Friday, April 8, 2016

spiral - Day 6 of the 2016 PAD Challenge

Two days behind but undaunted. I've spent this week preparing query letters for my Young Adult Fantasy novel, Elsekind. I intend to send it out to three places on Tuesday, so that's fairly exciting and slightly terrifying. 

And today, I have a poem to share. Perhaps my favorite topic to explore in poetry is the connectedness between objects in the micro- and macroverse, particularly the Fibonnaci repetition of patterns. I love how patterns in nature replicate on the small and large scale. It's stunning and humbling, how a snail and a galaxy can contain the same atoms, the same shapes, once again proving that we all are more alike than we are different.
Fibonnaci knows...


one shell
one tiny shell
one spinning spiral
like a floating iris
like the golden eye
of a great grey heron
poised on a riverbank
in a glimmering city
in a far away country
on a great continent
riddled with rivers and
crisscrossed with streams
on this blue, blue earth
swaddled in clouds
strung with twinkle lights
turning and turning
within an orbit,
within the wide-flung arms
of a galaxy
one among
one shell.
one tiny

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Beware of Fairy Tales - Day 5 of the 2016 PAD Challenge

Here is a twist on the twisted fairy tales. This is five linked haikus about a forest and a hapless adventurer.

Beware of Fairy Tales
Along the Forest Path by Selina Fenech
The sign outside reads:
Beware of the Fairy Tales
They always return

In the tavern light
Her wings like snowflakes, shiver
prismatic daggers

"Please, can you help me?"
Her voice is the falling leaves
You reach for her, and--

The path stands empty,
Stabbed by moonlight and silence
Moths brush at your face

Feet encased in stone,
Weapon useless at your side,
Words caught on your lips

Too late to scream now:
You are trapped within her snare.
She always returns.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

One Doesn't Stop to Talk with Nightmares - Day 4 of the 2016 PAD Challenge

Off-prompt, but from a line in a Guy Gavriel Kay story, provided by one of our writing group partners, Lori Krell. I think this one is about becoming our worst nightmares. 
Mirror of the Soul by ispheria.

One Doesn't Stop to Talk to Nightmares

Yes, I heard her warning
as I left the bar that night.
I heard her
but I refused to heed
the raving rantings
of a whore

Yes, she warned me of the dangers
of straying from the path
of staying too long
of listening
to the whispers.
I heard her
but I thought her
I thought

She said, One doesn't stop
to talk to nightmares.
I said, What do you know
of dreams?
Her cracked face
fractures panes
in ruined casement.

Yes, I wondered what she lost
from lingering too long
from sipping too deeply
from keeping cozy company
with the demons
of her dreams

I wondered, but dismissed her
A mad woman
A transient
A fool

No, I did not see her
for what she is
for what she was:
Not a broken window
but a mirror.
A reflection
of me.

Three - Day 3 of the 2016 Poem A Day Challenge

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Three (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Three Blind Hippos,” “Three Muskrats,” “Three’s Company,” “Three Movies Is Too Many for The Hobbit, Peter Jackson (just saying),” and so on.

Here is a strange little poem in round. It's a bit rough, but I'll take it for now.


On the road,
on the road
an old crone sang
with a stick
in her hand,
with a crow
on her back

On her back,
on her back
the old crow cawed
with a jewel
in her eye,
with a ring
on her wing

On her wing,
on her wing
there slept a dream
with a wish
in her heart,
with a song
on her lips.

On her lips,
on her lips
there rested a kiss
with a prince
in her bed,
with a crown
on his brow.

On his brow,
on his brow
there weighed a truth
with a price
in its words,
with a curse
on his grave

On his grave,
on his grave
the old crone wept
of a love
and a girl
and a boy
and a bird

And the three
who fled
with the jewel
and a ring,
They sing
no more
No more
they sing.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Actual Things He Said To Me - Day Two of the PAD Challenge

Unless you're actually just an asshole using
honesty as a shield for rude behavior.
The 2016 April PAD Challenge shuffles along to Day 2. Let’s unwrap today’s prompt.
For today’s prompt, write a what he said and/or what she said poem. Maybe he or she said a rumor; maybe he or she gave directions; or maybe he or she said something that made absolutely no sense at all. I don’t know what they said; rather, each poet is tasked with revealing that knowledge.

Here is a poem close to my heart. These are actual things men have said to me - some in person, some via instant message, but all true.

Actual Things He Said to Me

He said, "It's hot that you're a single Mom.
They're like the surest bet.
That's how it is where I come from:
You gotta take what you can get."

He said, "You are smoking hot, but
Petite chicks are all I date.
I would really like it a lot
If you could just shed some weight."

He said, "Why do you need feminism?
Isn't that for ugly girls?
That kind of sexual fascism
is what's ruining the world."

He said, "Your book is too feminine.
You shouldn't quit your job.
Your sense of humor's asinine.
You think you're funny, but you're not." 

He said, "Hey princess, hey baby, hey doll
I'm not like other dudes.
I'm looking for love, I'm looking to fall
So PM me all your nudes."

And then he said, "I don't get it,
how women can be so mad
I just told you what I want.
So how can that be bad?"

He said, "Women claim to want honesty.
But that just doesn't fly.
'Cause when we tell them what we need,
They would rather hear a lie."

But she said, "You misunderstand us.
We are but human beings
Not a princess in a tower
Not some puppet tied with strings."

She said, "I'm not here to perform for you.
I don't need what you have to say.
Someday I'll realize my own goals
And that someday is today."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fools Rush In - Day One of 2016 Poem-A-Day

Let Poem-A-Day begin!

Every year for the past -- I don't know, decade? -- I have participated in Robert Lee Brewer's Poem-A-Day in April. Some years, I make it all the way to the end. Other years, I fall fabulously short. The point, though, is to write poems, and that I do. 

Here is the link to Brewer's PAD Challenge site, where he posts his daily poetry prompts:
2016 Poem A Day Challenge Join me, if you please and if you dare, in writing one poem each day in April. 

Day One:

For today’s prompt, write a foolish poem. It’s April Fool’s Day, after all. Let’s loosen up today with a poem in which we’re fools, others are fools, or there’s some kind of prank or tomfoolery happening. Fool around with it a while.

Fools Rush In 

Foolish is a mockingbird
Who first dives from her nest

Foolish is the scientist
Who continues to try and test

Foolish is the playground child
Who finally raises her fist

Foolish is caterpillar
Who unwinds from her chrysalis

Foolish are those who push and push
Who refuse to give up their fight

Foolish are they, the believers
Who rally against the night

Foolish are those who continue
To live, to love, to dare.

And though they may be wounded,
they still have love to share.

Count me blissful among them:
This incautious band of fools

For if I let anguish guide me

I never would have you.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fiction Friday: Mourning

Strange Weather - J. Garnett (
For Fiction Friday this week, I borrowed a prompt from 3 AM Epiphany, and then promptly ignored it.

The prompt, titled The City, asks the writer to write two short scenes in a cityscape of the author's choice - one at night, one in the daytime.

What came out is a fragment of an aftermath, when something catastrophic has occurred, and the citizens of the city are digging out to assess the damage.

This is called Mourning.
Flash Fiction
Word Count: 354

            In the city, there fell a soft snow of petals, and each one helicoptered down into the sleeping street. There fell a scent, also, of ash and spiderwebs, of mothwings and death.
            Those who survived the night clawed forth from the gutters to gaze out in wonder at the husk of their city. Breeze battered the lanterns on their strings, long tatters of them strewn from rooftops, across lorries, into windows, all shattered. The night that shook and ravaged had raged and passed. It cast up land, shaking blooms from the trees, raking stars from the sky, shifting plates of rock upways and sideways and down.
            Gray people with lamplight eyes, taking hold of hands, drifted silently into crosswalks. Wordless, they stared at the fallen fragments. Fire had come. Flood had answered. Waste remained.
            And life. Life clung in the sidewalk cracks, grassblades and dandelions, caked black, but alive. Pools collected in the low spaces, trapping fish and crabs in the cracks. They darted and flipped, a coruscation of scales and claws. In the high crumbling towers, redbirds dared to pierce the quiet with their songs.
            So the people crept, wary at first, and then frantic, as the pebbles scrabbled, as the first murmurs rose up. People clambered to release those entombed.
            Then noise bloomed out, cries of joy and shouts of despair. Then shifting stone. Hands clasped hands. Arms lifted and cradled. Heads tilted back, eyes to ashen sky, and tears fell.
            More fires and more cairns, these set with more care than those of nature's random violence.
            Daylight waned. Shadows deepened. A new landscape yawned into night. Those who remained gathered tight, hipbone to hipbone, shoulder to shoulder. Light subsided into smoke-skeined skies, and stars stared down, sharp and keen and unreachable.
            Quiet descended, punctured by coughs and cries. The old ones waited, wary and watchful, but the bones of the earth lay still.
            In the morning, there fell a soft rain, and each drop needled into the sleeping street. There fell a sorrow, also, of loss and exhaustion, of dust and death.

            And those who survived the night strove forward, hoping, somehow, to rebuild.