It was supposed to be
a miraculous moment —

and it truly was —

except the doula insisted
my work wasn’t over.

After hours of labor
splayed in stirrups,

my first meal as a mother
was spoiled by the sapor
of iron and onions.



Courtesy of Jen Brunett

Photo prompt courtesy and copyright property Jen Brunett via Grammar Ghoul Press, celebrating the completion of its first year of existence.


Sallowed silhouettes
with the sway
of a slivered light
by the laggard locution
of a wisped wind
hinting at
the haunting hazards
barely beyond
the glib glint’s


that the wickedly wagered wonder
lurking in the lingering legs of shadows
is an incorrupt infant
inchoately initiating
its inaugural wish.


Photo prompt courtesy and copyright property of Graham Lawrence via Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Others’ contributions may be found here. Participation is open to all, just visit FFAW for guidelines.


I once planted narcissi on the edge of my garden. They brought a lot of attention to my plot, but visitors never ventured past their border. The narcissi’s charms entranced all passersby with the same beauty that never allowed the flowers to look beyond themselves.

It wasn’t much of an issue until the nurikabe came. The lumbering spirit must have tried toddling past in the middle of the night, but was drawn to the iridescent narcissi already enthralling the moon.

Now, no visitors come. The narcissi still stare at each withering other. I stare too, but grieve the nurikabe’s selfishness.

Potentially useful notes:

Wagamama” is a Japanese term for selfishness and egoism. My intended use may be a misappropriation, thinking it more a matter of vanity than reservation.

Nurikabe” are a type of yōkai, supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore. They appear (if visible) as walls meant to impede travelers’ journeys.

Urban Legends

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

Photo prompt courtesy and copyright property of The Reclining Gentleman via Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers event (which has an open door policy for participation). Others’ contributions may be found here.

Urban Legends

“Think we’d find trolls down there?”

“No.” I stole his smile as a toll, knowing we’d search regardless.

A plastic bag waltzed over our heads, tinged by the traffic lights I’d hoped would muck these musty myths.

“It’s not a will-o’-the-wisp. It’s trash. Keep walking.”

Not finding beasties under the bridge, he changed objectives. “Look—out there! Nessie!”

“We’re in Detroit! Best we’ve got are muskrats.”

“I know. It’s just…these legends are outside our urban element. Like I want to be.”

It was then that I realized why we were friends: I was the only monster he’d ever found.

Haiga and Rutting (Two Haiku)

For Ronovan Writes’ Weekly Haiku Challenge, I’m contributing two haiku this time around. The first is an emulation of traditional haiku styles, with an attempted use of kigo. The second is…well, my developing experimental rendition of (multi-)haiku. Both are intended to stem from the prompt words “stag” and “noise,” though I strayed from their explicit uses. Anyway, enjoy!


A hermit’s painting,
brushstrokes soaring over shrubs—
uguisu warble.


|              velvet          touch                              seasons
|              shed          staggering silence          past
|              rustling                bucks                     rattle

Love is a Ghost Train

To grasp
the anatomy
of a ghost
laying out
your pearly bones
they are)
a scoliotic
ironed spine
and feeling
each reverberation
as the spectral diesel
howls and hauls
itself across
your splintery dreams.

Inspired by, but not an interpretation of Counting Crows’ “Ghost Train,” from their album August and Everything After. The title is a lyric within the song.