From our back window I watched wind whipping the snow and was struck by how much it reminded me of the ice cream of my youth–the pines were the twisty tops of drippy cones and the drifts like clouds of soft-serve so sweet that she came to mind.

The summer I met her was full of sunburnt days on the beach, nights spent holding soft, warm and sweaty, and empty dishes of runny chocolate and vanilla, tossed aside there in the sand as easily as all those previous summer romances.

The wind breathed cold against a dip out by the oak stump, as if scooping another big plastic spoonful of memory I’d long since let melt away, as I sighed a warm smear of my own feelings of empty dishness against the windowpane.

“What in the world’s so interesting out there in the middle of a blizzard?” Barbara asked, tapping me on the shoulder and breaking my frosty reverie.

“Umm, nothing…but whaddaya say we go out and get ourselves a sundae or something?”  I said, brushing a strand of gray behind her ear and hugging her close, soft, warm and dry.

Ten minutes of first-draft Five Sentence Fiction combining Lillie McFerrin’s prompt FROZEN with my dear friend Heather Grace Stewart’s new Take Ten Thursday feature at her blog, Where the Butterflies Go. Heather’s photo prompt is at the top of this almost-story.  Maybe it’s a prose poem. If it is, then I won’t feel so stupid linking it to Sam Peralta’s call for them at dVerse.

Interview with Laurie Kolp for dVerse

dVerse banner

Last week, I had the honor of being interviewed by my dVerse Poets Pub colleague, the lovely poet Laurie Kolp for today’s Pretzels & Bullfights feature over on the dVerse site.

Once again, my deepest thanks to Laurie, dVerse and all of you for this opportunity and your kind readership and friendship.

Ice in the Blood

blood winter wallpaper

It’s not winter cold I sense
shifting the form of my blood
from liquid to solid. I feel
crystals of plasma and the cells
clink and link with one another
in the freezing cold
within my sweater and vest.
Perhaps bundled in
suitable-for-shipping layers
of fluff and flannel insulates
this cold old heart,
sluggishly pumping its slush of life,
since no longer are you here
to stoke the flames
of its imaginings. You know,
the ones I’d walk through for you
each day, head swiveling, sensing all
in the ninety-eight degree heat
that lit this pen with which
I brand a world.

Shared with my friends at dVerse Poets for the Feb. 4, 2014 Open Link Night, where I’m tending bar. At least I know I have sufficient ice, eh?

Praying for Echoes

I shout into the dark,
sometimes whisper too,
when I pick up this pen
to tell myself something
I didn’t know until after I did.
To anyone watching,
they would see this
as a near-silent endeavor,
save for the scratching
on the page, fingers tapping
on keyboard, the snorts and sighs
of me on life, and the laugh of life
upon us all.
The pen and paper,
keyboard and computer,
the very breath of creation,
are tools with which I call out
to no one but myself.
But deep within
lone and lonely me,
I pray someone hears
my echo.

Another 100-word drabble/poem. A 10-minute free-written thing for my friend Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday feature. This time it’s based on an Apple computer TV ad, courtesy of Walt Whitman and the film Dead Poets Society. I thought I recognized Old Walt’s voice, but I’ve never seen the movie. Doesn’t matter. They all prodded this poem out of me in a great rush.

Shared with my friends at dVerse Poets Pub for Open Link Night

I Been There


I been to South Bend and North Troy,
Boston and Houston, too.
I been in a city where I found a street
by that name, only they pronounce it House-ton.

But it was never home,
‘cause, you know…

I been to London—the little one in England, New,
and the famous one in England, Olde.
I been lost in the Sierras and Adirondacks,
Montreal and Jersey, too.

But they was never home,
‘cause, you know…

And I been in your head and you in mine,
peeked through the windows of our souls,
bounced upon each other’s hearts
like beds in the lonely dark.

And I thought they was gonna be home,
‘cause, you know…

A rambling lunchtime piece about a rambling (and lost , from the looks of it) poet guy. poet and guy.

To the Victors

By highway side, black-winged scavengers
already peck at my attention and
the bones, gristle and skin of some mammal
caught in the headlights’ glare
one time too many.
Up ahead, cherry-drop lights flash
as cops and EMTs peck at
the carrion of car.
A short while before
it swerved as momentary victor
over the disassembled fauna to my right—
four-legged prey that in death
had bested four-wheeled predator.
Tomorrow, at roadside,
gnawed haunch and bumper,
blackened shred of leg and tire tread,
will be memorial, champion and victim
of highway drama all rolled—
just not quite into one.

Another 100-word poem/drabble combo. Not exactly the daintiest dish to set before the king, but it’s what was quickly whipped up in the kitchen of my mind’s eye.

Heartbeats ~ A Story

On the road - again, blurry eyed

(Photo credit: Konabish ~ Greg Bishop)

A 100-Word Drabble

It didn’t take but a couple of moments.

Heartbeats, really.

In the passenger seat Alison cussed me out for being such a Man and poured on the drama with the stabby exclamation point, “I wish I’d never met you and I wish you were dead.”

I reached to calm her, tell her I was sorry for being such a jerk, and took my eyes from the road for just a moment, the time it takes a sleepy trucker to drift his rig to our side of the road.

So that’s how we got here – a flash of light – two heartbeats.

Didn’t set out to write a drabble — a 100-word story — but son-of-a-gun if I didn’t end up with one. Not sure this is what Lillie McFerrin was expecting, either, when she asked for a five-sentence story based on the prompt MOMENTS.

Lillie McFerrin Writes