2021 PAD Challenge: Poems from Days 26-30

As promised in my previous blog post, here is the final 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 26 PAD Prompt: “Take the phrase “(blank) World,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.”

THIS TRANSITORY WORLD

Cling to those people
who don’t cling to you—
but lightly as if the strain
might break them.

You don’t need them,
nor they you. Need isn’t
the issue; it can’t be
in this transitory world.

Love lives in the releasing—
all of us conceived to
embrace love and justice,
contentment and peace

built for those better acts
from the fabric that forms us,
the Hands that weave us,
sketch us, flood us with colors

like kites sailing blithely
sharing the sky unstrung.
We are made to cling—
but lightly.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse with alliteration and assonance

© 2021 F. E. Greene
“Tap Root” by Holli Mae Thomas (Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved by the artist for duplication.) Enjoy more of Thomas’ work at https://www.infraredheadart.com/

Day 27 PAD Prompt: “Today is our final Two-for-Tuesday prompt: Write a believe poem and/or write a don’t believe poem.”

DISBELIEVING

How can you believe?
they ask.

I do not believe,
I tell them.
I listen
until truth speaks.

Then, I do not believe—
I know.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse

© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 28 PAD Prompt: “Write a remix poem. Look over what you’ve written this month and pick something (or many somethings) to poem out in a new way. Maybe your free verse becomes a sonnet or your sestina transforms into haiku. Or take a line or phrase from each of your poems this month and work it into a cohesive new creation.”

IN THE GARDEN
(a naani)

Your construct of colors
outshines any others—
a great cathedral
beneath alabaster skies


Poetic Form of Choice: A naani has exactly four lines with a total syllable count of 20 to 25. This poetic form originates in India.

© 2021 F. E. Greene

Day 29 PAD Prompt: “Write an evening poem. The evening can be a quiet and contemplative time, a stressed or fearful time, or, well, party time. Evenings can be lonely or romantic, cool or humid, inspirational or numbing.”

WHY I TALK TO TREES WHILE I’M WALKING

Every evening, I pass a lone willow
billowing amid a row of stiff-spined pines.
When I greet the pines, they only
	stare past me at the bayou where
	a snowy egret stalks minnows.

As I approach the willow,
	she flounces and frills,
	leaves capering in the breeze.
She always says hello first.

Politely, I reply.

After all, she’s lived here longer than me,
	enduring floods, droughts,
	hurricanes and infestations
	I wasn’t around to see.
Serenely attentive, she susurrates
	wisdom, her canopied limbs
	fringed in spring green.

Those pine trees, she sighs.
They take themselves too seriously.

I glance back. Perhaps they do.

And you, she continues.
I see you ambling each twilight
	back and forth on this footworn path,
	weighted down, gaze to ground.
Let the eventide soothe you.
	This is the hour of absolution.

I glance ahead, then above.
	I know the willow is right
	which is why I talk to trees
	when I’m walking.


Poetic Form of Choice: Free verse with alliteration and assonance

© 2021 F. E. Greene
A willow tree along the banks of the River Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon, 2017

Day 30 PAD Prompt: “Write a goodbye poem. Whether leaving for a holiday or going to get groceries, many people find themselves in positions of saying goodbye to each other. This feels like an appropriate way to close out this year’s challenge…until we meet again.”

GOODBYE

To say goodbye requires of us
both faith and fortitude.
The first curtails our sorrow when
we leave those whom we love.
The second wills us to depart,
or we might never move.
How can a word so commonplace
contain such magnitude?

And here’s a last-day BONUS poem! A little something extra for fans of Shakespeare and/or puns…

[Exit, pursued by a bear.]

‘The Winter’s Tale’ would have us think
goodbyes are never kind.
Antigonus exits the stage
pursued by the ursine.
Perhaps some days, we might believe
to leave is to decline,
but most goodbyes are bearable—
something to bear in mind.


Poetic Form of Choice: Octaves (eight-line stanza) with abcdedfb rhyme pattern and alternating syllable count of 8/6/8/6/8/6/8/6.

© 2021 F. E. Greene
Statue of Bear and Ragged Staff (the heraldic emblem of Warwickshire) at Kenilworth Castle, 2017

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 has been telling stories with words for more than twenty years. She is the 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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