FIFTY WORD STORY – At the Library

I am in the eleventh hour. The piles of papers have become mountains of material for my essay, but the words just aren’t coming to me. My eyes are getting heavy, and the yellow lights of the library flicker with fatigue. Maybe a short nap will loosen this mental knot…

——

 

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Scaredy-Cat (and Other Haikus)

Spilled

The creeping water

edges along the counter

to get to the floor.

 

Grilled Cheese

Dollops of butter

pop and sizzle in the pain

as I set the bread.

 

Studying

Papers strewn about

as my hand pushes a pen

that has been half-drained

 

Sparkling

The crisp elixir

pops and fizzles in the glass

like captured starlight.

Scaredy-Cat

He hears my footsteps

and scurries to the sofa

till he sees me.

——

 

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FIFTY WORD STORY – Tag

I sped down the road like a bullet from a gun. The wind whistled past me as I cut through the air. My feet stamped the concrete hard as I whirled to the right. Everything was still. I saw the hand reaching for my back graze my shoulder.

“You’re it!”

——

 

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Hungry Dog (and Other Haikus)

Old Shoes

Stained so that the dirt

doesn’t discolor the strings;

rather it dyes them.

 

No School

The sky looks more blue

and the sun seems to suggest

we go out to play.

 

Book Ends

The grim lion heads,

cemented with their grey eyes,

oversee the books.

 

Lungs

Rising and falling

like a feather caught aloft

by a light updraft.

 

Hungry Dog

His nubby tail

bobs along the tile floor

as he begs for scraps.

 

——

 

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Cat at Midnight (and Other Haikus)

Shelves

The dusty, bent wood

dutifully holds the books

I forgot to read.

 

Blackbird

Nobody saw her

spreading her dark, tattered wings;

they just scorned her flight.

 

Children Swimming

Splashing and screaming;

waking up the neighborhood

with sounds of water.

 

Class Rows

Uniformity

in brown tables and blue chairs

and empty faces.

 

Cat at Midnight

Two yellow eyes glow,

tensed by unexpected steps

on the dark walkway.

——

 

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MUSIC SERIES – The Bricklayer

I thought I’d change up Mondays for a while with poetry inspired by music. Today’s was inspired by Another Brick in the Wall, pt. 2 by Pink Floyd. Let me know what song you’d like to hear about in the comments!

 

The Bricklayer

 

I laid every dusty, red brick

of that mortar riddled school wall

like it was just another job

for my denim jeans and work boots.

 

I never asked why they hired

a prison building company

to construct their grim barricade

or why they wanted barbed wire

 

until I saw a boy staring

through the window of his classroom

at what used to be clear blue skies,

and turned back to his science class.

——

 

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This is the poem i wrote in eight minutes.

This is the poem I wrote in eight minutes.

 

It probably didn’t hit home as hard as I had hoped.

The stanzas are haggard and heavy,

but the lines are as hollow

as a hanging tree’s moral code.

 

The poem itself was swallowed

in the cesspool of modern scholarship

where the student ponders bad textbooks

and the teachers teach to a code.

 

“It’s all about the A to Z,”

is what the fedora-wearer said to me,

standing at the head of class

by his chalkboard learning scheme.

 

A will get you in the academy

and Z will zip you away

with a ten-thousand dollar piece of paper

and a square cap to put on display.

 

It’s too bad those two letters

can’t sandwich my life together

like the pieces of wonder bread

I ate on the way to school.

——

 

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DREAMS. IN. SPACE.

Last night I fell into a dream that started at an intergalactic academy. The headmaster, a short, plump woman with a deep red hair, was dogged about the need for utter obedience in her subjects. She walked us through the school to demonstrate the success this obedience had gained her—highlighting slave labor that she had used to turn a profit for her and the rest of the administration.

Being the big mouth I am, I said something to her about the horrible conditions this meant for the poor students, but when I did, she rounded on me in anger. She called security, and I had to high tail it back to my space shuttle. I made it back, and the flight crew took off. We thought it was exceptionally strange when they didn’t chase us. Two hours passed, and then we suddenly heard a tapping sound outside the ship. Din-din din-din. It was eerie. Then it repeated. Over and over and over, and we realized that whatever was out there was making to come in. We began to throw on our spacesuits. I had nearly gotten mine on when the whole roof of the shuttle burst open, and we flew out into the dead of space. I had just enough time to get a last gasp of air before we entered the cold nothingness.

The icy world on my face stung, and the tears that flowed from my eyes froze before they had journeyed far. It wasn’t before long that my lungs were pounding and the fluid in my eyes began to freeze. In front of me was the mirror from the space shuttle, and I saw my reflection—blue in the face, with my hair flying out in all directions. I thought I was going to die. Then from behind me, the strangest thing happened. A vulture, with massive black wings, descended into the plain of view to land on my shoulders. They’ve come for me. I thought, though I couldn’t really say who “they” were. The vulture placed a clawed foot over my mouth, and suddenly I could breathe. Yet it didn’t help my vision, and the water in my eyes ran cold until everything was just an icy plane, followed swiftly by blackness.

 

So I don’t know what this dream means. In the moment, I thought the vulture was from the academy, come to kill me, but then it magically saved me. Perhaps if I hadn’t woken up in real life, my dream self would have woken up as a slave to the academy. Or maybe not. I know my disdainful reaction to the sight of slavery was well in my character. Perhaps it as something to do with the nature of unbalance within the school system—though who can say for sure. Anyways, those are just my thoughts. Let me know what you think! Do you have any strange dreams like that? Tell me about them in the comments!

 

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