I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended. My mother taught me love could be turned on and off. As a teenager, I could only go steady with a boy for six weeks. She kept track on her calendar. I hated her every time I fell in love. But then, after about five weeks, I’d tire of the boy and happily blame the break-up on my mother.
When she died, so did my excuse. So I became a recluse. Until I met John. He surprised me with his persistence. We met in coffee shops at first. Then his place. I was a good girl and told him no sex until I got a ring. I marked that special day on my calendar. Now I’m in widow’s weeds with a blood encrusted knife holding this year’s calendar on the wall.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today is Prosery Monday.
Merril is hosting and asks us to use, word for word, the line “I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended” in a piece of flash fiction that is exactly 144 words or less, sans title. The line is from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, I wanted to be surprised.
She’d agreed to this assignment. Put retirement on hold for one more case to smoke out a mole. The honeypot. Dumb blonde stereotype. She still had the body for it, so she gave in to their persuasive pleas. And he’d fallen for it.
Now as he snored, she quietly rolled over, about to get up and finally walk out on this life. Until a cold blade chilled the back of her neck. No sounds except her gasp of shock. There are moments caught between heart-beats. Some see their whole life flash before their eyes. She saw only what could have been.
His hand tangled itself in her hair. Jerked her head back. One last look at that god-awful bare ceiling fixture. It looked different from this angle. More sinister than when she was lying on her back. The yellowed light flickered. Then sputtered out.
Kim is hosting Prosery Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to use the line “There are moments caught between heart-beats” from Louis MacNeice’s poem Coda in a piece of flash fiction that can be up to or exactly 144 words. Back Again is 144 words. Photo from pixabay.com.
YES! Even though dVerse is usually poetry….this is a prompt for flash fiction, using an exact line from a particular poem.
Beneath blood-red sunset
she met her ex.
Tinction blotted sky
with angry cloud canopy,
festered over sea.
She should have known.
His, not hers.
His passion revealed in fists.
Her dignity recouped,
but at a price.
Sky now cement blocks.
Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Linda asks us to use the word “extinction” or a form of the word, in the body of a quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Extinction does appear in Lifer. Do you see it?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tinction as the act or process of staining or dyeing: coloring matter.
Photo taken in Provincetown, Cape Cod.
Simmering . . .
daze on end.
Days and weeks
on the back burner.
Simmering . . .
One – quick – STAB.
His blood flows
till warm no more.
Days later he lies
beyond the pale.
beneath the earth,
cold to touch.
As is her soul.
I’m hosting dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets. Prompt today is to somehow involve the idea of “temperature” within your poem – in any of its diverse meanings or uses. The word itself does not need to be in the poem….but we must be able to tell how “temperature” is related to your poem. IE — to take one’s temperature, red-hot with anger; temperature of a nation, being in hot water, passion, etc. Prompt goes live at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
And apologies to my readers today….I’ve gone over to the dark side with this post. Photo from Pixabay.com
Serial killer, folksong singer,
croons Pete Seeger tunes.
Strums guitar strings
while pressing fret on neck.
Wicked smile then splays his lips
when nightfall comes, he changes gigs.
Metal strings undone from fret
now seek a human neck.
new strings needed tomorrow.
Kim hosts Quadrille Monday today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. She asks us to include the word “fret” or a form of the word, in our post. Quadrille: a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com
Is there a beauty in insipidity,
blending in to all around? Stupidity
amassed beyond the pale,
in group-think, mass-appeal.
Invisibility, thou art cruel
Tread instead through morbidity
following ancient ways
as Plato did with Socrates.
Follow deeper still
with final sip,
Mish is hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today she asks us to include the word “sip” within our exactly 44 word poem, sans title. For some reason, I went to the dark side with this one: “insipidity” and “sip.” Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Magician, sleight of hand his trade.
Quick undetected moves.
Misdirection while abracadabrahing.
No white rabbits.
No multicolored scarves
tucked up his sleeves.
Ladies’ man supreme,
handsome and mysterious.
Meandering lover, he savors the travel,
one step ahead of wanted posters.
Disappearing wives his specialty.
Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where it’s Quadrille Monday! De hosts and asks us to include the word “quick” within our quadrille (poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Photo from pixabay.com
Spinning. Top handle pushed.
Heel of hand slams down.
Pumps up and down,
fast, faster as head whirrs.
Manic music loop hums, buzzes.
Commuter rail speeds like top.
Speeds to dos, never dones.
Programmed straight line
but circles back. Races there
then back again. Then there,
back, and there again.
Riding circles in straight line track.
Back and forth and back . . .
going nowhere somewhere same.
No exit, detour, changing lanes.
No corners to cut.
Desperately need to circumvent.
Hell’s spinning in my head.
Straight line circles on track,
back and forth and back again.
Flat circles straight through Dante’s hell.
Cats in the cradle fingers frozen.
Razor feels cool in hand.
Razor-cut corners. Find corners,
arcs through blue veined tubes.
Red globules travel through body
to heart through body to heart . . .
. . . till corner is cut and circle is . . .
. . . your image blurs slowly . . .
like over-used hopscotch chalk.
Jump off grid at double squares.
Heel of hand feebly strikes on top.
Off line, pace slows,
sounds slur, world blurs.
Circle spins slower . . . slowe . . .
slow. . . slo . . . sl . . . s. . .
Stop chasing tail.
Written for Day 22, Napowrimo. Prompt: To write a poem that disproves the statement “A circle can’t have corners.”
Decision must-do list sits crumpled,
blue pill bottle tipped askew.
Disturbed sleep awaits release,
sweat covered head buried in down.
adrift on wobbly table legs.
slice mahogany waves,
slivers shred my hands.
Teeth grit like hammer’s vise.
One thousand dentists drill,
prying, prying, prying still.
High pitched metallic sound
gathers sharks, circling round.
Close to waking, tossing, turning
seagull’s wings appear.
Flapping madly, madly more
tip the cup ‘till I spill forth,
swim across the dawning rays.
Sea of calm upon my face
hands relax, fingers curve,
arms arc upon the bed.
Dream softens in balletic pose,
body slips to denouement.
Curtains rise on new world.
Written for Napowrimo, Day 14 where we’re asked to consider dreams….and to include one or all of the following words/items: teacup, hammer, seagull, ballet slipper, shark, wobbly table, dentist, row boat. I’ve included all….using balletic and slips for ballet slipper.
She returned to her new home, a big city after Iowa. Good day at new job, alone with glass of wine in hand, the familiar chair feels comfortable. Staring at unpacked boxes, lacking energy, two unfamiliar items come into view. Walking closer, she eyes them more intently.
Two dirty, half coiled, frayed bungee cords sit atop an unopened box. Bungee cords? Metal steel curved hooks on dirty elastic cords. Quietly she hurried out the door.
partridge returns to nest
canine impressions mar one egg
nervous feathers flair
Haibun written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today we’re asked to write about an emotion without naming it — evoking it by the use of objects and imagery. Haibun: prose that cannot be fiction, followed by a haiku. The prose describes what happened, before my husband joined me in Boston, on my second or third day in our new condo. We moved here from Iowa. Turns out, some workers had entered our unit, without permission, to do some work….and realized they were in the wrong unit. I got security to do a thorough walk-through with me and then found out what happened. Needless to say, I received many apologies from management and I’m happy to say, we’ve lived safely and happily ever since.