Tag Archives: spur

“Far from the Madding Crowd”:

Solitary Confinement

My world is a clam with me gathered up in it.
With no one else to arrange it or spin it.
I do not deviate, wander or travel.
No complications for me to unravel.
Life proffers no parties and no invitations.
No drop-in guests and no visitations.
Gatherings are not my present domain,
so if I were invited, I’d surely abstain.
I’m sealed in my world— happily, sublimely,
for group celebrations are simply not timely.
Lately for me, the crowds are not madding.
It’s taken a virus for me to stop gadding.

Prompt words today are clam, deviate, timely, proffer and gather.

A Way Out

A Way Out

He thinks he is inexorable, but he’s only temporary.
His expiration date reveals that he is just contemporary.
He’ll go down as a buffoon in the annals of our nation,
and his exit from the White House will bring great jubilation.
When greed combines with vanity and thirst for power and fame,
then achieves the oval office, the whole nation is to blame.
Would that he’s vivified our populace from living room to coffice
to get their butts out and to vote this charlatan from office!
May justice thus be vivified and liberty brought home,
and a sense of the rational be restored to the dome.


Word prompts today are exit, inexorable, collide, vivify and temporary.

Stay of Execution

Pardon by Way of a Higher Power

There was  a stay of execution, and the prisoner was relieved.
The executioner, in a turmoil, was sorely aggrieved.
If he couldn’t fire incessantly, it put him off his game.
And yet he couldn’t argue with the one who was to blame.
Sometimes it was the law that won, and sometimes the sinner.
He cut his prisoner free and then shuffled off to dinner.
“Does Jimmy want to stay to eat?” his mom was heard to say,
“I can call his mom to ask her, if he wants to stay.”
But the sheriff told his mom that since he wasn’t ichthyophagous,
a tuna sandwich wouldn’t make it past his friend’s esophagus!

Prompt words today are stay, incessant, ichthyophagous, turmoil and game. What travesties of plot these prompts sometimes force upon us!!!

Why Bakeries Were Invented

Why Bakeries Were Invented

I’ve baked the cake, but cannot get the damn thing from the pan—
the problem being, mainly, that sticky layer of flan.
My daughter had demanded it, persnickety like her dad.
How had she ever heard of flan? I guess it was a fad.

I poured the custard in the pan and covered it with batter,
not sure whether the flan went first or if it was the latter.
Ten minutes in the oven and the glop began to rage
as though it was an animal, intent to leave its cage.

It roiled and fluxed, formed bubbles and spouted like fresh lava.
I lit a cigarette and poured another cup of java.
Although it was her birthday, I rued the day I’d asked
what kind of cake she wanted, for in this I’m sorely tasked.

But surprisingly, this devil cake did not escape its boundaries,
in spite of all my puzzlements and all my gross confounderies.
Now that I’ve finally got it out, I really am exhausted—
only to hear her next request. Now she wants it frosted!!!

Prompt words for today are exhausted, cage, flux, persnickety and cover.

When the Title is Longer Than the Poem


There might have been a different outcome if a clown had not been ruling—
If the ones making decisions had listened to their schooling.
If so many others had not chosen to go rogue.
If the heresy of empathy had not been out of vogue.

If so many teeming masses had not chosen to go blind,
perhaps we would not be in such a tumultuous bind.
How to find a way out of our massive sinking boat?
No matter what new walls he builds, get out there and vote!!!!


Prompt words for today are clown, heresy, empathy, different and outcome.

Time and Space

I hear it from afar—

across the street
or down the mountain—
unoccupied laughter
that carries with it
of long-ago encounters.

Lessons learned,
idiosyncrasies shared
with a place and a love
on a mountain
thousands of miles distant
from any previous experience.

These encounters,
long dead,
by anonymous merriment
that, unknowing,
carries messages
linked to memory
by some truth
of quantum physics.

Two beings, once connected,
maintain that connection
over time and space.

 Your laugh.

Prompt words today are lesson, IdiosyncrasyEncounterLaughter and Unoccupied

Delusions of Athleticism

Delusions of Athleticism

Since I’m loyal by habit, it’s hard to explain
my quick burst of laughter in spite of the pain
you must have experienced in your hard fall
as you reached your foot out to kick back the ball
that had escaped the children at play,
rolling out of the street and into your way. 

but my dear, you aren’t known for athletic ability—
your speed or your aim or your grace or stability.
Yet again, please excuse my unrestrained snicker
making light of your dreams of being a kicker.

Word prompts today are again, excuse, laughter, loyal  and habit. Image by Afa Ah Loo on Unspash, used with permission.

Fresh Prizes: For Marilyn and Garry

Fresh Prizes

Even though she thinks she knows him to the bone,
another little detail comes forward to be shown.
Like a little prize, presented for her viewing,
after all thee years, he’s not finished with his wooing.

No fact  inconsequential as he unveils his life,
so even after decades as a man and wife,
new mysteries are still revealed in words coined charismatically.
Each new revelation, an avowal made emphatically.


This poem is in answer to Marilyn Armstrong’s comment about her husband, Garry:

Marilyn Armstrong

We still are discovering things we didn’t know about each other. You’d think we’d know it all by now, but we keep surprising each other. It’s kind of cool.

Prompt words today are prize, drain, emphatic, inconsequential and bone.



The lady was omnilegent (which means she was well-read.)
She read while doing dishes, after her kids were fed.
A book propped in the laundry, another on the tub,
balanced there precariously as she had her scrub.
The draconian measures her spouse took to confine her
were fruitless for she did not choose his attempts to define her.

Reading was her gateway to a wider world
and all those intense pleasures waiting to be unfurled.
She held fast to a firm resolve that one day she’d be free.
Her husband could not curtail her mental liberty.
One day when the kids were raised, she’d leave this sunless hollow.
All the words she’d read for years like breadcrumbs she would follow.

Prompt words for today are draconian, uncertain, omnilegent, intense and gateway.



Your settings are fantabulous–the china and the cutlery
a window to an earlier time of serving maids and butlery.
Your butter knives and bread plates, shrimp forks and the rest
might lead to intense nervousness as we’re put to the test
to know which fork we should use next. The difference between
the cake fork or the salad fork is not so easily seen.

You’re such an avid hunter through antique stores and bazaars,
searching for ornate candlesticks and antique canning jars,
that you must have been ecstatic when you found this antique set
of twelve place settings, all intact. How lucky could you get?
Eleven serving pieces, plus eleven for each setting—
to hint at all the courses that each diner would be getting.

Spoons for every purpose from ice tea to demitasse. 
So many forks that Martha Stewart would be at a loss.
Cheese knives, cake knives, butter knives. Knives for steak and fish.
A different knife or spoon or fork for every single dish!
As we sit down, it’s quite befuddling perusing them,
let alone imagining that we will all be using them.

Our sideways glances indicate we’re all of the same mind.
No matter how confusing, we are bound to be well-dined!


These particular prompt words somehow led me to a memory of a brass-with-teakwood- handles set of cutlery that I bought in a bazaar in India. It was comprised of 144 pieces–eleven pieces in each of the twelve place settings and eleven serving pieces. I was so impressed with it in it’s lovely red felt-lined teakwood case that I bought two of them—one for me and one for my sister. They were, however, a pain to wash and keep shiny as you couldn’t put them in the dishwasher, and when I moved to Mexico, I sold mine. My sister’s had been consigned to her basement storage long before that, but I did once throw a dinner party where I invited eleven people and served a course for each implement. This meant: salad fork, shrimp fork, dinner fork, cake fork, demitasse spoon, ice tea spoon, soup spoon, teaspoon, steak knife, butter knife, regular knife.

Everything went fine until one friend showed up half an hour late from the bar, drunk and with three friends! Needless to say, I was not happy as my service didn’t stretch to fifteen. I had to set up another card table with my regular cutlery and  they had to eat their shrimp cocktail and salad with the same fork.  After that, my own set was consigned to basement storage as well, but at least it led to this poem.

Prompt words for today are fantabulous, hunter, ecstatic, intense and window. Photo by Dilyara Garifullina on Unsplash. Used with permission.