2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

The third day of about any new routine is the hardest, including the 2016 April PAD Challenge. Let’s get through this together and own this month of poeming.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Three (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Three Blind Hippos,” “Three Muskrats,” “Three’s Company,” “Three Movies Is Too Many for The Hobbit, Peter Jackson (just saying),” and so on.


Poet's Market 2016

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Here’s my attempt at a Three Blank Poem:

“Three Things That Drive Me Crazy”

The everyday occurrence of people writing everyday
when they mean every day. Also, when people keep
saying the same thing over and over again, and then
ask if I understand what they just said over and over
again, and they keep asking repeatedly until I start
to wonder if I did hear them the first time or if I’m just
hearing them wondering if I heard them and then I
start to feel dizzy and want to fall down, do you know
what I’m talking about? And third, like people who
can’t count and say they’re going to tell you just one
thing, but then, they tell you like two or three. Finally,
people who complain, especially about things they
do everyday themselves and expect others to be perfect.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer wants to update this little bio thing each and every day this month, but he’s not sure if he’ll be able to do it. Maybe if you leave an encouraging comment below, he’ll know people read this part of the post, and then, he’ll feel motivated to make his dream a reality.

Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he gets to do a million things to help writers find more success with their writing (including this blog). He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53).

Connect with him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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505 thoughts on “2016 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

  1. PKP

    Three again….

    There it is again
    triplicated trios –
    birth, life death –
    Father, Son, Holy Ghost
    beginning, middle, end
    and now…
    birthing, raising, losing

    should not have been
    the soul-shock it was …
    to be

  2. seamuscorleone

    Bad Things Happen in Threes

    I got stuck in traffic
    Behind a person going
    62 in the passing lane
    When the speed limit was 60.

    Looking in the rear view mirror,
    Couldn’t she see the almost
    Unbroken line of bumper to
    Bumper traffic behind her,
    Or could she only see the wide open spaces
    She drove into alone?

    Then I stopped for Starbucks;
    I had to.

    Walking up the stairs to class the
    Bell rang and I tripped,
    Spilling the foam from my
    Latte all over the hair and backpack
    Of the girl in front of me.

    She didn’t notice;
    I didn’t tell her.

    Now I sit in the corner,
    Afraid to move.

    What’s going to happen next?

    That’s when you came in
    And took the seat next to me.

  3. Anvanya

    Bless Me Father. …

    “And for your penance say three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys,
    And three Glory Bes,” intones the Irish prelate
    From within the stuffy confessional box.

    Monthly our class in Catholic Elementary school was herded
    To the church across the playground with its Foursquare grids,
    Its Baseball diamond, and its Tether ball poles…to go to Confession.
    Mind you, this was all prior to the reforms, refashioning, and
    Rebranding of the Seven Sacraments in the last century.

    We were made to confess our miniscule Transgressions
    In the dark. (Full disclosure: Most times I had to invent one
    Or two sins, for what can a third grader know of impure
    Thoughts? Jealousy of a sibling? Coveting another’s goods?
    Really !?! What were those priests and nuns on about?)

    Following which, we executed his solemn direction
    To “Say a good Act of Contrition” and then rushed
    To kneel at the altar rail and skim through the
    Penance doled out by He Who Must Be Obeyed.
    Honest to God! Not one of those adults to whom
    Our parents had entrusted our immortal Souls knew tit
    Nor tat about the inherent Innocence of us children.

    Three decades of sturm und drang Informed my life
    Before I recognized the crushing burden of guilt
    With which all in my class were suffocated.
    Hiding reality and from reality is not
    Salubrious for the nascent nine-year old soul.

    Catholic guilt is invasive, insidious,
    And becomes instinctive. Having at last
    Realized its influence, I set myself free
    To enjoy the outward displays of Italian blaming,
    Jewish guilting, French insinuation on display
    At my work place.

    I take a lesson from the lands of
    My grandsires: incredibly better to
    Put it all out in the open, in the daylight
    To heal, than to hide sins both real and invented
    In the dark shadows of the confessional box.

  4. Thedeb

    Three Dogs
    By Debbie Cerrito

    For a while, there were two.
    Yellow and Brown.
    Brown was still a pup, and at
    night Yellow draped herself
    across his body to protect
    him and keep him close.

    Soon another joined.
    Black, who also needed a forever home.
    But he slept alone.
    The sign of an alpha? Maybe,
    but he’d have to share that title with Brown.

    Years passed,
    and they became family,
    loving each other in spite
    of their differences,
    or maybe because of them.

    One sad night, Brown died,
    and we cried hard with Yellow and Black.
    Brown was gone, leaving behind
    only memories, heartache, and a collar
    with his name engraved upon the tag.

    Yellow mourned deeply, the loss of her true love.
    Black mourned the loss of his mentor and
    instinct guided him into his new role.
    Black was generous with his consolation.
    He made sure his family was cared for.

    But sad days were not done with our family.
    Our youngest, Black, joined Brown.
    So young. Too young.
    Yellow was inconsolable.
    She was alone.
    The house was empty and quiet.

    Yellow had so much love yet to give.
    And there were so many who needed forever homes.
    Now, Yellow has two more in her charge.
    Two, Black & Whites, babies for her to teach, and love.
    They can’t heal her loss, but they take some of the empty
    out of the house, and keep her busy.

    At the end of the day,
    when the pups finally fall asleep,
    Yellow limps to the back door
    and scans the yard looking
    for Brown and Black.
    She knows they’ll be coming for her,
    and they’ll all be together again.

  5. Connie Biltz

    Three Tries

    They say the third time is the charm.
    Now, I don’t wish to cause alarm,
    but sometimes it takes only two
    attempts to do what you must do.
    You also must be ready to do more,
    because sometimes, sometimes, it takes four.
    Or it could take just one… Imagine that!
    You could be done in seconds flat!
    Sadly, it could take many, many tries
    to get a result that satisfies,
    but practice makes perfect. So take heart,
    and remember you’ll NEVER finish… unless you start.

    Connie Biltz
    author of Rainbow Chaser

  6. fayina

    Three of Us

    standing suspended in front of Mt. Rushmore
    a faded emulsion of friendship
    in the last Polaroid in the shoebox

    you, your eyes not
    tired not bereft
    and in the middle
    the one we lost before we lost her

    If I could find my way back
    to retrieve all three of us fragile promises
    I would

    and behind us,
    some stones pretending to be men

  7. BDP

    I forgot that we were to have a title with the word three in it, but I have “three fangs” in the poem itself.

    “Forbidden Fruit Takes the Mic, Updates Eden”

    Yay eons back, I started this: lies beg for letting out.
    I’m shiny red, you grab, betrayals beg for letting out.

    My best advice? Don’t bite. Untruths return to stalk through ghosts:
    admissions haunt. The worst is when you drag confessing out.

    Chomp me, then sprint away? You’ve heard about the snake—it’s you.
    I goad, then slimy guilt debones your legs, no getting out.

    You’ve fooled a loved one, shame, oh, shame. “Forgive me”
    grows a rattle, hear it call from mental crags—you sweat things out.

    At first, I taste so natural, unforeign, yes? You, victim, me:
    three fangs. Each stings, they interweave, tight braid. No effin’ out.

    —Barb Peters

  8. pipersfancy

    Three Moments of Reflection
    —Christina Perry, April 7, 2016

    Sweet stillness over waters deep
    reveals the mirrored dreams we keep—
    below our conscious surface selves
    lie hidden truths where Spirit delves.

    I sought my own reflection there
    and offered up one final prayer
    as I prepared to take a life—
    my own—
    escaping world’s unending strife.

    Resigned, I peered at my gaunt form
    while waters stirred as though a storm
    approached—then unexpected grace!
    Still waters showed my daughter’s face.

    And, as I reached to touch her face
    a second image took its place.
    In shimmered haste my mother stood
    and softly said, she understood.

    Then waves of Love spoke as a voice
    and carefully explained my choice:

    In life our burdens may be shared
    perhaps released and thoughts repaired,
    while death’s great weight turns Love’s design
    to shattered dreams and pain entwined.

    My posture changed within the mirror—
    serene, no longer plagued by fear nor
    despairing thoughts that heave and churn
    instead, embracing Love’s return.

  9. shellcook

    Three Seconds To Zero

    My ever diligent attitude
    is daily greeted with another
    less sophisticated self
    endlessly searching for meaning

    in the bathroom mirror.
    Here i am crying from the glass
    but i cannot hear a word.
    Tuning her in, she yells

    “Three seconds to zero!”.
    Realizing the time it took
    to finally understand her
    made it way too late for me.

    It is always three seconds to zero,
    somewhere, just not here,
    not yet,
    no, not just yet.

  10. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Many of us Believe

    With what horror
    whatever God there is
    (and many of us believe in One
    whether mystically comprised of Three
    or individually More, or not)
    must view our actions for
    if we were made in Love
    by Love for Love
    why do we war?

    Once I separated my son
    and my daughter
    caught up
    in childish fight
    like puppies practicing
    for life.

    “Don’t hurt each other,”
    I cried to sister and brother.
    “That’s how wars start.”

    Foolish, you say
    but whatever God there is
    (and many of us believe in One
    whether mystically comprised of Three
    or individually More, or not)
    understood me that day.

    Assuming “God” exists
    for argument’s sake, you persist
    who’s to say He/She/It/They is/are
    not a God of Hate?

    Conundrum, of course
    and no doubt why
    some of us believe
    and some do not.

  11. LoriP

    Three Loves that Can’t (Can) Coincide

    time lords hate jedis
    wars versus trek
    beam me up, it’s a trap
    bowties are cool
    the arms dealers in this war
    are highschool jocks
    realizing that internal conflict
    is the only way to derail
    an unstoppable force

  12. Yolee

    Three Children

    Love recommended them.
    I read them like a softcover
    book with ten thousand pages
    I simply cannot put down even
    when the beat of my heart
    breaks into a million pieces
    and they collapse in my fingertips.

  13. LizMac

    Loss of Three Dimensions

    At some point along the space-time continuum
    I fell out of three dimensions into two,
    Became stuck to the page, frozen oddly flat
    In Ancient Egyptian severity,
    Avoiding the world head-on,
    Too tired to burst into living threely
    Flex fully a rounded humanity,
    Dance through space to time’s tempo.

  14. Melahlah

    My List

    Three things to do each day: write, read, repeat.
    Three things to be always: kind, trustworthy, genuine.
    Three wishes for my family: love, health, joy.
    Three things I’d like to explore: Paris, a bookstore, your mind.

  15. LeAnneM

    Three of Wands

    I can’t take the card seriously
    after my recent near miss.
    I see no future stretching out before me.

    The sea is just the sea.
    And the mountains, mountains.
    They are beautiful, though,

    Brighter and better than
    The dreams I once held on to

  16. Domino

    2. The Priestess – Three Prayers

    One to ease my eldest son’s heart
    and grant him the love he craves.

    Two to smooth my middle son’s way,
    grant success his hard work paves.

    Three to protect my youngest son
    while in a foreign land.

    These things I ask, in utter faith,
    to guide them with thy hand.

  17. Pat Walsh

    Three wild hearts
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    poke slap boink katunnk

    somewhere out there
    beyond the echo
    of old laughter

    poke slap boink katunnk

    three grown men still
    perpetrate phony mayhem
    of the most preposterous kind

    poke slap boink katunnk

    to draw a joyful noise
    from all those
    who finally get the joke

  18. Friend

    Keturah doesn’t get much publicity–
    she was Abraham’s second wife, after
    Sarah died. (Hagar, of course,
    was only a concubine).
    Keturah gave him six sons,
    who went away somewhere, but
    Ishmael and Isaac
    came together
    and buried their–can we
    join together
    on what we need to do?

  19. Lindy™

    Three O’clock

    Three o’clock
    the dog wants out
    or maybe I’m too late

    My sugar’s low
    or don’t I know
    kicked in Somogyi’s state

    The not quite dawn
    already taking place

    It never ends
    I cannot win
    this glucose-insulin race

    Shadows run
    the cat thinks fun
    tearing corners in his wake

    Two hours left
    to get some rest
    I really need a break…

  20. Danielle937

    The Number Three to a Writer

    For three days I had writer’s block
    But when the hand struck three o’clock
    Three poems were written down on paper
    Before dinner three hours later
    Then I thought of the number three
    Why its magic is my destiny
    So I decided to rely on
    The number three for inspiration
    Its mysticism kept me strong

  21. ppfautsch24

    Everlasting Hope
    On the swing of the bat.
    Up at the plate,
    And the first pitch thrown.
    Three strikes, your out!
    By Pamelap

  22. Sharon


    She of the well appointed home
    where everything is in place,
    and draws oohs and ahs, gasps and oh mys!
    She is house-proud, not afraid to say it aloud
    a friend to admire for her hospitality.

    She of the quick mind and generous heart
    who can make you laugh and not know why
    when before you met at lunch you wanted to cry,
    her kindness unlimited, her empathy measureless.
    She who holds judgment in check.

    She who dresses always cute, always fine,
    fashion aware, dressed to the nines
    her scarf just so, and a purse to match.
    She shops because she likes to,
    not for therapy or escape.

    How lucky am I to have such women
    in my chaotic life and times,
    who don’t care if my poems rhyme.
    How much more lucky that these three
    are found in one friend, who puts up with me.


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