2021 PAD Challenge: Poems from Days 16-20

As promised in my previous blog post, here is the fourth set of poems I’ve written for the 14th annual Poem-A-Day Challenge as organized by Writer’s Digest. Even though every day has its own unique prompt, I am focusing on “travel” as an overarching theme because I’ve missed traveling so much this past year.

Day 16 PAD Prompt: “Write a city poem. You can make the title of your poem the name of a city and write your poem. Or you can mention a city in your poem. And, of course, you can just set your poem in a city without naming which one it is.”


In Galveston, where gulf greets land,
waves crest and ebb against the sand
while tanned beachcombers nurse their beers
and tourists scrounge for souvenirs
in offbeat shops along the Strand.

A greedy seagull’s shrill demand
competes with music from a band
as locals fish off seawall piers
in Galveston.

But there is more to understand
from neighborhoods both plain and grand
built and rebuilt across the years.
Through hurricanes, life perseveres
sustained by human heart and hand
in Galveston.

Poetic Form of Choice: English rondeau, a thirteen-line poem divided into three stanzas of 5, 4, and 6 lines with only two rhymes throughout and with the opening words of the first line used as a refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas (aabba aabR aabbaR)
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 17 PAD Prompt: “Write a waiting poem. It can involve any interpretation of waiting. Waiting in line at the store or for a package in the mail or whatever else someone (or something) might wait for.”


The hardest part of doing is
when nothing can be done,
but the task is not yet finished,
and the race is far from run.

We hover at the starting mark.
We languish in the queue.
Is life a series of delays
we’re meant to suffer through?

We cross days off our calendars.
We pace the waiting room.
But isn’t life its own sojourn
between cradle and tomb?

If I am waiting, let me wait
like waiting is the prize— 
one eye upon the timepiece,
one eye upon the skies.

For the sweetest part of waiting
is anticipation,
and the task is never finished
until the race is run.

Poetic Form of Choice: Ballad quatrains with ABCB rhyme scheme
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 18 PAD Prompt: Write an ekphrastic poem which is a poem based on another work of art (painting, photograph, sculpture, mixed media, etc.).


It isn’t just
your construct of colors –
abstract dabs, subtle brushstrokes
defining a lane, a lake, a haystack
or a bridge spanning a garden pond.

It’s also how
you noticed the glow,
a luminosity in what’s common
where light elevates the everyday,
each masterpiece concealed in a moment.

Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse with alliteration and assonance
© 2021 F. E. Greene
The Japanese Footbridge, Claude Monet, 1899

Day 19 PAD Prompt: “Write a poem with an animal in the title. Titles like “Counting Sheep,” “Beside the White Chickens,” and “Horse” would all qualify.”


I would not wish for nine lives,
not even two or three—
one is enough to comprehend
a life’s complexity.

One life to learn my lessons,
to wake and work and tire;
one life to celebrate and mourn
is all that I require.

Poetic Form of Choice: Ballad quatrains with ABCB rhyme scheme and alliteration
© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 20 PAD Prompt: “For this Two-for-Tuesday prompt: Write a love poem and/or write an anti-love poem.”

ASPECTS OF LOVE (in three cinquains)

I loved
those long summers
time spreading like the sea
always someone to help or hug –


You leave
your door open
even when you are out
offering respite in your home –


We talk
about nothing
the rest would understand
but to us, it is clear as day –

Poetic Form of Choice: Cinquain (five lines with syllable count of 2/4/6/8/2)
© 2021 F. E. Greene

It’s still not too late for you to join in the fun! Follow this link to the Writer’s Digest website and see the details for the 2021 PAD Challenge.

About F. E. Greene

F. E. Greene loves coffee, castles, crumpets, and the cat next door almost as much as she loves writing. She is the award-winning author of multiple bestselling series including contemporary romance (Richer in Love), time-travel romance (Love Across Londons), and fantasy adventure (By Eyes Unseen). Her nonfiction series All Things Brighter focuses on writing fiction and poetry. A novelist, songwriter, poet, and photographer, she has taught young journalists and coached creative writers in both scholastic and volunteer settings. Greene's novels blend feel-good romance, mild suspense, a touch of whimsy, and her steadfast affection for all things British.
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