The end. (Prompt 24)

I once had a crush on a girl
named Hope

Brown hair in ponytail reaching
her waist

I had hoped to somehow get to
know her

Like a lot of my classmates I had
Hope hope

But with eighth graders you need to
speak to them

I couldn’t though I tried she looked

Thus dashing any hope I had, last
vestiges of

Hope hope and I left junior high with
nothing but

memories of a teen crush that left me
Hope less

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Multiverse, verse (Prompt 23)

John Steinbeck
once wrote a letter to
Marilyn Monroe

A humorous missive
Underwood pica
wishing her autograph

on behalf of his teen
her lovestruck admirer

That one of the greatest
American writers
sent a humorous note to

America’s most famous
sex symbol
on behalf of smitten teen

Somewhere maybe they
now type Tweets on
an Underwood portable

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

Now you know (Prompt 22)

Somewhere around A.D. 995
Italian city of Naples
the first one showed up
quickly becoming a favorite stop
especially after a long week
pressing olives
maintaining gladiator gear

From this single shop a dietary
staple came to life
simple, ancient concoctions
combinations of all sorts
bringing social
disagreement, disaffection
fourteen-hundred years before
pineapple showed up
becoming integral to
local culture, then spreading

The simple pizza
Neapolitans didn’t argue
crust height, depth
cuts made as squares or
though they each knew their
favorite spots, toppings
knew the dish was theirs
theirs alone
wanted the world to know
once people began
making it at home
sans checkered togas

As the famed troubadour
Billus Joelius wrote
‘Quando vis Faciam in
occursum adventus tui
In nostro Italico Restaurant’

And there – that is something
you learned today

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Running on (Prompt 21)

Running has never
done much for me as
exercise routine
being non-confrontational
but I do excel at
being in charge

for a time I tried jogging
which is running, but not
losing interest when
it all became just
point A to point B
B usually being right back
where you started

backing down has
never seemed optimal
but being the top guy?
That I can do.
Having run the show
run the race
run the gamut
gotten and given the

now I’m just running on
so maybe it
would be best if I just
stopped running

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Arabica-cadabra (Prompt 20)

I never measure
the coffee
just pour from bag
into filter
last act before bed
myself for the
day ahead
aroma from the bag
soothing as
warm milk

who needs
essential oils
when you have
necessity grounds

Morning finds me
bed to bathroom
veering only
into kitchen
hitting BREW
kick-starting the
longest six-minutes
of the day

time filled with
accoutrements –
mug, milk,
sugar cubes

if you cannot serve
morning by
the slice
is it really coffee?

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Enveloped (Prompt 19)

Surrounded, I am, by
flotsam of my life
eclectic collection of
trinkets and treasures
fishing lures hanging
from driftwood
vintage, autographed
transistor radio
antique wooden crate
cassette tape deck
I used for my first radio
Dad’s old Scotttie-dog
letter holder, and a
lamp and a desk blotter
dating to 1935
sitting just beneath my
laptop and stand

My hand carved
(by me) walking stick
hangs from a nail
as do Gramps’
Bill Kewley’s
early 60s Stetson


plain, worn, old;
autographed –
my favorite player, EVER
(a framed 8 X 10, too)
my 1967 t-ball team

Provenance of each
of these I can
recite off the top of
my head
dollar value of it all

thought processes
they can trigger
inspire cannot be
though people have

When my time here
is up
my children
will find new careers
as museum curators
via OJT here at
The (Basement) Louvre

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Visits (Prompt 18)

The veil is thin between here, now
there and now, there and then
I have been visited from whatever
might be termed the other side
benevolent, mischievous, timely
encounters I have come to appreciate

There are things we cannot see
unexplainable, palpable
moments in time; visits from
people I have known
others I have not
some I am not at all sure of
we never converse
though I often hear
frequently respond

What separates here and now
physical, tangible
touch it with your hands now
is something within each of us

I don’t know who, don’t grasp why
not even sure that I am supposed to
if I say I am haunted
people will back away
though haunt only means
to be visited
to constantly seek the company of
to reappear continually
so sayeth Merriam-Webster

To say I am haunted by the past is
not up for debate
is not meant to show angst
it only means I get it
even when I don’t

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Screw it! (Prompt 16)

The best advice I was ever given
was to throw away
any printed instructions

Just wing it
I was told; figure it out
trust your instincts, and your guts

The best advice I was ever given
has served me well
being as life is not

never has been a
slot A into tab B
sort of endeavor – strictly D-I-Y

Life much more IKEA than Louis XVI
even when many of
the parts are
missing you learn
more by improvising than conforming

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

Dear Diary (Prompt 15)

Why couldn’t he handle it?
I knew he couldn’t
deep down I knew
but, I didn’t

It’s not the kind of thing
you tell about on
your first date
but still

I knew but I didn’t think he
I thought he couldn’t
he didn’t ask
didn’t say

anything but ‘Oh wow’ I
could take but then
‘oh wow’
became ‘Oh’

‘Oh’ then dissolved into
silence even his
breathing just
said ‘oh’

Neither of us could
hang up
the damn phone
just ‘Oh’

I’m not even sure
either of us
said goodbye

I didn’t even do it
I didn’t kill anyone
my mother

in self-defense
me, from dad
me, us

All he could say
was ‘Oh’
even my mom
liked him

She knows why he
couldn’t – not
could not

But I don’t

At least, that’s what
I have resolutely
told myself
for forty years

that she wrote in
her diary.
It would all be the

because, God knows
all I could say by
then was

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2023

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