Write a Poem About Birth

We are nearing the end of the Poem a Day challenge on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog. It has been an interesting experience. I will either continue with my own prompts or find another community. You are certainly welcome to join me by posting in the comments.

Today’s prompt at PAD is to write a poem about giving birth. Click on the link to add your own. You can join in any time.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29 | Birth Poem | Experience | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s mine:

I kept telling

myself that

the Queens of England

did this

as I lay on the table

under blazing lights

coming undone

the most

private places

in full view

of strangers,

And then, the doctor

said, “He’s going

to be smart.”

A nurse said,

“What a pretty

little face.”

It was like

the blessing

in a fairy tale,

especially when

eyes still blue

as heaven

cast their

virgin gaze

on me.

Linda Armstrong, 11/29/2012, All rights reserved.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27 | Hero Poem | Villain | WritersDigest.com

Today, participants in this year’s Poem a Day Challenge are writing a hero poem or a villain poem. Click on the link below to join the fun.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27 | Hero Poem | Villain | WritersDigest.com.

The Villain

It doesn’t wear black

or lurk in alleys.

It doesn’t dwell

in putrid swamps

or waylay travelers.

It doesn’t creep

around in the dark

or carry knives.

It loathes all


It resists all


It has no conception

of better.

It wants everything

to stay

the same.

Child of long


Advocate of

unconditional survival,

it does not

trust aspiration.

It does not suffer

dreams. It keeps

me heavy and silent.

It cautions me

to remain safe


Linda Armstrong 11/27/12 �All rights reserved.

via 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27 | Hero Poem | Villain | WritersDigest.com.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26 | Collection Poem | WritersDigest.com

Today’s challenge is to write a collection poem. Not everyone collects things, but a glance around our house would tell you that my husband and I do. He does it in a more organized way. My gatherings are distinctly haphazard.

Click on the link to go to Robert Lee Brewer’s blog and read the contributions of others. Then, add your own.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26 | Collection Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s mine:


They fill

the silvery

surfaces of

computer disks,

the hidden


of external

drives, cloud-tops

from long flights,

footprints in snow,

drifting gold

leaves, glinting

sun on summer

lakes, blossoms

in spring orchards,

baby faces,

smiling friends,

all of them

held in virtual

memory, formatted

in universal jpeg.

Like Midas, I run

them through

my fingers,

longing to

hold on.

Linda Armstrong, 11/26/2012. All rights reserved.

Write an Opposite Poem

Today’s challenge on Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog is to write an Opposite poem, using a previous challenge post as its basis. If you have not been participating, you can scan the previous prompts on the blog and take the opposite point of view, choose a poem by a famous poet and write a contrary reply, or do the same with a poem of your own. I looked over the poems I have written for the challenge this year and decided to use the one I wrote yesterday, “The Truth About Art.”  I wrote “Lies About Art.”

To read a fascinating collection of replies to this prompt, click on the link, and then, if you feel inspired, add one of your own. Anybody can join in the fun. You have to register for the blog to post, but it’s very easy.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25 | Opposite Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s my poem:

Lies About Art

The harder

it is the better,

after all,

it’s about

the skill,

the height

of the leap,

the length

of the note,

the flawless


of a photograph

in an unforgiving


The best

is dearest,

after all

experts know

a fine


when they

see one

and no

great poet

has died


It takes

years to learn,

after all,

the wheel

has been invented

and there are

so many


to attend.


who would


to be called

a child?

Linda Armstrong, November 25, 2012. All rights reserved.

Looking Back at the PAD Challenge and a Matches Poem

The very first prompt this month on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog was to write a Matches poem.  I was looking back because today’s assignment is to write an Opposite poem using a previous challenge entry. I realized that I have not linked to the first few poems and this could be a problem because I want a convenient way to gather them to submit for chapbook consideration.

You can enter the competition, too, even if you haven’t been posting or writing every day. Just choose your 20 favorite prompts from the month and write to them. Then watch for submission information early next month.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1 | Matches Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s my “Matches” poem.

We’re a match,

the two of us,

you with your

temper and me

too tempered

you with your

careful pacing

and me

with my wild

last minute


We’re a match

of seeming

opposites, seamed

so closely together

that sometimes

there is no space

between us

like sky

and sea at

sunset on the


2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19 | Wheel Poem | WritersDigest.com

Today the prompt on the Poem a Day (PAD) Challenge is a wheel poem. It can be any kind of wheel.

Read the contributions of other writers on the site and add your own. Here’s the link:

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19 | Wheel Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Here’s mine:



My first wheels

were skates:

I rumbled

down the sidewalk

across calculated

cracks in concrete,

clicking out

a rhythm for


Rolling along alone

under the

summer sun,

Clackity clack

was the sound

of freedom.


My second wheels,

in a different

place, were

on the used bike

my father bought,

but I was afraid

to ride for a long

time, though I

longed to, not

trusting that

seemingly impossible

balance, until

someone let go

and I wobbled off,

until that wobble

turned to a whir.

Whir, whir

was the sound

of freedom.


After college

came my

first car,

a used Dodge

that randomly

died, but

took me

farther and faster

than I could

have dreamed.

Vroom, vroom!

That was the

sound of freedom.


When a Sumerian

first put

a log under

a load

to roll,

could he





or a distant


of freedom?

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 16 | Last Line First Poem | WritersDigest.com

My warm up poem ideas for November are all from Robert Brewer’s blog Poetic Asides. Each prompt this month was contributed by a different poet. This one is from Joseph Wells. He suggests that we take the last line of yesterday’s poem and use it for the first line of today’s.

If you did not write a poem yesterday, I guess you can use an old one. Nobody will care.

My poem yesterday was a riff on the saying about the rich man, heaven, and the eye of a needle. I heard somewhere that The Eye of the Needle was actually a city gate, so that’s what my poem was about. The last line was “of a needle”. What do you do with that? Actually, I had fun.

Read the poems of others in the group and add one of your own. You can join the challenge any time.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 16 | Last Line First Poem | WritersDigest.com.

Of the Needle


Of the needle

I need to say

little, as it so

readily makes

its own point,

leading the way

among crisscrossed

threads, pulling

a joiner behind,

teasing notes

out of grooves

in vinyl or just

teasing someone

who may or may

not be a friend,

towering in


stone in a canyon

or in steel

among city


of the needle

I need to say little

as it so readily

makes its own point.

Linda Armstrong, November 16, 2012.  All rights reserved.

Create Poetry Postcards or Greeting Cards Like These

Broadsides: Home: Zazzle.com Store

Use Zazzle to create original poetry trading cards or photo cards for your next poetry reading or for your writing club. Here are mine. You can change the pictures and poems to make them your own, or just use them for samples and create your own from scratch.

Zazzle does great work! I’d love to see a group of poets based there.

Broadsides: Home: Zazzle.com Store.

Under Golden Cottonwoods

I’m late posting my daily poem today because we spent the morning enjoying the fall colors here in western Colorado’s Grand Valley. If you would like to borrow related ideas, try writing about:

  • a memorable walk
  • autumn
  • trees or a tree
  • a river
  • a long-term relationship


Under Golden Cottonwoods

sunlight filters

through golden leaves

as we walk

together in a protected

open space

by a river that flows

with few interruptions

from melted

early snows on peaks

just out of sight

here in the first

of many arid valleys

it encounters

on its way to the Gulf.

We talk

as we walk, pausing

now and then

to take pictures

away, from this stream

of moments,

crisp and golden

as the leaf-meal


copyright Linda J. Armstrong, 10/23/12 all rights reserved