What Goes Around

Photo: signalstoattend.wordpress.com

Photo: signalstoattend.wordpress.com

What Goes Around

The rising sun signaled the opening of a new day. Lily stretched, trying to clear her head of the jumbled remnants of last night’s sad dream that merged with blurred memories of the previous evening.

She reached over to Ned but touched only the wrinkles of the space that should have held his lanky frame. That’s when she recalled her irritation at his disclosure of his plans for the morning, blurted out when she was trying to fall asleep.

At what point had it all gone south? When had he replaced their flamboyant,, early morning love-making with frequent rounds of golf. And when had the sound of ennui taken the place of the bliss with which he used to speak her name?

Had it been like that for Nora, his first wife, the one he’d left to be with her each Thursday, before the world was awake?

She’d warned him, Nora had, of Ned’s voracious appetite for “golf.”


I’m submitting this in response to Brenda’s Wordle response on The Sunday Whirl and also for this week’s Monday Meanderings. If you haven’t visited The Sunday Whirl, give it a whirl! I haven’t been there for a while but it’s a chance to challenge yourself writing either poetry or short fiction.

There were the words: last, signal, disclose, point, irritation, jumbled, sound, appetite, sun, time, bliss, flamboyant.

Have a happy week!

The Smell of Dark

Photo Credit: cbs8.com

Photo Credit: cbs8.com

Flash Fiction—307 Words

Some memories are impossible to erase, no matter how often as I hit the delete key. They say it’s emotion that embeds them in the brain. No doubt—but smells do, too.

I tell Teddy, my bear, “It’s a funny time of the day to be so dark, isn’t it?” I think he nodded as he watched me shuffle the Old Maid cards, but it could have been that he just knew he was going to lose again.

We listen to voices behind the closed door—Grandpa barking orders. Fear seeped under that crack beneath the door—fear, and the smell of smoke. I grabbed Teddy, held him tight and told him, “Don’t be scared.”

I can’t say I remember what happened next. I woke up in a dark room that didn’t smell like Grandma’s rose perfume. The venetian blinds are closed as tight as they can be and I’m too short to reach them to peek out. The old blue blanket from Mama’s rocking chair is wrapped around me and I set about the task of picking off the little balls of fuzz that come from too many rides in the Bendix. Teddy watches, but he doesn’t help.

A screen door slams and I recognize Grandpa’s sure footstep and the scent of the Chesterfield cigarette that almost always hangs from the side of his mouth. The door of this strange room swings open and he fills the frame then crosses over to me and whisks me up into his arms and hugs me tight.

We climb back up the hill—our hill—Grandpa’s long strides, me riding on his shoulders like a princess.

We might have sung our hiking song but for the blackened land there where the wild flowers used to grow. And for the tear that risked a fall into the crevice of Grandpa’s cheek.

My first whirl for Sunday Whirl. I chose a vague memory from childhood. My mom and I spent a few years in my grandparents’ home in a (then) rural area of Los Angeles, in the foothills. Brush fires happened almost every summer. This particular year, all I remember was waking up in a neighbor’s home at the foot of the hill. The rest of the details are fictional. For those of you who are younger than I (most of you, no doubt) the Bendix is a brand of washing machine that had a wringer. 

Paschal Moon


Photo: D. Slotto-Palm Desert April, 2011

Paschal Moon

Last night the sky embraced the moon
enfolding her in a swath of indigo.
Warm desert air, heavy with the scent of jasmine
whispered songs of mystery.

Whimsical stars shimmered in the distance,
danced across the heavens until one
jumped from its orbit, dying not with a whisper
but in a fiery blaze, still unforgiven.

You set about the daunting task of giving comfort
while from your lips I tasted the sweetness of ambrosia.

My commitment to writing a poem a day during the month of April fell victim to the exigencies of life last week as I spent time with a loved one in need. This causes me to reflect on the fact that life itself is a poem, written in the choices we make, the care we give and our response to whatever the moment presents to us. That being said, this is a poem I wrote in response to the Wordle I gave in my Monday Morning Writing Prompt. It is my submission for NaPoWriMo Day 18 http://www.napowrimo.net/. Thanks to Blaga whose poem served as the inspiration for the words I chose http://brokensparkles.wordpress.com/.

Monday Morning Writing Prompt: the Infamous Wordle

The Unautorized Autobiography of my Unborn Twin.

Image by 顔なし via Flickr

Last week I read a poem posted by Blaga at http://brokensparkles.wordpress.com/  Something about her word choices struck me and I felt compelled to read it aloud. I could not resist selecting a handful of words from her poem to create a WORDLE, everyone’s favorite prompt (or not). Feel free to use a few or all of these words to inspire poetry or flash fiction. I will post my attempt later in the week.

I have no idea how to create those cute little wordle things, so here is just a plain old list of “delicious” words for you to work with:


I hope you enjoy this…and Thank You Blaga!

About the Dead Man and His Funeral


Image via Wikipedia

About the Dead Man and His Funeral

The dead man watches the parade
unfold: faces of former students, still
boyish in his memory, smiles masking
questions of innocence defiled.
A wake is not a place, he muses,
for such considerations, such that
defy propriety suited to the occasion.

More About the Dead Man and His Funeral

He isn’t sure how it began, the day
he fell from grace, dragging them along.
Nothing heralded that it would be
anything but typical–lectures,
papers, preparations and mentor-
ing. Ah! that was it, he gasps, behind
closed doors. A hand upon a thigh
and then the tangle of emotion. ‘Twas
all it took. He bids farewell and plummets
into the flames of hell.

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry: http://bigtentpoetry.org/ The prompt for today was a Wordle, which prompted a poem darker than that which I usually write. Child molestation is a sad reality of life. The form is Dead Man Poetry, the Brain Child of Marvin Bell. I was able to use all the words, for a change.

Submitted as well to One Shot Wednesday: http://onestoppoetry.com/


Life Plus 5–Big Tent Poetry

A prison Cell.

Image via Wikipedia

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry: http://bigtentpoetry.org/

I wrote this a few years back in response to an actual article.

Reno Gazette Journal June 24, 2006
“79-year old found guilty
of killing former boyfriend.”

ATLANTA-A 79-year-old woman
accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend
because their romance had ended was
convicted of murder Friday.
Lena Driskell was sentenced
to life in prison plus five years. She
was immediately taken into custody, and
defense attorneys said she would not
be eligible for parole for 30 years.
Driskell shot 85-year-old Herman
Winslow in June 2005 at the assisted
living home where they both resided.
After she was arrested, police said she
was angry that their romance had ended
and he was seeing another woman.

Life, Plus 5

Guess that showed the sonofabitch
85-year-old womanizer you were
pissed, were serious about monogamy.

Showed the rest of us love isn’t
reserved for sleek bodies, old
age isn’t sexless or without passion
(and should be reinvented now that
I’m sixty-something).

While you’re in prison, (which isn’t
that different from an Assisted Living
Facility or a 79-year-old body),

keep in mind you don’t need to be
defined by someone. You are enough for
life plus five years.

Big Tent Poetry–The Gospel According to St. John

Anikiev Gospel

Image via Wikipedia

This is submitted to Big Tent Poetry. This week’s prompt was a wordle with what seemed to me to be a most unlikely assortment of words. This was what came up for me although, granted, there were no boiler rooms in the time of Christ–that one was a stretch although, if you’ve ever been in a boiler room it is a bit reminiscent of hell. The one word I could not make happen was forklift!

Check out some great poetry for the prompt at:  http://bigtentpoetry.org/



The Gospel According to St. John

Time passed slowly that afternoon.
Blood flowed like lava into my cupped hand.

The man who hung upon a rough hewn tree
should have reigned over lush gardens of creation.

The night before I’d struggled to remain awake,
but now I stood by the mother until he passed

into the boiler room of hell. We remained there
to receive his body, returned it to the earth,

sealed the tomb with the clunk of a massive boulder.
After the Sabbath, the Phoenix resurfaced from the ash-pit.

Now I write his story, dipping the nib of my pen
in the sanguine ink of eternal mysteries.