Toenail Clipping

Toenail Clipping (Photo credit: MightyBoyBrian)

This early morning’s fish hook moon,
streaming those glowing pink clouds,
looked like it was a trout fly cast
by some grand ethereal angler
to catch the sun-kissed silver-
bellied US Airways flight out of
Albany International Airport.

I’ve snagged orange-dappled, Florida-bound
Southwest 737 bass in that pond.
And once I baited my barbed shank
with a little dull gray commuter minnow
to catch a trophy Air Canada muskie
from Toronto to London, where I was
angling for a publisher.

Which brings me back to those
salmon-pink hackles and that
excuse-me sliver of moon trolling
the peachy southern sky this morning.
The USAir flight was one that got away
from that airborne bait. But, son of a gun,
if it didn’t hook me something fierce.


Broken Spell

Morning Smokestack

Morning Smokestack (Photo credit: Mr. Ducke)

Looking like a broken spell
emanating from the long brick finger
of the heating plant’s stack,
a rosy steam plume glowed and
scattered with the wind
into a memory of palest pink.
Even busted so, it entranced me enough
to stare for a few seconds,
though continued magic became diluted
by the sun’s climb to beatify
with halos the Albany rooftops.

It’s only a winter wizard can cast
these natural phantasms,
the sun situated just so
and the brutal January cold
setting deep the peach gelatine bed
of late dawn’s horizon.
With a gentle cough the silver-hair
makes his climb to gray-on-grayer
shadow world of warm cubicles
whose light conjures as much
benevolent sorcery as a paper cut.

No Turning Back

misty day on my windshield

misty day on my windshield (Photo credit: jypsygen)

The rain sprays spitballs against
the windshield, annoying in their haze
and every-three-seconds shrill erasure.
Inside the glass, another sleep-short night
rains a torrent on my focus of cars
blinking their red eyes awake.
But sharp plays my vision of light
blooming in our room, revealing
a landscape of bed linen knee-hills,
coverlet valleys tossed in tenderness,
and a population of two become one.

Turning back isn’t an option anymore.
I’ve come too far and to look behind
invites chain-reaction misery.
The screech of tires and wipers on nothing but
dry reality awakens me to consciousness
of my roadbed partners, no doubt lost
in the sublimity of their own dreamscapes.
I pull to the shoulder, still shrouded
in the mist of my dawn memory,
close my eyes for a better view and,
for a minute, complete my journey there.

©Joseph Hesch 2012

Five-Sentence Fiction ~ Scarlet

Through the Veil

Through the Veil (Photo credit: ecstaticist)

Lillie McFerrin Writes


Flt. Lt. Ralph Sidney finally felt calmer about climbing into his Sopwith Pup Scout and following his squadron mates over No Man’s Land to prowl the early evening skies for German observation planes.

“Are you cold, Sidney?” his flight leader asked last week, noticing the young British flyer shaking like a wet dog before his first-ever sortie.

“Um, no Sir…yes Sir…Ready to go, Sir,” he replied and crawled into the cockpit and never stopped shaking from the cold, fear and excitement the whole first week of his time in France, seeing the enemy and even firing a few rounds into a Bosche reconnaissance plane.

He was finally beginning to feel more comfortable in the air today, even after momentarily losing sight of his flight amid the towering clouds that looked for all the world like glistening orange spires of cathedrals back home in England, or maybe one of his Mum’s silly hats.

Pity, while he smiled and admired them, even saying a little prayer, he never saw the scarlet German Albatros fighter dive upon him from the setting sun to his rear.

This little story was written in response to Lillie McFerrin’s Five-Sentence Fiction prompt “Scarlet.”

Our Better Angels

What if our guardian angels, our guides
to the light, aren’t as perfect as we hope?
What if they’re merely “good”, maybe
barely adequate, as winged messengers go?
Perhaps they can get as socked in
by a Blue Norther of Spiritual Woe as we can.
Problem is, they’re the only angels
we’ve got. It’s not like they can go
to the gym, or get retrained, or even
call out for a temp. Maybe 
the angels and I can pray together
for a mighty wind to blow away
these clouds that beset us.
Miracles do happen.
I’ve been blessed by a few before.
And, besides, my friends went to school
with the maitre d’ at the Chateau Ciel’s
pearlescent entrance station.
Table for one, please. Amen…

My dear friend, the wonderful photographer and poet Diana Lee asked me if I would like to write a poem based on the photo she took that you see above. You can see how the prompt worked out, as well as all her other fabulous work, at her site, Life Through Blue Eyes.

Sky Blue Pudding

It always looked so smooth and soft
when I watched others enjoying it,
that sky blue pudding with whipped cream clouds.
I would stare at it up there on the tall counter,
my arms never long enough to find if it
was as sweet as it looked.
I climbed on chairs, scaled open cabinet drawers,
dipped my finger into bowls, sampled them,
found nothing sweeter…and always fell hard to the floor.
Even when I finally got a bowl, I lost my grasp,
dropping it to shatter all over creation.
I had gotten lost in it, cloud-bound, blind,
bumping into shards of Oreo mountaintops and
jagged pieces of others’ skinned-over sky blue pudding.

Why did mine become so hard, separated
into runny messes of azure bark and spoiled whey?
Didn’t I deserve the good stuff?
Then you came along, inviting me to your kitchen,
offering your recipe for my longed-for prize.
Now I feast on it, sneak into your fridge at night
and steal some (even though you said
I could have it anytime I wished), and
get all sticky lipped and happy.
You’ve even let me lick the spoon and bowl
while we make our own batch every day,
with whipped cream clouds but no Oreos.
It really is smooth, soft, sweet and sky blue.
It’s heaven, don’t you agree?

I sure wish I knew where this poem and its motif came from. Because I don’t. But I’m pretty sure I know where it went. I hooked it up with dVerse Poets open link night.