at the kitchen table--
|Friday Flash Fiction||
at the kitchen table--
I remember struggling up Welsh hillsides
pretending to be Lance Armstrong
high up in the mighty Alps
then descending as if flying,
wind caressing youthful hair,
oh, that was long ago.
The Tour de France captivated me
but now the magic has turned to dust
like a dry leaf crushed by fingers.
How I used to admire that man
recovering from cancer to rule the world
yet it was all just a drug-induced sham.
He fell from the stars and forever shame
will be associated with his name.
I sit in the autumn of my years,
watching him struggle through the winter of his.
Memories of the past, now long erased,
leave a void of confusion echoing
within once such vivid inspiration.
His magnificent baritone silenced,
given way to shallow whispers,
mumbled in a dialect unknown.
As my hero, he once stood tall and proud,
taking me by strong hands, he taught me
this great adventure they call life.
His withered frame, now left so frail,
makes blurred contrast
against such splendid memories,
I remain holding on to.
you should never
let the devil do
and that is see
or see you down
He knows exactly
how to walk in
And if you follow
to the letter
somehow you will
still get it wrong
By the pricking
of my gums
this way comes
Hip Hop knocks
with a crooked
million dollar smile
When 2Pac delivered
my eardrum exploded
and the stage flatlined
a lone star disappears
into the clouds
covid second wave
the boy counts his parents
and sister in the sky
Tainted things of old.
Fake and faded flowers
Reminiscent of the time
You danced with Navy chaps
Before they left to die and drown.
Moth-chewed Chinese silk
Dull pink rose mouldering
On its stem, your nodding head
A storm-grey vault of names
Of men to whom you waved good-bye.
Son, husband, brothers
Devoured by the mad
And hungry monster that is War.
Amongst the screams and broken dreams
a doll lies on the bloody ground
to the sound of screeching sirens
at this terrible bombing scene.
Minutes ago the crowd was talking
as they waited in an endless queue
but now there's terror in survivors' eyes
yet for me the most poignant sight
is of the doll and I wonder
what has become of the little girl
who must have treasured it
and if she's alive will never leave this day
who clutched this doll only a short time before,
a reminder...of the horrors of war.
Beneath Yggdrasil’s broad bows
green ash tree branches extend
rooting into nine eternal realms,
life affirming rhizomes disturb soil
teething on golden doubloons
long buried…now siphoning air
like sea squirts collecting plankton
as marine snow falls from shallows
sinking into the deep-water chill.
Earth below its gnarled trunks
drops from a sheer cliff, creates
a shoreline cavern peppered
with mussels, cockles, clam shells,
& sand dollars—natural treasures
boxed in by a giant redwood log
tuber shadows blocking sunrays.
I hope Jesus knew.
I hope he knew when he was staring at that cross
Ready to sacrifice himself,
Facing pain alone after being betrayed by one friend
And abandoned by others.
I hope he knew as he staggered under the weight of responsibility
And fought fear with Faith,
Crying to his Father in his time of need.
I hope he knew that almost two thousand years later,
We who love him
Would stand together
To thank him for his sacrifice,
To share the joy of his resurrection.
I hope he knew that in his darkest hour
Those who love him today
Were standing beside him.
dance on the page
black blurry lines
that make no sense -
out of place misspelt words
reading a book a play
a poet's lines is
like quicksand to me...
becoming a lion-tamer
kissing a king cobra
or driving backwards blindfolded
down the M6 at rush hour
would be a much easier task
than reading a few words
on the page
How much gold do I have to dig
just to make them smile?
How deep do I need to dig
until my black lung bleed,
just to feed my family
and pay the bills?
I daymare all night long
slaving and fouling,
while the siren is howling
hour by hour,
until I break...
Until the dawn
my last words to a friend:
“hope your treatment goes well”
next text unsent
It's sublime to suck the bracing spring air
as I stand on the cliff top at Tenby
where in a soft breeze daffodils sway.
The calm sea far below
is a most glorious turquoise
sun creating the illusion of stars
as a cloud shaped like an old man's face
with a beard drifts harmlessly by
and children laugh without a care.
How I wish I were that innocent
but for now I'll relish the view
of Goscar Rock and St Catherine's island
and the daffodils which in the soft breeze sway,
I soon have to leave...yet I yearn to stay.
I saw him once, came down our local club;
He turned up late from some or other pub.
He didn’t smell too good if truth be told,
And sniffed so much I thought he had a cold.
Strange how small they seem, folks from off the box;
Right frail he was, with something of the fox.
He bobbed around, calculating angles;
Slammed the balls, put several blokes in tangles.
He gave us 50-starts and beat us all,
Save one called ‘Ivor Biggun’, I recall.
Ivor Biggun, that made us laugh a bit,
And so did Alex with his slurry wit.
Then he was gone, a minimum of fuss;
More drink inside, few hundred nicker plus.
A legend with a cue; a joy, a pain.
No Hurricane like this shall strike again!
I watch the children play.
And they watch their phones-
glance at their watches.
I see them grow and learn.
They see tomorrow’s to-do list-
missing today’s glory.
I referee the games.
They sit in the stands-
not involved, not present.
I hear the kids laughing.
They’re deaf to those giggles-
that will soon be outgrown.
I know these moments are fleeting.
They know schedules and playdates-
forgetting childhood ends quickly.
His strip says he belongs,
says he blends in
like a zebra on the high veldt
striped by long shadows.
His smile says we have won,
beating the odds;
His raised fist signals joy
Belonging holds its opposite
as the clenched fist
includes its threat.
But he beams out over leagues
of busy air, without a cloud
to dim his sunshine,
proud of his team,
which has done him proud.
This is the section where fiction prose becomes something else. We still expect the poems to be short, though – sonnets, perhaps, or around that length at the very most.