how you feel?
I'll tell you who:
in the Big Apple,
|Friday Flash Fiction
Who gives a fuck
how you feel?
I'll tell you who:
in the Big Apple,
Under a blood-red sunset sky
I watch starlings as my breath drifts
into the vast, indifferent ether.
The scenery is transformed
by their magical presence,
just like a dark fisherman's net they sway,
strength in numbers and now not east prey.
It's a sight which makes me gasp
for this is nature at its best
a reminder this can still
be a most wondrous world.
But then the scarlet clouds turn grey,
the show is over, starlings disappear
into the chilly autumn atmosphere.
You simply do not
but time will
was your last
was too late
what would you do . . .
You can't have a
if you have a
A kingfisher perched on an electrical line
searched between rocks & examined
slimy shadows gliding like river u boats
wiggling back and forth, revealing
oxygen red gills while riding currents
like scaly surfers submerged in icy water;
ever on the wire, sitting upon the same spot
we saluted evolution’s therapod watchman
we christened Joe Cocker; cyan/blue feathers
radiated brilliant tie-dye plumage
like the Woodstock revolutionary, as it
wailed & glared at swimmers, kayakers
& duck hunters who blocked its view--
people perplexed yet indifferent to its strident
rattle, ruffled head crest, accusing beak.
I was rudely awakened from my daydreams
early on a Saturday morning
hearing a loud thud on the lounge window
and peering outside I spotted a still form.
I donned a pair of gloves and reluctantly
picked up the doomed seagull, a forlorn sight
which had crashed to its death with all its might.
There was no blood as far as I could ascertain
but I only half-stared at the poor thing
as I threw it over the garden fence.
It was a reminder of my own mortality
and how uncertain the future is.
I imagined it at its best soaring high,
beautiful view...but it fell from the sky.
He went to fight the Kaiser’s War,
returned alive from Flanders mud,
but not the same man as before,
his life too stained by death and blood
He lived another fifty years
back in this world of life and light
and locked away the days of fear,
the stink of gas, the flare-lit nights.
But for two minutes, on one day,
the pause before the great bell’s chime,
his mind would travel far away:
A distant land, another time.
To see the faces of his friends,
a line of men now lost and gone,
and feel a guilt which had no end
that they all died while he lived on.
Suburban tree on the edge of the golf course,
its branches blowing softly in the breeze
and under a deep blue autumnal sky
its leaves are illuminated with gold.
The other seasons I have passed by
never gracing it with a second glance
but now I pause and just stare
as golden leaves flutter to the path below
and a squirrel ascending far up high.
The beauty of nature can be found everywhere
yet some people are too preoccupied to notice
the wonders on their very doorstep.
After a while I continue my stroll
knowing nature is a boost...for the soul.
Mother Earth’s embrace
shields me from machinegun fire,
bombs exploding over cities,
people screaming, dying,
cities burning, oceans boiling,
rivers running red with blood,
Above my grave eagles soar
on outstretched wings, gliding like
angels over a wasteland created
by men who can read, write,
pry secrets from distant stars,
probe the beginnings of life,
and compose music so beautiful
they weep when they hear it,
but do not put down their swords.
Somewhere in the
Waiting for the voices
from the voids of love
or fullness of hate.
Anything except silence
Remember when we built bonfires like this
playing outdoor games
and other oddities
believing in miracles
forget about our past
hear the thunder in the distance
and see the fire raging in the sky
Wind rowing the sun
across indifferent sky
into night’s harbor
The fall of leaves
is no secret.
and barren, broken
the blatant tell-alls.
and faulty as hell.
But first we saw
the soft crash.
We heard the
is the gift
I do not
I thought a portrait would help
to ground me to fix myself in time.
I like the pipe it takes the gaze
from my wounds.
Blue follows me, my eyes shaded
round and round the room.
My palette’s muted now, time steals red
renders yellow brown.
Shadow softens shapes.
I love that green coat, fern
reminds me of spaces in Arles
evening ease, a sliver of a moon
trees silent sentinels
before my ear and the world
While women live their nightmares
And children lose their dreams,
And men who say their thoughts are right
Raise hell above the screams
Of animals and babies,
Of the dying and the maimed,
The speculators seize their chance
So the ignorant are blamed.
And while the world is overheating,
Fired up by bombs and flares,
The noble and the fearless
Tread where no-one dares;
Lights shining in the darkness,
Towers on a hill,
And the seething gods of violence
Can never break their will.
Vagabond bards write about ovoid buds where roses
bloom—an anathema to deer but manger to worms
whose larva feed on under leaves. Slowly. Hidden.
Thumbing through maps creased & crisp
we search for lost highways beyond the scope
of GPS tracking & interstellar photography.
Curiosity lingers, anticipates private gateways
to emerge while standing on the scratch line,
jumping a starting pistol that may never fire.
Freeway nomads lacking grace and engineering,
we narrow our focus to roads far less traveled—paths
sans cell towers covered with leaves of uncharted pings.
Beyond the stopwatch measuring time, we blindly
roll forward on endless thoroughfares, race towards
checkered flags herald nowhere beginnings.
Beside a murky waterway,
Beneath a pewter sky,
With the cold breeze slicing through our clothes,
We watch the boats sail by -
Out towards the ocean,
Far beyond the bay,
To where whales sing their love songs
And the dolphins dance and play.
Horror of war on TV screens,
pain etched on bloody faces,
one conflict after another
whilst in the park children run
free from such turmoil.
So on this beautiful azure day
let the children play, let the children play.
The old man struggles down the road
pausing at every few metres
whilst in the park children run
thinking only of the moment
but troubles will come soon enough
for in this nirvana they will not stay
so let the children play, let the children play.
Hi, I’m from Ukraine and I died today, and every day after February the twenty-fourth.
I died on battlefields, the valleys and hills, where I was called to prove my worth.
I died in my sleep when the missile hit my bedroom in the middle of numerous nights.
I died in the van with twenty-one evacuees who lost their homes and then their lives.
I died with every burnt-down harvest, every poisoned dolphin, every broken tree...
I died so many times and only cos I wasn’t there, then, I may still be,
I may keep my cosy routines and hide behind the may-have-beens.
It’s only luck, a Russian bloody roulette, that it wasn’t me who fell.
But my people say, we die, die every day
For all who bid us farewell.
your recent travail
elicits one word...
Succor is offered
with knowing confidence
the intrusive malady
shall be vanquished.
Peering out, at the busy fishermen,
Watching the racing objects plus weeds,
And admiring the floating-pecking seabirds,
The visitor noted the sudden changes yonder.
Unlike the past few hours,
When their speeding vessel had rattled,
Bumping onto violent waves,
The water surface was now calm & still.
‘Why? This part looks strange!’ He voiced.
‘The water surface, I guess?’ Asked the coxswain.
‘Yes, of course. There aren’t ripples or waves.’
‘Well, it’s always calm before a storm.’
Blades through ash
Once lay and gave
Unto us now
Ground down for
A hardened face
Only one goal has he
To pursue the great
A tree forgets his place
Pierce the dead and rise
For there is
Nothing for him, of her
Both lie among the blades
Ophelia, you twist my mind like a drug
You came on to me like a flood
Pasted my brain like a 45 slug
Then left me with nothing but mud
You were moonshine from a jug,
Left me with only a shrug
Now a corpse wrapped up in a rug
My love now dropped with a thud
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.