Posted tagged ‘flash 55’

Not Morse

August 6, 2017





Not Morse

They spoke in code, each word a secret agent
of another, so that, “I need more time
for myself,’ meant ‘I’m seeing
someone else.’
And so on.

At first, even uttered letters
delighted in the game, dipthongs preening
at devices, consonants peacocking
about the vowels, but soon language stretched
to strain, silence pained.



55 words for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, with a special challenge to write something stemming from the art of Erte.  A piece on the letter M by Romain de Tirtoff, known as Erté, above. 

No Wall – Tourists in Berlin, ’65

February 12, 2017

No Wall – Tourists in Berlin, ’65

The wall was made of riddled cinder block with barbed wire atop;
my parents bought me
a pipecleaner-bodied doll in a dark felt
uniform, supposed to be
a border guard, his nose incongruously
round, his eyes incongruously
googly, the ones we saw shadowed
about the eyes, at least so they seemed
at the checkpoints.


Draft 55-word poem for Marian’s prompt about a wall, posted belatedly to Real Toads.  Pic (such as it is) is  mine.

1984/2017 Poem

February 5, 2017

1984/2017 Poem

My fear too
would be rats.

I can’t even write
of the pinkish paws, bucked gnaws–

Oh, Christ, what is happening
to my country?

What cage are we locking
ourselves into, what mask is strapped about
our temples

so that even as we cannot
look away
we cannot save

That type
of mask.


55 word poem (minus the numbers) for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads; prompt based (if desired) on George Orwell’s 1984, specifically Winston’s greatest fear. Graphic is mine; all rights reserved for it and poem. 

On Hearing of his Suicide (New York City Story)

October 1, 2016


On Hearing of his Suicide  (New York City Story)

She wondered if she’d have seen
the depression
had she known his name wasn’t actually
(that, only some
Americanized version.)

As it was, she’d always imagined
a teen mom in Eastern Europe,
loving some dream tenderly
as she danced with her two-stepping toddler,
his eyes even then
darkly circled, brow somehow
weighed down.



55 drafty words for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads.  Sadness felt too on hearing this news about a young man I did not know well.

Too Heavy a Freight

September 6, 2016


Too Heavy a Freight

I tried to put our love
upon a scale,
but not wishing to be weighed,
it swam away, slipping on
slick fins, scales then only armor,
though too flimsy, oh mon amour,
to repel much ill.

Yet, how that brittle mail lightened
each swish-sway,
my sun, moon, hanging
in the balance.


55 word poem of sorts for Kerry O’ Connor’s week-end prompt on Real Toads, special bonus for poems inspired by the marvelous paintings of the Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician known as Twins Seven Seven, born Prince Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki (3 May 1944 – 16 June 2011) in Ogidi, Kogi State, Nigeria.  This painting is “Golden Fishes in Dark Sea.” 

1 July 1916, The Battle Of —

July 2, 2016


1 July 1916, The Battle of —

It was not the sum
nor any total–
columns of men rounded down
into boot sole,
flesh ground not to dust but mud, pus-

Tanks be to God
for that now deep sod.

Oh, tanks be to God
as the Somme was
to an end,
except for them
dead then,
except for them.


For Kerry O’Connor’s Flash 55 prompt on Real Toads.  Kerry also brought up the fact that these days are the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in World War I, a horribly bloody battle whose first day brought the British more casualties than any other day in their history (over 56,000 with well over 19,000 dead).  It is my understanding that the battle also marked an introduction of the tank. 

Photo is mine; all rights reserved to it and poem, as always. 

NRA’s Take on Classic Tale (Taken Back) (April Poem 5)

April 3, 2016


NRA’s Take on Classic Tale (Taken Back)

So, little blonde, packing heat, but no supplies,
stumbles onto unlocked house,
warm leftovers, seemingly
spare bed, until owners, proponents of the right
to arm bears, show,
and, as her yawn
exposes holster,
shoot her.

Blondie expires (despite
blondeness), but Mama B.’s caught too
in crossfire; Baby and Papa
turning to drink, meth,


5th poem (in just 55 words) for April National Poetry Month–this for the wonderful Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads to write a 55 word poem, also thinking of a classic.  The pic is a recycled one of mine–

As a process note, the U.S. National Rifle Association (the “NRA”) has recently released a revised book of Grimms’ fairy tales, with various characters, such as Little Red Ridinghood, now armed.