Tuesday, November 30, 2010

one shot: all i want for christmas...

the sign at the mall
by the doors streaming
human cattle,
shows a map, of all the
places they go &
there is a red dot marked
but looking around
i see no one

until i spy
a sprightly man, rather portly
in crimson and white
& though i am the tallest
one in line & i swear
i see a grimace when i
sit on his knee
i have so much to tell him

"nothing plastic or flashy
with lights and wild noises
nothing to kill time or
ever more mind numbing
no what is want most..."

i whisper in his ear &
walk past the glum faces
too old to believe
as i suck the stripes
off the candy cane
he gave me, expectantly.


One Shot Wednesday ~ Write a poem, Come join us. The fun begins at 5 pm EST.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

not just his shirt

i see a man in the second story window, red brick building, across the street from the bench, i sit, waiting for the 7:45 bus. it's not that i can't mind my own business, but he is there every day & i know him only as wife beater.

& it's not just the stain white shirt stretched across his girth, but the words, his words that bullhorn across the distance. he treats her like a dog, not that i have anything against dogs, or think they should get hurt. & the banging...banging...banging...crashes across the asphalt.

(are you getting pissed yet?)

his day old beard, shimmers greasy, as he leaves, chest puffed like he's king of the world, locking the door behind him, from the outside. smiling...smiling...and it may be bad but i am wishing i was driving as he crosses the crosswalk. he says good morning as he waits next to me.

& she appears in the now slid up window, eyes hollow black holes, sucking all the color from the day, except the cigarette she sucks to a butt, then flicks. tumbling end over end, it leaves smoke written confessions, hanging in the air, dreams deferred, dissipating.

she was pretty once, you can tell, a trophy beneath the tarnish & she had hope once, but hitched a ride on the wrong star streaking across the night sky, only to find it was a busted piece of space junk plummeting. back then she was someone, before he took that too.

& then the window is empty, the bus here, & i am just glad to catch a glimpse of her because one day i won't. she will either wake up or not get up, again. maybe tomorrow. maybe the next day. he boards in front of me & our bus pulls away.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

160/Sunday Sketch - grasping at steam


she slips
the edge of my cup
dancing across my lips
& every tried touch
leaves wet, my finger tips

inhaling between sips
such sweet

So, I have been MIA for a few days and feeling the withdrawals so posting a little early for these. My 160, linking up with Monkey Man and a simple (not my best) painting for my friends at Sunday Sketches. Figured it's cold outside, most places, so something a little HOT might be good...coffee....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

& i am humbled

the last star of night
tucked into bed
behind its sun blanket,
warm wishes placed
on it's head with a kiss,
i greet this thank-filled day
of hustle bustle family
food frenzy, with thoughts
of you, & the origin
of all of these...

happy thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

one shot: the ugly, truth

if i had money
i would get plastic surgery
(if you have seen my nose
you would understand)
and isn't that the
way it goes, we see
something we don't like
(or looks better
on another
when we look
in the mirror)
so we get it fixed
as if it went deeper
than our epidermis

who says you are unworthy
who says you are unlovable
who set them up
as king to dictate
reality in the lives
of those around them.

i say we grab torches
storm the castle
and overthrow the mockery.

you want to see some
beauty, here borrow
my eyes when i look
at you (not the way i
look at myself...its all
comparison, you know)
but really it will never
come from the words
of another because they
are as flawed as that
puppet king we already
tossed, trussed up in
his own vile tongue,

you are beautiful, you
are beautiful, YOU ARE
BEAUTIFUL...and one day i hope
you believe it & stop
mutilating yourself with
the lies you've been fed
& realise we are all just
stained glass windows, broken
glass pieces put back
together, (without need
of a scalpel) casting rainbows
on each other as the sun
shines through & that
is beautiful too.

& i think, after all,
i will keep my nose.

This One Shot goes out to all those that have been told they are ugly, unworthy of love, decrepit, hopeless, less than, unable, flawed, too broken, helpless, forgotten...you are not. You are a beautiful creation. You are loved.

One Shot Wednesday: write a poem, come join us....5 pm EST tonight...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shafts of Grace

Continued from Eleven, Eleven

"Do you know him?"

Jessica stares through the window at the boy in the interview room, as he sips chocolate milk through a straw from a small plastic jug they must have given him. She watches his eyes as they roam the walls. Is that you Chris? For a second she is afraid she said it out loud, but a quick glance at the detective assures her she was silent. The boy pushes the container of milk away from him, laying his head on the table.

"What are you going to do with him?" Jessica turns to face the detective.

"We are running his prints now. He has yet to speak to anyone since coming in, even the child psychologist could not get him to talk. We will try to find a parent or guardian."

"Can I talk to him?" she asks hopefully.

"No. We can't do do that Mrs. Hatcher. Only authorized personnel and family will get to see him. Don't worry, he will talk eventually and maybe he can shed some light on your husbands disappearance."

The weight of the moment settles on her shoulders and she looks back to the boy, hoping he can provide answers, only to find him standing at the window, staring at them.

"I thought he could not see us," she exclaims.

"He can't," unsettled, the officer steps around Jessica to the phone on the wall to call for the psychologist again.

The boy runs a finger down the window, leaving streaks and dots, and Jessica's heart races as she reads '11:11.'

The ride home smears across Jessica's mind, like fingers through paint, her thoughts and feelings a jumble. She did not want to leave, but they practically forced her out the door when she became hysterical about seeing the boy. They had to think she was crazy. Perhaps she was. Perhaps everything that had been happening with Chris these last couple years was a delusion. She could not understand what was happening.

The last time he had been gone six days, returning five years younger than when he left. They had to move, people would ask questions. The first two they explained away with dieting, good living, but he was looking too young now. Soon, maybe now she would have to pretend he was her son.

If only he had been at home, but he said he was close to finding a cure. If only the police had not been involved. If only he hadn't been impatient, trying the serum on himself, none of this would have happened. If only he had never tried to play God, seeking eternal youth. If. If. If.

Heart twisting, she pulls to the curb in front of a convenience store, all her hopes and fears spilling down her cheeks, through the fingers of the hands pressing into her face. The torment and questions that had been building explode out her with each ragged exhalation.

"No ma'am the boy has not talked. Like I told you the last couple times you called, we will call you if we find anything pertinent to the disappearance of you husband. Now please, let us do our job."

Jessica barely hears the sharp disconnect, cell phone still pressed to her ear as she stands at the island in the middle of the kitchen. Slowly lowering the phone from her ear, it clatters against the wood counter top breaking the trance. Glancing around the kitchen she tries remembering what she was doing.

Shuffling to the stairs, she takes minutes with each, as she ascends to their room. Pulling back the sheets, she slides, clothes and all, beneath them. Wrapping herself tight in a cocoon, seeking warmth, she only finds a cool reminder of Chris.

A thunderous crash splits the cocoon, spilling Jessica startled to the floor. Struggling to catch her breath against the pounding weight of her heart, she stretches her eyes to adjust to the darkness. Silence greets her ears first, then gentle thumps. Soft footsteps on the floor below.

Anxiousness about Chris overtakes caution and she nearly slides down the steps in her haste, grabbing the railing at the last moment to right herself. Rounding the corner into the living room, she scans the shadows, searching for what might have made the noise. A lamp, the one usually near the mirror, rolls back and forth slightly on the floor in the center of the room. Fear and confusion flood her, how did it get there?

"Chris," she calls weakly, hoping.

"Chris," she calls again, desperate.

"Here," a feeble voice answers.

Searching with her eyes, she finds the shadow in the corner chair by the window. Shafts of moonlight break through the clouds into the otherwise empty room, illuminating the lower half of his body. His legs are gaunt, knobby at the knees. Relief floods her, grace received in getting Chris back. She rushes across the room, falling to her knees at his feet, pressing her face into his chest, sobbing.

"Oh God. I thought you...," she gasps the words.

"Shhh...," his hand combs through her hair.

A rumbling wheeze erupts in her ear, from his chest, and she pulls back with a start. Raising her hand to his face, still shrouded in darkness, she runs her fingers along his cheeks. Harsh creases traverse his skin, lips puckering at his teeth. Reaching his scalp the hair is light and thin. He is old.

"Oh Chris," she pulls him to her, her kisses intense, yet light.

"We will get through this," his voice croaks against her cheek.

Her head slips into the hollow between his neck and shoulder and tears squeeze through eyes clench tight, trying to keep their reality at bay.

"This will be your bed. Like the social worker said, you will only be here a few days, but we want you to feel at home," Mrs. Guthrie stands at the foot of the bed in a small room within her home looking at the silent boy.

The social worker told her, when she dropped the boy, that they did not have a name on the boy and that he had been found dressed in men's clothing downtown. Unable to get an identification off of his fingerprints they were unsure what they were going to do. This is where Mrs. Guthrie came in, she provided respit for foster families and occasionally took in those children awaiting a placement.

Scuffing the toes of his shoes together, the boy looks at her, taking it all in.

Kneeling in from of him, Mrs Guthrie looks him in the eye, "I know you don't have any clothes. I pulled out some pjs for you and tomorrow we will go through some clothes i have set aside and find you some new things to wear."

A slow smile creeps into the boy's cheeks at her motherly charm, and Mrs. Guthrie hands him a plastic tub, "It's okay if you don't want to talk, but I would really like to know what to call you. This will be your tub, to keep things in and so no one will go in there maybe you can write you name on the side of it.

Taking the permanent marker from her, the boy sits on the bed, screwing his face in concentration, tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth as he writes on the side of the tub. Finishing he turns it around for her to see, happy to please her.

"Alright, Chris it is..."

This is a 10DOM Magpie Tale

Saturday, November 20, 2010

160/Sunday Sketch: who holds the pen

cracked cookie fortune

written by some
bored back room

(little does he know)

will dictate
my life story

only as much as i
someone else
write it.

What can you say in 160 characters? Go tell Monkey Man.

And for my lovely friends over at
Sunday Sketches, a mixed media piece. The fortune cookie is done in water color, while the words are from last month's Readers Digest.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Magpie Tales: Eleven, Eleven

Tires squealing, Chris Hatcher sends his car into the small gap opening between the tractor trailer drifting back beside him and the pick up truck in front on him. His eyes flick between the road and the dashboard clock. Five minutes, going fast. Rounding the front of the pick up truck he cuts across traffic to take the exit ramp, scraping a side panel on the concrete restraining wall.

Slamming his foot against the brake pedal, he drives it into the floor, his car sliding quickly toward the line of cars backed up on the ramp. Wheels stutter and realising he is not going to stop, he puts the car into the wall, plastic and metal tearing away as it grinds to a halt.

Throwing open the door, he glances once more at the clock. Three minutes, he will never make it in time. Retrieving a black permanent marker from the satchel bag on the passenger seat he begins scribbling words on the drivers door window.

"Jessica Hatcher?"


"Ma'am, is your husband home?" Jessica stands in the open door, staring at the uniformed officer in front of her, hearing his words, but unsure how to respond. He gives a name, but it is lost before she can grasp it.

"Come in," she finally says, leading him into the living room, beckoning the man to a couch.

Taking a seat on the far end away from him, she fights to control the emotions flooding her, from what she already knows, "No, I have not heard from him since he left work at 10:30 this morning to come home."

"Do you know why he left early?" the officers tone is gentle, not demanding as she expected.

"He was coming home to have lunch with me. Why?"

"We found your husband's car wrecked and abandoned on the Carrington Street exit off of Interstate 235. As far as we can tell it happened a little after eleven this morning."

Tears tip the edge of her eyes, racing down her cheeks, "Is...he...," she stammers.

Expelling a deep breath, the officer settles a bit deeper into the couch, "No, we have not found him. I have to be honest, this is really strange. There was a partial message scrawled on the window."

"What did it say?" Jessica pushes the words through her sobs.

"'See you soon' and then there were numbers, like a bible passage, '11:1', does this mean anything to you?"

Burying her face in her hands, her body shudders, wracked by her intense sobbing. Her thoughts scatter then settle on one hopeless question, why couldn't he have made it home?

Richard Pingham turns the key, throwing the bolt on the door of his shoe repair shop. Business has not been the best of late and so an afternoon off is a treat to the soul, just not to the pocketbook. The downtown crowd disappears back into their office after lunch, leaving little opportunity other than tourists. Turning to his car, he notices a shape separate from the wall, dashing into the street.

"Hey son! Come here!" Richard yells to a boy scurrying across the cross walk.

One hand gripping the waist of pants far too large for his small frame, the cloth of the legs dragging beneath his feet, the boy is little more than a pile of clothes. Shirt sleeves flap from the end of his arms. Richard hurries after him, his heart heavy at the apparent homelessness of one so young.

Looking over his shoulder, there is a wildness in the boys eyes and seeing his pursuer, he propels himself faster behind the corner of the brick building. Losing sight of him for only a few seconds, Richard draws up short after rounding the corner to find the alley empty, except for refuse discarded haphazardly, never making it to the sludge covered dumpster.

Tipping the lid, Richard looks into the dumpster, to see if the boys perhaps hid there, afraid of who might be following him. Bags of trash and a malicious stench great him, flies stirred from their meal swarm his face.

"Ugh," he lets the lid slam back into place, surveying the alley once more, then heads back towards his car.

The cell phone nearly vibrates off the bedside table before its ring pierces the consciousness of a nearly comatose Jessica, draped across the bed, still dressed in yesterday's clothes. She had stayed up most of the night, waiting to hear from Chris. He usually would call by now, she must have fallen asleep. Chris!

She grabs the phone, thumbing the button to receive the call, "Chris!"

"Mrs. Hatcher? This is Officer Kennedy. I was at your house yesterday."

"Oh, hello officer...," her voice heavy with disappointment.

"You have not heard from your husband, I take it?"

"No. I am sorry, I was just...I must have fallen asleep," she runs a hand across her face, into her tangled hair.

"No problem ma'am. I wanted to see if you could come down to the station. We found some of what we believe are your husbands belongings and wanted to have you take a look at them."

Mind snapping to attention, she inquires, "What did you find?"

"Again, this is going to sound odd, but we received a call about a young boy wandering downtown. When a patrol car picked him up, he was wearing your husband's clothes. His wallet was still in the pocket of the pants."

"Is the boy okay?" she stammers, hope rising with in her.

"Yes, why? Do you think you know him?"

"Um, maybe not. I am...still trying to wake up. Give me an hour and I will be down," she answers, knowing full well she will be racing to get there as fast as she can.

(To be continued Monday in 'Shafts of Grace')

This is a Magpie Tale and 10DOM.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

55 - charitable misgivings

today i found
a shiny back
black beetle
tile to tile
along the baseboard
by the sink
in the bathroom

what is it he seeks?

& when he turned
round, back
the other way
i took him
on my finger
him outdoors

but wonder if
that is what
he really wanted

or needed...

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

nothing to see here

violently vomitting
my muse on the sidewalk
i poked and prodded
it with the
toe of my boot
to see if i
could at least
get a gasp
but alas
all i can offer
is the view
from the end of
my driveway, west...

beautiful isn't it?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

one shot: asphalt dreams

orange eye cherry
lit cigarette
pressed to the flesh, tip,
sweet char scent spilling
hair burning, skin shriveling,
puckering scar on my arm

a remainder of days
& ways of life
in the OC, MD
on hot summer daze
(better than a t-shirt,
only cause it lasts longer
& the slogan stays relevant)
but numb, i felt nothing
as she left her mark
stoned, drunk
not giving a...

i tell you this
not to impress
with my past wickedness
but so that you know
i once thought i was
immortal too
& yours will not be
the last grave i confess
my sins to

S. J. W.
1994 - 2010

party over
before it had a chance
to begin, wheels up,
spinning, soul spilling
out of you, life
dreams pooling crimson
across the asphalt.

One Shot Wednesday - A celebration of poetry. Write a poem, come join us. The fun begins at 5pm EST.

Monday, November 15, 2010


staring at the blanket of clouds
pulled tight across the sky
i ask my son what he sees
amidst them...

"a butt."

and i won't lie,
i can see it

& i
just hope we are not
sitting at the bottom
of the toilet.

an empty bag of potato chips
crinkles as the wind
rolls it across the gravel drive
stopping briefly to say good morning
to a beer can someone tossed
in my yard during the night,
it's metallic skin a tapestry
of shadow and light.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

160/Sunday Sketch - astral bodies

if the sun & the moon
finally met, instead
of chasing each other
& spent the day together,
what they would do?

would their love making
tear our world asunder?

What can you say in 160 characters? Say it, and tell Monkey Man.

And a self portrait for my friends at Sunday Sketches.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Drinking & Guest posting

Taking the day off to drink deep draughts of the muse. I am guest posting at Laura's today on gratitude if you want to stop by. Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

55 - as captain crunch looks on

"you got beautiful eyes"

she says in
between cereal boxes
and pop tarts,
shopping cart squeaking
down store aisles

coffee & cream skin,
sprinkled cookie crumb
moles & age marks
hair shock

(eyes meet)

& underneath
a little girl, smiling at
a boy & his converse
low tops, just
happy, to be

"thank you."

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a precarious balance

on the bridge
leading out of town
across the james river,
bumper chasing bumper
dogs sniffing each others
exhaust to see if they
are friendly, the man

his red stockcap
balancing a bottle of
moutain dew, upright
right in the middle
of his head & he smiles
& waves & some times
dances, entertaining
himself and us, with
his antics

he has no job & life
pretty much fits in
the grey PUMA gym
bag at his feet, but
every day he greets
us with the knowledge
he is homeless, and
perhaps he wonders
when we will realise
we are as well

though we try to
build one, with all
our hard labor, as if
it will be here forever
& his bottle of pop
sits steady, even as
he shuffles away
to no...where,
with no...thing but
a grey PUMA bag
smiling & waving

i, less entertained
than jealous,
in this traffic
heading some...where.

Imperfect Prose

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

oneshot: outside, myself

fierce clarity grips
the ebony sky
in opaque fingers
stars popping like
water on a hot skillet,
a million fireflies from
which my finger plays
a furious game of
connect the dots

wind having lost
its voice, sits on a
corner stool counting
how many seconds
it can hold its breath, leaves
nestle firmly,huddle
together in silent masses, as i

stand steadfast, watching,
waiting for the heavens
to fling down one of their
own, a skipping stone
across our atmosphere
harbinger of wishes

& the first one i see
i grab in my fist, fearing
to look as i might go
blind, i wrap my words
around it with bailing twine
& duct tape a four leaf clover
i found hide n seeking
behind a blade of grass,
for luck,

& fling it as hard as i can,
hoping that one day it
reaches you, because you
need it just as much as me,
and what a selfish prig
i would be if i kept it
all to myself.

One Shot Wednesday - write a poem & come join us. It kicks off tonight at 5 PM.

Monday, November 8, 2010

she was my first...

I was a freshman in high school... when I fell in love with an older woman... named Darlene... she was only 25 years older... my English teacher... she was my first...

It was with her I saw my first breast... a real one, not like those slick magazines my uncle had hidden... behind one layer of towels in his bathroom... (I bet they thought I had terrible bowel problems)... so it was Romeo and Juliet... when he gets out of bed... (pay no attention to that butt shot)... but there it was... beautiful... a pivotal moment in the life of a adolescent boy. She was ready to fast forward... got distracted... then just put her head down on the desk.

She used to write love notes... in the margins of the stories I turned in... in red pen. Do this... don't do that... this would be better if... more... longer... and I aimed to please... she chiseled me... pushing... pulling me... until I was salt water taffy... in her long fingers... stroking my ego well... urging on the great American novel... in her flowing, floral hippie dresses...

I had her again my senior year...& when my girlfriend...of two years...we had picked out china patterns... (in black to match our attire)... slept with my cousin... real Jerry Springer stuff... she stitched me up... saying I was now ready to write poetry.

& she tried to talk me down... when we led the protest... against using staged graduation pictures... in the yearbook... (because that has huge importance in the grand scheme of things)... but we did it... & she showed us how to do it right...

& she was the one I talked to... when my new girlfriend said... she was going to kill herself... the only one... & she took care of it... but we broke up...

It was tragic...I fell down the steps...tearing all the tendons in my wrist... unable to take the AP test... so wanting to impress... & even learned to write left handed... but it was not good enough.

So, if you ask... do teachers make enough... the answer is adamant...NO!...because every time I sit down to write... my muse speaks in the voice of an older woman... the first one I fell in love with... who could make me tremble... counting syllables... whose delicate hands spread me across the page for the first time... and you never forget your first...

Who inspires you? Today over at One Stop Poetry, I am opening the floor to throw the spotlight on someone you read recently or found in the blogosphere, that inspired you with their writing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

160/Sunday Sketch - a-salted

ocean breeze,
your lips to me

not a kiss,
but the breath
you breathe

bringing out flavor
in all that
surrounds me

all that i

this is you
on me.

What can you say in 160 characters? (spaces included) Go see Monkey Man.

This is the first painting I have done in 15 years. The watercolors still work. Smiles. For my friends over at Sunday Sketches.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Magpie Tales: There goes the Neighborhood

The smooth skin of her thighs dimple beneath his clutching fingertips, her eyes wide threatening to swallow him. By the creaks of the bed, it could collapse beneath them at any point, but he does not care. Her pouty red lips crack as he shudders in anticipation of her silk voice telling him how much of a man he is. They stretch wide grotesquely, her tongue standing erect...cockadoodledoo! cockadoodledoo! cockadoodledoo!

Damp with sweat, George jolts upright in bed, heart thundering, as he gasps for breath. Shadows cling to corners, faint moonlight spills through the windows on opposing walls. His wife, wearing her paisley cotton sleep dress lays wrapped warmly in the covers, lightly snoring. Red numbers pierce the night from her bedside, 2:33 AM.

Cockadoodledoo!, the cock's scream bursts through the window into his ear like an ice pick.

"I am going to kill that damn rooster!" he throws back the sheet, rising.

"Hmmummph," his wife mutters.

"Just...go back to sleep," he hisses at her, as he storms out of the bedroom.

Grabbing his work boots, George shoves his feet into them, not bothering to tie the laces. He is in boxers and a soiled t-shirt, but this early in morning no one will see him, especially not the neighbor. That stupid neighbor.

Tromping across the living room, he twists the key in the lock, opening the door to his gun rack. Cockadoodledoo!

He and Marge had lived here for years, moving in after they were married thirty-two years ago. Kenneth and Lydia Smith had moved in next door within a month. They were quiet, choosing to keep to themselves. No kids. No pets. Peaceful, quiet neighbors.

Feeding three shells into the shotgun, he ratchets one into place. Cockadoodledoo!

Two months ago, Kenneth saw George leaving for work one morning and walked over. He and Lydia were moving to Florida to retire in style. How Kenneth could ever afford the move, George would never know, still owing on their house after all the refinancing to pay for Marge's every need. Kenneth was younger than him too.

Huffing, he wrenches open the door, passes through, letting the aluminum storm door bang against the frame. Cockadoodledoo!

He still can't believe the hillbillies that Kenneth sold their house to. When they started pulling crates of chickens off the truck the day they moved in, George knew it was going to be trouble. The rooster started that night, with the loudest damn racket he ever heard. He had not slept well since. He was so tired he was screwing up at work, and got written up several times the last couple weeks. Marge was ticked at him for always being so pissy. It was all that damn rooster's fault. It was time for it to stop.

Stalking across the lawn, he pauses at the edge of the thin woods separating his house from the neighbors, letting his eyes adjust. His breath puffs in wispy clouds. The chicken coops form a hulking shadow at the rear of their property, barely visible through the tall bare trucks. The rooster will be there. Pine needles crunch beneath his shoes as he moves closer.

A clucking babble emits from the coops, the hens about their morning business or trying to get settled, George doesn't know other than they mask his approach. Gripping the shotgun at the ready, he peers around the yard, looking for the rooster. So loud moments ago, it had grown silent.

Starting to realise how cold it is, George shivers, any warmth left over from the bed long gone, his legs prickling with goose flesh. Leaning the shotgun against his shoulder, he rubs is free hand against his face giving momentary heat from the friction. Cockadoodledoo!

George spins, letting the barrel slap back into his palm, casting his eyes across the area until they settle on the rooster, standing tall, chest thrust forward on an old post. Head cocked sideways, one eye roams George as he creeps closer. Raising the shotgun he levels it at the offensive beast, finger tensing on the trigger, when it throws its wings out to full extension ruffling its feathers and leaps into the air directly at George's face.

BOOM! the shotgun bucks in George's hands, feathers flying, obscuring his vision as he stumbles backward. The roosters talons sink into his fleshy cheeks, wings beating the sides of his head. Dropping the gun, he paws at the agitated fowl, trying to peal it from his face. His nose erupts in fire as the rooster clamps its beak on one of his nostril.

He howls as they spin in an awkward dance in the grass, wrestling for dominance. Bellowing obscenities, his fingers dig into the feathery body when suddenly the bird releases his face as George trips over a discarded feed bucket. Flailing his arms he fights for balance, but gravity exerts its might, spilling him backward. His head makes a sharp pop as it slams into wood post of the chicken coop.

Cold wet grass meets George' face as he crashes to the ground. Vision swimming, clouds obscure the edges, as the porch lights come on at his neighbors house. George watches the rooster, one wing extended down, waltzing in a half circle, hens clucking in glee from the coop above. Stopping a few inches from his face, it thrusts out its chest and spreads wide its beak.


"Fugben stoobis ash roopter," he mumbles, losing consciousness.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

55 - my sticker says i voted

i don't claim to
tell the future but...

a brown paper towel
scrapes your fingers,
removing ink from the whorls
where it lingers.
they take a picture,
reduce your name to a number
buzz you into a cell


& do U wonder
crime committed?

not speaking up
when you had the chance.



Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


crunch...crunch...crunch...booted feet on leaves fallen, stain glass shattered beneath trees barren, reaching heaven. maybe them, maybe me.

there is a bear in the woods, protecting her cubs, the announcer's voice on the radio, driving up, sounded like he needed more coffee.

tristan wrestles his bear there at the end of Legends of the Fall, mine might be here in the trees, waiting for me. i have no knife, but what a match it would be, head pressed into the fur of his chest, close enough for synchronized heart beats. unleashed ferocity, pummeling. eustace torn deep to the boy within the dragon. jacob limping.

i am here to find you among the wild untamed mountain top, sheared clean by wind to white rock. i sit & wait.

birds circle lazily, round, round, round.
a black ant crawls atop my perch, touching my finger, continuing on its way.
no bear, but you are here.
pouring myself out, i spill across the stone, runnels dripping in puddles on the thirsty ground below.

a cold finger slips my collar running down my backbone & i laugh.

the mountain air invigorates me, drying my cheeks.

i shiver as you hold me, until it is

time to go, but
i look back as i walk away,
thank you.


imperfect prose

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

one shot: missing person report & together we can (by Logan)

missing person report

something is missing
this morning as i drag
the razor across my
face in the mirror.

searching, i settle
on my eyes
and find it is me.

if you happen to see
me, out wandering the streets,
point toward one of the signs
with the picture of my face,
the ones i am triple stapling
on telephone poles
and community bulletin boards.

perhaps i can
find my way from there.

and now for a special treat...my son (Logan, age 8) got second place in the reflections contest at his school for his poem "Together We Can?"

Together We Can?

Together we can ride a bike.
We can run.
We can sleep.
We can watch.
We can sing.
All together.

I think he did a great job. Now it's your turn, write a poem. Come join us at One Shot Wednesday. The links open at 5 pm EST.

Monday, November 1, 2010

street corner rainbows

coffee cup in hand, steam rising from the lip, massaging the november chill from my face, i breathe deep a little girl on the concrete street corner.

little rainbow chalk dust fingers, draw in the grit, tongue poking out the corner of her mouth in concentration. a soiled paper cup drags by in the breeze, scraping, bop, popping a background beat, stealing a peek.

complete, she rises to her converse feet, wiping impressionist paintings on the legs of her jeans. eyes roam, finding an old mortar piece, fallen from between the bricks forming the urban jungle grown up long before she was ever conceived.

flipping the rock, she begins her journey, one, one, two, one, two...kneeling to retrieve and return, one, two, one, one, smile wide as an orange slice. some forgotten playground melody drifts from her lips across the asphalt to my ears, but she don't care who hears.

drained, my cup finds community among the refuse in the wire mesh trash can, bus' old bones squealing, stutter stopping to swallow me. kidnapping the girl in my memory, i carry her with me into the white sun day.

down the aisle of long faces, i find my seat,the soles of my shoes beat, one, one, two, one, two. a little rock i picked up along the way, bus belching sighs as we pull away.