Monthly Archives: April 2019


Missed posting this Monday. A Blackout Poem inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “Poem”.

useless relic

it must be
a wisp, a hint
barely there
a breath…
how strange
it is, the
memory of
a memory,
dim in detail
yet to be


by Elizabeth Bishop

About the size of an old-style dollar bill,
American or Canadian,
mostly the same whites, gray greens, and steel grays
-this little painting (a sketch for a larger one?)
has never earned any money in its life.
Useless and free., it has spent seventy years
as a minor family relic handed along collaterally to owners
who looked at it sometimes, or didn’t bother to.

It must be Nova Scotia; only there
does one see abled wooden houses
painted that awful shade of brown.
The other houses, the bits that show, are white.
Elm trees., low hills, a thin church steeple
-that gray-blue wisp-or is it? In the foreground
a water meadow with some tiny cows,
two brushstrokes each, but confidently cows;
two minuscule white geese in the blue water,
back-to-back,, feeding, and a slanting stick.
Up closer, a wild iris, white and yellow,
fresh-squiggled from the tube.
The air is fresh and cold; cold early spring
clear as gray glass; a half inch of blue sky
below the steel-gray storm clouds.
(They were the artist’s specialty.)
A specklike bird is flying to the left.
Or is it a flyspeck looking like a bird?

Heavens, I recognize the place, I know it!
It’s behind-I can almost remember the farmer’s name.
His barn backed on that meadow. There it is,
titanium white, one dab. The hint of steeple,
filaments of brush-hairs, barely there,
must be the Presbyterian church.
Would that be Miss Gillespie’s house?
Those particular geese and cows
are naturally before my time.

A sketch done in an hour, “in one breath,”
once taken from a trunk and handed over.
Would you like this? I’ll Probably never
have room to hang these things again.
Your Uncle George, no, mine, my Uncle George,
he’d be your great-uncle, left them all with Mother
when he went back to England.
You know, he was quite famous, an R.A….

I never knew him. We both knew this place,
apparently, this literal small backwater,
looked at it long enough to memorize it,
our years apart. How strange. And it’s still loved,
or its memory is (it must have changed a lot).
Our visions coincided-“visions” is
too serious a word-our looks, two looks:
art “copying from life” and life itself,
life and the memory of it so compressed
they’ve turned into each other. Which is which?
Life and the memory of it cramped,
dim, on a piece of Bristol board,
dim, but how live, how touching in detail
-the little that we get for free,
the little of our earthly trust. Not much.
About the size of our abidance
along with theirs: the munching cows,
the iris, crisp and shivering, the water
still standing from spring freshets,
the yet-to-be-dismantled elms, the geese.


to poets…NaPoWriMo 2019 #30

…to poets

oft’ melancholy,
we’re an oddity at best
seeing things others don’t see,
crazy, some might jest
how dull life would be without poets!


For this year’s final NaPoWriMo 2019 Prompt #30:  try your hand at a minimalist poem, I am using a micropoetry / short form I created a few months ago that I call the Horatiodet, inspired by the Horatio-styled Ode. My micro-version is 5 lines in all with a syllable count of 5-7-7-5-9 and a rhyme scheme of ababb.


Twittering Tales #134 – 30 April 2019

Twittering Tales
About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale. If you would prefer to post your tale in the comments (some people have very specific blog themes but still want to participate), I am happy to post a link to your site when I post your tale in the Round Up.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun!

Okay…first things first. For some reason, I missed a tale from last week in the comments. Thanks Lisa for letting me know. And just a reminder to everyone. If for some reason, I fail to feature your tale in the round up. Please let me know. I want to be sure I give everyone full credit. 🙂
By Lisa at Tao Talk:
My lungs ached. Running, stumbling, and searching on the cold city streets, I knew it had to be near. Block after block I ran, frantic. If the wyrm hole closed, I’d be trapped here on this lump of clay. Then I saw the shiny blue sign – and ran for the teleporter.

Twittering Tales #133 -The Roundup


Photo by WikiImages at

Start us off this week…

It’s all fun and games until…
“How do you get a baby astronaut to go to sleep? Rocket…What do planets like to read? Comet books! I got more…”
“Enough jokes Smitty. Just get the antenna redirected and…”
“Hey guys, how do you say hello in Martian?”
“No more jokes!”
“I’m not joking guys. We’ve got company!”
278 Characters

By Deepa at Sync With Deep:
I want to
be an astronaut…
I want to
be a doctor…
I want to
be a biologist…
I wish space
all I want to be

is a kid again…

By Reena at ReInventions:
“I don’t know if he brings wisdom from the universe, or is a student on a research project. But we have a lot to learn from each other.”
“The first lesson you need to learn is not to let the other rule. It’s ok to be a subject of research, not an object to serve.”
“Me or this guy?”
(280 characters)

By Radhika at Radhika’s Reflection:
The Trip to Space
First man selected as a tourist to space was finally a reality, after months of preparation. Tension mounting high, I embarked on the voyage. As we settled into the orbit, I started to relax.
The loud blast threw me out, only to realize I had fallen off my bed. End of my dream!
Letter count 279

By The Dark Netizen:
Astral Fungus
Starboy to earth.
Seems to be some kind of fungal growth. I think the satellite needs a nice scrub. I have the tools here. Beginning procedure.
Yuck! Now it’s all over my suit, and it’s spreading fast. Starboy requesting immediate extraction. Suffocating.
Belay request. All’s good.
Character Count: 280

By Kate at Everywhere & Nowhere:
New World
He couldn’t look, not yet. He had managed to avoid seeing it by getting his fellow crew members on board with his goal, avoiding anything that gave him a view out of the spacecraft. When the moment came he was guided out eyes closed.
It was magnificent, breathtaking and very blue.
Characters: 280

By Tien at From the Window Seat:
The fear is very real. When you’re afraid of spiders, space is the best place to live.
After all, no air, no spider. Right?
Anyway, arachnophobia is a serious problem – what’s that on my helmet? Is that – NO! HOW DID THE SPIDER GET IN? NO, HELP! MAYDAY! MAY –
Transmission lost.
(275 characters)

By Fandango at This, That, and the Other:
The Space Walk
It seems so real. Like I’m actually floating weightlessly outside of the ship. This virtual reality experience is amazing.
Wait. It’s getting cold. I’m having trouble breathing. Is this VR thing safe? Vision’s getting blurry. My lungs! The pressure! Can’t breathe! TURN IT OFF!
(277 characters)

By John at The Magic Shop:
Silence of Space
He had never heard quiet like this before. Millions of miles above the noise of humanity, there was this all encompassing silence. Besides his link with the ship, it was absolute peace as he floated out in the stars. Then, Astronaut Lee Pelps heard something climbing up his leg inside his spacesuit.
(300 characters)

By Kristian at Tales from the Mind of Kristian:
Too Much Water
As he looked down, bundled up in his airtight space suit, he considered something his training seemed to omit. The sight of all that water rising on Earth made him regret having that large cup of tea.
Chalk it up to experience. He hoped he’ll make it back to the ship in time.
[276 Characters]

By Larry at East Elmhurst A Go Go:
I’m Left All Alone
I hear Jonathan King~or is it Nina Simone?~singing ‘Everyone’s Gone To the Moon’. I’m having one of those boring ordinary days with nothing to do while everyone else has something interesting going on. Maybe everyone else really is on the Moon? Only time will tell.

By Tessa at Tessa Can Do It:
We were all glued to the TV watching as they showed pictures of the astronaut outside the spaceship. Then we saw a hand reach out with large clippers. A hush fell over the room.
The clippers clipped the hoses binding him to the ship. “Roger, what the heck?” He floated out of view.
280 characters

By Lisa at Tao Talk:
The hospice bed was cushiony and warm. Surrounded by her sons and their families, she felt loved and ready to leave. As she closed her eyes and breathed her last, she felt herself rising, rising. Opening her eyes she realized where she was. So this is heaven!  She laughed.
[278 characters]

By Di at Pensitivity101:
When they said I’d have a job on satellite TV, this was not what I imagined.
76 characters

By Regina at Help From Heaven:
Poverty Didn’t Determine My Destiny
When I told Mama that some day I would walk in space, she said, “People like “us” don’t go far in this life.” But, I learned that poverty was our condition, but not necessarily my destiny. Looking at earth and fearing for its future, I wished Mama had lived to see my success.
(278 characters)

By Willow at WillowDot21:
The Walk.
Hears if you
Scream in deep space
Try as you might
You will just fall from grace.
So clip your harness on tight
Do the repairs , get back inside
You’re so close to God here let him guide.
Be close, work as one, stay safe don’t let go.
Hears if you
Scream in deep space.
(276 Characters)

By Anurag at Jagadilmein:
Through the helmet, I looked at the Space Station and my heart shattered.
Those beasts had massacred my friends. I was the only one left now.
But I refused to lose myself in despair.
Revenge would be mine. soon as my new host, this human, returned to his planet Earth.
274 characters

By Ennle at Abandoned Amenities:
Old Man’s Whimsy
Spouse would take
Astronaut’s giant leap
Adventure, no crowds
I say he’ll go alone
To float mid nothing
Without wedded partner
He ponders awhile
Revisits topic
I try not to roll eyes, You
Might get stuck up there
No return, home sweet
Home, love’s warm bed
Fame’s price, he kids, hugs me.

By Lorraine at Lorraine’s Frilly Freudian Slip:
Space Od[d]ity{ssey}
No one really knew what happened to his body; some say he floats above us still.
But David knew  . . .
“Ground Control to Major Tom . . . there’s a star man waiting in the sky. . .”

By Peter at Peter’s Pondering:
The Stag Night (Batchelor Party, Bucks Night)
Hey guys, this was a great idea.
How did you manage to arrange the simulation in so short a time?
I guess this has to be the best stag night ever!
With so much booze, and the suit, and lights, and everything, it really does feel as if I’m weightless.
Hey guys, where are you?
(280 characters)

By Sadje at Keep It Alive:
A walk in the space was what he had always wanted. He started to train for this feat of human tolerance as he grew up. Then to his immense joy, NASA had accepted him into the space program. There were quite a lot of hurdles to be overcome before he was ready for his first mission. And today he was glad that his fellow astronaut had captured the moment.

By Neel at Neel Writes Blog:
“Mama, it kinda gets boring here. No friends. Also, this dress. Its so dull, so colourless. Its…”
‘Hey, stop cribbing, will you ? You don’t know how lucky you’re. Not many get to come this far. Learn to be a little more grounded, my son.’
“Mama, I just want to be grounded”.
Character count: 280 exactly

By Ron at Read4Fun:
There’s a Space for Us
Space, filled with man-made junk; Jails, full of prisoners. Innovative solutions dictated prisoners have an option to destroy an assigned quota of space trash. Success meant a presidential pardon. Failure meant a hasty, flaming reentry. Make Space Empty Again by Grate Solutions.
279 characters

By The IndieShe:
The gargantuan robot floated in dark void. It eyed the cerulean blue globe dotted with fluffy white clouds sceptically. It had been born there and cast out to fly into the dark abyss. In its heyday, it had flown into alien space. Now forlorn,it just floated awaiting its nemesis.
(278 characters)

By John at Broadsides:
This is an image of one of the earth people whose rockets are exploring our fertile galaxy looking for “life”. They bring war, viral diseases low moral standards and a lust for conquest and domination. They must be destroyed on sight.

And a few late entries after I discovered pingbacks weren’t working on the site. I went searching for them. If I’ve missed anyone else, please let me know!

By Milly at Truly Milly:

It’s been days of floating and wandering in space in my white suit. My planet is dying, and I need to find another one so my people can survive. And then, after days of searching, I stumbled upon a magnificent planet; our only hope! They call it Earth.

(252 characters)

By Deb at Twenty Four:

Some would suggest that he was balmy but he knew it didn’t matter how hard he tried, catastrophe always found a way of winning the day.

You only had to look at this latest incident to accept the fact.

A damn reflection in the astronaut’s helmet.

Someone had it in for him.

(269 characters)

Wonderful tales everyone! Thank you for joining the challenge last week. Think week we have an intriguing mystery thanks to photographer Suzy Hazelwood at Is this stack of old letters a treasured keepsake? Or perhaps it is the surprising find by those left behind after the death of a loved one? Tell me your tale in 280 characters or less and post a link in the comments, and I‘ll see you at the roundup next week. Remember, the title characters don’t count. Have fun!

Twittering Tales #134 – 30 April 2019

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood at

Bishop and Lowell

“Well, these are the last of them.”

“I can’t believe she kept them. Do you know they wrote to each other for decades?”

“Oh yes! He once said that she was a “muse who makes the casual perfect.”

“It feels strange reading their private letters…”

“Pass ‘em to me then. I’m not shy!”


278 Characters

I was inspired by the story of famous penpals and poets, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Letter writing is a lost art in this age of tweeting, text and shorthand. I’m guilty myself. Its so easy to type into a word bubble on a tiny keyboard.

Near Miss – NaPoWriMo 2019 #29

Near Miss

Like a cool whisper death passed by one day
I felt his stale breath inside my ear
though I will come for you, I heard death say
this is a taste for now… nothing to fear
but fear I did, if you could call it that
the hair on my bare neck stood stiff and tall
I didn’t realize it then, in fact,
how close I was to danger all in all
I felt the rush of something…was it wind?
that shifted me out of the semi’s path
averting a collision much to death’s chagrin
I’ve no doubt angels spared me from his wrath

I shudder to this day each time I see
the street where death revealed himself to me!


Another Sonnet for NaPoWriMo 2019 Prompt #29: produce a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully.




you entered
my heart,
you, to whom I am
bound like
a drunkard to wine
I begged
to be freed
from your kisses


A Blackout poem and digital artwork for Mind Love Miseries Menagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt inspired by the poem, The Vampire by Charles Baudelaire. (See below)

The Vampire

By Charles Baudelaire

You who, like the stab of a knife,
Entered my plaintive heart;
You who, strong as a herd
Of demons, came, ardent and adorned,

To make your bed and your domain
Of my humiliated mind
– Infamous bitch to whom I’m bound
Like the convict to his chain,

Like the stubborn gambler to the game,
Like the drunkard to his wine,
Like the maggots to the corpse,
– Accurst, accurst be you!

I begged the swift poniard
To gain for me my liberty,
I asked perfidious poison
To give aid to my cowardice.

Alas! both poison and the knife
Contemptuously said to me:
“You do not deserve to be freed
From your accursed slavery,

Fool! – if from her domination
Our efforts could deliver you,
Your kisses would resuscitate
The cadaver of your vampire!”

Published in 1857.

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