Tag Archives: Word of the Day Challenge

By Association

By Association

The tale she told was cautionary. Her hypnotic flame
scorched the Earth, contributing to her epic fame.
The parts she played as villainous, scheming shrewish dame
lapped over into her life, where she was held to blame
for legendary bad girls who, though fictional in name,
her fans were sure depicted her nature all the same.
So, though her personality was kind and mild and tame,
those who knew her only from the movie game,
from her roles as Jezebel, The Wicked Witch and Mame,
believed that she herself was as evil as they came.


Prompt words today are scorch, hypnotic, cautionary, blame and part.

The Confessions of a Halloween Candy Hoarder

The Confessions of a Halloween Candy Hoarder

I do not accept your recent accusal
as anything but an attempt to bamboozle
me out of the vestiges of my collection
of Halloween candy that’s skipped your detection.

I’m thankful that I’m neither trustful nor dumb
enough to be functioning under your thumb,
for I find repugnant your plans to abscond
with all of the candy with which I’ve grown fond.

For though you gobbled your candy down quickly,
going through all of it lickety-splickly,
I like to keep my candy yield near
and eat one piece a day for the rest of the year!

When days are balmy, butterscotch is nice.
I save all my chocolate for snow days and ice.
And when the campfire sparkles and flickers,
I like to devour my Halloween Snickers.

If it annoys you, you’ll have to make do
with a few M&M’s that I hid in my shoe.
The rest of my candy is where I have hidden it,
to be consumed when only I’ve bidden it.

Prompts for the day are vestige, repugnant, bamboozle, balmy and thankful.

Open Reading at the Nueva Posada


Open Reading at the Nueva Posada

They gather at their tables in the heat or in the cold,
ears perked for the errors in the stories they’ll be told.
They’ll be listening for the puerile and and the grisly and the trite,
jotting down their notes for the misstatements that they’ll cite.

Then, their criticism over, they’ll play another game,
giving their approval and voicing their acclaim
for a perfect metaphor or meter that is tight. 
How you built the tension and got it all just right.

Thus do we meet to ebb and flow, to criticize and praise.—
to inform, amuse, maybe to bore or to amaze.
This is how we come together first to teach and then be taught
by sharing with each other the best that we have got!

Prompt words today are cold, table, grisly, puerile and criticism.



The swiftly rushing current betokens something tragic—
a cavity within my heart where before there was magic.
Your piano floats on by, sounding its last chord—
that last note of “Fur Elise” before the waters roared.

Vestiges of dinner float by on their raft
of our dining table, candelabra fore and aft,
sinking to the current. Now the dishes follow after.
The whole house now floats away–floor and walls and rafter.

All flooding away from me, left here to remember
a roaring fire dampened down to one last dying ember.
The first to go, you pulled our world after you as well.—
our music  now extinguished by your funeral knell.


Prompts for today are current, piano, dinner, betoken and cavity.

Lest you worry–Dolly, Sam, Cee and others who always ask–this poem is an amalgam of many past memories: the death of a loved one, the two big floods here, a recent phone call with a friend who has just lost her husband. The memories are all scrambled. Fiction based on past facts and mixed together into a poem.

Darjeeling, Lockjaw and Delayed Gratification

Darjeeling, Lockjaw and Delayed Gratification

I’d make conversation but my upper plate
seems to be grinding my lower of late.
I fear there’s a fissure that’s preventing their matching
and somehow my back teeth just seem to be catching
and locking which creates a problem in chewing,
so eating’s another thing I won’t be doing.

I’m bungling everything done by my jaws.
At talking and eating I’m taking a pause.
For now I’ll just listen and watch you eat pie.
If you give me a straw, I’ll simply get by
by sipping my tea and nodding my head
in avid agreement with everything said.

I could have stayed home and stared at the wall,
but I couldn’t face not seeing y’all,
so I will just sit here and soak in the news,
forsaking my own chance to thrill and amuse.
Until I’ve seen my dentist, you’ll just have to wait
for the juicy story I was going to relate!

Prompts today are conversation, fissure, matching, bungle and upper.

Great Author Above

Clouds above

Great Author Above

I’m tired of emotion. I’m up to my ears
in hysteria, sadness and terror and tears.
Bloodcurdling screams have become commonplace
along with sirens and gunshots and mace.

Our souls have been dirtied by leaders who lie
as they help themselves to their pieces of pie.
If there is a God, then this is the time
for him to step in and infuse some sublime

grace in a world that has gone much astray.
Yet we pay and we pay and we pay and we pay
with innocent blood while the rich all get fatter,
as though this whole world’s ruled by the Mad Hatter.

If this is true and we’re living a fable, 
great Author Above, if you’re willing and able,
write a new ending, preferably happy,
and hear my plea to please make it snappy!!!


Prompts today are emotion, dirty, bloodcurdling and tears.



Grandmother was a lexophile, erudite and bossy.
She said that I was malapert when she meant I was saucy.
She sat astride her horse for she was loath to simply straddle it,
and she “installed her pillion.” She didn’t merely saddle it!

Every sentence that we spoke required mediation.
Nothing was radioactive. It “emitted radiation!”
Cannibals weren’t maneaters, but rather “anthropophages,”
and prom dates brought us sprays of roses, not merely corsages!

Her mania for polite words was nothing less than ludicrous.
When dealing with the birds and bees, “womb” subbed for the word uterus.
Gentlemen had “members,” for their penises were banished—
“boobs” and “knockers” terms for bosoms that somehow had vanished.

It seems she put small value in words that spoke directly,
for it was more important that we chose words correctly.
Dictionaries were her Bibles, and they had the final word
when we used terminology that Grandma found absurd.


Prompt words for the day are straddle, radioactive, ludicrous, contumely and maneater.

Cooked Goose

Cooked Goose

As I face her contumely with stoic restraint,
I may seem cavalier, but really I ain’t.

I’ve grown used to her holiday gloom and depressions
when she is exposed to these family sessions.

After so many years, I’m attuned to the drill,
though I must admit that I’ve had my fill
of her bigoted grandpa, her silly vain mom,
her brother whose jokes are always a bomb.

Her sister who views our clothes with derision,
the grandmother who cannot reach a decision
on what kind of pie—pumpkin, chocolate or peach?
So she always ends up with a little of each.

Her nieces and nephews all stupid and spoiled,
and the Christmas goose that always tastes boiled.
Why do we attend each new family blast
when we always go home feeling slightly aghast?

I must say their whole group has failed at the game,
for a family should be far more than a name.
We swear every holiday will be our last,
but I fear nonetheless that our lot has been cast.

We’ll continue to dread every Christmas and Easter—
every occasion to become a feaster
on gummy plum pudding and cold slimy fowl,
for though we curse and  grumble  and growl,

for birthdays and weddings, we’ll load up the car
and drive those long miles to come from afar
repeating this ritual year after year,
for this is the family that we hold dear!



Prompt words are holiday, cavalier, stoic, contumely and passage. Fiction, folks, fiction. Written from the point of view of a long-suffering male spouse. My husband did not feel this way about my family, really.



She ate all her spinach, devoured all her kale.
She lifted weights and cussed and spit, and still she wasn’t male.
She wanted to be Popeye, but instead was Olive Oyl.
Nothing that she ever did made her less a goil.

She wished on every rainbow, unequivocally,
did her affirmations and squeezed her rosary,
praying for delivery from this female form.
Because she had three brothers, she felt it not the norm.

But when she reached her teenage years, something slowly changed.
Somehow she felt more normal and slightly less deranged.
And though it took a little time, finally she did confess
shyly, to her mother, that she’d like to buy a dress.

She put her hair in curlers and scrubbed her scaly knees,
spent more time upon the phone and less time climbing trees.
Flirted with her brothers’ friends whom formerly she wrestled.
Wound up at the movies, very comfortably nestled

up against the shoulder of a guy named Paul
and found that somehow she felt great. She didn’t mind at all
that she had not been born a boy, because then she’d have missed
that feeling that she felt the very first time she was kissed.

Prompt words today are indeed, equivocal, female, rainbow and squeeze.

Charles Ponzi in Hell

Charles Ponzi in Hell

He is a shrouded shyster, an adjunct to the Devil—
a ghostly apparition not remotely on the level.
He peddled false indulgences and cut-rate lots in heaven
on a sliding scale from heaven one right up to seven.

He was as suave as men can get clad in just a sheet,
with no face to speak of, not to mention sans his feet.
And though his sins were constant, every day a new adventure,
thanks to the realm he dwelled in, his pranks came without censure.


Prompt words today are thanks, suave, apparition, adjunct and devil. Image by Erin Minuskin on Unsplash.