Friday Fictioneers 9/18/2020 (Poetry: Joe’s plan)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for providing another Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. Her weekly challenge is for us to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt (thanks to Roger Bultot).

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Genre: Narrative poetry
Title: Joe’s Plan
Word count: 96

***

Joe was okay for 96;
a walker, a bag, and caths.
not bad. no cancer.
she was long gone.
he felt guilty and missed her.

Joe had a plan.
one night, after the poker game,
the pain was too much.
at the hospital er, shingles, they said,
was not deadly.

Joe’s plan,
that night in his bathtub
he used his .38 Special
to join with her,
just past the veil.

Joe’s girlfriend found him, cops came,
hazmet cleaned up. some family members
dealt with his stuff. all they ever wanted
was joe’s money. now it’s finished.

***

Look both ways and wonder why, but death awaits all.
Mind the gaps and keep your powder dry.

Click for link.

Friday Fictioneers for 8/21/2020 (One Last Time)

Many thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for pointing me to another photo-inspired Friday Fictioneers. The weekly challenge she presents is to write a story based on the photo prompt, provided today by Ted Strutz.

My task is to write a complete story in 100 words or less.

Photo by Ted Strutz ©

Title: One Last Time
Genre: Fiction (Southern Gothic)
Word count: 100

***

Abject fear hit me when I saw his house, familiar feelings founded on my childhood nightmares with an abusive father and an enabling mother.

I love South Carolina’s low country but have few good memories, a good place with fine people. But not him.

I walked the three steps to front door. A gunshot stunned me. I ducked, looked around, then carefully opened the door.

He put the WWII .45 on the table and said, “Safety’s broke. I ain’t goin’ to no death house.”

“Well, Dad, you cannot live here. And you damn sure ain’t livin’ with me. Now pack!”

***


Look both ways for the life you’ve lived.
Mind the gap like a bad dream.

Click for link.

dVerse prose: A Time

Thanks to Merril (from New Jersey) for hosting this dVerse bar challenge: Prosery Monday: A Time, to which I am responding on Tuesday. Merril says to write prose of less then 145 words in response to this line from the poem “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hodge Coke.

“when it is over said and done

it was a time

and there was never enough of it.”


Genre: flash memoir
Word count: 143
Title: L’esprit de l’escalier

***

Last Fall, I wrote a poem about watching my father drink coffee and smoke when I was a young child. Our father-son relationship improved slightly later in life.

I’d received good reaction to the piece, so I considered its potential for submission. I requested further feedback from a critique group (mostly fiction writers). I was aware of the potential risks, but I wanted to know their thoughts.

One person asked, “I did not understand the last few lines where you said, ‘I figured it out. He did too. In the end, it was just the end.’ Can you explain what you meant?”

Stumped for a good answer, I copped-out with, “He died”—a true but poor response on my part.

Now I could simply say, “When it is over, said, and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.”

***

Look both ways for answers.
Mind the gaps in the poetry of others,
it’s where we may find answers.

Poetry: Bless My Nurses


They want my brain snot,
and why not? Rosie Rhona Corona
all around, and my blood, IV
goes in and out, needles
in this arm then that. Ouch!

Pressure checked, too high,
stand up and it’s too low.
Count to bloody fourteen,
“pee or we’ll drill for it”—
to prove I’m a well man.

Testing, testing, testing.
Looking good but bend over
butt rush hose to the glory hole.
They’ll fix me man, if they
don’t kill me first.
More blood? Ouches.


Look both ways.
The well-traveled road is the smoothest.
Mind the gaps or no discharge.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #169 (misanthrope)

Click to visit Sammi’s page and see other responses to her prompt.

 


***

Love and hate, two words
once pithy
now made windy by insincerity,
like sorry or mea culpa (my bad)
to keep some false shallow peace.

Apologies mean little as expressing
regret where no fault or damage was done,
ad infinitum. I’m sorry,
but I’m so not sorry.

No, I don’t love that man nor hate that one,
love does not conquer all without wisdom,

or discernment of the scorpion’s sting.
Call me misanthrope if you like,
or cantankerous skeptic.
I like some people, hate others,
present company excepted.

Words with meaning and grace
make life tolerable. Nothing is perfect.

***


Look both ways, into self and judging others.
Mind the gaps of deception.

Poetry: dVerse Poets Pub 8/4/2020 (window)

Today’s dVerse Poet’s Pub prompt for poetics is Looking out the window, provided by Peter Frankis. While the challenge was to take a picture, post it, and write about it. I adjusted time a bit. I used a picture I searched for and found that my wife took of me through a window, 48 years ago. This idea came to me quickly and I could not let it go.


Circa 1972, through front window of house I grew up in.

The Window Behind Me

A window from the parlor to the covered front porch
of my parents’ home, a memory of chewing paint off the sill,
of watching adults sit and talk and wave as neighbors walked by.
For eighteen years, my view of the world outside
where wind blew, rain fell, thunder clapped, people sang,
cars passed and honked. Life beckoned me to the stage,
through that window.

What was I thinking 48 years ago? My young wife and new son
in the window behind me. Our future? Was I talking or listening to
a passerby? Was I thinking of losing that hair as it turned gray?
Four-years military—done! College degree, done! Responsibility
branded me an armed man. Was I up to it? Did I have life,
or had it taken me?

Would the photographer still be my wife after 54 years? Would I have two
more children and would they be in their forties with more kids?
Would I build two careers and retire? Would I write poetry?
I had time. I knew I would live forever. I did not even know what I didn’t know.
Now, I know. Some I wish I didn’t discover. A window from the past
reflecting the future. The present me, right here, right now, today.
I want to say, relax, you’ll be fine.


Look both ways through every window.
Mind the gaps and cracks.

Sammi’s Weekender #166 (hinterland)


Lannan banished him to Marfa, city of minimalist art,
in the hinterlands high-plains desert, a Trans-Pecos cowboy patch
in far west Texas. Controversial, wrangled, and angry (bless his heart),
Bloodaxe English poet Peter Reading endured being sacked

For having gallish cheek, remaining ununiformed 22 years,
being poet, For the municipality’s elderly,
as a mindless weighbridge operator and lover
of fine wine and birds, with gruesomely ironic humor.

Peter and I were born on the same Saturday,
he in Liverpool, I was not.
His revenge – Marfan and Shitheads.


Look both ways for hammering truthful humor
and light romantic comedy.
Mind the gap, said the man to the day tripper.

Poetry: Love Sounds

Thorns are in gardens,
And colors from pretty flowers,
Rose pedal jellies are sweet.

This world of sounds,
Voices heard, long before birth—
Mother, father, sister, brother.

Sounds of nature,
So sweet and quiet,
Some warn of danger,
Others safe passage,
Voices of friends,
A love,
Some grumpy old men.

In time,
Life’s pleasures wane and wither,
Music comes not as before,
Beautiful sounds are
Nothing to waste.

Disallow atrophy
Of lust
For a wondrous life.
Be alert.
Sounds. Enjoy them.
Be aroused
By smiles and touches
Of troubadour drums.

Surround yourself with pleasures.
Hear every note
With silences between.
Waste nothing.
Mind our gifts.

Take care,
my love.
Some things shall not
Always be there.


Look both ways with eyes and ears.
Mind the gaps between notes and words.

Poetry: End Times

You spoke, and I awoke,
yet I fear
the time is near
when the dark depressing truth
of humanity
will take root on its tail
and then devour itself to
end it all
forever. Maybe
that’s our difference.

You claim
god so wants it,
I say let’s ask
him
or her
or it
whatever.


Look both ways.
Because you were alive yesterday does not prove you will be tomorrow.
Mind the gaps in thought and deed.