blue glass

Written for:  Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #13 Winter Chrysanthemum

“Your goal is to create a Tan Renga with a given haiku by adding your two-lined stanza through association.

winter chrysanthemum

Here is the haiku to work with:”

Winter chrysanthemum,
Wearing nothing
but its own light                                       © Mizuhara Shūōshi (1892-1981)

blue glass illuminated
in  shades of Winter background          © Sara McNulty

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The Choice They Made

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Prosery:  Between Heartbeats  (posted by Kim)

“We ask you to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of your choice.

As it’s flash fiction, we have a limit of 144 words; an additional challenge is to hit 144 exactly. The special thing about Prosery is that we give you a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in your story, within the 144-word limit.

From a poem by Louis MacNeice, entitled ‘Coda’, I’d like you to write a story that includes the following line from that poem:”

‘There are moments caught between heart-beats’.

Marriage plans fell part. No one knew why. The prospective groom and bride
remained close-mouthed.

Groom analyzed, and re-analyzed the situation, basically going in circles. He thought,
I do not want children. She agrees. Once we are husband and wife,
will she change her mind? So many of our friend’s marriages are shattered.
Fifty percent. Where would we be?

Bride was age-conscience. She was older. No matter how much they pledged
their love in tender romantic settings, would he eventually desire someone younger,
more energetic? She was not a gambler. She found the risk too great.

Once the wedding was cancelled, tearful parents and friends shocked, the almost-bride and nearly-groom went on separate trips. Would love fade or grow after a separation. Would they forget that there are moments caught between heartbeats? Perhaps they might never find that again.

(144 words)

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February Plays

Written for:  Poets & Storytellers United
Writer’s Pantry #7:  “Strolling Through February Streets”  (posted by Sanaa)
“Under the dove grey sky, I have witnessed and felt many a frenzied heart thump during the month of transition. Traffic jam thoughts, coffee with no cream, looking around as faces blend into one another, just like their stories do — and I think to myself what are they going through? It feels like this everyday as the sunset holds its breath.”

“For now, I invite you to share your entry as Poets and Storytellers United welcomes both poetry and prose (i.e. stories, essays, articles) feel free to link anything old or new and relish in the work of others. Also, if you opt to share prose then please keep it to 369 words or fewer.” 

cherry buds

February feints left,
then right–a trickster
of weather scams. Today
the sun is partially out,
but while one street is cold
and windy, another awaits
that faint promise of
Spring lingering in the
air. There! Look! Could
it be? Tiny pink buds
poking out of branches.
My sister and I, out
for a walk, decide to
have less harsh thoughts
about February.

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Theater Woes

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – Prompt #282 – Hopper Inspired
“Write to painting.”


New York Movie, 1939 by Edward Hopper Courtesy of

How I hate the term, ‘usherette’.
We all wear identical uniforms. Shall
I say, ‘Good evening, may I usherette
you to your seat’? 

This performance is sold out,
yet seats remain vacant. I am sure
late stragglers will tip-toe in
murmuring, sorry, to those
seated who will have to stand
to accommodate them.  Mean
-while, I have a short break,
leaning against the radiator
in my un-identical heels.

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Two Sides

Written for:  Sunday Whirl, Wordle #443

Words:  move, ease, slyly, turn, lost, feel, far, air, left, blood, side, limit

I can move you far
with ease. You turn
to me, lost, feeling
like no air is left
to breathe. As if
there was a limit.
Two sides of you–sly
–which I have known–
fearful–new to me,
full of apprehension.  Your
blood still pumps; there is life.
I can
move you.

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Bridge Fog

Written for:  Sunday Muse #95


Bridge is deserted,
befogged, the moon
occluded. Will my
flash be bright
enough to capture
the vision walking
towards me?

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Did You Know?

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – For Your Consideration – “Cupid Has A Secret”
“Write that mystery into your poem/flash fiction.

Did you know that
in ancient times
I used to be all
colors of the rainbow,

an angel of flaming
wings, designed to
bring lovers together,
my arrows a glittering gold.

Now I am a washed out
gray, my wings a dingy
disgrace, arrows rusted,
at times miss their mark.

I am loathe to place blame
but is it not an awful shame
that humans cannot attain
a sparkling earth, free of stain.

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Improvised Tales

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar:  The Death Sentence
(posted by Gospel Isosceles)

“I’ve been reading Michael Simms’ blog Vox Populi – A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature for four years now and was recently intrigued by a poetry challenge the poet/curator gave himself. Rule #2: The poem must explore the theme of ‘the end of civilization as we know it.’”


When the coyotes surrounded you
They wanted to eat your dog not
You who called your boyfriend to drive
His pickup right into the middle of
The pack and scattered the coyotes
And you knew the coyotes were
In the abandoned country club because
Wolves and cougars were hunted out
A hundred years ago and the coyotes
Keep out the cats so the songbirds
Are everywhere spreading the seeds
Of wildflowers which carpet the old
Fairways and the ruined clubhouse
Where the owls live and maybe
We’re okay with the end of civilization
As we know it.

-Michael Simms, excerpt from ‘The end of civilization as we know it’ originally published on Vox Populi, Jan. 18, 2020

Rule 1:  The poem must tell a story in one sentence.
Rule 2:  The poem must explore the theme of ‘the end of civilization as we know it.’
Rule 3:  The story must tell of an odd or embarrassing incident, either heard about, witnessed, or autobiographical. This humanistic element keeps our narrating selves from getting too lofty and far-removed, and may even prove an opportunity for light-hearted humor.  The poem must explore the theme of ‘the end of civilization as we know it.’

There is one more hidden rule that must be followed if your poem is to be a “death sentence” in its pure form: it must be improvised.

Wild Turkeys

The wild turkeys had found
a home in front of a hospital,
and seemed to multiply, stay
unafraid of people (or Thanksgiving),
and accept food out of a paper bag
fed to them by an old woman which
some thought was a good thing if
the turkeys were hungry, and others
thought was a bad thing because
they thought the turkeys a nuisance
like when they decide to cross
the street, and every driver
stops for them.


The Girl Who Peed Into A Cup

There was a time I was on
an express bus going from
work to home, sitting next
to a friend who–ten minutes
into the trip–decided she
had to pee right then
and could not wait another
moment, prompting us
to retrieve a large plastic
soda cup (with lid), hoping
no one on the bus could see
or hazard a guess as to
what was happening, but
we seemed to get away with
it, and now I find myself
wondering what might have
transpired, if plastic
had not been around, yet
I would rather save sea
life than use plastic.

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No Marketing Skills

Written for:  Poets and Storytellers United – Weekly Scribblings #6:
Turn cliché into poetry or prose.  Take as many clichés as you like.
(posted by Magaly)

Someone keeps throwing
lemons at me. Quick,
get the sugar and water.
Our stand is set up, so
how much should we charge?

Time is flying; we haven’t
had a single customer
yet. I think this business
is an uphill battle.

Look, let’s call it a day,
okay? We’ve got nothing
to bring to the table.

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Sighs of Spring

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – InForm Poet:  Tanka

“The Tanka is a Japanese poem of five lines.

The first and third lines are composed of five syllables, and the others contain seven.

In Japanese, tanka is often written in one straight line, but in English and other languages, we usually divide the lines into the five syllabic units: 5-7-5-7-7.”

lily pad circles
floating freely ‘cross the pond
sprout lotus blossoms
yellow, pink, purple and white
like tiny sailboats of Spring

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