloved boy
      And well-meaning friends
      were sure you were the cure

      So we took you in, wolf,
      Taught you not all
      types were out to hurt
      or abandon you

      You taught us more
      than a few things too,
      and now we can’t
      imagine life
      without you in it.

      SET FREE

      Through the blizzard of sleet—
      ice-flakes pounding
      the house relentlessly—
      I see you hovering
      on the periphery
      of the glow thrown
      by a street-light

      I cannot bear to look at you
      directly, fearing you
      will disappear or that
      I will see too much sadness
      in your baby eyes still
      Why have you chosen this
      night of all nights to visit me
      or do you come all the time
      and I just haven’t noticed

      That thought takes my
      breath and tramples it
      That you may have been
      hanging around trying
      to get my attention
      And me, unobservant, not

      Am I the reason, you are
      here on this wicked night
      When the weather is horrid
      even for this place
      Where horrid weather is the
      norm rather than the exception

      Did I not tell you before, to
      go, to soar, fly away
      I was sure I had…but maybe
      you need to hear it again
      And again, until you believe it
      That you are free to go little one
      You are set free, no longer
      tethered to this earth
      By any means…
      If I have kept you here inadvertently
      I apologize, hear me now
      You are free, sweet angel
      Now go


      I had a dream
      that one day
      we would hear
      church bells
      like the love
      in our chests

      that we would
      no longer
      walk alone
      but be an oasis
      beckoning each other
      across the desert

    3. JRSimmang says:


      When the sun
      itself to sleep,
      the chain becomes

      Be warned, young
      Step lightly, step
      sure. Step back from
      the edge of

      -JR Simmang

    4. Yolee says:

      Free At Last- Circa 1992

      In the end, though I was relieved,
      I marched away alone from the courthouse
      like a newly released jail bird having served
      a misdemeanor. There were violations
      during our marriage which merited severing
      legal ties. But a single string in the heart
      was still attached to that youthful love
      and illusion like a kite winding out
      of control above my head.

    5. BezBawni says:

      Subjectivity of Freedom

      Free choice is not your invention,
      neither is grace of forgiveness:
      they are not yours to offer.

      Wherever your good intentions
      lead you, follow them closely:
      leave me alone to suffer.

      I’d rather be choice-free than choice-less.

    6. MichelleMcEwen says:


      I thought it was love

      Wanted it
      to be love 

      that it was

      that it was 

      Wished on a star
      about it

      Checked my horoscope
      daily about it

      looking for signs
      that we’d have 

      beautiful, brown,
      bilingual babies 


      Thought for sure
      it was love

      but it was not

      just us

      greedy you
      needy me

      in the back
      of your truck

      down Baker Hollow Road 

      all woods
      and a couple of factories

      No love 

      You just wanted 

      that’s all that was. 

    7. Rosemarie Keenan says:


      He’s jealous of rappers
      who rhyme unfettered
      while lettered
      poets aim their words away
      from easy harmony and say
      farewell to satisfying endings
      convoluted bendings
      are more their speed

    8. Day 26
      Prompt: Two for Tuesday–Write a poem entitled “Free _____” or “_____ Free.”

      Free Breeze


      Fluff Free

      Sleek cat
      stretches across
      wood floor
      tawny marks
      black silk
      long fellow
      living poetry.

    9. Missy McEwen says:

      Free of You

      If someone would have told me
      back then that today I’d be free
      of you, over you, and with someone new
      I wouldn’t have believed her/him.
      But it’s true and the tattoo just below
      the crook of my arm is just another
      tattoo and no longer a declaration
      of my love for you.

    10. Tracy Davidson says:

      Free Willy

      how disappointed
      you looked when you realised
      the film I’d rented
      was not what you expected…
      you watched ‘Flesh Gordon’ instead

    11. Free Falling

      I let go
      the stone
      and it
      straight to
      the ground

      The dandelion seed
      on its feathery white parachute,
      dancing, dipping
      and tilting
      this way and that,
      floating down slowly.

      If Books Were Free

      If books were free,
      I’d collect all the stories
      and read them the rest of my life.
      I’d never have nothing to read.

      Some would sit on my shelf,
      some would be on my device.
      Some I would give away.
      The best I would keep to re-read.

      Books are my friends and family,
      books are my food and drink.
      I get them for birthdays and Christmas
      but I never have enough.

      You can’t have too many books,
      but you can have too few.
      If books were free and I had enough room …
      I’d probably need an extra life!

    12. bxpoetlover says:

      Freed Up

      Gloria Steinem said the truth
      will set us free but first it will
      piss us off.

      In my ire I have lined my
      bookshelves with feminist,
      multicultural, postcolonial tomes
      to help me fill in the gaps,
      books about writing
      to help me hone my written word

      Thank God I
      hate guns/throwing fists,
      my sonorous voice/poetry makes
      people stop/turn around/listen
      Ain’t gonna stop
      until I piss more people off.

    13. Jezzie says:

      “Buy one get one free”

      I wish ”bogof” offers would bog off!
      I only want one bag, not two.
      I really don’t need its mate.
      Give the freebie to the
      needy or greedy.
      I can’t use it
      before its
      sell by

      Free Offers

      as bad,
      or even worse,
      are three for the price
      of two. Take my advice.
      We don’t need things twice or thrice.
      If they really want to help our purse
      why do they not just reduce the price?

    14. Free at last

      I had a dream
      that one day
      we would hear
      church bells
      like the love
      in our chests

      that we would
      no longer
      walk alone
      but be an oasis
      each other
      across the desert

    15. The Land of the Free?

      Tis the land of the brilliant bee
      Home of the honeyed slave

      Running rampant seeking

      Not free
      For the next sip they crave

      Margarita sprees

      Strawberry laced
      Daisy daiquiris

      The party pub-garden
      Season is open free

      Until they’re comatose
      In winter’s cave

    16. Cin5456 says:

      Free Need Guilt Free

      Free this world from its chains of evidence
      evidence of the harm they’ve done. Free us
      from our chains of need, needs we’re told we need.
      Unfilled by all we have, seeking more before
      needs end us; never satisfied. Unsatisfied they’ve gone
      on to other ventures, other fields of plenty,
      plenty most have never felt, lacking resources;
      resources they used up, spent beyond the planet’s means.
      It means society will not provide universal abundance,
      abundance we still seek though never defined
      nor outlined in words agreeable to all who fear,
      fearing life while fearing death might come too soon.
      Too soon, we leave this world behind, and loved ones
      loved us once when we remained vital, believable.
      Believe in yourself, believe in salvation, believe in
      the American Dream that turned to a nightmare
      lacking that substance that a man, a real man once orated aloud.
      Aloud, our voices shout, and pontificate on ethics,
      ethics undefined in their vocabulary.
      I saw it once in a dream.
      Their faces turned away, guilt free.

    17. Free Rain

      Free rain
      To drink





    18. Hannah says:

      Freesia (a floral tanka)

      Your endurance astounds,
      sweet persisting scent
      queen of friendship
      innocent dancer of the field
      you’re a graceful ballerina.

      Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

    19. Domino says:

      Free Ghosts! Ghosts! Free!

      I was selling them earlier, but I had no takers.
      I’ve got calm ones and mean scary bungalow shakers
      I’ve got quite a few that spew yucky green goo,
      that sneeze and that slobber and gargle and chew.
      I’ve got the nice kind, the good ones, that sing lullabies
      the kind that smell nice and then scatter like butterflies.
      I’ve got so many ghosts that I can’t quite keep track of ‘em
      Wherever I go you know I’ve no lack of ‘em.
      And since I’m really no kind of a ghost devotee
      perhaps you could take a few–honest, they’re free!

    20. Free Brains

      I stood in line for one of these
      Am I a zombie? No.
      But when my poems all ceased to exist…
      I welcomed vertigo.

    21. bjzeimer says:


      From my front door
      I look out at the
      snow covered trees
      that line the streets–
      snowed-in cars
      parked in driveways
      newspapers still laying
      on the sidewalk.
      Sleep on,
      dear neighbors–
      enjoy your freedom
      to do as you will
      on snowy days.


      I was born free.
      I write poems and stories
      from free thoughts
      and send them
      to for profit small presses
      university presses,
      and literature magazines
      I do not worry about
      because I was born free.


    22. randinha says:

      Free association and weirdness today :)


      The kid asked the grampa, What’s to eat
      in the freezer?
      The grampa asked the kid, What’s to eat
      on the moon?

      Nothin, said the kid.
      Just so, said the grampa.


      I could scream right out
      of my skin, she says,
      with her hands
      streaming soap bubbles
      and the bubbles rising
      to the buzzing kitchen light
      and the wine pouring,
      and her lips mumbling
      and him saying
      “I speak mumble”—
      the rack’s full, stocked up
      with cheap wine
      and the radio waves
      bounding from her lips
      in a constant mumble,
      “the chardonnay’s low”—
      so let’s open the zinfandel
      and decide—
      get jiggy with it now,
      he says, with a laugh,
      moving into the dining room
      where there’s no red cabbage,
      just radio waves
      and outside the lights are blinking
      in the snow:
      “I wish there was something right here,”
      she says, because it costs to be warm
      but you can freeze for free.


      Bananas aren’t yellow, they’re
      black when you’ve left them
      high up in a cupboard
      for days
      for your roommate to find
      one day when she’s already
      to her stomach with work
      and the mush makes
      her belly squirm
      and the cat
      comes over begging and
      clawing at her pants and
      stretching up, batting
      for a bit of rotten banana
      and the roommate says
      Giddown ya little black beast
      and you’re not sure
      if she’s talking to the cat
      or the bananas.

    23. Deep Freeze

      It’s what every parent dreads.
      To admit it is quite degrading.
      It’s winter in my head.
      My kids are hibernating.

    24. bethwk says:

      Always free
      –a shadorma

      You are free
      to tell your story
      as you please.
      Always you
      are free to shift the plot or
      wander off the page.

    25. ALL FOR FREE

      Midst of a long drive, a pull-off behind a Quik-Stop;
      a patch of grass;
      grapevine on a chain-link fence;
      a fig tree;
      bird-pecked figs littering the ground;
      an empty KFC bucket that no one threw away;
      roadside scents for my dogs to snuffle;
      figs to fill a discarded fast-food bucket for my sheep;
      a man with a long-legged mutt;
      the poem he recites by heart, a song of his dark days;
      the light in his eyes when he’s finished;
      a chance to read my poem in return;
      this list of nothings from an uneventful trip, they’ll say.

    26. Free To Roam

      When dreams are reached,
      What now’s begin
      Until we stall
      and ask what for
      Resigned to pause
      and strive no more

      The danger lies
      in letting go
      Stopping before
      your time is up
      All open roads
      are free to roam

    27. Free From Disaster

      Bit scary wherever you live,
      having to give serious thought
      to losing all you have, possibly
      your life. Many of us define
      who we are by the house
      we live in–pictures, knick-knacks,
      books–a space shared
      with others, or on your own.
      We watch a funneled cone
      of tornado, buildings leveled
      from earthquake cracks,
      and deadly typhoons. People
      are disheveled, disoriented,
      displaced. Bit scary wherever
      you live to know you are not
      free from disaster.

      Dirt Free

      I daydream of a dirt-free house,
      one that never needs cleaning,
      that somehow sanitizes itself
      every few days in ways I do not
      need to understand. What a plan!
      Free time to do whatever you wish,
      never having to wash a dish, scrub
      a bathroom, or dust only to watch
      particles realign into a new layer,
      hour later, especially if you have pets.
      Fortunately, I am not that fussy.

    28. Free thinking.

      I am my own prison
      I am my own bars
      I am my own jailer
      I caused my own scars.

      I am my tormentor
      I am my own fear
      My own destruction
      My bringer of tears.

      I have been diminished
      by no one but me.
      So I claim the power
      to set myself free.

      Michele Brenton 26th November 2013

      I’m Free.

      Today I sang higher than all the rest
      the others below me
      buoyed me up
      and their song was the same
      as the one in my throat
      though their notes and mine
      the harmonies carried me
      and nobody knew
      how my heart sang along
      skipping and dancing
      its secret glee
      and no one sang higher or sweeter than me.

      Michele Brenton 26th November 2013

      Today I went out of my house on my own for the first time in eight years.
      I went to a choir meeting. :)

    29. rosross says:


      Falling into future’s arms,
      holding on to hope,
      riding waves of terror;
      life does draw us on.

    30. to free Dom

      Papa said whatever your nationality
      everyone has a story like
      Grandpa Dominick’s
      I say take a good look
      at the whole picture
      there are no nations
      on the earth
      just elevations
      mom said the truth comes
      dripping slow
      like molasses through a straw
      or blood
      oozing from a wound
      best just to sneak in through
      the window
      everyone struggling to pull the light
      of a star that’s already dead
      I say hitch your wagon to the earth
      instead let her gravity
      do the work for you
      you see truisms
      are always like that
      take the whole of it
      twist it around
      just a little
      and you think you got
      profound poetry
      your sons and daughters
      shading their eyes
      in the middle of a murmuring
      watching you fiddle
      fiddle fiddle away
      while the whole thing burns

    31. Winds of Time Blow Free

      Through birth
      and death;
      Through love
      and hate;
      Through laughter
      and tears;
      Through years
      and dates.

      Time is constant,
      time is free,
      not waiting,
      not rushing,
      just there
      blowing free.

    32. DWong says:

      Free Hearts

      Two hearts
      free hearts
      hold each other close
      never apart.

      Two hearts
      free hearts
      don’t listen to those
      from the start.

      Two hearts
      free hearts
      hang on to their dose
      of love’s cart.

      Love’s not Free

      From the first sighting,
      from the first dialogue,
      she started to lose
      bit by bit
      until one day
      she awoke,
      looked in the mirror,
      looked into her soul,
      and she did not know
      Now all gone,
      she had learned:
      love’s not free.

    33. Broofee says:

      On Being Free

      Waking up late
      Maybe around noon
      With a made serving you breakfast
      Running your own company
      Making a profit
      Powdering your nose with cocaine
      And having a plastically corrected
      That’s freedom for someone.

      Having a vineyard
      And a dog
      With three kids
      And a stay at home wife
      Is freedom for someone else.

      Tons of money, tits and ass
      Or suburban life, kids and stress.
      Maybe Bible studying
      Or car stealing
      Perhaps stamp collecting
      Or shooting animals
      With a sniper rifle.
      There are just many ways
      For a guy to feel free.

      You’re free as long as you
      Don’t feel sick
      As long as you feel love
      Isn’t that what someone told you?

      But what is it anyway?
      What is freedom?

    34. Broofee says:

      Free thought

      There is no
      Free thought
      Out here where I live.
      No chance to be different
      No permission to
      Stand out.
      There is only a choice
      Between being a part of the heard
      Or being
      A traitor.

      Thinking is strictly forbidden!
      I mean
      You can
      Get away with it
      If you do it in the
      Privacy of your own home,
      But you better not.

      My damn mind keeps
      Ever since I was a kid
      I had ideas not welcome
      By the heard.
      I learned how to be careful
      Keep a low profile,
      Choose when to speak
      But did I lose my freedom?

    35. Free to Be-u! (An Acrostic Nonet)

      Free to be just the way I was born,
      Rightfully belonging in a
      Equal world of human love,
      Engaging in dreams and
      Tuning the lost souls
      Our past selves were
      Before we
      Enjoyed -

    36. FREE DAY

      Free day.
      Closing textbooks.
      Turning off the computer.
      Taking the time to be selfish
      until I’m needed here.

      Free day.
      What a concept!
      The world outside of my house
      is calling me for adventure
      until I’m needed here.

      Free day.
      It’s been so long,
      I can’t recall how it’s done.
      It doesn’t seem quite right to me.
      What if I’m needed here?

      Free day.
      I might have fun,
      but two dogs don’t look happy
      and big, brown eyes beg me to stay.
      They say I’m needed here.

      Free day?
      I don’t think so.
      I appreciate the thought,
      but I have canine games to play.
      You see, I’m needed here.

      ©Susan Schoeffield


      You stand in line
      you’re looking fine
      you haven’t had the chance to whine.

      You can’t decide,
      you want to hide
      you’re shaking like a leaf inside.

      You see me there,
      you start to stare,
      but this is more than you can bear.

      Those canes of candy
      they look dandy,
      but you don’t have a nickle handy.

      But soon there’s glee
      for you can see
      I’m giving them away for free.

      You stop and pause,
      but you come because
      it’s me and I am Santa Claus.

    38. - free device -

      we have come because you’ve been associated with sadness. try to pretend we’re here. as a kidnapper mum about being pregnant, you will soon have something to say to the microphone in your bra. I am the face of this operation. my lips are whites only like certain water fountains. thoughts on the whereabouts of the gun you own are superseded by images you dance to of babies born wearing mittens. in your father’s abandoned car you will be asked to recall the location of the buttons on the dashboard your brother showed himself to press. we love your brother. he invented a game, what was it?, kick if you’ve been muzzled by god.

    39. Free the People

      Close your doors,
      shut off the lights
      and send your people home.
      Thankful for time with family.

    40. De Jackson says:

      Free Your Heart

      Crack open its chest
      -choked cage. Engage its
      wings to beat
      in some brighter
      sky. Bold its bruises,
      hold them
      high and let the sun speak
      their stories. There is glory in
      this breaking, this aching, angled why.


    41. RJ Clarken says:

      Free Am I

      “The free man is he who is not afraid to go to the end of his thoughts.” ~Unknown

      am not
      too troubled
      about where my thoughts may take me. Journeys
      of the soul begin by putting aside
      the small fears
      in one’s


    42. PressOn says:

      FREE VERSIFIER (ovillejo)

      The catbird scolds the last of night
      as light
      begins to flow; its range of calls
      my heart with utterings hale and whole.
      My soul
      flies free; this bird of sable poll
      has loosed its voice throughout the air
      and I must rhyme its miming flair
      as light enthralls my soul.

      • Jane Shlensky says:

        I had forgotten this form which seems to be the perfect one for this poem. The catbird’s mimicking is somewhat echoed in the night/light, calls/enthralls lines. This is wonderful.

    43. De Jackson says:

      blank free

      we are blank free today
      we have filled them all in
      the long and the short,
      the large and the small.

      we are blank free today
      there is not a line left
      we have etched in all spaces
      with whimsy and whim.

      we are blank free today
      we had so much to say
      that we grabbed up our pens
      and scribbled and scrawled.

      we are blank free today
      we have no place to be
      oh, we’re gleefully free (but this one needs a trim).

    44. Margie Fuston says:

      Free Love

      Slightly used.
      To a good home only.
      Call after 5.

    45. DanielAri says:

      “Free, right?”

      We rattle to the shore and submerge
      through graffiti-washed gates layered before
      train blocks stacked like giant baby toys,
      logoed, labeled, and rainbow-arrayed
      for play—surge into the striped black hall,

      wondering from streaked windows if the tonnage
      of wetness seeps in, at least enough to give the walls
      atmosphere, but faster could never be fast enough
      to punch through the ceiling of right now
      into that hand-drawn illustration someone had

      circulated when we were kids: hermetic apartments,
      robot chefs, and no reason even to get vertical
      as the gear of good progress spun silently
      in perpetual oil. I’m not disappointed and
      I’m not sedentary-fat, but who’s counting?

      I’m out from under the faintly glowing bay,
      gathering my daily baggage to disembark.


    46. Clae says:

      Rain Falls Free

      No one can prevent it or drive it away
      No one can beckon it down from empty skies
      No one can direct it’s path or tell it where to be
      No one can keep it in place or tell it not to stay
      No one can control how soft or hard it drives
      No one but God can tell it anything for rain falls free

    47. priyajane says:

      It all began with the romancing of wheels
      Like lines in your palm they grew with dreams
      For miles and miles they scurry along
      Looping and drooping with sun splashing songs
      Like ants, we march in single bands
      Like birds we glide on wavy strands
      The mountain sides do mock at us
      As we are boxed in our mirrored fuss
      Eyes on the road in this fragile lair
      In some ways, free to weave in air
      Spending time that weighs on free
      A daily prayer for you and me—

      • PressOn says:

        I love this. I lived in California for a while, and found that the freeways could be harrowing or hallowing, depending partly on circumstances and partly on the driver.

    48. Jane Shlensky says:

      Drinking Free at Smiley’s Tavern

      Roy’s parked atop his stool
      at Smiley’s Bar most every night.
      He’s not a drunk, just lonely
      passing time and chatting,
      nursing tepid beer, sipping, nice.
      He stops when he’s had four,
      the barmaids know. He won’t
      go drunk, but he does like
      the lift, the sweet distraction
      from memory alcohol affords.
      “I’d make a lousy addict,”
      he claims. “Everyone does,”
      the bartender spars back.

      He watches college students
      near the back, laughing and
      talking, pitchers passing ‘round.
      But one girl orders bottles
      and pays more. “Alcohol free beer,”
      her fella says beneath his breath,
      and lifts his eyebrows, clearly
      at a loss. Roy nods, somehow
      impressed that what he loves
      of beer has been removed
      and that someone else wants
      that, like doughnut holes, but no,
      like taking fat from butter, or
      settling for bones where flesh
      is an afterthought, removing
      what will make memory sweet.

      “She says she likes the taste
      but hates the buzz,” her friend
      explains, returning with her beer.
      Small blessings can distract us
      from our lives and keep us thinking
      interesting thoughts. This chance
      encounter occupies Roy’s busy
      mind for months, frees him from
      gnawing at the bones of his past,
      provides a mission, how to lose
      what makes life good and savor
      the loss.

    49. LeAnneM says:

      The Norwalk Free Library

      I never understood how the floor could be made of glass
      Dirty and opaque and
      Cool in the summer

      I’d lie down in the 900’s
      Reading about the lives of great women
      With operatic lives: Eleanor of Aquitaine
      Joan of Arc, Mary Queen of Scots

      I had graduated to the stacks
      As soon as possible
      The children’s librarian had too many suggestions
      And bad breath

      Upstairs with its mysterious glass floor
      Was private
      Almost completely free of interruptions
      On weekday afternoons

      Checking out was clinical
      As if the librarian at the desk
      Was holding her breath lest she disturb me
      In my first struggles to crack the shell
      Of small town life

    50. Jane Shlensky says:

      Free Kittens

      She holds a tiny calico
      by his front paws, pokes
      his distended belly,
      “Da mao,” she yells, not
      her first lie of the day,
      for he is not big, only
      weeks old, flea-bitten.
      In her box, a huddled mass
      of kittens mew, afraid,
      hungry. A lady grabs
      the calico and squeezes,
      frowning. She’ll haggle now,
      drive the price down, then
      buy three or four, make
      dumplings on Sunday.
      “Hao chi maorou,” she purrs,
      knowing. We weren’t
      sure until now. These
      are tasty cats, their
      flesh young and tender,
      perfect. We exchange
      looks and make a sketchy
      plan of how to smuggle
      a kitten into our building,
      pet free but with a sizable
      kitchen and smiling cooks.
      A yellow tabby male’s
      blue eyes meet mine
      and he reaches, the way
      cats do, to claim me, claim
      us all, claim freedom from fate.
      We pay for him, the lady
      cheating us and knowing,
      we being cheated and knowing,
      and take him home to de-flea,
      deworm, pet and feed him
      into a ball of feline self-righteousness.
      And because we love China,
      we name him ironically
      after the people’s liberator,
      Mousie Tongue, and smile
      each time we pass
      the Chairman waving from
      his pedestal on campus,
      offering his people a rice ball
      each day and a chicken
      (or cat) in every pot.

    51. Linda Goin says:

      Free Fall Family Fruit

      I buried family in my chest for free.
      Now they are restless, costless seeds
      with roots who won’t stop snaring me.
      Tiny taps in time to tribal beats,
      tiny legs dance in my arms, my feet
      on fire, tiny fruit, hands out like leaves,
      this tree bears tasks, complimentary.
      Tiny family, please sleep and let me be.

    52. Cin5456 says:

      Care Free

      lacking without sans
      friend lover family
      doctor nurse hospital
      medications substitutes
      coffee alone at eight a.m.
      old movies at night
      no appetite, no food anyway
      a television and a window
      above an intersection
      whiskey alone at midnight
      lacking without sans care

    53. Glory says:

      Free Me

      Let me go, stay out
      of my dreams, stay out
      of my heart

      Help me to forget
      the feel of your hand
      holding mine.

      Let me forget your
      smile, the sweet, sweet curve
      of your lips.

      While I sleep, leave me
      do not linger in
      my arms –

      My darling – free me.

    54. Cin5456 says:

      Free Radicals

      It never stops –
      time, that is.
      Forever relentless,
      from then to now
      to(o) soon. How else
      did this gray advance?
      It’s linear and
      continual – time.
      Wrinkles in it are
      normal but unobserved,
      except in my mirror.

    55. Awaken Freedom

      Are we truly free
      Or is it an illusion
      Shackles I refuse

      Freedom is not free
      It’s not a government gift
      Don’t fall for the ruse

      Freedom is a gift
      A gift that we must fight for
      And die for if need

      We must remain free
      We must resist enslavement
      Warnings we must heed

      Liberty at stake
      By those seeking more power
      Followed by the blind

      If we don’t wake up
      The shackled will hold power
      Freedom left behind

    56. writinglife16 says:


      Those who would enslave
      Do not believe in freedom.
      Karma will get them.


      I’m in a story free world.
      Quietly going insane.
      The words are begging to get out,
      But I can’t let them.
      I must keep them safe.
      I’m in a story free world.
      And tales are not allowed.

    57. Dare says:

      Free-zing Rain

      Freezing rain ice-coats
      Roads and Runways
      Travelers confined
      Turkeys freed

    58. De Jackson says:

      free blank


      fill it as you like
      write your name
      or rename yourself,
      use it as a little shelf for smiles.

      it’s perfectly free,
      and as you can see,
      it     s   t   r   e  t   c   h   e   s out   for             miles.



    59. A couple of shardomas:

      Free Agent

      Please note that
      I’m on the market.
      Offer me
      megabucks -
      I’ll be your team’s big asset
      till the next contract.

      Free Pass

      I wait for
      Some are less
      than perfect,
      and if I let four go by,
      I can talk a walk.

    60. Free advice from a ukulele teacher

      It has been said: those
      who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
      It sounds quite clever,

      because, like all lies,
      it has a kernel of truth.
      But could it not be

      said with equal force
      that Those who can, teach;
      those unable to

      relate to people
      those trapped in brilliant minds
      in supple bodies

      blessed with absurdly
      beautiful voices, they Don’t.
      They just do things, but

      they can’t tell you how.
      Give me a ukulele and a kid
      and I’ll change the world.

    61. Free to Fish

      Bald eagle’s wings spanned
      Beak down, feathers fanned
      Talons out, approaches sea
      Catches glimpse of swish
      Swoops and captures fish
      Eating—part of being free

    62. Free Air

      Along with rotary dial phones,
      turn tables, and typewriters,
      the full service filling station
      disappeared without fanfare.

      No signs proclaiming “Free air!”
      over the door of the small office
      offering no more sustenance
      than an RC Cola and pack of Nabs.

      No one rushes out at the sound
      of the bell to ask, “How’s your
      water and oil?” (Our standard
      adolescent answer: Wet and greasy)

      Everything’s self-service now,
      and the restroom’s inside, not
      locked with a key attached
      to a large wooden paddle.

      I miss the familiar faces of men,
      uniformed, ready to squeegee
      my windows and check my tires
      while filling my tank—for pennies.

      Self reliance is over-rated
      when we lose the human touch
      from men with names we know.
      Nothing’s free now. Even air.

    63. FREE RANGE

      We’re following a girl
      who was here, and now she’s gone.
      No trace. Where she might be, nobody knows

      except the wind, a swirl
      of dust that darkens the dawn.
      My dog has led me where the river flows

      and washes out the track;
      up dredger-piles, rock that falls
      away. He’s ranging, following his nose

      into the dry flats. Black
      spirals – buzzards; and the walls
      of rock. But my dog’s got her scent; he glows.

    64. annell says:

      Coyote Roams Free
      Black mountains
      Sharp edge
      Again the sky
      Light grey
      To cobalt blue
      The village lights
      Sparkle against
      The snow
      Coyote roams free
      Scavenges whatever
      Comes his way

      Sleep peacefully
      Free at last
      No worries of
      Only memories
      Of days past
      Decorate the tree
      Bake the cookies
      Lay the table
      All responsibility
      Fell to her
      Morning to night
      Nothing forgotten

      With the joy of the
      Also the hurry
      And flurry
      No time to
      Christmas past
      Grand Parents
      Aunts and Uncles
      Cousins and such
      It comes each year
      Ready or not
      Only coyote roams free

    65. Julieann says:

      Home Free

      November, just 30 short days
      Time to fill with dreams of the holidays
      What’s this? It’s time to write –
      It’s been 6 months since PAD – yes, that’s right

      November is almost a goner
      With it we gave our poems in honor
      Six days left and then we’re free
      Just in time to decorate the Christmas tree


      At what cost liberty,
      at what cost life,
      at what cost outspokenness,
      at what cost discourse,
      at what cost community,
      at what cost religion,
      at what cost safety,
      at what cost freedom?

    67. Dare says:

      Free Style Doesn’t Mean Style Free


    68. Lori P says:

      Free the Captives

      forget everything you did before this
      you’re too bonded to your habits
      there’s so much more to the world
      than you’ve dared to explore
      open up your eyes
      step off this cliff
      see how you’re

      We Don’t Want to be Free

      I fall
      I look up
      instead of down
      freedom doesn’t hit
      the ground. It’s softer now
      from where I stand, can’t be free
      until you can come be with me
      our point of origin shows us how

    69. Free Reign

      The time will come
      To consume, devour the beast
      Of the day

      With gravy, stuffing
      Mashed potatoes
      Green beans, mac-n-cheese

      Sweet potato pie
      Come to me please


      A print of Rockwell’s work tattered and grease stained
      and drained of all color; faded and showing years of use.
      Not from abuse, but from a homage to a bygone age.
      When all the rage is Christmas in October, you open
      the hearth of home one last time, a reminder that
      everything your parents ever worked for was instilled
      in your own best efforts. To provide a roof, and warmth;
      food and clothing and beholding to no one but your own
      dignity and fortitude. It would be rude to take a hand
      from one more deserving. Grandmother, with her better
      half by her side sliding the golden brown bird before
      and adoring family. “Freedom From Want” it declares,
      and there’s the rub.. Everyone wants to their own degree.
      But I see what home used to be and this need to be free lingers.

    71. FREE-FOR-ALL

      Catcalls and insults
      hurled across space
      to staccato rhythms
      beating in time
      to raucous malcontents
      who completely ignore
      the present protocol
      in favor of
      diligently disrupting procedures
      which then cause
      continuous delays in


      Watching from the window
      I witness an image of myself
      skipping across the lawn
      in search of fairies hidden
      within the flowerbed.
      She isn’t aware of my
      voyeurism – or doesn’t care
      that I peek into her world
      as she joyfully chats
      with those who no longer
      come to visit
      when I am within
      the magic of the garden

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