OLWG#156- Micro Poetry

This piece was written for OLWG#156



in my mind there’s a place I am often found there thoughts run like water

#####

i ne’er choose the voices I hear but instructions they run like water


The prompts were:

  1. run like water
  2. barroom fixture
  3. Gowers Avenue

I recently discovered and began following yassy66 who lured me in by mentioning Monoku. Research revealed that this is a poetic form similar to haiku, but written on a single line (like an American Sentence). Seventeen syllables, or less, with a pause and no punctuation. Being a fan of short form I had to try my hand. I used the same OLWG prompt twice. Any readers who are familiar with Monoku and who are so inclined are welcome to tell me what I’ve done wrong. Constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated.


OLWG#155- Midnight Microphone

This piece was written for OLWG#155



Hopper Todd woke to the night. His alarm sounded at exactly 10:00 pm, or 2200 as his father, Ralph, would have said if he’d still been alive. Hopper’s dad had been killed at work. He was an armoured car driver and had lost his life when he braked hard to avoid a cyclist. The sudden stop caused a pallet filled with about a hundred 25-pound boxes of quarters to break free from it’s bindings. It slid forward from the back of the truck to the cab. Ralph was crushed into the steering wheel when the boxes hit from behind. He was killed instantly.

Tonight, though, Hopper wasn’t concerned with his father’s death. He was poised to perform at “Midnight Microphone”. A writer’s and performer’s venue held once a month at The Eldorado Hotel and Ballroom, downtown. A huge venue, a fuckin’ barn! Probably holds 6 or 7 hundred people, easy and always crowded for this event. It made him nervous.

After showering, Hopper shaved and wished that he could grow a beard. His Momma told him that maybe when he was a little older he’d be able to. His father, after all, had had to shave twice a day, but Hopper was almost 19 years old. He didn’t want to wait any longer.

“Oh well, can’t be helped,” he thought.

Checked his reflection in the mirror,

Ran his fingers through his wet hair.

Dressed carefully in his grey plaid skinny suit. He donned his waistcoat patterned in a blue and turquoise floral.

A thin grey leather necktie.

Downstairs he made himself a peanut butter and jelly burrito, strawberry jelly. He sat on the couch with Momma and they watched a little of her favourite TV game show, the $10,000 Pyramid.

“What are you up to tonight, Hopper? All dressed up; shaven and shorn? You look like you’re up to something.”

“I’m doin’ the Midnight Microphone tonight, Momma. I’ve got a bit of the stage fright. Butterflies, you know.”

His Momma took both his hands in hers. She looked at him for a while and then grinned, “Can I hear your poem?” she asked.

He pulled a folded sheet of paper from his suitcoat pocket, opened it, looked down, cleared his throat, and began to read.

“She was long and lean, spindly. She walked with a gangly gait.
She kept a small pistol within easy reach at all times and; she didn’t own a car.
She was a con and a charlatan, who ran a three card Monte game. A different corner every day

“on a cardboard box…
easy to fold away…
easy to move if it got too hot…

“We became embroiled with one another when I was sixteen.
She was twenty-one.
She gave me my first kiss.

“She tasted of rye and cigarettes.
I was smitten.”

Momma swiped at her eyes, “You know you should have it memorized for the show?”

“Yes, Momma.”

“You’re talking about that Ward girl, aren’t you? That red-headed girl, her name was Irene or Eileen? I knew that girl was a bad influence. I should have put a stop to that when she first started coming’ around.”


The prompts were:

  1. don’t tempt me, baby
  2. midnight microphone
  3. tear stained letter

OLWG#154- I’m Not a Rich Man

This piece was written for OLWG#154



The Circle Line to Kensington

On my lap, I clutch

A bunch of flowers, carnations and daisies
A bottle of cheap Spanish plonk
A small box of chocolates
A £10 note

The High Street stop for me

Got a call this morning from a Ms Emsworth

She says that she found my Flapjack

Got my number off his tags

She says that she thought he was missing me

Says she thought I should come pick him up

She says that any kind of reward would be appreciated


The prompts were:

  1. I can’t shake this
  2. lost dogs
  3. on the way to Kensington

A Young Girl’s Radiant Hair

Written for this challenge – Thank you Peter



pineapple, slickers, lemon cakes and, autumn leaves
Texas flowers; Sulphur; and a long brick road
butter, canaries, scrambled eggs too
don’t forget dump trucks or cheese, chicks and daffodils cannot be forgot
there’s also a certain old dog who deserves to be here

turmeric sprinkled on a bowl of mac and cheese

a moon, a lion, a taxi, rubber ducks
banana popsicles, sunsets, and sunshine (in general)
pages, apricots, squash, or mustard
a young girl’s radiant hair
a river in China, Pikachu too
Van Gogh, his sunflowers, and the bee he never drew

the humble school bus


The prompt that I chose was:

Yellow

Snowed In

  I wrote this for the Intermittent Challenge



I thought it wouldn’t matter much.
I had plenty of food;
electricity and gas are still on
‘least for now.

Then I ran out of beer.

I climbed from a second floor window onto the garage roof
and used a broom to clear a path to the edge
where I could sit down and put on my new snow shoes (couple hundred bucks at REI).
Stepping off the roof I only sunk a foot or so.

I can do this.

Leena’s Liquors is on the highway just this side of the river bridge.
It’s about three miles or so.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words, no more, no less, write a story about “buried in the snow.”

OLWG #40 – Blake, and Football, and Mama, and Velma – and Alcohol and Pills, and Life

 Written for OLWG #40


My brother, Blake and I were always together. Our mama passed away on the day we were born.

“Complications,” they said.

It was OK though, we didn’t even know her. We heard some stories, saw some photographs. We still had Dad, and more importantly, I had Blake. He was always there for me.

When we started school Blake took care of me. He helped me on the school yard. He helped me in the classroom. When I had trouble with Math and English classes – Blake worked with me. He tutored me. He made sure I passed. When I had trouble on the playground – Blake stood up for me. Eventually, no one would tease or bully me, but only because I was Blake’s brother. When I got held back in fourth grade Blake refused to move forward without me. That was the first time that I felt I was holding him back.

Blake and I had both grown a fair bit by the time we got to high school. I started playing football but Blake wasn’t interested in sports. He was interested in Velma Harris and she was interested in Blake. Almost as much as she was interested in alcohol and pills. I struggled with my studies, my grades were never good. Blake, on the other hand, always had good grades but as he and Velma slid deeper into the world of partying his grades started to slide as well.

Coach made sure that I kept my grades up high enough to remain eligible for the team and I tried to keep Blake involved with his studies by asking him to help me with mine. He did help – at first, but gradually the pull of the drugs kept getting stronger. Blake and Velma ran away together when they were both seventeen. Dad never saw him again, and I haven’t yet, but I remain hopeful. Likewise, the Harris’ didn’t hear from Velma.

I played college ball and had a good run there, but got hurt in my senior year. It was enough to end my career but people still buy me beers at the Boxcar. They want to talk about football. I got the house when Dad passed on. It’s starting to look a bit rough, needs paint and some repairs. I’m selling cars at the Chevy Dealer but its tough making ends meet. I miss Blake. If he was here we’d start up something of our own. We could take care of Dad, go to the Boxcar on Friday nights, we could make a lot of money, meet girls.

Life would be good again. Like it was when I was playing ball, or when Blake and I were kids. Life would be perfect.

Blake was less than half an hour older than me.

That’s how close we were.

Never more than half an hour apart.

Sometimes I hate that girl Velma. Sometimes I hate her.


This week’s prompt was:

  1. least common denominator

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.


OLWG #39 – Shiny Stuff

 My 1000th post, and it’s written for OLWG #39


impassively, she tried to stub out her cigarette on the saucer
she even set it on the chipped porcelain piece
but it wouldn’t quit – it slowly continued to smoke
until she picked it up

bright red nails

and dropped it in the dregs of her coffee

I watched it all, unwittingly from across the table
I watched as she pushed a fleck of tobacco to her lips with the tip of her tongue
unblinkingly, she stared back as
she reached up to pluck it from her lips

bright red lips

and flick it to the floor, somewhere beneath the table

“Well?” she inquired
“Well, what?” I asked her back
“Well, don’t you agree? We don’t make sense together
we should cut our losses” she swiped the back of her hand beneath her eyes

bright red eyes

she may have been crying earlier I know I had been

at that exact moment, as if on cue, a murder of crows lifted off the grass
the grass strip – in the middle of the street
– from the median between the lanes of traffic
she turned her head and followed the birds with her eyes

bright red sun

until they disappeared into the setting sun

her gaze followed the birds
my gaze followed the waitress weaving through tables and headed
our way; tall, thin, lithe, young, radiant

bright red hair

who smiled as she slid our check onto the table

I smiled back at her just when she
turned her eyes back to me
searchingly – pleading for agreement
“that’s mostly true,” I concurred as I
turned my eyes back to the waitress


This week’s prompts were:

  1. It’s mostly true
  2. we don’t make sense together
  3. Derision

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.