2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

Poeming on Day 1 shows intent! Poeming on Day 2 shows you can follow up! Poeming on Day 3 means you’ve established a habit! Don’t forget to poem along through the weekend too!

For today’s prompt, write a triangle poem. As a shape, the triangle is interesting with its three sides and three corners (that add up to 180 degrees). As an instrument, the triangle is every bit as cool as a cowbell or tambourine. But there are also love triangles, triangulated coordinates, and other triangle stuff. It’s time to triangulate poetry.

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Here’s my attempt at a Triangle Poem:

“back when mtv played music videos”

i would spend hours in front of the television
watching video after video so that i now
live my life feeling like i’m in a music video

which is kind of cool but sometimes doesn’t
match up to reality for instance one of my
favorite music videos ever was phil collins’

“against all odds” which made the movie
of the same name seem like the coolest
movie ever which i hate to spoil it but no

the movie put me to sleep but the power
of music videos is how the drama of
a love triangle can be built and a movie

compressed into three minutes of action
& phil collins’ voice climaxing into
the final few notes that made everything

at least feel like it might be possible

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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He grew up on MTV and the power of love. “Against All Odds” was one of his favorite music videos, but he can’t come close to saying which was his favorite, and he misses the golden days of being able to watch music on television.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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223 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

    1. ingridbruck

      Triangle

      There’s magic in three:
      Three little pigs and billy goats gruff
      Three quests to win the princess
      Love hope and charity in the Bible.

      Odd numbers bring good luck:
      Bilbo with twelve dwarves on the ring journey
      A baker’s dozen of new picked corn from the stand
      And the same number of sesame bagels at Uncommon Grounds.

      Three equal sides confer mystery and suspense:
      The equilateral wall of a power pyramid
      A widow’s marriage to two more good men
      The glass pyramid structure attached to the Louvre.

      There’s chaos of three that transcends to feng shui:
      The asymmetry of a black Japanese pine grounds the landscape
      odd numbers of the same flower bring balance to a bouquet.
      In a Guatemalan weaving of three triangle birds,
      only one looks the other way to where magic dwells.

  1. LCaramanna

    Try Angle

    I tried every angle
    to win her affection:
    played the fool in stand-up comedy,
    intended to impress with brainiac intelligence,
    demonstrated athletic prowess,
    showed a flair for the dramatic,
    orchestrated musical finesse,
    acted Mr. Cool behind a tough guy facade,
    summoned emotion in a trickle of tender tears.
    After each encounter, she turned and walked away,
    for every angle
    was the wrong angle,
    too obtuse, or acute,
    until the right angle
    proved sincere attraction.
    With a 180 turn around,
    I became the object of her desire
    when I bared my soul
    and truthfully admitted
    I had tried every angle
    to win her affection.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  2. Alphabet Architect

    God indivisible…
    Perfect, Immutable,
    Incomprehensible!
    My All in All.

    One in three, three in one
    Unified Deity
    Spirit, Abba and Son
    My Hope, my Peace

    Omniscient, holy, wise
    Triune Identity
    Breath, Love, and El Shaddai
    My Truth, my Rock

    Merciful, sovereign, just
    All-present and in me
    In you I wholly trust
    My Bread, my Vine

    God indivisible…
    Perfect, Immutable,
    Incomprehensible
    My All in All

  3. stepstep

    UPSIDE DOWN

    My world is turned upside down
    Every day I turn around;
    I rotate east, south, and to the west
    I try to make room for the north.

    Is the north more important than the south
    With entertainment and more problems in the sand;
    Do we rise above all we can do?
    Bring the west with their guns to carry us through.

    All of the directions blaze through
    Threading boldly beside one another;
    They connect even without the dots
    And they still form an upside down cone.

  4. Brandi Noelle

    I’ve been a part of a love triangle
    One where I didn’t belong
    I’ve been a part of a love triangle
    That time I had been wronged
    I’ve been a part of a love triangle
    In friendship, the odd one out
    Now I am part of a love triangle
    The right one, without a doubt
    I am in love with my love triangle
    Nothing can break up our three
    Holding tight to my love triangle
    Husband, daughter, and me

  5. pipersfancy

    Triangulation

    What is the distance between these points:
    your broad shoulders forming two points above
    a single focal point, my throat, below?

    Your collarbone, right arm, left arm, form three
    sides—a powerful convergence of body weight,
    gravity and anger—and my strangulation occurs

    as a matter of mathematical equation. But—
    I am your wife. How did I not see the signs? When
    did you become this madman, eyes ablaze with fury?

  6. Nancy Posey

    Granite Falls

    A place so small
    the town square is a triangle,
    we’d tell folks,
    and they’d laugh, certain
    we were pulling their leg.

    Kids had to drive to the next town
    to circle the fast food joints.
    Here we chose between
    Pop’s and City Bar-B-Q.

    The fall festival drew dancers
    from miles away.
    The spry octogenarians stretched
    his legs against the storefront
    of the Pentecostal Church,
    trying to woo younger gals
    as his dance partners.

    Middle school kids too young
    to drive, dropped off
    by their parents
    sneaked smokes in Dudley Alley
    in the shadow of the shoe store
    advertising, “We’ll save your soles.”

    Wary young parents addicted
    to hand sanitizer turned up
    their noses at bobbing for apples.
    “More like bobbing for anthrax”
    they protested.

    Nielsen could look far and wide
    to find a more diverse demographic
    in one triangle of real estate.
    Bank presidents danced with girls
    from the cut-and-sew department
    of the furniture factory.
    Baptist pastors chatted away
    with cosmetologists
    and cafeteria ladies.

    The service league sold hot dogs
    for a buck to school teachers
    and truck drivers, trying to raise
    enough money to send
    someone else’s children to Caldwell Tech.

    Everything we needed
    was just around the corner—
    just three corners.
    They were enough for us.

  7. taylor graham

    NATOMAN MYSTERIES

    I’ve tried to map the route – scrolling across Google and down into canyon. Here’s the Rock Creek ford, Point B, famous in Nisenan history. The entry (Point A, a village long-abandoned) is off the screen. A modern hazarding that route might vanish into rock and sky. No easy path to Point B. Two points connected by a zigzag line down cliff, switchbacks into gorge, through geologic ages to the river that made this place. Canyon revised by miners’ rearranging with pickaxe and shovel. Somewhere in the panned- and shafted landscape is unknown Point X. A treasure. The river’s never-ending love-battle with rock. A triangle I haven’t solved.

    awake under stars
    the river keeps its secrets
    eroding through stone

  8. cassandrascurse

    Venns

    faith hope love
    maiden mother crone

    fair stormy becalmed
    mind body soul

    however I diagram
    my life’s changing circles

    at their center
    I always find you

    Venns

    faith hope love
    maiden mother crone

    fair stormy becalmed
    mind body soul

    however I diagram
    my life’s changing circles

    at their center
    I always find you

  9. cassandrascurse

    Venns

    Venns

    faith hope love
    maiden mother crone

    fair stormy becalmed
    mind body soul

    however I diagram
    my life’s changing circles

    at their center
    I always find you

  10. Jezzie

    MY ODD-SHAPED GARDEN

    My house sits on a sloping trapezium-shaped plot
    but I’m trying to make the best of what I’ve got.
    Nothing in my garden is square but I don’t care.
    I just plant things in threes everywhere.

    three
    winter heathers
    all grouped together
    in an ornamental tricycle

    three
    pretty primrose
    plants sit in neat rows
    in three staggered rectangles

    three
    culinary herbs
    are hardly ever disturbed
    from their pots (half-hexagonal)

    three
    weird shaped plots:
    one that’s hot, one that’s not
    and one is my dog’s play area triangle

  11. Pat Walsh

    Triangular
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    the difference in
    perspective with a
    multiple of three

    elevates the discourse
    beyond what they
    normally can see

    but finding a
    point of thirds
    beyond a line

    of thinking straight
    is too much
    to easily triangulate

  12. Bruce Niedt

    To the Hypotenuse

    Don’t be obtuse.
    You should be acutely aware
    that you can’t always be right.

    So you tie us together,
    your square equal to the sum of ours.
    Should we be impressed?

    You are only part of the equation.
    Maybe you’re bigger than either
    of us, but that doesn’t mean better.

    Do you aspire to be a pyramid?
    If you ask us, we wouldn’t waste the bricks.
    You are just plain geometry.

    If one of us leaves, you’re only part
    of an angle. If we both say it’s over,
    you’re one-dimensional, just a lonely line.

  13. rmpWritings

    I definitely feel like this is still a work in progress…

    No Wonder I Avoid Looking Into Mirrors
    by rmp

    These eyes of mine are not windows
    peek inside and see
    a tessellation of emotions
    refracting off perfectly placed mirrors
    facing in on themselves – a triangular
    prism revealing the infinite prison I
    can’t escape; still I wonder,
    knowing the Greek roots of kaleidoscope
    translate to “observer of beautiful forms,”
    is it too much for me to hope
    the description holds true
    upon gazing within?

  14. Shennon

    Love Square

    First it was me
    Then me and him
    Next him and he
    Then he joined we

    Now with four of us
    Leading two on isn’t fair
    Forget the love triangle
    I’ve got a love square

    –ShennonDoah

  15. tunesmiff

    POP QUIZ
    G. Smith
    •–•–•–•–•
    A point’s just a point;
    (what’s the point?)
    Two points define a line;
    (which side’s mine?)
    Three points make a plain
    (how much pain will remain from that
    tangled triangle of love?
    how much pain will remain?
    how much pain?)

  16. Julieann

    Mom & Dad & Me

    Mom and Dad and me
    We make a lovely family
    Three’s a crowd does not apply
    If you see us, you’ll know why
    We laugh, we dance, we have fun
    Our life has never been ho-hum
    So if in the future you see three
    It’s Mom and Dad and me

  17. tunesmiff

    GEOMETRY LESSON
    G. Smith (BMI)
    ><
    She, and he, and me make three,
    And that's just one too many;
    I've cried and tried, to find a fix,
    But frankly there aren't any.

    Not one that makes her happy,
    Not one that makes me smile,
    The thing to do is make us two,
    And leave 'em alone for a while.

    They say if you love someone let them go,
    And if they love you they'll return.
    The truth, you see, is this lesson for me,
    Is one I don't want to learn.

    Looking in the mirror,
    I don't think that I'm obtuse,
    Seems trying another solution,
    Won't be any use.

    And I don't think I'm being cute,
    When I say the one thing I know,
    Two sides of this triangle are greater than me,
    And so I guess I'll let 'em go.

    And they say if you love someone, let them go,
    And if they love you they will return.
    The truth, you see, is this lesson for me,
    Is one I don't want to learn.

    The proof will come in the proving,
    The waiting's the hardest part;
    Knowing an answer is coming,
    And that it may break my heart.

    They say if you love someone let them go,
    And if they love you they will return.
    The truth, you see, is this lesson for me,
    Is one I don't want to learn.

  18. seingraham

    TRIANGULATING

    When they met— she was art, music, and literature.
    He was a survey-engineer – with all that entailed.
    She hated: math, science, and physics (he tutored
    her in the last).
    Through the decades, he showed her that math
    had an elegance she couldn’t deny.
    And nature and science were compatible in ways
    she’d never dreamed.
    But when she helped him do a basic chain triangulation
    for a rough survey – she was enchanted: triangles upon
    triangles upon triangles.
    Their loveliness made sense in the way Frost’s Mending Wall
    did; he, having developed a poetic sensibility, couldn’t agree more.

  19. ToniBee3

    ten mins

    it’s ten
    oil on skin
    hair like tin
    tucked in pins
    earlobes decked in
    vintage tin
    body… chin…
    triangled… thin…
    rain descends
    on rooftop tin

    me you tenderize
    with tender eyes
    to you i tend
    to me you tend
    our tinders rise
    and spin and spin…
    out tinders rise
    and spin… and spin…
    through rooftop tin
    where rain descends

    it’s ten past ten
    watch Rin Tin Tin
    quaff juice and gin
    flames rise again
    ten more mins
    wrap our shins
    grin to grin…
    lids like tin………
    rain descends
    on rooftop tin

  20. Marie Elena

    NAVIGATOR’S TRIANGLE

    It takes just three stars
    (already spent)
    to find home.
    What is your angle?

    #seventeensyllablesfortwentyseventeen

    No reading time today, but love the little grand daughter who is holding me hostage! 😀 Hoping for a bit of time after she falls asleep, and before I do as well.

  21. candy

    Rhythm Band

    the triangle just
    kind of dangles from
    a piece of string

    most children do not choose
    it from the box of
    noise making instruments

    it make a tiny tingling sound
    a merry jingling sound
    a not too loud sound

    it does not clang
    like the cymbals or
    rattle like maracas

    it does not call
    attention to itself
    like the drums

    but there is always one
    the quiet one, the shy one
    who loves the magic

    of the triangle

  22. robinamelia

    Triangle Triolets

    In Giza, the natural drizzle of subatomic particles
    reveals a void, this strange space
    just above the King’s chamber
    in Giza, the natural drizzle of subatomic particles
    managed to uncover it: the Queen had her own chamber,
    the purpose of emptiness is still unknown
    in Giza, the natural drizzle of subatomic particles
    reveals a void, this strange space

    The only child of two aging parents
    tries to flee the gaze
    that sees too much but not enough.
    The only child of two aging parents
    looks up from the crib at two pairs
    of eyes (wearing glasses) and finds the void
    The only child of two aging parents
    tries to flee the gaze

  23. MET

    The triangle player

    He worked hard
    Learning to play a perfect triangle.
    He could tell you right way to hold it
    So that that the sound
    Would vibrate around the room…
    He had to sit still;
    His arm held in a perfect statue pose.
    The Conductor pointed to him, and
    He took a pompous stance
    Playing his one note on his triangle….
    He smiled to himself when his task
    Was finished, for he knew
    The note was flawless, and
    Vibrated against the walls and ceiling
    For the music was not complete
    Without that one insignificant note
    Played without a glitch.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 3, 2017

      1. MET

        I was hearing it since this morning… sometimes one will not let me not write it…so to get that note out of my head … I had to get rid of other poems in the way of this one… if that makes sense

  24. writinglife16

    THREE POINTS

    My mom had
    pyramids all over the house.
    On the wallpaper
    in the dining room and den.
    On sheets,
    curtains and
    even vases.
    I asked her why and she told me,
    “They aren’t pyramids, honey,”
    and she chuckled.
    She took a sip of tea
    and then said,
    “They are triangles and they
    remind me that men cheat.
    My father cheated on your grandma.
    Your father cheated on me.
    Three points, baby.
    Three points.”
    And she took another sip of tea.

  25. PowerUnit

    Bridge Engineering

    tumbled and stacked
    upon each other
    dead innocents of war
    or bowling
    unable to dodge
    but rally and form
    abutment of each other
    solid and unending
    supportive of travellers
    driving them down

  26. Charley

    Vertices

    He doesn’t look directly at the sun just clearing
    the tree line, gazing instead down at the lake –
    directly into the apex of sunlight, blinded in waves.

    After supper they hadn’t driven directly home.
    The pool hall they went to required him to drive
    perpendicular to the quickest route, turning right.

    She watched him angle the cue ball off a bumper,
    avoiding the eight-ball, and sinking the fifteen –
    the three had been aligned perfectly; scratchproof.

    “Is that how I entered your heart, off the side?”

    “No,” he smiled, bringing the fifteen back out,
    realigning the balls. Chalking the cue, he whispered,
    “You always take the straight shot.”

    The cue ball jumped the eight-ball perfectly. “Crack!”
    Again, the fifteen dove into the pocket. His hand
    came up to his chest, covered his heart.

    “Let’s go home,” she whispered as she took the cue,
    and carelessly sunk the eight in a far pocket; no angles.

  27. tunesmiff

    THIRD PERIOD (NINTH GRADE)
    G. Smith
    ≤=≠=≥
    I remember geometry;
    Study, study, study;
    Obtuse? Acute? Now let me see;
    Study, study, study.
    Corresponding angles?
    Equilateral? What’s in a name?
    Linear pair? The proofs I’d mangle.
    Equilateral! Three sides the same!
    Study, study, study.

  28. Anthony94

    Like a Triangle Solo

    The three of them haunt the barns
    stalk the fields like cougars or at
    least the elusive bobcat with
    its iron jaws. They take turns

    bringing back the writhing
    sometimes play for hours
    with field mice fat before
    the coming winter, the

    undiscerning rabbit in spring.
    There’s the patriarch of one
    eye and gargantuan heft
    deliberate in his passages

    among the dashing until he
    begs a tummy rub suddenly
    gone back to kitten, feet waving
    with hopefulness and trust

    There is the white socked one
    with matching bib who trusts
    no hand and darts away save
    from the nightly meal and shade

    beneath the patio chair. There
    is the precocious one, her black
    coat sprinkled with tortoise shell
    sand, and who moves in lithe

    strides, spurts, and tumbling pirouettes
    as she chases butterfly and beetle
    races imaginary lions through the
    dense pasture, quenches her thirst

    on birdbath’s rim. They bed down
    together come nightfall, the oldster
    taking turns with the next comer to
    cradle or tolerate the impetuous one

    the three of them some rescued triangle
    from nature’s jumbled box of percussion
    who with a mew and purr play hearts with
    the practiced hand of a maestro conducting.

  29. Nurit Israeli

    A Couple and Their Marital Therapist

    Hour after hour,
    I dig through the wreckage
    of their marriage,
    searching the remains
    for survivors.

    Hour after hour,
    I sort through
    the shattered parts,
    one mangled piece
    after another.

    Hour after hour:
    Tales of love and loss,
    resolutions and regrets,
    lust and longings.
    Always longings.

    Hour after hour:
    trying to heal scars,
    recover faith,
    develop new maps,
    carve new pathways.

    And hour after hour,
    the candle in the room is flickering:
    Yes, hope – even so…

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  30. De Jackson

    Beware, Love. (Love ain’t square, Love.)

    I’m tired of this triangle
    got dizzy dancing tango.
    I’m falling apart in your hands again…
                                            – Shakira

    I told you I told you I told you
    she tells him time and time again,
    eyebrow raised to stars.

    I showed you I showed you I showed you
    she tames
    his wayward ways.

    I’ll hold you I’ll hold you I’ll hold you
    he says,
    and so she stays.

    ::

  31. PowerUnit

    At the Writers Conference

    We’ve snagged three tables
    At the Hard Knocks Cafe
    A big one for the novelists
    Who throw back beer
    As if their stories just made The Times.
    A small one for the poets
    Who nibble their salads like rabbits
    And sip their lonely wines.
    And a single table for me
    A perch in a corner for watching
    Friday evening traffic
    Rolling down the street.

  32. Kayla

    Thought Triangle

    There seems to be lots of screams in my brain
    Because of this they question if I’m sane
    I have the angel on one shoulder
    The devil is on the other
    And I’m sitting here stuck as the third
    I don’t have a say in their word
    One says be the pure one your family wants
    The other says but that isn’t what you want
    I sit here thinking but you’re both wrong
    I’ve wanted both for so long
    And it’s just a triangle of thoughts and words
    Though I feel like mine is never heard
    The angel keeps whispering be the pure one
    The devil keeps whispering but that’s no fun
    And I stare blankly at both wondering why
    I have to make this choice, it makes me cry
    I wonder can’t I be pure and still have what I wish
    They both chant no you can’t have this
    For they live off this triangle of thoughts
    Because if I choose they’d be lost
    They live off this choice that brings me misery
    But they’re just in my head, they’re really just me
    Maybe that’s what hurts the most
    Is the fact I’ve turned myself into this wars host
    But it’s my war to fight, though three sides I see
    The only side is really just me
    I’ve turned my own head into a confusing triangle
    And I still can’t choose between the devil or angel

  33. deringer1

    Standing
    on a pyramid of
    sameness, each day
    adding years encouraging hope
    but producing lingering sadness and
    the effort of feigning happiness. Waiting
    with the patience of the curious for all of it
    to tumble down leaving no solid base and the
    one at the top falling to find nothing but rubble beneath

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