Village Square Logo

  The eight-year-old 1958 Chevy was purring along through rural Kansas with ease. Don smiled with pride. When it hit 180,000 miles he planned to celebrate with a smoke and an ice-cold Mountain Dew from the cooler.  It was a beautiful late April day with the sunny skies and temperatures in the seventies.  


“How much longer, Don?”

“Dammit, Gladys,” said Don shaking his head, “it’s a seven-hour trip to Colorado Springs, and we’ve only been on the road for half an hour.” 

“It’s not that far,” whined Gladys.

 “It is that far,” he said doing his best imitation of Gladys’ bleat. “We just left Nekoma, we’re still on Route 96 and won’t even get to Route 70 for three more hours. We’ve got to go through damn near the entire state of Kansas.  If you hadn’t insisted on going by Monument Rocks, we would have saved two hours.  Asking me how much further every damn half hour will not get us to your mother’s house any faster.” he replied.  He hated road trips with Gladys and the annual pilgrimage to her cranky mother’s.

“Stop your swearing, Don! Monument Rocks is on the way.  You know the children, and I love it.”
“It’s not on the way, Hon.  I have to turn on 23, then…… Forget it!” At least the kids are behaving, he reflected. 
Don rolled the window down to relieve the stuffiness of the old car and to catch a refreshing breeze.

 “Don, roll up the window!”

“Gimme a break, Honey.  It’s a gorgeous day.”  Not on your life, not this time, he resolved.  “Grab the blanket from the back seat.”

Gladys, frowning, reached for the blanket from the back seat.

“No, Mama!” screamed seven-year-old Jimmy clutching the blanket. “It’s cold.”

“Yeah, it’s cold!” yelled Freddy, Jimmy’s younger brother by two years.

Gladys jerked the blanket away from the boys, and they cried.

Damn, thought Don. This is going be a nightmare just like the last time.

Don turned in his seat to face the boys. “Shut up boys, or you’ll be walking to your Granny’s.” 

“Don. Don’t yell at the boys.”  The boys kept crying.

Don tried to focus on the road and turned on the radio.  He spun the dial trying to find a Country station.

“Don, I hate listening to that Country stuff!”  warned Gladys.  Don ignored her and the screaming kids. He found a station he enjoyed and turned up the volume.  Marty Robbins was singing ‘The Story of My Life,’ one of Don’s favorites.  

Gladys, growing angry, folded her fleshy arms and flattened her face against the window.  Don grinned. The boys returned to their comic books. Peace, at last, Peace, at last, thank god almighty I have Peace, at last, thought Don. He chuckled at his variant of Dr. King’s famous speech. He didn’t admire the man much. Troublemaker---but he sure knew how to preach.

The Chevy cruised Route 96 West towards Colorado Springs for a time.  Just before the turn onto Route 23, Don noticed that the speedometer has turned over to 180,000 miles.  He smiled, made the turn and headed north for Monument Rocks.  He would celebrate with a smoke and Mountain Dew when he reached the rocks.

The boys had been quiet, coloring in their superhero coloring books and sharing crayons from the No. 96 box of Crayolas on the seat between them. Without warning, all of that changed instantly.

“Jimmy, gimme the black,” asked Freddy. “You been using it too long.” 

“Use somethin’ else, rat face!” Jimmy snapped from the opposite end of the back seat. 
 
“I ain’t no rat face.  I can’t. I gotta have black.  Batman’s cape is black, dummy.” Freddy yelled, firing a purple crayon at his brother.  

Gladys turned and slapped at Freddy striking the crayon box instead, scattering them around the back seat. “Boys, stop it now!” she bellowed.

Jimmy grabbed a handful of crayons and threw them at Freddy. Freddy did likewise, striking Jimmy and his mother.  Crayons were flying everywhere, and mother and sons were all yelling at each other. 

Don, who was trying to ignore the crayon fight, was growing angrier by the second and, after being struck by several crayons, pulled off the Interstate and slammed on the brakes.  The sudden stop threw the boys on the floor and Gladys into the dashboard. Gladys and the boys, stunned by the sudden stop, were silent at first. The boys started to cry again, and Gladys screamed obscenities at Don.

“Stop it, stop it, stop it!” shouted Don. There was silence.  Don turned in his seat to face Gladys and the boys.
“I will not tolerate this for one more second,” he said in a calm voice. “Boys, if you do not behave, I will have to spank you right here on the side of the road. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Dad,” mumbled Jimmy.  Freddy nodded.

“Gladys?”

“Don, you have no right to threaten…” she began.  Don put up his open hand to stop her.

“Gladys, this is not up for negotiation.  I cannot drive to Colorado Springs if this is what I have to put up with for the next several hours. We will just turn around and go home. Clear?”

She protested, but the look in Don’s eyes convinced her. “Clear,” she mumbled.

Don looked at her for a moment, shook his head, put the car in Drive and got back on the Interstate.

#

He admitted to himself that the first time he saw the Rocks, many years ago, it was exciting. It was an unusual, substantial chalk formation standing alone on the vast Kansas prairie.  Don and his family had seen it many times, but it was not worth two more hours on the road to see it again.  This is the last damn time, he thought.  

Two hours later he turned onto the dirt road to his destination. After 10 miles of rocks, gopher holes and blinding dust devils, endless bitching from Gladys and screaming from the kids, they drove into the Monuments Rocks area.  Don pulled to the right side of the dirt road, and they all got out of the car. He sighed. “Thank you, Jesus,” he said to himself looking skyward.

Gladys and the kids joined the throng of half a dozen people snapping pictures of the rocks. Don pulled the Mountain Dew out of the cooler in the trunk, leaned back on the fender and took a long pull on the bottle of liquid sunshine and felt the “tickle in his innards” just like the commercial said. He pulled the new pack of Camels from his short-sleeved shirt pocket, tore open the wrapper, tapped one out, lit up and inhaled deeply.  

“Lord that’s good,” he said to the wind. At this moment in Don’s mind, everything was right with the world–at least for a few more minutes.  Gladys didn’t approve of his smoking and doing so in the house, or the car unleashed five kinds of hell from her, so he had stopped that years ago.  He took another long drag, inhaled and enjoyed the rush.  Ten minutes later Gladys and the boys arrived back at the car.  

“You’ve been smoking, Don, I can smell it.  When are you going to stop that nasty habit?”

“Never, Gladys, so get used to it.”  He flicked the butt at her. She screamed as she ducked.  “Everybody back in the car,” said Don, smiling. Gladys gave him “the look.”

#

They made a U-turn and headed back down the dusty track toward the main highway and resumed their trip. Don watched the monument disappear in his rear-view mirror.

Fifteen minutes ticked by, and Don saw in the distance the outline of a sandstone formation.  They were a few miles away, but they looked very much like the Monument Rocks. As he got closer, he realized it was the Monument Rocks formation.  What the hell, he thought.

“Don, why are you coming back here?  We need to get to Granny’s.”

“Gladys, I must have gotten confused and made a wrong turn somewhere.”  He knew there were no turns, but somehow, he must have turned. Gotta stop daydreaming, he thought.

Patsy Cline, not one of his favorites, was singing, “Crazy,” and as he slowed down to turn around, he reached down to turn off the radio, so he could concentrate.  The radio continued playing Patsy Cline.  Looking down, he turned the knob hard left to the stop. Patsy was still singing. He tried again. “Crazy” would not stop. The car veered off the dirt road.

“What the fuck!!?” Don yelled.

Gladys screamed, “Don! Children cover your ears.” They slapped their hands over their ears.

“Daddy said the bad word again!”  screamed Freddy.

“Daddy said F-U-C-K,” Jimmy yelled.

“Boys!  Stop that talk,” bellowed Gladys.

“Everybody shut the fuck up…. now!!” screamed Don as he slammed on the brakes.

Don sat still saying nothing for a long time, enjoying the silence. He needed the quiet to think. Gladys was silent. He tried to turn off radio again.  He tried several times to get rid of Patsy Cline, with no success.

“Don, shut off that radio.  Why do they keep playing the same song over and over?” Gladys whined.

Exasperated, he whispered, “Gladys, I have no fucking idea why this radio will not shut off.  I am trying!”

Gladys winced at the profanity

Don pulled back on the road and continued to drive towards the monument.  As he passed the stones on his right, he thought, No, that’s not right. It should be on my left if I am headed away.  He stopped, turned the car around and headed back the way he came.  He reached for the radio and again tried to turn it off.  No luck and Patsy was still singing
“Crazy.”  Don ignored her and drove on.

“Don, why are you turning around again?”

“Quiet, Gladys!” he yelled and kept driving.  Gladys glared at him but was still. “Crazy” was still on the radio.

#

Twenty minutes passed.  Gladys and the kids had dozed off, but Don was wide awake and still trying to understand what had happened.  The radio was broken and would not turn off, but why was Patsy Cline still singing “Crazy” over and over?  He could not explain that, and he did not remember making a turn after he left the monument.  He glanced at the odometer, and it was still registering 180,000 miles; it hadn’t moved. That isn't right. He decided that some things just had no explanation and refocused his mind to getting back on a paved road.

A few minutes later, he saw an outline of the Monuments Rocks ahead on his right.  Don slammed on the brakes, waking Gladys for a moment, but she returned to her nap and started to snore like a thunderstorm. He opened the door and got out of the car.  He closed the door gently, so he would not wake Gladys or the kids.  Don walked to the front of the Chevy and leaned back on the hood, removed the pack from his pocket and tapped the pack on his hand to get a cigarette; nothing came out. He looked at the pack, and the seal was intact.  He dropped the cigarette pack in the dirt and jumped to his right as if they were on fire.

Don, confused, bent over and recovered the pack, examined it and through it in the sagebrush.  He sat down on the front fender, put his head in his hands and shook.  My God, what is happening here? he repeated to himself over and over. I know I opened that pack an hour ago.

After what seemed like hours, but was only minutes he stood up straight, slapped himself hard on the left cheek and said out loud, “OK, Don.  Snap out of this. Get back in the car, get your shit together and get out of here. Get back on the road to Colorado Springs.”  

Don got back in the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut, waking Gladys.  He started the car and turned around.

“Don, why are you turning around?”

“Damn it, Gladys, quiet,” he yelled again and kept driving, faster this time putting Monument Rocks further in his rearview mirror. Gladys glared at him but was silent. “Crazy” was still on the radio.

Don continued to drive long past the time he had expected to reach the paved road.  Ahead in the fading light, he could make out the outline of the Monument Rocks facing him on his right.  He slammed on his brakes waking Gladys for a moment, but she again returned to her nap. Don got out of the driver’s seat, closed the door gently, moved to the front of the car, leaned back on the hood and took the unopened cigarette pack from his shirt pocket.  Without thinking, he opened the new package of cigarettes tapped one out and lit up.  

After finishing the tab, he got back in the car and started to turn around. 

“Don, why are you turning around?”

“Quiet, Gladys,” he yelled through clenched teeth and kept driving.  Gladys glared at him but was silent. “Crazy” was still on the radio.

The pattern repeated itself several more times. Ten miles of rough dirt road, the Monument Rocks, a new pack of cigarettes, Gladys bitching, the boys screaming, 180,000 miles on the odometer and, Patsy “Fucking” Cline still singing the same pathetic song over and over. 

Don was growing desperate and was past understanding of what was going on.  He had checked the fuel gauge, and despite the repeated turns and the miles he was driving, the gauge was holding steady. Like the radio and the landscape and the cacophony coming from Gladys and the boys, it was not changing. He felt caught in a whirlpool of pointlessness.  If he had to listen to Gladys say, ‘Why are you turning around?,’ one more goddamn time, he would have to smack her or perhaps just throw her fat ass out of the car…... with the boys.

He pulled over and got out of the car again.  After finishing another smoke, he stood up straight grabbed the unopened pack and tapped out another butt.  “Crazy” was still playing on the radio.

“Don, get back in the car.  We need to get to Mother’s!”

He remembered a line from a joke he had heard recently. ‘What you mean we, Kemosabe?’ Don grinned as the image of the Lone Ranger and his trusty sidekick Tonto came to mind.

‘I hate fucking Patsy Cline.’ he said to himself.

Don turned to look at Gladys and the boys, flicked the cigarette butt at Gladys’ flabby face smeared on the window, tapped out another joint from the fresh pack, turned and walked into the fading light of the prairie whistling “Wichita Lineman” to himself.


Author Bio:

David is an aspiring writer. Retired, after a long career in Management, this West Point and Cornell alum has written two short stories and is writing a novel about the intersection of the Peace Movement and the Vietnam War and how the conflict changed the lives of both sides.


Road Trip

by

David Snyder

  The eight-year-old 1958 Chevy was purring along through rural Kansas with ease. Don smiled with pride. When it hit 180,000 miles he planned to celebrate with a smoke and an ice-cold Mountain Dew from the cooler.  It was a beautiful late April day with the sunny...

Read more: Road Trip

 

 

 

Why I’m Failing My Innovative Fiction Course

by

Ed Kratz

   

This is from an assignment in the Innovative Fiction Course taught by Karen

I'm just not making it in my innovative fiction course.
What is innovative fiction you might ask? Well, if you have to ask, I'd say you're one of those rubes...

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Dear Don...

by

Ed Kratz

   

The Don, whose real name you do not want to know, ever, has vast experience solving problems. Our organization, Don’t Try to Find Us Press, never advocates violence. We take no responsibility for violent acts committed by those misinterpreting the Don’s recommendations.
Now for...

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Todd’s Miracle

by

Leslie

Todd shivered in the dark, seated cross-legged on the linoleum. Coats and dresses draped gently over his five-year-old shoulders. He flinched as a slit of bright light flashed through the space at the bottom of the door. Seconds later the deep, rolling rumble followed. “Mommy?”

Silence.

“Mommy?” ...

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Mad Hatter Town Planners

by

Margaret Fieland

   

I fell down the rabbit hole straight into the town planning committee meeting. A large basin of Sangria sat in the middle of the scratched wood table in the center of the room, and a keg rested against the back wall. Al, Stan, and Art...

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Dinner at Grandma's

by

Lolla Bryant

You’re at Grandma’s house again for dinner.  As always, the family is gathered together and everybody’s trying to out-talk everybody else.   You ask yourself why you continue to go through this ordeal every week, but you know why; it’s Grandma.  Also, it’s a family tradition that brings you...

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Mommy’s Little Secret

by

Leslie

At age five, Amy told her mother that the thought of swimming scared her. Not surprisingly, her mother poo-pooed the idea, and said that fear showed weakness and stupidity. From then on, Amy said she hated swimming and never admitted any fear to her mother again. I don’t...

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New Age Centre

by

Natalie Knight

I had been in Oz for a few months when I received an emergency call to come back to South Africa. Every émigré who leaves elderly parents dreads this call.

 

But this was worse than death. Our family lawyer called me to attend a meeting...

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"I’ve Been With Willy All Day"

by

Brigitte Whiting

   

The late August sun hung hot in a bare blue sky. Matilda picked up a tattered straw bushel basket and trudged into the garden with it. The rows of beans were dusty green, the corn stalks tall, their leaves edged with yellow. She settled on...

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50 Minutes

by

Allyssa


Nomi stood a few feet from the curb, watching her breath in the November Seattle rain, waiting for her mother. She hated asking for money. The feeling of dread almost compelled her to flee as she saw the silver Mercedes approaching. If only she didn’t need another fix.

“So, ...

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Her Fortune is the Future in the Past

by

Albert Orjuela

The toe drags umber, the pressure of holding paint forces the belly to bulge, and the canvas texture causes tired bristles to bend and stretch, casting tinted shadows in their wake. The resulting undertones bring life to the painting. The vitalizing paint bled from the brush is drawn from the...

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The Compulsion of Water Lilies

by

Gevera Bert Piedmont



She was buzzing in his ear again, the world’s largest and most annoying fly.

“This isn’t the beach you promised me. Can’t we go into town at least?”

He flicked a hand over his shoulder at her, go away, and stared into the waves. His eyes sought and...

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Lessons In Plot: From Setup To Payoff

by

By Joy Manné (the student) with Help and Encouragement from Karen Barr (the teacher)



From ‘The Road from Setup to Payoff’ by Karen Barr, (Writers Village University, MFA 250-261 Story Focus series based on the book by Lisa Cron)

One of our most hardwired expectations is that anything that reads like the beginning of a new pattern—that is a setup—will in fact, be a...

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Meatloaf and Mashed Taters

by

Art Subklew


Art Subklew is a 55-year-old Paramedic residing and working in The Southern Berkshires, Massachusetts. He began creative writing as a teenager, mostly focusing on fictional short stories grounded in his experiences as a teenager growing up on a small farm. He has attended numerous classes in Creative Writing...

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Found: A $20 Bill

by

Brigitte Whiting


Brigitte lives in Maine and often uses settings and experiences from her yard in her writing. She earned Fiction Writing Certificates from Gotham Writers Workshop and UCLA-Ext and is working on her WVU-MFA Certificate. In addition to facilitating WVU classes, she meets weekly with two local writers' groups

Read more: Found: A $20 Bill

 

 

 

Jesus is Lord

by

Eviano George



“Esu, Esu”, the aged priest in the white skullcap screams, flecks of spittle flying out of his mouth. His Adam’s apple stretches against his reedy, leathery neck as incantations burst forth in a torrent. As if on cue, a monstrous, heavily tattooed novice runs out of the shadows. In...

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The Bus Station

by

Joyce Hertzoff


Joyce Hertzoff retired after over 45 years in the scientific information field. Since then she has published three YA novels. There of her short stories were included in anthologies. She is a facilitator and mentor for the MFA program at WVU.

Read more: The Bus Station

 

 

 

He Looked Like Quiet

by

Kathryn Pollard


An alarm sounded in the distance. I paid it no mind. Instead, I focused on the peculiar man sitting on the park bench. He looked like quiet—the epitome of it. When he breathed, the slight rise and fall of his shoulders did not compromise his placid composure. His hair, ...

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The Curious Case of Solomon Gbajabiamila

by

Eviano George

Deep in the cavernous belly of the hospital, the frail old man was dying. Inch by inch, he contorted his body to rest on the side that did not hurt. He also wanted to avoid looking at the empty space where the other man had been; the only companion he...

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Portrait of the Artist at a Hideous Moment

by

Frank Richards

The man sits at a desk, in a garage, under a single light, a stack of white eight by eleven sheets of paper before him. The man sits at a desk, in a garage, under a good old neon light, a stack of neatly typed eight by eleven pages on...

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Zephyr

by

Linda Murray

The winding dirt road abandons the highway five miles south of town. But perhaps road is too grand a term for what meanders lazily into the otherwise untouched coastal forest. Maybe trail would be a better description. Alder and cedar boughs mesh in a green canopy that nearly blocks the...

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The Five-Hundred-Foot Ladder

by

Rob Samborn

“Come on, Dad,” Savannah said. “Whatever happened to relaxing in your golden years? Sipping mint juleps on the porch, listening to U2, or whatever you old folk like?”

“Mint juleps?”

“I don’t know. What do you old folk drink?”

“You’re not funny, sweetheart. And fifty-eight’s not old. ...

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Empty Box

by

Albert Orjuela

I’ve lived my whole life and people are still always trying to change me. Especially more so because I am empty. I don’t understand what the problem is, is it my fault? I am not a storage box, a moving box, a shipping box, or even a jewelry box. I...

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Stasis

by

Jeffrey M. Keenan

We hold hands, our palms sweat but we don't let go to wipe them off. Under my right hand is the switch. Once I close it, well...

It was supposed to be a simple rescue. Pull the freighter out of its decaying orbit around the small star, and...

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The Fisherman

by

Brigitte Whiting

I shuffle down the path from our house to the dock. I've been on the water for so long, my wife Molly tells me, that I've gotten permanent sea legs. I step down into my seine-net fishing boat, the one I bought from my father forty years ago, slide my...

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The Weight of Emotions

by

Angela Hess

  I can hear my parents’ raised voices upstairs. They are fighting again. I turn on the sink faucet, letting the sound of the running water drown out their voices. I thrust my hands in the nearly scalding hot water and methodically scrub each dish in the sink...

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An Apology

by

Brigitte Whiting

   I'm sorry that I hadn't thought of how I would take care of a puppy. It had seemed like a good idea, accept the gift of a puppy from acquaintances. She had the coloring of a coyote and was named Brindle for those tawny markings. I'd...

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Baby Precious

by

Louise E. Sawyer

It was Christmas Day 1950 and my sixth birthday. Under the tree was an unusually long, large box with my name on it. I was excited to open it. I couldn’t wait. When I finally did, I was amazed to look upon the most gorgeous doll I’d...

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Downsizing

by

M Clare Paris

 
I think about death quite a bit. Not morbidly, nor do I worry about what happens when one dies. Although I enjoy a spiritual life, I am also philosophical about the end of my life. If there is something else, it will be darned interesting. If there isn’t, ...

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Absent But Present

by

Louise E. Sawyer


My father, Thomas George Sawyer, was absent at my birth and absent the first seven months of my life.

It was Christmas Eve 1944 at the two-story white house on Beechwood Drive-my Grannie’s house in Victoria, the capital city of British Colombia on Vancouver Island. Grannie Price, my...

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Gathering: A Contemplative Essay

by

Brigitte Whiting

I'm always looking for ideas to use in writing: for that prompt at which I first gulp and then slowly retrieve some thread of an idea, for the poem I need for the Monday morning poetry group, for an essay that's due in two days.

I've heeded...

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Seasons in a Wild Turkey Hen's Life

by

Brigitte Whiting

Last spring, a wild turkey hen incubated her eggs for twenty-eight days. When they hatched, she scrambled to keep up with them. Poults to scientific literature. Babies to her. She didn't need to teach them to scratch for bugs—they came with that instinct. Nighttimes during their first four weeks, ...

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Lesson in Subtext

by

Joy Manné and Karen Barr

Roles

Teacher – Karen Barr

Student – Joy Manné

Teacher

WELCOME TO WEEK 8 OF SUBTEXT.

There is no word count, but the challenge is to get all ten types of subtext in as few words as possible. Here they are:

Show don’t...

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Teenage Escape Plan

by

Danielle Dayney

I woke to warm, gooey air smothering me even though the ceiling fan was spinning on high. Dangling lightpulls smacked and banged the glass globe with each rotation of the blades. The base of the fan swayed and groaned, ready to jump from its screws in the drywall any second.

...

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Miracle Baby

by

Harry C. Hobbs

The mother and father watched as the sun rose on a cold morning in February 1945, wondering if their four-month-old son had lived through the night. Could miracles really happen? Perhaps this child they had wanted so badly wanted wasn’t meant to survive. His mother was a month past her...

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Ylva the Úlfr

by

Cynthia Reed

When I flew to California in September, the golden archipelago summer, verdant below and mazarine above, still held sway. Twenty-three days and eleven thousand two hundred and forty miles later, if you’d sat here with me on the back deck this afternoon--you’d know, too--autumn now envelopes Sweden in...

Read more: Ylva the Úlfr

 

 

 

Stargazer

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

 A Poem in Free Verse

Stargazer, Rhode Island Red

So much like me,

Always...

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Eagles in Winter Storm "Stella"

by

Brigitte Whiting

A poem in free verse

Before the nor'easter "Stella" arrives here—

weather warnings have...

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Heads I Win

by

Joy Manné

A Chant in Free Verse

Bathed and blessed, in fine white cotton clad,

to...

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Do you wear shoes? Do they make a sound?

by

Gerardine Baugh

I looked up and saw it.  I would have missed it if I hadn’t looked up when I...

Read more: Do you wear shoes? Do they make a sound?

 

 

 

Wakeful Nights

by

Catherine McArdle

A Sonnet

These midnight doubts have power to kill your peace

and numbing...

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Dragons

by

Judy Beaston

A Cinquain poem

 

 dragons

dance on night walls

swift runners, fire breathers

...

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Disquiet - Winner of our April 2018 Poetry Contest!

by

Judy Beaston

   

 A Poem in Free Verse

 

Waves crash, tumble, rumble

upon...

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Shellina, Part 2 ~ A Fairy Tale

by

Louise E. Sawyer

It’s winter morning at Bullrush Cove 

Where dawn paints with pink.
Shellina opens up her eyes. Last night
...

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Rest In Peace My Canine Daughter

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

 

I don't want a zombie dog,

No pet to rise from the dead,

Up from...

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Ode To A Pair Of Faithful Boots

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

                                        ...

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Sins of Forefathers

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

Sinners

Blood stained hands

Must wash hands

Of my sins and sins of our forefathers.

...

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Conversation At The Checkout

by

Gerardine Baugh

 

“I love black cats with golden-green eyes”

She said, moving the cat treats over the scanner


...

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Night is a Swim

by

Gerardine Baugh

Night is a swim of soundless scribbles, clicking keys

A thrum, thrum, thrumming of deep sensations

...

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Dark And Stormy Month   

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

 

Over cast skies,

  Darkened unrested raccoon eyes,

Now more like those of a hungry night...

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Days of Fall

by

Brigitte Whiting

 

In these first days of fall, I water

my wildflowers. A shadow flutters

past my hat. ...

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Whiskey Half-Barrel

by

Brigitte Whiting

 

 

Through my back window overlooking the yard

sits the whiskey barrel, shaded by oaks and...

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Mid Seasons

by

Brigitte Whiting

 

I've left the last brown-eyed Susans,

their yellow petals drooped around

dark brown seed-filled cones,

...

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Fruit of Betrayal

by

Katelyn Thomas

 

I am disturbed by the inconsistency of yellow apples -

the way they invite you in...

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Roadkill

by

Katelyn Thomas

 

Asphalt sprouts wings -

all that remains.

Unfortunate crow.


Katelyn Thomas is...

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When Did You Last See Her?

by

Katelyn Thomas

 

 

The visitor pours out the moon,

watches the top crater,

before he realizes one...

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Serenity Prayer, Long Beach, 1956...a #MeToo recollection

by

Cynthia Reed

 

‘Whiskey,’ said my Nana, ‘too much whiskey in that man.’

he was big and his...

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Recipe for Writing a Poem

by

Glennis Walker Hobbs

After reading How to Write a Poem by Billy Collins

Gather the ingredients:

1 bushel of...

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Queen Elizabeth Gardens - Haiban

by

Glennis Walker Hobbs

The Queen Elizabeth Gardens, hidden in the geographic centre of Vancouver, British Columbia,

come as a complete...

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Bees

by

Gerardine Baugh


Gerardine Gail Baugh is a native Chicagoan who moved into the Northwest burbs of Illinois. Where she...

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9/11 – A Kyrielle

by

Glennis Walker Hobbs

They were days of desperation

and anxious anticipation,

planes hijacked, Bin Laden’s command,

and winds of...

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Farm Field

by

Gerardine Baugh

black dirt in hot sun
pieces of the past calling
seeds sown in straight rows

Sprouting green soft...

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Change Is

by

Albert Orjuela

Change is a boundless mechanism. It is not subject to time,and never seems to have a particular sense of...

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Ragdoll

by

Gerardine Baugh

Ragdoll flopping

Up and running fur flying

Walls, ceilings- my coffee


Gerardine Gail...

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To the Bottle Blonde in the White Car

by

Katelyn Thomas

I thought it was snowing in August until
one of the flakes swirling from your red
tipped fingers as...

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There Isn't Any Narcan In My Purse

by

Katelyn Thomas

She is
another
woman's
daughter.
She gives
her body,
would give
her soul -
funds
for one
more
hit.
...

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Losing You

by

Brigitte Whiting

They said there'd be a new normal
to which others nodded in agreement.
A cliché that implies losses are...

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Twilight

by

Brigitte Whiting

The last hour of dusk, while pine shadows
stretch and lengthen along the rocky shoreline,
and water laps and flows...

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Writing Excuses

by

Brigitte Whiting

I listen to the excuses, all of them finely honed.

He says, I'm reaching for a package of hamburger,
...

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First and Third Person

by

Andrew Dabar

She entered through one door
As he by another
Did cross a crowded floor
Strangers to each other

...

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Halloween Costume

by

Andrew Dabar

Another wolf in disguise
A pair of glowing eyes
Oh, cute little boy
Small as a toy
Let go...

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Why Poetry?

by

Luann Lewis

To capture a moment.
The moment a cool breeze lifts your hair.
The moment the scent of lilacs delights your...

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Why Flash?

by

Luann Lewis

Each story is like stepping through a door to an alternate dimension where time is out of proportion. Intellectually, I...

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Autumn Wind

by

Andrew Dabar

Late autumn wind
Whispering friend
You speak to my heart
Again and again
At times with the strongest of...

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Shellina ~ a Fairy Tale

by

Louise Saywer

Part I Bullrush Cove

The Bullrush Cove is a seaside nook,
Asleep in fairyland.
This summer eve...

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Knitting on the Corner in Winslow Arizona

by

Joyce Hertzoff

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Who Me?

by

Albert Orjuela

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Do They Make a Sound?

by

Gerardine Baugh

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Do you see what I see?

by

Albert Orjuela

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Frosty Morning

by

Gerardine Baugh

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Evening at the Beach

by

Kathryn Pollard

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March Nor'Easter #2

by

Brigitte Whiting

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First Morning Light

by

Albert Orjuela

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A View For All Faiths

by

Luann Lewis

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Feed Me

by

Gerardine Baugh

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A Mid-Winter's Summer Dream

by

Albert Orjuela

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Hitchcock Presbyterian Church at Night

by

Albert Orjuela

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Bodie Lighthouse at Sunset

by

RJ Hembree

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Croton Dam Waterfall

by

Albert Orjuela

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Itching for Your Love

by

Karen Barr

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Winter Tree

by

Hugo Janke

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Not So Fast...

by

Donna Sundblad

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First Encounters

by

Karen Barr

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Time To Shovel

by

Gerardine (Gail) Baugh

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Natural Thoughts

by

Ann Butts

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Super Moon

by

Lina Sophia Rossi

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Get Your Own Flower

by

Albert Orjuela

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Frozen Puddle

by

Gerardine (Gail) Baugh

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Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

by

Cynthia Reed

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In Flight

by

Karen Barr

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This Guy Cracks Me Up

by

Albert Orjuela

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Cardinal in the Snow

by

RJ Hembree

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White Tailed Deer

by

Bert Piedmont

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Truck in a Field

by

RJ Hembree

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The Nose that Knows

by

Albert Orjuela

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All Roads Lead to Autumn

by

Albert Orjuela

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