Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Please don’t watch the news.
If you do you’ll only wallow in the blues.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Pretend it’s all okay.
Climate, violence, people dying every day.

Self desire and ambition,
greedy grabbing more and more.
Disregard for all others
will eventually cause war.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
‘though our planet’s doomed.
Close your eyes; don’t think of all that you’ve consumed.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Turn those big blind eyes.
Plug your ears so you can’t hear the children’s cries.

And have yourself
a merry Christmas,
Super Size.

PAD 29 in November

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Have _______,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

I am so sorry; this is so depressing.
This season I am making a point of NOT drowning out the news with “Jingle Bells.”
There IS hope and I am clinging to it.

One of the Nine

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That story always gets to me.
I want to rage against the nine.
How can you have something
so miraculous
bless you
right there
under your very own skin
and not come back
to say thank you?

The ten yelled
“Have pity on us!!”
And when they found themselves healed,
when their skin
became soft and whole,
they rejoiced in wonder
and continued on their way.

Except that one.
That one who first
(before going before the men who could certify him as clean,
who could stamp his identity document with a re-enty visa),
turned back
to say thanks.

On this day
as we gather together to
we sometimes miss
the heart of the matter

And as I stop to give thanks,
I realise
how many times
I have carried on
and not turned back
to say


PAD 28 in November

For today’s prompt, write a gratitude poem.

I feel this poem could use a lot more polishing . . . but I am between a turkey and mashed potatoes and have to run.  And I do have a heart full of gratitude!

Where’ve You Been?

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I spend ten minutes each morn

in faithful prayer to you, Lord.

But I wonder every eve

where you’ve been all day.



PAD 27 in November

For today’s prompt, write a remix poem. To do this, pick one (or more) of your poems from earlier this month, and remix it.

Today I revisited Day 6  and wrote a dodoitsu.  The dodoitsu is a Japanese poetic form. This 4-line poem has seven syllables in the first three lines and five syllables in the fourth–and final–line.

How Do I Know

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a feeling.

a sentimental,
gooshy, wooshy
valentine’s day card
with pink hearts
splayed across the front,
bleeding soppy proclamations.

a fast dozen ruby roses
purchased at the 24hr market
wrapped in wrinkled tissue paper,
sporting a fat satiny crimson ribbon,
price tag (maybe) accidentally left on.

a pound of assorted —
soft-centres and nuts,
milk chocolate and dark,
(without a single coconut cream)
see’s candies in a heart-shaped box.

a peck on the cheek,
a passionate kiss,
a bear hug,
a back rub,
a cuddle,
a snuggle,
a gentle caress.


here it is:
i know you love me
……………..really wanting to watch monday night football)
you wash the dinner dishes.



PAD 26 in November

Write a love poem.

Lunch at Guido’s

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I was a mess
by the time Tuesday came.
I rationalised our meeting
back and forth
like a ping-pong ball,
but it didn’t make the butterflies
any less nervous.

I got there early.
Better to watch you approach
than to have your eyes on me.
You were
twenty minutes late.
SOME things in life are constant,
I thought,
apprehensively munching a second breadstick,
then chastised myself for being negative.
Time has been good to you.
Injustice, I thought,
then chastised myself again
as I pulled in my paunch and smiled.

You ordered a bottle of Terlato.
Midrange, I thought.
Let’s not over-invest.
As we raised our glasses
and you said something sentimental,
I offered myself no rebuke
and drank deep.
Far cry from my “Two Buck Chuck,”
I reasoned,
gazing lovingly at the crystal.

You had the Veal Piccata
(So what is new?)
and I had the Chicken Melanzana,
(even though I hate eggplant)
which was actually quite delicious.
I finished every crumb
while you left half your entrée
on your plate.
There are kids starving in China,
my mom’s voice echoed inside my skull.

As you said no, thank you to dessert
and asked the waiter for the bill,
I brought out my phone to google
“kids starving in China.”
I saw that look on your face.

You took out your Diner’s Club Card
and said
I’ll get the wine.
So . . . if you give me twenty-five dollars
that should cover it.

You said it was good to see me.
You said you had to be going.
You told me to take care of myself
and see you again sometime
as you hurried from the restaurant.

I stayed in my seat,
poured myself the last glass of pinot grigio
and read that twenty-five percent
of adults in China
are obese.
Then I ordered
Tiramisu and coffee.

PAD 25 in November

For today’s prompt, write a meal poem. 

Social Network Conversation

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I am beloved by many. Over a billion people like me. 

350m people choose me. #socialbutterfly #popular

I am sweet sixteen and very, very rich.

I’m 14. #youngandtalented

I am versatile and can do many, many different things.

I am short and to the point. #whywastewords

I connect people and strengthen friendships.

I share ideas. #tellmewhatyouthink

People reminisce with me; they sit and look through albums of photos from days gone by.

I move people.  I deliver important news. #whassup

The average person spends 40 minutes a day with me. That’s 245 hours each year – or ten solid days.

Most spend only 3 min/day w/me. #don’twastemytime

Well, we are different in so many ways!  You’re younger, faster, shorter, sharper, while I am older, slower, longer and comfortable.

Hey – there’s a place for us both. #bff #diversityisgood

All the best, Twitter!  May you add many tweeters.  And stay strong!

Thanks, friend Facebook.  May you have many more years of successful interfacing.  #livelongandprosper




PAD 24 in November

Write a poem with dialogue. 

Okay — this is just plan silly.

Directions to KwaLala*

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Close your eyes.
Gently close them.
Now, take the first left after the green dragon.
Then hop forward on one foot
until you see a pink unicorn.
Turn around three times
and touch the ground.
Then climb the nearest Sequoia,
jump onto the second cumulous cloud
and ride it past Alpha Centauri
(A or B).
Skim the cream
from the top of the Milky Way.
and pour it over the head of Orion.
Catch the first falling star
and shoot back toward the Blue Planet.
Hop off when you get to lightning
and ride the rainbow back to your room.
Then slip under
your nice, warm feather duvet.


PAD 23 In November

For today’s prompt, write an instructional poem. Your poem could be a set of instructions, or be from the perspective of the teacher or the student.

*  “ukuLala” is an isiZulu word (translated into English as ” to sleep“).  I often refer to the place we go when we slumber as “lala-land.” After the romantic comedy-drama musical film, I couldn’t really use that word again without conjuring up visions of Stone and Gosling dancing with the LA skyline behind them.  So, rather than title this poem “Directions to Lalaland,” I christened it “KwaLala” (“kwa” in isiZulu means “place of”).

Mrs. Mary Ellens

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There were two.
Like night and day,
they were:
one a reed
the other an oak.
With zeal
they both taught English:
drill sergeants
on the outside,
gummy bears on the inside.
They lit fires
all over the damn place,
looking straight at the pupils
to see if the tinder caught,
fanning any flicker of flame.
They left their marks,
those Mary Ellens,
on scores and scores
of pock-marked,
Most of those kids
grew up,
fiercely passionate,
a blaze in their souls
for words.
And you can bet your bottom dollar
they know just where
to put those commas!


PAD 22 in November

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Mr. ________,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. (Feel free to replace the Mr. title with Mrs., Ms., Miss, Dr., etc.)

I had two spectacular English teachers in Grades 8 and 9. They both left their fingerprints all over me.  And I love them to bits!

Flight 056


The business executive
walks up and down
the departure lounge
gesticulating wildly,
talking to a voice
in his ears
about presentations
and the exchange rate.

A newlywed couple sit
shoulder to shoulder
legs folded over each others
laughing at pictures
on their phones.

A single, middle-aged divorcée
reads a New York Times Bestseller
sighing before each page turn.

A young mother,
hair escaping her ponytail
and trailing over her forehead,
collapses into a metal chair,
eyes closed, head back, feet in the aisle,
while her four-year-old
pulls daddy from shop to shop
pointing at stuffed animals,
boxes of jelly beans and flowers.

A teenaged boy,
chewing a massive wad of bubble gum,
wearing a backwards cap
and untied basketball sneakers,
lounges, legs extended,
playing a video game on an iPad.

Everyone else perches
on the edge of hard seats,
eyes on the uniformed people
behind the desk
at Gate 2B.

Soon we shall all be
40 000 feet above the earth,
heads above the clouds.

PAD 21 in November

For today’s prompt, write a travel poem. 



Attorney’s Appeal

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In degrees
we’ve grown tenebrous,
stain layering stain.
Ears saturated with -isms.
Mouths sermonising bitterness.
Calloused eyes and fisted hands.

We have
forgotten that
grace begets grace,
and that only light
can dispel the darkness.

Help us
(in the face of dogma)
to choose
. . . . (germinating glory),
. . . . (listening for love),
. . . . (lifting persecution),
. . . . (exposing blemishes).




PAD 20 in November

For today’s prompt, write a light poem. The poem could involve light, like from a light bulb or the sun or it could involve the concept of being light, like lighter than air or lighter than an elephant.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
– Rev Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:

 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!  I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’  

I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

–  Luke 18:9-14

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