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 9/11/2020 (When I Met Sparky)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another midweek, Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. Her weekly challenge is for us to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt (this week, hers).

photo by Rochelle

***

Genre: Memoir
Title: When I Met Sparky
Word Count: 100

Old Sparky was its name. A useless device, except for taking out life 695 times.

I could have been seeing any old gallows, a chopping block, a guillotine, but it was an ugly wooden chair with dried up leather straps and old wires. It was a creative invention to kill in a kinder, gentler way.

I felt a willfulness choke me.

I kept my emotions hidden. When the warden asked if I would like to sit in the chair (against the rules), without moving my eye from what must have been a sight for thousands, I mumbled a muffled, “Nope.”

***


Look both ways when you kill.
Mind the gaps death cannot be undone.

Click for link.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #173 (Sentient)

Click image to link to Sammi’s page

My Sentient Life

I was her father.
She said I was her automaton, so I cried.
“Be strong for us” they told me,
so I cried alone.

She said I was a sensitive man,
an oxymoron to her mind,
so I smiled and nodded to her husband.

I over E, that’s me, they say it’s the best way.
Be sensitive but calm, brave but tender,
Love and be kind, but take no shit.

See, feel, hear it all,
Mindfulness is marvelous.

Be everything to everyone.
No wonder I’m confused.


Look both ways and be the ball, feel the wind,
smell the roses, touch her heart.
Mind the gaps and protect from harm.
Kill only when necessary.

Friday Fictioneers for 9/4/2020 (Some Friends)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another Friday Fictioneers inspiring Wednesday photo. Her weekly challenge is to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. This week’s inspiration is provided by C.E. Ayr.

Image by CEAyr

Genre: (Autobiographical) Fiction
Title: Some Friends
Word Count: 100

***

I was to meet Clair, Jack’s wife, on the movie set. We met for coffee during her break. Clair introduced me to Astrid, who left us alone to talk. She got to the point.

“Bill, I’m leaving Jack.”

I said I was not surprised.

She said, “You’re his best friend. How can you say that?”

“Yes, I am. But I have no idea why anyone would want to be married to him.”

“Bill, you don’t understand. I am leaving him for another woman. You just met her.”

“Oh shit, Clair. I wish I could be there when you tell him.”

***


Look both ways in life and love.
Mind the gaps in close friendships.

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: Sammi’s Weekender #170 (jostle)

 


Die to Live

Time’s shadow condemns fools
to imprudent neglectful ignorance,
to deep suffering, lost love,
mindless hearts of stone

—pitiful loneliness.
On my knees I cried out.

I was my enemy.

Her hands rose; lightning shocked
me dead. I awoke, jostled to new life.


Look both ways.
Watch yourself and check six.
No fool minds the gap.
Be not the fool.

***

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 Open Link Night #270 (my first)

Thanks to Mish and the folks at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, for Open Link Night #270 (click for link). This poem messes with where my head’s been lately.

***


Combatant

It could have been me.
A nod, a blink, an okay
and the next forty-five
years …

had I not been killed, maimed
or driven insane
(as many of us were)

… would not have been anything
like what I look back to today,
fifty-six long years hence,
with contrition, feeling the loss;

Personal, hidden, illogical
survivor syndrome. I can’t
make sense of it. The feeling
of a warrior who wasn’t.

Life choices often made
thoughtlessly, in a blink.
I could be dead. Change the past?
Not on your life or mine.


***

Look both ways at guilt for life: fortune or folly.
Mind the gaps in the mindless wars with reality.