OLWG#166- A Question of Courage

This piece was written for OLWG#166

It can be used to fight disease
Wielded skillfully: it can be employed to defeat your enemies
It needs only to be displayed to cause fear to cower

But, I’ve got no further use for this suasion
I will put it away
My disease has left, or is at least in hiding
My enemies are now our enemies; my brothers and sisters share their strength

I have grown accustomed to unease and disquietude
I accept them as constant companions

The prompts were:

  1. I’ve got no further use for these
  2. writing is like sex
  3. courage is a weapon

OLWG#165- Girls Softball

This piece was written for OLWG#165

Mia, my littlest granddaughter, danced into the room where I was reading, “Papá,” she looked at me with those big brown eyes, “Are you coming to my game today?” She played for a team affectionately called, ‘The Honeybees’.

“I don’t know, sweetheart. What time is it?”

“We play at four,” she said, “at MacArthur Park.”

I don’t know why, but I looked at my watch before announcing, “Yeah, I think I can do that. Who do you guys play today?”

“The Murder Hornets.”

“They’re the girls from Eastwood, aren’t they?”

“Uh huh.”

“They any good?”

“They’re a lot better than we are.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Mia, Bees versus Hornets; sounds like it could be an intriguing match up.”

“They’re not just Hornets, Papá, they’re MURDER Hornets.”

“Well then, maybe you should forget it. I’ll make it official. You can’t play.”

“Papá, I wanna play.” Mia looked at me with her sad eyes, “ We might be able to beat them if I don’t let any line drives get by.”

“Then we’ll both be surprised.”


“Yes, Mia.”

“Are you messing with me?”

The prompts were:

  1. you can’t play
  2. we’ll both be surprised
  3. damn, no ketchup

OLWG#164- Marge Considers a Career Change

This piece was written for OLWG#164

Marge reached into the dryer and pulled out a couple of handfuls of bills. Her job today was to shop small stores around town, buy small things and pay for them with a twenty. Then she was supposed to bring back the change to Carlos. It wasn’t a bad job. The risk was relatively low. The money wasn’t bad. She didn’t think she’d ever get rich doing it. Carlos paid a percentage on what you brought him back at the end of the day. Carlos had about 50 shoppers working for him every day. Carlos was getting some serious paper. Marge was only getting large.

She had found that the easiest things to buy, where the cash tendered was not too heavily scrutinized, were foods from fast food restaurants and other kinds of takeout places. She would stop at Blake’s and buy a burger for $3.75. Pay for it with a fake twenty, eat the burger, because Carlos didn’t want it, and get $16.25 back in legal tender that she would take to Carlos at the end of the day.

Ice cream cones were even better. Two dollars and seventy-nine cents would buy a single scoop in a sugar cone. That would net her $17.21 in change. Someone had to eat the ice cream though and Marge was fond of the ‘Pralines and Cream’ flavour.

Taquerias, were good places to shop. Mini-Marts (either stand alone or incorporated with gas stations) worked well if you wanted to buy potato crisps or candy bars. Pizza shops didn’t typically yield enough change to bother with, same with buying beer or other liquors. Sometimes Marge would stop and buy a box of nails, or a screwdriver at a local hardware store. She had a pretty good collection of #2 cross tip drivers at home.

Marge had put on almost thirty pounds in the first four months that she had worked for Carlos. She knew she couldn’t stay in this line of work for very long. She needed to find a way to print money on her own.

The prompts were:

  1. counterfeit twenty dollar bills
  2. soft and low
  3. written in books

OLWG#163- Join the Navy, Sail to Far Off Distant Ports, Meet Passionate Oriental Beauties…

This piece was written for OLWG#163

“If you don’t sign the papers they won’t let me go. I gotta have parental consent.” He pleaded.

“I dunno, Jeffy.” She shook her head back and forth. She looked at her son, next to her; she looked at the sailor, on the opposite side of the desk, where her gaze came to rest.  She pointed at him…

“Can you keep him out of the war zone?” she asked.

The recruiter raised his hands, palms up and shrugged his shoulders, “That’ll be his call after you sign the papers, Mom.”

She turned towards her son, “Are you sure this is what you want, Jeffy?”

He nodded his head eagerly.

Mom looked back at the recruiter and held out her hand, “Give me your goddamn pen.”

The prompts were:

  1. let me go
  2. a cul de sac
  3. The way things sometimes are

OLWG#162- The Ancient Gallery

This piece was written for OLWG#162

Paintings of Pharaohs
Statues of Kings
Bas Relief images of heroes and queens
Carvings of battles,
Commandments and creeds
Depictions of hunts – elephants and steeds

Ladies in waiting
Knights strong and brave
Sun Gods and dragons
Who live in a cave
Ships and explorers,
Now long in their graves

Forests primeval
Seashores and moor
To enter the gallery
Pass through a steel door
That protects all the relics and bones kept inside
You can run from your past but you never can hide

The prompts were:

  1. the ancient gallery
  2. When life and dreams collide
  3. the busker’s patter

OLWG#159- Frenzy & OLWG# 160- Shipping Out Tomorrow

I’ve spent the last… forever, relocating from California to New Mexico. It’s been hectic and I have been remiss in posting. Today is a breath of fresh air so I’m going to try and catch up. Here’s a couple of OLWG prompt responses that I think will bring me current.

This piece was written for OLWG#159

The kids were throwing sand on the floor
Getting ready to dance
Billy pushed play on the boom box and
The sound of tires singing filled the theatre

Sarah, with an ‘H’, slowly and deliberately, pulled her right foot across the worn oak floorboards
Now covered with grit
She moved to centre stage and was soon joined by Wendy, Allegra, and Jessie
Then the bass notes began

The prompts were:

  1. keep the margins wide
  2. throwing sand on the floor
  3. tires singing

This piece was written for OLWG#160

Bernard sipped his watered down beer and leaned on the stage
(He and his buddies had seats that close)
He thought about his ship to Danang, leaving in the morning
He riffed the stack of singles piled on the worn table top

In God We Trust

Seraphina, who always recognized a good mark, dropped gracefully from the pole
And shimmied towards the group of young, green marines
She wanted to rub their close cropped heads
She wanted to bring them good luck

The prompts were:

  1. slow decay
  2. In God We Trust
  3. the night contorted

I think I got them all in. One direct and the other two possibly inferred?

OLWG#158- Oye Cantinero

This piece was written for OLWG#158

Carlos took the seat across from Alex and Rosario. “Are you guys comfortable? Can I get you anything? I got chips and salsa. I got coca colas. I got beer. What do you want? There’s a place just up the street that makes really good tortas. Eh, want one?”

Rosario tugged on her short skirt, as it kept riding up, something about the flat seat and the straight backed chair. She shook her head, no.

Alex rubbed his beard and watched Carlos watch him. Finally he shook his head, “no gracias señor.”

Carlos waved at the barman, “Sácame una fría.” The man hopped to and Carlos leaned forward resting his chin on an open hand. The three sat in silence until Josephina delivered a napkin wrapped Bohemia to the table. He watched her walk away and then turned his attention back to Alex and Rosario. He picked up the beer, “What, exactly is it that you kids want from me, eh?”

Rosario kept pulling on her skirt. She cleared her throat and as she was about to speak, Alex interrupted her…

“Well, sir. We heard, that is we understand that, uhm you might be able to…” he paused.

“Peyote,” Rosario blurted out suddenly, “we want peyote. We want lots of peyote and we think that you can help us with that.”

The prompts were:

  1. lowdown
  2. put your elbows on the table
  3. this will take you there

OLWG#157- Blue

This piece was written for OLWG#157

Nina hummed to herself as she pulled the squeegee down the glass. She was playing with an old Elmore James tune. She’d been experimenting with it all night, singing as she cleaned. Kind of a sad song, a blues song; Nina saw it as a robin’s egg blue, but when she sang it- it was more indigo or maybe even darker. Maybe a midnight blue.

The prompts were:

  1.  dirty windows
  2.  this song lacks a chorus
  3.  robin’s egg blue

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.