Prompt 19 – Conventions

Well, “Have a Nice Day”
Means “Fuck You” when it comes out
The cashier’s mouth, Hun.

Like “Thank You” became
Yours towards the kids when they
Shove their dirty hands

To you as they burp
An unapologetic,
Impish “Excuse Me”

And “Pardon Me” has
Become the only one that
Retains its meaning

Because “Welcome Home”
Means you’re upset when it’s all
You say when I come

Home to you but how
Can “How Are You?” do what I
Need; you’ll say you’re fine.

Prompt 18 – Pounce

Soft pads lightly stalked
Across the forest floor
As black fur blended
Into shadows of the undergrowth,
Hiding the small predator from its target.

What little light remained
From a clouded moon
Shone on sharp,
Golden eyes on a dormouse locked –
Perfect for a snack.

Pointed snout
Holding sharp fangs
Polished by a
Slick tongue,
Hungry for prey –

The fox pounced
And claimed its prize.

Prompt 16 – Carousel

The Carousel turns to a Melody
Horses rear up against their reins,
Frozen in a gallop that never ends
As their prison turns and bends
And twists their expressions
While children and couples
Ride on their backs as
The Carousel turns to a Melody.

Prompt 14 – Iron Eater

Living as me, in a time when
Fear ruled
Just about everything
I thought
and did — It was

A new experience
When I
Walked to school
Under the pass,

Heart clenched in terror
At sights of
Unruly branches and weeds
Almost as tall as me
Burst through unkempt,
Overtaken sidewalks

In a city where
Nature is tamed and
Kept in line,
Unallowed to break through.

Graffiti overtaken
By ivy
Climbing up the sediment stones
Under the curve of the pass
A surreal sight, as if
I were in an entirely different

From the tamed
Of my city.

When I emerged from
The pass, I swore I just
Was transported
Back to normality

But then I met the
Iron Eaters;
Trees along fences
That do not simply break
But instead assimilate
Their metal
Into their bark

Prompt 13 – Kanaki

Happy Birthday, Kanaki.
I’m two days late,


I will turn twenty-two
On August fifteenth
As you should have turned
On August eleventh

I would like to think that you simply
And found
A new life, a new family
A new journey
To celebrate sixty-three.

A big number —
It’s been many years
Since you disappeared in
then just thirty-three.

I did not expect you
To impact me as you did
Yet here I am –
Heart heavy as I think
About sixty-three.

I’m two days late, but
Happy Birthday, Kanaki.

Prompt 12 – Moonlight Shimmered

Moonlight shimmered
On sweat across her
Breastbone that
Rose and fell with
The wind’s breath
Flitting along the lake

Under a netted canopy
Sprinkled with stars that
Sparkled across the
Gleam of her teeth and
Glisten of her eyes as I
Beheld her glory in this
Shimmered moonlight.

Prompt 11 – For Me

Home is a place that has never
Existed for me

A wanderer, a vagrant,
Aimlessly drifting
From Laos to Italy

And though Home
Has never been a label
I’ve ever applied

In these blue, twinkling eyes,
You should see
The world’s my oyster
All for me

Prompt 10 – Heart Singer

Heart singer,
Night howler.

Your love is unconditional,
Your joy is boundless –
It astounds me that there exists
A creature with such pure
Intentions, never meant to harm

I love you, my Heart Singer
You who can swell my chest
At sight because all you’ve
Ever given me
Is your absolute adoration.

Night Howler, thank you;
Thank you for loving me
Even when I howl and yell
Back at you
Out of frustration.

You, truly, hold power over my heart.