Universal Centre


You are the centre of the universe
in the little drama you’ve created.
You make all the decisions
about setting and plot.
You choose the theme and the conflict.
You carefully select the characters.

You will,
of course,
play the protagonist,
propelling the story forward
through all sorts of odious obstructions.
And doing so with the heart of a hero.

I have no quarrel with this.
You tell the most wonderfully tall tales
with richly complex and exaggerated elements.
But I am at odds with the fact
that you insist
on casting me
as your nemesis.



PAD 19 in November

Pick one of these prompts for your poem today:

  1. Write a protagonist poem
  2. Write an antagonist poem


Music to My Ears

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What if we converted
every phoneme into a note,
each word into a chord,
all sentences into bars.

Conversations would be choruses.
Speeches would be scores.
Arguments would be in minor seconds.
And “I love you” would be in perfect fifths.

We’d listen for
pitch and rhythm,
timbre and texture.

And best of all,
we’d listen.


PAD 18 in November

For today’s prompt, write a music poem. 

Just pondering . . .

In the Pink

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We peak,
they say,
at twenty.

Lung capacity
slowly commences decreasing
from the age of twenty.
Then the skin appears
to forget its elasticity
somewhere around twenty-five.
From thirty onward
the brain,
muscle tissue
and hair
begin to break down
faster than they regenerate.
At thirty-five,
loss develops
as part of the natural ageing process.
Next up are the heart,
and eyes
which start deteriorating at forty.
With kidneys,
the number of nephrons
declines at fifty.
And at fifty-five
and digestion
decide to throw in the towel.
At sixty,
and smell are greatly reduced.
And the dear liver,
once seat of our souls,
has an extraordinary capacity to regenerate
and only rolls downhill at seventy.

As for me,
in my sixth decade,
I’ve just begun.


PAD 17 in November

For today’s prompt, write a health poem. It can be about any sort of health: mental, physical, psychological, emotional, etc. Or the health of your stock portfolio or personal garden. Writing about health class or a health study is fair game too.

Hmmmm.  What can I say?

Free Advice (to my children)


Read books.  (lots of them)
Eat pizza.  (extra cheese)
Drink water.  (six glasses a day)
Hug a tree.  (at least once a week)
Breathe.  (deeply)
Play games. (for fun)
Do not take yourself too seriously.  (occasionally lose an argument)
Listen.  (really listen)
Spend time with God.  (the Lord has a wide-open schedule)
Sing.  (in the car and shower)
Dance.  (in the kitchen and at the grocery store)
Talk to animals. (really  —  talk to them)
Sleep.  (when you are tired, sleep)
Work.  (whatever you do in word or deed . . .)
Laugh.  (when it is appropriate —  and then, with abandon)
Love.  (extravagantly)
Celebrate.  (because YOU are the only YOU and YOU are special)

PAD 16 in November

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

Stuck in the Middle

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(at the beginning)
I relished being
the equidistant point,
the encircled apex.

Over time
I grew tired
of the smooth surfaces
and wine spritzers
and rehearsed script.

One day
I realised
every face I saw
was the face of a scavenger,
whose laugh once made my chest puff-out
but now
made me curl in on myself
like a millipede,
hard back to the crowd.


PAD 15 in November

For today’s prompt, write a middle poem. We’re in the middle of the month, so it’s a worthwhile time to write about being in the middle of things. There are physical and geographical middles, of course, but people also find themselves stuck in the middle of quarrels, lines, and poetry challenges. Some think of the middle as average; others strive to break out.


When I read this prompt, I got the song “Stuck in the Middle” fixed in my head on infinite loop.  The song was written by Gerry Rafferty and the lyrics are a dismissive tale of a music industry cocktail party written and performed as a parody of Bob Dylan’s paranoia.  This is my attempt to get the song out of my head.  🙂


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One of four sons,
into an extended family
where fathers eat their offspring
and children castrate their fathers,
understood the peril
and weighed his options carefully
before visiting fire
upon the earth.
The price:
chained to a mountain
to have his soul
burned from his body
by the touch of the sky,
and then,
under the cool, caressing hands of the moon,
to have psyche reborn.

Seeing how your gift’s been used,
was the crime worth the punishment,


PAD 14 in November

For today’s prompt, write a myth poem. Reinterpret a common myth, create a brand new myth, and/or mention a myth in passing.

I have always found Greek mythology to be fascinating and bizarre.

Strange Familiarity


I thought them, at first.
Two greying humans
with so much stuff;
I’m talking floor to rafters.
It just kept coming.

Then the changes.
New doors,
new deck,
new windows.
They chased the squirrels
from my crown
and sealed the gaps
where the mice would play.

Lots of singing
and baking.
My arteries
pushed about
scents of apple
and cinnamon.

And there is laughter
echoing down the passages
and bubbling up and out the chimney
like a well of joy.

I thought them, at first.
But now we are acquainted,
indeed, family;
and I sigh in peace.


PAD 13  in November

For today’s prompt, write a persona poem. That is, take on the persona of someone or something else. 

A little while ago I wrote of having to leave our home of over 25 years.
Today I write about our new place — taking on the persona of our new home.



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splattered with mud,
shook his head with regret,
took several breaths
and then,
wheezing wildly,
waved good-bye
to fall.

Knobbly hands dropped,
and he shivered
and drew away
in a mist.


PAD 12 in November

Today, write a form poem. (As examples–  Dodoitsu: 4-line Japanese form.
Echo Verse: A poem that repeats itself (self). Elegy: Song of sorrow or mourning.
Erasure Poems: Like blackout poems, but without the markers.

I tried my hand at an ERASURE POEM (take a passage and erase words to leave a poem).  This is from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2),
Chapter Eight:  The Deathday Party.
Lots of fun!  Give it a try.



Your number theory
was elemental,
Mr Glorious,
giving us all
a rather lot
to think about.
Making concrete
what is imaginarily infinite.

Let’s get right down
to the basics:
if a mathematician
postulates through space
and no one proves the theorem,
can pie be prime?


PAD 11 in November

For today’s prompt, write a prime poem.

Okay — this is just plain silly.  🙂  I do like to play with primes!


Life of their Own


They carry weight, yet have no substance.
They cost the earth, nevertheless are free.
They are witless and dull, but razor-sharp and draw blood.
They appear to be innocuous, however they have great power.
to create and to tear down.
to give birth and to kill.
to nurture and to abandon.
to hope and to despair.
to love and to hate.

Choose wisely.
Think carefully.
Weigh your words before you breathe life into them.
Once released
they have
a life of their own.


PAD 10 of November

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “______ of ______,” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Next of Kin,” “King of the Mountain,” “Lover of Chocolate,” and/or “Tenth Poem of the Challenge.”


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