2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

For today’s prompt, write a danger poem. There are various levels of danger out there–from physical danger to the danger of being discovered doing something you shouldn’t (or doing something that might embarrass you–or someone else). Even the act of writing and sharing a poem brings with it the potential for danger.


Re-create Your Poetry!

Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!

In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at a Danger Poem:

“crossed signals”

you’re a bell
& you signal danger to me
can’t you tell
why i am terrified to be

on your mind
it’s a truly dangerous place
where i’ll find
what is hiding behind your face

ring away
if that is what you need to do
i won’t play
because i’m scared to death of you


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He just recently found out he belongs to the Hufflepuff house on Pottermore.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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234 thoughts on “2018 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

  1. SymannthaRenn

    In the Water

    I stepped in before I realized that this is
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    I agreed to cross a gentle river but this is
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    The mud sucks and pulls at me here in
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    the stench of death is in the air as I slosh through
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    I hoped for green or blue water, I can’t believe I got
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    I can’t believe I wondered so far from home to
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    They say the alligator hides better in
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.
    I’m already wet, there’s no going back, I’m in
    the black water of a swamp, not the brown of river water.

  2. sincerescribe

    Danger Acrostic

    Discretion—use it in my neighborhood.
    Angry tenants may mistake bad for good.
    Noise of adult brawls penetrates the air.
    Gunshots sound off often so please beware.
    Evening is a time to go inside—
    Resting at home is where you should abide.

    1. sincerescribe

      I revised the last two lines.

      Discretion—use it in my neighborhood.
      Angry tenants may mistake bad for good.
      Noise of adult brawls penetrates the air.
      Gunshots sound off often so please beware.
      Evening cues all to retreat inside—
      Resting in-house is where you should abide.

  3. G.P. Hyde


    Dangerpoet, Dangerpoet, flying fast as light,
    Wonderpoet, Spiderpoet, fighting crime tonight,
    Crimes against the rhymes, syns against the tax,
    Superwording heroes keep us being out-of-whack.

  4. Tom Hayes

    Love Hazard

    I feel I’m in danger
    of falling for you,
    of tripping out, too.
    of getting a shove,
    of drowning in love.
    I may be in danger
    but the only protection
    needed by me
    is to see
    us become

  5. mschied

    The danger of self-deprecation

    If one is to self-flagellate
    one must be sure one’s
    audience understands
    the concept of sarcasm
    or one risks adding
    injury to self-insult

  6. MaggieIrene

    Danger Lurks

    once you start to like someone
    who’s been cast in whatever role
    in whatever episode or soap opera aired.
    Any given actor may awake one day and need
    a change, or be offered a dream-of-a-lifetime role,
    may even have the nerve to die, whether pretend
    or for real, pass on from all earthly ties.
    Be prepared to adjust, screen addict;
    not one writer, director, or producer
    will ask for your input before they
    mess with your favorite story line
    and totally undo your evenings.
    RIP, Abby Sciuto.

  7. MargoL

    You were like a burning fire

    You were like a burning fire
    Burning dangerously

    Like a storm
    Ready to brew

    Emotions bottled up
    About to explode

    You were called rebellious
    During your teens

    Said to be dangerous
    And you couldn’t care a less

    Multiple wrong choices made
    Crashing in several directions

    You had us all fooled
    With words of persuasion

    Cops at our doorstep
    More then we could count

    And breaking your mothers heart
    Into a thousand pieces

    You were like a burning fire
    Impossible to extinguish

  8. bethwk

    (for the people who sit in their trees to stop the pipeline)

    The women themselves are oaks
    in this ocean of oak,
    in these groves of trees–
    Sycamore, Poplar, Pine–
    riding their boats,
    tiny houses high in the boughs of the oak trees.

    Riding the waves of storm,
    surfing the wind high up in the branches,
    they have no safe port, no harbor,
    no safe place to re-supply.
    Below them, the sharks circle,
    waiting for the first sign of weakness.
    But their friends, too, have made a circle,
    a web to hold the women who sit in the oaks.

    The women are watching and waiting.

    They are protectors.
    They are the guardians.
    They are trees and the mothers of trees.
    They know the secrets of the acorn.
    They know how long it takes an oak to grow.
    They have the patience of mountains.


  9. grcran

    aging dalmatian

    this is not me
    i live as defunct
    detached deranged

    not dangerous
    with modicum of spunk
    in world of change

    dims glimmer little bit
    strange arranger

    yet competent
    to think to pitch a fit
    spotting danger

    gpr crane

  10. Linda Hatton

    Don’t Go There

    She wanted to get
    away from d-
          anger building
    inside her, ready
    to blow
    just like Old
    Faithful. Instead,
    she cancelled
    her vacation, pulled
    down her blinds,
    made a date
    with her safe

  11. deringer1


    such danger all around me!
    I sense it, see it, smell it.

    it lurks behind doors
    and calls from the kitchen.

    I cannot run, I need to face it
    and say no! No, I will not

    eat another cookie, or piece of cake,
    another chip, another dip…..

    my health is in great danger here
    and it’s only food I have to fear.

  12. Monique

    Forgot to write one yesterday so…


    It’s dangerous to procrastinate
    There are times that you can’t wait
    Strike hard and strike fast
    Live each day like your last
    Or be a dollar short and a day late.

  13. Brandi Noelle

    Dancing with the Devil

    It is in the eye of the beholder
    some run from it
    narrowly escaping its grasp
    while others cling to it
    needing its thrill to feel alive
    this was me
    after years of misery
    rejection, manipulation
    I sought refuge in danger’s embrace
    playing with fire
    dancing with the devil
    it was all the same
    for, from his dark brown eyes
    to his mocha skin
    my mind whispered
    from his melodic timbre
    in a voice that flirted with disaster
    my mind hissed
    he was bold with his intentions
    yet, I remained steadfast as I wavered
    my mind shouting
    but, oh! That first kiss!
    Pent-up desire released
    as passion swirled around us
    my lips craving

  14. PSC in CT


    Some couples
    are better as singles –
    fine alone
    but a terrible mix;
    a toxic combination
    that nothing
    and no one can fix

    These duos should
    come with a warning –
    something candid,
    straightforward, no fuss.
    Succinct & matching
    t-shirts, mayhap,
    that simply say:

  15. drwasy


    After your son
    survives seventy-six
    aspirin you wake
    up & see peril
    in butter knives
    CDs & motherboards
    shoestrings & window
    panes; you lock up
    everything until only
    walls floors ceilings
    remain because pillows
    can asphyxiate but
    you never sleep—
    you cannot remove
    his will to die.

  16. Matt

    “Internal Danger”

    The hillbillies next door
    are moving away.
    I punched air in excitement/relief
    when I heard the news.
    Contrary to the most cursory of
    observations, I do give
    everyone a chance, and you
    automatically get the benefit of the doubt from me,
    even if I don’t know you.

    The morning after their
    first full night in their
    new home, I had the pleasure of waking up
    to the dulcet tones of the mother/wife
    stating to a child of hers that she doesn’t
    “know who in the fuck yer talkin’ to…”

    Admittedly, I never found out who
    the kid thought that they
    were talking to either because
    the rest of the
    mother/wife’s haranguing was
    drowned out by
    the rapid departure of
    the chance and benefit of the doubt that
    I was prepared to give them.

    That was two years ago.

    It’s been two years of
    -watching their backyard
    be turned into the town dump,
    -listening to poorly trained dogs
    nonstop every time they were let outside,
    -feeling the blood choke my veins
    every time I had to bear witness to
    the mother/wife missing the fact that
    her kids have zero respect for her.

    Who’s to say if I am
    any better?
    I know the subjectivity of perfection
    just as well as I know the fact that
    I am a man with many flaws.

    Should have, could have, would have!
    Until you reach a certain age
    you can’t full understand that you’re choice
    is to pick the battle worth your fight.

    If fences make good neighbors,
    No Neighbors must be a paradise.

  17. Pat Walsh

    a danger of remembering
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    staggering along
    the thin vein of sand and stone
    between the station and the river
    his steps betray him
    each time his line of thought
    brings her woeful wet eyes
    back into focus
    in his memories of summer

    the dull hollow gloss
    of the vacant stare in the photo
    hangs like heavy smoke
    flattening the edges of his thoughts into tiny ripples
    as distant as the far off
    whistle of the train
    in his memories of summer

    like the haze of long ago
    arrivals and departures
    that draw him nearer to the track
    she lingers in the weak sunlight
    like the staccato rattle
    of steel wheels
    drawing dangerously close
    in his memories of summer

  18. Asha1000

    Black-Eyed Susan Blues

    Black-eyed Susan tells the same story blues,
    “Woman, you’ll never stop getting black eyes,”
    he says, hands itching, “till you’ve paid your dues!”
    Split lip, broken hip, she cannot disguise,
    though the bruises may look like ink tattoos,
    the danger signs return each new sunrise.
    Then one night, while he’s sleeping, like a log,
    she makes like a flea and jumps off the dog.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  19. LCaramanna


    It’s a classic game show,
    a trivia quiz on tv,
    play if you dare
    you’ll win if you know.

    Choose a topic, get a clue
    in the form of an answer,
    buzz in first, but
    that’s not easy to do.

    Question is your response,
    the best contestants
    answer this way
    with an air of nonchalance.

    Your total score increases
    with each correct reply.
    Answer incorrectly? Too bad,
    your money pile decreases.

    This is Jeopardy –
    it’s a game show
    each evening at 7:00
    I watch on tv.

    But never would I dare to play
    for I would be in danger
    of exposing my lack of knowledge
    and having nothing trivial to say.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  20. bethwk

    Bramble and Thorn

    Now you have endangered our children.
    Your insatiable greed
    and your ravening thirst
    bring death to their doorways
    and poison their waters.
    You’ve sold your souls
    to any devil who can pay
    and you roll across the land
    with your ravening hunger,
    your howls and growls of need.

    So we make ourselves into brambles.
    We become the thorns
    that stand in your path,
    make the land into a maze
    that will turn you and taunt you,
    send you curling back upon yourselves.
    Like the wild rose and the blackberry,
    we dig ourselves into the soil
    and new thorns rise.
    You trample us,
    and our broken stubs take root.
    You cut us back, and we flourish.
    More and more and more of us,
    we rise in your pathway.
    You cannot pass.


  21. pipersfancy

    Stag and Beast

    An antlered head lifts.
    Heat is in the dark wind
    down the valley, relentless
    pursuit of elevation.

    Climbing hills more quickly
    than frantic hares, wild-
    eyed, running blind ‘til

    their muscles seize, tremor,
    one futile last effort pitches
    small bodies forward,
    then—terrible work—done.

    Listen: crackling dry twigs
    become snap of bleached
    bone on forest floor. Hell
    rises to claim this land for

    its own victory before spring
    rains quench parched soil.
    A stag faces westward,
    feign stamps its hooves

    before retreating eastward
    where a river runs its course.
    Eventually, the fire will
    run its course. Life moves on,

    waits, on cool rains to soothe
    the raging beast—fitful slumber—
    until next drought, next spark,
    and the world leaps ablaze.

  22. Nick

    1st Draft
    What is dangerous
    is reading my poem to my wife for the first time. She is my best and worse critic and not for the shy at heart. A splenectomy, ego-ectomy are the order of the day. What survives makes it to open mic and then it has a life of its own. Careful not to hover like an umbrella parent and careful not to cling to this offspring, but willing to set it free into cyberspace and maybe a forgotten anthology, confident that if it survived my wife’s scrutiny shortly after its birth- its ending in some one’s neuronal synapses will always be a danger worth taking.

  23. Earl Parsons


    What lies ahead that should be avoided
    What waits in the darkness to trap or to hurt us
    What lurks ‘round the corner to capture our soul
    Unseen and unavoidable, danger is everywhere
    The signs that warn us are prevalent indeed
    Some obvious, some not so, and others invisible
    But even the invisible can be plainly seen
    If only we open the eyes of our heart
    And heed
    The warnings
    No matter how small

  24. MHR

    APRIL PAD 2018
    POEM #21

    With your black leather jacket loosely cloaking your body,
    the cuffs were rolled up, a golden earring glinted,
    you screamed “observe but touch at your own risk”;
    I was eighteen and in a rebellious streak,
    racing down back alleys in someone else’s silver corvet,
    I was moonlight with my lips blue.
    In short, I talked to you and I know my mother would’ve called you
    “one of the devil’s children,” and smacked my hand away
    like you were something sweet I shouldn’t taste.
    You were my transition from the wild ocean
    to realizing what exactly placed me there in the first place:
    a sinking sun with a crushing hope I could be more.

  25. timphilippart

    Danger, Keep Away from Hansel and Gretel,

    when the famine says, abandon the kids in the woods
    so you’ll have enough to eat,

    they will have a get-home plan
    which you can not defeat.

    if you are an old woman,
    without a spouse,

    don’t attract them with
    an edible house.

    they will eat up your windows, and
    gobble down your shingles.

    and if you build with potato chips,
    they’d probably eat your Pringles,

    when you invite these two for dinner
    and plan to pop them in the oven,

    to make them the main course,
    they will sneak behind you shovin’,

    lock you behind the iron door,
    until you test well done,

    then find their way back home again,
    to tell the deeds they’ve spun,

    the moral of the story is,
    you might end up croakin’,

    if what you do, to these kids,
    is a little too provokin’,

    ’cause the witch in the yummy house,
    who wanted the kids for bread,

    along with their evil mom,
    are two who turned up dead.

  26. candy

    A Dangerous Place

    There is something dangerous
    About the hushed atmosphere
    In the library – as if each book
    Contains a magic spell ready
    To escape and change the
    Hearts and minds of the
    Unsuspecting reader

    1. k weber

      i love this very mystical, magical library scene! reminds me of the days when i would scour the furthest shelves to find something strange and/or beautiful in my college science and art libraries! this poem takes me back to those comfortable, dusty corners.

  27. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Danger is my middle name,
    That’s what it means in Greek.
    Chicken is my favorite game;
    Right after hide-and-seek.
    Not a lot will make me flinch,
    On send me over the edge;
    A walk in the park, a day at the beach;
    Juggling fire on a window ledge.

    Caution is my middle name,
    That’s what it means in Dutch.
    Don’t stand by an open flame,
    And you won’t get burned too much.
    Don’t forget your seatbelt,
    Look both ways at the street;
    Think before you say a word,
    And always be discreet.

    Humor is my middle name,
    That’s what it means in Urdu.
    Fun and laughter hide the shame,
    Or at least it is supposed to.
    Three guys walk into a bar;
    Stop me if you heard this one;
    Life is not a joke, you know,
    But we all need a little fun.

  28. Sara McNulty

    Danger Lurks

    Are you hearing alarms in your head
    Before you go to bed?
    Cannot close your eyes because
    Dragons are drooling in the closet?
    Every night is fraught with
    Fears that chill your spine–
    Gargoyles leering and leaping from buildings,
    Holding swords that can cut
    Into your brain
    Just like that!
    Keebler elves cavorting in tree houses
    Look like benign little beings, but
    Muttering murderers all.
    None of their cookies are good, baked with palm
    Oil. Spoil it for you? Would you rather be slowly
    Poisoned by plaque buildup?
    Questioning the
    Reality of your own
    Spouse lying next to you,
    True blue as they come,
    Until you suspect she has been replaced with a pod?
    Very hard to prove.
    What about your garden variety ghost?
    X-mas always brings out the haunts and hauntees.
    Yuletide season also has a dark side. There is an antidote–
    Zinnias dipped in garlic juice is worth a try. Sip slowly.

  29. MET

    Being emotionally abused by my supervisor… for 16 years was one of the most difficult things I dealt with in a job that had dangers enough without adding the pitfalls of a bully boss…..

    To my emotionally abusive supervisor

    I said a prayer
    Read a Psalms
    Put on my armor of God
    Before I faced you.
    Each Day
    Every Day….
    You were to guide your workers
    Not abuse them, but
    Abuse them you did.
    I learned to read
    Your danger signs.
    You plotted to disgrace me
    (How can a person
    Who claims the faith you do-
    Plot such things….
    I never understood)
    Your plots failed.
    But you see
    What you never knew
    It was I that brought you down.
    Careful to use another’s story…
    Then when I found out your plots…
    It was I, the one you belittled, bullied
    And lied to others…
    Who made you stop
    Your abusing ways…
    As for you and me…
    We were never friends or allies…
    I needed you to do your job…
    You needed me to do yours…
    Those years behind me…
    I may spend a lifetime
    Coming to a place of forgiveness
    Concerning you…
    I fully acknowledge you
    Emotionally battered me…
    That is the first step on that road
    The freedom of forgiveness.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 21, 2018

    1. k weber

      this poem has so much courage! i got tears in my eyes as i have been in emotionally abusive situations… one that went on for ages and i am still amazed i have breath in this body. this poem made me feel strength and hope for recovery and forgiveness which certainly are not easy in these situations. i hope you are far removed from this person now although i know how the damage lingers. i wish you much continued peace and hope writing this poem offered you some comfort in your healing!

      1. MET

        THANK you…. She was removed from her position over me to over other workers… to keep her from abusing others I laid my cards on the table and all I wanted was those over her to keep her in check… she behaved herself until I retired… she retires soon… I think I will pour myself a glass of whiskey and toast to her going….what she did that I reported… she made a young single mother in our unit drive 300 miles to move a child when I would have gladly did it, and then when she turned in her travel voucher… she would not let her claim the miles to cover what she had done to that worker… She was a single black mother raising two children… she had been on the coast with her family on a vacation…her girls stayed there with their grandmother…. it was those kind of things she did all the time… and yes it lingers… for a long long time… I know many of my health problems are due to working under her and the constant stress… and writing about it keeps me focused on the forgiveness…

  30. PowerUnit

    He’s got his hackles up
    And it’s not in anger
    His feet are splayed
    Could claw you as fast
    As he could disappear.

    You return the Great Horned
    Its perch in the corner
    Satisfied the feline remembers
    Who the king of the boreal really is
    And if he doesn’t leave the lyrical cousins be
    One day he’ll feel the real wrath
    Of nature’s balancing tact
    And not a plastic icon’s act

  31. Angie5804

    Everything’s Fine

    Everything’s fine she said
    But the danger signs were there
    Gentle breath of a sigh
    A far off stare

    Everything’s fine she said
    Laundry, unopened mail
    Blinds closed, curtains drawn
    Air suffocating and stale

    Everything’s fine she said
    Answers low and curt
    On edge and annoyed
    Unwashed hair, rumpled shirt

    Everything’s fine she said

  32. Walter J Wojtanik


    You look to hurt a trusting soul,
    going off half crazed into your tirade.
    The accusations that you’ve made
    cut deeply, where no healing can be
    affected. The danger of words.
    They hurt; they heal
    and they steal any dignity I may have
    had left. Now in shame, I realize
    I had allowed you to sully
    my reputation; my name. Take your attack
    back before I take this personally.

  33. SarahLeaSales

    Danger Zone

    Their love nest was a walk-in cooler,
    behind the crates of dairy products,
    on a dilapidated pallet,
    the steam they generated
    threatened to sour the milk,
    curdle the cream,
    and melt the butter.
    If customers only knew what went on
    behind the milk doors,
    they might go shelf-stable soy.

  34. Nancy Posey


    If you let your kids leave home,
    go off to college, beware.
    They’ll read books with ideas
    you’ve never considered.
    They’ll come back with questions
    you aren’t sure you can answer.
    They’ll meet a mate
    from somewhere else, never
    coming back home.
    The only thing more dangerous
    that letting your kids leave home,
    go off to college, is to make them
    stay right at home with you.


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