Category Archives: Short Story


i went into a pit to rescue my sister who was down there in it

i beseeched her to reach up, climb out to the light but in fright

she held me to her and together we swallowed the night

she cried, at least she wasn’t alone


not a haiku


should we drown so another is not alone

or show the way, lead the way, be the way


The Fowl and the Bully-rat

NaPoWriMo day 26


The Foul and the Bully-rat were put out to sea

On a manky-scant wee boat

They were thrown some spitballs, catcalls tar and feathers for good measure

Wrapped up in a cautionary note


The Fowl growled up to the stars above

With a sound like a small chainsaw

You, Bully-rat, you fat hunk of shite

Gimme room in this boat, oar,

I swear

I swear

I’ll haul your arse out!



Said Bully to Fowl, you evil great bleep

How charmingly sweet you bleat!

We’re in this together, you’d better not blether

Oar, I’ll cut your throat while you sleep!


They floated this way for a year and a day

To the land where the spliff trees grew

And there in the woods, a beautiful woman stood

They puffed up their chests and and jousted their jests

All to impress their importance upon an isolated female

Soon to be in their thrall. What a boon!

But she saw straight away they were

Up to no good

Up to no good

Though they begged so sweetly for fun and for food.


They warbled, aw, darlin’ It’s probably you’re also hungry for a fine feast of a man , we’re a bit wobbly but

honey girl, would you give us a whirl as a nibble

Supply us some vitals and a sniff of your spliffs, we’ll all bob along well, we can tell

But the woman was wise to all of their lies

She’s smelt them coming for miles and miles

So, she called on the conch to the other girls of her tribe, and they had them split-toasted in a flash, for their ladies lunch.

And hand in hand they danced

By the light of the moon

But the light of the moon

Full-bellied and stoned, they pranced

They licked the fat from their fingers and runcible spoons be damned!


btw April 26, 2021

parody picked from the teeth of the Owl and The Pussy-cat, loosely and unabashed.

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content. Just find a poem – or a song – that has always annoyed you, and write an altered, silly version of it. Or, alternatively, find a poem with a very particular rhyme scheme or form, and use that scheme/form as the basis for a poem that mocks something else.

If you’d like to get some inspiration, you might consider some of the poems that Lewis Carroll included in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which parody the moralistic verse of Isaac Watts. For example, “The Crocodile” is a send-up of Watts’ “How Doth the Little Busy Bee,” while “Tis the Voice of the Lobster” is a parody of Watts’ poem “The Sluggard.” Or, for a briefer and more whimsical poem, consider “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,” which is a parody of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea 
   In a beautiful pea-green boat, 
They took some honey, and plenty of money, 
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note. 
The Owl looked up to the stars above, 
   And sang to a small guitar, 
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, 
    What a beautiful Pussy you are, 
         You are, 
         You are! 
What a beautiful Pussy you are!” 

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl! 
   How charmingly sweet you sing! 
O let us be married! too long we have tarried: 
   But what shall we do for a ring?” 
They sailed away, for a year and a day, 
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows 
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood 
   With a ring at the end of his nose, 
             His nose, 
             His nose, 
   With a ring at the end of his nose. 

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

the living end

napowrimo day 21


tell it….don’t tell it…i can’t because

it wasn’t midnight – that’s just one minute

it wasn’t eternity – that just a concept

it wasn’t a toast of glasses

it wasn’t a fumbling of cusses

it wasn’t a teacup of grief – gulp it!

it wasn’t beyond all belief – swallow it!

tell it…. don’t tell it… i can’t because

it wasn’t a blizzard – there must be a sky

it wasn’t a prison – there must be a key

it wasn’t a limit unfurled

it wasn’t the end of the world

what was it… what was it…. don’t tell it…i can’t because…

it wasn’t revealed until it congealed

it wasn’t sealed until it was too late to see what it was

it wasn’t fate…was it

it was … it was

darknesses drunk

princely forevers

faith trapped

frozen diamond

universe stalled

tightened bonds

cut neat ever after

words spoken never

never ever tell what it was, only what

it wasn’t

it wasn’t – i promise

til death

parts – us

to the living end – with this breath

i won’t tell…..i can’t because.


btw april 21 2021



Have you ever heard or read the nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed?” It’s quite creepy! A lot of its effectiveness can be traced back to how, after the first couplet, the lines all begin with the same two phrases (either “When the . . .” or “Twas like,”). The way that these phrases resolve gets more and more bizarre over the course of the poem, giving it a headlong, inevitable feeling.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like this one, uses lines that have a repetitive set-up. Here’s an example I came up with after seeing this video of . . . a bucket of owls.

Bucket List

Several owls can fill a bucket.

Several buckets can fill a wheelbarrow.

Several wheelbarrows can fill a truckbed.

Several truckbeds can fill a song.

Several songs can fill a head.

Several heads can fill a bucket.

Several buckets filled with heads and owls

Sing plaintive verse all night long.

i got my wish

napowrimo day 16


i’d thought us well-suited

though his stance was brutish

his diamond stare was rare & bluish

his family name well-reputed

may i admit to being foolish?

i’d thought him tellement charming (charmant)

his romantic gestures disarming

the softness of his whispers calming (calmant)

pronunciation of the word ‘darling’ (mmmm)

delivered sweet warm hotter….burning

may i admit to yearning?

he was one helluva bloke

my love he needed not to coax

yet after years of mirror smoke

cleared the sleeping dragon woke

shimmers and glass slippers broke

and on the shards i choked

jaysus christ and holy ghost!

tippy-toed in dead of night

while lizard dozed i took flight

in pursuit he comes in full-blown spite

pride in tatters bent to smite

a well-know tale tall and trite

may i admit to quite a fright

although i run low fly high or hide

he tirelessly searches far and wide

to get me back by his side

or all more honestly my demise

he calls… you bitch, you are my bride!


btw april 16 2021



Because it’s Friday, today I’d like you to relax with the rather silly form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. In this form, there’s no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it, and then move on to another sound.


napowrimo day 8


quagmire rises to release her/his words

up to no good

no bad – birds knife at the dirt to wake 

up the dead

inside her/his head

he/she’s never slept in the depth

night/morning yawning

from an 8-foot down-echo chamber 

chill whispers come up


            rain down 

                     steady as

                               steady as



remember me

the embers of me


you buried me

while i was alive

and once again

made sure i died



remember me


tongues of me

crawl into your bed

to unsettle your raw bride

6-inches into her/his skin

shrivel galaxies hidden

everywhere aware



remember me

can never be rid of me

foolish one/twos

stamp your shoes on me

spit your 7-curses on me

time again


dismember me

remember this

statutory lying-in begins

endless as sins

lying in waiting

there’s no escape 

remember me

remember me



April 8, 2021



And last but not least, our (optional) prompt. I call this one “Return to Spoon River,” after Edgar Lee Masters’ eminently creepy 1915 book Spoon River Anthology. The book consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.