My Stories

They come to me,
whether I am looking for them or not.
Stories always find me, especially
when I swear I have no time

to entertain strange mythologies.
I don’t have to set out the fancy dishes.
They eat well enough
from the things that nourish me, 

and do me the courtesy
of skimming off the poison
leaving their warmth in its place. 

They know how much I need them,
especially in spaces that press in so tightly
it seems like I barely have enough breath
to say, "Once upon a time." Still,

my stories will always find a way. Deep in my bones
I know the distance between them and me
is only as far as I allow it to be.

This poem was created in response to the prompt at Poems and Storytellers United, Weekly Scribblings #50, Down In My Bones. 

Where Virtue Lies

Don’t call yourself a friend to the flower when you try to kill its roots.

Liner notes for this Groove: This is my first attempt at an American Sentence. I'm pretty pleased with this attempt and might try another again soon. It was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings prompt, Words of an Unprecedented Year. I tried to tackle allyship, but it looks like a bit of virtue signaling crept in. 

Song Choice: Hound Dog by Big Momma Thornton

Rommy Hears a Who

“Do you want
to travel through time and space?
Do you want
to see the stars?”
she asked.

My time travel needs were modest.
Back a year,
back to my old grade school
would have been enough.

“Have you seen
a sonic screwdriver?
Have you seen
a flying police box?”

Seen, no.
TV at home never
tended towards the fantastical.

Mom had her telenovelas.
Dad, his deportes. 
And sometimes we had sitcoms.

I had experienced traveling
on the printed word
to Narnia, Ithaca,
and yes, to Great Britain.

But I travelled alone
an odd bookish brown duck
used to floating
across imaginary ponds.

“Do you want to travel together?
Do you want to meet the Doctor?”


We turned to local PBS channel.
I didn’t mind the odd effects
and the villains
that looked like militant pepper shakers.

I traveled
with a companion that afternoon
and later, several other times
by myself

to the present
when my children were big enough
so I could ask them,

“Do you want
to travel through time and space?
Do you want
to see the stars?”

You never forget your first doctor

This poem was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings prompt, Meme Madness. 

There Still Will Be Pie

No need to pretend
that all of this is normal.
Tradition is not
needed to enjoy the taste
of each other’s company

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

Liner Notes for this Groove:

Thanksgiving was never a big deal for me growing up. Oh sure, my mom sometimes tried her hand at American favorites like turkey (the horror… the horror…) but it wasn’t exactly her forte. I never felt bad about the lack of typical Thanksgiving fare, even when we had enough newly arrived family members to gather with on the last Thursday in November.

This is not the case with my husband’s side of the family. Their spread is the stuff of legends. Most of the members of his family are amazing cooks (including him). I didn’t even think I liked turkey until I got married. There were never even any of the heated political discussions I heard happened around other tables. I do recall one slightly conservative (for this family) brother in law getting gently roasted by his wife and then teenage daughter, but that’s about it.

This is the Thanksgiving celebration my kids grew up with. I wondered how much of the typical spread I needed to provide in order for it to feel special. So I was a little surprised when my Darling Youngest came to me with a gleam in their eye about purposely making it weird.

Nothing is normal about this Thanksgiving, so let’s lean into it. We’re not going to try to top Aunt Michele’s stuffing (whew… because that would be a tall order). We’re going to lean into the weird that is 2020 and make food that feels like a celebration to us, whether it’s traditional or not. Darling Youngest and my husband have been bonding over finding recipes to try (looks like bone marrow will be on the table).

We’re still figuring out a main course, but I know there will be one traditional thing on the table, sweet potato pie. I’ve never made one before, but a Facebook friend was kid enough to pass along their tried and true recipe. I can’t wait to enjoy that.  

Song Choice: Staying Alive by the Bee Gees

This post was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings prompt, Celebration.

November 2020

Morning walks in the fall always feed my soul, but today I am especially greedy for the gulps of air I get from the spirited winds flowing over my county. I need this moment to feel my breath flowing in and out of lungs that have so far stayed strong. I need this bit of peace… because who knows what will blow in on those winds?

Sweet crisp air cleanses
the stale breath I’ve been holding
before hell breaks loose.

Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

This haibun was inspired by the Weekly Scribblings prompt on Poets and Storytellers United, The Eye of the Storm


I slipped 
and here I am,
knowing that there is a world

outside this slick walled space,
where memories don’t writhe

away from your grasp
like pale worms searching
for less exposed places to be.

This is not the first time,

which is a small blessing.
Because I know if I hold still enough,
a small thread will present itself—

so tiny at first, but
getting more solid with each breath
until it is strong enough
for me to tug at

and pull myself out of this oubliette
and into the world 
that I remember. 

Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

Song Choice: Ansiedad by Carla Morrison

This poem was inspired by the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Found Poems and Erasures. 

To Satisfy the Dead

This latest bone was by far the noisiest on Bira’s rosary. Even the other bones had woken from their silence to complain about it. If it didn’t shut up soon, she’d miss her chance at spilling the blood that would satisfy it.

“This night air is too damp,” it whined. “There’s bound to be mosquitoes. Put me back in your pocket.”

“I’ve explained this before. I need to hold you in my hand and see you so I’ll know when I’m close to your killer.”

The bone turned chilly and blue when Bira approached the tavern. Its chatter would have drawn too much attention if she entered. So Bira had to settle for climbing up to the tavern’s roof and keeping an eye on anyone leaving.


The abbess warned her that some targets presented unusual challenges, but Bira didn’t expect the bones to give her problems. They’d all been eager for retribution. Bira thought she’d be able to gather enough bones for a full rosary and initiation into the order in no time.

“If murder was all there was to it, we’d run out of room,” the abbess said. “Not everyone called to us is suitable for our work. We strive to satisfy the dead, not ourselves.”


“This damp makes me ill,” the bone wailed. At that, the other bones grumbled back that it was already dead.

“Would you all be quiet,” Bira hissed, nervous they’d be heard. “I can wear you around my neck, but you need to be touching my skin so I can feel when you get colder.”

Bira expected the usual complaints about lack of propriety in resting on what the bone called ‘intimate areas’ but it merely harrumphed. She put the rosary on and waited.

Moments later, the bone turned icy when a lanky man exited. Bira was on him in an instant and it was done.

“Wait,” the bone cried out as Bira was about to touch it to the blood.

“Whatever for?”

“I don’t want to be silent. Please. I can be better.”

“Getting their blood doesn’t keep the others from talking,” Bira said. “It just makes them happy.”

“I’d be happiest talking.”  

“Then talk. Just not while I’m working. Deal?”


Song Choice: Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This flash fiction was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, About Those Bones. 

So There's A Price

I’ve heard people say,
“magic comes with a price”
as if it’s some sort of a warning.


Would it surprise them to know that

that the sky is blue,

and fire is hot?


Of course it has a price.

Why would magic be

separate from any other part of life?


Every day,

in ways large and small,

we always pay 

some sort of price—


not just for the things we choose

to keep in our lives,

but for the ones we don’t too.


Some aren’t aware

of what they are paying for,

with still interest accruing.


And there are others

who make it their business to understand that

life is the oldest and greatest magic there is,

and it will come with costs.


So I will choose

as sure as the earth under my feet,

as sure as the ocean is wide,

as sure as I find my peace the blue of the sky,

and comfort in the warmth of the flame


to knowingly pay the price

for the all magic I hold dear

because the price for a life without them

is more than I can bear to pay.



Song Choice: Magic by Olivia Newton John

When Winter Comes

Some wounds are deep
enough to bleed through generations—
aches handed down as heirlooms
listed on wills with invisible ink.

It couldn’t be helped. Then 
silence was a virtue
(and here everyone believes that
please scream inside your heart
is just so 2020).

There’s an evolutionary advantage
to all the wild ‘what ifs’
buzzing like discomforted wasps
looking for a target.

At least that’s what I heard on NPR once.

If I have time for NPR,
I have time to consider
all the seasons
the wounds have lingered—

all the thorns in the spring,
all the hollows of the summer,
all the breaking of the autumn—

and what I’m going to do about them.

I hope
that by the time winter comes
some wounds have time to close

and I will know that I have done my part
to pass on what it means
to walk away from legacies
we don’t want to hold on to anymore.

This poem was created in response to the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Weekly Scribblings #40: Walk Away.


October's leaves are pumpkin-colored confetti of celebration whose crunch carries the whispers of the grave. Like all magical things, October has its price. I cherish its gifts all the more for it.

I breathe deeper in
October’s sweet beginnings
and its harsh endings.

Song Choice: Only Time by Enya

This poem was created for the prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Weekly Scribblings #39: October Thrills. 

Liner Notes for this Groove: October happens to be the birthday month for some very cool people, including my husband and my son. It also is the month I said goodbye to my first dog, Faye, and to a dear friend, Mike. 

Take Chances. Make Mistakes. Get Messy.

After getting an encouraging message about my writing back in August, I decided to start work on a new novel. I already had ideas for a few longer stories kicking around in my head and that message was exactly the spark I needed to get started.

Starting isn’t the same as finishing though. And as you might imagine, what with being a citizen of the U.S.A., there are quite a number of things that can keep my mind scattered Early on, I decided perfectionism was not going to be one of them.

You see, writer’s block for me, doesn’t always look like a lack of ideas. It can also look like me staring at a screen, agonizing about the best metaphor or the perfect phrase, for way longer than is healthy. So the only way I was able to continue was by being OK with sucking a bit. 

Nobody churns out a perfect rough draft. After all, it’s meant to be what the name implies—rough. Accepting that it is going to look a bit of a mess is somewhat freeing. I gave myself permission to just run with ideas and my imagination loves it!

Sometimes when I look back at what I’ve produced I have a good giggle (Yuuki saying out of character things like “Say what now?” tend to crack me up). Being willing to be a bit silly also helps me to write quicker. That’s a big bonus when my time is at a premium right now (a lot of my free time is being taken up by helping to get out the vote for the upcoming election). Also it’s a huge morale boost to feel productive.

I’ll hopefully be able to jump deeper into the writing process in November (just in time for NaNoWriMo). The plan is to go hard during that month. If all goes well, I’ll be able to start really polishing it up by January. But first things first… just get those ideas down, knowing a lot of those words are just going to be temporary placeholders. Then I’ll see how things go.

Song Choice: What Do You Say To Taking Chances by Celine Dion

This post was created for the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings Post, A Helping String.

Find A Good Home For My Teas

Find a good home for my teas.
Make sure they will be gladly drunk
by people who will think of me
fondly, warming their hands
around a full mug.

I’ve had love, so much love,
pouring freely through
the dark corners of the labyrinths,

and wearing smooth
the odd-shaped cracks
that made up the mad tea party
I called my life.

I’d like to think some of that
love will come through
between the sips of tea

(maybe a few moments of laughter too)

long past the time
the warmth from it fades.

Song Choice: Earth Song by Harry Bellafonte. I've told the children this is one of the songs I absolutely want played at any sort of funeral they hold for me. 

This poem was created for the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Weekly Scribblings #37: Last Messages.

Advice from an Old Phoenix to a Young One

The first time is always the hardest. You know the story, but you haven’t lived it. You know the weariness but have only dreamed of the release. Perhaps you even doubt your nature. 

This is normal. None of us have much to do with fire until that moment. You know the coolness of water as you drink it. You know the solidity of the earth from every tree that gifted you a branch to perch on. You know the caress of air as it lifts you. To give ourselves over into fire’s arms when you're barely acquainted with it is not easy. And even when you know the lick of the flame, you know it will be nothing less than…ardent. Fire is possessive, wanting to adore your every molecule. Its intentions are wholly unsubtle.  

Perhaps you’ll try to put off that first meeting. Maybe you truly have forgotten yourself, thinking this known heaviness of wing is easier to bear than fire’s passion. I will not be the one to tell you it is easy. But I will tell you that to be a phoenix is to burn. To be otherwise is to be resigned to ever-dulling plumage, a sad old bird hoping to sustain themselves on the idea of someday burning but growing thinner and paler every day they put it off.

Find a good spot for it. I favor a mountain top, where I have a good view of the sun so we can rise together. Above all, decide what is worth burning for. It will still be intense, but I must confess, there’s a special pleasure in it then. That pleasure only grows with time, though I see you don’t believe me. I am not offended. Some things need to be felt to be known.

Maybe someday it will be you encouraging a young one. I hope that you’ll think of me fondly then. And do come see me after it’s through. We will have many things to speak of. 

This post was created as a response to the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United.

Liminal Tea

I did not have a bowl of tea under the cherry blossoms on my birthday month in the way I had hoped. This spring’s strangeness outlasted both my birthday and those blooms, going past the scent of summer honeysuckle, and likely to linger after the veins of the last red leaf of autumn are crusted with frost. 

But the peace I find in my practice is also long lasting. Though the fall threatens more strange fruit and bitter harvests, though winter is a specter I can’t yet imagine, my battered mind finds a moment of respite in a space apart, created where the scent of matcha rises when water first meets it, and cradled in the sound of the whisk dancing in the bowl. And even if I cannot pass a bowl of tea to another’s appreciative hand, that rest found between the liminal spaces of foam and pouring water can travel freely for miles, any time to anyone who sets aside a corner of their heart for tea. 

I’ve learned to adapt,
mixing matcha for one. But
I can still share tea
steeped in my heart, an ocean
away, yet linked by spirit.

This was taken on the New Year's tea celebration my tea school holds every year.
It feels like a lifetime ago.

Liner Notes for This Groove: This piece was created for the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings #35, The Joy of Rest. It was also inspired by a request from my tea teacher. This September Urasenke North America is holding a chado relay, where they invite members from the different tea schools in North America to share images and words about their practice during these socially distanced times. I am a member of Urasenke Philadelphia and it will be our turn to share from the 7th to the 9th. 

Testing the Foundation

It would hold. She was sure of it.

Mattea forced herself to take three deep breaths. She started going over her makeshift shelter, testing every joint and connection one more time while ignoring the bile-green color spreading over Evoris’s sky.

Some had liked to say it was a miracle she had gotten into the academy, let alone be chosen for one of the teams actually exploring the terran-like worlds. Mattea herself might admit that her surviving the crash that killed the rest of the crew could qualify as miraculous. But she had worked hard and learned well. Those lessons and her determination made for a rock-solid foundation, one she hoped was enough to ensure she’d built a shelter strong enough to make it through the rapidly approaching storm.

Mattea was inside before the full fury of it hit. The howling winds were unlike anything she’d ever heard before, but the shelter held. She allowed herself to give into her drowsiness once the storm’s cacophony died down. 

She’d told herself she’d make it through the night. Tomorrow morning she’d start comparing what she learned about Evoris in the academy to what was really there. And what she could work with until a rescue ship came. She hoped.

Song Choice: Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival

This flash fiction was created for the prompt given over at Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribbling prompt, Foundation


 I swallow screams for dinner,

my own. Mostly.


If they aren’t meant to be

heard then they should satisfy

some other way, filling the pit


anxiety comes to churn

when there is nothing else

to settle in its place.


It isn’t a pleasant taste,

but it’s familiar.

I've almost figured out 

the trick to rinsing 

and pretending there's no aftertaste.

Song Choice: Alone in a Room by Asking Alexandra

This poem was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Swallows Screams for Dinner. The prompt was inspired by a line from the poem Telling Stories by the fabulous C. Sandlin.

Was It?

Was it you
that kissed me
in the darkest part of the night?

Was it the warmth
of your breath
that announced that intention,
with a soft sigh that lingered
long enough for my lips to part
and receive you?

Let me explain a few things.

I have been taught to question my instincts— 
no—even more than that—

I’ve been made to question
simple things, like shapes and colors,
obvious to the youngest school child.

I mistrust joy 
that just lands in my lap,
demanding nothing
but my acknowledgement.

And you, you,
are no simple joy.

Will it be you
there, when I open my eyes
after the dark, dark has passed,
waiting, with another kiss ready for me?

I really do hope so.

Photo by Ryan Young on Unsplash

This poem was created for the prompt given over at Poets and Storytellers United, Weekly Scribblings #32, I Am Explaining A Few Things

I Quit! (OK, Not Really)

I’ve given up writing several times now. One of the most memorable periods of quitting started on November 9th, 2016 (I’m fairly sure I stopped doing a lot of other things that brought me joy then too). At first, it wasn’t an entirely conscious choice to quit writing, but once I realized I had stopped, I stubbornly refused to start. When I caught myself scribbling ideas for future stories in a notebook a few weeks later, I knew that as mad and as sad as I was, I’d be writing again soon.

Since then, I’ve written a book, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t “quit” a few times before and after the damn thing was finished. Writing can be frustrating and a little isolating at times. It doesn’t always have to take a national crisis to make someone ask themselves, “What’s the point?”

I was on the verge of quitting again a couple of weeks ago when a reader reached out to me. She had purchased a physical copy of my book some time ago but hadn’t had a chance to read it until recently. Unfortunately, she had to be in a hospital recently and my book was one of the things she brought, figuring it would last her during the whole stay.

She loved it so much she finished it in a day.

The thing that moved me most was that she said that my book made what was an otherwise scary experience a little easier to bear. She even read some passages out loud to others when they asked about what she was reading.

I have no expectations of becoming some great literary icon. But if my words can shine a little light when things are dark for others, if they can give people one reason to smile when there are so many reasons not to…well, that makes me smile.

I probably will not quit this week. I may not quit this month. But when sadness and anxiety manage to get the upper hand on me, I’ll read those messages again, as well as what she said on Amazon and Goodreads. 

And then, I’ll get to writing.   

<span>Photo by <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Aziz Acharki</a> on <a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Song Choice: Don't Give Up by Peter Gabriel featuring Kate Bush

This post was created for the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings, What Makes You Smile?

No Exceptions

The mood of the encampment shifted as a scout brought in a whimpering Regarian. Jena flinched inwardly, but the healer in her stayed professional. “Is it the parasite?” she asked as the scout helped him onto a cot.

He pulled off his boot. The all-too familiar silvery growth enveloped most of the Regarian’s foot but the lack of smell told Jena it was still possible to save him.

“Please,” he whimpered. “Don’t let me die.”

Jena sighed. “You’ll have to follow our rules. That includes regular usufruit consumption.”

He wrinkled his nose but nodded. “Do I have to swear loyalty?”

“No, but if you don’t cooperate with the medicinal regimen you’ll have to leave. No exceptions.”

Another healer handed him a bowl full of mush made from the pungent fruit. Jena touched her bracelet and turned away. What would Joya say if she could see her treating a Regarian?

It didn’t matter. She hadn’t seen her sister in months, not since she refused to touch the fruit.

“Do what you want, little sis,” Joya had said. “But getting us to eat that nasty fruit is all part of a plot to make us weak.”

“That makes no sense. People have eaten the fruit long before the silver-death. Just not that much of it.”

“If you buy into that Regarian fiction about the silver-death, it just lets them know you’re easier to control,” Joya scoffed.

“The silver-death doesn’t care if you’re Regarian or Dyronese. Think, Joya! If the fruit doesn’t work, the worst that will happen is we’ve eaten smelly fruit and have bad gas. Think of what you risk by not eating it.”

“I risk nothing. I have my strength and the strength of our ancestors. Don’t worry, sis. I’ll leave without a fuss. And when I return, I’ll have stories of battles, and a new bracelet for you.”

Neither Jena nor the other healers showed a sign of the silver death, despite treating dozens of patients with them. The fruit purged all but the direst cases of growth. She hoped she’d see Joya at the end of all this. But for now, she had her wits and her ancestors' instincts of survival. That was, hopefully, enough.

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

Song Choice: Stay Alive from Hamilton

This flash fiction piece was created as a response to the prompt given for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings post, Writing as a Metaphor for Living. The words I used were mood, plot, and fiction.

For the Honor of House Driks

According to their religion, my kids became adults at their B’nai Mitzvah. But to truly be seen as an adult around here, a child must make a meal. Darling Youngest has been gleefully diving into baking as well as cooking during the pandemic. The Darling Eldest however has managed to shirk off anything more involved than boxed mac n’ cheese—at least until now.

The last week has seen some pretty rough times for a bunch of my friends. Their stories are not mine to tell, but when the going gets tough, the Drikses get cooking. Darling Eldest was feeling particularly frustrated by his inability to help, so my husband suggested that he cook a meal for a family. Not just any meal, but the legendary Driks meatloaf, which has been passed down on my husband’s side for a couple of generations and is one of the most anticipated meals by several families when we vacation together.

In some ways, this was a big treat for my husband. As much as he loves to cook, he loves it even more when someone is in the kitchen cooking with him. And getting to teach one of his offspring a meal that has a place in family lore is a double bonus.

I think Darling Eldest might have been a wee bit intimidated by both the manic gleam in my husband's eye and taking on such a well-loved family meal. But after getting some grumbling out of the way, he showed up in the kitchen, ready to learn. 

As with creating the perfect cast, to make the perfect meatloaf, you've got to get loose.
(Fun fact, Darling Eldest's name was partially inspired by this movie.)
To (only) his shock, it came out quite well. He was so impressed with himself that he made a second meatloaf the very next day, this one to keep for ourselves as we celebrated his second by-line. I don’t think he’s in a hurry to tackle the equally as legendary Driks challah bread any time soon. But in this time of Covid when things to celebrate are far and few between, at least my Darling Eldest now knows he can put together some tasty comfort food both for himself and anyone who could use a bit of comforting.

Song Choice: What else, but Eye to Eye from the Goofy Movie

This blog post was created as a response to the Weekly Scribblings prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Writing About Food.

Ink Blot

I’ve felt too much
like an ink blot girl.

People see things
in all my adjectives

and form shapes from them
that may or may not
have anything to do with reality.

There is depth and dimension
within my hues

even if people pretend not to see them. 

What they think they see
reveals a lot about who they are.

I’m still trying to make up my mind

about what it is that I see.

Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash

This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings post, Seeing Things.

Maybe, Someday

“Will that be all, Mrs. Kramer,” Mol asked, sincerely hoping it was. She only had to stop by the office to make her last report and she’d be through.

The wizened face pouted. “I’m going to ask Papa to make you stay.”

“Mm-hmm,” Mol said, collecting the dishes.

“Aren’t you going to say thank you?”

Mol gripped the medicine bottle tightly for a moment but didn’t turn around. “Goodbye, Mrs. Kramer.”

The old woman began to shake and sob. “Of all the ingratitude! That’s why papa says being nice to your kind is a waste. You’ll never work again.”

Mol pushed her cart out of the room. She could still hear Mrs. Kramer railing as she locked the door behind her but stopped to take a few notes before she reported to Ms. Harris.

Ms. Harris greeted Mol with a smile. “How bad was she?”

“Not too bad today,” Mol said, sitting down. “I’ve heard stories from other interns, and history books of course, but nothing prepares you for the real thing. She still believes her father is in power. I don’t think she even knows there was a war.”

“The most promising candidates get the hardest assignments.” Ms. Harris said. “I’m looking forward to your write-up. Let’s get the exit interview out of the way.”


“At the beginning of your internship you said you believed its main purpose was to impress upon candidates that to lead justly, one had to learn to serve. Do you still feel that way?”

“Yes. Though this experience reinforced compassion’s importance.”

“Did you start to feel compassion for her?”

Mol paused, wondering how honest to be. “The subject made the evils of the past viscerally real. Her complicity in perpetuating them is unquestionable. In her world, I’d likely be dead. That she’s alive and cared for just shows how compassionate society has become.”

I really aced that interview, Mol thought, pouring herself a glass of wine. She took her glass to her apartment’s large picture window and looked out at the city. She didn’t feel anything close to compassion for Ida Kramer. But she was grateful for a world where compassion was an option...if not today, maybe someday.

Photo by Jonas Kaiser on Unsplash

Song Choice: Those Were The Days

This flash fiction piece was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings Prompt, Things Were Different Back Then.


You see
the sharp delineation
of the narrow path
we are expected to take.

I see
the barrier
that crumbles

from the force of will
of a dandelion
demanding its place in the sun.

Photo by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic on Unsplash

Song Choice: Crumbling Down by John Mellencamp

This poem was created for the prompt given at Poetry and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings: Pavement.

Even When You Know

For an acolyte of Cassandra
very little is unexpected.

I am used to shouting into fields,
where the only acknowledgement
comes from the nodding of distracted flowers
moved by the whims of the wind.

What is unexpected
is that even when you know
what the weight of tired is
down to the ounce,

and are intimately acquainted
with how it grows
and compounds over time,

the physical dividends
still manage to bring unwilling gasps of pain
even when you know it’s coming.

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Song Choice: Unwell covered by Jimmie Allen

This poem was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United: Well, That Was Unexpected. 

When All Else Fails

I’ve been cut by light
as brittle as shards of sugar glass

(twice as cloying,
masking none of the bitter)

that left me
with inflamed doubts
trying to spread to every cell,
until I am more doubt than woman.

I cannot survive under the glare
of this illusion of light
and its false promises,

so I take my doubts
into the loving darkness
where true starlight's touch
waits for me

to breathe,

to release,

to heal,

every last taint

of doubt.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Song Choice: In Your Eyes (New Blood Version) by Peter Gabriel

This poem was created for Poets and Storyteller United's Weekly Scribblings prompt, When All Else Fails.

I'll Be Waiting (Dusk til Dawn)

When Ada collapsed into Nestor’s arms his first thought was that she didn’t look as bad off as the last time. Then he saw she was pressing her hands on a spot in her side, dark and wet with blood.

He scooped her up, being careful with her bruised and scratched wings, and laid her out on the sofa. As he rummaged around in his box of medicine, he shot a look at the clock. It was only 1:00 A.M. Plenty of time left in the night. Plenty of time for her to heal before she had to return.

“Hello, magus,” she whispered

“Hello yourself,” he said bringing the supplies he needed over to her. “It’s been awhile.”

“Has it?” Her smile only showed flashes of a grimace now and then as he worked. “Your magic is strong as always.”

Nestor grunted. He didn’t know why basic first aid worked on her like magic any more than he knew why some nights she fell into his world only to disappear at dawn.

“So serious tonight,” she responded. “It’s not as bad as it looks. Especially with you here to help me.”

“Why do I only see you now when you are in pain? Why won’t you talk to me?” he said slamming the lid of the first aid box.

Her smile fled. “I am at war, magus. There are those who will keep hunting me for these,” she motioned to her draconic wings. “I thought you said you understood.”

Nestor remembered the first time he saw her. She was beautiful, like something out of a legend. He had a hard time thinking of her as cursed or flawed no matter how many times she explained the troubles in her world. Even though on one level he understood all too well.

“I’m sorry. I just miss how we used to talk—before things got worse for you. I know it’s selfish,” he said.

“Maybe I feel selfish, expecting you to always heal me. Maybe I feel selfish asking for more.”

Nestor looked out his window. “Dawn is hours away. Neither of us is going anywhere right now. If you want to talk, I’ll listen.”

Ada breathed deep, then spoke.

Photo by Gustavo Ardon on Unsplash

Song Choice: Dusk Til Dawn by Zayn featuring Sia

This flash fiction was created for the prompt given at today's Weekly Scribblings at Poets and Storytellers United, By Means of Music.

I Have Disciplined My Heart

I have disciplined my heart
not to fall apart completely
when the acid of swallowed words
threatens to devour me whole.

This heart has no obligation
to prove the truth
of the blood rushing through it
to those who would see the bleeding
as just another mess to ignore.

I have disciplined my heart
to only beat at full strength
in the presence of trust, but
far too often that means
I listen to its throb alone.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Song Choice: The Quiet One by The Who

This poem was created for the prompt at Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings #22: It Takes A Bit of Discipline

The Best That Can Be Hoped For

The commander’s body was displayed with all the pomp the citizens of the town could afford, and then some. On the first two days, wailers arrived promptly at dawn, not leaving their post outside the chapel until the sun set. They were there too on the third, although that day was set aside for select people to pay their last respects before burial the next morning.

Even the wailers paused to bow when Lady Allegra came to the chapel to say her farewells. The solemn commander’s ward was a familiar figure to them all. They shuffled aside, with their eyes on the ground to let her pass.

“Please,” she said in a quivering whisper that carried to the furthest honor guard in the room. “I’d like to be alone with him, one last time.”

The head guard nodded, and they all filed out.

Allegra leaned over the casket, the shaky note in her whisper all gone now. “I have never wished harder for the existence of an afterlife, just so that I’d have the satisfaction of knowing you are suffering in it.”

She took in the sight of the cruel face, knowing its mouth would never scream at her again, and the hands, which would never strike her for forgetting a lesson. Then she gave a satisfied sigh. “I wish I was the one responsible for your condition, but I’ll thank time and the diseases you fostered with your vices for doing their job. However, I will be responsible for the remaking of this city, you can count on that. My alliances have been in place well before your first wheeze. Everything you’ve created will come undone. This city will heal.

You always preached about forgiveness being healing, along with other things you obviously didn’t really believe. But I think I will work on forgiving someone. Myself. For not forgiving you. I don’t know if I ever will, but I don’t think I have to in order to do what needs doing. I’m looking forward to the first day I don’t have to think about you. That will be enough.”

And with that she left, the body in the chapel behind her and a new day in front.

Photo by Maxime Gauthier on Unsplash

Liner Notes for This Groove: This short fiction was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scriblings #19. I'll be taking one (maybe two) weeks off for a break after this. LOL, I was going to take off anyway as my husband and I had plans to go off and do something fun for our 25th anniversary. But even though we'll be celebrating at home, I'll still be taking my break.


The world needs heroes
so we’ve been told.
They inspire us to be
better versions of ourselves.

But I’m not seeing
a better version of humanity
when adult-sized toddlers
bray about their freedom

to make others ill
so they can play golf,
and get their hair done.

and all those who care more
about feeding their delusions
of stability and comfort,
are the ones
who created the desperate need
for heroic measures.

Even though people are so willing
to play out the role of villain,
perhaps hero isn’t the right word
for those who find themselves on the front lines.

But it may be the best word
we can use,

because sacrificial tribute
on the altar of ego
is just too honest.

More Covid 19 related street at images
can be found at Atlas Obscura.

Song Choice: Abraham's Daughter by Arcade Fire, from The Hunger Games movie

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Weekly Scribblings #18