Speaking Sharper Than Words

greyscale photography of woman wearing long sleeved top
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Speaking sharper than words the silence in my heart

Echoing endlessly in my ears hollowly down the years

All of the choices I have made in my life I can chart

By the smile lines and the dried tracks of my tears

Far too soon Love’s tender delights my senses did cloy

As I frantically sought to grasp affection’s fleeting treasures

Expunging all traces of even the smallest happiness and joy

Eliminating all savor from my banquet of Life’s pleasures

Now I grip my memories hard, tight-fisted like a miser

Tired of pursuing momentary illusions and dreams

Doddering now, sorrowfully bent, lonelier and wiser

Weary of Byzantine conspiracies, plots and schemes

I remain quiescent not upon any allocated lustrous laurels

But the painful lessons wrought by the lack of morals.



Thursday, March 12, 2020

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Today’s prompt: “the silence in my heart”



East Wind Sighing Loud

Frosty Robin

East wind sighing loud

Creeks whitely swollen with snow melt

Let there be storms

Merry migrant song birds chirp

Rebirth of spring delivered.


I combined two challenges and wrote a tanka.


Tuesday, March 03, 2020

#Haikai Challenge #128 (2/29/20): east wind (kochi) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge- March 3, 20202: Today’s prompt: “Let there be storms”



Rita Hayworth “Lady From Shanghai”

Standing in the mirror,

She stared at the infinite reflections,

Stretching forth into the hallway of eternity,

Each image that of another potential self,

Broodingly she pondered,

Upon that most weighty subject

Which person should she be today?

Good or Evil, Kind or Careless?

She Choose, stretched forth her hand,

Touching that fractal glass effigy,

Light flashed and She became reality.



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, January 14, 2020: Today’s prompt: Use the phrase “standing in the mirror, she….” in a piece of prose or poetry.


Corrupted Keepsakes



Our corrupted keepsakes—those self-inflicted injuries

Frozen in time—crystalized chronological capsules

Editorialized memories—renovated recollections

Obscured by that-is-the-way-it-should-have-been

Laundered to a state of that-is-how-I-want-to-remember-it

Substance and soul unite with the consciousness

Glossing over all the petty annoyances

Presenting brightly gleaming perfect bygones

Thus we cuddle ourselves in that comforting down

Like shattered prismatic shards

Comprised of imperfect recollections.


December 12, 2019

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge December 10, 2019: Use the word “frozen” in a poem or piece of prose.

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge December 10, 2019

The Cuisine Critique

By Tennyson Carper

Morgan’s Port, Bhuandabya

Notrine, Third Day, Seventh Week, Year of the Spotted Ox

Weigh anchor me matey’s and avoid this destination. Some restaurants are just too cute for words to describe, but I’ll try anyway; it’s my job. By Hook or Cook falls into this category (actually, I consider it an eatery, the term restaurant is too high flown and fancy for the atmosphere I encountered).  As you may have guessed from the name it has a pirate theme. The Owner and Head Chef, Tristan Cold-blooded Blacke studied his trade in the Chellesdean Islands. He admits to previously working at a beach bar there (any other trade he may have engaged in is open to speculation.) He discovered the treasure of Captain Myra the Merciless and opened his dream restaurant here in the city. Stuffed parrots (apparently the Health Inspectorate quarantined the only live one when it caught the Zivebado Flu, besides that it only spoke Nkajinese), fake palm leaves and silk-flower leis decorate the walls. The wainscoting and ceiling are faux thatch. The red tablecloths and napkins have black Jolly Roger’s sprinkled all over them. The lighting is dim and they use a fog generator to suggest smoke. The wait staff (many of whom were undoubtedly real pirates at one time) wear puffy red or white shirts, vests, kerchiefs, black pants, patent leather knee-high boots, and pirate hats. Eye-patches, hand hooks, peg legs, scars, tattoos, and dreadlocks are common. They completely mangle the Aengleaic language. “Arrgh! Avast me hearties! Belay that!” and other examples of pirate slang litter their speech. The music consists of Reggae groups and Steel-pan bands. The menu is equally unimaginative. The list includes the sort of names that one would expect from a place of this caliber.

For my drink I had the Walk the Plank Punch had a large number of those the little paper umbrellas littering the mug that rather turned me off of it. The sole redeeming feature of the beverage was the lavish amount of rum that killed the flavor of the mixed fruit juices.

For my appetizer I choose the Dead Man’s Chest Cheeseburger Sliders. They were most definitely dead, it had been broiled into charcoal. On second thought, I think that actual charcoal might be more savory.

The serve-yourself Booty Buffet Salad Bar was stale and tired, every single leaf of lettuce was wilted and limp. The dressing had far too much oil. The croutons were as crunchy as bricks.

My first entree was The Shipwreck Stew was aptly named, it was a jumbled mess of ingredients and flavors that looked like grey glop. I couldn’t distinguish the meat from the vegetables and it had an overly generous amount of Tzingleze spice (HOT HOT HOT!) The dish tasted quite foul.

My second entree was the Marooned Mackerel Cake was quite awful. All that you could taste was fish, three-day old fish at that. It was accompanied by turnips that had been boiled to paste.

My dessert was the Shiver Me Timbers Sundae. A rather lousy vanilla yogurt sparsely covered with carob sauce and a scanty scattering of rancid peanuts.

 The wait stiff responded promptly and were friendly to me (one buxom blonde bombshell quite overdid it, she jumped into my lap unasked, I didn’t even pinch her bottom first!) The highlight or should I say low-light of the evening is the exit, you have to Walk the Plank ( a skinny rotting teetering board haphazardly overlaying a deep, steep-sided reeking ditch) to depart. I visited this location on two occasions, I devoutly hope never to repeat the experience.

By Hook or Cook is located in the eastern outskirts (the poorest side) of the city of Morgan’s Port, at 666 Asylum Road, in the scenic country of Bhuandbya. It is an hour long walk form the docks which are the city’s mainstay through a number of narrow dark alleyways filled with cut-purses, crimpers, and whores. No reservations are required.  Normal wait time is a quarter-glass. Accepted tender consists of: coins, precious metals, gemstones, and healthy slaves (all items are checked for authenticity at the door. Be warned they have some extremely vicious bouncers.)  My meals averaged 25 Silver Tangibles. I reluctantly rate By Hook or Cook One-star, mainly because no negative stars are allowed. I highly recommend passing it by, it was one of the worst examples of a pirate themed eatery I have ever dined at and far too expensive for what actually arrived on the table.


December 5, 2019

A Writing prompt a Day: Write a piece about a themed restaurant


Kelsh Family Dinner

“Caveat, all identities have been changed to protect the guilty parties. Several separate events have been combined to occupy the same space-time location.”

“Welcome everybody to the 86th Annual Allen Family Thanksgiving Dinner! In a historic first, we have five generations gathered together today! Three days of frantic behind the scenes preparations  have lead up to this moment. Provisions are completed and the meal is ready to begin! Let the battle royal commence!” The announcer drawled in a ringing voice.

The food is being brought into the dining room, the board already crowded with place settings and centerpieces groans under the added weight. A hush falls over the audience, as the star of the show enters. . Dad’s carving the turkey. Careful now, remember last year! Oh no! His hand slips! The crowd roars as the blood spurts! “

“Mother’s bustling up, first aid box in her grasp. Proficiently she swabs the wound. It’s okay folks! Dad just nicked his index finger. A couple of bandages and everything’s fine!”

“The observers settle back with disappointed sighs. We all remember last year when dad had to rush to the emergency room and get nineteen stitches in his left palm. And who can forget Grandfather Walter  who lost his pinkie finger in ’67.”

“They’re serving the bird now. Everyone’s looking at it with suspicion, no doubt thinking of the infamous gathering of ’95 when we all wound up with food poisoning. No it’s all right, this gobbler’s cooked all the way through, some might even say it’s just a tad over done. What an epic fiasco that was; one bathroom versus 60 odd people, all of them needing to use the facilities right now!  Mom had to hire  a Rug Doctor crew to sanitize the mess and it cost her plenty!”

“The rest of the food is making the rounds. Mitzy passes to Frank. We’re crammed in at the table cheek to jowl. Fumble! There’s a large spot of gravy on Grandmama’s antique white (it has rather yellowed with age) lace tablecloth! “

“Now Bernice and Timothy are wrestling over the last drumstick. Bernice stabs her cousin’s arm with her fork. Success! The drumstick is hers! Timothy’s nursing his injured forelimb and shooting lethal looks at Bernice!  There’s going to be trouble over this, I can see him plotting his retribution now.”

“I was right! There goes the winter squash, forcefully hurled! Some of it missed, the tablecloth is sure getting lambasted today!”

“Cousin Eddie sneaked in his hip flask and is steadily getting sloshed. He’s already three sheets to the wind! Smells like he loaded it with brandy this year.”

“Dalton and Jordan are lobbing brussels sprouts at each other across the table with their spoons. Oops! Dalton’s projectile has gone awry and hit Lucas in the eye! Lucas retaliates by flinging a glob of mashed potatoes. That shirt will never be the same! You’d think that a group of thirty-somethings would be more mature, I guess that the holiday brings out the kid in all of us.”

“Gramps and Tony are arguing about their rival football teams. The bowl of cranberry sauce goes ballistic! Another hit on the tablecloth! Grandmama’s face is turning red with fury!”

“The babies, Johnnie and  Bethany are crying at full volume trying to outdo each other. Uh-oh! One or both of them require changing, pronto!  Phew! Everyone hold your noses!”

“Great Uncles Clarence and Curtis are debating politics. Yikes! They’ve reached the daggers drawn stage! Now they’re fencing with the bread sticks. It’s a shame to see seventy year old men acting so childishly.”

“Second cousins Deborah and Kenneth are lobbing stuffing bombs at each other. There’s not much consistency there this year. They’re bursting open on impact, leaving crumbs all over the place. One piece just landed in great aunt Maud’s full cup of coffee! The splash zone from that hit’s going to leave a mark!”

“Teenagers Ryan and Gabriel are using their straws to suck up peas and blowgun them at random relatives. They just knocked Lawrence’s toupee into the salad bowl! Whoopsie! There goes the French Dressing! That tablecloth is sure getting blasted!”

“Aunts Clarice and  Judith are going at it hammer and tongs over who has the best Jell-O salad! They’re standing bosom to bosom (and an impressive sight that is, both of them are 48 Double D’s), and screaming at each other like fishwives!”

“In-laws Sheila and Lyssa, the Stepford Wives Twins (so perfect that it’s scary,) are planning a surgical strike on selected stores. Operation Grab Bags Full of Stuff is scheduled to activate at o’dark hundred in the morning so they can be first in line! What dedicated pair of bargain hunters!”

“Now Sis and big Luke are going at the dessert. Look out folks! Sis has gotten possession of the Reddi-wip can and isn’t afraid to use it! She’s just given Luke a huge whipped cream mustache and beard! Little Luke clutches his sides he’s laughing so hard at his father. Big Luke’s reacting. Splat!  There goes the pumpkin pie! And the beleaguered tablecloth takes another punch! ”

“Four hours have passed; the assembly has been loud and boisterous. Dinner is finally winding down. We can all give Thanks this year, no serious injuries or illnesses occurred. Everyone’s settling in to clean up and digest. That poor old tablecloth’s going to need a lot of bleach!”

“Yet another famous holiday meal in the Allen Family Chronicles. This play-by-play has been brought to you by Niki Allen-Price, your announcer, singing off.”



Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge November 26, 2019: Write something around the theme of Thanksgiving–being grateful, family, food, traditions, etc.   It can have a serious tone or create something that will make us laugh.




Onyx ghosted forward purposefully, a darker slice of midnight amongst the shadows cast by the moon. She crept–smoke silent, despite her bulk—on cushioned feet. Her emerald eyes a furtive flashing gleam of color. She was the Huntress, intently focused on her prey, yet one with her surroundings. She was aware of every vibration and motion, slinking stealthily forwards. She gathered herself, bunching muscles into compact forms. With a roar, like a catapult, she sprang! Keen claws hooked her quarry, sharp teeth bit down. Her ears heard a surprised grunt under the impact of her mass as she landed followed by a pained “Squeak!”  The Huntress snarled in satisfaction. Blood fountained as flesh tore, turning the white lab coat crimson under the light of the full moon. The werepanther crouched down, dining on the malefactor. This human—a Pfizer employee–would never again hurt another animal!


November 20, 2019

A Writing prompt a Day: Write a piece about a black cat in the moonlight


Descending Trajectory


A blizzard of thoughts whirled through my mind

Shimmying specters of sanguinary slaughter

Souls screaming a syncopated symphony

The distinctive coppery scent of blood rich in my nose

Bittersweet taste of pain and suffering on my tongue

Feeling flesh rend and tear beneath my fingers

I guzzled all these sensations down–gulping hugely

Savoring the frozen, chilled winds of wicked will

That swept over my soul—erasing slate board clean

Of the deadly dulling daily drill—rigidly robotic

I supped deep from the wellspring of wickedness

Touching the underside of my perverse self

Frenziedly spiraling in a descending trajectory.



Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: November 12, 2019

Let these words inspire you.  Use one, some, or all of them—- blizzard of thoughts, frozen, chilled winds