Wednesday September 30th, 2009

The exercise:

Today at work we had a "purge day" to clean up the office - it's really amazing how much junk some people manage to keep at their desks.

So let us bring September to an end with this starter: the purge.


I ruled a kingdom, not so long ago;
My whims were made law, my bed made of dough.
One hundred slaves were at my beck and call,
My wives were like perfect porcelain dolls...
Oh, how I do miss those days so!

You see, mass discontent began to surge -
Backlash against serving my every urge!
One day I woke with a terrible shock,
To find all my worldly goods had been hocked,
And a note that read: "You've been purged."

Tuesday September 29th, 2009

The exercise:

Your topic for your Two Haiku Tuesday this week: au naturel.


On silent tiptoes
You entered my little world
So naturally

* * *

Rain leaks from grim clouds,
Cool winds slice through summer shirts -
It's just fall's nature

Monday September 28th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: exceeding expectations.

I got a rather positive bit of feedback today at work... and then ended up writing the below. Yeah, zee mind is a strange place some days.

Okay, most days.


Expectations were running high
As the bronze chariots drew nigh.
The huddled peasants gathered round,
Mewling pathetic, hope-filled sounds.

From our viewpoint in the castle
We saw them kill without hassle.
Onward the poor folk proceeded,
Our expectations exceeded.

Sunday September 27th, 2009

The exercise:

Alright, I've been wanting to do this one for a while.

Head over to Scriptor Senex's fantastic Words, words, words (and phrases) blog and have a scan through the archives. Now choose one word (or phrase) to use as the topic of your poem or prose today.


His name was mud

The boy with the crooked smile
And a wholesome, earthy style;
You know the one I speak of -
Far more peaceful than a dove?
His name was Mud.

He was never taught the way
To be sharing while at play.
He simply knew from the start
To act and speak from the heart -
‘Twas in his blood.

Other kids were not so kind,
Aimless anger made them blind.
Oh the hell they put him through,
Since from their warped point of view…
His name was mud.

But the boy became a man,
Trained as a monk in Japan;
Learned how to heal just by touch,
And showed the world there was much
To learn from Mud.

Saturday September 26th, 2009

The exercise:

Your Four Line Poem topic this week is: elegance.

I took this picture in Osoyoos last weekend:

Kat's mom sure knows how to set a classy table.


No one has a word to say
While the violins do play
And they glide across the floor
On two legs instead of four

Friday September 25th, 2009

The exercise:

Yay, it's the weekend! Finally.

Your Four Line Friday Prose topic this week: time to unwind.


While Bing Crosby dreamed of a White Christmas I watched the first toy soldier make its escape from its ribbon and gift wrap prison. Ten more followed, marching in single file to the kitchen, and I brought up the rear with a bemused expression on my sleepy face. I'll admit to being filled with curious excitement to see what they would get up to.

But as they laid siege to the liquor cabinet I thought it might be time for them to unwind.

Thursday September 24th, 2009

The exercise:

I'm in a prosey kind of mood today. Which is annoying, because the prompt I'd intended to use was very much meant for poems. I'll have to save it for another day.

I was just inspired to do some writing on LJ's site and I feel like using another picture to get ideas flowing over here. So, once more, lets go browse National Geographic's photos of the day and find something to get your imagination going.

I used this one:


The dry grass scratches my bare legs, like Rosun's beard against my cheek. But I cannot think of him now. If I lose focus now I will never feel his touch again, nor hear his words dancing in my ears, nor...

No. Now it is the time of the Hunt.

The spear is light in my hand, its finely carved shaft smooth against my palm. I keep low as I approach the clearing, using the dense trees for cover. I do not hear my Sisters on either side of me, but I know they are there.

I reach the final row of trees and peer carefully around a trunk. The beasts are alert but unmoving. I believe that some part of them feels our presence but they are unable to understand that feeling. To translate it to self-preservation, to flight.

A sparrow call reaches my ears from the right and I make ready. In moments we will burst from the treeline, whooping and screaming to the Gods, and the beasts will scatter. But they will not be fast enough to escape me. I will not fail my husband. I will not fail my daughter.

"Come, Sisters," I whisper fiercely, "let us, at long last, fill our bellies with flesh tonight."

Wednesday September 23rd, 2009

The exercise:

Something a little different today: Santa Monica lines.

Here be the idear: the first poem (mine) uses the first line of the Everclear song as its first line; the second poem uses the second line of the song as its first line; the third uses the third as its first, and so on.

There are some great lines throughout the song that I think would work great as first lines. Let us see how far we get.


I am still living with your ghost,
In the night I see you the most.
When sleep won't come I walk these halls;
I hear your voice within these walls.

I search for you from room to room,
Not fearful of this homely tomb -
Only eager to see your face,
To meet the eyes that made hearts race.

You always wait at the table,
Like a princess from a fable.
We talk until the sun does rise,
Then you wipe dry my tearful eyes.

And just like that you're gone again;
I'm alone in our chilly den.
I pour myself a little drink,
And try my hardest not to think.

Tuesday September 22nd, 2009

The exercise:

Your Two Haiku Tuesday topic this week: at the dentist's office.

This afternoon I visited the dentist for the first time in... a while. It wasn't that bad, but I wrote my haiku before hand. Call it a coping strategy.

I think this is actually the first time my two are related to each other.


Dentist's waiting room
Fills with screaming and shouting -
Time to start drinking.

* * *

There's no place like home.
There's no place like - "Sir? You're next."
Time to buy new shoes.

Monday September 21st, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter is: desert rose.

This has nothing to do with the Sting song, but I thought I'd link it anyway since I like it a lot.


In every direction...
And I can do nothing but
And look and think while here I
But wait - is that a purple...
Surely I must dream of that
A mere mirage, my poor brain
Yet its scent still reaches my

Sunday September 20th, 2009

The exercise:

I'm back once again, safe and sound and with a fridge full of fresh veggies. Yum.

The starter for today is: the competition.


So Protagonize is having its second poetry tournament and I, after much hesitation, decided to sign up. I was quite excited to see resident contributors g2 and Greg (or Gee Gee, as I've just decided to collectively call them - actually, I think I might spell that Gigi instead... anyway) also signed up.

I was less excited to see that I was paired up against Greg in the very first round.

Initially, anyway. Now I'm kind of looking forward to it. And at least one of us is guaranteed to go on to the second round, so that's definitely good.

I'll be posting my entry shortly, without having read Greg's first. Because I know I'd just want to scrap mine and start over if I did.

So Greg, good luck and we'll see what the judges have to say. I suspect that we'll be making their decision very difficult.

Saturday September 19th, 2009

The exercise:

Your prompt for the four line poem this week: the process.

I wrote mine Thursday afternoon - work has been fun the last few days.


This! This is how it must be done!
Okay, alright - that looks like fun...
No! No, do it this way instead!
... Keep this up and you'll wind up dead.

Friday September 18th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for your Four Line Friday Prose this week: career planning.

I had one of those 'Personal Development Plan' meetings at work on Wednesday.



"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"A best selling author!"

"I'm sorry, dear. That's not how you pronounce 'unemployed bum'."

Thursday September 17th, 2009

The exercise:

We're off for one last trip to Osoyoos this weekend, but I've managed to cobble together both prompts and my takes ahead of time this go around. I'll see you on Sunday :)

Today's starter: fighter planes.


Flying back to base
On just one engine;
Leaking gas and blood
He will not mention.
Only wants to speak
Of shot down pilots,
Even as he sees
His dead wife Violet.
Goodbye on his lips
As down they're falling,
Lucky was his life -
He found his calling.

Wednesday September 16th, 2009

The exercise:

The prompt: five-o.


After over four years Kat has pretty much managed to hammer the monthly anniversary celebrations out of me. But I reckon 50 months is worth mentioning - it's a nice, big, round number, no? Some good friends of mine actually had a party to celebrate their 100 month anniversary because, "Hey, we'll never make it to 100 years - so why not?"

While I'm not going that far, I think it's still reasonable to mark the occasion with some flowers. Nice, bright yellow flowers to counteract this dreary, rainy day. And Kat can't disagree because she loves getting flowers. So I reckon it's win-win.

Anyway - happy first fifty months Kat. I look forward to the fifty year celebration.

Tuesday September 15th, 2009

The exercise:

I'm quite pleased and excited to announce that with River's Grace my 1,000 Words For Charity project is complete at last. For this year anyway.

So this week's Two Haiku Tuesday prompt is courtesy of my sister Sue: river, grace, marigold.


Marigolds blossom;
The river comes back to life -
Spring returns with grace

* * *

Oh graceful river,
The sunset on your waters
Is a merry gold

Monday September 14th, 2009

The exercise:

Before we get to the prompt for today, I just wanted to mention that the wonderful Laura Jayne has returned and suggest that you all go welcome her back with some of your brilliant writing.

The prompt for you here, courtesy of g2, is: mad scientist.


The beakers aren't bubbling.
The numbers are troubling.
The monkey's on vacation.
I'm full of trepidation!

The monsters are not lurking.
Nothing seems to be working!
Instead of feeling sadly...
I think I'll behave madly!

Sunday September 13th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter is: the elements.


Water flows like liquid marching feet;
The whirlpools in the stream set the beat,
While the glacier picks the music sheet.

Fire rips and roars like thoughtless words,
Its path as fickle as hungry birds;
Give it a quarter, it takes two-thirds.

Air flies wherever it wants to go,
Do as you please, you can't stop its flow,
And where your breath goes no one can know.

Earth holds its ground and cannot be moved,
Like plans that refuse to be improved.
The sands of time cannot be removed.

Saturday September 12th, 2009

The exercise:

Your four line poem topic this week: kids at play.


"It only looks like chaos from the outside,"
The bruised little boy came over to confide.
"That may be true," I hesitantly replied,
"But I get worried when I see you collide."

Friday September 11th, 2009

The exercise:

Has it really been eight years already?

Today's Four Line Friday Prose topic: do you remember?


I was sitting in my parent's living room, transfixed by the images playing over and over on the television screen. I remember going on the computer as soon as I woke up to sort out the final details of my six month backpacking trip through Europe, scheduled to start September 13th, and running to the TV to confirm the news plastered on every website I had visited.

My departure ended up being delayed, I think by a week or two, but I didn't care. I was just grateful to be alive.

Thursday September 10th, 2009

The exercise:

Alrighty, today I'm going to provide you with the first line of your poem or prose and then you get to take it from there. Sound good?

Okay, here it is: The streets were thick with fog...


Fair warning: Mine got... a little long.


The streets were thick with fog, the still air was weighed down by the heavy stench of garbage left out too long, and the only sound that reached my ears was the hollow echo of my footsteps. Late nights in the city should never be that quiet.

I turned one corner, then another, and another. I had no idea what street I was on at that point and would never have found my destination if it weren't for the neon arrows pointing the way at each intersection. Their regular red flashing led me on, like an angry electric heartbeat that could not be denied. I didn't know where or why, only that I had to follow the arrows.

The final sign directed me down a narrow back alley. I hesitated before entering its confines, briefly intimidated by the increased concentration of the stench and fog which had been blessedly dissipated by the width of the streets I had been travelling on. But I went in - I had no choice.

After only two steps were taken I was forced to cover my mouth and nose with a silk handkerchief - I don't know if it helped any, but it felt better than doing nothing. I could barely see beyond the tip of my outstretched hand and my once shiny black shoes were gaining a new, much less pleasant polish. I emerged from the other end of the alley after what seemed like an eternity, stumbling and confused. There had been no more signs, no indications of where to go next.

But then I felt the new weight in my pocket.

I reached a reluctant hand into my right front jacket pocket, my fingers finding a plain white envelope that held only my name on the outside, printed neatly by a steady hand. I looked around me, out of habit only - someone would have needed to have been within six feet to see what I held - before opening it. Inside was a photgraph of my daughter, asleep on a metal operating table. With trembling fingers I turned it over to read the note on the back.

If you want her back in one piece, bring five million dollars to the Waterfront train station at 11 pm tomorrow night.

"Five million?" I asked the shadows around me with a raspy laugh. "For that self-centered princess? They can keep her."

Wednesday September 9th, 2009

The exercise:

Welcome to 09/09/09! What could possibly be the prompt today? Well perhaps it shall be... the number nine!

Yes, that seems appropriate.


Nine times I called
But you answered none;
Nine months I stalled
Before we were done;
Nine pills I took
Between tears I cried;
Nine times I shook
By the time I died.

Edit: Well... that's a happy little poem, isn't it?

Tuesday September 8th, 2009

The exercise:

I went on a bit of a writing frenzy in the last week, and over the weekend in particular, and it felt damn good. So this week's Two Haiku Tuesday's theme is: writing binge.


Hide the thesaurus!
Put away the book of rhymes!
He's gone writing mad!

* * * *

Your ink stained fingers
Tell me that, again, you've been
Hitting the inkwell.

Monday September 7th, 2009

The exercise:

I think it's time to get musically inspired again. So take the first line of any song you like and use it as the first line of your poem or prose.

Include the song and artist you use - both for giving credit where it's due and because I like seeing what everybody is listening to :)


Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead

A green plastic watering can
Lies abandoned in the garden -
Full of acid rainwater now,
As worthless as a rusted plough.
The weeds have claimed it as their own,
Like your coffin will claim your bones.

From the curtained kitchen window
Fading eyes think of seeds to sow,
While fingers stiffened by the years
Yearn to touch soil instead of tears.
But spring has been lost to them both,
Overtaken by winter's growth.

So the garden slowly decays
While she dreams of her summer days.

Sunday September 6th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter shall be: hurricane.

Partly because it's crazy windy here at the moment. Partly because I was listening to this while writing mine.


I lie on my back in the middle of the field, watching the clouds race each other across the sky. The rain hasn't started yet but you can feel it in the air, like a humid breath on the back of your neck.

The tall grass that surrounds me is a partial shield from the wind, the physical sensation at least. It's still as loud as ever though, howling like a beast in captivity.

Except this beast is wild and free, nothing can stop it. The trees are trying, I can hear them straining to remain rooted in place, but they will lose sooner or later. A loud crack to my left tells me another one has been defeated.

The first drop of rain shatters on my outstretched hand and I close my eyes and breathe deep. It won't be long now.

Saturday September 5th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's topic for our four line poems: back to school.

Sorry Kat.


Summer's quickly running out of time,
The days are growing so much shorter;
Can you hear the kids cry, scream, and whine?
Maybe we should head for the border...

Friday September 4th, 2009

The exercise:

T'is a long weekend 'round these parts and I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing with it. I'm hoping to get some writing done, but other than that - sleeping, eating, maybe a bit of sleep eating. That's about it.

The topic for this week's Four Line Friday Prose: slow learner.


So three weeks in and I still have a 'gir-fiancée'. It's not like I forget that I'm engaged, but it's impressive how ingrained a word can become after four years. At least I catch myself before it gets to 'girl-fiancée', or even 'girlfriancée'.

Actually, I kinda like the way that last one sounds...

Thursday September 3rd, 2009

The exercise:

Your prompt for the day: it's only raining under the trees.

I've had the idea for this running around in the back of my head for quite some time, so it was good to finally find inspiration to get it down. I'd love to hear any critiques you might have - in addition to your takes, of course.


The clouds are gone
But the rain keeps on;
But only, you see,
Under the trees!
And every kind
Has a style that's so very refined.

Drooping willow
Drops drips sooooo slow!
It's a short drop
Before they go plop!
The great big oak
Drips drops that croak,
"Hello! Hello!"
As they tumble to the ground below.

But that's not all!
Watch the rain fall
From the tall pines
In zigzag lines!
And the old spruce
Likes to let loose
Green drops so big
They look just like giant falling figs!

The sun does shine,
The view is fine;
But then the wind blows
And there it goes -
Look! Can't you see?
Once more it's raining under the trees!

Wednesday September 2nd, 2009

The exercise:

Acquiescing to peer pressure from Greg, today we shall do some more continuations. That is, if you're up for it. I do so hope you are.

Just continue on from where the last person left off and have some fun :)


The door swung open slowly, in perfect horror-movie style. There was even the nerve-torturing squeal of rusted metal moving for the first time in years, maybe even centuries. Tommy gave me a gloating smirk before stepping through the doorway, his torch cutting murky slashes of yellow through the darkness, the motes of dust dancing like wired ravers in a strobe light. I hurried after, not wanting to be left alone. Not wanting to look like I was scared.

"Woooo weee! Do you smell that Jenny?"

How could I not? The air was so thick with the stench of something (or someone?) left to rot that you could almost reach out and touch it. Not that you'd want to.

"Are you sure we should be in here?" I asked, doing my best to not let my knocking knees drown out my words.

"Hey, the password worked, right? So we gotta be the ones meant to discover this." He sounded so confident, like any other possible explanation wasn't worth considering. Typical Tommy. "Come on, let's see what's down this hallway!"

I wish I could say that I turned back then, to leave him to his well deserved fate. But then I wouldn't be able to tell you what happened next...

Tuesday September 1st, 2009

The exercise:

September starts with Two Haiku Tuesday and a topic of: passwords.

I have a small confession. I wrote two haiku and hated them both. So I wrote two more, which are below.

I try to fight off my perfectionism, but some days it's harder than others.

Edit: woo, 450 days in a row!


My secret password
You'll never ever know...
Because I've lost it.

* * *

"Open sesame?"
Get real. This is no movie,
This is - oh, it worked.