Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 369

For today’s prompt, write a pattern poem. Yes, this is based off today’s prompt number: 3-6-9; the next number would be 12, right? So yeah, there are number patterns, but also patterns in how people act and re-act to situations, patterns in animal behavior, and even weather patterns (I’m sure my meteorologist/storm chasing brother appreciates me mentioning the weather in one of my prompts). Whatever pattern you follow, I hope you have fun.


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Here’s my attempt at a Pattern poem:


I love to sit back and look for patterns
in certain types of tile and wallpaper
as if pursuing a long forgotten
or perhaps never discovered cavern.

When the narrator in Charlotte Perkins
Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”
sees and helps the woman shake the pattern
from the wall, I wonder if it’s the end,

or signifies it is time to begin.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). One of his all-time favorite short stories is “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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100 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 369

  1. taylor graham

    IN A NET
    sonnenizio on a line by Sir Thomas Wyatt

    Since in a net I seek to hold the wind
    for my dog to sniff out hidden networks
    of the morning, netting bird with birdsong –
    Wrong. I’ll never hold all that in netting
    or in hand. The net-gain of possession
    is thinner than netted threads, as westwind
    plays cybernetics with my dog on-search,
    netting nose and brain attuned together
    to solve disappearances, dragnetting
    our world. It’s genetic, the way she works,
    and atmospheric. Nets of cirrus clouds
    woven with contrails; mist-net of wishes,
    this internet beyond our dreaming. Look!
    she’s got the un-nettable on her hook.

  2. artifiswords


    I’m looking at the TV
    And wondering why
    Anyone thinks what we see
    Is just weather…nothing unusual
    Just keep walking…
    Nothing to see?
    How many 100-year storms
    Can we have before the name
    Becomes meaningless?
    Already? Yeah…I agree…
    As pieces of houses
    Wash out to sea…
    And those who won’t agree
    Are invested in the status quo…
    Don’t you see a pattern?

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    Posted also to:

  3. ReathaThomasOakley


    Two quilt tops
    tissue wrapped
    rest in the bottom
    of my cedar chest
    crazy quilt designs
    worked in rayon
    silk cotton wool
    some creped for style
    given to me by my mama dear
    forty years ago as a wedding gift.

    For you to quilt, she said,
    given to me by two dear ladies
    on my wedding day
    for me to quilt,
    I never found the time.

    I see a pattern here.

  4. De Jackson

    something more than someday, too.

    she’s doing it again; layering her skin
    with doubt and promise, polishing

    the way she says I’m fine when she
    means to scream. she’s counting

    all the clicks and the tics and the
    tocks and the way that the clocks

    can be counted on, always. she’s
    playing the odds with the calendar

    since it’s got a leap in it and a wily
    way of boxing her in. tomorrow to

    -morrow, to sorrow she sings and
    brings herself to a significant sway

    of salted sane. she’s carefully de
    -constructing her selves, empty

    -ing her shelves of stuff she doesn’t
    need. take a beat. listen to the way

    her feet pitter-patter(n) and spatter
    ink in her curious wake. she’ll take

    you somewhere, sure. a cure for her
    own chaos. a smudge-sigh of strange.


    1. qbit

      Beautifully done. “layering her skin with doubt and promise”, “playing the odds with the calendar since it’s got a leap in it” are wonderful. The music of clicks, ticks, tocks, clocks just perfect.

  5. De Jackson

    waning gibbous

    she’s melting again,
    on her way to fingernail
    -thin and disappearing.

    i’ve asked her a couple
    of questions, floated her
    a song, so i hope she’s

    listening, even in her
    current state of un.
    she’ll be back, I know–

    she’s got some waxing
    to do, and some full (fool)
    -fledged shenanigans

    to cause for us luna
    -tics, only to erase her
    self once (or twice)again.

  6. Karen

    Walking Lake Huron’s shoreline
    my eyes follow the pattern in the sand
    footprints much tinier than mine
    even birds take a break from flying when they can

      1. ppfautsch24

        Natural Patterns
        The days get cooler and the nights longer;
        a sweater to keep you warm and cradled.
        Candles casting patterns upon the walls
        as the seasons follow their pattern to reap.
        Wending its colorful motif on the canvas outdoors.
        By Pamelap

  7. DMK

    laying on my back
    wide awake not to nap
    watching clouds form
    was that day warm
    dogs dragons butterflies
    wind comes by and I say goodbye
    forms in shapes and patterns
    then one became the Matterhorn
    dolphin, ninja turtle, angels walking
    watching cotton candy flow a cease of talking
    until I have to go
    will come again for this show.

  8. Arash


    by Arash

    For years I
    people like me
    very young and old
    the sick and the dying
    the scientists and priests
    the nurturing and the kind
    the lonely and the slaved
    looked inside and out
    to discover and
    to decipher

    I don’t
    know why
    they all needed
    to solve these patterns
    myself I know only wanted
    to stop the crying
    wishing that
    I was never

  9. qbit


    Your skin
    Throwing mirages,
    Heat tangled air:

    Laughter wavered with
    Taste of your neck

    Moiré of
    Hair and its
    Oasis of touch

    Shadow play
    Rippling over
    Hungry white ribs

    Yes I would
    Crawl across burning sand
    For you.

  10. Amaria

    “a love story”

    one man stole my heart away
    two weeks it took me to say hello
    three dates until we had our first kiss
    four dinners spent meeting family
    five honeymoon nights in Hawaii
    six years we spent in wedded bliss
    seven operations had us on edge
    eight long minutes I waited by the door
    nine hours it’s been since I lost you
    ten thousand years won’t heal this pain

    by Arcadia Maria

    1. Amaria

      Made a slight change to the poem above:

      one man stole my heart away
      two weeks it took me to say hello
      three dates until we had our first kiss
      four dinners spent meeting family
      five honeymoon nights in Hawaii
      six years we spent in wedded bliss
      seven operations had us on edge
      eight long minutes I waited by the door
      nine months it’s been since I lost you
      ten thousand years won’t heal this pain

      by Arcadia Maria

  11. writinglife16


    My granny said
    our neighbor had an evil heart.
    I wondered how she could know
    such a thing?

    My granny watched
    our neighbor every day and night.
    Wondered what she saw in the
    Shadows of night.

    My granny’s prayers
    Woke me one morning
    while sirens and screams were
    heard from next door.

  12. Nurit Israeli


    She persists
    pursuing affairs
    doomed to fail.

    She can’t resist
    falling into the familiar
    (familial?) terrain

    again and again and again.

    She insists
    on becoming more perfect
    to affect a different end,

    until one day −
    she just can’t.

    Until one day,
    with weary hands,
    she breaks the old mold

    and she flees.

    She flies,
    and with new eyes,
    filled with tears, blurred by fears,

    she sees,
    and she starts, stitch-by-stitch,
    to weave a pattern that fits.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  13. headintheclouds87

    Predictable And Tangible Tessellations Explaining Reality, Naturally (P.A.T.T.E.R.N.)

    We live in a world of patterns
    Trying to find deeper meaning
    In pretty tables and grids
    Or determine cause and effect
    In crosses and colour codes.

    They wrap the big wide world
    And all of its deep complexities
    Into a bright box of ordered shapes
    So it makes sense to little minds.

    After all, big, simple bars
    Or easy-as-pie-charts
    Are more appetising to the eye
    And easier to digest than pesky words.

    We sense them in movement too
    Making peers easier to predict,
    A small comfort to all of us
    As we judge the actions of others.

    Some may even cry in protest
    If their precious pattern is broken,
    For obviously a world without order
    Must be one that has gone mad.

    We live in a world of patterns
    That like to play games with us
    If they one day become bored
    Of doing just what we expect.

  14. Walter J Wojtanik


    I go to bed exhausted, bleary eyed,
    teary eyed before long and a strong sense
    that all is lost if this lack of slumber
    costs me any more grief.
    The sandman is a thief in the night,
    stealing the light in my eyes
    and casting a pall on my wishes
    for sweet dreams. It seems my affliction
    is a dereliction of somnambulist seclusion.
    Insomnia plays like a raucous rumba with my R.E.M.
    Narcoleptic fits are every bit as annoying,
    toying with my sleep patterns; a smattering of
    a tense tease. WILL YOU PLEASE LET ME SLEEP!
    But the Apnea sleep Nazi screams, “NO SLEEP FOR YOU!!!”
    So it’s true, I lay in a heap and finally feel the heaviness greet
    my eyelids. The ensuing headache breaks and
    takes what small packet of napping it can.
    I’m not even sure I dream anymore, or if my subconscious
    mind can find the root causes for these nightly pauses.
    My legs twitch, as if an unscratched itch is festering,
    pestering me to no end. And without warning, I buck
    and lurch, a search for a solution. A new sensation,
    I am falling while asleep; falling, asleep.
    The bottom comes too soon, jolting me to a new
    stage of awake with the ache that pulses around my eye.
    Off the floor to rise, flipping the pillow and trying
    to find an exit from this never-ending horror story.
    I go back to bed exhausted, bleary eyed;
    like I’ve always tried, expecting things to go differently.
    In any book, that’s insane.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  15. Julieann

    (for Mom)

    Excruciating pain jolts her from
    A sound sleep
    The pain doesn’t subside
    She’s taken to the hospital
    And given a death sentence
    Only hours to a couple
    Of weeks left
    The family gathers
    They feel so hopeless
    She was so full of life last week
    Two weeks ago
    What went wrong?
    Age wasn’t her friend
    But she wasn’t old either,
    By current standards
    Pain and suffering on both parts
    Physical on her end
    Heartsick on ours
    We love you so much
    It is your time to go
    A time not of our choosing
    But of One who is greater than us
    You’ll leave this earth
    For a better place
    Yet you’ll never leave us
    We’ll carry you in our hearts
    Until it is our time to join you

    “ ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down.”

  16. Chrismccaffrey86

    The Pattern Master’s Apprentice

    To me, her patterns allure.
    Colour, fabric, rapport.
    Her button eyes
    Sketch outlines and gauge sizes;
    She’s the master.

    She’s tracing outlines of drapes;
    I’m tracing outlines of her aspects.
    She’s cutting curves in her body’s style
    With minimal waste of material.
    My heart beats faster.

    I’m sixteen, on minimum wage;
    She’s folding pleats, and twice my age.
    This spells disaster.

  17. Pwriter10


    Some say your rays are real
    I don’t believe them

    Light is not a thing
    Photons can’t be touched

    No matter how many billions of people
    reach their arms to you

    You remain always out of reach
    You don’t believe me?

    Imagine the other side of the universe
    where alien children stare

    at your four billion year-old light
    and tell their parents about the life you support

    Their parents pat their heads, tuck them in
    But they don’t believe them.

  18. Walter J Wojtanik


               “Long ago it must be
               I have a photograph
               Preserve your memories
               They’re all that’s left you”
    ~ Simon And Garfunkel – Bookends Theme

    A picture.
    A photograph kept
    beneath the drawer liner
    for lack of a finer resting place.
    Traces of tears dropped in perpetuity,
    pocking the still portrait of you when life
    bloomed in your brilliance. A static image left
    in constant memory, a reminder that the remainder
    of my days will be without your smile, your loving wile.
    It lays still as you lay still. It is buried as you have been buried.
    Well preserved save for this random pattern of droplets left in your
    wake. I take your memory within my heart. And I do miss you. Still.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  19. Anthony94

    Unlike Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue, and McCall

    The fly in the window buzzes with the shiftlessness
    of fall, the futility of evading soon to be frosts forecast
    in less than a month. I hear but don’t see it banging against
    the blinds, imagine sheets of paper slipping from the piano
    bench or blowing from the dining table in this northerly
    wind ahead of the front, but then it’s here, sliding down
    the pane to skitter up and I can place the sound, calm
    myself from getting up to investigate the furtive shufflings.

    These patterns are predictable now that solstice has passed.
    Woolly bears crossing the road, herons crossing the sky
    with less urgency than during the spring rush. Tall sedums
    have gone to dusky rose, their heavy heads splayed across
    flowerbeds. Asters rim the ditches and pumpkins dot the
    brown fields. In the corners, golden argiopes rest above
    thick zzz’s signing their webs’ centers, although they’ve yet
    to fill their paper balls with eggs and hang them in the eaves.

    Three, six, nine, twelve, we tell the months and mark the
    seasons. Label things by monsoon or hurricane, the arrival
    of tornadoes, the blizzards sweeping across the rangeland.
    Tell the years by decades and celebrate the same, remember
    songs and dances, celebrities and leaders, famine or prosperity.
    Patterns all, but unlike the neatly folded tissues of Butterick and
    McCall, none come with guides and so we’re left with just
    the whims and vagaries of time we try to trap again and again.

  20. Connie Peters


    Broken heart
    All in the town must know.
    She chooses to grieve the loss a while.
    Then catching a glimpse of sunshine dancing through the window pane,
    She spies the ad: single white male, loves to hike and walk barefoot on the beach.

  21. SarahLeaSales

    Loosening the Stitches

    Coral Fabrique was never cut of the same cloth,
    for prettily patterned was the life she led—
    held together by needle and thread.

    There were the polka dots of her childhood,
    for the beach balls she loved to kick;

    paisley paired with denim in adolescence,
    to better match her Crowned Victoria lipstick;

    florals in the bloom of motherhood,
    for what better to mask the spit-up;

    oatmeal tweed in her golden years,
    sharing wisdom over steaming teacups;

    violet velvet in the twilight of her life,
    protecting the richness of her jewels;

    satin and lace in her last months,
    to match the lining of her shiny box,
    as she once would have matched
    purses and shoes, and sometimes socks.

  22. grcran


    the rain sings a sweet pitter patter
    the pattern of sound saying nothing’s the matter
    one’s sleep getting deeper & wetter
    far better than sniffles & snores of a sweater
    a sleeping brain works out the troubles
    they pop like the bubbles in suds-silted puddles
    release ‘em to swirl down the drain
    well-soothed in the groove of the patterin’ rain

    gpr crane

  23. taylor graham

    framed drawing of a concept car

    From the eaves of evening
    it flies in its own dark

    as if out of the old brick house
    translated from its 19th century world

    I watch through windowglass
    reflecting lit stairway behind me

    where children once climbed
    to their beds, their dreams of heroes.

    This vision of bat caught
    in a spiderweb of light, breaking

    that pattern. A cloud of darkness
    surrounds how much horse-

    power up Pacific Street a zig left
    a zag right, patterns of

    change quicker than the flash
    of history through this old town

    and the bat-mobile is headed
    up Reservoir alley. What a concept

    for a steel-age car to make
    its driver super-hero of swift turns

    of gravity but just a mind-
    pattern, an image reflected in glass.

  24. De Jackson

    Just a bit of silliness for this fine Wednesday. Happy Poeming, Peeps. 🙂

    Porcupine Phonics in Peri{wink}le Paisley

    Oh, Miss Daisy. Have we got a new
    leash on life for you. We’re drivin’
    these creatures crazy with our fien(d)
    -ish ways, our his
    and the glazed-crease
    smile we gave
    those last suckers.

    How many licks
    (Route 66 clicks)

    does it take
    to find
    the center?

    Fix your lips
    on this:
    a broken chair.

    (See the pattern here?)

    her something
    with a little fire and brim
    a Phoenix rising
    from the (l)ashes
    of one last
    (t)winkled star(e).

  25. PowerUnit

    I don’t know what she wants, those puppy dog eyes
    broadcasting the apologetic register, trying to be nice.

    If she wanted me to do the dishes, there would be a statement:
    the sink is full again, dear.
    If she wanted, I don’t know, a nice dinner,
    I’d hear how tired she was, how terribly hard
    her day had been.
    And if she was tired of vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, polishing, folding clothes, washing them too, and
    shovelling the walk after a big snow
    her tone would be unmistakably steadfast —
    Do you think you could pry your ass off the couch and help, just a little?

    But this pleading, this lovey dove heavy blinking,
    maybe a glass of wine, for each.
    I just can’t figure her out.


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